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Jan 07, 2006 07:03 PM
by Mark Hamilton Jr.

This is an all-time favorite of mine. It was one of the first articles
I read from Blavatsky after my initial investigation into theosophy. I
recommend it for anyone who has any kind of unexplained visions,
natural affinity with certain things, or anything of the sort.

-Mark H.

On 1/7/06, W.Dallas TenBroeck <> wrote:
> January 7, 2006
>                                         GENIUS
>                                      by H. P. Blavatsky
>                                 Genius! thou gift of Heaven, thou light
> divine!
>                                 Amid what dangers art thou doom'd to shine.
>                                 Oft will the body's weakness check thy
> force,
>                                 Oft damp thy vigour, and impede thy course;
>                                 And trembling nerves compel thee to restrain
>                                 Thy nobler efforts to contend with pain;
>                                 Or want, sad guest! . . .
> AMONG many problems hitherto unsolved in the Mystery of Mind, stands
> prominent the question of Genius. Whence, and what is genius, its raison
> d'être, the causes of its excessive rarity? Is it indeed "a gift of Heaven"?
> And if so, why such gifts to one, and dullness of intellect, or even idiocy,
> the doom of another? To regard the appearance of men and women of genius as
> a mere accident, a prize of blind chance, or, as dependent on physical
> causes alone, is only thinkable to a materialist. As an author truly says,
> there remains then, only this alternative: to agree with the believer in a
> personal god "to refer the appearance of every single individual to a
> special act of divine will and creative energy," or "to recognize, in the
> whole succession of such individuals, one great act of some will, expressed
> in an eternal inviolable law."
> Genius, as Coleridge defined it, is certainly--to every outward appearance,
> at least--"the faculty of growth"; yet to the inward intuition of man, it is
> a question whether it is genius--an abnormal aptitude of mind--that develops
> and grows, or the physical brain, its vehicle, which becomes through some
> mysterious process fitter to receive and manifest from within outwardly the
> innate and divine nature of man's over-soul.
> Perchance, in their unsophisticated wisdom, the philosophers of old were
> nearer truth than are our modern wiseacres, when they endowed man with a
> tutelar deity, a Spirit whom they called genius. The substance of this
> entity, to say nothing of its essence--observe the distinction, reader,--and
> the presence of both, manifests itself according to the organism of the
> person it informs. As Shakespeare says of the genius of great men--what we
> perceive of his substance "is not here"—
>                                 For what you see is but the smallest part. .
> . .
>                                 But were the whole frame here,
>                                 It is of such a spacious, lofty pitch,
>                                 Your roof were not sufficient to contain it.
> . . .
> This is precisely what the Esoteric philosophy teaches.
> The flame of genius is lit by no anthropomorphic hand, save that of one's
> own Spirit. It is the very nature of the Spiritual Entity itself, of our
> Ego, which keeps on weaving new life-woofs into the web of reincarnation on
> the loom of time, from the beginnings to the ends of the great Life-Cycle.1
> This it is that asserts itself stronger than in the average man, through its
> personality; so that what we call "the manifestations of genius" in a
> person, are only the more or less successful efforts of that EGO to assert
> itself on the outward plane of its objective form--the man of clay--in the
> matter-of-fact, daily life of the latter.
> The EGOS of a Newton, an Æschylus, or a Shakespeare, are of the same essence
> and substance as the Egos of a yokel, an ignoramus, a fool, or even an
> idiot; and the self-assertion of their informing genii depends on the
> physiological and material construction of the physical man.
> No Ego differs from another Ego, in its primordial or original essence and
> nature.
> That which makes one mortal a great man and of another a vulgar, silly
> person is, as said, the quality and make-up of the physical shell or casing,
> and the adequacy or inadequacy of brain and body to transmit and give
> expression to the light of the real, Inner man; and this aptness or in
> aptness is, in its turn, the result of Karma.
> Or, to use another simile, physical man is the musical instrument, and the
> Ego, the performing artist. The potentiality of perfect melody of sound, is
> in the former--the instrument--and no skill of the latter can awaken a
> faultless harmony out of a broken or badly made instrument. This harmony
> depends on the fidelity of transmission, by word or act, to the objective
> plane, of the unspoken divine thought in the very depths of man's subjective
> or inner nature. Physical man may--to follow our simile--be a priceless
> Stradivarius or a cheap and cracked fiddle, or again a mediocrity between
> the two, in the hands of the Paganini who ensouls him.
> All ancient nations knew this. But though all had their Mysteries and their
> Hierophants, not all could be equally taught the great metaphysical
> doctrine; and while a few elect received such truths at their initiation,
> the masses were allowed to approach them with the greatest caution and only
> within the farthest limits of fact.
> "From the DIVINE ALL proceeded Amun, the Divine Wisdom . . . give it not to
> the unworthy," says a Book of Hermes. Paul, the "wise Master-Builder,"2 (I
> Cor. III, 10) but echoes Thoth-Hermes when telling the Corinthians "We speak
> Wisdom among them that are perfect (the initiated) . . . divine Wisdom in a
> MYSTERY, even the hidden Wisdom." (Ibid. II, 7.)
> Yet, to this day the Ancients are accused of blasphemy and fetishism for
> their "hero worship." But have the modern historians ever fathomed the cause
> of such "worship"! We believe not. Otherwise they would be the first to
> become aware that that which was "worshipped," or rather that to which
> honours were rendered was neither the man of clay, nor the personality--the
> Hero or Saint So-and-So, which still prevails on the Roman Church, a church
> which beatifies the body rather than the soul--but the divine imprisoned
> Spirit, the exiled "god" within that personality. Who, in the profane world,
> is aware that even the majority of the magistrates (the Archons of Athens,
> mistranslated in the Bible as "Princes")--whose official duty it was to
> prepare the city for such processions, were ignorant of the true
> significance of the alleged "worship"?
> Verily was Paul right in declaring that "we speak wisdom . . . not the
> wisdom of this world . . . which none of the Archons of this (profane) world
> knew," but the hidden wisdom of the MYSTERIES. For, as again the Epistle of
> the apostle implies, the language of the Initiates and their secrets no
> profane, not even an "Archon" or ruler outside the fane of the sacred
> Mysteries, knoweth; none "save the Spirit of man (the Ego) which is in him."
> (Ib. v, II.)
> Were Chapters II and III of I Corinthians ever translated in the Spirit in
> which they were written--even their dead letter is now disfigured--the world
> might receive strange revelations. Among other things it would have a key to
> many hitherto unexplained rites of ancient Paganism, one of which is the
> mystery of this same Hero-worship. And it would learn that if the streets of
> the city that honoured one such man were strewn with roses for the passage
> of the Hero of the day, if every citizen was called to bow in reverence to
> him who was so feasted, and if both priest and poet vied in their zeal to
> immortalize the hero's name after his death--occult philosophy tells us the
> reason why this was done.
> "Behold," it saith, "in every manifestation of genius--when combined with
> virtue--in the warrior or the Bard, the great painter, artist, statesman or
> man of Science, who soars high above the heads of the vulgar herd, the
> undeniable presence of the celestial exile, the divine Ego whose jailor thou
> art, Oh man of matter!"
> Thus, that which we call deification applied to the immortal God within, not
> to the dead walls of the human tabernacle that contained him. And this was
> done in tacit and silent recognition of the efforts made by the divine
> captive who, under the most adverse circumstances of incarnation, still
> succeeded in manifesting himself.
> Occultism, therefore, teaches nothing new in asserting the above
> philosophical axiom. Enlarging upon the broad metaphysical truism, it only
> gives it a finishing touch by explaining certain details.
> It teaches, for instance, that the presence in man of various creative
> powers--called genius in their collection--is due to no blind chance, to no
> innate qualities through hereditary tendencies--though that which is known
> as atavism may often intensify these faculties --but to an accumulation of
> individual antecedent experiences of the Ego in its preceding life, and
> lives. For, though omniscient in its essence and nature, it still requires
> experience through its personalities of the things of earth, earthy on the
> objective plane, in order to apply the fruition of that abstract omniscience
> to them. And, adds our philosophy--the cultivation of certain aptitudes
> throughout a long series of past incarnations must finally culminate in some
> one life, in a blooming forth as genius, in one or another direction.
> Great Genius, therefore, if true and innate, and not merely an abnormal
> expansion of our human intellect--can never copy or condescend to imitate,
> but will ever be original, sui generis in its creative impulses and
> realizations.
> Like those gigantic Indian lilies that shoot out from the clefts and
> fissures of the cloud-nursing, and bare rocks on the highest plateaux of the
> Nilgiri Hills, true Genius needs but an opportunity to spring forth into
> existence and blossom in the sight of all in the most arid soil, for its
> stamp is always unmistakable.
> To use a popular saying, innate genius, like murder, will out sooner or
> later, and the more it will have been suppressed and hidden, the greater
> will be the flood of light thrown by the sudden eruption. On the other hand
> artificial genius, so often confused with the former, and which, in truth,
> is but the outcome of long studies and training, will never be more than, so
> to say, the flame of a lamp burning outside the portal of the pane; it may
> throw a long trail of light across road, but it leaves the inside of the
> building in darkness.
> And, as every faculty and property in Nature is dual--i.e., each may be made
> to serve two ends, evil as well as good--so will artificial genius betray
> itself. Born out of the chaos of terrestrial sensations, of perceptive and
> retentive faculties, yet of finite memory, it will ever remain the slave of
> its body; and that body, owing to its unreliability and the natural tendency
> of matter to confusion, will not fail to lead even the greatest genius, so
> called, back into its own primordial element, which is chaos again, or evil,
> or earth.
> Thus between the true and the artificial genius, one born from the light of
> the immortal Ego, the other from the evanescent will-o'-the-wisp of the
> terrestrial or purely human intellect and the animal soul, there is a chasm,
> to be spanned only by him who aspires ever onward; who never loses sight,
> even when in the depths of matter, of that guiding star the Divine Soul and
> mind, or what we call Buddhi-Manas.
> The latter does not require, as does the former, cultivation. The words of
> the poet who asserts that the lamp of genius—
>                                 If not protected, pruned, and fed with care,
>                                 Soon dies, or runs to waste with fitful
> glare—
> --can apply only to artificial genius, the outcome of cultural and of purely
> intellectual acuteness.
> It is not the direct light of the Manasa putra, the "Sons of Wisdom," for
> true genius lit at the flame of our higher nature, or the EGO, cannot die.
> This is why it is so very rare. Lavater calculated that "the proportion of
> genius (in general) to the vulgar, is like one to a million; but genius
> without tyranny, without pretension, that judges the weak with equity, the
> superior with humanity, and equals with justice, is like one in ten
> millions." This is indeed interesting, though not too complimentary to human
> nature, if, by "genius,"
> Lavater had in mind only the higher sort of human intellect, unfolded by
> cultivation, "protected, pruned, and fed," and not the genius we speak of.
> Moreover such genius is always apt to lead to the extremes of weal or woe
> him through whom this artificial light of the terrestrial mind manifests.
> Like the good and bad genii of old with whom human genius is made so
> appropriately to share the name, it takes its helpless possessor by the hand
> and leads him, one day to the pinnacles of fame, fortune, and glory, but to
> plunge him on the following day into an abyss of shame, despair, often of
> crime.
> But as, according to the great Physiognomist, there is more of the former
> than of the latter kind of genius in this our world, because, as Occultism
> teaches us, it is easier for the personality with its acute physical senses
> and tatwas to gravitate toward the lower quaternary than to soar to its
> triad--modern philosophy, though quite proficient in treating this lower
> place of genius, knows nothing of its higher spiritual form--the "one in ten
> millions."
> Thus it is only natural that confusing one with the other, the best modern
> writers should have failed to define true genius. As a consequence, we
> continually hear and read a good deal of that which to the Occultist seems
> quite paradoxical. "Genius requires cultivation," says one; "Genius is vain
> and self-sufficient" declares another; while a third will go on defining the
> divine light but to dwarf it on the Procrustean bed of his own intellectual
> narrow-mindedness.
> He will talk of the great eccentricity of genius, and allying it as a
> general rule with an "inflammable constitution," will even show it "a prey
> to every passion but seldom delicacy of taste!" (Lord Kaimes.) It is useless
> to argue with such, or telll them that, original, and great genius puts out
> the most dazzling rays of human intellectuality, as the sun quenches the
> flame-light of a fire in an open field; that it is never eccentric, though
> always sui generis; and that no man endowed with true genius can ever give
> way to his physical animal passions.
> In the view of an humble Occultist, only such a grand altruistic character
> as that of Buddha or Jesus, and of their few close imitators, can be
> regarded, in our historical cycle, as fully developed GENIUS.
> Hence, true genius has small chance indeed of receiving its due in our age
> of conventionalities, hypocrisy and time-serving. As the world grows in
> civilization, it expands in fierce selfishness, and stones its true prophets
> and geniuses for the benefit of its aping shadows.
> Alone the surging masses of the ignorant millions, the great people's heart,
> arc capable of sensing intuitionally a true "great soul" full of divine love
> for mankind, of god-like compassion for suffering man.
> Hence the populace alone is still capable of recognizing a genius, as
> without such qualities no man has a right to the name.
> No genius can be now found in Church or State, and this is proven on their
> own admission. It seems a long time since in the XIII century the "Angelic
> Doctor" snubbed Pope Innocent IV who, boasting of the millions got by him
> from the sale of absolutions and indulgences, remarked to Aquinas that "the
> age of the Church is past in which she said 'Silver and gold have I none'!"
> "True," was the ready reply; "but the age is also past when she could say to
> a paralytic, 'Rise up and walk'."
> And yet from that time, and far, far earlier, to our own day the hourly
> crucifixion of their ideal Master both by Church and State has never ceased.
> While every Christian State breaks with its laws and customs, with every
> commandment given in the Sermon on the Mount, the Christian Church justifies
> and approves of this through her own Bishops who despairingly proclaim "A
> Christian State impossible on Christian Principles." Hence--no Christ-like
> (or "Buddha-like") way of life is possible in civilized States.
> The occultist then, to whom "true genius is a synonym of self-existent and
> infinite mind," mirrored more or less faithfully by man, fails to find in
> the modern definitions of the term anything approaching correctness. In its
> turn the esoteric interpretation of Theosophy is sure to be received with
> derision.
> The very idea that every man with a "soul" in him is the vehicle of
> (a) genius will appear supremely absurd, even to believers, while the
> materialist will fall foul of it as a "crass superstition." As to the
> popular feeling--the only approximately correct one because purely
> intuitional, it will not be even taken into account.
> The same elastic and convenient epithet "superstition" will, once more, be
> made to explain why there never was yet a universally recognised
> genius--whether of one or the other kind--without a certain amount of weird,
> fantastic and often uncanny, tales and legends attaching themselves to so
> unique a character, dogging and even surviving him.
>                 THE GREAT PEOPLE'S HEART
> Yet it is the unsophisticated alone, and therefore only the so-called
> uneducated masses, just because of that lack of sophistically reasoning in
> them, who feel, whenever coming in contact with an abnormal, out-of-the-way
> character, that there is in him something more than the mercy mortal man of
> flesh and intellectual attributes.
> And feeling themselves in the presence of that which in the enormous
> majority is ever hidden, of something incomprehensible to their
> matter-or-fact minds, they experience the same awe that popular masses felt
> in days of old when their fancy, often more unerring than cultured reason,
> created of their heroes gods, teaching:
>                                 . . . . The weak to bent, the proud to pray
>                                 To powers unseen and mightier than they . .
> .
> This is now called SUPERSTITION . . .
> But what is Superstition? True, we dread that which we cannot clearly
> explain to ourselves. Like children in the dark we are all of us apt, the
> educated equally with the ignorant. to people that darkness with phantoms of
> our own creation; but these "phantoms" prove in no wise that that
> "darkness"--which is only another term for the invisible and the unseen--is
> really empty of any Presence save our own. So that if in its exaggerated
> form, "superstition" is a weird incubus, as a belief in things above and
> beyond our physical senses, yet it is also a modest acknowledgement that
> there are things in the universe, and around us, of which we know nothing.
> In this sense "superstition" becomes not an unreasonable feeling of half
> wonder and half dread, mixed with admiration and reverence, or with fear,
> according to the dictates of our intuition. And this is far more reasonable
> than to repeat with the too-learned wiseacres that there is nothing "nothing
> whatever, in that darkness"; nor can there be anything since they, the
> wiseacres, have failed to discern it.
> E pur se muove! Where there is smoke there must be fire; where there is a
> steamy vapour there must be water. Our claim rests but upon one eternal
> axiomatic truth: nihil sine causa. Genius and undeserved suffering, prove an
> immortal Ego and Reincarnation in our world. As for the rest, i.e., the
> obloquy and derision with which such theosophical doctrines are met,
> Fielding--a sort of Genius in his way, too--has covered our answer over a
> century ago. Never did he utter a greater truth than on the day he wrote
> that "If superstition makes a man a fool, SKEPTICISM MAKES HIM MAD."
>                                                                 H  P  B
> Lucifer, November, 1889
> l The period of one full Manvantara composed of Seven Rounds.
> 2 A term absolutely theurgic, masonic and occult. Paul, by using it,
> declares himself an Initiate having the right to initiate others.
> Dallas
> Yahoo! Groups Links

Mark Hamilton Jr.

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