A Calcutta correspondent asks:
(a) Is Occultism a science akin to Spiritualism?
(b) What are the principal points in which the Theosophists
and the Spiritualists differ?
(c) Can a Spiritualist call himself a Theosophist without
altering his faith? and vice versa?
(d) I understand you do not believe in Spiritualism then
how is it that a Spiritualist has been elected President
for the Bengal Branch of the Theosophical Society?
To which we answer:
(a) That Theosophy is a very ancient science, while
Spiritualism is a very modern manifestation of psychical phenomena.
It has not yet passed the stage of experimental research.
(b) The difference is in our theories to account for the
phenomena. We say they are mainly, though
not always, due to the action of other influences
than that of the disembodied conscious spirits of the dead.
The Spiritualists affirm the contrary.
(c) Yes; many excellent persons are both,
and none need alter his faith.
(d)We do believe in the phenomena, but not as to
their cause as above remarked. There being no religious
or other test other than that of good moral character and sympathy
with the objects of our Society, applied by us to those
who seek for admission, the election of the Venerable Babu
Peary Chund Mittra, as President of our Bengal Branch,
was not only most proper, but very desirable. He
is certainly the most spiritual Theosophist and most theosophic
Spiritualist we have ever met.
Theosophist, August, 1882
H. P. Blavatsky