METAPHYSICS: THE PROBLEM
COPYRIGHT: 1998 Alexis Dolgorukii
Once many years ago, when I was both a member of the Theosophical society, and an active officer in it,
I was introduced on a radio program as "a member of the Metaphysical Establishment". And as I assume that to many people
the Theosophical Society is a principal part of the so-called Metaphysical Establishment, then it follows that the Theosophical
Society bears a large part of the burden for "The Problem".
In fact, while hardly the basic cause of the problem, for that cause is the basic mental instability of
the kind of people who are sometimes drawn into the peripheral fascination with metaphysics as fantasy, none the less the
Theosophical Society is the source of most of the present day fantasies that are almost the entirety of "The Problem".
I have long ago discussed the aspects of the activities of the Theosophical Societies that have caused
so much of "The Problem" to the entire field of Metaphysical Study. Now I want to spend some time discussing how "The Problem"
effects The Theosophical Society itself. Because in the last 24 years during which time I have been involved with The Theosophical
Society and with Theosophists in general (you will notice that I have used the capitalized version in each instance as these
remarks in no way apply to theosophy and theosophists (small "t")...that's another "kettle of fish" altogether) I have come
to be unavoidably aware that: due in all probability to the intrinsic nature of the Religious Institution that The Theosophical
Society has become, with it's emphasis on such tremendously elitist concepts as "initiates", "disciplehood", "Karma", "higher
learning",and of course "The Great White Brotherhood", an almost entirely negative influence on the world.
The entirely unavoidable implication of all this "flapdoodle" is a situation that clearly insinuates that
the kind of people who become Theosophists are "advanced", and so by implication "superior". The unfortunate result of this
is that instead of "making the world a better place for all people to live in" the Theosophical Society (and it's ancillary
groups) tends to make "bad" people far worse, and "good" people far less good than they might otherwise have been. As a result
it has made, and is still making, the world a much less good place to live in. There is absolutely nothing that hurts a dedication
to the concept of "Universal Brotherhood" than a smug sense of superiority, the self-satisfied notion that: "I know something
you don't know" that so typifies the majority of Theosophists.
The Theosophical Society also attracts, as its history quite liberally illustrates, more than it's share
of mentally unstable people. Nowhere is the more clearly demonstrated than in some of its more famous leaders. Charles Webster
Leadbeater was not simply a notorious pedophile, but he was also as totally insane; when "insane" is taken to mean self-deluded
to the point of a total divorce from reality, as anyone as ever been
I have before me a copy of the Official Magazine of the Theosophical society in America...."QUEST MAGAZINE"
(winter 1997 issue).It is a very clear example of how the Theosophical Society has been effected by the "Problem" of which
it is one of the most intrinsic causes.
There are three major articles named on the cover. One of them is entitled: "Princess Diana as Divine
Mother", another is entitled: "UFOs and the meaning of life" and the third is "Divine Humans, a Human Jesus". These three
articles are while ostensibly terribly intellectual and "advanced", are nevertheless basically the same old religious "putch",
something theosophy was originally supposed to combat. On the whole however, the magazine is simply an expensively produced
version of the magazine I talked about in the previous part of this over-all essay. "Quest Magazine" and the cheaply produced
"Cosmic Link" are siblings.
That this is true is tragic.
Let's start by looking at the advertisements appearing in "Quest Magazine".While they are glossier and
slicker, and probably very much more expensive, they are never the less of the same quality and character as those which appear
in "Cosmic Link". Though "Quest" lacks the large number of advertisements by people claiming to be channels and psychics,
the organizations represented are very little different. It certainly seems to me that Madame Blavatsky would have taken extreme
umbrage at the character of this magazine, and rightfully so when it is compared with her own magazines "Lucifer" and later,
"The Theosophist". Neither of these magazines accepted advertising during H.P.B.'s tenure as editor and publisher. "Lucifer"
of course, did not survive it's author, "The Theosophist", like the theosophical Society itself, unfortunately survived minus
it's integrity and class.
Like this "Journal of Science and Spirit", during Blavatsky's life time, those magazines maintained their
absolute integrity by not doing so. The minute a magazine sells advertising it compromises its integrity. The nature of the
advertising it does accept compromises its "class".
Why not look at some examples?
Well, for starters there's an advertisement for AMORC, or "The Rosicrucians" right on the inner cover,
which is the most obvious of all ad placements, and the most expensive after the rear cover. I have a question, the cover
price of "Quest" is $4.95, which is a lot to pay for such an "in-house" journal. The theosophical Society, whose organ it
claims to be is a not-for-profit foundation, and furthermore The Kern Foundation, which supports Quest Publications and presumably
could easily support, and may very well support the magazine, is extremely well endowed. Why compromise the integrity of the
magazine with advertising at all? One could very well have asked: "What would H.P.B. have thought of AMORC?
The over-all tenor of the advertising is relentlessly "New Age", admittedly that "New Age" was clearly
ushered in by the Theosophical Society. But when one is dealing with the Theosophical Society one has to consider it's "Three
Objects" (For a really extensive or "in-depth" discussion of those "Three Objects" please turn to my essay "WHAT IS
THEOSOPHY?" under the topic heading "DOLGORUKII ON BLAVATSKY" in this Journal) and most of the advertising
can only be connected with those objectives in a tenuous fashion.
The objectives of the Theosophical Society deal with study and research and experiment to find that "Truth"
which is "higher than religion". More important than that, the Theosophical society was dedicated by its "First Object" to
the inculcation of universal amity. This is hardly obtained through the kind of elitism currently so typical of the Society.
Most of the groups advertising claim to have a "lock-grip" on a specific truth and many of them are purely religions.
But there are other things advertised too. How does the half page advertisement (page 11) for the works
of someone who calls himself "The Master Charles" fit into the three objectives. What do you think Blavatsky would have to
say about a person with the temerity to call himself "The Master Charles"? In the context of theosophy that word has a very
specific meaning, even though I now think the whole "Master" concept to be nonsensical, I have to ask how the Theosophical
Society could be so indiscriminate as to permit someone to advertise himself as "A Master"? The answer to that question is
that since the demise of H.P.B. and probably before that time as well, the Theosophical Society has exercised no discrimination
at all and prostituted itself to anything that came down the road. It doesn't really matter what this "American Mystic" has
to say, he disqualifies himself by calling himself "The Master Charles" which makes him just another snake oil salesman. What's
his ad doing in Quest?
On page 22 of the same issue we find an ad for a group that calls itself "The Association For Spirit Releasement
Therapies", their propaganda states that they do research into what they call "Spirit Releasement Therapy (depossession)"
which is simply another way to say exorcism", but as I see it this is hardly a "Third Object Function". The third Object concerns
itself with the investigation, in general terms, of the possibility that such a thing as "spirit possession" may exist. These
people have no questions at all, only answers. Exorcism is a function of religion. Religion is an entirely negative thing.
Other topics of interest to this group are: "UFOs and Mental Health", "Past Life Therapy", "Spiritual Protection For The Spiritual
Explorer", "Remote Viewing", "Healing the Souls of Children", "The Anomalously Sensitive Person" , "NDE" "and more". What
a Smorgasbrod! Now this is an ad you'd surely expect to see in "Cosmic Link" but in Quest?
There are many other ads, some for organizations and books that are patently respectable but hardly in
place in the Organ of an organization of the character of the Theosophical Society. There are two other small advertisements
I'd like to mention though, they are: (on page 31) an ad for "The Builders of The Adytum" which is an organization primarily
devoted to teaching the Tarot and which fits into the category of "Popular Occultism" as do the "Rosicrucians".
The other, (on page 49) is for an organization which calls itself "Prosveta USA" and which promotes the
"over 50 volumes" of the work of one Omraam Mikhael Aivanov (these by the way are unique spellings) and these are 50 volumes
of Leadbeaterish "Occultism". It too has no place in a Theosophical Journal, after all the Theosophical Society is stuck with
Leadbeater, why bother with his copy-cats?
Now let's get to the content of the magazine itself.
What's wrong with those three cited "cover" articles appearing in Quest? The answer is LOTS!
I want to start by saying that I should be VERY hard put to adjudicate which of the three articles is
the most dichotomous with what Theosophy is supposed to be about. But they all three have one thing in common, they are dreadfully
pretentious and smug. But then I should hardly by astonished by that, the entire Society is pretentious and smug, so why should
it's magazine be any different?
I am going to start by discussing the article which first drew my attention to this issue of quest Magazine.
"PRINCESS DIANA AS DIVINE MOTHER":
The first thing I have to say about this article is that to me, it is entirely unseemly, and in fact entirely
unethical, to join the stampede to exploit a personal tragedy of this kind. Diana Spencer-Windsor, Princess of Wales was a
beautiful woman, and a far better than ordinary Mother, who made the mistake of marrying onto a family in which the humanity,
the essential humanness, of individuals has been entirely snuffed out. This has produced an "animatronic Royal Family" Elisabeth
II of England is a cold and distant person whose feelings have been entirely stifled in the pursuit of an entirely imaginary
fantasy of "Duty" and "Position". Diana Spencer was a vibrant, intelligent, and strongly independent woman who simply could
not fit into this stifling Royal "Mold" and who was driven out of it as a result. The reaction to her death has been astonishing,
but cruel to her two sons This article is a perfect example of what I mean..
The author, Nancy Hiscoe Clark, is an ordained Unity minister who leads workshops in the Goddess heritage
and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Unity School of Christianity. Let me say this about Unity. Unity, it seems
to me, is a half-hearted religion for people who are uncomfortable with, and doubtful of, Christianity but are not sufficiently
bold to leave it altogether. To someone like a Southern Baptist or Roman Catholic I'd assume that Unity would be considered
a total heresy. If the Southern Baptists don't consider the Mormons to be "Christian" at all, what must they think of Unity?
Ms. Clark is herself, a contradiction in terms. She is a so-called Christian Minister who leads workshops
in the Goddess heritage. But there is no Goddess heritage in Christianity, especially in Protestant Christianity! Admittedly
one could easily equate the "Maryolotry" in Roman Catholicism with Goddess worship but we know that the more extreme. Protestants
regard Roman Catholicism as "an abomination unto God" So what we have here is that Ms. Clark is really a minister in the "Church
of What's Happening Now". Goddess worship is an important if fantastic aspect of the woman's movement, it's not Christian
at all, but it is popular at the moment. So I guess it's no surprise that a person like Ms. Clark would choose to exploit
the Death of Diana.
Now, while the second objective of The Theosophical Society is the study and comparison of religions and
philosophies, this was intended to be a comparative and evaluative study. It was not intended as an incentive to advocacy
of religious views, popular or otherwise. Make no mistake, this article is advocacy, a particularly pernicious kind because
it is so subtle. But with no doubt at all it is advocacy of the religious views of Ms. Clark. I am afraid I have to say that,
as I see it, it is also almost totally hypocritical. Ms. Clark makes it seem that no one, perhaps even Diana's sons, mourned
her as deeply and sincerely as Ms. Clark.
This article is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with The Theosophical Society. It is stylish,
sophomoric, and simplistically superficial. And it is Oh so terribly sincere! In it, after linking poor Diana with every currently
stylish Goddess cliche, she goes so far as to compare poor Prince William of England with Jesus. Good heaven's, does she hate
the poor young man. What a terrible burden to lay upon such young shoulders as a comparison with Christianity's entirely fictional
She says, and I quote exactly: " England and the whole world are looking to her son William who will some
day be anointed to reign as heir to the royal throne as the hope of new life and resurrection of all Britain and its monarchy.
How very like the Great Mother and her son of old."
This is pure unadulterated babble! It is hyperbole to an unimaginable degree. While I think it safe to
assume that most English people, and many people elsewhere at least those who are aware of the boys mother's tragic death,
feel great pity for Henry and William "The Whole World" is not "looking to William" and to say that it is can only be described
as pure idiocy. The author moreover, reveals a great depth of ignorance when she says that William "will some day be anointed
as heir to the Royal Throne" he is currently Prince Royal of England, and is the second in line, after his Father to the Crown
of England. The anointing process, when, and IF (and it's a very BIG "if") William chooses to become King upon his Father's
death, will anoint him KING of England, not "heir to the royal throne", he's that now.
Secondly I'd really like to know what this poor misguided creature means when she says:
"the hope of new life and resurrection of Britain and its monarchy". History cannot be gainsaid, the British
Monarchy is simply a tourist attraction and a figure head, it has no connection at all with the future of the British Nation,
only a connection with its past. If we are to judge by current political trends, Great Britain has no future at all. Not with
Scotland, Wales, and even Cornwall, home to determined Independence movements. No nation has ever deserved dissolution more.
The British Empire did untold and untellable harm to the world. Britain isn't, and never was, "The Hope of The World". England
and the English aren't looking to "New life and resurrection" but simply to life itself in comfort and security something
to which all people are entitled by birth. This by the way is something that the British Empire denied many in its realm.
It's entirely futile, and very harmful to compare reality with fiction, and the "Great Mother and her
son of old" is entirely fiction while Diana Spencer-Windsor and her sons are real, very real indeed, and they both, the living
sons, and their dead Mother, do not deserve to be exploited. The have a right not to be so, a basic human right, a right which
Ms. Clark denies them.
What a sad descent from "Lucifer" this magazine is.
The next article which drew my attention is:
UFOS AND THE MEANING OF LIFE:
The author of this article is an interesting person, but once again an advocate of a particular viewpoint,
one which can almost be defined as religious. He is Ronald Story, and the short "blurb" on him that accompanies the article
states that he is:
"The editor of The Encyclopedia of UFOs (Doubleday) and author of other books on the subject, including
Space Gods Revealed (Harper&Row) and UFOs and the Limits of Science (Morrow). The entry on "Unidentified Flying
Objects in the 1988 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia carries his byline, as successor to the late J. Allen Hynek, who
had written the article in previous editions. Story has been working on a new book, tentatively titled "Beyond Eden: solving
the Mystery of Alien Contact". He has a degree in philosophy from the University of Arizona"
So then, that's a respected expert on UFOs. My question of course, has to be how respected is anyone connected
with the field of UFOs? And if so, to whom? And if not, to whom? This is a valid and important question. So too, is this one:
What about UFOs?
The title of the article in question is: "UFOs AND THE MEANING OF LIFE" but do UFOs have any relevance
to the meaning of life? They only do so if one considers them to be entirely symbolic, a euphemism for one's attitude toward
I repeat: "What about UFOs?"
The answer is, that I don't really know, and I really believe no one else does either. The big problem,
as I see it, is when people claim to a truly KNOW something about the subject, and far worse yet, make an article of faith
out of what they believe.
UFO's are probably some kind of reality, the trouble is we don't know enough about them to decide what.
We do know that there have been reports of such things, or reports which can be construed to describe such things, for millennia.
The trouble is that in the construing" things get exaggerated and twisted to mean what the "construer" wants them to mean.
Logically speaking, the presence of other intelligences in the universe is of a high grade pf probability,
but until actual and undeniable contact is made, probability is all we can reasonably discuss. Many of the so-called reports
are fraudulent, many are the result of mob hysteria, but not all. Some of the reports can only be described as probably accurate
sightings of vehicles about which nothing is known and which appear not to be of terrestrial origins. That's it!
No reasonable person can view books like those of Messrs. von Daniken and Schreiber as anything but speculative
fiction at best, and downright fiction at worst. They are far to reliant on here say and don't really provide any hard evidence.
Now, where I find the article in Quest to be of questionable value is that it is using a Jungian Psychological
interpretation of something that at best is imperfectly known and understood. Jung, because of his background, and because
I really believe he was an extreme neurotic, saw everything as symbolism. But we just don't know, and/or understand enough
about this subject to run it through Carl Jung's neuroses
This essay in Quest concerns itself entirely with the neurotic-psychotic aspects of the UFO controversy
and not with the controversy itself. And that is what causes me to complain.
My problem is once again with the fact that this essay is predominantly a " very stylish" or "faddish"
effort, it is also fair to say that "Jungian" ideas are also a fad which is passing from fancy. Now, while the "Three Objects"
make almost any subject appropriate for discussion among Theosophists, this one requires quite a long stretch to make appropriate.
It is clearly not something which fits into either the second or third object categories. It surely isn't concerned with the
comparative and evaluative study of religions and philosophies which constitutes the "Second Object", nor does it relate to
research into the latent and potential abilities present in Humans which constitutes the "Third Object". Now the "First Object",
which of the three is considered by most Theosophists to be the most important, is the inculcation of "Universal Brotherhood"
which is simply a stylistically "Victorian" way to say that the Society seeks to bring about a condition of world-wide peace,
friendship, acceptance of multiversity and tolerance Now that's a pretty broad area.
So let's get down to my reasons for complaining. What's wrong with an essay on the subject: "UFOs and
the meaning of life"? My complaint is that it's an irrelevant discussion of a meaningless topic. It is also a very careful
and cowardly avoidance of the only meaningful question regarding UFOs and this is "Are they Real, or are they Fantasy" To
pass them off glibly as part of the search for meaning in life, is to avoid both the topic of UFOs themselves, and to avoid
the fact that "the search for meaning in life" is a function of neurosis. Life is its own meaning. Life itself, is its own
perfect raison d'etre. People who need to search for a specific "meaning" in life, are really only saying that they inwardly
believe they themselves are meaningless, and are actually seeking an excuse for their own existence None is needed..
Why do I regard the publication of this article as unfortunate? I do so because it reduces the journal
in which it appears to a condition of stylish meaninglessness.
Now we come to the last of the three articles I want to discuss.
DIVINE HUMANS AND A HUMAN JESUS
This article is by Reverend Harold D. Jester and he is a Christian Minister. Now that, in itself is not
a problem, or needn't be. The Second Object of the Theosophical society is the evaluative comparison of religions and philosophies.
But this article is mostly concerned with the promulgation of the Judeo-Christian religion in a psychological context. It
does not evaluate the Christian Religion, it "pushes" it. The Theosophical Society, at least in Helena Blavatsky's eyes and
mind, was intended to combat and ultimately destroy the Judeo-Christian Islamic paradigm..
The promulgation of various religious paradigms is one of the clearest indications of the fact that The
Theosophical society has lost it's way. This is not a new thing, it lost it's way in about 1880. The Theosophical Society
went from being a challenging iconoclastic gad fly to being the terribly unorthodox spokesperson for a terribly orthodox religion,
and over time, that religion changed from it's original format of a combination of Dualistic Brahmanism and even more dualistic
Mahayana Buddhism to being a sort of "mish mash" of those religions and Christianity. In trying to be "all things to all people"
it became nothing at all.