Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Guides and mentors: Alice Bailey

As a young student in 1971 I was browsing the shelves in the antiquarian section of Anderssons bokhandel (Andersson Bookshop) in Norrköping. My eyes caught the title Telepathy, written by Alice Bailey. I bought the book and was immediately fascinated by its content, although there was much that was beyond my understanding and knowledge at the time. After acquiring some further titles by Alice Bailey I enrolled as a student in The Arcane School in 1972. Receiving the student papers Light on the Path I began meditation and study with the help of my personal secretary at the school. I kept this up for about one year but as I also had the ordinary school to attend and being chairman of the local UFO society I resigned from The Arcane School in 1973. This was my first acquaintance with the Alice Bailey books, which I would later continue studying all my life.

Parts of my Alice Bailey collection

There are today literally hundreds of metaphysical systems and schools and thousands of channeled messages from various exotic entities. Cults and new age societies are constantly being formed based on these messages while scholars are doing their best trying to document the new groups and ideologies, with their many offshoots. At Archives for the Unexplained (AFU) we have large collections of channeled messages, especially from “space people”.  They are usually exceedingly boring to read, a combination of well-meaning platitudinous comments and naïve love-and-light mysticism. It is fully natural and reasonable that academic scholars and intellectuals being confronted with such “wisdom” become even more skeptical of this genre and find secular humanism or materialist reductionism a better alternative.

The critical and scientifically minded student will eventually, if persistent, in this djungle of conflicting messages and teachers, discover that there is a philosophy and tradition of a quality vastly different from the popular new age channelings. It is referred to as The Esoteric Tradition or Ancient Wisdom and can be regarded as the third intellectual force or pillar in cultural history alongside religion and science. One of the foremost exponents of this philosophy or science of the multiverse is Alice Bailey. In other blog entries I have asserted that accepting esotericism as a worldview or paradigm does not imply irrationalism or a loss of intellectual integrity.

In the Esoteric Tradition as represented by a.o. Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency we find a philosophy that is consistent and rational with a profound humanism at its core. It also constitutes the best and most interesting multiverse paradigm and theory aviable to explain the multitude of intriguing UFO and paranormal phenomena documented by many researchers. Esotericism as presented by Alice Bailey is definitely on the side of modernity, democracy, social democracy, gender equality, human rights and politicallly more left than rightwing. She also wished to give a more balanced description of the adepts, the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom: " They will stand forth as living examples of goodwill, of true love, of intelligent applied wisdom, of high good nature and humour, and of normalcy. They may indeed be so normal that recognition of what They are may escape notice." (The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 699).

Alice Bailey was for many years the amanuensis for the Tibetan, who dictated several of her books. He was given the name Djwhal Khul (D.K.) but that is not his real name. When first contacted and asked for co-operation Alice told the Tibetan: "Certainly not. I´m not a darned psychic and I don´t want to be drawn into anything like that". (The Unfinished Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey, p. 163). She had noted that many metaphysical and sprititualist writings were of so low an order of intelligence and mediocre in their content that educated people laugh at them and cannot be bothered to read them. Eventually she did give it a try as she found the quality of the esoteric philosophy dictated by the Tibetan of a high order.

Alice Bailey

The Tibetan asserts that he is "secretary and organising contact man" to the inner world government or planetary guardians. (Discipleship in the New Age, p. 33). He often refer to his access to the esoteric archive, library and museum maintained by the adepts, mentioned in several books by Blavatsky, Olcott and Leadbeater: "I but present the facts as I know them from my access to records more ancient than any known to man." (Esoteric Psychology, vol. one, p. 394). A problem with the Bailey books, Theosophy and esotericism in general is the abstruse and confusing terminology. The Tibetan is very much aware of this problem: "A new and deeper esoteric terminology is badly needed". (Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, p. 131). This problem has been brilliantly solved by the eminent Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency in his presentation of esotericism or the science of the multiverse. Another problem with the Bailey literature is the constant use of Christian terminology and references. Words and expressions like God, the return of Christ etc. should have been abolished and a more neutral or scientific language used. Alice Bailey probably favoured the Christian terminology because of her background as an orthodox Christian missionary but these expressions will have a deterrent effect on students with an agnostic or non-Christian background.

The investigator of UFO and paranormal phenomena will, in the books by Alice Bailey, find an enormous amount of data regarding various phenomena and entities. I find it somewhat amazing that neither ufologists nor esotericists have noted that in the writings of Bailey there are many references to an awaited extra-terrestrial intervention mentioned before 1946. I have found no less that 34 references on this subject in her books. Here a few examples from The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, clothbound ed. 1981:

April 1935: "... the regenerative forces of Those extraplanetary Beings Who offer Their Help at this time." (p. 25)

April-May 1940: "Hovering today within the aura of our planet are certain great spiritual Forces and Entities, awaiting the opportunity to participate actively in the work of world redemption, re-adjustment and reconstruction.... the waiting extra-planetary Forces." (p. 222-223)

September 1940: "There still remains one mode of intervention which is still more mysterious, illimitably more powerful, and definitely more difficult to evoke and subsequently to contact. This is the emergence, responce, or appearing of great Sons of God Who dwell in sources far removed from our planetary life altogether..." (p. 261)

April 1943: "Certain great Energies of extra-planetary significance Who stand ready to intervene..." (p. 392).

The books by Alice Bailey constitute an intellectual challenge. They are not easy to read but why should the science of the multiverse be easier to understand than any academic discipline? It takes years of intensive study and hard work to be an accomplished esotericist. Mainstream academics and intellectuals will probably not consider esotericism as a working hypothesis or paradigm until definite empirical evidence indicates a multiverse. Until then esotericism will be the domain of scientific heretics and iconoclasts in the cultural underground. The philosophical attitude to esoteric philosophy has been formulated by the Tibetan:
"Our attitude should be that of reasonably enquiry and our interest that of the investigating philosopher, willing to accept a hypothesis on the basis of its possibility... Those open minded investigators who are willing to accept its fundamentals as a working hypothesis until these are demonstrated to be erroneous. They will be frankly agnostic..." (A Treatise on White Magic, 1971 (orig. 1934, pp 6, 32).