Wasn’t Blavatsky a medium? and if so, why was she opposed to mediumship?
Why H.P.B. was she opposed to mediumship?
It is a law in occultism saying that the flow of Life passing through the successive and different planes of manifested cosmos, is submitted to successive changes so resulting to different states of consciousness.
In the case of the human microcosm, the flow of life – its source being on the spiritual level – passing through different and successive states of consciousness, ends to physical consciousness. The part of this flow which belongs to spiritual level of consciousness is called individuality, while the lower part of it belonging to the astral and physical is called personality. When the spiritual flow impregnates completely every part of the human hypostasis, then a Mahatma arises while the progressive process to this goal gives the adepts’ different grades.
As Mahatma says in the letter 99, “The degrees of an Adept’s initiation mark the seven stages at which he discovers the secret of the sevenfold principles in nature and man and awakens his dormant powers.”
The difference between a medium and an adept is due to the percentage of the spiritual flow impregnating his hypostasis. In fact Adept is the individuality working through the personality, while medium is only the personality; and there is a critical difference between these dual egos. Mahatma exists for the manifestation of the law of compassion, of altruism and service, while the medium is centered on his egoism and lust of gaining for himself.
In Theosophist, July 1884, HPB states:
“…an entity, that is passing through the occult training in its successive births, gradually has less and less (in each incarnation) of that lower Manas until there arrives a time when its whole Manas, being of an entirely elevated character, is centered in the higher individuality, when such a person may be said to have become a MAHATMA….”
Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies…
(IU, p. 589 A summary of the principles of Magic)
The medium usually ignores the occult laws as well these of nature; he is a person untrained in occultism and not self-conscious. Given that astral is a photocopy of the deeds of the common man on earth, usually nothing new or wise is transmitted by a medium from the astral as all reflected there is but man’s thoughts and desires.
In Isis Unveiled(p.590), it is said:
“There are two kinds of seership — that of the soul and that of the spirit. The seership of the ancient Pythoness, or of the modern mesmerized subject, vary but in the artificial modes adopted to induce the state of clairvoyance. But, as the visions of both depend upon the greater or less acuteness of the senses of the astral body, they differ very widely from the perfect, omniscient spiritual state; for, at best, the subject can get but glimpses of truth, through the veil which physical nature interposes….”
Mediatorship concerns a person who has gained self-consciousness by awakening his latent spiritual powers and so he may be the link between a Mahatma and humanity. These personages are called Mediators or Messengers on Mission, and they are adepts. H.P.B. was such an Adept-Messenger who was engaged to bring forth the Theosophical Movement to West.
Why did Blavatsky soon start denying she was a medium?
H.P.B was a person trained in occultism; she was an initiate. She started with controlling her psychic powers; she had a long practice of controlling senses and mind and through retreat in Caucasus and Tibet, succeeded to pull from within without the degree of her initiation gained in the past. “The adept.” says an occult aphorism, “becomes : he is not made.”
H.P.B. mentions in her article On the Himalayan Brothers, in CW 3,that
… the acquisition of the highest knowledge and power requires not only many years of the severest study enlightened by a superior intelligence and an audacity bent by no peril; but also as many years of retreat in comparative solitude, and association with but students pursuing the same object, in a locality where nature itself preserves like the neophyte an absolute and unbroken stillness if not silence!
H.P.B. with her sister Vera arrived in Caucasus s in the Spring or Summer of 1860, ….. and she left in 1865 for Italy. (CW 1, Blavatsky, general outline, cont.IV)
During these years in the Caucasus, H.P.B. …. seems to have studied with native kudyani, or magicians, and to have become widely known for her healing powers. … It is during this period in her life that her psychological powers became much stronger and she brought them under the complete control of her will. (Lucifer,Vol. XV,December, 1894, p. 273)And she states that “between the Blavatsky of 1845-65 and the Blavatsky of the years 1865-82 there is an unbridgeable gulf.” H.P.B. Speaks,Vol.II, p. 58
When we look at the Inner Group Teachings, http://esotericpapers.net/ , we realise the initiation she had through daily practice …. And how and why her psychic powers were controlled and used only by her will.
What H.P.B. says of an adept’s capacity performing apparitions or objects.
“An adept can not only project and make visible a hand, a foot, or any other portion of his body, but the whole of it. We have seen one do this, in full day, while his hands and feet were being held by a skeptical friend whom he wished to surprise. Little by little the whole astral body oozed out like a vapory cloud, until before us stood two forms, of which the second was an exact duplicate of the first, only slightly more shadowy….” (Isis Unveiled p.5)
The following quotation explains the “channelling” case:
“… He may be under the influence of his own seventh principle and imagine to be in communication with a personal Jesus Christ, or a saint; he may be in rapport with the “intellectual” ray of Shakespeare and write Shakespearean poetry, and at the same time imagine that the personal spirit of Shakespeare is writing through him, and the simple fact of his believing this or that, would make his poetry neither better nor worse. He may be influenced by some Adept to write a great scientific work and be entirely ignorant of the source of his inspiration, or perhaps imagine that it was the “spirit” of Faraday or Lord Bacon that is writing through him, while all the while he would be acting as a “Chela,” although ignorant of the fact.” (Theosophist, June, 1884)
The purely subjective phenomena are but in a very small proportion of cases due to the action of the personal astral body. They are mostly, and according to the moral, intellectual, and physical purity of the medium, the work of either the elementary, or sometimes very pure human spirits. Elementals have naught to do with subjective manifestations. In rare cases it is the divine spirit of the medium himself that guides and produces them.
Epimenides, the Orphikos, was renowned for his “sacred and marvellous nature,” and for the faculty his soul possessed of quitting its body “as long and as often as it pleased.” The ancient philosophers who have testified to this ability may be reckoned by dozens. Apollonius left his body at a moment’s notice, but it must be remembered Apollonius was an adept — a “magician.” Had he been simply a medium, he could not have performed such feats at will. Empedocles of Agrigentum, the Pythagorean thaumaturgist, required no conditions to arrest a waterspout which had broken over the city. Neither did he need any to recall a woman to life, as he did. …(IU, The flight of the astral body- p. 597)
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