Published by The Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2000.

Great Adepts and Trained Seers
Knowledge of Spiritual Facts by
Personal Experience and from Actual Observation

Compiled from the Writings of H.P. Blavatsky
and the Mahatmas M. and K.H.

The recognition of the higher phases of man's being on this planet is not to be attained by mere acquirement of knowledge.  Volumes of the most perfectly constructed information cannot reveal to man life in the higher regions.   One has to get a knowledge of spiritual facts by personal experience and from actual observation.  KH, Mahatma Letters,  2nd edition, p. 64.

Life, the greatest problem within the ken of human conception, is a mystery that the greatest of your men of Science will never solve. In order to be correctly comprehended, it has to be studied in the entire series of its manifestations, otherwise it can never be, not only fathomed, but even comprehended in its easiest form --- life, as a state of being on this earth. It can never be grasped so long as it is studied separately and apart from universal life. To solve the great problem one has to become an occultist (1); to analyze and experience with it personally, in all its phases, as life on earth, life beyond the limit of physical death, mineral, vegetable, animal and spiritual life; life in conjunction with concrete matter as well as life present in the imponderable atom. KH, ML 158-159

The adept has learnt the great secret how to penetrate deeply into the Arcana of being. KH, ML 194-195

The world of force is the world of Occultism and the only one whither the highest initiate goes to probe the secrets of being. Hence no-one but such an initiate can know anything of these secrets. Guided by his Guru (2) the chela (3) first discovers this world, then its laws, then their centrifugal evolutions into the world of matter. To become a perfect adept takes him long years, but at last he becomes the master. The hidden things have become patent, and mystery and miracle have fled from his sight forever. He sees how to guide force in this direction or that --- to produce desirable effects. The secret chemical, electric or odic properties of plants, herbs, roots, minerals, animal tissue, are familiar to him. No change in the etheric vibrations can escape him. He applies his knowledge  The means we avail ourselves of are all laid down for us in a code as old as humanity to the minutest detail.  Our laws are as immutable as those of Nature.   We build our philosophy upon experiment and deduction.  KH, ML 143-144

There comes a moment in the life of an adept, when the hardships he has passed through are a thousandfold rewarded. In order to acquire further knowledge, he has no more to go through a minute and slow process of investigation and comparison of various objects, but is accorded an instantaneous, implicit insight into every first truth. The adept sees and feels and lives in the very source of all fundamental truths --- the Universal Spiritual Essence of Nature.  KH, ML 241

A MAHATMA (4) is a personage, who, by special training and education, has evolved those higher faculties and has attained that spiritual knowledge, which ordinary humanity will acquire after passing through numberless series of re-incarnations during the process of cosmic evolution.  Now an entity, that is passing through the occult training in its successive births, gradually has less and less (in each incarnation) of lower Manas [Mind] until there arrives a time when its whole Manas, being of an entirely elevated character, is centred in the higher individuality (5), when such a person may be said to have become a MAHATMA. The real MAHATMA is then not his physical body but that higher Manas which is inseparably linked to the Atma (6) and its vehicle (Buddhi 7) --- a union effected by him in a comparatively very short period by passing through the process of self-evolution laid down by the Occult Philosophy.  HPB, Collected Writings, Volume VI, p. 239.

The Tchang-chub (an adept who has, by the power of his knowledge and soul enlightenment, become exempt from the curse of UNCONSCIOUS transmigration) may, at his will and desire, and instead of reincarnating himself only after bodily death, do so, and repeatedly --- during his life if he chooses. He holds the power of choosing for himself new bodies --- whether on this or any other planet -- while in possession of his old form, that he generally preserves for purposes of his own. KH, ML 285

When our great Buddha --- the patron of all the adepts, the reformer and the codifier of the occult system, reached first Nirvana (8) on earth, he became a Planetary Spirit (9); i.e. --- his spirit could at one and the same time rove the interstellar spaces in full consciousness, and continue at will on Earth in his original and individual body. For the divine Self had so completely disfranchised itself from matter that it could create at will an inner substitute for itself, and leaving it in the human form for days, weeks, sometimes years, affect in no wise by the change either the vital principle or the physical mind of its body. That is the highest form of adeptship man can hope for on our planet. But it is as rare as the Buddhas themselves.  Many are those who "break through the egg-shell," few who, once out are able to exercise their Nirira namastaka fully, when completely out of the body. Conscious life in Spirit is as difficult for some natures as swimming is for some bodies. The planetary Spirit of that kind (the Buddha like) can pass at will into other bodies --- of more or less etherialised matter, inhabiting other regions of the Universe.  KH, ML 43-44

We tell you what we know, for we are made to learn it through personal experience. KH, ML 128

So far as we know, so far as the highest Planetary Spirits have ascertained, the infinite mind displays to them as to us no more than the regular unconscious throbbings of the eternal and universal pulse of Nature, throughout the myriads of worlds within as without the primitive veil of our solar system.

So far -- WE KNOW. Within and to the utmost limit, to the very edge of the cosmic veil we know the fact to be correct --- owing to personal experience; for the information gathered as to what takes place beyond --- we are indebted to the Planetary Spirits, to our blessed Lord Buddha. KH, ML 138

The ordinary man has no experience of any state of consciousness other than that to which the physical senses link him. Men dream; they sleep the profound sleep which is too deep for dreams to impress the physical brain; and in these states there must still be consciousness. How, then, while these mysteries remain unexplored, can we hope to speculate with profit on the nature of globes which, in the economy of nature, must needs belong to states of consciousness other and quite different from any which man experiences here?

For even great adepts (those initiated of course), trained seers though they are, can claim thorough acquaintance with the nature and appearance of planets and their inhabitants belonging to our solar system only. They know that almost all the planetary worlds are inhabited, but can have access to --- even in spirit --- only those of our system; and they are also aware how difficult it is, even for them, to put themselves into full rapport even with the planes of consciousness within our system, but differing from the states of consciousness possible on this globe; i.e., on the three planes of the chain of spheres beyond our earth. Such knowledge and intercourse are possible to them because they have learned how to penetrate to planes of consciousness which are closed to the perceptions of ordinary men. HPB, The Secret Doctrine,  II 701

See also:  From Long-Sealed Ancient Fountains:  The Origin of Modern Theosophy


(1) Occultist. One who practises Occultism, an adept in the Secret Sciences, but very often applied to a mere student. HPB, KEY 357

(2) Guru (Sk.). "Spiritual Teacher; a master in metaphysical and ethical doctrines; used also for a teacher of any science. HPB, TG

(3)  Chela (Sans.) A disciple. The pupil of a Guru or Sage, the follower of some Adept, or a school of philosophy. HPB, KEY 324

(4) Mahatma (Sans.) Lit., "Great Soul." An adept of the highest order. An exalted being, who having attained to the mastery over his lower principles, is therefore living unimpeded by the "man of flesh." Mahatmas are in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage they have reached in their spiritual evolution. HPB, KEY 347

(5) Individuality. One of the names given in Theosophy and Occultism to the human Higher Ego. We make a distinction between the immortal and divine and the mortal human Ego which perishes. The latter or "Personality" (personal Ego) survives the dead body but for a time in Kama Loka: the Individuality prevails for ever. HPB, KEY 338

(6) Atman, or Atma (Sans.) The Universal Spirit, the divine monad, "the seventh Principle," so called, in the exoteric "septenary" classification of man. The Supreme Soul. HPB, KEY 319

(7) Buddhi (Sans.) Universal Soul or Mind. Mahabuddhi is a name of Mahat (q. v.); also the Spiritual Soul in man (the sixth principle exoterically), the vehicle of Atma, the seventh, according to the exoteric enumeration. HPB, KEY 323

(8) Nirvana (Sk.). According to the Orientalists, the entire "blowing out", like the flame of a candle, the utter extinction of existence. But in the esoteric explanations it is the state of absolute existence and absolute consciousness, into which the Ego of a man who has reached the highest degree of perfection and holiness during life goes, after the body dies, and occasionally, as in the case of Gautama Buddha and others, during life. HPB, TG

(9) Planetary Spirits. Primarily the rulers or governors of the planets. As our earth has its hierarchy of terrestrial planetary spirits, from the highest to the lowest plane, so has every other heavenly body. In Occultism, however, the term "Planetary Spirit" is generally applied only to the seven highest hierarchies corresponding to the Christian archangels. These have all passed through a stage of evolution corresponding to the humanity of earth on other worlds, in long past cycles. Our earth, being as yet only in its fourth round, is far too young to have produced high planetary spirits. The highest planetary spirit ruling over any globe is in reality the "Personal God" of that planet and far more truly its "over-ruling providence" than the self-contradictory Infinite Personal Deity of modern Churchianity. HPB, TG

See also:  From Long-Sealed Ancient Fountains:  The Origin of Modern Theosophy

[Note:  The above extracts have been transcribed from the original sources but some text has been silently deleted. The original texts, however, can be found from the bibliographical references. Explanatory words added by the editor are enclosed within brackets.]

See also:

The Fountain Source of Modern Theosophy

Psychic VERSUS Initiate Visions & Knowledge

• Various Theosophical Traditions and New Students of Theosophy

• Madame Blavatsky's Occult Status & the Claims of Latter-Day Messengers of the Masters

On Pseudo-Theosophy & Pseudo-Adepts

• Theosophical Claims after HPB's Death