José Ramón Sordo is one of the most erudite esotericists I have ever met and about the Alice Bailey’s teachings, he wrote the following article, which, because of its interesting content, I translate for you:
Table of contents:
1. The mistakes of the Alice Bailey’s teachings
2. An incorrect concept of yoga and meditation by Alice Bailey
3. Alice Bailey copied the mistakes that Leadbeater invented
4. Both have a very similar flavor concerning the church
5. About the rays
6. Alice Bailey and Leadbeater have the same ideas about rays
1. THE MISTAKES OF THE ALICE BAILEY’S TEACHINGS
To me and to many other students, which try to understand and follow the teachings of Blavatsky and her Masters, the Alice bailey’s teachings have real mistakes.
Suffice it to read the booklet by Alice Leighton Cleather (1) or the paper by Victor Endersby on the Arcane School (2) to see that the Bailey exposition is a very subtle way to distort the true Theosophy.
The alleged Tibetan is probably a Jesuit priest, or someone akin to it, and so far, he has been able to divert a great number of good students into his clerical and anthropomorphic views.
The thorough study of the Mahatma Letters and the “Classical Theosophical Literature” is enough to show unmistakably that Alice Bailey is not a development of Blavatsky but its antithesis
Djwal Khul, the real disciple of Mahatma Kuthumi would never talk and teach something contrary to the philosophy of his Master. By the way, did you notice that Djwal Khul, although referred to as a Tibetan, was in reality a tall Hindu in race, like his master?
2. AN INCORRECT CONCEPT OF YOGA AND MEDITATION
BY ALICE BAILEY
Alice Bailey very enthusiastically recommends her followers to practice yoga and meditation, while the Trans-Himalayan Masters and their true disciples are much more cautious because they know that people usually do it in an incorrect way and that ends up hurting them.
And to prove it, let me quote what Master Kuthumi says and three important disciples of Master Morya:
« Suby Ram is truly a good man, but he is a devotee of a mistake, since it is not the voice of his guru that he hears within himself, but his own voice, and it is why he finds himself absorbed in misguided, misdirected mysticism. Add to it a chronic disorder in that portion of the brain which responds to clear vision and the secret is soon told: that disorder was developed by forced vision; by Hatha Yoga. »
(Master Kuthumi, Mahatma Letter Nº40, p.255)
« Such, then, is the occult science on which the modern ascetics and yogis of India base their soul development and powers. They are known as the Hatha Yogis. Now the science of Hatha Yoga rests upon the “suppression of breath” or Pranayama, to which exercise our Masters are unanimously opposed.
For what is Pranayama?
Literally translated, it means the “death of (vital) breath” ... If such directions, however are allowed, they can only lead to black magic and mediumship.
Several impatient chelas, whom we knew personally in India, went in for the practice of Hatha Yoga, not with standing our warnings. Of these, two developed consumption, of which one died; the others became almost idiotic; another committed suicide; and one developed into a regular Tantrika, a black magician, but his career, fortunately for himself, was cut short by death. »
(Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. XII, p.614-615)
« These attempts at “practical yoga” (as it is called) are most dangerous, because it is well known that these postures, even when ignorantly used bring on physiological changes in the body, with great nervous derangements.
The sincere study of philosophy and rules of Patanjali’s Yoga system may be taken up by any person, but on one condition: that this person practices the Universal Brotherhood, because if altruism it’s not the principal aim of life, then all the others practices are absolutely void of benefic lasting effect.
The Masters have distinctly said that occult powers can be obtained, but they have also said that they cannot communicate their secrets unless members will preach, teach and practice altruism.
And while we strive to understand and practice the teachings they have given us and live correctly, each researcher can devote some of his time to daily meditation and concentration. »
(William Judge, Echoes from Orient, vol. II, p. 234 y 400-401)
« A general misconception about contemplation seems to prevail. One confines oneself for sometime in a room, and passively gazes at one’s nose, a spot on the wall or, perhaps, at a crystal, under the impression that such is the true form of contemplation enjoined by Raj Yoga.
Many fail to realize that true occultism requires a physical, mental, moral and spiritual development to run on parallel lines, and injure themselves, physically and spiritually, by practice of what they falsely believe to be Dhyan.
A few instances may be mentioned here with advantage, as a warning to overzealous students.
At Bareilly, I met a man who narrated his experiences and shed bitter tears of repentance for his past follies (as he termed them). It appears from his account that fifteen or twenty years ago having read about contemplation in the Bhagavad Gitta, he under took the practice of it without a proper comprehension of its esoteric meaning and carried it on for several years.
At first he experienced a sense of pleasure, but simultaneously he found he was gradually losing self-control, until after a few years and sorrow, that he was no longer his own master. »
(Damodar Mavalankar, Five years of Theosophy, p.40-41)
(Observation: the reason why this man was losing the control of his being is because of an improperly practicing contemplation, he indulged himself in a state of trance that made him lower his internal defenses and that is how astral entities invaded him.)
3. ALICE BAILEY COPIED THE MISTAKES THAT
On the other hand, the ideas used by Alice Bailey are so similar to those of Leadbeater, that it is very easy to prove that she adopted the deformations and falsehoods that Leadbeater invented. And this despite the fact that she has taken great care not to mention it.
Leadbeater stated his psychic interpretation of Theosophy, after he went back to England, from Ceylon, in December 1889, residing in Mr. Alfred Sinnett’s house.
Since then, he has become a prominent member of Sinnett’s London Lodge. By 1891 we know that he was the Secretary of the London Lodge. Mrs. Annie Besant participated for the first time in the psychic experiments of the London Lodge in the summer of 1893.
In 1895, the Theosophical Publishing Society, published the Leadbeater’s book “The Astral Plane”, and since then, with the support and endorsement of Mrs. Besant, he became the main source of a pseudo-Theosophy generated in the Theosophical Society from Adyar.
Although Leadbeater’s book “The Masters and the Path” (3) and Bailey’s book “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire” (4) were issued in the same year, in 1925, Leadbeater’s ideas are much older, because his “Masters and the Path” was based on talks to members of the Theosophical Society.
His book “The Science of the Sacraments” was published in 1920 (5) and we can see how Mrs. Bailey reproduces in her “Treatise on Cosmic Fire”, several diagrams from Annie Besant and Leadbeater has taken from The Theosophist magazine in December 1899 and January 1900 (6).
In these diagrams we already see the new classification of Cosmic Planes and Human Principles started by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater and which Mrs. Bailey will follow faithfully.
The alleged Tibetan whom our writer refers to as “a probable Jesuit priest” is really opposed to the real Djwal Khul.
Furthermore, we are not aware of Djwal Khul being referred to as “the Tibetan” in any Theosophical teachings, although he is referred to as “the disinherited”, a nickname given him when he became the disciple (chela) of Kuthumi.
4. BOTH HAVE A VERY SIMILAR FLAVOR CONCERNING
There is also a very similar flavor concerning the role of the church between Mrs. Bailey and Mr. Leadbeater.
Alice Bailey, about the church writes:
« Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the church. The nucleus is already forming. At this ceremony those ready for initiation will be publicly admitted by one of its members, authorized by the great Hierophant himself. »
(Initiation, Human and Solar, Chapter I, pg.9, 1922)
And Leadbeater about the church writes:
« The future is with the Church for the Seventh Ray (The Ray of Ceremonial Magic) is beginning to dominate the world. The Lord Himself, who founded the Church, is coming to visit once more. » (7)
(The Theosophist, 1917)
5. ABOUT THE RAYS
Of course there are many topics not covered by Blavatsky and her Masters, and this has a reason since in "The Secret Doctrine" it is stated that:
« The outline of a few fundamental truths from the secret knowledge of the Archaic ages is now permitted to see the light, after long millenniums of the most profound silence and secrecy.
And I say “a few truths”, advisedly, because that which must remain unsaid could not be contained in a hundred such volumes, nor could it be imparted to the present generation of humans. »
(Vol. I, p. xxii)
Thus, there are many things that cannot be imparted to our generation. But, I don’t think it is fair towards Blavatsky to say that the topic on rays was “not covered to any meaningful extent” by her or her Masters, because in fact we found more than hundred references about the rays in the original Theosophy:
- More than forty references in the Secret Doctrine (8)
- More than thirty references in the Collected Writings (9)
- More than thirty references in the Inner Group Teachings of Blavatsky (10)
- And to that we must add the references given by the Hindu Brahman Subba Row.
The problem is, that until now, for most of us, we haven’t yet made any thorough study and collection of all these more than one hundred references, if we would, we wouldn’t need to fill up the “gap” with material not consonant with Theosophy. But this “gap” is the product of our own lack of study of Theosophy.
6. ALICE BAILEY AND LEADBEATER HAVE
THE SAME IDEAS ABOUT RAYS
Let us compare some ideas in both systems on the topic of the Rays:
- Both take as the source of their information an alleged Tibetan (Masters and the Path, p. 228; A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. IX)
- Both put a Master at the head of each Ray.
- The alleged qualities of each Ray are the same in both systems.
- They both emphasize the 6th Ray of alleged devotion and the 7th of alleged ceremonial magic as a way to support their common views of the coming of the Christ.
On the other hand, Mr. Leadbeater claimed that Mr. Subba Row was one of his Teachers, and even Mr. C. Jinarajadasa in the foreword to section VII of “The Esoteric Teachings of T. Subba Row” (11) says that:
« Mr. Subba Row’s talks to an intimate circle were taken down by some of them. Among his listeners were Dr. S. Subramania Iyer, C.W. Leadbeater, A.J. Cooper-Oakley... »
As among Subba Row’s teachings the topic of Rays is prominent, can we trace Leadbeater’s ideas to the writings of Subba Row?
Let us see.
« Characteristic Magic: VII: Ceremonial Magic (cooperation with the Deva Kingdom). Last Religion: Elemental worship.
. . .
While the Seventh Ray man would use elaborate ceremonial magic, and probably invoke the assistance of non human spirits if possible. »
(The Masters and the Path, p. 229 y 236)
« Incensing, each candle, the Priest should think of the Ray with ... a resolve to try to develop within oneself the quality specially belonging to that Ray.
1. strength, 2. wisdom, 3. Adaptability or tact, 4. Beauty, 5. Science (detailed knowledge), 6. Devotion, 7. Ordered Service (ceremonial which invokes angelic help). »
(The science of sacraments, p.90)
And Subba Row writes:
« It is necessary to say a few words in this connection as regards the real nature of soul-death and the ultimate fate of a black magician.
. . .
There are three ways in which a soul may cease to retain its special individuality. ... [When he] place itself en rapport with a spiritual or elemental existence by evoking it. ... In such a case it transfers its individuality to such existence and is sucked up into it. ... [He] lives in such a being, and as such a being he continues till the end of the Manvantara. ... In some respects this amounts to acquiring immortality in evil.
. . .
It is impossible to say that the fact of belonging to one of these rays indicates the presence in a man of any particular moral or mental quality, such as patience, honesty, or courage on the one hand, or the poetic or artistic faculty on the other. »
(Esoteric Writings, p. 267-268 y 108)
In this very short comparison of ideas, between Leadbeater and his alleged teacher, Subba Row, we not only see a difference in ideas but also in the Path followed by each one.
In the view of Subba Row, the elemental worship and the invocation of non-human spirits, attributed by Mr. Leadbeater as the Religion and quality of the seventh Ray, is one of the three ways which may lead to soul-death and black magic. And as Mrs. Bailey adheres almost to the letter to these ideas, it is clear that her system, unconsciously to her students, leads to the same fatal goal.
The presence of Leadbeater is all throughout her writings especially in her “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”, where we meet at every page concepts and terminology borrowed from him.
Alice Bailey uses the terms invented by Leadbeater like “etheric double,” group soul”, the concept of a “Deva evolution” apart from, and running in parallel lines with the human (p. 910-11), the Rays, and the importance of the Church and the Coming. But all these ideas are completely at variance with Theosophy as taught by Blavatsky and her Masters.
More about Ceremonial and the Rays:
The Masters and the Path, p.248
A Treatise On Cosmic Fire, p.911
“The Ray that is now coming into force is very largely one of ceremonial.”
“With the coming in of the ceremonial ray of violet, we have the amplification therefore of the violet vibration.”
If you analyze the next quotation, I don’t see how we could fill the alleged gap left by Theosophy, using materials from Mr. Leadbeater and Mrs. Bailey, you confirm that their concepts are totally opposed:
The Masters and the Path, p.258.
Collected Writings, Vol. XIII, p.72
“The possibility of changing one’s Ray by the firm determination to do so leaves all paths alike open to the occult student.”
“The star under which a human entity is born says the occult teachings, will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara.”
Alice Bailey y Leadbeater put qualities very similar in the Rays
Science of the Sacraments, p.90-91
A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p.5
1 - Strength
2 - Wisdom
3 - Adaptability or Tact
4 - Beauty and Harmony
5 - Science (detailed knowledge)
6 - Devotion
7 - Ordered Service (ceremonial which invokes angelic help).
1 - Will or Power
2 - Wisdom
3 - Active Intelligence
4 - Harmony, Beauty and Art.
5 - Concrete knowledge or science.
6 - Devotion
7 - Ceremonial magic, order
Mark well that Science for both systems is only concrete knowledge (i.e. material science), but for Theosophy:
« Knowledge and Science cannot be pursued altogether on the Baconiam methods. »
(Mahatma Letters, p.355)
Instead Leadbeater and Alice bailey, they don’t refer to knowledge as Gnosis or Theosophic, Divine Knowledge or Science.
In her book “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”, Mrs. Bailey gives her one definition of knowledge, she says:
« Knowledge is the right apprehension of the laws of energy, of the conservation of force, of the sources of energy, of its qualities, its types and its vibrations. It involves an apprehension of:
a) The different key vibrations.
b) The centers where by force enters.
c) The channels along which it circulates.”
(p. 879 y 880)
So, she is talking about the use and manipulation of energy: 1. laws, 2. conservation, 3. sources, 4. qualities, 5. types, 6. vibrations.
She is in the realm of the practical and concrete, not physically concrete, but psychically. She is concerned with the circulation of energy through centers and channels, and with a certain key of vibration.
Her definition of Love in the next page 881, round out the concept, because for her:
« Love is the right apprehension of the uses and purposes of form. »
Again, we still are in the realm of the concrete and material. Her definition belongs to the rupa levels of the Cosmos, and even if later on she talks of the “Laws of Attraction and Repulsion”.
She finishes her idea saying that love “involves an understanding of all forms, form purposes, and form relationships”.
Having given her own concrete definition of knowledge, she then resorts to the Secret Doctrine for support (pages 879 and 880) are crammed with more than six references to the Secret Doctrine, and I say to the Secret Doctrine advisedly because they are not quite from the Secret Doctrine, due to the way they are presented.
These references are:
1) Without quotation marks,
2) Incomplete in most cases,
3) And some are not faithful notations but re-interpretations.
A Treatise On Cosmic Fire
Secret Doctrine, third edition 1897
“2. The Gnosis, the hidden knowledge, is the seventh principle, the six schools of Indian philosophy are the six principles. S.D. I, p.299 “
[p.278 in 1st edition 1888]
“This is the view of every one of the six great schools of Indian philosophy - the six principles of that unit body of wisdom of which the `Gnosis,’ the hidden knowledge, is the seventh.”
Some of the quotations are systematically altered with a profusion of interpolations. See for instance in page 880 of “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire” her reference to Secret Doctrine I, 3rd edition page 192, in which she interpolates her comments on each Vidya without quotation marks.
Only in the case of the fourth Atma Vidya she only quotes “True spiritual wisdom”, forgetting to add the very important explanation that:
« It is only the last one, “Atma Vidya”, or the true spiritual and divine wisdom, which can throw absolute and final light upon the teachings of the three first named. »
(Secret Doctrine I, p.169)
Let us see now the definition of knowledge according to Blavatsky:
« Knowledge, in the true sense of the term, is the capacity of the Intellect, it is spiritual perception. In short, the higher individuality of man, composed of his higher Manus, the sixth and the seventh principles, should work as a unity, and then only can it obtain “divine wisdom”, for divine things can be sensed only by divine faculties. »
(Collected Writings VI, p.241)
« But not till the unit is merged in the All, whether on this or any other plane, and subject and object alike vanish in the absolute negation of the Nirvanic state (negation, again only from our plane), is scaled that peak of Omniscience - the knowledge of things in themselves. »
(Secrete Doctrine I, p.330)
« True knowledge is of Spirit and in Spirit alone, and cannot be acquired in any other way except through the reign of the higher mind, the only plane from which we can penetrate the depths of all pervading Absoluteness. »
(Esoteric Instructions I, p.21-22)
As you can see, Blavatsky speaks of a higher knowledge and not of a simple concrete knowledge.
Alice Bailey pretended to be the new messenger of the Masters of Shamballa, but her statement turned out to be false because in reality we are in face of two systems of thought, training and completely different goals. One uses spiritual perception, while the other uses psychic apprehension. One uses the higher mind, while the other uses the lower and concrete mind. One puts his trust in the divine faculties, while the other places him in ceremonial magic, the church, the coming of Christ and the invocation of elementals.
- “The Pseudo-Occultism of Mrs. A. Bailey”, by Alice L. Cleather and Basil Crump, Manila, 1929.
- Theosophical Notes: Special Paper, September 1963. “A Study of the Arcane School of Alice E. Bailey”, compiled by Victor Endersby, 1963.
- “The Masters and the Path”, by C.W. Leadbeater, The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India, 1925.
- “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”, by Alice Bailey, Lucis Publishing Company, New York, 1925.
- “The Science of the Sacraments”, by C.W. Leadbeater, The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India. 1920.
- Diagrams of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 56, 1230 copied from The Theosophist” of December 1899, and diagram p. 94 copied from January 1900.
- “The Elder Brother”, A Biography of Chales Webster Leadbeater, by Gregory Tillett, Routledge and Kegan Paul, Melbourne, 1982, p.176
- “The Secret Doctrine Index”, by John van Mater, T.U.P., 1997
- “Blavatsky Collected Writings Index”, edited by Dara Eklund, T.P.H. 1991.
- “The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, compiled and Annotated by H. Spierenburg, PLP, San Diego, 1995
- “Esoteric Writings of T. Subba Row”, First Edition The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India, 1980, p. 525