Thursday, December 27, 2012
* The New York Times for December 27, 2012, carries a piece on Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of the recent film, “The Master,” which chronicles the rise of a Scientology-like religion after World War II. The writer in the Times comments:
“The Master” is less interested in mocking it than in evoking the larger American tradition of spiritual questing and its endlessly regenerating cast of dreamers, visionaries, quacks and self-styled prophets. Mr. Anderson’s research was informed equally by scholarly tomes and self-help pseudoscience. “This stuff, it’ll make your head spin,” he said, pulling out books on psycho-cybernetics, the est movement and the theosophy of Madame Blavatsky.
* The Winter 2013 issue of Quest magazine from the Theosophical Society in America carries a page-and-a-half review of Garry Lachman’s Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality by veteran theosophist Joy Mills. The review is sympathetic, though Mills notes:
If one faults Lachman for anything, it may be for his all too frequent digressions, which sometimes confuse and tend to lead away from his central thesis. On the whole, however, Lachman has produced an excellent brief survey of the life and work of one of the most remarkable women of all time.