The Disputes among Occultists on the “Seven Mysteries of Wisdom”

In the article Tetragrammaton, H.P.B. discusses the “SEVEN MYSTERIES OF WISDOM,” and her approach to disputes between occultists. In regards to polemics, in the realm of political commentary and opinion, and religious debate, it is vital to improvement. It is partly, because of our defecting from entering intellectual debate on subjects in theology and politics, that our democratic values are being diminished. This is not what H.P.B. is addressing however. She is addressing an issue between esotericists arguing over a specific facet of a mystery they have intuited, or discovered within the varying systems, e.g., some systems have the traditional triple constitution of man, and others have four, five, seven, and nine. Another example, is the Solar myth theory, i.e., that all religions, or the Middle-Eastern are all based on the worship of the Sun, Saturn, the Moon, or Venus, etc., and having found one key mode of interpretation, they use solely that formula across all religions, subsequently getting trapped in that. It is extremely difficult to master all seven, and it is very interesting that it is true that a Universal Secret Doctrine, or SCIENCE underlies the religions.

Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema. Unconscious Rivals.
Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema. Unconscious Rivals.

“We Students of the Esoteric
Wisdom ought to Help Each Other”

The same remarkable elasticity of interpretation is afforded in the esoteric texts of other nations. Each symbol and glyph having seven keys to it, it follows that one party may be using one key to any subject under dispute, and then accuse another student, who is using another key of deliberate misinterpretation.

Such is not my policy however. In esoteric matters I would rather seek conciliation than quarrel over mistakes made, whether real or imaginary; because the CAUSE and the triumph of truth ought to be dearer to a true Occultist and Theosophist than petty successes over disputants.

No one occultist, if he is true to his colours, can give out the meaning of all the “Seven Mysteries of Wisdom”—even if he himself is acquainted with all–which would be a marvel, indeed. For those “Seven Mysteries” in toto are known thoroughly only to the “MASTERS OF WISDOM”; and those Masters would hardly indulge in polemical discussions whether in newspaper or periodical. What is the use then of losing time and power over proving that one facet of the diamond shines with more light and brilliancy than its sister facet instead of uniting all the forces to draw the attention of the profane to the radiance of the jewel itself? We students of the sacred science ought to help each other, encourage research and profit by our mutual knowledge, instead of unprofitably criticizing it to satisfy personal pride. This is how I look at it: for otherwise our enemies, who started by calling us humbugs on the sole strength of their sectarian and materialistic prejudices and bigotry, will be justified in reiterating their accusation on the ground of our mutual denunciations.

Materialism is raising its ghastly head higher than ever.

Knowledge, one of the scientific papers of London, gives us a foretaste of what is in store for the occultist. While reviewing the Kabbalah Unveiled, it is loud in proclaiming “the extraordinary intellectual vagaries of the Hebrew commentators on their scriptures.” It crushes under the weight of its materialist contempt the idea from Dr. Ginsburg’s “Essay on the Kabbalah“—that the mysteries of being were “taught by the Almighty himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise!” and winds up by a tremendous point of mocking admiration, in parenthesis (!). This, on page 259 of Knowledge, Sept. 1, 1887. On page 245, Mr. Edward Clodd offers us, instead of the teachings of the “Theosophic angels,” those of the Darwinists of the Haeckelian School. Having surveyed “a vast field” in Kosmos, “the limits of which shade into the unlimited on all sides,” this anti-Kabbalistic champion of modern science ends his “vagaries” by the following startling enunciation:

We began with the primitive nebula, we end with the highest forms of consciousness; the story of creation is shown (!?) to be the unbroken record of the evolution OF GAS INTO GENIUS (!!!).

This shows how we stand with the men of modern science and how much we need all our forces to hold the materialists at bay.

One word more and I have done. I am repeatedly asked to show my authority—book, page and verse—for the esoteric doctrine of the “Septenary.” This is like saying to one in the midst of a desert prove to me that water is full of infusoria when there is no microscope to be got. Better than any one, those who make such a claim upon me, know that outside of the few places where secret MSS. are stored for ages, no esoteric doctrines were ever written and plainly explained; otherwise they would have lost long ago their very name. There is such a thing as an “unwritten” Kabbala, as well as a written one, even in the West. Many things are orally explained, and always have been. Nevertheless, hints and allusions to it are numerous and scattered throughout the exoteric scriptures, and the classification depends, of course, on the school that interprets it, and still more upon personal intuition and conception. The question is not whether there are three, five or seven colours in the rays of the spectrum, for every one knows there are in fact and nature, but one–the colourless white. And, though Science discerns very plainly seven prismatic rays as clear as are the seven notes in the scale; yet, one has heard of very great men of science who insisted there were only four or five until it was found out that they were colour-blind.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Tetragrammaton, Theosophist, November, 1887.)

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