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    Chapter 18

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    Chapter 18
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    Meanwhile I had not got any nearer to proving that 'Ahasuerus
    dwells in a sea-cavern 'mid the Demonesi,' but one conclusion I
    certainly did come to, which I find written out in an old diary
    and dated 1887. Madame Blavatsky's 'masters' were 'trance'
    personalities, but by 'trance personalities' I meant something
    almost as exciting as 'Ahasuerus' himself. Years before I had
    found, on a table in the Royal Irish Academy, a pamphlet on
    Japanese art, and read there of an animal painter so remarkable
    that horses he had painted upon a temple wall had stepped down
    after and trampled the neighbouring fields of rice. Somebody had
    come to the temple in the early morning, been startled by a shower
    of water drops, looked up and seen a painted horse, still wet from
    the dew-covered fields, but now 'trembling into stillness.' I
    thought that her masters were imaginary forms created by
    suggestion, but whether that suggestion came from Madame
    Blavatsky's own mind or from some mind, perhaps at a great
    distance, I did not know; and I believed that these forms could
    pass from Madame Blavatsky's mind to the minds of others, and even
    acquire external reality, and that it was even possible that they
    talked and wrote. They were born in the imagination, where Blake
    had declared that all men live after death, and where 'every man
    is king or priest in his own house.' Certainly the house at
    Holland Park was a romantic place, where one heard of constant
    apparitions and exchanged speculations like those of the middle
    ages, and I did not separate myself from it by my own will. The
    Secretary, an intelligent and friendly man, asked me to come and
    see him, and when I did, complained that I was causing discussion
    and disturbance, a certain fanatical hungry face had been noticed
    red and tearful, & it was quite plain that I was not in full
    agreement with their method or their philosophy. 'I know,' he
    said, 'that all these people become dogmatic and fanatical because
    they believe what they can never prove; that their withdrawal from
    family life is to them a great misfortune; but what are we to do?
    We have been told that all spiritual influx into the society will
    come to an end in 1897 for exactly one hundred years. Before that
    date our fundamental ideas must be spread through the world.' I
    knew the doctrine and it had made me wonder why that old woman, or
    rather 'the trance personalities' who directed her and were her
    genius, insisted upon it, for influx of some kind there must
    always be. Did they dread heresy after the death of Madame
    Blavatsky, or had they no purpose but the greatest possible
    immediate effort?
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