Sending their dollars to "God", via some bible-thumping evangelist or fundamentalist Christian group, making donations at the local parish church and so forth, is proving itself to be useless to the people who were certain that God could be bought and fooled by their display of Christian charity. There is a growing dissatisfaction with the various forms of Christianity. Strike that. Pseudo-christianity. The multitude of well-known so-called Christian sects actually have very little to do with the simple and sublime teachings of the Master Jesus, and perhaps, at least deep down inside, many people are beginning, finally! to realize it.
Yuppyism, technology, pseudo-christianity--these are the action. And the reaction? A loathesome revival and redressing of the old spiritualistic, mediumistic con game: "new age philosophy" and "trance channelling". As repugnant to the true student of the esoteric arts and sciences, especially the Thelemic Magician, as pseudo-christianity and extreme materialism.
The so-called "new age philosophies" are not at all new. We have heard it all before--much of it for centuries. It is nothing but a jumble of superficial occultism, with a dash of eastern mysticism, UFOism, as I call it, and a verbal barrage of popular sayings that are essentially true, but so worn out, misunderstood, misapplied and superficial that they tend to mislead rather than to lead one to the only worthwhile goal in life which is the understanding of the self for the purpose of coming to know the True Self, the Essential I of which the persona is only a mask, and Its purpose or True Will. There are many terms in many systems for this True Self, terms such as the Holy Guardian Angel, the Atman, Augoeides, Daemon, Genius, the Higher Self, the Supraconscious Mind or Self, and even the Christ or Buddha Within, or, generally, "God" and "the Kingdom of Heaven". Jesus in the four Gospels referred to this Principle as "the Father", "the Son", generally, referring to the persona that is created by the True Self for the purpose of Self-expression. However, this is all beside the point for the moment. Here we wish to take a few examples of this so-called "new age phenomenon" and briefly examine them. It is all, in my personal but well-informed opinion, "a symptom of our times", as the saying goes. A symptom of a kind of illness, a deficiency in human society as a whole. People have always felt as if they were lacking something, but generally they could not quite understand what that something is. From time to time society goes through alternating periods of materialism and spiritualism. There is the rush to keep up with the proverbial Joneses, madly dashing to acquire status symbols, material goods, prestigious positions in the business community and society in general. There is the apparently opposite reaction to this illness that pervades human society which involves giving up one's material possessions for so-called spiritual reasons. The proverbial "normal person" suddenly liquidates all of his or her assets, donates them to some religion or cult, joins it and leaves a wreckage of broken hearts and lives behind, all for the search of that something that is lacking in his or her life, that something that has proven not to be of a material nature and so must be of a spiritual nature. There is indeed a sickness, an incompleteness in society, however, neither technology nor money, nor praising the Lord and going to "spiritualistic seminars" will cure the sickness and make the incomplete complete. These are, at best, a panacea that, for a short while, fools one into believing that the illness has been curied, but in the meantime the illness grows stronger, the body of human society weakens, and eventually, if a real cure is not applied, it will die.
A popular occult publication that is filled more with advertisements for the products that it sells than articles, each article being but an expanded advertisement, proclaims the name Lazaris, and for only $59.95 (plus tax in some areas, postage and handling) apiece, one can purchase at least six video tapes on which Lazaris talks to us. Did you ever notice that the 'spiritual' seems to sooner or later cost an awful lot of very material money?
Lazaris, which we are told is pronounced La-zahr-iss, is supposedly a "non-physical entity who channels his insight, wisdom, humor and love through the body of Jach Pursel," (pronounced "Jack"?), and thanks to "David the Video Wizard" we can all have Lazaris/Jach Pursel in our homes, bringing us, above all, "love". That, by the way, is becoming such a rare quality and commodity that the concept of having some "non-physical entity" (for apparently love can no longer be acquired from physical entities) bring us love makes for a strong attraction to a populace that has forgotten how to love and be loved. A society that has built up walls or armor around each individual, shutting themselves off from others and the 'higher' aspects of themselves. We live in a very lonely society where the reverse of the old adage seems to be true: every man is an island. People are afraid to love people, they are afraid to be loved, they fear, in part, that it will end, and probably they are right. Most "interpersonal" relationships do indeed prove not to be forever and ever. People are so afraid of being hurt, of having their precious ego bruised, that thing which they mistake for themselves and which they seek to protect at all costs, that they build walls around that ego, shut it up in a tower that cannot be invaded by others. Then people wonder why they feel alone, moan and groan about their loneliness, and since they fear the idea of a physical being coming into their personal, isolated universe, yet greatly desiring what only a close personal relationship can give, they allow a non-threatening "non-physical entity" into their lives and settle for pseudo-love rather than real love--the love, by the way, that must begin from within oneself.
"Lazaris. Let him love you as he always has." Let him love you through videos that were "produced by some of Hollywood's top filmmakers." Very romantic. Personally I think that such tapes should be sold right alongside "porno" videos for indeed this sort of thing is pornographic, an obscenity that degrades the intellect as well as the 'soul'.
Lazaris/Jach Pursel promises to help you develop a relationship with your Higher Self and the advertisement hits upon another key point of and reason for this 'phenomenon': "We all seek power--personal power." Here the term "Higher Self" is misapplied to represent what is nothing more than the ego, the 'false self', an aspect of the persona, in a manner of speaking, and such individuals as this Jach Pursel, for I personally doubt the independent existence of Lazaris, misguide people, leading them towards nothing more than the crass worship of ego, love of ego instead of the love of one's True Self, often referred to as "the Beloved", as well as one's fellow human beings. The problem is that people are locked up in towers made to protect ego and the walls of that tower are constantly maintained and strengthened so that it is impossible for one to love or be loved. Furthermore, locked in this tower of ego people find that they are not as effective in the world as they wish to be. They cannot effect their surroundings, they cannot even effect themselves within, so they feel helpless, powerless, and the promise of personal power becomes very attractive to them. However, that personal power is not to be found within the confines of that tower of ego within which the Real Self is hidden and submerged--imprisoned. Yet when someone like Pursel speaks of "God/Goddess/All That Is", obviously trying to please all of the people all of the time like any good businessman, and "the divinity within"; when he speaks of "a future of hope and celebration", expressing the typical shortsighted desires for utopia, people are bound to flock to him, worship him as a god, liquidate their assets and try their damnest to buy God Realization and happiness and love and power. In many ways human society is still very immature and naive. The common sense, logic and rationality are there, but it seems that most people still do not know how to use these tools and like barbarians in awe of the primitive shaman's tricks, they ooh and ahh before the 'wonders' produced by the incorporated shaman of the eighties. The primitive part of man's psyche has always hungered after the miraculous. Modern day pseudo-christianity was built upon the childish and primitive belief in miracles. Today, however, many of those 'miracles' are proving to be only fairy tales and many are paled by the wonders of modern technology. Therefore many people are turning to the "trance channeller", which is merely a new name for the "medium", who leaves his or her body or otherwise surrenders it to the possession of a "non-physical entity" that is supposedly far more advanced than the rest of us, although the words of the so-called "entity" never seem to prove its wisdom to anyone who cares to think about them.
The true student of the esoteric has always found spiritualism, by whatever name it is called, repugnant. The very idea of vacating the body, the "temple of the soul", the "house of God", or otherwise allowing some alien entity to take up residence therein and profane it as it will is a disgusting concept. In a sense it is spiritual prostitution. It is apparently assumed that a being who has "passed over" into the "other world", i.e. died, is because of it somehow superior to an incarnate human being, more intelligent, wiser. However, such an "entity" may be quite the opposite. It may be ignorant of its surroundings, confused after the transition from one state of consciousnes and being to another, and really, anyway, it still has a great deal to learn. Of course, in all of the cases we are examining, the so-called "non-physical entity" is suposed to be thousands of years old and so therefore wise. Despite the fact that time is an illusion with different rules and laws in differrent states of consciousness and upon different levels of being, making it very difficult to judge the specific age of a "non-physical entity", there is of course something very obvious here that many people tend to ignore. Wisdom does not necessarily come with age. In fact, very often, if we listen to our very young children we will learn more of wisdom than if we listen to those who have lived long and yet badly. Be that as it may, there is also the strong possibility that the "non-physical entity" is either (a) sub-human and masquerading as a wise man, perhaps donning the rags of a discarded and disintegrated ego or persona, often not for particularly 'evil' purposes, but just in an effort to come as close as it can to humanity which it hungers to achieve, although sometimes I wonder why! (b) a psychological dysfunction of the "trance channeller's" or medium's brain that produces a schizophrenic nature, or (c) which is probably most commonly the case, an assumed persona no more real than an actor's character intended to dupe the public for ego gratification and very often an enrichment of the good old bank account. You see, 99.9% of these individuals claiming to "channel" "non-physical entities", at a conservative estimate, are no better off than most others. They too find it difficult to express love so they do so through an alter ego. They feel the need to be loved and for some reason to love themselves, feeling quite inferior deep down inside, so they perform these easy-to-manufacture pseudo-miracles to attract that love, albeit only a caricature of love, along with a certain degree of adoration. They too, like the people in their audience, feel a lack of personal power, the power to effect their surroundings, and they find a way to gain power, first through their pseudo-miracle of trance channelling and then through the money, the financial power, that that brings to them. We have here, then, a very common thing in life: the blind leading the blind.
As for the words of "wisdom" these "entities", these supposedly discarnate wisemen, speak, let us look at a little newsletter that was mailed to me by Livres Metamorphoses Books in Canada and our friend Serge LeBel who is offering to rent Lazaris videos, for which reason we have lost respect for him. Supposedly this 4-page bulletin is based upon an "Interview by Craig Lee for LA WEEKLY, Nov. 7-13, 1986" and the first question goes like this: "What about this Atlantis business as a 'source'? This is hard to swallow." And indeed it is, but Lazaris, i.e. Pursel, goes on to answer, sort of, that "Some people don't believe in Atlantis or Lemuria, or the idea of reincarnation, and that's perfectly fine." Et cetera. However, our self-proclaimed Atlantean wiseman completely avoids the question and probably this is for the best. Atlantis has become an absurd cliche in superficial occult circles. Perhaps the continent did exist at one time and perhaps it was advanced and fell prey to its technology, but lacking hard facts to prove any of this makes it a subject of speculation that should be left out of any serious discussion of things as they are today. It is notable that many of these "trance channellers" who claim to be "channelling" "non-physical entities" also claim that they come from Atlantis, a vast continent said to have been destroyed long before our recorded history began. Why? Because the occult reputation of Atlantis lends the supposed entity an image of long-forgotten wisdom and it also serves the "channeller" well because there are no hard facts regarding life in Atlantis that might trip him or her up and prove that such an entity never existed in such a place. If your "entity" claims to come from ancient Egypt, you, the "channel", had better know all that you can about ancient Egyptian culture or sure as shoot'n some bloody experts will pop up and make a damn silly fool out of you in public! But Atlantis! Who can possibly refute what you may say about Atlantean culture? It is safe ground for the crackpot and charlatan as well as the intellectually impaired and misguided individual who cannot distinguish between his fantasies and reality. Besides...these ancient wisemen from Atlantis manifesting through "trance channellers" speak a lot of reincarnation, and usually quite naively and incorrectly for all of their pretended wisdom, and they often point out that reincarnation is a means of accumulating learning experiences. Fine. But then tell me this: what the hell has this Atlantean wiseman been doing all of these years of not being reincarnated, of not going through these learning experiences through a succession of lives? While he was sitting around in his etheric easy chair the rest of us have been living, dying, being reborn and living again, accumulating experiences, learning our lessons. Does it not seem likely then that we have obtained far more wisdom than the so-called Atlantean wiseman who has been sitting on his fat etheric ass for centuries--millennia?
Lazaris/Pursel is asked about the nature of his existence and he goes on to hand us the same old tired cliches: "God is love, as it tells you in your New Testament. God is light." And people buy it--literally. People tend to accept such cliches as true because they sound nice while on the other hand they go about saying that God, their God, is an unlimited and absolute power in the universe. Never once do they seem to realize that they have just contradicted themselves. If God is an unlimited and absolute force he is not only love and light, but also hate and darkness! If he is not hate and darkness then he is a limited and relative force, and thus inferior to humankind who possesses both love and hate, light and darkness! To worship such a god would be no better than worshipping a monkey--in fact inferior to worshipping a monkey which seems to possess the capacity for love and hate, at least in a rudimentary way. A truly evolved being recognizes that God, so-called, is the Totality of Existence, which by Its very nature also implies the concept of Non-existence, and he does not limit God with such irrational cliches as "God is love" and "God is light". All that is as well as all that is not is God. Viewing Totality as a magnificently faceted gem we see that God has various, perhaps an infinite number, of facets. There are various godforms and these are facets which viewed from a limited point in space, so to speak, makes one tend to think that what is seen is all that is, that that facet alone is the limit of God. The truly evolved being realizes--real-izes--that there is more to God, the Totality of Existence, than what can readily be seen and seeks to experience God. The truly evolved being who realizes this, who perhaps has personally experienced God, in a manner of speaking, does not casually toss about such cliches as those Pursel employs.
Throughout the interview Lazaris/Pursel speaks in the plural form: "We're not saying we're physical...but we are saying there are realms of reality that exist somewhere between you and where that ultimate force, that ultimate energy, lies..." Briefly I would like to point out that this is a crude way of referring to levels of consciousness. Be that as it may, I wonder about this plural form of speaking. Does "we" refer to Lazaris and his "channeller", Pursel? Does "we" refer to a collection of "non-physical" Atlantean wisemen? Is this the royal "We" that is so often the trappings of ego? Or does this "we" identify Lazaris as the demon Legion, "for we are many", as it says in the Gospel According to Mark, Chapter 5, Verse 9? Now, generally speaking, a demon (very distinct from Daemon, "a god or goddess; one's genius, one's lot or fortune; fate, destiny") is a psychological complex. Such complexes exist in nature as well as in humanity, but that is natural since in fact between humanity and nature there is no real difference, but let us not get into such "metaphysical" considerations here! Is Lazaris, then, but an aspect of Legion, of the vast amalgamation of complexes that plague human society and create the illness that it suffers from?
Let us finish up with Lazaris/Pursel here. In the interview "Lazaris" tells us with typical up-beat pop humour, "the more pain, the more gain", stiltedly worded for charm, then later says that he offers "a chance, at least, to grow, to jump from one reality to another, to make a quantum leap into whole new realities without struggle, without distress, without pain." Very attractive, but did he not just tell us that there is no gain without pain? Then a little further still "Lazaris" says of a channeller's message that "If an entity [like Lazaris himself] is valid, it will be a consistent message, always. An evolving message, but never contradictory." Ah-huh. Right. So what does he then say about himself and his contradictory message?
There are many things that could be commented on in this interview to show the absurdity of Jach Pursel and his so-called "non-physical" Atlantean wiseman, Lazaris, but we have not the space here for more. Suffice it to say that Lazaris/Pursel speaks of how "People are seeking spirituality so desperately that they listen to some of the crackpots in the field." And indeed, here he speaks the truth! He knocks Christianity about and thus shows that it is the very failure of modern day pseudo-christianity which has brought about this "new age" rubbish. He goes on about other trance channellers who he claims are either charlatans or lost in some kind of illusion or delusion, implying that he is genuine, while all we can see is another person flinging pop slogans about and with the help of an apparently imaginary friend is making a lot of money. Maybe, just maybe, Pursel actually believes in the independent existence of Lazaris, which we must admit is a possibility. However, that only makes matters worse. Yet what else can we expect of a person who offers "whole new realities" that can be experienced "without struggle"? Is it not obvious that all of this is sheer escapism, pure and simple? Weakness that cannot face reality as it is and so seeks an escape from it by claiming that there are other realities out there.
This is reality. Right here, all around us. There is no need to seek "new realities". There are no "new realities". There is only a need to recognize, experience and study the full scope of the reality that we exist in, a reality that is multifaceted and which science has so far not fully mapped out. There is no need to seek "new realities" when the reality we presently exist in is yet such a vastly unexplored region, full of infinite possibility.
Finally we note in another occult catalogue regarding Lazaris and the $59.95 video tapes that "About one year ago Shirley MacLaine met Lazaris at a friends home in Los Angeles. Since then she has become very close friends with Lazaris - and Peny, Michaell and Jach...You can let people know that Shirley studies with Lazaris." This we will return to later on in this Encyclical Letter. Let us now turn from Lazaris to Ramtha.
It would be absurdly presumptuous of me to think that I could write a better expose of Ms. J. Z. Knight, aka Judy Hampton, supposed "channeller" of Ramtha, than the television news magazine 20/20 has done, and since I have 'faith' in 20/20's integrity I feel quite safe in quoting from the transcript of the program that aired on January 22nd of this year.
Here we go again, with, however, more popularity than Jach Pursel/Lazaris enjoys. Ms. Knight claims to channel "Ramtha, a mystical male spirit 35,000 years old" and of course Ramtha, or The Ram, which we are told by Ramtha 'himself' means God, "lived in the lost land of Atlantis, where he was a great warrior" who later gave up his warrior ways. (Ram, a symbol of Aries--Ares, God of War--get it?) Ms. Knight, er, I mean Ramtha, dishes out the same old tired cliches, very carelessly and very dangerously. Ramtha/Knight says, for instance, "Who needs to be worshipped? Indeed, you do. And who needs to save your hide? You do. And, indeed, who can answer your prayers? You do." One is tempted to then ask, Who then needs this Ramtha bull? Certainly you don't! And while the advice seems to be that one should depend upon oneself and stand upon one's own two feet, the result is in fact just the opposite. People are giving up their lives to follow J. Z. Knight and they lean heavily upon everyone of her trite sentences. "God exists in everyone. Man is divine, and the master of his own destiny" is Ramtha's message, and we are not likely to disagree with this, but it is misapplied and misunderstood and the distinction between the person and the person's ego is not clearly made and again we end up having the ego worshpped as a god. Most dangerous of all seems to be the view taken of reincarnation and karma. Basically reincarnation implies that an essentially spiritual being lives many lives through a succession of physical bodies, each time assuming a new persona or mask, and karma is simply the law of cause and effect which really has no moral attributes attached to it. The view is taken in the Ramtha White Book, a kind of pseudo-bible, that "reality is whatever you want it to be", again providing the follower with a door through which to escape reality (or at least try to escape reality!), and "there's no right, no wrong--(that) even murder is not wrong or evil". That, according to a Ramtha follower, "The person who commits a murder...doesn't need to be punished by being put into prison. He's going to be punished, because he's going to hate himself for eons of years...and it will set his process of evolvement back for ages and ages." I am sure this is of great use to the person murdered and of great comfort to the friends and family of the victim. Perhaps there is no need to imprison the murderer as he will be constantly tormented by the memory of his act, although this seems a bit naive and idealistic since the chances are that the murderer who is not restrained is likely to murder again, and perhaps again. Furthermore, although there is no absolute "good" or "evil" there is a relative "good" and a relative "evil". To murder a Hitler in the beginning of his murderous reign might be considered "good", but generally speaking murder should be regarded as relatively "evil" simply because it restricts a person by robbing him of the physical vehicle he needs to real-ize his True Self and accomplish his True Will or purpose for existing. It interferes with and thwarts the victim in his endeavour to achieve God Realization. As The Book of the Law, the cornerstone of Thelema, says, "The word of Sin is Restriction" (CCXX I.41). Generally speaking, murder is a "sin" in the Thelemic way of thinking not because of arbitrary moral considerations, but because it is the ultimate restriction that one person can place upon another person, preventing him or her from furthering his or her spiritual career and treading the Path of the Wise to evolve intellectually and spiritually and reach his or her full potential. It boils down to the same thing, but to the follower of Ramtha the view taken of murder is not only amoral but extremely selfish and inconsiderate, catering only to the personal ego or false self at the expense of others.
Ms Knight greets her audience and indeed she is an attractive and charming woman. The people that come to listen to her, or rather to Ramtha, seem to pay little mind to the fact that they pay $400 apiece for the privilege of being there. Ms. Knight also charges $1500 for weekend retreats as well as often earning up to $200,000 for a single appearance. Again we see that the spiritual seems to have a very material price on it. At any rate, after first appearing as herself, Ms. Knight goes backstage, changes her clothes, donning loose-fitting shirt and trousers, puts her hair up, but not too neatly so as to still make the most of her feminine cuteness, and then "goes into a trance" after which "this 40-year-old woman says she has turned into a 35,000-year-old man", Ramtha, "a great warrior" of Atlantis, "the biggest bastard of them all", 'Ramtha' cutely says, who "rejected violence for virtue and became a wise, enlightened teacher" who "decided to come back 35,000 years later, in 1977". And what happens to J. Z. Knight when Ramtha is being channelled or manifested? "I actually abdicate my body", Ms. Knight says, that is to say that she abandons "the temple of the Holy Spirit", the "house of God". If true it is no better than profaning one's God by opening the doors of one's church or temple to interlopers to use as a public toilet. In fact, that is exactly what is being done since the body is the temple and vehicle of one's personal indwelling god, Daemon or True Self!
Ramtha/Knight plays upon the weaknesses of the audience, as is natural, giving them pseudo-love, boosting their egos with flattery while actually doing nothing to show them their true worth in life--taking the opportunity to make a good deal of money. Lots of money. Ms. Knight, like so many others, flaunts it in the faces of her followers and yet they seem to be blind to what is happening. While people are giving up their homes, their lives, for Ramtha, J. Z. Knight builds a mansion for herself from the proceeds and breeds expensive horses that Ramtha then convinces certain followers to buy and then board in her stables. Perhaps the worst part of the whole 'show' that Ms. Knight puts on is that it is so crude and obvious--it is such a bloody poor show. Now if, when she comes out of the 'trance' and begins channelling Ramtha, her voice were more than slightly masculinized and in fact produced an entirely different voice pattern than the voice of Ms. Knight we would at least be treated to a damn good trick that could indicate the possession of another entity!
"People are entitled to say that I'm a fake, I'm a fraud, I'm the devil, I'm the Antichrist", Ms. Knight says. "I'm everything but doing something good for somebody." The somebody she does the most good for seems to be J. Z. Knight, who apparently revels in being so much talked about. She should not, however, flatter herself with the title of Antichrst. She is, at 'best', in my personal opinion, among the least of all the "false prophets" that are legion today.
Judy Hampton of Artesia, New Mexico, who later began calling herself J. Z. Knight, did not seem particularly different than most young girls. Perhaps that was the problem. Perhaps she desperately wanted to be different, special. Thus, as we are told by someone who knew her then, there was "a bizarre incident at a prayer meeting, when Judy suddenly began speaking in a strange male voice, identifying herself as a demon name Demias. ... She couldn't breathe" and the male voice said "I possess this body, and you cannot have it. I have possessed it for many years." Of course Ms. Knight denies this by saying that "That (is) somebody else's truth, that's not my truth." Of course the person who thinks that he is Napoleon and whose claim is refuted could say the very same thing and while it is not exactly wrong it is at least irrational and a dangerous way of thinking. At one point, at least, an ex-associate of hers says that Ms. Knight, while out with some friends, switched from Knight to Ramtha off and on without the need of going into a trance, blatantly flaunting the charade.
Besides handing out a mockery of love, which her followers pay heavily for, and giving them an opportunity to express what they think is love (at the expense of the ability to express real love in a natural manner), flattering their egos and so forth, Ms. Knight plays upon their fears of Armegeddon, the final conflict, the supposed end of the world mumbo jumbo, and she, as Ramtha, speaks of "a series of natural disasters (that) will devastate much of America" and warns people to move to higher ground. Hearing this I personally begin to wonder about her real estate holdings.
Such "new age" groups as the one built around Ramtha and J. Z. Knight have been called "no-fault cult(s), because you don't see a wise man, like Rajneesh, for example". The advantage to this is easy to see. The so-called wiseman, Ramtha in this case, can easily appear holy and spiritual--he is not driving around in a Rolls Royce or wearing expensive jewlery while his followers live in poverty, making him materially wealthy. Certainly J. Z. Knight lives a very good life, having all that money can buy, the hard-earned money of her followers, but she is, after all, not Ramtha, is she? If Ms. Knight makes a mistake, does something wrong and gets caught, Ramtha's unseen spritual hands still appear clean! It is a cute way out of the sticky situation many self-proclaimed holy men and even the Roman Catholic Church have found themselves in. However, it only works if one does not think too much about it, if one does not reason things out, exercise logic and common sense, and unfortunatley it seems that people who otherwise display the greatest reason in the business world or their personal life abandon reason when dealing with their religious or mystical beliefs. This is a very big mistake. It is with this aspect of life, the religious and mystical, that otherwise reasonable people become most unreasonable when, in fact, they should exercise even more reason than normal.
Some people seem to think that Ramtha was a legitimate individual entity that once spoke through Ms. Knight but that she pushed him out and assumed his identity out of a desire for money and power. Some would say that Ramtha is a demon that possesses her, or that she is merely assuming a character and putting on a show, but whatever the case may be it is obvious that Ramtha's spiel is nothing but the typically trite mixture of superficial occultism, pseudo-eastern mysticism, and pop slogans, and it leads one away from the true Path in life, the discovery of the True Self as well as the True Will or purpose for existing, and leads only to ego-worship, ego-gratificaiton, and a deepening of the problem that is gradually worsening in our society. Certainly people walk away from a "spiritualistic seminar" feeling happy and relaxed, but like people walking out of a tavern, sooner or later they are bound to sober up and be forced to face the reality pressing in on them from every side and if they have not learned to understand that reality, accept it and deal with it, they will be crushed by it. The emotional intoxication that they experience at these 'seminars' and mistake for mystical experiences is nothing but a panacea. It does not cure the illness. It is nothing more than an unnutritious snack of pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-spiritual, junk food that cannot possibly satisfy the spiritual appetite and fulfill the spirit's needs.
Finally we learn that one of Shirley MacLaine's "best-sellers identifies Ramtha as her spiritual guide," that "The actress still keeps a horse at J.Z.'s ranch", and that "MacLaine refused to talk to 20/20 about J.Z.Knight." Again the actress' name comes up for "Shirley MacLaine is now aligning herself with a channel named Kevin Ryerson, who claims he brings forth a 400-year-old spirit." Since the name keeps coming up again and again I suppose there is nothing left for us to do but to deal with it.
The popularity of "new age" "trance channelling" seems to have started with Shirley MacLaine. Dear sweet, ever-youthful, pretty, bright, charming Shirley MacLaine--dancer, singer, actress and now author. Well I must admit that I never read her book Out on a Limb, nor any of her other books. I have glanced through them but I have just been too busy to read them. I have always had more important things to do--things like cleaning out my closet, composing a shopping list, that sort of thing. When I heard that a film version of her book would soon be on television, co-written by and of course starring Ms. MacLaine, getting the most financial mileage out of all of this as possible, I decided to watch the two-part film. Well there we were, reliving part of Shirley's life, through her eyes of course, and experiencing with her the trials and tribulations of an affair with a married man of celebrity status--a relationship obviously doomed from the start as a woman Ms. MacLaine's age and experience should have been aware of from the start and which needed no mystical reincarnation mumbo jumbo to explain. One thing leads to another and soon her other friend, David, takes her on a little journey, she experiences a few very elementary mystical experiences that can be partly attributed to the rarified oxygen of the mountain she was on, the mineral spring she was at the time submerged in, along with simple physical fatigue, and she blows it all very much out of proportion. There were a number of other 'mystical' occurrences, such as a truck that drove itself--no doubt simply following the ruts worn in the mountain's dirt road; I used to do basically the same thing with my car on highways and it would even follow bends in the road if the road was properly banked. In fact, Shirley seems to have fallen for every parlor trick in the spiritualistic repertoire, and the explanation regarding the failure of her relationship with the married man, an explanation involving reincarnation and, yes, you guessed it, Atlantis, really explained nothing at all. What it boiled down to was that such and such had happened because such and such happened before. I suppose that it proves, if nothing else, that people who ignore history are doomed to relive it. The result of her experiences, the wisdom Ms. MacLaine gained from them, she could have (and probably did) picked out of any one of a number of paperback books selling for under five dollars at her local drugstore. Finally, towards the end of the film, the revelation is presented. Her friend David came into contact with alien beings--here is where the UFOism gets mixed up with all of the other nonsense--and we are told that these beings use an energy called "The Divine God Intelligence Force", which rather makes one wonder about how highly evolved these aliens actually are. Would not a more evolved race have a more efficient and less vague as well as more succinct language? Oh well, never mind, perhaps it loses something in the translation--although it seems that these aliens speak English. Correction, this alien, for David told Shirley that the alien being that contacted him was a very beautiful woman (naturally) and that her name is Mayan*. Yeah. Right. One of the things that annoys me most about all of this is that these vehicles created for ego-gratificaiton are so bloody unoriginal. In dozens of science fiction and horror films and novels there has been a beautiful woman, alien being, vampiress, ghost, whatever, whose name was either Mayan or Maya. The device is so old it is pathetic. Maya (from which Mayan comes) is a Hindu term which is generally translated as meaning "illusion", and I suppose that after all this is a most appropriate name for David's alien. Anyway, David convinces Shirley that he was meant to deliver all of this information to her so that she could then go out into the world and use (or is that abuse?) her celebrity status to teach a new way of thought and life to the inhabitants of this poor backward planet. Of course with the greatest modesty (actors are capable of tons of modesty...anger, hate, frustration, love, et al) Ms. MacLaine called herself a "learner" and only later, reluctantly, although not too much later, accepted the title of "teacher". It has now been about twenty years since I took my first conscious step on the Path in this present incarnation and seriously begun the studies and practices and still I am very sincerely reluctant to accept the title of "teacher", for as much as I have learned I can perceive that I have a great deal yet to learn and so I will remain a "student" ("learner"?) for a very long time. Shirley MacLaine, on the other hand, after only a relatively short while, having done no serious work at all, and having had only the minimum of experience, is now calling herself a "teacher". Well...actors and their egos...what else can one expect!
I found an interview with Ms. MacLaine on Entertainment Tonight, after part one of her made-for-television movie aired, most amusing. The interviewer said that she found all of it a little tough to buy. Ms. MacLaine, with characteristic charm, replied, "You don't buy it! You either accept it or you don't." It was then reported by E.T. that Ms. MacLaine was holding a spiritual seminar and charging $300 per person for admittance. To me that sure in hell sounds like this "new age" mumbo jumbo is a commodity that is being bought and sold! What really amused me was when Ms. MacLaine, brushing away criticism, brightly said that she guesses that she must be ahead of her time. Ahead of her time? Where was she in the early sixties and seventies when all of this pseudo-mysticism, reincarnation slop and UFOism was then being rehashed? Get real, Shirley. This stuff is not new--it is bloody old--superficial and old. If anything, Shirley MacLaine is very much behind the times.
So what is my opinion of Shirley MacLaine? The worst is possible, but I have always liked Ms. MacLaine's stage presence, although I am sure I would not like her much as a person, certainly I do not have a great respect for her intelligence at this point. I would like to think that her ego felt unsatisfied, unfulfilled, that although she has everything in life that money can buy and then some, she became victim of the same spiritual dis-ease that most people seem to be suffering from. I would like to think that at this vulnerable time in her life, her intellect greatly hampered by ego, she was taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals who were looking for a figurehead, a celebrity that they could use to open up a way for them and their shenanigans. I would like to think that Ms. MacLaine was duped and used and is still being used by crass con artists and deluded people in this way. I would like to think this because the alternatives are not very flattering to Ms. MacLaine and while I find it difficult to think highly of her as a person now, it would be nice if I could at least continue to enjoy her stage presence and her public façade.
What of these "new age teachers" and "trance channellers"? Most of them are undoubtedly crass charlatans. Some may actually be in contact with some kind of independent entity, although it is doubtful that these entities are highly evolved as they claim to be. (One is even tempted to think that perhaps the Martians are finally invading the earth, but spiritually instead of in their flying saucers, zapping Washington D.C. with death rays, although apparently they still enjoy buzzing about in them from time to time.) Many of these so-called "trance channellers" no doubt suffer from disassociative psychological disorders and actually believe that a portion of their own mind that is acting independently from their personality is in fact a separate individual communicating through them. There are numerous possibilities, the least likely of which being that these people are channelling Atlantean wise men. Whether Ramtha, Lazaris, Mayan and the rest are individuals in their own right or not really does not matter in the long run. What matters is what their so-called channellers are saying and doing, and all I see is the same old con. Human weaknesses are played upon and being exploited, emotional rushes and highs are mistaken for spiritual experiences, ego is being gratified, flattered and masturbated, leading people further and further away from the true Path of intellectual and spiritual evolution, and all of this seems to prove that the standard pseudo-christian term for people is correct. People do indeed very often act like a flock of sheep, and a sheep, according to one definition given to us by Webster, is "a person who is silly, stupid, meek, timid, defenseless, etc." Even a dumb dog can guide sheep as they will follow anyone, go anywhere someone with an appearance of authority will lead them. This I find repugnant. It is degrading to the "indwelling god", the divinity of humanity.
To conclude, let us play what I call a qabalistic game. There is a science called Gematria from which the game of Numerology was derived. The ability to read and write, to convey complicated ideas over long distances in space and through time, was originally reserved solely for the magicians. Grammar, "the system of word structures and word arrangements", was derived from the word Gramarye which means "magic". The ancients used their alphabets not only as such, but also as a numerical system. Aleph in Hebrew and Alpha in Greek, for instance, are attributed to the number 1. Beth and Beta equal 2, Gimel and Gamma equal 3, and so forth. Thus any given name, word or phrase was not only a string of letters representing certain sounds but also a string of numbers and added together represent a certain number. The ancient initiates used Gematria, in part, to convey certain doctrines to other initiates hidden in the simple verbal doctrines, myths and so on that were given to the general populace. The idea being that a certain word possessing the same numerical equivalent as another word might very well have a special affinity with it, that the one further explains the nature of the idea that the other conveys, elaborating upon the idea, in a manner of speaking. At any rate, being in possesion of a great deal of data pertaining to the qabalistic art and science of Gematria as the Greeks used it, I often analyze names partly employing Gematria. LAZARIS is a corruption of Lazarus, the Greek form of Eleazar which means "whom God aids", and the name is most well known as that of the man Jesus the Nazarene is said to have raised from the dead in the New Testament. It is interesting to note that the original spelling in Greek is Lazaros, Lambda Alpha Zeta Alpha Rho Omicron Sigma (30+1+7+1+100+70+200) coming to the numeration of 409 which is also the numeration of exodos (5+60+70+4+70+200), i.e. exodus, "a going out; a way out; an end, close, the close of life, decease". There is a strong possibility that Lazarus was not actually physically dead but simply undergoing a rather comon initiation rite that Jesus conducted and he was therefore dead, metaphorically, before initiation and the initiation marked the close of his previous life which was the death of ignorance. Lazaris, on the other hand, substitutes an Iota (10) for the Omicron (70) and thus equals 349, the numeration of mate, a Greek word spelled Mu Alpha Tau Eta (40+1+300+8), "a folly, a fault; idly, falsely". RAMTHA is derived from Ram, meaning "high", and to be found in the Old Testament (Ruth 4.19), Rama, "high place" (Josh. 18.25), as well as being the Greek form of Ramah (Matt. 2.8), and Ramath (Josh. 19.8). Transliterated into Greek it is Rho Alpha Mu Theta Alpha (100+1+40+9+1) which equals 151, the numeration of anelein, with Epsilons (5), short-Es, as opposed to Etas (8), long-Es (1+50+5+30+5+10+50), anelein meaning "to take away, destroy; to take up dead bodies for burial". DEMIAS, on the other hand, said to be the masculine demon that possessed Ms. Knight before Ramtha came along, and which may be one and the same as Ramtha if this is a case of possession by an independent entity, is obviously derived from the Greek word demas which means "the body, especially of a man", from which such names as Demetrias, "belonging to Demeter", are derived. Demias (4+5+40+10+1+200) comes to 260, the numeration of blaberon (2+30+1+2+5+100+70+50), "hurtful, noxious".
What then is my conclusion derived from this qabalistic game? Only that even the names of these so-called "non-physical entities" seem to indicate a less than wholesome nature. It is interesting here to note the numerations of Aiwass, otherwise spelled Aiwaz. Now this "entity" is the True Self of the late Aleister Crowley, not some Mel-Brooks-thousand-year-old-man from Atlantis. Each of us possess--each of us are--a True Self, this Daemon or Genius, this Supraconscious Mind or Self being the very core of our being. Furthermore, Crowley did not "channel" Aiwass. When Aiwass contacted Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in 1904 E.V. the Master Therion (Aleister Crowley) did not go into a trance, and certainly he did not put on a public display, turning his indwelling god, this highly evolved being, what you may call oneself in the future, into a trained monkey on a stage. A Thelemic Magician's relationship with his or her True Self is a very personal one, and generally speaking communication with It is relevant only to the magician in question anyway. At any rate, it is interesting to note that AIWASS, Alpha Iota Digamma Alpha Sigma Sigma, (1+10+6+1+200+200) comes to the numeration of 418, which is, among other things, the numeration of Abrahadabra in Hebrew (1+2+200+1+5+1+4+1+2+200+1), a long-corrupted word which represents the magical formula of attainment in this New Æon of Horus; HRV-RA-HA (5+200+6+200+1+5+1), Heru-Ra-Ha (CCXX III.35), and RA-HVVR (200+1+5+6+6+200), Ra-Hoor (EQ III.3), two variations of the Egyptian name of the godform of this particular æon; o aozos (70+1+70+7+70+200), "the minister", important as Aiwass proclaimed himself minister of the God of this æon; Pallas Athene (80+1+30+30+1+200+ 1+9+8+50+8), Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War whose name unites the concepts of male and female; and nepios (50+8+80+10+70+200), which means both "child" and "fool"--this word was employed by Polyphemus, the Cyclopes, in The Odyssey in reference to Odysseus, and relates, in part, to the "Pure Fool", as Parsifal was called in Wagner's opera libretto of that same name, and the word was also used by Pallas Athene, Odysseus' personal guardian god during the Odyssey, again in reference to the hero. AIWAZ, on the other hand, is transliterated into Hebrew as OIVZ, Ayin Yod Vau Zayin (70+10+6+7), and comes to the numeration of 93 which is also the numeration of the Word of the Law, Thelema (9+5+30+8+40+1), a Greek word meaning "Will" or purpose for existing, course in life; Agape (1+3+1+80+8), meaning "Love", the nature and means of accomplishing the True Will; e endeka (8 + 5+50+4+5+20+1), "the eleven", referring to a phrase in The Book of the Law, technically called Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX, which Aiwaz delivered to Therion in 1904 E.V., to wit, "My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us." (CCXX I.60); and, with great pleasure I note, Keallach, my own "magical name", transliterated into Hebrew: KHLLCh (20+5+30+30+8). Et cetera. Thus whereas the former names by Gematria tend to indicate characteristics that are appropriate for the left-hand path of ego worship, the name of Aleister Crowley's True Self indicates a concentration upon and direction towards the True Self and True Will, thus the right-hand path.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. with the advent of the Æon of Horus in 1904 E.V. and with the deliverance of Thelema into the world came an opposing reaction that seeks to counter the progressive nature of Thelema, that seeks to drag humanity backwards instead of taking it on to the Next Step of its Path of intellectual and spiritual evolution. There is nothing particularly occult about it. It is all quite natural and in keeping with the way nature functions. Nature, life, whatever, presents us with choices. We are given the opportunity to either fall in with the slave or sheep mentality and foolishly follow anyone with the appearance of authority, or we can be more like the ram (and I do not mean Ramtha!) and take the lead in our own lives in reality, not pretending to do so while allowing another to lead us around on a leash. Instead of listening to the words and following the dictates of so-called Atlantean wise men supposedly manifesting through trance channellers, wise men who are in all probability nothing more than imaginary characters, psychological abberations or sub-human elemental beings, the intelligent person who will not settle for a sham but insists upon truth and reality even if it means a lot of hard work and personal effort, endeavours to listen to and follow the advice of one's own indwelling god or Daemon, the Genius or True Self, the truest and best spiritual guide and guru that one is ever likely to encounter. Instead of listening to the words and advice of another, trusting in pseudo-authority, one should listen to the advice of one's own True Self, that quiet and assured inner voice that can be heard once the chatter of the ego is silenced. This is an infallible guide in life, and there are methods for silencing the ego so that the inner voice of common sense can be heard. These "new age teachers" and "trance channellers", however, deliberate charlatans or well-meaning if deluded individuals, only serve to increase the chattering ego's output and further obscure the quiet inner voice of the True Self that alone can give us the only direction in life worth taking, our own specific and individual course, the true orbit of every star in the Body of Our Lady Nuit.
The choice is given. Follow the advice of the mumbo jumbo spouting other person claiming to manifest some great Atlantean wise man as well as the dictates of one's own ever-chattering petty ego, the false self, or turn away from the pomp and display, quiet the ego, and follow the advice of the indwelling god that these "new age teachers" mock with their babble. The left-hand path of ego-gratification, or the right-hand path of true Self Realization, God Realization? It is entirely up to you. Choose...and then live with hour choice.
Frater Keallach 93/676
G.M.Kelly, Editor The Newaeon Newsletter
*According to Aleister Crowley, the Master Therion, in his book Magick in Theory and Practice, in the chapter dealing with the Body of Light, or Astral Body, in reference to the Astral Plane or Light, perhaps more accurately, the Astral Level of Consciousness: "Mayan (is) the greatest of all the devils."
(ENCYCLICAL LETTER, DECEMBER 1987 E.V., ANNO LXXXIII)