[Notes on Two Stories of Phenomena]
Theosophist, July, 1881
Article Selections from “The Five Pointed Star” | Notes and Editor’s Note by H.P.B.
To Madame H. P. Blavatsky, . . . Circumstances of a peculiar kind force me to make an inroad upon your valuable time.
The following letter which I addressed to Colonel Bundy of Religio-Philosophical Journal explains itself. I am really in need of more light in this matter. What is it? A Delusion? A trick of the Elementals? Spiritualism or Occultism? Some will call me insane, others, a dreamer, and the majority of humanity, an imposture.1 Of that I feel sure. However, it is a fact for me personally, and my words is as good as that of any one else. Has my vegetarian life anything to do with it? In a few weeks it will be exactly seven years that I quit the use of any animal good. Or is it my physical sufferings, lung affection, that have something to do with it? Yet neither that nor my other troubles can be the only cause. . . .
1. Most undoubtedly they will; and every member of the Theosophical Society,—unless he keeps all such occult and psychological personal experience to himself and strictly secret,—must be prepared for it. A public (including the best society)—ready at any day to turn round upon its idols and authorities and, dashing them to pieces, to pelt them with stones and trample into the mud such eminent men of science as Professors Hare and Zöllner, Messrs. Wallace and Crookes, for no better reason than that they found themselves compelled to recognize certain phenomena as facts and to honestly proclaim them as such—is not likely to show itself more lenient towards such humble individuals as we are.—Ed. Theos. [H.P.B.]
The following is the copy of the letter I sent to Colonel Bundy:—
. . . Last night I could not sleep from sorrow and anxiety. After laying awake till about midnight, I dozed but I was fully conscious. . . . dozing but conscious and, as it seemed to me, fully awake, I noticed in my room near the head of my bed a person in ancient garb, with a long, black, flowing beard, a peculiar headdress with characters on it unknown to me . . . He lifted his arm, and his right hand enclosed his littler finger and ring finger, making some peculiar motions, as in the act of magnetizing me. It seemed to me, I became unconscious then . . . but I seemed to awake again, beholding my visitor in the same attitude as before, but better outlined. . . . he said “ . . . Unknowingly you used a secret to relieve your wife’s pains a few days ago . . . I will teach you how to apply it personally . . . When you are willing to become my pupil, I will teach you all this: only one promise I demand in return, viz., do all the good with it you can . . . but never reveal the secret of it . . .
My promise was sincere, and it was as if a light stronger than the sun’s penetrated everything around me and in me, and as if I found myself for another time before the altar of M. . . .
The facts are all correct, and I give them as they occurred to me . . .
[in] Christian lands morals are growing worse daily, and the spiritual activity of men and women . . . is slackening . . . Humanity deviating thereby from its real destination and degenerating hourly. . . . Science itself becomes corrupt, for it refuses to either accept or to investigate facts.2
2. Many men of science do, on the contrary. But it requires a man of no ordinary moral courage to face the storm of criticism which the avowal of such investigations—especially when successful—brings upon the experimenter. See Professor Zöllner’s Transcendental Physics, and Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, by Wm. Crookes, F.R.S., and Judge for yourself.—Ed. Theos. [H.P.B.]
. . . With due respect for yourself and all your co-workers,
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
C. H. Vander Linden.
Editor’s Note:—Such visitations by “Orientals” as the one with which our Brother, Mr. Van der Linden was favoured, become rather frequent in our days. We have several letters to the same effect. No explanation, however, we venture to say, would do any good, unless preceded by a long study and a thorough understanding of the occult laws of “magnetic correspondences” so-called. First let us see whether by the accumulation of testimony for identical results, we have a right to include this mysterious influence among facts. It is premature for us to speak of such things when even the scientific hypothesis of Professor Zöllner’s fourth dimension of space finds so little favour in the eyes of the materialist. Meanwhile, we append to this contribution another letter upon the same subject from a Parsee gentleman, an F.T.S., a full-blown skeptic but yesterday, but whose skepticism was a little staggered by the same results.
To Madame H. P. Blavatsky, . . .
Dear Madame,—When I read the Hindu story of reincarnation by a Kshatriya lady [see “[Note on “A Hindu Story of Re-Incarnation”]”] . . . I made up my mind to write to you . . .
When I was a young man . . . about twenty years old . . .I recollect having read . . . that the world was like a theatre, that everything in it was regularly recurring; even the transmigration of souls . . . since then I had some faint belief in palingenesis. I now find that the lady’s story confirms my suspicions, as it stands to reason that as nothing increases or decreases in this perishable . . . world of matter, the atma of one as soon as it leaves the frame of body enters into another. I must admit though that I am still half skeptical about what it is, or what it should be.3
3. What it is or “should be” is incapable of scientific demonstration. What it is not and cannot be is pretty well verified though. It is neither “harp” nor “wings” on a bodiless head with nothing but its ears to sit upon—and that alone is a comfort.—Ed. Theos. [H.P.B.]
. . . Night before last, one of the maid servants in the house was bit by a scorpion. The pain was agonizing, and she complained of excessive burning. I had previously in a laughing sort of way spoken of the star-charm; so a member of my family woke me up and asked ratehr merrily to try whether the so-called charm had really any charm in it. I got up, brought out pen and ink and drew the quinque-angular triangle a little below the left shoulder. As soon as I had made a second figure close to the first one, both abreast, the girl said the pain had gone down. I then removed the bandage and made another star near the elbow. I was then agreeably surprised to hear the servant girl say that the pain had subsided, and had gone down to the finger’s end where she was bit. So after all it is not “bosh,” that which we found published in your journal?