Monday, August 25, 2008
In addition to the article blogged below this one, another paper turned up while I researched channelers. It was a Google request for Sri Aurobindo that brought this one up. The paper was written by Traditionalist Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy. I'll give you some quotes, and you can read the rest of it if you're interested. The paper discusses how Theosophy came to be part of the New Age Movement and the fact that it began as a Western product, moved East where it produced some gurus who created a synthesis of Eastern and Western spirituality and imported it back to the West. He discusses three seers: Mahesh Yogi and his Transcendental Meditation, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and his English financial backers, and Bhagavan Rajneesh. From the article:
The advanced practitioners of TM introduce us to the existence of spirit guides. David Hunt (The Cult Explosion) documents the association between TM "rounding" (i.e., 8 to 10 sessions a day in conjunction with others) and the presence of such guides in the form of Hindu deities and former Ascended Masters. The importance of these "angels of light" will become clear later....
...the spread of these gnostic communities which base themselves on Aurobindo's ideas has received considerable support from, among other organizations, the United Nations. Funding the French architect Roger Anger, the first city to be developed was Auroville, “a model city for the whole planet,” where a utopian and cultist One World Brotherhood is fostered whose purpose is said to be “service to mankind.” The ideas developed here have been adopted by the HEW and the National Training Labs of the National Educational Association as well as a host of other international and national organizations....
Now there is another interesting tie_in with Aurobindo and the New Age Religions. Michael Murphy, founder of Esalen, received his inspiration from Aurobindo or the Mother while living in the Ashram in Pondicherry between 1948 and 49. The Esalen Institute is one of the granddaddies of so-called “sensitivity training” - the application of non_directive group therapy as applied to normal people for the purpose' of expanding the human potential....from the beginning the Esatln [sic] Institute supported its own inter-house “channeler” named jenny O'Connor, who received messages from a group of nine nonhuman entities allegedly living on the star Sirius. These “spirit guides,”...were the ultimate gurus of Murphy and his band of Aurobindians.
Now what many people do not know is that the techniques used by these groups are essentially brainwashing and mind-bending techniques. A group of people gather around on the floor and embrace each other, telling each other their deepest feelings and experiences. Locked into a closed system, separated from their families, often for days at a time, those who do not accept the norm for the group _ usually the lowest common denominator - and usually established by a “facilitator” and assistant whose function the other members of the group are unaware of_are browbeaten until they do. Now strictly speaking, brainwashing was developed in groups under external control such as prisoners. What is new is that Americans by the millions are rushing to accept this type of experience voluntarily. Est, Forum, Silva Mind Control, Scientology, Synenon, their name is legion. Corporations are insisting that their executives go through this type of experience. Interestingly, the fundamentals of this technique were developed by Pavlov at the request of Lenin, and were first effectively applied in the show, trials of Stalin. When Lenin read the result of Pavlov's research in this field, he said to him “you have saved the revolution.”"
One last spin_off of interest is Father Bede Griffiths, the Benedictine Monk who lived near Auroville in South India. He_lived like a Hindu sadhu, supposedly achieving a blend of Eastern and Catholic mysticism. His guru and source of inspiration was also Aurobindo. In his book, A New Vision of Reality, he informs us that the world “is on the verge of a new age and a new culture.” The advertisement tells us he is a “spokes_ man of the New Age, speaking for it from his Christian_Hindu Ashram ... He concludes his radical vision of a new society and a universal religion in which the essential values of Christianity will be preserved in living relationship with the other religious traditions of the world. Here once again, we have the export of evolutionary and Marxist thought to India, its adoption by a supposed Swami, and its reintroduction to the West, both by Murphy and the Esalen Institute, and also by Father Griffiths within the Catholic Church.
In the dynamic form of meditation pupils were encouraged to shed their clothes while performing all sorts of antics, often in the dark. Above all, the hangup of sexual morality had to be eliminated and group sex became acceptable...
Moving on to a general overview, Coomaraswamy writes:
Another component of this counter religion is openly satanic. During Alister Crowley's early experiments with the psychic world he visited Cairo, Egypt. There having placed his wife into a trance, she informed him that the spirits "are waiting for you." Crowley followed this up by repeating magical invocations over several days, which led to his contact with "Aiwass" who commanded him to write down The Book of Law, a kind of pseudo-esoteric scripture. In this text Aiwass spoke of a "new religion" that would be distinguished by complete self-fulfillment and the unleashing of private volition and desire....[emphasis mine]. Olcott propagated a heretical form of Hinayana Buddhism which has had devastating effects on the Sri Lankans, as this form of Buddhism was introduced into their educational curricula. As for Blavatsky, and especially her understudy Annie Besant, they concentrated on creating a new brand of Hinduism. It is these forms of Hinduism and Buddhism that have frequently been brought back to the West.
...this brings us to the cultivation of spirit masters, which is very much part of the New Age religion, and to my mind, one of the most frightening aspects. One individual, Mr. Silva, claims that he can teach anyone in forty-eight hours by a process of "mind control" to find his spirit master. Such spirit masters are clearly nothing else than fallen angels or demons....It will be argued that the whole idea of demons is a Western and Christian one. While Scriptural condemnations abound, it is good to recognize that Eastern religions also share the same point of view....
The leaders of the Theosophical Society believed they were under the supervision and leadership of “Adepts” and “initiates” belonging to a branch of “The Great 'White Brotherhood”. They moved to India in 1875 and were told by their spirit guides to keep their teachings secret for 100 years, until about 1975. In India Blavatsky was joined by an English clergyman named Leadbetter who was under the guidance of “Master KH (Koot Hoomi)” and by Colonel Olcott.. Interestingly, Leadbetter was the first person who recommended changing the Latin Mass in order to make it an ecumenically acceptable ritual
After Helena Blavatsky's death the organization fell under the direction of Annie Besant who made an abortive attempt to bring forth the antichrist in the person of Krishnamurti who they meticulously prepared for the role. However Krishnamurti, under the influence of his Hindu father, dissolved the Order of the Star in 1929 and abandoned the movement. Annie Besant remains an important influence in modern India as she was influential in founding Benares Hindu University and various heterodox Hindu movements such as the Aryo and Brahmo Samaj. What few of her Indian admirers are aware of is that she was, according to Rene Guenon (Le Theosophisme), well paid by British Intelligence which wished to see the strength of orthodox Hinduism undermined and destroyed. As a result of Krishnamurti's defection, the Masters became angry with Annie Besant and passed the torch to a certain Alice Ann Baily, a beautiful young woman born to position in England who eventually married an Episcopalian clergyman in America. She was a prolific Writer and organized the Arcane school, the New Group of World Servers, Triangles, World Good Will, and a host of other early New Age groups. She also established the Lucifer Publishing House which incidentally publishes the Aurobindo material [emphasis mine] _ later changed for obvious reason to the Lucis Publishing House.
1962 was another landmark year, for this was when the Scottish community of Findhorn was established by Peter and Eileen Caddy, who meticulously followed the Baily writings and were under the influence of their own spirit guides. They were joined by David Spangler who was said to have the “Christ energies,” and who became their spiritual advisor. He of course received frequent transmissions from his many spirit guides.
Coomaraswamy closes with "A Note on Channeling and Spirit Guides", using for reference a paperback written by Cathryn Rydall of whom he says "Her spirit guide [was] named Diya [who] told her when she asked him who he was that she should believe in angels."