Blavatsky and Christianity: Christological Disputes and Interpretations of a Theosophist

In H.P.B.’s time, Christian authors had already believed the origins of Theosophy to be from “Nephilim,” or the fallen angels of Genesis. Many modern Christians interpret everything as fallen angels. Indian exoteric accounts have the Asura. Jews had another meaning of them:

“This proves once more that the so-called “myths,” in order to be at least approximately dealt with in any degree of justice, have to be closely examined from all their aspects. In truth, every one of the seven Keys has to be used in its right place, and never mixed with the others, if we would unveil the entire cycle of mysteries. In our day of dreary soul-killing materialism, the ancient priest Initiates have become, in the opinion of our learned generations, the synonyms of clever impostors, kindling the fires of superstition in order to obtain an easier sway over the minds of men. This is an unfounded calumny, generated by scepticism and uncharitable thoughts. No one believed more in Gods — or, we may call them, the Spiritual and now invisible Powers, or Spirits, the noumena of the phenomena — than they did; and they believed just because they knew. If, initiated into the Mysteries of Nature, they were forced to withhold their knowledge from the profane, who would have surely abused it, such secrecy was undeniably less dangerous than the policy of their usurpers and successors. The former taught only that which they well knew. The latter, teaching what they do not know, have invented, as a secure haven for their ignorance, a jealous and cruel Deity, who forbids man to pry into his mysteries under the penalty of damnation. As well they may, for his mysteries can at best be only hinted at in polite ears, never described. (…) It is not the key of St. Peter, or the Church dogma, but the narthex — the wand of the candidate for initiation — that has to be wrenched from the grasp of the long-silent Sphinx of the ages.” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 517-18)

These two passages from the “NEW TESTAMENT” have been used against almost any school and religion.

“Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22, NIV)

“I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 1:7, NIV)

Judging by the quote — and it always feels we are being weightily judged by the words in these scriptures — we are “anti-CHRIST.

“Many and many a time the warning about the “false Christs” and prophets who shall lead people astray has been interpreted by charitable Christians, the worshippers of the dead-letter of their scripture, as applying to mystics generally, and Theosophists most especially.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Esoteric Character of the Gospels)

“Nevertheless, it seems very evident that the words in Matthew’s Gospel and others can hardly apply to Theosophists. For these were never found saying that Christ is “Here” or “There,” in wilderness or city, and least of all in the “inner chamber” behind the altar of any modern church. Whether Heathen or Christian by birth, they refuse to materialize and thus degrade that which is the purest and grandest ideal — the symbol of symbols — namely, the immortal Divine Spirit in man, whether it be called Horus, Krishna, Buddha, or Christ. None of them has ever yet said: “I am the Christ”; for those born in the West feel themselves, so far, only Chrestians, however much they may strive to become Christians in Spirit. It is to those, who in their great conceit and pride refuse to win the right of such appellation by first leading the life of Chrestos; to those who haughtily proclaim themselves Christians (the glorified, the anointed) by sole virtue of baptism (…)” (ibid.)

Perhaps, the Churches should reflect on themselves first:

Can the prophetic insight of him who uttered this remarkable warning be doubted by any one who sees the numerous “false prophets” and pseudo-apostles (of Christ), now roaming over the world? These have split the one divine Truth into fragments, and broken, in the camp of the Protestants alone, the rock of the Eternal Verity into three hundred and fifty odd pieces, which now represent the bulk of their Dissenting sects. (…) Each of these claims to have Christ exclusively in its “inner chamber,” and denies him to all others, while, in truth, the great majority of their respective followers daily put Christ to death on the cruciform tree of matter — the “tree of infamy” of the old Romans — indeed!

The worship of the dead-letter in the Bible is but one more form of idolatry, nothing better (…)” (Ibid.)

Are Theosophists haters of Christianity?

“For what is “Divine Wisdom,” or Gnosis, but the essential reality behind the evanescent appearances of objects in nature — the very soul of the manifested LOGOS? Why should men who strive to accomplish union with the one eternal and absolute Deity shudder at the idea of prying into its mysteries — however awful? Why, above all, should they use names and words the very meaning of which is a sealed mystery to them a mere sound? Is it because an unscrupulous, power-seeking Establishment called a Church has cried “wolf” at every such attempt, and, denouncing it as “blasphemous,” has ever tried to kill the spirit of inquiry? But Theosophy, the “divine Wisdom,” has never heeded that cry, and has the courage of its opinions. The world of sceptics and fanatics may call it, one — an empty “ism” — the other “Satanism”: they can never crush it. Theosophists have been called Atheists, haters of Christianity, the enemies of God and the gods. They are none of these. Therefore, they have agreed this day to publish a clear statement of their ideas, and a profession of their faith — with regard to monotheism and Christianity, at any rate — and to place it before the impartial reader to judge them and their detractors on the merits of their respective faiths.” (The Esoteric Character of the Gospels)

“And now Mr. Hume comes out with his public castigation of the Founders and seeks to prohibit the advertisement of anti-Christian pamphlets. I want you, therefore, to please bear this in mind, and point out these facts to Col. Chesney, who seems to imagine that theosophy is hostile but to Christianity; whereas it is but impartial, and whatever the personal views of the two Founders, the journal of the Society has nothing to do with them, and will publish as willingly criticism directed against Lamaism as against Christianism.” (K.H., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter no. 54, Received Simla, October, 1882.)

The concept of ‘Christōs,’ ‘Father and the Son,’ did not solely begin with, nor belongs to the “Christian” so-called. The title belongs, in ancient context to the Solar-priests and Solar-INITIATES. It is of the oracular vocabulary, and a concept belonging to the great Solar mystery of the τριπλάσιος (triplásios), i.e., “mysteries connected with the Sun’s constitution” (The Secret Doctrine Würzburg Manuscript 1885-86 Version, pg. 89, fn. 94., Eastern School Press 2014). The “sons of God” were Solar-priests and Solar-INITIATES.

An example in this Eucharist symbol of Catholic copyists —

A Solar-priest

“The “Christ principle,” the awakened and glorified Spirit of Truth, being universal and eternal, the true Christos cannot be monopolized by any one person, even though that person has chosen to arrogate to himself the title of the “Vicar of Christ,” or of the “Head” of that or another State-religion. The spirits of “Chrest” and “Christ” cannot be confined to any creed or sect, only because that sect chooses to exalt itself above the heads of all other religions or sects. The name has been used in a manner so intolerant and dogmatic, especially in our day, that Christianity is now the religion of arrogance par excellence, a stepping-stone for ambition, a sinecure for wealth, sham and power; a convenient screen for hypocrisy.” The noble epithet of old (…) is now degraded. The missionary prides himself with the so-called conversion of a heathen, who makes of Christianity ever a profession,but rarely a religion, a source of income from the missionary fund, and a pretext, since the blood of Jesus has washed them all by anticipation, for every petty crime, from drunkenness and lying up to theft. That same missionary, however, would not hesitate to publicly condemn the greatest saint to eternal perdition and hell fires if that holy man has only neglected to pass through the fruitless and meaningless form of baptism by water with accompaniment of lip prayers and vain ritualism. (Ibid.)

This is one of the reasons for distinguishing between THEOSOPHY and others. Something similar was said about Siddhartha:

“Take Paul, read the little of the original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether any one can find a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation,” he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit – the spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who had understood the secret ideas underlying the teachings of Jesus, although he had never met him.” (Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2, pg. 574)

Then, she asserts a view of Christ:

(a) “the coming of Christ,” means the presence of CHRISTOS in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in body of “Christ” Jesus; (b) this Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor “in the inner chambers,” nor in the sanctuary of any temple or church built by man; for Christ — the true esoteric SAVIOR — is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the “sepulcher” of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The “Son of Man” is no child of the bond-woman — flesh, but verily of the free-woman — Spirit (…)” (Ibid.)

For the Buddhist, Blavatsky, she identifies the Christ with the seventh principle of the Theosophical human classifications, or the universal Spirit (non-dual Self), i.e., the Upaniṣadic ātman, or anātman.

Christōs is also synonymous with Krishna (the Supreme Soul).

It is said to Arjuna in the Gita:

“I am the Self, O Guḍākeśa. I am the Self
which exists in the heart of all beings; and I
am the beginning and the middle,
and also the end of existing things.”

Now, Revelation 22:13:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First
and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Evidence points to a Pre-Christian Christ†. This Power was incomparable, infinite, above, unbegotten (first-born god), immovable, invisible fire, and the source of all CHANGE. It becomes active DUNAMIS (Will and Intelligence as a combined Power) when mind merges with it. Christōs is the POWER above the latent DUNAMIS, and it is below — meaning “within man.” The latent power is termed Buddhi in the Sanskrit parlance of Theosophists. Christōs is the ‘Logos in Space, and on earth’ according to Valentinus and Simon, i.e., transcendent and immanent. As is said of Thoth, “as above, so below.” Buddhi is “a passive and latent principle, the spiritual vehicle of Atman, inseparable from the manifested Universal Soul. It is only in union and in conjunction with Self-consciousness that Buddhi becomes the Higher Self and the divine, discriminating Soul.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 231 fn.). Buddhi is called the “potential power” of the Logos, according to the heresy of Simon (see the Refutatio, Book 6), but it precedes the Simonian theosophy. This teaching is heresy to the Church, according to Hippolytus of Rome.

† This can be further explored on Neil Godfrey’s blog, Vridar 

  1. Pre-Christian Christ Gnosticism: 1 and 2
  2. Evidence for a Pre-Christian Christianity?
  3. The Pre-Christian Jewish Logos
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