Apollonius of Tyana (Illustrated Edition)
by G.R.S. Mead
George Robert Stowe Mead (18631933) was an author, editor, translator, and an influential member of the Theosophical Society as well as the founder of the Quest Society. Mead became a member of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's Theosophical Society in 1884. He abandoned his teaching profession in 1889 to be Blavatsky's private secretary and also became a joint-secretary of the Esoteric Section (E.S.) of the Theosophical Society. The E.S. was for those whom the Theosophical Society deemed more advanced. G.R.S Mead received Blavatsky's six Esoteric Instructions and other teachings at twenty-two meetings headed by Blavatsky which were only attended by the Inner Group of the Theosophical Society. It was because of the intimacy Mead felt with the Inner Group that he married Laura Cooper in 1899. Contributing intellectually to the Theosophical Society, at first most interested in eastern religions, he quickly became more and more attracted to western esotericism of religion and philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism, Gnosticism and Hermeticism, though his scholarship and publications continued to engage with eastern religion. Making many contributions to the Theosophical Society's Lucifer as joint editor, he eventually became the sole editor of The Theosophical Review in 1907 (as Lucifer was renamed in 1897). Apollonius of Tyana was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in modern day Turkey. Little is certainly known about him. Being a 1st-century orator and philosopher around the time of Christ, he was compared to Jesus of Nazareth by Christians in the 4th century and by various popular writers in modern times. Comparisons between Apollonius and Jesus became commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries in the context of polemic about Christianity.In the Marquis de Sade's "Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man", the Dying Man compares Jesus to Apollonius as a false prophet. Some Theosophists, notably C.W. Leadbeater, Alice A. Bailey, and Benjamin Creme, have maintained that Apollonius of Tyana was the reincarnation of the being they call the Master Jesus.
- Charles River Editors, February 2012
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