+JMJ+ Welcome to part 26 of our weekly series on the soul. Two of my current blog projects often overlap each other—exposing the New Age for what it is and isn’t, and exploring the soul—and have grown into near obsessions. Well, the truth is, they were obsessions before they became blog projects. And as I l continue to research and write about both subjects, I feel more and more that I know less and less about either one, and that there is much more to learn. My library is certainly beginning to reflect my current focus. I received two more books this week: a new copy of Theistic Evolution: The Teilhardian Heresy, by Wolfgang Smith, and a used library copy of The Goddess Unsmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality, by Philip G. Davis. (I also ordered a DVD but it’s not here yet: Scroll down for a trailer for The End of Quantum Realilty, a film about the work of Wolfgang Smith. Notes and links at the end of this post.)
First thing I looked for was an index to the goddess book, wondering if I’d find Gerald Gardner, Blavatsky, Annie Besant, or Alice A. Bailey in it and, yep, they’re there, as are Dion Fortune, Marija Gimbutas, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Mathers, Crowley, Adler (Margot not Mortimer), Starhawk (yes, I read The Spiral Dance back in the day, and books by and/or about the others in this list), and others in a veritable Who’s Who of the New Age movement. I’m especially interested to read about Wicca and its beginnings, not lost in the mists of distant time but, more prosaically, in the nineteenth century. An excellent article by Charlotte Allen about The Goddess Unmasked is over at First Things. I’m reading about Wicca and witchcraft (which are not the same thing, and not because of any interest I ever had in the subject of Wicca, which was one of several aspects of the New Age movement to which I was not attracted) because I knew people who were into it, and I know some who still are, and it did and stll does exert a powerful influence on more people than it should. I’m interested to see how the “perfect storm” came about that has brought so many strange ideas into and shaped today’s mainstream culture.
Video: Trailer, The End of Quantum Reality, Wolfgang Smith. See more film-related links below at the end of this post.
The other book is an updated edition of Smith’s earlier Teilhard and the New Religion, which I was reading until I found this one. I have to admit, I never found Teilhard de Chardin to be very interesting. I came across his name many times and looked forward to reading his work, but I found it nearly impenentrable, the same way I felt and feel about Blavatsky and Bailey. I mean, I begin to understand something these authors say and then, bam! The next thing they say comes along and blows what I thought I understood to smithereens and I’m left wondering what I’m reading and why I’m wasting my time with it. I’ve understood more about all three of these authors since I began reading serious books about them and gave up reading them directly. If I’d known how deep their animosity to Christianity truly was I might have given up sooner.
I know I found it a turn-off in the work of Joseph Campbell. His mockery of the Church was one of the things that began my wake-up call back to Christianity. One that I found particularly annoying was his mockery of the Second Coming of Christ as the “Great Non-Event.” It’s as if he never heard of the Real Presence or the Parousia, which I find hard to believe, looking back at in now. At the time I found myself defending Christianity and taking its side more and more. That surprised me and made me step back and take a serious look at what I thought and felt and and why. Yogananda had made me do the same a few years before I discovered Campbell, though not because he mocked Christianity but because he didn’t. He seemed to take it seriously, though I came to realize he was also seriously wrong about a lot of it, too. More on this in a separate blog post which I’m now making a note to write at some point. I wrote briefly about Campbell a few years ago.
I’m about to take a deep dive into these two books, and the film when the DVD gets here, if I can wait that long. If I can keep myself from buying the digital download and watching it tonight. It’s a temptation but I’m going to try to wait. I do have plenty to explore in the meantime. Especially now that I also got one of those magnifying thingies with little LED lights on it and a rechargeable battery. I have a lot of reading to do and my eyes are dealing me fits. And most of what I want to read is not available as an audio book for free or for sale. I’ll share some notes in a upcoming blog post soon.
Thank you for visiting and reading. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, and virtuous and holy! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Notes and Links
- Theistic Evolution: The Teilhardian Heresy, by Wolfgang Smith, paperback.
- Teilhard and the New Religion, by Wolfgang Smith: Paperback, Kindle.
- The Goddess Unsmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality, by Philip G. Davis (got this one used).
- “Blessed Be,” an article by Charlotte Allen about The Goddess Unmasked, at First Things.
- The End of Quantum Reality, a film abou the work of Wolfgang Smith. Get it at Amazon in Blu-Ray, DVD NTSC or DVD PAL (re: Amazon affiliate links, see Full Disclosure below), at the film’s website (Philos-Sophia Initiative); rent or buy it at Vimeo.
- A review of The End of Quantum Reality at Catholic World Report.
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