Wednesday, August 06, 2008
When I began researching Theosophy, esoteric Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and New Age, I knew right away that I was reading alternative theology, but could not quite get a handle on what exactly they were up to. Where did the alternative theology come from? Did the authors dredge it up wholecloth from their own conscious mind or even the subconscious? Was it ancient spirituality revisited? Was it part of early Catholicism? I considered all of those possibilities and kept on digging. Finally after a few years it began to occur to me that the philosophy might just be coming from a channeled source, and the rites were possibly defined by a disembodied spirit who wishes to speak or otherwise act through a human body.
Probably the first time that I came to the conclusion this was very likely was in reading a play written by Theosoophist and Rosicrucian Freemason Rudulf Steiner. "The Portal of Initiation: A Rosicrucian Mystery" contains a passage indicating that some other entity is taking over the personality of the heroine, Maria, and she doesn't like it much. Scene three takes place in a "meditation room" where a small group are apparently experimenting with meditation. Maria complains:
It stands like this with me--you give me light, but light which robs me of my seeing, and tears me from myself. If I am only medium for a Spirit, and not myself, then will I tolerate no longer to wear a form that is a mask, not truth....
You gave me clarity, but clarity which wraps me up on every side in darkness. I curse your clarity, and you I curse, who made me instrument of these wild arts with which you will deceive mankind. Never before, for a moment, could I have any doubt how high you stand in spirit. And yet one moment now was enough to tear all faith out of my heart. The spirits which you serve I now must know as powers of hell.
Maria's lines are interrupted by the words of her friend, Johannes:
O what is happening to you! Your sight is vanishing, your body's like a pillar. I take your hand, and it is cold--it is as dead.
When I read that scene, I saw in it confirmation of what I had been suspecting: that the esoteric Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, the Theosophists were engaged in channeling, and most likely what Steiner called clairvoyance--access to the Akashic Record--was access to disembodied entities which very likely is practiced somewhere within Anthroposophy.
Most likely, too, Edgar Cayce had access to such spirits who gave him medical information about people he didn't know and who were not in his presence while he was in a trance. The Association for Research and Enlightenment promotes Cayce's activities and in some fashion continues his work. A.R.E. is very New Age.
From the perspective of Catholic cosmology, disembodied spirits are most likely angels. Some of them are good, and we have passages in Scripture describing their sudden appearance to man. But not all angels are good. There are the fallen ones who oppose God--who, like Lucifer, the Lightbearer, will not serve. Apparently they are willing, however, to serve man in this fashion.
In Scripture, 1 Samuel 28:7-18 tells the story of Saul's attempt to make a decision based on the spirit Samuel conjured up by the Witch of Endor. Saul's punishment for doing so was the loss of his kingdom. Conjuring is not a thing favored by the God of the Old Testament.
Throughout the New Testament there a several passages that address evil spirits, so to reject the possibility that they exist and that they can interact with man would be foolish, and to seek them out is playing with fire.
It's noteworthy that there is a push within Roman Catholicism to train more exorcists, and the pope is behind it. Apparently he believes that more people are in need of exorcism than there are exorcists available to help them.
With these thoughts in mind, I'm going to start listing channelers--and there are an awful lot of them--and the entity they channel. I'm doing this as a result of discussion at Constance Cumbey's blog about this very topic.
Here is the first channeler:
Certainly a New Age voice, Spangler has worked with Findhorn and has established an organization called Lorian Association for the purpose of teaching trance channeling. This is explained in a letter from him contained in a pdf file.
In this letter Spangler openly admits that he has been channeling John since college:
Most people know through my writings that I left college in 1965, where I was pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry, to begin working as a lecturer and teacher of spirituality. I was joined in this endeavor by a non-physical being whom I named John and who became my partner for nearly thirty years of inner work. I have always said that I felt a calling to do this, and this is certainly true. But I have only rarely shared where this sense of calling came from.
Again, as I've indicated in my books and classes, I've experienced contact and communication with innter, non-physical worlds all my life.
He speaks of "contact with a being of Light" and "a new spiritual Order", saying that the symbol of channeling "was a cup or chalice". He indicates that he has also communicated with other "inner plane beings over the years" whom he considers to be "my sources and allies." He speaks of "alliance and partnership" with these entities and tells us "Sovereignty is the manifestation of our individuated divinity, the expression of our sacred Selfness or 'I'."
Spangler tells us about
a tendency for incarnate individuals to give their sovereignty, freedom, and power away to non-physical beings (or their human representatives in the form of priesthoods, gurus, and masters...
Which pretty much sounds like an "I will not serve."
Spangler refers to this process of channeling as "standing in our own incarnate spirituality," in which "we can form co-creative partnerships and alliances with inner beings based on mutual respect and love" and that in Lorian this process of forming "alliances with inner beings" is being taught. Perhaps most disturbing to this Catholic is that he refers to this process as Incarnational Spirituality, giving a new meaning to the word Incarnation by redefining it to mean something that no Catholic can approve.
Interestingly, near the end of the latter he speaks of John opening a portal, bring back to mind Steiner's "Portal of Initiation" which seems to amount to the same thing.
In the Chapter titled "Present-Day Followers of Alice Bailey" (FALSE DAWN) Lee Penn writes:
The vice-president and treasurer of Pathways to Peace, Masankho Banda, is active in the URI. Robert Muller is "Senior Adviser" for Pathways to Peace." Other members of the "Council of Advisers" include Gordon Davidson, Corrine McLaughlin, Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and David Spangler...(p. 284)