Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Saturday, 25. October 2008
The Apologetics Index
The Apologetics Index provides 31,800+ pages of research resources on religious cults, sects, new religious movements, alternative religions, apologetics-, anticult-, and countercult organizations, doctrines, religious practices and world views. These resources reflect a variety of theological and/or sociological perspectives.
AI's publishers, Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson, and their team members support freedom of religion in thought and expression, as well as the freedom to present research information that helps people make informed decisions about various movements, belief systems and world views.
The publishers operate from an evangelical, Christian point of view. However, Apologetics Index evaluates cults both theologically and sociologically.
This website documents significant doctrinal differences between the essential teachings and practices of historical Christianity and those of other religions, including religious movements that claim to be compatible with Christianity.
Apologetics Index also addresses abusive churches and movements, as well as a variety of other cult research issues and controversies. In the process, we look at controversial movements and issues within the Christian community - discussing anything from aberrant teachings to full-blow heretical sects.
You'll notice that we're not neutral. However, we do our best to balance our personal opinions with links to pro-, contra-, and neutral perspectives.
Wednesday, 05. March 2008
Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?
Elena Petrovna Gan, July 30 - July 31, 1831, better known as Helena Blavatsky - Russian: Елена Блаватская - or Madame Blavatsky, born Helena von Hahn, was a founder of the Theosophical Society in New York, 1875. She left humanity a voluminous number of writings, of which the theosophical standard work 'The Secret Doctrine' is the most well known.
Henry Olcott, Blavatsky, Hartmann and others -- click it for a larger view
History of the Theosophical Society
Organized in New York City in 1875, the Society's principal founders were Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the first Russian woman to be naturalized as an American citizen, and Henry Steel Olcott, a prominent lawyer and journalist who became the first President of the Society. Madame Blavatsky was a Russian of noble birth, whose mother was a social novelist and whose grandmother was an accomplished amateur scientist. As a young woman, she traveled all over the world in search of wisdom about the nature of life and the reason for human existence. Eventually, Blavatsky brought the spiritual wisdoms of the East and of ancient Western mysteries to the modern West, where they were virtually unknown. Her writings became the first exposition of modern Theosophy.
Colonel Olcott was a veteran of the Civil War, during which he had been a special investigator into corruption in the armed services and after which he was a member of the commission appointed to investigate the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He was also an internationally renowned agricultural authority. Olcott related the timeless wisdom of Theosophy to the cultures of both East and West, applied it to everyday life, and built the Society into an international organization.
Associated with these two were William Quan Judge, a young New York attorney, and a number of other individuals interested in the philosophy expounded by Madame Blavatsky. The latter included General Abner Doubleday, the legendary founder of baseball, and later the inventor Thomas Alva Edison.
Here is a video of the history of the Theosophical Society in America. Narrated by Paul Meier, this documentary celebrates 125 years of Theosophy in America. Rare film footage and photos!
In 1879, the principal founders, Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, moved to India, where the Society spread rapidly. In 1882, they established the Society's international headquarters in Adyar, a suburb of Madras (currently Chennai), where it has since remained. They also visited Sri Lanka, where Olcott was so active in promoting social welfare among oppressed Buddhists that even now he is a national hero of that land. Today the Society has members in almost 70 countries around the world.
The administrative center of the Section in the United States (called "Olcott" in honor of the President-Founder) is located in Wheaton, Illinois, USA: Theosophical Society in America.
The Theosophical Society - International Headquarters – Pasadena, California.
The Theosophical Society - International Headquarters - Adyar, India.
Theosophical Movement FAQ
AnandGholap - Most Important Books Online on Theosophy.
Articles and Books by Helena Blavatsky and other Theosophists
800 + Theosophical On-line Documents.
Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was the first person to state that all world religions are from the same source. In the Victorian Age, this statement was heresy.
Critically acclaimed and appearing regularly on Russian television, "Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?" was produced to vindicate the name and reputation of Helena Blavatsky for the Russian public. Because her writings were in English and censored by the Communist Party, this 1991 production is an important historical work - the first Russian film on her life.
Madame Blavatsky, her sister, cousin and her enemy, Mr. Soloviov - who smeared her name and reputation after her death - are brought to life by great Russian actors in a modern-day confrontation.The award-winning actress Irina Muraviova portrays Blavatsky with an uncanny resemblance to her in both appearance and spirit.
Filming took place in the house where Blavatsky was born as well as in India and a Mongolian Buddhist Monastery where areas and activities seldom witnessed by foreigners were filmed live.
Official Site: Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?
A film by Karine Dilanyan (49 minutes)
The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky by the Theosophical Society in America.
Blavatsky Study Center - Extensive material on the life, writings & teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
Alternative Link: Blavatsky Study Center.
Articles and Quotes by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
Saturday, 22. December 2007
Living in the Light: A Guide to Personal and Planetary
Shakti Gawain is a pioneer in the field of personal development. For over twenty-five years, she has been a best-selling author and internationally renowned teacher of consciousness. The first book I read was 'Creative Visualization', followed by 'Living in the Light'.
Part One describes a set of principles, including:
The Higher Power Within Us
Becoming a Creative Channel
Exploring Our Many Selves
The World As Our Mirror
Spirit And Form
The Male And Female Within, and Men And Woman
East And West: A New Challenge.
Part Two describes living the principles, including:
Balancing Being and Doing
Authoritarian and Rebel
Work and Play
Your Perfect Body
Life and Death
Transforming Our World, and A Vision
Shakti's writing style provides a nice blend of ideas, personal experiences, meditations, and exercises. I especially like her call for acceptance and balance in dealing with seeming contradictions in our nature. Much of what she describes I can see in myself and in others. I recommend reading the book to see if there is something of value to you in 'Living in the Light'.
Living in the Light: A Guide to Personal and Planetary Transformation
by Shakti Gawain
New World Library, 1998 (Revised Edition) | 224 pages | PDF | 2,8 MB
Wednesday, 05. December 2007
Video Interview: John Anthony West on Alternative Egypt
Earlier this year, I linked to the Conscious Media Network where you can find a lot of video interviews on consciousness, enlightenment and human potential.
All for FREE.
Now, Conscious Media Network has new interesting video interviews added for December:
First check out the interview with alternative Egyptologist John Anthony West, best known for his theory that the Sphinx was constructed much earlier than as claimed by academia.
John Anthony West: Alternative Egypt (Running time = 31 mins)
Conscious Media Network has also interviewed:
David Icke on our Future Paradigm (Running time 30 mins).
David gives us insight into his new direction and how he believes we will be operating as a collective species. Essentially, he says that freedom of information brings us paradise. Suppresion of information brings us captivity. Creating a collective consciousness through truthful information will be the route to creating the new matrix, one that is optimistic, life affirming and joyful.
Matthew and Terces Engelhart on Café Gratitude (Running Time = 60 mins)
Café Gratitude (now in several locations) is the love child of Matthew and Terces and is the culmination of a lifetime of conscious living. It is their expression of a world of plenty. Food and people are a celebration of their aliveness and they select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and their customers, as they believe that we are all one and the same.
Dr. Manjir Samanta-Laughton on Punk Science (Running Time = 40 mins)
Punk Science charts the current revolution in science that is arising from rebels around the world and gaining ground. This brave new world is not one devoid of meaning or thought, but one alive with consciousness, where we dance in a field of light imbued with the mind of God. This is not a book of dogmatic religion. Punk Science stays firmly in the domain of logic and of science to demonstrate how the separate fields of science and spirituality are starting to look incredibly similar.
There are more than 100 episodes to see, if you scroll down the site! E.g. Alex Grey on Art and Consciousness, Robert Schoch on the Pyramids, David Icke on The Illuminati, and much more.
Visit Conscious Media Network by Regina & Scott Meredith.
It's well worth take the time to browse around ...
Wednesday, 05. September 2007
Conscious Media Network Video Podcast
Earlier this year, I linked to the Conscious Media Network where you can find a lot of video interviews on consciousness, enlightenment and human potential. All for FREE.
Now, Conscious Media Network has new video interviews added for September:
Now we know that for some people, the subject of Crop Circles raises eyebrows and even a few giggles. After watching this interview, I doubt there will be anyone who could say this is the subject of hallucination or fantasy, there is just too much information documented to disprove them.
Freddy Silva: Crop Circles - Hard Evidence (Running time 30 mins)
We have interviewed Gary Schwartz before on the subject of Mediums and life after death. In this interview, Gary talks not only about the notion of Self Science but backs it up with a remarkable story about Ravens.
Dr. Gary E. R. Schwartz
Gary Schwartz: Self Science (Running time 43 mins)
For the September see and listen also:
Sai Maa on Humanity in Unity. Her Holiness Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi has become the first woman ever bestowed the title of Jagadguru Bhaktimayi Meera Bai in the five thousand year history of the Vaishnav Saint Society on January 22, 2007 at the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Prayag, India. 'Jagatguru' is the highest title that can be received, and it means Master of the Universe.
Mark Abadi on Stillness. It is Mark's ultimate desire to push forward the boundaries of modern psychological and physiological understanding of integrated health and wellbeing. With a traditional and non traditional scientific training he has the ability to bridge the gap between science and spirituality, connecting the 'dots' of all maverick scientists and healers with those of a more traditional nature for the advancement of Humanity.
There are more than 100 episodes to see, if you scroll down the site! E.g. Alex Grey on Art and Consciousness, Robert Schoch on the Pyramids, John Anthony West on Egypt and early civilizations, David Icke on The Illuminati, and much more.
Check it out at Conscious Media Network by Regina & Scott Meredith.
Wednesday, 22. August 2007
Richard Dawkins - The Enemies of Reason
Brand new stuff today!
Here you can watch both parts of Prof Richard Dawkins' new documentary "The Enemies of Reason" - following on from his attack on religion, "The Root of All Evil", in book form "The God Delusion" - sold a million copies (!). In his new television series he sets his sights at the whole new age carnival, including astrology, tarot, psychics, homeopathy and other 'gullibiligy'.
Dawkins is horrified that 25% of the British public has some belief in astrology – more than in any one established religion – and that more newspaper column inches are devoted to horoscopes than to science.
The gullible age by The Sunday Times.
Now the evolutionary biologist has turned his wrath on "new age" alternative therapies, describing them as based on "irrational superstition". Prof Dawkins says that alternative remedies constitute little more than a "money-spinning, multi-million pound industry that impoverishes our culture and throws up new age gurus who exhort us to run away from reality".
New age therapies cause 'retreat from reason' by The Telegraph.
So how many of these practitioners are crooks? “The psychics, I think, mostly are,” he says. “But with one spiritualist I couldn’t make out if he was a charlatan or not. It’s possible that they sort of know that they’re cold-reading, but they still think it’s the spirits channelling through them.”
Richard Dawkins and the New Age fakers by The Times.
Part 1, aired on Channel 4, 13 Aug 2007:
Prof Richard Dawkins tackles the epidemic of irrational, superstitious thinking which is blotting the light of logic and evidence. After garnering tips on psychics' entirely earthly trade secrets from the illusionist Derren Brown, Dawkins attends a seance and confronts the medium. Time and again, the interviewees appeal to personal revelation or second-hand anecdote to justify their belief. -- Channel 4
Part 2, aired on Channel 4, 20 Aug 2007:
Prof Richard Dawkins looks at how health has become a battleground between reason and superstition. A third of us now spend a total of over 1.6 billion a year on superstitious alternative remedies, but 80% of them have never been subjected to properly conducted trials. -- Channel 4
Richard Dawkins - The Root of All Evil?
Wednesday, 04. July 2007
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of America's fastest-growing religions and, relative to its size, one of the richest. Church membership, now at over 12 million and growing, sweeps the globe. But from the moment of its founding in 1830, the church has been controversial. Within a month, it had 40 converts and almost as many enemies. In the early years, Mormons were hated, ridiculed, persecuted and feared. Yet in the past several decades, the Mormon church has transformed itself from a fringe sect into a thriving religion that embraces mainstream American values; its members include prominent and powerful politicians, university presidents and corporate leaders.
An exploration into the epic story of one of the most powerful, feared and misunderstood religions in American history.
The Mormons by FRONTLINE.
Watch the Full Program Online
240 minutes / Streaming Windows Media & Quicktime Formats
Thursday, 22. March 2007
The Book of Life
Tuesday, 06. February 2007
Conscious Media Network
Here you can find a lot of free video interviews on consciousness, enlightenment and human potential. From the practical to the mystical.
Conscious Media Network by Regina & Scott Meredith.
This is a journey you can take at your own pace in the safety of your own home. It may not always be comfortable and some of you may find the material challenging or somewhat disturbing, but it will always be enlightening. There are so many fascinating people here that we feel sure you will find something that makes you wonder. Whatever your interest, we hope there will be material here that you'll find inspiring and engaging; and some that will cause you to 'question everything'.
All the interviews are available for immediate viewing right here on the website, totally FREE, along with our selection of conscious movies, music, radio, videos and articles. There is even a video podcast so you can download them to your computer to play at full screen, burn onto DVD to show your friends or convert them so they play on your video iPod - great for long journeys or for listening to on your daily commute.
Friday, 25. August 2006
Auroville - Matrimandir - The soul of the city
Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.
The city-in-the-making is located on the Coromandel Coast in south India. It draws its inspiration from the vision and work of the renowned Indian seer and spiritual visionary, Sri Aurobindo. His spiritual collaborator, The Mother, founded the township in 1968.
Auroville is a place, for more than 36 years, an increasing number of people from all over the world have been quietly and painstakingly working on the construction of a new township, a new way of living, a new way of being. Something is being attempted here for the benefit of all.
"Man is a transitional being, he is not final. Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature," observes Sri Aurobindo. "There is something that he is not yet which he has to be; he is reaching always towards the something yet unrealised; his whole life and nature is a preparation, an endeavour of Nature towards what is beyond him."
Auroville is to be a major vehicle of this evolutionary thrust and, eventually, a platform for transformation.
There are twelve gardens surrounding the structure, converging around it in the huge petal crown from which the Matrimandir arises.
Garden names: Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony and Perfection.
The Mother said: "Let it not become a religion. The failure of religions is... because they were divided. They wanted people to be religious to the exclusion of other religions, and every branch of knowledge has been a failure because it has been exclusive. What the new consciousness wants (it is on this that it insists) is: no more divisions. To be able to understand the spiritual extreme, the material extreme, and to find the meeting point, the point where that becomes a real force."
Welcome to Matrimandir - The Soul of the City (Homepage)
Ein paar deutsche Seiten:
Matrimandir - Achim B. Kunst.
Ein Artikel von Renate Börger: Auroville - eine Vision in Arbeit.
Die Übermenschen von Pondicherry - von Richard Beiderbeck.
Thursday, 15. June 2006
Rastafari / Rastafarianism
Rastafari Revolution von René Jäger. (German)
Eine vielschichte Rastafari Site. Mit Grundlagen, Literatur, Rastaart und Ital Food.
Eine weitere Seite mit deutsche Übersetzungen von Reden Haile Selassies und andere wichtige Dokumente: Rastafari-Archiv von RasRahim. (German)
Rastafarianismus aus emanzipatorischer Sicht oder: Warum coole Kids keinen Reggae hören! Eine linke Kolumne von Crustpunk.de. (German)
Rastafari became internationally visible when Reggae music took off in the 1960s. The faith spread beyond Jamaica and can now be found in Europe, the USA, Africa, Australasia and Canada.
There are approximately one million world wide adherents of Rastafari as a faith, but probably many more people class themselves as Rastafarians in a social sense rather than in a religious one.
All about Rastafari by BBC. (English)
Check out the related links on the right side, like Life as a Rasta woman by Margaret Polack.
Rastafari by Jamaican.com. (English)
Category: New Age & New Religion |
Sunday, 07. May 2006
Falun Gong’s Challenge to China
This documentary is an insider report on a spiritual practice that has become the target of a massive political crackdown by the Chinese government. It is a timely story of repression and resistance inside the world's fastest growing spiritual movement.
This streaming video takes 56 minutes 59 seconds.
Produced by Globalvision.
For more information see related entry Falun Gong - Falun Dafa.
(English & German)
Unfortunately, this video has some mistakes. Sometimes the footage is not compatible with the audio. However the content is worth it to hear the clip ...
Tuesday, 02. May 2006
Hugo Stamm’s Blog
Hugo Stamm, Redaktor des Zürcher "Tages-Anzeigers", ist einer der Pioniere und bekanntesten Schweizer Experten im Bereich der Sektenprävention. Er hat zu dieser Thematik auch mehrere Bücher geschrieben.
Zudem greift er immer wieder Themen auf, über die ich selber gerne nachdenke. Reinschauen lohnt sich: Hugo Stamm's Blog. (German)
Ausserdem veröffentlicht er seine Zeitungsartikel auch im Internet:
Und hier ein gutes Interview: Esoterikboom & Sinnsuche - Spiritueller Ausverkauf unter dem Deckmantel der Esoterik. Hugo Stamm nimmt das Phänomen kritisch unter die Lupe. (German)
Sunday, 16. April 2006
The New Age - A Pathway to Paradise?
This documentary gives an objective, behind-the-scenes look at the New Age Movement. The video contains interviews with well-known New Age leaders like David Spangler and Benjamin Creme, as well as interviews with leading Christian authorities on the New Age like Dave Hunt, Constance Cumbey and Martin and Diedre Bobgan.
The video takes you into the center of some New Age activities and examines many New Age ideas from holisitc health, yoga, hypnosis and trancendental meditation to New Age education practices, global government and the human potential movment.
Even though this video is from 1983 the content obtains till this day. And it's a piece of history.
This streaming video takes 1 hour 47 minutes.
Produced by WCFC TV in Chicago.
Sunday, 26. February 2006
Chuang Yen Monastery Tour
See for yourself how beautiful it is ...
This streaming video takes 29 minutes 20 seconds.
Produced by Amolak Sehgal.