Saturday, May 25, 2024
Home Society Today 1891: Helena Blavatsky dies, founds a new world religion in Ostend

Today 1891: Helena Blavatsky dies, founds a new world religion in Ostend

by News Room
0 comment

8 May 1891 Helena Blavatsky (59), born Jelena Petrovna von Hahn, died in London. This German-Ukrainian aristocrat is the founder of Theosophy. He writes hundreds of articles and several books such as Isis was exposed in The Secret Doctrine. The latter book became a standard work of the theosophical movement. Blavatsky begins it in Ostend, where she stays from July 1886 to May 1887. According to the Ostend writer John Gheeraert (1939-2003), Blavatsky was also the main source of inspiration for James Ensor. He explains this in his The Secret World of James Ensor: Ensor’s Haunted Early Years (1860-1893), published in 2001.

Blavatsky is considered the most important figure in modern Western esotericism in the late 1800s. He is the first to combine the teachings of Eastern and Western wisdom in a new synthesis based on the early Rosicrucians, alchemists and medieval Theosophists, but also on the ancient Vedic religions of India and Tibetan Buddhism. Blavatsky calls this Theosophy and describes it as a synthesis of science, religion and philosophy: for her nothing less than a new world religion.

Helena Blavatsky takes the “spiritualistic phenomena” of people seriously, but explains them differently: they are not symptoms of illness, nor spirits of the dead manifesting themselves, but emanations of the universal spirit. One of his most famous followers is the Austrian architect, philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Steiner schools, yes.

In 1873, Blavatsky moved to New York. She is the first Russian woman to receive US citizenship. The Theosophical Society (TS) was founded as a secret society in Blavatsky’s apartment in the fall of 1875. The study of occultism, Kabbalah and similar teachings is set as the task of the society at the founding meeting. According to the rules, the goal is to “collect and disseminate information about the laws that govern the universe.” First, they want to unlock the ancient secret teachings that are considered the core of all world religions. The goal is to create a new world religion on this basis.

The fragmentation of TS leads to extensive diversification, with theosophical ideas spreading into countless groups and mixing with other ideas. The views of Blavatsky’s Secret Teachings have now become almost “common property” in esotericism, and are also received by communities not directly connected with Theosophy, such as Freemasonry.

The best-known branch of theosophy in Europe is the German branch of the Theosophical Society, which was led by Rudolf Steiner in 1902–1913. At first he strongly refers to the teachings of Blavatsky, but when TS declares the Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) as the “world teacher”, Steiner separates himself and goes his own way. Unlike Helena Blavatsky, she increasingly relies on Western esoteric traditions.

Leave a Comment