Re:Bailey, Wheat and chaff
Dec 24, 1996 02:11 AM
by Richard Taylor
Time is short and I will attempt to reply both to Maxim's latest
e-mail on my question about CWL-Bailey details, and the latest
round between Nicholas and Maxim on "pseudo-Theosophy."
Let me first clarify my position. I will certainly agree with
Maxim that Bailey added on details to CWL's system. My original
statement was to agree with Nicholas that Bailey's teachings were
"Leadbeater's with more time on their hands." Bailey lived longer
than CWL, and had serious problems with his and Besant's
dictatorial style, and so altered certain ideas, but essentially
added nothing new, as I will show shortly.
I will say this in sticking up for Bailey -- I sense in her none
of the power-grabbing motivation CWL and Besant had, nor do I
sense deliberate intention to delude (CWL certainly had that, as
the court cases show) nor do I see her FORCING her ideas down any
one's throat. The preface to all her books, allowing each reader
to judge for him or herself, has enabled free-thinking among
Baileyites far more than among Leadbeaterites.
That being said, I will submit that Bailey agrees with nearly all
the principles Leadbeater taught, and a great many details, her
distinction being that while she rarely contradicts Leadbeater,
she goes somewhat beyond him. However, if Leadbeater's system
can be shown to be FUNDAMENTALLY INCOMPATIBLE with HPB's
teachings and that of the Mahatma Letters, students must admit
that both systems cannot be right, and will be forced to choose
one or the other (or of course neither or a bit of both, "a la
carte"). But I submit that Leadbeater and HPB teach quite
irreconcilable ideas, and insofar as Bailey follows CWL's
thinking (and she does 95% of the time) her system diverges from
HPB's also. A few quotes:
Leadbeater writes (The Inner Life vol. 1, p. 114), soon to be
echoed by Bailey :
> The great purpose of this drawing together is to prepare the way
> for the coming of the new Messiah, or, as we should say in
> Theosophical circles, the next advent of the Lord Maitreya, as a
> great spiritual teacher, bringing a new religion. The time is
> rapidly approaching when this shall be launched -- a teaching
> which shall unify the other religions ...
Bailey also agrees that the next great Savior is coming soon, and
the more we chant the Great Invocation, the sooner it will be.
Would that this were so. HPB has remarkably other ideas on the
subject of Maitreya, a.k.a. the Kalki Avatar. HPB writes (S.D.
vol. 1, p. 470):
> He will appear as Maitreya Buddha, the last of the Avatars and
> Buddhas, in the seventh Race. Only it is not in the Kali Yug,
> our present terrifically materialistic age of Darkness, the
> "Black Age," that a new Savior of Humanity can ever appear.
As students of HPB know, a great period of time separates each
Root Race -- thus the seventh is a long way off. As for the Kali
Yuga, it lasts (roughly) 432,000 years, and HPB states repeatedly
that the first five thousand years expired between Nov. 1897 and
Feb. 1898. Since she writes here that the next Avatar cannot
come during the Kali Yuga, his appearance is AT LEAST 427,000
years off. So much for the imminent return of the Avatar ...
On the subject of man's inner principles, HPB and Mr. Judge
agree in their many printed books on the seven principles of the
human constitution. In the S.D. vol. 1 p. 153 HPB lists them,
as she does in the Key to Theosophy (pp. 91-92) and as Mr.
Judge does in the Ocean of Theosophy (p. 31):
6. Linga Sharira (Astral Body)
7. Sthula Sharira (Physical body)
Annie Besant lists them differently in different books and never
explains why. In "A Study in Consciousness," p. 64 we have:
Leadbeater agrees, but he and Besant want to leave off the old
Sanskrit words (A Textbook of Theosophy, 3rd ed. p. 41):
New Names Old Names
1. Divine World 1. Adi Plane
2. Monadic World 2. Anupadaka plane
3. Spiritual World 3. Atmic or Nirvanic
4. Intuitional World 4. Buddhic plane
5. Mental World (?) 5. Mental Plane (?)
6. Emotional or Astral 6. Astral Plane
7. Physical 7. Physical
(Note in particular that Besant/Leadbeater/Bailey have *changed*
the definition of astral from "subtle material" to "emotional."
This is significant, because then they were forced to introduce
something called the "etheric" levels of matter to fill the void.
This "etheric" model, upon which Bailey leans heavily, has been
demolished in a recent paper called "The Etheric Double: The
History of a False Assumption" by Geoffrey Farthing in Great
This new scheme of principles with Atma as 3rd is quite
ridiculous because Atma is DEFINED (in all traditional Hindu
thought as well as Theosophical) as a ray of the ABSOLUTE.
Nothing can be higher -- if something were, THAT would be called
Besant goes further in her materialization of Atma ("A Study in
Consciousness," p. 177):
> These vehicles, being composed of matter modified by the action
> of the Planetary Logos of the Chain to which they belong, cannot
> respond to the vibrations of matter differently modified; and the
> student must be able to use his atmic body [!?!?!] before he can
> contact the Universal Memory beyond the limits of his own Chain.
Whatever an "atmic body" may be (who/what would inhabit such a
body??), Bailey follows Besant and Leadbeater here, and teaches
the same principles (Adi, Anupadaka, Atma, in that order) in
"Treatise on Cosmic Fire." In that book she also places Monad
ABOVE Atma in several classification schemes.
HPB however, is clear that the Monad is a LESSER entity, being
composed of Atma-Buddhi (S.D. vol. 1 pp. 69, 119, 178, etc.).
As for Bailey's mid-20th century appearance as occult teacher, or
her representing the occult teaching of the "Tibetan," many
Baileyites will have us believe that she directly continued HPB's
& her Masters' work in the West, providing "keys". But HPB
writes, in very definite terms (BCW vol. 12, p. 492):
> No Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send
> anyone to Europe or America ... until the year 1975" (which is
> the return of the centenary cycle HPB talks about regularly, for
> another example see last page of "Key To Theosophy")
So Bailey cannot have been working with the same Masters HPB did,
if she violated their cyclic efforts with the West. Now Bailey
students are fond of saying that things change (rapidly!) and
that all things are possible with Masters. I question the value
of such Masters' teachings, like giving specific cycles and
dates, if they don't hold up. These "Masters" who change their
cyclic plans must not be able to predict very far in the future.
I fail to see how They can know the duration of vast Races, even
planetary Manvantaras, if they can't predict when the next
representative of their Lodge will be sent Westward.
There are a great, great many more conflicts (rounds on Venus,
Logoi and Chains, meditation, service and group work, etc. etc.)
and I am happy to continue providing quotes on any subject,
though it is a time-consuming process. I will reiterate that
Bailey follows Leadbeater in broad outline and in a great many
details, and both are incompatible in innumerable ways with HPB.
We are forced to choose which is "Theosophy" and which is
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