A Response to “Aryans in Arcadia”

The great disadvantage for contemporary Theosophists is the lack of public notoriety, and credibility. It is evident, by both Theosophists and academics, that they think little of Theosophy, and since its inception, it has had little room to breath. Theosophy is quite the scapegoat, but because of that lack of public notoriety, it means any individual of credibility or not, can spread anything they want about Theosophy, Helena P. Blavatsky, and Theosophists, without expecting any repercussions, or challenges.

With that being said, we wanted to address statements made in Aryans in Arcadia.

Aryans in Arcadia is an article published on Boing Boing, that drew the relationship between the ‘early’ New Age movement with the beliefs that created the National Socialists of Germany. This is usual of poor research surrounding the nineteenth-century Theosophical Movement. Its replies increased into 30, by persons all agreeing without being critical of its author. We are guessing those 30 people will not comment on this response.

The idea of a New Age of Pisces and a New Age movement did not exist in the time of Helena P. Blavatsky. The cycles are an elaborate doctrine referencing the ‘planetary cycles,’ which we may also observe from ancient Vedic calculations and astronomy (cf. Sūrya Siddhānta: A Hindu Textbook, 1860, pdf recommended in “The Secret Doctrine Reference Series”). This is where H.P.B. relates the ideas to her explanations; and therefore, it cannot be merely dismissed as New Age.

The repeated claim that “The Secret Doctrine” (1888) is merely a mish-mash, hot-pot of syncretism is an opinion, not a fact.

The object of the society early on was to study “Aryan and other Eastern literatures, religions, and sciences.” The term Āryan in the Victorian time was generally a synonym for Indian, and those who are Āryans are strictly those who follow the Vedic principles. Additionally, India was once known as Aryavarta in the beginnings of its civilization.

The Āryans also referred to the Rishi (Skt. Ṛṣi) meaning the noble yogis, or seers through whom the various mantras or hymns of the Vedas were revealed. Helena P. Blavatsky and T. Subba Row referred to the secret doctrine, or sanatana dharma as the Āryan and Arhat doctrine, strictly meaning teachings of the Ṛṣi-yogins, or their elaborations; and the doctrine Sakyamuni conferred to his Arhats. There is no “white supremacy” in “The Secret Doctrine” as we have demonstrated.

Aryans in Arcadia claims:

“The Secret Doctrine (1888) is a massive two-volume tome wherein Blavatsky—channeling entities she calls the Ascended Masters—details the tenants of a new system of esoteric thought called Theosophy.”

No true theosophist believes this. Blavatsky did not channel, nor channel “Ascended Masters,” and the idea she was criticising was being created by the fantasies of copyists in her time. She referred to them as “those Solar Adepts,” in an article she coined the term “Pseudo-Theosophy.” It was expressly stated, that her teachers were flesh and bone men.

In The Mahatma Letters, K.H. says:

“When will any of you know and understand what we really are, instead of indulging in a world of fiction!” (The Mahatma Letters, Letter no. 51)

Pablo Sender dealt with the myth of the Ascended Masters in Mahatmas vs. Ascended Masters (Quest Magazine, 2011).

This is from page 230-231 of The Key to Theosophy:

ENQUIRER: “What do you consider as due to humanity at large?”

HPB: “Full recognition of equal rights and privileges for all, and without distinction of race, colour, social position, or birth.”

ENQUIRER: “When would you consider such due not given?”

HPB: “When there is the slightest invasion of another’s right – be that other a man or a nation; when there is any failure to show him the same justice, kindness, consideration or mercy which we desire for ourselves. The whole present system of politics is built on the oblivion of such rights, and the most fierce assertion of national selfishness.”

Then on page 233 of The Key to Theosophy, she says:

“universal Unity and Causation; Human Solidarity; the Law of Karma; Re-incarnation (…) are the four links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family, one universal Brotherhood” (…)

Is that Nazism?

Helena Blavatsky herself, suggests that her use of Aryans also refers to the “Indo-European.”

According to The Secret Doctrine, in its theory, of the author from ethnology, was that the East Asians, such as Chinese, Africans and some aboriginals, e.g., the native Australians (Genetic Study Challenges Americans settlement theories by linking Amazonians and Australians) were descendants of older branches or races.

Theosophy in its early augmented literary power dealt with more things than metaphysics. Ethnology, a controversial and murky subject for the kind of people who would criticise, was stated to be important to their study as much as anthropology. However, Helena Blavatsky generally spoke against the attitude of seeing one’s race superior than others. These same researchers like to take her ideas out of context, so lets try exactly what they do. This passage out of context alone puts their libel into confusion.

“Thus the reason given for dividing humanity into superior and inferior races falls to the ground and becomes a fallacy.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, pg. 425)

Even this:

“The Aryan and their Semitic Branch are of the Fifth Race [Epoch].”

“The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite (…) The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans (…) To these belong all the Jews and the Arabs.”

Further, H.P.B. and William Q. Judge stated, that the ethnological make-up of the Aryans are from dark-skinned to the creamiest white. The concept of a blond-haired and blue-eyed “Aryan” was certainly not created with the Theosophists, and is a ridiculous notion.

The Jewish people:

“are a tribe descended from the Tchandalas of India, the outcasts, many of them ex-Brahmins, who sought refuge in Chaldea, in Scinde, and Aria (Iran), and were truly from their father A-bram (No Brahmin) some 8,000 years B.C.”

Whether plain incorrect, or right, Blavatsky once told Charles Johnston in accordance to the doctrinal positions she held to:

There are really no “inferior races,” or low-grade races for all are one in our common humanity; and as we have all had incarnations in each of these races, we ought to be more brotherly to them.” (H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 8)

“In this manner the reason for division of humankind into higher and lower races is obsolete and a erroneous belief.” (Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, Commentary Stanza IX)

George L. Mosse and Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke stated that:

“Theosophy itself was not racist.” (George L. Mosse, The History of Racism, German-Edition, Fischer, Frankfurt, 1990, reprint 2006, pg. 119)

“The central importance of “Aryan” racism in Ariosophy, albeit compounded by occult notions deriving from theosophy, may be traced to the racial concerns of Social Darwinism in Germany.” (Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism, NYU Press, Washington, 2004, pg. 14)

One comment

  1. Reply

    For information sake, only a great chunk of India, not the whole land and its original land were all called Aryavarta. Secondly, the Wiki piece on Theosophy seems to have since, been altered, and no longer says H.P.B. thought herself a messiah, and gives some justice to Traditional and Modern Theosophy.


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