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There was also a marked rise in Occultism during this period including that of the Theosophical Society of Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky (August 12, 1831 - May 8, 1891). The world seriously undervalues her profound, largely destructive, impact on the Twentieth Century! She promoted her ideas during the Third Great Awakening.
HPB (Madame Blavatsky), an 'expert' Russian Spiritualist, maintained that only in the East, which she considered to be the 'cradle of Occultism', were the ancient mysteries preserved intact. These Occult truths held the keys to the future and the past. She claimed that she had been initiated into certain Occult lodges there and had come to America to point the way Eastward. Those who embraced her movement and its inner teachings would soon rule the world. In this she was correct, for a time.
While many 'Awakening' Christians were once again hailing the US as New Zion, HPB was akin to Thoreau in her negative views towards the West and the superiority of all things Indian (note 32). . To her, the West was an ugly, materially obsessed land of deceived mindless consumers.
For HPB the Christians were all spiritually bankrupt and didn't even know enough to realize it. The Jews were at best a fallen race devoid of understanding of their own rich Traditions and former greatness. This did not keep her from usurping Kabbalah and other Jewish wisdom traditions however.
She claimed visions of creating a New World Order and stated that the Jewish teachings have powers that the Jews had rejected and hence forgotten. If only she could learn how to manipulate them! That was what she and her students were working at. Her work out lived her however and HPB died on May 8, 1891. Her Occultism lived on however.
As the man much of the world feared was the Anti-Christ arose in the 1930's HPB's teachings were pivotal to his vision of the global Third Reich.
Dietrich Eckart, a close student of MPB, boasted that he had personally initiated Adolf Hitler into Theosophy's Secret Doctrine.In 1923, on his deathbed, Hitler's mentor Dietrich Eckart, a dedicated Satanist and central figure in the Occult Thule Society and a founder member of the Nazi party, said:There have been countless volumes written on the Occultism of Hitler and the leaders of the Third Reich. I'll avoid the temptation to delve into these post-Third Great Awakening experiences here but its a fascinating and very relevant study. Those who argue that HPB was not the central influence I claim need to only to examine those other influences. Most of them arose from or influenced by the Secret Doctrine espoused by Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophy.
'Follow Hitler! He will dance, but it is I who have called the tune!'
'I have initiated him into the 'Secret Doctrine', opened his centres in vision and given him the means to communicate with the Powers.'
'Do not mourn for me: I shall have influenced history more than any other German' -- Source.
HPB stated, "You want to write esoteric facts and you give instead English race prejudice."
The Sanatana Dharma (the united religions of India) and others believe that Bhāratavarsha (the entire land of India) was the original home of the Aryan (literally "Cultured") people (note A). Most secular scholars believe they were early immigrants, likely from Persia (now: Iran). For religious Indians however,regardless of their sect, the Vedic lords were all Aryan and Bhāratavarsha (India) was the hub where humanity began and from which it once ruled the earth.
HPB also believed the Aryan Indians ruled the planet until the Mahabharata war of Kurukshetra (setting of the Indian classic Srimad Bhagavad-Gita or "Sacred Song of God" and said to have occurred roughly 5000 years ago). Accepting this, Madame Blavatsky taught that the masters of the Sanatana Dharma (Indian spiritual traditions), "maintain teachings that are much higher spiritually than those of the Europeans, who may not reach their level for some millenniums yet..." (S 95). As a result of the Islamic Mughal and English conquests and occupations of India (and those proceeding them), these teachings, she said, were hidden and only revealed to a select few. We do know that Hitler sought the secret Brahmastra weapon (the mantra-powered canon said to have been used by Arjuna and Ashwatthama according to the Srimad Mahabharata).
As a result of this conviction Madame Blavatsky and her associates (including Colonel Olcott) founded the Theosophical Society on November 17, 1875 (S 87-90; 369,370) about the same time Charles Taze Russell was beginning his religious carrier. While one may well disagree with Madam Blavatsky's presentation and interpretation of the various religious and spiritualist topics she addressed (for instance her bizarre understanding of the Buddhist doctrine of Annihilation: (note B) her influence in the field of religion and society can scarcely be overstated, nor can her impact on history (IU,1.290).
The fundamental changes she made to way people understand various traditional teachings (like the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta or Annihilation) in many cases laid the groundwork for the growing interfaith and universalist post-religion trends we see today. As is almost always the case, Madame Blavatsky did much good but there was also a lot of darkness in her teachings as well. She inspired generations to open their minds in ways their parents had never even considered. Her many positive contributions should be acknowledged, but we must also remember the negative devastation her Occultism inspired.
- Note 32: For Thoreau any comparison between Indian and Western philosophy revealed that ...our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial... (S 55). return
- Note A: There is often confusion about the terms Arian and Aryan:
Arian: Arian Christians: Those Christians who reject the deity of Y'shua and the Trinity doctrine espoused in the Nicene Creed. The term "Arian" is taken from Bishop Arius. Arianism is specifically listed as a heresy by the heretical Church.
Arius (250 or 256 - 336 CE): Bishop Arius. One of the last serious defenders of Y'shua's true nature within the Church. Arianism is specifically listed as a heresy by the heretical Church.
Aryan: Originally taken from the Sanskrit term arya meaning noble. The term referenced the upper castes of Indian society (brahmanas and Kshatriya in India). In time the Varnashrama Dharma system in India became corrupt and the Aryans were equated with light skin colors. Since the days of the Third Reich Socialists general prefer the term Indo-European or Indo-Iranian now.
The "Aryan Race" idea understood today was developed during the Third Great Awakening by the research and political editing done by Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Through her teachings Hitler discovered the ancient Swastika and much of his Aryan ideology. It is therefore not a leap to include the religious and philosophical elements of the Nazi movement to the Third Great Awakening. While most people in the West have never heard of Madame Blavatsky she impacted every soul on the planet to some degree. return
- Note B: The Buddha's teaching of Anatta is not "No self" which would make it the same as Shankara Acharya's Mayavadhi doctrine, but rather "Not-self." The doctrine is similar to the Jewish idea of Ain Soph which is "No-Thing" rather than Nothing. The difference here is the focus of the concept. Being non-theistic (not a-theistic) the Buddha Dharma does not allow for a "thee and thou" dichotomy. The Buddha sought to clarify this as he approached nirvana (i.e. just prior to his death):When I have taught non-Self (Anatta), fools uphold the teaching that there is no Self. The wise know that such is conventional speech, and they are free from doubts.
When I have taught that the tathagata-garbha [i.e. the Buddha/Awakened nature/state] is empty, fools meditatively cultivate that it is extinction, subject to destruction and imperfect. The wise know that it is unchanging, stable and eternal.return
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