Re: Theos-World Jerry- The Visions of Seers
Mar 26, 2006 03:46 PM
by Cass Silva
Would suggest you read IU2, page 117 in relation to Socrates, under the hea=
ding "The Visions of seers not provoked by drugs in regard to your trance s=
The hierophants and some Brahmans are accused of having administered to t=
heir epoptai strong drinks or an=C3=A6sthetics to produce visions which sha=
ll be taken by the latter as realities. They did and do use sacred beverag=
es which, like the Soma-drink, possess the faculty of freeing the astral fo=
rm from the bonds of matter; but in those visions there is as little to be =
attributed to hallucination as in the glimpses which the scientist, by the =
help of his optical instrument, gets into the microscopic world. A man can=
not perceive, touch, and converse with pure spirit through any of his bodil=
y senses. Only spirit alone can talk to and see spirit; and even our astral=
soul, the Doppelg=C3=A4nger, is too gross, too much tainted yet with earth=
ly matter to trust entirely to its perceptions and insinuations.
How dangerous may often become untrained mediumship, and how thoroughly i=
t was understood and provided against by the ancient sages, is perfectly ex=
emplified in the case of Socrates. The old Grecian philosopher was a =E2=
=80=9Cmedium=E2=80=9D; hence, he had never been initiated into the Mysterie=
s; for such was the rigorous law. But he had his =E2=80=9Cfamiliar spirit=
=E2=80=9D as they call it, his daimonion; and this invisible counsellor bec=
ame the cause of his death. It is generally believed that if he was not in=
itiated into the Mysteries it was because he himself neglected to become so=
. But the Secret Records teach us that it was because he could not be admi=
tted to participate in the sacred rites, and precisely, as we state, on acc=
ount of his mediumship. There was a law against the admission not only of =
such as were convicted of deliberate witchcraft* but even
* We really think that the word =E2=80=9Cwitchcraft=E2=80=9D ought once f=
or all to be understood in the sense which properly belongs to it. Witchcr=
aft may be either conscious or unconscious. Certain wicked and dangerous r=
esults may be obtained through the mesmeric powers of a so-called sorcerer =
who misuses his potential fluid; or again they may be achieved through an e=
asy access of malicious tricky =E2=80=9Cspirit (so much the worse if
118 ISIS UNVEI=
of those who were known to have =E2=80=9Ca familiar spirit.=E2=80=9D The=
law was just and logical, because a genuine medium is more or less irrespo=
nsible; and the eccentricities of Socrates are thus accounted for in some d=
egree. A medium must be passive; and if a firm believer in his =E2=80=9Csp=
irit-guide=E2=80=9D he will allow himself to be ruled by the latter, not by=
the rules of the sanctuary. A medium of olden times, like the modern =E2=
=80=9Cmedium=E2=80=9D was subject to be entranced at the will and pleasure =
of the =E2=80=9Cpower=E2=80=9D which controlled him; therefore, he could no=
t well have been entrusted with the awful secrets of the final initiation, =
=E2=80=9Cnever to be revealed under the penalty of death.=E2=80=9D The old=
sage, in unguarded moments of =E2=80=9Cspiritual inspiration,=E2=80=9D rev=
ealed that which he had never learned; and was therefore put to death as an=
How then, with such an instance as that of Socrates, in relation to the v=
isions and spiritual wonders at the epoptai, of the Inner Temple, can any o=
ne assert that these seers, theurgists, and thaumaturgists were all =E2=80=
=9Cspirit-mediums=E2=80=9D? Neither Pythagoras, Plato, nor any of the late=
r more important Neo-platonists; neither Iamblichus, Longinus, Proclus, nor=
Apollonius of Tyana, were ever mediums; for in such case they would not ha=
ve been admitted to the Mysteries at all. As Taylor proves =E2=80=94 =E2=
=80=9CThis assertion of divine visions in the Mysteries is clearly confirme=
d by Plotinus. And in short, that magical evocation formed a part of the s=
acerdotal office in them, and that this was universally believed by all ant=
iquity long before the era of the later Platonists,=E2=80=9D shows that apa=
rt from natural =E2=80=9Cmediumship,=E2=80=9D there has existed, from the b=
eginning of time, a mysterious science, discussed by many, but known only t=
o a few
The use of it is a longing toward our only true and real home =E2=80=94 t=
he after-life, and a desire to cling more closely to our parent spirit; abu=
se of it is sorcery, witchcraft, black magic. Between the two is placed na=
tural =E2=80=9Cmediumship=E2=80=9D; a soul clothed with imperfect matter, a=
ready agent for either the one or the other, and utterly dependent on its =
surroundings of life, constitutional heredity =E2=80=94 physical as well as=
mental =E2=80=94 and on the nature of the =E2=80=9Cspirits=E2=80=9D it att=
racts around itself. A blessing or a curse, as fate will have it, unless t=
he medium is purified of earthly dross.
The reason why in every age so little has been generally known of the mys=
teries of initiation, is twofold. The first has already been explained by =
more than one author, and lies in the terrible penalty following the least =
indiscretion. The second, is the superhuman difficulties and even dangers =
which the daring candidate of old had to encounter, and either conquer, or =
die in the attempt, when, what is still worse, he did not lose his
human) to the atmosphere surrounding a medium. How many thousands of suc=
h irresponsible innocent victims have met infamous deaths through the trick=
s of those Elementaries!
Vincent <email@example.com> wrote: Jerry-
"I think the Theosophical Society began to fail in 1885, and the=20
first signs of it beginning to depart from the ideal of it's=20
founders began in the fall of 1890."
And aside from these failures which you attribute to the=20
Theosophical Society, in what ways do you think they have still been=20
subsequently successful today?
"My wife and I recently attended a weekend seminar at Krotona. We=20
had a good time. Got to see old friends and walked around the=20
grounds remembering the many people who once live there are are now=20
gone. I am a life member of the TS. I still work with the TS=20
whenever they ask my assistance. For instance, I was helping the=20
former librarian at Olcott on a project to complete sets of rare=20
journals to be microfilmed at the American Theological Library=20
Association. Anything I can to to help the movement, I still gladly=20
What things still appeal to you about the Theosophical Society today?
"You must understand that I am an idealist. Self interested=20
politics are expected in for profit corporations. After all, their=20
sole purpose for their existence is to make money in any way they=20
can. The interests of the CEO's is understandably to make sure that=20
they get a nice piece of that pie for themselves."
I believe that not-for-profit corporations are just as money-
centered as for-profit corporations. They both require money to=20
operate, and are permeated with organizational politics at their=20
highest ranks. They just obtain their money in different ways.
"Religious, philosophical and educational organizations have very=20
different agendas. Their purpose is to tend to the spiritual and=20
intellectual needs of the people. There is no place for self=20
interest in these organizations, and because it happens anyway does=20
not make it OK with me."
I believe that religious, philosophical and educational=20
organizations are first and foremost out to make money. Their=20
services are strictly delivered at a price. They may meet spiritual=20
and intellectual needs, but only for a monetary fee. Money is=20
central and donations are key.
"I'm sure that you will learn quite a lot there. You have a valuable
resource near your door. You are very lucky."
Thank you. Yes, I feel lucky to have the National headquarters of=20
the Theosophical Society just 20 minutes away from me.
"We have what we have and the Biblical scholars are doing the best=20
they can with it. They would just like to have back the 150 or so=20
texts they know about that were destroyed by the church authorities,=20
and the unknown more that must have also existed."
I suggest that there is such a wealth in the Bible that we currently=20
retain, that even if we lost another 50% of it today, we'd still=20
retain more spiritual treasure within it than we could qualitatively=20
ingest in a lifetime.
"How can I answer this question? They are all historical texts in=20
the sense that they are old. So in this meaning, they are all=20
historically valid. But as I mentioned earlier, none of these=20
texts were written as historical accounts of an event."
I'm not sure where you get this idea. I suggest that the gospels=20
were very much intended as historical texts, even if=20
evangelistically focused. Luke attempts to focus on each detail for=20
accuracy, for example. Now one may say that the historical methods=20
of recording and/or verifying information 2000 years ago was not as=20
precise as it is today, but the gospels are historically-intended=20
documents nonetheless, even while remaining evangelistic.
"The Gospels are written around a series of actions with powerful=20
cultural connotations which touched upon Greek spirituality and=20
aroused spiritual responses: the virgin birth; turning water to=20
wine; healing the Bind man; chasing the demons into the pigs etc.=20=20
Understanding how the Greeks understood these images requires a=20
study in Greek religion. That is why when we started our class in=20
the Origins of Christianity, be began with a study of Greek, Roman=20
and Egyptian religion, and preceded these by a three year study of=20
I suggest that the historicity of the gospels and the presence of=20
Greek cultural overtones are not mutually exclusive. The two can=20
"As for the presumably historical elements in the Gospel scriptures:
Birth at Bethlehem; flight to Egypt; the 12 apostles; the Jesu Logia;
the over turning of the money changer's tables; the Sanhedrin trial;=20
the interview with Pilate; the passion, all are riddled with=20
These historical difficulties do not elimate the fact that the=20
gospels are originally intended as historical documents. Rather,=20
you're just not satisfied with their degree of historical accuracy=20
by today's standards. Those are two very different scenarios.
"I wasn't thinking of drug use. But yes, I agree, it is very=20
risky. I am saying that certain practices which do not involve=20
drugs, which force open the "doors of perception" as Huxley called=20
it, can also have bad results."
That all depends on how much force you use. I've personally=20
experienced that delicate force can have rather good results as well.
"You description reminds me of practices carried on by some Indian
sadhus, and also some Native American practices. They open the lower
psychic realms in induce visions etc. but are useless for the
development of the real spiritual clairvoyance."
Yes, some of these practices were used by ancient Indians. I'm not=20
certain how you're using the term 'spiritual clairvoyance', but I=20
nonetheless suggest that higher spirituality is not attained without=20
first opening up the lower psychic realms for purposes of=20
cleansing. In this sense, one must pass through the hells (the=20
darkness of the psychic subconscious) before entering the heavens=20
(gaining spiritual enlightenment).
This is very similar to the concept that Jesus himself descended=20
into the hells and subsequently ascended into the heavens. Or when=20
he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness prior to his earthly=20
If the lower psychic centers are not opened so that they can be=20
cleansed, we will merely adopt a materialistic pseudo-spirituality=20
as a result, which is even more dangerous than opening up the lower=20
psychic centers of our subconscious.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jerry Hejka-Ekins=20=20
> Dear Vince,
> >Do you somehow feel that the Theosophical Society of Wheaton,=20
> >I have recently been attending, has departed from the ideals of=20
> I think the Theosophical Society began to fail in 1885, and the=20
> signs of it beginning to depart from the ideal of it's founders=20
> the fall of 1890.=20
> >Do you still personally attend there, or have you=20
> >altogether ceased?
> My wife and I recently attended a weekend seminar at Krotona. We=20
> good time. Got to see old friends and walked around the grounds=20
> remembering the many people who once live there are are now gone.=20=20
> a life member of the TS. I still work with the TS whenever they=20
> assistance. For instance, I was helping the former librarian at=20
> on a project to complete sets of rare journals to be microfilmed=20
> American Theological Library Association. Anything I can to to=20
> movement, I still gladly do.
> >So you seem to be saying that they've been a bit political to say=20
> >the least. But the same could be said of any incorporated=20
> >or religious organization. Do you feel that they actually did=20
> >something bad or wrong?
> You must understand that I am an idealist. Self interested=20
> expected in for profit corporations. After all, their sole=20
> their existence is to make money in any way they can. The=20
> the CEO's is understandably to make sure that they get a nice=20
> that pie for themselves. Religious, philosophical and educational=20
> organizations have very different agendas. Their purpose is to=20
> the spiritual and intellectual needs of the people. There is no=20
> for self interest in these organizations, and because it happens=20
> does not make it OK with me.
> >Honestly, I've just been attending some weekly teachings and=20
> >courses, paying each applicable donation per visit which is=20
> >necessary to run the meetings. Perhaps I will learn some things=20
> >there, and I believe that I have already as well.
> I'm sure that you will learn quite a lot there. You have a=20
> resource near your door. You are very lucky.=20
> >I would suggest that, even if the Bible is so grossly edited as=20
> >assert, we nonetheless have enough of it historically intact to=20
> >useful reading of it. Granted it may be fragmented, but we still=20
> >have a reasonable amount to constuctively work with.
> We have what we have and the Biblical scholars are doing the best=20
> can with it. They would just like to have back the 150 or so=20
> know about that were destroyed by the church authorities, and the=20
> unknown more that must have also existed.
> >What portions of the Bible, if any, do you believe remain=20
> >historically valid? Is it all bad, or just parts thereof?
> How can I answer this question? They are all historical texts in=20
> sense that they are old. So in this meaning, they are all=20
> valid. But as I mentioned earlier, none of these texts were=20
> historical accounts of an event. The Gospels are written around a=20
> series of actions with powerful cultural connotations which=20
> Greek spirituality and aroused spiritual responses: the virgin=20
> turning water to wine; healing the Bind man; chasing the demons=20
> pigs etc. Understanding how the Greeks understood these images=20
> a study in Greek religion. That is why when we started our class=20
> Origins of Christianity, be began with a study of Greek, Roman and=20
> Egyptian religion, and preceded these by a three year study of=20
> As for the presumably historical elements in the Gospel=20
> Birth at Bethlehem; flight to Egypt; the 12 apostles; the Jesu=20
> the over turning of the money changer's tables; the Sanhedrin=20
> interview with Pilate; the passion, all are riddled with=20
> >These dangers moreso exist in the context of those who use=20
> >illegitimate consciousness-expanding drugs to induce their=20
> I wasn't thinking of drug use. But yes, I agree, it is very=20
> am saying that certain practices which do not involve drugs, which=20
> open the "doors of perception" as Huxley called it, can also have=20
> >Whereas, my own trance-conditioning is completely the opposite,=20
> >revolves around natural physiological conditioning, such as=20
> >recycling the waking/sleeping rhythms and fasting/eating rhythms,=20
> >more after the manner of an athlete. Hence, my trances are a bit=20
> >more difficult to induce, but are easily shut down. Bodily self-
> >mastery, much like a bodybuilder, versus crass chemical=20
> You description reminds me of practices carried on by some Indian=20
> sadhus, and also some Native American practices. They open the=20
> psychic realms in induce visions etc. but are useless for the=20
> development of the real spiritual clairvoyance.
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