Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Memorable Recollections

from the life of the author of the "Lotusblüten."


[Denkwürdige Erinnerungen aus dem Leben
des Verfassers der "Lotusblüten."]


By Franz Hartmann, M.D.

 Translation from the German by Robert Hütwohl

© 2001 Robert L. Hütwohl



Installment 2


If we were to explain this more closely and hope the whole of it should not sound like a fairytale to the uninitiated, it would be necessary to not penetrate too deeply into the area of the Secret Doctrine. But space does allow us to briefly touch upon it. From this doctrine we find during the progressive development of the human spirit of the human being that there is neither the destruction nor a new formation of the spiritual individuality, but only a re-embodiment of the same [entity] through consecutive instead of new and entirely original personal appearances. The personality of the person, with its thinking, will and feeling abilities is formed through the earthly spirit of nature; the immortal “I” lives in this mortal wrapping based on the descent of the heavenly spirit. It is generally conceded the “spirit of God” dwells in the person, but only a few are conscious of it because it is only in those few during their current existence who are able to attain to the level of lucid self-consciousness of this higher I. If people were to eventually attain during their life on earth to this clear state of self-consciousness, they would be a transfigured saint. They would have been recognized and one could consider them more than human, but rather as gods. As long as this does not take place, they will not know their real existence, but rather will lead a kind of dream-life in this world, similar to after death in the spirit world.


When an ordinary person dies, his soul separates from the body; the material body remains on the earth, the “lust body” (Kama rupa) returns back to the realm of lust (Kama loca); the heavenly soul, however, enters in the residence of the blessed, where it is surrounded by its ideals, until again the hour of re-embodiment draws near. Even though this condition appears, for the inhabitants in the world of gods (Devachan), as being quite real, he is nevertheless, in comparison to the full awakening of divine self-knowledge, nothing more than a dream, it is only through this awakening that the person attains freedom and dominion over the self. He then has become a “Master.”


Now if a person has awakened to true divine life and to a certain degree has become a master through self-conquest and the defeat of the brutishness in his nature, a “person who is reborn in God,” (1) he is no longer in a dream life. He has awakened in heaven or on earth no longer under such a delusion, but awakens to true consciousness. Through the overcoming of his lust he has purified his soul, so that the same is imbued by the spiritual life and has come alive and even if he leaves his visible body, he is then not only a “spirit,” but one clothed with the body of radiance (with the transfigured astral-body), even though he is an invisible person to earthly eyes. (2)


With regard to this transfigured body, of which St. Paul says that where an animal body is sowed, a spiritual body will arise from it and that is not to be confused with the astral-bodies of the deceased. Friedrich Rückert says:


 What is the spirit body? The [physical] body it is not, that, which is erected from the dust, collapses back to the dust. That is the spirit body: The form, which he builds himself, in which with the gleam of spirit looks different.


That is the body, which, though now dimly shining through the crude bodily-wrapping, even if it falls, it is represented in clearer fullness. In this body we see ourselves represented there; allowing trust in us; The spirit has its body, in order to display itself, to inspect.”


There are thus two kinds of adepts, such as those who are visibly embodied on earth, and others who invisibly enjoy the higher existence, over which they watch mankind and where the law of karma allows they may serve as “guardian angels.” But also these guardian angels can incorporate themselves again on earth and appear as a visible person.


Wherever such a person is reborn in order to accomplish certain works towards the welfare of humanity and needs a physical body, he must again embody a new personality and must naturally re-educate this personality, which indeed has its own will, towards the aim of mastering it. Indeed a servant or official must also be instructed in his services and be brought up properly before he is useful. The difference is that here the ruler lives in the servant himself and is his true I. There, it is then explicable, and so a person can not be faultless, nevertheless in his innermost being there exists a great genius, to be sure it can even be an Adept. Aren’t we however entirely in our innermost god?; yet we do not recognize it!


Now one can who is not a completely perfect human being, e.g., the pupil of a Master, be sent into the world with a similar purpose: to embody themselves with their master and be embodied as an inhabitant of the spirit world as with this one and enter into a connection and be directed by him. This was in fact the case with H. P. Blavatsky. As a child she already had astonished her acquaintances with her mystical abilities and from her earliest youth on she had been supervised and instructed by the adept. She had an active life moving about and was coming and going on journeys to countries which Europeans rarely set foot on. She had come in touch with various mystics and adepts in Egypt, Asia and South America, had personally learned to know her own chief and teacher, had worked through orthodoxy and spiritualism and ultimately became ripe to proclaim to the world the great knowledge of religion, which is so clearly presented in her “Secret Doctrine” and her other writings. In this way she came to be an apostle of enlightenment, as there has been before her only few and there will be after her no doubt only few, an incomprehensible riddle for the scholars of this world who know nothing of divine existence and who was first pronounced by them as the “sphinx of the nineteenth century” and then declared a “fraud.”


But with the proclamation of a doctrine not much is served by it if no one is there to hear it. It was not only called upon to write about the new doctrine in a bound-up book which no one reads, but it was something which should be disseminated. For this purpose H. P. Blavatsky joined with H. S. Olcott, W. Q. Judge and others to establish the “Theosophical Society” in 1875 in New York, of which its headquarters was later transferred to India. Hardly a more suitable person would have been found to disseminate the Theosophical doctrines than Col. Olcott, who possessed an excellent talent to form alliances and organizations, to bring together financial resources and to procure for an ideal a material basis on which it could develop. In particular, his errors benefited the matter, for were he to have clung only to the material side, he would have ascribed less importance to occult phenomena and he would no doubt have come upon only a few people with the philosophy itself, for the great multitude of people are attracted, to be sure, only to that which they can comprehend and stare at with their hands. He has fulfilled his obligation as best as he could have.

Besides the above-mentioned there were some young Indians who were found at the headquarters, among whom one who stood out was Damodar K. Mavalankar, who was called by others Babajee. They had the aim to become “chelas.” What was proven about them was especially not heard by me. But T. Subba Row-Garu is especially worth mentioning as one of the most learned of Brahmans, who was also in possession of occult powers and visited the headquarters almost daily.

As to the occult phenomena, of which there was then no shortage of at the headquarters, Col. Olcott did not know enough about it to tell anything. H. P. Blavatsky could produce with any object, without touching it, what is known to the spiritualist as rap-sounds. Indeed she could even convince a skeptic that the teeth in his mouth had done it. Bell-ringing, similar to silver bells, soon resounded there, and then in the air; books, carried by invisible hands, came, when H. P. Blavatsky wanted them, flown from the remote bookcase at her desk, objects were summoned or transported by “spirits” (elemental-beings), if she needed them right away, etc., (3)  however the main thing were the “occult letters,” of which soon this and soon that one were received from the adept, wherein personal advice was related. These “occult letters” were found occasionally in locked places, wherein they could not have arrived by any ordinary manner; soon they suddenly fell down from the ceiling of the room, or were laid on the table where at a previous moment nothing had laid there before. To be sure it even happened that one saw how a kind of mist emerged in the air and a written letter with an address on it developed and materialized. Also, direct writing occasionally appeared on the resting paper and all this did not happen pointlessly, or for the curious to be held in wonder, but had the aim of performing communications in order to convey orders and to give out advice. In this way manuscripts were often altered, border comments were written on the proofs; waste-paper suddenly and then again suddenly returned at its old position. In short, it was as if in addition to the visible staff members there were also unseen active helpers in the house and the office.


Whoever is closely acquainted with the laws of occult science, knows the influence which light has on the production of some of the phenomena utilizing etheric-oscillations, and that by such “materializations” there is an agreement reached towards conclusions about light. This is also known among all spiritualists. For this reason there was on the upper floor of the headquarters a single reserved room and in this room was found a wall-closet into which inquiries for the adepts were occasionally placed in this box and its doors were then locked. Sometimes at once and sometimes only later, the letter disappeared and in its place the answer was found. The wall-closet itself was empty with the exception of a couple of preserved pictures, portraits of adepts. The room was guarded like a sanctuary by the “chelas” who only allowed foreigners access on certain occasions. The closet itself was the inner sanctum, before which they threw themselves down on their knees and, with the exception of Col. Olcott, no European or American was allowed to touch it.


In the beginning everything went well; however as soon as a matter became general, it also became ordinary or common. When it became known that one could get advice in this way by the adepts, [individuals] great and small streamed in. One person wanted the exalted saints to explain to him as to whether now was the correct time to sell his house; another wished for a son; the third wanted a good position with the government, a fourth an improvement of his capacity, etc. Those who received an answer were envied; those who received no answer grew angry and felt insulted.


After Dr. Hartmann had come to India to work in the service of the adepts, he would no doubt have also been glad to have an outward sign of life from this, but he was afraid to seek it since he thought the adepts, if they wanted to inform him of something, would no doubt do this without his inquiry. However after three weeks had past, since nothing happened, he dared to attempt to place a letter in the wall closet, wherein he explained that he was ready to place his services at the disposal of the Adepts. Yet on the same evening the letter disappeared from the enclosure, just as Col. Olcott explained. At the next day the answer was found in its place, from which it is allowed for us to disclose the following statement: (4)


 (December 25, 1883.)—Blessings! Were we to employ in our service a man of no intelligence, we would have to point out to him, as you say in the West, chapter and verse, i.e., give him special assignments and definite orders; but a mind like yours, with a background of much experience, can find the way by itself, when given a hint in regard to the direction which leads to the goal. Make for yourself a clear picture of what a man is, in what relation this particular life stands to the sum-total of his former existences, and that his future is entirely within his own power, and you will not be in doubt any longer as to what you should do. . . . I placed in H. S. Olcott’s head the idea to suggest to you to come here. Remain in Asia. Take part in the work of the Theosophical Society. Make known without reservations the principles of the philosophy which speaks the loudest in your own heart. Help others, so that you may be helped yourself. . . . Live according to the highest Ideal of Manhood. Think and work. In this lie the conditions of satisfaction for both yourself and others. . . .   M.


Were a person to receive a letter from someone who they do not personally know and whose handwriting they had never seen before, that person naturally can not maintain definitively as to who the dispatcher was. In the above boisterous places there were among private talk concerns about this matter, [hints as to its truth] which were not known to anyone in India. Without mentioning that, this letter well could have been written also by H. P. Blavatsky or Olcott. But before the face of this doubt stood that feeling of internal conviction, which is not acknowledged before the tribunal which only has the outer light of scientific judgement as its witness, and ultimately it did not determine, to be sure, as to who had written the letter and not as to the identity of proof, but was written in order to impart advice and the appointed advice was in any case good as from whom it came. (5)


Because of the sensation which caused the transpiring of occult phenomena (of which the appearance of [A. P.] Sinnett’s book, “The Occult World,” contributed the most), the reputation of the Theosophical Society disseminated throughout the entire world, but the spirit of the Society became diminished. However, it no longer took concern over the general brotherhood of people; it was uttered only as an empty phrase, which no one took seriously; the main subject of importance was the “phenomena.” From all over the world curiosity seekers gravitated here to see the miracles and the phenomena which encompassed the daily conversation; here and there you could hear the arguments on this topic, the world though doubted and contested the “authenticity” of the phenomena, the testimonies were derided. If one came to convince himself, he only left disappointed. It appeared to rest on the reputation of the Society; to prove that the phenomena were “right.” To them this became the one dominating question, they fought and scraped, and in the process the ideal of brotherhood became evermore terminated with every giant step. Increasingly skepticism was the enemy of the ideal, and the blind, screaming for proofs, following the half-learned, became the destroyers of belief.


At the same time the Protestant missionaries began to stir and to engage in the controversy over phenomena by joining in on the quarrels concerning religion. The missionaries, offended over the treatment which resulted from their shallow interpretation of the allegories of the bible, knew they were incapable of any defense with the weapons of the spirit alone, set out to destroy the Society by unmasking H. P. Blavatsky. They waited for a favorable point in time, since they knew that Blavatsky and Olcott were about to go to Europe. During their absence the bomb was about to explode and they had the assurances of the assistance of the married couple C. . .; however no one at the headquarters knew anything of it.


It is not our intent to enter again into the details of this alleged “unmasking,” which displaced the entire world into a state of agitation; however we are recalling the memory of H. P. Blavatsky, who was an outstanding personality in the history of mankind; we are bound upon touching the main points and to represent how she was in reality. However for those who are interested in the question as to whether there are adepts, that is those beings who are able to displace their consciousness and perception to far off places, in order to watch over certain events, might yield some results by reflecting on the following points.


The festivities at the headquarters were at an end; H. P. Blavatsky and Olcott prepared themselves for departure. There, Dr. Hartmann found upon opening a drawer, a sealed letter addressed to himself with the following content:


February 5, 1884.—Friend! . . . . Therefore with an eye to a variety of unexpected emergencies in the future which I foresee, I must ask you to show practically your devotion to the cause of truth by accepting the rudder of the theosophical cause [boat]. If I know anything, [it is this,] I know you to be entirely free from those prejudices and predilections that are generally in the way of a calm and dispassionate pursuit of the chief aim of the Society, full equality among men as brothers and an entire unconcern with the childish fairy tales they call their “religion,” whether “exoteric” or “esoteric.” If you kindly consent to take care of theosophical interests during the absence of [Henry] Olcott and Upasika, I will cause him [to write you an official letter], [investing you with more official power than any other ‘assistant’] so as to give you a firmer hold of the rod of authority than you would otherwise have with an informal title shared by so many others. . . . [Your pucca authority I ask you to make the best of it in the interests of] Truth, Justice and Charity.


. . .. In so reading this, let me give you a suggestion. Never offer yourself as a chela, but wait until chelaship descends by itself upon you. Above all, try to find yourself, and the path of knowledge will open itself before you, and this so much the easier as you have made a contact with the light-ray of the Blessed one, whose name you have now taken as your spiritual lode-star.(6) . . . Receive in advance my blessings and thanks. M.


The letter contained, in addition to a portrait of the master, a dedication. That the same [envelope] would have been placed in the drawer by a visible person was an impossibility, for there was, besides Dr. Hartmann, no one else in the room and the same drawer was empty only a few minutes prior to receiving the envelope. Still, it is advisable to here to again point out the fact that we are dealing solely with the content of the letter and not with the manner in which it had come. Even if it were to have arrived in the ordinary way by first class mail, it would have made no difference. Its import was not to accomplish a feat, but rather to extend a communication.


Because of this letter Dr. Hartmann was entrusted with the supervision of the Theosophical Society from its headquarters. Only the chambers of H. P. Blavatsky and the upper floor, wherein only the “occult room” and the “holy closet” were found and remained locked. Through those passageways, no one could enter other than Mr. and Mrs. C. . . .


Mrs. C. . . . was a small, elderly person with a hawk nose and small, stinging eyes. Besides her tendency towards magic she especially loved the Christian church and quite took one on, were one to make derogatory remarks about it. She was an unusual animal friend. For example, because of her orders once the driver had to make a considerable detour, so that a group of crows, which were found nearby, would not be frightened and scared away. Comparable to this however she tormented the person [driver] and was especially feared by the “chelas.” To her and her husband (a one-eyed individual) was entrusted the “sanctuary” on the upper floor.


Dr. Hartmann accompanied H. P. Blavatsky on her journey to Bombay and made a visit with her to the court of the Thakor Sahib [Thâkur Sâhib] of Kathiavar (7) and with another Indian prince, Hurasingshee of Wadhwan [Hurasinghjee of Wadhwân]. There were many interesting things to tell, from the wedding celebrations of the Maharaja, the dances of the bajans, fakirs and occult phenomena, rock-temples of Ellora and the “towers of silence,” to the funeral sites of the Parsis; however we must again return with the author back to Adyar, so as to not interrupt the rhythm of our account.


After the departure of H. P. Blavatsky it had become very quiet. In addition to a Scot named W.F.B. . ., who wanted to educate himself towards becoming a “chela,” and the already mentioned persons, as well as an Englishman, Mr. St. George Lane Fox, who was the inventor of the division of electric current for the purpose of illumination, there was Madame C. . . . who provided for the household, and her spouse who, as it was said, engaged the entire day with repairs on the upper floor, however no one would have taken any particular notice of the activity and would not have thought anything bad circulating around it, were it were not for Madame C. . . . and her frequent careless remarks regarding trapdoors and a mechanical apparatus designed for the production of alleged occult phenomena.


There again Dr. Hartmann received one day a certain “occult letter” in the now well-known handwriting of the Master. The contents, in so far as they may be of interest to the reader, was the following:


 “April 28, 1884. For some time already the woman had opened communication with the enemies of the Theosophists, certain . . . . . ., admitted. She hopes to receive by this more than 2000 rupees, if it is successful for her to destroy the Society or at least harm the reputation of the founders. Therefore her hints of deceit, trapdoors and conjuring. Which by the way the trapdoors will be effected and so will come to light, as soon as it is necessary, for they have been working on them for some time. The C . . .’s are the exclusive rulers of the upper floor; all doors stand open [to them] and they have everything in hand. Monsieur is a skillful carpenter and joiner and also understands masonry work[.]                      M.” (8)


On account of this warning it was concluded to explore the upper floor, which was intended despite the resistance on the part of Mrs. C. It was found that there were actually various hidden holes, trapdoors and so forth broken in to the walls, which appeared very much like they had the purpose to allow “occult letters” to appear or disappear. Fortunately, these apparatuses were not yet completely finished, as Monsieur C. . . was interrupted in his work.


A great outcry now arose in all the newspapers over these discoveries. One naturally did not worry at all about the impending circumstances. It was enough to know that trapdoors had been found at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, and it was enough to bolt the doors on the issue, that the same thing had been done by H. P. Blavatsky in order to cheat the world. And yet, the facts were distorted in every possible manner and the most absurd rumors had been disseminated; indeed it was even claimed that Colonel Olcott would be branded (burned) through with Madame C . . . .


At the same time, the Christian missionaries opened their locks and released a tide of accusations about Blavatsky. They published a number of the same letters, which had been sold to them by Mad. C . . ., and their content had been distorted, whereupon it was quite easy because Blavatsky had the bad habit to merrily make and append the same nickname over anyone, even to her best friends. Among her close friends this may appear as joke, but it has a completely different face if it is brought before the public’s eyes.


End of Installment 2




(1) The expression is scientifically correct, even if it is not understood by everyone. The God of the person is his immortal I, of which the I is formed from all of his preceding incarnations. The entry of the personal consciousness into this God-consciousness, in which the memories of all earlier incarnations are contained, is the rebirth or the awakening in God. [back to text]


(2) See “Lotusblüten” copy-book III, p. 42. [back to text]


(3) All these H. P. Blavatsky-produced phenomena came from her enemies, who no doubt had never seen them but only “explained” them in an impudent and entirely insufficient way and were represented as sleight of hand. [back to text]


(4) Because the present and later disclosed occult letters contain various private communications of a confidential nature, only certain statements are given in its content. [back to text]


(5) As a result of this one could not understand with certainty the belief of authorities acting as tenacious scholars, because they were unacquainted with how to think for themselves. With this it always deals less with the comprehension of what is said and more on the matter as to who has said it and whether it comes from a credible source. Thus, their knowledge rests on the blind acceptance of what they think is truth and not on any personal or direct knowledge. They dealt with probabilities and the truth hidden before their eyes. [back to text]


(6) This refers to the December 26, 1883 photograph of Dr. Hartmann in the religious fellowship of Buddhists. [back to text]


(7) [Translator’s note: Kathiavar is the present-day Gujarat State, India.] [back to text]


(8) The learned “exposer” of H. P. Blavatsky appeared to have never comprehended that if the occult letters (as the conspiracy was intending to uncover) had been written through Blavatsky as they [the Coulombs] maintained and Blavatsky would have given permission to the making of the trapdoors, she would have brought attention to herself, an acceptance of which contradicts healthy reason. [back to text]