Critique of Theosophy

On 07/12/13 I was shocked to find out that Light recommends a long list of Alice Bailey’s works.  I have looked askance at her ever since an article in Venture Inward years ago practically credited her with inventing the concept of “New Age.”

In the next several days, I read extensively at Wikipedia and elsewhere about Bailey and about Theosophy.  Theosophy is a movement founded by Helena P. Blavatsky (“HPB,” “Mme. Blavatsky”).  Bailey was involved with Theosophy for about five years, during which time she quickly attained high offices.

The following may not be completely accurate, but is the best I could adduce from the various articles I read.  This was not my first encounter with Theosophy.

All or parts of many Wikipedia articles were obviously written or re-written by Theosophists themselves.  It’s not hard at all to tell which articles or parts of articles are in question.  Like Scientologists, they are meticulous, thorough, and zealous to guard the movement’s reputation.

HPB and Alice Bailey were both incredibly prolific.

The Mahatma Letters are treatises from Masters of Wisdom addressed to various students in response to questions. They apparently materialized in HPB’s presence out of thin air. There are seven rays, not counting the five additional ones someone said were secret.  Each ray corresponds to one color of the rainbow, one note in the diatonic scale, one day of the week, one or more planets of the solar system, one or more signs of the Zodiac, one or more of the Masters, and one collection of abstract principles.  There are six or seven levels of the soul.  Nine degrees of Masters, who dwell in the Pure Lands.  A Master of the sixth degree can access the sixth dimension; of the seventh degree, the seventh; and so on.

It goes on and on; there is simply no end to the number of concepts to be learned.  One can devote all one’s energies for a lifetime just to master the vocabulary.

I have the same complaint about some approaches to Qabala.

I find nothing about application.

On the one hand, Occam’s Razor is a principle that states that in any situation, the simplest solution — the explanation that depends on the smallest number of propositions — is to be preferred.  Years ago, when I was publishing the “Daily Lessons,” a Bible study for my congregation, I had to consider that a sizable portion of our members are mentally retarded.  I needed to make it simple enough for them to use.  Whatever God requires of human beings, whatever one must know to grow spiritually, must also be simple enough for them to understand.

On the other hand, the just-said pertains to the world of ideas.  As to the world of feelings, everything I know about spiritual growth right now focuses on managing my emotions.  It’s affective work.  It’s one thing to know that I must love my neighbor; it’s another thing to know how to love him, and yet another thing to actually love him.  I find nothing about this in Theosophy.

As to the world of concrete actions:  I’m homeless.

Matthew 25:35-40 is a pivotal Christian text:

[Jesus said,] “‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. … [J]ust as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”

Nothing in Theosophy corresponds to this.

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