Originally published in pamphlet form in 1929 under the title
THE PSEUDO-OCCULTISM OF MRS A. BAILEY
By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump
Introductory Note. By J.C. Miller.
Notes on “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”. By Basil Crump.
Additional Notes. By A.L. Cleather.
Notes on “Initiation, Human and Solar”. By A.L. Cleather.
“In a labyrinth of words the mind is lost like a man in a thick forest.”
The Crest Jewel of Wisdom.
It has been said in the Vedic literature that truth shines in its own glory, – true, and that is why it sometimes happens to be the fond pleasure of a great deal of sham to pass for truth and delude people with its magic spells. But it does not take a long time for discerning minds to peer through the thin veil of delusive lustre and expose its inherent ugliness to the light of hitherto concealed facts.
“The best defense is an attack” is an old military maxim, and such is this publication. But it is a reasonable and reasoned attack, appealing to the reader’s logical faculties and treating the subject on the high plane that is in keeping with its really vital importance.
The authors, however, need no introduction in literary circles where their collaboration in four volumes on Wagner’s Symbolic Music-Dramas, interpreted according to his Prose Works, established their reputations over a quarter of a century ago.
Mrs. Cleather was one of the first members of the Branch of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric School established in England by Madame H.P. Blavatsky in 1888, and later was chosen as one of the twelve members of the Inner Group presided over by that faithful Agent of the Masters.
With her son, Mr. Gordon Cleather, and Mr. Basil Crump, she went to India in 1918, and there the three were initiated into the Tibetan Gelugpa (Yellow Cap) Order, at Buddha Gaya, in 1920. In 1926 they were received, and their membership ratified, at Peking, China, by His Serene Holiness The Tashi Lama of Tashi-Lhumpo, Tibet, who is the Head of the Gelugpa Order throughout Asia. Mr. Gordon Cleather has since studied Tibetan with his secretary and has also learned Chinese. Thus it will be seen that they possess exceptional qualifications for judging anything purporting to emanate from Tibetan sources.
Mr. Crump is a Cambridge University man, a Barrister of the Middle Temple, and for twelve years was editor of the Law Times and a departmental editor of The Field and The Queen.
This latest attempt to obtain credence for another system of allegedly Oriental learning by presenting it as an amplification of the doctrines expounded by “H.P.B.” is further recognition of her pre-eminence in that field, and more of the imitation that is such sincere flattery. May it not be, however, that in seeking guidance concerning the profoundest questions in life, it is wisdom to accept NO SUBSTITUTE?
Manila, March, 1929.
The following notes and comments on two of Mrs. Bailey’s principal works, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, and Initiation, Human and Solar, were undertaken at the suggestion of Mr. J.C. Miller, of Manila, a member of the Blavatsky Association, as part of the work assigned to its Defence Committee. That work, as we understand it, includes such as was done in H.P. Blavatsky: A Great Betrayal; and it will be seen that the present notes are directed against another aspect of the same movement. They do not profess to be in any way complete, but merely aim at drawing attention to a few salient points which will at once strike students familiar with H.P. Blavatsky’s works.
We particularly wish to emphasize that we have undertaken this extremely distasteful task only from a strong sense of our duty to the cause of H. P. Blavatsky and her work. We have never met Mrs. Bailey, and not having previously read any of her books, we were unaware how closely their general scheme and phraseology resemble that of the Besant-Leadbeater “Neo-Theosophy” which includes the Liberal Catholic Church and World-Teacher propaganda. Both the latter are more or less veiled attempts to divert the pure stream of Oriental Esoteric Philosophy, introduced to the West by H.P. Blavatsky, into a definitely Christian channel. This is done partly by the substitution of such terms as “God”, “The Logos” (as a He), “The Trinity”, “The Master Jesus,” etc., etc. At the same time, in Cosmic Fire an astute endeavour is made, by copious references to and quotations from H.P. Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine, to convey the impression that the former is a continuation of the latter – in fact, a “fragment of the Secret Doctrine” (Foreword, x).
Even such a cursory examination as we have had time to give, however, has convinced us that there is little or nothing in common between them. The impression left on the mind is that of a subtle attempt to substitute a specifically Christian system for the universal one of the Secret Doctrine, rather than “confirming and amplifying” that marvellous work, as admirers of Cosmic Fire have stated.
In a letter to the Occult Review, July, 1928, Mrs. Bailey denies that she ever claimed that her alleged inspirer “The Tibetan” with whom she has “co-operated in producing” Cosmic Fire, Initiation, etc., is one of the Masters of the Trans-Himalayan Group. “It is the express wish of the Tibetan,” she declares, “that his real name be withheld; it is his desire that the books be studied and valued on the basis of their own intrinsic worth and by their appeal or non-appeal to the intuition, and not because any person presumes to claim authority for them.”
We have kept this injunction carefully in mind, and have judged the statements of the “Tibetan” strictly on their face value. Further, Mrs. Bailey quotes what she said so far back as February, 1923, in her magazine The Beacon, about “the blind credulity of a certain group who accept any statement provided it is backed by an Hierarchical claim of some kind, and the narrow sectarianism which would make a prophet out of H.P.B. and a Bible out of the Secret Doctrine.”
The first part of this extract applies much more to the Besant-Leadbeater doctrines and to Mrs. Bailey’s own books (which fairly bristle with implied, if not expressed, “authority”) than to the Secret Doctrine. H.P.B.’s claim for that work is couched in the words of Montaigne: “I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them” (S. D. I., xlvi.).
After all, what is there of “blind credulity” and “narrow sectarianism” in regarding H.P.B. as a “prophet” and the S.D. as a “Bible” in the best sense of those terms? Was she not a true prophet and one who brought a wonderful message entirely new to the modern world? Where else is to be found the gigantic and all-embracing threefold system of evolution so clearly and convincingly expounded in the S.D., supported by a wealth of evidence from every imaginable source? The work stands absolutely alone, unapproached and unapproachable in our times; a monument so great that it is even yet too near us to be adequately appreciated. Its appeal throughout is entirely to reason and never to credulity. As Mr. Baseden Butt says in the finest estimate yet written: “If these, and her other writings, were all produced by Madame Blavatsky’s unaided talent, she must have possessed the intellectual resources of at least three ordinary geniuses. . . . This amazing woman has handled with the authentic tones of Authority the profoundest, most vital and abstruse subjects known to mankind” (Madame Blavatsky. By G. Baseden Butt. London: Rider and Co., 1926, p. 216)
Mrs. Bailey evidently considers that her own works are to be judged on the same level, for she continues: “It is high time, therefore, that occult books should be put forth and judged because of their contents and not because this, that and the other Master is supposed to be responsible for them or because they agree or disagree with the Secret Doctrine.” Mrs. Bailey’s evident implication that the S.D. was “put forth and judged” in the latter sense is entirely false, as any student with an intelligent understanding of its contents will agree. That the Masters M. and K.H. assisted H.P.B. to write it, as stated both by them and by her (see Mahatma Letters, and her own to Sinnett), makes no difference to one’s judgment of its value and immensity.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Bailey’s disclaimer, her “Tibetan Brother” is undoubtedly believed by most of her followers to be a member of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood, as two of the most prominent in America have themselves told us. The name Tibetan, coupled with the assumption of practically unlimited knowledge, inevitably suggest it. Her books are full of pure assertions concerning the Universe and its most advanced beings which only a high Adept could possess – if true, which in most instances seems more than doubtful.
Finally, a most important claim made by Mrs. Bailey in her Foreword to Cosmic Fire, must not be overlooked. She says (p. x): “It aims to provide a reasonably logical plan of systemic evolution and to indicate to man the part he must play as an atomic unit in a great and corporate whole.”
Evidently, then, Mrs. Bailey and the “Tibetan” consider the scheme of evolution offered in the Secret Doctrine as inadequate, and offer their own in its place. Apart from the difficulty of discovering anything “systemic” at all in Cosmic Fire, it is quite clear that the “Tibetan” (if he is really one) is not in agreement with the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood. In that case one would infer from what is said in the Mahatma Letters that he may belong to the “Red Capped Brothers of the Shadow” (see Index under Dugpas). As K.H. says (p. 322): “the opposition represents enormous vested interests, and they have enthusiastic help from the Dugpas – in Bhutan and the Vatican!” Hence the Christian terminology that characterizes some of their efforts in the realm of Occultism.
ALICE LEIGHTON CLEATHER.
Peking, February, 1929.
NOTES ON “A TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE”
By BASIL CRUMP
These are stated to be “extensions of the three fundamentals to be found in the Proem in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky.” But in reality Mrs. Bailey develops a whole cosmic scheme of her own, which includes a new set of so-called Stanzas of Dzyan, a Solar Logos also called “God,” a Triple Solar System consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a Triple Human Being, and a triple Atom. Also Seven centres of Logoic Force, and Seven Rays which include those of “Love-Wisdom”, “Harmony, Beauty and Art,” and “Devotion and Abstract Idealism.” The reader is constantly referred to passages in the Secret Doctrine, but very few of the terms used, e.g., “Love-Wisdom,” “Abstract Idealism,” “Logoic,” etc., etc., will be found there. My impression is that this is done to mislead the student into thinking that this work is on H.P. Blavatsky’s lines, whereas even a cursory examination shows that it is entirely different and is really designed very cleverly to lead the student away from the real teaching and confuse his mind with an imposing mass of apparently very learned information which really means little or nothing and leads nowhere. The method is somewhat similar to, but less obvious and more clever than, that of C.W. Leadbeater, but I think that the power behind is the same, working with the same object on a different line for a more intellectual type of mind. It is of considerable significance that Leadbeater and Mrs. Besant are frequently quoted, and their Christ and World Teacher doctrines taken for granted.
MRS. BAILEY’S “TIBETAN TEACHER”
With regard to the source of Mrs. Bailey’s information, it has long been understood that she receives it in a psychic, telepathic, or inspirational form from a “Tibetan Teacher.” Referring to Cosmic Fire, a writer in the Canadian Theosophist for December, 1926, says: “This material also has been received from the Tibetan Teacher – not by any automatic process but apparently in much the same way as The Secret Doctrine was written. . . . It is not a fanciful or arbitrary revelation, but rather a turning of what H.P. Blavatsky called the analogical key in the Secret Doctrine lock. The result is startling, almost as startling as the Secret Doctrine itself.” He goes on to describe and praise Mrs. Bailey’s Arcane School, which is evidently intended as a successor to H.P. Blavatsky’s Esoteric School, with of course Mrs. Bailey as its “Outer Head” or mouthpiece for the “Tibetan Teacher.” The scheme for what one may call a new and improved (?) edition of H.P. Blavatsky’s work is therefore complete, and comment thereon is scarcely necessary. Conclusions may be drawn for the moment from the following notes:
GOD, THE LOGOS AND THE HIERARCHY
The word “God” is constantly used, and great stress is laid on the “Love Aspect of the Logos”; but the references given to the Secret Doctrine contain no such term. This sort of trick is found throughout the book; for in nearly every instance, on looking it up, the reference given uses different phraseology or has no application at all. Thus, on p. 66, Fohat is stated to be “Love-Wisdom,” and a footnote refers to S.D. I, 100, 144, 155, (Besant Edition), but on looking them up one finds: p. 100 “Blazing Dragon of Wisdom”; p. 144, “Fohat, in his capacity of DIVINE LOVE (Eros) [“As in the oldest Grecian Cosmogony, differing widely from the later mythology, Eros is the third person in the primeval trinity: Chaos, Gaea, Eros. – S.D. I, 109.], the electric Power of affinity and sympathy”; p. 155, no mention of Fohat, Love, or Wisdom. Next Mrs. Bailey says Fohat is “God” and refers to S.D. I, 167, but we there find in a footnote that what she calls “God” is “absolute Be-Ness, ‘SAT’.” And if we turn to p. 376 (352 Old Edition) we read: “When the Theosophists and Occultists say that God is no BEING, for IT is nothing, No-Thing, they are more reverential and religiously respectful to the Deity than those who call God a HE, and thus make of HIM a gigantic MALE.”
The question is dealt with at considerable length by The Master K.H. in Letter X, Mahatma Letters, p. 52, where he says “… we deny God both as philosophers and as Buddhists. We know there are planetary and other spiritual lives, and we know there is in our system no such thing as God, either personal or impersonal.”
One may search in vain for Mrs. Bailey’s “Ray of Love-Wisdom” in the S.D., and the references (p. 74) given to it concerning the “Love aspect of the Logos” contain nothing of the kind. These are only a few out of dozens of such examples in the two volumes.
At p. 91 the “Fourth Creative Hierarchy” is “male”, but surely creative power is male in any case. The word “Love” is used ad nauseam throughout the work and even the Ego is called the “Love Aspect” (147).
ASSERTION AND PROPHECY
Confident assertions are made as to what exactly will take place in future Rounds, e.g. “The Logos of our scheme, Sanat Kumara, will take a major initiation in the middle of the Fifth Round, but is preparing for a minor one at this time” (p. 374). According to the S.D. I, 456-7 there are seven Kumaras, who are the Solar angels that endowed man with his immortal Ego. Sanat Kumara (see Theos. Glossary, 289) is the most prominent of these, and therefore it is misleading to apply the name to the Logos. See also post p. 34.
Observe particularly that the Bailey scheme entirely ignores the Buddha Hierarchy emanating from Adi-Budha (S.D. I, 570) substituting the Solar Logos, the Trinity, and Seven Rays, one of which (“Love-Wisdom”) includes “The Christ, the World Teacher.” It is obvious therefore that, like Leadbeater, Mrs. Bailey is really working in the interests of the Christian system by introducing its terminology and concepts into works that are ostensibly expositions of the Esoteric Philosophy of the Masters and H.P.B., but are really cleverly masked Christian propaganda.
For instance, the Seven Dhyani Buddhas here become Seven Rays, under three of which (those of “Aspect”) are grouped various Masters, including those mentioned by H.P.B. and several others. The Christ comes first under the “Love-Wisdom Aspect” and “the Master Jesus” under the “Intelligence Aspect.” See elaborate Chart of “Solar and Planetary Hierarchies” with key on pp. 1238-9.
“THE MASTER JESUS”
Cosmic Fire positively bristles with pronouncements concerning the “Master Jesus”, e.g. p. 757 et seq.:
“… the coming of Him for whom all nations wait.”
“The Son of Man will again tread the highways of man and His physical incarnation will be fact.”
“The Master Jesus will take a physical vehicle and … effect a re-spirtualization of the Catholic Churches … about 1980”. (Here we have the sure sign of a certain influence which is also evident in the Besant-Leadbeater Liberal Catholic Church scheme.)
“Christ occupied the body of Jesus. … Few are as Christ is, and have the power to make a dual appearance. This type of monad is only found on Rays two, four, six.”
Compare this with what is said on the Buddha’s powers in the Mahatma Letters, pp. 43, 47. See also p. 344 concerning “the real Christ of every Christian” and “the man Jeshu.” Neither the Masters nor H.P. Blavatsky ever write of the Christ as an individual Being, but always as a principle in man.
THE LOGOS IN FACT AND FICTION
The “Logos” is a very Prominent feature of this book, in various forms, such as “Cosmic,” “Solar,” “Planetary,” about all of which we are given intimate personal details, as to their “initiations,” “incarnations,” etc. Nothing of this kind is ever assumed in the Secret Doctrine.
As most people, outside this branch of study, do not know what a Logos is, and as Mrs. Bailey prefers assertion to exposition, I will give H.P. Blavatsky’s definition from her Theosophical Glossary: “LOGOS (Gr.) – The manifested deity with every nation and people; the outward expression, or the effect of the cause which is ever concealed. Thus, speech is the Logos of thought; hence it is aptly translated by the ‘Verbum’ or ‘Word’ in its metaphysical sense.”
In the Secret Doctrine, I, 573 (1st Ed.) we are told that “The Logos is the Iswara of the Hindus which the Vedantins say is the highest consciousness in nature – ‘the sum total of Dhyan-Chohanic consciousness’ according to the Occultists.” It will at once be seen how greatly these differ from Mrs. Bailey’s limited and personal conception. S.D. I, pp. 571-2 should also be studied in this connection. Needless to say, no such idea as the “Initiation” of a Logos is to be found in the S.D.
There is an immense amount of this sort of thing, very much on the Leadbeater lines of pure assertion with implied authority in the background. How different from H.P. Blavatsky, of whom the Masters say in the Mahatma Letters, p.289: “She had to bring the whole arsenal of proofs with her, quotations from Paul and Plato, from Plutarch and James, etc., before the Spiritualists admitted that the Theosophists were right.” Mrs. Bailey scorns such a method – she is content to assert, or her “Tibetan” is.
Prophecies and bold statements concerning evolution on the Earth abound in the book: e.g. p. 390: “An entirely new group of human beings will sweep into incarnation in our Earth scheme. … Entities will come in from Mars. … Mercurian life will begin to synthesize,” etc., in regular Leadbeater style. Presumably we are to regard these as examples of “turning the analogical key in the Secret Doctrine lock,” although nothing of the sort is to be found in that work.
Notwithstanding the unsparing condemnation of Spiritualism in the Mahatma Letters, we read at p. 456 (footnote) that “Master Hilarian (sic), a Cretan Master, is interested in the Spiritualistic movement.” Also that a “Hungarian Master, Rakoczi, is the Regent of Europe and America under the ‘Great White Brotherhood'” – a term coined by the Besant-Leadbeater doctrine and never used by H.P. Blavatsky. (See post p. 33)
IGNORANCE CONCERNING THE BUDDHA
Considering that these teachings are supposed to come from a “Tibetan,” a remarkable ignorance is shown about the Buddha and his real standing in the Occult Hierarchy. For instance, we are told, at p. 210: “The Buddha held office prior to the present World Teacher and upon his Illumination His place was taken by Lord Maitreya whom the Occidentals call Christ” (p. 211, note). This World Teacher, who is also called here “the Great Lord, the Christ,” is a specifically Leadbeater invention; so is the identification of Maitreya (the next Buddha) with the Christ, the object from the Christian propaganda standpoint being evident. But the whole scheme is entirely foreign to the Oriental teaching of the Secret Doctrine.
One has only to turn to the Mahatma Letters and look up the references to the Buddha to see what a supreme position is given to him by the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood. I have collected and commented on these passages under the title “Tibetan Initiates on the Buddha” in Part III of our new book Buddhism the Science of Life (Peking, 1928), pointing out their significance in connection with present developments in Asia.
“THE PHENOMENON CALLED SEX ACTIVITY”
Mrs. Bailey even associates the Logos with Sex! Thus (p. 721): “The Law of Attraction … deals with the ability of the Logos to ‘love wisely’ in the occult sense of the term. It has relation to the polarization of the Logos in His astral body, and produces the phenomenon called ‘sex activity’. …” Is this another specimen of “turning the analogical key in the Secret Doctrine lock”? If so, the result is scarcely encouraging; and when we read (p. 905) of “the throat centre of a planetary Logos and of a Solar Logos” we realize that sheer anthropomorphism can go no further.
Moreover, the “Mahachohan” (as Mrs. Bailey writes the name) is stated (pp. 907-8) to be directly connected with “the effect that the devas of the kundalini fire are producing upon man” in the direction of sex activity. The passage is too long and unintelligible to quote here; the point to note for anyone who has learnt from H.P. B. and the Masters something of the nature of the Maha Chohan, is the desecration involved in even mentioning his name in such a connection.
Another example of Mrs. Bailey’s ignorance of what H.P.B. really was occurs at p. 1037: “Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Harvey, and the Curies are, on their own line of force, light bringers of equal rank with H.P.B.” Confucius, we are told, is to reincarnate and superintend the work of “rendering radioactive some of the foremost thinkers. …” Our Chinese friends will appreciate this piece of information.
“Cosmic rapture and rhythmic bliss (sic) are the attributes of the Fourth Path. It is a form of identification which is divorced from consciousness altogether.” Those who follow this Fourth Way are called “the blissful dancing points of fanatical devotion,” which suggests nothing so much as dancing dervishes!
IMITATION STANZAS OF DZYAN
An alleged extract in “Stanzas of Dzyan” style “From the Archives of the Lodge” is given at pp. 747-8, headed “The Coming Avatar.” The following is a specimen of the flamboyant language: “Greater the chaos becometh; the major centre with all the seven circulating spheres rock with the echoes of disintegration. The fumes of utter blackness mount upwards in dissipation. The noise discordant of the warring elements greet the oncoming One, and deter Him not.”
Again, at p. 1267, we find a set of “Seven Esoteric Stanzas from Archaic Formulas.” A note informs us that they “form only one true stanza out of the oldest book in the world, and one which the eye of the average man has never contacted” (sic). The last of them is headed, as one might expect, with “The Path of Absolute Sonship,” and ends suggestively with “To Him be glory of the Mother, Father, Son, as the One Who hath existed in the past, the now and That which is to come.” The “Finale” begins with “The morning stars sang in their courses” and ends with” the marriage song of the Heavenly Man.”
A specimen of the alleged “Stanzas of Dzyan” may also be given: “Riseth the cave of beauty rare, of colour iridescent. Shineth (sic) the walls with azure tint, bathed in the light of rose. The blending shade of blue irradiates the whole and all is merged in gleaming.” Stanza VII, p. 22.
What a contrast to the genuine Stanzas in the S.D., e.g. I, 35:
1. The Eternal Parent (Space), wrapped in her ever invisible robes, had slumbered once again for seven eternities.
2. Time was not, for it lay in the infinite bosom of Duration.
The statement at p. 749 that H.P.B. was “overshadowed” by “One greater than an Adept” scarcely agrees with what we glean about her occult status in the Mahatma Letters and elsewhere. However, at p. 757 she is described as “a true psychic and conscious medium,” which is the spiritualistic theory above which A.P. Sinnett likewise was never able to rise, especially after her death.
At the close of this century, we are told, the “Avatar … will come as the Teacher of Love and Unity, and the Keynote He will strike will be regeneration through love poured forth on all.” Imagine H.P.B. or the Masters writing this kind of sentimental stuff, such as one reads in Christian tracts or the “Order of the Star” literature.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR WOULD-BE MAGICIANS
Pages 996-1026 contain “Fifteen Rules for Magic” in the section “Thought and Fire Elementals.” They are in Mrs. Bailey’s usual verbose and pseudo-Apocalyptic style, and are led up to by a clever touch concerning “an old book of magic, hidden in the caves of learning, guarded by the Masters”! from which some “appropriate words” are quoted:
“The Brothers of the Sun, through the force of solar fire, fanned to a flame in the blazing vault of the second Heaven, put out the lower lunar fires, and render naught the lower ‘fire by friction’.”
“The Brother of the Moon ignores the sun and solar heat; borrows his fire from all that triply is, and pursues his cycle. The fires of hell await, and lunar fire dies out. Then neither sun nor moon avails him, only the highest heaven awaits the spark electric, seeking vibration synchronous from that which lies beneath. And yet it cometh not.”
In case the reader should fail to make any sense of this gem of “magic,” he is told that “the terminology is in the nature of a blind, which ever carries revelation to those who have the clue, but tends to perplex and to bewilder the student who as yet is unready for the truth.” It need hardly be added that nowhere in this entire “labyrinth of words,” running to a total of 1282 pages, is the exact nature of the ‘clue’ more than darkly hinted at, as in the present instance. An old and common trick, usually employed to conceal the complete absence of either clue or meaning.
“Rule I” runs thus: “The Solar Angel collects himself, scatters not his force, but in meditation deep communicates with his reflection.” Why this is termed a “Rule” is not quite clear.
The other fourteen Rules are of course equally meaningless and obscure – without the “clue.” These Rules are given with over thirty pages of copious comments which make confusion worse confounded, containing such terms as “the magician” (for whose use they are formulated), “Solar Angel,” “Egoic Lotus,” “the Illuminator,” “the eye of the Magician,” “the Agnichaitans,” “the Agnisuryans,” etc.
ESOTERIC INTERPRETATION OF COLOUR
“The ‘Eye of Shiva,’ when perfected, is blue in color” (R. VI, p. 1011), “and as our solar Logos is the ‘Blue Logos,’ so do His children occultly resemble Him; but this color must be interpreted esoterically.”
This last is a specimen of the sort of weird jumble which constitutes the major part of this book, in which H.P. Blavatsky and her Secret Doctrine are much quoted and referred to in footnotes, more as a blind to the reader than as bearing any real relation to Mrs. Bailey’s own scheme. Familiar words and phrases are twisted from their proper and original setting and use, in an effort to compile an imposing work which may appear on the surface to continue the same line of teaching, but is really quite different.
The language is certainly not such as any “Tibetan,” or indeed any Oriental, would use. In fact, as I have shown, it is distinctively Christian; and Mrs. Bailey’s inspirer, if a separate entity at all, is much more likely to be an ecclesiastic of that faith who (like many of them nowadays) has familiarized himself with the literature of Occultism and is trying to make it fit the Christian scheme. It has even been suggested, not without some justification, that the “Tibetan” is merely a misleading generic term for a council of astute theologians for whom Mrs. Bailey is the mouthpiece and scribe.
By A.L. CLEATHER
SUBTLE DEPRECIATION OF H.P. BLAVATSKY
Observe how cleverly H.P.B. is gradually pushed into the background; little hints and remarks, “damning with faint praise,” being thrown out now and again – a well-known form of “suggestion.”
We have no “evidence” for the existence of this “Tibetan Brother”; simply Mrs. Bailey’s word, her own ipse dixit for everything. I am inclined to believe that if her “teacher” is not actually AB-CWL, it is someone behind all three, with a pseudonym cleverly adapted to conceal his identity with a certain Christian hierarchy, and by repeated “suggestion” plant in the minds of Mrs. Bailey’s readers the concept of a TIBETAN origin for the “teachings.”
The complete omission by this supposed member of the Lodge (!) of all reference to the true status and nature of the Buddha and his place in Evolution, as given by the Masters and H.P. Blavatsky, tends to bear out my theory.
Whether Mrs. Bailey believes whole-heartedly in her “mission” is not clear. She is evidently a psychic. Whatever may be the truth of the matter, the whole “plot” is most cleverly contrived, and she must surely be a willing “tool,” if not a fully conscious agent.
Observe in this “new cycle teaching” there is no place for or mention of the necessity for the twin laws of Karma and Reincarnation, although they are often mentioned incidentally; nor of the great sweep of Cyclic Law through which they work. Nothing really definite, reasonable or rational; and, as a matter of fact, but little relation to the teachings of H.P.B., despite the constant references thereto.
THE SO-CALLED “NEW CYCLE OF TEACHING”
To such proportions has this new cult already grown that the following astounding assertions are boldly made in the May Occult Review (1928, p. 305) by H. Adams, in an article on Mrs. Bailey’s latest book on Patanjali [The Light of the Soul: Its Science and Effect]: “the Tibetan Brother who is responsible for the impartation of Mrs. Bailey’s previous works. …”
Mr. Adams then gives a few supposed facts culled from the book, and continues: “This authoritative statement. …” (The “authority” is Mrs. Bailey’s invisible teacher, and for him we have only her own word) “emanates from the Brotherhood (!!), in that it has been produced by the express authority and under the personal supervision of the Brother specially appointed to communicate the new cycle teaching necessary at this point of evolution in connection with the second Ray impulse.” The last few words are typical of her Cosmic Fire “teaching.”
Note the piling up of assumption after assumption. First, he is “a Tibetan brother,” then his pronouncements are forthwith identified with “the Brotherhood”! There is talk of their “express authority” and so on.
Boiled down, what does it all amount to? Simply Mrs. Bailey’s calm, unchecked (and uncheckable) assertions, for the validity of which she claims the equally unchecked (and uncheckable) “authority” of her “Tibetan.” The concluding sentences actually go the length of placing her on a level with H.P. Blavatsky.
ALLEGED INSPIRATION OF TIBETAN MASTERS
Mr. Adams further says: “In the midst of religious controversies on every hand emptying the churches and filling sincere and seeking souls with disquiet and eager (1) questioning, and our friends the Theosophists divided into half a dozen societies and pathetically asking one another ‘What is Truth?’ surely it is a great solace and matter for thankfulness that the ever watchful (2) Brotherhood of Masters, ignoring all the petty issues, or, rather, (3) answering them most effectively by the voice of an accredited messenger, declares once again in clear solid English (!) the Science of the Spirit hidden in the Sutras.” (Italics mine. – A.L.C.) Here we may note: (1) A clever touch, giving the idea that this new scheme has nothing to do with Theosophy or its societies; leading to the unblushing assertion (2) that this new teaching actually emanates from the Masters. Further (3) that the “accredited messenger,” whether Mrs. Bailey or her supposed teacher, has been inspired by Them!
At the beginning of Mr. Adams’s article H.P. Blavatsky is referred to only as the translator of The Voice of the Silence; his idea evidently being to blot out from the reader’s mind the existence of her magnum opus, the Secret Doctrine, the teachings of which are in flat contradiction to some of the bewildering material we have found in Cosmic Fire.
DOCTRINE OF “RAY IMPULSES”
With reference to H.P. Blavatsky it should al so be noted that Mr. Adams says on p. 306:
“An interesting point is made by Mrs. Bailey in her introduction to the effect that the coming spiritual impulse is a second Ray impulse and will reach its zenith towards the close of the present century, but it has no relation to the first Ray impulse which produced the work of H.P. B.” This is, of course, one of Mrs. Bailey’s usual arbitrary statements, not in the least what H.P.B. herself told us, but evidently made as part of the whole scheme to subordinate her and her work to the “new dispensation” of the Besant Leadbeater-Bailey cult.
THE “WORLD-TEACHER” IMPOSTURE
It is clear that the efforts now being made by the enemies of the Masters is to focus the attention of the whole thinking world of the West on the “Christ-World-Teacher” idea originated by the Besant-Leadbeater cult, and here shown to be a leading feature in Mrs. Bailey’s scheme, vide the specimens cited by Mr. Crump. Nor is it any less dangerous to the progress of humanity, although the intellectual form in which it is so ably presented tends to disarm criticism and conceal the cloven hoof.
The warnings of the Masters on the dangers of psychic communications and the work of the Dugpas – “the infamous Shammars” – the “Red-Capped Brothers of the Shadow . . . whose pernicious work is everywhere in our way” (Mahatma Letters, 272, 284) must be applied to such cases as this. Also the extremely important letter in H.P. Blavatsky’s Letters to Sinnett p. 230 re the work of the Jesuits, (which was evidently written by one of the Masters), especially the concluding paragraph on p. 233.
CLAIMS OF HIGH INSPIRATION BY PSYCHICS
In the same number of the Occult Review, at p. 354, is an advertisement of a book called Living Secrets by Luma Valdry.
It is described as follows: “Produced by automatic writing under the direct inspiration of a Master of the Wisdom, the authoress during its composition being in a state of dual consciousness. It is a prose poem of transcendental esoteric import. This book may well become the type of a new mode of communion. …”
Here we have a precisely similar claim to that of Mrs. Bailey, and this sort of thing is quite common in spiritualistic and psychological literature. Mediums generally have a list of eminent “controls,” and therefore it is quite natural for psychics who wish to appeal to those seeking new “occult teaching” should claim to get it in the same manner and from the same source as H.P. Blavatsky. Psychism is so little understood as yet that few realize how, especially in female psychics, the line is very difficult to draw between conscious and unconscious deception (which includes self-deception). Paracelsus is very illuminating on the power of the female imagination, and such imposing works as Mrs. Bailey’s may quite well be the product of her own imagination, using occult ideas and terminology, and filtering into her brain as definite “teaching,” spoken or inspired by an entity that calls itself “the Tibetan.”
NOTES ON “INITIATION, HUMAN AND SOLAR”
By A.L. CLEATHER
Since the foregoing notes on Cosmic Fire were written, this earlier work has been sent to me for comment. I note that it was first published in 1922, a year earlier than the publication of the Mahatma Letters, from which Mrs. Bailey makes several quotations in Cosmic Fire, published in 1925. She has dedicated it “With Reverence and Gratitude to the Master K.H.,” the idea obviously being to suggest that the contents were obtained, if not direct from the Master, at least gleaned from his teachings. That this was most certainly not the source of the ideas of Mrs. Bailey, or the “Tibetan,” must be evident from the following parallels:
From Initiation, Human and Solar pub. 1922, Ch. I, p. 9: “Initiation Defined. – The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and in inner body will exist in the Church – the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already forming – wherein the first initiation will become exoteric in this sense only, that the taking of the first initiation will before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church, performed exoterically as one of the mysteries given at stated periods, attended by those concerned. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons. At this ceremony those ready for initiation will be publicly admitted to the Lodge by one of its members, authorized to do so by the great Hierophant himself.” (Italics mine. – A.L.C.)
From a letter to A.P. Sinnett by Master K.H. about 1881-2, in The Mahatma Letters, 1923, pp. 57-8: “I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two-thirds of the evils that pursue humanity, ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches. It is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of the opportunity … It is priestly imposture that rendered these Gods so terrible to man … It is belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretence of saving them.” (Italics mine. – A.L.C.)
It would appear that Mrs. Bailey too hastily took in vain the name of the Master, and must have felt somewhat disconcerted (as did Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater) on the appearance in print of the Master’s real views about “God” and “the Church,” etc. Nothing daunted, however, and hearing in mind the sage advice to diplomats: “L’audace, l’audace, et toujours l’audace,” she published Cosmic Fire in 1925, freely quoting from the Mahatma Letters, and peppering her pages with footnotes containing copious references to the Secret Doctrine which in most cases do not confirm her assertions, as anyone can see by looking them up.
Who is this “great Hierophant” of whom she speaks? Can he perchance bear any relation to Mr. Leadbeater’s “Supreme Director of Evolution on this globe”?
The book abounds (like Cosmic Fire) with the usual unsupported assertions – typical of and common to the Besant-Leadbeater-Bailey cult – as to initiations, their number (1st to 6th, etc.) the “Planetary Logos,” with a full description of his work; “The KING, the Lord of the World”; the “Master Jesus,” who, it is stated (p. 56), “is the focal point of the energy that flows through the various Christian Churches,” and who is “at present living in a Syrian body . . . is rather a martial figure, a disciplinarian, and a man of iron rule and will. He is tall and spare with rather a long thin face, black hair, pale complexion and piercing blue eyes”!
Nor is this the only detailed description, for the Masters M. and K.H., and many others, are also dealt with and the character of their work fully described. Part of the Masters’ work, we are informed, is “to prepare the world on a large scale for the coming of the World Teacher”.
This, of course, at once identifies the Bailey school (as we have already seen in Cosmic Fire) with the Besant-Leadbeater perversions and delusions. “Everywhere,” says Mrs. Bailey, “They (the Masters collectively) are gathering in those who may in any way show a tendency to respond to high vibration, seeking to force their vibration and to fit them so that they may be of use at the time of the coming of the Christ. … ” (Italics mine. – A.L.C.) Mrs. Bailey’s idea of response to “high vibration” would presumably be identical with a “response” to her own “message,” as she terms it in her opening chapter.
Another similarity with the Besant-Leadbeater school occurs in Chap. V, which contains the following: “At the head of affairs . . . stands the KING, the Lord of the World. . . . Co-operating with Him as His advisers are three Personalities called the Pratyeka Buddhas, or Buddhas of Activity. These four are the embodiment of active intelligent loving will. …” (Italics mine. – A.L.C.)
It will be remembered that in my Great Betrayal I dealt with Mrs. Besant’s false statement correcting H.P.B.’s definition of the Pratyeka Buddha in the Voice of the Silence p. 109, note 25, in our reprint (and the Theos. Glossary) which we find accepted all over the East as correct, i.e. the purely intellectual, selfish, solitary saint. There is here, too, no word of the Nirmanakayas, none of the “Masters of Compassion,” or the “Great Renunciation” and above all of the “Two Paths.”
Clearly, the Besant-Leadbeater teachings have largely inspired this later “false guide” – one more “blind leader of the blind.” These people, in fact – especially Mrs. Bailey – possess some of the requisites of a writer of fiction. But, “Oh, the pity of it,” that it should need but barefaced and entirely unsupported assertions, coupled with the detailed descriptions so greedily absorbed by the novel reading public, to completely impose upon the foolish multitude.
It is quite impossible to deal at any length with a work in which truth and error are so ingeniously mingled that to separate the chaff from the grain would need another volume of the same length. The very titles of the nineteen chapters show the nature of the subject-matter.
And for all the supposed “knowledge,” or “teaching,” contained in these nineteen chapters nothing is offered in confirmation, testimony, or excuse, save in the “Introductory Remarks,” where the writer declares that she does not arrogate to herself “any credit or personal authority for the knowledge implied,” and “emphatically disavows all such claims or representations. She cannot do otherwise than present these statements as matters of fact.” [Italics mine. – A.L.C.) The unsophisticated enquirer might not unreasonably ask, Why? The “claim,” here so jesuitically disavowed, is really there, though cleverly camouflaged. If these things are “matters of fact,” why is no evidence whatever adduced?
Considered as an ingenious and highly imaginative work of occult fiction, the book possesses definite attractions. Other writers in the same field have produced actual novels dealing with the occult, e.g. A Brother of the Third Degree, Three Sevens, and many tales by later writers, all of which have won recognition from the fiction-reading public. But, with the exception of C.W. Leadbeater, Mrs. Bailey is the first writer on occult subjects who has had the wit to present Fiction as Fact, thus winning at one stroke and with the greatest ease a certain following among the credulous, and presumably the financial backing so necessary for advertising purposes these days. Her books, however, cannot be taken seriously by followers of H.P. Blavatsky’s teachings, or as being any sort of contribution to genuine occult “knowledge.”
TEACHING ON SEX OPPOSED TO H.P. BLAVATSKY’S
Moreover, Mrs. Bailey’s presumably “inspired” views (one must not forget her alleged “Tibetan” teacher) on sex relations in their application to those who have entered, or are entering, on the serious study of practical Occultism, are in direct conflict with the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers on the subject.
In the last chapter, “Rules for Applicants,” she is far more definite on this point than in her later Cosmic Fire. Possibly the publication of the Mahatma Letters may have counselled more prudence on that head, if – as seems probable – she is anxious that the public should believe that the contents of her books are drawn from the same source as H.P. Blavatsky’s, as shown by the constant references to the Secret Doctrine in Cosmic Fire. Like the followers of the Leadbeater dispensation, there are some who regard her works as an extension and expansion of the Secret Doctrine, which is of course almost grotesque.
Rule 11, p. 204, runs thus: “Let the disciple transfer the fire from the lower triangle to the higher, and preserve that which is created through the fire of the midway point.”
Mrs. Bailey explains this as follows: “This means, literally, the control by the initiate of the sex impulse, as usually understood, and the transference of the fire which normally vitalises the generative organs to the throat centre, thus leading to creation upon the mental plane through the agency of mind. That which is to be created must then be nourished and sustained by the love energy issuing from the heart centre.”
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 process 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.”
The following is the “lower triangle” referred to:
1. The Solar Plexus.
2. The Base of the Spine.
3. The Generative Organs.
The “higher” is thus given:
1. The Head.
2. The Throat.
3. The Heart.
There is not the smallest recognition throughout this book of the tremendous gulf which yawns between “White” and “Black” Magic in Practical Occultism. And in these three pages (204-5-6) she unconsciously lays bare the real evil at the root of her teachings which, where Sex is concerned, are in direct opposition to those of H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers.
For Mrs. Bailey’s further detailed explanations as to the sex relationships of “Initiated Masters” parallel columns will again supply the necessary contrast:
Initiation, Human and Solar, Chap. XIX, pp. 204-5-6. Referring to the above quotation from p. 204.
Mrs. Bailey continues:
“This might be interpreted by the superficial reader as an injunction to the celibate life, and the pledging of the applicant to abstain from all physical manifestation of the sex impulse. This is not so. Many initiates have attained their objective when duly and wisely participating in the marriage relation. … “The physical plane is as much a form of divine expression as any of the higher planes … that it may be advisable at certain stages for a man to perfect control along any particular line through a temporary abstention is not to be denied, but that . . . will be succeeded by stages when – the control having been gained – the man demonstrates perfectly through the medium of the physical body, the attributes of divinity, and every centre will be normally and wisely used, and thus race purposes furthered.”
“Initiates and Masters, in many cases, marry, and normally perform their duties as husbands, wives, and householders, but all is controlled and regulated by purpose and intention, and none is carried away by passion or desire. In the perfect man upon the physical plane, all the centres are under complete control … the spiritual will of the divine inner God is the main factor. … The true initiate should be known by his wise and sanctified normality … by the example he sets to his environing associates of spiritual living and moral rectitude, coupled with the discipline of his life. …” (Italics mine. – A.L.C.)
– – –
From “The Qualifications expected in a Chela” (Theosophist, Vol. IV, Supplement, July, 1883, p. 10)
“2. Absolute mental and physical purity.”
“Remember, he who is not as pure as a young child [had] better leave chelaship alone.” (The Master K.H.)
The Master M. to the Esoteric Students: “Bodily purity every Adept takes precautions to keep.”
“The Self of matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both.”
“Guard thou the lower lest it soil the Higher.” – Voice of the Silence.
“There are not in the West half-a-dozen among the fervent hundreds who call themselves ‘Occultists’ who have even an approximately correct idea of the nature of the Science they seek to master. With a few exception, they are all on the highway to Sorcery.” (H.P. Blavatsky in Occultism v. The Occult Arts.)
“No Adept ever marries.” – H.P. Blavatsky.
“It is true that the married man cannot be an Adept.” (The Master K.H. in The Mahatma Letters, p. 17.)
Ibid. (p. 272 by Master M): – “The Dugpas and the Gelugpas are not fighting in Tibet alone: see their vile work in England among the ‘Occultists’ and ‘Seers’! Hear your acquaintance – preaching, like a true ‘Hierophant of the left-hand,’ the marriage of the ‘soul with the spirit’ and getting the true definitions topsy-turvy, seek to prove that every practicing Hierophant must at least be spiritually married – if for some reason he cannot do so physically, there being otherwise a great danger of Adulteration of God and Devil! I tell you the Shammars [Dugpas, or Black Magicians] are there already, and their pernicious work is everywhere in our way.”
Not only did H.P. Blavatsky tell us that true Adepts of the Right-Hand Path never marry or enter into any sort of sex relation, but she also said that certain Black Magicians well-known in occult annals were the offspring of high occultists who broke their vow of celibacy. Thus of Cagliostro she wrote (Theos. Gloss. 72): “Yet his end was not utterly undeserved, as he had been untrue to his vows in some respects, had fallen from his state of chastity and yielded to ambition and selfishness” (c.f. “Great ones fall back, even from the Threshold”).
The evil is a great one, for in this particular instance, teaching on one of the greatest dangers in Occultism – SEX – is given out which is subversive of all that H.P. Blavatsky and the Masters stand for. In H.P. Blavatsky’s Occultism v. The Occult Arts from which I quote above (and at greater length in my Great Betrayal) the true occult teaching on this subject is clearly and unequivocally set forth. It forms a complete refutation of the false and dangerous ideas put forward with such a show of authority by Mrs. Bailey, which are common to all the charlatans of Occultism, whether conscious or unconscious. Many other examples, besides C.W. Leadbeater, might be given of this.
A point of interest in connection with the large number of Adepts mentioned by name in Mrs. Bailey’s books is that H.P. Blavatsky says in “Lodges of Magic” (Lucifer, 1888): – “The personage known to the public under the pseudonym of ‘Koot Hoomi’ is called by a totally different name among his acquaintances. . . . The real names of Master Adepts and Occult Schools are never, under any circumstances, revealed to the profane.”
Among the Besant-Leadbeater “Masters” adopted by Mrs. Bailey, but nowhere to be found in the Blavatsky literature so far as I am aware, is “Rakoczi,” referred to ante page 12 (See Initiation, Human and Solar, p. 58, and Cosmic Fire, p. 455). According to Mrs Besant, he was previously incarnated as Rosenkreuz, Bacon, St. Germain, and others, only achieving adeptship as “Rakoczi” (The Masters, pp. 75-76. Krotona, 1918). H.P. Blavatsky, on the other hand, calls St. Germain “the greatest Oriental Adept Europe has seen during the last centuries” (Theos. Glossary, p. 309, also p. 214 under “Mesmer”) See “Influence of Occultism on Revolutions” in our Buddhism the Science of Life, 2nd ed., p. 110.
Finally, with reference to Mr. Crump’s remarks (ante, p. 9) on the application of the name Sanat Kumara to the Logos, it may be added here that four of the seven Kumaras are exoteric and three are esoteric. (Secret Doctrine, I, 457, old ed.) Sanat Kumara is one of the former. One of the esoteric Kumaras is Sanat Sujata, after whom the Sanat Sujatiyam of the Mahabharata is named (See The Crest Jewel of Wisdom: Translated by Mohini Chatterji, verse 324 and footnote, p. 80).
A few decades after the above was published, the independent Theosophist Victor Endersby wrote a lengthy article of a similar nature examining one of Alice Bailey’s final books, “The Reappearance of the Christ,” and showing its pseudo-Theosophical and anti-Theosophical nature and content, as well as exposing its profoundly pro-Christian propaganda or agenda.
This can be read at Alice Bailey and her Christianised Pseudo-Theosophy.
For further explanation and clarification about some of the points and topics raised in Cleather and Crump’s booklet, please see the Articles page, particularly the articles listed under the sections “PSEUDO-THEOSOPHY REVEALED” and “THE MASTERS”.
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