How a Tale From The Life of Apollonius of
Tyana May Illustrate the Destiny of the Vatican
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
“Remember the sum of human
misery will never be diminished
unto that day when the better
portion of humanity destroys in the
name of Truth, morality, and universal
charity, the altars of their false gods.”
(A Mahatma of the Himalayas)
Helena P. Blavatsky - the founder of the theosophical movement - made a prophecy with regard to the Catholic Church. The prophecy was also a wish, a hope - perhaps a vow.
While discussing the relation of esoteric philosophy to Western churches, H.P.B. wrote in 1888:
“A day will come when Oriental Esotericism will render the same service to Christian Europe as Apollonius of Tyana rendered at Corinth to his disciple Menippus. The golden wand will be stretched out towards the Church of Rome, and the ghoul which has vampirized the civilized peoples since Constantine will resume its spectral, demoniacal form of incubus and succubus. So may it be! Om mani padme hum! H.P. Blavatsky.” 
A forceful image, indeed, regarding the future of Catholicism. And perhaps a commitment to be considered and acted upon in the right time by the “Eastern” sector of the esoteric movement. In a few words, H.P.B. said much. Yet, the issue is rather mysterious and complex and the “prophecy” gives only a hint. What else, then, could one know about the facts mentioned by H.P.B.?
The Corinth episode to which Blavatsky refers is narrated in the Book IV, item XXV of “The Life of Apollonius of Tyana”, by Philostratus.
Menippus was a Lycian of twenty-five years of age.
Philostratus writes that he “was supposed by most people to be loved by a foreign woman, who was good-looking and extremely dainty, and said that she was rich; although she was really, as it turned out, none of these things, but was only so in semblance.”
Referring to Menippus, Philostratus goes on:
“For as he was walking all alone along the roads towards Cenchreae, he met with an apparition, and it was a woman who clasped his hand and declared that she had been long in love with him, and that she was a Phoenician woman and lived in a suburb of Corinth, and she mentioned the name of the particular suburb, and said: ‘When you reach the place this evening, you will hear my voice as I sing to you, and you shall have wine such as you never before drank, and there will be no rival to disturb you; and we two beautiful beings will live together’. The youth consented to this, for although he was in general a strenuous philosopher, he was nevertheless susceptible to the tender passion; and he visited her in the evening, and for the future constantly sought her company as his darling, for he did not yet realise that she was a mere apparition.”
The narrative proceeds:
“Then Apollonius looked over Menippus as a sculptor might do, and he sketched an outline of the youth and examined him, and having observed his foibles, he said: ‘You are a fine youth and are hunted by fine women, but in this case you are cherishing a serpent, and a serpent cherishes you’. And when Menippus expressed his surprise, he added: ‘For this lady is of a kind you cannot marry. Why should you? Do you think that she loves you?’ ‘Indeed I do’, said the youth, ‘since she behaves as if she loves me.’ ‘And would you then marry her?’, said Apollonius. ‘Why, yes, for it would be delightful to marry a woman who loves you.’ Thereupon Apollonius asked when the wedding was to be. ‘Perhaps tomorrow’, said the other, ‘for it brooks no delay.’ Apollonius therefore waited for the occasion of the wedding breakfast, and then, presenting himself before the guests who had just arrived, he said: ‘Where is the dainty lady at whose instance ye are come?’ ‘Here she is’, replied Menippus, and at the same moment he rose slightly from his seat, blushing. ‘And to which of you belong the silver and gold and all the rest of the decorations of the banqueting hall?’ ‘To the lady’, replied the youth, ‘for this is all I have of my own’, pointing to the philosopher’s cloak which he wore.”
Philostratus concludes his report thus:
“And Apollonius said: ‘Have you heard of the gardens of Tantalus, how they exist and yet do not exist?’ ‘Yes’, they answered, ‘in the poems of Homer, for we certainly never went down to Hades’. ‘As such’, replied Apollonius, ‘you must regard this adornment, for it is not reality but the semblance of reality. And that you may realise the truth of what I say, this fine bride is one of the vampires, that is to say of those beings whom the many regard as lamias and hobgoblins. These beings fall in love, and they are devoted to the delights of Aphrodite, but especially to the flesh of human beings, and they decoy with such delights those whom they mean to devour in their feasts.’ And the lady said: ‘Cease your ill-omened talk and begone’; and she pretended to be disgusted at what she heard, and no doubt she was inclined to rail at philosophers and say that they always talked nonsense. When, however, the goblets of gold and the show of silver were proved as light as air and all fluttered away out of their sight, while the wine bearers and the cooks and all the retinue of servants vanished before the rebukes of Apollonius, the phantom pretended to weep, and prayed him not to torture her nor to compel her to confess what she really was. But Apollonius insisted and would not let her off, and then she admitted that she was a vampire, and was fattening up Menippus with pleasures before devouring his body, for it was her habit to feed upon young and beautiful bodies, because their blood is pure and strong.” 
This is the story as told by Philostratus.
According to Helena Blavatsky, the “beautiful” Church of Rome is like the “lady” in this story; and Eastern esotericism must play the role of Apollonius. The Vatican is “the ghoul which has vampirized the civilized peoples since Constantine”. In the right occasion it “will resume its spectral, demoniacal form of incubus and succubus.”
It is also worthwhile to meditate upon the fact that H.P.B. ends her “prophecy” with strong words and a meaningful, powerful Eastern mantra:
“So may it be! Om mani padme hum!”
Two Other Prophecies In Classical Theosophy
This was not the only occasion that the same prophecy was made. It can be put into words in various ways, and it does not apply exclusively to the Vatican.
H. P. Blavatsky made a similar statement in her 1889 essay “The Beacon of the Unknown”. While discussing the efforts of the priest-centered Christianity to dominate the minds of citizens of all nations through the use of intense blind belief in a Church-produced idea of personal God, she announced:
“The Church, unless she withdraws her heavy hand, which weighs like a nightmare on the oppresses bosoms of millions of believers nolens volens, and whose reason remains paralyzed in the clutch of superstition, the ritualistic Church is sentenced to yield its place to religion and - to die. Soon it will have to choose. For, once the people become enlightened about the truth which it hides with so much care, one of two things will happen: the Church will either perish by means of the people; or else, if the masses are left in ignorance and in slavery to the dead letter, it will perish with the people. Will the servants of eternal Truth, which has been made by them a squirrel running around an ecclesiastical wheel, show themselves sufficiently altruistic to choose the first of these alternative necessities? Who knows?” 
The End of Organized Superstition
Another prophecy was made by a Master of the Wisdom regarding the unavoidable end of the various conventional religions based on blind-belief.
In the famous “Letter 10” of the “Mahatma Letters”, an Eastern Teacher wrote:
“For two thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste, Brahmins alone feeding on the fat of the land, and to-day the followers of Christ and those of Mahomet are cutting each other’s throats in the names of and for the greater glory of their respective myths.” 
At this point he makes the prophecy:
“Remember the sum of human misery will never be diminished unto that day when the better portion of humanity destroys in the name of Truth, morality, and universal charity, the altars of their false gods.”
 “Collected Writings”, Helena P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Publishing House, volume IX, p. 387, footnote.
 “The Life of Apollonius of Tyana”, Flavius Philostratus, With an English Translation by F.C. Conybeare, in two volumes, Harvard University Press, MCMXLVIII, The Loeb Classical Library. Printed in Great Britain. See volume I, Book IV, pp. 403-409.
 Nolens volens: a Latin expression whose meaning is “whether willing or unwilling”.
 Part III of the essay “The Beacon of the Unknown”, in “The Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky”, TPH, USA, volume XI, p. 262.
 “The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, TUP, Pasadena, CA, Letter X, p. 58. In the Chronological edition of “The Mahatma Letters”, TPH, Philippines, 1993, see Letter 88, p. 275.
Read the articles “Occult Roots of Religious Violence”, “The Center of Pascal’s Sphere”, “Meditation on the Awakening of Mankind” and “Meditating on Peace in the Middle East”, by Carlos C. Aveline.
Readers are also invited to examine the texts “The Tree of Universal Brotherhood”, by Helena Blavatsky, and “Pascal’s Sphere”, by Jorge Luis Borges.
All of the above titles can be located at our associated websites.
On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.