THEOSOPHY, Vol. 8, No. 10, August, 1920
(Pages 293-303; Size: 36K)
(Number 8 of a 34-part series)

THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT(1)

CHAPTER VII

THE opening of the year 1885 found the Theosophists in India in the utmost disorder and disarray, assailed on all sides from without by triumphant enemies, prey to confusion and recriminations within. Deserted by the Indian Convention under the influence of Col. Olcott, H.P.B. lay physically ill, wavering between life and death.

Col. Olcott, availing himself of an invitation previously extended to him in recognition of his "Buddhist Catechism," his support of Buddhist schools in Ceylon, and his industrious efforts to promote and foster a revival of friendly intercourse between the Northern and Southern wings of the Buddhist faith, left almost immediately for a visit to the Burmese capital, Mandelay. On his arrival at Rangoon, en route to the court of Theebaw III, he was met by the leading Buddhist priests and dignitaries. Here he was cordially received and remained for a considerable time, holding conferences, giving lectures, and regaining his spirits in an atmosphere removed from the depressing situation at headquarters. Just as he was on the point of proceeding to Mandelay he received a telegram from Damodar K. Mavalankar urging his immediate return to India because of the apparently fatal turn in the condition of H.P.B.

It can scarcely be doubted that Col. Olcott's return to headquarters was impelled by what were to him equally urgent reasons, for at the same time he was in receipt of advices from his Hindu intimates that affairs were fast becoming desperate. He was advised that many lodges were lapsing into dormancy, others threatening to dissolve; that his General Council was divided into two camps, with those opposed to him in the ascendant. The facts appear to have been that in addition to those few who had remained steadfastly loyal to H.P.B., numerous other European and some Hindu members had, by reaction, felt to some extent the monstrous injustice done H.P.B. and were in the mood to make the "President-Founder" the scapegoat for the timidity and the lukewarmness of all. The sense of present and impending loss caused many to realize the fatal error of deserting H.P.B., and as all knew that the Convention's action was directly due to the sanction and inspiration of Col. Olcott, a determined movement had gained headway to limit his autocratic control and direction of the society's affairs, by making the Council an actual executive and responsible governing body, instead of as hitherto the mere cloak and instrument of the President's wishes. This spontaneous feeling was placed before H.P.B., and she had given her signature of approval in the following words: "Believing that this new arrangement is necessary for the welfare of the Society, I approve of it, so far as I am concerned."

Olcott, who had been foremost in the belief that it was necessary to abandon H.P.B. "for the honor of the Society" and to preserve it from shafts aimed at it through H.P.B., now felt himself stung to the quick by these evidences of defection and disaffection on the part of the members towards himself. After consultation with his friends he went straight to the mortally stricken H.P.B., as all thought her, and besought her to restore him to his former status and function. Clouded and piecemeal as are the published fragments of information concerning the events of those trying months, certain facts seem clear in the light of subsequent history. It would appear that Col. Olcott recognized and admitted his faults, promised to take a more loyal and consistent course in the future, and agreed to pursue a less arbitrary policy in his management of the Society. Knowing that his devotion to the well-being of the Society was constant and unswerving, whatever his mistakes due to his vanity and self-sufficiency, and always tolerant and generous to the last degree toward friend or foe, it is clear that H.P.B. accepted his repentance and professions and once more lent him her powerful protection. She withdrew her authorization of the proposed changes, smoothed out the personal feelings aroused between Olcott and his partisans and those opposed to his rulership, and left to him to make as of his own volition and accord the needful modifications of policy and conduct. This is the secret of the various notices in the Supplement to "The Theosophist" for May, 1885, concerning the "Formation of an Executive Committee," the "Special Notification," and the "Special Orders of 1885." Likewise in these events will be found the explanation of Col. Olcott's visit to Mr. Hodgson and his effort to get that gentleman to take a more impartial if not more friendly attitude toward the Theosophical evidences and explanations connected with the phenomena which Mr. Hodgson was investigating almost entirely from the standpoint of the Coulombs and the missionaries. Sincere and well-intentioned as this move of Col. Olcott's undoubtedly was, it could but serve, in view of all the circumstances, to increase and confirm the already acute suspicions of Mr. Hodgson; and this, as we have seen, is what in fact occurred. Col. Olcott also, in his new zeal, made strenuous and partly successful efforts to procure the writing and publication of articles favorable to H.P.B. and her phenomena in various Indian papers.

But knowing well the weaknesses as well as the virtues of her colleague, H.P.B. was under no illusions as to the final outcome. She knew that Olcott believed her to be a "medium" and some of her phenomena bogus; knew his self-esteem, his doubts, jealousies and suspicions; knew only too well the personal ambitions, rivalries and animosities with which the headquarters were rife. As appeared many years later, she addressed on April 11, 1885, a letter to Col. Olcott, in which she told him that no parole loyalty would suffice to repair the mischief that had been done; that she had willingly borne and would continue to bear in her own person the evil Karma engendered by him and by the Society, but that in deserting her the Society and its leaders were in fact deserting the Masters whose Agent she was; that she had done her best for them all, but that she could not avoid for them the harvest of their own mistakes and ingratitude.

This letter was written by H.P.B. after she had resigned her official relation with the Society as its Corresponding Secretary, and after she had left India. Col. Olcott suppressed this letter and in all his voluminous writings never referred to it. It was preceded by her formal letter of March 21, addressed to the General Council, submitting her resignation, which was accepted. The published interchange assigned the illness of H.P.B. as the cause of her severance of relations officially with the Society in India, and the same cause was given for her departure. This was all true but the deeper reason, the occult basis, was the rejection by Olcott and his associates of the paramount status of H.P.B., as shown by the letter mentioned as well as by the report of a conversation with one of the Mahatmas at the same period, which Report was also suppressed by Col. Olcott and never referred to by him, though partially coming to light many years later.

The departure of H.P.B. was hailed with a sigh of relief as from a mighty burden by Col. Olcott and his associates. Counting upon her deathless loyalty, while feeling himself relieved of all obligation toward her, Col. Olcott at once set actively to work to make the Society independent of H.P.B. The June number of "The Theosophist" was prefaced at the head of the text with an italic insert accompanied by a "printer's hand" and reading as follows: "The Theosophical Society, as such, is not responsible for any opinion or declaration in this or any other Journal, by whomsoever expressed, unless contained in an official document." This insert was repeated during the succeeding months including the September issue, after which it was omitted. In the same (June) number Col. Olcott published over his signature a leading editorial on "Infallibility," devoted to a disclaimer of any reliance by the Society on anyone's assumed powers, knowledge or status, or that such reliance was in any way necessary for the Society's success or existence. This editorial, like the insert mentioned, was, of course, aimed at H.P.B. and her status as the Agent of the Masters supposed to be behind the Theosophical Movement and the Theosophical Society. Indirectly, it was at the same time an assertion of his own pre-eminence as the Head of the Society, since the only "official documents" were those issued by himself as "President-Founder," or at his instructions.

Damodar K. Mavalankar, next to H.P.B., the most loved and the most envied of the Theosophists in India, and, aside from her, the only one of them known to be in constant active touch with the Masters, had been her faithful and devoted servant and indefatigable worker in the Cause. Much of her correspondence throughout the world had been carried on by him under her directions; visiting chelas at headquarters were largely cared for by him; the chief burden of the getting out of "The Theosophist" fell upon his shoulders; and he had shared with her the stigma of the Coulomb charges and Mr. Hodgson's investigating suspicions. He remained at Adyar for some time after the departure of H.P.B., doing what could be done for the few who possessed the elements of real loyalty and steadfastness. Towards the latter half of the year he left headquarters on a "pilgrimage," and was last publicly heard of near the Thibetan frontiers. By many he was thought to have perished of exposure, but there can be little doubt, from hints afterwards given by H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, that in fact he was called by the Masters into Their direct service and company. He thus received the reward of his undying devotion and his uncomplaining endurance of the tribulations consequent upon his human defects and mistakes. Of him the Master K.H. wrote, "Before he could 'stand in the presence of the Masters' he had to undergo the severest trials that a neophyte ever passed through." Damodar had first met H.P.B. early in 1879, had immediately forsaken everything that men hold dear to become her faithful servant and chela, and in the ensuing years of his probation had remained steadfastly loyal to her and her mission "without variableness or the shadow of turning." Of his subsequent fortunes, his present status, his future relations with the Theosophical Movement, the story remains untold; one of the unwritten chapters of the "Second Section."

As the months went by it began to be apparent that the life of the Society in India could not be maintained by its venous circulation alone. The contents of "The Theosophist" deteriorated in quality, the circulation of the magazine diminished, numerous branches ceased to exist except on paper, the membership fell off in others, contributions and dues lessened, and the Society was fast falling into mere discussion of the endless metaphysics of Hindu faiths and philosophies. On the other hand news began to permeate the Indian membership that H.P.B. was being visited in her European retirement by staunch friends, corresponded with by an ever-increasing number of inquirers, supported by the adherence of new and notable persons. Col. Olcott, who had ever a weakness for the acquaintance of the great and the near great, began to take stock of "the fortunes of war." Nor can it, we think, be doubted that as time went on, as her absence and his sense of loss of the old daily intimacy, the old strong and unfailing guidance of the "lion of the Punjab" grew more keen; as the truer and nobler side of his nature had opportunity to reassert itself -- that side of his nature which had inspired him in the beginning to do as Damodar had done, to give up all to follow her in her unknown path -- it cannot be doubted, we think, that Col. Olcott repented him of the mistakes and lukewarmness of the recent years, and endeavored so far as was in his power, short of a public disavowal of his mistaken course, to remedy his failures. And in this he was strengthened by the treatment accorded him by H.P.B. She chided him as little as might be, she continued unfailingly to send him articles for insertion in "The Theosophist," she made a will bequeathing to him her entire interest in the magazine and making over its entire revenue to him; she encouraged by every means in her power every good effort, every good impulse that arose from him; laughed at her own miseries and misfortunes, and made light of all obstacles in the way.

Col. Olcott was supported and encouraged also by the goodwill of those near at hand who had remained steadfast in devotion to H.P.B. without withdrawing their countenance from him. All these factors had their compelling influence, and at the Indian Convention at the close of 1885 his public Address as President to the assembled delegates and visitors was marked by the expression of strong feeling and sincere declarations in respect to H.P.B. In this mood he was willing to retire as President to promote the solidarity and renewed life of the Society. Says the Report of the Convention as published in the Supplement to "The Theosophist" for January, 1886:

"The President being called away temporarily on business, and Major-General Morgan occupying the Chair, the following resolutions ... were carried by acclamation with great enthusiasm: Resolved, That in the event of the health of Madame H. P. Blavatsky being sufficiently restored, she be requested to resume the office which she has relinquished. Resolved, That the charges brought against Madame Blavatsky by her enemies have not been proven, and that our affection and respect for her continue unabated. Whereas the Convention has heard with great sorrow from the lips of the President-Founder, Col. H. S. Olcott, the expression of his desire to retire to private life on account of his competency for his present duty being questioned by some, the Convention unanimously Resolve: (1) That the President-Founder has by his unremitting zeal, self-sacrifices, courage, industry, virtuous life and intelligence, won the confidence of members of the Society and endeared himself to them throughout the world; and (2) that as this Convention cannot for one moment entertain the thought of his retiring from the Society which he has done so much to build up, and has conducted safely through various perils by his prudence and practical wisdom, they request him to continue his invaluable services to the Society to the last."

This approach to real union, this united aim, brotherly feeling and mutual support in the spirit of the First Object, as manifested by the Convention, had its immediate beneficial effect, and for the ensuing three years the Society in India shared in the prosperity of the Movement throughout the world, the rising tide after the S.P.R. attempt to wreck the Society. It is worth while for students to note that every storm that ever raged about the Society had its inception in neglect of the First Object and its practical application, brotherly loyalty and devotion; every recovery from wounds and losses was due to a return to the fundamental basis of the Society and the fundamental precept of the "Second Section" -- instant readiness to "defend the life or honour of a brother Theosophist even at the risk of their own lives." Had this been borne in mind by those who were "quick to doubt and despair, who had worked for themselves and not for the Cause," had the consistent example set, no less than the precepts given, by H.P.B. been made the rule of action by those responsible for the policy and conduct of the "Third Section" -- the Theosophical Society proper -- the "solidarity in the ranks" of the Society would not only "have enabled it to resist all external attacks, but also have made it possible for greater, wider and more tangible help to have been given it" by the First and Second Sections, "who are always ready to give help when we are fit to receive it."

From this survey of the affairs of the Society in India in the period from 1885 to 1888, it is now necessary both to follow the widening stream of the Movement, and to gain the benefit of the contrast shown during the same period, first in Europe and then in America.

H. P. Blavatsky left the headquarters and sailed from India at the beginning of April, 1885. Such was her physical condition that she had to be carried on board the vessel. Accompanied by her physician and an attendant she voyaged to Naples, Italy, where she remained for some months in sickness, poverty, and isolation. From there she removed in the summer to Wurzburg, Germany, where she was visited and sustained by the devoted Gebhards of Elberfeld. Thither also came the Countess Wachtmeister, widow of the late Swedish ambassador to England. Countess Wachtmeister was an Englishwoman by birth, a natural "psychic" who had been interested in Spiritualism and then in the Theosophical phenomena. She had become a member of the London Lodge and had met H.P.B. at London the year before. Hearing of the distress into which H.P.B. was plunged, and convinced by her own experiences that the phenomena of H.P.B. were genuine, the Countess came from Sweden to visit her. What she saw and felt caused her to remain, and from then onwards the Countess gave herself up to the service of H.P.B., as friend, as companion, as amanuensis, as voluntary servant. To Wurzburg came also friends and correspondents of Dr. Franz Hartmann, whose experience and intuition of the real nature of H.P.B. were always strong enough to keep him loyal despite the frictions of personalities between himself and others. Here came Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden, the noted German savant, who had met H.P.B. the year before at the Gebhards and who, like Dr. Hartmann, had absorbed enough of her philosophy to keep him energized for the remainder of his life in channels akin to the work of the Theosophical Movement. Came also the Russian writer, Solovyoff the younger, who had met H.P.B. in Paris the year before, and whose evil Karma was subsequently to become tool and victim of the forces opposed to her and her work. During her Wurzburg residence H.P.B. was also visited by Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett and others from London and Paris. Here also came many others moved by sympathy, by gratitude, by curiosity, by all the motives that affect mankind.

H.P.B. lived at Wurzburg for nearly a year, alternating between long relapses and brief partial recoveries. During the whole period her labors never abated. Articles for "The Theosophist," miscellaneous contributions to Russian periodicals for her daily bread, and a correspondence that daily increased kept her busy. Many of her letters at this period were written by her volunteer helpers at her dictation or direction. During the whole period, also, she was occupied with the vast burden of the composition of "The Secret Doctrine."

In May, 1886, her medical advisers once more insisted on a change of climate and surroundings if her life were to be prolonged. Accordingly, she removed to Ostende, Belgium, and here she lived in constantly increasing toil and turmoil. Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford and her associate, Mr. E. Maitland, visited her here, and here came many English and French Theosophists for making or renewing personal touch with her. Late in the winter and in the early spring of 1887, the physical state of H.P.B. once more became so desperate that her life was despaired of. Miss Francesca Arundale, Miss Kislingbury, the two Keightleys, Archibald and Bertram, and other London Theosophists were anxious for her to remove to England where she could be better cared for. Madame Gebhard and Dr. Ashton Ellis, a young London physician and member of the London Lodge, were telegraphed for by Countess Wachtmeister. They came in all haste and were assiduous in their ministrations. This unstinted devotion once more pulled H.P.B. through the crisis. The Keightleys came over and urged the necessities of the English Theosophists for her presence among them. Yielding to the loving solicitations of these devoted friends and followers, the wanderer once more took ship, carried on board as before, and, physically a helpless and inert mass, was installed in a cottage in Norwood, where she passed the summer of 1887. In the autumn the house at 17, Lansdowne Road, Holland Park, West, was taken by her friends and thither H.P.B. was removed to quarters specially prepared for her in the midst of an atmosphere of good-will and watchful consideration.

Thus surrounded and sheltered, H.P.B. measurably regained strength, though her health never became such as to exempt her from continuous physical suffering or to enable her to take needful exercise. It is doubtful if during the last six years of her life she had a single waking hour of complete relaxation, and it is certain that she rarely was able to go outside her domicile unaided. Yet these six years were the ones of her stormy career most filled, not only with the trials and tribulations incident to the many attacks upon her name and fame, not only with the press and demands of claimants upon her time and attention, not only with the correspondence and work of the Theosophical Movement from day to day, but they were, as well, the most fruitful of enduring results for all mankind. It was during this period that "The Secret Doctrine," the "Key to Theosophy," "The Voice of the Silence," and the "Theosophical Glossary" were written; "Lucifer" was begun with its first issue dated September 15, 1887, and its monthly contents during the succeeding years contained a steady stream from the inexhaustible fountain of her wisdom.

The presence of H.P.B. in Europe resulted from the first in a revival of courage, confidence and action on the part of those who had remained steadfast during the Coulomb charges, the S.P.R. investigation and report, and the succeeding blasts in the press. Work began in Germany and France with fresh vigor and impetus and new Lodges were formed in addition to the existing ones. Many new Fellows entered the Society, some of them persons of considerable reputation in other fields of effort. "The Sphynx" was begun in Germany, "Le Lotus" in France, and the study and discussion of subjects within the lines of the "three objects" went on apace. After the removal of H.P.B. to England additional lodges were established in Ireland, Scotland, in the larger cities of England, and the "H.P.B. Lodge" was formed in London. Here H.P.B. herself replied to questions on the "Stanzas" of the "Secret Doctrine" at a number of sessions. These questions and answers were stenographically reported and, when revised, were published as "Transactions 1 and 2 of the Blavatsky Lodge."

When the S.P.R. Proceedings, vol. III, were published late in 1885, Mr. Sinnett, then President of the London Lodge, wrote a pamphlet "Reply" which was published early in 1886. He also wrote a strong letter to "Light", the leading Spiritualist publication in England. His clear statements and wide repute went far to stem the unfavorable tide of press comment consequent on the S.P.R. report. In the summer of 1886 his "Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky" was published by Redway. This book, with its partial disclosures of personal matters, its anecdotes and narratives of the most astonishing phenomena, its mysterious hiatuses, its pervading atmosphere of sincerity, candor and common-sense in the midst of the well-nigh incredible marvels recited, and above all, with its pictures of the living H.P.B. as a most fascinating and human being steadily giving herself soul, mind and heart to a cause sacred to her; a good-natured, unrevengeful fighter undismayed and undaunted by the mountains of hatred and calumny heaped upon her -- this book created a profound impression far and wide, and aroused a sympathy for this martyr to her convictions, and an interest in her teachings, that brought many into the ranks of the Society, and turned to good account the adverse findings of the S.P.R.

In the spring of 1885 was published "Light on the Path, written down by M.C." The initials stood for Mabel Collins, niece of the celebrated novelist. Mabel Collins was a "psychic," a member of the London Lodge, and herself a novelist. "Light on the Path" was "written down" by its sponsor without previous knowledge or study of Eastern teachings. As originally published it was but a small pamphlet without the "Comments" subsequently published in "Lucifer" and incorporated in most of the later editions of "Light on the Path." The work created a veritable sensation and has probably been more widely circulated than any other single Theosophical publication. Its companion books, "The Idyll of the White Lotus," and "Through the Gates of Gold," have also been very widely read and studied. Many stories have been told, both by the reputed author and others, regarding the actual source of these writings. These will be discussed in their proper place. It is sufficient here to remark that these writings, like any other, must rest at last upon their own inherent merit, and that they bear no comparison with any other of the numerous prior and subsequent writings of Mabel Collins.

"Five Years of Theosophy," made up of articles reprinted from the first five volumes of "The Theosophist," and "Man -- Fragments of Forgotten History," by "Two Chelas of the Theosophical Society," were issued in 1885 by Reeves & Turner, London, and both passed through several editions. The "Two Chelas" are stated by Miss Francesca Arundale to have been Mohini M. Chatterji and Mrs. L. C. Holloway ("The Theosophist," October, 1917).

Passing now to America, the original starting point of the Theosophical Movement, the Theosophical Society and the teachings of Theosophy, the student will find that contemporaneously with the revival in India and the renaissance in Europe and England, the spiral upward path of the Movement on its return to the source produced a fresh and higher impulsion in the United States. Whereas, in India the restrictions were such that practically the whole force of the Movement took the line of the Second Object, and in England and on the Continent the environment of thought and action naturally limited the major attention to the line of the third object, in America the chief stress from the beginning of the second decade was upon the great first object.

In India the study and discussion of comparative religion and philosophy was the only possible open door to any arousal of interest among the members of the hitherto rigidly exclusive sects and castes. In England and Europe, given over to Christian sectarianism, scientific materialism and spiritualism, and with the binding fetters of caste and class exclusiveness only less rigid than in India, only the neutral ground of interest afforded by the third object gave a field in which to sow the seed of the theosophical teachings. In America the second and third objects had formed the magnet for the original organization and membership of the Society, had been used by H.P.B. as the raison d'être for the writing and publication of "Isis Unveiled." Not till the second decade of the Society opened was it possible to re-start the work of the Movement in its direct public channel, the Society, on the real line, that of the first object, and the beginning of this was in the United States, at New York, in the Aryan Theosophical Society, the reorganization and reincarnation of the Parent Society of 1875. The presiding genius of the Aryan Society, and of the work of the Movement, esoteric and exoteric, in the United States was William Q. Judge. With the second decade the work fell into its three streams with Mr. Judge in America, H.P.B. in Europe, and Col. Olcott in India. As we shall all too soon see, that which was intended to be the three great natural branches of the work of the Society, metaphysically as well as geographically, broke into alien organizations as well as alien purposes.

Mr. Judge had kept up an unbroken communion with H.P.B. and an unbroken accord with Col. Olcott during all the years from the time of the separation of the three Founders at the close of the year 1878 when H.P.B. and Col. Olcott departed for India. In the early summer of 1884 he had gone to France and passed some time with H.P.B., proceeded thence to India where he formed acquaintance with the leading Hindu members, completed his touch with Damodar and others connected with the First and Second Sections, and had returned to America near the close of the year. During the year 1885 he was busied with the rejuvenation of the Aryan Lodge, with the revival of interest among the scattered Fellows and the few existing lodges in the United States. In April, 1886, he issued the first number of "The Path," the magazine of which H.P.B. said and wrote, "it is pure Buddhi." Thenceforth "The Path" was the organ par excellence, not only of the American members of the Theosophical Society, of the First Object of that society, but of the Theosophical Movement and the practical, devotional applications of the teachings of Theosophy. Within a year from the commencement of its publication the number of branches had tripled, and active study and propagandum had created a widespread interest in the press and in the public mind. The "Board of Control" appointed in 1884 by Col. Olcott, the President, at Mr. Judge's suggestion, for the facilitation of the routine of the American branches and membership, continued until the summer of 1886. October 30 of that year, again at Mr. Judge's request to Madame Blavatsky and upon her suggestion to Col. Olcott, the Board of Control met at Cincinnati together with delegates either in person or by proxy from most of the American Lodges and organized the "American Section of the Theosophical Society." In April, 1887, the first Convention of the newly formed Section met at New York City, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, officers chosen, and the first democratic organization embracing a number of independent branches was effected in the Society's history. Mr. Judge was elected General Secretary of the American Section. The "American Section of the Theosophical Society" was not an organization of the individual Fellows of the Society, but a federation of all the Branches, Lodges, or Societies in the United States. Each separate Society was autonomous in its own internal affairs, like the states of the American Union, but all were joined together in a single governing body with its own constitution, powers and officers, similar to the federal government, which was, in fact the model followed, both in the organization of the Parent Theosophical Society and of the "American Section." The General Council in India was recognized, and the unity of the Society throughout the world in purpose and teaching was affirmed; at the same time the right to independence was placed on record in these words of Mr. Judge in his first formal Report, read at the Second Convention at Chicago in April, 1888: "Of course the American Branches could have met together and formed themselves independently, but since we draw our real inspiration from India, it would seem unwise as well as disloyal to have failed to try and keep the orderly and regular succession." The prior de facto nature of the conduct of the Society's affairs, corresponding to that of the confederation of the thirteen colonies before the adoption of the American constitution, was also recorded in these words referring to the previously existing "Board of Control": "That Board was therefore in charge of the interests of the movement here, and was in fact a continuation of the system of somewhat paternal and unrepresentative government which had up to that time prevailed." The "somewhat paternal and unrepresentative government" continued to mark the conduct of affairs in India throughout, and in Europe until 1891, but in America the conduct of the Society was henceforth strictly democratic.

This Convention of 1888, while the second chronologically, was really the first from the standpoint of organized activity in America. It was attended by delegates in person or by proxy from all the active Lodges in the United States, by that time twenty-two in number; was signalized by letters of greeting from India, from the Council of the "London Lodge," and by the attendance of Dr. Archibald Keightley as a formal delegate from the "Blavatsky Lodge" and the "London Lodge," in both of which he was an officer. Dr. Keightley was also acting as the special representative of Madame Blavatsky, from whom he bore a long and important Letter to the Convention. This Letter was read to the assembled delegates and afterwards printed in the published "Official Report of Proceedings" issued by the American Section.

The autumn of 1888, the beginning of the fourteenth year of the Society's career, was marked by the most important event in its history, next to the organization of the democratic "American Section," and was, in fact, the outcome of that epochal point. We refer to the public announcement and inauguration of the Esoteric Section, which must now be traced.

(To be continued)


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