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Dane Rudhyar's Occult Preparations for a New Age. Image Copyright 2004 by Michael R. Meyer.

by Dane Rudhyar, 1975

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A Planetary Approach to Occultism amd Its Source

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To Michael R. Meyer
and Nancy Kleban
In warm appreciation
and friendship.

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This title was first published by Quest Books, 1975.

Cover for the online edition copyright © 2004
by Michael R. Meyer.

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H. P. Blavatsky and the Trans-Himalayan
Occult Brotherhood and the 19th Century - 2

What The Secret Doctrine primarily sought to show was that, at the core of the basic teachings found in all or most of the world's religions which have left visible and intelligible records, there exists a Universal Traditional so called "Wisdom Religion" and that, through all times and in all continents, this Tradition had been preserved by an uninterrupted line of Custodians and interpreters organized in occult brotherhoods.

However, if one accepts this as a fundamental claim, one should be careful not to jump to premature or unnecessary conclusions. The first and most essential realization is that a mind trained by our Western civilization is unable to pass judgment on the validity and implications of such claims unless it be willing to set aside its life-long conditioning by the local point of view characteristic of our Western culture and religion, and learn to function on an all-human, planetary level, free to judge on their own merits the ideas and values which all cultures have contributed, and are contributing, to the evolution of mankind.

If there is a Universal Tradition, then only a universal mind can hope to adequately understand its nature and its planetary source. This cannot be a cultural, religious source, because as I have tried to show the sources of all particular cultures and institutionalized religions (with their distinctive symbols, ideologies, practices, and dogmas) are the manifestations of local conditions. No doubt the consciousness of the founders of the more recent "great religions" (as we call them), especially Gautama the Buddha and Jesus the Christ, was illumined by culture-transcending and "universal" experiences, and by divine love and compassion. But none of these prophets or Avatars built a religion, as an institution depending on formulas expressed in a particular language, with dogmas and rituals answering to the specific and characteristic needs of a particular people. Their disciples did; and the development of such religions involved endless arguments, compromises, and pressures from political and sociocultural forces. At the same time their religions came in answer to the disintegration or crystallization of previous religions and cultural institutions.

A Tradition that could truly be called "universal" must therefore have its being essentially beyond the cultural level; it must be transcultural, in the sense that while it may operate through any culture, it is not bound to, limited by, or essentially conditioned by any one culture or by local factors. Its custodians, just because they are "universal" or planetary beings, aware of the need for a new release of their knowledge and intervention, are inwardly compelled out of love for humanity to answer this particular need in whatever way makes the answer most effectual. As this happens, what I have called the one Tradition is seen operating in the aspect which is specifically able, ready, and willing to exteriorize the spiritual-mental answer. It operates through an Occult Brotherhood.

There was not only one Occult Brotherhood when, in 1883, the Mahatma K.H. wrote in The Mahatma Letters:

As the course of the river depends upon the nature of its basin, so the channel of communication of Knowledge must conform itself to surrounding circumstances. The Egyptian Hierophant, the Chaldean Mage, the Arhat and the Rishi, were bound in days of yore on the same voyage of discovery and ultimately arrived at the same goal, though by different tracks. There are even at the present moment three centers of the Occult Brotherhood in existence, widely separated geographically, and as widely exoterically the true esoteric doctrine being identical in substance, though differing in terms; all aiming at the same grand object, but no two agreeing seemingly in the details of procedure . . . . The only object to be striven for is the amelioration of the condition of MAN by the spread of truth suited to the various stages of his development and that of the country he inhabits and belongs to.(4)
From this statement, every sentence of which should be carefully studied, one can deduce that there is but one Occult Brotherhood with three centers widely separated geographically. But here we deal with a semantic matter. A similar issue arose when Annie Besant, after HPB's death, seemingly took upon herself to change the wording of the first object of The Theosophical Society from "to form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of humanity" to "to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of humanity." As it undoubtedly was Annie Besant's purpose to popularize Theosophy all over the globe, the change may have been valid at that time. A still deeper change in the concept of the Masters can be noted when one compares the over-all picture that emerges from The Mahatma Letters with that which has prevailed in theosophical circles during the 20th century. Perhaps the need to conform to what is "suited to the various stages of (man's) development" is the deepest reason one can present for such a change.

The nature of "the three centers" to which K.H. refers can be known only by a mind able to operate at the truly occult level. It is nevertheless an acknowledged fact that, during the first stage of HPB's work in America, a strong contact existed between her and what has been referred to as the "Hungarian Lodge" directed by the Master R. and the "Egyptian Lodge" headed by "Serapis." The former is said to have been the inspiration of secret European societies such as the original Rosicrucians and early Free Masonry in the eighteenth century; the latter may have been the true and original Brotherhood of Luxor of which HPB was apparently a member.(5) Yet these "Lodges" and the trans-Himalayan Brotherhood almost certainly were not the only centers of occult activity. One of the three mentioned by K.H. may have been related to the Andes and the remains of the Inca and the pre-Inca civilizations. Some time after World War I an American occultist, Brown Landone in Florida, asserted that most of the greatest Adepts who had lived in the Himalayas and Tibet had moved to the Andean region of Lake Titicaca. What occurred in Tibet some fifteen years ago and the resulting disruption of the ancient Tibetan way of life give validity to the story, which I personally had confirmed by another seemingly knowledgeable source.

In the book A Collection of Esoteric Writings by Subba Row, a very valuable book for students, some "Notes" by HPB speak most interestingly of the "Aryan-Chaldeo-Tibetan doctrine, or Universal WISDOM Religion," relating, and nearly identifying, the trans-Himalayan esoteric doctrine with the Chaldeo-Tibetan traditions. There seems indeed to have been a close connection between Chaldea (or Syria and Babylonia) and Tibet. Recently, Sufi-oriented students taught by a Chilean occultist, Mr. Ichazo, and to some extent related to the movement that had been started by Gurdjieff who studied with Dervish Teachers, speak of the Hindu Kush as the seat of an Occult Brotherhood. Sufism itself may be traced in its origin to the ancient teachings of some of the Hebrew Kabbalists; but the Kabbalah may well have had its origin in the Jews' captivity in Babylon, which leads us again to that region an important one in the development of one branch of our present humanity.

All such matters are evidently speculative; and in the Theosophical Movement and other esoteric groups which branched from the original impulse given in 1875 by HPB and those behind her mysterious personality, there is a tendency to provide the interested seeker with exciting bits of information which tend to personalize currents of force, magnetic centers of the earth, and the beginnings and ends of cycles, rather than to try to make people "feel" and intuitively envision the vast rhythmic sweep of cosmic, planetary, and even historical sociocultural processes. The various phases of these processes certainly can be personified; but there is a fundamental difference between an approach to existence according to which cyclic activities are produced by divine superhuman or human beings, and another approach leading one to realize that these activities operate through these beings serving as focal points for the release of the transforming energy of cosmic evolution.

These two approaches are manifestations of what recent "philosophers of science" have labeled atomism and holism.(6) Broadly speaking, throughout the nineteenth century, the Western mind interpreted all experiences basically from an atomistic point of view, while the developing trend during the twentieth century (especially after World War I) has been toward holistic concepts. The spread of the German concept of gestalt (a word perhaps best translated as "configuration") belongs to the latter development. It obviously had antecedents in earlier philosophical thinking; but, at least since the Renaissance, atomism in science and individualism in the sociopolitical and cultural fields have dominated the consciousness of Europe and America and what I call the "Euromind." The individual ego of human beings and the collective ego of nations with their attendant pride and greed for power, wealth, and material comfort have been blatantly in the spotlight. The most basic types of thinking and feeling have focused upon some kind of individual entity, at the supposedly spiritual as well as the most materialistic and physical level. Distinctly differentiated and essentially separate characteristics have been attributed to each one of billions of monads, souls, and citizens to each nation, atom, or element. In America, personal emotions and opinions have come to dominate everything, including family relationships and education. Yet in a peculiar manner these supposedly "personal" factors and needs have proven to be most easily and collectively manipulatable by the media and propaganda. However, these manipulations belong especially to our twentieth century with its new emphasis on social consciousness and on "groups" endowed with a kind of mystique.

4. p. 399, 2nd ed.; p. 393, 3rd ed.  Return

5. Afterward a group that took the name of the Brotherhood of Luxor became active in Europe and the United States, but HPB said that it was not the ancient one rooted in the occult past of the earliest Egyptian civilization.  Return

6. The words, holism and holistic (from the Greek term for "whole") are now used extensively, but to my knowledge, were not, or but very rarely, used until the publication after World War I of a remarkable book Holism and Evolution by the great South African statesman and thinker, General Jan Smuts. Yet his name is hardly ever mentioned by the people using the adjective, holistic. However, I would mention here a very significant book by Lancelot Whyte, Accent on Form (Harper and Brothers, N.Y. 1954). I might also refer the interested reader to my books The Astrology of Personality and Person-Centered Astrology.  Return

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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