Theosophical Society

TheosophicalTheosophyTheosophical Movement
It is overseen by a hidden spiritual hierarchy, the so-called Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, whose upper echelons consist of advanced spiritual beings. Blavatsky portrayed the Theosophical Society as being part of one of many attempts throughout the millennia by this hidden Hierarchy to guide humanity – in concert with the overall intelligent cosmic evolutionary scheme – towards its ultimate, immutable evolutionary objective: the attainment of perfection and the conscious, willing participation in the evolutionary process.

Universe

physical worldthe universeuniverses
The modern era of physical cosmology began in 1917, when Albert Einstein first applied his general theory of relativity to model the structure and dynamics of the Universe. Chronology of the Universe. Cosmic Calendar (scaled down timeline). Cosmic latte. Cosmos. Detailed logarithmic timeline. Earth's location in the Universe. Esoteric cosmology. False vacuum. Future of an expanding Universe. Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey. Heat death of the universe. History of the Center of the Universe. Illustris project. Multiverse (set theory) (Hyperverse, Megaverse or Omniverse). Non-standard cosmology. Nucleocosmochronology. Rare Earth hypothesis. Religious cosmology. Space and survival.

Western world

WesternWestthe West
influence in spiritual thinking, customs and either ethic or moral traditions, around the Post-Classical Era and after.

Tantra

TantricTantriktantrism
The deities are internalised as attributes of Ishta devata meditations, with practitioners visualizing themselves as the deity or experiencing the darshan (vision) of the deity. During meditation the initiate identifies with any of the Hindu gods and goddesses, visualising and internalising them in a process similar to sexual courtship and consummation. The Tantrika practitioner may use visualizations of deities, identifying with a deity to the degree that the aspirant "becomes" the Ishta-deva (or meditational deity). In Hindu Tantra, uniting the deity and the devotee uses meditation and ritual practices.

Mantra

mantrasmantrammantera
Bharati defines mantra, in the context of the Tantric school of Hinduism, to be a combination of mixed genuine and quasi-morphemes arranged in conventional patterns, based on codified esoteric traditions, passed on from a guru to a disciple through prescribed initiation. Jan Gonda, a widely cited scholar on Indian mantras, defines mantra as general name for the verses, formulas or sequence of words in prose which contain praise, are believed to have religious, magical or spiritual efficiency, which are meditated upon, recited, muttered or sung in a ritual, and which are collected in the methodically arranged ancient texts of Hinduism.

Astrology

astrologerastrologicalastrologers
Astrology saw a popular revival starting in the 19th century, as part of a general revival of spiritualism and—later, New Age philosophy, and through the influence of mass media such as newspaper horoscopes. Early in the 20th century the psychiatrist Carl Jung developed some concepts concerning astrology, which led to the development of psychological astrology. Advocates have defined astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, a science, and a method of divination. Though most cultural astrology systems share common roots in ancient philosophies that influenced each other, many use methods that differ from those in the West.

Divinity

divinegodhooddivinities
There are, however, certain esoteric and mystical schools of thought, present in many faiths — Sufis in Islam, Gnostics in Christianity, Advaitan Hindus, Zen Buddhists, as well as several non-specific perspectives developed in new age philosophy — which hold that all humans are in essence divine, or unified with the Divine in a non-trivial way. Such divinity, in these faiths, would express itself naturally if it were not obscured by the social and physical worlds we live in; it needs to be brought to the fore through appropriate spiritual practices. In traditional Christian theology, the concept and nature of divinity always has its source ultimately from God himself.

Swami Vivekananda

VivekanandaSwami VivekanandVivekanand
This is the way to success, that is the way great spiritual giants are produced". Vivekananda was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta, a modern interpretation of selected aspects of Hinduism in line with western esoteric traditions, especially Transcendentalism, New Thought and Theosophy. His reinterpretation was, and is, very successful, creating a new understanding and appreciation of Hinduism within and outside India, and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West.

Paganism

paganpagansheathen
This group includes aboriginal Americans as well as Aboriginal Australians, Viking Age Norse paganism and New Age spirituality. Influences include: Spiritualism, and the many Afro-Diasporic faiths like Haitian Vodou, Santería and Espiritu religion. Isaac Bonewits includes British Traditional Wicca in this subdivision. Neopaganism: A movement by modern people to revive nature-revering/living, pre-Christian religions or other nature-based spiritual paths, frequently also incorporating contemporary liberal values at odds with ancient paganism. This definition may include groups such as Wicca, Neo-Druidism, Heathenry, and Slavic Native Faith.

Alice Bailey

Alice A. Baileyesoteric astrologyEsoteric healing
Despite her focus on unity of religion, Bromley and Hammond point out that Bailey and other "occultists" "...hammered home the central idea, 'The East is the true home of spiritual knowledge and occult wisdom'." The Arcane School, founded by Alice and Foster Bailey to disseminate spiritual teachings, organizes a worldwide "Triangles" program to bring people together in groups of three, for daily meditation and study. Their belief is that they receive divine energy through meditation and that this energy is transmitted to humanity, so raising spiritual awareness.

Supernatural

supernaturalismspiritualsupernatural powers
A demon (from Koine Greek δαιμόνιον daimónion) is a supernatural and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered a harmful spiritual entity, below the heavenly planes which may cause demonic possession, calling for an exorcism. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish Aggadah and Christian demonology, a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled.

Cult

religious cultcultsdestructive cult
In 2007 the religious scholar Elijah Siegler commented that, although no NRM had become the dominant faith in any country, many of the concepts which they had first introduced (often referred to as "New Age" ideas) have become part of worldwide mainstream culture. Sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920) found that cults based on charismatic leadership often follow the routinization of charisma. The concept of a "cult" as a sociological classification was introduced in 1932 by American sociologist Howard P. Becker as an expansion of German theologian Ernst Troeltsch's [[Sociological classifications of religious movements#Sociological Church-Sect typology|church-sect typology]].

Age of Enlightenment

Enlightenmentthe Enlightenment18th-century philosophy
Josephson-Storm defends his categorization of the Enlightenment as "myth" by noting the regulative role ideas of a period of Enlightenment and disenchantment play in modern Western culture, such that belief in magic, spiritualism, and even religion appears somewhat taboo in intellectual strata. In the 1970s, study of the Enlightenment expanded to include the ways Enlightenment ideas spread to European colonies and how they interacted with indigenous cultures and how the Enlightenment took place in formerly unstudied areas such as Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary and Russia.

Islam

MuslimMuslimsIslamic
For most Twelver Shias, offensive jihad can only be declared by a divinely appointed leader of the Muslim community, and as such is suspended since Muhammad al-Mahdi's occultation in 868 AD. In a Muslim family, the birth of a child is attended with some religious ceremonies. Immediately after the birth, the words of Adhan is pronounced in the right ear of the child. In the seventh day, the aquiqa ceremony is performed, in which an animal is sacrificed and its meat is distributed among the poor. The head of the child is also shaved, and an amount of money equaling the weight of the child's hair is donated to the poor.

Spiritualism

spiritualistspiritualistsspiritual
After the 1920s, spiritualism evolved in three different directions, all of which exist today. The first of these continued the tradition of individual practitioners, organised in circles centered on a medium and clients, without any hierarchy or dogma. Already by the late 19th century spiritualism had become increasingly syncretic, a natural development in a movement without central authority or dogma. Today, among these unorganised circles, spiritualism is similar to the new age movement. However, theosophy with its inclusion of Eastern religion, astrology, ritual magic and reincarnation is an example of a closer precursor of the 20th century new age movement.

Torah

LawPentateuchMosaic Law
Kabbalists hold that not only do the words of Torah give a divine message, but they also indicate a far greater message that extends beyond them. Thus they hold that even as small a mark as a kotso shel yod, the serif of the Hebrew letter yod, the smallest letter, or decorative markings, or repeated words, were put there by God to teach scores of lessons. This is regardless of whether that yod appears in the phrase "I am the LORD thy God" (, Exodus 20:2) or whether it appears in "And God spoke unto Moses saying" ( Exodus 6:2).

David Spangler

In 2010 his memoir Apprenticed to Spirit was published by Riverhead Books,describing his early years, his spiritual training, his association with Findhorn, Lindisfarne, and the New Age Movement, and his subsequent work with the Lorian Association and the development of Incarnational Spirituality. Spangler is currently the Director of the Lorian Center for Incarnational Spirituality and a Director of the Lorian Association (www.lorian.org). Through Lorian, he publishes a free monthly essay, David's Desk, and a subscription-only quarterly esoteric journal, Views from the Borderland, offering "field notes" from his clairvoyant researches and encounters with the subtle worlds.

Middle Ages

medievalmediaevalmedieval period
Most European monasteries were of the type that focuses on community experience of the spiritual life, called cenobitism, which was pioneered by Pachomius (d. 348) in the 4th century. Monastic ideals spread from Egypt to Western Europe in the 5th and 6th centuries through hagiographical literature such as the Life of Anthony. Benedict of Nursia (d. 547) wrote the Benedictine Rule for Western monasticism during the 6th century, detailing the administrative and spiritual responsibilities of a community of monks led by an abbot.

Vedas

VedicvedaVedic literature
Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas (text on rituals, ceremonies such as newborn baby's rites of passage, coming of age, marriages, retirement and cremation, sacrifices and symbolic sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads (text discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge). The Upasanas (short ritual worship-related sections) are considered by some scholars as the fifth part.