Damodar K. Mavalanka – The Astral Body

[From The Theosophist, January, 1885.]

[The following is appended as a footnote to a statement made in an open letter, under the above title, to the Editor of the Statesman, and signed “L. S.” The statement commented upon by Damodar is as follows: “. . . For, let it be understood, the fundamental doctrine of all Theosophic teaching is this, — that there are truths which cannot be reached by our ordinary mental processes; and that there have been, at all times, men, who, by an extraordinary process, which, for the want of a better designation, we shall call psychic, did succeed in grasping, more or less clearly, a portion of those hidden truths. This you have now come to acknowledge in one of your articles of your impression of the 30th instant; but you just behave in this respect, as one of those who ought to have known long before, and you tell us now ‘that the doctrine is a travesty of a very solemn doctrine taught by the Christian Scriptures, &c.'” — EDS.]

The correspondent of the Statesman might well have retorted by saying that if Theosophy is supposed to be “a travesty of a very solemn doctrine taught by the Christian Scriptures,” the latter themselves are, not unoften, a very ridiculous caricature of some of the most “solemn” teachings and doctrines inculcated in “Heathen” scriptures of remote antiquity; and that, while the Theosophical Society does not claim to teach any nothing [anything] new but, on the contrary, proclaims its intention of a revival of ancient learning and wisdom, popular Christianity, at any rate, pretends to have received a “Revelation” only 1884 years ago, implying thereby that, before that time, there was no such thing as “divine wisdom,” or civilization, or learning. The aim of the Theosophical Society is to try to remove such “travesties” from all popular theologies by uniting together their intellectual representatives in the search after “Truth,” and thus helping to make religion scientific and science religious. If some of the prominent members of the Theosophical Society had now and then to speak in uncomplimentary terms of exoteric Christianity, it is because the “travesties” of “solemn doctrines” by the latter now and then assume a most offensive form and also because its intolerant spirit manifests itself in a dangerous aspect. — D. K. M.