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Manly P. Hall: the Great Value of Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrine”

Manly P. Hall on the influence of H.P.B.’s writings from his Landmarks of Esoteric Literature Lecture

“We have not yet reached that point in international thinking, in which we could be fair about the opinions, beliefs, and convictions of other peoples; and even today, if a poll were taken, I think it would be safe to say, that to the majority of Western persons — the Buddhist, Brahmins, Confucianists, Daoists are still regarded as heathens. This situation has improved, but not entirely has it been corrected in public thinking. We have really no solid foundation for religious inter-understanding, even at the present time. The Orientalist in the Western world is still regarded with certain suspicion; but a more liberal attitude on the theory of religion has brought with it a measure of tolerance, but not a measure of acceptance. I have recently examined a number of brochures, and pieces of publicity (…) and many of them still contain words, or atleast implications, that all these foreign beliefs are heresies, that they are the works of the Devil, set up to interfere with the development of literal Christian orthodoxy.” (Manly P. Hall, Landmarks of Esoteric Literature)

“The original work of H.P Blavatsky stands more or less unique, even within the field of related literature; and as a result of the years, which have passed since 1888 when the Volumes were first published, we are aware, that her own peculiar and particular insight still makes these works unique, remarkable and valuable. Madame Blavatsky was the first to admit, that the books she wrote would prove highly controversial. She frankly acknowledged that the type of proof, which the scientific world requires, simply was not available. Also, that there was little to be gained by attempting to imply an authority. That it was wiser, that the books should be accepted as the work of an individual. That they represented a very careful study of a vast area of ancient tradition — the landmarks not available to the average student, those that are acceptable difficult to find; that the only possible way the material could be verified, would be for another person to go through the exact same procedure the way she went through. Needless to say, no such person has arisen since her time. Therefore, from the scientific standpoint, The Secret Doctrine still remains an enigma…” (Manly P. Hall, Landmarks of Esoteric Literature)

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