isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter vii (defending the secret science)

““There is no infidelity, idolatry, or other real bad feature in the system. They have the relics of what was once a grand form of nature worship, which has been contracted under a despotism into a secret order, hidden from the light of day, and exposed only in the smoky glare of a few burning lamps, in some damp cave or chapel underground. The chief tenets of their religious teachings are comprised in seven ‘tablets’, which are these, to state them in general terms:

1. The unity of God, or the infinite oneness of deity.
2. The essential excellence of truth.
3. The law of toleration as to all men and women in opinion.
4. Respect for all men and women as to character and conduct.
5. Entire submission to God’s decrees as to fate.
6. Chastity of body and mind and soul.
7. Mutual help under all conditions.

These tenets are not printed or written. Another set is printed or written to mislead the unwary, but with these we are not concerned.

The chief results of the initiation seemed to be a kind of mental illusion or sleep-waking, in which the neophyte saw, or thought he saw, the images of people who were known to be absent, and in some cases thousands of miles away. I thought (or perhaps it was my mind at work) I saw friends and relatives that I knew at the time were in New York State, while I was then in Lebanon. How these results were produced I cannot say. They appeared in a dark room, when the ‘guide’ was talking, the ‘company’ singing in the next ‘chamber’, and near the close of the day, when I was tired out with fasting, walking, talking, singing, robing, unrobing, seeing a great many people in various conditions as to dress and undress, and with great mental strain in resisting certain physical manifestations that result from the appetites when they overcome the will, and in paying close attention to the passing scenes, hoping to remember them – so that I may have been unfit to judge of any new and surprising phenomena, and more especially of those apparently magical appearances which have always excited my suspicion and distrust.

I know the various uses of the magic-lantern, and other apparatus, and took care to examine the room where the ‘visions’ appeared to me the same evening, and the next day, and several times afterwards, and knew that, in my case, there was no use made of any machinery or other means besides the voice of the ‘guide and instructor’. On several occasions afterward, when at a great distance from the ‘chamber’, the same or similar visions were produced, as, for instance, in Hornstein’s Hotel at Jerusalem. A daughter-in-law of a well-known merchant in Jerusalem is an initiated ‘sister’, and can produce the visions almost at will on anyone who will live strictly according to the rules of the Order for a few weeks, more or less, according to their nature, as gross or refined, etc.

I am quite safe in saying that the initiation is so peculiar that it could not be printed so as to instruct one who had not been ‘worked’ through the ‘chamber’. So, it would be even more impossible to make an expose of them than of the Freemasons. The real secrets are acted and not spoken, and require several initiated persons to assist in the work.

It is not necessary for me to say how some of the notions of that people seem to perpetuate certain beliefs of the ancient Greeks – as, for instance, the idea that a man has two souls, and many others – for you probably were made familiar with them in your passage through the ‘upper’ and ‘lower chamber’. If I am mistaken in supposing you an ‘initiate’, please excuse me. I am aware that the closest friends often conceal that ‘sacred secret’ from each other; and even husband and wife may live – as I was informed in Dayr-el-Kamar was the fact in one family there – for twenty years together and yet neither know anything of the initiation of the other. You, undoubtedly, have good reasons for keeping your own counsel.

Yours truly, 

A. L. Rawson”

Before we close the subject, we may add that if a stranger asks for admission to a “Thursday” meeting, he will never be refused. Only, if he is a Christian, the okhal will open a Bible and read from it; and if a Mahometan, he will hear a few chapters of the Koran, and the ceremony will end with this. They will wait until he is gone, and then, shutting well the doors of their convent, take to their own rites and books, passing for this purpose into their subterranean sanctuaries.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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