Esoteric Christianity

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Does this have something to do with the filoque clause?
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Does this have something to do with the filoque clause?
It boils down to being Christian - and by some readings Roman Catholic - or "not saved."

Of course, Esoteric Christianity reinterprets the whole "fallen from Grace" bit, and shows things in a different light - one which, I personally, find a bit more favorable.

So the idea that only through exoteric, conventional, even Roman-Catholic Christianity can I "find Salvation" ... becomes quite ridiculous.

Instead, it becomes a matter of the Christ within, and the entire focus on my spirituality turns to developing, or unfolding, this latent potential ... instead of placating some kind of earthly authority, or institution - via tithing, church/mass attendance, and so much, empty ritualism.

Still, for some, all that is necessary is the profession of one's "faith" - and suddenly - LO! - the Heavens open, and Salvation descends, like a Dove. Oh - would that it were so simple ... :eek: :(

What is the essential difference between Christian esoterica and Christian mysticism?

None, in that Christianity is a Mystery ... a fuller etymology of the Greek verb 'muo' (to close the mouth) from which 'mystery' and 'mystical' derive explains it better. The Latin translates 'Mystery' as 'Sacrament' – and the 'Sacramental Mysteries' are at the heart of traditional Christianity – 'that all might be one'.

The modern argument is between a 'Christian esoterism' – which is entirely natural according to the order of things (some people see and understand better than others) – and 'esoteric Christianity', which posits those with natural or supernatural gifts as belonging to an elite, a class apart from the common herd, distinct and superior not only in form but in eschatalogy.

The 'real' Christianity is then nebulous, immaterial, invisible, which only 'appears' in the material form of the earthly Church but is actually something other and quite distinct from it.

It is a form of institutional docetism.

Of course, this appeals to those who view themselves as belonging to a spiritual elite, and they ever try to distance themselves from the idea that the person sitting next to them in the pew might be, for all their visible faults, more in Christ than they.

For the 'exoteric' or 'conventional' Christian, the heart is enough – "But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name" (John 1:12).

Not for the pseudo-gnostic, there must be more to it than that. What matters is what one 'knows', not who he loves. It puts the human intellect prior to the Divine Will ... (in fact it's an inverse dualism, it puts the substance of knowledge – a body of knowledge – above the essence of knowledge).

Many like to present 'Roman Catholicism' as the villain of the piece, such an institution never existed in the 2nd century (nor the 3rd, nor the 4th ... and a survey of the major opponents of gnosticism, Irenaeus above all, show them to be Greek.

Something you just evidenced, Joshua! WTG!!!

Clearly, here is a man who has never read his Bible. He has no faith in God, or in his creation (man, for one). This will become apparent in the next comment ...

And who said we're in a pickle? (YOU did.) Who said God "can't get us out?" (YOU did.)

Yet, in the image of the Elohim were we fashioned, and thus we have Their potential. "Greater things than this, YE shall do." Something about Faith the size of a grain of mustard seed ...

But indeed, Joshua, these are difficult concepts - Faith, and Trust and such. Better leave that to the Esotericists ... :rolleyes:

Aherm, uh, err, here, let me SMASH open the very idea that there's anything of WORTH or value in Esoteric Christianity, but then try to CMA by saying "I'd like to hear your thoughts." Ummm, non sequitur? :p

Joshua likes to introduce himself in a roundabout way, but I think his True Colors are showing through quite nicely. :eek:
yeah, they're red, white, and blue...i like you too, Andrew.
Thomas said:
Of course, this appeals to those who view themselves as belonging to a spiritual elite, and they ever try to distance themselves from the idea that the person sitting next to them in the pew might be, for all their visible faults, more in Christ than they.
This, you see, Thomas, is precisely what I meant by bringing up Dominus Iesus. Exactly what you accuse myself, and others of doing, you are doing right here.

Esoteric Christianity presents a framework within which one does not even need to be traditionally Christian, or Christian at all! - in order to partake of God's Greatest Mystery.

Yet it also provides a vehicle, for those who embrace it fully, to actually reach the innermost Mysteries, via the LESSER Mysteries, which are ALL that are capable of being taught by ANY Earthly Institution.

The Sacraments can approach the role of a vehicle, symbolically veiling an inner Truth, but they no longer fulfil that role utterly, exclusiviely or completely. And there is a reason for this is taught to students of modern esotericism, while the right relationship between Spiritual Church (or Inner, Mystical Church - the `Church Invisible'), and outward, earthly church, is revealed and restored. It can be summed up in one word:


As for the Christ within, all men, all women, EVERYWHERE - and of every time - do have, have had, and will have access. Nor, I must clarify, because of your Church (affiliation, participation or standing), or even because you are (a) Christian.

All but the most blind can understand something of the Church Invisible. You don't have to be a Christian, a Roman Catholic, or a Gnostic ... to be, or become, a member. And the book you buy at Borders may or may not indicate something of the Way.

Strange, Thomas, that in distinguising between the Intellect and the Will, you left entirely out of the picture, our own, Spiritual Soul, the "Christ within" of St. Paul ... an Innate Principle of our Spiritual Nature, part of our Inmost Being.

The Eastern Teachings have known and taught this for tens of thousands of years, and folks like Nick and myself have attempted to summarize and present relevant portions, in demonstration of that fact. If, however, that is not good enough ...



True Gnosis is the operation of the 6th Principle - Buddhi (the "Christ within," viewed as a Faculty, or PRINCIPLE of Consciousness - of BEING). It is not the Manasic quality of either the lower, mortal mind, nor even the Higher Manasic Principle, Spiritual Intellect (Itself a reflection of the Divine MIND) ... in operation.

The awakening of the `BUDDHI,' simply put, is a summation of Christ's entire PURPOSE with regard to the Human Kingdom. It sums up for us exactly what the Christ and Masters remain on Earth to assist with.

If you want to speak about "the Church Invisible," and the Inner, Mystical Church of Christed Jesus, and so on, then fine, we can do that. But we need to do so on equal ground, and not with some kind of pretended monopoly on the Truth, or on Christ's Teachings.


If God does not meet us within the silent spaces of the (Spiritual, or Inner/Interior) Heart ... then where? Even God, must meet us on common ground.

I submit that even the (Spiritual) Intellect, can be a meeting-ground for the Divine. It may even be the first meeting-instance, though it is not the "last," or the Greatest. When the Intuitition (the Spiritual Heart, or "Christ within") is in operation, we truly begin to understand. And this comes to us from a realm beyond words; it is the world of pure Understanding.

Nevertheless, there is a Peace which passeth Understanding ... and that is found within the world of Atma, Nirvana, or PURE Spirit. We must not be blinded by the differing terminologies of another religion or ideology, so thoroughly that we miss the point entirely, and either deny the reality on the one hand, or insist that our sect, ALONE, "possesses it," on the other.

ATMA, Buddhi, Manas ... to a practitioner of Esoteric Christianity, may as well be The Mystical Father, the Christ Within, and Divine Mind - the Illumination of the Holy Spirit. In Roman Catholicism, or exoteric Christianity, I would HOPE that there is an equivalent understanding.

That there is a "Christ with you, the Hope of Glory" ... this much, yes, I do KNOW. :)


"If this inner doctrine was always concealed from the masses, for whom a simpler code had been devised, is it not highly probable that the exponents of every aspect of modern civilization--philosophical, ethical, religious, and scientific-are ignorant of the true meaning of the very theories and tenets on which their beliefs are founded? Do the arts and sciences that the race has inherited from older nations conceal beneath their fair exterior a mystery so great that only the most illumined intellect can grasp its import? Such is undoubtedly the case."

Manly Palmer Hall,
The Secret Teachings of All Ages

The problem, from my perspective anyway, is that I don't know how one can distinguish between a genuine master of the mysteries and a very slick charlatan. That's especially true when the material of the teachings is purported to be channelled from some incorporeal being. I've never been one to close my eyes and open my mouth. Not the trusting type I guess.
The problem, from my perspective anyway, is that I don't know how one can distinguish between a genuine master of the mysteries and a very slick charlatan. That's especially true when the material of the teachings is purported to be channelled from some incorporeal being. I've never been one to close my eyes and open my mouth. Not the trusting type I guess.
Sunny C.,

I have met some of these "Incorporeal Beings," in the flesh. Not all of them are maintained - by Theosophists and Esotericists - as being Incorporeal ... or at least not all the time. Many of the Masters, certainly the ones revealed to the world in the past ~125 years, do inhabit physical bodies.

Some of these bodies are created, via Kriyashakti, while others are the "natural bodies" in which the Master was born ... as a 4th Degree Initiate, or Arhat. Once a Master leaves incarnation after having attained the 5th Degree of Initiation, his next manifestation will presumably occur via Kriyashakti vs. the normal method of Incarnation. He literally creates his body directly!

Interestingly, Jesus of Nazareth did not manifest in this manner, nor presumably would have Appollonius of Tyana - who was Jesus, reincarnated.

Esotericism teachings that the purity and degree of evolution of the very matter of the lower vehicles (mental body, astral-emotional body, and etheric body - the physical vehicle of the `vital essence') ... is so great in the case of an advanced Initiate (4th Degree Arhat), that if an immediate rebirth is selected, we may assume that all of these vehicles accompany the arhat into that new birth. The dispersal of the atoms would be a tremendously inefficient waste of energy and effort, otherwise.

Moreover, an Arhat, such as "Christed" Jesus, will have parted with the Causal Body (or Karana Sarira of Hinduism) - having completed the Work which he has been engaged in throughout his long series of incarnations. He has "completed the Temple of the Living God," the Esoteric Temple of Solomon - "not built with human hands."

Christ (or rather, the Initiate Jesus) spoke of this PLAINLY, but the exoteric presentation is that he simply "rose from the DEAD." The thinking Christian will have long ago put together the many accounts of those who have had NDE's and OOBE's, and realized that death is not the end of our evolution, or `life.' It is, as we will all discover, merely the beginning of another phase of our life. And indeed, all people survive physical death, not just a "chosen few." :eek:

Gandalf says this, to Peregrin Took, when they believe that death is upon them near the end of `Return of the King.' And he smiles, as he tells Peregrin of the White Shores ... since he himself [Gandalf] has already been there, as `Gandalf the Grey,' after he defeated the Balrog that killed his earthly body.

Here, Tolkien has depicted beautifully and wonderfully for us the Crucifixion, or RENUNCIATION Experience, the 4th Initiation, which has been taught as part of the Ageless Wisdom for millennia (and by Manly Hall, of course, last Century). Note that George Lucas also showed us this tranformation ...when Ben (`Obi Wan') Kenobi allowed himself to be "struck down" by Darth Vader - that he could RISE again (hmmmm), being "more powerful than Vader could imagine."

This is what the Phoenix symbolizes to us, also, in the Harry Potter series (as Dumbledore's pet), straight out of Mythology. J.K. Rowling does a marvelous job of re-introducing this generation to the Mysteries, through this vehicle ... and C.S. Lewis, too, showed us the 4th Initiation, as Aslan the Lion rose after being murdered at the Stone Table.

ALL OF THIS is part of the Mystery Teachings, and has been with Humanity for thousands of years PRIOR to Christianity's appearing on the scene. The latter co-opted the former, repackaging various of the Eastern and Pagan doctrines, even borrowing their very symbolism, yet re-branding it ... and claiming it as "a new, unique Revelation."

An UPDATE, it most certainly was ... but a tree does not put forth its branches without a TRUNK, and ROOTS. ;)


As your quote from Manly Hall demonstrates, Sunny C., it has been necessary to show that the very same Wisdom presented via the Christian Message has ALWAYS existed ... as it transcends form, and is in fact, the very LIFE, the ensouling Principle, or Essence, of all World Religions.

One cannot BOX THIS UP, and SELL it. One cannot CLAIM this Inner Reality as "one's own," save for the degree to which we all participate in both the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries. We may as yet - most of us - know almost NOTHING of the latter, as we are even ignorant (clearly so) of much of the former ... yet the WAY is open to every man, every woman - and this is what Esotericists are glad to emphasize.

The Spiritual verities are available not simply to "the chosen, privileged few," but to ANY man or woman who is willing to put others before oneself, and is ready to sacrifice worldly ways in exchange for righteous living.

And the Guidebook for what we must DO in order to reach the Inner, Mystical even Occult awareness (states of being, levels of Consciousness, and eventually conditions of existence) ... has already been presented. IT is the exoteric portion of the World's Religions - the Sacred Scriptures, tenets and moral Code of Right Living of every religious tradition. Without this, any esoteric Reality that may exist would be essentially meaningless, because unknown, and unapproachable.

But every exoteric tradition POINTS TO the Inner, Esoteric Reality, and those who are quickest to deny its existence, are those who merely seek to protect the status quo (at any cost, we sometimes see) ... lest they lose temporal and worldly power.


An excerpt from `Visions of the Nazarene' will help speak to the esoteric portion of the Christian teachings:
And the Master said:
To my first disciples did I teach the eternal verities, and instructed them in the way of Realization and the finding of the mystic Christ. And I taught them of the true nature of man, and of his subtler bodes and of the inner worlds; and of the doctrine of Re-birth, and of Cause and Effect, or Sequence and Consequence, and of other truths and sacred doctrines given only to the chosen and the few.​
And after I had passed from their midst, my disciples taught others those same doctrines, so that each genereation of initiates instructed the next, as decade followed decade. And these initiates wrought good works and communed with initiates of other schools, and revelaed more of those doctrines which had hitherto been secret, so that the minds of the nescient should be enlightened, and men should know that Religion was a science and not merely a belief.​
But while the lovers of truth sowed the seeds of Divine Wisdom which sprang up and blossomed into beautiful flowers, the enemies of Truth sowed noisome tares which choked those beautiful flowers with the evil growths of greed and cruelty and superstition; and lo, what erewhile had been a garden became as a wilderness; for the flowers of Truth were overgrown and hidden by ugly weeds.​
Ah, great indeed was the persecution of my spiritual progeny by the enemies of Truth; and many of them perished as the result. Yet the memory of my name did not perish, and as years pursued their onward course, from traditions and hearsay scribes fashioned stories relating of me and my teachings.​
And some of these scribes I sought to inspire with the Light of Truth, but oft-times did they obscure it by the clouds of their own imaginings, so that my Gospels became an admixture of verity and falsehood. Moreover, those inner teachings which I had given to my disciples anent the means and the way to Realization were either omitted or so distorted as to be of no avail.​
So did my religion become, as it were, a casket with windows of glass through which many precious jewels might be seen but never obtained, for the key thereof had been hidden away: until finally it came to fulfil alone the needs of the simple-minded and the young of soul and the trusting of heart; while the erudite and the more aged of soul did perforce turn elsewhere in their search for Truth.​
After this, the Master speaks of `The Bridge that was Never Built,' yet those for whom exoteric Christianty is a closed book (or at best, an open Bible, which often amounts to the same) ... will not be able to imagine what this might suggest.


HOW does one determine whether it is the Master Jesus who speaks in the above passages, or merely a disciple, even "a charlatan?"

One must use the Inner Discernment, whose highest function is Buddhi. And for outward tools, many a sincere and well-motivated aspirant, or Seeker, has used tools for Divination, such as the Tarot, Pendulum Dowsing, visits to spiritual mediums, and so forth. The esotericist will forsake these tools, after a certain point, as once the Intuition has begun to function, such outward means are not nearly as effective and direct. Yet, even as crutches, they serve a purpose ...

As an example of discernment, and learning certain things by error, consider that once upon a time, I was fascinated by the "I AM" teachings of Elizabeth Clare Prophet. I was just delighted that Masters M, KH, etc. had given out more teachings for me to enjoy. At the time, I could not discern between fact and fiction, truth and falsity, astral glamour and well-rooted FACT (let alone, Wisdom) ...

I had to become more mentally polarized in order to move past the "I AM" stuff, and see that it was a distortion. Master DK states quite plainly that upon the astral and lower mental planes, there is a powerful thoughtform of himself, a parody, which masquerades as the real McCoy. Many an unthinking disciple has received all manner of spurious teachings from that thoughtform, not to mention god-knows-what types of praise, flattery, and so on.

The Masters are not in the habit of showering the student with such flattery ... as a word of encouragement, when received, goes plenty far. And teachings, which are usually given out to the Group, will not feature the student in the spotlight, as it were, which is usually the case as so-and-so claims to be "channeling" such-and-such "Ascended Master" ...

The Masters work by dictation, yet the number of students who might be receiving dictation, say right now, in 2007, is very small ... certainly as compared to the number of books we find in the New Age section of Borders Books, claiming to have originated with x, y, or z "master."

Discernment takes lifetimes, and students who are first coming to the Work, it can be a difficult road. Word has it, that assistance will be provided, such that the 'little ones' (as the Elder Brothers refer to us) will receive every opportunity, under the LAW, to bypass the pitfalls and distractions - and come straight to the Heart of the Teachings.


DO the Elder Brothers, in fact, exist?

That is something we must each answer, for ourselves, on our own. Perhaps in another thread we can address the Theosophical presentation, and what has been said by other organizations and Messengers in the 20th Century ...

My own decision, upon first coming to such an idea (in this lifetime) some 17+ years ago, was that certainly there are Masters, or Mahatmas. Several dozen of them, in fact, have been VISIBLY, physically OBSERVED, by people of all varying religious backgrounds, national origin, vocations, social status, etc.

There are even sworn testimonies in which NUMEROUS people were present ... having all WITNESSED things ranging from the mundane to the apparently miraculous - and these not only vindicate the Masters' Messengers from the false and spurious claims put forth by the disbelievers,they also speak directly to the fact that the Masters do exist.

When someone says to me (and it is rare), "I have met such-and-such a Master," my curiosity is certainly piqued, but my discernment radar is also automatically activated. And while I do not seek to judge, nor to solicit my opinion as to the authenticity of the claim, I am quite interested in hearing how a given experience has affected or inflenced the life, spirituality, and so forth of the person in question!

I can speak volumes about how this pertains to myself, my own experiences and my own spiritual path, choices, etc. But I think it all comes back to the necessity for each of us to develop spiritual discernment (viveka, in the Sanskrit), whose ultimate authority is the Principle of Consciousness which Theosophists, and Hindus alike call `Buddhi.'

We can acknowledge this, if we choose ... and in so doing, my own preference is to speak of "the Christ within," and what that looks like, when it is "functioning," as a Principle. How, for instance, is such a person any different than the average Joe, someone within whom this faculty is NOT - at present - functioning, or beginning to awaken?

THAT is something I think would be worth exploring ...


You have asked a good question. I believe the answer is this: The ideas of a genuine master would make sense even after years of scrutiny, while those of a charlatan would eventually show major flaws and their charlatan-ism would show through.

A true master teaches us to think for ourselves, and take us down the road to open-mindedness instead of dogmatism. This is the best way to distinguish a true master from a charlan, and it has worked well for me over the years.
I need to correct a fairly glaring error from several of my posts - both on this thread, and others. It comes by way of a clarification, which I just now observed in perusing Volume II of `The Secret Doctrine.'

As concerns the relationship between Buddhi and Christ, or "the Christ within," here is what HPB says in a footnote on p.231 of The SD:
It is not correct to refer to Christ - as some theosophists do - as the sixth principle in man - Buddhi. The latter per se is a passive and latent principle, the spiritual vehicle of Atman, inseparable from the manifested Universal Soul. It is only in union and in conjunction with Self-conciousness [Manas, and specifically in its ahamkaric aspect] that Buddhi becomes the Higher Self and the divine, discriminating Soul. Christos is the seventh principle, if anything.​
It would seem, that in my zeal I have erred by equating Buddhi and Christos ...

We should be so lucky for the true Christos to be active within us, and this is exactly what esoteric Christianity aims for, as a lofty (but attainable, because inevitable) goal.

As for Masters ... according to the Theosophical tradition via HPB, Alice Bailey, et al, there are only 63 Adepts in Earth's Spiritual Hieararchy. That there are Arhats, and High Initiates (of the 3rd Degree, equivalent to the `Transfiguration' experienced by Jesus of Nazareth), numbering perhaps in the several thousand ... is quite likely.

And these, says esotericism, are the "elite," or avant-garde. But they are not in the habit of referring to themselves in this respect, or looking down their nose at others. They are, by and large, without ego.

Thus, not only will their teachings stand the test of time, as Nick puts it, but they will be immensely practical, infinitely valuable (even if we do not immediately recognize them as such), and utterly selfless.

A Master exists in the world - quite like the Bodhisattva of the Eastern Traditions. He lives 100% for the Way of the Higher Evolution - which means that he exists to serve others. In Christian terms, he is the perfect man of Ephesians 4:13, being precisely what St. Paul meant in this Epistle. His life is Service to God, utterly and completely.

Again, I will bear witness, that such Beings do exist.

That we must learn discernment, so that we can learn to identify them (especially if we wish to draw closer to them, learn from them, and cooperate with Their spiritual work) ... is exactly what is asked of us.


Hmmm ... I'm quite tempted to nominate Nick for starting a thread on `Spiritual Masters - Who Are They?' - or some such. I know I'd have some commentary, and I could pull quotes from literally dozens of sources, some Theosophical, some written in the 20th Century, others penned by the ancient Greeks, or the Indian Rishis writing 10,000 years ago and more.

The subject veers off a bit from esoteric Christianity ... and we still don't know quite what Bruce Michael might want to explore. He was the one who rekindled this thread, after all! :)


Re: ~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~


You have asked a good question. I believe the answer is this: The ideas of a genuine master would make sense even after years of scrutiny, while those of a charlatan would eventually show major flaws and their charlatan-ism would show through.

Maybe. But the further one immerses themself the less likely they are to admit to being taken in. Anyway, don't mind me. I'm an equal opportunity skeptic.


You are correct, in that we need to be constantly on guard against blind dogmatism. Fortunately, my belief system encourages questioning, and forbids dogmatism (except for one example). For me, it is a least-objectionable situation, and I have yet to find something in my belief system that does not make sense (maybe you can find something).

However, I understand where you are coming from, where you have a need to remove all dogma, no matter what the cost. I can see how some people would want to go down that road.
Oh, Nick, you claim too much!

Is not your foundational work called "The Secret Doctrine"?

Your whole insistence of the interpretation of Genesis 1:26 is a 'Theosophical dogma', and of the sort you decry when you:
a - refuse to discuss or accept any possibility of other definition;
b - present your argument as if everyone was in agreement with you;
c - present no supporting or corroborating evidence for the claims you make;
d - present doctrines of your own profession without any supporting or corroborating evidence for the claims they make;
e - state those who do not agree with you are in error because they do not possess your superior spiritual insight
... and I could go on.

So balance, please!

If we are going to decry dogmatism, let us get the definition right:

The word dogma (Gr. dogma from dokein 'to seem') in the writings of the ancient classical authors, an opinion or that which seems true to a person; sometimes, the philosophical doctrines or tenets, and especially the distinctive philosophical doctrines, of a particular school of philosophers (cf. Cic. Ac., ii, 9), and sometimes, a public decree or ordinance, as dogma poieisthai.
Catholic Encyclopedia: Dogma

Sorry it's from the Catholic, but two online dictionaries gave rather meagre and not-quite-technically-accurate definitions, but actually implied the common popular misconception!

"Contrary to popular assumptions, the terms “dogma” and “doctrine” are not intrinsically bad or evil words. No doubt, they can, in popular parlance, stand for a kind of rigidity in which careful consideration or reconsideration of an argument or a truth is rejected. The motive of this refusal is often traced to an unwillingness to frankly admit that problems concerning the presentation or meaning of a subject are at issue. But essentially, a dogma is intended to clarify, to state what can be stated about an ultimate issue or with something connected to it."
HPR | The Meaning of Dogma, by James V. Schall, SJ

Just a point - in the discussions of esoterism especially, 'terminological exactitude' is all important!



At lease you did not insult me or my belief system this time. I appreciate that.

"Oh, Nick, you claim too much!"

--> I do not.

"Is not your foundational work called "The Secret Doctrine"?"

--> It is.

The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky

"The Secret Doctrine" by H. P. Blavatsky, from Theosophical University Press

You are bringing up the issue of dogma vs. doctrine. Dogma is something that is a required belief, and the questioning of it is not allowed. Such dogma does not exist in Theosophy (with one exception), while dogma abounds in your religion.

"If we are going to decry dogmatism, let us get the definition right...."

--> I reject your definition of dogma. Just because you give a Catholic definition, it carries no weight with me.

"... the common popular misconception!"

--> Your belief system says dogma is a good thing. Mine does not.

"Contrary to popular assumptions, the terms “dogma” and “doctrine” are not intrinsically bad or evil words."

--> Bingo. Dogma, by its very nature, is evil. This, clearly, is the main difference between my belief system and yours. Theosophy was specifically created to fight dogma.

This is an important point worth repeating. Your religion says that anyone who refuses to perform a particular religious ritual will go to Hell, no ifs ands or buts. To this, Theosophy has three reactions. (1) Theosophy is dedicated to refuting such reliance on religious rtitual. (2) Such dogmatic ritual is not allowed in Theosophy. (3) Theosophy teaches anyone who refuses to perform your particular religious ritual can still get to Heaven. Theosophy teaches that no religious ritual here on Earth is requred for admission into Heaven. None whatsoever.

I believe you consider the holding of dogma to be a good thing. I do not.

"Your whole insistence of the interpretation of Genesis 1:26 is a 'Theosophical dogma'...."

--> It is not dogma, because anyone can be a Theosophist, can refuse to believe the "us" people are not the Kumara, and no one in Theosophy has the right to tell them they are wrong. (Yes, this type of prohibition is actually in writing.) This is the beauty of Theosophy.

"...refuse to discuss or accept any possibility of other definition...."

--> I have considered other possibilites. (I have already considered and dismissed your claim of "royal plurality-language" as unacceptable.) Do you have any other possibilities you wish to present?

"...present your argument as if everyone was in agreement with you...."

--> Ya know, I think you actually believe such a thing. Such a statement shows your closed-mindedness.

"present no supporting or corroborating evidence for the claims you make...."

--> If you wish me to quote other Theosophical authors, feel free to ask.

"present doctrines of your own profession without any supporting or corroborating evidence for the claims they make...."

--> If you wish me to quote other Theosophical authors, feel free to ask.

"state those who do not agree with you are in error because they do not possess your superior spiritual insight...."

--> Now this is the insulting Thomas we have come to expect. What, you have given up insinuating that Theosophy is nothing but a pack of lies?

"...and I could go on."

--> That is true. It has been several weeks since you accused me of being arrogant.

You go ahead and keep promoting dogma. I will keep fighting against dogma.

You are correct, in that we need to be constantly on guard against blind dogmatism. Fortunately, my belief system encourages questioning, and forbids dogmatism (except for one example). For me, it is a least-objectionable situation, and I have yet to find something in my belief system that does not make sense (maybe you can find something).

My main interest is in understanding my own thought processes. My skepticism arises from observing my own motivations, not picking apart others. I'm happy for anyone's good thing.
Thomas said:
"...present your argument as if everyone was in agreement with you...."
I feel I should comment on this, Thomas, because the only person I'm aware of at CR, who views things quite from a Theosophical angle - in the way that Nick does - is myself!

The next closest person, perhaps, would be Earl, though he has reservations/caveats about some aspects of Theosophy ... and for that matter, so do I!

I simply align myself with the notion of the modern, Theosophical Movement - a movement whose purpose is largely to REALIZE practically a universal Brotherhood, based on the FACT of this same principle in nature (underlying outward differences).

For some, even to affirm such a thing, amounts to a matter of Faith, or belief ... and when it comes to such matters, I would politely remind you that no one need defend his faith before another, excerpt where unusual or highly unconventional (especially if harmful) actions or practices are supposedly proscribed by that faith, having a clear, negative consequence on other members of society. [Example, sacrificing your neighbor's pet cat or dog, because it is part of your "religion." ;) :eek:]

Now, to the best of my awareness, neither Theosophy, nor the 20th Century presentations of Esotericism via Alice Bailey, Lucille Cedercrans, et al, asks that its adherents/students seek to harm others. Nor even, do we adhere to Aleister Crowley's "Do what thou wilt," or the Wiccan "An it harm none," for the student of White Magic is taught that our lives must become increasingly characterized by Service to others.

Meditation, and study, form the other two points of this esoteric triangle of self-discipline and devotion ... and we may safely say that discussions at CR come under at least two of these headings - while I, personally, also regard them as a form of meditation, as I sometimes ponder ... and certainly take to heart ... my experiences here (and hope others would do likewise).

From an exoteric angle, there is a great deal more that we could say one benefits by all manner of spiritual, philosophical, scientific and related discussion ... yet what I hear you asking, time and time again, is something like: "Prove to me that your Masters exist, prove to me that there are such things as `The Stanzas of Dzyan,' prove to me that Jesus made travels Eastward, prove to me that there is in fact `An Esoteric Brotherhood of all of Humanity,' prove to me that there are Elohim - plural, serving as the active expression of a Transcendent, unknowable PRINCIPLE (Deity), and so forth."

Thomas, none of us here owes you any proof whatsoever ... for what we believe, NOR need we defend ourselves for believing it. I think it makes for interesting discussion, all by itself, to investigate other ways of seeing things, than either the "orthodox" (by which I mean conventional) Christian, or the Roman Catholic/Protestant/Eastern Orthodox Christian ... and while some subjects may be appropriate for a Liberal Christian discussion forum, others will, by their very nature, find a better home here, on this forum or sub-forum (Alt/Esoteric).

I notice that you have come rushing in to attack Nick for daring to say that Theosophy provides a doctrine, but not a dogmatism. And really this is a most laughable situation. Theosophists (and esotericists) advocate the study of pretty well all world religious systems, spiritualities, and inspired texts/Sacred writings.

We encourage others to explore any and every Spiritual Path before settling on one ... yet as Nick has been keen to point out, a person can be a Christian, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Zoroastrian, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu or whatsoever s/he chooses, esoterically - and still call oneself a `Theosophist.' All that is required, is to be a lover of Truth, which does require an open mind, and to have and express a dedication to the Greater Cause of Brotherhood (which means the recognizing of Unity in Diversity, and an affirmation of a Unifying PRINCIPLE in Nature).

I am rather interested in a reminder, from Nick, of the "one required dogmatic belief" he keeps mentioning, but I would imagine I have just touched upon it, if not essentially expressed it ...

What we do resist - and reject - is such an affirmation as the "Dominus Iesus" which the Catholic Church has issued. The idea that spiritual Salvation comes via belief in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone, is a Roman Catholic dogma, bolstered by Dominus Iesus, and god knows how may other countless proclamations throughout the ages by a supposedly infallible earthly authority. If THAT'S not DOGMA, then I don't know what is!

Thomas, if you want to pretend that Roman Catholicism is not almost UNIVERSALLY perceived by a large majority of its non-adherents as being one of the MOST DOGMATIC of all religious ideologies ... then by all means, knock yourself out. But you know good and well that this is just a given. What great irony that you would come rushing in, when Nick mentions that Theosophy rejects dogmatism, and encourages FREE THINKING.

But let us follow this line of reasoning to its natural conclusion, drive my point home, and shore up the loose ends ... (I begin my point here, and end it a bit further down below):


Theosophy, and Modern Esotericism, whether a `Christian Esoterism,' as you put it, or an Buddhist Esoterism, Brahmin Esoterism (`Gupta Vidya'), or so forth ... does indeed advocate the use of the Intellectual, Reasoning faculty in man - known as MANAS in Eastern teachings for thousands of years before the Christian Era.

This has everything to do with the Kumaras, who brought this faculty of Manas to us from Venus - or rather, Who, coming from Venus (whose HUMAN evolution is well in advance of ours), STIMULATED our own, latent Manasic Principle ... resulting practically in the CREATION of the Human Kingdom, physically speaking (at least, in the fashion we are used to thinking of ourselves, dual-gendered, in bodies of flesh and blood) .. as well as Spiritually.

I truly don't think this has immediate relevance to the repeated efforts we have seen to denigrate Theosophical teachings, ideas, characters, authorities, and presentations. I mean, really! Fancy the notion that there is something else out there, with every bit as much "rigor" - not to mention vigor and value! - as Roman Catholicism, existing as a well-established, philosophically & scientifically developed SYSTEM.

Yet, instead of being willing to investigate just how it is that Theosophy "works," and what the various teachings provided mean to adherents such as Nick and myself, what I see is frequent, unwarranted attack, and a truly remarkable amount of effort to PUT A STOP to the open sharing, discussion and investigation of Theosophical, and Esoteric ideas ... where they differ from a more conventional understanding and interpretation - in this case, of "Christian Esoterism," as you call it, Thomas, though I've noticed you ALSO have an "approved list" of authors, sources, authorities, etc. which you whip out and wave in front of our faces every now & then such as Rene Guenon, St. Thomas Aquinas, to name a couple of prominent ones.

Understandably, these figures (and the Sufis, certainly them, too) mean a great deal to you, and you rely heavily upon their writings as inspirational, and helpful of clarifying for your, and others' understanding, many "fine points" regarding Christian Theology ... even your brand of `Christian Esoterism.'

But Thomas, it is high time to consider, if not realize, that NOT all of us WANT to be Roman Catholic, or even Christian Esoterists ... at least, not after the fashion you seem to suggest - although to your credit, you do less of that (proselyting your own`Christian Esoterism'), yet that's because you're too busy trying to knock down anything and everything that Nick & I say. My assumption would be that should we both suddenly convert to Roman Catholicism, and become Guenon enthusiasts, things would be a whole lot more convenient for you, wouldn't they now? :rolleyes:

As it is, I think Nick and I are quite well aware that not all the world are cut out to be Theosophists, we know that the average person, even religious believer, is neither meant to be, nor interested in becoming, an esotericist - of ANY flavor. What we also realize, however, is that many people ARE interested in exploring varying interpretations, and presentations, when it comes to spiritual, religious, philosophical and even scientific ideas. People often WANT to hear the wild and crazy, if only for amusement's sake, but sometimes because they know, that the Galileos and the Hypatias were not insane after all ... and a desire is kindled to hear what other great heretics might have to say on "the same-old, same-old" - in other words, established, DOGMA.

H.P. Blavatsky, had she INVENTED the Stanzas of Dzyan, and simply provided them as an alternative way of understanding Humanity's remotest past, our place and purpose in the Cosmos, and the WAY to the fulfilment of that purpose - both as a planet and as individuals ... HAD SHE simply cooked all this stuff up, we could STILL study her writings with great interest, and with attention even to the finest detail ... as through such a study we might find all manner of inspiration, encouragement, and even practical solutions for the problems we still face as the Human Family (and therefore, also, as individual challenges).

But what the record indicates, you see, is that HPB did not "invent" her ideas. I would even venture to say she presented almost nothing which was not culled from elsewhere, repeated and emphasized, at most with a different set of hypothetical conclusions - and suggestions - with regard to Humanity's past, present and future. I have said before, since the very Mahatmas who largely inspired (dictated) her works have said it, that her writings could be better organized, systematically arranged. Francis king has noticed this - and constructive criticism, vs. biting, vicious slander, is always welcome! :eek: :)

Clearly, in writing her Secret Doctrine, HPB took on directly the Roman Catholic Church "authority" of her own day, yet we find that the notion of Papal Infallibility, and dogma such as Dominus Iesus continue to this day. Similary, HPB challenged the Darwinists, for even as certain ideas were FRESH in the popular consciousness, and even more hotly debated than they are today (!), if we can imagine ... she nevertheless wanted us to be aware of factors MISSING from the Darwinian presentation, if not flatly denied.

It isn't surprising that during her own time HPB received much criticism, and that her writings were the subject of constant attack, while she herself was dragged through the mud both by the popular media and by certain ruthless individuals who so hated what she had to say (yes, these ideas are challenging, some of them) ... that they wished to RUIN her.

Were it not for the saving hand behind her efforts - assisting her, and watching out for her health, spiritually, psychologically, even physically - she would have died well before 1891, and likely become an "occult wreck," as it is termed. But she was the Messenger, and the only way she was going to fail, was if she threw in the towel, and herself, admitted defeat. What I fear some people may just not understand, is that some of us know her, even now ... yet I suppose this isn't too hard to understand, as her writings, her Service Work, and even the amusing and amazing details of her life's history - have been an inspiration to countless thousands, even millions of us (including Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, and well more great figures than you might imagine).

Alas, some of us allow our own reasoning and opinion to be swayed by 2nd or 3rd-hand opinions ... while others will only judge according to information that comes straight from the source. And this is the segue I need to finish ...


I have only gone so far with what I wanted to say, regarding the principles of consciousness, so I will conclude:

Theosophy, and Modern Esotericism (including `Christian Esoterism') teach that it IS POSSIBLE for human beings to KNOW things. We CAN draw closer to the Truth than merely "having faith." We ARE CAPABLE of developing our awareness - to such a point, that even MIND Itself (MANAS, both lower and `Higher') is TRANSCENDED.

Now this is spoken of, even in Exoteric Christianity, and in ALL world religions, while Esoteric teachings make plain that one need not be a Saint (as so pronounced by the Roman Catholic Church, usually posthumously!), in order to reach this level of Inspiration.

I believe that even Christian Fundamentalists will speak of being moved by the Holy Spirit. Esotericsts may speak of this in terms of the Third Ray, as the activity of the Higher Mind, or again a faculty of consciousness transcending mind altogether, the activity of the Buddhic Principle. It is also called, the Intuition.

True, one MUST develop this faculty, through use, in order for it to become a reliable and trustworthy means of ascertaining the truth with regard to a particular person, piece of information, or state of things. The Buddhic Faculty inspires "from above" - via Illumination - the lower mind ... which in its turn, operates via the external, physical brain consciousness.

At least two connections must be made, in order for a person to function in such an Illumined state, yet seers have existed for 18 million years or more upon THIS PLANET ... thus capable of functioning in a higher state of awareness. A disciple, just beginning to learn this technique, will NOT be capable of the same degree of (Buddhic, or Intuitive) Insight with which an accomplished Master simply functions all the time.

Lifetimes of dedication and training are required in order for us to become infallible in this manner, yet this is exactly what is meant by the popular expression, "gaining insight" into such-and-such. We experience, in brief, what will once be possible all the time. St. Paul indicated this ...


This gets us back squarely to the topic at hand, in terms of an ongoing dialogue - between Nick and Sunny C. at least - with regard to authenticity, or legitimacy of spiritual `Masters.' HOW, indeed, can we tell, if a supposed `Master' is not in fact, a total crank ... or outright charlatan?

This takes us well beyond the simple issue of - was so-and-so the emissary or Messenger for the Masters? This addresses the notion of who do we trust (with our own spiritual development, for one thing), and how do we tell?

If I am just starting out on the spiritual path, then how do I know where to turn?

Really this is part of a larger issue, since a Master will not likely immediately present himself - at least in terms of the 63 in Whom Theosophists and Esotericsts believe. No one will simply step out of the blue and say, "I am here!" Biblically, we are warned against just such attention-seeking individuals ... and we are advised to test the spirits, which gets us back to using the Buddhic faculty (the consciousness beyond mind).

It seems a bit of a Catch-22: If my Intuition is not yet fully unfolded, or fully developed, then HOW can I "use it" to decide if so-and-so is a capable, trustworthy, legitimate spiritual teacher/source (to help me develop the Intuition!)? :p

I don't think there is any cut-and-dried, simple answer, or guidebook we can go by. This is part of the challenge, and if someone were always handy, "sitting on our right shoulder" as it were, then of course we would know just what to do, and whom to trust, at every step.

Yet here we can fall back upon the world's PLETHORA of religious scriptures, and inspired writings, and look to the advice of whatever code, and set of teachings, we have already come to resonate with most closely.

Should there be none, then there will be any number of avenues through which "Spirit may inspire us," to speak in the Christian vernacular. Esoteric teachings indicate that all human Souls are found upon one or another of Seven RAYS of expression - which are something like, permanent, "beams" of Energy, emanating from "Our Father Who Art in Heaven."

Souls may be 1st Ray, and make good politicians or leaders, or they may be 4th Ray, and find inspiration and expression through the arts. In the case of the latter, we should not at all be surprised when the artist literally connects with his own Soul via his ART. S/he will quite possibly enter directly into the Buddhic consciousness while painting, dancing, performing a piece of music, or simply contemplating the composition and form of a piece of sculpture at an art exhibition.

The politician, on the other hand, should not be expected to reach his own Soul consciousness via these methods ... but in the daily Service he performs for the benefit of the Greater Good - assuming this is his true motivation - there are moments when he is functioning as a Soul, just as the artist may do. Would not Inspiration, Illumination, also reach the person with the 1st Ray Soul?

Scientists, philosophers, diplomats, financiers, clergymen, doctors, educators, lawyers, artists, and so forth ... not every person turns to the Holy Bible, the Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita for inspiration. Yet the Love and Light of the One Self (or Soul, the 5th Kingdom) is available to us all, and pours forth - spiritually speaking - from the very Heart and Mind of God ... equally upon all members of the Human, and lower, Kingdoms.

Only the triumph of superstition and evil could lead us to believe that it were otherwise. And thus religion, while so great a good, is also simultaneously the prisonhouse of the Human Race.

It would be easy to just say, "Trust your own heart, your own insights, your own intuitions and `gut feelings' with regard to whether or not someone is a spiritual authority." Perhaps this is part of what we must do, and if we find that we make mistakes, they will surely become part of our Learning Experience - and help us on the way to greater realization, and, literally, Enlightenment.

But no doubt there are many other guideposts, signals, factors that we can look for ... in a writing, in a teaching, in a person, or in a situation ... to help us know, Is this (thing) for me?

Perhaps other people have suggestions, and can see ways in which this ties together Esoteric Christianity with much that is familiar from Exoteric Christianity. [The relationship between these two, remember, is all important! One cannot exist without the other. "Inside" only has meaning with relation to "outside." And the many branches, boughs, twigs and leaves of a tree do not grow out of thin air ... they need the roots, trunk and support of the "tree itself" as a whole!

Perhaps what some perceive as "feelings of superiority" is simpy a confidence that comes from knowing one's roots, and feeling them deep. Folks like Quahom are proud to say, "My faith has a firm root, a strong foundation." Nick and I would gladly affirm that, and with you, Thomas, Sunny C., et al ... and say, "So does ours!" :)

Just because we rely heavily on the Intellectual Principle, does not mean we do not believe in, acknowledge, or value the emotive. And yes, it is wonderful when Love pours in from above, through the emotions, and inspires, invigorates us!

The idea of Buddhi, the Intuitive faculty, is something complementary to that of "pure inspiration," and it also goes hand in hand with the Conscious formulation of Spiritual ideas, originating in the Creative Light of Mind - whose purpose, and merest existence can be defined in part of the larger whole, and not with respect to oneself, only. This has NOTHING to do with oneself, essentially, or with "the personality" (the "I, you, me" consciousness). It goes entirely beyond, and is therefore, Universal, and rather Wholistic.

Esotericsm, Christian or otherwise, is thoroughly scientific. There is technique, and method, and experiment. There is no room for "blind faith," only positive, encouraging optimism. A negative attitude will kill spiritual progress quicker than anything. A positive one can restore it in the wink of an eye ...

I guess I'm editorializing, and I would really be interested in what others think about how we can discern truth from falsehood, a helpful teaching - or teacher - from a less helpful one, or from a waste of time.]

Namaskar ... In Love and Light,



You said,
"...a person can be a Christian, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Zoroastrian, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu or whatsoever s/he chooses, esoterically - and still call oneself a `Theosophist.' "

--> This is the strength of Theosophy. No one is asked to give up their religion by becoming a Theosophist. (I do not see anyone saying this of Thomas....)
"Thomas, if you want to pretend that Roman Catholicism is not almost UNIVERSALLY perceived by a large majority of its non-adherents as being one of the MOST DOGMATIC of all religious ideologies ..."

--> I am afraid he really does not see his belief system as dogmatic.
"...what I see is frequent, unwarranted attack, and a truly remarkable amount of effort to PUT A STOP to the open sharing, discussion and investigation of Theosophical, and Esoteric ideas ..."

--> Fortunately, he will not succeed. The very open discussing that Theosophy promotes and requires will cause Theosophy to continue into the future.
"HPB took on directly the Roman Catholic Church "authority" of her own day, yet we find that the notion of Papal Infallibility, and dogma such as Dominus Iesus continue to this day."

--> This brings up the topic of excomunication. I do not know of anyone who was ever excommunicated (or burned at the stake) by Theosophical leaders.
"But she was the Messenger, and the only way she was going to fail, was if she threw in the towel, and herself, admitted defeat."
--> This brings up a fascinating topic. Many people believe God sent messengers during Biblical times, yet believe He stopped sending them as soon as the Bible was finished. I do not see any reason to believe such a thing. Indeed, Theosophy teaches that such a stoppage did not occur.
Thanks Andrew. I read what you wrote and appreciated it very much. I've actually read HPB, Alice Bailey, and de Perucker. I was involved with a meditation group with a Theosophical bent for a while. It's all so very complex. After awhile there were just so, so many masters, and all I wanted was for the guided part of the meditation to end so I could trip off on my own stuff. I just can't devote my life to studying that stuff. I have too many other interests and responsibilities. And I can't justify going around spouting something I know I don't really understand. Plus, that's not where I'm being led, at least not at this time.

Thanks again for sharing your perspective, I found it very interesting.

I know several people with a distinct bent toward esoteric spirituality. I've never sensed that they hold any sort of elitist point of view regarding their path. If anything it's the folks from established denominations who seem to want to hold themselves aloof and deny the possibility of any legitimacy in non traditional spirituality. I'm not sure what they're afraid of, or why they seem to need to step on the necks of others to prove the worth of their own belief systems.