Julia W. Keightley and H.P. Blavatsky
Sep 25, 2006 11:55 AM
Below is an abbreviated account of Julia
W. Keightley's relationship with H.P. Blavatsky.
Julia W. Keightley (the wife of Archibald Keightley)
Living some thousand miles from England, I never met Madame
Blavatsky in person. Like others of my acquaintance, I first heard
of [HPB] by coming across the S.P.R. pamphlet denouncing her as an
impostor and asserting the Hodgson-Coulomb slander as a true fact.
Soon, however, I began to realize, through my own experience, that
she was not what she seemed to be. The evidence I had caused me to
ask HPB to teach me; and that fact that I fully trusted in and
believed her is precisely what gained for me the fulfillment of my
wish. The mental attitude of belief sets up, in our aura and in our
inner bodies, magnetic and attractive conditions, very different to
those of contraction and densification, which exist where doubt or
criticism fill the mind. A literal quickening of my aura and inner
body took place. The contraction in which men and women enfold
themselves is too little understood. To be known, faith and devotion
must first be had.
After HPB accepted me as a pupil, no rules were laid down, no plans
formulated. I continued my daily routine, and at night, after I fell
into a deep sleep, the new life began. On waking in the morning from
a sleep so profound that the attitude of the previous night was
still retained, I would vividly remember that I had gone, as it
were, to HPB. I had been received in rooms which I could and did
describe to those who lived with her—described, even to the worn
places or holes in the carpet. On the first occasion of this kind
she signified to me her acceptance of me as a pupil. After that, she
would receive me in varying fashion, showing me pictures which
passed like panoramas across the walls of the room.
At other times, times more rare, I would awake to find her standing
at the foot of my bed, and as I leaned upon my elbow, her sign
language would begin, the harmonies of Nature would fill the moonlit
room, while the wondrous living pictures passed across the wall. All
this was perfectly objective to me. I was fully awake to all the
surroundings, to all the natural sounds of the night, and I have
taken my pet dog into my arms because it shivered and whimpered at
sight of her. All the expressions of HPB's face became familiar to
me. I can see her now, her old bedgown—what dingy old gown was ever
so cherished?—folded about her, as she opened out space before me,
and then, too, expanded into her own real being.
I have hardly more than half a dozen letters from her, and these
contain no teaching; they bore upon external theosophic affairs and
have this peculiarity. At night she would tell me to advise certain
persons of certain things. I would obey, giving her as my authority,
and a few days afterwards, but never long enough for the full
voyage, would come her letter giving in writing the instructions
previously heard at night. Thus I was enabled to prove that I really
heard her wish over seas, for always the request concerned some
sudden emergency which had just arisen a day, two days at most,
before. I was able to check off my experience in this way, as I was
also able to speak at times before an event occurred.
A few days after Madame Blavatsky died, HPB awoke me at night. I
raised myself, feeling no surprise, but only the sweet accustomed
pleasure. She held my eyes with her leonine gaze. Then she grew
thinner, taller, her shape became masculine; slowly then her
features changed, until a man of height and rugged powers stood
before me, the last vestige of her features melting into his, until
the leonine gaze, the progressed radiance of her glance alone
remained. The man lifted his head and said, "Bear witness!" He then
walked from the room, laying his hand on the portrait of HPB as he
passed. Since then, he has come to me several times, with
instructions, in broad daylight while I was busily working, and once
he stepped out from a large portrait of HPB.
This article was signed "R.S." but research indicates that the
author was Julia W. Keightley.
Wachtmeister, Countess Constance, and others. "Reminiscences of H.
P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine." London, Theosophical
Publishing Society, 1893, pp. 121–5, 127.
The above narrative has been transcribed from the original source
but spelling and punctuation has been modernized. For people's
names, the spelling used in HPB's Collected Writings has been
adopted. Material not immediately relevant to the narrative has been
silently deleted. Explanatory notes added by the editor are enclosed
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application