Quotes from Classic Theosophical writers like H.P. Blavatsky and Coll. Olcott.
O.D.L. III, p. 351
I know Mahatma's, my lugubrious friend, who actually laugh!
Secret Doctrine 2, p. 211
Even the students of occultism, though some of them have more archaic MSS. and direct teaching to rely upon, find it difficult to draw a line of demarcation between the Sodales [adepts] of the Right path and those of the Left.
Mahatma Letters to A.P.Sinnet, p. 238, letter 31; chr. letter 17, p. 55
The adept sees and feels and lives in the very source of all fundamental truths - the Universal Spiritual Essence of Nature, Shiva the creator, the Destroyer and the Regenerator."... "Nature alone can incarnate the Spirit of limitless contemplation." ... Absorbed in the absolute self-unconsciousness of the Physical self, plunged in the depths of true Being, which is no being but eternal, universal Life;"... "his whole form as immovable and white as the eternal summits of snow in Kailasa where he sits, above care, above sorrow, above sin and worldliness, a mendicant, a sage, a healer, the King of kings, the Yogi of yogis, such is the ideal Shiva of the Yoga Shastra's, the culmination of Spiritual Wisdom...
An adept who is sick has no right to use his magnetic force to lessen his personal suffering as long as there is, to his knowledge, a single creature that suffers and whose physical or mental pain he can lessen, if not heal. It is so to speak the exaltation of the suffering of one's self, for the benefit of the health and happiness of others. A Theosophist, if he contemplates Adeptship, must not revenge himself. He must suffer in silence rather than excite in someone else evil passions or the desire to revenge himself in his turn. Non-resistance to evil, forgiveness and charity, are the first rules of discipleship.
Inner Group, p. 64
Then the transference of a sensation passing from any organ to the consciousness is almost simultaneous, if your attention is fixed on it; but if any noise distracts your attention, then it will take a fraction more of a second before it reaches your consciousness. The occultist should train himself to receive and transmit, along the line of the seven scales of his consciousness, every impression - or impressions - simultaneously. He who reduces the intervals of physical time the most has made the most progress.
"First shall be last, and the last first." And in the face of genuine spiritual growth, and true illumination, the Theosophist grows in power to most truly befriend and help his fellows, while he becomes the most humble, the most silent, the most guarded of men.
Saviours to their race, in a sense, have lived and will live. Rarely has one been known. Rare has been the occasion when thus to be known has been either expedient or possible. Therefore, fools alone will rush in "where angels fear to tread."
The first letter of K.H. to A.O. Hume, p. 29 combined chronology for use with the Mahatma Letters and The letters of H.P.Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett
... the result of the highest intellection in the scientifically occupied brain is the evolution of a sublimated form of spiritual energy, which, in the cosmic action, is productive of illimitable results, while the automatically acting brain holds or stores up in itself only a certain quantum of brute force that is unfruitful of benefit for the individual or humanity. The human brain is an exhaustless generator of the most refined quality of cosmic force, out of the low, brute energy of nature; and the complete adept has made himself a centre from which irradiate potentialities that beget correlations upon correlations through Ĉons to come. This is the key to the mystery of his being able to project into and materialize in the visible world the forms that his imagination has constructed out of inert cosmic matter in the invisible world. The adept does not create anything new, but only utilizes and manipulates materials which nature has in store around him; a material which throughout eternities has passed through all the forms; he has but to choose the one he wants and recall it into objective existence.
The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other, as day does night. The major and minor yugas must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents. If we had the powers of the imaginary Personal God, and the universal and immutable laws were but toys to play with, then indeed might we have created conditions that would have turned this earth into an Arcadia for lofty souls. But having to deal with an immutable Law, being ourselves its creatures, we have had to do what we could and rest thankful. There have been times when "a considerable portion of enlightened minds" were taught in our schools. Such times were in India, Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. But, as I remarked in a letter to Mr. Sinnett, the adept is the efflorescence of his age, and comparatively few ever appear in a single century. Earth is the battle ground of moral no less than of physical forces; and the boisterousness of animal passions under the stimulus of the rude energies of the lower group of etheric agents, always tends to quench spirituality.
What else could one expect of men so nearly related to the lower kingdom from which they evolved? True also, our numbers are just now diminishing but this is because, as I have said, we are of the human race, subject to its cyclic impulse and powerless to turn that back upon itself. Can you turn the Ganga or the Brahmaputra back to its sources; can you even dam it so that its piled up waters will not overflow the banks? No, but you may draw the stream partly into canals and utilize its hydraulic power for the good of mankind. So we, who can not stop the world from going in its destined direction, are yet able to divert some part of its energy into useful channels. Think of us as demi-gods and my explanation will not satisfy you; view us as simple men - perhaps a little wiser as the result of special study - and it ought to answer your objection.
None but a high Adept can perceive a 'God' in its true transcendental form, which to the untrained intellect, to the Chela, will be visible only by its Aura.
Secret Doctrine 2, p. 59, ft
... thinking of oneself as this, that, or the other, is the chief factor in the production of every kind of psychical phenomena. The words "whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt ... that thing will come to pass." [Mark xi,23], are no vain words. Only the word "faith" ought to be translated by WILL. Faith without Will is like a windmill without wind - barren of results.
... the highest adept of the present age knows less than he will know as a child in the seventh round.
Isis I, p. 356
Jesus, Appolonius, and some of the apostles, had the power to cast out devils, by purifying the atmosphere within and without the patient, so as to force the unwelcome tenant to flight. Certain volatile salts are particularly obnoxious to them.
[Here H.P.Blavatsky also refers to the use of incense for the same purpose.]
Mahatma Letters, letter 29, chron ? p. ???
[about Mahatma's ]
Quarrels and even discussions we leave to those who, unable to take in a situation at a glance are thereby forced before making up their final decision to anything to analyze and weigh one by one, and over and over again every detail. Whenever we - at least those of us who are dikshita - seem, therefore to an European not "quite sure of our facts" it may be often due to the following peculiarity. That which is regarded by most men as a "fact" to us may seem but a simple RESULT, an after thought unworthy of our attention, generally attracted but to primary facts. Life esteemed Sahibs, when even indefinitely prolonged, is too short to burden our brains with flitting details - mere shadows. When watching the progress of a storm we fix our gaze upon the producing Cause and leave the clouds to the whims of the breeze which shapes them. Having always the means on hand - whenever absolutely needed - of bringing to our knowledge minor details we concern ourselves but with the main facts. Hence we can hardly be absolutely wrong - as we are often accused by you, for our conclusions are never drawn from secondary data but from the situation as a whole.
On the other hand, the average man - even among the most intellectual - giving all their attention to the testimony of appearance and outward form, and disabled as they are from penetrating a priori to the core of things, are but to apt to misjudge of the whole situation [and are] left to find out their mistake but when too late.
[this is a fragment of a conversation between Charles Johnston and H.P. Blavatsky about the Mahatma's and the connections between Their lodges. The questions have been put in italics by the present compiler.]
There are certain members of the Lodges who pass from centre to centre, keeping the lines of connection between them unbroken. But they are always connected in other ways.
In their astral bodies?
Yes, and in other ways still higher. They have a common life and power. As they rise in spirituality, they rise above difference of race, to our common humanity. The series is unbroken. Adepts are a necessity in nature and in super-nature. They are the links between men and the gods; these 'gods' being the souls of great adepts and Masters of bygone races and ages, and so on, up to the threshold of Nirvana. The continuity is unbroken.
What do they do?
You would hardly understand, unless you were an adept. But they keep alive the spiritual life of mankind.
How do the adepts guide the souls of men?
In many ways, but chiefly by teaching their souls direct, in the spiritual world. That is difficult for you to understand. But this is quite intelligible: At certain regular periods, they try to give the world at large a right understanding of spiritual things. One of their number comes forth to teach the masses, and is handed down to tradition as the founder of a religion. Krishna was such a Master; so was Zoroaster; so were Buddha and Sankaracharya, the great sage of Southern India. So also was the Nazarene [Jesus].
Damodar, p. 42
No Yogi will do a thing unless he sees the desire in another Yogi's mind.
[One of the Indian members of the Theosophical Society expressed the opinion that Mahatmas could live everywhere, because they can protect themselves from the impure atmosphere of the city. H.P. Blavatsky replies: ]
Most undoubtedly he [the adept] can [live in the city]. So can a man, gradually having accustomed himself to an ever-increasing heat, pass days - if not altogether live - in a furnace without dying, as recent scientific experiments have proved. So can also a person pass years in utter darkness of a subterranean cavern and thereby so weaken his sight as to lose it entirely when suddenly emerging into light again. The question is not "could the Easter initiates" so live or not, but will they, and why should they consent to do so, having no better reason for it than the satisfaction of the curiosity of - to them - an alien race, five-sixth of which would regard them as clever imposters and charlatans, and the other sixth - the best disposed to believe in their psychological powers, regard them as wonderful physical mediums controlled by "spirits." Mr. Sinnett's The Occult World is a good feeler in that direction.
It is but the Occultist, the Eastern Adept, who stands a Fee Man, omnipotent through his own Divine Spirit as much as man can be on earth. He has rid himself of all human conceptions and religious side issues. He is at one and the same time a Chaldaean Sage, a Persian Magi, a Greek Theurgist, an Egyptian Hermetist, a Buddhist Rahat, and an Indian Yogi. He has collected into one bundle all the separate fractions of Truth widely scattered over the nations, and holds in his hands the One Truth, a torch of light which no adverse wind can bend, blow out or even cause to waver. Not he the Prometheus who robs but a portion of the Sacred Fire, and therefore finds himself chained to Mount Caucasus for his intestines to be devoured by vultures, for he has secured God within himself, and depends no more on the whim and caprice of either good or evil deities. True, "Koot Hoomi" mentions Buddha. But it is not because the Brothers hold him in the light of God or even of "a God," but simply because he is the Patron of the Tibetan Occultists, the greatest of the Illuminati and Adepts, self-initiated by his own Divine Spirit, or "God-Self," into all the mysteries of the invisible universe. Therefore to speak of imitating "the life of Christ," or that of Buddha, or Zoroaster, or any other man on earth, chosen and accepted by any one special nation for its God and leader, is to show oneself a Sectarian even in Kabbalism, that fraction of the one "Universal Science" - Occultism. The latter is prehistoric and is coeval with intelligence. The Sun shines for the heathen Asiatic as well as for the Christian European, and for the former still more gloriously, I am glad to say.
True, there is no need of going absolutely to Tibet or India to find some knowledge and power "which are latent in every human soul"; but the acquisition of the highest knowledge and power requires not only many years of the severest study enlightened by a superior intelligence and an audacity bent by no peril; but also as many years of retreat in comparative solitude, and association with but students pursuing the same object, in a locality where nature itself preserves like the neophyte an absolute and unbroken stillness if not silence! Where the air is free for hundreds of miles around of all mephitic influence; the atmosphere and human magnetism absolutely pure and - no animal blood is spilt. Is it in London, or even the most hidden country village of England, that such conditions can be found?
It is not enough for a "hierophant" or an "adept" to abstain from wine and liquor; he must avoid leading others into temptation, if he cares to deserve the glorious name.
In the normal or natural state, the sensations [of physical and spiritual senses] are transmitted from the lowest physical to the highest spiritual body, i.e., from the first to the 6th principle (the 7th being no organized or conditioned body, but an infinite, hence unconditioned principle or state), the faculties of each body having to awaken the faculties of the next higher one, to transmit the message in succession, until they reach the last, when, having received the impression, the latter (the spiritual soul) sends it back in an inverse order to the body. Hence, the faculties of some of the "bodies" (we use this word for want of a better term) being less developed, they fail to transmit the message correctly to the highest principle and thus also fail to produce the right impression upon the physical senses, as a telegram may have started for the place of its destination faultless, and have been bungled up and misinterpreted by the telegraph operator at some intermediate station. This is why some people, otherwise endowed with great intellectual powers and perceptive faculties, are often utterly unable to appreciate - say, the beauties of nature, some particular moral quality; as, however perfect their physical intellect - unless the original, material or rough physical impression conveyed has passed in a circuit through the sieve of every "principle" - (from 1,2,3,4,5,6, up to 7, and down again from 7,6,5,4,3,2, and No. 1) - and that every "sieve" is in good order - the spiritual perception will always be imperfect. The Yogi, who, by a constant training and incessant watchfulness, keeps his septenary instrument in good tune and whose spirit has obtained a perfect control over all, can, at will, and by paralysing the functions fo the four intermediate principles, communicate from body to spirit and vice versa - direct.
Some Commentaries on [H.P.B.'s Esoteric] Instructions I and II by Koot Hoomi [ Full source and more from these comments Blavatsky Archives ]Page 10, last line, Par. 2.
It is impossible to worship both sides, - the male and female of nature, - at once; one or the other must predominate. Only by following the absolute, sexless Unity, can the white path be trodden. Hence the necessity for chastity. The occult and the physical must never be mixed up. It is absolutely necessary to concentrate on one or the other. The tendency naturally is to Black Magic, and that is why several years of training are necessary to cut away every sort of prejudice before power can be entrusted to you. Before you can become an occultist you have to give up every prejudice, every liking, every feeling of preference for one thing or another. The adept must entirely separate himself from his personality. He must say, I am a power! It is easy to fall into Black Magic. A black magician prepares to do mischief without giving a thought to whether it will harm others. He is essentially selfish, for he works for a thing he personally loves. Apparent unselfishness may be really selfishness. A deed of kindness done with partiality may become evil, viz., by stirring up animosity in the minds of others. It is necessary when acting to lose all sense of identity and become an abstract power. There is good and evil in every point in the universe, and if one works however indirectly for one’s own partiality, one becomes to that extent a black magician. The opposite of Justice is partiality. When a man uses the powers of Nature indiscriminatingly, with partiality, and with no regard to justice, it is Black Magic. But to help a sick person is not Black Magic, but no personal preference must guide you. Like a blackleg, a black magician acts on certain knowledge. Magic is power over the forces of nature, viz., the Salvation Army by hypnotizing people and making them psychically drunk with excitement, is Black Magic. Bismarck and Beaconsfield are types of black magicians.
On the astral and psychic planes the Masters are always stronger than the Dugpas, because there, good is stronger than evil. But on our material plane, evil is stronger than good, and the Adepts having to exercise cunning if acting on this plane, (which is contrary to their natures) encounter great difficulty and can only palliate evil effects. In powers not good there is an absence of good, but not presence of evil, and the higher you go, the more does evil become the absence of good. The first exercise of Dugpaship is to psychologize people. Every man has a potential Dugpa in him. When the 6th Race reaches its close, there will be no more Dugpas. A Dugpa may become converted during life, at the expense of terrible suffering and trials. Dugpas are usually destroyed by Kundalini, the astral fire. They consume themselves. The Dugpa is forced to his own destruction. He becomes fascinated, runs into the evil current and so destroys himself. The beasts of Dugpas have nothing but the animal in them, and even when they awaken the highest spirituality in them, it is the spirituality of the beast where there is nothing but vile, selfish instinct. On earth there is no evil power higher than the Dugpas. They cannot when seen psychically conceal the presence of red about them. It is always visible in their aura. The color is deep crimson red. The sign of the presence of a Dugpa is a cold, clammy, empty, snaky feeling. Do not mistake the above for another feeling, viz., when chelas materialize they create a vacuum around them, which feels to us like a change of atmosphere, like being suddenly removed to a high plateau in Thibet. (The one a dry cold like high atmosphere, the other clammy).