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Mediumism and the early Theosophic movement:

Nov 14, 2000 09:03 AM
by arthra999

> > the concept of "Mahatmas" as it is usually understood in
> > theosophic circles. To me the Mahatmas of the early
> > theosophic movement are very close to spirit guides in the
> > Spiritualist movement and that's just the way I see it. 
> That actually came later. The Mahatmas represented 
themselves as being
> quite human, and were rather upset when treated as 
something greater
> than human. 
> > many of the
> > early theosophists were spiritualists and frequented 
> > and this tinged the Mahatma concept with a kind of flavor that 
> > me has thrown many of our most valuable contributions into
> > disrepute. 
> Actually, Blavatsky went into the Spiritualist movement 
because the
> type of people who joined it were the type of people likely to be
> interested in Theosophy. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (among other 
things, a
> leader of the British Spiritualist movement) wrote that when 
she first
> came, the spirits were quite friendly towards her, but turned 
> her when she started declaring that they were just empty 
> Bart Lidofsky

There is to me a lot of deception apparent and shadowy doings 
that I believe that afflicted the early Theosophic movement...A 
kind of spiritualistic oneupmanship and battle for leadership and 
authority... We may still be suffering the effects of it. 

To me the very legitimate service of the Theosophic movement 
was to introduce westerners to the wisdom of the east. 

A second was to liberate westerners from the thralldom of their 
churches so they could enjoy a spiritual life free of the old 

A third was to introduce progressive social principles.. this 
would be seen in education, prison reform as well as social 
-economic experimentation. Recall that many of the early 
theosophists were also Socialists such as Annie Besant and 
Rudolf Steiner.

In various ways these three goals were accomplished, but the 
deceptive, mediumistic aspects tended I think to downgrade the 
otherwise beneficial direction of the movement.

- Art

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