Spiritual Advancement

You’ve probably heard people mention “Spiritual Evolution”. But think about this:

You can go back to the 80’s and read metaphysical or occult or spiritual books. You can go back to the 40’s, and the 20’s. But go back somewhat further and something interesting happens—

In 1888, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky wrote her 2 vol. “The Secret Doctrine.” Suddenly, we’ve info about different “planes” of spiritual existence, But where did Blavatsky get this idea? And she talks about older spiritual “Races”…i.e…the Lemurians, the Atlanteans, etc…but again, where did Blavatsky get this idea and how does she know its true?

90% of everything you might read today about spiritual “evolution” goes back to Theosophy. But there is more—

The Seccret Doctrine came out in 1888. Darwin wrote The Origen of Species in 1859, twenty-nine years earlier. And NOBODY ASKS “what was written about Spirituality BEFORE Theosophy”? Answer: Spiritualism. In 1850, “the Poukeepsie Seer” Andrew Jackson Davis wrote “The Great Harmonia”. There is an Afterlife, and continuing on in some spirit world. There is no reincarnation, or different spiritual races “evolving” into a new one.

This was 9 years before before Darwin would write about evolution.

Spiritualism was wildly popular in America, especially from 1850-1880. By 1885, Davis would have been married 3 times and his influence soon faded.

Then the Secret Doctrine books would come in 1888. But Spiritualism was not dead. It would become popular in England. Also, here in America, in 1891, the Ouija Board would be invented. But today, nobody bothers to look back in history to see how or when things started. So, maybe there isnt really any “evolution” (other than being in some spiritual body after death” but there is “continuing” in an Afterlife and learning more.

Some thoughts on Spiritualism & Spirituality

I have had fun in researching and reading about what I’ll call “History of Alternative Spirituality/Occult.

Here’s some thoughts on Spiritualism.  The “Big-Daddy” of Modern Spiritualism would be, in my opinion, Andrew Jackson Davis. He wrote: The Principles of Nature (1847) and The Great Harmonia (1850). He died in January of 1910.

In 1875,  we got Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and the founding of Theosophy (the Theosophical Society). This was less Spiritualistic and more Occult than Spiritualism. By 1885, Andrew Jackson Davis would have been married 3 times and had all of them end. His popularity very likely diminished after that. In 1888, Blavatsky would write The Secret Doctrine.  A massive 2 vol. set that few would read completely. She had already written another 2 vol. set earlier called: Isis Unveiled (in 1877 ?).

Even though Davis’s popularity faded, many people were still interested in Spiritualism. Why rely on Davis? People wanted to communicate with the dead on their own. Then we got “the Ouija Board” (in 1891?)

But Science and Materialism were marching on, and we also had Robert G. Ingersoll “The Great Agnostic’ and his writings from about 1872 to 1899. In 1902, after Davis’s 3 marriages, Frank Podmore would write “Modern Spiritualism”. I believe this was a critque.  Then, 1914-1918, we had World War 1.

By the 1920’s, there were all sorts of beliefs one could get into: Spiritualism, Theosophy, “The Mind-Cure Movement” (as William James called it), Psychology, Christianity, Mysticism and more. Spiritualsim would still be popular in England. Arthur Conan Doyle would turn to Spiritualism, and Arthur Finlay would write the book “On the Edge of the Etheric”. Then, in America, we would have the Great Depression and also World War 2 and alot of people were likely too busy for alot of reading.

That’s my opinion, from reading and researching. I wasn’t there but I think that’s close to how things went.  If you want still more info, a good book on this kind of stuff is “Occult America” by Mitch Horowitz. Amazon.com should carry it.