The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but God acted upon her soul (keeping her "immaculate") at the time of her conception.
The Immaculate Conception is commonly and mistakenly taken to mean the conception of Mary's son Jesus Christ in her own womb, and the Virgin Birth of Jesus. These are covered by the Doctrine of Incarnation, while the Immaculate Conception deals with the conception of Mary herself, not that of her son. It is to this meaning that H. P. Blavatsky refers to in her writings.
H. P. Blavatsky talks about,
. . . the very archaic Idea of Immaculate Conception, now finally crystallized into a dogma of the Christian Church, which carnalized this metaphysical idea beyond any common sense. For . . . it is purely astronomical, mathematical, and pre-eminently metaphysical: the Male element in Nature (personified by the male deities and Logoi—Viraj, or Brahma; Horus, or Osiris, etc., etc.) is born through, not from, an immaculate source, personified by the “Mother”; because that Male having a Mother cannot have a “Father”—the abstract Deity being sexless, and not even a Being but Be-ness, or Life itself.
Śakti being a female principle, it is fully manifested through a woman, although, properly speaking, the inner man is neither male, nor female. It is only the preponderance of either of the two principles (positive and negative) which determines the sex. Now, this preponderance is determined by the Law of Affinity; and hence in a woman is manifested abnormally the occult power represented by Śakti. She is moreover gifted with a wonderfully vivid imagination—stronger than man’s. And as the phenomenal is the realization or rather the manifestation of the IDEAL, which can be properly and strongly conceived only by a powerful IMAGINATION—a WOMAN-ADEPT can produce high occultists—a race of “Buddhas and Christs,” born “without sin.” The more and the sooner the animal sexual affinities are given up, the stronger and the sooner will be the manifestation of the higher occult powers which alone can produce the “immaculate conception.” And this art is practically taught to the occultists at a very high stage of initiation. The “Adept,” whether the Sthula Sarira be male or female, is then able to bring a new being into existence by the manipulation of cosmic forces. Anasûyâ, a female adept of the ancient times, is thus said to have conceived immaculately Durvasas, Dattatreya and Chandra—the three distinct types of Adeptship. . . .
The very fact, that this stage pertains to one of the very highest initiations, shows that the time—when ordinary humanity, during the course of cosmic evolution, will, in this manner, be able to produce a race of “Buddhas,” etc., born “without sin”—is yet very, very far off—perhaps attainable in the sixth or the seventh “round.” But when once this possibility and the actuality of this fact is recognized, the course of living and education may be so moulded as to hasten the approach of that eventful day when on this earth will descend "the Kingdom of Heaven".
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 59.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1989), 262-263.