Did H. P. Blavatsky Foresee the End
of Western Materialistic Civilization?
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
H.P. Blavatsky and Dwight Eisenhower
Both Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Helena Blavatsky have questioned the validity of the blind sort of material progress, of which Western civilization has been so proud for a few centuries. Vinoba Bhave, Mahatma Gandhi, Visconde de Figanière and other thinkers did the same.
Writing about the West, Ms. Blavatsky said:  
* “As civilization progresses, moral darkness pervades the alleged light of Christianity.”
And she added:
* “The chosen symbol of our boasted civilization ought to be a huge boa constrictor. Like that monstrous ophidian, with its velvety black and brilliant golden-hued spots, and its graceful motions, civilization proceeds insidiously, but as surely, to crush in its deadly coils every high aspiration, every noble feeling, aye, even to the very discrimination of right and wrong. Conscience, ‘God’s vicegerent in the soul’, speaks no longer in man; for the whispers of the still small voice within are stifled by the ever-increasing din and roar of Selfishness.”  [1]
And this is the road to the end.
As soon as the contact is lost between spiritual soul and lower self, physical life loses its direction, becomes senseless and begins preparing its own destruction.  Then acceleration comes. “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad”, wrote H. P. Blavatsky, repeating an old adage.[2] Another rendering of the same axiom says: “When the Gods want to punish someone, they make him become blind and invite him to start running.”
It was into a large extent to reduce or avoid such a karmic, cyclic, “progress to self-destruction” that Blavatsky founded the modern theosophical movement in 1875. 
How successful has the movement been in fighting against the sources of Western moral decay? Such a question is, of course, uncomfortable. However, it is unavoidable for every honest theosophist, for sincerity and realism are the true foundations of self-improvement. Learning from mistakes is the law.
The End of a Western Cycle
In a decisive sentence, H.P. Blavatsky clarifies an idea which some theosophical leaders have been forgetting to consider, when they evaluate the reality and the future of their associations:
“…The Ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws and facts.” [3]
In order to be useful, knowledge has to be correctly used to attain worthy goals.
Ethics is the science of sowing good karma, and every civilization or theosophical group can only harvest that which it has planted.
Social and political structures do not emerge by chance. They are mere embodiments and expressions of collective karma. In order to improve society, one has to improve oneself. At the same time, a better Karma must be produced collectively, according to the law of cycles.
Helena Blavatsky wrote that “politics does not enter into the programme” of the theosophical movement in its activity, but she immediately added: 
“Yet as everything under the sun now seems to have become connected with politics, which appear to have become little else but a legal permission to break the ten commandments, a regular government license to the rich for the commission of all the sins which, when perpetrated by the poor, land the criminal in jail, or hoist him upon the gallows – it becomes difficult to avoid touching upon politics. There are cases which, emanating directly from the realm of political and diplomatic action, cry loudly to the common ethics of humanity for exposure and punishment.” [4]
Then she mentions a public policy that has preserved every civilization, and whose absence has served to destroy them all in due time:
“It is a truism of too long standing, a policy acted upon by every civilized nation from antiquity, that the prosperity of every state is based upon the orderly establishment of family principles. Nor is anyone likely to deny that social ethics depend largely upon the early education received by the growing-up generations. On whom does the duty devolve of guiding that education from early childhood? Who can do so better than a loving mother, once that her moral worth is recognised by all, and that no evil report has ever sullied her fame? The youth and his later intellectual training may well be left to the firmer hand of the father: the care of his childhood belongs by all divine and human rights to the mother alone; the parent who gave her offspring not only a part of her flesh and blood, but a portion likewise of her immortal soul – that which shall create hereafter the real man, the true EGO. This is the ABC of the life-duties of mankind; and it is the first duty of those in power to guard the sacred maternal rights against any brutal violation.” [5]
Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, made it clear that it takes a strong moral effort, collectively established, to build a civilization and to keep it alive. The process implies a significant degree of renunciation to selfishness.
Pitirim A. Sorokin showed that the absence of such a moral effort provokes the implosion of the mechanisms of mutual confidence, mutual help and social structures. Damodar Mavalankar wrote a revealing note about the relation between human ethics and the cycles of planetary karma. [6]
In a letter to Alfred Sinnett, a Master of the Wisdom clarified the fate of Western societies.
Referring to the ancient civilizations of the Central and South America, he wrote that “their sub-race ended in nearly total annihilation through causes generated by itself; so will yours at the end of its cycle”. [7]
Theosophists who happen to know that they are co-responsible for the future of mankind must therefore be ready to evaluate the actual level of morality present in the Western societies. It is also important to examine the degree of common respect for truth and for Life, in such nations.
If immorality and drug-addiction are rampant and have been defined as “liberty”; if selfishness is seen as “democracy”; if altruism and self-restraint are widely ridiculed; if the lessons from past civilizations are despised; if machines, money and material technology are worshipped; if feelings of collective fear and hatred are being used in large scale to provoke wars and to multiply the profits of giant weapon-industries; if mere propaganda has replaced reasoning and honest debates – then theosophists should make a special effort. They have the duty and privilege to look at the social events from the point of view of classical theosophical teachings, so as to see and understand what comes next in the Karma of the Western civilization.
Various forms of vanity have brought modern Western Civilization to a resounding defeat.  Among them, the vanity of thinking that it is better than the ancient and the Eastern ones.
Regarding Western Christian nations, H.P. Blavatsky writes:  
* “… What, after all, does our civilization amount to in the face of the grandiose civilizations of the Past, now so remote and so forgotten, as to furnish our modern conceit with the comforting idea that there never were any true civilizations at all before the advent to Christianity?”  [8]
A few paragraphs later, after examining the superficiality of the idea according to which the West is “superior” to the East, HPB adds:
* “The progress we have achieved, so far, relates in every case to purely physical appliances, to objects and things, not to the inner man. We have now every convenience and comfort of life, everything that panders to our senses and vanity, but not one atom of moral improvement do we find in Christendom since the establishment of the religion of Christ. As the cowl does not make the monk, so the renunciation of the old Gods has not made men any better than they were before, but only, perhaps, worse.” [9]
The very term “civilization” has been defined in radically different ways by all nations and societies:
* “The simple truth is that the word ‘civilization’ is a very vague and undefined term. Like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, etc., civilization and barbarism are relative terms. For that which to the Chinaman, the Hindu, and the Persian would appear the height of culture, would be regarded by the European as a shocking lack of manners, a terrible breach of Society etiquette.” [10]
History shows that since the birth of the modern era, prejudices against African nations were used by the Catholic West to justify violence and mass murder against them, and the exploitation of black people as slaves.
Antisemitic prejudices justified persistent violence and hatred against Jews. False ideas of moral superiority regarding native American nations were used to legitimize long-standing mass murder promoted by “Christian” authorities.
The false notion of Western “superiority” regarding Asia was an excuse for the shameless Opium Wars against China and for countless acts of systematic, imperialist and colonialist violence against Asian and Middle Eastern nations. Prejudices against Russia have fed recurrent waves of hatred of the West against that mysterious half-Asian nation which happens to be the sole country, according to Blavatsky, where the true ideal of Christ is still alive. [11]  
There is nothing new under the Sun, and Russophobia has not been invented in the 21st century. The fate of such a feeling, however, has not been brilliant. Both Napoleon and Adolf Hitler attempted to destroy Russia, thus duly bringing their nations to defeat and humiliation. But the Napoleonic and Nazi wars against Russia were no isolated events. In August 1890, Helena Blavatsky took some time to calmly examine the Western arrogance and lack of sincerity, regarding the cultural world of that Slavic nation:
“Oh the virtuous indignation, the roaring tempest raised in the tender souls of American and British philanthropists at the rumor that Russian authorities in Siberia are not as tender as they should be towards their political prisoners! What a hullabaloo of loud protests of ‘indignation meetings’, of gigantic gatherings to denounce their neighbors, while they keep prudently silent about the same misdeeds at home.” [12]
The imperialistic sectors of Western civilization are addicted to fabricating wars. In order to do that, they need to stimulate hatred – and invent scapegoats.  
Blavatsky proceeds:
“A monster meeting of some 250,000 men protested the other day at Hyde Park ‘in the name of civilization and humanity’ against the brutal behavior of some unknown Russian officials and jailors. Now, one can readily understand and entirely appreciate the feelings of the masses, of the oppressed, the suffering poor and the hoi polloi in general. These being ‘sat upon’ from birth to death by the high and the wealthy of their own land, and having all, to a man, many a sore place in their hearts, must feel them vibrating with pain and sympathy with their brothers in sorrow of other countries.”
The Psychology of the masses is used by some to strengthen their own domination over naive populations. Thus England and America were united in their credulity.  
HPB proceeds:
“True, the energy expended at the said meeting might have been more usefully directed, perhaps, against local and colonial ‘Siberias’ and ‘Dead Houses’; but such as it was, the impulse being genuine, every Theosophist regarded it with respect. But that to which every member of the Theosophical Society ought to refuse that feeling of sympathy is the hypocritical cant in this matter of sundry editors who remain dumb in face of misdeeds at home, pouring all their wrath on the abuse of power and the brutality of Russian officers. This is enough to make an owl laugh in full daylight. That charges of cruelty should be brought forward, and leprous spots singled out on the body of Russia by England and America is a sufficiently curious piece of moral audacity; but that this attitude should be supported and even enforced, by certain editors, instead of being passed over in prudent silence…”.
HPB then says that theosophy “has nought to do with the political situation in all this affair”, but the reader must, on the other hand, see that theosophy “has everything to do with its moral aspect”.  
And she explains:
“Having its mission at heart, to wit: to bring ‘to light the hidden things of darkness’, it has naturally a good deal to say about drunken John and drunken Jonathan nodding so frowningly at drunken Peter, and so gravely moralising at him as though they were themselves sinless.”[13]
Since the end of the Second World War, the military-industrial complex has had an unchecked and undue amount of political power, and has been able to freely fabricate the enemies it thinks it needs.  In 1961, Dwight Eisenhower made a public warning about this. He should know what he was talking about, because he was then the president of the United States. [14]
Preserving the Diversity of Civilizations
The time has come for a certain Pralaya – a period of rest and repose – of the West.
The constant expansionism and anxiety of Modern Era – dominated by Western powers – is not needed any longer and has come to an end.
Wars are bad for human health. They are bad for the environment. They accelerate the growth of excessive CO2 in the global atmosphere. Wars are bad for children. They are harmful for the soil, the waters, the forests and for the cities. They are bad for the soul and for the spiritual life of mystical people.
Therefore we do not need wars any longer.
We may say thanks to the United States of America. The unipolar world based on nuclear blackmail cannot live any longer. It has ended. We are free to see the facts by ourselves: the world community is multipolar. 
Our planetary village constitutes a rich and complex intercultural process of constantly creative evolution. Different civilizations coexist in this community, and mutual help is the Law. Mutual respect is the duty of all. Each civilization has its own cycle.  The West, still excessively young and too unexperienced, has much to learn from older and wiser civilizations. It will certainly learn a few stern lessons.
However, the acceptance of the pralaya or repose on the part of Western “powers” will occur according to Karma.  Such a world transition might involve a large cataclysm.
The Masters of the Eastern Wisdom wrote in various Letters that the Western civilization would end after its “anxious acceleration” got to its highest point possible. According to them, such a transition would not be necessarily harmonious.  
Let us hope – and work – for the better.
May the West accept its new repose period in peace, and start learning from older nations and ancient philosophies so that the world in the 21st century becomes a heaven in comparison with what it was in the nineteenth. Helena Blavatsky announced that this was most likely to occur – whatever the price to pay for it. It is our duty as citizens of good will to work to avoid unnecessary suffering during the arrival of the new day.
May the Western civilization have due respect for Life, and for the necessary diversity of civilizations in our planet.
Om, shanti. Om.
[1] From the article “Our Christian 19th Century Ethics”, in “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume X, p. 81.
[2] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume XII, p. 280.
[3] Five Messages”, H. P. Blavatsky, p. 26.
[4] From the article “Our Christian 19th Century Ethics”, in “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume X, p. 82.
[5] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume X, p. 83.
[6]Human Ethics and Earthquakes”.  See also “Effects of Overindulgence in Sensuality”, by Pitirim A.  Sorokin.  
[7] The Mahatma Letters”, Letter XXIII-B, p. 149.
[8] “Collected Writings” of H.P. Blavatsky, Vol. XII, p. 275.
[9] “Collected Writings”, Vol. XII, 277.
[10] “Collected Writings”, Vol. XII, p. 278.
[11] See Blavatsky’s words quoted in the article “Slavophilism and Theosophy”.
[12] “Collected Writings”, Vol. XII, p. 279.
[13] “Collected Writings”, Vol. XII, pp. 279-280.
The above article was published in the associated websites on 28 May 2022.
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