The Theosophical Society in America

The Idea of the EST

By H.S. Olcott

[From OLD DIARY LEAVES, II, pages 293-94.]

It had been arranged that I should return alone to Ceylon and begin the collection of a National Education Fund to promote the education of Buddhist boys and girls. The scheme had -- as HPB assured me -- the full approbation of the Mahatmas, and her own concurrence had been strongly expressed. Thereupon I had written to Ceylon and made all necessary arrangements with our friends.

On February 11, as it seems, HPB fell out with me because I would not cancel the engagement and stop and help her on THE THEOSOPHIST. Of course, I flatly refused to do anything of the kind, and as the natural consequence, she fell into a white rage with me.

She shut herself up in her room a whole week, refusing to see me, but sending me formal notes of one sort or another, among them one in which she notified me that the Lodge would have nothing more to do with the Society or myself, and I might go to Timbuktu if I liked.

I simply said that my tour having been fully approved of by the Lodge, I should carry it through, even though I never saw the face of a Master again; that I did not believe them to be such vacillating and whimsical creatures; if they were, I preferred to work on without them.

Her ill temper burnt itself out at last, and on the 18th of that month, she and I drove out in the new carriage that Damodar had presented to her! A Master visited her on the 19th and exposed to her the whole situation, about which I shall not go into details, as all has turned out as he forewarned us.

On leaving, he left behind a much-worn gold-embroidered head covering, of peculiar shape, which I took possession of, and have until this day.

One result of this visit was that, on the 25th of the month, she and I had a long and serious discussion about the state of affairs. This resulted, as my Diary says, "in an agreement between us to reconstruct the Theosophical Society on a different basis, putting the Brotherhood idea forward more prominently, and keeping the occultism more in the background, in short, to have a secret section for it." This, then, was the seed planting of the EST, and the beginning of the adoption of the Universal Brotherhood idea in more definite form than previously.