Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Manly P Hall on Madame Blavatsky and 'The Secret Doctrine'
Madame Helena Blavatsky and The Secret Doctrine, [Occult Lecture] Manly P Hall, Audiobook
Free Audio Books for Intellectual Exercise
I'm lukewarm regarding Manly P. Hall, but he did have great knowledge in many areas. Some of what he discussed here, such as the Christian vs. Atheist paradigm, is even more true today. Freemasons are however incessantly pro-Eastern philosophy, while often belittling many other worthy traditions. Madame Blavatsky truly influenced the world. Her works were adopted by so many political concerns--even polar opposites of each other--that it would not be intellectually honest to use those concerns to define her work. Although she is referred to as Russian, she was apparently of Prussian/German origin; born Yelena Petrovna von Hahn.
'The Secret Doctrine', the Theosophical Society, and the New Age Movement are highly relevant today. I think the New Age concept that "we are god" or "you are god" can be misleading because it can be interpreted in many way. Just the fact that so many people of enormous wealth are behind the New Age Movement, that concept has created a type of Globalist neo-aristocracy which proves that you can move away from something and end up right back to where you started.
It's curious that Madame Blavatsky, while very important under the surface, has been kept out've the mainstream. She was an adventurer, and lived a very interesting life. 'The Secret Doctrine' is apparently very difficult to read and comprehend. Wotanist pioneers---Guido von List (Armanism) and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels (Ariospophy)---were both strongly influenced by Madame Blavatsky's work.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya; 12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891) was an occultist, spirit medium, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric movement that the Society promoted.
Born into an aristocratic Russian-German family in Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine, Blavatsky traveled widely around the Russian Empire as a child. Largely self-educated, she developed an interest in Western esotericism during her teenage years. According to her later claims, in 1849 she embarked on a series of world travels, visiting Europe, the Americas, and India. She alleged that during this period she encountered a group of spiritual adepts, the "Masters of the Ancient Wisdom", who sent her to Shigatse, Tibet, where they trained her to develop her own psychic powers. Both contemporary critics and later biographers have argued that some or all of these foreign visits were fictitious, and that she spent this period in Europe. By the early 1870s, Blavatsky was involved in the Spiritualist movement; although defending the genuine existence of Spiritualist phenomena, she argued against the mainstream Spiritualist idea that the entities contacted were the spirits of the dead. Relocating to the United States in 1873, she befriended Henry Steel Olcott and rose to public attention as a spirit medium, attention that included public accusations of fraudulence.
In New York City, Blavatsky co-founded the Theosophical Society with Olcott and William Quan Judge in September 1875. In 1877 she published Isis Unveiled, a book outlining her Theosophical world-view. Associating it closely with the esoteric doctrines of Hermeticism and Neoplatonism, Blavatsky described Theosophy as "the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy", proclaiming that it was reviving an "Ancient Wisdom" which underlay all the world's religions. In 1880 she and Olcott moved to India, where the Society was allied to Dayananda Saraswati's Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement. That same year, while in Ceylon she and Olcott became the first Westerners to officially convert to Buddhism. Although opposed by the British administration, Theosophy spread rapidly in India but experienced internal problems after Blavatsky was accused of producing fraudulent paranormal phenomena in the Coulomb Affair. Amid ailing health, in 1885 she returned to Europe, eventually settling in London, where she established the Blavatsky Lodge. Here she published The Secret Doctrine, a commentary on what she claimed were ancient Tibetan manuscripts, as well as two further books, The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence. She died of influenza in the home of her disciple and successor, Annie Besant.
Blavatsky was a controversial figure during her lifetime, championed by supporters as an enlightened guru and derided as a fraudulent charlatan by critics. Her Theosophical doctrines influenced the spread of Hindu and Buddhist ideas in the West as well as the development of Western esoteric currents like Ariosophy, Anthroposophy, and the New Age Movement.
Theosophy is a collection of mystical and occultist philosophies concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of, the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe. Theosophy is considered part of Western esotericism, which believes that hidden knowledge or wisdom from the Ancient past offers a path to enlightenment and salvation.
Theosophy comes from the Greek theosophia, which combines theos, 'God' and sophia, 'wisdom', meaning 'Divine wisdom'. From the late 19th century onwards, the term Theosophy has generally been used to refer to the religio-philosophic doctrines of the Theosophical Society, founded in New York City in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky, William Quan Judge, and Henry Steel Olcott. Blavatsky's major work, The Secret Doctrine (1888), was one of the foundational works of modern theosophy. As of 2015, organizations descended from, or related to, the Theosophical Society were active in more than 52 countries around the world. Modern Theosophy has also given rise to, or influenced, the development of other mystical, philosophical, and religious movements.
The Secret Doctrine
The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, a book originally published as two volumes in 1888 written by Helena Blavatsky. The first volume is named Cosmogenesis, the second Anthropogenesis. It was an influential example of the revival of interest in esoteric and occult ideas in the modern age, in particular because of its claim to reconcile ancient eastern wisdom with modern science.
Blavatsky claimed that its contents had been revealed to her by 'mahatmas' who had retained knowledge of humanity's spiritual history, knowledge that it was now possible, in part, to reveal.
The Theosophical Society is an organization formed in 1875 to advance theosophy. The original organization, after splits and realignments, currently has several successors.