Blavatsky and Christianity: Christological Disputes and Interpretations of a Theosophist II

Despite certain Theosophists who play fiddle, Helena Blavatsky does not mince words, and gives the most unapologetic, and clear statements in her writings concerning the mission of the Modern Theosophists. Simply, the Modern Theosophists saw themselves as the successors of the Neo-Platonists. The aim H.P.B. notes of the Theosophical Movement was meant to ignite a “RENAISSANCE.”

“One of such objects of our Society we are willing to publicly announce.

It is universally known that this most important object is to antagonize Christianity and especially Jesuitism. One of our most esteemed and valued members, once an ardent Spiritualist, but who must for the present be nameless, has but recently fallen a victim to the snares of this hateful body.

The nefarious designs of Jesuitism are plotted in secret and carried out through secret agencies (…) We have among us persons in high position — political, military, financial and social — who regard Christianity as the greatest evil to humanity, and are willing to help pull it down. But for them to be able to do much and well, they must do it anonymously. The Church — “triple-headed snake” as a well-known writer calls it — can no longer burn its enemies but it can blast their social influence; can no longer roast their bodies, but can ruin their fortunes. We have no right to give our enemy, the Church, the names of our “Fellows,” who are not ripe for martyrdom, and so we keep them secret. If we have an agent to send to India or to Japan, or China, or any other heathen country, to do something or confer with somebody in connection with the Society’s general plans against missionaries, it would be foolish, nay, criminal, to expose our agent to imprisonment under some malicious pretext, if not death, and even the latter is possible in the far-away East, and our scheme is liable to miscarry by announcing it to the dishonourable company of Jesus [i.e. the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits] (….)

And so far from its threatening in any respect the stability of society or the advancement of spiritual knowledge, the Theosophical institution (…) will be found some day, by the Spiritualists and all others who claim the right of thinking for themselves, to have been the true friend of intellectual and spiritual liberty (…) Its name will be respected as a pioneer of free thought and an uncompromising enemy of priestly and monkish fraud and despotism.” (“Parting Words” first published in “The Religio-Philosophical Journal” in the USA, July 1878. Reproduced above from “A Modern Panarion” pg. 189-190, published by Theosophy Company for the United Lodge of Theosophists.)

Helena P. Blavatsky said in relation to this that the aim is:

To oppose materialism and theological dogmatism in every possible way, by demonstrating the existence of occult forces unknown to science, in nature, and the presence of psychic and spiritual powers in man; trying, at the same time to enlarge the views of the Spiritualists by showing them that there are other, many other agencies at work in the production of phenomena besides the ‘Spirits’ of the dead. Superstition had to be exposed and avoided; and occult forces, beneficent and maleficent – ever surrounding us and manifesting their presence in various ways – demonstrated to the best of our ability.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Organization of the Theosophical Society, in “Theosophical Articles,” Theosophy Co., pg. 223.)

“…The Society teaches and expects its fellows to personally exemplify the highest morality and religious aspiration; to oppose the materialism of science and every form of dogmatic theology, especially the Christian, which the Chiefs of the Society regard as particularly pernicious; to make known among Western nations the long-suppressed facts about Oriental religious philosophies, their ethics, chronology, esoterism, symbolism; to counteract, as far as possible, the efforts of missionaries to delude the so-called “Heathen” and “Pagans” as to the real origin and dogmas of Christianity and the practical effects of the latter upon public and private character in so-called civilized countries; to disseminate a knowledge of the sublime teachings of that pure esoteric system of the archaic period, which are mirrored in the oldest Vedas, and in the philosophy of Gautama Buddha, Zoroaster and Confucius; finally, and chiefly, to aid in the institution of a Brotherhood of Humanity, wherein all good and pure men, of every race, shall recognize each other as the equal effects (upon this planet) of one Uncreate, Universal, Infinite, and Everlasting Cause.” (H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 1, pg. 376-377)

She explains the Theosophical Society’s Original Raison d’etre:

“…the very raison d’être of the Theosophical Society was, from its beginning, to utter a loud protest and lead an open warfare against dogma or any belief based upon blind faith” (see the Theosophical Society’s Original Raison d’etre).

“The object of its founders was to experiment practically in the occult powers of Nature, and to collect and disseminate among Christians information about the Oriental religious philosophies. Later, it has determined to spread among the ‘poor benighted heathen’ such evidences as to the practical results of Christianity as will at least give both sides of the story to the communities among which the missionaries are at work. With this view it has established relations with associations and individuals throughout the East, to whom it furnishes authenticated reports of the ecclesiastical crimes and misdemeanors, schisms and heresies, controversies and litigations, doctrinal differences and biblical criticisms and revisions, with which the press of Christian Europe and America constantly teems. (…) It may also have much to say about the conduct of the missionaries to those who contribute to their support.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 1., pp. xli and xlii.)

Definitely goes further than the modern Cārvāka, Atheist and Skeptic. It is evident, she is still arguing that there’s a reality to the occult. What used to be the work of a hopeful Theosophical Movement has become now mostly championed by certain Christians, Atheists, Humanists and Skeptics, like the late Christopher Hitchens said against Theocrats and Islamic expansionists — “…You surrender, in your own name, leave me out of it, I’m going to fight these people, and every other theocrat...”

 

In the time of Christendom’s last hours—

She states in the closing paragraphs of the preface to Isis Unveiled:

“An analysis of religious beliefs in general, this volume is in particular directed against theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to man’s faith in his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2., pg. iv.)

We cast our gauntlet at the dogmatic theologians who would enslave both history and science; and especially at the Vatican, whose despotic pretensions have become hateful to the greater portion of enlightened Christendom. The clergy apart, none but the logician, the investigator, the dauntless explorer should meddle with books like this. Such delvers after truth have the courage of their opinions.”

She recognizes modern materialism is hurting Christian numbers:

WERE it possible, we would keep this work out of the hands of many Christians whom its perusal would not benefit, and for whom it was not written. We allude to those whose faith in their respective churches is pure and sincere, and those whose sinless lives reflect the glorious example of that Prophet of Nazareth, by whose mouth the spirit of truth spake loudly to humanity. Such there have been at all times. History preserves the names of many as heroes, philosophers, philanthropists, martyrs, and holy men and women; but how many more have lived and died, unknown but to their intimate acquaintance, unblessed but by their humble beneficiaries! These have ennobled Christianity, but would have shed the same lustre upon any other faith they might have professed — for they were higher than their creed. The benevolence of Peter Cooper and Elizabeth Thompson, of America, who are not orthodox Christians, is no less Christ-like than that of the Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts, of England, who is one. And yet, in comparison with the millions who have been accounted Christians, such have always formed a small minority. They are to be found at this day, in pulpit and pew, in palace and cottage; but the increasing materialism, worldliness and hypocrisy are fast diminishing their proportionate number. Their charity, and simple, child-like faith in the infallibility of their Bible, their dogmas, and their clergy, bring into full activity all the virtues that are implanted in our common nature. We have personally known such God-fearing priests and clergymen, and we have always avoided debate with them, lest we might be guilty of the cruelty of hurting their feelings; nor would we rob a single layman of his blind confidence, if it alone made possible for him holy living and serene dying.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2., pg. iii.)

Here we see her views about Jesus, whom she considered reverently, as a man like Apollonius of Tyana and Pythagoras, whose literary narrative is built on the cycles of initiation. She reverences the gnosis of Christians, the principles which ennoble them towards the same aspirations, lofty speech, and charity as among other peoples. The writings of Blavatsky are based upon the Mysteries, or the secret doctrine, belonging not to “the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively.” She attempted to show every mystery and dogma, and from where it originated, and developed.

“What we have to do is to seek to obtain knowledge of all the laws of nature, and to diffuse it. To encourage the study of those laws least understood by modern people, the so-called Occult Sciences, based on the true knowledge of nature, instead of, as at present, on superstitious beliefs based on blind faith and authority.(The Key to Theosophy, pg. 48)


“But if the two Founders were not told what they had to do, they were distinctly instructed about what they should never do, what they had to avoid, and what the Society should never become. Church organizations, Christian and Spiritual sects were shown as the future contrasts to our Society.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Organization of the Theosophical Society, in “Theosophical Articles,” Theosophy Co., pg. 223.)

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