Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - Solovyoff
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Letter # Solovyoff note Received 27 August, 1884, Elberfeld, Germany
THE LETTER: Certainly I was there, but who can open the eyes of him who will not see?
Account sent by Solovyoff to the S.P.R.
October 1, 1884.
(Translation from the French by B. H.)
Having received a letter from my countrywoman, Madame Helena Blavatsky, in which she informed me of her bad health and begged me to go to see her at Elberfeld, I decided to take the journey. But as the state of my own health obliged me to be careful, I preferred to stop at Brussels, which town I had never seen, to rest, the heat being unbearable.
I left Paris on the 24th of August. Next morning, at the Grand Hotel in Brussels, where I was staying, I met Mlle. A. (daughter of the late Russian ambassador at —— and maid of honour to the Empress of Russia). Hearing that I was going to Elberfeld to see Mme. Blavatsky, whom she knew and for whom she had much respect, she decided to come with me. We spent the day together, expecting to leave in the morning by the nine o’clock train.
At eight o’clock, being quite ready to depart, I go to Miss A.’s room and find her in a great state of perplexity. All her keys, which she always kept about her person in a little bag and that she had in this bag on going to bed, had disappeared during the night, although the door was locked. Thus, as all her baggage was locked, she could not put away the things she had just been using and wearing. We were obliged to postpone our departure to the one o’clock train and called a locksmith to open the largest trunk. When it was opened, all the keys were found in the bottom of the trunk, including the key of this trunk itself, attached as usual to the rest. Having all the morning to spare, we agreed to take a walk, but suddenly I was overcome by weakness and felt an irresistible desire to sleep. I begged Miss A. to excuse me and went to my room, and threw myself on the bed. But I could not sleep and lay with my eyes shut, but awake, when suddenly I saw before my closed eyes a series of views of unknown places that my memory took in to the finest detail. When this vision ceased, I felt no more weakness and went to Miss A., to whom I related all that had happened to me and described to her in detail the views I had seen. We left by the one o’clock train and lo! after about half an hour’s journey, Miss A., who was looking out of the window, said to me, “Look, here is one of your landscapes!” I recognized it at once, and all that day until evening, I saw, with open eyes, all that I had seen in the morning with closed eyes. I was pleased that I had described to Miss A. all my vision in detail as thus say that the route between Brussels and Elberfeld is completely unknown to me, for it was the first time in my life that I had visited Belgium and this part of Germany.
On arriving at Elberfeld in the evening, we took rooms in a hotel and then hurried off to see Madame Blavatsky at Mr. Gebhard’s house. The same evening, the members of the Theosophical Society who were there with Mme. Blavatsky showed us two superb oil-paintings of the Mahatmas M. and Koot Hoomi. The portrait of M. especially produced on us an extraordinary impression, and it is not surprising that on the way back to the hotel, we talked on about him and had him before our eyes. Miss A. may be left to relate her own experience during that night.
But this is what happened to me:
Tired by the journey, I lay peacefully sleeping when suddenly I was awakened by the sensation of a warm penetrating breath. I open my eyes and in the feeble light that entered the room through the three windows, I see before me a tall figure of a man, dressed in a long white floating garment. At the same time I heard or felt a voice that told me, in I know not what language, although I understood perfectly, to light the candle. I should explain that, far from being afraid, I remained quite tranquil, only I felt my heart beat rapidly. I lit the candle, and in lighting it, saw by my watch that it was two o’clock. The vision did not disappear. There was a living man in front of me. And I recognized instantly the beautiful original of the portrait we had seen during the evening before. He sat down near me on a chair and began to speak. He talked for a long time, about things of great interest to me, but the greater part of this interview cannot be reported here as it dealt with matters personal to me. I can say, however, that among other things, he told me that in order to be fit to see him in his astral body I had had to undergo much preparation, and that the last lesson had been given me that morning when I saw, with closed eyes, the landscapes that I was to see in reality the same day. Then he said that I possess great magnetic power, now being developed. I asked him what I ought to do with this force. But without answering, he vanished. I was alone, the door of my room locked. I thought I had had an hallucination and even told myself with fright that I was beginning to lose my mind. Hardly had this idea arisen when once again I saw the superb man in white robes. He shook his head and smiling, said to me: “Be sure that I am no hallucination and that your reason is not quitting you. Blavatsky will prove to you to-morrow before everyone that my visit is real.” Then he disappeared. I saw by my watch that it was three o’clock. I put out the candle and immediately went into a deep sleep.
Next morning, on going with Miss A. to Madame Blavatsky, the first thing she said to us with an enigmatical smile was: “Well! How have you passed the night?” “Very well,” I replied and I added, “Haven’t you anything to tell me?” “No,” she replied, “I only know that the Master was with you with one of his pupils.”
That same evening, Mr. Olcott found in his pocket a little note, that all the theosophists said was in the handwriting of M.: “Certainly I was there, but who can open the eyes of him who will not see?” This was the reply to my doubts, because all the day I had been trying to persuade myself that it was only an hallucination, and this made Madame Blavatsky angry.
I should say that on my return to Paris, where I am now, my hallucinations and the strange happenings that surrounded me, have completely stopped.
Vsevolod Solovyoff. 1 October, 84, Paris.
in Hastings' Solovyoff's Fraud I also quote much of this in my ESOTERIC WORLD OF MADAME BLAVATSKY.