Other Spiritual Groups in Existence Before and After the TS Was Founded

Let's imagine for a few minutes all of the groups who have come and gone who have in one way or another contributed to our understanding of the spiritual quest. 

If we look at several time periods, say  1825, 1875, 1905 and 1970 what does the landscape look like.  What groups have come?  Which have gone and who is hanging on for dear life?

If you can reply by writing down the names and a brief description of the groups in any one or more of the time period that interests you, please do so.  The goal at the end of this is to generate a mind-map showing in a really kewl picture what this all looks like.  We'll give it a month and see what happens.


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They can get their spot on a diagram that would focus on post-1980 developments in the New Age, especially if the focus is also more on subject matter rather than groups and personalities. Esoteric evolutionism has always been a part of the Theosophical synthesis and the Intelligent Design meme is considered a helpful ally in challenging the naturalist, materialist assumptions of modern science.

June Vallyon said:

Findhorn and books associated with it was very big in New Zealand at the time, I think it got itself absorbed into the "permaculture" movement which is also experiencing a resurgence with emphasis on global climate change.

Shouldn't the "Intelligent Design" group and Michael Behe be on that map somewhere?

As I recall, Findhorn came to prominence in the mid-1970's, when Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean were, the founders, were running the place. David Spangler, the head Spiritual Counselor, had left in 1973 after three years there.  I saw the Caddy's speak at a "New Age Expo" in 1976 in Santa Monica, California and Findhorn was quite the topic then, along with Dr. John Lilly's dolphin research.

The Caddy's marriage broke up in 1978 and Peter Caddy left the Findhorn commune in 1979. It had a downswing period, and I never heard nor read much about it after that. But, some research on the Web today showed that the Findhorn Commune in Scotland had a resurgence in the 1980's, of sorts, and is going strong today, albeit more low key.

David Spangler was influenced by Alice Bailey, but was not a dogmatic devotee of her. He had his day, for sure, in the 70's and early 80's. He has disowned the term "New Age" and has had his share criticism of it.

Website reports say he's now working through his Lorian Association with a metaphysical philosophy he calls "Incarnational Spirituality." He has derived this approach from a group of non-physical beings he's been channeling since 1965. Evidently, Spangler keeps a low profile in regards to public appearances nowadays.

Where both Findhorn and David Spangler would rank or be put on your diagram is a matter of opinion. I don't think Splangler has had any pronounced post-80's influence, either in subject matter or personality wise.

Findhorn seems to be more in the ecological arena than in the Spiritual, in my view. Although, certainly its own brand of Spirituality is involved in the community.


I can certainly work with that - but it won't be until after my Branch AGM next Sunday, and possibly after the Convention project that our National President has just given me.  I think everyone'll have a slightly different angle on it, depending on their backgrounds.  For example, I'd probably put Middle Eastern and Babylonian in the same category.  I don't think the basis of Theosophy is as eclectic as we claim either.

Wow Joe, You got me going! Waves of Ageless Wisdom throughout the ages. Just clipped some items from Wikipedia. Developments I've always been impressed by.

400 Years of Awakening Universalism


Between 1607 and 1616, two anonymous manifestos were published, first in Germany and later throughout Europe.These were Fama Fraternitatis RC(The Fame of the Brotherhood of RC) and Confessio Fraternitatis (The Confession of the Brotherhood of RC). The influence of these documents, presenting a "most laudable Order" of mystic-philosopher-doctors and promoting a "Universal Reformation of Mankind", gave rise to an enthusiasm called by its historian Dame Frances Yates the "Rosicrucian Enlightenment"


Philadelphians, or the Philadelphian Society, were a Protestant 17th century religious group in England. They were organized around John Pordage (1607–1681)


Martinism is a form of mystical and esoteric Christianity concerned with the fall of the first man and the process of his return, called 'Reintegration' or illumination. As a mystical tradition, it was first transmitted through a masonic high-degree system established around 1740 in France by Martinez de Pasqually, and later propagated in different forms by his two students Louis Claude de Saint-Martin and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz.


 In 1787 a group of followers formally established the Church of the New Jerusalem--based on the teachings of Swedenborg


Franz Anton Mesmer (May 23, 1734 – March 5, 1815), was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorized that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal (animal magnetism) and other spiritual forces often grouped together as mesmerism.


Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (February 16, 1802 – January 16, 1866), was a New England philosopher, magnetizer, mesmerist, healer, and inventor. Quimby's work is widely recognized as leading to the New Thought movement


American Transcendentalism, 1830-1860



The first Vedanta Society was founded by Swami Vivekananda in New York in November 1894


Universal Sufism is a universalist spiritual movement founded by Hazrat Inayat Khan while traveling throughout the West between 1910 and 1926, based on unity of all people and religions and the presence of spiritual guidance in all people, places and things. Hazrat Inayat Khan (July 5, 1882 – February 5, 1927) was an exemplar of Universal Sufism and founder of the "Sufi Order in the West" in 1914 


Self-Realization Fellowship / Yogoda Satsanga Society of India is a worldwide spiritual organization founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1920


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