A brief introduction to the life and times of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky by Harvey Tordoff, author of O Lanoo! - The Secret Doctrine Unveiled.
In the mid-nineteenth century adventurous European ladies undertook the "grand tour" of the classical sites in Italy and Greece. At the age of eighteen Helena Petrovna Blavatsky ran away from her new husband and had adventures to rival any male explorer of her day.
In 1873, having had no formal education and speaking very little English, she arrived in New York to become a writer. After a few articles she helped to co-found The Theosophical Society and commenced the monumental work 'Isis Unveiled'. As the pile of manuscripts grew she described it as a book on the history and philosophy of the Eastern Schools and their relations with those of our own times. If it was a book written from personal experience it also contained 1300 quotations and references from other works, most of which she had no access to in America. 'Isis' was published in 1877. The following year, after becoming the first Russian woman to take American citizenship, Blavatsky returned to India where she launched the magazine 'The Theosophist' and worked unceasingly on the development of The Theosophical Society.
She started work on articles that would lead to a revision of 'Isis', but in 1885 her guru theMaster gave her the plan for The Secret Doctrine, which was to become a completely different book. Whereas 'Isis' consists of a series of articles unconnected by any literary theme 'The Doctrine' follows the stanzas of the ancient Book of Dzyan. In chronological order (albeit with many digressions) it tells the story of the creation of the universe and the evolution of the solar system and life on earth. In particular, it follows the progress of Mankind through the Ages.
By this time Blavatsky was in poor health but she survived two crises (in which the doctors had given up hope) for the sole purpose of completing 'The Doctrine'. She finished the task in Europe and in November 1888 the book was published simultaneously in London and New York. She established The Blavatsky Lodge, where she gave personal instruction, The Esoteric School, and the European Headquarters of The Theosophical Society. She found time to write more books and articles before she died in 1891.
Blavatsky claimed that she was the writer, rather than the author, of this prodigious outpouring of words. The modern reader has to choose to believe whether her books are works of imagination aided by a photographic memory or whether she received psychic or astral assistance and instruction. Either way, there is a wealth of material to stimulate the most jaded palate.
Copyright © 2002 Harvey Tordoff. Harvey Tordoff is the author of the highly acclaimed book O Lanoo! - The Secret Doctrine Unveiled.