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Theosophy Notes




93 Imperialism. Hints of the culture of British Raj, not as bad as a lot of prejudice paints. Kipling not to be taken too seriously. Mohini. Blavatsky’s dislike of miscegenation. The comic character of it all. Comic character of Indian nationalism. The seriousness of the postcolonial world, with al the touchiness about national myths.

Theosophy, religious subversion.


103 Gurdjieff, like Blavatsky. Fraud too. But philosophically and religiously interesting. At one time like a serious deconstruction. Things to be taken seriously, like socialism, which was and still is. Anti-colonialism, which may sound so liberating but which is really in the service of socialism. Theosophy as intellectual history. The anticolonial egalitarian movement which has swept the world. Deconstruction which has achieved such a hold in the universities. Idea of reversing that.

Gurdjieff. So called secondrateness. Charisma so called. India, spiritual world. Normally the intellectual contempt in which that kind of thing is held. But there is no real reason why it should be seen as false philosophy, any more than socialism is. It is not philosophy as such, but it could perhaps be treated, or approached by philosophy.


110 Madame Blavatsky’s Baboon (Peter Washington). Isherwood, Huxley etc. Significance of all this theosophy. Effect of Huxley on my spiritual development. Feelings about theosophy, spiritual development, orthodoxy. All depending on where one is coming from. So many different places from where one is coming, so many considerations. It is not even that the C of E has lost all its point. The place all such ideas should have in our minds …


Kierkegaard and his ‘leaps of faith’. This very Christian claim, which thrives on the idea of the so called bankruptcy of reason. Deep irrationalism which creeps in like some kind of parasite.

So how is it to be combated? Herein comes gnosticism. And this too is Nietzsche’s point. Always the aspiration that the new theosophy should take over the existing institutions. Even the churches.

Huxley, Gurdjieff, Blavatsky, Leary. Very wishy-washiness of the Church of England its real strength. That we should gain access to these things by intellectual understanding. Different modes of access to theosophical wisdom. Determine the one we want. Our own, antidemocratic will to power. Think of the primary consideration.

Theosophy, Krishnamurti as Christ. Validity of this as religion, inventing new myths.


274 Theosophy. All the delightful things it may be possible to think. Idea of fun things to think. Like making your own religion. Theosophy from Bulwer-Lytton and Zanoni.

Mme Blavatsky’s religion. Religion as extension of art.. Art as the deliberate creation of significant form




223 Significance of Leary. His psychedelic manuals said to look ‘more than a little silly now’. But they did not seem silly to me. Form of theosophy. Variation on enlightenment. Showman, shaman. Ginsberg. Development of my theme of the twentieth century pundit. Kind of delightful anarchy. A form of affirmation if we can relate to it. Mme Blavatsky.


239 Religion, The common theosophy that pervades normal experience. Theosophy, shamanism. Nomadic hordes of the steppe. Non racist. A late rather than an early stage in history


246 Philosophy as undermining religion. Even the theosophical kind of religion promoted by Aldous Huxley and furthered by Leary. Drug religion, related to the shamanism of the people of the steppes




374 Philosophical ideas and theosophical ideas. Theosophical ideas often regarded as anti-philosophical, menticidal. No need for this to be so. But let us think in terms of the changes we would like our ideas to effect. Think of the Rosicrucian manifestos.




168 Ecstatic theosophy. Aim towards the most desirable, in the context of various pseudo cosmologies. Imaginary wisdoms, cosmologies. Imaginary structures of the universe and pedigrees of wisdom. See the context in which the ancient world moved to Christianity. The Jewish tradition offered all kinds of short cuts. Imaginative atmosphere of the 1st 2nd and 3rd Roman Empire. One sees how Iamblichus let in oriental theosophical traditions. See how a lot of these involve cosmologies, descriptions of the universe.




98 Nietzsche proclaimed ‘God is dead’ barely a century ago. Darwin wrote not long before that. Oriental religions have not been well known for long.

For religion some kind of theosophy can do very well. Of the most undogmatic kind, but recognising that surrounding the central ideas teachings and scriptures of the major religions, just for a start, there is something worth understanding. Launch yourself into into this study, and you will lose the need for dogmatic faith.




114 Blavatsky as Bulwer groupie. Isis Unveiled as full of unacknowledged quotes from Zanoni and the Last Days of Pompeii.


170 Wisdom of Shakespeare, wisdom of the Great Pyramid. Heretics. Plato. We feel the deepest wisdom, yet we have deep reservations about certain views. So we could not surrender ourselves even to someone like Shakespeare, as a complete Master much as he has to teach us. Important question here to do with understanding other cultures. Buddhism Judaism etc. To what extent are we ourselves tabooed or excluded? Idea of a genius. Adulation that is involved. Shakespeare is so superior because of his psychological insight. The most important thing seems to be his capacity to overcome what obscures. The theosophical as the fellowship against the ochlocratic. Idea of the theosophical transcendence of the barriers between religions. The Jew who appreciates Wagner. One wants to feel a fellowship that transcends the barriers people themselves set up. Whole significance of esotericism. Suppose that to my hero I am rubbish who does not deserve to live. Idea of the esoteric that allowed communication between Christian, Muslim, pagan, and Jew.




36 The theosophist is one who lifts the veils. Isis Unveiled is a very good title for Blavatsky’s book. Thus it is open to us hippy theosophists to enjoy the churches. For all they shout about their own truth claims, all that is merely necessary.


111 Theosophy. To me the ideas of Stirner and Nietzsche seem pre-eminently true. Yet life can go on without them. From the mystical point of view no ideas are especially true, an idea is as true as its opposite.


202 Renaissance neoplatonism is strongly attractive to me. Though it is usually regarded as a poor kind of philosophy, it cannot help appearing wise. Theosophical emphasis on individual perfection, on the form of wisdom. By a kind of symbolistic shorthand it achieves all the general aims that are sought from philosophy.



JSM 2007

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