The Inner Magnetic Fluid of the
Theosophical Movement Was Given By H.P.B.
Helena P. Blavatsky
Helena Blavatsky: a bust made by Ukrainian sculptor Alexey Leonov
A 2011 Editorial Note:
“How to succeed?
(H. P. B.)
The following letter to William Q. Judge is dated 23 February 1887. We reproduce it from the magazine “Theosophical Forum”, July 1932 edition, pp. 223-228. We thank the Edmonton Theosophical Society, in Canada, for kindly providing us with photocopies of the material.
An introductory note to the letter, published by the editors of “Theosophical Forum”, says:
“The following is a verbatim et literatim reprint of the original now held in the official archives of the International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, Point Loma, California. The letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z, however, have been substituted for the names of persons mentioned in the original letter. In two places in the letter H.P.B. refers to the Master M. by his well-known signature, which is replaced in the reprint by . At the head of the letter, just below the heading ‘23 Feb. Ostende’, is written in pencil in Mr. Judge’s own hand-writing ‘1887’, and in the upper left-hand corner ‘Rec Mar 7th’.”
1. The Magnetic Fluid of the Movement
The present letter contains the complete version and general context of HPB’s statement that the theosophical movement “has her own magnetic fluid”. Partial quotations of her words are well-known. H.P.B. writes:
“….. What you say of my desire ‘to push on the cause & concentrate all my Karma’ is right yet it is wrong. Add to this that I wanted & still want to concentrate all its, as well as my own Karma, & you will be right – I alone can do it & only so long as I live. I am the mother & the creator of the Society, it has my magnetic fluid, & the child has inherited of all its parent’s physical, psychical, & spiritual attributes – faults & virtues – if any. Therefore, I alone, & to a degree, Olcott, can serve as a lightning conductor of Karma for it (….).”
The historical importance of these words is not limited to the past, for decisive phases of the movement’s History are yet to occur. The trajectory of the movement is but beginning. Being less than 200 years old, it is yet too young.
The presence of HPB’s “magnetic fluid” within the living aura of the theosophical movement is an important factor regarding its present – and its future. The fact has several layers of meaning. One of them is expanded in these words by William Q. Judge:
“H.P. Blavatsky has clearly pointed out in the Key, in her conclusion, that the plan is to keep the T.S. alive as an active, free, unsectarian body during all the time of waiting for the next great messenger, who will be herself beyond question.” 
It is not unreasonable to think that, sooner or later, some leader will appear again in the theosophical movement who will be capable of giving it a new impulse and new tools for it to be able to better help mankind.
There is something to be done, in order to make such a task easier for those who will be involved in it, while strengthening the chances that this may take place sooner than later.
HPB’s skandhas or “magnetic fluid” – as well as her teachings – must be preserved as a living, creative and dynamic process. Dead letter seldom helps. Two factors are therefore necessary which cannot exist apart from right Discernment or Viveka: (a) Courage to be actually independent from routine; and (b) that sort of Patience that can only emerge from a long-term historical perspective extending far beyond one’s present lifetime.
2. The Emotional Tapestry of Failure, Which Sometimes Leads to Treason
The 23 February 1887 letter to Judge is also important as a study of the psychological process involved in failing discipleship tests. HPB is forced to describe, in this private letter to her trusted friend W. Q. Judge, some of the disgusting details in the emotional tapestry of failure, which sometimes leads to slander and treason. She also describes the more “intelligent” kind of slander, which does not openly deny the Masters or theosophy. This part of HPB’s letter should help sincere students identify similar forms of attack to the movement during the 21st century and beyond.
“…That he wants to loot the T.S. is that which I know for over three months. And that nothing will deter him from doing or trying to do so, is also sure. He is no fool. He will not go and do as X does – slander openly and clumsily Ol. or myself, or deny the Masters. He will work silently and steadily at his object. He will pretend to be a true theosophist leading a life & pursuing a line of his own – allowing people to infer that he is inspired and helped from high. He will not say to people this or that, against either Society O. or myself; but he will insinuate & lead people to draw their own inferences which he will instill telepathically …”.
There is a unique psychological depth in HPB’s analysis of the challenges and difficulties present in discipleship and lay discipleship, as well as in the occult learning as a whole. In order to fully understand her approach, one should remember that fellow-Occultists are required to keep no personal secrets from each other.
We add explanatory notes to the letter.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
 “The Closing Cycle”, an article included in the volume “The Heart Doctrine”, by William Q. Judge, Theosophy Co., Bombay/Mumbai, India, 1977, 211 pp., see p. 40.
 Personal aspects of life must be mutually examined from an impersonal point of view. On its meeting on November 12, 1890, the Inner Group of HPB’s Esoteric School in London took a pledge aiming at that point. (“The Inner Group Teachings of H. P. Blavatsky”, Point Loma Publications, San Diego, CA, 1985, 188 pp., pp. 26-27.) See also HPB’s letter to a group of London students, published at “The Theosophist”, Adyar, pp. 386-389.
Letters Between Blavatsky and Judge – 08
Helena P. Blavatsky
My dear W.Q.J. 23 Feb. Ostende.
First, answer to queries in your first letter.
(1) The two unpardonable sins: HYPOCRISY, Pecksniffianism , – Better 100 mistakes through unwise injudicious sincerity, & indiscretion than Tartuffe-like Saintship as the whitened sepulchre, and rottenness & decay within.
(2) The Biblical sin of Onan. Involuntary and natural, or physiological is not held as sin, if one is irresponsible, though it is a wall against progress; but mental Onanism is 1000 times worse than the physical. You can hardly have control over your nerves – You CAN over your thoughts & imagination. IT IS WORSE THAN THE VERY (NATURAL) ACT.
(3) This is not unpardonable but very dangerous, as explained in my article: DOUBT, eternal wavering – it leads one to wreck.
(4) What would I say if you stepped into my room one of these days? I would welcome you without feeling surprised. I will be June the 1st in London. If, during this summer you came for a month or two – it would do you good & my S.D. too as I will be reading the proof sheets. But not unless you have secured & prepared the contents of the PATH for two or three months. You could surely trust it to Mr. Hart?
(5) I – make Olcott send you what you want!! Why, I am asking for the last 6 months – applic. forms – & can’t get them. An iron or brazen wall is more plastic than Olcott. But the Masters who see through him – hold to & protect him; the T.S. cannot find a more active President. Even the mistakes, blunders and flapdoodles made in it result FINALLY in good. The Karma thereof, sticks to the producer of it; the fruits of bitter lessons & experience profit to the Society.
(6) Now to your second & very sad, desperate letter. Allow me to quote a verse from a very esoterically wise, & exoterically silly book, the work and production of some old & ancient friends and foes “There is more joy in the kingdom of heaven for one repented sinner than for 99 saints.” So much for my writing to Coues & asking you to try & be friends with him. He may breathe lies, – so much the worse for himself. What business is it of ours? He has tried to do good to the T.S. & to best of his perverted judgement. I have tried to stop him, you have: we failed. The fact remains that he has infused life into what was a corpse before he stepped in. The few remnants even that still exist in the U.S. are due to him. Let us be just & give to Caeser what is Caeser’s however imperfect, even vicious Caeser may be.
“Blessed be the peace makers” said another old Adept, of 107 B. C. & the saying is alive to the present day among the MASTERS. “Judge not, oh Judge! And thou shall not be judged.”
(7) Sinnett? The first news of his having written to Coues – I get from you, now. He has written “because you (I) have asked him.” Oh blessed intuition. My son, bore a hole through your wise scalp & skull & try to let out some of the fog therein. TRY & be a little more intuitional. I do not know what Sinnett wrote to him about, when, or for what reasons. You better tell me. I asked Sinnett yesterday in a post-card. Whether he will answer or not – I cannot tell. Beware meanwhile of a 3d leather prize in intuition, my dear.
(8) There is falsity and there’s such a thing as “judiciousness”. The latter was in view when you were asked to “mix” with Mrs. Bates & Coues. Why and in what is it “against all rules of Masters”? On the other hand what you (and all of you) do namely to live like cats & dogs in the T.S. is positively against all rules & wishes of the Masters;” as against our “Brotherhood” so-called & T.S. and all its rules. THEY are disgusted; THEY look on, & in that look (Oh Lord if you could only see it, as I have!) there’s an ocean deep of sad disgust, contempt and sorrow.
Olcott, Sinnett, & others will have their karma for divulging names & sacred things, for throwing pearls to the swine. “A false name ” ? Look in, please, into Five Years of Theosophy, pp. 483-4.  “The Puranas on the Dynasty of the Moryas” – BUS. The ideal WAS besmeared with mud; but as it is no golden idol on feet of clay it stands to this day, immovable; & what the profane brutes see, is only their own mud, thrown with their own hands & which has created a veil, an impassable barrier between them and the ideal idol, without touching the latter. They spat in the air & it fell back on their noses – that’s all.
(8)  Whatever they may report to me about YOU – is immaterial. I know you and heed not what they say, never have,- never will. You have remained “faithful” throughout all. We know it.
(9) You are hard on Olcott. You are not expected to subscribe to his judgement or proceedings. But the man does the best he can. Be charitable and see things in their true light. “The prettiest girl in the world can give but what she has -” what she has not in her, how can she give? You make too much of me & too little of him. He is better than I am, in many respects, for I had & he never had any training.
(10) How to succeed? Through WILL-POWER. You have that, but you have also diffidence. You doubt yourself more than you doubt any other man or woman. This is not the way. Go to bed alone and if possible in a place, if even a clothes’ closet & no bigger – but one in which there is no magnetism except your own – & will TO SEE. And believe me, my son, “my spirit will be upon you & your visions” – metaphorically of course not that of old H.P.B. – though you may see the old thing, occasionally, also as the vehicle of the Spirit. It is a question of limited time only. Once you have forced your Spirit to talk with the Spirit of A, B, or C, you will need no solitary nooks. At the beginning it is imperatively necessary. I have said.
(11) “Get no direction”! Have a large society, the more the better; – all that is chaff & husk is bound to fall away in time; all that is grain will remain. But the seed is in the bad & the evil men as much as in the good ones – only it is more difficult to call into life & cause it to germinate. The good husbandman does not stop to pick out the seeds from the handful. He gives them all their chance. And even some of the half-rotten seeds come to life when thrown into good soil. Be, that soil. Do not be squeamish about things. Look at me – the universal theosophical manure – the rope for whose hanging and lashing, is made out of the flax I have sown, & each strand it is twisted of represents a “mistake” of mine. Hence, if you fail only “9 times out of 10 in your selections” – you are successful 1 time out of 10 – & that’s more than many other theosophists can say.
(12) The PATH is a great success – morally. I have letters from Boston from theos. I do not know saying what good they get by reading it. Throw your whole heart into the thing. Give it life by infusing into it your own soul not that of mere Peripatetics.
(13) You have done the last two years what you could & more than could be demanded of you for “Society” and Cause. Yes; those “few true souls” will be the nucleus for the future success and their children will. But if the Society is small, and as there is nine tenths of evil in it, invariably what selection can be hoped for futurity? Don’t you understand now why poor Olcott struggles for numbers regardless of mistakes, failures & results? He was commanded to multiply & increase the day he landed at Bombay & he has done so blindly with the unselfish devotion of the Newfoundland dog which rushes into the roaring waves of the ocean at this Master’s voice after a stick & does not stop to reason why. This is the one priceless quality in Olcott. FAITH in his Master, & no desire for reward; out of evil the good grows, but not when we sow evil with our own hands. Let us sow good – & if evil crops up, it will be blown away by the wind like all other things in this life – in its time.
(14)  Yes, there are “two persons” in me. But what of that? So are there two in you; only mine is conscious & responsible & yours is not. So you are happier than I am. I know you sympathize with me; & you do because you feel that I have always stood up for you & will do so to the bitter or the happy end, as the case may be.
My dear fellow – what you say of my desire “to push on the cause & concentrate all my Karma” is right yet it is wrong. Add to this that I wanted & still want to concentrate all its, as well as my own Karma, & you will be right – I alone can do it & only so long as I live. I am the mother & the creator of the Society, it has my magnetic fluid, & the child has inherited of all its parent’s physical, psychical, & spiritual attributes – faults & virtues – if any. Therefore, I alone, & to a degree, Olcott, can serve as a lightning conductor of Karma for it.  Had I not done it – the Society would have gone smash three years ago. But I was asked whether I was willing, when on the point of dying and – I said yes, for it was the only means to save it. Therefore I consented to live – which in my case, means to suffer physically during 12 hours of the day – mentally during the twelve hours of night when I get rid of the physical shell. You are the first one to whom I tell it, because you force me into the confession. What is the use saying it to any one else? No one will believe it & it will only help making an additional lump of mud to be thrown at me. Now you know. Whether you will understand the thing correctly, is another thing. And it is true about the Kali Yuga. Once that I have offered myself as the goat of atonement – the Kali yuga recognizes its own, whereas any other would shrink from such a thing as I am – doomed and overburdened in this life worse than a poor weak donkey full of sores made to drag up-hill a cart load of heavy rocks. That’s all. Now what can I say more?
About W ! I have no right to interfere with his Karma. I have done my best, went to the very limits of persuasion, show of real affection & desire to help him. I have saved him four years ago; had he been guilty with Y in London I would have saved him even then & would have been the only one not to turn away from him. He knows – if he is not entirely under dugpas influence that it is so. He knows that I have never sinned against him, and therefore, knowing this he hates me the more for it.  “We always hate those whom we fear, & whom we have wronged.” He fears me unjustly for till the day he left for America I never opened my mouth to a living soul about his infamy against Z Babu, his uncle. But when I received lately a letter from Arthur in which he accuses & says openly “all the leaders of the T.S. are immoral” & means Olcott & myself – (about that Philad. business) – & that I knew it was W who psychologized him into this belief – I wrote to the Countess that she should know – as she was told in London many dirty things about me which were inspired by W (for inst. Schmichen tells in confidence to everyone that W – “the purest, holiest saintliest of men” himself – was obliged to confess that “Madam” (me) was very sensual, married a young husband, had lovers in the U.S. & even hinted that I was Olcott’s mistress). And, I told it today to another person, who will never say it to anyone, & who knows more about W than any other man in London – dear old Keightley, who came from Engl. to see me. Now what can I do? W lied to everyone & as X has so compromised himself by boasting of his chelaship that he now cannot get out of it. But then he either does not believe in Masters, or his desire is to ruin his ideals. For he said that to Keightley which neither I, nor anyone devoted to the cause & the Masters can ever forgive him. He actually told him, that when at Barbizon last year in France when the Y was after his scalp -seeking to seduce him that he heard distinctly his Master’s (K.H.) voice saying to him that things went so far that he (W) had to do one of the two things either make of Y his mistress, or to break with her,  and that he, W, chose the middle course – to neither break nor give up his chastity but to correspond with her etc. etc. This is an INFERNAL devilish LIE – either this or pucka possession.
That he wants to loot the T.S. is that which I know for over three months. And that nothing will deter him from doing or trying to do so, is also sure. He is no fool. He will not go and do as X does – slander openly and clumsily Ol. or myself, or deny the Masters. He will work silently and steadily at his object. He will pretend to be a true theosophist leading a life & pursuing a line of his own – allowing people to infer that he is inspired and helped from high. He will not say to people this or that, against either Society O. or myself; but he will insinuate & lead people to draw their own inferences which he will instill telepathically, to use a S.P.R. expression, with those wonderful deep “holy” & dreamy eyes of his. For he can psychologize, I tell you so. He is a Hindu and deep as hell, or the kingdom of bliss – there is no middle ground for a Hindu depth of mind. He knows I am innocent of any guilt versus W, quite the contrary; but there is the tacit pact between himself and Hodgson – & I am in his way. He does not mean to return to India, and he has to create for himself a Society of which he will be the head; and he has at the same time to reconcile his past, his chelaship, devotion to Masters, the cause & myself & his present desertion. The Coulomb told to Hodgson the whole story about Z his beautiful wife (W’s aunt) and his W’s crime, who lived in adultery and incest with her several years – and Coulomb has no doubt embroidered the thing, for it is bad enough as it is. And now Hodgson told him of it. W had to choose between his own reputation of a Jesus on tin wheels being smashed by Hodgson, or to let him smash me. He hesitated for over six months; but when this scandal of Y came out he had to make his choice – & – I was sacrificed. The Vs and X and W were friends with Hodgson ever since November 15 months ago. U V is his victim and X’s hatred helped him to make his choice. That’s the whole truth. Since then he began to work &worked 8 months on U V by her own confession to Dr. T before she gave in and got convinced that H.P.B.’s Masters were black magicians & no better. These are her words. Then between him & X they ruined the confidence of the whole Gebhard family except the two old people. Now X works in England, & he in America. I cannot help, cannot punish, cannot meddle. When he was here, I offered him eternal alliance – which meant eternal silence partly to save the Society from him; he wriggled out of it, protesting to the last day friendship to me, filial affection etc & trying to set me against Olcott. He also tried to undermine my influence with more than one Hindu by writing letters & he succeeded – with Subba Row for one partially, at least, for S. R. is as deep as himself. You will never beat him – he is too deep for you & you too honest for him. Yet, promise him salvage. Perchance – if the Master helps you will succeed. How can I “let up on him”! No need of inducing him to believe that he is going farther & farther from Masters. He is at the other pole for the matter of that, from Them. But as he has been slandering in such a vile way his ex-Master – I do not think Karma will let him go off so easily. What you have to do is to assure him that so long as I do not see bad results of his staying in America I will never mention his name. But if I see that he is really looting the T.S. then I will take means of unmasking him. I loved, admired & respected him. I was sincere with him as I never was with anyone. Now I feel contempt for him & only watch him to counteract his blows to the Society. I do never nor ever will I throw mud at him, as he does at me.
Lastly. YOU HAVE A WIDE & NOBLE PROSPECT BEFORE YOU, IF YOU DO NOT LOSE PATIENCE. TRY for mercy’s sake try & feel me & hear “the small voice” within you.
Your ever affectionate, HPB.
 Pecksniffianism – the act of affecting benevolence or high moral.
 At this point there are no closing inverted commas after the word mix, in the letter as published by “The Theosophical Forum”. We have added the closing inverted commas.
 At this point there is a closing parenthesis for which there was no opening parenthesis, in the letter as published by “The Theosophical Forum”. We have therefore eliminated the closing parenthesis.
 “Bus” – A Hindi word meaning “enough” or “that will do”. (See “Theosophical History” magazine, July 1995 edition, p. 224, footnote.)
 Number (8) is repeated.
 In the letter as published by “The Theosophical Forum”, it is “14.”, instead of “(14)”.
 H.P.B. is referring to the original Theosophical Society, which ceased to exist in 1895. The scenario in the 21st century is more complex. In our century, HPB’s “magnetic fluid” statement directly applies to those sectors of the theosophical movement which consciously recognize the importance of the original teachings, and which can also see the act of learning as a living process. As to the degree of magnetic affinity between the long-term purpose of the movement and the karma and future of the present-day Adyar Society, it cannot be easily calculated or expressed in a few words.
 At this point there is an opening of inverted commas for which there are no closing inverted commas in the letter as published by “The Theosophical Forum”. We have added the closing inverted commas after the word “wronged”.
 At this point the letter as published by “The Theosophical Forum” has a closing of inverted commas for which there was no previous opening.
 Pucka possession – a possession “of the highest quality”, a “genuine possession”, an ironical phrase by H.P.B. “Pucka” or “Pukka” is a Hindi word meaning “first class” and “genuine, authentic”.
 At this point the letter as published by “The Theosophical Forum” has a opening of inverted commas for which there is no later closing.
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.