* 31 IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY AND NEO-THEOSOPHY *
A comparison between the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky & The Masters and the teachings of Alice Bailey, C.W. Leadbeater, and Annie Besant
In a number of previous articles on this website I’ve mentioned the fact that there are a tremendous amount of serious and irreconcilable discrepancies between the teachings of original Theosophy (as represented by Madame Blavatsky and the Masters) and the later Theosophy as represented by such people as C.W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant, and Alice Bailey. In fact, they are two entirely different and incompatible systems of teaching. In this rather lengthy article I explain the 31 most important differences and contradictions between the two systems and also shed some light on the actual origins of the later teachings which have come to be known as “neo-Theosophy” or “pseudo-Theosophy.” I have studied both Theosophy and neo-Theosophy myself, as I was initially a serious reader and student of the Alice Bailey books and the writings of Leadbeater, prior to making the decision to begin to actually read Blavatsky for myself. Regular visitors to this site will know that I am of the firm opinion these days that the original teachings are the genuine teachings and that the neo-Theosophical teachings are a very clever yet very deceptive sham. It is of course entirely up to each person to make up their own mind and reach their own conclusions.
Sometimes people who are Alice Bailey students contact me and ask me whether I can explain to them what HPB (H.P. Blavatsky) meant in a certain quotation that they’ve seen, seeing as they’ve noticed that what she said doesn’t seem to be comprehensible or make sense in light of the terminology and teachings that they’ve learned from the Bailey books. It is usually not until a person begins to read and study HPB’s works for themselves that they realise what an incredible difference there is between Theosophy and neo-Theosophy. Many neo-Theosophists maintain that HPB students should simply overlook the differences, all in the name of synthesis. Anyone who reads the following will afterwards have to admit – unless lacking in honesty or sanity – that there are far too many differences and of a far too serious nature for them to be able to be overlooked, cast aside, or forgotten about.
Hopefully the information in this article will enable students of neo-Theosophy to be able to better understand the teachings and perspectives of original Theosophy and vice versa. It is important in any field of human endeavour that we clearly understand where others are coming from. My statements in the following sections as to what “original Theosophy” teaches and to what “HPB and the Masters” teach are based on the writings of H.P. Blavatsky in her numerous books and the teachings of the Master Koot Hoomi and the Master Morya in their many letters from the 1880s published in the book “The Mahatma Letters.” When I make such statements I am also referring to the fact that these two Masters wrote signed statements on a number of occasions in which they clearly asserted that they were the real authors of HPB’s book “The Secret Doctrine” and that its contents were either directly dictated to her or written for her by themselves and that her own individual contributions to that monumental work were thoroughly checked and approved by themselves.
It is not my aim to enter into a debate with anyone, as this has consistently proven fruitless and a waste of time. The aim here is simply to show people that there are many important differences and to explain what those differences are.
- – -
* THE MONAD
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The Monad (meaning “ultimate unit” or “primary unit”) is a term used to describe the conjunction of Atma and Buddhi which are the two highest Principles of man’s constitution. There is nothing higher than Atma; Atma is the highermost and supreme part of man’s spiritual being. Because Atma is literally Divinity Itself, it has to have a vehicle through which to radiate its light to the individual soul. This vehicle is called Buddhi. The two in conjunction with each other are called the Monad.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The Monad is something in its own right and is not the same as Atma or Buddhi. The Monad is higher than Atma and it is the Monad which is the highermost and supreme part of man’s spiritual being.
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: Atma (also written “Atman”) is the highermost and supreme part of man’s spiritual being. It is pure eternal Spirit. It is the Higher Self, the Divine Self, the Real Self of the human being and it is literally one and the same in essence and identity as the Infinite Supreme Self. This is in accordance with the fundamental teaching of Hinduism; that our Self (the Atman) IS the Supreme Self (Brahman). Atman literally means Self. It is the only one of our Principles to which the unqualified term “the Self” may be applied. It is not an individual thing. There is no such thing as “my Atman” or “your Atman.” There is only THE Atman, the ONE Universal Self of all. It is here that all is truly one.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: Atma is not the highermost and supreme part of man’s spiritual being. It is the force of spiritual will and in a way it is the higher part of our soul but it is the Monad which is pure Spirit and which is higher than Atma.
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: Buddhi is the second highest Principle of man’s constitution and is referred to as the Spiritual Soul, the vehicle through which Atma (the highest Principle) radiates its light. There is nothing individual about the Buddhi principle. As with Atma, we cannot talk in terms of “my Buddhi” or “your Buddhi.” Buddhi is not the faculty or quality of intuition and has nothing to do with this. It has nothing to do with anything except serving as the vehicle for Atma. To quote direct from HPB: “The mission of Buddhi is simply to shadow divine light [from the Atman] on Manas, otherwise Manas will be always falling into the Kamic principle, into the principle of matter; … The Buddhi per se, has nothing to do with any qualification of anything, it is simply the vehicle of Atman, of Spirit. … Buddhi can neither have intuition, nor non-intuition, nor anything; it is simply the cementing link, so to say, between the higher spirit and Manas. … Buddhi can have the apprehension of nothing … Atma and Buddhi cannot be predicated as having anything to do with a man, except that man is immersed in them. So long as he lives he is overshadowed by these two; but it is no more the property of that than of anything else.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: Buddhi is the faculty or quality of spiritual intuition within the human being. It is basically synonymous with intuition and higher intellect and it works alongside the force of spiritual will, i.e. Atma. Each person has their own Buddhi, their own Atma, and their own Monad.
* THE HIGHER SELF
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The term “Higher Self” refers solely to the Atman, for this is our ultimate essential nature and it is Who and What we really are. It is stressed that the term “Higher Self” (along with its various synonyms such as Divine Self, Real Self, True Self, God Self, etc.) should only be used solely in connection with Atma. This is in accordance with the teachings of Hinduism, from which the term and concept of the “Higher Self” originally comes.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The term “Higher Self” refers to the individual soul and not to the spirit. It is the higher part of our spiritual Individuality or Ego and corresponds to the Higher Manas (the spiritual part of our Mind principle) or to the Higher Manas in conjunction with spiritual will (Atma) and spiritual intuition (Buddhi).
* THE CAUSAL BODY
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The term “Causal Body” is a synonym for the individual human soul or Ego. This is the Manas principle in man, the Mind principle, the Thinker, the permanent Individuality which incarnates and reincarnates. It is known as the Causal Body because it is this part of our being which sets the causes in motion in each lifetime – through our every thought, word, and action – which have to have their corresponding Karmic effects in this and subsequent lifetimes. Thus it is also the cause of continued reincarnation. It should not be thought of as literally being any type of “body” but this should be viewed as a figurative expression since the term “Causal Body” comes from the teachings of Hinduism where it is called in Sanskrit the Karana (causal) Sharira (body).
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The Causal Body is the spiritual body, vehicle, and vessel in which resides the soul, the Ego, also called the Higher Self in this system of teaching. It is also termed the “Egoic Lotus” (an Alice Bailey term) and it is implied that it is the same thing as the “Auric Egg” (a Blavatsky term), yet HPB and the Masters used the term “Auric Egg” in an entirely different sense to this.
* THE MENTAL BODY
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: There is no such thing as a “mental body” in the inner constitution of the human being. The Mind Principle, called Manas in Sanskrit, is not a body but a Principle. The Manas Principle is the soul, the Ego, the reincarnating Individuality. It cannot be used as a vehicle of manifestation or functioning, since there is no such thing as a “mental body” or “mental vehicle”. Manas is the mind which is the soul itself. The only thing which could in any way be termed a “mental body” is the Mayavi Rupa which is an illusionary form in which a high Adept or spiritual Master may sometimes choose to appear and he creates it out of the power of his own thought but strictly speaking the Mayavi Rupa is “the mind-produced body of illusion” rather than a constitutional “mental body.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The mental body is part of the inner constitution of the human being and it is a subtle “vehicle” in which a spiritually developed individual can function and manifest on subtle and possibly even gross planes of existence. It is the vehicle in which the soul functions on the lower parts of the mental plane.
* THE KAMA RUPA
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The human constitution consists of Seven Principles in total; a Spiritual Triad (the higher three Principles, which are immortal) and a Lower Quaternary (the lower four Principles, which last only for one lifetime). The Spiritual Triad consists of Atma, Buddhi, and Manas. This is the divine part, spiritual part, and intellectual part of man. The Lower Quaternary consists of Kama, Prana, Linga Sharira, and Sthula Sharira. This is the desire/passional part, the vital part, the astral part, and the dense physical part of man. Kama, which literally means “Desire” in Sanskrit, is the desire principle of the human being when in physical incarnation. It is the source and centre of his desires, passions, lusts, and sensual nature. It is sometimes referred to as the “animal soul” because it is the more animalistic and beastly part of us.
During human life this Principle is called Kama and not Kama Rupa. It only becomes the Kama Rupa after the lifetime has come to an end. One of the stages after death is that the desire nature objectifies itself into a sort of senseless, disembodied form which remains in Kama Loka (the atmosphere and attraction of our Earth) until it finally disintegrates of its own accord. It will survive and remain until the force of those desires and passions has drained away and this will naturally be determined by how sensually oriented the individual was during the lifetime just ended. After death the Kama principle forms itself into Kama Rupa, which literally means “desire form.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The Kama Rupa is the Astral Body of man. When the person is asleep at night he travels around the astral world in his Kama Rupa. When he becomes more spiritually developed he can begin to function consciously in his Kama Rupa, either on the astral plane or by projecting himself in his Kama Rupa to different places on the physical plane.
* THE ASTRAL BODY
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The Astral Body is the subtle, unseen “double” of the dense physical body. It is the form, mould, and blueprint upon and around which the dense physical body is built. The Astral Body can also be thought of as the “vital body” or “energy body” of the human being because it is the vehicle through which Prana (vitality, life force, energy, etc.) flows to the physical body. It is this which is utilised as a vehicle in astral travel, astral projection, and so forth. The term “astral” is used by HPB and the Masters simply as a synonym for “subjective,” “subtle” or “inner.” This was the sense in which the term had always been used in history. The astral body and the physical body are the only bodies which we have. Neither HPB nor the Masters recognise or agree to such concepts as an etheric body, mental body, intuitional or Buddhic body, Atmic body, etc.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The Astral Body is the same as the Kama Rupa and it is also called the “emotional body.” The term “astral” tends to be used as a synonym for “emotional” in this system of teaching. When the person is asleep at night he travels around the astral plane in his Astral Body and can eventually begin functioning consciously in his Astral Body. It is this – matching this description – which is utilised as a vehicle in astral travel, astral projection, and so forth.
* THE ETHERIC BODY
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: No mention of anything called an etheric body. No mention of anything matching the nature or description of the thing which is called the etheric body in the neo-Theosophy system.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The etheric body is the subtle, unseen “double” of the dense physical body. It is actually on the same level and plane as the physical but on a higher sub-plane than the dense physical. It is the form, mould, and blueprint upon and around which the dense physical body is built. The etheric body can also be thought of as the “vital body” or “energy body” of the human being because it is the vehicle through which Prana (vitality, life force, energy, etc.) flows to the physical body. It is inseparable from the dense physical body and cannot be used as a vehicle of consciousness. The “etheric body” and its corresponding “etheric plane” had never been heard of by anyone until the early 1900′s when C.W. Leadbeater claimed to have discovered them by clairvoyance.
* THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The human constitution consists of Seven Principles in total; a Spiritual Triad (the higher three Principles, which are immortal) and a Lower Quaternary (the lower four Principles, which last only for one lifetime). Briefly and without going into much detail, the Seven Principles are…
#7. Atma – Pure Spirit, the Self, Higher Self, literally one and the same as the Absolute.
#6. Buddhi – Spiritual Soul, the vehicle for the radiation of the divine light of the Atma. Atma + Buddhi = The Monad.
#5. Manas – Human Soul, the Ego, the permanent reincarnating Individuality, the mind and consciousness principle.
#4. Kama – Animal Soul, the desire/passional principle
#3. Prana – Vitality, life force.
#2. Linga Sharira – Astral Body, the Astral Double.
#1. Sthula Sharira – Physical Body, the outer shell.
It is taught that although the Atman is called the 7th Principle it is actually in reality the ONE and ONLY real Principle because it is the same as Brahman. Brahman is also referred to as Parabrahm or Parabrahman in Theosophy and Hinduism. According to the writings of the Masters, this teaching about the Seven Principles is of absolutely vital importance. They say that it is the fundamental foundation of the entire Esoteric Doctrine and that a right comprehension of Theosophy is dependent upon a right comprehension of the Seven Principles. Shortly before she passed away, HPB wrote that the teaching about the Seven Principles must not be changed or altered by future Theosophists. She said that to do so would be fatal and would bring about much chaos and confusion. The Seven Principles in man are the microcosmic correspondence of the Seven Principles of the Universe, or the macrocosm.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: A few years after the death of H.P. Blavatsky numerous splits occurred within the Theosophical movement. One of the main reasons for this was that the Adyar section of the Theosophical Society, presided over by Annie Besant, made a definite and conscious decision to abandon the original teachings of Theosophy in favour of the self-proclaimed clairvoyant discoveries of C.W. Leadbeater. These “discoveries” and “revelations” were without fail always contradictory to the things taught by Blavatsky and the Masters themselves. In so doing, the Adyar Society lost its right to the name “Theosophical Society” but the organisation continues to be known by that name to this day. It was with the Adyar Theosophical Society that Alice Bailey was associated. The majority of those who broke away joined the then newly formed Theosophical Society organisation headquartered in Point Loma (later in Pasadena), California, originally led by Katherine Tingley (who succeeded William Quan Judge) and later by G. de Purucker. The Point Loma Theosophical Society was determined to stay true to genuine Theosophy whilst the Adyar Society was determined to entirely rewrite the Theosophical teachings.
Neo-Theosophy (or pseudo-Theosophy as it is sometimes called) is the product of the Adyar Society ruled by Besant and Leadbeater and was later perpetuated and added to by Alice Bailey when she began her own movement. One of the first things Besant and Leadbeater did was to discard the teaching about the Seven Principles and rewrite the human constitution according to what Leadbeater claimed he saw with his clairvoyant powers. According to the neo-Theosophy system, the human being consists of…
- The Monad – Pure Spirit, the Divine Spark in man.
- Atma – The higher part of the soul, the force of spiritual will.
- Buddhi – The spiritual faculty of intuition.
- Higher Manas – Spiritual mind, situated within the Causal Body.
- Lower Manas – The Mental Body.
- Kama Rupa – The Astral Body.
- Etheric Body – The “double” of the physical body, the vehicle of Prana, which is unlisted.
- Physical Body – The outer shell.
* THE SEVEN PLANES
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The law of correspondence and analogy is one of the main features of genuine esoteric teaching and is also one of the main keys to its comprehension. The Seven Principles of the human being are the reflection in man of the Seven Principles of the manifested universe. These Seven Universal Principles can also be thought of as Seven Planes. In the original Theosophical teaching they are generally called the Seven Tattvas, which is the Hindu term. In accordance with the law of correspondence and analogy, they relate and correspond exactly to the Seven Principles in man. They are…
#7. Adi – corresponds to Atma (“Adi” means “First” in Sanskrit and Atma is always the first, the highest, and the supreme because it is the ONE Reality.)
#6. Anupadaka – corresponds to Buddhi
#5. Alaya – corresponds to Manas
#4. Vayu – corresponds to Kama
#3. Tejas – corresponds to Prana
#2. Apas – corresponds to Linga Sharira
#1. Prithivi – corresponds to Sthula Sharira
NEO-THEOSOPHY: There are Seven Planes but they do not perfectly correspond even to the neo-Theosophical human constitution, let alone to the original Seven Principles. They are also always numbered from #1 to #7 rather than #7 to #1. When talking about the Seven Planes, the neo-Theosophy system invariably starts at the bottom and works upwards, proceeding from particulars to universals, which is the Aristotelian method of doing things. Blavatsky and the Masters were always critical of Aristotle’s methodology and followed the Platonic approach of always proceeding from universals to particulars. Original Theosophy always begins with Parabrahm, the Absolute, the Infinite, the One Supreme Reality, and then works down the scale, eventually arriving at the physical and material. Neo-Theosophy always begins at the bottom and works upwards and thus it has no particular concept of the Absolute because it fails to start from the definite divine point. Thus it ends up talking about the Planetary Logos and then the Solar Logos and Solar Logoi and Cosmic Logos and Cosmic Logoi and Galactic Logos and Galactic Logoi and so on up the scale towards infinity, getting lost and stopping somewhere along the way, whereas genuine Theosophy and any philosophical system worthy of the name starts with the Infinite and then works downwards. The Seven Planes are given as…
#1. Adi – Divine Plane, the Plane of the Solar Logos
#2. Anupadaka – Monadic Plane
#3. Atmic Plane – Spiritual Plane
#4. Buddhic Plane – Intuitional Plane
#5. Manasic Plane – Mental Plane
#6. Astral Plane – Emotional Plane
#7. Physical Plane – Including Etheric and dense physical
* THE SEVEN RAYS
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The Seven Rays comprise the essence of the Universal Logos and they are themselves the entirety of the seven occult forces of the manifested universe. (“Occult” is simply a synonym for “esoteric” and as a word does not mean anything dark or evil; this was well understood by everyone until at some point in the 20th century the Christian Church, feeling threatened by the increasing popularity of esotericism, decided to turn the word “occult” into a bad word, equating it with evil and black magic but this is not what the word means and this is not how the word is used in Theosophical teaching.) The Seven Rays radiate from the Central Spiritual Sun – this being a descriptive term for the Universal Logos – and pervade the entire universe.
The names of the Seven Rays are Sushumna, Harikesa, Viswakarman, Viswatryarchas, Sannaddha, Sarvavasu, and Swaraj. In their more immediate connection with humanity, they can be thought of as Seven Hierarchies of Dhyan Chohans (spiritual/divine beings) presiding over the seven sacred planets of our solar system. These Seven Hierarchies are the source of the Seven Principles of man’s constitution and also of so much more. These Seven Rays or Seven Hierarchies are the seven Dhyani Buddhas, the seven Kumaras, the seven Archangels, the seven Elohim; which are all one and the same thing. In accordance with the law of analogy and correspondences, the colours of the Seven Rays correspond exactly to the seven prismatic colours in nature, thus…
1st Ray – Red
2nd Ray – Orange
3rd Ray – Yellow
4th Ray – Green
5th Ray – Blue
6th Ray – Indigo
7th Ray – Violet
The First Ray corresponds to the Kama Rupa principle and Mars, the Second Ray corresponds to the Prana principle and the Sun, the Third Ray corresponds to the Buddhi principle and Mercury, the Fourth Ray corresponds to Lower Manas and Saturn, the Fifth Ray corresponds to the Auric Egg and Jupiter, the Sixth Ray corresponds to Higher Manas and Venus, and the Seventh Ray corresponds to the Linga Sharira principle and the Moon or Vulcan. It is not asserted that humanity is now entering into the Seventh Ray period of its evolution and in fact certain statements by HPB and T. Subba Row imply that this is definitely not the case. The Rays are also never described in terms of representing “Will/Power,” “Love/Wisdom,” “Active Intelligence,” etc. as in the neo-Theosophy system. The concept and teaching of the Seven Rays originates in the deeper teachings of Hinduism and original Theosophy respects that.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The Seven Rays are the forces emanating from the seven sacred planets of our solar system. Each Planetary Logos can thus be thought of as embodying one of the Seven Rays. Their colours do not correspond to the order of the seven prismatic colours in nature but they are as follows…
1st Ray – Red
2nd Ray – Indigo
3rd Ray – Green
4th Ray – Yellow
5th Ray – Orange
6th Ray – ? (C.W. Leadbeater implies that it is a ruby colour while Alice Bailey writes that it is “a colour not disclosed.”)
7th Ray – Violet
The first three Rays are the Rays of the Solar Logos and our current solar system is the body and manifestation of the second of the Solar Logoi. The First Ray is the Ray of Will and Power, the Second Ray is the Ray of Love and Wisdom, the Third Ray is the Ray of Active Intelligence or Intelligent Activity, the Fourth Ray is the Ray of Harmony and Beauty, the Fifth Ray is the Ray of Science and Concrete Knowledge, the Sixth Ray is the Ray of Religious Devotion, while the Seventh Ray is the Ray of Ceremonial Magic, Law and Order.
It is asserted that the influence of the Seventh Ray is now becoming increasingly powerful over humanity and that this is a good thing and that ceremonial magic and religious ceremony should be taken seriously and viewed as important. HPB and the Masters, however, were strongly against ceremonial magic and had nothing but harsh criticism for it. The founding of the Liberal Catholic Church by C.W. Leadbeater and others, which as a so-called “Theosophical Church” became an integral part of the Adyar Theosophical Society, was purportedly due to the influence of the power of the incoming Seventh Ray and the so-called “Lord of the Seventh Ray.” The success of the Liberal Catholic Church was short-lived after it emerged that several of its main priests, including its co-founder Bishop Wedgwood who was a close friend of Leadbeater, were much more interested in sexually abusing young boys than in spiritual matters.
* THE SEVEN CHAKRAS
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: Each of the seven chakras is the corresponding focus or organ in the human body of one of the Seven Rays. To quote HPB, they are “the centres where the Seven Rays of the Logos vibrate.” They are located in the physical body although they are unseen with normal sight due to their subtle nature. The seven chakras which people usually speak of are just the objective reflection of the Seven Master Chakras which are all situated in the head. The names and colours of the regular seven chakras are…
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) – Violet
- Brow Chakra (Ajna) – Indigo
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) – Blue
- Heart Chakra (Anahata) – Green
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) – Yellow
- Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana) – Orange
- Base Chakra (Muladhara) – Red
Their colours correspond exactly to the seven prismatic colours in nature. The chakras are only mentioned very occasionally in original Theosophy and students are warned not to try to do anything to their chakras and not to try to focus on them in meditation or to try to force their awakening. Such practices belong to the realm of Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and other Tantric practices to which the Masters, in their own words, are “unanimously opposed.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The chakras are usually listed in the opposite order, i.e. from the base to the crown. Their colours do not correspond to the seven prismatic colours nor even to the neo-Theosophical colours of the Seven Rays. They are “force centres” and we have three sets of chakras, one set for each of our “lower bodies.” We have a set of etheric chakras in our etheric body, a set of astral chakras in our astral body, and a set of mental chakras in our mental body. The names and colours of the seven chakras are…
- Base Chakra (Muladhara) – Orange
- [The Sacral Chakra or Svadhisthana is always avoided, as it is deemed unwise for students to focus on it]
- Spleen Chakra (“discovered” by Leadbeater, no Sanskrit name) – Mixture of Yellow, Pink, Blue and Green
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) – Pink and Green
- Heart Chakra (Anahata) – Gold
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) – Silvery Blue
- Brow Chakra (Ajna) – Blue and Purple
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) – White and Gold
* GOD AND THE LOGOS
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The universe is not produced or governed by any sort of God but by absolute immutable Law. The term “God” is hardly used at all in original Theosophy and when it is it is usually in order to show how unphilosophical and impossible the commonly accepted notion of God is. In their own writings in their letters, the Master Koot Hoomi and Master Morya repeatedly deny the existence of God, criticise the use of the word “God,” and even describe people who believe in a personal and loving God as being “idiots.” They say that belief in God is one of the primary causes of evil and suffering in the world and spare no criticism for the Christian Church. In light of the demonic wrathful nature in which Jehovah is portrayed in the Bible, HPB and the Masters state that Jehovah is more of a devil than a god and write that “The title of ‘Satan’ belongs by right to Jehovah.”
The main Masters behind the Theosophical Movement make it very clear many times that they are strictly Buddhists and it is well known that Buddhism is a nontheistic religion. In accordance with esoteric Buddhism and esoteric Hinduism, it is taught that there is ONE Absolute Infinite Omnipresent Divine Principle. This is eternal and it is Absolute Life Itself. This is the Supreme, the Ultimate, the One Reality. It is entirely impersonal, without qualities, attributes, personality, or characteristics. These are all finite things and the Infinite can have nothing finite about Itself whatsoever or It ceases to be infinite.
It is generally called by the Hindu term Parabrahm or Brahman although sometimes as Adi-Buddha (the name given to this Absolute Consciousness in Tibetan Buddhism) or Ein Soph (literally meaning “The endless, boundless No-Thing,” the name given to It by the Kabbalists). The Absolute is EXISTENCE Itself and It should never be referred to as He or Him but always reverentially as It or That, which is how the Vedas and Upanishads of Hinduism refer to Brahman. It cannot be thought of or referred to as “God” because this would be highly misleading and would easily give rise to misunderstanding and misconceptions. When the universe comes into being, Parabrahm radiates forth the Logos from Itself. This is called the Universal Logos or Unmanifested Logos or First Logos. This Logos – which is also an impersonal divine Principle rather than a Being of any kind – is the all-ensouling Light and Life of the manifested universe. The term “Logos” by itself almost always refers to the Universal Logos. The term “Planetary Logos” is never used at all by HPB or the Masters and she uses the term “Solar Logos” only once, but in a very different way to how it is used in the neo-Theosophy system.
It is foolish and futile to focus on or give reverence to any Planetary Spirit or Solar Logos or Cosmic Logos, etc. because these are nothing more than temporary manifestations which will all disappear and cease to be when the planet, solar system, or universe comes to an end. Because their existence is but temporary and impermanent, it is taught that they are ultimately illusory when viewed from the higher perspective and that our attention and consciousness should instead be raised towards the Absolute because this is Who and What we are in our true Self.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: It is futile to focus on the Absolute because we can have no clear conception of it. We should accept instead that the Solar Logos is the highest form of God that man can adequately conceive of and we should refer to the Solar Logos as “God.” The Solar Logos, described as the Lord and Life of the solar system, is generally referred to as “He” and “Him” in these teachings. We should also focus on the Planetary Logos, who is the ensouling Life of our planet earth or our “planetary god.”
This Planetary Logos has a physical incarnation and representative of Himself called Sanat Kumara who performs the role of “Lord of the World” and lives at Shamballa. He is called “the Great King” by C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant and is even on occasion directly called “God” by Alice Bailey. This is the very thing which original Theosophy denounces as idolatry, superstition, and foolishness. No attention is given to the Universal Logos or to Parabrahm. HPB’s statements about the Planetary Spirit of our Earth being a low and spiritually undeveloped being are ignored and rejected. Leadbeater developed numerous prayers to the Solar Logos, along the lines of “O Thou kind and merciful Lord and Father in the Heavens, we give Thee thanks for Thy love and care…” etc.
* DEATH, AFTERLIFE, AND REBIRTH
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: A clear and accurate comprehension of the teaching about the Seven Principles is an essential requirement for a clear and accurate comprehension of what happens to us when we die. That which we call “death” is just a transition and a change of state and the only part of us that dies at “death” is the physical body (Sthula Sharira), which was nothing more than our outer shell anyway. The teaching of the Masters about the true nature of the process of death and the stages of the afterlife – including Kama Loka and Devachan – is so detailed and important that it would be unjust and impossible to try to summarise it here in merely a few lines. For a detailed yet simply explained summary of this teaching, please see the article “When We Die” at http://secretdoctrine.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/when-we-die/ .
NEO-THEOSOPHY: When the individual dies, their physical body and etheric body are left behind on earth and decompose and disintegrate in correspondence with one another. The Ego is now functioning in his astral body and enters into the astral plane. He is more or less fully conscious on the astral plane, knows old friends when he sees them, and makes new friendships. He usually has to remain on the astral plane for a long time, until his Ego “gets release” and can enter the higher state. The departed souls on the astral plane can see us all the time, they know whether we are happy or miserable, and they talk with us while we are asleep even if we are not aware of it. They often build astral lives for themselves and carry on as if they haven’t died, sometimes even forgetting or not being aware that they have died and are no longer on the physical plane.
Eventually the forces generated during earth life become exhausted, the astral body drops off, and the Ego enters into the mental plane, clothed in his mental body. The “Heaven World” is situated across the seven sub-planes of the mental plane. The lowest sub-plane is the lowest type of Heaven and the highest is the highest. Those souls who are spiritually evolved enough to be able to enter into one or other of the three higher levels of the Heaven World do so in their causal bodies. They then enjoy a period of heavenly bliss, the length of which is determined by the amount of positive Karma they accrued during the lifetime just ended, before eventually being reincarnated. In almost every respect the neo-Theosophical teaching about death and the afterlife is very contradictory to the teachings of original Theosophy and entirely denies and goes against what the Master Morya and Master Koot Hoomi wrote at length on this important topic in their letters. This teaching about the disembodied Ego’s conscious life and activities on the astral plane is very similar to the Spiritualist teaching about “Summerland” and in fact C.W. Leadbeater had been involved for a time with Spiritualism before becoming involved with Theosophy. It was he who introduced this teaching into the Theosophical Movement, or at least into the Adyar Theosophical movement.
* THE PATH OF INITIATION
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The Path of Initiation is the same thing as the Bodhisattva Path. It is also called the Path of the Arhats, the Path of Arhatship, the Path of Holiness. HPB and the Masters present initiation solely from this perspective, which is the Buddhist perspective. Initiation is the definite process of progressive and serious inner development and advancement that an individual undergoes over several lifetimes in order to be fitted to be a true server of the human race, an Adept and Mahatma. There are four main grades of initiation and it almost always takes seven lifetimes to achieve the fourth grade. These four grades are (1) The Srotapanna, (2) The Sakridagamin, (3) The Anagamin, (4) The Arhat. The Arhat is the highest grade of initiation that can be reached on this earth, although there are three further and higher grades/degrees of Arhatship, making seven degrees of initiation in total.
An Adept, a Mahatma, a Master of the Wisdom, is an Arhat of one grade or another. It will be very difficult indeed for anyone to reach beyond the first initial Arhat level during this Fifth Root Race. The utmost spiritual, mental, and moral purity is an essential requirement for progress on the Path of Initiation and the Masters make it clear that anyone who isn’t prepared to give up eating meat, drinking alcohol, and having sexual relations, may as well forget all about it. This is the same thing as the path of chelaship and HPB wrote honestly that almost all attempts at chelaship end in failure. It takes incredibly strong resolve and incredibly strong and entirely selfless determination, to live solely for the benefit of humanity. The Path of Initiation and all its different stages is beautifully described and taught in “The Voice of The Silence,” translated by Madame Blavatsky from “The Book of the Golden Precepts” used by the Esoteric Schools of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The seven grades or degrees of the Path of Initiation are (1) The Srotapanna, (2) The Sakridagamin, (3) The Anagamin, (4) The Arhat, (5) The Asekha, (6) The Chohan, (7) The Mahachohan, (8) The Buddha, (9) Planetary Lord, and beyond. This is the system taught by Leadbeater. Whereas the Masters and HPB stated that the Arhat is the highest grade of initiation on this earth and that attaining that 4th degree of initiation is what makes a person a Master and Adept, Leadbeater maintained that it is the 5th Initiation which makes a person a Master and Adept. According to him, the Masters of the Wisdom are not Arhats but belong chiefly to the Asekha grade and the Chohan grade. The Alice Bailey teachings present the Path of Initiation from a very Christian perspective, describing five main degrees under the names of (1) The Birth of the Christ, (2) The Baptism, (3) The Transfiguration, (4) The Crucifixion, (5) The Resurrection and Ascension. Like Leadbeater, she maintains that it is not the 4th initiation (which she equates with Arhatship) that makes a man a Master and Adept but rather the 5th Initiation.
* THE MASTERS
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: There is a hidden Esoteric Brotherhood in existence which guides and watches over the spiritual evolution and advancement of humanity. It consists of Masters, Adepts, Mahatmas; often generically referred to as the “Masters of the Wisdom.” The “Wisdom” in question is the Gupta Vidya (“Secret Knowledge” in Sanskrit), the Hidden Wisdom, the Esoteric Doctrine of which they are the initiates, guardians, and great Teachers. Although HPB – and of course the Masters themselves, in their writings – mention this fact, there is no great or frequent emphasis placed on the Masters and the Brotherhood in the original Theosophical teachings. The emphasis is placed on the Teaching itself, on the Esoteric Philosophy itself, and not on the Masters.
Details and descriptions about the Masters are almost entirely absent from original and genuine Theosophy, other than to stress that the Masters are living men in physical bodies, right here on our physical planet Earth, and that the particular Masters who are most closely and importantly connected with the Theosophical Movement are members of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood (also sometimes known as the Trans-Himalayan Lodge or Trans-Himalayan Esoteric School) with its main centre in Shigatse, Tibet. It is always made clear that the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood is an esoteric Buddhist Brotherhood, that it was first founded or organised in its present form by the great Tibetan Buddhist reformer Tsong Kha-pa in the 14th century, that it is vitally affiliated with the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) branch of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism and also connected in a certain way with the Panchen Lama, whose traditional seat is the Tashilhunpo Monastery at Shigatse. The Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood teaches that Tsong Kha-pa (who started the Panchen Lama lineage and founded the Gelugpas, as well as the Esoteric School) was a reincarnation of Gautama Buddha and thus they consider themselves to be true followers of Buddha and refer to the Lord Gautama as their “Great Patron.”
The Trans-Himalayan Lodge is the central and chief branch of the Great Brotherhood in its entirety but there are other lodges and centres around the world belonging to the Brotherhood, such as the Brotherhood of Luxor in Egypt, the Brotherhood of esoteric Hindu Masters and Initiates in India itself, and other countries besides. The Master Serapis Bey and Tuitit Bey were associated with the Egyptian Brotherhood; the Greek Master Hilarion (sometimes written as Illarion or Illarion Smerdis) was also associated with that Brotherhood in some way; an elderly Indian Master referred to as Narayan is mentioned in various regards, including as having been vitally involved with the writing of “Isis Unveiled,” Blavatsky’s first book; and she also knew a Hungarian Master (described as “a Magyar philosopher”) and a Master just referred to as “the Venetian.” None of these Masters just mentioned in this paragraph were ever mentioned or referred to by name or detail in any of HPB’s writings. The only reason we know these names and the few minor details we do know about them is from various archived letters sent to early Theosophists by some of these Masters and from private diary entries and references in private letters by HPB, her main associate Col. Olcott, and a few others.
As for the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood, it was the Master Morya and Master Koot Hoomi (also sometimes written Koot Humi or Kuthumi) who were most closely connected with the Theosophical Society and who had been HPB’s direct Teachers during her time in Tibet and who sent her forth into the world as their direct agent. The Master Morya is described as being Indian and the Master Koot Hoomi from Kashmir. For more information about them and their real nature, please see the article “Morya and Kuthumi: Fact not Fiction” at http://secretdoctrine.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/morya-and-kuthumi-fact-not-fiction/ An occasionally mentioned disciple of the Master K.H. was a Tibetan young man known as Djwhal Khul, who had been 15 years old and a monk in training at Tashilhunpo Monastery when HPB first met him. The Great Chief of Morya, Koot Hoomi, and the entire Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood is referred to by them as the Maha Chohan and also by numerous other Tibetan and Eastern terms of reverence and honour. The Maha Chohan, or the “great Lama Kut-te-Hum” and “Shaberon of Than-la” (please see my other articles on this site for further information about him), is described as an elderly Tibetan, although also of partially Slavic descent, and connected with the Tashilhunpo Monastery.
H.P. Blavatsky’s masterpiece work “The Secret Doctrine,” published in 1888, is described in written and signed statements by the Master Koot Hoomi and Master Morya as being written as a “triple production,” by themselves and HPB. The Master Morya writes that “The Secret Doctrine” was dictated to Blavatsky “partly by myself and partly by my Brother K.H.” Anyone who wants to know what the Masters of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood actually believe and teach can do no better than to study “The Secret Doctrine” and “The Mahatma Letters.” To quote from the article just mentioned: “Most Theosophists are familiar with the idea that the last quarter of every century provides a special opportunity for the Brotherhood to bring about new changes in the world, through a previously unknown aspect of spiritual teaching and understanding. It was stated in the Masters’ own words and also by Madame Blavatsky that the last 25 years of the 19th century would be the maximum possible duration of the Masters’ involvement with humanity at large and that after that point no new aspect of the Teaching (the Esoteric Doctrine) would or could be given out until the closing quarter of the next century, i.e. from 1975-2000. And they said that even this next effort (1975) was provisional, based on how humanity, spiritual people, and Theosophists themselves would react to and deal with the Teaching given out from 1875 onward. As the main branch of the Theosophical Society, under Annie Besant’s direction, made a conscious decision after HPB’s death to disregard, ignore, and virtually reject her teachings and those of her Masters, in favour of the self-proclaimed clairvoyant revelations of C.W. Leadbeater (which in turn became the root and source of the Alice Bailey teachings) and as even the vast majority of those who call themselves Theosophists or students of the Ageless Wisdom today have no idea of – or interest in –what the Masters themselves actually taught, and as spiritually interested people in general have proven themselves to often love fantasy more than reality, the Brotherhood and the Masters can hardly be blamed for deciding not to bother with the 1975 effort.”
The last known Mahatma Letter was received in 1900, nine years after HPB’s death and is the last legitimate contact and communication from the Masters on record. Written and signed by the Master Koot Hoomi, it tells Theosophists that all the talk and emphasis about “Masters” must be “silently and firmly put down” and reminds them that only a very few people can ever come to know the Masters because only a very few are ever sufficiently pure, spiritually evolved, and selfless enough to warrant such contact and communication. The letter goes on to say that all devotion and worship of the Masters is entirely wrong and must be stopped immediately and that the frequent references to the Masters and mention of their names “raises up a confused aura” that hinders their work in the world. In line with what HPB had always said, the Master states in this final communication that the emphasis and attention should most definitely not be on the Masters but on “that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The great Brotherhood of Masters is usually called the “Great White Brotherhood” by Leadbeater and Besant and the “Great White Lodge” by Bailey. Although both Leadbeater and Bailey claimed to be in close personal contact with some of the Masters and especially with the Trans-Himalayan Lodge, they never make any mention whatsoever of the fact that the Trans-Himalayan Lodge is specifically a School and Brotherhood of esoteric Buddhism. No mention whatsoever is ever made of Tashilhunpo Monastery, Tsong Kha-pa or the Panchen Lama and the book “The Masters and The Path,” published in 1925 by C.W. Leadbeater, even makes the strange and unsupported assertion that Madame Blavatsky had received her esoteric training in Nepal rather than Tibet.
In the neo-Theosophical system, the Masters of all the different branches of the Great Brotherhood are all subordinate to “The Lord Christ,” with Alice Bailey even presenting the Tibetan Djwhal Khul (strictly a Buddhist and rather anti-Christianity in reality) as saying “Christ is my great Lord and Master.” Alice Bailey also insists that the Master Djwhal Khul wants everyone to study the New Testament of the Christian Bible! It’s perhaps also worth mentioning that Bailey claims that Djwhal Khul reached the “5th Initiation” in 1875 and he thereupon became a Master and Adept. In a letter written in the 1880′s, however, HPB indicates that Djwhal Khul is only a chela of the “First Degree” which means the first and preliminary grade of initiation. He is never referred to as a Master in original Theosophy and Bailey’s claim that it was Djwhal Khul who dictated “The Secret Doctrine” to HPB is entirely contradicted by the written statements of the Master Koot Hoomi and Master Morya themselves.
Christ is a living being in a physical body, according to neo-Theosophy, and lives in seclusion in the Himalayas. He is purportedly the same individual as Maitreya and a different individual than Jesus. He overshadowed or indwelt Jesus during the three years of the latter’s public ministry 2,000 years ago and is now preparing to appear once again on the world scene and will do so in his own body and as himself according to Bailey. The Master Koot Hoomi is portrayed as being a close friend and associate of the Christ-Maitreya and as being his eventual successor. Koot Hoomi is very interested in Christianity and the Christian Churches, according to neo-Theosophy, and the fact that the real Master Koot Hoomi’s own words in “The Mahatma Letters” show just the opposite to be the case is conveniently ignored and unmentioned. He is described by Leadbeater as being one of the main inspirers (along with “Lord Christ” himself!) of the founding of the Liberal Catholic Church.
The real nature and person of the Maha Chohan is never mentioned in neo-Theosophy, with Leadbeater claiming that the Maha Chohan is actually a turbaned Indian man of youthful appearance, living near “Lord Maitreya the Christ” in the Himalayas. It is stated that this particular individual had held the hierarchical office of Maha Chohan since Atlantean times, thus implying that Blavatsky – and the Masters themselves in their letters! – were somehow entirely mistaken in everything they said about the Maha Chohan. The Bailey teachings agree with Leadbeater’s description of the Maha Chohan but later state that a different Master (namely the Master Racokzy, the name given to a character loosely based on HPB’s “Magyar philosopher” friend) assumed the role of Maha Chohan after 1925.
There is much emphasis on the hierarchical nature of the Brotherhood and it being structured according to the Seven Rays, with each Master belonging to one of the Rays and some of the Masters being presiding Chiefs or Lords over the various Rays. The Indian Master Narayan is referred to as the Master Jupiter in neo-Theosophy. Some entirely new Masters are introduced in this system, such as the Master Jesus, the Master P., an Irish Master, an English Master, and some others. They are all here on earth in physical bodies, with the Master Jesus being said to be currently incarnated in a Syrian body and living somewhere in the Middle East. According to Alice Bailey, the Master Jesus has plans to travel to Rome and to become the new Pope, thus ushering in a glorious new age for the Roman Catholic Church!
It is well known and factually corroborated – inasmuch as it can be – that the Master Morya was in London in 1851 around the time of the Great Exhibition and that this was when Madame Blavatsky, living in London at that time as a young woman, had her first face to face meeting with him. In his writings, C.W. Leadbeater claims that he too met the Master Morya in the same year in London and describes the event in detail. He states that he was only 4 years old at the time and that the Master Morya noticed him amongst a large crowd of people and gave him a certain message. It was only after Leadbeater’s death that it was discovered that he had consistently lied about his age and date of birth throughout his lengthy involvement with the Theosophical Society and that although he had always claimed to have been born in 1847 (the same year as Annie Besant, who believed – under Leadbeater’s urging – that they had both been incarnated in the same year because they shared a joint mission) he hadn’t actually been born until 1854. So much for the story (told with great detail and emotion) about meeting the Master Morya in 1851!
In neo-Theosophy, the Masters’ main aim and emphasis is not on the Esoteric Philosophy and Sacred Spiritual Science of the East (as in original Theosophy) but on preparing the world for the Second Coming of the Christ.
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: Maitreya is the Indian name given in Buddhism to the future Buddha who will follow after Gautama Buddha in distant ages to come. The original teachings of Theosophy say that Maitreya will be the Buddha of the sixth Root Race, just as Gautama is the Buddha of this present fifth Root Race. Maitreya is the same as the Kalki Avatar referred to in Hinduism (Hinduism describes Kalki as the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu or Narayana) and Sosiosh referred to in Zoroastrianism; the great Being who is due to appear at the end of the Kali Yuga and re-establish righteousness on earth at what will be a very important time for humanity. HPB and the Masters, in accordance here with the teachings of Hinduism, describe the Kali Yuga as a period of 432,000 years which – as of 2012 – has 426,886 years remaining. It is said that Maitreya will appear at the end of the Kali Yuga, which will be at a certain point during the sixth Root Race. HPB always emphasised the fact that this will be an extremely long time from now.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The notion of Maitreya and Christ being one and the same was entirely unknown throughout history until 1909 when C.W. Leadbeater announced that it had been revealed to him that Maitreya and Christ are two names for one distinct being and that this Christ-Maitreya is the Master of all the other Masters and the Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy on our planet. This idea naturally offends both Buddhists and Christians. It was at the same time, in 1909, that Leadbeater – who claimed personal acquaintance with the Lord Maitreya, apparently paying frequent visits in his astral body to Christ-Maitreya’s home in the Himalayan Mountains – began promulgating the teaching that the Christ’s “Second Coming” was going to occur very soon and that from his Himalayan home the Christ-Maitreya would spiritually overshadow and teach through a chosen human vehicle. The young Krishnamurti was the physical vehicle chosen for this, according to Leadbeater, but much to the annoyance and anger of Leadbeater (and to the great and lasting detriment of the Adyar Society, which lost 15,000 members during the period of Leadbeater’s influence) Krishnamurti eventually abdicated from this role that had been forced upon him and in later life would speak of Leadbeater as simply being “pure evil.”
Maitreya is described by Leadbeater as being fair skinned with long blonde hair, a beard, and “beautiful violet eyes.” It is the teaching of both Leadbeater and Alice Bailey that Maitreya will become the Buddha of the sixth Root Race but that he will first appear – or rather reappear – as the World Teacher of humanity during this fifth Root Race. The Buddhist teachings about Maitreya are entirely overlooked and unmentioned in the system of neo-Theosophy. According to Bailey, Maitreya made a definite decision at the Gemini Full Moon of 1945 to reappear publicly on the world scene as soon as the necessary preparations could be made. He will apparently fly in an aeroplane from his retreat in Asia and give mankind the new spiritual teaching it needs in order to bring about the civilisation and force of the New Age of Aquarius. Bailey’s book “The Externalisation of the Hierarchy” predicts that the Christ-Maitreya is not likely to make himself known to the world until some time after the year 2025. Alice Bailey, who readily admitted of her own accord that she was a committed Christian, preferred the name “Christ” to “Maitreya” and in many of her books he is referred to solely as “Christ” although elsewhere she makes it clear that she agrees entirely with Leadbeater about Christ and Maitreya being one and the same.
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: HPB and her Masters teach that Gautama Buddha is the greatest of all spiritual Teachers. They describe him as “the Saviour of the World,” “the Man of men,” and “the Great Patron” of all true Adepts. In calling him a “World Saviour,” they are not speaking in the same sense in which Christians speak of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the World through vicarious atonement but rather are referring to the fact that the Lord Gautama gave mankind the necessary and clear teaching and knowledge needed for its liberation from samsara and suffering and also to the fact that his teachings save and liberate man from the false belief in a personal or anthropomorphic God. The highest possible position, praise, and reverence is afforded to Gautama Buddha by the Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi, by Madame Blavatsky, and by the entire Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood and Esoteric School. They view Tsong Kha-pa as being a reincarnation of Gautama and subsequently give him due reverence also, as also to the Panchen Lama who they view as being a living representation and embodiment, in a certain way, of Tsong Kha-pa and the Buddha. Section VIII of the book “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett” includes a number of letters written by Masters, including a very brief note which appears to be from the Panchen Lama himself and in which the Panchen Lama (who is also known as the Tashi Lama) is referred to as “the most sublime high spiritual chief for the manifestations.”
The role of the Lord Gautama Buddha is of supreme and vital importance to humanity, according to original and genuine Theosophy, and in the third volume of “The Secret Doctrine” we find it written that he “lives to this day in his spiritual entity as a mysterious, unseen, yet overpowering presence among the Brotherhood of Shamballa, beyond, far beyond, the snowy-capped Himalayas.” He will remain to help humanity for thousands of years more until the coming of the Buddha Maitreya. He is not going anywhere…but, as we will see, Alice Bailey seems to want to get rid of the Buddha as soon as possible.
The actual nature of Gautama Buddha is described very differently in the two systems. In the article “Avatars and Buddhas” at http://secretdoctrine.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/avatars-and-buddhas/ I summarised the teachings of Blavatsky and the Masters about the spiritual nature of Gautama Buddha. To quote from part of that article:
“…when the time comes – once in each Epoch, each Root Race in other words – for a BUDDHA to manifest, one of the Seven Dhyani Buddhas or Seven Celestial Lords (and which one it is is predetermined by Cyclic Law) creates through the power of Dhyana (mystic meditation) a Bodhisattva, which we could think of in terms of being a direct “Spiritual Son,” emanated from the Dhyani Buddha.
This Bodhisattva has the mission to incarnate directly in a physical body on Earth and to then remain behind on Earth, after the death of the human body, to continue the work of the Buddha until the Buddha of the succeeding Root Race appears, many thousands of years later. The remaining Bodhisattva, lingering invisibly as a type of Nirmanakaya, may himself occasionally incarnate in (but not as) other individuals when necessary and when decreed by the Law of Karma.
In the case of the Buddha of this Fifth Root Race (the Aryan or Indo-Caucasian Root Race) the Dhyani Buddha is Amitabha Buddha – whose name means “Infinite Light” – and the Bodhisattva brought forth by his Dhyana manifested on Earth 2,600 years ago in the form of Siddhartha Gautama. Through his own efforts and trials during the first part of his life as well as in previous lifetimes, the human man Gautama assimilated and united himself completely and perfectly with the Bodhisattva and thus also with the Dhyani Buddha and so became enlightened and a human Buddha in his own right.
Since that incarnation, the “Gautama-Bodhisattva-Nirmanakaya” has incarnated himself more than once, firstly around 50 years after the death of the physical body of Gautama, as Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of the Advaita Vedanta system of Hinduism. This was necessary in order to tie up some “karmic loose ends” of Gautama. More could be said about this but this is not the place or time to do so. Shankaracharya chose to put off his body by his own free will at the age of 33 whereas in fact he was meant to have lived for 90 years.
A few hundred years later, out of compassion and the needs of suffering humanity, the Gautama-Bodhisattva-Nirmanakaya appeared in the form of the man Jehoshua, sometimes known as Yeshua or more popularly as Jesus, who himself had to die a violent death at the age of 33, due to the above, for such is the Law. Around 50 years after that, in order to tie up some “karmic loose ends” from the Jesus incarnation, the Bodhisattva appeared in the body of Apollonius of Tyana, who is referred to in the secret esoteric books of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood as Tiani-Tsang. And about 1,300 years later he incarnated himself in Tsong Kha-pa, the great reformer of Tibetan Buddhism and founder of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) branch of that religion, also the founder of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric School and the beginner of the Panchen Lama lineage. There have been other and lesser instances of the Gautama-Bodhisattva-Nirmanakaya’s direct involvement with humanity, when a sufficiently great need arose. We can see that his work often revolves around radical reformation and the re-establishment of universal divine Truth.
The next Buddha – many thousands of years from now, appearing at the end of the Kali Yuga and looked for in Hinduism as the Kalki Avatar – will be Maitreya, the Bodhisattvic manifestation on Earth of the Dhyani Buddha Amoghasiddhi.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: Buddha is relegated to a back seat in neo-Theosophy and is rarely mentioned, as the emphasis is on the Christ or “Lord Maitreya the Christ” as he is often called in this system of teaching. It is implied that Gautama Buddha has little in the way of real involvement with humanity these days and that he only properly visits the earth once a year, at the Wesak festival, hovering briefly over humanity before disappearing again until the same time next year. Alice Bailey is keen to emphasise in her teachings, however, that this will not be the case for much longer and that the Buddha’s annual visits will soon cease altogether (possibly even before the end of the 1940′s, according to her book “The Externalisation of the Hierarchy”) as his involvement with our earth has nearly come to an end and he is about to move on to a new role elsewhere in the solar system. The teachings of Buddha are only very rarely referred to in the neo-Theosophical writings and the fact of Buddha denying the existence of God and being entirely nontheistic in his approach and teachings is never mentioned. Instead, Leadbeater would like us to believe that he worshipped the Solar Logos, who is God in the neo-Theosophy system!
No mention is made of Tsong Kha-pa, the Panchen Lama, or anything to do with the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, nor about Gautama’s “reappearances” as Shankaracharya and others. The teaching about the Dhyani Buddhas and Gautama having been directly linked with Amitabha Buddha is rejected in favour of Leadbeater’s clairvoyant discoveries which purportedly showed him that Gautama was an ordinary man who developed himself spiritually over many lifetimes until he eventually passed the 7th Initiation and became a Bodhisattva and the World Teacher for humanity. Then, in his lifetime as Gautama 2,600 years ago, he gained the 8th Initiation (upon becoming enlightened) and this made him the Buddha for the 5th Root Race. The role of World Teacher was subsequently filled by the Christ-Maitreya who then overshadowed Jesus a few hundred years after Buddha’s death and gave what Leadbeater and Bailey considered to be a higher and more important teaching for humanity. Their implication, which is expanded on at some length in some of Alice Bailey’s books, is that Buddha’s message and teaching was incomplete but that it was satisfactorily completed by the teachings of Christ.
* SANAT KUMARA
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The seven Kumaras, including Sanat Kumara, are well known in Hinduism. H.P. Blavatsky speaks of them at length in “The Secret Doctrine” and states that they are one and the same group of Beings as the seven Dhyani Buddhas, the seven Archangels, and the seven Elohim, and that these are just different names for the same Seven. Sanat Kumara is not described as being the chief amongst them but it is indicated that Sanaka is the chief of the four exoteric Kumaras (consisting of Sanaka, Sanat Kumara, Sananda, and Sanatana) and that Sanat Sujata is the chief of the three esoteric Kumaras, the other two of that group being Sana and Kapila.
According to original Theosophy, they are the divine beings with which humanity is most concerned but none of them are described as dwelling at Shamballa. The Lord of Shamballa is a Great Being “which has to remain nameless.” This Great One is referred to as the Initiator, the Great Sacrifice, the Nameless One, the Wondrous Being, etc., and it is taught that he entered upon our globe in the early period of the Lemurian Root Race – prior to the awakening of individual consciousness in the general mass of humanity, which began to occur around the middle of that Root Race – into a physical body which had been created for him by Kriyashakti, in order to fulfill the most important and highest possible position here. He is not the Planetary Spirit of Earth but he is the Supreme Head of the hidden esoteric Brotherhood which guides the spiritual evolution and advancement of humanity. HPB made a point of explaining that the Lord of Shamballa she describes is NOT any of the seven Kumaras but is higher than all of them.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The seven Kumaras all live at Shamballa and their chief is Sanat Kumara, who is not only Lord of Shamballa but also Lord of the World. He is the physical incarnation and representative on Earth of the Planetary Logos and he came to our Earth from Venus in the middle of the Lemurian Root Race. This was 18-million years ago according to Alice Bailey and 6.5 million years ago according to C.W. Leadbeater. Leadbeater describes Sanat Kumara as descending to earth in a giant fiery chariot from the actual planet Venus, whereas Bailey states that he actually came from “the Venus globe of our Earth Chain” which is a concept unique to her. Neither HPB nor the Masters ever indicate any type of connection between the planet Venus and the Lord of Shamballa, nor between the planet Venus and Sanat Kumara. This concept is solely the invention of C.W. Leadbeater.
In neo-Theosophy, Sanat Kumara is also called “The Ancient of Days” but in original Theosophy this term refers to the Universal Logos. In Alice Bailey’s book “Initiation: Human and Solar” it is taught that Sanat Kumara is “a direct reflection of the One God,” that “none of us can pass beyond the radiance of his aura” and that it is in him that we live, move, and have our being. He is the Supreme Head of the spiritual hierarchy of our planet and is assisted by the six other Kumaras. Three of these are exoteric and actively involved whilst the other three are esoteric and withdrawn. In this system of teaching the three exoteric Kumaras are called the “Pratyeka Buddhas” and “Buddhas of Activity”. But the term “Pratyeka Buddha,” taken from Buddhism itself, actually means a Buddha of selfishness and refers to someone who seeks and attains enlightenment solely for their own liberation and personal benefit and without having compassion for suffering humanity. This is clearly explained in HPB’s works such as “The Voice of the Silence” where it is shown that a Pratyeka Buddha is the very opposite and antithesis of a Bodhisattva.
Individuals who become Pratyeka Buddhas are held in disregard in Buddhism, precisely for these reasons, yet Annie Besant and Leadbeater maintained – with absolutely no grounds whatsoever for their assertion – that HPB was incorrect and entirely mistaken in what she said about Pratyeka Buddhas and that Pratyeka Buddhas are in fact high spiritual beings. Anyone who researches the matter for themselves can soon see that it was Besant and neo-Theosophy in general which was incorrect and entirely mistaken in its understanding of the Pratyeka Buddhas. This is but one of a number of reasons why most Buddhists view neo-Theosophy as an ignorant and fantastical teaching. The gross misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the seven Kumaras is similarly one of numerous reasons why most Hindus view neo-Theosophy in the same way. The awakening of individual consciousness in the general mass of humanity was purportedly the direct result of the coming of Sanat Kumara who was accompanied by “a group of other highly evolved Entities” and 60-billion Solar Angels who provided animal-man with the egoic consciousness which enabled him to become a true human being.
* THE MANU
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The Manus are the Progenitors of life and are directly involved with the evolution of humanity and particularly the Rounds of a Planetary Chain and the various Root Races that arise on the globes of the chain during a manvantara. The concept of the Manu comes from Hinduism. In “The Secret Doctrine,” Vaivasvata Manu is especially referred to and it is taught that Vaivasvata is the Manu of the entire 4th Round of this 4th Chain. In this capacity he is called the Root Manu. There is another Vaivasvata Manu referred to, who is the Manu of our present 5th Root Race (the Aryan or Indo-Caucasian Root Race) and who is not the same as THE Vaivasvata Manu but who is “one of the 49 Manus emanated from this Root-Manu.” HPB repeats that it would be a major mistake for us to imagine that the Manu is some sort of being or individual or person. The Manus are “manifested Energies of the LOGOS.” HPB stresses that “the reader must always remember that Manu is not a man but collective humanity.”
The nature and functions of the Root Manu can only be properly understood if we clearly understand the nature and functions of the Lunar Pitris, the very highest class of Monads from the Moon Chain, the planetary chain which preceded our own. It is the Lunar Pitris who are the progenitors of mankind at the beginning of the 4th Round on our globe and these Lunar Pitris – collectively and symbolically – are the Root Manu of the 4th Round, also known as Vaivasvata Manu. This is clarified even further by HPB in her “Secret Doctrine Commentaries” where she says, “Manu is not individuality. It is not one. It is the whole of mankind. … Certainly, it is not an individual. … these Manus are simply figures of speech – they are symbols, the beginning of humanity [the Root Manu] and the end [the Seed Manu], and the Manus are simply synonymous with the Pitris, the fathers, the progenitors of mankind, the Lunar ancestors. These are Manus.”
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The concept of the Root Manu and Seed Manu seems to be entirely unmentioned in neo-Theosophy and the Manu is only spoken of in terms of the Root Race Manu. In this system of teaching, Vaivasvata Manu is most definitely a specific individual being. In complete contradiction to what HPB and the Masters taught, C.W. Leadbeater informs his readers that “…a kingly figure is the Lord Vaivasvata Manu, the Ruler of the fifth root race, who is the tallest of all the Adepts, being six feet eight inches in height, and perfectly proportioned. He is the Representative Man of our Race, its prototype, and every member of that race is directly descended from him. The Manu has a very striking face of great power, with an acquiline nose, a full and flowing brown beard, brown eyes, and a magnificent head of leonine poise. ‘Tall is he,’ says Dr. Besant, ‘and of King-like majesty, with eyes piercing as an eagle’s, tawny and brilliant with golden lights.’ He is living at present in the Himalaya mountains, not far from the house of his great Brother, the Lord Maitreya.”
Alice Bailey taught the exact same thing about the Manu. Leadbeater further shows that he either genuinely didn’t understand the teaching in “The Secret Doctrine” or that he purposely wanted to misrepresent and alter it, when he says, “Another such regal figure is the Lord Chakshusha Manu, the Manu of the fourth root race, who is Chinese by birth, and of very high caste. He has the high Mongolian cheek-bones, and his face looks as though it were delicately carven from old ivory. He generally wears magnificent robes of flowing cloth-of-gold.” “The Secret Doctrine” teaches that Chakshusha (also spelt Chackchuska) was the Seed Manu at the end of the 3rd Round and not the Manu of the 4th Root Race (the Atlantean) during this 4th Round. Either way, original Theosophy maintains that the Manu is never a being or an individual.
* EAST vs WEST
ORIGINAL THEOSOPHY: The Masters behind the Theosophical Movement, along with HPB and the original Theosophists, are very pro-Eastern and pro-Indian and have very little in the way of positive things to say about the West. Master Koot Hoomi and Master Morya make it clear throughout the Mahatma Letters that their teachings are exclusively Eastern in nature and that they give next to no credence to Western religion and spirituality, even Western esotericism, which they regard as a severely diluted and weakened form of Eastern esotericism. This is echoed by HPB in her own writings and “The Secret Doctrine” could largely be considered a book of esoteric Hinduism. At one point in it she writes, “Whither can we turn to trace these theosophic ideas to their very root – better than to old Indian wisdom? We say it again: archaic Occultism would remain incomprehensible to all, if it were rendered otherwise than through the channels of Buddhism and Hinduism. For the former is the emanation of the latter; and both are children of one mother – ancient Lemuro-Atlantean Wisdom.”
The original Theosophical teachings were distinctly Eastern in flavour and provided the first introduction of Eastern spirituality to the West. One of the listed purposes of the Theosophical Society when it was founded was “to study and propagate the spiritual teachings of the East, especially those of India.” Mahatma Gandhi stated that it was reading HPB’s “The Key to Theosophy” which convinced him of the greatness and truth of his own Hindu religion and saved him from being converted by the Christian missionaries. He went on record as saying “Theosophy is Hinduism at its best.” At the end of that book, Blavatsky wrote that the Theosophical Society would continue to advance and grow and change the world with no end in sight over the course of the coming 20th century, AS LONG as her successors didn’t try to westernise the teachings or present them within the frameworks of their own ingrained religious preferences.
The following are just a handful of quotations which illustrate the attitude of genuine Theosophy on this matter…
“The Hindu [used here as a synonym for Indian] mind is pre-eminently open to the quick and clear perception of the most transcendental, the most abstruse metaphysical truths. Some of the most unlettered ones will seize at a glance that which would often escape the best Western metaphysician. You [i.e. Westerners] may be, and most assuredly are our superiors in every branch of physical knowledge; in spiritual sciences we were, are and always will be your MASTERS.” – Master Koot Hoomi, “The Mahatma Letters”
“Hindus [used here as a synonym for Indians] are spiritually intellectual and we [i.e. Europeans, Westerners] physically spiritual. Spiritually they are immensely higher than we are. The physical point of evolution we have reached only now – they have reached it 100,000 years ago, perhaps. And what they are now spiritually you may not hope to reach in Europe before some millenniums yet. They are almost ready for the evolution of their sixth race units, and Europe has yet to whistle for them and must thank her stars for evoluting even occasionally Hindu like spiritual and beautiful characters.” – H.P. Blavatsky, “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett”
“For as at first she [India] was a receptacle from which was taken an enormous treasure in material wealth and goods, so at the last her treasures of literature and philosophy are destined to cover the lands of English-speaking peoples, to infiltrate into the western mind, and finally drive out the puerile, degrading dogmas of Christendom, replacing them with a noble and elevating scheme of philosophy which alone can save the world.” – William Quan Judge, “Echoes of the Orient, Vol. 1”
“You can do immense good by helping to give the Western nations a secure basis upon which to reconstruct their crumbling faith. And what they need is the evidence that Asiatic psychology alone supplies. Give this, and you will confer happiness of mind on thousands… This is the moment to guide the recurrent impulse which must soon come and which will push the age towards extreme atheism, or drag it back to extreme sacerdotalism, if it is not led to the primitive soul-satisfying philosophy of the Aryans [i.e. Indians].” – Master Koot Hoomi, a letter quoted in “The Occult World” by A.P. Sinnett
“The fountain is old India, and to that the members of the Theosophical Society who are not only desirous of saving time but also of aiding the sages of the past in the evolution of doctrines which, applied to our great new civilization, can alone save it from failure, will bend themselves to the task of carrying out our second object – the investigation of Aryan [i.e. Indian] literature, religion, and science.” – William Quan Judge, “Echoes of the Orient, Vol. 1”
“The Oriental philosophy is the sole panacea for the spiritual sickness that now affects the Western mind. The more they examine it, the more will they find that upon its solid basis of absolute truth alone can they rebuild the structure of religious thought which has been shattered by modern science.” – T. Subba Row, “T. Subba Row Collected Writings, Vol. 2”
We should add here that the word “Aryan” does not mean a “perfect race” of blonde haired, blue eyed, fair skinned people. Hitler misappropriated and misrepresented the word and gave it this false meaning. In its actual and historical sense, the word “Aryan” means “Indian.” Ancient India was called Aryavarta and the Aryans were the inhabitants of this land. Whenever the term “Aryan” is used in Theosophy, it refers to India and her people. In Victorian times and indeed into the 20th century, the word “Hindu” was also sometimes used as a synonym for “Indian,” even though it was widely understood that not all Indians belong to the Hindu religion.
The idea of synthesising Eastern and Western spirituality was most definitely not the aim of the Masters or HPB or the Theosophical Movement. They repeatedly make it clear that the influence of Eastern spirituality alone is what the West needs and that they would not be prepared to compromise the Eastern teachings in any sense. While the original Theosophy is certainly not against Western forms of esotericism such as the Kabbalah and the Gnostics, it views these as diluted and weakened forms of the Eastern spiritual philosophy which preceded them and as only representing the rudiments of genuine esotericism. The deeper and esoteric teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism are the base and foundation for most of the original teachings of Theosophy and HPB taught that no-one can correctly understand the Kabbalah or other Western esoteric philosophies without having made a detailed and lengthy study of the scriptures and teachings of Hinduism, particularly the Vedanta philosophy which she once described as “the highest philosophy on earth.”
The Bible, the Christian Church, the Christian priesthood, the doctrines of Christianity, and Christians in general…all these are subject to quite frequent and rather scathing criticism from the Masters and HPB. They particularly view the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican as an enemy of spiritual truth and spiritual freedom and an enemy of humanity.
NEO-THEOSOPHY: The neo-Theosophy system naturally includes foundational teachings derived from original Theosophy and the East, such as karma, reincarnation, and so forth, but it differs by emphasising the importance of synthesising East and West. The main formulators of the neo-Theosophical teachings – C.W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant, and Alice Bailey – all came from very Christian backgrounds (Leadbeater had been a priest in the Church of England, Besant had been married to a Church of England minister, and Bailey had in her own words been “a rabid fundamentalist Christian” and an evangelical Christian missionary) and were all intent on Westernising and Christianising the teachings of Theosophy, something which would have been totally unthinkable and unacceptable to Blavatsky and her great Teachers in Tibet.
Krishnamurti’s father viewed the Theosophical Society at Adyar as “a strange quasi-Christian sect,” which could never have been anyone’s opinion during Blavatsky’s day and which could never be anyone’s opinion about the other Theosophical Society (Pasadena/Point Loma) which broke away from Adyar. As we’ve seen from the above sections and elsewhere, neo-Theosophy is quite in favour of Christianity and even of the Christian priesthood, as evidenced by Leadbeater’s Liberal Catholic Church, Bailey’s teachings about the Master Jesus planning to become the Pope and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church (which obviously insinuates that the Roman Catholic is the Church which Jesus himself prefers!), and the overriding emphasis on the Second Coming of the Christ as the World Teacher for the Aquarian Age.
All this and more has led some to come to the conclusion that C.W. Leadbeater and Alice Bailey were both used as “agents” by a certain Christian Occult society – quite possibly the Jesuits (HPB states firmly that the Jesuits pose a very real threat to everything) – to infiltrate the Theosophical movement and lead it and its members entirely off track as much as possible, quashing the movement’s original and intended influence and effectiveness to bring about real and important spiritual change in the world, while promoting the name of Christ and Christianity in order to keep people’s focus away from genuine Eastern esotericism.
Whenever Blavatsky is mentioned in the writings of Bailey, Besant, and Leadbeater, it is often in a somewhat subtly depreciating way and sometimes even in a plainly critical way. Annie Besant took it upon herself to seriously edit and reissue HPB’s books, claiming – on no valid grounds whatsoever – that they contained a multitude of errors which she alone was capable of rectifying. As staggering as it may sound, Besant made 30,000 alterations or so-called “minor corrections” to the original text of “The Secret Doctrine.” Many alterations were also made to “The Voice of The Silence,” “The Key to Theosophy,” and other works that had been written by HPB under the direct supervision, inspiration, and endorsement of the Masters. In his article titled “Annie Besant’s Corruption of The Secret Doctrine,” Dr H.N. Stokes wrote that “In all probability Annie Besant’s ‘revision’ of H.P. Blavatsky’s original edition of The Secret Doctrine constitutes the most colossal case of corruption of an original text to be found in history. … Some of the changes… can only be construed as deliberate and intentional suppressions and corruptions of the original text. … It is almost impossible to comprehend the colossal conceit, the limitless contempt for common literary decency which could have inspired such an act of vandalism, to say nothing of such disrespect for the Master whom she [Besant] professes to venerate.”
In the 1920′s, Annie Besant authorised the publishing and sale of certain books which criticised and attacked Madame Blavatsky and to this day a number of anti-Blavatsky books can be found for sale at the Adyar headquarters. The publishing company belonging to the Adyar Society is called Theosophical Publishing House (TPH) and I always advise people who want to read and study HPB’s teachings to avoid buying any of her books from TPH but to instead get the editions that are published by Theosophical University Press. This is the publishing company belonging to the Pasadena Society and it is the only publisher which is actively engaged in publishing the authentic, verbatim, unabridged and unedited writings of HPB.
There is much more that could be said but there seems little point in doing so just now, seeing as even the facts already mentioned above are likely to just be brushed aside, ignored, and swiftly forgotten about by those who prefer fantasy to reality. In closing, we will just briefly touch upon some further points of important difference and discrepancy between the two teachings.
* NATURE AND EVOLUTION OF THE ANGELS – Neo-Theosophy teaches that the angels are a parallel and distinct evolution to ours, evolving along their own lines and not through the human kingdom. Original Theosophy teaches that no entity can evolve except through becoming a human being and passing through an extremely long cycle of evolution and development in the human kingdom. It teaches that those who are angelic beings today were “men” (although obviously a rather different type of men to ourselves) in preceding manvantaras.
* SEVEN SACRED PLANETS – HPB in “The Secret Doctrine” specifically states that neither Neptune nor Uranus are amongst the seven sacred planets and explains the reasons why this is. C.W. Leadbeater, however, taught that Neptune and Uranus are amongst the seven sacred planets. Alice Bailey’s teachings actually agree with HPB’s on this particular point.
* CHRIST – According to original Theosophy there is no Being in existence called “Christ” but this word can be applied to the divine Principle in man, i.e. as a synonym for the 7th Principle also known as the Atman or Higher Self. Neo-Theosophists use the term “Christ” in various ways but mainly as a name for their Lord Maitreya, the supposed World Teacher and “Master of the Masters.”
* SHAMBALLA – All Theosophical teachings agree that the sacred centre of Shamballa is located in the region of the Gobi Desert, yet according to Bailey it exists on the “etheric” level, in “matter of the second ether” rather than the physical objective plane. HPB maintains that Shamballa is a physical location on the dense physical plane, albeit entirely inaccessible to all but the suitably initiated few.
* INFLUENCE OF THE MOON – In “The Mahatma Letters” the Master Koot Hoomi says, “If only you could know the full extent of the pernicious influence of the moon!” In various places HPB talks at some length about the very real, unpleasant and “vampirising” influence of the dead and decaying planetary shell which we call our moon. The Alice Bailey teachings maintain that the moon doesn’t actually have any real pernicious influence at all and that it is only mankind’s “negative thoughtforms” which cause it to seem to have such an influence.
* THE THREE FIRES – Original Theosophy teaches about the Three Fires which are described in various Hindu scriptures as Pavamana (Fire by Friction), Suchi (Solar Fire), and Pavaka (Electric Fire). It is taught by HPB that the Electric Fire is the lowest and least spiritual of the Three Fires and that it “is the fire which burns in EARTH.” Solar Fire holds an intermediary position and is “the fire of passion and animal instinct,” the giver of the Kama principle. It’s taught by HPB and the Masters in “The Secret Doctrine” that the highest of the Three Fires is Fire by Friction. This is described as “Living Fire,” “Spiritual Fire,” and this “alone makes of man a divine and perfect entity.” It relates to Manas and Buddhi, the 5th and 6th Principles of the human constitution. Alice Bailey’s book “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire” reverses the order of importance of the Three Fires and describes Fire by Friction as being the lowest, the least spiritual and most material. It is referred to in more or less the same way as HPB refers to Electric Fire. The Solar Fire is not the giver of the Kama principle but of Manas, according to Bailey, and it is Electric Fire which is the highest and the Spiritual Fire.
* PRAYER – HPB writes in “The Key to Theosophy” that Theosophists do not believe in prayer. The original teachings of Theosophy believe in the value of communing with our Higher Self but this is a form of meditation rather than prayer. It is futile and a waste of time to pray and to ask the Divine to do things, seeing as the Absolute is “beyond the reach of words and works” according to the Upanishads and since everything proceeds according to the Law of Karma, not according to mankind’s prayers. This teaching is explained in more detail in the article “An Esoteric Perspective on Guardian Angels and Prayer” at http://secretdoctrine.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/an-esoteric-perspective-on-guardian-angels-prayer/ . Neo-Theosophy believes to some extent in the value and efficacy of prayer and C.W. Leadbeater composed numerous Catholic style prayers to the Solar Logos and to the Christ.
* TANTRIC PRACTICES – One of the “Rules for Applicants” in Bailey’s first book “Initiation: Human and Solar” is explained by her as meaning “literally the control by the initiate of the sex impulse, as usually understood, and the transference of the fire which now normally vitalises the generative organs to the throat centre, thus leading to creation upon the mental plane through the agency of mind.” Regarding this, Alice Leighton Cleather (who had been one of the twelve specially chosen members of HPB’s Inner Group of esoteric students) in her book “The Pseudo-Occultism of Mrs A. Bailey” writes, “No words of mine could be half strong enough to condemn the advice here given to all and sundry in a printed book. The ‘transference’ advised is probably the most dangerous in the processes of Black Magic, which is distinguished from White by its use of the sex forces. It is found in such Tantrik works as The Serpent Power, by ‘Arthur Avalon’ (the late Sir John Woodroffe, an Indian Judge), against the terrible dangers of which H.P. Blavatsky so constantly warns her readers and pupils. In most cases she says that such an attempt as above described would have a fatal result. For this one passage alone Mrs Bailey deserves the severest condemnation. She is indeed playing with fire – the Fire of Kundalini, which, as H.P. Blavatsky says, ‘can as easily kill as it can create’.”
Bailey quotes numerous times from Arthur Avalon’s “The Serpent Power” book in her own books and that book is even recommended and sold today by various esoteric schools based on the Alice Bailey teachings, in spite of the fact that its teachings, instructions, and exercises are exactly what HPB described in no uncertain terms as black magic. Leadbeater hints at the supposed efficacy of this type of tantric practice in some of his own writings, suggesting that when a person feels the force of the sexual urge arising within them they should endeavour to raise that energy up to the crown chakra in order to bring about spiritual illumination. This again would be viewed as black magic and highly dangerous by all pure esotericists and HPB taught that the sexual urge should be ignored and transcended entirely by those on the path of spiritual development and that any attempt to make “spiritual use” of the sexual forces could quite easily result in the loss of the soul.
Also, the act of masturbation by an esoteric student is likened to the “unpardonable sin” (a term used in Christianity) by the Masters and HPB. The details of C.W. Leadbeater’s secret involvement with a “sexual magic” group in Australia, his private teaching and recommendation to certain specially selected adult members of the Adyar Theosophical Society of masturbation as a means for spiritual growth, his recommendation of masturbation to prepubescent and teenage boys, as well as the secret ritual masturbation circles he led for his boy pupils and the various acts of sexual abuse he committed against boys, are thus best left untouched upon here. Anyone seeking further details and confirmation about the unsavoury nature of Leadbeater can find them in Gregory Tillett’s expansive and thoroughly researched biographical study of him, first published as the book “The Elder Brother” but expanded upon online, and in Alice Leighton Cleather’s book “H.P. Blavatsky – A Great Betrayal” and indeed also in news reports and Theosophical publications from during his lifetime. He admitted on record and under oath in 1906 that he had performed masturbatory acts on young boys who were supposed to be under his spiritual tutelage and was subsequently expelled in disgrace from the Theosophical Society, only to be later readmitted and raised to a place of prominence by Annie Besant.
* CYCLIC & KARMIC LAW vs THE POWER OF INVOCATION – Original Theosophy teaches that the various great events in the evolutionary progress of our earth and its humanity all occur according to cyclic law which in its turn is inextricably linked with past Karma. Events such as the appearance of a Buddha or the coming of an Avatar are strictly determined by this and cannot just happen randomly or just because mankind seems to be in need. No amount of prayer or invocation can alter cyclic and karmic law and cause things to happen sooner or at a different time than scheduled by the great Law. Neo-Theosophy teaches the opposite and also makes next to no mention of the Yugas and the cycles of time that HPB taught about at some length. Alice Bailey wrote and publicised a type of prayer which she called “The Great Invocation” which is supposedly a call to the Christ-Maitreya for his soon reappearance on the world scene. The implication in the Alice Bailey books is that the more people recite the Great Invocation on a daily basis the swifter and easier it will be for the Christ to return among men because the energies released by the Great Invocation will prepare the way for this to happen. She also wrote, more disturbingly, that the explosion of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima was a wonderful event, a truly glorious occurrence for humanity, and that it would prove to be vitally instrumental and beneficial in releasing the energies of the Aquarian Age.
- – -
“No theosophical association has any raison d’etre if it does not remain true to the Masters and their teaching. There are some who seem to believe that it is possible to be faithful to the Masters while denying even the theoretical truth of their teaching. The Mahatma Letters… proves beyond question that H.P.B.’s writings are absolutely consistent with the Masters’ teachings… That is why the teaching of H.P.B. ‘remains for us the test and criterion of Theosophy,’ by which all other teaching on the subject must be judged. After all, if the Masters do not know what Theosophy is, no one does, because in its essence, purity and completeness it is alone contained in the secret teaching of which the Guardians are the Masters Themselves. [H.P.B.] urges that those who intend at all costs to remain true to the original programme of the Society – i.e. to the Masters and their teaching – should found Lodges devoted to that purpose alone. Exactly the same should be done in our own day as a solution of present difficulties. Therefore, all the world over, let the lovers of the Wisdom of H.P.B. unite, whether they be in or out of the Theosophical Society; let them found Lodges which shall be places apart, sanctified by devotion to the Truth and the Cause of the Brotherhood of Humanity, while seeking their knowledge from her writings, which contain all and far more than is necessary for the instruction of Theosophists.”
– A. Trevor Barker, from the Introduction to “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett”
- – -
I have had the idea to possibly try to build up a sort of network by gathering the contact details of interested individuals who are active students of the teachings of HPB and her Masters and then distributing this contact list to anyone who wishes to be added to it, so that followers of the original Theosophy teachings can make contact with one another, share thoughts, ideas, and perspectives with one another, and ideally even combine forces in some way to help re-present these teachings to the world in the 21st century. Who knows what good may come of it? It may lead to the formation of online study groups, valuable new friendships amongst Theosophists, and even the formation of discussion groups and study groups in different locations around the world. I’m not proposing any type of organisation or leadership or structure…simply a contact list of Blavatsky/Masters students which can be forwarded to all those who request to be added to the list.
If this sounds interesting and appealing to you as you read this, please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com This month of November marks the 137th anniversary of the birth of the Theosophical Movement. The movement is by no means dead but there are many students of the original genuine Theosophy scattered around the world who aren’t in contact or communication with any fellow students, simply because they don’t know any. The idea I’m proposing here may be a way to change that and may be a way of breathing some new life and vitality into things.
By MW, November 2012
NOTE: Many Alice Bailey students are also keen on the books published by Helena Roerich and her Agni Yoga Society and it may be asked where the Agni Yoga teachings fit into the whole Theosophy/neo-Theosophy issue. The answer is that they don’t. Helena Roerich was a lifelong supporter and promoter of HPB’s work and undertook the monumental task of translating “The Secret Doctrine” into Russian yet the Agni Yoga teachings are contradictory in quite a number of regards to both original Theosophy and neo-Theosophy (which could perhaps more accurately be designated as Leadbeaterosophy, since it is almost all derived from him). It may be of interest to point out that Helena Roerich was strongly against Alice Bailey’s work and in private letters described Bailey and her organisation as “a messenger of satan”!
She was also of the opinion that Bailey’s alleged “Tibetan Master” inspirer was in reality an adept of the Black Lodge. Roerich also had a very negative view of C.W. Leadbeater and considered him “an enemy of the Teaching.” It may be significant that she herself once admitted that “Blavatsky was the only one who really knew exactly what she was talking about.” When we see various people publishing different and always contradictory teachings and claiming to be doing so under the direct inspiration and dictation of the Masters, we should perhaps bear in mind the emphatic declaration by HPB that “Once I’m dead you can all go and whistle for the Masters!”