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Cosmologic Sources of Authority

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.moderated,talk.religion.misc,talk.religon.buddhism,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Cosmologic Sources of Authority (Was Re: Regardie and Blavatsky...)
Date: 5 Feb 1996 18:13:54 -0800


markk@West.Sun.COM (Mark Kampe):

|I doubt that the "secret chiefs" concept originated from Blavatsky.
|Didn't the Rosicrucians have secret masters (e.g. Frater CRC and his

Well, you were talking about Crowley wrt the SCfs.  I read recently:

	Crowley first became aware of the existence of a 
	hierarchy of spiritual powers in 1898 when he read
	*The Cloud upon the Sanctuary*, by Karl von Eckartshausen....

	Although *The Cloud upon the Sanctuary* was written in the
	language of Christian mysticism, the idea of a spiritual
	hierarchy at which it hints is not confined to Christianity.
	It is to be found also in the Buddhist system; in the line
	of mystical Hindu gurus that preceded the present
	Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham; in the spiritual
	*sampradaya*, or lineage, of Ghoraknath and the Nath Siddhas,
	and similar hiearchies....

	After Crowley read *The Cloud upon the Sanctuary* he aspired
	to contact the hidden Order which the book describes.  As a
	result of his endeavours he met George Cecil Jones (Frater
	D.D.S.), a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn....

	The Golden Dawn underwent great changes owing to the failure
	of Mathers to maintain a magical link with the occult
	Current informing the A.'.A.'. (the Order of the Silver Star)
	and the subsequent dissolution of his contacts on the Inner
	Planes by the Secret Chiefs of the Order (the Ordrs of the
	Rosy Cross and of the Cross of Gold), Mathers had given more
	than a hint as to what this contact implied:

		As to the Secret Chiefs with whom I am in touch
		and from whom I have received the wisdom of the
		Second Order which I communicated to you, I can
		tell you nothing.  I do not even know their
		Earthly names, and I have very seldom seen Them
		in their physical bodies....

		I felt I was in contact with a force so terrible
		that I can only compare it to the shock one would
		receive from being near a flash of lightning during
		a great thunder-storm, experiencing at the same
		time great difficulty in breathing....

	_Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God_, Kenneth Grant, 
	 Skoob bookS, 1992; pp. 6-9.

That said, I think that I've seen in Rosicrucia pprs the consistent
notion of 'Great White Brotherhood' as 'secret masters'.  Is this
what you mean?  Does it relate at all to _The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary_?

|With a little abstraction, I think it becomes clear the "secret chief"
|concept is really just another instance of the active ingredient in
|all "revealed religions".  

'Cept in most revealed religions the door is closed to 'becoming the
prophet(s)', which is not the case in early Rosihermineutism.  If one
is diligent and pure of intent one may either transit the Expanse
separating the Peons from the Masters during one's lifetime (as some
occultists have claimed they've done, as Crowley) or ascend to this
holy and vaunted position after one 'leaves bodily form'.

Personally I think they are all lovely metaphors.

|Lots of people can figure out reasonable things, but nobody will 
|listen to them.  If, however, they can claim that they got these 
|"reasonable things" from a burning bush, or an angel, or in blind 
|dictation, or through some other extrordinary means, people will 
|come from half-way around the world to pay to hear the same theories.

Only if one specifies that these cannot be obtained from the original
source oneself (else everyone would proceed to the well rather than
attempt to taste your backwash).

|How much difference is their between a cult-leader who claims to be
|in communication with "secret chiefs" and a prophet who claims to
|have had communion with the creator or one of his angels?  If there
|is any difference, it must be exceedingly subtle.

That would depend on the cosmological position that the Secret Chiefs
hold.  The angels and the creator are central to the cosmological
paradigm of Judeo-Christian spewings.

|But this was long after he and Westcott had started the order with
|its own (bogus) secret chiefs.

I don't know how you can determine, without blatant recantations on the
part of these men, whether their contact was 'bogus' or not.  It seems
to me that the important element is not whether their masters were
'bogus', but whether the materials they brought forward are at all
USEFUL to you.

The Secret Chiefs are a symptom of authority-worship evident within
occult traditions (and beyond).  The extent to which emphasis is
placed upon *another*'s 'inner plane contacts' is indicative of the
depravity of the ascriber.  Surely they are important, but when this
contravenes the subjective experience of another then we can know of
its corruption.  

It is reminiscent of other aspects of Hermeticism in which outside
sources of authority are given superior status to individual experience.
That it must be connected to some 'system of authority' is merely an
indicator that the measures are shifting slightly away from creator-
god traditions and/or singular Personages whose cosmological status
is intended to persuade.

Cf. in particular the Prajnaparamita Sutra, central to Mahayana Buddhism,
which was supposedly dictated by Gautama Buddha to the nagas prior to
Nagarjuna's receipt, or the various termas discovered by Tibetan 
Buddhists, usually ascribed to Padmasambhava or his immediate students.
To ensure my response CC all public replies to email (READ alt.magick.tyagi) 
(emailed replies may be posted) *

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