Amusing lymeric. If by New Age is meant introducing Hindu and Eastern Esoteric concepts to the West, then I suppose Madame Blavatsky did that. I had older family members who were fascinated with Theosophy and Spiritism, and I guess I myself have shown an interest. I have, though, shown an interest in any sort of religious, esoteric, mythological, social historical, anthropological and philosophical thought or theory. As yet, I have not been converted, suppose that is sheer luck, although I would credit a very influential primary school teacher who always encouraged us to inquire, explore, research, listen, and Make Up Our Own Minds. Anyway, I wonder where you got that little lymeric. Is it your own?
All the best,
Lost in Space
Of course, the New Age movement also evolved from other routes, such as Rosicrucianism, esoteric Masonics, transcendentalism, spiritualism, etc. not to speak of 'magickal' orders, such as the Order of the Golden Dawn. The emergence (re-emergence?) of Wicca, which has similar roots with additions, is also interesting.
Most interested to hear of all your many and varied studies and I am sure that you know much more about these things than I do. Very nice to hear from you.
Many warm wishes
The readings from Edgar Cayce.
Although Joe Szimhart will label them all as false/falsely based....none of them were started or purposely perpetuated as lies or scams or power trips -- i.e. all sincerely believed and shared by their "founders", or, with Cayce's readings, the channeling trusted. Blatavasky knew she was making up "masters". Mary Baker Eddy, Holmes, Freemont(?)(founder of Unity) thought they were sharing Truth. As did Cayce.
True, many of these people were completely sincere.
Edgar Cayce could diagnose strangers by "remote" and prescribe holistic and sometimes peculiar remedies. Strangely, many of them worked. Also, such services performed by him were offered free of charge. Mary Baker Eddy founded Christian Science which is recognized as a legitimate religion, although criticised for encouraging the shunning of medical care for members. Admit I know little about Holmes.
Of course Joe does not believe in these things, and thinks they cause harm. He has certainly got a lot of knowledge to draw on about religions and cults. I wonder, if he was just an artist and did not practice psychiatric intervention, whether he would feel so strongly about some of these groups. In his professional life, he wouldn't see a functioning, rational or fullfilled member of any alternative or New Age religion, because they don't need help!
What makes you say, though, that Blavatsky did not herself believe in the ascended masters?
And, WestofthesunEastofthemoon, don't be embarassed about your lymeric, it has stimulated a very good discussion!
All the best,
Lost in Space
You got on Blavatsky -- there's been stuff I've read here and elsewhere that she plagiarized and made stuff up - so I probably shouldn't make too strong a statement..... About JZ/Ramtha I can say, for me, for sure, it's a fraud. Others sincerely believe/have experienced Ramtha. Go figure.
Holmes is Church of Religious Science. Very similar to Unity.
Unfortunately, many of the Unity and Church of Religious Science churches and organizations have lost sight of their own Truth - (as have so very many Christian churches and organizations) - and have gotten quite "New Agey" - i.e. promoting (what to me is crap) What the Bleep and The Secret.
And although I'm going waaaaaaaay off topic here - for me the significant essence of the Cayce Readings is the Spiritual guidance - What is your Ideal? Spiritually, mentally, physically.... And are you living it. Those questions were asked in almost every "reading" - particularly the so called 'medical' readings.
Here are a couple of quotes:
"A skeptic named William Coleman discovered 2000 passages Blavatsky lifted from other books and never gave credit for. He counted a total of 100 books in all used in the making of Isis Unveiled, and The Secret Doctrine was discovered to be in a similar vein, with even entire pages plagiarized from other books!"
"Biographer Gertrude Williams wrote that 'she ruled her followers ambidextrously, through glamour and fear'. Toward the end of her life, she wrote a confession to one of her detractors, a Russian writer named Solyvov, and admitted she had lied about many things, including the existence of the Mahatmas, having hundreds of lovers (she was actually a virgin until the day she died), that she faked communications with spirits and that some of the phenomena her followers saw could be attributed to hallucination!"
Ohhhh that JZ would follow/copy this next/last step of Blatavasky's journey! -- --- ironically, William Coleman's 'discoveries' re all the plagiarized material could be plagiarized to describe what jz has done.....
Thank you for the info and reference.
Well, there are so many groups, prophets and seers to explore and few of them stand up to intense scrutiny in every respect. Neither, for that matter, do organized religions.
For example, take Christian religious holidays. Almost without exception, they are based on the Pagan Wheel of the Year, or feast days in other mystery cults, or GraecoRoman festivals, as a means of "selling" Christianity to the "heathens". No ill intent is ascribed, by me at any rate, to this practice. Early Christians believed they had something of great value to offer, a great truth and a means of salvation and they were eager to share this with everybody they could, in whatever way would make it palatable and understandable. As well, some questions have arisen in academic and skeptical cirlces as to whether Jesus of Nazareth actually existed. The Holy Bible as we know it today is the product of extensive editing and revision, and many gospels of early Christian times were left out for political reasons.
The prevarication and theatrics of Madame Blavatsky could also be seen in a similar light IMO.
Some of my friends are heavily into Edgar Cayce. You can check out the teachings, predictions, holistic medical diagnoses and recommendations and dream analyses on the website of the organization based at Virginia Beach, A.R.E., that continues to promote him as a prophet and wise guide.
A.R.E. fosters the formation of prayer groups who meet weekly and select targets whose greatest good is to be focused on and prayed for in group. Sounds quite harmless to me, in fact, it may be beneficial.
The Unity Church...sounds good in theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_Church
Basic Tenets - some sound a bit like a Chritified version of RSE:
Five basic ideas that Unity sets forward as its main belief system are:
1."God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere."
2."We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good."
3."We create our life experiences through our way of thinking."
4."There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God."
5."Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them."
There is a lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of this Church at http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?14,4426,page=7
And I want to thank both of you - this discussion is fascinating to me.
--even had to reset my password that I forgot.
HPB always attracts my attention. The first long research paper I wrote in 1983 after I left CUT/Summit Lighthouse was "Mad B's Myth" at 100+ pages [it was referenced in the "400 Years of Imaginary Friends" book by the Paolinis (2000).
I read many biographies on Blavatsky back then, even 2 by her devotees. yes she plagiarized--Coleman's hard work maybe caught half of it---Col. H. Olcott in his Old Diary Leaves mentioned that HPB had a trunk filled with around 100 books that she hauled around. Most of her plagiarisms came fr 100 titles, acc to Coleman.
CUT was an almalgam of Theosophy, "I AM", New Thought, Hindu-Buddhist ideas, Catholicism, Christian fundamentalism, and a form of "witchcraft" [casting spells through decrees amd mantras], so my exposure to what is called New Age was heightened by the CUT experience.
sorry, I could not let this quote go---- I do not use "false" as a label for New Thought. I might use lame, overwrought, philosophically impoverished , naive, etc. I agree that most of the founders of New Thought religions like Ernie Holmes, the Filmores of Unity, Annie Rix Militz were relatively honest folk and not prone to "manipulate you for your own good" by fooling you to "teach a higher truth." The Ballards of the "I AM" Activity were more the con artist type, however.Although Joe Szimhart will label them all as false/falsely based....none of them were started or purposely perpetuated as lies or scams or power trips -- i.e. all sincerely believed and shared by their "founders", or, with Cayce's readings, the channeling trusted. Blatavasky knew she was making up "masters". Mary Baker Eddy, Holmes, Freemont(?)(founder of Unity) thought they were sharing Truth. As did Cayce.
HPB was a complex lady--I still think her life was fascinating--makes someone like JZ or Jach Pursell [Lazaris] look downright prosaic!
As I recall, HPB insinuated she was a "virgin" or could not bear children at least due to a malformed womb that made intercourse painful for her, but she apparently had or at least cared for a child Yuri that died young when she was living and hanging around A. Metrovitch. Theosophists claim it was not her kid---who knows---shadows of all sorts exist around HPB, many that she invented herself.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_BlavatskyYuri died at the age of five, and Blavatsky stated that she ceased to believe in the Russian Orthodox God at this point. However, Theosophists claim that the Point Loma Theosophical Society has a passport that shows that Yuri was not H. P. Blavatsky's child.
After Yuri died, she moved to Cairo where her career as an occultist got serious--the rest is "mystery history" as they say.
great limerick about HPB!
I still think that "Ancient Wisdom Revived: A history of the Theosophical movement" is one of the best scholarly resources on Theosophy and HPB by Bruce Campbell (1980)
I more esoteric, densely written book in French "Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion" by Renee Guenon in 1929 is one I ordered as i just found out it was translated into English @ 6 years ago:
http://www.amazon.com/Theosophy-History ... 398&sr=8-1
I tried to read it in French without much success....
I read a lot of Guenon in the early 1980s when I was "recovering" from New Age cult stuff in my head. He was very helpful but no final word for me...Guenon converted to Islam after growing past his "culted" youth dabbling with "theosophism".
Guenon is fascinating if dense reading because he represents and even may have started a movement called "Traditionalist" meaining he believed in the sophia perennis or perrenial philosophy much as the Theosophists claimed to, but he makes a distinction in his book between traditional or "true" Theosophy and Theosophism or cult theosophy.
One book that pulls all that together is "Journeys East: 20th Century Western Encounters with Eastern Religious Traditions" by Harry Oldmeadow [forward by Huston Smith] (2004).
Oldmeadow is an Australian Professor...he says that Guenon "was entirely disdainful of modern thought in all its guises." so true
Thanks for the reading suggestions. They look very interesting and well worth investigating. I had to smile at the mention of your piece entitled 'Barmy Blavatsky', as I had been toying with idea of calling my limerick 'Batty Balavatsky'.
Your reference to Sophia Perennis put me in mind of the writings of Paul Brunton, which I read avidly when in my twenties. He has his critics, of course, but I rather liked his ideas on the eternal wisdom. I think they must have influenced me greatly, although I now hardly remember a word that actually he said!
it is like skating on thin ice imbedded with gravel over a murky lake on Mars....that's a mindfull...sorry
I did get Rene Guenon's [original 1921] book in the mail yesterday and I am well into it. Like revisiting an old eccentric friend.
Once i get through it I will review it for the ICSA Today or ICSA Journal as it is one of the most elaborate and indepth 'ex-member' exposes of a cult or new religious movement.
Quoting Guenon already on p 3, Preface:
In reality, the doctrines professed by the Theosophical Society are wholly modern, and in almost every respect are so different from those to which the name theosophy [sic] legitimately applies, that the two could never ne confounded except as a result of dishonesty or ignorance: dishinesty on the part of the heads of the Society, and ignornace on the part of the majority of those who follow them, and also, we have to admit, on the part of some of their adversaries who, being insufficiently informed, commit the grave error of taking these leaders' assertions seriously and believing, for example, that they represent an authentic Eastern tradition, although this is simple not true.
I am still experimenting as to how postings on this web-site work, having composed one, saved it, then not knowing how to retrieve and send what I had saved.
No matter. I am going to send off for the Guenon book and look forward to reading it. That the original idea and philosophy, regarding 'theosophy', is completely misunderstood by many people, and organisations, today, is something that has struck me time and time again. To a certain degree, I do 'blame' Blavatsky, and others, for this, but, there again, we all have eyes to see, ears to hear, and in this age of the internet, we have the fingers to check things out. Additionally, I am not a perfect human being and do not get everything right, by any means. I am often just left thinking: 'Hmmm', and coming to the conclusion that this is all part of the human condition, including my own. At the end of the day, is there such a thing as Divine Knowledge/Wisdom, anyway? A thought I often conjure with.
My very best to you,
My inclination after all these years of skeptical application is to continue to accept a 'philosophia perennis' or a 'theosophy' that is behind everything. Jacob Boehme an earlier, idiosyncratic [is there any other kind?] theosophist called it the "Ungrund".
Some forms of Deism fall under perennialism. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist, eg.
In current discussion a close position is called "philosophical theism" and in this category they list Plato, St Thomas Aquinas, Immanual Kant, Hegel, A N Whitehead, Anthony Flew (1923-2010) who was an avid and well-published atheist of sorts but came to his 'theist' position shortly before he died, and most notably Martin Gardner (1914-2010) a brilliant self-made mathemetician with an encyclopedic mind who wrote columns for the Skeptical Inquirer. Gardner's book exposing 'Urantia' is the best on that topic I found.
http://www.skeptic.de/index.php?action= ... cleno=0368
Folks on emf know I am a professed Catholic but it is somewhere under this St Thomas approach to that category that I 'believe.'
This is why it is so dangerous to stereotype people into the older religions with a strong history like Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Christians or atheists, [or me as a catholic], for example.
Guenon, who we are discussing, inspired a 'traditional' revival among Muslim scholars.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr who wrote "The Heart of Islam"  bases a lot of his perspective on Guenon and his followers.
http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Hear ... 0060730642
I agree with how dangerous it is to stereotype people with regard to their religion. Too often, in the West, we have been incited to do this with regard to Islam, as a response to Muslim extremism which has led to the horrific events of 9.11, etc. Often referred to as the 'axis of evil' and other epithets. One of my medical practitioners is a Muslim lady, complete with headscarf and face mask (even though I know her to be a beautiful woman). She is one of most kind, understanding and compassionate of all the practitioners of whom I have been a patient. She is the epitome of the teaching: "Allah, the merciful, the compassionate."
Years ago, I lived for some considerable time on the island of Malta. The religion there is traditionally Catholic. The language is an amalgam of Arabic and Pheonician, with a dribbling of Italian. The word for 'God' in that language (ie. the Christian Catholic God) is "Alla". Lest we ever forget. We are all One.
That is the ultimate "conclusion" or cliche that 'we are all one'. Even mathematician Fr. LeMaitre who invented the so-called "big bang" theory called it a "singularity" that all we call the universe emerged from.
Blavatsky and her Theosophists claim to represent this "one source" of all religions, thus any one from any religion can be a Theosophist, they say. Of course, Scientiology states the very same thing: Youi can still be a jew or a catholic or muslim and be a Scientologist.
In practice however this is almost never true. Oneness disappears to the degree that exclusivity arises. Exclusive cults with strict "us-them" rules like Scientology argue that one is either one with them or not anything at all.
Also, we have to ask the question, what is so "one" about Muhammed Atta the terrorist and Mother Teresa the nun? What is so "one" about Blavatsky and Aristotle? Or JZ and Derren Brown?
With regard to your question, I think you may know what my personal philosophy may be in respect of this, from a poem entitled "The Cathedral", which I posted on another thread. No to be too repetitive, I'll quote only a few of the salient lines:
"All Principles amassed in One;
The temporal and infinite
All reaching out to Thee."
For that last line, I could just as easily have composed: "All contained in Thee", as that was also in my mind, at the time.
Yes, sure, this is a cliched idea. It is also at the heart of the Eternal Philosophy, if I am not mistaken - though I cannot claim to have borrowed the idea - sometimes there is just nothing new under the sun.
However, it is a difficult subject, and I would be very interested to hear what other people on the board have to say in reply to your question.
I'd like to hear others weigh in in this weighty also
reminds of a story about the angry Unitarian who burned a question mark on his neighbor's lawn...
I guess I am saying that maintaining a position of 'oneness' is innocuous enough as long as one does not move to express it or put it into practice or create a movement of oneness. Theosophy as Blavatsky touted it was supposed to promote the 'brotherhood' of mankind and the one spirituality that would unite all religions. Let's all sit around the bonfire and sing Kumbaya
Guenon [btw, I finished his book 'Theosophy' today and began a review] points out the silliness and perversion of this idea in reality with abundant quotes and examples of internal bickering and continual external splintering [Protestantism] in Theosophy and related occult movements. The splintering stems from the poor comprehension of the founders of cults for what Guenon calls 'Tradition' or what W.E. describes as
and others, the philosophia perennis."All Principles amassed in One;
The temporal and infinite
All reaching out to Thee."
Traditionalists like Guenon argue that you cannot mix or invite all religions into "one" movement like the Self-Realization Fellowship does, for example, or into your head because you end up either creating a highly distorted exoteric concoction or remain isolated in a self-centered delusion (I am not religious, I'm spiritual ). His personal solution, though he grew up an embattled French Catholic in late 19th Century France, was to find a good, well-established Sufi teacher who initiated him into Islam, something he practiced till his death in Cairo in 1951. Others in that 'Tradition' like Ananda Coomaraswamy followed the Shankarya (advaita) tradition of Hinduism; Marco Pallis, Tibetan Buddhism. What qualifies as Tradition is something eternal "revealed" that sustains the test of time, social structure, and proper governance. Something about its expression never essentially changes like the Catholic mass ritual, for example.
Blavatsky, Besant and Leadbeater could not sustain consistency year to year or day to day despite their claims to reveal the universal teaching from "the Masters" themselves. That is why Guenon calls it a pseudo-religion.
This Theosophy pseudo-religion continues with Ramtha and RSE. Although there was a bizarre semblance of an effort to express a 'tradition' with the White Book, by 1987 JZ shifted dramatically from white light to void and fell into what Guenon calls a reiteration of modern Protestantism that tends to emphasize end of world, apocalyptic fears, anti-'godless' government interference in our lives, "personal" or self relationship with a deity, and personal interpretation of the Bible or solo scriptura (the Lord spoke to me, it is true for me).
To Guenon, RSE would be merely another Protestant sect like Theosophy in its politics and expression.
In defence of my own argument, however, I think that I should add here, that I could have answered your question by saying that my reference to an idea of 'One' can also be seen as 'the brotherhood of man', with all its greatness and evils. It is what it is. Which is equally my viewpoint - not experienced, from my stance, as any sort of ambiguity, or dichotomy.
The older one gets, the less certain one is of anything. I did state that I was giving an example of my own philosophy, not one that I expected anyone else to concur with, and there are times when I am not sure of it, at all. Like many of my atheist friends (fine, kind, compassionate and caring people), I am sometimes of a mind that there is nothing at all 'out there', greater than us, inside of us, whatever. Here we all are, set adrift in a meaningless, uncaring universe, searching for meaning. When we die, we die and are snuffed out. Let's make the best of it while we may, and be there for the 'other' if we can.
I hear what you are saying with regard to the Traditional Truth at the heart of religious philosophy, which is upheld through time, by the consistent, and more, or less, unchanging, nature of any established religion. I have to say that Sufism has great attractions for me, with its mysticism and poetry. As a person, however, I would not have the self-discipline required by Sufism, and, additionally, the mere idea of 'initiation' has become a 'no-no' for me, personally, since my experiences with a group similar to, but much smaller than, RSE, a long time ago. Doesn't make the concept of 'initiations' bad', I know. Just a path that I have been steered away from by life's experience.
Do I think that all religions and 'spiritual ideas' can meld into a 'oneness'? No, I don't, and that was never my point. It is the attempt at understanding and empathy, one to another, that is important to me.
Lastly, is RSE a 'big thing' in the wider scheme of things? No, definitely not. However, as far as ex-members are concerned, and relatives/friends of current members are concerned, that is hardly the point.
I do hope that some other EMF members will come to have their say on this thread, too.
There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Oneness described from a variety of 'perspectives' - some more facile than others:
see Augustine's Letter to the Manichaeans
Rev. Schuller - 'there's not a spot that God is not'
we all defecate out of the same(kind) of hole
when Jesus was asked, how do we prayer, he started with "OUR Father" - not my Father, not the Father just of male Jews, not everyone but 'pagans' Father,,,,,, OUR Father ----- With the murder of 3 million women in the middle ages, the Catholic Church certainly did not live/practice Our Father/Love one another - that doesn't invalidate the principle.
Oneness as the recognition of reality does not mean sameness. How many varieties of butterflies are there? Each and every one of the billions of human beings walking the earth are different.
perhaps that's a key to what I'm trying to say - just realized in writing - it seems to me Joe that when you speak of Oneness you're talking about sameness; and when W.E., or I, contemplate Oneness we're thinking connectedness/of One Source --- and perhaps we're 'representing' traditional male and female/masculine and feminine perspectives.!
I keep 'discovering' that there are many individuals and organizations whose sincere intent is dialogue with a diversity of Traditions. Just the other day I found a video of a conference to bring Muslims and Chinese into dialogue -- not into agreement/sameness - into mutual honoring.
A scam is a scam is a scam - no matter what it's covering - whether its cars or vacuum cleaners or vitamins or stocks or spirituality.... ....; to focus on the so-called 'product' -for good or bad or whatever - is to miss the essential fact - a scam is a scam is a scam.
I see what you mean about "sameness" but i also see that having that "experience" of oneness is universal.
L in Space reports how UUs derive from that Principle to come up with a list of worthy "principles" as do all religions and cults with their codes, mission statements, beliefs.
Guenon would argue that Theosophists tend to create a "syncretic" [borrowed and reassembled] religion based on that idea of "sameness" mentioned by AD. His approach rather is to "synthesize" using a much more rigourous and precise process.
David Hume who most students see as a "subjective" philosopher meaning that we cannot grasp reality as it is in a Platonic sense (which may not exist at all), therefor we must accept what our senses and experience conclude---even Hume agrued that there are men and wmioen of "genuius" who come up with a better grasp of reality that we can all benefit from.
[Chew on that for a while---I am ]
Guenon would be what Hume calls a genious, so his grasp of "Tradition" or Priniciple far surpasses mine but I can learn from his insight. As opposed to Blavatsky who was precocious a smart to be sure but undisciplined and rebellious to a fault, Guenon managed to recover from his 7 year stint in Parisian occult circles as a college grad, then, as an "ex-member" get his PhD in math and go on to excel in metaphysics.
Here's 2 clips from my draft of a review:
Not much is known about Guenon’s personal life as he was self-effacing to a fault throughout his life. We do know that his father was an architect and a strict Catholic. Guénon was schooled by Jesuits in France and was brilliant in mathematics and philosophy as a student. He studied mathematics in Paris at College Rollin. Following a youthful penchant for metaphysics and religious experience he dropped his advanced studies to pursue neo-occult movements including Theosophy, Gnosticism and Masonry for seven years in Paris only to find degrees of self-delusion, ignorance and deceit among leaders and followers. Around 1910 he met the then famous French painter Gustav Ageli (Abd al-Hadi) who introduced him to Sufism and Islam. He settled into Islam by 1912 after accepting an initiation under a respected Sufi scholar and cleric.
“He finished his university education in 1916 with a thesis called “Leibniz and Infinitesimal Calculus”. The same year, he met Jacques Maritain, one of the most influential Catholic thinkers of the 20th century. In 1921, he prepared his doctoral dissertation under the title “General Introduction to the Study of Hindu Doctrines”. Guenon’s thesis was rejected by his doctoral committee, which led to his eventual abandonment of academia in 1923.” The committee found his approach too theological and not in keeping with academia’s more scientific anthropological or sociological guidelines.
His first wife died childless in1928 in France but he married again in Egypt at around age fifty to a much younger, Muslim woman Fatima who bore his four children, the last around the time of Guénon’s death. He died in 1951 at age 65 weakened by lifelong health issues. Guénon taught intermittently throughout his life and published in journals to make a living. Many who knew him in Egypt regarded him as a kind of recluse and prophet who sought no followers yet sustained a philosophical correspondence with many colleagues. One of his editors and translators, Dr. Martin Lings, who assisted Guénon personally for a time in Egypt, describes him thus:
“Guénon almost never went out except when he came to visit us. I would send a car to fetch him and he would come with his family to our house about twice a year. We lived at that time just near the pyramids outside of Cairo. I went out with him only once and we went to visit the mosque of Sayyidnâ Husayn near al-Azhar. He had a remarkable presence; it was striking to see the respect with which he was treated. As he entered the mosque you could hear people on all sides saying, ‘Allâhumma salli 'alâ Sayyidnâ Muhammad,’ that is, ‘May God rain blessings on the Prophet Muhammad’, which is a way of expressing great reverence for someone. He had a luminous presence and his very beautiful eyes, one of his most striking features, retained their lustre into early old age.… As I have said, Guénon did not like to talk about himself and I respected his reticence, I did not ask him questions and I think he was pleased with that. To sum up what his function was, one might say that it was his function, in a world increasingly rife with heresy and pseudo religion, to remind twentieth century man of the need for orthodoxy which itself presupposes firstly a divine intervention, and secondly a tradition which hands down with fidelity from generation to generation what Heaven has revealed.”
When you compare this guy and his life to say Blavatsky or JZ you get a very different human being with far deeper and more precise ideas and moral abilities.Some of his critics noted that Guénon’s “tradition” foundation was rooted in Vedanta far more than in Islam or any other faith. Guénon would argue that the ancient Hindu tradition most captured the philosophia perennis. Unlike St Augustine in his Confessions, we find no personal stories or musings by Guénon. 'Theosophy' is not a confession or a memoir. Nowhere in thirty chapters does Guénon offer a personal account of his embarrassing sojourn into Parisian occult circles. Throughout the book you will find no “I” but only the standard academic “we” popular with scholars for his time:
“In this Theosophical use of ‘karma’ we find an excellent example of the abuse of poorly understood Sanskrit terms, as we have previously noted, for the word ‘karma’ quite simply means ‘action’ and nothing else. It has never had the sense of causality (‘cause’ in Sanskrit is ‘kārana’), and even less has it ever designated that special causation whose nature we have just indicated.”
he did his thesis in math, on Leibniz---his "theological' doctoral dissertation was rejected.Guenon managed to recover from his 7 year stint in Parisian occult circles as a college grad, then, as an "ex-member" get his PhD in math and go on to excel in metaphysics.
Part of my point above = Guenon was a sincere person who saw the underlying connections/Universal Source, and lived what he understood.
Blavatsky was a scamer.
not even apples and oranges -- more like true food and packaged chemicals sold as food....
there was a "back to Blavatsky" movement among Theosophists who were upset with the Besant-Leadbeater-Krishnamurti direction tyhat was embarrassing the TS in the press around 1910-1920, according to Guenon. Leadbeater always had sweet young males around him. One of his infractions that finally got him kicked out of the TS for a number of years was his ideas about "sacred sex" and teaching boys how to masturbate in groups.
Already, only 15-20 years after her death, Theosophists created a sanitized legacy or story about HPB as if she were truly in touch with Masters and not concerned with politics like Besant or Leadbeater's channeled revelations about a coming "world teacher."
As a side note, Blavatsky would get very upset at times with criticism in the news and revelations made by ex-members, so she would threaten to disappear and be done with it all, meaning running the show. Remind you of anyone?