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Isis Unveiled, Magic, and the original TS.

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  • bri_mue
    Jerry: Isis is a hodgepodge. The best part is the last chap which deals with magic, and sadly this is the part that most Theosophsts today ignore. The last
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2002
      Jerry: "Isis is a hodgepodge. The best part is the last chap
      which
      deals with magic, and sadly this is the part that most Theosophsts
      today ignore."

      The last chapter is what was obviously at the same time intended as a
      sort of advertisement/invitation (in typical Victorian age veieled
      fashion) to the newly founded TS that according to Dr. James
      Santucci, Dr. Mathiesen, and Deveney (who wrote a Dr. thesis about
      Randolph), all three claim based on their extensive research that
      the TS started originally as a Theurgic organisation involved
      with "magic", astral projection and with that drug induced
      states incorporated in a Masonic type degree system.

      Blavatsky wrote on Sept. 23, 1875:

      "We want to make an experimental comparison between spiritualism and
      the magic of the ancients by following literally the instructions of
      the old Cabbalas, both Jewish and Egyptian." (Quoted in Deveney's
      booklet on Astral Travel and the TS)

      Blavatsky stated in her interview March 1877 to the World
      Newspaper: "This separation, however, is the very last and highest
      possible achievement of magic." (A Lamasery in New York. Practicing
      Magical Rites in a Prosaic Eight-Avenue House. Quoted in Theosophical
      History 4/2, April 1992, p. 51-55.)

      Blavatsky writing to the World newspaper the following week
      ("Why a
      Russian Russian Countess firmly believes in Magic") added; "the
      chief of the gurus showed me things wich I demonstrated to be truth.
      For instance he made me look at a bright tin plate and fix my toughts
      on something I wished to see."He made passes over her and made her
      drink a potion "the ingredients of wich I know but will not tell"
      (Quoted p. 18-19 in Deveney's booklet on Astral Travel and the TS)


      Brigitte
      Steve: The drugs are important to early Theosophivsl history if they
      explain some of the constant miracles that are supposed to have
      surrounded Blavatsky. And may explain some of the strange phenomena
      Olcott reported which were not obviously the result of drug use. The
      drug could have been impairing his ability to make sound judgements.

      "At the least all the material supports the idea of a
      background relationship between Blavatsky and Randolph. On its most
      obvious level, there is a verry marked similarity between their
      teachings. To prove the existance of the hidden hand- an effort that
      by definition shades off into the realms beyond the grap of history
      in any case-but rather to look at the consonances that gave rise to
      the theories connecting Randolph, Emma Hardings Britten, and
      Blavatsky in the first place, in order to understand better Randolp's
      role in the events that transformed spiritualism into occultism."

      "This way of obtaining oracles was practiced in the
      highest antiquity. In India, this sublime lethargy is
      called 'the sacred sleep of ***' It is an oblivion
      into which the subject is thrown by certain magical
      processes, supplemented by draughts of the juice of
      the soma. The body of the sleeper remains for several
      days in a condition resembling death, and by the power
      of the adept is purified of its earthliness and made
      fit to become the temporary receptacle of the
      brightness of the immortal Augoeides. ... The sleeper
      takes no note of the lapse of time, but upon
      awakening, after four or five days of trance, imagines
      he has slept but a few moments." (Isis 1.357-8)

      I think it was Brigitte who pointed out this was one
      of Randolph's ideas and comes from his books. Now
      compare this with the following story from David
      Pratt's essay:

      "in October 1881 KH retired to a secret location for a
      three month samadhi. In a letter to Mrs
      Hollis Billing, dated 2 October 1881, HPB
      states that KH has "now gone to sleep for three months
      to prepare during this Sumadhi or continuous trance
      state for his initiation, the last but one, when he
      will become one of the highest adepts" (The
      Theosophical Forum, May 1936, p. 344). She adds that
      his body lies in a stone tower in a beautiful location
      near a monastery. Mahatma M took over KH's
      correspondence with Sinnett and Hume during this
      period. In one of his letters he wrote: "At a stone's
      throw from the old Lamasery stands the old tower,
      within whose bosom have gestated generations of
      Bodhisatwas. It is there, where now rests your
      lifeless friend my brother, the light
      of my soul, to whom I made a faithful promise to watch
      during his absence over his work" (MLC 87 / ML 219)."

      It is obvious this is a reference to the very same
      practice and that the story is therefore credible.
      The three months seems a bit exaggerated. It would
      seem extraordinarily dangerous for anyone to remain in
      a drugged state for that length of time. However, it
      is obvious they were describing the same experiment as
      Randolph, which is not surprising since bein buried
      alive was until not so long ago a common practice
      among Indian fakirs. Some writers who have commented
      on this surmised that Houdini could have been entombed
      for a few hours by sheer physical courage, but that
      for someone to endure this for days or longer would
      require some sort of sedation or even anesthesia.

      Steve
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