1881: Apollonius Tyaneus and Simon Magus

In the “History of the Christian Religion to the year two hundred,” by Charles B. Waite, A.M., announced and reviewed in the Banner of Light (Boston), we find portions of the work relating to the great thaumaturgist of the second century A.D. – Apollonius of Tyana, the rival of whom had never appeared in the Roman Empire. “The time of which this volume takes special cognizance is divided into six periods, during the second of which, A.D. 80 to A.D. 120, is included the ‘Age of Miracles,’ the history of which will prove of interest to Spiritualists as a means of comparing the manifestations of unseen intelligences in our time with similar events of the days immediately following the introduction of Christianity. Apollonius Tyaneus was the most remarkable character of that period, and witnessed the reign of a dozen Roman emperors. Before his birth, Proteus, an Egyptian god, appeared […] Read More

1879: Christmas Then And Christmas Now

We are reaching the time of the year when the whole Christian world is preparing to celebrate the most noted of its solemnities – the birth of the Founder of their religion. When this paper reaches its Western subscribers, there will be festivity and rejoicing in every house. In North Western Europe and in America the holly and ivy will decorate each home, and the churches bedecked with evergreens; a custom derived from the ancient practices of the pagan Druids “that sylvan spirits might flock to the evergreens, and remain unnipped by frost till a milder season.” In Roman Catholic countries large crowds flock during the whole evening and night of “Christmas-eve” to the churches, to salute waxen images of the divine Infant, and his Virgin mother, in her garb of “Queen of Heaven.” To an analytical mind, this bravery of rich gold and lace, pearl-broidered satin and velvet, […] Read More

Diagnoses and Palliatives

“That the world is in such bad condition morally, is conclusive evidence that none of its religions and philosophies, those of the civilized races less than any other, have ever possessed the truth. The right and logical explanation of the subject, of the problems of the great dual principles – right and wrong, good and evil, liberty and despotism, pain and pleasure, egotism and altruism – are as impossible to them now as they were 1881 years ago: they are as far from the solution as they ever were. . . .” (From an Unpublished Letter, well known to Theosophists.) One need not belong to the Theosophical Society to be forcibly struck with the correctness of the above remarks. The accepted creeds of the civilized nations have lost their restraining influence on almost every class of society; nor have they per had any other restraint save that of physical […] Read More

Karmic Visions

    Oh, sad no more! Oh, sweet No more!     Oh, strange No more!     By a mossed brook bank on a stone     I smelt a wild weed-flower alone;     There was a ringing in my ears,     And both my eyes gushed out with tears,     Surely all pleasant things had gone before.     Low buried fathom deep beneath with thee, NO MORE!         –TENNYSON    (“The Gem,” 1831) I     A camp filled with war-chariots, neighing horses and legions of long-haired soldiers. . . .     A regal tent, gaudy in its barbaric splendour. Its linen walls are weighed down under the burden of arms. In its centre a raised seat covered with skins, and on it a stalwart, savage-looking warrior. He passes in review prisoners of war brought in turn before him, who are disposed of according to the whim of the heartless despot.     […] Read More

1887: Let Every Man Prove His Own Work

    Such is the title of a letter received by the Editors of Lucifer. It is of so serious a nature that it seems well to make it the subject of this month’s editorial. Considering the truths uttered in its few lines, its importance and the bearing it has upon the much obscured subject of Theosophy, and its visible agent or vehicle – the Society of that name – the letter is certainly worthy of the most considerate answer. Fiat justitia, ruat cœlum! Justice will be done to both sides in the dispute; namely, Theosophists and the members of the Theosophical Society1 on the one hand, and the followers of the Divine Word (or Christos), and the so-called Christians, on the other. We reproduce the letter: To the editors of LUCIFER What a grand chance is now open in this country, to the exponents of a noble and […] Read More

The Fall of Ideals

Alas, whether we turn East, West, North or South, it is but a contrast of externals; whether one observes life among Christians or Pagans, worldly or religious men, everywhere one finds oneself dealing with man, masked man – only MAN. Though centuries lapse and decades of ages drop out of the lap of time, great reforms take place, empires rise and fall and rise again, and even whole races disappear before the triumphant march of civilization, in his terrific selfishness the “man” that was is the “man” that is – judged by its representative element the public, and especially society. But have we the right to judge man by the utterly artificial standard of the latter? A century ago we would have answered in the negative. Today, owing to the rapid strides of mankind toward civilization, generating selfishness and making it (mankind) keep pace with it, we answer decidedly, […] Read More

The Esoteric Character of the Gospels

“. . . . Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy presence, and of the consummation of the age?”,1 asked the Disciples of the MASTER, on the Mount of Olives. The reply given by the “Man of Sorrow,” the Chréstos on his trial, but also on his way to triumph, as Christos, or Christ,2 is prophetic, and very suggestive. It is a warning indeed. The answer must be quoted in full. Jesus . . . . said unto them: – Take heed that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in my name saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. And ye shall hear of wars . . . . but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. […] Read More

What Is Truth?

Truth is the Voice of Nature and of Time – Truth is the startling monitor within us – Naught is without it, it comes from the stars, The golden sun, and every breeze that blows. . . . – W. THOMPSON BACON . . . Fair Truth’s immortal sun Is sometimes hid in clouds; not that her light Is in itself defective, but obscured By my weak prejudice, imperfect faith And all the thousand causes which obstruct The growth of goodness. . . . – HANNAH MORE “What is Truth?” asked Pilate of one who, if the claims of the Christian Church are even approximately correct, must have known it. But He kept silent. And the truth which He did not divulge, remained unrevealed, for his later followers as much as for the Roman Governor. The silence of Jesus, however, on this and other occasions, does not prevent his […] Read More

Religious Experiences

by Misty http://www.angelfire.com/nm2/aona/religious.html JESUS APPEARED TO ME IN A CATHEDRAL Photo of this place above, but it was on the right of the pillars, at the front. When I was approximately 14, a vision happened in a Catholic Cathedral mass with the school. I was playing up and laughing with my friends, as I believed in evolution, so didn’t respect the church as God’s house. There were large pillars up the church which blocked off the centre seats. I was at the back of the large cathedral and there was nobody in the side seats, with the rest of the school in the centre seats. I felt strongly compelled to look up at the white wall at the front of the church at the side, above a statue area and when I did a large face materialised into a black image on the wall of a man with long […] Read More