Daisy Grove and Esoteric Christianity

Daisy E. Grove A Syllabus for a Ten Week’s Course of Study on Esoteric Christianity, pp. 46. The Theosophical Publishing House, Limited, London, 1927.

“This is a pernicious booklet intended to lead the student, under the guise of presenting the mystical side of Christianity, into the arms of C. W. Leadbeater and the bosom of the Liberal Catholic Church. Mrs. Besant’s “Esoteric Christianity,” which serves as a basis for study, is bad enough, but this goes much further and delves into Leadbeater’s “Science of the Sacraments,” his consecrated grease and other paraphernalia for securing salvation through magical processes and through the agency of a priest. It is entirely possible to study Christian mysticism profitably, and when properly understood it is simply an aspect of Theosophy expressed in different terms. But that is a far different matter from the clairvoyant absurdities of Leadbeater, which conflict not only with the theosophical teachings of the Masters, but with the spirit of the Christ of the New Testament.

As is to be expected, the writer discourages the student from following up the controversial material to be found in “Isis Unveiled” and in “The Secret Doctrine” on the ground that “for the student of today, however, the perusal of these early controversies is no longer profitable, save as witness to the distance already traversed.” What is this distance? It is the distance between H. P. B.’s declaration (“Isis Unveiled,” Vol. II, page 544) that “the apostolic succession is a gross and palpable fraud” and the teaching distinctly laid down by the founders of the Liberal Catholic Church, that any rascal, by virtue of having had a certain hocus pocus pronounced over him in a specified fashion by a bishop dressed up in a specified toggery, possesses the power of calling down the divine blessing on his hearers and of absolving them from their sins, whereas a virtuous and spiritual man who has not gone through this performance does not possess such power; it is the distance from the Christianity of Christ to the worst sort of blasphemy, a blasphemy the more dangerous because it is accompanied by everything calculated to blind the true spiritual perceptions and to produce a species of spiritual intoxication.

The booklet costs but a shilling, but the student will save himself far more than a shilling by not buying it; he will save himself the risk of getting on to the left-hand path of ceremonial magic. Mrs. Grove, of course, is not to be charged with deliberate intention of corrupting her readers, as she has been deluded and misled by the “revered President” to whom she dedicates her syllabus.”

The O. E. Library Critic Vol. XVII, No. 5, December 1927

Daisy Grove (b. 1879) joined the Theosophical Society in 1920, and was involved in the establishment of the Christian Mystic Lodge of the Society in England. The Lodge published Transactions of the Christian Mystic Lodge.

Her published works included:

The Mystery Teaching of the Bible (1925)

“This “inner interpretation” of the Christian Bible, first published in 1925, looks at Scripture through a theosophical eye, shifting the mystical meaning of one of the world’s great works of classical literature through the pan-religious philosophy that was immensely popular in the early 20th century. From the occult meaning of numbers, sacred nomenclature, and symbology of women in the Bible to their connection to Hinduism, Buddhism, and the religion of ancient Egyptian, this unusual work of comparative mythology will intrigue those seeking an uncommon spiritual path.”

Mystery teaching

Apocalypse and Initiation (1926)

“The chapters in this book were compiled from notes of a series of lectures delivered to members of the Christian Mystic Lodge. Contents Part I. The Symbolism of the Apocalypse: The Christian Gnosis; The Perfecting of Man; Esoteric Physiology; The Messages to the Churches; Numerical Symbols; Animal Symbols; and The Four Horseman. Contents Part II. The Drama of the Apocalypse: The Way of Initiation; A Vision of Attainment; Opening the Seals; The Sounding of the Trumpets; The War in Heaven; The Harvesting; The Outpoured Vials; The Vision of Babylon; The Last Judgment; and The Marriage.”

The most notable member of the Christian Mystic Lodge of the Theosophical Society was “Dion Fortune” [Violet Mary Firth](1890-1946). Fortune had joined the Lodge on the basis, she claimed, of contacts with the Masters, and became its president. She subsequently resigned from the Theosophical Society over the influence of Leadbeater.

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