On the Perils of Practicing the Occult Arts for Selfish Reasons . by Madame Blavatsky . with comments by Alice B. Clagett

Written an published on 25 September 2016, updated

15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” –1 John 2:15-17 (KJV, public domain)

Dear Ones,

In the below passage, Madame Blavatsky speaks about the perils of practicing the occult arts for selfish reasons, such as sensual gratification, lust, or for egoic reasons. I noticed these statements in particular …

“… although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma. Enough has been said to show that sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer, or make other persons suffer, in consequence.”

Note how she says that a person’s intention determines whether white or black magic is being practiced. By that she no doubt means that the intention of black magic is to make other people suffer. My understanding is that white magic, in contrast, is practiced to help people feel better; to relieve them of suffering.

Note how she speaks of involuntary, or unconscious sorcery, and how it results in bad karma. To her statement I would like to add, that when we set out to learn sorcery, whether white or black, we convey this learning about manipulating the Plane of Forces to our own subconscious mind, our own Inner Child, what is sometimes called our Lower Mental Body.

What our Inner Child does with this powerful art at moments when we lapse into a subconscious state, such as …

  • when we watch television,
  • or lapse into reverie or a daydreaming state,
  • or have even tiny taste of the mildest mind-altering drug,
  • or begin to doze off,
  • and also during our nightly dreamtime life

… is willy nilly and without any doubt, unconscious black magic sorcery. The karmic effect can be excruciating. For instance,

  • It can result in the death of a dear friend, or of a spouse, without our knowing our own subconscious mind is the cause.
  • It can result in the degradation of the astral matter of our friends and associates, through our own repressed emotions of anger, fear, or desire for vengeance.
  • It can result in our own body falling ill, or even succumbing to a fatal illness.
  • There is, in fact, no knowing to what results this knowledge will lead, in those moments when the subconscious mind gains the upper hand in our moments of momentary weakness.

Dear Ones, I am not just idly speculating on these outcomes. I am not being sensationalistic. Rather, in the past few decades, through clair hearing and clair vision, I have seen these outcomes happening to a broad range of people, over and over again. It is just as likely to happen among those who pursue the spiritual path, as with those who are content with a family and work-a-day life.

The solution, I feel, is to leave the occult arts alone, and to turn instead to a life of devotion. Let it be the very highest form of devotion of which we, in this lifetime, are capable. Let us place God first in our lives, and through Him, may we love and serve all humankind. May we ask God to bless our friends and family with unconditional love. May we live to our highest ideals of peace and truth, courage and wisdom, rejoicing in the beauty of Creation.

by Madame Blavatsky (1)

“… whoever indulges, after having pledged himself to occultism, in the gratification of a terrestrial love or lust, must feel an almost immediate result; that of being irresistibly dragged from the impersonal divine state down to the lower plane of matter.

“Sensual, or even mental self-gratification, involves the immediate loss of the powers of spiritual discernment; the voice of the master can no longer be distinguished from that of one’s passions or even that of a Dugpa; the right from wrong; sound morality from mere casuistry. The Dead Sea fruit assumes the most glorious mystic appearance, only to turn to ashes on the lips, and to gall in the heart, resulting in:—

“Depth ever deepening, darkness
“darkening still;
“Folly for wisdom, guilt for innocence;
“Anguish for rapture, and for hope despair.” (2)

“And once being mistaken and having acted on their mistakes, most men shrink from realizing their error, and thus descend deeper and deeper into the mire. And, although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma.

“Enough has been said to show that sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer, or make other persons suffer, in consequence. Karma is a heavy stone splashed in the quiet waters of Life; and it must produce ever widening circles of ripples, carried wider and wider, almost ad infinitum. Such causes produced have to call forth effects, and these are evidenced in the just laws of Retribution.

“Much of this may be avoided if people will only abstain from rushing into practices neither the nature nor importance of which they understand. No one is expected to carry a burden beyond his strength and powers.

“There are ‘natural-born magicians’; Mystics and Occultists by birth, and by right of direct inheritance from a series of incarnations and aeons of suffering and failures. These are passion-proof, so to say. No fires of earthly origin can fan into a flame any of their senses or desires; no human voice can find response in their souls, except the great cry of Humanity. These only may be certain of success. But they can be met only far and wide, and they pass through the narrow gates of Occultism because they carry no personal luggage of human transitory sentiments along with them. They have got rid of the feeling of the lower personality, paralysed thereby the ‘astral’ animal, and the golden, but narrow gate is thrown open before them.

“Not so with those who have to carry yet for several incarnations the burden of sins committed in previous lives, and even in their present existence. For such, unless they proceed with great caution, the golden gate of Wisdom may get transformed into the wide gate and the broad way ‘that leadeth unto destruction,’ and therefore ‘many be they that enter in thereby.’ This is the Gate of the Occult arts, practised for selfish motives and in the absence of the restraining and beneficent influence of Âtma-Vidyâ.

“We are in the Kali Yuga and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the world is now laboring.

“One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at the ‘Gate’ and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. For, as well said by one believed to have sacrificed himself for Humanity—’Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life’ eternal, and therefore ‘few there be that find it.’ (Matt. vii, 14) So strait indeed, that at the bare mention of some of the preliminary difficulties the affrighted Western candidates turn back and retreat with a shudder….

“Let them stop here and attempt no more in their great weakness. For if, while turning their backs on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the broad and more inviting gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe to them! It can lead only to Dugpa-ship, and they will be sure to find themselves very soon landed on that Via Fatale of the Inferno, over whose portal Dante read the words:—

“Per me si va nella citta dolente
“Per me si va nell’ eterno dolore
“Per me si va tra la perduta gente….”

[“Through me you go to the grief wracked city;
“Through me you go to everlasting pain;
“Through me you go a pass among lost souls.”] (3)


In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars


(1) from Citation: “Studies in Occultism; A Series of Reprints from the Writings of H. P. Blavatsky.” (2005). Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 25 September 2016, from https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17009 … Search the term: OCCULTISM VERSUS THE
OCCULT ARTS … [paragraphing is mine. –Alice Clagett]

(2) from Citation: “The Course of Time,” Book 2: Analysis, by Robert Polluck, available from www.amazon.com ..

(3) from Citation: Dante’s “Inferno,” “Canto III. The Gate of Hell” … the translation is from https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante) … Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.


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Madame Blavatsky, occultism, dugpa, drugpa, black magician, sorcerer, white magic, black magic, karma, inner child, Lower Mental Body, subconscious mind, plane of forces, lust, devotion,

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