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Re: masters and such

Apr 02, 2004 01:44 PM
by John Plummer

Hi Paul,

> The best known such cases [of claimed contact with the Masters] are 
the flakiest-- e.g. Creme, Prophet, 
> Harold Klemp of Eckankar.

All too unfortunately true! I suppose in the final analysis, it is a 
case of "by their fruits you shall know them...." 

> snip
> Anthroposophists, on the other hand, are often shocked by Steiner's 
> references to the Masters in his earlier teachings.
> > 
> Very interesting! I consider that an example of what David Lane 
> calls "genealogical dissociation." Meaning, covering up the actual 
> roots of a spiritual movement in order to present it as sui generis.

This kind of behavior is one of my primary criticisms of the 
contemporary Anthroposophical Society (although by no means confined 
to them!) Not only does A.S. leadership sweep Steiner's direct 
statements about the Masters under the carpet, they also never own up 
to how much of Steiner's anthropology and cosmology was directly 
borrowed from Blavatsky et al. Not to mention the influence of 
Theosophical notions about educational reform on the Waldorf 
movement, etc. A large percentage of Steiner's audience in the 1910s 
and 20s were former Theosophists so were surely at least somewhat 
aware of how much he was borrowing from the TS - thus there was 
probably no need for him to point it out. But in the 21st century, 
this is no longer the case. 

Upon demonstrating some of the ways that Steiner's teaching is 
directly continuous with Blavatsky (although also very different in 
other ways - e.g. his take on Christianity), I've had 
anthroposophical friends resort to bizarre explanations -- that all 
of Steiner's teaching was directly from his clairvoyance and the fact 
that HPB had the same notions just meant that she saw the same thing 
clairvoyantly before she was taken over and imprisoned by the 
spiritual beings who distorted her later work, etc. etc. It's so 
much easier to just admit that we all do one another's washing, in 
this business.

(IMHO, the other big failing of the A.S. is its unacknowledged 
authoritarianism, despite the continuous preaching of freedom. For 
this, I think Steiner must bear some responsibility. There's a 
great book called From Christianity to Christ by Pietro Archiati -- for more. Among other things, he tackles some of the 
tough issues in the A.S. Archiati got in very hot water for 
comparing the Vorstand -- anthroposophical leadership -- to the 

> I like Gurdjieff's notion of A, B, and C 
> influences, the latter emanating from the Conscious Circle of 
> Humanity. It "rings truer" to me than most formulations on the 
> topic, FWIW which may not be much.

I've also found this a helpful way of thinking about these matters. 
To me, one of the most important things, with a topic like this, is 
to look at a lot of the different angles, in a wondering way, without 
being sure that any of them tell the whole story. Same reason that I 
avidly read HPB, CWL, Bailey, Steiner, Fortune, Krishnamurti, 
Gurdjieff, etc -- and have genuine admiration for all of the above, 
but without being a camp follower of any.

Take care -

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