Nexus Publishing House recently released The Esoteric Paths: Philosophies, Teachings and Secrets which includes a chapter by Dr. David Shoemaker on Aleister Crowley. This book was edited by Dr. Kubilay Akman of Bingol University in Turkey,
The publisher says: “As Nexus Publishing House we are aware the importance of esoteric traditions and heritage for humanity. This book is a part of a planned series particularly focusing on esoteric studies, in a wide range from Western Esotericism to Eastern / Oriental Esoteric traditions. We hope that “The Esoteric Paths: Philosophies, Teachings and Secrets” will be a substantial source for professionals, scholars, students studying on esotericism / religious studies or philosophy and readers who are interested in these topics. Initiates of these traditions will find it also helpful to understand history and teachings of their orders.”
On his FB feed Shoemaker stated: ” As an introductory essay on Crowley and Thelema, the chapter will not likely be of much interest to those already familiar with the field. Nevertheless, I am excited that this chapter seems to be one of the first (if not *the* first) expositions of Crowley’s work in an academic setting in the Middle/Near East.”
You can order a copy here:
I have carefully read the article Theosophy An Explanation and Overview. Whereas I do not know the name of the author, nevertheless, given my own fifty years of unremitting study of the teachings and my former intense contact with the worldwide TS for many decades, especially in England and Australia, the opinions expressed come as no surprise.
Be that as it may, the article perfectly rightly states that the ‘story of the Theosophical Movement after the passing of H. P. Blavatsky is to a large extent a very sad and tragic one’. But that sadness and tragedy has been reinforced by the sort of highly one-sided, haughty and unsupportable opinions that the article conveys. It is highly regrettable that this should form a chapter of the book The Esoteric Paths: Philosophies, Teachings and Secrets edited by Professor Kubilay Akman. The author claims that it takes humility and a sacrifice of the personal idea to be just a ‘hander on’ / transmitter of teachings already given out. Indeed, but he/she singularly fails to realize that there is a massive ego at work in ostensibly wanting to preserve the purity of the original teachings on the grounds of being a ‘defender of the purity of the faith’. Those who preach humility are anything but humble themselves.
The cheap shots aimed at Besant and Leadbeater are factually indefensible in large measure as they are in poor taste. Blavatsky had boundless admiration for Besant and it was thanks to Besant’s clear writings and inspiring oratory that attracted members to the TS. It was Leadbeater who discovered Krishnamurti. Moreover, the author has succumbed to the stock-in-trade of tawdry journalism in mentioning Leadbeater’s alleged improprieties, which have never stood up to objective and impartial enquiry (although of course, they shocked the squeamish propensities of the stuffy Victorian age in which he lived).
In advocating an attitude of Blavatskyian fundamentalism, the author singularly fails to understand two cardinal, related tenets of the Theosophical movement:
1. Freedom of thought and enquiry, with no one, not even the Founders set up as authorities, as enshrined within in the General Council Resolution.
2, The Comparative study of science, religion and philosophy as per the Second Object.
In reducing Blavatsky’s and the Master’s stupendous teachings to the level of dogma, and eliminating other avenues of research and enquiry, the article has all but succeeded in turning what is a living message into the worst kind of ossified religious fundamentalism, something that Blavatsky and her Teachers fought lifelong to counter. The author has displayed an uncharitable and ungenerous attitude so utterly inimical to the precepts espoused by Blavatsky and the Masters who constantly stressed the quality of generosity of heart, and a mind to embrace ever new and fresh ideas, from whatever source, in order that divine wisdom – theo-sophia – may become a living force – NOT merely a dry, academic intellectual concept – in our lives.