Editor’s note [V.E.]: ... we diverge from the not-altogether-fictional but not altogether factual form in which this series has been cast, in favor of one of grim and pointed reality concerning an episode which had a vital effect on the Movement many years ago, and still has it; the effects are still thrust in the faces of disconcerted Theosophists. Under the above title, H.P. Blavatsky reprinted a story from a contributor to Nouvelle Revue, in the Theosophist for April 1886. The history in the article is itself interesting enough; H.P.B.’s own footnote, vouching for its essential truth, and her supplementary explanation, tell even more. It forms, with matter previously printed, a completing piece of a mosaic picture of a terrible episode. We also call attention to the amazing and even brutal forthrightness about moral principles and personalities involved in the act of the author in publishing such a revelation, and equally so in H.P.B.’s own explanation. Here on neither part was any of the pussy-footing in behalf of the modern spirit of “charity,” “live and let live,” and general compromise on moral principles that now so obscures the real and terrible nature of karma following from certain forms of action.
We give the essential parts of the article by extracts, with our own comments.
* * *
... I was feeling rather tired. I had been working at this report for the last three hours and it had to be ready for my chief in the morning without fail.
I sat down again at the writing-table and began to correct my sentence.
“Hence” ... I was going to add: “it would appear reasonable.”
When all at once my hand began to tremble and after “hence,” instead of “it would appear reasonable” ... it wrote the words: “I am here, I am here, I am here” ...
I closed my eyes, then I opened them again and had some difficulty in convincing myself that it was not an illusion. At the same moment my right hand was bent by an involuntary movement and seemed to wish to approach the paper. Then, without idea or will on my part, my pen began to write: “I am here, I want to speak to you.”
“But who are you then ... who?” I said involuntarily.
“Kimenis” traced the pen on the draft of my report.
“What nonsense!” What does all this mean?”
“Whence comes this strange name?”
I do not know whether I was thinking or speaking aloud.
The pen wrote rapidly: “Kimenis is my name; it means beauty, for I am beautiful. I am here because I wish you well. I love you. Do not torment me by suspicion; henceforth I shall be with you often.”
I threw down the pen and left the table.
It was true that I had a vague idea of so-called spiritual correspondence, as the table-turners call it, but I had never investigated it. These stupidities in no way interested me.
But whence came all that had just happened and how was it to be accounted for, especially at a time when I was completely absorbed in my work and was thinking of nothing but my report?
* * *
[V.E.]: The visitation recurred on the following night; the author had become ill in the meantime.
* * *
In this unpleasant disposition, morose and irritated, I sat down to my table, and took up the first book that came to hand; but I had found it uninteresting and soon closed the volume.
All at once my left hand began to tremble; it raised itself and then fell again without any volition on my part.
Could this be a repetition of what took place yesterday? I took a sheet of paper wondering if I could manage to write with the left hand. My hand sped rapidly over the blank paper.
I shut my eyes. At length the pencil stopped. My hand rose, then suddenly falling, struck the paper as it made an energetic full stop at the end of the sentence.
I looked; it was impossible to understand anything; but the idea presently occurred to me that the phrases were written the reverse way and must be read by holding the paper up to the light.
In a fine hand, that of the night before, were traced the following words:
“Your suspicion and contempt offend me. You do not want me; but I am here and I cannot go away. Believe me, I wish you well. You are ill but I will cure you in an instant with sea air.”
I had barely time to read these lines before I felt around me a soft caressing breath of air.
“What has come to me?” I though with terror. “Is it possible that my nerves have become affected to this extent? Whence comes this sickly imagination?”
But the breath of air increased. It was sea air, the air we all know so well, fresh, electrifying, vivifying, as on a bright spring day when one is standing on the deck of a ship; I felt it on my face and drank it in greedily.
Reality disappeared. I was wrapped in dream, a dream of Southern seas. I seemed to hear the regular and monotonous murmur of the waves. The far-off blue sparkled before me. I breathed with full lungs.
* * *
[V.E.]: Following this the author wrote himself another message with his left hand, then decided that he was going mad and refused to credit the whole thing. There followed an occult phenomenon of a type described by W.Q. Judge, and an adventurous episode upon which the author seemed to place a certain amount of occult significance. (He was saved from death by something that seemed beyond coincidence.)
Later he noted what seemed like traces of writing inside a new envelope just bought, opened it, and found: “I am gaining in strength. - Kimenis.” (This is the usual sequence of ascending potency in occult phenomena done by an astral entity; working on the mind of the medium first to produce “impressions;” following by partial control of his nervous system, extending to automatic writing; (something like this can happen whenever any is fool enough to use or produce a ouija board, for
instance;) finally, direct precipitation done by currents drawn from the aura of the medium - which we hold was most likely the case with the famous “1900 letter.”
The author then says: “Hence I really believed in this ‘Kimenis.’” That same evening, heralded by a perfume of violets, “Kimenis” became physically visible - another normal ascending step in the gaining of power vampirized from the medium’s aura.
* * *
All at once I had the impression that some one was gazing fixedly at me. I saw no eyes, there were no eyes, but something incomprehensible, at once sad and yet attractive, gazed at me fixedly making me feel hot and cold by turns.
An instant after I saw them, those deep dark eyes. [sic]
In this bluish cloud which became brighter and brighter a radiant form began to manifest itself. I could contain myself no longer, but threw myself on it madly. My trembling hands seized... nothing...
All had disappeared.
* * *
[V.E.]: After trying all the next day to throw off what he regarded as madness, came the climax:
* * *
Suddenly the enormous volume that I was holding closed of its own accord and fell to the ground with a loud noise.
I trembled; rose hastily and, as I turned around, I saw, behind my chair ... Her.
This time it was no vague and uncertain form, it was no longer a cloud, a vapour, a phantom. A living woman of extraordinary beauty stood before me. It was the same gaze that I had felt the evening before, the same smile.
Black silky hair braided with rows of pearls shaded her face, covered her shoulders and fell in thick waves to her knees. Her breast was half uncovered. With one admirably formed hand she leant on the high back of my chair. Her other arm, white as alabaster, appeared through her waving hair.
She was clad in a sort of tunic that reached to the ground, of two colours, white and pale blue, of some indescribable stuff, supple, velvet-like, very fine; and so closely did it cling to her lithe form that it might have been damped.
Yes, it was a woman; but so brilliant, and so radiant that she could not be compared to any human creature, even in the freshest blossom of youth and beauty. She was the incarnation of an artist’s dream at the most ecstatic instant of his creative frenzy. I contemplated her ardently with a feeling of unspeakable suffering. My whole being seemed dissolved before her.
* * *
[V.E.]: Embodied from the material of his own astral substance, one recognizes the famed “succubus” of medieval demonology, and of all too real mediumistic orgiastic episodes of more recent times. Thus embodied, fired and inspired with the agonies of occultly cultivated passion drawn from his own soul; the dream of every sensualist gifted - or cursed - with a vivid imagination. Such an imagination in a psychic, models in astral perfection its own destroyer.
* * *
Then she spoke. And who but she could have expressed her thoughts in that mysterious rippling speech that filled my heart with terror, with delight and with suffering?
“Is it possible that you are afraid of me?” she murmured with a smile as she looked into my eyes, and drew herself more closely towards me.
Then, marshaling all my last remaining forces, I said, almost with a sigh:
“But who are you?”
“Who? I might tell you that I was a spirit who has long quitted the earth. I might make up some sort of interesting story; but I do not want to deceive you ... I do not know what I am, I have never lived as you live, and I want to live.”
She pronounced these last words in a tone that vibrated with passion, with pain and with tears.
“Whence do you come then? Why are you here? What is it you want of me?”
“Whence do I come? From everywhere. I have been about you for a long time, but I could never make myself known. I am here because I belong to you. You yourself have created me,* you have evoked me; and I love you. I want to live ... Give me life ... life!”
Her eyes sparkled and grew dull by turns. She threw herself on my breast folding me in her arms, and her hot lips seemed to drain the life from mine.
I felt my blood freeze in my veins and snatched myself from her embrace.
Then she gazed at me with a triumphant smile. Her cheeks a flowing red, her bosom heaving, she tried to approach me again. But I repelled her with violence.
An indescribable horror seized me. All at once I felt such a hatred for her, that I could have strangled her, annihilated her; but I could not move. A mortal weakness had taken hold of me.
She laughed gently and murmured; “Till to-morrow.”
It seemed to me she threw something over me and then she disappeared.
For a long time I remained motionless, hardly able to breathe, and covered with a cold perspiration. Then I perceived on my knees a fragrant bouquet of violets. I seized them and approached my table with tottering steps. While I was looking at the flowers, as fresh and scented as if they had just been gathered, I saw them suddenly dissolve and evaporate in my hand.
* * *
[Blavatsky footnote]: "Khimenu is the female demon created by the desires and will of a man himself. In ancient Egypt during the twelve trials of the candidate for Initiation, the purity of the neophyte was tried by surrounding him with conditions that created temptations. If the will of the candidate was strong, all was well. But woe to him if his lust was stronger; it created Khimenu and he was caught in the snares of his own creation. The writer tells us he had never even heard the name before. He pledges his word that the facts of his story happened exactly as told and are in no way exaggerated, and his family corroborate him. A terrible nervous prostration dates from that time, three or four years ago. "
[V.E.]: It is curious and interesting that the ancient Egyptian “Khimenu” came out in this case in the Greek form “Kimenis;” interesting because the native language of the author of the story takes its alphabet from the Greek.
The author had a horrible night following, awaking “with shattered nerves and a heavy head, but with a clear idea of fighting and conquering this visitation at any cost.” Several times during the following day he felt and fought off incipient automatic movements of his hand; and when the vision appeared that evening it was vapory again. He drove it away, but it returned in his dreams:
* * *
She stood before me, with flaming eyes, her face distorted with anger, and said:
“Ah! you do not want me, you drive me away; you do not give me life! Very well! then ...”
She made a movement and behind her I saw an enormous monster of an ourang-outang which threw itself on me and began to tickle me. I might struggle as much as I pleased, it would not release me. I was being suffocated, and felt as if I was dying in terrible pain.
I rose from my bed with a cry. Groping with trembling hands I lit my candle.
Kimenis and her ourang-outang had disappeared, but my horror may be imagined when I felt the tickling continue. I ran round the room like a madman, covered with cold perspiration. The invisible paws continued to tickle me and this torture lasted more than an hour. I was at the end of my strength and an irresistible impulse drew me towards the razors on my dressing table. But all at once I felt within myself such fury, such thirst for life, that horror, despair and terror were all forgotten. Then suddenly this insupportable tickling ceased.
* * *
[VE]: The nature of the “tickling” and the “ourang-outang” seem quite clear. Precisely as the supernaturally enticing aspect of the vision had been created from his own imagination, so the impulse of revulsion and horror created its opposite; the “tickling” that he so interpreted in his dream, is clearly that “feathery touch” on the skin treasured by spiritualists, and which Judge (in our opinion the real occult teacher of the Movement in the practical sense for struggling chelas, quite as much as H.P.B.) describes as being the result of the loss of vital fluid through the skin to some obsessing entity that is vampirizing the susceptible victim to the destruction of his health. The author essentially, without knowing it, confirms this explanation in his closure.
* * *
I fell exhausted on my bed. Little by little I came to myself, but sleep was impossible.
From that time all has ceased.
Kimenis has left me in peace. Nothing recalls her existence to me. But I am broken. There is not a sound spot in my body. There are weeks, even months, during which I feel as if I was going to die every moment. Life becomes insupportable to me. And can this incessant torture be called life? I am poisoned forever.
“Nervous disorder,” say the doctors with a shrug of the shoulders.
* * *
[V.E.]: Perhaps the most thrilling and terrible aspect of the whole episode is contained in the two following words, the signature of the author - Vsevolod Solovyoff.
... It was this same Solovyoff who, in 1892, six years after this article, was publicly and viciously attacking H.P.B. [H.P. Blavatsky] and the name of Theosophy, going to lengths not merely of lying about objective facts, but of mutilating a letter of H.P.B.’s in translation, in order to convict her of fraud. ... It caused a terrible row when it came out, and Solovyoff frantically tried to cover his tracks, because for a time the shadow of Siberia lay over him for this trick and various other things of an unconventional nature. ... one of the “various other things” was cohabiting with his sister-in-law; which was then a crime in Russia. By that time it appears that he had recovered enough masculine energy and interest to have found a more material substitute for “Kimenis.”
... It happens upon occasion that a wrecked body of such psychic tendencies can be torn away from its proper possessor by a strong and ill-willed astral entity, rehabilitated physically, and used for any sort of sinister purpose. We say that the Vsevolod Solovyoff of the years when he stood nobly by H.P.B., helped vigorously in the proceedings of the Movement, was visited by a Mahatma in person, and wrote the aforesaid article, was long gone by 1892; and the most that could be said at his body’s death was what H.P.B. says in a footnote in the Secret Doctrine, referring to one of similar history: “Peace be to his - shell.” In Solovyoff’s narrative is recognizable also the famous “Dweller on the Threshold,” appearing to him, as to all who meet it, in the form given it by the nature of the candidate, in this case, a succubus.
These men were failures, traitors - but also martyrs. They attempted tasks too great for them; the karma that followed failure, one may hope, will be greatly ameliorated for the Ego by the courage that tried, and the devotion that drove the unfit instrument to its spiritual death.
The physical plight brought on by the psycho-sexual repercussion of Solovyoff’s failure in a former test brings up an interesting thought. He, being a psychic and a medium, received the rebound of his misdirected energy through an apparition objective - to him. But may not many a non-psychic be the victim of the same thing, not objective to him, but manifesting only in the form of the physical symptoms?
Of all the recorded careers of chelas and would-be chelas, the case of Solovyoff seems to us both the most terrible and the most enigmatic. The amazing promptitude with which he gained the direct attention and help of a Mahatma; the vigor and self-sacrifice with which he served for a short time; and the equally rapid cataclysmic downfall after a certain turning point was passed - these things can only indicate one who perhaps was meant to be second in the Movement only to Madame Blavatsky and Judge. The outcome seems fitly represented only in Milton’s description of the endless downward flight of Lucifer, the once-divine.
Last Update : January