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Introduction / Comments

Sep 13, 1995 11:56 AM
by Thom Nelson

Hi all,

I've been lurking here for what seems like months, since before the system
crashed. At times things have been slow, but lately I've really been
enjoying the conversations here.

My name is Thom Nelson, I'm owner of an herb and perennial nursery in
Virginia. I first heard of theosophy my freshman year of college at UC
Santa Cruz when my friend was doing a term paper on masonry for his "Ways of
Knowing" class. He was reading a lot of Manly P. Hall (_Secret Destiny of
America_), and other stuff, I'm not sure what. Anyway, I remember doing two
interesting searches in the library, one with the Subject "Theosophy" and
the other with the Keyword "Time". Theosophy led me to books, probably by
Blavatsky or Judge, which had chapters like "Karma", "Reincarnation", which
I was interested in at the time through participation in a kind of Hippie-
Buddhist world-view. But I didn't read the book, probably because I'd lost
my school ID, and never seriously read Theosophy until 5 year later. All
through college, conspiracy theory (Masonry, secret societies and such) and
spirituality (like _Be Here Now_) attracted me, but it never drew me to read
HPB and the like. Another friend once was reading a "33rd degree" book on
masonic theories (I forget the name of it, some of you probably have it) and
M.P. Hall's Secret Teachings of All Ages (sic) and had claimed to have read
_Ulysses_ in two nights taking speed. He said that it had a religious key
which made it a Masonic parody of Catholicism, or something to that effect.
I was definitely interested, but for some reason, held back on reading any
of it. I'd even reserved myself a copy of the Masonic book at Bart's Books
in Ojai, but never got around to picking it up.

Anyway, about two years ago, my wife and I were living in a house that was
at that time owned by a friend of ours who was an acupuncturist and into
some pretty interesting philosophies, and in the mail kept coming Share
International, addressed to Elaeteged Yamwadyam, or something close to that
anyway (I'd never know anyone by that name to be a resident there). For
those of you who don't know what I'm talking about (most probably do), this
is the publication put out by Benjamin Creme which proclaims the coming of
Maitreya, the Messiah, etc. etc. , but also uses the Bailey teachings /
"Ageless Wisdom" as it's philosophical cornerstone. So one night I read
this article on the Antahkarana (Antaskarana) which really interested me.
"The Rainbow Bridge of Light" -- sounded very cool to me, right? And I
never really buy Creme's whole salvation rap, but I definitely stay
interested in the Bailey material. Next thing I know I'm at a flea market
in Soquel and I see a copy of _The Rays and the Initiations_, water damaged,
picked it up for $0.75. Don't know what the hell he/she's talking about for
at least six months. Then it all starts to resonate really strongly, so
strongly that it starts reshaping my whole perspective on things. Energy,
initiation, cosmic and solar influences -- all following on similar lines of
thought which I had been working on for some time. Then I got _Treatise on
Cosmic Fire_ and that stimulated me to a similar degree. So I considered
myself as someone who was "into" Alice Bailey, not really theosophy. I
became a student of the Arcane School recently, and only now, with access to
their library and some books from Virginia Tech, am I really starting to
delve into H.P.B. and Leadbeater and Besant, etc.

So here I am, not really feeling comfortable with the source teachings,
familiar but not intimate with Bailey's material. Rich and I have had
discussions in the AOL Alice Bailey group, where we had some lively
interactions. Rich: I respect your viewpoint immensely after reading all
your posts here on theos-l. But as has been said here, attempted conversion
of people who are into a specific teacher or school is useless and often
counter-productive; please remember this when posting to groups which don't
really represent your viewpoints. I have also had some private e-mail
interaction with Paul, a fellow Virginian. I've been reading your book
(from the Virginia Tech library) and am enjoying it immensely. Some great
historical material and insights, though I don't really go for your thesis.
I think you need to integrate the esoteric with the exoteric in order to get
a more "holistic" view of H.P.B.'s contacts and interactions with Adepts and
others. In other words, if it's at all possible, try to find out more about
who Blavatsky saw in her inner life as well as her outer life. (I know it's
hard to get published that way, though.)

Anyway, just wanted to say hello and a "bit" about myself (more like 4746
bytes so far).

Love and Light,
Thom Nelson

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