Hidden in Plain Sight - The Influence of Western Esoteric Movements on Modern Thought


Compass of the Wise

Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Influence of Western Esoteric Movements on Modern Thought

A Conference for Scholars and Practitioners

Through scholarly research, the interaction of Western Esotericism with the mystical traditions of organized religion has been recognized to be extensive. Further, and less well known, is the often pivotal role esoteric groups and beliefs have had in shaping the modern world as a whole, while remaining “Hidden in Plain Sight.”

We invite you to this conference to join with other scholars and practitioners within the field of western esotericism in exploring the substantial influence this tradition has on modern thought.

In addition to the opportunity to share our research and practice within the realm of western esotericism, we envision the weekend as an opportunity to celebrate the many facets of this tradition. We invite participants to exercise not only their scholarship, but cultural creativity as well.

We will gather together July 22-25, at Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, founded in 1927 by H. Spencer Lewis.

There is no set conference fee. There is a suggested donation of $75.00 per participant to help defray Conference costs.

The Keynote Address will be given by Lee Irwin, PhD, Lee Irwin is Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department at the College of Charleston. He is a scholar of world religions with an emphasis on Native American Traditions, western esotericism, hermeticism, contemporary spirituality, mystical cosmology, and transpersonal religious experience as related to dreams and visions. He is the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) and a board member of the Sophia Institute and the Institute for Dream Studies. He has been a workshop leader and group facilitator for over twenty years, particularly in the areas of visionary cosmology and the development of the sacred human. He is the author of many books and articles, including: The Dream Seekers, Visionary Worlds, Awakening to Spirit: On Life, Illumination, and Being, The Alchemy of Soul, and Coming Down From Above: Prophecy, Resistance, and Renewal in Native American Religions.

Keynote Address: "Reincarnation and the Psychonoetic Body in Western Esotericism" This presentation will explore the topic of reincarnation in a historical review extending from Pythagoras to the present. The emphasis of the talk will focus on a variety of theories of reincarnation and the political context within which those theories were developed. He will also address the topic of participatory knowing and the importance of paranormal perceptions as an adjunct to reincarnational theories in western esotericism. Five explicit examples of theories on reincarnation will be presented: Plato, Origen, the Cathars, Jan Baptist van Helmont, and H. Spencer Lewis. Each example will be contextualized by culture and the religious environment to demonstrate issues of contestation or marginalization. Overall, the author's approach supports reincarnation as a viable theory for post-mortem existence.

Some of the other Papers currently in preparation for the Conference include:

Debby Barret, MDiv, CCHT and Brigitta F. D’Amato, CCHT: Debby Barrett holds a Master of Divinity, from the San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA and a BA in Religious Studies and Koiné Greek from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is a Certified Clinical and Alchemical Hypnotherapist in the Alchemical Hypnotherapy Institute and a Master Apprentice of the D’Amato Spiritual Group Facilitation Program. Her memberships include the National Guild of Hypnotists, the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC and the Traditional Martinist Order.

Brigitta F. D’Amato is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist in the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners;  an Alchemical Hypnotherapist, a Certified Group Process Facilitator, and an Instructor of Alchemical Hypnotherapy in the Alchemical Hypnotherapy Institute;she is a California State Certified Instructor of Hypnotherapy, a State Licensed Practitioner of Religious Science for the International Centers for Spiritual Living and a Designated Examiner in the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners.

"Tracing the Roots of a Twentieth Century Recovery Phenomenon to the Royal Tombs of Egypt" Hidden in plain sight are two parallel texts of personal alchemical transformation. Both can be attributed with shaping the human experience of the Divine within a specific time and both offer a map for a journey of self discovery.  Both are structured as 12 sequential progressions to wholeness. One comes from the ancient origins of the Western Esoteric Tradition (The ancient Egyptian mystical text called “The Treatise on What is in the Hidden Chamber” or “The Am Dwat” (ca. 1550-1400 BCE), the other from modern American Spiritual Psychology, Bill Wilson’s 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (1939).  One seems to have offered its powerful secret knowledge only to the highest ranks of ancient Egyptian culture, while the other text is freely available to what is often referred to as the “dregs of humanity,” namely struggling addicts protected only by the thin veil of anonymity.The core messages of both these 12 faceted journeys will be excavated and compared, revealing the timeless Truth held within the divinely inspired human passage of reintegration and ‘re-membering’. With a brief exploration into Jungian psychology and the archetype of the hero’s journey, these two texts will be presented for consideration as therapeutic models that will continue to revolutionize humanity’s psycho-spiritual journey of transformation.

Luiz Eduardo V. Berni, PhD: Dr. Berni is a Psychologist with a Masters in the Science of Religion, and a Doctorate in the Psychology of Human Development. He is a founding member of the Center of Transdisciplinary Education (CETRANS), a member of the Work Group “Psychology and Indigenous Traditions” of the São Paulo Psychology Council, and general coordinator of Rose Croix University International for the Portuguese Grand Lodge in Brazil.

"The Sacred Circle Dance and the Numinous" The Sacred Dance movement is very strong in many countries. Bernard Wosien, a classical dancer until the end of Second World War, discovered the power of folk dancing (usually dancing in a circle) and began researching and collecting Helige Tanze (Sacred Dances) because of their holistic power for healing people, to transport people to a meditative level of consciousness, and also to connect with the Sacred (as Rudolf Otto describes it). In the 1970s, he began to work with the Findhorn sacred dancers in Scotland, also connected with the Rosicrucian, theosophical and Sufi traditions. Thus began the Sacred Dance movement which is the subject of this study, with important foundations in Scotland and Brazil, and connections with the United Nations. As the presenter has both researched this subject, and is a practitioner himself, he will share both perspectives. The study will consider the way in which the participants report transpersonal states of conscience and connection with the sacred and mystical. Since, in Brazil, Sacred Dance is being increasingly used in the educational and corporate world to improve the cooperation between people, this is a prime example of how an esoteric practice and movement have impacted our world for the better.

Peter Bindon, MA: Peter Bindon served as Grand Master of the English Language Jurisdiction for Australia, Asia, and New Zealand of AMORC from 1996-2008. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC. Over the years, he has served the Rosicrucian Order in many capacities in Australia, and internationally he served as Supreme Legate (1989-1996). Peter and his wife, Nola, live in New South Wales and have an adult son.  The Presenter drew upon his talents as a botanist and anthropologist to design the Rosicrucian Peace Garden in Rosicrucian Park, an Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian garden. This educational garden, authentic to the period, features a temple, viewing dais, grape arbor, an array of historic plants, and a reflecting pond to mirror this very special setting.

"Ancient Alchemical Diagrams: are they Mirrors of the Human Soul for the Modern World?" This presentation will examine examples from Alchemical diagrams and the texts that accompanied them to determine whether they might have spiritual elements encoded in them that relate to the advancement of the human soul. Ultimately, the presentation will address the question of their relevance to us today.

Maria Butina: Ms Butina is an internationally exhibited visual artist with exhibitions held in Prague, Split, San Jose, and Anaheim. Her art flows from her deep spirituality and mysticism. She is active in the Rosicrucian and Martinist traditions.

"Vibrations: a Journey of Light in Visual Art" The Images are the results of her search for the Truth, search for the Light, and search for the self in the inner self. They represent an inner state, visions, and intuitions on the material plane. They are impressions of her inner voice, and vibrations of her soul consciousness. They represent a closeness to the Cosmic.

Herm Cardona, MSSI, 32°: Herminio F. “Herm” Cardona is a Retired Foreign Service Officer and Former Army Counterintelligence Special Agent.  He is Worshipful Master of Cape Coral Lodge No. 367 Free and Accepted Masons in Cape Coral, Florida, National Advisor of the Scottish Rite Wisdom Strength and Beauty Club, and Senior Administrator of The Freemason Network, and an active Rosicrucian student.  His articles have appeared in Foreign Service Journal, The Virginia Masonic Herald, The Florida Freemason, and Scottish Rite Journal. Herm earned a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) from the Joint Military Intelligence College (National Defense Intelligence University) and a Bachelor of Science of Liberal Arts from the University of the State of New York (Excelsior College).  He is a Certified Senior RF Engineer and the holder of several Information Technology Certifications.

"Fiat Lux: Freemasonry, the Enlightenment, and the Emergence of a New Socio-Political Order" Freemasonry has influenced modern sociopolitical thought in that it was both a “creature of” and an” agent for” the Enlightenment, played a major role in the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America, and had an ideological influence on the leaders of many revolutions which sought to establish secular democracies as the form of government for their newly liberated nation states. This paper studies the manner in which a highly diverse and disorganized number of Masonic lodges reinvented themselves -- by means of the Constitutions of 1723 -- into a highly disciplined network of “finishing schools” in which the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment were not only taught, but also exemplified.  Thanks in part to its esoteric “Mystery School” aura and its extensive use of ancient ritual and symbology, Freemasonry attracted not only the scientists, but also the thinking men, the mavericks, and the philosophers of its time, men who would in turn, become the “movers and shakers” of the Enlightenment. It continues by examining the extent to which Freemasonry was a political force in Europe, the American Revolution, and the formation of the United States of America. It concludes by briefly examining the Masonic credentials of revolutionary leaders in France, Italy, Latin America, and Turkey, and the extent to which their revolutions may have been influenced by Masonic ideology. It concludes by offering the proposition that the dreaded “New World Order,” so feared by Masonic conspiracy theorists, is the result of the creation of the United States of America.

Workshop: Patricia Downes, EdD: Dr. Downes is an Organization Development Specialist with a doctoral degree from George Washington University.She also a Life Coach (CPCC) and a Relationship and Organization Systems Coach (ORSC).Her work has been done in the public and private sectors, in international organizations, including the OAS, and in consulting. She has been a Rosicrucian student for over 25 years. She serves as AMORC’s Regional Director in Trinidad and Tobago.

"The Great Work and the Workplace: Transforming Work and Workplaces through Stealth Esotericism" Esoteric tradition teaches that whatever the human being does or creates from a place of deep consciousness and concern for all existence is part of the Great Work and the continuous process of co-creating a better universe for all. Many are bored at work because that work does not bring together the body and mind. This interactive presentation proposes a mystical perspective of work which examines work from the inside out, allowing us to open the door to deeper learning, wisdom and the workplace. This perspective can become the tool for transforming organizations into workplaces where individual creativity is respected and where work is seen a joyful and sacred experience. One of the questions the presentation explores is why so few people are involved in the work they enjoy or learn to enjoy? How can those numbers be increased so that more and more of us find joy and deep satisfaction from the work we do? How can organizations be transformed so that we are concerned not with how the business works but how the universe works? Universal law governs all that exists. How do we raise and grow organizations where love becomes the bottom line? In this interactive experience, participants will go through a series of exercises that work on the inner self first and then the collective. These exercises allow participants to tap into our common humanity and the need we all have for respect, honor, appreciation, and involvement. The presentation will be followed by a brief discussion on how these exercises can be utilized in the workplace.

Kathryn LaFevers Evans, MA: Kathryn LaFevers Evans is a native Californian and citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma. Her Native American ancestors walked the Trail of Tears from the Southeastern United States to Indian Territory. Her French Huguenot ancestors emigrated from the Palatinate to Pennsylvania in 1709, in search of religious freedom. Evans’ higher education degrees and training are in Literature and Writing, Research in Consciousness, and Esotericism. Over the past seven years, she has presented academic papers on Esotericism at eleven conferences. Having practiced inspirational Neoshamanic techniques and rituals for thirty-seven years, she refers to her path as “reading the book of nature.” Her own personal struggles enliven Evans’ writing and teaching with empathy. She lives in Ojai, California, and frequents the Pacific Ocean and the High Sierras with her family. 

"Magic & The Binary Code: Renaissance Christian Kabbalah & Buckminster Fuller’s Tensegrity Structures" The Renaissance Christian Kabbalist worldview is embodied as an emanating six-fold model of the genesis of creation in Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples’ De Magia naturali Book II and Quincuplex Psalterium Psalm 118. This image depicted in Psalm 118, of what is known as Merkabah mysticism’s “seed of life,” and also worldwide as the “flower of life,” exemplifies the transmission of Western Esoteric thought into the modern world through a key methodological tool and marker — the Hermetic binary. Through Natural Magic, utilizing nature’s forces of attraction and repulsion, the mythic Hermes (Mercury) Trismegistus knows the nature of God and how to achieve it. This is a magia naturalis wherein nature is an isomorphism of the Creator. Grounded in the theological concept termed Coincidence of Opposites, the presentation equates this creative technique with the binary code of modern science and with the nature of thought itself, tracing contemplation of the rose or lotus back to Egyptian Prehistory. This image of the Hermetic Christ was brought by the Huguenots and Anabaptists into the New World. Americans have been depicting artistic images of the seed of life, the flower of life, from the seventeenth century to the present day in what are now known as “Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs.” Buckminster Fuller also received this transmission of Western Esoteric ideas from our ancestors, imagining—and creating—buildings out of six-fold “Tensegrity Structures.” Tensegrity Structures thus model the Christian Kabbalist worldview that the first binary in creation is the paradox of God above and humans below, balanced in a Trinitarian unity of Word expressing nature: the Trinity of the Father, the Word, and the Spirit. The presentation demonstrates, how, in our world of spiritual need, the time has come to heed Lefèvre’s request in De Magia naturali that Academia engage in a practical approach, along with a theoretical approach, to Western Esotericism — not just as a mythic worldview, but as a practical phenomenology of thought and creation.

Helen Heightsman Gordon, MA, EdD: Dr. Gordon published five textbooks while a Professor of English at Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, California, as well as numerous articles, opinion pieces, and humor, in scholarly journals, newspapers, and professional newsletters. Her poetry has been published in such diverse venues as Amelia, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Good Housekeeping, and the Salt Lake Tribune. Her chapbooks of poetry and humor are available online. In 2007, she won first prize in the “Best Historical Novel” category at Hollywood Book Festival for her first novel, Voice of the Vanquished: The Story of the Slave Marina and Hernan Cortes. In 2008, she ranked among finalists in the category of “Best New Non-Fiction Books,” (sponsored by USA Book News), for her second edition of The Secret Love Story in Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Her interest in solving the puzzling 1609 Dedication to the sonnets led her to explore the effects of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry upon sixteenth century literature.

"Shakespeare’s Riddle for Today’s Rosicrucians: Hidden Messages in the 1609 Dedication to the Sonnets" For the past four centuries, the enigmatic dedication to the 1609 edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets has hidden the author’s plea to future generations of Rosicrucians and Freemasons to understand his story and bestow upon his beloved son the immortality of literature. The man who used the pen name of “William Shakespeare” reveals through symbols, codes, and cryptography that his true surname was DeVere, that he loved a woman named Elisabeth, and that they had a love child they could not acknowledge, Henry Wriothesley, to whom the sonnets were dedicated. DeVere’s natural son, Henry Wriothesley, raised as the Third Earl of Southampton, was the “fair youth” of the first 17 sonnets, as well as the mysterious dedicatee “Mr. W. H.” with his initials anagrammed. In 2007, the author published her findings in the Rose Croix Journal. In this presentation, she will demonstrate how she deciphered the message and how it throws new light onto the orthodox interpretations of the poetry and plays.

Dennis William Hauck, PhD: Dr. Hauck is a practicing alchemist, author, consultant, and lecturer working to facilitate personal, institutional, and global transformation through the application of the ancient principles of alchemy. He writes and lectures on the universal principles of physical, psychological, and spiritual transformation to a wide variety of audiences that range from scientists and business leaders to Hermetic and New Age groups. Hauck's initiation into alchemy took place while he was in graduate school in mathematics at the University of Vienna, and he has since translated a number of important Latin and German alchemy manuscripts dating back to the fourteenth century. A gifted speaker on esoteric subjects, Hauck has been interviewed on nearly three hundred radio and TV programs including such popular national shows as NPR's Morning Edition, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo, Art Bell's Dreamland, CNN Reports, and Extra. He has lectured around the world and is a regular keynote speaker at the annual International Alchemy Conference (www.AlchemyConference.com). The author of over a dozen books on alchemy, his latest works are The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy, The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation, and Sorcerer's Stone: A Beginner's Guide to Alchemy. He is currently working on a full translation of Gottlieb Latz's epic work Die Alchimia. Websites: www.DWHauck.com and www.AlchemyLab.com.

"Materia Prima - The Nature of the First Matter in the Esoteric and Scientific Traditions" The alchemists believed that no transformation -- whether in the laboratory, in the body, or in the soul -- could succeed without the presence of a mysterious ingredient known as the Materia Prima (First Matter). Nothing was more important to alchemist’s work than this energetic essence, which they believed could be extracted from any substance and actually rendered tangible and visible. This presentation examines the nature and properties of the elusive First Matter. First, we look at how the alchemists exposed it, accumulated it, and worked with it to accomplish the regeneration of the substance at hand. Then, we explore how the concept of the First Matter evolved in both the scientific and esoteric traditions to become a fundamental, although often unrecognized, tenet of both modern physics and modern Hermeticism.

Julian Johnson, MPS, MA: Julian Johnson is a non-profit executive with masters degrees in non-profit management and developmental psychology.  He is a longtime student of mysticism and a member of the Rosicrucian Order for more than 35 years.  In 1999, he helped organize a conference in New York under the theme "Where Mysticism Meets Science," bringing together scientists from a number of disciplines who presented empirical research supporting concepts in the teachings of Eastern and Western mystical traditions.

"Rosicrucian Principles and Scientific Discoveries" The Rosicrucian movement declared itself openly in Europe under that name in the early 1600s, a time when the rate of scientific experimentation and progress was rapidly increasing. Alchemy and medieval science had always been a component of the Rosicrucian Tradition, and several figures associated with Rosicrucian philosophy, such as Robert Fludd, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton were in the forefront of scientific progress. The present study explores some notable Rosicrucian principles and modern scientific thought and research that now support them, including the mind-body link, the interaction between consciousness and matter, and the theory of reincarnation.

Bruce Krajewski, PhD: Dr. Krajewski received his PhD in English and is a Professor of English at Texas Woman’s University. Previously he has served as Department Chair of Literature and Philosophy at Georgia Southern University (1999-2005), and Associate Professor of English and Film from 1991-99, and Chair of the Department from 1995-97 at Laurentian University. He is the author of Traveling with Hermes: Hermeneutics and Rhetoric, and editor of several other books, including Gadamer’s Repercussions: Reconsidering Philosophical Hermeneutics (University of California Press, 2004). 

"The Man in the High Castle: Everyday Esotericism in Small Town New Jersey circa 1940" In Avenel New Jersey during the 1940s, Curt Grunzig built a castle with a temple. He and his wife Barbara inhabited the Castle, which provoked many rumors in the small New Jersey town. He was also a published author, clearly influenced by theosophy and Rosicrucianism. The author left behind some unpublished papers: this presentation will be an analysis of those papers, and of the mysterious castle.  Deeply mystical and spiritual, Grunzig’s library was filled with works he designated in his will as “the secret doctrines which lie at the base of all culture and religion.” The presentation seeks to uncover some of the ways that “everyday esotericism” influenced this little corner of twentieth century America.

Hugh McCague, PhD: Dr. McCague is an analyst, consultant, and teacher in the Institute for Social Research at York University in Toronto. He is a statistician, architectural historian, and a student of mysticism and esotericism in its historical, architectural, artistic, and practical manifestations.

"Florence Nightingale and the Advancement and Spiritualization of the Nursing and Statistics Professions" Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was world renowned and much beloved by the age of 36 because of her outstanding service as a chief nurse for the British military during the Crimean War. This work was the formative prelude to the much greater and far-reaching service of the next half century in which Nightingale founded and guided the nursing profession in its modern secular form, and championed major health and hospital reforms as a pioneering applied statistician. With the recent scholarly editing of her prolific writings, including books, manuscripts, diaries and letters, the great depth and wide range of her underlying mystical and philosophical erudition, experience, and motivation can be discerned. Nightingale is an important figure in the Western mystical tradition closely aligned in approach and inspiration with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila. Through her meditative reading and travels in Egypt and Greece, Nightingale was greatly edified by the esoteric traditions of Egypt, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and Pythagoreanism. Her advancement of the nursing profession and innovative application of statistics for holistic and environmental health reform were all active and conscious expressions of Nightingale’s rich contemplative
and mystical way of life. Guiding these movements were her application of mystical and esoteric laws and principles for the far-reaching and on-going benefit and healing
of humanity.

Zaven Paul Panikian: Born in Cairo, Egypt, to Armenian parents on February 9, 1948, Zaven Paul Panikian migrated to Australia in 1963 and settled in Sydney. Paul worked in government and legal positions, followed by small businesses. He joined the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC in 1969 and served in Sydney Lodge from 1970. In 1996, he was a part of the formation of the English Grand Lodge of Australia, Asia, and New Zealand, and served on the board as vice president. He was elected to the position of Grand Master by the Board of the Supreme Grand Lodge on October 7, 2008. Paul continues to work from Sydney where the Grand Lodge is located. He lives with his wife and four boys not far from the Grand Lodge and Sydney Lodge.  His research interests lie with what impact mysticism has had directly and indirectly on humanity, and on the Rosicrucian quest today, considering what impact it has on the arts, culture, education, etc.

"The Rosicrucian Quest: Then and Now" This presentation considers the magnitude of the mystical quest undertaken by Rosicrucians and other like-minded seekers. It reviews briefly its role in the past from the seventeenth century onward, as well as what impact it has had directly and indirectly on humanity. From there it moves to the Rosicrucian quest today and considers what impact it can have on the arts, culture, education, etc. Most importantly, the present study seeks to establish mysticism and the mystical path as an important medium for the betterment of humanity, and discusses the role of AMORC as a leading disseminator of this work on this path. The Rosicrucian quest urges us to diligently pursue personal enlightenment. As we evolve spiritually so does humanity.

Dean Radin, PhD: Dr. Radin is Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA). His early career as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. For a decade, he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories; for over two decades, he has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and three Silicon Valley think-tanks, including SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the U.S. government. He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and several books including the bestselling The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997) and Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006). His technical articles have appeared in journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Psychological Bulletin to Journal of Consciousness Studies. He has appeared on television shows ranging from the BBC’s Horizon and PBS's Closer to Truth to Oprah and Larry King Live, and he has presented over a hundred invited lectures in venues including Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton Universities, Google headquarters, DARPA, and the US Navy.

"Common Sense and the Evolution of Reality" Most people, most of the time, take for granted that “reality” is identical to everyday common sense. In terms of what we might call naïve realism, basic properties of Nature like time and space, matter and energy, separate objects, the arrow of time, etc., are regarded as givens, or as absolutes. The same is true for subjective properties like color, tones, and taste. But we know that none of this is actually true. Science, especially the cognitive and neurosciences, and physics, have revealed that naïve realism is based upon an extremely tiny slice of a much greater reality that never reaches conscious awareness, and that our sense of reality is thus a crude cartoon model of what is “really” out there. When we attempt to see beyond the veil of common sense, using the lens of science focused by multidisciplinary scholarship, inklings of a greater reality can be glimpsed. Those glimpses appear to resonate with holistic descriptions of reality as provided by mystics throughout the ages. One consequence of appreciating that naïve realism is a special case of a larger, more complex reality, is that commonly reported experiences regarded as anomalous by the scientific mainstream, or labeled paranormal by the general public, are instantly reframed as expected and perfectly normal.

Geoffrey Redmond, MA, MD: Dr. Redmond is a biomedical scientist and practicing physician with a long interest in Chinese and Western metaphysics. Much of his work is concerned with understanding the persistence of traditional ways of thought in a world seemingly dominated by science. His most recent book, Science and Asian Spiritual Traditions (Greenwood Press 2008) explores the relationship of metaphysical and scientific thought in pre-modern China. He is the author of five previous books and over one hundred research articles. Doctor Redmond is a graduate of Cornell, the University of Virginia and Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons. He lives in New York City with his wife, novelist and musician Mingmei Yip.

"Influence of The Yijing (I Ching, Chinese Book Of Changes) on Western Esotericism." The study of Western esoteric traditions (defined as including Egypt and the Middle East but not East or South Asia) has tended to be separate from the study of the esotericism of other cultures. Yet esotericism has always traveled far beyond its borders of origin. The Yijing, or Chinese Book of Changes, has exercised particular fascination for several reasons including its extreme antiquity (nearly 3,000 years), the high esteem in which it was held in China, the cryptic nature of its texts, the intuitive appeal of is yin-yang duality, and the seeming numinosity of its unique trigrams and hexagrams. While the Yijing traditions did not involve secret transmission, as many esoteric traditions did, it was assumed that special talent, fostered by self-cultivation, was necessary to understand this classic. Indeed, one who fully understood the Changes was a sage, who had complete understanding of the nature of macrocosm and microcosm. This expresses the appeal of the Changes to esotericists, who seek to know ultimate reality. The first Westerner to seriously study the Yijing, the Jesuit Joachim Bouvet, interpreted the classic from the figurist perspective as expressing the truths of Christianity in hidden form. Gottfried Leibniz was fascinated by the relation of the hexagram lines to binary mathematics. Later interpreters construed the Changes from a variety of esoteric perspectives: Canon Thomas McClatchie found sexual symbolism; Carl Jung used it to advance his highly influential theory of synchronicity, and Aleister Crowley felt one of his greatest accomplishments was a scheme of equivalents between the Kabalistic Tree of Life and Yijing trigrams. Beginning in the sixties, many now utilize the Yijing as a source of guidance on personal decisions.

Katherine Schaefers, MA: Ms Schaefers received her MA in Classical Archaeology from the Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands (2004). Her primary research interests include Gnostic Archaeology and the iconography of Graeco-Roman mystery religions, including the Isis Mysteries. Katherine is currently a lecturer in the Anthropology of Magic, Science, and Religion at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. Her initial publication, “Essene Ethnicity” appeared in the Rose-Croix Journal (2008). This presentation will share updates and insights from her 2004 Master’s thesis “Gnosticism: Towards an Archaeological Definition.”

“'Gnostic' imagery from the beginning of our Era to Today" This presentation will endeavor to provide suggestions for the possible identification of “Gnostic” material culture, while taking on the question of why there are very few legitimately recognized artifacts from an early Christian period religious movement termed “Gnosticism” by later scholars. This study works to aid scholars in the iconographic identification of ancient Gnosticism, so that we may trace and evaluate symbolic meaning as the movement has continued up to the present day, and its effects on modern trends of thought and belief.  The ancient and modern definitions of “Gnosis,” “Gnostic,” and “Gnosticism” are discussed, along with images illustrating possible Gnostic iconography.

Aimy Shaluly: Aimy Shaluly was born into a Rosicrucian family of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crusis (AMORC) and thus has developed a deep philosophy of life at a very young age. In addition to following the beautiful mystical philosophy of the Rosicrucian teachings, Aimy has also served as an officer in various capacities within this organization that has helped her develop real world people and organizational skills. She is a graduate of the University of Tampa in the field of Electronic Media, Art, and Technology, with a concentration in Management Information Systems. She currently works as Marketing Manager for Mastercut Tool Corp., an international manufacturing firm located in Safety Harbor, Fl. Aimy’s formal education and work experience, combined with her unique life training in the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, gives her a keen insight into real-life situations. She currently serves as the head coordinator and organizer within the Colombe Committee for the English Grand Lodge of the Americas, a committee dedicated to the guidance of young girls within the order. She enjoys art and music, and directs much of her free time towards helping others through the portals of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, as well as contributing to a number of charities with her time and efforts.

“From Ancient to Modern: the Tradition of the Colombe in the Rosicrucian Order.”This presentation will explore the ancient traditions and symbolism behind the role of Colombe within the Rosicrucian Order AMORC, and how this mystical tradition has evolved over the centuries. The benefits derived for the individuals fortunate to grow up in the studies of esotericism and mysticism will also be examined.

Kitty Turgeon: Ms Turgeon is Executive Director of the Foundation for the Study of the Arts and Crafts Movement and Vice President for Education of the Roycrofters-at-Large Association, and recent recipient of the US National Arts & Crafts Conference Lifetime Achievement Award. She holds a BS degree and a Master of Professional Services degree from the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University.

"Elbert and Alice Hubbard’s Great Work: The Influence of the Rosicrucians on the Roycrofters and the Modern Arts and Crafts Movement" (Co-Author and Co-Presenter: Hugh McCague, PhD) The presentation will illustrate the influence that the Rosicrucian Tradition and other Esoteric Traditions had on Elbert and Alice Hubbard, progressive philosophers and leaders of the influential Roycroft Arts and Crafts movement of East Aurora, New York.  H. Spencer Lewis, chief executive officer and Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC indicated that the Hubbards worked with him on the first American Council to reactivate the outer expression of the Order in the Americas in 1915. Notable connections and concurrences of the Roycroft and the Rosicrucians can still be made. The presentation discusses the literary and artistic evidence, the effect that esotericism and Rosicrucianism had on the Hubbards, the expression of this influence through the Roycroft, and its subsequent impact on the wider Arts and Crafts movement and society can be inferred. The literary evidence includes the writings and lectures of Elbert and Alice Hubbard which are replete with profound points of agreement with the Rosicrucian philosophy. The artistic evidence includes the designs, craftwork and iconography of the Roycroft and its campus have many special allusions that closely match Rosicrucian symbolism, laws and principles. Some of these correspondences include the recurrent rose motif in the Roycroft Inn’s windows and Roycroft publications, the aphorisms inscribed on the Roycroft Inn’s portals, and Elbert’s appellation and magazine title The Fra. In addition to the Roycroft movement that was active until 1938, the Roycroft Renaissance movement has been underway since 1960. Since 1976, the Roycroft has been the only Arts and Crafts center to have been regenerated by a new guild and colony of artisans, the Roycrofters-at-Large Association (RALA) Artisans. Part of this renaissance has been the on-going contact with, and influence of, the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. In this manner, the Rosicrucian philosophy and inspiration has been subtly suggested and effectively expressed as “Hidden in Plain Sight” for over a century in the Roycroft and Roycroft Renaissance.

George Young, PhD: Dr. Young was born Pontiac Michigan in 1941, and grew up in Madison, Indiana. He received his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 1973. He has served since 2009, as a Fellow at the Center for Global Humanities, and since 2003, as Adjunct Professor of English and Language Studies, University of New England. His extensive publications include Force Through Delicacy:  The Life and Art of Charles H. Woodbury (1998); Nikolai Fedorov: An Introduction (1979), and Hermotimus’ Voyages  (poems), (1976). He is a frequent lecturer on Nikolai Fedorov, Russian literature, and other academic subjects at US and international conferences on Russian literature and philosophy. His current work includes a new book Fedorov and Russian Cosmists, and a study of literature and thought in the non-Russian republics of former USSR.

"Esoteric Tendencies in Russian Cosmism" Little known in the West, Russian cosmism is an important movement in Russian thought rooted in the ideas of the nineteenth century thinker Nikolai Fedorov (1829-1903) and extended, through the twentieth century, into a comprehensive, holographic view of the universe, treating elements from traditional esoteric doctrines as legitimate subjects for scientific, theological, and philosophical enquiry.  Major figures in the cosmist movement include  the rocket pioneer and grandfather of the Russian space program, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky,  (1857-1935), the geologist, biologist, and  developer of the theory of the noosphere, Vladimir Verndasky (1863-1945), the creative theologians Sergei Bulgakov (1871-1944) and Pavel Florensky (1882-1937) and the philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948). This paper focuses on the esoteric elements in cosmist thought and on the idea of active evolution, the cosmist insistence that we have the ability, indeed the Christian or rationalist duty, to determine the course of future human and cosmic development.

Please register early. Registrations will be accepted through June 22 or until the conference is sold out. Registrations will not be accepted at the door.





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