A Case of Obsession (an article, H. P. Blavatsky)

I would like to post here the text of an article by H. P. Blavatsky (further referred to as HPB), whom I am trying to rehabilitate on this forum. I find that her work is very relevant to this group's work, and I am trying to show by the article below one of the examples of how HPB's work has a number of similarities to that of Laura. Laura may have personal reasons for not directly promoting HPB's work on this forum, which may include a false idea of HPB and her work, due to several campaigns of libel and defamation that marred HPB's reputation during her life, as well as a confusion of her work with that of the Theosophical Society (Adyar), which HPB founded, but which took a somewhat different turn after her death, as well as many of the later "theosophists" and Theosophy-related figures (such as Alice Bailey, the "I AM" society, etc.).

Moreover, apart from providing merely an historical interest, the following article, I believe, contains practical advice related to the issues, which are the subject matter of this board. The advice can be found towards the end of the article, highlighted in bold by me.

The Theosophist said:
A Case of Obsession

The particulars of the case of “obsession,” alluded to in the April number of this magazine, are given in the following letter from a respectable English medical man who is in attendance upon the victim:

I take the liberty of addressing you in the cause of humanity, with the intention of exciting your sympathies and obtaining all the aid in your power to afford, in a case of “control.” You will understand that the gentleman is being made a medium against his wish, through having attended a few séances for the purpose of witnessing “materialization.”

Ever since he has been more or less subject to a series of persecutions by the “controlling” spirit and, in spite of every effort of his to throw off the influence, he has been made to suffer most shamefully and painfully in very many ways and under most trying and aggravating circumstances, especially by his thoughts being forced into forbidden channels without external causes being present—the bodily functions overruled, even being caused to bite his tongue and cheeks severely whilst eating, etc., and subjected to every species of petty annoyances which will serve as a means for the “control” (unknown) to sustain and establish the connection. The details are in their most painful features not such as I can write to you; but if there be any means known to you whereby the influence can be diverted, and it is thought necessary to be more particular in my description of this case, I will send you all the information I possess.

So little is known in India of the latest and most startling phase of Western mediumistic phenomena—“materialization”—that a few words of explanation are needed to make this case understood. Briefly, then, for several years, in the presence of certain mediums in America and Europe, there have been seen, often under good test conditions, apparitions of the dead, which in every respect seem like living human beings.

They walk about, write messages to present and absent friends, speak audibly in the languages familiar to them in life, even though the medium may be unacquainted with them, and are dressed in the garb they wore when alive. Many cases of fraudulent personation of the dead have been detected, pretended mediums have sometimes gone on for years deceiving the credulous, and real ones, whose psychical powers have been apparently proved beyond doubt, have been caught playing tricks in some evil hour when they have yielded to either the love of money or notoriety. Still, making every allowance for all these, there is a residuum of veritable cases of the materialization, or the making visible, tangible, and audible of portrait-figures of dead people. These wonderful phenomena have been variously regarded by investigators. Most Spiritualists have looked upon them as the most precious proofs of the soul-survival; while Theosophists, acquainted with the views of the ancient Theurgists, and the still more ancient Aryan philosophers, have viewed them as at best misleading deceptions of the senses, fraught with danger to the physical and moral natures of both medium and spectator—if the latter chances to be susceptible to certain psychical influences. These students of Occultism have noticed that the mediums for materializations have too often been ruined in health by the drain upon their systems, and wrecked in morals. They have over and again warned the Spiritualistic public that mediumship was a most dangerous gift, one only to be tolerated under great precautions. And for this they have received much abuse and few thanks. Still one’s duty must be done at every cost, and the case now before us affords a valuable text for one more bit of friendly counsel.

We need not stop to discuss the question whether the so-called materialized forms above described are or are not those of the deceased they look like. That may be held in reserve until the bottom facts of Oriental psychical science are better understood. Nor need we argue as to whether there has ever been an authentic materialization. The London experiences of Mr. William Crookes, F.R.S., and the American ones of Colonel Olcott, both so widely known and of so convincing a character, give us a sufficient basis of fact to argue upon. We assume the reality of materializations, and shall take the instance cited by the English physician as a subject for diagnosis.

The patient then is described as having been “controlled” since attending “circles” where there were materializations, and as having become the bond-slave of some evil powers which force him to say and do painful and even disgusting things, despite his resistance. Why is this? How can a man be compelled to so act against his will? What is Obsession? Three brief questions these are, but most difficult to explain to an uninitiated public. The laws of Obsession can only be well understood by him who has sounded the depths of Indian philosophy. The only clue to the secret, which the West possesses, is contained in that most beneficent science, Magnetism or Mesmerism. That does teach the existence of a vital fluid within and about the human being; the fact of different human polarities; and the possibility of one person projecting this fluid or force at will, to and upon another person differently polarized. Baron Reichenbach’s theory of Odyle or Odic force shows us the existence of this same fluid in the mineral and vegetable as well as the animal kingdoms. To complete the chain of evidence, Buchanan’s discovery of the psychometrical faculty in man enables us to prove, by the help of this faculty, that a subtle influence is exerted by people upon the houses and even the localities they live in, the paper they write upon, the clothing they wear, the portion of the Universal Ether (the Aryan Akâśa) they exist in—and that this is a permanent influence, perceptible even at the most distant epochs from the time when the individual lived and exerted this influence. In one word, we may say that the discoveries of Western science corroborate most fully the hints thrown out by Greek sages and the more defined theories of certain Indian philosophers.

Indians and Buddhists believe alike that thought and deed are both material, that they survive, that the evil desires and the good ones of a man environ him in a world of his own making, that these desires and thoughts take on shapes that become real to him after death, and that Moksha, in the one case, and Nirvana, in the other, cannot be attained until the disembodied soul has passed quite through this shadow-world of the haunting thoughts, and become divested of the last spot of its earthly taint.

The progress of Western discovery in this direction has been and must ever be very gradual. From the phenomena of gross to those of more sublimated matter, and thence on towards the mysteries of spirit is the hard road made necessary by the precepts of Aristotle. Western Science first ascertained that our outcoming breath is charged with carbonic acid and, in excess, becomes fatal to human life; then, that certain dangerous diseases are passed from person to person in the sporules thrown off into the air from the sick body; then, that man projects upon everybody and everything he encounters a magnetic aura, peculiar to himself; and finally, the physical disturbance set up in the Ether in the process of thought-evolution is now postulated. Another step in advance will be to realize the magical creative power of the human mind, and the fact that moral taint is just as transmissible as physical. The “influence” of bad companions will then be understood to imply a degrading personal magnetism, more subtle than the impressions conveyed to the eye or the ear by the sights and sounds of a vicious company. The latter may be repelled by resolutely avoiding to see or hear what is bad; but the former enwraps the sensitive and penetrates his very being if he but stop where the moral poison is floating in the air. Gregory’s Animal Magnetism, Reichenbach’s Researches, and Denton’s The Soul of Things will make much of this plain to the Western inquirer, though neither of those authors traces the connection of his favourite branch of science with the parent-stock—Indian Psychology.

Keeping the present case in view, we see a man highly susceptible to magnetic impressions, ignorant of the nature of the “materializations” and, therefore, unable to protect himself against bad influences, brought in contact with promiscuous circles where the impressionable medium has long been the unwitting nucleus of evil magnetisms, his system saturated with the emanations of the surviving thoughts and desires of those who are living and those who are dead.

The reader is referred to an interesting paper by Judge Gadgil of Baroda (see our December number) on “Hindu Ideas about Communion with the Dead,” for a plain exposition of this question of earth-tied souls, or Piśachas. “It is considered,” says that writer, “that in this state the soul being deprived of the means of enjoyment [of sensual pleasures] through its own physical body, is perpetually tormented by hunger, appetite and other bodily desires, and can have only vicarious enjoyment by entering into the living physical bodies of others, or by absorbing the subtlest essences of libations and oblations offered for their own sake.” What is there to surprise us in the fact that a negatively polarized man, a man of a susceptible temperament, being suddenly brought into a current of foul emanations from some vicious person, perhaps still living or perhaps dead, absorbs the insidious poison as rapidly as quicklime does moisture, until he is saturated with it? Thus, a susceptible body will absorb the virus of smallpox, or cholera, or typhus, and we need only recall this to draw the analogy which Occult Science affirms to be warranted.

Near the Earth’s surface there hangs over us—to use a convenient simile—a steamy moral fog, composed of the undispersed exhalations of human vice and passion. This fog penetrates the sensitive to the very soul’s core; his psychic self absorbs it as the sponge does water or as fresh milk effluvia. It benumbs his moral sense, spurs his baser instincts into activity, overpowers his good resolutions. As the fumes of a wine-vault make the brain reel, or as the choke-damp stifles one’s breath in a mine, so this heavy cloud of immoral influences carries away the sensitive beyond the limits of self-control, and he becomes “obsessed.” like our English patient.

What remedy is there to suggest? Does not our very diagnosis indicate that? The sensitive must have his sensitiveness destroyed; the negative polarity must be changed to a positive; he must become active instead of passive. He can be helped by a magnetiser who understands the nature of obsession, and who is morally pure and physically healthy; it must be a powerful magnetiser, a man of commanding will-force. But the fight for freedom will, after all, have to be fought by the patient himself. His will-power must be aroused. He must expel the poison from his system. Inch by inch he must win back the lost ground. He must realize that it is a question of life or death, salvation or ruin, and strive for victory, like one who makes a last and heroic effort to save his life. His diet must be of the simplest, he must neither eat animal food, nor touch any stimulant, nor put himself in any company where there is the smallest chance for unclean thoughts to be provoked. He should be alone as little as possible, but his companions should be carefully chosen. He should take exercise and be much in the open air; use wood-fire, instead of coals. Every indication that the bad influence was still working within him should be taken as a challenge to control his thoughts and compel them to dwell upon pure, elevating, spiritual things, at every hazard and with a determination to suffer anything rather than give way. If this man can have such a spirit infused into him, and his physician can secure the benevolent help of a strong, healthy magnetiser, of pure character, he may be saved. A case almost exactly like this one, except that the patient was a lady, came under our notice in America; the same advice as the above was given and followed, and the obsessing “devil” was driven out and has been kept out ever since.
 

Laura

Administrator
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Spirit attachment certainly is a pressing problem in our world. Cleaning up the environment of the individual and the body so that there are no frequency matches is probably the first order of business. But we also need to acknowledge that the law requires us to be cautious in our advice to such individuals. Keep that in mind.

Having said that, an interesting thing happened yesterday: we had a visitor who works in the social service/gov industry who commented that over the past few years she had noticed that the clients coming in appear to be getting dumber and dumber. That's the only way she could put it: it's like people have just spiraled down into the lowest possible functional state.

I commented that it may be the frequencies of the planet/solar system mis-matching with those of individuals because it does appear to be environmental. The Cs have talked about frequency fences related to various electronic systems on the planet such as microwave towers, HAARP, etc. So it could be that.

But Blavatsky's description of "a steamy moral fog, composed of the undispersed exhalations of human vice and passion. This fog penetrates the sensitive to the very soul’s core; his psychic self absorbs it as the sponge does water" is not too far off IMO. However, I would not necessarily say that it was penetrating the "sensitive" to the "very soul's core" - rather, I would suggest it was - most often - more like a tractor beam drawing the Organic Portal type in its train.

If we recall that the OP individual is created and functions as a portal between densities, we can easily understand how the psychic environment of our world can be polluted and corrupted by such individuals being susceptible to these influences. These would be the individuals who follow a Hitler and do all kinds of evil.

At the same time, there are "sensitive" individuals who perceive this situation or who are affected by it and they are often diagnosed as schizophrenics. But we have to be observant and try to figure out if the schizophrenia is just the messed up brain chemistry of an OP type, or of the potentially souled type. Not so easy. We also have to keep in mind that this physiological type can be triggered into these states by chemistry - foods, environmental chemicals, etc.

We are dealing with/aware of so many things that the theorists of the previous centuries did not take into account in their descriptions/understanding, not to mention the fact that the world has also changed.

And in the end, as noted, we must remain always aware that we are scrutinized by the system and whatever help/advice we can give must be within those parameters.
 

sitting

Dagobah Resident
Thank you Laura indeed!

For an outstanding example of focus on issue/topic -- and not obsession on person/guru.

This type of obsession can taint one's perspective no end. I've come to think of it as a kind of fantasy attachment. Often easily visible to others, but not self. I was a victim of such for a long time. But I think I've gotten rid of it ... finally.

FWIW.
 

Laura

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sitting said:
Thank you Laura indeed!

For an outstanding example of focus on issue/topic -- and not obsession on person/guru.

This type of obsession can taint one's perspective no end. I've come to think of it as a kind of fantasy attachment. Often easily visible to others, but not self. I was a victim of such for a long time. But I think I've gotten rid of it ... finally.

FWIW.

Well, the Cs have said the FRV is VERY important and we are sure seeing that in the world around us.

I went to market this morning - as I have done every year for the past ten years - expecting to purchase the dried fruits that I get every year for Christmas cakes. There's a nice Algerian young man who has the concession and he's been there faithfully every year... up to now. After the first year, he recognized me, knew what I wanted, and was ready with everything year after year. But no longer. In fact, almost half the space of the weekly street market was empty. All the foreign sellers are gone. And of course, they had all the really good stuff. My fruit guy is gone and I'm quite sure it is because of the social/political atmosphere in France.

What is astonishing is how this sort of thing repeats over and over and over again throughout history. Gurdjieff was right.

The conversation began with my question: "Can war be stopped?" And G. answered: "Yes, it can." And yet I had been certain from previous talks that he would answer: "No, it cannot."

"But the whole thing is: how?" he said. "It is necessary to know a great deal in order to understand that. What is war? It is the result of planetary influences. Somewhere up there two or three planets have approached too near to each other; tension results. Have you noticed how, if a man passes quite close to you on a narrow pavement, you become all tense? The same tension takes place between planets. For them it lasts, perhaps, a second or two. But here, on the earth, people begin to slaughter one another, and they go on slaughtering maybe for several years. It seems to them at the time that they hate one another; or perhaps that they have to slaughter each other for some exalted purpose; or that they must defend somebody or something and that it is a very noble thing to do; or something else of the same kind. They fail to realize to what an extent they are mere pawns in the game. They think they signify something; they think they can move about as they like; they think they can decide to do this or that. But in reality all their movements, all their actions, are the result of planetary influences. And they themselves signify literally nothing. ... Only it must be understood that neither Emperor Wilhelm, nor generals, nor ministers, nor parliaments, signify anything or can do anything. Everything that happens on a big scale is governed from outside, and governed either by accidental combinations of influences or by general cosmic laws."

And that's where the hyperdimensional view supersedes the understandings and theories of such as HPB and her fellow explorers. It's like the physics of Aristotle vis a vis scientific understanding today (which itself is not complete).
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Some positive and inspiring thoughts, Laura. Thank you. :)

Observing the positive effects that the coherence and quality of your thought and expression has on me and others and comparing with the many others who have described their experiences of people getting dumber, the gap that appears here seems to be increasing in visibility, possibly revealing realm borders. I'm pretty sure that part of this dumbness is influenced by relentless, omnipresent propaganda coming from almost every quarter.

Some of this dumbness and unawareness may even be willful, in the form of a denied pretense with devastating effects on sensitive people. I can never forget some observations R. D. Laing made in his work with certain diagnosed schizophrenics. He has actually used recording equipment to document family members of a patient whispering to each other "He thinks we're talking about him behind his back." No wonder Laing opened one of his books with a note from something a patient was repeating to himself:

They are playing a game.
They are playing at not playing a game.

Now that sometimes strikes me as 'scary as hell', but it was apparent to Laing that the family members that took the patient for help, considered that their own behavior was blameless. Of course, there may be many other factors also involved in that patient's condition, but the logical field, or information field surrounding us is important as well and that certainly wasn't his only patient with family members doing that stuff. Talk about disconnect!

Thank you for your contributions towards the goal of increasing the vibration of the information field. And thank you for SoTT in its role as a fighter in the propaganda arena. And finally, apologies to arpaxad for my tangent on his thread.
 

Mal7

Dagobah Resident
sitting said:
Thank you Laura indeed!

For an outstanding example of focus on issue/topic -- and not obsession on person/guru.

This type of obsession can taint one's perspective no end. I've come to think of it as a kind of fantasy attachment. Often easily visible to others, but not self. I was a victim of such for a long time. But I think I've gotten rid of it ... finally.

FWIW.

Just a thought today, I think having historical heroes who we admire or even venerate can be a good thing. If they become gurus who we consider infallible and whose every word is treated as a "divine revelation", that may be taking things too far. I think Europe became more familiar with "Indian philosophy" during the 18th and 19th centuries, with Sanskrit translators like William Jones and Charles Wilkins in the 18th century, and the American "Transcendentalism" movement with Emerson in the 19th century. Blavatsky could perhaps be admired for her role and influence and literary output in this popularizing of Indian philosophical ideas in the West.

One of my heroes is the person who wrote Shakespeare's works (I think it was Sir Henry Neville). In literary academia, treating an author as a hero has become unpopular (with some exceptions, like Harold Bloom, who goes so far as to credit Shakespeare with the "Invention of the Human"). Many literary academics now try to bring Shakespeare down to earth: postmodernists think there is no author, but the texts are just a product of power relations etc in their time, that his vocabulary was no greater than other writers of the time, and that his knowledge of Italy, foreign languages, law, medicine, nautical terms and falconry was not unusual.
 
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