Blavatsky's Baboon and other ideas(books) of the New Age(Western Tradition)

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Hermes, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Hermes

    Hermes Zos Kia Cultus

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    ...of those ignorant of History are bound to repeat the mistakes made by their forefathers. I am reading about the history of the Western tradition of esoteria and New Thought.
    I have rented from the library the book called Blavatsky's Baboon, which is an OK read by an established and well researched author, Peter Washington.
    I never knew what was behind the title - that in fact, this thing(a stuffed baboon) was prominently displayed among Blavatsky’s exotic paraphernalia in her flat in New York. The baboon was dressed complete with spectacles holding a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species, mocking the majority . Blavatsky saw herself as Ancient Wisdom’s counterpoint to that "strutting gamecock" of science, whom she often railed against in her two seminal, but allegedly plagiarized tomes, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. HPB more than anyone has influenced the Western occult tradition.
    The other, even better book on the complete history of the New Age is Turn off your Mind: the mystic sixties. A very interesting book by the ex-musician/rocker turned author Gary Lachman. Lachman loves to drop names but he has been there and knows a lot of people involved. His book is fascinating read of the sixties (my childhood years) and the involvement of all the iconic counter culture movement in the esoteric. I already wrote my blog on this (what killed the flower power?). Well, obviously it was GREED(Money), the participants ego on steroids and drugs. The Lachman book as inaccurate some claim is a fascinating read to anyone who is interested in this. Lachman himself is into the esoteric is very mum about his own teaching or path. I am sure he also took some drugs at one point or other during his music career. Taking drugs is a double edged sword. Most people should not do it at all. It works for a select few. In the book Teaching of Don Juan, the author describes an Indian shaman and his philosophy on life, which to some is a life altering read. (very much part of the New Age bibliography).
    The message is, drugs are dangerous, but the ancients had a better grip on how and when to use them. The flower power was killed by the white powder.
     
  2. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    There are times to inhale ... and times not to inhale.

    [youtube]oN6WYvTvQZo[/youtube]

    Eight Miles High ... is about a plane ride.

    I doubt I would know that the ancients flew UFOs if not for Blavatsky!
     
  3. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    Hi Hermes,

    Washington, while often hostile to the subjects of his book, Blavatsky included, could probably have matched wits with her had he lived during her era and visited her London salon. I thoroughly enjoyed the book -especially the Blavatsky portion- and laughed uproariously, at times. Although Washington chews on Blavatsky only during the opening chapters, before sampling other gurus on his buffet table, I think I would rename this book: "Blavatsky, the Sharp, Pointy Teeth Mix." From the standpoint of biography, though, I rather enjoyed Sylvia Cranston's treatment more.

    Another interesting book on the '60's (my childhood as well) is Timothy Leary's autobiography, Flashbacks. What a character he was!


    Best regards,


    Serv
     
  4. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    I recommend When Daylight Comes, by Howard Murphet, for an insider's point of view.

    Pages 30 and 31 read with amazing parallel and similarity to pages 35-37 from Alice Bailey's Unfinished Autobiography, written some several decades later.

    Two Eastern Mahatmas, one mistaken for Jesus in the latter case ... two different women, both laboring for the New World ... and each taught by the same, 3rd Initiate of the East (who, as he himself points out, has long served *with his Brothers* in the One Work).

    I genuinely lament the fact that some are not humbled, honored and heartily encouraged to know of all this ~ even if recognition, as usual, must be the aim.
     
  5. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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  6. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    A good book for Blavatsky's ideas is The Key to Theosophy

    Being a Clear Exposition

    This is essentially a discussion between a Buddhist (Blavatsky) and a Christian (the interviewer). Blavatsky tries to reconcile Buddhism and Christianity in this book, but has a difficult time of it.
     
  7. Hermes

    Hermes Zos Kia Cultus

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    My ex-teacher(BW) and his guru(RHH) knew Manly Palmer Hall personally in LA. There were there too, in the middle of it. Later, BW counselled a few followers of the Maharishi Yogi, who after his death had nervous breakdowns. To get flashbacks of this era I often listen to MP Halls lectures on youtube..what a treat...the old man (by this time he was quite old, could talk for hours - no notes, no power point presentation. No mistakes...he was something else.
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hermes —

    I think in looking at the 'New Age', one has to look at what went before, as this shapes the way the New Age developed.

    The Renaissance of the 16th century led to the Age of the Enlightenment and then the Industrial Revolution. It was here that the Enlightenment idea that through science man would tame 'nature' and create the world in his own image really began to take its toll, in the dehumanising of the person, and reducing the worth of man to that of a unit of production...

    A reaction against this process was the Romance Movement, and here the roots of the New Age are put down.

    From here one can trace the arc of development, the infatuations with the exotic — the sublime in art, the gothic in literature — and the infatuations with the esoteric — the reinvention of faeries, the proliferation of schools (especially in France), HPB, Steiner, Gurdjieff and the various versions of their imagined sophia, Gardner's invention of wicca, through to the Beatles and the Maharishi and the cult phenomena of the 70s and 80s ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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  10. Hermes

    Hermes Zos Kia Cultus

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    Thomas,
    Very good comment. I also would like to ad the East/West paradigm and getting philosophies of the East come to the West and then WE mock it up...
    There is the fable of the last Lama (this one) and the focus of esoteric teachings symbolically coming over to the west (while I see no evidence to this), the passing of his Holiness the Dalai Lama. China already has a puppet which most people in and the Tibetan diaspora will NOT ACCEPT.
    Funny, as the money and economic power gradually moving from West to East, according to some, the Age of Aquarius will be decidedly not be focused in India or in Tibet. Where the epicenter will be is a mystery. California? I doubt it.
    Most genuine Eastern thoughts were bastardized, mocked up or altered unrecognizable in the West. We do not think, act and behave like them.

     
  11. Hermes

    Hermes Zos Kia Cultus

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    also....There is perhaps nobody who examined the vast differences between the mindset of the Eastern men and the Western thought than the American philosopher F. S. C. Northrop, who taught philosophy at Yale in 1923. In his book, The Meeting of East and West he stated that the Western mind has been continuously searching for the theoretical component of existence — the causal link for how things happen, what is the cause, how the effect can be controlled, basically how man can manipulate nature.

    Contrary, the traditional Eastern Mind is on a more contemplative and more striving towards the aesthetic. Balance and harmony.
     
  12. Joedjr

    Joedjr A Sometimes Member

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    I tend to agree on your assessment that drugs became something bigger than art. Not wanting to stray too far, but I tend to think population numbers have more to do with the state of the U.S. This country has grown by about 1/3 since 1970. So much more competition for just about anything. It's taking all ones resources just to survive, no time to find utopia.
    The government would never allow such a large movement today. The occupy wall street idea didn't last so long. The powers that be don't have the patience to allow such large descent. Any type of mass movement will quickly be put under control.
     
  13. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    More about east-west:

    Western view is more about subjects and objects: reductionism, and trying to reduce things to a sum of its parts in search for a centralized control system/essence. As Thomas pointed out, this reductionism can be rather dehumanizing, as it tends to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Eastern view is more process orientated: no separation between subject and object. Everthing is interconnected, and your actions not only affect the object you are acting on, but your actions also affect you.

    Oh, btw, I see Indian Hinduism as being more western than eastern. The Shramana, or contemplative traditions, that started in India are the ones that are more eastern than western, imo.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I think the onanistic tendency (which has become 'corporate' now) was the worm in the heart before the Movement even got off the ground. It was always self-serving, me-focussed, ego-oriented ...

    'Love and Peace' was just an excuse for a shagfest, evident even in the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who tried the shag all the girls in the Beatles' entourage, a very canny player, and the first of a long line of charlatans ...

    After WWI, the Depression, WWII ... the 'freedom' enjoyed was just too intoxicating, a case of Pandora's Box, I suppose, the generation never had the self-discipline to contain or direct it to a useful end, just another drug, in its own way.

    Shame, really.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  15. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    You are entitled to believe that. I personally would not lump individuals like Yoginanda, Gandhiji, Vivekenanda, Ramakrishna and Krishnamurti together with that brush (most predate that or come from a tradition that clearly does).

    We here in the West have always been hung up about sex. Perhaps the Loatians and Thais have it right, I just do not know.

    I personally did not ever get involved with a religious shagfest, but I veered away from those who had rumors of that. I prefered key clubs.

    I do not buy that all modern mystics are onanists. A little too broad a statement.
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I should have distinguished, I meant the long line of charlatans who followed in the Mahareshi's mould. I happily accept true and genuine teachers, I was thinking of those who 'cashed-in' on the West's appetite for the exotic East.

    I think man is man everywhere ...

    I think the shaggiest was outside religion. The 60 Hippy thing was generally that. The 'free love' meant 'I can take what I want' and 'turn on, tune in and drop out' is the betrayal of a generation.

    That's fine if you wanna be a hippy ... but if authentic spiritual meaning is your thing, then such ideas are completely anathema.

    I also scoff at the idea that through LSD or whatever, one comes to a new understanding of spirituality. Certainly there is a spiral of progress; drug abuse, experience, search for meaning, cleaning up ...

    ... but that ignores the fact that many others also set their feet upon the path of truth without the necessity or aid or stimulus of drugs.

    I mean, think about it ... one of the reasons I cleaned up was I was practicing martial arts. Now who, in their right mind, would engage in weapons practice with someone who was off his head (we did have someone turn up in the dojo once, who put his kendo armour on, then nearly crippled a beginner, and it was only then someone noticed booze on his breathe ...) or likely to have a disorienting 'flashback' in the middle of a live blade kata?

    But you'd trust the health and well-being of your soul to such a person?

    But that's not what I said ... there are modern mystics who are authentically just that. I meant those who pursue 'the mystical' in hope of a new 'high', or seek out 'mystical experience' ...

    ... in fact, I'm posting elsewhere on issues we're touching on here.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  17. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I accept your final words... sorry I mis-interpreted you. Check out Native American Church if you think all drug use is anti-spiritual. I have been at (but never participated in) their ceremonies. Very impressive. That was the core to the "Don Juan" books (never think they are objectively true, too much proof to the contrary), but Casteneda got the focus right on (imho). Besides, NAC is the only really, really effective counter to alcoholism I have ever witnessed.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mr R —

    As I understand it, the drugs came in to play when man ceased to be able to fly under his own power, as it were ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  19. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Well, it would seem that indigenous cultures disagree with you (look at use of soma or fly muscara or peyote in a historical context in hunter-gatherer cultures). They would say (I have heard this myself) "G!D came to us in this form".
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    It's certainly possible, if used as a spiritual tool, rather than mere recreational fun.

    After all, isn't it ironic that the hippies gave us such idiotic notions as the world being one, and therefore to save ourselves we had to save the planet and the rest of humanity with it?
     

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