Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

The Theosophical Society (1)

by Countess Constance Wachtmeister.

[Reprinted from The Irish Theosophist (Dublin), June 15, 1894, pp. 127-129.]

The Theosophical Society was organized in the last century by Count St. Germain, Cagliostro and others.  At that time there was a powerful Lodge in Paris, one also in Denmark, another in Germany, and three in Italy.  But the revolution of ‘93 came and swept all away.  And that is one reason why we now, in this century, have such a terrible Karma to work out.  That organization was the physical basis of the Society, which is really, in itself, an entity, formed by all the members who belong to it.  The Theosophical Society has its seven Principles, and has to work through all of these.  In the last century it worked through the physical basis, and now, in this century, it has had to work through Kama, or through the psychic state.  We are now, happily, I think, emerging from that state, and hereafter we may hope to enter upon a condition of very great activity.

In 1851, in this century, Madame H. P. Blavatsky went to London with her father to take lessons in music, in which she manifested great talent.  One day, while walking in the street, she saw coming towards her some Indian Princes, and, amongst these, a very fine looking Indian --- a man of seven feet high --- and to her great surprise, recognized in this man one whom she had always looked upon as her guardian angel.  Ever since childhood she had seen him, and in moments of trial he had helped her.  She had great love and affection for this person, and when she saw him in the physical form in London, she wanted to rush up to him and tell him how delighted she was to see him.  But he made a sign to her to move on, and she went home and told her father, and all that night was unable to sleep, thinking of this strange thing --- of how she had met her guardian angel.  The next day, she went to Hyde Park, and while there this man came again to her, and said it was true that he had watched her from childhood, because he saw in her a good instrument for the formation of this Society.  He said it was on account, first of all, of her psychical power, for she had been a medium.  Secondly, on account of her great intellectual and mental powers, and because of her partly Eastern and partly Western birth, as, he said, she would have to work in all countries.  Then he told her he had this work given to him to do by those above him, and that therefore he was most anxious that she should accept this position he offered her, which was to form this Society.  He told her to go home to her father, consult with him, and then, if she would undertake this work, to return in three days to the Park and tell him.  He pointed out to her that it would be a position of great trial, that she would be persecuted, and told her many things which would happen to the Society, and to herself.  She went home, consulted with her father, who said she might do as she pleased, and that if she chose to take up the work, he himself would give her money and help her; but she was to decide for herself.  After three days’ cogitation, she decided to accept this position offered her, and she returned to the Park and told this to her Master.  He then said she must go to Egypt, and that there she would have to stop for some time to be taught, so that she might be enabled to teach others.  Then she went to India, and was taken, hidden in a hay cart, through a country where no European is ever permitted to pass.  She lay in the cart, covered with hay, and was conducted safely through that part of the country by Indians.  At last she reached the place where the Masters live, was received by the sister of one of Them, and lived in the Master’s house for three years.

But these three years were years of very great trial.  In the first place, she was taught how to use her will.  She had to do lessons just like a child; had to get up early and work hard and learn mental lessons.  At the end of three years she was told to go to Egypt, and there was placed under the charge of another Master, who taught her about the Book of the Dead and many other works.  After that she was put in charge of a Jewish Rabbi and taught the Kabbala.  When she had passed through all these, she was told she was ready, and should go to America, and I know people who have told me it was a standing joke against her when she came, because whenever she met anyone she would ask:  “Do you know anybody by the name of Olcott?”  “Do you know a man called Olcott?”  They would say, no, they had never heard of such a person.  But at last some one said, Yes, they had heard that Col. Olcott was with the Eddy Brothers, studying Spiritualism, and if Madame Blavatsky would go there she could meet him.  An hour later she was on the train which conducted her to the Eddy homestead, and there met Col. Olcott.  She was quickly able to prove to him that all the phenomena witnessed at the Homestead, she could produce by will-power.  She was able to tell him beforehand just what she was going to do.  She was also able to duplicate any particular kind of phenomenon produced by the Eddy Brothers in a state of unconsciousness and passiveness, by mere will-power and in full possession of her own consciousness.

Some time passed, and then she, with Col. Olcott and William Q. Judge, formed the nucleus of the Society, and Col. Olcott consented to become its President.  Some time afterwards they went to India, and there established the Society.  Such was the beginning of this grand movement.  At first but two or three meeting together in a drawing-room; then growing larger and larger, until it is what you now see it --- a huge Society, with branches all over the face of the earth --- in every country of the world.  We have members belonging to all nationalities and to every religion of the world.  And all these people call themselves brothers; and this Theosophical Society is one vast brotherhood extending all over the globe.  And it is a brotherhood not only in name, but in reality; for I, who have travelled in so many countries, can tell you that wherever I go I am received as a sister.  In India, among the Hindus, I have been received as a sister, taken into their homes (where they are not accustomed to take strangers or Europeans at any time), and I have not only been treated as a sister, but as a much-loved sister.  And now I come over here to the opposite end of the world, and all receive me kindly; and wherever I travel, I feel I am welcome.  This is a beautiful thought --- to think we have created in the world such a brotherhood as this.  I will not insist that it is a real brotherhood, but it is a nucleus which, as time goes on, will, I hope, become a real brotherhood.

(1)  An address given before the 8th Annual convention of the American Section by the Countess Wachtmeister.