THEOSOPHY, Vol. 8, No. 12, October, 1920
(Pages 357-368; Size: 40K)
(Number 10 of a 34-part series)
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT(1)
HISTORY is more than the narration of events; even the most personal and short-sighted recognize that actions do not perform themselves. There is no action without a being to make it and to feel its effects. No one's minutest action stands alone and without relation. Not only is it in relation to our subsequent and preceding performances, but the actions of each are interwoven and interblended at every point with the actions of others, the whole forming a continuous stream, from moment to moment; from life to life. History, then, is not merely "looking back"; it is looking at to-day and to-morrow as well.
History is the story of the persons and personages who performed the actions, as well as of the events themselves; but even more, if its chronicle is to be of any value to the student, he must be concerned in the meaning of the incidents which crowd the stage; in the parts played by the various actors in the drama; in the lessons to be learned in relation to the larger drama of life itself, in which he and all other sentient beings are concerned. For, in the words of a sage, known only to a few Occultists:
"The Present is the child of the Past; the Future, the begotten of the Present. And yet, O present moment! knowest thou not that thou host no parent, nor canst thou have a child; that thou art ever begetting but thyself? Before thou hast even begun to say 'I am the progeny of the departed moment, the child of the past,' thou hast become that past itself. Before thou utterest the last syllable, behold! thou art no more the Present out verily that Future. Thus, are the Past, the Present, and the Future the Ever-living Trinity in One."
Bearing this in mind, history becomes more than the procession of events before the consciousness, the actors more than passing personalities; the merely physical but shadows cast upon the screen of time. Behind the arras of the visible lies the real and enduring world of causation, the world of immortal Souls engaged in the battle of Life -- the pilgrimage of spiritual and mental Evolution, in which all are involved. Thus the history of the Theosophical Movement becomes a study of the operation of the Law of Karma, in which every living Soul is equally concerned.
The moment anyone takes this position he is, ipso facto and to that extent, on the plane of consciousness of the "Superior Sections" of the Theosophical Society; he is studying particular persons and their actions in the light of Universal Principles --in the light of the teachings of Theosophy, exoteric and esoteric. Hitherto we have been largely engaged with the visible stream of events in the life of the exoteric body called the Theosophical Society, whose members were more or less engaged in the study and propagation of the exoteric teachings called Theosophy. No secret was or has been made of the existence within and behind that stream of an inner body and an ensouling spirit; of an inner Teaching and a secret Science. Now, writer and reader alike must endeavor as best they may, while still regarding events, to penetrate to the workings of the minds and consciences of the actors, for there lies the field of causation -- the esoteric aspects of us all.
From the beginning it was the Theosophical Society which attracted the attention of friends and foes alike. As it was the visible body, the heredity and preconceptions of the race made the thing visible the reality. Its declared platform of objects was universally attractive, so long as those objects remained in the region of ideals; an abstraction which one could profess without disturbance, external or internal.
But when it was ascertained that the Society was in fact but a vehicle for the dissemination and serious study of Theosophy; when it was seen that the careful study and comparison of the various religions and theories, philosophical and scientific, led straight to the unavoidable inference that the only value in any or all of them lay in what they had in common, not in their mutual exclusions; that the various differences were mutually contradictory and destructive; that in Theosophy alone was an inclusive Wisdom, self-convincing and self-explanatory of all and everything -- then the Theosophical Society became and continued to be the target for every species of assault and attack that the adherents of sectarianism, whether in religion or science, could devise. And when it was perceived by the Fellows that the Objects of the Society were not merely formal and academic; that the serious study of Theosophy produced wholly unlooked for results in themselves, compelling them to choose between their predilections and their professed principles, by far the greater part either left the Society altogether, or lapsed into the hypocrisy which pretends one course of action while following another. The active and earnest Theosophists have always been but a scant fragment of even that handful of humanity which from time to time has called itself theosophical.
The actual active and visible Head of The Theosophical Society was at all times Colonel H. S. Olcott. To his zeal was due its foundation, to his ardent devotion its spread, to his abilities and sacrifices its successes. The Society itself more and more became to him the one Object of his existence; to it and for it he gave his all.
The case was quite otherwise both with H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. To neither of them was the Society ever anything but a body, an instrument, an imperfect and faulty machine for conserving energy and putting it to use. Both of them were co-founders with Col. Olcott of the Society, both of them gave without stint to its support and defense, but only and always as a mere means to an end. They sustained and nourished it precisely as they did their human bodies, and for the same purpose -- as a step toward the attainment of the end in view.
As "President-Founder" of the visible vehicle, the Society, Col. Olcott was prominent before the members and before the public. H.P.B. had as little to do as possible with the conduct of the Society; Mr. Judge was scarcely known at all in connection with it during its first decade. At all times until and unless the exigencies of the Movement compelled such appearances and interferences both H.P.B. and Mr. Judge supported and worked through Col. Olcott in the affairs of the Society, making themselves in every public way subordinate to him. His work was the exoteric phase of the Movement; theirs the esoteric.
H.P.B. was the Teacher; for purposes of the Movement she was the direct Agent of the Lodge of Masters of the Wisdom-Religion. These Masters were, and remain, securely veiled from the prying and selfish approach of humanity, masked and hidden from all, Their existence a matter of inference only to all but Their Chelas and "those with whom They voluntarily communicate." They are known in the world only by the evidences amassed by H.P.B. in her writings, through the few communications from Them to others who were, in every case, brought into relation with them by and through H.P.B., and through those longings and aspirations of the human heart which still preserve the faith in Divine Beings, Elder Brothers to suffering and sinful man. So far as the whole West is concerned all that anyone knows or infers of the Masters or Their Wisdom-Religion, or Their Chelas, comes, directly or indirectly, from the mission of H. P. Blavatsky. She therefore stood, and stands, in a position of supreme importance to the whole world; for she stands in the place of the Masters as Their Messenger until 1975, when she stated that Their next Messenger would come. All others, their statements and their actions, must be viewed in the light of her mission, her teachings, her statements and her example; for she and none other represented the First Section.
Next to her in importance in the Theosophical Movement was, and is, William Q. Judge, as we shall see in due season. The placing of any persons, however talented or supposedly proficient in occultism, on the same plane of knowledge and action in the world as these two; the acceptance of any teachings or "messages" as Theosophy in contravention of the recorded statements of these two, is to deny in fact the very Source of the Message of Theosophy, is to attribute to the Masters Themselves the fallibility of human nature. For such a position taken is to imagine that They chose an untrustworthy direct Agent to deliver Their Message to humanity; that they permitted Their Message to be faultily and imperfectly recorded; that They left the world and the sincere student alike at the mercy of claimants of every kind, and without any sure guide or land-mark of philosophy and example.
H.P.B. represented the First Section of the Theosophical Movement; W. Q. Judge represented the Second Section, and Col. H. S. Olcott the Third Section -- or Theosophical Society proper. The evidences are abundant and overwhelming, as we shall see. Colonel Olcott was never, from the standpoint of the Superior Sections, other than a probationary chela. It is thus important to consider his dual position: on the one hand, the "President-Founder" of the Society, its guiding genius and chief figure before the world; on the other hand, a struggling probationer, fighting and failing over and over again in his efforts at self-discipline and self-mastery. In the field of causation, in the esoteric study of the Theosophical Movement, the actions of Olcott the President, in all their contradictions and confusions, have to be studied in the light of Olcott, the aspirant for accepted Chelaship of the Second Section. Pathetic and disillusioning as is the task, it should be tempered in writer and reader alike by the reflection that the story of Colonel Olcott is the story in advance of what confronts every aspirant to the same up-hill Path; the extent to which we learn the lesson of his failures is the measure of our debt to him.
In the article "Chelas and Lay Chelas" before referred to, H.P.B., in discussing the requisites and difficulties of probationary chelaship of the Second Section, illustrates some of her points by incidental reference to Col. Olcott. She says:
"All were refused at first, Col. Olcott, the President himself, to begin with; and as to the latter gentleman there is now (July, 1883) no harm in saying that he was not formally accepted as a Chela until he had proved by more than a year's devoted labors and by a determination which brooked no denial, that he might safely be tested.
On this subject Col. Olcott himself says in a letter written in 1881 and published in "Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, Number I," that during this year he was "provoked and exasperated" by the "selfish and cruel indifference of H.P.B." to his "yearnings after the truth," as well as by "the failure of the Brothers to come and instruct" him. He himself gives the reasons, both for the delay and his own misunderstandings:
"I got that proof in due time (of the existence of Masters): but for months I was being gradually led out of my spiritualistic Fool's Paradise, and forced to abandon my delusions one by one. My mind was not prepared to give up ideas that had been the growth of 22 years' experiences, with mediums and circles.... But now it was all made clear. I had got just as much as I deserved.... So ... I adopted those habits and encouraged those thoughts that were conducive to the attainment of my ends.
"After that I had all the proofs I needed, alike of the existence of the Brothers, their wisdom, their psychical powers, and their unselfish devotion to humanity. For six years I have been blessed with this experience .... and yet after all these years not only not made an adept, but hardly having achieved one step towards adeptship."
Col. Olcott was in his 44th year at the time; an age when, owing to the physical and psychical limitations of the human instrument, the constitutional changes necessary to successful chelaship present the extreme of difficulty, even granting that all other conditions are of the most favorable. What his actual condition was is further indicated in the same letter:
"If you will only reflect what it is to transform a worldly man, such as I was in 1874 -- a man of clubs, drinking parties, mistresses, a man absorbed in all sorts of worldly public and private undertakings and speculations -- into that purest, wisest, noblest and most spiritual of human beings -- a BROTHER, you will cease to wonder, or rather you will wonder, how I could ever have struggled out of the swamp at all, and how I could have ever succeeded in gaining the firm straight road."
We have witnessed the heroic efforts made by Col. Olcott who, in the beginning, literally gave up all, as Damodar did, to follow H.P.B., and her unknown Path, and the student can but have seen the terrific strain imposed upon him by the pressures and temptations incident to his public position as the head and front of the Theosophical Society. The flattery, the sycophancy, that attend every man in public life, the inner lure of vanity, of ambition, of pride, of jealousy, that accompanies public recognition and achievement, is the "constant enemy" that surrounds the path of every notable character, an enemy to which but few fail to succumb in whole or in part. Successful chelaship means that these, and all other weaknesses and vices of human nature, must be not only fought, but conquered. Of these, the universal foes of human intellectual and spiritual evolution, Col. Olcott never speaks in relation to himself, but his letter goes on to tell of his personal difficulties and failures in the six years from 1875 to 1881:
"No one knows until he really tries it, how awful a task it is to subdue all his evil passions and animal instincts, and develop his higher nature.....
"From time to time one or another Brother who had been on friendly terms with me .... has become disgusted with me and left me to others, who kindly took their places. Most of all, I regret, a certain Magyar philosopher, who had begun to give me a course of instruction in occult dynamics, but was repelled by an outbreak of my old earthly nature.
"But I shall win him back and others also, for I have so determined; and whatever a man really WILLS, that he has...
"If my experience is worth anything, I should say .... that however great a man may be at this side of the Himalayas, he begins his relations with the Brothers on exactly the same terms as the humblest chela who ever tried to scale their Parnassus; he must 'win his way.'"
Every probationer of the Second Section will be prepared to agree with Col. Olcott's statement of the difficulties of the effort to conquer "these vices of the ordinary personal man"; to sympathize with him in his struggles, failures and renewed determination to continue on the path of probation. Few as yet have had the experience of the fiery furnace requisite to have a just appreciation of the far more difficult and onerous task of facing and conquering the universal vices inherent in human nature; the very crucible that his position as President-Founder and his "determination which brooked no denial" as an aspirant for Chelaship, compelled Col. Olcott to enter. And it is this prolonged ordeal that we must now study in its effects, both those manifested and those concealed. We have already touched lightly, but perhaps sufficiently on the failure of the probationers, Col. Olcott among them, "to defend the honour of a brother Theosophist even at the risk of their own lives," when H.P.B. was assailed by the Coulombs, the missionaries, and the Psychical Research Society. We have entered more largely into the primary obligations of chelaship in discussing the essential principles and rules of the Second Section, and the failures of Mrs. Cables and Mr. Brown. We must now trace Col. Olcott more particularly in his relation to H.P.B. as chela to Guru, in the incidents preluding the formation of the "Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society."
The pledge taken by Col. Olcott was no other or different than that taken by every neophyte of the Second Section. Its essential features, so far as it relates to the matters under review, are contained in the following clauses:
"I pledge myself to support, before the world, the Theosophical movement, its leaders and its members; and in particular to obey, without cavil or delay, the orders of the Head of the Section in all that concerns my relation with the Theosophical movement."
The student will do well to note, (a) that the taking of the pledge is voluntary on the part of the applicant; (b) that it pledges entire obedience to the Head of the Section, who was and is H.P.B., in all that relates to the Theosophical Movement; (c) that her public teachings, the Objects of the Society formed at her instigation, no less than her private teachings and individual instructions constitute and comprise her "orders," which every neophyte of the Second Section pledges himself to "obey." Members of the Society also took a "pledge" as the condition precedent to entrance; that pledge in their case was one of mere assent to the First Object. Not until the Fellow of the Society was making strenuous and measurably successful efforts to embody in his own life all three Objects of the Society was he even eligible for consideration as an applicant for the probationary degree of the Second Section. Not until he fulfilled all the conditions of the pledges of the probationer was he in any way eligible to the higher degrees of the Second Section. Meantime he had constantly to bear in mind that no one would enforce or compel his keeping of his pledge; from start to finish his course must be self-induced and self-devised. In the words of Col. Olcott's letter before quoted from: each applicant would get just as much as he deserved; he need look for no extraneous help "to achieve that which no man ever did achieve except by his own self-development." Or, as expressed in "Chelas and Lay Chelas":
"The Mahatmas are the servants, not the arbiters of the Law of Karma. LAY-CHELASHIP CONFERS NO PRIVILEGE UPON ANYONE EXCEPT THAT OF WORKING FOR MERIT UNDER THE OBSERVATION OF A MASTER. And whether that Master be or be not seen by the Chela makes no difference whatever as to the result: his good thought, words and deeds will bear their fruits, his evil ones theirs."
Col. Olcott's course may first be discerned by an examination of the contents of "The Theosophist," which he directed after the departure from India of H.P.B. early in 1885. His prompt efforts to disclaim any reliance upon H.P.B., and his indirect assertion of his own paramount importance have been noted in an earlier chapter. When the "American Board of Control" was suggested by Mr. Judge to Col. Olcott for the preliminary direction of the rising tide foreseen by Mr. Judge in America, Col. Olcott appointed Prof. Elliott Coues of Washington, D.C., whom he met in London and Germany in the summer of 1884, to be its Chairman and leading figure. From the first moment of his connection with the Theosophical Society Prof. Coues began to cause difficulties. This requires separate treatment; it is sufficient here to mention the fact. Finally, Mr. Judge had recourse to Madame Blavatsky, and through her insistence Col. Olcott dissolved the "American Board of Control" and assented to the formation of the "American Section of the Theosophical Society." The actual facts, so far as they could be stated without exposing the internal discords, were placed on record in the first printed Report of the American Section -- that of the second Convention. The Supplement to "The Theosophist" for November, 1886, remarks: "the movement in the United States is gaining strength, but not without the friction always to be expected from the contact of strong personalities.... The reconstructive plan sent over by the Adyar Council, which supersedes the Board of Control by an organization of an American Section of the General Council, is to be acted upon in December, and it is hoped that all may be pleasantly settled." There is here no apparent perception that anything was involved beyond the "friction of strong personalities;" no recognition of the fact that the plan came from Mr. Judge and was only accepted because of the insistence of H.P.B.; no comment upon the fact that the new "Section" was to be purely democratic, entirely independent, and in nominal affiliation only with the Indian autocracy set up by Col. Olcott under the thin mask of the "Adyar Council;" and contains also the plain misstatements that the new Section was to be an "American Section of the General Council," on the "plan sent over from Adyar."
"The Path" was noted in a friendly way at its foundation in April, 1886, and occasional brief mention made of its contents. But no notice was taken of the affair of Mrs. Cables and Mr. Brown, nor of "The Theosophical Mahatmas," in which, as we have seen, H.P.B., from her sick bed at Ostend, wrote with the vigor and clarity that the importance of the issues raised required.
Another matter at the same time received her attention, and this was even more important, from the exoteric standpoint. Ever since C. C. Massey had raised the question that "Isis Unveiled" denied "reincarnation" and had claimed that her later teachings were at variance in other points from her earliest expositions, H.P.B. had merely denied the allegation and declared that there were and could be no contradictions in any of her teachings since all alike came from the Masters. Beyond that she had held her peace. But after the S.P.R. Report and especially after the divergent activities and teachings promulgated in the "London Lodge" under Mr. Sinnett's auspices, these old charges began once more to circulate. There was a persistent, private, word of mouth effort going on in various quarters to belittle the occult knowledge and status of H.P.B., and make her out a medium and a student, as fallible and ignorant as any of the others. The time being ripe, Mr. Judge published a long and leading article by H.P.B., in "The Path" for November, 1886, entitled, "Theories About Reincarnation and Spirits,"(2) in which she gave the actual facts once and for all.
No notice was taken of this article by "The Theosophist" for the very good reason that Col. Olcott shared Mr. Massey's opinions and those of Mr. Sinnett and others with regard to H.P.B., and her teachings and status, as long afterwards, he himself admitted.
The publication of "Lucifer" was begun in London in September, 1887, with H.P.B. as its guiding genius. For more than a year the only notice taken by Col. Olcott of the magazine, its contents, or its Editor, is confined to the following official "Editorial Notice," appearing in "The Theosophist" for November, 1887: "At the particular request of Madame Blavatsky, the undersigned assumes temporarily legal responsibility for the editorship of the Theosophist; she having undertaken special editorial duty, in connection with the members of our London Lodge T.S., involving the public use of her name. Adyar, October, 1887, H. S. OLCOTT."
At the Indian Convention, held at the close of December, 1886, the famous T. Subba Row delivered a series of extemporaneous discourses on the "Bhagavad-Gita" to the assembled Delegates and visitors. These lectures were published in "The Theosophist" during the year 1887. In the course of his dissertations Subba Row spoke somewhat slightingly of the "Theosophical sevenfold classification of Principles" in nature and in man. No defensive notice was taken of the rather invidious tendency of his statements, then or thereafter, by Col. Olcott or those most closely associated with him. In the April, 1887, number, therefore, H.P.B. replied in friendly fashion to Subba Row's criticisms, assuming that they were incidental and oral and their bearing as affording a basis for cleavage among Theosophists overlooked. To this Subba Row replied at length, repeating, extending and fortifying his previous statements, and indulging in some sharp remarks concerning H.P.B. herself. To this, H.P.B. made answer in the August number, clearing up her part in the matter as the "original expounder" of the "sevenfold classification," as Mr. Subba Row charged her with being. She simply stated that the classification attacked by Mr. Row was not her own, but that originally given out by Mr. Sinnett in his "Esoteric Buddhism." On this she says (what most Theosophical students have overlooked) that "Esoteric Buddhism" was written "absolutely without my knowledge, and as the author understood those teachings from letters he had received."
As Subba Row was himself a chela, and the issues raised by him largely concerned the Second Section and its work, H.P.B. confined herself strictly to what could be publicly discussed. The controversy caused a considerable breach, as H.P.B. had foreseen, and thereafter Subba Row maintained a coolness towards H.P.B. till the time of his death. Her subsequent correction of Mr. Sinnett's erroneous interpretations in the "Secret Doctrine" caused a similar breach with Mr. Sinnett. In the one case and in the other Col. Olcott's sympathies were with his fellow students and not with his Teacher and Guru, H.P.B. What his personal and actually guiding opinions were is very well shown in the signed review written by himself on "Incidents in the Life of H. P. Blavatsky." He says, in "The Theosophist" for February, 1887: "Her friends stick to her, as Mr. Sinnett truly observes, despite her most ingenious efforts to drive them off. In her best moods she charms by her wit, vivacity and talent; in her worst -- well, let that pass." He speaks of "absurd sensitiveness" as a "striking moral weakness," of H.P.B. as of Dryden, and of himself as "one of her intimate friends" and one of her "loving associates."
Theosophical students of to-day, seeking enlightenment as to the sources of present day schisms, vagaries and difficulties, will find endless information and instruction in the most minute study and comparison of the events and literature of the second decade of the Society. No single volume can hope to do more than point out "leading cases" and cite the reader to the original mines of information, and something of their surface indications; some assays from their workings. A case in point is connected with the very trend of events now being followed; a case the significance of which was missed at the time, and appears never to have been connoted subsequently. Although Col. Olcott singularly and entirely failed to "defend the Teacher" when she, her bona fides or her teachings were under fire; although he reiteratedly speaks of himself as her dearest friend, her most intimate pupil, her most loyal colleague; although he discourses often and lengthily of her "faults" and "defects" and "mistakes" and the controversies between them in which he was always in the right and she was always in the wrong; although he always accepts as his due all the credit so often given him by her, and the protection so often extended over him by her; he never, in a single instance, so far as our knowledge goes, actually took up the cudgels in her behalf after 1881. He invariably left her defense to others, if she was defended at all. Only when it was safe to do so, profitable to himself, did he admit her surpassing services and place in the Movement, and then always coupled with minimizing remarks. In the Subba Row controversy Col. Olcott kept silent. So did Mr. Sinnett, whose erroneous interpretations were the real basis of Subba Row's criticisms directed against H.P.B. But Mr. Judge from far away America was a diligent watcher of all that took place and in the August, 1887, number of "The Theosophist" with exquisite tact, skill and perception he reconciled and cleared up the situation, giving the facts, but giving them with all gentleness and discretion. But he paid the price of his loyalty and devotion, no less than of his knowledge and intuition. For this article necessarily had to lay bare the inconsistencies and "authority" of "Esoteric Buddhism." And, no more than Subba Row or Col. Olcott could Mr. Sinnett endure correction, even at the hands of H.P.B., let alone a young man as obscure as W. Q. Judge. Of all this in due sequence. Meantime, to follow the thread of Col. Olcott's ordeal of chelaship.
Immediately after the formation of the American Section in April, 1887, Mr. Judge wrote H.P.B. under date of May 18:
"... So many people are beginning to ask me to be Chelas that I must do something.... I know a good many good ones who will do well and who will form a rock on which the enemy will founder."
H.P.B. replied, telling Mr. Judge to go ahead in America and she would soon do something herself. In the autumn following "Lucifer" was started and from its first number contained articles by her or written under her inspiration, all relating to the Second Section, although not so named, and all in preparation for the forthcoming change in the direction of the Movement. The first volume contained the "Comments on Light on the Path," detailing the difficulties and requirements of the disciple striving for Chelaship. The number for April, 1888, captained the article "Practical Occultism,"(3) by H.P.B., giving publicly for the first time the "private rules" of the Eastern School, notating what would-be chelas had to do for their own safety as well as their progress, and for the first time clearly stating the enormous responsibilities assumed by the Guru or Teacher. This was immediately followed in the May number by "Occultism Versus the Occult Arts,"(4) stressing the dangers of impure Chelaship and the appalling consequences of falling into the "Left Hand Path." Coincidently "The Path" was publishing articles of similar import.
To the April, 1888, Convention of the American Section H.P.B. sent a long and formal Letter, which she instructed Mr. Judge to read to the assembled Delegates. In this she placed on record publicly and authoritatively her recognition of the status of Mr. Judge in the Movement, saying that it was to him chiefly, if not entirely, that the Society owed its life. The remainder of the Letter was devoted to a recital of the purpose and meaning of the Society and the obstacles that must be overcome by its members. This was the first of a series of annual Letters, four in all, which she addressed to the American Conventions, the last one being written but a few weeks before her death.(5) [Note: Here's a link to all of the letters: "H. P. Blavatsky to the American Conventions". --Compiler.]
If the student will carefully compare the issues of "Lucifer," "The Path" and "The Theosophist" during the years 1887-8-9 he will be amazed to observe, first, the entire unity and accord in the two first named in all that concerned Theosophy and the Movement; secondly, the marked cleavage lines shown in the contents of "The Theosophist" during the same period, and the utter ignoring in the latter of the cyclic changes under way in the Movement as manifested in the writings of H.P.B. and W.Q.J.
Mr. Judge went to London and there, at the request of H.P.B., drew up the plans and wrote the rules for the guidance of the forthcoming "Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society." Nothing in relation to the "Esoteric Section" by name appeared in public print until October, 1888. All that we have been discussing on that subject came to light only after many years. The same is true of the active correspondence which went on during the interval, between H.P.B. and Col. Olcott, and, to a lesser extent, between Mr. Judge and Olcott. True as steel, alike to the purposes which inspired them and to Col. Olcott in his place and share in the Movement, nothing was omitted from their efforts to inform him of the great issues at stake, to strengthen his weak spots, to keep him in line with the real objects of the Society as well as the Movement.
What Col. Olcott's real sentiments were; what his mingled feelings, what his alternations and violent oscillations during all this period, constitute one of the most vivid examples and illustrations of what may be called the "pledge fever" of probationary Chelas. Of all this, also, nothing appeared in public print, save as it was noticeable by such acts of omission and commission as we have been referring to. Long afterwards, in his "Old Diary Leaves," Col. Olcott writes of the events narrated, and it is to that source that we may turn for the private and missing links of evidence which show that the ruffling of the surface of events was but the symptomatic sign of the inner life-and-death struggle for Chelaship. In spite of the manifold and manifest disloyalty, ingratitude and other violations of their pledges by students and chelas of one degree of probation or another, of more or less prominence in the Society, neither H.P.B. nor Mr. Judge ever washed any of the Theosophical "dirty linen" in public; ever uttered any reproaches, ever in any way exposed the weaknesses and failings of their students or associates. Only when the Society, the School or the Movement was imperiled by the follies of those whom they were trying in every way to shield and help, did they take the necessary steps to clear the situation. They never either defended themselves or attacked others. Their work was to lay down the lines of teaching and direction, to keep those lines energized, and only when the Cause which they represented was endangered by external pressures or internal ruptures, did they intervene.
"Old Diary Leaves" is the personal story of Col. Olcott and being entirely autobiographical it has at least the merit of faithfully picturing, albeit unconsciously to himself, "the true history," not of the Theosophical Society but of Henry S. Olcott, aspirant for Chelaship on "the hard and thorny path of Jnyana." Viewed and studied as the diary of a Chela on probation, "Old Diary Leaves" is the "Life Ledger" of every aspirant for Occult knowledge and preferment, and no more important lessons are anywhere recorded for the study and instruction of the student of the Esoteric side of the Theosophical Movement, and the causes of the failure of the Theosophical Society.
To "Old Diary Leaves," then, let us turn for the final view behind the scenes before the curtain rises on "The Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society."
(To be Continued)
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
REPRINTS FROM THE PATH(6)
Into the north-land have gone the gods, where they await the coming of the new race who can hold the azure blossom.--Lapland Verse.
Man is sacrifice. His first twenty-four years are the morning, and the next forty-four years the midday, libation.--Chandogya-Upanishad.
The body, ungoverned by the Self, is like a cart without a driver, unintelligent and mad.--Tibetan Verse.
The heavy moving stars are many, and each has an Intelligence, a Soul, and a Body.--Desatir.
The heavens are without rent or seam, and the revolutions of the spheres create heat.--Dabistan.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
(Part 11 of a 34-part series)
"THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT"
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"Additional Categories of Articles".
SIX (6) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
(1) Corrections, objections, criticisms, questions and comments are invited from all readers on any facts or conclusions stated in this series. --EDITORS.
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(2) Reprinted in THEOSOPHY for April, 1914.
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(3) Reprinted in THEOSOPHY for January, 1913.
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(4) Reprinted in THEOSOPHY for January, 1913.
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(5) Reprinted in THEOSOPHY for November and December, 1912, February and March, 1913.
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(6) These Extracts were printed by William Q. Judge in The Path, Vol. IV. The title used is our own. --EDITORS THEOSOPHY.
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