“Isis Unveiled” was HPB’s first grand work and was first published in 1875. It contains an unbelievable amount of information about countless subjects with as largest separations in two parts: volume one is mainly about science, volume two about religion. Both should of course be seen in the time this book was written. Science was still quite young, but making progress rapidly and also becoming more and more materialistic. Religion was more ‘sacred’ as it is today, so it was not taken very lightly was madame Blavatsky had to say about Christianity.
Those who are not familiar with the writings of HPB should be warned. Her style is extremely chaotic, not always very clear and when writing about a subject she drifts away to three others before coming to the point. This in combination with the difficult subjects makes “Isis” a though work to read for many people. I myself, find this book extremely amusing, because HPB writes about so many subject with sometimes not so, but often extremely detailed information, all kinds of theories, quoting literarly thousands of other books that were available at that time and with a very sarcastic sence of humour. Actually I use this book more as relaxing reading than for study. It is far too chaotic to use it to dig into a certain subject and my copy doesn’t have an index so it is close to impossible to find something in the first place. I don’t know if recent printing do have a proper index.
The greatest effort of this book is that when you are able to find them, it has so many information that was not available for the western world at the time, that you wonder how this Russian woman got to know all that. Well, she claimed that she was thought and in contact with two (but sometimes more) ‘super-humans’ that she called Mahatmas (great souls) who brought much of the information in a paranormal way and actually she was only a writer-down. Whether you believe this or not, fact is that almost nobody in the west had heard of Karma before HPB wrote about it. Also she quotes many eastern books that were not yet translated (or even found) by the orientalists that travelled the east. Also she corrected much of the translations and explanations of these orientalists.
But not only Eastern knowledge was presented, also other occult knowledge, information about esoteric groups, the origins of Christianity and the evolution of mankind.
All in all too much to mention. 13 Years later HPB amazed the world again though, with her “The Secret Doctrine” that was published in 1888 and was the breakthrough for her ‘Theosophical Society’. Also reviewed in these pages.