HPB on the cup & saucer phenomenon & its relationship to Theosophy
Jul 01, 2004 08:24 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell
In the following extract, H.P. Blavatsky writes about
the cup & saucer phenomenon, her other experiments in
occult phenomena & their relationship to Theosophy:
. . . when I have once allowed my name to appear in
the light of a benevolent genius, for the production
of "cups," "saucers" and "brooches," I must bear the
penalty; especially when the people are so foolish
as to take the word "Magic" either in its popular
superstitious sense — that of the work of the devil
— or in that of jugglery. . . .
Being neither a professional medium nor a professional
anything, and MAKING MY EXPERIMENTS in "Occult
phenomena" only in the presence of a few friends —
rarely before anyone who is not a member of our
Society — I have a right to claim from the public
a little more fairness and politeness than are
usually accorded to paid jugglers and even alleged
Thaumaturgists. . . .
...Theosophy believes in no miracle, whether divine
or devilish; recognizes nothing as supernatural;
believes only in facts and Science; studies the
laws of Nature, both Occult and patent; and gives
attention particularly to the former, just because
exact Science will have nothing to do with them.
Such laws are those of Magnetism in all its branches, Mesmerism,
Psychology, etc. More than once in the history of its past has
Science been made the victim of its own delusions as to its professed
infallibility; and the time must come when the perfection of Asiatic
Psychology and its knowledge of the forces of the invisible world
will be recognized, as were the circulation of the blood,
electricity, and so forth, after the first sneers and lampoons died
away. The "silly attempts to hoodwink individuals" will then be
viewed as honest attempts at proving to this generation of
Spiritualists and believers in past " miracle-mongers," that there is
naught miraculous in this world of Matter and Spirit, of visible
results and invisible causes. . . .
I beg leave to further remark that personally I never bragged of
anything I might have done, nor do I offer any explanation of the
phenomena, except to utterly disclaim the possession of any
miraculous or supernatural powers, or the performing of anything by
jugglery — i.e., with the usual help of confederates and
machinery. That's all. And surely, if there is anything like a
sense of justice left in society, I am amenable to neither statutory
nor social laws for gratifying the interest of members of our
Society, and the wishes of my personal friends, by exhibiting to them
in privacy various phenomena, in which I believe far more firmly than
any of them, SINCE I KNOW THE LAWS BY WHICH THEY ARE PRODUCED. . . .
...Of the five eye-witnesses to the "cup" production, three (two
of these of the "official circle") utterly disbelieve the genuineness
of the phenomenon, though I would be pleased to know how, with all
their scepticism, they would be able to account for it. ... The only
benefit I have ever derived from my experiments, when made public, is
newspaper abuse and more or less unfavourable comments upon my
unfortunate self all over the country. This, unless my convictions
were strong indeed, would amount to obtaining Billingsgate and
martyrdom under false pretences, and begging a reputation for
insanity. The game would hardly be worth the candle, I think.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Amritzur, Oct. 25th, 1880.
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