[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Personal Savior vs Impersonal Christ principal

Oct 29, 2011 04:40 AM
by Duane Carpenter

Here is my commentary below in its complete form on a comparison of the works of HPB and AAB.
It brings clarity to what AAB was saying about the personality of a Christ or avatar while in incarnation vs the Cosmic Christ as an impersonal principal.
One must always distinguish when analyzing the works of AAB from what she wrote personally and what she dictated telepathically from DK. Although not contradictory clearly show different emphases.
ÂFor those who have studied the works of DK via AAB, DK's immense Cosmological outlines can be considered the final and most expanded word on any of these controversial subjects. Many Theosophist seize on statements made by AAB in her own books thinking this is the last definitive statement on the subject. I can assure the reader it is not.
Best Duane
ÂâD.K. worked with the great disciple whom we know as H.P.B. Her writings, and especially The Secret Doctrine, were a courageous pioneering effort which broke through in the earlier days and made all that we now can do far more possible than it otherwise could have beenâ. (AAB speaking of HPBs contribution)
This brief comparison and overview of the teachings and works of HPB and AAB is not meant to be a correlated thesis but a simple commentary of their different works on a practical level. 
ÂI have found that one of the key differences between HPB and Alice A. Bailey is that Bailey gives a graded series of meditation techniques that can be practiced by the disciple in training along with her metaphysical and psychological information. 
HPB advises the student to avoid any special meditation techniques unless guided by the presence of a Master. (She may have given techniques privately).
The Bailey material stresses the âMaster in the Heartâ orâ Solar Angelâ which she claimed will guide the disciple forward on the path. This work is largely telepathic and although indirectly stimulated by the Master and the group to which the student belongs is not dependent on the physical guidance or presence of that Master. Is this a major difference between the two types of orientation and if so what type of consequences would it have for students in spiritual training?
ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ I have seen a number of Theosophical students who were ready to move forward with new techniques of alignment and meditation but were held back by not having proper guidance. Having said this I am familiar with the injunction that when the student or disciple is ready âthe Master will appearâ.
If it is possible to receive teachings from a Master telepathically what does this say about the necessity of a Masterâs physical presence? According to Bailey the Masters have much more important duties than working with mere beginners and will only contact a student telepathically when they are sufficiently developed and are soul conscious. The Soul or Divine Ego should be seen as the intermediary agent between the disciple personally and the Master of any Ray or group. 
This is not to say HPB teaching methods towards students was incorrect but publicly and on a large scale there was too much danger of premature disclosure or overstimulation by giving out random meditation techniques. Man evolves and what was useful and acceptable then in her day may not necessarily be the case now. Man on a large scale may be much more capable of assimilated more advanced teachings at this time historically then over a hundred years ago.
ÂUnless this concept is grasped any new wave of theosophical teachings can easily be rejected as distortions of what has already preceded it. If theosophy were simply a series of intellectual commentaries about hidden truth what has been given out by the great luminaries such as HPB could be graven in stone and taken as the last word in the ancient wisdom teachings. But it is not, for true theosophy is a subjective process of emergence, a realization of oneâs essential divinity in which all the written teachings simply guide and hint at what must be discovered directly and without the aid of words or theories however lofty and useful as a starting point.
Any system of metaphysics or philosophy that is presented to humanity was only meant to guide them through the next stage of their development and not to become the last and final word on Godâs evolving Plan for man.
Theosophy at its core is a subjective process that is organic and multidimensional. To try and reduce this subjective process to a series of theories is to dogmatize and crystallize that which is perennially fresh and dynamic.
ÂMany groups have clearly plagiarized some of these written works of HPB and AAB. But even in this theft is it possible they may have expedited godâs plane in curious and not so obvious ways? It doesnât take a true disciple long to see the different types and qualities of teachings out there and find what will work for themselves. The average spiritual student may be smarter and far more adaptable then the theosophical pundits who try to classify everything into their neat and sterile little pigeon holes. 
The question I have for the reader is it possible too plagiarize on God? 
HPB introduced the idea of the Lodge of Masters and many profound esoteric truths to a completely new audience. Whereas AAB had the benefit of her earlier work upon which she could build.
Whereas, HPB brought forth the anthropological key to the Secret Doctrine, Alice Bailey brought the Psychological key to the Secret Doctrine. AABâs work on The Seven Rays, the spiritual hierarchyâs, the teachings on the antahkarana, Âthe Masters, teachings on initiation, esoteric healing and astrology, and most importantly teachings on meditation and the deva evolution are all an extension and the results of HPBâs earlier contribution. To think AABâs work is just a rehash of HPBâs work is not a valid criticism if one studies all of their material and compares the two.
Most criticisms of AAB works Âdone by Theosophist often acknowledges they have only read or studied her works superficially.
The argument that AAB departs from the original teachings of certain spiritual traditions and schools of earlier origin and originality has been charged to HPBâs works as well. The labels may not be as important as what is clearly disseminated within those teachings
HPB came to smash the materialism of the west and was an initiate from a first ray Ashram (Power) and laid down the esoteric wisdom given out by many hidden and secret traditions. ÂAlice Bailey from a second ray Ashram (Love wisdom) but still working in conjunction with that first ray ashram took that information and expanded it by giving deeper insights into what is actually taught at some of these mystery schools and occult colleges spoken of by HPB. HPB may have laid out a wide cosmology on the existence of the Masters but AAB took much of that information and expanded on it and put it into a systematic and sequential form. 
AAB may have been exposed to more advanced teachings then the average theosophist received by her participation in the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society. But any comparison between what she was exposed to then and what she later received from the ashram of the Tibetan Master DK clearly shows additional information was given. Since most Theosophical students do not study the more esoteric side of the Ancient Wisdom Teachings in any depth superficial comparisons and premature conclusion are easily made. 
HPB works are brilliant and encompass such vast amounts of philosophical information it is easy for many students to get lost in her depth and profundity. This is not a limitation of her brilliant works but without some practical type of meditational practice to balance and absorb some of her finer points many of her insights can easily go unrecognized and just become interesting facts.
ÂAAB organized her teachings in a more methodical way that is closer to a true science of energy and spiritual force. Both are useful in seeing the big picture, and how each student must begin some program of study, meditation and service.
Their teaching styles and methods of communication are considerably different. Alice was a Gemini, HPB a Leo.
ÂÂ35 years of studying both intimately in my personal life and with hundreds of spiritual groups over the years show that they are essentially communicating the same Ancient wisdom teachings. The differences between them do exist but they are largely superficial if everything is considered and the big picture seen.
ÂOne of the greatest stumbling blocks to many who have studied HPBâs work is what they see as Alice Bailey personalizing the idea of Christ. If you take into account that DK himself stated that he deliberately gave the ancient wisdom teachings a Christianized emphasesfor a broader audience here in the west it will explain much. One must alsoÂdistinguish when analyzing the works of AABÂ what she wrote personally, from what she dictated telepathically from DK. Although not contradictory clearly show different emphases.
DK's vast Cosmological outlines should be considered the final and most expanded word on any controversial subjects.Many Theosophist seize on statements made by AAB in her own books thinking this is the last definitive statement on the subject. I can assure the reader it is not.
Did AAB fuse Esoteric Christianity with Esoteric Buddhism? This audacious undertaking could only be done by a Master of the Wisdom who could bypass the dogmas and historical baggage both religions bring and see the Âsame esoteric truths that are be found in all Âreligious traditions and Âemanating from the same One Source of spiritual life. For those theosophical students who have been told by erroneous sources that AAB has overly personified the principal of Love or Christ please read carefully the next passage and quote by AAB.
âThere have always been those in every land who developed and expressed the Christ consciousness; this is loving understanding and intelligent, living service, no matter by what words or terminology they expressed the tremendous spiritual event of which they were aware. â 
Today, as a result of a spiritual awakening which dates from 1625 A.D., and which laid the emphasis upon a wider, general education and upon a revolt from the imposition of clerical authority, the radiation from the world of souls has greatly intensified and the Kingdom of God is becoming a corporate part of the outer world expression, and this for the first time in the long, long history of humanity.
The effect of this radiation or magnetic aura is now so extensive that we need no longer talk in terms of bringing in the kingdom or of its manifestation on Earth. It is already manifesting, and its aura is co-mingled with the mental, astral and etheric auras of mankind. Recognition only is required, but (and this is a factor to be noted) recognition is being withheld until the kingdom of souls can be safeguarded from the narrow claims of any church, religion or organization; many will claim (as they have ever done) that admittance into the Kingdom of God is to be found through their particular reparative group. The Kingdom of God is not Christian, or Buddhist, or to be found focused in any world religion or esoteric organization. It is simply and solely what it claims to be: a vast and integrated group of soul-infused persons, radiating [Page 408] love and spiritual intention, motivated by goodwill...â
ÂFor all of the endless debates about Bailey vs. HPB, Bailey clearly puts the idea of the Bodhisattva or Cosmic Christ as an impersonal deity or power that expresses both intelligence and Love. In fact, if you fully comprehend the thrust of Alice Baileyâs work, you will see that the study of Fohat-Will or the First Ray of abstraction and power was at the very top of the list in the order of importance of all the subjects that he (DK)Âwas trying to convey to humanity. ÂA Treatise on Cosmic Fire is a manual for those advanced disciples in preparation for initiation along the First Ray line hence there is a natural correlation between Cosmic Fire and the Secret Doctrine and it is not uncommon to see both treatise used as resource material simultaneously by advanced groups. Most students of theosophy who think they are advanced unfortunately do not study either treatise. 
The aspirant and probationers are baffled by the depth and profundity of both treatises but have not developed the wisdom to remain silent until they know more. True disciples recognize the immense opportunity that the works of HPB and AAB offer and begin creating analogies, correspondences and links between the two.
The question I have for my reader is it possible that an avatar or master along any one of the 7 Rays could work on both levels simultaneously, both as an individual person who is also a Cosmic Principal? If this is true might it explain some of the apparent inconsistencies and paradoxes we are discussing here? These two concepts may not be mutual exclusive but a part of One Life which seen in all its composite parts - simultaneously, not an easy thing to recognize or register if the intuition is not highly developed.
I have personally spent 35 years studying what both systems say on color, sound, number and geometry during the initiatory experience as an example and found that the true esoteric knowledge that I gleaned from them were like pearls scattered throughout both of their works and like an immense multidimensional puzzle must be slowly methodically pieced together.
ÂAlice Bailey gives much additional information on the many subjects HPB introduced to the public namely astrology, the Masters work, the seven rays, the 12 creative hierarchies, and the deva kingdom; their ranks grades and orders, the ÂÂlaw of analogy and supplementary seven as well as teachings on color, number and sound.
Man has evolved and new discipleship training that stresses daily meditation may not only be normal but is happening everywhere through thousands of new age groups right now as I write. Some may argue that these new age groups are not true theosophy but I ask the reader what is true Theosophy? True Theosophy is not one personâs teachings but the truth that comes from many sources. Many Theosophists need to let go of their historical attachments to the personalities of those who brought forth important information. We are told by the ancient wisdom teachings to be eclectic. Take what works for us in our personal lives and disregard the rest. The truth ultimately resides within oneself.
Having made these general statements about the comparison between HPB and AAB. ÂI would like to further clarify another controversy particularly within the Bailey material. To understand the importance of many of AABâs statements you need to have an understanding of thecontexts in which she gives this information. This is particularly important when speaking of the information on vegetarianism, the opening of the centers, breathing exercises, or work with Kundalini or the deva kingdoms. AAB gives out different information depending if the student is anÂaspirant, a probationer, or an accepted disciple. It is obvious that teachings for an advanced disciple would be dangerous or inappropriate forÂan aspirant or beginner.
If you have not familiarized yourself with much of the information given out by AAB on the rays and the Initiations and read all of her works, you can easily get what appears as inconsistencies or conflicting information.
Many times Bailey students come across certain passages that they incorporate into their lives never realizing that what an advanced teacher gives their students is relative and can vary as their students grow in spiritual understanding.
In the Discipleship in the New Age books 1 and 2 many examples of this are given. It is clear that the instructions that Alice Bailey gives vary depending upon the students needs. If these students are as an example overly First ray and full of (Power) the meditation given to them is one that opens the heart. If the student is overly 2ndray and Full of Love and good will but lacking knowledge or Power she gives another different type of meditation to bring into their lives the power and knowledge aspect. Always seeking to bring balance and harmony between the three main aspects of each studentâs development Will, (Ray 1) Love, (Ray 2) and Intelligence, (Ray3). Statements made by AAB may appear as contradictions to the casual observer but they are not but simply show the versatility and creativity of an advanced teacher in relationship to their evolving students. (1)
Those theosophical students who claim AAB's works are overly academic or mental fail to grasp the importance of the Aquarian cycle we are now entering. Lord Agni which controls and assists in the development of the mental principal during this 5th root race is rising in ascendancy and replacing the more devotionalÂapproaches to Deity. This is not to say feeling is not important in the development of discipleship trainings but that it is feeling drawn up onto the plane of Buddhi and pure loveÂand not a limited devotion towards oneâs own feeling nature or ones individual Guru. That which we seek is ultimately within ourselves and deferring our development to some external figure however advanced and enlightened may not create freedom as often though, but to the contrary create a Âtype of dependence.
True discipleship training by a Master or seniorÂinitiate in the new Aquarian cycle we are now entering is done by orientating the student back into the natural spiritual resources that lie within themselves and notÂsome authoritarian words. The master however enlightenedÂis meant to be only an intermediary between man and God and not an end product in itself. The devotional types that make up many theosophical groups in the world at this time would do well to think on this.
By over personifying the concept ofÂthe Master many students have not only relegated that concept to a ridiculous perversion of a great and profound inner truth but they have done so at their own expense. Is it possible that the greater the theosophical student raises his hopes and expectations of what theÂGuru or Master will do for them the more they may unknowingly diminish their own potential for inner growth? The Buddha summed up this idea most eloquently when he said " that no man sees but by their own Light"ÂÂ
ÂWe can argue all the fine points of esoteric philosophy between HPB and AAB and perhaps never resolve some of their superficial differences. AAB teachings simply work and they work well for thousands of students. Is what AAB said the last word in the dissemination of the ancient world teaching traditions? - I think not!
When what HPB and AAB as an example is aligned with current developments in Quantum Physics and many new emerging scientific discoveries Âadditional insights and revelations will be gained.
To throw AAB works in with the teachings of Benjamin CrÃme, Charles Leadbeater and Annie Besant are ludicrous and simply demonstrate that the student has not done the necessary research. Putting aside their many distortions and theosophical oversimplifications that Leadbeater and Besant perpetuated they are simply entry level teachings. AAB and HPBÂspeaks to those who are ready for true discipleship training, HPB createdÂa broad panorama of esoteric wisdom and AAB extended that work giving techniques in individual and group meditation, visualization and alignment that will speed up and facilitate spiritual growth.
The Theosophical society is in major crises brought on by its own ignorance, dogma and refusal to be open to all forms of Theosophical teachings regardless from which direction they come. Theosophy lives on but more in the teachings that have spread around the world exponentially than in its disintegrating institutions that may have started them.
One last comment on a practical note. What does it matter which Master said what? All these endless debates about authenticity or originality are ludicrous to the important issues and needs of everyday theosophical students. HPB and AAB both regretted even mentioning the Masters names because of the glamour and illusions many of their own students have created.
If HPB and AAB are right we will have a new world religion in the near future that will stress the science of electricity-fohat and how this energy and force build and destroy on all planes. Everything is a quality of fohat or cosmic electricity and we must study its nature. Not so much in our books as in ourselves. As HPB stated if you want to talk with the Gods you must first learn their language. And what is that language but one of interior light, color, sound, geometry and vibration esoterically understood. A science of energy that is compatible with modern discoveries in quantum physics as well as the super-human physics of the ancient Yogiâs. ÂAn intelligent religion free from the over emotional reactions that we see daily. Fanatical fundamentalism is alive and well in the world at this time and it will take some clear thinking on the part of many world servers to bring all these warring factions to a common understanding of right human
 relations and goodwill.Â
Footnote (1) 
An additional quoteÂby AAB from Esoteric Psychology on how the soul balances the rays of any individual over a number of lifetimes ever seeking wholeness. Without an understanding of the rays that make up each person spiritually and personally many of AAB's comments may seem difficult to understand. 
ÂâIt is interesting to note that when this stage is reached (the stage of rebuilding as the first ray man understands it), he will usually pass through four incarnations in which he is first of all "the man at the centre," a focal point of immobile power. ÂHe is conscious of his power, gained whilst functioning as a selfish destroyer, but he is also conscious of frustration and futility. Next he passes through a life in which he begins to reorganize himself for a different type of activity, and it will be found that in these cases he will have a third or a seventh ray personality. In the third incarnation he definitely begins rebuilding and works through a second ray personality until, in the fourth life, he can function safely through a first ray personality without losing his spiritual balance, if we might use such a phrase. Through this type of personality, his first ray soul can demonstrate, because the disciple has "recovered feeling,
 gained divine emotion, and filled his waiting heart with love." In such cases as this, the astral body is usually on the second ray, the mental body upon the fourth ray, and the physical body upon the sixth ray. This naturally tends to balance or upset the intensity of the first ray vibrations of the personality and soul. It is in the third life of reorientation that he gains the reward for the arresting of his selfish efforts, and aspects of the Plan are then revealed to him.â Esoteric Psychology 2, P.354
A quote by DK telepathically received by AAB on HPB and her own work:
H.P.B. (one of the first working disciples to go forth on the externalization impulse with first ray energy driving him) gave the background of the Plan, under impression from me; the more detailed structure and the sweep of the hierarchical intention have been given by me in the books which A.A.B. has introduced under her own name to the public (in so doing acting under my instructions). For the first time in human history, the purpose of past eventsâhistorical and psychologicalâcan be clearly noted as the foundation for all present happenings, thus bringing the mysterious Law of Karma in an easy manner to public attention. The present can also be seen, indicating the way of the future and revealing clearly the Will-to-Good which is animating the entire evolutionary processâa process in which humanity (again for the first time) is intelligently participating and cooperating. It is this cooperative participation, even if unconsciously rendered,
 which has made it possible for the Hierarchy to grasp the opportunity to bring to an end the long silence which has persisted since Atlantean days; the Masters can now begin to undertake to renew an ancient "sharing of the secrets," and to prepare humanity for a civilization which will be distinguished by a constant intellectual perception of truth, and which will cooperate with the externalized Ashrams in the various parts of the worldâ.
Additional clarifying statements
In A Treatise on Cosmic Fire the Tibetan has given us what H. P. Blavatsky prophesied he would give, namely the psychological key to the Cosmic Creation. H.P.B. stated that in the 20th century a disciple would come who would give the psychological key to her own monumental work The Secret Doctrine on which treatise the Tibetan worked with her; and Alice A. Bailey worked in complete recognition of her own task in this sequence.
"Probably the easiest way to prove that these books were actually transmitted by a higher intelligence is to read a book written by Alice A Bailey, and then read a book that's revealed by the Tibetan. The difference is like night and day. To read Alice A Bailey it sounds like just an average metaphysical student talking. If you read something channeled by the Tibetanit seems that every two or three lines you have a flash of inspiration coming to you. They'll be something there that you've never even thought of before. I've gotten a lot of inspiration from reading the books. I've read all of them and some of them a number of times. As you can see here, this book is pretty well used. It's my personal copy." 
(Quote from JJ of Keysters Group, White MagicLesson 1)
There has been much debate in recent days about whose doctrine is true: HPB
versus AAB; ancient Hindu scriptures versus HPB; HPB versus Besant and
Leadbeater. Members on this list have pointed out that there are clear
differences between the writings or doctrines of these various authorities.

Here, I would like to emphasize an area of AGREEMENT among different

In "The Key to Theosophy", published in 1889, H. P. Blavatsky saw two
possible futures for the TS. On the one hand, she described its possible
failure: "Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended
in failure, because, sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up
hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that
vitality which living truth alone can impart. You must remember that all
our members have been bred and born in some creed or religion, that all are
more or less of their generation both physically and mentally, and
consequently that their judgment is but too likely to be warped and
unconsciously biased by some or all of these influences. If, then, they
cannot be freed from such inherent bias, or at least taught to recognize it
instantly and so avoid being led away by it, the result can only be that the
Society will drift off on to some sandbank of thought or another, and there
remain a stranded carcass to molder and die."

That is a very vivid image: "a stranded carcass to molder and die." But
what if the aforementioned danger can be averted? In this case, HPB
predicted: "Then the Society will live on into and through the twentieth
century. It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking
and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion, 
Duty, and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron
fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break
down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to
the practical realization of the Brotherhood of all men."

So, Blavatsky, in 1889, made two quite different predictions for the
Theosophical Society in the 20th Century: she says that it might set up
"hard-and-fast dogmas of its own" and then become "a stranded carcass to
molder and die"; or it might "burst asunder iron fetters of creeds and
dogmas" leading to "the practical realization of the Brotherhood of all
men." Which outcome has occurred?

Next, let us turn to Alice A. Bailey. In "A Treatise on White Magic", first
published in 1934, AAB wrote:

"All that is possible for me is to grope for those feeble words which will
somewhat clothe the thought. As they clothe it they limit it and I am guilty
of creating new prisoners who must ultimately be released. All books are
prison houses of ideas."

Here AAB is pointing out that even her own books are "prison houses of
ideas." The purpose of her books was to free her readers from past dogmas
that had become barriers to their spiritual progress. But if her readers
turn her own books into hard-and-fast dogmas, as many of her readers have
done, then they have become prisoners of those books who must be freed by
future writers.

One of the most popular contemporary teachings on spirituality is A Course
in Miracles (ACIM). As many of you might know, ACIM was channeled
allegedly from the Master Jesus, was first published in 1975, and has sold
several million copies. Today, more students are probably studying ACIM
than the books of HPB and AAB combined. I, myself, led an ACIM study group
for many years at the Theosophical Society in Boston. Here, is what ACIM
says: "Words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from
reality." And yet several ACIM organizations are now fighting each other
over the proper interpretation of the ACIM words, with bitter lawsuits and
legal attempts to destroy or prevent opposing interpretations from even
being published.

I think that HPB, AAB, and ACIM are telling us the same thing: namely, it
is a mistake to turn any written doctrine into a hard-and-fast dogma, or
standard of truth. This message was especially emphasized by Krishnamurti
who wrote in "Krishnamurti's Journal":
"One has to be a light to oneself ... To be a light to oneself is not to
follow the light of another, however reasonable, logical, historical, and
however convincing."

By Zack Lansdowne from the âTheosophical Worldâ website, message #10432 

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application