H.P.B. Discusses the Editorial
Line Adopted in The Path Magazine
Helena P. Blavatsky
Helena P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge
“Your ‘Path’ is a most
excellent theosophical paper,
but useless for militant purposes.”
“What you need in America is a weekly if
not a fighting daily. Path is a ‘Lamb-Job’
an ever meek Jeremiah, as is our Revue
Theosophique in Paris. You hardly dare say
booh in it for fear it should look like polemics.”
“The E.S. is the throbbing heart of the T.S. &
without it the T.S. becomes a sham & nothing more.
(…) So long as this fermentation goes on & the stream
of the E.S. is not settled, I will give instructions which if
they even fall into the enemies hands will do no harm. Catch
me, giving the real until I know my chelas. All these were and
are flowers & if you would have the fruit - behave yourselves.”
(H. P. Blavatsky, to W.Q. Judge)
A 2012 Editorial Note:
The following letter, dated July 7th, 1889, is
reproduced from the October 1995 edition of
“Theosophical History” magazine, pp. 271-273.
The message to Judge makes it clear that
the individual search for discipleship is a
central factor in the history and future of the
theosophical movement. On the other hand,
H.P.B. did not reveal much of Occultism in her
Esoteric Instructions, due to the lack of firmer
ethical foundations in the souls of theosophical
students. As long as she lived, there was a
remarkable “fermentation” within the Esoteric
School and the theosophical movement as a whole.
From these facts one can infer that the task in the
21st century and beyond must include building solid
ethical foundations, both as individuals and collectively.
Right action, however, is not the result of propaganda;
it naturally emerges from healthy and active Antahkaranas.
Underlined words are thus in the original. Sometimes,
they are underlined with a double line in the transcription
made by Mr. Michael Gomes. We don’t take that into
consideration. Words in square brackets, followed by
question marks, are attempts by the transcriber to
understand the original. We add a few explanatory notes.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
Hotel de la Ville de Lyon & de Londres
July 7th 1889
My dear W.Q.J.
Having been spirited away by Mrs. Ida G. Candler, of Boston, and forced to take rest for a month here, I have a little time now to write, & I mean to tell you all I had to say since you left, & that remained unsaid.
1. I do not thank you for the two men you sent here, with regard to whom I have done all you wanted me to & followed your instructions. I am friends with both, have nothing against them, they love me, I love them, but neither is worth a two-penny damn for our work here. Both Fullerton & Lane  are complete failures in England. The former worked & did what he could at [least ?]; the latter will not touch a thing & speaks of nothing but suicide. Five days after he came he went off to the isle of Wight & remained a fortnight; no sooner had I gone to France than he went off to Scotland.
I can do nothing for him.
2. In re E.S. Now you know or ought to know - for the situation is full well defined, that if you drop now the E.S. , down goes the whole of the T.S. in America, save a few flapdoodling independent Branches. Drop it, and you yourself become useless & helpless. The E.S. is the throbbing heart of the T.S. & without it the T.S. becomes a sham & nothing more. Had we 100 Annie Besants & Herbert Burrowses  it might become in time a real Brotherhood of man, the nucleus of the future [weal ?] of Humanity, as in “Looking Backward.”  But we have one Annie & one Herbert & hundreds of sentimental half selfish when not quite selfish ninnies, who will quarrel & dispute & ruin the whole. So true is this, that the whole force of Coues’ infernal cunning is directed against the E.S. alone, hence against me. If you do not understand this, then you are not the acute Irishman I take you to be. Now you know that Coues hates you, but pitches only into me though till now he has not hated me but had great hopes in me - for himself. He knows that once he has destroyed the E.S. he will have stopped the heart & activity of the whole T.S. in America, and - he acts accordingly. Coues is wise in his generation & you are not, I see. Read his interview with the “Washington Star” reporter & see how cunningly he acts. His whole air is to identify the Theosophists with the Butlerites, and make the “Esoteric” and the “Esotericists of the T.S.” identical in the sight of the public, just to ruin us. Now what can you do against him? You have pitched him out, expelled him & he speaks as if he was the President of the T.S. having the impudence of saying that “we (Coues) do not mean to permit her (Blavatsky) to do that & the other.” And he will go on laughing at us because he has money & can bribe the dailies  & we have none & that papers refuse insertion to our replies.
Now I say, that the only salvation to this is the E.S., because however ill-managed, the majority will ever be true and that if we could only establish ramifications & have esoteric Lodges, the Presidents of which would be responsible for their members, receive but one instruction for the whole lodge (two or three, if numerous) then it would be all right.
Your suggestion to abolish the 7 Councillors is impossible & excuse me, absurd. Do you want me to appear a fickle fool? I have just appointed them and now I will smash them? No sir. I was told to do it & I did it; and if (through your fault & obstinacy) the E.S. falls, the 7 will fall with it and I - too. For, the moment the E.S. is destroyed I retire from the T.S. altogether. This I swear. Between Olcott’s & Harte’s flapdoodles the T.S. is as good as a farce. I tell you Coues knows it well; and if you let him triumph, then let the Karma fall upon you. Do what you like & how you like, I leave you with a carte blanche to act. So long as this fermentation goes on & the stream of the E.S. is not settled, I will give instructions which if they even fall into the enemies hands will do no harm. Catch me, giving the real until I know my chelas. All these were and are flowers & if you would have the fruit - behave yourselves. Dixi. 
Bert  will send you an address of the Esot. “Horus” Lodge of the T.S. which please see if you can publish in Path. It shows that Mahatmas or no Mahatmas what I can teach personally is sufficient to old Kabalists of 20 years standing. All the members of the Horus Lodge (Bradford) are old Masons & Kabalists & what they say in the Address is very suggestive & will wipe out Coues’ nose off.
Now I see how true it is what Lane says. What you need in America is a weekly if not a fighting daily. Path is a “Lamb-Job” an ever meek Jeremiah, as is our Revue Theosophique in Paris. You hardly dare say booh in it for fear it should look like polemics. If, profiting by the occasion, you should address every Theosophist & Esotericist and [have ?] Buck  & a few others to help you - and representing [them ?] the truth, namely that Theosophy cannot triumph so long as every paper pitches into it and none will print an answer, collect money enough to publish a weekly, a theosophical packa fighting paper “the Champion,” or the “Wrangler,” or some such thing & set Fullerton as nominal editor & you the real Boss, then we could get on. Now Mrs. Candler  (the wife of the member for Congress who proposes going for Coues’ scalp in October at Washington) who adores me & proves it, promises 300 a year for something like that. She made me come to Paris & spent £30 on one way here only; forcing Bert to take coupé lit reserved carriages & what not - for me my maid & himself who accompanied me; placing me in a suit of rooms at 25 francs a day, for a whole month, & spending money like mud - she will do anything for me. She is a generous, charming, devoted friend & theosophist & will be a valuable ally for you in October. She will start up a subscription for a Weekly for you & is sure to head it with a good sum. Your Path is a most excellent theosophical paper, but useless for militant purposes.
Well, that’s all. Choose ye this day etc.  Here Bert & I have received writs from Mrs. Cook, who proposes to sue us for defamation & damages for our two libels in Light!!  She [begins ?] I had no right to reply & contradict her libel. What next. I am sick, sick, sick of all. If you don’t help, I give up all.
Yours [ ? ]
 Alexander Fullerton and Michael-Angelo Lane, as the transcriber, Mr. Michael Gomes, reports. (CCA)
 W.Q. Judge was facing a problem of despondency and/or conflict, as will be seen in “Letters Between Blavatsky and Judge - 15”. (CCA)
 The transcriber informs that Herbert Burrows had joined the theosophical movement with Annie Besant in May 1889. (CCA)
 “Looking Backward”; the futurist novel by Edward Bellamy. (CCA)
 HPB’s answer to the “Washington Evening Star” was published in “Lucifer” magazine, London, July 1889, pp. 427-428. We thank the transcriber for indicating that. (CCA)
 Having a small circulation, the 19th century daily journalism was easy to influence by the use of money. (CCA)
 According to this plan, the majority of E.S. Members would receive instructions only by hearing to them. They would be then real akoustikós as in the Pythagorean tradition. (CCA)
 These words were written in July 1889. The “fermentation” went on taking various forms until HPB died in May 1891 and did not cease even after that. In fact, it got worse. HPB’s esoteric writings must have been kept by her therefore at a low level of what she calls real Occultism. On the other hand, for those who have eyes to see, the esoteric dimension in her books and writings is not only unique; it is generous; it was given in a special moment in the evolution of present humanity; and it is more than enough for students in the 21st century and beyond. Those interested can research and verify the plain fact that, in the universal literature of all time, there is nothing similar to her writings. (CCA)
 Bertram Keightley. (CCA)
 It was printed in the “Path”, July 1889, p. 163, as the transcriber indicates. (CCA)
 The transcriber says this is Dr. Jirah D. Buck, of Cincinnati, Ohio. (CCA)
 Mrs. Ida Garrison Candler, who is also mentioned in the first sentence of the present letter. She died in 1891, a few weeks before H.P.B.’s own death. In ‘Lucifer’ magazine, May 1891 edition, p. 264, one can read in a short untitled note: “It is with the greatest possible regret that we have to announce the sudden death of our good and esteemed friend Mrs. Ida Garrison Candler (…). Mrs. Candler twice made the long journey across the Atlantic on purpose to spend a few weeks at Headquarters, and it was she who accompanied H.P.B. during her stay at Fontainebleau and Jersey in 1889. She left the most pleasant recollections behind her owing to her amiable and generous temperament, and the Society has lost by her death one of its strongest adherents and supporters (…)”. On Mrs. Candler, see also the opening sentence in the present letter. (CCA)
 “Choose ye this day etc.”; a reference to the Bible, the book of Joshua, 24:15: “Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve…” (CCA)
 The transcriber clarifies: this is a reference to the letters from Bertram Keightley and H.P.B. in which they discuss Mabel Collins’ and Coues’s actions, and which were published in “Light”, London, June 1889. HPB’s letter to “Light” can be seen at the Blavatsky “Collected Writings”, TPH, volume VI, pp. 284-286. (CCA)
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.