Theosophy on Epidemics, Pandemics, Medicine, & Vaccination


Most people are aware by now that there are numerous differing opinions about the current Coronavirus pandemic. On the one extreme are those who never question anything whatsoever that the official medical “authorities” and politicians may tell them and on the other are those who insist that the whole thing is a hoax, that there is no virus, that hospitals are actually empty, and that it’s all a major nefarious conspiracy designed to enslave humanity. In the middle are a range of different ideas, reactions, and opinions, some sounding more sensible and plausible than others.

The aim of this article is not to try to convince anyone about anything. There are Theosophists on all points of the aforementioned spectrum and the writer of this article does not claim to know “the full truth” about the COVID situation. Any serious student of Theosophy surely recognises that only the Masters of Wisdom are likely to know the full and complete truth, on all levels, including all the causes behind it and all the forces at work. And They are not publicly disclosing anything. For one thing, truth is often stranger than fiction, and perhaps hardly anyone would be inclined to believe Them, even if They were to speak.

The Astral Light, a Radiator of Epidemics

So the purpose of the article is simply to present some information relating in a general way to the subject, from the original Theosophical literature, starting with an excerpt from the entry for “Astral Light” in “The Theosophical Glossary” (p. 38) by H. P. Blavatsky, with bold added for emphasis:

The invisible region that surrounds our globe, as it does every other, and corresponding as the second Principle of Kosmos (the third being Life, of which it is the vehicle) to the Linga Sharira or the Astral Double in man. A subtle Essence visible only to a clairvoyant eye, and the lowest but one (viz., the earth), of the Seven Akasic or Kosmic Principles. Eliphas Lévi calls it the great Serpent and the Dragon from which radiates on Humanity every evil influence. This is so; but why not add that the Astral Light gives out nothing but what it has received; that it is the great terrestrial crucible, in which the vile emanations of the earth (moral and physical) upon which the Astral Light is fed, are all converted into their subtlest essence, and radiated back intensified, thus becoming epidemics – moral, psychic and physical.”

This astral light, also called the astral plane, is referred to throughout the Theosophical teachings. On p. 60 of the pamphlet “Echoes from The Orient” William Q. Judge, the closest colleague of HPB and co-founder with her of the modern Theosophical Movement, writes:

“Probably in the whole field of Theosophic study there is nothing so interesting as the astral light. . . . Through a knowledge of its properties they say that all the wonderful phenomena of the Oriental Yogis are accomplished. It is also claimed that clairvoyance, clairaudience, mediumship, and seership as known to the Western world are possible only through its means. It is the register of our deeds and thoughts, the great picture gallery of the earth, where the seer can always gaze upon any event that has ever happened, as well as those to come.”

In a chapter titled “Some Mysteries of Nature” in the first volume of her first book “Isis Unveiled” HPB shares this memorable description: “How often have powerful clairvoyants and adepts in mesmerism described the epidemics . . . as their lucid vision saw them in the astral light. They affirm that the “electric waves” were in violent perturbation, and that they discerned a direct relation between this ethereal disturbance and the mental or physical epidemic then raging.” (Vol. 1, p. 278)

Her article “Karmic Visions” (a condensed summary of which can be read here) demonstrates that major world events such as the First and Second World Wars are capable of being clearly and accurately perceived and described up to 50+ years before they even begin on the physical plane and that, in the case of those wars, some of the major Karmic causes had been set in motion as far back as 1,500 years beforehand. It would thus not be unreasonable to imagine that the present world situation has its real roots in the distant past rather than in recent times. We are not in a position to claim that this is the case but are merely suggesting that it may be.

In “The Secret Doctrine” HPB calls the astral light “the Karma of humanity.” It is impossible to understand the principle of Karma and especially planetary Karma unless we understand about the astral light.

“. . . the Astral light becomes, with regard to Mankind, simply the effects of the causes produced by men in their sinful lives. It is not its bright denizens – whether they are called Spirits of Light or Darkness – that produce Good or Evil, but mankind itself that determines the unavoidable action and reaction in the great magic agent. . . . Humanity, in its units, can overpower and master its effects; but only by the holiness of their lives and by producing good causes. . . . the Astral Light . . . is the Karma of humanity.” (Vol. 2, p. 512, 513)

Robert Crosbie on Susceptibility to Epidemics

This subject of the astral light is therefore naturally mentioned by Robert Crosbie, the founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists, in his posthumously published article “Susceptibility to Epidemics.”

This has never been published in any book or on any website until now, after being found in an old issue (March 1932) of the ULT’s “Theosophy” magazine. It first appeared, unattributed to Crosbie, in the form of a fictitious dialogue presented in a 1918 issue of “Theosophy.” It appears that it was originally written by Crosbie as a letter to one or more of his colleagues, then inserted into the 1918 story, and eventually republished in the magazine after his passing, with his name attached.

Originating in 1918, it was thus written during the first year of the “Spanish influenza” pandemic. We can see that he certainly didn’t suggest that pandemic to be a hoax but offers some valuable advice on the subject:

“As theosophical students, we have to consider the various fields in which effects are observed and experienced. These fields are, the body and its circumstances; the mind and intellect; the psychic and astral planes. The medical schools do not treat diseases from any other point of view than the physical one, generally speaking, and thus can apply only alleviative remedies at best, without destroying causes. The schools of mental healing ignore the bodily field, and place their reliance on prescribed modes of thinking, taking it for granted that the mental plane is the seat of causation.

“So far, none of the many schools has realized that Man is not his body, his mind nor his circumstances, but the Thinker within, who by his ignorance and desires is the cause of all the sorrow and suffering and disease which he experiences. Each one therefore suffers in any event from causes set in motion by himself, as well as from causes which he in common with others have set in motion. All this is under the law of Karma, or “sowing and reaping.” The Thinker or real man is the experiencer of the various effects produced, whether these be psychical, mental or physical.

“Theosophy shows that there is a state of subtle substance that surrounds our earth, as it does every other, an envelope as it were, which is the receiver and container of the moral and physical emanations of the earth and its inhabitants; these are all converted into their subtlest essence, and radiated back intensified, thus becoming epidemics – moral, psychic and physical. Persons subject to epidemics, or any disease, are the very people who had a hand in producing them, either in this or a previous life.

“Considering these facts, it would hardly be correct to assume that fear in itself is a predisposing cause. I think it will be found that many who fear and many who have no fear at all are overtaken by epidemics. Fear arises from doubt and ignorance, and it may be that those who fear disease or epidemic have a psychic perception of their liability under the law. Again, those who have no fear at all place their reliance entirely upon their supposed bodily immunity; yet the law works regardless of fear, or the lack of it.

“Another angle to the question lies in the fact that every human being contains in germ every defect that exists anywhere in the race, any one of which may spring into activity under favorable conditions; in this the imagination or image-making power of the Thinker may at any given time fertilize a germ that otherwise would remain latent. When we study the question from every point of view, we will not be disposed to place our reliance on phrases, but rather upon the inexorable law of our own being, which, however we may presently think, desire or feel, will bring us weal or woe as we have earned them. Thus relying we really fear nothing, but accept what comes as our just deserts.”

We see him emphasising that such ideas as “if you don’t fear it, you won’t get it” and “fearing it makes you more susceptible to it” are in fact false. Theosophy teaches that everything proceeds according to the Law of Karma. If it’s your Karma to catch or even to succumb to any illness, all the positive thinking and confident optimism in the world will not be able to keep you well. Likewise, if it’s not your Karma to get it, then even if you fear and worry about it all day long you still won’t get it. Of course it’s always best to have a positive and fearless attitude towards life but one has to realise that that isn’t a magical protection against bad things or painful circumstances coming your way.

When one comprehends and accepts as a reality the Law of Karma – the unfailing universal law of cause and effect, action and reaction, sowing and reaping, sequence and consequence – one naturally becomes more positive and fearless, for then one realises that in actuality there is never any injustice but always perfect justice; that things are always the exact way they need to be in order for us to learn the lessons we need to learn and to grow and evolve accordingly. But it’s always up to us whether we are willing to try to understand and learn from the lesson that has been handed to us.

“Learn that no efforts, not the smallest – whether in right or wrong direction – can vanish from the world of causes. E’en wasted smoke remains not traceless. “A harsh word uttered in past lives, is not destroyed but ever comes again.” The pepper plant will not give birth to roses, nor the sweet jessamine’s silver star to thorn or thistle turn.

“Thou canst create this “day” thy chances for thy “morrow.” In the “Great Journey,” causes sown each hour bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid Justice rules the World. With mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals lives of weal or woe, the Karmic progeny of all our former thoughts and deeds.” (“The Voice of the Silence” p. 34, original edition, translated by H. P. Blavatsky from the Book of the Golden Precepts)

Microbes and The “Fiery Lives”

There is also an article titled “Theosophy and Epidemics” which is a newspaper account of a talk given in New York in 1892 by William Judge. It deals primarily with mental and moral epidemics that were developing in the USA at that time but starts with a brief mention of physical epidemics, including his remark that “No theosophist should deny that science is right in saying that microbes produce disease and also prevent it.” Louis Pasteur is credited with bringing the importance of microbes to public awareness and although HPB is not always positive about Pasteur, Theosophy nowhere denies the important role played by microbes.

On the contrary, it sheds important light on the subject and on the interrelation between microbes and what the Esoteric Philosophy calls “the fiery lives”:

“It might be supposed that these “fiery lives” and the microbes of science are identical. This is not true. The “fiery lives” are the seventh and highest sub-division of the plane of matter, and correspond in the individual with the One Life of the Universe, though only on that plane. The microbes of science are the first and lowest sub-division on the second plane – that of material prana (or life). The physical body of man undergoes a complete change of structure every seven years, and its destruction and preservation are due to the alternate function of the fiery lives as “destroyers” and “builders.” They are “builders” by sacrificing themselves in the form of vitality to restrain the destructive influence of the microbes, and, by supplying the microbes with what is necessary, they compel them under that restraint to build up the material body and its cells. They are “destroyers” also when that restraint is removed and the microbes, unsupplied with vital constructive energy, are left to run riot as destructive agents. Thus, during the first half of a man’s life (the first five periods of seven years each) the “fiery lives” are indirectly engaged in the process of building up man’s material body; life is on the ascending scale, and the force is used in construction and increase. After this period is passed the age of retrogression commences, and, the work of the “fiery lives” exhausting their strength, the work of destruction and decrease also commences.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 262-263)

So microbes, although capable of being seen and perceived via certain advanced scientific implements and methods, do not actually belong to, or function wholly on, the physical plane. They are on the physical sub-plane of the plane of Prana, so they could perhaps be described as partly physical, partly Pranic. Prana is defined as vitality and life energy, that force which keeps our body alive. Prana is present within every living being and also throughout the cosmos. And the “fiery lives” are on the physical plane but on its Atmic sub-plane. This passage implies then that the microbes and the fiery lives exist on immediately neighbouring planes or levels to one another.

Yet although not denying microbes and their function, Theosophy suggests that not all diseases, epidemics, or pandemics, are actually due to microbes.

Blavatsky on the Ozone Factor in Epidemics

During HPB’s time there was a pandemic which she commented on in her February 1890 article “The Last Song of the Swan.”

That pandemic is generally referred to now as the Russian influenza and sometimes the Asiatic flu. Its main period was from October 1889 to December 1890 but there were recurrences at several points between 1891 and 1895. Some mysterious and intriguing things are disclosed in that article, such as:

“All this is very significant. A disease which is epidemic, yet not contagious; which acts everywhere, in clean as in unclean places, in sanitary as well as in unsanitary localities, hence needing very evidently no centres of contagion to start from; an epidemic which spreads at once like an air-current, embracing whole countries and parts of the world; striking at the same time the mariner, in the midst of the ocean, and the royal scion in his palace; the starving wretch of the world’s White-chapels, sunk in and soaked through with filth, and the aristocrat in his high mountain sanitarium, . . . where no lack of sanitary arrangements can be taken to task for it – such a disease can bear no comparison with epidemics of the ordinary, common typee.g., such as the cholera. Nor can it be regarded as caused by parasites or microscopical microbes of one or the other kind. To prove the fallacy of this idea in her case, the dear old influenza attacked most savagely Pasteur, the “microbe-killer,” himself, and his host of assistants. Does it not seem, therefore, as if the causes that produced influenza were rather cosmical than bacterial; and that they ought to be searched for rather in those abnormal changes in our atmosphere that have well nigh thrown into confusion and shuffled seasons all over the globe for the last few years – than in anything else?

“It is not asserted for the first time now that all such mysterious epidemics as the present influenza are due to an abnormal exuberance of ozone in the air. Several physicians and chemists of note have so far agreed with the occultists, as to admit that the tasteless, colourless and inodorous gas known as oxygen – “the life supporter” of all that lives and breathes – does get at times into family difficulties with its colleagues and brothers, when it tries to get over their heads in volume and weight and becomes heavier than is its wont. In short – oxygen becomes ozone. That would account probably for the preliminary symptoms of influenza. Descending, and spreading on earth with an extraordinary rapidity, oxygen would, of course, produce a still greater combustion: hence the terrible heat in the patient’s body and the paralysis of rather weak lungs. . . . A certain amount of ozone is necessary, they [i.e. scientists] wisely say, for breathing purposes, and the circulation of the blood. On the other hand “too much of ozone irritates the respiratory organs, and an excess of more than 1% of it in the air kills him who breathes it.” This is proceeding on rather occult lines. “The real ozone is the Elixir of Life,” says The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 144, 2nd foot-note. Let the reader compare the above with what he will find stated in the same work about oxygen viewed from the hermetic and occult standpoint (Vide pp. 113 and 114, Vol. II) and he may comprehend the better what some Theosophists think of the present influenza.

“It thus follows that the mystically inclined correspondent who wrote in Novoyé Vremya [i.e. a Russian newspaper] . . . giving sound advice on the subject of the influenza, then just appeared – knew what he was talking about. Summarizing the idea, he stated as follows:

“. . . It becomes thus evident that the real causes of this simultaneous spread of the epidemic all over the Empire under the most varied meteorological conditions and climatic changes – are to be sought elsewhere than in the unsatisfactory hygienical and sanitary conditions. . . . The search for the causes which generated the disease and caused it to spread is not incumbent upon the physicians alone, but would be the right duty of meteorologists, astronomers, physicists, and naturalists in general, separated officially and substantially from medical men.”

“This raised a professional storm. The modest suggestion was tabooed and derided; and once more an Asiatic country – China, this time – was sacrificed as a scapegoat to the sin of FOHAT [i.e. a Tibetan term used in Theosophy for cosmic electricity] and his too active progeny.”

So HPB appears quite clearly to be saying that the so-called “Russian” or “Asiatic” flu was not contagious or transmissible from person to person but rather affected people “from above,” i.e. due to atmospheric conditions, most specifically the effects caused by there being “an abnormal exuberance of ozone in the air.”

That is very interesting but to what extent it can be applied to the current Coronavirus situation remains unclear. She does say that “all such mysterious epidemics as the present influenza are due to an abnormal exuberance of ozone in the air” but does our Coronavirus count as a “mysterious” pandemic, when its cause has apparently been traced to a Wuhan laboratory or wet market or both? Perhaps it does, seeing as no-one has yet been able to prove for definite where and when it started. But who can say?

It is known that Coronavirus is not a form of influenza, nor is it described as such, but it’s also been increasingly suspected since 2005 that the “Russian flu” may not actually have been influenza after all but an earlier form of Coronavirus. In 2020 some Danish researchers described the COVID-19 symptoms as being extremely similar to those of the 1889-1890 outbreak.

Yet short of definite knowledge or proof, it would seem unwise and premature to abandon and disregard all social distancing and hygiene precautions from an unverifiable assumption that our present situation must automatically be the same as that spoken about by HPB. We should remain sensibly cautious but also stay open-minded as to the potentially large role being played by the ozone factor. Incidentally, in the UK the second wave of that pandemic, from May to June 1891, was what led to the death of H. P. Blavatsky, who had been living in London for the last few years of her life.

Homeopathic and Mainstream Medicine, An Ideal Combination

The subject of disease naturally leads on to the subject of medicine and healing.

Some spiritually inclined people seem to think that “alternative medicine” is the only “right” type of medicine but this is not the Theosophical approach.

Although matters of physical health, healing, and medicine, are not touched upon to a very great extent in the Theosophical literature, they are discussed and we find the essence of the Theosophical position to be that it is best and wisest to use both natural and allopathic (i.e. conventional, mainstream, “allopathic” originally being a somewhat derogatory term coined by the father of homeopathy Samuel Hahnemann) forms of medication and treatment as needed.

In an article titled “The Bugbears of Science,” HPB writes:

“To an impartial observer it becomes evident that both sides have to be taken to task. The homeopathists, for their entire rejection of the allopathic methods; and their opponents, for shutting their eyes before facts, and their unpardonable a priori negation of what they are pleased to regard without verification as a quackery and an imposition. It becomes self-evident that the two methods will find themselves happily combined at no distant future in the practice of medicine.”

Nowadays homeopathy does not engage in an “entire rejection of the allopathic methods” but this was the stance of Samuel Hahnemann and hence that of the majority of the early homeopaths, who believed that homeopathy could only be truly effective when all allopathy was abandoned and discarded by the patient. Some practitioners of what is now known as “classical homeopathy” still believe this but are less strident about it than they once were.

We see HPB presents the ideal as being a combination of both homeopathy and allopathy. In some parts of the world, especially India, this is quite common, and even in the United Kingdom was relatively well accepted by the National Health Service until the past decade or so, when critiques based on a failure or deliberate unwillingness to understand homeopathy’s unusual and quite occult methodology became accepted as authoritative. Several recent documentaries feature respected and reputable scientists explaining how their experiments show that homeopathy is a legitimate and actual science with a legitimate and actual basis, not a mere placebo or hoax. “Homeopathy: Another Way,” a French documentary with English subtitles, is one good example and can be viewed here.

In short, the careful and methodical process of repeated dilution and shaking of the original raw material – which can be from plant, mineral, or animal sources – causes the homeopathic remedy to consist of the electromagnetic essence or signature or blueprint or energy of that thing, even though its detectable physical matter is no longer present.

So instead of being just “sugar pills,” as many sceptics delight in calling them, homeopathic medicine does indeed contain something actual and potent. The dilution and succussion process is referred to by homeopaths as potentisation, it being stated that the more this is done the stronger and more powerful the remedy becomes. Anyone who is genuinely open-minded enough to want to find out the truth should watch the documentary just linked to and pay special attention to the part in which Professor Marc Henry of the University of Strasbourg demonstrates, as objectively and photographically as it can be demonstrated with current scientific technology, that homeopathy really does work in the way just described, even though it may sound like “quackery” and “pseudoscience” to the average sceptic and materialist.

As students of Theosophy we would therefore conclude that homeopathy functions by taking effect on the subtle and electromagnetic level of the body – perhaps even on the Linga Sharira, the astral body or astral double itself – and then the changes, improvements, and healing, happen from the inside out, from subtle electromagnetic levels through to the objective physical material form, thus causing the system to heal itself.

It should be noted that not all homeopathy is entirely “immaterial.” This approach is favoured in “classical homeopathy” but some find the degrees of dilution more commonly used in systems such as “clinical homeopathy” and “complex homeopathy” to be more effective and reliable for them; these often involve a specific yet safe material amount of the original starting substance and sometimes may be prepared by trituration in solid form rather than dilution in water. It is safe to say that such preparations do not work in as “metaphysical” a way as the others, though this is not necessarily a drawback.

But like any form of medicine, homeopathy is a science and if one decides to treat oneself, rather than consulting a professional homeopath, one has to be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort in learning the principles of the science for themselves, so as to limit the likelihood of making mistakes and so as to be able to find the right remedy or remedies for their own particular constitution. The homeopathic remedy that cures an illness for one person is by no means guaranteed or even likely to cure that same illness for another person. The “one size fits all” approach of conventional medicine rarely applies in homeopathy, which aims to deal with ill health at a much deeper and more fundamental level.

It should be borne in mind, however, that not every homeopath or every homeopathic concept and medicine is to be trusted and accepted, for HPB also says:

“We believe in astrology as we do in mesmerism and homeopathy. All the three are facts and truths, when regarded as sciences; but the same may not be said of either all the astrologers, all the mesmerists or every homeopathist.” (“Horoscopes and Astrology” article)

We always have to do our own research and use our own discrimination. Some Theosophists mention that HPB encouraged branches of the Theosophical Society in India to set up free homeopathic dispensaries but when one researches further it is found that these provided not only free homeopathic medications but rather “homeopathic and allopathic” as she explains in her article “What Good Has Theosophy Done in India?”.

Aside from homeopathy, there has been a broader blending in recent decades of natural and alternative medicine with mainstream conventional medicine, perhaps best exemplified in such increasingly popular systems as Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine. Unfortunately the unnecessarily expensive costs associated with these prohibit many people from being able to use them.

Whilst conventional or “allopathic” medicine may be undeniably imperfect, there should never be any criticism directed towards those who choose to use it or who may even prefer it to more holistic types of treatment. In an article titled “The Empty Vessel Makes The Greatest Sound” HPB says, amongst many other things worth reading:

“The main question with her [i.e. a proponent of Christian Science type ideas] is, why do prominent, or any, theosophists use medicine for cure of disease? We think all theosophists have the right to do so or not, as theosophy is not a system of diet, or that which is simply to help our bodies, but is a metaphysical and ethical system intended to bring about among men a right thought to be followed by action. . . . We have no objections against anyone getting cured in any way they think good . . . theosophists grant to all the right to use or dispense with medicine and claim for themselves similar privileges. They do not meddle with other persons’ liberty of thought, and demand the same independence for themselves . . . “prominent theosophists” use medicine because of some bearings of Karma upon their lives and on account of its occult properties; . . . We prefer to let it [i.e. physical bodily Karma] work out naturally through the material part of us and to expel it quickly if we may with even mineral remedies.”

Similarly, Robert Crosbie wrote – and in a way which may perhaps sound more mechanistic than some Theosophists would be inclined to expect – that “Since, then, healing is brought about in many ways, it is clear that neither the fact of healing, nor any number of testimonials, have any value as evidence that any one of these systems of healing is a true system. . . . The body is a machine, which represents the effects of causes set in motion, whether ignorantly or consciously. We should recognize that being a machine – an instrument formed from the matter of the earth – it can be kept in balance by restoring those elements it lacks. . . . The fact that no one specific method is a cure-all ought to show that there are different kinds of disease; some, the result of bad habits, lack of exercise, wrong diet, and the failure to observe the ordinary laws of hygiene; others, nervous diseases, the effect of wrong ways of thinking, of worriments of various kinds. There are also diseases which are mechanical and organic, where certain organs have become affected to such an extent that they cannot respond to normal action in accord with the other organs. The organs are materially formed of the matter of the three lower kingdoms – mineral, vegetable and animal – taken from the food eaten and transmuted into the organs. Consequently, where some kind of element is discovered to be lacking, something of a material nature may be added which, in most cases, in itself will restore the organ to its natural condition. Diseases caused by wrong habits are, of course, cured by correcting the habits.” (“Mental Healing and Hypnosis” article)

He also advised students of Theosophy, “Do not despise medical aid should any need arise. Mr. Judge sought such aid when necessary, leaving to the physician the care of maladjustment.” (“The Friendly Philosopher” p. 21-22) HPB also had a mainstream doctor, who she allowed to treat her with the conventional medicine of that era.

William Judge wrote in numerous articles (such as “Of Metaphysical Healing” and “The Cure of Diseases”) that medicines, both allopathic and natural, should readily be used by Theosophists and by anyone, whenever needed.

In “The Cure of Diseases” he refers positively to the intriguing Count Cesare Mattei (1809-1896), the founder of a system called electrohomeopathy, which was at that time very well known and hugely successful in its effectiveness but today barely known of or practised at all, perhaps partly because many of its key secrets are thought to have been lost with the death of Count Mattei. In 1888, Colonel Olcott – another main founder of the Theosophical Society – had gone to meet Count Mattei in Italy but little is known about this. An Italian book titled “L’Esoterismo del Conte Cesare Mattei” (“The Esotericism of Count Cesare Mattei”) was published as an eBook in 2020.

What was said earlier about positive thinking not being able to prevent the outworking of Karma is true for medical treatments also, whether conventional or alternative. We have spoken positively of homeopathy, for example, but that does not mean that homeopathy will necessarily always work for everyone or for every case and condition. For some it will, for others it won’t.

The Law of Karma is the law of self-created destiny and in “The Key to Theosophy” HPB affirms that we do all have a “lot” in life, i.e. a Karmically destined allotment of circumstances and situations. For some of us that can include long term or chronic illness of various sorts and if we happen to have an ailment that doesn’t improve or go away, no matter what we do or try, we can take some solace from our understanding of Karma and our awareness that it always works for our ultimate good and benefit.

“Am very sorry to hear that your health is not good. In reply to your question: A sound body is not expected, because our race is unsound everywhere. It is Karma. Of course a correct mental and moral position will at last bring a sound body, but the process may, and often does, involve sickness. Hence sickness may be a blessing on two planes: (1) the mental and moral, by opening the nature, and (2) on the physical, as being the discharge into this plane of an inner sickness of the inner being.” (William Q. Judge, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 120)

Theosophy and The Controversial Practice of Vaccination

And finally, we must address the subject and question of vaccination.

We recommend finding and watching the documentaries “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” (2016) and “Vaxxed: The People’s Truth” (2019) both of which were largely inspired and directed by former doctor Andrew Wakefield, who in the late 1990s prominently brought to light in the UK the fact that there seemed to be strong evidence for a causal connection between young children receiving the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and developing regressive autism.

Regressive autism is where the parents and also doctors observed that the child initially had no signs or evidence of autism and appeared clearly healthy in all such respects, only to later change and become autistic for the rest of their life. Wakefield’s findings were initially accepted, only to soon undergo a sudden reversal, which eventually resulted in his vilification and being stripped of his medical license by the General Medical Council.

Since then, repeated emphatic assurances have often been made with tones of authority that there is absolutely NO link or connection whatsoever between the MMR vaccine and autism and that the apparently clear link in so many thousands of cases must therefore be considered a mere coincidence and not worthy of further investigation. Such ideas were thereafter confined to the realm of “pseudoscience,” “quackery,” “conspiracy theories,” and so forth.

Andrew Wakefield is so vilified and lied about all over the internet that it’s not really surprising nor particularly blameworthy that so many people automatically insist “a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism is proven false, pseudo-science, quackery, fraud, and a dangerous hoax.”

Yet despite all this, the fact remains that official UK government websites state that there is a “Vaccine Damage Payment” which parents of vaccine-damaged children can apply to receive. They have already paid out close to £100,000,000.00 (one hundred million) and if it was entirely fair would have paid out much more but have very strict rules as to how damaged a child must be before it can be considered worthy of compensation. The official government website clearly and openly states that the MMR vaccine can directly cause severe and lifelong disability . . . and not only the MMR vaccine but numerous others too.

We include a screenshot below which also provides the link to where one can verify all this for themselves.

Perhaps the greatest scandal in this is that the same website ( says on another of its pages: “It’s important that we remind people about the strong evidence for the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccine.” Meanwhile the UK’s National Health Service website has a page titled “Why Vaccination is Safe and Important” which warns people “Be aware that anti-vaccine stories are spread online through social media. They may not be based on scientific evidence and could put your child at risk of a serious illness,” and adds “All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child.” These pages unsurprisingly make no mention of the “Vaccine Damage Payment” website pages run and operated by the same government.

In the USA, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is known to have paid out more than £4 BILLION over the past few decades.

And where does all that money, the millions and billions, come from? Not from the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture and own the rights to the vaccines, for they have set things up with the governments to ensure that they are financially immune from any such penalties. All the money for vaccine injury compensation payments comes from us, the taxpayers.

Unfortunately the so-called “anti-vaxxer” or anti-vaccination movement (some prefer the term “vaccine cautious” rather than “anti”) has become very politicised over the past year or more, as can readily be seen on sites such as Facebook, and has chosen to wed itself to a large extent with right wing politics and certain highly controversial right wing politicians. Although politics of whatever kind does play an important, even crucial, role in vaccine-related legislation, it is very unfortunate when a noble and altruistic cause becomes so politicised that it ends up alienating and isolating masses of people who may be sympathetic but who do not share the same strongly expressed political stance as the main promoters and influencers. Such a movement ideally ought to be entirely apolitical, just as the Theosophical Movement is.

But what does Theosophy have to say on this increasingly relevant subject?

William Judge and Robert Crosbie wrote nothing at all about it but H. P. Blavatsky mentioned it in writing on just three occasions that we know of.

The most well known of these is her article “Does Vaccination Prevent Smallpox?” first published in “The Theosophist” of March 1881.

But no view, explanation, or criticism, of vaccination, is specifically expressed in this article whatsoever. The article’s title asks a question but it is left as an open question, for HPB does not offer any answer on the matter. This article certainly cannot be said to be a pro-vaccination article but nor is it definitely anti-vaccination. The title was probably inspired, however, by the fact that in the early 1880s literally millions of people around the world contracted and died from smallpox despite having received vaccinations against it, which they were promised would render them immune.

In September 1882, a publication reviews section of “The Theosophist” magazine included HPB commenting on the monthly magazine “The Vaccination Inquirer and Health Review,” published by The London Society for the Abolition of Compulsory Vaccination. Calling it a “fearless” publication, she remarks admiringly, “It does its level best to upset the illusions of orthodox medicine, and to expose the legal quackery of its practitioners.” She then makes a good-humoured yet clearly anti-vaccination comment: “Would that our great innovators could succeed in “inocculating” some drops of common good sense into themselves, before proposing to “vaccinate” into the human system more diseases than it is already heir to!” So here it becomes apparent that HPB, the messenger and representative of the Masters of Wisdom, was certainly not pro-vaccination.

And then finally, in an October 1889 article titled “An Open Letter To The Readers of “Lucifer” and All True Theosophists,” published in the magazine “Lucifer” (click here for explanation of what “Lucifer” really means in esotericism) she very briefly mentions in passing “the inoculation of a virus, with its poisonous effects on future generations.” This ambiguously worded phrase could either mean that a virus has “poisonous effects on future generations” or that the inoculation (i.e. vaccination) of a virus is what actually produces such poisonous effects. But if the latter is indeed what she meant, she didn’t elaborate.

On the medical use of mercury (still used today as an ingredient in some vaccines) she wrote:

“We are fully prepared to oppose the statements . . . that it is mercury or quicksilver which the Yogis and the alchemists used. . . . Paracelsus, the alchemists, and other mystics, meant by mercurius vitae, the living spirit of silver, the aura of silver, not the argent vive [i.e. an alchemical term for mercury/quicksilver]; and this aura is certainly not the mercury known to our physicians and druggists. There can be no doubt that the imputation that Paracelsus introduced mercury into medical practice is utterly incorrect. No mercury, whether prepared by a mediaeval fire-philosopher or a modern self-styled physician, can or ever did restore the body to perfect health. Only an unmitigated charlatan ever will use such a drug.” (“Isis Unveiled” Vol. 2, p. 621)

It was in the twentieth century that Theosophists began to frequently express clear and strong criticisms and warnings about vaccination.

These appeared primarily in “Theosophy” and “The Theosophical Movement,” two monthly magazines published by the United Lodge of Theosophists in the USA and India respectively. The ULT’s mission statement has always been “To spread broadcast the Teachings of Theosophy as recorded in the Writings of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge.” But as we have seen, Mr. Judge said nothing on the matter and HPB’s only clearly negative remarks were a couple of brief sentences in a fairly obscure book review.

With those words in mind, however, and taking the Theosophical teachings as a whole as a basis for thought and action, the ULT published numerous anti-vaccination articles written by some of its associates. The tone and content of those articles made clear that the most influential people in the ULT (a worldwide Theosophical association, independent from all Theosophical Societies) were against all vaccination under all circumstances. It was not until the late 1960s that a slightly more tolerant tone was adopted on this issue but the main message remained the same.

Interestingly, that message has also always expressed many of the same key points as today’s anti-vaccination movements. In fact, the “Vaxxed” documentaries echo extremely closely much of what is written in these articles.

A few ULT associates have claimed and insisted over the years that “all true Theosophists” are anti-vaccine and hints of that can be seen in a few of the quotes below, but this is wrong and unwarranted, since no Theosophist is expected or required to believe or accept anything, least of all something on which the Theosophical Teachers are almost entirely silent.

There are some serious Theosophical students and ULT associates who are largely pro-vaccine and this has to be respected and accepted. In our experience though, the majority of ULT Theosophists are either anti-vaccine or “vaccine-cautious,” partly because the whole practice does seem at odds with Theosophical principles of man and nature, and partly because of all that has come to light about vaccination consequences over the past 25+ years.

The United Lodge of Theosophists on Vaccination

“It becomes highly important, therefore, to regard dispassionately whatever evidence may be available. The issue is vital – to the individual, to the race – and cannot be settled to any lasting good while there exists a partisan spirit on either side.” (“Immunization: A Questionable Practice,” from an earlier version of the “Health and Therapy” pamphlet titled “The Laws of Healing: Physical and Metaphysical”)

“It is hard for the medically and technically ignorant public to believe that the medical profession in general could defend immunization by inoculation and vacccination if it were “a grotesque superstition” or an “amazing empirical stunt” as it has been called by the eminent Dr. Charles Creighton and Mr. George Bernard Shaw. The average person “guesses” that “scientific opinion” is more reliable than the views of a minority called “anti’s,” however honest and intelligent these may be. He passively accedes to vaccination and accepts it on medical authority without taking the trouble to look into the matter for or against, and this in spite of the fact that he knows that the remedies of one generation of doctors often become the laughing-stock of the next. But vaccination and inoculation are no longer merely medical questions; they have increasing political and social significance which involves individual liberty and national health. The more deeply the history and the results of vaccination are enquired into, the more evident it becomes that the practice has been accepted on – to paraphrase Lucretia Mott – the truth of authority and not on the authority of Truth. When men of the highest mental calibre are forced, after investigation, to conclude that “the penal enforcement of vaccination is a crime” – all conscientious laymen should at least read both sides. . . .

“As to the theory of immunisation, it has a great initial appeal; if its hypothetical basis is accepted its elements are very simple and lend themselves to the kind of logic understood by the average person. Neither its study nor its application requires much imagination or analytical thought, and, the practice being endorsed by the medical profession, the anomalies in statistics dealing with it are discounted.

“Further, while many physicians – undoubtedly ignorant of the facts – are sincere in their belief in vaccination and are not solely influenced by the desire for personal profit, it is significant that agitation in favour of compulsory vaccination emanates chiefly from those who administer or manufacture vaccines. It may be doubted if the anti-vaccination publications are read by many doctors or laymen not already questioning the practice; and the general press is usually closed to reports that go against the consensus of orthodox medical opinion. . . .

“Actually, however, the medical profession has two opinions on the subject of vaccination, not one. The majority are still for it, but that does not make them right; and it is well to note that most “anti’s” were once in favour of, and turned against vaccination after some tragic experiences in the practice which led them to study both sides of the question. Also it should be known that many doctors in favour of vaccination are not in favour of compulsory vaccination, which is the great danger of the present.

“But it is as illogical as it is wrong for those who believe in the theory to try to make it compulsory for those who do not. Consider: The vaccinated, being “protected,” should have no fear of the “unprotected”! And, on the other hand, the less it protects the more infamous [i.e. seriously shameful and disgraceful] is compulsion! Against the great gains to be obtained by the disestablishment and disendowment of the practice there is only a business loss to count. The people’s health, the pocket-book of the tax-payer, individual integrity and liberty, the principles of democratic government and scientific freedom, will all gain. On the other hand, as explained by the Citizens Medical Reference Bureau, Pamphlet VI, a federal system of medical indoctrination would provide the machinery for controlling the minds and bodies of the people. . . .

“And there is ample evidence to prove that sanitation and not vaccination has been the real means of doing away with smallpox as well as cholera and other filth diseases in many places. The Principles of Theosophy stand against dirt, against vaccination and against compulsion.” (“The Case Against Vaccination,” “The Theosophical Movement” June 1946)

“Theosophy is the one school of education in natural law, and those who study and practice it are on the right road physically as well as in all other departments of their being. These do not seek “immunization” from anything, but they know that obedience to the laws of health must render them free from new causation of disease, must enable them to find and give proper alleviation in all cases of karmic ill effects of old causes set up.”

The most dangerous man in the world is the ignorant philanthropist who mistakes his good intentions for Wisdom. He will breed a world of parasites to the degree of his efforts, because he believes with all his heart in the miracle idea – that he can localize, immunize, prevent, cure, the world evils by short-cuts and substitutions.” (“Immunization,” “Theosophy” April 1928)

“For many years this journal and Theosophical Free Tracts [i.e. a tract/pamphlet distribution service set up by the United Lodge of Theosophists in India under B. P. Wadia’s guidance] have warned against vaccination and inoculations, two well-known after effects of which are encephalitis (a dread brain disease) and post vaccinal myelitis (a disease of the central nervous sytem causing paralysis). Both of these are virus diseases, and there seems to be very little “mystery” involved, for viruses are forced into the body with each vaccination! . . .

“One of the most shocking developments of the craze for so-called immunization is the fact that misleading propaganda can stampede adults into making millions of children undergo unproven, useless and dangerous vaccinations and injections. . . . Bitter and terrible is the price being paid by some American parents for their careless, blind and unwarranted faith in medical, health or government “authorities” and their propaganda. How many children will have to be crippled or killed before we learn to stop being blind followers of the blind? Before we learn that health is not gained by injecting disease and filth into our bodies?” (“The Superstition Called Vaccination,” “The Theosophical Movement” June 1955)

“Another point, which only the knowledge of the universality of the law of periodicity makes comprehensible is the cyclic course of diseases, which no less than the life of every creature and every civilization, gradually increase to their culminating point and then become less virulent, decline and disappear, the latter process often hastened by proper sanitation. Certain diseases, like yellow fever, seem to have largely spent their force; others, like cancer and cardiac disturbances, to be on their upswing. It is a fallacy rooted in the materialism of our times that a state of health can be won for the race by physical means, however scientific. Physical sanitation and individual obedience to the laws of physical health are worth more as disease preventives than all the sera ever prepared, but even such commendable measures leave the roots of disease untouched unless there is concurrent effort to purify the psychic nature.” (“The Vaccination Superstition,” “The Theosophical Movement” January 1938)

“In The Theosophist of January 1883 (Vol. IV, p. 92) H.P.B. printed a letter on the subject of compulsory vaccination, one which “deeply concerns the people of India,” though “almost outside our limits,” The Theosophist having to war “upon another and even worse form of innoculation – the empoisoning of the Hindu mind with the views of modern scepticism.” There is no doubt, however, of her attitude towards vaccination, against which Theosophy firmly stands for cogent reasons that have been discussed many times in this magazine. It condemns the vivisection of animals, in the words of H.P.B., as “Sorcery, pure and simple”; and the production of vaccine involves inflicting suffering upon the animal kingdom. It recognizes also that the violent mixing of alien strains of life is against nature and can result only in evil. Vaccination stands condemned because it is cruel, ineffective, dirty, dangerous and unnecessary, sanitation and cleanliness being far better and surer means of prevention of smallpox.” (“The Theosophical Movement” June 1961, editorial comment)

“Shall our children be immunized? By all means. Let us endeavor with all our power to immunize them forever against the possibility that their view-point of Life may become so perverted that they will, in a frenzy of fear over “effects not yet come,” offer their life-blood as a breeding ground for untold hosts of animal lives.” (“Should Our Children Be Immunized?”, “Theosophy” November 1930)

“Reliable anti-vaccination literature available to the public is the work of a few thoughtful physicians and lay writers. The situation is complicated by literature written and sponsored by individuals affected by unreasoning emotion; such literature often abounds with epithets, with misquotations and often misrepresentations, with unjustified imputations against the motives of respected medical men and investigators. While material of this sort may at times serves a purpose in blocking dictatorial legislation, for the most part it does more harm than good by rousing prejudice – both ways – and generally confusing the issue.

“The purpose of this pamphlet is purely educative. Theosophists have no desire that vaccination be prohibited. Those who are sincere in believing in immunization have a right to be vaccinated and to subject their children to this treatment. There is, however, no valid reason for making this practice compulsory. Some states have delegated to the boards of health under their jurisdiction the power to exclude unvaccinated children from public school attendance. Occasionally laws requiring school attendance place parents in the position of being unable to follow their convictions in this matter without violating the law. Both the army and the navy require enlisted men to be vaccinated and to be immunized in other ways. Many large corporations press their employees to be vaccinated, which often amounts to compulsion. In view of the admittedly unknown hazards of the practice, Theosophists hold that the just course for legislatures is to establish unequivocally the right of self-determination.”  (“Immunization: Some Basic Questions” in the pamphlet “Health and Therapy: Problems and Decisions” published by Theosophy Company, in print and available from the United Lodge of Theosophists around the world)

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We hope that this may provide food for thought and perhaps inspiration to research the subject more deeply for oneself. As with homeopathy, it is a deep and complex topic and not one that a person should form a definite conclusion about or consider oneself an expert in after having read just one or two articles. Interestingly, there are homeopathic vaccines – usually taken in tablet or liquid form – called Nosodes. As these often follow the homeopathic principle of diluting the original substance to such a degree that no material traces of it remain, and as they also have no need for any other ingredients, they would perhaps be viewed as more acceptable and palatable from a Theosophical perspective. Even at lower degrees of dilution, which still contain minute material residues of the therapeutically applied disease substance, they cannot do harm.

An information page states: “‘Nosodes’ is the term used for a specific group of remedies widely used in homeopathic prescribing. They have been an essential part of the European homeopathic tradition for over two hundred years. Results from clinical trials and data collection in homeopathic practice show a long track record of safety for these products. While homeopathic medicinal products typically originate from plants, animals, organic and inorganic substances, nosodes are made from disease products of human or animal origin, or from pathogens or from products derived from the decomposition of animal organs, cultured micro-organisms or body fluids containing pathogens or pathological agents. They are prepared according to standard methods of manufacture for homeopathic medicinal products. The Pharmacopoeias in current use include additional rules to produce safe, non-infectious starting material by different sterilisation methods. The subsequent serial dilution adds further safety and renders them as safe as other homeopathic remedies. Nosodes are manufactured and prescribed in higher potencies (i.e more dilute) only. The track record of safety of these products is reinforced by clear and regulated manufacturing processes, ensuring that they are safe. . . . In 2005, a survey of homeopathic doctors found that 95% considered nosodes to be important in their clinical practice.”

There are Coronavirus nosodes currently in existence, including a COVID-19 one, but these are not being advertised for sale at the moment due to pressure from governmental authorities who expressed concern that it would deter people from the purportedly more effective treatment via the mass vaccination programme.

What this article has hopefully shown is that even the most helpful and beneficial physical plane methods and treatments are not the real enduring answer and solution to a problem as deep, vast, collective, and Karmic, as an epidemic or pandemic. Even if one is still inclined to believe that the pandemic is actually a “plandemic” or a “scamdemic” it can surely be seen that the solution does not lie in getting angry and denouncing everyone and everything involved as conspiracy, enslavement, and mind control.

The real answers and solutions will take some considerable time to find and even longer to implement. And this cannot be done in any major way until much of the human race draws closer to an acceptance of there being such a thing as Karma.

“The Ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws and facts. The latter relate wholly to the material and evanescent part of the septenary man, but the Ethics sink into and take hold of the real man – the reincarnating Ego. We are outwardly creatures of but a day; within we are eternal. Learn, then, well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practise, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races.” (“Five Messages from H. P. Blavatsky to the American Theosophists” p. 26)

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