Intriguing Note on Eliphas Lévi and Western Kabbalism

This letter of Helena Blavatsky to a close student of Éliphas Lévi is very intriguing about the state of the Western traditions.

Madam, – Since you have published a posthumous letter of my master and beloved friend, the late Éliphas Lévi, I think it would be agreeable to you to publish, if judged suitable, a few extracts of the many manuscripts in my possession, written expressly for, and given to, me by my ever regretted master.

To begin with, I send you “Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan” from his pen.

I cannot close this letter without expressing the deep indignation aroused in me by the base diatribes published in the London Spiritualist against your Society and its members. Every honest heart is irritated at such unfair treatment, especially when proceeding from a man of honour as Mr. Harrison (editor of The Spiritualist) who admits in his journal anonymous contributions that are tantamount to libels.

With the utmost respect, I remain, Madam,

Yours devotedly,

– (BARON) J. SPÉALIERI
Marseilles, July 29th, 1881

“The late Éliphas Lévi was the most learned Kabalist and Occultist of our age in Europe, and everything from his pen is precious to us, in so far as it helps us to compare notes with the Eastern Occult doctrines and, by the light thrown upon both, to prove to the world of Spiritualists and Mystics, that the two systems – the Eastern Âryan, and the Western or the Chaldæo-Jewish Kabalah – are one in their principal metaphysical tenets. Only, while the Eastern Occultists have never lost the key to their esotericism, and are daily verifying and elaborating their doctrines by personal experiments, and by the additional light of modern science, the Western or Jewish Kabalists, besides having been misled for centuries by the introduction of foreign elements in it such as Christian dogmas, dead-letter interpretations of the Bible, etc., have most undeniably lost the true key to the esoteric meaning of Simeon Ben Iochai’s Kabalah, and are trying to make up for the loss by interpretations emanating from the depths of their imagination and inner consciousness . . . “

— Extract from H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophist, Vol. III. No. 1, Oct., 1881.

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