Spiritualism and Theosophy (april 1927)
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
See also his subsequent answer about the same debate: Spiritualism and Theosophy (july 1927).
Spiritualism and Theosophy
To the Editor of the Occult Review.
Sir, — I read with interest the article by Mr. Chaylor in your last issue, but I regret that he should go out of his way to deny the truths of Spiritualism. As those truths are, in the case of most of us, matters of personal experience about which we are perfectly sure, we lose all confidence in the more remote assertions of Theosophists when we find that they are utterly mistaken upon the one point on which we are able thoroughly to test them. Many of the more experienced Theosophists have had experience of séances and are aware of the mistake which Madame Blavatsky made when, after being a furious and intolerant Spiritualist, she suddenly abandoned the cult at a time of its temporary eclipse in America, and changed her guide John King to the Master Koot Hoomi. A. P. Sinnett was certainly with us, and I think (though here I speak without warrant) that G. R. S. Mead is as satisfied as to spirit communion as I am. There seems no reason, therefore, why Theosophists should eternally split the psychic movement by going out of their way to offend those who are really moving in the same direction as themselves. A great many spiritualists are inclined towards reincarnation, kharma, and other Theosophic views, but are repelled by the attitude of such writers as the gentleman in question. If we, who are in our several ways fighting against materialism, would draw closer together, we should be in a stronger position.
- Yours faithfully,
- ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.