The New Age 


All Things New Mary Baker Eddy
Unity School of Christianity Transmigration of Souls
Wicca National Socialism
I am God The Kabbalah
Oprah Winfrey Madame H. P. Blavatsky
Astrology Postscript



LogoAll Things New

One of the things most remarkable about 'New Age' spirituality, is how little of it is really new at all. Satan is either very conservative or very unimaginative, because his customary procedure is to recycle his old material rather than to invent new things. The 'New Age' is a grab-bag of ancient pagan practices with little more than cosmetic updating.

Apollonius of Tyana, an ancient mountebank who was an eager student of Eastern spirituality with its attendant practices of levitation, etc., is a preferred Christ-figure for this crowd, superior in their eyes to the unfortunately monotheistic Jesus of Nazareth. Apollonius was a spell-binder who could get a crowd in his grip, as shown in Philostratus' terrifying narrative describing how he convinced an angry mob that pummelling a harmless old man to death would rid them of their problems:


Philostratus
Life of
Apollonius
of Tyana

LogoEvery harmless old European women ever executed as a witch,— because the crops withered on the vine, the cow got sick and died, and somebody must be found to pin the blame upon,— knows what the friendless old man, marked out for death by Apollonius' malice, went through in the closing moments of his life. Those who admire this man are revealing what manner of spirit they are of. Madame Blavatsky, speaking of the "aura," said, "About such men as Apollonius, Iamblichus, Plotinus, and Porphyry, there gathered this heavenly nimbus." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 487, Kindle location 16408). See the object of her admiration, the 'holy man':

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Scape-goating Transmigration of Souls
Proteus Incarnate Post Hoc
Suttee Just Deserts
Respect of Persons Pollution
Astrology


LogoMary Baker Eddy

Although not fairly consigned to the 'New Age' bin, Mary Baker Eddy was one of the founding seeresses of nineteenth century 'New Thought,' a movement pivotal to later developments. She achieved great success. When I was a young person, there was a Christian Science reading room in every city; this is no longer the case. The competition, medical science, has ramped up its game, and Christian Science is fading away.

Her idea is, it's all your own fault: "So the sick through their beliefs have induced their own diseased conditions." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter XII, Kindle location 5096). We make ourselves sick, by believing there is disease, and we can make ourselves well, by ceasing so to believe. In her book, you're only as dead as you believe you are: "The sense regard a corpse, not as man, but simply as matter. . .The belief of that mortal that he must die occasioned his departure; yet you say that matter has caused his death." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter X, Kindle location 3958):



  • “If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.”
  • (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter IX, Kindle location 3315).


Disease is Unreal The Atonement
Miracles Old Man in the Sky
Conundrums Old Testament
Ultimate Fallacy Problem of Evil
Idealism Resurrection in the Flesh
Divinity of Jesus Christ Madame Blavatsky
Satan, Prince of this World


LogoShe believed death, disease, sin, and matter were illusory things that only appeared to exist, but were not real: "Matter and death are mortal illusions. Spirit and all things spiritual are the real and eternal." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter X, Kindle location 3673). The Bible says that Adam was made from the dust, which suggests at least a dash of matter went into our composition: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7),— but she is not fooled. She did not trust the evidence of the senses: "The five physical senses are the avenues and instruments of human error, and they correspond with error." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter X, Kindle location 3728).

Mary Baker Eddy was an anti-Trinitarian:

"The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM. 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord.'" (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter IX, Kindle location 3256).

She denies God is personal in any sense, as opposed to a 'Principle:' "Mortals believe in a finite personal God, while God is infinite Love, which must be unlimited." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter X, Kindle location 3963). They do not worship Jesus as God incarnate, but follow Him after a fashion, because by her way of reckoning, Jesus Christ was the first Christian Scientist: "Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter X, Kindle location 3974).



  • “In Latin the word rendered disciple signifies student; and the word indicates that the power of healing was not a supernatural gift to those learners, but the result of their cultivated spiritual understanding of the divine Science, which their Master demonstrated by healing the sick and sinning.”
  • (Mary Baker Eddy, Sermon, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter X, Kindle location 3445).



Logo Though she meant no harm to anybody, more than a few earthly pilgrimages have likely been cut short because of Mrs. Eddy. She insisted that people must not seek medical attention, which is like insisting that a starving person not visit the grocery store across the street, even if his wallet is full, because God fed Elijah miraculously by means of ravens. The point of the Bible story of Elijah is not that food is illusory or unnecessary.

Some of her techniques have crept into the church, through Norman Vincent Peale's 'positive' thinking,' and through today's 'prosperity' teaching. No doubt these popular habits of thought owe much to 'New Thought:'

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Logo Unity School of Christianity

The Unity School of Christianity was one of the major transmission routes through which neo-gnostic spirituality was spread in the United States. 'New Age' thinkers differ in their stance toward Christianity: some are hostile, some contemptuous. . .and others are self-professed adherents. However, it is scarcely surprising to discover that the 'Christianity' of Unity is not the orthodox variety. They do not urge you to bow down and worship Christ, but to be like Him; their Christ did not die to save sinners, of which there are none, but only imperfectly instructed learners. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore began this movement in 1889 after experiencing a healing in conformance with Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science tenets. Like Mary Baker Eddy, this tendency presents the world as rather malleable in the face of our thoughts and desires, which is not necessarily a Bible lesson, but is foundational to the New Age. The Christian prays to God for help in time of need; these folks think rather that the ideas they cherish in their minds directly mold a plastic and unformed reality.

As in Christian Science, an elder sister in the 'New Thought' movement, God is reduced to a vague abstraction in this system:

"'The Father is principle, the Son is that principle revealed in a creative plan, the Holy Spirit is the executive power of both Father and Son, carrying out the creative plan' (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, page 629, quoted p. 284, The Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter R. Martin).


Logo It may seem churlish and unfair to list nominally and intentionally Christian movements like Christian Science and Unity on the same page with outright pagans; however, the thought patterns these people established are actually important to New Age thought, and for that matter to the 'prosperity' teaching which is so ubiquitous nowadays. The Fillmores taught that there is wisdom in all paths, an 'insight' unavailable to Bible-believers. This is indeed a New Age cliche. However there is always one exception: because the Bible denies that all paths lead to the same destination, the Bible is on this point wrong, bad, misguided. . .and thus it turns out, not all paths lead to the mountaintop after all:

"Shirley Maclaine reflects this relativism when she says that 'everyone has his own truth, and truth, as an objective reality, doesn't exist.' Earlier in this chapter, we noticed the New Age conviction that all spiritual paths lead to the same goal. Even though these different paths may appear contradictory, they really are not. But no New Age disciple really believes that all paths are equal. All of them reject at least one spiritual path, that of biblical Christianity." (Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict, p. 142).

In fact this common 'New Age' insight is something of a 'cheat' in any case. What is more common than for one 'New Age' teacher to accuse another of ignorance? All the holy books teach the one, unitary Ancient Wisdom. . .but it requires the services of a gifted interpreter, like the Fillmores, or Madame Blavatsky, to distinguish for us the 'blinds' or deliberate misrepresentation, from the corruptions introduced by ignorant, non-initiated editors, and those in turn from the false teachings introduced by the malignant theologians. Only when thus 'properly interpreted,'— or homogenized,— do the holy books say anything like the same thing.

See, for example, how easy it is for Madame Blavatsky, a grand-mother of this tendency of thought, to dismiss the Bible as a 'blind:' "For how could those who invented the stupendous scheme now known as the Bible, or their successors who knew, as all Kabbalists do, that it was so invented for a popular blind — how could they, we ask, feel reverence for such a phallic symbol and a NUMBER, as Jehovah is shown most undeniably to be in the Kabbalistic works?" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 68943). But if a given teaching of a competing holy book may be, a.) true and accepted, under already elastic standards of interpretation, or b.) false, intended only as a 'blind,' to deceive the non-initiate, or an unwitting corruption; then what unwanted teaching need ever inconvenience the disciple of the one, true, unitary 'Ancient Wisdom'?

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Mountain Top Baal
Engulf and Devour Circle of Equals
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach A Plague on Your House
Universal Longing Pearl of Great Price



LogoTransmigration of Souls

The teaching that human souls are 'recycled' from one generation to the next is very old, and underlays the major religions of the East, Hinduism and Buddhism. All but universal in the East, this same view of our eternal destiny was promoted in the West by Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato:



  • “This doctrine of God being the universal mind diffused through all things, underlies all ancient philosophies. The Buddhistic tenets which can never be better comprehended than when studying the Pythagorean philosophy — its faithful reflection — are derived from this source as well as the Brahmanical religion and early Christianity. The purifying process of transmigrations — the metempsychoses — however grossly anthropomorphized at a later period, must only be regarded as a supplementary doctrine, disfigured by theological sophistry with the object of getting a firmer hold upon believers through a popular superstition.”
  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 289, Kindle location 9807).




Doubting Thomas, Polish Salt Mine


Logo One Teacher who, given the opportunity to sign onto this paradigm, signally refused to do so, is Jesus, who answered the question about the man born blind this way,

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.'” (John 9:1-5).

Notice what Jesus refrains from saying: that the man was born blind in punishment for sins committed during a prior lifetime. His questioners must have been thinking along these lines, offering as one option the thesis that he was born blind, because he had sinned: when? Every disadvantage in life, not only congenital birth defects, but also inherited poverty, are rationalized in India by this paradigm, which explains that some people are of low social caste because they were bad in a prior life, whereas others now enjoy an exalted status, because they were good in a prior life. This rationalization powers an extremely unjust social system, where, oddly enough, the people on the bottom tend to be darker-skinned than the people on the top, probably reflecting an ancient conquest which, by means of this fairy tale, turned from a conquest by arms into a conquest of the mind.

Plato is the most widely-read of the ancient authors who endorses the Eastern concept of reincarnation:


Plato Home


LogoEastern religion encourages the seeker to hop off the wheel of rebirth. Whether what is promised thereupon is simple extinction, or exaltation, is in the eye of the beholder, because these traditions do not see any real value in the human personality. The Christian promise is not reincarnation but resurrection, a non-cyclical, non-repeating, one-time occurrence. This paradigm offends those dualists, like the gnostics, who devalue human flesh and the material world generally. To those who see the Creator's world through such unthankful and jaundiced eyes, the great Bible promise of resurrection as a dire threat of re-imprisonment.

It is fairly normal with this crowd to discount the Bible record, of a man walking out the grave, in the flesh, because by their way of reckoning, why would that be a good thing? Though Mary Baker Eddy was not a reincarnationist, she did not see any value in a resurrection in the flesh:

"Human theories are inadequate to interpret the divine Principle involved in the miracles (marvels) wrought by Jesus and especially in his mighty, crowning, unparalleled, and triumphant exit from the flesh." (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, with Keys to the Scriptures, Chapter VI, Kindle location 1525).

'Exit from the flesh?' Hmmm. . .not what my Bible says, "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing." (John 20:27):

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LogoWicca

Wicca is a modern revival of ancient nature paganism. Richard Dawkins' longed-for religion of the 'pale blue dot' would fall into this category. The pagan peoples of antiquity revered the forces of nature, marvelling at them and even falling down to worship, the sun, the moon, planets, fire, storm, the earth, etc. It has been modernized and updated a bit in recent years. These people gather every year at Stonehenge, an ancient observatory, to celebrate. . .whatever it is they celebrate: gravity, astronomy, whatever.

Wiccans lay claim to a long history of persecution at the hands of Christians.  From Roman pagan times, the idea that a practitioner of the dark arts could harm others through occult means has been embedded in the civil law, and Israel's ancient theocracy allowed no practice of pagan religions: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Exodus 22:18). While there is a long and tragic history of witchcraft prosecutions in nominally Christian countries, it is not clear how to classify the victims, because one of the most striking things about these cases is that almost all persons executed as witches, at Salem and elsewhere, appear to have been genuinely innocent. The lasting lesson from these prosecutions is to take care what kind of evidence to admit into court: admitting hallucinatory evidence, or evidence obtained under torture, opens the door to horrifying miscarriages of justice. Wiccans, however, believe that all or most of the persons executed as witches were, in fact, practitioners of the old nature paganism, not persons falsely accused, and are thus fallen martyrs to their faith. Taking the power to direct the people's religious observance out of the worldly and inept hands of government, as is done by the First Amendment, leaves Wiccans free to do their thing.

A few years back there was a flap about self-professed Wiccans serving in the U.S. armed forces. Some people actually wondered if pagans could possibly make good soldiers, as if the men who marched with Alexander the Great were sissies! Pagans in the U.S. military is no new thing. Still-pagan troops have served, with great distinction, attached to the U.S. military in the past; Kit Carson's men were sleep-deprived because their Indian scouts insisted on performing the war dance, a pagan ceremonial, prior to engaging the enemy:

"Finally, he [Kit Carson] recruited seventy-two Indians to scout and screen his movements. A few were Jicarilla Apache, but most were Uties. . .Both tribes were eager to strike at their hereditary enemies, the Kiowa and Comanche. . .As the troops tried to sleep, the Utes and Apaches made the night hideous with interminable dancing and singing in preparation, as the soldiers thought, for war. Lieutenant Pettis wrote afterward that the war dance '. . .became almost intolerable, it being kept up on each night until nearly daybreak, and until we became accustomed to their groans and howlings incident to the dance, it was impossible to sleep.'" (To the Last Cartridge, Robert Barr Smith, pp. 162-163).

Whether today's pagans live up to the standards of their great-grandfathers is, of course, open to question, but pagan soldiers of the past, whether commanded by Atilla the Hun, Agamemnon, Genghis Khan, or Julius Caesar, whether inspired by Mars or by the Ghost Dance, have performed well in battle. . .some of them.

Is there any merit in the idea of worshipping the forces of nature? Why, when nature itself worships: "Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created." (Psalm 148:2-5). Instead of worshipping nature, the creature, we should follow the example of nature, and worship the Creator, who made the whole spectacular apparatus:

"He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knows its going down. You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God. When the sun rises, they gather together and lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions— This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great." (Psalm 104:19-25)

You would not stand there marvelling before a wonderful piece of artwork, while the artist himself is standing right there at the opening reception; you would go over and congratulate the artist.

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National Socialism

Adolf Hitler has been reimagined by the New Atheists as a devout Catholic, however the reality is somewhat different. The real Hitler was a vegetarian, sipping herbal tea. The Nazi idealogues revived ancient nature paganism, updated by way of modern science: the religion of the pale blue dot. Nature is conceptualized by the Nazis in a very martial way; it is all struggle, battle, survival of the fittest. They found these themes in Darwin, where they also found their terrifying racism:

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LogoI am God

One statement often made by adherents of 'New thought' and 'New Age' thinking, from Shirley MacLaine to Father Divine, which not infrequently excites shock and ill-will, is the statement 'I am God.' As a rule they mean it only in the nicest way. The only loser is the one who serves such an inept and unsuitable god; if you are your own god, then your god is not mighty to save, but rather, prone to lose the car keys. Most of these folks say, we are all gods; however some, like Father Divine, have learned from this school of thought that they are somebody very special:



  • “The women menacingly followed the chief and his prisoner to the city jail. When the officer booked the Messenger, he asked for the evangelist's true name, and a female disciple shouted, 'He ain't named nothing but God.'”
  • (Jill Watts, God, Harlem, U.S.A., p. 36).



Logo"I hereby recognize every human brother as son of God. I know his divinity, and will help him to uncover and express it." (Henry Wood, New Thought Simplified, p. 168, quoted p. 145, The Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter R. Martin).

The idea that human beings are detached, misplaced particles of deity goes back to gnosticism. Many of these people, these 'godlings,' amalgamate their own personal religious belief to Christianity by positing that Jesus claimed to be God (which He did) in their sense, not in any other. This is not very likely, given that Jesus was a monotheist. As is sometimes noticed, the worship of the god within is the worship of very nearly the very worst god available for worship:

"Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the God within. Any one who knows any body knows how it would work; any one who knows any one from the Higher Thought Center knows how it does work. That Jones shall worship the God within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the God within." (G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 70, Chapter 5).
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The Kabbalah

The Kabbalah has been around since medieval times. Though gnosticism had been suppressed in the world, tragically, by the sword, revivals of gnostic thinking recurred in Christendom as the teaching was transmitted by secretive groups like the Bogomils and Cathars. In the south of France, where the spread of gnostic ideas was so extensive as to provoke a papal crusade to re-establish Catholicism, the gnostic teaching was tacked onto Judaism through the literary expedient of portraying Rabbis whose names are familiar from the Talmud chatting with one another, in their off-hours, on gnostic themes. The resultant pagan horror still has many adherents in the world today, and has probably influenced many unknowingly, because naive listeners are gullibly prone to believe this medieval pastiche is 'authentic Judaism.' One unexpected student of the Kabbalah is Joseph Smith, the founding 'prophet' of Mormonism:




LogoThe intention of the 'New Age' authors is to rediscover the Ancient Wisdom,— or to put it another way, to rediscover paganism, because that is what it amounts to. Paganism is not for the faint of heart; discover what is involved in following one pagan deity, Dionysius, not meek and mild but with a sadistic streak a mile wide. If you follow him with whole-hearted devotion, as did Agave, he will 'reward' you. . .by letting you murder your own precious son:

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Euripides
The Bacchae




LogoOprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is a popular television personality who has labored to put a smiling and attractive face on a form of spirituality whose native form is more stark and unsmiling. What ejected Oprah from the Christian orbit, reportedly, was a preacher's sermon expounding upon the Bible attribute of God, that His name is Jealous. These people know, because they have heard, and believe as fervently as they believe anything, that God is love; but it must be 'free' love, promiscuously content to share the beloved with all comers, including Baal:

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Worship One
Unfaithful Wife
Open Marriage
Abusive Boyfriends
Latter Day Saints



LogoMadame H. P. Blavatsky

Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky intended her new/old religion to displace existing religions:

"Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mahometanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 613, Kindle location 20319.)

This hasn't happened yet. Madame Blavatsky, the founding 'prophet' of theosophy, claimed to have rediscovered the ancient wisdom, a universal religion of page ages: "The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 22139). Since, by her own admission, the proof lies in "secret crypts," these claims are somewhat difficult to verify.

The contemporary New Age is in many ways indebted to her for its heritage, as for example in its preference for pantheism: "'I looked around the darkened valley and I could see nothing that was not God.'" (Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat Pray Love,' p. 203, quoted in Ross Douthat, 'Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,' Chapter 7, Kindle location 4091).

Where did Madame Blavatsky first take the fork in the road that led to pagan renewal? She was swept up in the nineteenth century enthusiasm for seances. She realized the entities with whom communication was established through table-rapping were not necessarily the dearly departed, but she hung on their every word and gesture anyway, thus opening the door to the revival of every long-abandoned occult and pagan practice. If these other false teachers opened the door to paganism a crack, she threw it wide open and invited every howling spirit in. Though her theosophical society, including offshoots and successor entities, do not incorporate very many adherents, she is very much the grand-mother of the contemporary New Age movement. Noticing that the 'prophet' business was more lucrative in America, she came here:

"In America, prophets can be met with at every street-corner; in Europe, they are as rare as black swans." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 76, Kindle location 2548.)

Contemporary New Age believers may or may not share Madame Blavatsky's belief in 'magnetic vampires' (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 463, Kindle location 15760), but they following in this woman's footsteps whether they know it or not. The ostensible meaning of the Bible offends her; therefore its truth is veiled, hidden, esoteric. But not to worry, she will reveal it to you, not employing however anything like the normal logical and grammatical rules for reading:



  • “The god of every exoteric religion, including Christianity, not withstanding its pretensions to mystery, is an idol, a fiction, and cannot be anything else. Moses, closely-veiled, speaks to the stiff-necked multitudes of Jehovah, the cruel, anthropomorphic deity, as of the highest God, burying deep in the bottom of his heart that truth which cannot be 'either spoken of or revealed.'”
  • (H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 307, Kindle location 10662).




LogoTo some extent Madame Blavatsky is a fellow traveler to 'New Thought,' as far as human will imposing itself upon the cosmos. She recounts the story of an Indian fakir who performs various magic feats, which he then explains by saying,

"'He replied, "I have only one means."
"'What is it?'
"'The will. Man, who is the end of all intellectual and material forces, must dominate over all. The Brahmans know nothing besides this.'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 471, Kindle location 15984.)

She piously notes, "We believe WILL-POWER the most powerful of magnets. The existence of such magical power in certain persons is proved, but the existence of the Devil is a fiction, which no theology is able to demonstrate." (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 472, Kindle location 15995). The ever-credulous Madame Blavatsky believes, and disbelieves, what is convenient. Who holds the copyright, after all, on the promise of this new/old religion, "'He is become a GOD!'" (Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, p. 625, Kindle location 20623.) The very party in whose existence she prefers to disbelieve!

What triggered this nineteenth century re-awakening? Part of the answer must be the German idealist philosophy of the age: "The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being." (Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, Complete Illustrated Edition, Kindle location 22965). Though there is much to blame on Hegel, maybe not this:

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Theosophy Modern Science
Table-Rapping Annie Besant
The Christian Alternative Astral Body
All Paths Converge Cosmic Mote
Sparks Ascending Bad Voodoo
Knowledge, Falsely So-Called Satan the Prince


LogoAstrology

Astrology is an ancient practice which still finds devotees in the modern world. Nancy Reagan, whose husband was leader of the free world with his finger on the nuclear button, used this technology to ascertain lucky days and unlucky days:

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LogoPostscript

It is striking that so many 'New Thought' and 'New Age' teachers are women. Myrtle Fillmore, Mary Baker Eddy, Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant attracted crowds of adoring acolytes, when they were not even able to vote. This is an impressive achievement; it would be even more impressive if there were anything real here.

It is a controversial feature of Christianity that the New Testament disallows women pastors. Many today ignore these strictures, believing them culture-bound. But in nineteenth century America, not first century Judaea, a work-gang of women built up a pagan empire. Maybe the Holy Spirit is actually on to something here. Of course many women are faultlessly Biblical and orthodox in doctrine; but why does this particular devolution of Christianity appeal disproportionately to women? These ladies believed, and taught, that God is love, as the Bible does indeed teach. But it also teaches that He is judge, and this they preferred to disbelieve. Here is an observable gender imbalance, perhaps serious enough to warrant God's protecting wall around the church. Certainly there are plenty of male heretics, but if precluding women pastors is a way of avoiding the Oprah-ization of the church, then let the Holy Spirit do it.

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