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Blavatsky Net - Theosophy

This site focuses on Madame Blavatsky and her teaching - Theosophy. It features an introduction to Theosophy, study aids, research tools, original text, supporting evidence, membership, and visitor interaction.

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SOME interesting experiments have recently been tried by Mr. F. W. H. Myers and his colleagues of the Psychic Research Society of London, which, if properly examined, are capable of yielding highly important results. The experiments referred to were on their publication widely commented upon by the newspaper Press. With the details of these we are not at present concerned: it will suffice for our purpose to state for the benefit of readers unacquainted with the experiments, that in a very large majority of cases, too numerous to be the result of mere chance, it was found that the thought-reading sensitive obtained but an inverted mental picture of the object given him to read. A piece of paper, containing the representation of an arrow, was held before a carefully blind-folded thought-reader and its position constantly changed, the thought-reader being requested to mentally see the arrow at each turn. In these circumstances it was found that when the arrow-head pointed to the right, it was read off as pointing to the left, and so on. This led some sapient journalists to imagine that there was a mirage in the inner as well as on the outer plane of optical sensation. But the real explanation of the phenomenon lies deeper.

It is well known that an object as seen by us and its image on the retina of the eye, are not exactly the same in position, but quite the reverse. How the image of an object on the retina is inverted in sensation, is a mystery which physical science is admittedly incapable of solving. Western metaphysics too, without regard to this point, hardly fares any better; there are as many theories as there are metaphysicians. Reid, Hamilton and others of that school but flounder in a bog of speculation. The only philosopher who has obtained a glimpse of the truth is the idealist Berkeley, who, to the extreme regret of all students of the true philosophy, could not get beyond theological Christianity, in spite of all his brilliant intuitions. A child, says Berkeley, does really see a thing inverted from our stand-point; to touch its head it stretches out its hands in the same direction of its body as we do of ours to reach our feet. Repeated failures in this direction give experience and lead to the correction of the notions born of one sense by those derived through another; the sensations of distance and solidity are produced in the same way.

The application of this knowledge to the above mentioned experiments of the Psychic Research Society will lead to very striking results. If the trained adept is a person who has developed all his interior faculties, and is on the psychic plane in the full possession of his senses, the individual, who accidentally, that is without occult training, gains the inner sight, is in the position of a helpless child--a sport of the freaks of one isolated inner sense. This will throw a flood of light on the untrustworthy character of the ordinary untrained seer. Such was the case with the sensitives with whom Mr. Meyers and his colleagues experimented. There are instances, however, when the correction of one sense by another takes place involuntarily and accurate results are brought out. When the sensitive reads the thoughts in a man's mind, this correction is not required, for the will of the thinker shoots the thoughts, as it were, straight into the mind of the sensitive. The introversion under notice will, moreover, be found to take place only in the instance of such images which cannot be affected by the ordinary sense-experience of the sensitive. To take the image of a dog for instance; when the sensitive perceives it as existing in the mind of a person or on a piece of paper, it may appear distorted to the inner perception of the sensitive, but his physical experience would always correct it. But this introversion is sure to take place when the direction faced by the dog is the subject of investigation. A difficulty may here suggest itself with regard to the names of persons or the words, thought of for the sensitive's reading. But allowance must in such cases be made for the operation of the thinker's will, which forces the thought into the sensitive's mind, and thereby renders the process of introversion unnecessary. It is abundantly clear from this that the best way of studying these phenomena is when only one set of will-power, that of the sensitive, is in play. This takes place always when the object the sensitive is to read, is independent of the will of any other person, as in the case of its being represented on paper or any other thing of the kind.

Applying the same law to dreams, we can find the rationale of the popular superstition that facts are generally inverted in dreams. To dream of something good is generally taken to be the precursor of something evil. In the exceptional cases in which dreams have been found to be prophetic, the dreamer was either affected by another's will or under the operation of some disturbing forces, which cannot be calculated except for each particular case.

In this connection another very important psychic phenomenon may be noticed. Instances are too numerous and too well-authenticated to be amenable to dispute, in which an occurrence at a distance, for instance the death of a person, has pictured itself to the mental vision of one interested in the occurrence. In such cases the double of the dying man appears even at a great distance and becomes visible usually to his friend only, but instances are not rare when the double is seen by a number of persons. The former case comes within the class of cases under consideration, as the concentrated thought of the dying man is clairvoyantly seen by the friend and the erect image is produced by the operation of the dying man's will-energy, while the latter is the appearance of the genuine máyavirupa, and therefore not governed by the law under discussion.

Madame Helena Blavatsky
Theosophist, February, 1884

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List of Articles
African Magic
Ahkoond of Swat
An Astral Prophet
An Unsolved Mystery
Ancient Doctrines Vindicated
Ancient Magic in Modern Science
Animated Statues
Answers to Queries
Antiquity of the Vedas
Apollonius Tyaneus and Simon Magus
Are Chelas "Mediums"?
Are Dreams but Idle Visions?
Arya Samaj
The Babel of Modern Thought
Black Magic in Science
Blessings of Publicity
Bright Spot of Light
Buddhism, Christianity and Phallicism
Buddhism in America
Can the Double Murder?
Can the Mahatmas Be Selfish?
Case of Obsession
Chelas and Lay Chelas
Chinese Spirits
Christmas Then and Christmas Now
Civilization, the Death of Art and Beauty
Claims of Occultism
Classification of "Principles"
Count St. Germain
Cross and Fire
Cycle Moveth
Denials and the Mistakes of the Nineteenth Century
Devil's Own-Thoughts on Ormuzd and Ahriman
Diagnoses and Palliatives
Dialogue on the Mysteries of the After Life
Dialogues between the Two Editors
Do the Rishis Exist?
Does Vaccination Prevent Smallpox?
Dr. Beard Criticized
Dreamland and Somnambulism
Drift of Western Spiritualism
Dual Aspect of Wisdomhe
Echoes from India. What is Hindu Spiritualism?
Eddy Manifestations
Editorial Comment
Editorial Appendix
Eighth Wonder
Electric and Magnetic Affinities between Man and Nature
Esoteric Axioms and Spiritual Speculations
"Esoteric Buddhism" and its Critic
"Esoteric Buddhism" and the "Secret Doctrine"
Esoteric Character of the Gospels
Fakirs and Tables
Fall of Ideals
Fate of the Occultist
Few Thoughts on Some Wise Words from a Wise Man
Force of Prejudice
French View of Women's Rights
Grand Inquisitor
"H. M." and the Todas
H. P. Blavatsky on Precipitation and Other Matters
H. P. Blavatsky's Masonic Patent
Have Animals Souls?
Hindu Widow-Marriage
History of a "Book"
History of a Planet
Holmes Controversy
Holmes Controversy(continued)
Huxley and Slade
Hypnotism, and Its Relations to Other Modes of Fascination
Imperfections of Science
Indian Metaphysics
Intro-Version of Mental Vision
Is Creation Possible for Man?
Is Denunciation a Duty?
Is Foeticide a Crime?
"Is it Idle to Argue Further?"
Is Suicide a Crime?
Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish?
Is Theosophy a Religion?
"Isis Unveiled" and the "Theosophist" on Reincarnation
Isis Unveiled and the Vishishtadwaita
"It's the Cat!"
Jews in Russia
Kabalah and the Kabalists
Kabalistic Views of "Spirits"
Karmic Visions
Knout, The. As Wielded by the Great Russian Theosophist
Kosmic Mind
Lack of Unity among Spiritualists
Lamas and Druses
Land of Mystery
Last Song of the Swan
Le Phare de L'Inconnu
Leaven of Theosophy
Leo Tolstoi and His Unecclesiastical Christianity
"Let Every Man Prove His Own Work"
Life and Death
Life Principle
Literary Jottings on Criticism, Authorities, and Other Matters
Lodges of Magic
Logic versus Peripatetic
Madame Blavatsky on "The Himalayan Brothers"
Mahatmas and Chelas
Memory in the Dying
Mind in Nature
Missing Link
Missionaries Militant
Mistaken Notions on "The Secret Doctrine"
Modern Apostles and Pseudo-Messiahs
Mote and the Beam
Mr. A. Lillie's Delusions
My Books
Mysterious Race
Nature's Human Magnets
Negations of Science
New Cycle
(New) York against Lankester. A new War of the Roses
"Not a Christian"!
Note on Eliphas Levi
Note on "Memory"
Notes on some Aryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets
Notice to Mediums
Number Seven
Number Seven and Our Society
Occult or Exact Science?
Occult Phenomena
Occultism or Magic
Occultism versus the Occult Arts
Old Hindu Ships
Old Philosophers and Modern Critics
On Pseudo-Theosophy
On The New Year's Morrow
"Oppressed Widowhood" in America
Organisation of the Theosophical Society
Origin of Evil
Our Cycle and the Next
Our Three Objects
Paradoxical World
Parting Words
Persian Zoroastrianism and Russian Vandalism
Pertinent Queries
Pertinent Questions
Philosophers and Philosophicules
Popular Idea of Soul-Survival
Posthumous Publication
Practical Occultism
Pralaya of Modern Science
Premature and Phenomenal Growths
Progress and Culture
Psychic and Noetic Action
Psychic Warning
Psychology - The Science of the Soul
Puzzle from Adyar
Puzzle in "Esoteric Buddhism"
Queries and Answers
Questions Answered about Yoga Vidya
Re-Classification of Principles
Recent Progress in Theosophy
Reincarnations in Tibet
Reply to Our Critics, A.
Republican Citizen
Retort Courteous
Roots of Ritualism in Church and Masonry
Russian Atrocities
Sacred Tree of Kum Bum
Science of Life
Science of Magic
"Scrutator Again"
Search after Occultism
Seeming "Discrepancies"
Seventeen-Rayed Sun-Disc
She Being Dead Yet Speaketh
Signal of Danger
Signs of the Times
Six-Pointed and Five-Pointed Stars
Society Without a Dogma
Some Scientific Questions Answered
Spiritual Progress
Spiritualism and Occult Truth
Spiritualism and Spiritualists
Spiritualism in Russia
Spiritualistic Tricksters
Star-Angel-Worship in the Roman Catholic Church
Stars and Numbers
Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan
Substantial Nature of Magnetism
Theories about Reincarnation and Spirits
Theory of Cycles
"Theosophical Mahatmas"
Theosophical Society: Its Mission and Its Future
Theosophists and their Opponents
Theosophy and Spiritualism
Theosophy or Jesuitism?
Thoughts of the Dead
Thoughts on the Elementals
Tibetan Teachings
Tidal Wave
"To the Readers of 'Lucifer'"
Transmigration of the Life Atoms
Trickery or Magic?
Universe in a Nut-Shell
Views of the Theosophists
War in Olympus
Warning to Mediums
Was Cagliostro a "Charlatan"?
Washing the Disciples' Feet
What Are the Theosophists?
What is Occultism?
What is Theosophy?
"What Is Truth?"
What of Phenomena?
What Shall We Do for Our Fellow-Men?
What's in a Name? - Why the Magazine is called "Lucifer"
Which First - the Egg or the Bird?
Why Do Animals Suffer?
Why I Do Not Return to India
Why the "Vahan"?
"Word with Our Friends"
World-Improvement or World-Deliverance
Year is Dead, Long Live the Year
Year of Theosophy
Yoga Philosophy