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Spiritualism in America

Spiritualism in England

Spiritualism in France

Spiritualism in Russia

Theosophy and Spiritualism

Mme. Blavatsky regarded spiritualistic phenomena as a good instance of real phenomena that could not be accounted by materialistic science:

Amidst the greatest glow of the self-sufficiency of exact science, . . . in the midst of the deadliest calm of wholesale negations, there arose a breeze from a wholly unexpected quarter... This was brought on by the invasion of “Spirit” manifestations, when mediumistic phenomena had broken out like an influenza all over Europe. However unsatisfactory their philosophical interpretation, these phenomena being genuine and true as truth itself in their being and their reality, they were undeniable; and being in their very nature beyond denial, they came to be regarded as evident proofs of a life beyond—opening, moreover, a wide range for the admission of every metaphysical possibility. This once the efforts of materialistic science to disprove them availed it nothing. Beliefs such as man’s survival after death, and the immortality of Spirit, were no longer to be pooh-poohed as figments of imagination; for, prove once the genuineness of such transcendental phenomena to be beyond the realm of matter, and beyond investigation by means of physical science, and—whether these phenomena contain per se or not the proof of immortality, demonstrating as they do the existence of invisible and spiritual regions where other forces than those known to exact science are at work—they are shown to lie beyond the realm of materialism.[1]

In truth, its phenomena, its psychic and mesmeric manifestations, were but the cyclic pioneers of the revival of prehistoric Theosophy, and the occult Gnosticism of the antediluvian mysteries. These are facts which no intelligent Spiritualist will deny; as, in truth, modern Spiritualism is but an earlier revival of crude Theosophy, and modern Theosophy a renaissance of ancient Spiritualism.[2]

This, however, does not mean that the Spiritualistic doctrines were the same as the Theosophical Teachings. Talking about the "alleged communion between the dead and living" she added a footnote saying:

We hope that the few friends we have left in the ranks of the Spiritualists may not misunderstand us. We denounce the bogus “spirits” of séances held by professional mediums, and deny the possibility of such manifestations of spirits on the physical plane. But we believe thoroughly in Spiritualistic phenomena, and in the intercourse between Spirits or Egos––of embodied and disembodied entities; only adding that, since the latter cannot manifest on our plane, it is the Ego of the living man which meets the Ego of the dead personality, by ascending to the Devachanic plane, which may be accomplished in trance, during sleep in dreams, and by other subjective means.[3]

Spiritualist publications

Impact of Spiritualist Movement

See also

Additional resources



  • Podmore, Frank. The Naturalization of the Supernatural. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1908. Available at Internet Archive.


  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 121-122.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 123.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980), 125.