5 November 2023

Isis Unveiled

Slowly, and gliding silently like images in an enchanted panorama, centuries after centuries appear before me… and I am made to connect these epochs with certain historical events, and I know there can be no mistake.

— Helena P. Blavatsky

H. P. Blavatsky's book Isis Unveiled is not an easy read. It is overfilled with numerous quotes from authors of varying cultures, times, backgrounds, and standings. This along makes digesting the materials, especially when carefully following the referenced materials, a time- and effort-consuming task. But also, adding to the challenge, it's not rare to meet structurally or logically complex sentences and archaic words in the text. Though, to be fair, both can be naturally expected for the first major work written by a non-native English speaker (with the help of H. S. Olcott as a corrector) and published in 1877, more than a hundred years ago.

Nevertheless, putting aside the textual and factual issues (by which I mean mentions of non-verifiable mystical events), the two volumes bring into correlation facts and claims exposed to that time in the vast fields of science, religion, history, and metaphysics. Formulating it roughly, the first volume concentrates on criticizing weak points in the stance of modern science. And the second volume does the same in regard to the official Christian church, in large part by means of successfully applied comparative mythology methods.

The quotes below introduce a number of fascinating wordings from this Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology. Still, many examples of bright humor and sarcasm are left aside for a future reader of the book to uncover and enjoy.

Volume Ⅰ: The "Infallibility" of Modern Science

Fanaticism in religion, fanaticism in science, or fanaticism in any other question becomes a hobby, and cannot but blind our senses. It will ever be useless to argue with a fanatic. And here we cannot help admiring once more the profound knowledge of human nature which dictated to Mr. Sergeant Cox the following words, delivered in the same address as before alluded to: There is no more fatal fallacy than that the truth will prevail by its own force, that it has only to be seen to be embraced. In fact the desire for the actual truth exists in very few minds, and the capacity to discern it in fewer still. When men say that they are seeking the truth, they mean that they are looking for evidence to support some prejudice or prepossession. Their beliefs are moulded to their wishes. They see all, and more than all, that seems to tell for that which they desire; they are blind as bats to whatever tells against them. The scientists are no more exempt from this common failing than are others.

Volume Ⅱ: The "Infallibility" of Modern Religion

Society seems from that time to have been ever balancing itself upon one leg, on an unseen tight-rope stretched from our visible universe into the invisible one; uncertain whether the end hooked on faith in the latter might not suddenly break, and hurl it into final annihilation.

The Mother and Son truly represent the two most conspicuous idols of Monotheistic Christianity!

What we desire to prove is, that underlying every ancient popular religion was the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical, professed and practiced by the initiates of every country, who alone were aware of its existence and importance.

To disbelieve that there exist in man certain arcane powers, which, by psychological study he can develop in himself to the highest degree, become an hierophant and then impart to others under the same conditions of earthly discipline, is to cast an imputation of falsehood and lunacy upon a number of the best, purest, and most learned men of antiquity and of the middle ages.

From the days of the primitive man described by the first Vedic poet, down to our modern age, there has not been a philosopher worthy of that name, who did not carry in the silent sanctuary of his heart the grand and mysterious truth. If initiated, he learnt it as a sacred science; if otherwise, then, like Socrates repeating to himself, as well as to his fellow-men, the noble injunction, O man, know thyself, he succeeded in recognizing his God within himself. Ye are gods, the king-psalmist tells us, and we find Jesus reminding the scribes that the expression, Ye are gods, was addressed to other mortal men, claiming for himself the same privilege without any blasphemy.

Nearly every myth based on some great truth.

Our task will have been ill-performed if the preceding chapters have not demonstrated that Judaism, earlier and later Gnosticism, Christianity, and even Christian Masonry, have all been erected upon identical cosmical myths, symbols, and allegories, whose full comprehension is possible only to those who have inherited the key from their inventors.

Can the results of a crime be obliterated even though the crime itself should be pardoned? The effects of a cause are never limited to the boundaries of the cause, nor can the results of crime be confined to the offender and his victim.

A man can have no god that is not bounded by his own human conceptions. The wider the sweep of his spiritual vision, the mightier will be his deity. But where can we find a better demonstration of Him than in man himself; in the spiritual and divine powers lying dormant in every human being?

A compulsory religion can never breed anything but deceit.

There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law — eternal, immutable, ever active.

From the remotest antiquity mankind as a whole have always been convinced of the existence of a personal spiritual entity within the personal physical man.

There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church — the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find the way; the pure in heart see God.

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