REPLY OF ABBÉ ROCA TO MADAME
BLAVATSKY’S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST
[Le Lotus, Paris, Vol. III, June, 1888, pp. 129-150]
[Translation of the foregoing original French text.]
I. We mention it with circumspection, but Madame Blavatsky is rather embarrassing and one hardly knows exactly what course to adopt with her. If you imagine that she has treated you roughly—and I am not the only one to state this—it is because “you have such a sensitive skin.” You are mistaking for smacks the caresses of a hand whose kindness is so Buddhistical that it “would not even strike a dog to stop him from barking.” The lightest puff from her “appears to you as a squall” and what is but a zephyr seems a cold blast to you, La Fontaine’s poor little reed that you are.
Well, let us proceed. Such misconceptions may be understood, if need be; but what cannot possibly be conceived is how the same person may be, in the eyes of Madame Blavatsky, at one and the same time “a fidei defensor,” a catholic priest, a simple curé, about whom one greatly regrets disturbing oneself, and an Abbé who has “thrown his cap of an orthodox and papistical ecclesiastic to the windmills,” and who, “ignoring the true esotericism of the Brâhmanas and the Buddhists, of the Pagan and Christian Gnostics, as well as of the authentic Chaldean Kabalah, and knowing nothing of the doctrines of the Theosophists . . . . . has fabricated for himself a Christianity of his own, an Esotericism sui generis.” She adds:
“I confess that I do not understand him.”
I can well believe it! Neither I nor anyone else in the world, dear Madame, will ever comprehend how the same man could be at the same time “a fidei defensor,” a poor curé about whom it is not worth being disturbed, and an Abbé deprived of his “orthodox and papistical biretta.” These terms clash among themselves as light clashes with darkness.*
* May it not be that these terms trace their origin to the letters themselves, to the “Notes” of Monsieur Roca? They appear, perhaps, to be contradictory in his “Notes” and under the handling of his pen—a skilled one—and when the reader has neither my replies nor his own letters—regular literary kaleidoscopes—before him. The Editor of Le Lotus would do well to publish our correspondence,
I will not say of Madame Blavatsky “that she is talking to the winds and at random,” as she does of me; but it certainly looks uncommonly like it, just the same, and in more than one place. Judge for yourselves: if I but raise my voice a little, then I am taking “a threatening tone” with her. Yet she has kindly acknowledged that I have the meekness, not of a Christian, because the Christians, she says, “are neither humble nor gentle in their polemics,”—but of a Buddhist.
She ought then to be satisfied—but not so. She takes it ill that I should speak as a Buddhist. That language in my mouth has no value to her. My homage produces on her the effect “of a greasy pole erected to serve as a support for Christian gewgaws attached to it in profusion, by an apostolic and Roman hand [good! for this occasion I have become the simple priest again], or of a Hindû-Theosophic doll bedecked with Popish amulets”—Popish, you understand!
Madame Blavatsky is really difficult to satisfy: “Far from being intoxicated by the heady fumes of my laudations,” the latter upset her. “I confess,” she says, “with my usual ‘frankness’ and my unambiguous rudeness,—I feel but a re-doubled mistrust.” And how black I become in her eyes! Listen to the dilemmas whose four horns she continually throws at me: “Either the Abbé Roca is obstinately determined not to understand me, or he has an ulterior purpose. . . . I believe, I understand . . . . he either speaks to the winds and at random, or he wants to corner me, to force me to explain myself, so as to get a categorical answer from me . . . . and thus compromise me in the eyes of Christians among whom I should make fresh enemies—and that would be so much gained.”
This is what she calls “my little arrangement.” Is not this rather scandalous on my part! Wicked Abbé Roca, can there be such cunning in that tricky simpleton? Never mind! The wretch will not succeed in ringing the changes on Madame Blavatsky. “The Editor of the French Lotus might be deceived by it, but the Editor of the English Lucifer has seen through it.” Consuls, sleep peacefully at the feet of the Capitol! There are watchers above, and you will hear their loud calls if the Gauls try to scale it.*
from the first of Monsieur Roca’s letters to the last, together with my replies. The brochure would be interesting, and the public would be better able to judge which one of us is wrong.––H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* The geese [oies, in French] saved the Capitol, but the anointed [oints, in French] lost Rome.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Mon Dieu! What have I done to this good lady, to put her into that state? It is true that I am a Catholic priest (although I may have “thrown my biretta over the windmills”). And these priests, you know, she knows them by heart! Had she not “a long life passed in studying the above-mentioned priests”? I have once been told that “Christolatry” sometimes inspires so much horror in certain souls that they become Christophobes and Priestophobes. Let us hope this never will be the case with the Buddhists, whose meekness is unchangeable.*
Pray rest assured and do not disturb yourself on my account. There is no reason for so much alarm. The Abbé Roca is not at all what he is supposed to be, and he is even grieved to have caused this anxiety. Believe me, dear Madame, neither “do I speak at random and to the winds,” as I hope to prove to you, nor do I seek to do you an ill turn, as you will see later. Your fears are groundless; you are looking for secrets where nothing exists, except perhaps a large share of naïveté.
I would willingly tell Madame Blavatsky what this poor Abbé Roca really is, if she had not, however, sized him up better than he himself has been able to do, so far. That lady’s first appraisal was the best; she would have done well to have held to it. Yes, she was more correct than I thought, when she called me an optimist. I recognize it now; I am more than an optimist, I am a simplist who is easily deceived, accustomed as I am to regard everything through the prism of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.
II. It has cost me a good deal, even at this moment when Madame Blavatsky has dotted all her “i’s” so carefully, to lessen my admiration and esteem for her. No! I cannot, I will not yet believe that she and her Masters are what she so positively affirms.
Just think! I had conceived such delightful hopes at the coming forth of this Hindu Theosophy, at the first accents of these Oriental voices issuing from the sanctuaries of the Himâlayas, and which
* The Abbe deceives himself again. I am neither “Christophobe,” seeing that the impersonal Christos of the Gnosis is identical in my eyes with the divine Spirit of Illumination, nor “priestophobe,” because I have the greatest respect for certain priests. Only I suspect Levites in general, the white bands of the Protestant as much as the cassock of the Catholic priest. The odium theologicum is known to me personally in all its fury. But, imbued with Buddhist principles, I hate none, not even my enemies. Does one hate the lightning because one puts a lightning conductor on the roof?—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
awakened such harmonious echoes in our Christian Churches.* I had so longed to believe that these new Sowers were those whose footsteps Joseph de Maistre fancied he already heard on the declivities of the neighbouring mountains. I was taking them for the evangelical workers of whom Christ spoke to the disciples: “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Luke, x, 2; John, iv, 35.) I wanted to convince myself that the “Brothers” were the Missionaries announced by the prophets, who, as Malachi assures us, will come to turn the heart of the Fathers (of the Orient) toward the heart of the Children (of the West), and the heart of the Children toward the heart of the Fathers, our glorious ancestors of the earliest ages. (Mal., iv, 5-6, and Matt., xi, 14.) †
* This is really too much! What? “Oriental voices issuing from the sanctuaries of the Himâlayas . . . . awakened such harmonious echoes” in your “Christian Churches,” when the priests of those Churches denounced them the moment they were heard in America or India—as the VOICE OF SATAN! That is a rose-water sentiment, an optimism contrary to all evidence.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† Hindu Theosophy—and the Abbé Roca knows this better than anyone—is declared by his Church as coming from hell. The Catholic bishops of Bombay, of Calcutta and other large Indian cities, were so frightened at the harmony of these voices, that from the very first they compelled the faithful to stop their ears with cotton. They threatened to excommunicate “whoever approached the den of the sorcerers just disembarked from America, of those ambassadors plenipotentiary of the Enemy of God and of the Great Rebel [sic].” That was said by the Archbishop of Calcutta, if you please, in 1879. Another worthy and holy man, a missionary apostolic at Simla, dreading quite wrongly a “trade rival” perhaps, in the midst of a sermon announced my arrival in that rural Residence of the Viceroys of India, as that of “the Pythoness of the Great Accursed” (in the style of de Mirville and des Mousseaux). Were all these “good Fathers” deaf then, inasmuch as they did not hear the harmonious voices, even though their noses were on the Himâlayas? Is it not true then that for twelve years the descendants of your “glorious ancestors
So then, am I deceiving myself? Your language distresses me, Madame, and will not charm anyone, anywhere in Europe, except perhaps in Turkey.
Then there would be, if the Buddhists do not deceive or slander themselves, two Theosophies, one Christian and the other Pagan, as I understand there are two mysticisms and even three, according to Gorres; and also two Gnoses or Gnosticisms and two occultisms, the one orthodox and the other heterodox, and again two Kabalahs, one dating from before Esdras, the other since him; and finally, two Magics, one white, the other black.
But then, Madame Blavatsky, instead of presenting me to her readers as denuded of all esotericism, and absolutely ignorant of all Theosophy, ought to have, it seems to me, admitted instantly that my Theosophy and my esotericism have nothing in common with those of her Masters,* for the simple reason that mine are Christian while hers are Pagan.†
of the earliest ages”—and why not add to (Saint) Cyril of bloody memory and to (Saint) Eusebius of mendacious memory, the Holy Fathers of the Inquisition, the Torquemadas and Co.—have followed us everywhere, tearing our reputations to pieces because they had no longer the power to mangle our bodies with their instruments of torture? Then all those piles of books and tracts, filled with the blackest calumnies, the most shameless lies, the basest insinuations, emanating from the missionaries, are nothing but a dream? We have them, however, in the Adyar Library.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* The esotoricism of our Masters (let us rather say their divine philosophy) is that of the greatest of the PAGANS of antiquity. Elsewhere, the Abbé Roca speaks with contempt of the term. I will reply to that later. In the meantime I ask if there is in the entire universe a man so bold (except the ignorant missionaries) as to speak with contempt of the religion of Socrates, of Plato, of Anaxagoras, or of Epictetus! Assuredly, I should be the first to choose the position of servant to a pagan Plato, or an Epictetus, himself a slave, in preference to the office of highest cardinal to an Alexander or a Caesar Borgia, or even to a Leo XIII.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† That is what I have done in every possible way. One has but to read my two “Notes” to be assured of this.
Well, if she did not begin by doing me such justice at the outset of her refutation, she has carried it out with sufficient good grace at the end, and I thank her for it.
Here is what she says: “While in appearance we are both speaking the same language, our ideas as to the value and meaning of Christian
Yes, there are two Theosophies—the one, universal (ours), the other, sectarian (yours). Yes, there are two Kabalahs, the one compiled by Shimon ben Yohai in the Zohar, in the second century (we say the first), that is the true Kabalah of the Initiates, which is lost and whose original is to be found in the Chaldean Book of Numbers; and the other, that which exists in Latin translations in your libraries, the Kabalah denatured by Moses de Leon in the XIIIth century, a pseudograph composed by that Spanish Israelite, with the aid and under the direct inspiration of the Syrian and Chaldean Christians, on the traditions preserved in the Midraschim and the remaining fragments of the true Zohar. And that is why we find therein the Trinity and other Christian dogmas, and why the Rabbis, who have not had the opportunity of preserving among their family possessions some chapters of the authentic Kabalah, do not wish to know anything of that of Moses de Leon (that of Rosenroth and Co.), at which they laugh. See rather what Munk says on the subject. The mysticism and the Kabalah on which the Abbé and the others rely for data come down to them, then, from Moses de Leon, just as their system of the Sephiroth comes to them from Tholuck (l.c., pp. 24 and 31), their great authority. It was Hây Gaôn (died in 1038) who first developed the Sephirothal system as we have it now, i.e., a system which, like the Zohar, and other Kabalistic books, has been filtered in the Middle Ages in the Gnosis already disfigured by Christians of the first centuries.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
[The reference to Tholuck, as found in the footnote above, is rather misleading. It occurred once before in an identical manner, namely in H.P.B.’s Essay on “The Esoteric Character of the Gospels.” Vide, pp. 216 and 238 of Volume VIII, in the present Series, where the actual source of this reference is fully explained in Compiler’s Notes .—Compiler.]
esotericism, of Brâhman-Buddhist esotericism, and of that of the Gnostics, are diametrically opposed.” (Who knows? I am not yet really convinced of it, and I will tell why later on.) She continues: “He derives his conclusions and his esoteric data from sources which I could not know, since they are of modern invention [not so modern, Madame, as you will see], while I am speaking to him in the language of the ancient Initiates, and offer him the conclusions of archaic esotericism. . . .”
To which I answer that one may admit, if absolutely necessary, the co-existence of the two esotericisms, because error is probably as ancient as truth, at least on our earth, but in no case is it possible to admit the priority of the altered source over the pure one.*
Madame Blavatsky, if she were right, would have rendered us a very great service, but to her own Masters the worst possible one, in opening our eyes as she has done to the paganism of their doctrines. The term is serious, but it is she who uttered it first (observe this point!), and who compels me to repeat it.†
* Precisely. Now, as Christian theology is the youngest, and as even the Judaism of Esdras is only 400 years older, it follows that the Aryan source, from which the Arhats of Gautama drank, having priority, must be the pure source, while all the others have been altered. It appears, then, that we are perfectly in accord, sometimes.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† I do not deny that. Being neither Christian, Jew nor Mussulman, I must necessarily be pagan, if the scientific etymology of the term means anything. The Abbé Roca gives the impression of making excuses for using the expression he repeats. One would say that he is trying to persuade the readers that it was only a lapsus calami, a lapsus linguae, or what not! Nothing of the kind. What is the origin of the word pagan? Paganus meant, in the first centuries, an inhabitant of the village, a peasant if you like, one who by living too far from the centres of the new proselytism had remained (very fortunately for him, perhaps) in the faith of his fathers. According to the Latin Church, all that is not perverted to the sacerdotal theology is pagan, idolatrous, and comes from the devil. And what does Roman etymology, whose adoption was imposed upon other peoples by circumstances, matter to us? I am democratic, in the true sense of the word. I
If the assertions I am going to reproduce are well founded, it would follow, clearly, that Monsieur de Saint-Yves was absolutely right when he wrote: “There will come a time when new Judeo-Christian missionaries [and not pagan-Buddhist] will re-establish a perfect communion of science and love with all the other religious centres of the Earth.” *
It will be found that these Judeo-Christian missionaries are necessarily the legitimate heirs of the Egypto-Chaldean sacerdotal caste, for Moses, as everyone knows, was initiated in all the Gnosis of the sanctuaries of Egypt (“Et eruditus est Moyses omni sapientia Aegyptiorum. . . .”—Acts, vii, 22); these latter sanctuaries were derived, in their turn, by an ascending road from that mysterious and primitive Church of the protogones “ quorum nomina sunt inscripta in coelis,” according to the solemn teaching of St. Paul (Heb., xii, 23). † We easily ascend the rungs of that glorious genealogy in the splendid work of the author of the Mission.
Madame Blavatsky may see by this that the sources from which Catholics draw are not of modern invention, as she is pleased to say. ‡
respect the country folk, the people of the fields and of nature, the honest labourer scorned by the wealthy. And I say loudly that I prefer to be a pagan with the peasants than a Roman Catholic with the Princes of the Church, of whom I take very little notice so long as I do not find them in my way. Once again, the Abbé Roca is making a little fiasco. Vide note 6.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
[Note 6 is the footnote on p. 375 of the present Volume, beginning with: “The esotericism of our Masters “—Compiler.]
* Mission des Juifs, p. 178. [Ch. IV, p. 198, in the 1884 edition].
† [The wording of the Vulgate is different, namely: “Et Ecclesiam primitivorum, qui conscripti sunt in coelis, et judicem omnium Deum, et spiritus justorum perfectorum.”—Compiler.]
‡ Grieved to contradict him again, and always. In my eyes the sources drawn upon by the Catholics are extremely modern in comparison with the Vedas and even with Buddhism. The “solemn teachings” of St. Paul date from the sixth or seventh centuries—when, revised and thoroughly corrected, his Epistles were finally admitted into the Canon of the Gospels, after having been exiled therefrom for several centuries—rather than from the year 60. Otherwise why should (Saint) Peter have
The thesis of the Marquis de Saint-Yves emerges victoriously from the very assertions of my learned antagonist.* I should lose one illusion; I should confirm myself in my thoroughly Christian convictions.
persecuted his enemy Paul, personifying him under the name of Simon Magus, a name which has become as generic as that of a Torquemada or a Merlin?—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* I really fear that the thesis of Monsieur (le Marquis de) Saint-Yves will emerge from my hands no more victorious than the rosy dreams and the optimism of my honoured correspondent. The sources found therein ascend no higher than the personal visions of the learned author. I have never read the entire work, but it was enough for me to read its first pages and a manuscript-review of one of his fervent admirers, to assure myself that neither the esoteric data of the sacred literature of the Brâhmanas, nor the exoteric researches of the Sanskritists, nor the fragments from the history of the Âryas of Bharatavarsha, nothing, absolutely nothing known to the greatest pandits of the country, or even to the European Orientalists, supports the “thesis” which the Abbé Roca confronts me with. The book eclipses as a learned fiction the works of Jules Verne, and the Abbé might as well compare my “contradictions” with the works of Edgar Poe, the Jules Verne of American mysticism. The work is entirely devoid of any historical or even traditional basis. The “biography” of Râma therein is as fictional as the idea that the Kali-Yuga is the Golden Age. The author is certainly a man of great talent, but the fantasy of his imagination is more remarkable than his learning. The Hindu Theosophists are ready to pick up the gauntlet if it is thrown to them. Let the Abbé Roca or any other admirer of the Mission take the trouble of transcribing all the passages that mention Râma and the other heroes of ancient Aryâvarta. Let them support their statements by historical proofs and the names of ancient authors (of which we find no trace in this work). The Hindu
The Hindu Theosophists would then have given their full measure. As to Theosophy itself, it would certainly lose nothing of its universalist character. Madame Blavatsky recognizes that “Theosophy is neither Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, nor any other ism: it is the esoteric synthesis of all the known religions and philosophies.” It is true that in her eyes it is not Christianity either; but I venture to think that she deceives herself on this point. To my way of thinking, true Theosophy is indistinguishable from real Christianity, from the integral, scientific Christianity, such as is conceived by the author of the Mission, by enlightened Catholics, orthodox Kabalists, and the Johannites of the traditional school of Joachim of Floris, of John of Parma, of the Franciscans and the Carmelites, to which Renan has dedicated the
and other Theosophists will reply and overturn one by one all the stones of the masonry based on the phonetic etymology of the name of Râma of which the author has made a veritable Tower of Babel. We will give all the historical, theological, philological, and above all, logical proofs. Râma had nothing to do with the Py-Ramides (!!), nothing either with Rameses, not even with Brahmâ or the Brâhmanas, in the desired sense; and still less with the “Ab-Ramides” (!!?). Why not with Ram-bouillet, in that case, or “le Dimanche des Rameaux”? The Mission des Juifs is a very fine romance, an admirable fantasy; but the Râma found therein is no more the Râma of the Hindus than the Whale that swallowed Jonah is the zoological whale that disports itself in the northern and southern seas. I do not at all object to the Christians swallowing whale and Jonah if they have the appetite, but I absolutely refuse to swallow the Râma of the Mission des Juifs. The fundamental idea of that work would delight those English people who seek the honour of proving that the British nation descends in direct line from the Ten Tribes of Israel; from those tribes that were lost before they were born, for the Jews never had but two tribes, of which one was but a caste, the tribe of Judah, and the other, that of Levi, the priestly caste. The others were only the personified signs of the zodiac. What can Râma have to do with all that?—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
most learned of his works of criticism, which is certainly not his Life of Jesus. (See the dissertation by Renan on The Eternal Gospel of Joachim of Floris, published in the Revue des Deux-Mondes, Vol. 64, beginning with the first part of the issue for July 1, 1866, pp. 94-142.)
III. As for myself, I had hoped, in my childish simplicity—have I not said it and repeated it enough in my first articles in Le Lotus?—that the “Sages” of the Himâlayas would themselves also take part in the erection of that beautiful and glorious Theosophico-Christian Synthesis. Was it a dream? Should it be renounced? Well, no, surely not yet, not so soon!
Madame Blavatsky, it is clear, does not give any quarter; she strikes with a quick and lively hand: “I have put an extinguisher,” she says, “on the rosy hopes that shone in the flame of his first letter . . . . . because I could not take seriously the simple compliments of civility addressed to the pagan Mahâtmans by a Christian and a French Abbé.” The term is there, but it is I who underline it, and for good reason.
Ah! Madame, what you have taken for simple compliments was no trap! It was a sincere expression, if not of a firmly established conviction, at least of an ardent desire and a wish entirely in your favour. Christ could very well get along without the Buddhists, if necessary, but the Buddhists could not do without him, certainly . . . . and you do not intend to do without him either, intelligent as you are.* I do not despair of dissipating the misunderstanding. There certainly is one.
* I permit myself to reply that Buddha is the elder of Jesus (confused with the Christos) by 600 years. The Buddhists, however, whose religious system was crystallized ever since their last ecclesiastical Council which preceded the first Christian Church Council by several centuries, have been able to do very well without the Christ invented by the latter. They have their Buddha, who is their Christ. Their religion, which transcends in moral sublimity all that had been hitherto invented or preached in this world, is older than Christianity, and all that is fine in the Sermon on the Mount, i.e., all that is found in the Gospels, was already to be found for centuries in the Aphorisms of Gautama the Buddha, in those of Confucius, and in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ. What does the Abbé Roca mean when saying that the Buddhists “could not do without him [Christ], certainly,” when
I do not regret a single word I have published, in view of the agreement in Le Lotus and elsewhere, for if, on the one hand, I receive smart blows and bitter jests in good part, on the other I gain the advantage of having given proof of goodwill, wide tolerance and an entirely Christian—if not Buddhist—brotherliness.
My honoured correspondent flatters herself upon having upset my edifice. She says: “It has crumbled under a slight puff, like a simple house of cards . . . . . and that was not always my fault.” Whose fault was it, then? Surely not mine either, and I should be grieved if I had compelled Madame Blavatsky to undermine that foundation, because she would have been working against herself and not against me. It is true that she would have destroyed my hopes. It is also true that she would have broken my heart as a Frenchman, a European, and a Priest of Jesus Christ. But by the same blow she would have destroyed herself and, in that event, upon what would she have had to congratulate herself?*
they have done without him for more than 2,000 years? What is he trying to insinuate by speaking of me in the same way? I have the honour to tell him that there was a time when I believed as he does; there was a time when I was idiot enough to believe what had never been proved to me, but now, believing no more in such things and approaching the sixties, it is not likely that I should be caught by the bird-lime of fine sentiments. No, there is no “misunderstanding” at all. If, in spite of all my care in dotting my “i’s,” he persists in not wishing to understand me, he shows bad faith. May it be that he wants to drag on an impossible polemic because, not being able to answer my arguments by proofs of the same weight, he nevertheless wants to have the last word? In that case I yield to him with pleasure. I have really neither time nor desire to fight windmills.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* The Abbé is really too sensitive. I thank him for his solicitude so very. . . . Christian, for my humble self; but at the risk of “breaking his heart” once more, the truth compels me to say that I do not at all understand his obstinacy, notwithstanding my protestations, in bewailing my luck. Unfortunately for him, I have very little softness in my nature. He will not be the one to instruct me. If he continues his jeremiads to the tune of “My
IV. Now then. What can this mean? To dispossess Christ of his great conquests? To throw back the civilization inaugarated under his auspices? To overturn his altars in the West? To root out his name from our soil ? Beware! Renan, the same Renan that Madame Blavatsky invokes against me, would exclaim: “To tear away that name from the world today would be to shake it to its foundations!” (Life of Jesus).
Too late! He is the Master, his spirit has become our universal spirit for ever, his soul has passed into our soul. Christ and Christianity are from now on merged into one. The principles of his Holy Gospel, all the ideas of fraternity, of tolerance, of solidarity, of union, of mutuality and so many others which are associated with the glorious trilogy of our immortal Revolution, are preparing themselves to triumph with the very principles of modern Civilization, which will carry its benefits to all parts of the world, even to that Orient which does not yet understand it, and which would try to stifle it in its cradle in the West. Mercy of God!
Just heaven! What an undertaking! One of my ideas has been called “baroque”; what shall we call this one, if it really had an
Aunt Aurora” he will edify the readers of Le Lotus even less than myself. Let him be calm, and let his afflicted heart be consoled. Those wishing to destroy me cannot do so. I am in no danger. Others, stronger than he, have tried to bend me to their ideas, or to break me. But I have the epidermis of a Tartar, it seems; neither threats garlanded with the flowers of his rhetoric and powdered with the pale roseate tints of his poetry, nor compliments addressed to “my intelligence,” will affect me. I appreciate at its exact value his wish to confound the two esotericisms—the Christian esotericism and that of the old Initiates of submerged Atlantis. That does not prevent me from seeing that his wish is built on the terrain of “Castles in Spain.” The two esotericisms have done very well without each other throughout the centuries, and they can live side by side, without running foul of each other too much, for the rest of the Kali-Yuga, the black and fatal age, the age of sinister causes and effects, which has not prevented it being represented in France as the Golden Age—one of the errors accepted by the Abbé Roca with that innocent faith so characteristic of him.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
origin in any brain at all? Can we not see what is happening? What tremors everywhere! And we are merely at the dawn of the New Day. The Sun which is Christ, “the Solar Christ,” as the Kabalists say, that sun has not yet risen upon us; but the dawn is beautiful, full of radiances, of perfumes, of hopes! And some would wish to stop the ascending march of that orb! How senseless! No, neither the Seine, nor any other river in Europe, will see that which the Nile saw, in the words of Lefranc de Pompignan:
The Nile has seen on its banks
The dark dwellers of the desert
Insult, with their savage cries
The Radiant Star of the Universe
for then would happen what that poet sings of in the same stanza:
Feeble crime, weird frenzies!
While those monsters barbaric
Fling their insolent shouts,
The God, pursuing his path,
Pours torrents of light
On his obscure blasphemers!
That is not possible. No, no! Christianity will never have to repel such an attempt. That cannot be what Madame Blavatsky wishes to say.*
V. However, here are terrible affirmations, or rather bold denials; but they reveal their meaning to my understanding, and I will tell you how.
“I deny in toto,” she exclaims, “the Christ invented by the Church, as well as all the doctrines, all the interpretations, and all the dogmas, ancient and modern, concerning that personage. . . . . I have the keenest aversion for the Christolatry of the Churches. I hate those dogmas and doctrines which have degraded the ideal Christos by making of it an absurd and grotesque anthropomorphic fetish. . . . .
* The Abbé is deceived. That was exactly my idea. The “obscure blasphemers” of which he speaks are the Christians of the first centuries, those bands of catechist-brigands, of ragged and filthy robbers, collected from all the sewers of the Roman provinces and posing as the “guard of honour” of their Holinesses, the Cyrils of murderous memory, the butchers of the Holy Church—that sanguinary bludgeon for nearly seventeen centuries.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Jesus crucified was nothing but an illusion, and his story an allegory. . . . For me Jesus Christ, i.e., the Man-God of the Christians, copied from the Avatâras of every country, from the Hindu Krishna as well as the Egyptian Horus, was never a historical person. He is a deified personification of the glorified type of the great Hierophants of the Temples, and his story as told in the New Testament is an allegory.” *
These denials are doubtless serious, and it is evident that in these terms and on this ground, no understanding would be possible, no agreement could be hoped for between Christians and Buddhists. †
But one can, happily, turn the question, present it under another aspect, and solve it favourably. We are going to try. One word alone embarrasses me more than all the former ones; it is the one I have underlined above, in the passage from Madame Blavatsky, who has called herself and the Mahâtmans PAGANS. But have we to take that strange expression seriously? I do not think so. There must be something equivocal in it, a quid pro quo.
I have an idea that nothing in the world is less pagan than the conceptions of the “Brothers” and their adepts.‡ My noble partner will tell me if I am deceived, after having done me the honour of listening very attentively. I beg her to reflect well on the matter, and above all not to imagine there is a trap hidden under my words. My speech is frank, limpid as a rock-crystal.
Let us see, my dear Madame, if you have a clear understanding of the meaning covered by the word pagan in the European mind and according to all our lexicons? (See among others, Quicherat,
* Exactly, the Abbé has a remarkable memory—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† The Abbé is right. No agreement is possible between the dogmatic Christolatry of the Churches, his anthropomorphic god, and the Oriental Esotericists. True Christianity died with the Gnosis.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
‡ I will explain myself for the last time. The “Brothers” and “Adepts,” being neither Christians, Jews, nor Mussulmans, are necessarily, like myself, pagans, Gentiles to all Christians; just as the latter, and above all Roman Catholics, are pure idolaters to the “Brothers.” Is that clear enough? The Christ of the Abbé Roca said: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not” (Matt., x, 5). I am astonished to find an Abbé making so little of the order of his Master!—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
which I have just consulted again.) The pagans, in Latin pagani, from pagus, a village or hamlet, were the pago-dedite, the villagers, the country-folk, the ignorant idolaters who took the sacred signs, the religious symbols, for divine realities. How can one imagine that the Mahâtmans and Madame Blavatsky are that kind of people? I am convinced to the contrary.*
It is evidently not what this learned woman intended to declare, no more than she meant to make herself out to be anti-Christian when she so maltreated that Christ, the Man-God, whom she does not see demonstrating clearly and plainly his historical existence, by the experimental proof the philosopher employed when he proved motion by walking in front of the negators. Christ lives with us otherwise than as a vain abstraction, for he is about to upset our world and reverse its two poles, setting up on high that which was below, and bringing down that which was on high, just as he declared. † Have we indeed eyes and see not?
I know what Madame Blavatsky will say to this. . . We are coming to that. Meanwhile, I will face her with her own words, on this occasion quite suitable and correct: “I have,” she says, “the most profound respect for the transcendental idea of the universal Christos
* Grieved, of course, as ever, to dissipate your sweet illusion, dear Monsieur. I needed that lesson in etymology, and I thank the Abbé Roca for it. I fancy, however—though I am not so indiscreet as to ask his age—that I knew all that he has just taught me before Madame his mother had put his legs into his first pair of pants. The pagani or pagans may have been ignoramuses in the eyes of those more ignorant than themselves—those who accepted for coined money the ass of Balaam, the whale of Jonah, and the snake that walked on its tail—but they were not more ignorant for all that. As the most serious books speak of Plato, Homer, Pythagoras, Virgil, etc., etc., under the name of “pagan philosophers and poets,” the Adepts are found in good company. The little lesson is as useless as it is far-fetched. I am a pagan to the Christians, and I am proud of it. I have said it elsewhere: I far prefer to be a pagan with Plato and Pythagoras, than a Christian with the Popes.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† [These expressions are actually to be found in Job, v, 11, and in Isaiah, xxvi, 5.—Compiler.]
(or Christ) who lives in the soul of the Bushman and the savage Zulu, as well as in that of the Abbé Roca.”However, you are going to see that we shall close by finding the crux of the difficulty, and by scientifically resolving it, perhaps even by finding ourselves in perfect agreement. “ So much the better, so much the better,” I will repeat after her.
The difficulty she experiences in admitting a carnalized Christ, as she states, will not remain for ever, I hope. Her eyes are made to see clearly.*
Undoubtedly a “personal adjective cannot be applied to an ideal principle” while it remains in the state of an abstract Ideal: but is the ???????, or Universal Christ, living in our souls, a mere idea, in her estimation, an absolutely impersonal Principle? I am well aware that she has said yes, but she has also said that the Mahâtmans are pagans. There are confusions in this which will have to be dissipated.
VI. Christ, according to the orthodox Gnosis, is this: he is the Son engendered from all eternity in the adorable arcane of the internal Processions of the divine Essence; he is the living Word, consubstantial with the Father, of whom St. John speaks; he is the Lumen de Lumine of the Nicene symbol, chanted in Christian Churches of all rites and every sect (excepting the Filioque of the Orthodox Greco-Russian
* Let us hope so. And it is exactly because my eyes saw clearly, perhaps before my esteemed correspondent was born, that I have no desire to fall back into the Egyptian darkness of ecclesiastical dogmas. I will never accept the inventions of Irenaeus, of Eusebius, of Jerome, or of Augustine. The “orthodox gnosis” is blasphemous in my eyes, a hideous nightmare which transforms the Divine Spirit into a cadaver of putrefied flesh, and clothes it in cheap human finery. I only recognize the Gnosis of Marcion, Valentinus and such others. A day will come when Oriental Esotericism will render the same service to Christian Europe as Apollonius of Tyana rendered at Corinth to his disciple Menippus. The golden wand will be stretched out towards the Church of Rome, and the ghoul which has vampirized the civilized peoples since Constantine will resume its spectral, demoniacal form of incubus and succubus. So may it be!
Om mani padme hum!—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Church).* That same Word was conceived before all the centuries and outside the essentially divine Circle, by Ochmah, or the emanated feminine Principle, † or again living Wisdom, immaculate and fecundated by Ensoph ‡ who is the masculine Principle, issued from
* Yet the Filioque of the Orthodox Greco-Russian Church is that which is nearest to the Esotericism of the Orient.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† If by “Ochmah” the Abbé means Chokhmah-Wisdom (sometimes phonetically written Hochmah), he is seriously deceived again. Hochmah is not “the feminine Principle” but the masculine, since it is the “Father,” Yah, while Binah, Intelligence or Jehovah, is the feminine Principle, “the mother.” Here is the superior triangle of the 10 Sephiroth:
Kether is the highest point (Eheieh, Being). The Microprosopus, the Son, emanates from the two Sephiroth, Chokhmah (or rather Chokhma, because the letter H was added by the Christian Kabalists) and Binah, the two lower points of the triangle. But where has the Abbé studied the Kabalah?—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
‡ En-Soph was never “the masculine Principle” any more than Parabrahm. En-Soph is the Incomprehensible, the Absolute, and has no sex. The first lesson in the Zohar teaches us that En-Soph (the Non-Being, for it is Absolute Being per se) cannot create. And not being able to create the Universe (which is only a reflection of En-Soph on the objective plane), it can still less engender.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
God, and called the Holy Ghost (perhaps the Akâśa * of the Hindus).†
Now then, we Catholic priests, teach that this same Son, this same Word, was made flesh: Verbum caro factum est (John, i, 14—Nicene Creed). Here it is in a few words: This only Son, this Word conceived from all eternity by the Father-Mother who is God , then begotten by En-Soph, I, in the bosom of Ochmah, , has come to our Earth, to the south pole of Creation, to take a body and a soul like ours, but not a Spirit, mark well, not a human personality. There are not two persons in the Man-God, there is only the Person of the eternal Son, of the Principle as he calls himself (John, viii, 25); but there are two natures, the assuming nature which is wholly divine, and the assumed nature which is yours, Madame, which is mine, as it is that of the Bushman and the Zulu savage, as it is that of the greatest rascal to be found on earth.
Man had nothing to do with that generic conception; that mystery was accomplished within a Virgin, and could be accomplished only therein. Because that Virgin was none other than Ochmah, the feminine Principle herself, the Spouse of En-Soph, the immaculate
* Âkâśa is not the Holy Ghost, because then Âkâśa would be Shekhinah, while Âkâśa is the noumenon of the Cosmic Septenary whose soul is Ether. Shekhinah is a feminine principle just as the Holy Ghost was with the early Christians and the Gnostics. Jesus said in the Gospel of the Hebrews: “And forthwith my mother the Holy Ghost took me and carried me by one of the hairs of my head to the great mountain called Tabor.” [Origen, Comm. in Evang. Joannis, tom. II, p. 64.] Well indeed, if that is what you “Catholic priests” teach your flocks, I can hardly congratulate you on it and I am sorry for them. It seems, after all, that the Abbé is right in saying that his Christ has “reversed its two poles, raising that which was below, and putting down that which was on high” (vide supra). The entire Kabalah with the Sephiroth has had its share of it, and the brains of the Kabalists also.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† Madame Blavatsky knows as well as anyone the esoteric value of that sacred hierogram: which, when separated ab intra, gives I and , which form by their conjunction ad extra the number 10, the symbolic figure of the whole Creation.
Wisdom clothed with a body,* as a preliminary to causing the same Word she had already conceived by the Holy Ghost at the north pole of Creation, to pass into human Nature; † and she came, under the name of Mary, to conceive again at the south pole in order to place it within reach of the fallen.
Hence the expression occurring so often in the Church Fathers: “Prius conseperat in mente quam in corpore, prius in coelis quam in terris” I am referring here to things which are perfectly intelligible, if not for everyone, than at least for an open-minded understanding as is that of Madame Blavatsky.
I foresee what she will reply; in fact it is already in her article. She will say: the Incarnation of Divinity in Humanity is “the Apotheosis of the Mysteries of Initiation. The Word made flesh is the heritage of the human race, etc.” Nothing is more true; that language is absolutely Catholic. It is also true, as she adds: “The vos Dii estis applies to every man born of woman.” Here is the way we explain it in the light of the Zohar:
Astral Humanity, or the original and universal Adam-Eve, formed, before the Fall, an integral and homogeneous body of which the divine Christ was the Spirit, if not the soul. The soul of it was rather Ochmah, or the immaculate Wisdom. The Fall took place—I will not determine either the cause or the nature of it now, so as not to have two controversies at once. That fact, well known to Madame Blavatsky, but explained differently by her, brought about the dislocation of that great body—if one can call by that name the biological Constitutions of the spiritual or north pole. My antagonist
* No initiate is ignorant of the fact that spirits clothe themselves to descend and divest themselves to re-ascend.
† I have already had the honour of telling the Abbé Roca that his “Ochmah” (Chokhmah then, if you please) was a masculine principle, the “Father.” Does he want to make of the Virgin Mary the bearded Macroprosopus? Let him open the Zohar and learn therein the hierarchy of the Sephiroth, before saying and writing things which are . . . . impossible. Here is what the Zohar of Rosenroth says, as translated by Ginsburg: Chokhmah or “Wisdom” (<cso_hebrew>), the active and masculine power (or principle), represented in the circle of divine names by Jah (<cso_hebrew>). See Isaiah, xxvi, 4—“Put your trust in Jah, <cso_hebrew> ,” etc. Whether Jah be translated as “Eternal,” in the French Bible of Ostervald, or even as “Lord God,” in the English version, he is always God, the Father, and not the mother-goddess, Mary.—H.P. B.
would express it otherwise; she would say that Humanity passed from a state of Homogeneity or the Heavenly, to a state of Heterogeneity in which it finds itself on earth. Be it so. I am quite willing here to ignore the idea of sin which is implied in our dogma. In any case she was compelled to touch upon the question, very embarrassing for her, of the origin of evil; she has extricated herself as well as she could, but not brilliantly.* The Kabalah explains it far better, and The Eternal Gospel printed in London in 1857 (Trübner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row) throws a vivid light upon that mystery. It is of little consequence to the main point of our discussion.
What is certain is that evil desolates the earth and that we all suffer from it. The Buddhists are condemned by their system to ascribe to God a singular paternity with that vos Dii estis interpreted in their fashion. Not only the Bushmen and the Zulu savages but even the Cartouche, the Mandrin and the Troppmann † can use the name and think themselves warranted to bear the title of Sons of God. A pretty family, forsooth.‡ The Christian teaching, without defrauding those poor creatures of their paternal heritage, takes at least the precaution of imposing on them a fitting behaviour. It offers them
* It is not for me to say whether I have extricated myself brilliantly or not. I always know, at least, what I am talking about, and the actual value as well as meaning of the words and the names I use, which is not always the case with the Abbé Roca. I regret to say it, but before giving lessons to others, it would perhaps be well for him to study the elementary Kabalah.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† [The reference is here to three famous French criminals, namely: Louis Dominique Cartouche, a thief (b. ca. 1693; executed Nov. 28, 1721), Louis Mandrin, a bandit and highwayman (b. 1724; exec. May 26, 1755), and Jean Baptiste Troppmann, an assassin (b. 1849; exec. at Paris,Jan. 19, 1870).—Compiler.]
‡ A “family” no worse than that of David, assassin and adulterer, from whom Jesus is made to descend; or even than that which presented itself before the Eternal, as the Book of Job tells us: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them” (Job, i, 6; ii, 1), Satan, the handsomest of the Sons of God. If Satan, just like you, me, or Troppmann, was not the son of God, or rather of the Essence of the absolute divine Principle, would your God be Absolute and Infinite? We ought not to forget, even in argument, to be logical.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
the means, as rational as it is just and easy, to reinstate themselves into the primordial conditions of their original sanctity: You are fallen, degraded; it is easy to recover. Cling once more to that Christ from whom you have cut yourselves off. You do not have to lift yourselves to heaven to reach him: he has come down to earth within reach of you. He is within your own nature, in your own flesh. Every cell, every monad, dropped from his celestial body into the lower regions, is re-associated with him through affiliation with the Church which, according to St. Paul (Eph., i, 23), is the true social body of the Christ-Man—the organized body in which is hidden the Christ-Spirit, as the butterfly is hidden in the chrysalis. And there is the entire mystery of the Incarnation! Where is the absurdity? *
In what respect does this Dogma shock the reason? In what respect does it repel those who recognize the Christ-Principle, or the Universal Christ? Now, if one denied the existence of that Christ, then indeed it would be impossible to understand each other.
VII. It is exactly this that I would like to learn from my worthy correspondent before pursuing the controversy any farther.† The question is not exactly that to which Madame Blavatsky has already replied by saying: “a divine Christ (or Christos) never existed under a human form outside the imagination of blasphemers who have carnalized a universal and entirely impersonal principle . . . . . he who would say ‘Ego sum veritas’ is yet to be born.” It is actually another question, a more basic one, namely: Does the Christos exist, whether in heaven or earth, or under any form, divine or human?
* I notice that the Abbé Roca is arraying himself again in the Buddhist, Vedântin, Esoteric, and Theosophical tenets, only substituting the name “Christ” for those of Parabrahman and Âdi-Buddha. In England they would say he amuses himself by carrying coals to Newcastle. I am not opposed to the doctrine, for it is our own, but rather to the limitation set by the Christians. Let them, then, at once take out a patent of invention for that which has been recognized and taught under other names in an age when even the molecules of the Christians had not yet floated in space.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† The Abbé will have to “go” it alone then. I withdraw and absolutely refuse to prolong the controversy. Let him first learn the A.B.C. of Esotericism and the Kabalah, and after that we shall see.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
I have the honour of warning Madame Blavatsky that even if her visual and conceptual apparatus does not allow her to understand or admit that the Christ-Principle could become the Bodily-Christ or the Man-God, I should consider her still a Christian,* and for this reason:
In our Holy Gospel, which she almost considers, with Strauss, as the Masonic Ritual of the most commonplace human understanding, in the mouth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, whom she takes for an idealization of terrestrial humanity, the blessed words that I interpret in her favour are found, and I am happy to apply them to her with justice—I believe so, at least. Listen to the divine utterance:
“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man [the Man-God], it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost [the Christ-Spirit], it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [the present era, which is closing], neither in the world to come [the era which is opening in our day].” † It is indeed remarkable that these words were repeated by the Four Evangelists. ‡ The reason is that they are of capital importance. The version according to St. Mark is the most liberal of all. It declares that were the things said against the Son of Man blasphemies, these blasphemies would be forgiven, if they were not addressed to the Holy Ghost (loc. cit.).
Nothing authorises me, however, to say that Madame Blavatsky has blasphemed against the Holy Ghost: I should rather declare the contrary.§ Therefore, it is not I who would say raca to her—never, never!
* Everyone has the right to think what they will of me; but an illusion will never be a reality. I have as much right to hold that the Pope is a Buddhist, but I will take pretty good care not to do so; a Buddhist is not he who merely wishes to be one.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† Matt., xii, 32; Mark, iii 28-29; Luke, xii, 10; I John, v, 16.
‡ All the more remarkable in view of their contradicting each other in everything else.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
§ “First catch your hare, then cook him.” To accuse a person “of blasphemy” you must first prove that such a person believed the thing against which he blasphemes. Now, as I do not believe in the revelation of the contents of the two Testaments and as, for me, the Mosaic and Apostolic “Scriptures” are not more Holy than a novel of Zola’s, and as the Vedas and the Tripitakas have far
She can convince herself by the very words of our Saviour, that Christ is not that “jealous and cruel idol which damns for eternity those who decline to bow down before it,” since even that insult will find grace and forgiveness before the infinite mercy of the heart of the God-Man.
What I fear for Madame Blavatsky, is that the discussions she has had with Christian priests, and which must have been extremely lively on both sides, since she says she paid “for having known the said priests,” may have greatly contributed to falsify her ideas about Jesus Christ. We must admit that many among us, ministers of his meek and lowly Gospel, hardly shine in our age with a profound understanding of the Arcanes of Christ, and that our tolerance has not always been—indeed far from it—-in conformity with that of his heart. It is certain, for example, that the terrible Christ of the Inquisition, our own work, was not at all designed to render the true Christ agreeable or to recommend him, the Christ of the Sermon on the Mount and of the vision of Tabor.* It is equally certain that our own Christ, the one of the priests, is held in abomination, alas, by many people. He whose example we have sorely neglected to follow, while he had told us: “Exemplum enim dedi vobis, ut quemadmodum ego feci vobis, ita et vos faciatis” (John, xiii, 15).
more value in my sight, I do not see how I could be accused of “blasphemy” against the Holy Ghost. It is you who blasphéme in calling it “a male principle” and the lining of a feminine principle. Raca are those who accept the divagations of the “Fathers of the Church” to the “Councils” as the direct inspiration of that Holy Ghost. History shows us those famous Fathers killing each other at their assemblies, fighting and quarrelling among themselves like street porters, intriguing and covering with opprobrium the name of Humanity. The Pagans blushed to see it. Every new convert who had permitted himself to be entrapped, but who had retained his dignity and a grain of good sense, returned, like the Emperor Julian, to his old gods. Let us leave these sentimentalities, then, which affect me very little. I know my history too well, and rather better than you know your Zohar, Monsieur l’Abbé.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* Still another mistake. There are good and bad priests in Buddhism, just as there are among the Christians. I detest the sacerdotal caste, and always distrust it,
VIII. I close, for this occasion at least, by bringing to light the religious homage Madame Blavatsky renders, perhaps unwittingly, to our Holy Gospel: “The New Testament,” she says, “certainly contains profound esoteric truths, but it is an allegory.” The word allegory will be replaced someday, in the vocabulary of this exegete, by typal work. In all questions, types have the peculiarity, according to Plato, of being at the same time an allegory and the exact expression of a historical reality. Then she will realize for herself that wondrous thing she mentioned in a note: “Every act of the Jesus of the New Testament, every word attributed to him, every event related of him during the three years of the mission he has been made to fulfil, rests on the programme of the Cycle of Initiation, a cycle itself founded on the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Signs of the Zodiac.” *
Yes, indeed, I really believe it! How could it be otherwise? All this not only rests on the programme but fulfils it and must fulfil it. Christian esotericists disclose the reason of that harmony; † they know and teach that Jesus Christ is the historical realization of all the virtues and all the spirit of prophecy that had illumined the world before his coming, which had illumined the Seers of every
but I have absolutely nothing against the single individuals who compose it. It is the whole system for which I have a horror, just as every honest man has, who is not a hypocrite or a blind fanatic. The majority are prudent and keep silent; as for me, having the courage of my opinions, I speak and declare exactly what I think.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* I render no homage at all to your “Holy Gospel”; undeceive yourself! That to which I render homage has ceased to be visible to your Church or to yourself. Having become, from the early centuries, the whited sepulchre spoken of in the Gospels, that Church takes the mask for the reality, and its personal interpretations for the voice of the Holy Ghost. As for yourself, Monsieur l’Abbé, you who so vaguely sense the personage hidden under the mask, you will never recognize him because your efforts lead in the opposite direction. You are trying to mold the features of the concealed unknown upon those of the mask, instead of boldly tearing off the latter.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† Till now I have only found cacophony in the opinions of Christian Esotericists, cacophony and confusion. For proof see your Ochmah.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
sanctuary and which was diffused in Nature herself, speaking through the voice of the Oracles, and the agency of Pythonesses, Sibyls, Druidesses, etc. Listen to St. Paul’s words on this subject: “Multifariam multisque modis olim Deus loquens patribus in Prophetis: novissime diebus istis locutus est nobis in Filio, quem constituit heredem universorum, per quem fecit et saecula” (Hebr., i, 1-2). The entire admirable chapter should be quoted, and read in the light of the Zohar. *
We know, moreover, that Jesus Christ was the subject of anticipations, previsions, longings and expectations of all the generations before him, not only in Israel, as Jeremiah says (xiv, 14, 17), but throughout the whole world, among all peoples without exception, as Moses said: “Et ipse erit expectatio gentium” (Gen., xlix, 10). †
* Yes, indeed! Is that “the light of the Zohar” which emanates from the lamp of your own Esotericism? That light is rather uncertain, I fear; a veritable will-o’-thewisp. We have just had proof of it.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† A pretty proof, this one! A Jeremiah who said: “The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart” (Jer., xiv, 14). Now, as the prophets of the Gentiles have never prophesied Jehovah to the people, to whom was the prophesy directly addressed—if it be one—if not to your “glorious ancestors, the Fathers of the Church”? Your quotation is not a happy one, Monsieur l’Abbé. Verse 17 speaks of the nation of Israel, in saying “the virgin daughter of my people,” and not of the Virgin Mary. The Hebrew text should be read, if you please, not quotations from the Latin translation disfigured by Jerome and others. It is the Messiah of the Jews, who has never been recognized as Jesus, that was the “subject of anticipations, and previsions,” by the people of Israel, and it is the Kalki-Avatâra, Vishnu, the Primordial Buddha, etc., who is expected “with longing” throughout the entire Orient, and by the multitudes in India. Against the Vulgate, which you quote, I would oppose fifty texts which demolish the edifice built with so much cunning by your “illustrious ancestors.” But, really, let us have pity on the readers of Le Lotus.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
How would Christ have responded to that universal expectation, how would he have fulfilled the Programme of the ancient Cycle of Initiation, if one text alone, if one point only of the ideal conception had been violated by an iota or an apex? That is why he said: “. . . iota unum, aut unus apex non praeteribit a lege, donec omnia fiant” (Matt., v, 18).
Certainly, I agree that the Cycle of Initiation, which Madame Blavatsky knows so well, had a foreknowledge of other things than those which have been realized up to the present under the influence of Christ.* Yes indeed, but the career of the Redeemer of the world is not yet over; his mission is not finished; it has hardly begun. . . We are only at the very beginning, in the preparatory stage, of the Holy Gospel. Our theology is quite primitive and our civilization merely outlined and still extremely crude. Let the Christ-Spirit-Love, the promised Paraclete, come! He is in the clouds, he approaches, he descends through the thick fog of our understanding and the icy indifference of our hearts. He returns, exactly as he said, and in the vesture he foretold in his language of parables.† How many are the souls who already feel, with Tolsti, the gentle breezes of a new springtime! And how many others who, with Lady Caithness, see the dawning of the radiant Aurora of the new era!
The Second Coming is taking place exactly as Jesus has predicted it.
I will stop here. If Madame Blavatsky really wishes it, we will resume, and perhaps I shall, happily enough, be able to furnish her the scientific proofs loudly demanded of me by that fine soul athirst with a holy desire for divine truth, and which, without knowing it, adores the Christ. ‡
* That is excellent, indeed. The confession comes a little late, but, better late than never.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
† When the “language of the parables” shall be correctly understood, and when all that belongs to Caesar—pagan—in the Gospels shall be rendered unto Caesar (to Buddhism, Brahmanism, Lamaism and other “isms”), we may resume this discussion. Awaiting that happy day H. P. BLAVATSKY.
‡ I willingly pardon the Abbé Roca his little lapsus linguae, on condition that he studies his Kabalah more seriously. My “fine soul” demands nothing at all from my too petulant correspondent; and if that soul “loudly” demands anything at all, it is that her convictions should not be distorted and that she should be left alone. I will
Dear Madame, let us mutually forgive one another our little vivacities. What would you? Though the Sermon of Perfections and Beatitudes may have been preached to us—to you on the Mount of Gayâ nearly three thousand years ago, to me on the Mount of Galilee less than two thousand years ago—nevertheless, it is to fallen Humanity that our inborn weaknesses are due: Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto.*
spare the Abbé Roca his “scientific proofs.” Science cannot exist for me outside of truth. Since I impose my beliefs on no one, let him keep his—even that the Eternal Father (Chochma) is his feminine principle. I can assure him, upon my word of honour, that nothing he would say of Buddha, of the “Brothers,” and of the Esotericism of the Orient would break my heart; it would hardly make me laugh.
And now that I have answered all his points and fought all his phantoms, I ask that the meeting be adjourned and the debate closed. I have the honour of expressing my respectful farewell to the Abbé Roca, and of making a rendezvous with him in a better world, in Nirvâna—near the throne of Buddha.—H. P. BLAVATSKY.
* [Terence, Heauton Timoroumenos, I, i, 25: “I am a man; I deem nothing that relates to man a matter foreign to myself.”—Compiler.]