A sense of The Masters Revealed
Mar 13, 2006 06:55 PM
by Robert Bruce MacDonald
Some people have been looking for a sense of what the TMR is all about and
why it may be objectionable. To give people an idea, the book is divided
into three parts, Part 1: Adepts, Part 2: Mahatmas, and Part 3: Secret
Messages. Part 1 deals with HPB's early years and the various people that
she might somehow be connected to and how these might be inspirations for
her later work. Part 2 deals with individuals that might be the prototypes
of the various Mahatmas that HPB wrote about. Part 3 deals with all sorts
of ugliness and could best be described as the political glue that holds the
rest of the book together.
In Parts 1 and 2, the book utilizes quotes from the Coulombs, the brothers
Hare ("Who Wrote the Mahatma Letters" - read about them in "Defence of
Madame Blavatsky" by Beatrice Hastings,
http://www.theosophycanada.com/ct_file/DefenceHPB.pdf), the Coulombs sourced
from "The Occult World of Madame Blavatsky" (demonstrates why this volume
can be dangerous), Olcott's "Old Diary Leaves", and Blavatsky's fictional
"Caves and Jungles". These, in addition to letters, etc. are used to drive
the arguments and connections in the book. Clearly some of these sources
are dubious at best, other sources are those of outright liars. Although
the contents of the sources themselves are not usually controversial, their
origin makes them questionable all the same.
The problem with trying to get into somebody's head by looking at the people
that they may have crossed paths with is that you never know what type of
lessons your subject is deriving from these encounters. What TMR focuses on
in its many short biographies is the political motivations and relationships
of these people in addition to whatever occult sources of knowledge they may
have access to. You come away from the first two chapters with a strange
mix of politics and the occult. The problem with these two endeavors, as
any occultist will tell you, is that they do not mix. Politics is the art
of influencing others to help achieve worldly ends; the occult serves an
entirely different mistress - it is the art of encouraging people to think
for themselves. The only way the two can mix would be if HPB was a
book-learned occultist without possession of the Heart Doctrine. In this
scenario, HPB would be a great intellect who provided the world with a
remarkable body of literature. She might properly be called one of the true
greats. Great what? Great scholars. HPB has been transformed from an
occultist into a scholar. Perhaps this is high praise coming from the pen
of a scholar.
To lend credence to this picture, TMR begins Part 3 as follows:
﻿IN 1993, SEVERAL DOCUMENTARY discoveries shed new light on HPB's
political involvements. Maria Carlson's No Religion Higher Than Truth, a
history of the Theosophical movement in Russia, reprints portions of a
letter Blavatsky wrote on 26 December 1872, while in Odessa. Addressed to
the Director of the Third Section, it volunteers her services as a secret
“During these twenty years I have become well acquainted with all of Western
Europe. I zealously followed current politics not with any goal in mind, but
because of an innate passion; in order better to follow events and to divine
them in advance, I always had the habit of entering into the smallest
details of any affair, for which reason I strove to acquaint myself with all
the leading personalities, politicians of various nations, both of the
government factions and of the far Left....
As a Spiritualist, I have a reputation in many places as a powerful medium.
Hundreds of people undoubtedly believed and will believe in spirits. But I,
writing this letter with the aim of offering my services to Your Excellency
and to my native land, am obligated to tell you the entire truth without
concealment. And thus I must confess that three-quarters of the time the
spirits spoke and answered in my words and out of my considerations, for the
success of my own plans. Rarely, very rarely, did I fail, by means of this
little trap, to discover people's hopes, plans and secrets.... I have played
every role, I am able to represent myself as any person you may wish.” (p.
Were the Theosophical world to take note of this discovery in the Central
State Archives of the October Revolution in Moscow, it would be seen as a
bombshell exploding the hagiographic interpretation of the founder's early
life. But it is likely to pass unnoticed. Her description in this letter of
her activities in the 1850s and 1860s corresponds accurately to the portrait
that has emerged in the present investigation. Quite striking, however, is
her apparent willingness to violate the trust of the same men she was later
to mythologize as Masters. Nevertheless, according to Carlson, the Russian
government rejected her offer, and no evidence has been found to confirm
that she ever became a secret agent for her native country. She did,
however, become a secret informant of the
British government, but not until fifteen years after her offer to St.
Petersburg was rejected.
This ends the quote that begins Part 3.
The rest of Part 3 deals with suspicions by the British concerning HPB's
possible involvement as a Russian Spy, her unfortunate involvement in an
effort to stop an Indian uprising that could only have resulted in the death
of many of India's poor turned to desperation, Hume's involvement in the
whole mess, and hearsay nonsense surrounding what is called "An Occult
This gives the people who have not read the book a sense of what it is
about. The TMR is basically a house of cards where if the 1872 Spy letter
is removed, the whole thing collapses. The Spy letter helps to establish a
state of mind for HPB just prior for her leaving to America and establishing
the Theosophical Society. At one point the book uses the Spy Letter to
blunt or dismiss HPB's contempt for the whole field of politics. TMR quotes
from "The Letters of HPB to AP Sinnett", Letter LXXXVIII, where HPB laments
at being drawn into the political world due to the above mentioned plot.
From TMR we then read the glib comment: "This Letter suggest HPB's ethics
and sense of responsibility had evolved considerably since her 1872 offer to
the Third Section."
If we are to speak of responsibility, before using the 1872 letter to club
HPB over the head with, perhaps it would have been responsible to make some
effort towards its verification. To my knowledge there has been no effort
to verify this letter before or since. How can you then in good conscience
write a book around it, especially when so much of the book is put together
with thinly supported accounts? But then if one was to try and verify the
letter and fail, that would sure put the breaks on a sensationalistic book!
Perhaps it was best to leave well enough alone.
I don't think we need professors to tell us whether this book has merit or
not. It seems that we can decide that perfectly well on our own.
Take advantage of powerful junk e-mail filters built on patented Microsoft®
Start enjoying all the benefits of MSN® Premium right now and get the
first two months FREE*.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application