Page from French Bible Moralisee (c 1235-1245),
British Library, showing Christ as the Great Architect, designing the
universe with the compass of the Freemason.
Part 1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Part 2 ANCIENT ORIGINS
Part 3 MODERN ORIGINS
Part 4 THE KABALA
Part 6 KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
Part 7 GENERAL INFORMATION
Part 8 SYMBOLS AND ORDERS
Part 9 SECRETS
Part 10 OPPOSITION, ENEMIES, JESUITS
Part 11 H.P.B. AND MASONRY
Part 12 SUMMARY
These extracts from H.P. Blavatsky's (H.P.B.'s) voluminous works are intended to give some information about Masonry and the flavour of her thinking on the subject as she dealt with it over the period of her writing from 1875 to 1891.
H.P.B. was exposed to Masonry via relatives and friends in her formative years, and later many of her associates were Masons. Among them were some, including Col. Olcott who helped in the founding of the Theosophical Society and became its first President. At the time of the founding of the Society, however, there had been no public exposition of Theosophy. Later there were intimations of it in Isis Unveiled and in many of H.P.B.'s early writings. The great comprehensive teaching only came out in The Secret Doctrine published in 1888.
The significance of this in the matter of Masonry vis-à-vis Theosophy is that with the publication of the Theosophical teachings some hitherto closely guarded occult secrets were made public for the first time. Against this, as the reader of the extracts will perceive, the really significant secrets of Masonry, relating to the nature and processes of Nature herself, had been lost from early times.
The committing of so much of the Secret Doctrine to writing by H.P.B. under the supervision of the Masters of the Wisdom, was unique in the world's history. It was in effect a direct statement from them. No previous teachers of the Masters' stature, including the founders of religions, had themselves committed their teachings to writing. Even though much of this original material was later largely ignored and even altered, the original is still available to students. The importance and urgency that the Masters attached to the completion of The Secret Doctrine was such that they kept Mme Blavatsky alive for a few years after two otherwise fatal illnesses.
There is no evidence to show that, in spite of her many Masonic associations, H.P.B. was ever formally initiated into the Craft and was ever a regular attender of any Lodge. Her involvement was incidental to her exposition of the teaching and practices of Eastern Occultism (Trans-Himalayan). It was from this, and to an extent directly from her Masters, that she possessed a knowledge of the secrets and usages of Masonry and not so much from any literature which, having been published, could not have contained the real secrets of Occultism. H.P.B. learned her Occultism, the ancient Ageless Wisdom, which included the Masonic secrets, directly from her Master.
It is noteworthy that the bulk of the information about Masonry in the theosophical classical literature is in Isis Unveiled (IU) which, according to Col. Olcott's account of the writing of that book and some of H.P.B.'s own statements, was either written directly or from material otherwise provided by the Masters themselves. There is some more information in the Collected Writings (CW), but only comparatively little in The Secret Doctrine (SD).
If asked how a profane can know it [Masonry] the answer comes, ancient and modern Freemasonry are an obligatory study with every Eastern Occultist.
What of truth is there in this Theology [Christian]? Through what sects has it been transmitted? Whence was it primarily derived? To answer, we must trace the history of the World Religions, alike through the secret Christian sects as through those of other great religious subdivisions of the race; for the Secret Doctrine is the Truth, and that religion is nearest divine that has contained it with least adulteration.
The books by H.P. Blavatsky from which passages have been extracted are:
1. I.U. ISIS UNVEILED, Vols I and II, all editions same pagination.
2. S.D. THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Vols I and II
3. S.D. THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol III, only in the 1897 edition (this material is in C.W.XII)
34. C.W. THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF H.P. BLAVATSKY
Another book which readers might care to read for much information about the craft from a Masonic point of view is:–
5. THE FREEMASON’S GUIDE AND COMPENDIUM by Bernard E. Jones, (George G. Harrop)
First published 2003 by The Theosophical Publishing House, London.
Available from: The Theosophical Society in England, 50 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8EA
Theosophical Society in England, Bookshop link