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‘The snub-nosed Saxons’ [Borderland Magazine, 1894]


Borderland Magazine, October 15th, 1894 tribute
highlights influence of Blavatsky in the successful periods
of the theosophical movement on the cultural milieu. 

“If everything be true that Dr. Hodgson and the Psychical Research Society say about her, it only heightens the mystery, and adds to the marvel of the influence which Madame Blavatsky undoubtedly has exercised, and is exercising, at the present moment. For the most irate of the sceptics cannot deny, and will not dispute, the fact that the Theosophical Society exists, that it is far and away the most influential of all the associations which have endeavoured to popularise occultism, and that its influence is, at the present time, felt far and wide in many lands, and in many churches. The number of pledged theosophists may be few, although it is probably greater than most people imagine. But the theosophical ideas are subtly penetrating the minds of multitudes who know nothing about theosophy, and are profoundly ignorant of all the controversies which have raged round Madame Blavatsky.

“This is eminently the case with the doctrine of reincarnation, and with the altered estimate which the average man is beginning to form of the mystic teachers and seers of India. Reincarnation may or may not be true. Whether true or false, it has, until the last decade, been almost unthinkable by the average Western. This is no longer the case. Multitudes who still reject it as unproved have learned to recognise its value as a hypothesis explaining many of the mysteries of human life. A few admit that there is nothing in reincarnation antagonistic to the doctrine of Christ, and that it is quite possible to hold firmly all the great verities of the Christian revelation, without rejecting the belief that the life of the individual, upon which judgment will be passed at the Great Assize, is not necessarily confined to the acts done between the cradle and the grave, but may be an existence of which such a period is but one chapter in the book of life. Altogether apart from the question of the actual truth of the doctrine, it is indisputable that the sympathetic recognition of the possibility of reincarnation has widened the range of popular thought, and infused into religious speculation some much-needed charity. And this, which is unquestionably a great achievement, will ever be associated with the name of Madame Blavatsky.

“Still more remarkable has been the success with which this remarkable woman has succeeded in driving into the somewhat wooden head of the Anglo-Saxon the conviction— long ago arrived at by a select circle of students and Orientalists, of whom Professor Max Miiller may be said to be the most distinguished living representative —that the East is, in matters of religious and metaphysical speculation, at least entitled to claim as much respect as the West. That indeed is stating it very mildly. ‘The snub-nosed Saxons,’ as Disraeli used to love to describe the race which made him Prime Minister, are learning somewhat of humility and self-abasement before the races whom, by use of material force, they have reduced to vassalage.

Down to quite recent times the average idea of the average Englishman—notwithstanding all the books of all our pundits—has been that the Hindoos were benighted and ignorant pagans, whom it was charity to subdue, and a Christian duty to attempt to convert. To-day, even the man in the street has some faint glimmerings of the truth that these Asiatics whom he despises are, in some respects, able to give him points, and still leave him far behind. The Eastern sage who told Professor Hensoldt that the West studied the stomach, whereas the East studied the soul, expressed strongly a truth which our people are only beginning to assimilate. We are learning at last to respect the Asiatics, and in many things to sit at their feet. And in this great transformation, Madame Blavatsky again figures as the leading thaumaturgist. She and those whom she trained have bridged the chasm between the materialism of the West and the occultism and metaphysics of the East. They have extended the pale of human brotherhood, and have compelled us to think at least of a conception of an all-embracing religion, with wider bases than those of which the reunionists of Christendom have hitherto dreamed.”

So, this Russian woman mocked Anglo peoples for believing they’re a superior race, or rather the idea, and criticized Jews for thinking their God is the “One True God,” or that they’re a superior race, like the claims made by recent Israeli lawmaker, Miki Zohar (Jews Are The Smartest Race and the Superior Human).

“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…” (Manly P. Hall On the Great Value of H.P. Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrine)

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