Helena Blavatsky was a Russian occultist, philosopher, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.

Helena Blavatsky gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric religion that the society promoted.

Blavatsky was born as Helena Petrovna von Hahn in the Ukrainian town of Yekaterinoslav, then part of the Russian Empire.

Born into an aristocratic Russian-German family, Blavatsky traveled widely around the empire as a child. Largely self-educated, she developed an interest in Western esotericism during her teenage years.

According to her later claims, in 1849 she embarked on a series of world travels, visiting Europe, the Americas, and India. She also claimed that during this period she encountered a group of spiritual adepts, the “Masters of the Ancient Wisdom“, who sent her to Shigatse, Tibet, where they trained her to develop a deeper understanding of the synthesis of religion, philosophy, and science.

By the early 1870s, Helena Blavatsky was involved in the Spiritualist movement; although defending the genuine existence of Spiritualist phenomena, she argued against the mainstream Spiritualist idea that the entities contacted were the spirits of the dead.

In New York City, Blavatsky co-founded the Theosophical Society with Olcott and William Quan Judge in 1875.

In 1877, she published Isis Unveiled, a book outlining her Theosophical world-view. Associating it closely with the esoteric doctrines of Hermeticism and Neoplatonism, Blavatsky described Theosophy as “the synthesis of science, religion, and philosophy“, proclaiming that it was reviving an “Ancient Wisdom” which underlay all the world’s religions.

Her Theosophical doctrines influenced the spread of Hindu and Buddhist ideas in the West as well as the development of Western esoteric currents like Anthroposophy, and the New Age Movement.

Helena Blavatsky Quotes:

1. “Before the soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes are rendered blind to all illusion.”

2. “Virtue and wisdom are sublime things, but if they create pride and a consciousness of separateness from the rest of humanity, they are only the snakes of self reappearing in a finer form.”

3. “When there were no churches, no creeds or sects, but when every man was a priest unto himself”

4. “Do not be afraid of your difficulties. Do not wish you could be in other circumstances than you are. For when you have made the best of an adversity, it becomes the stepping stone to a splendid opportunity.”

5. “There is no higher religion than the truth.”

6. “The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards.”

7. “What writes history is the power of ideas. And every moment offers the potential to write something new.”

8. “As God creates, so man can create. Given a certain intensity of will, and the shapes created by the mind become subjective. Hallucinations, they are called, although to their creator they are real as any visible object is to anyone else. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of this will, and the form becomes concrete, visible, objective; the man has learned the secret of secrets; he is a MAGICIAN.”

9. “Matter is the spirit at its lowest level. Spirit is the matter at its highest level.”

10. “People keep repeating that the main things are love and compassion. Certainly love and compassion are the main things, but it takes knowledge to make love and compassion fruitful. … It takes just a second to say ‘love’. But to acquire knowledge for the well-being and blessing of humanity requires an eternity.”

11. “Knowledge increases in proportion to its use; that is, the more we teach the more we learn.”

12. “Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

13. “Reflect upon the defects of your character: thoroughly realize their evils and the transient pleasures they give you, and firmly will that you shall try your best not to yield to them the next time.”

14. “Help Nature and work on with her, and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators . . . she will lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the depths of her pure virgin bosom.”

*This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Helena Blavatsky, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 (view authors).