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More Background Influencers

By:Andrew Hain
Date: Sat,20 Apr 2024
Submitter:Andrew Hain

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More Background Influencers

This is the second part of my investigations into the backgrounds of people who pioneered and influenced Gnostic, Theosophical and Neo Theosophical ideas. (Some still do.)

Monroe and Carolyn Shearer According to the website, the Ascended Masters have anointed Monroe and Carolyn Shearer as Their Messengers to the outside world. As with their predecessors in this Spiritual Office, Monroe and Carolyn have been preparing for this mission for several embodiments. After training separately in this lifetime, they were brought together in 1993 and received full Sponsorship from the Great White Brotherhood for their public service through The Temple of The Presence, which they established in May 1995, when the first Dictation was delivered through them - from Ascended Master Morya.
A former archbishop for the Church Universal and Triumphant, Monroe Shearer said he was asked to leave that organization in 1981, a time when the church was embroiled in a number of disputes in California.
Carolyn Shearer remained in CUT for several years after that. The two began taking dictations from the ascended masters in 1995. Shearer said he and his wife are now the only messengers for the ascended masters, having taken over the mantle from Clare Elizabeth Prophet. Together the Shearers set up the Temple of the Presence, one of whose aims is to proclaim the Dawning Golden Age of Beloved Saint Germain. For more information see

Kim Michaels is an author who has published over 60 books, mostly about spirituality. He tells that he has not written these 60 books, or the thousands of pages freely available on his websites, from his own mind, instead claiming to have been trained to receive teachings from the ascended masters, who serve as the universal teachers for all people. Further information on how he became a messenger and what he has produced can be found on his website

Lorraine Michaels is the ex-wife of Kim Michaels and she also claims to be a messenger for the ascended masters. Her website,, contains a lot of criticisms, not only of messengers, her ex- husband included, but of some of the groups who formed around such messengers. Her website is very worth reading.
Lorraine Michaels founded The Shangra-la Mission in 2002 as an Ascended Master organization. Her students believe she is an anointed messenger for the Great White Brotherhood. The mission's goal was to bring the Teachings of "Being" your Divine Self and "More" and the achieving the true oneness of the union of Father-Mother God here below through Being I AM, much in the footsteps of the previously sponsored organization of the Ascended Masters.
Kim and Lorraine Michaels are former members of The Summit Lighthouse.

David Christopher Lewis (1954 -2021), has been a student of the ascended masters and the world’s major religions for five decades, and, whilst a staff member of The Summit Lighthouse, began receiving telepathic communications from the ascended masters in 2004 telling him to launch a new movement. In February 26th, 2005, The Hearts Center came into being with a mission to offer up-to-the-minute teachings and inspiration from the ascended masters through David Christopher Lewis, an anointed messenger of the Universal Great White Brotherhood. To date over 7000 “HeartStreams” from the ascended masters have been shared. (
The Hearts Center sees itself as an Aquarian Essene Community, tracing its spiritual lineage back to the Essenes, the mystical sect who prepared for the coming of the Christ. The spiritual practices of prayers, songs, meditations, rosaries, healthy diet, and more are reflections of ancient Essene practices, rooted in a love for God. Through them, they prepare the way for the awakening of the Christ within.

Dennis Elwell (1930-2014), was a towering figure in terms of late twentieth century astrology. According to his legacy includes his book Cosmic Loom first published in 1987. It is a seminal work and has much to say about how astrology works, how it can be used and how it can't be used. It's both broad and deep in its scope; encompassing tidbits of knowledge from a wide variety of sources, some from the realms of science and philosophy. He explores various events and happenings and not only points to the given astrological significators for them but discusses the meaning behind them. The reader is shown how seemingly unrelated events at a given time are all part of the same "holon" (something that is simultaneously a whole in and of itself, as well as a part of a larger whole.).
Throughout the book and in his work generally, Dennis constantly illustrates a central tenet of astrology; namely the interconnectedness of all things. Reviews of Cosmic Loom indicate that is a wonderful piece of work on so many levels and makes for nothing less than an exciting read. Not what one expects from non-fiction perhaps but one feels as if the meaning of life is being explained. It is also extremely well-written. Not surprisingly perhaps as Dennis spent much of his working life as a journalist.

Charles Harvey (1940 – 2000) Astrology's survival in the last two centuries has been largely in the hands of passionate amateurs. Charles Harvey was the lynch-pin of the British astrological community for more than 30 years, president of the Astrological Association from 1973-94, and devoted to restoring the ancient art's position as a serious, professional discipline. He shared with his mentor, John Addey, a neo-Platonic vision which roots astrology in a realm of eternal ideas, believing that astrology's harmonic periods and cycles reveal "the moving image of eternity".
He promoted the research of the French statisticians François and Michelle Gauquelin on the correlation between planetary positions and professions in a database of European births. He instigated the research journal, Correlation, the world’s only journal of scientific research into astrology, and an annual international research conference. The first, in 1979, featured the psychologist Hans Eysenck, who had become convinced of the empirical evidence for a correlation between planetary positions and personality.
Harvey promoted the "midpoint" system developed by the German astrologer Baldur Eberin in the 1930s. This recasts traditional astrology in a modern rational framework of cosmo-biological influences. With his wife Suzi, also an astrologer, he wrote two books for newcomers to the subject.
Charles Harvey was one of the most influential and innovative figures of late 20th century astrology. In the seminars in this volume, the clarity of his thought and the depth and inclusiveness of his vision are expressed in a way which is accessible yet subtle and profound. These seminars explore not only the ways in which individuals influence, mediate, and are shaped by the groups and collectives to which they belong, professional and national, but also the ways in which nations evolve according to inherent astrological patterns which, rather than merely echoing history, actually create it.
We are all individuals striving toward the fullest possible expression of our unique personalities, yet we are at the same time participants in, and sometimes victims of, larger collective forces which we need to understand if we are to make sense of our place in the cosmos and claim any right to individual choice as well as an individual contribution to the larger unity of which we are a part. In this relatively unexplored sphere of astrological research, Charles Harvey was unquestionably a leader, and the material in this book will be disturbing, exciting, and illuminating to both students and seasoned astrological practitioners.
In his book Principles of Astrology (1999), co-authored with his wife Suzi, Charles re-emphasises his Neoplatonic view of astrology. "Despite the contemptuous guffaws of scientific orthodoxy, it [astrology] still continues to enthral the minds of some of our finest contemporary thinkers." The reason is simple. Astrology sees the cosmos as "a living, intelligent, purposeful entity in which part and whole dance together in resonance to the music of the spheres; a hierarchy of levels of order in which the higher levels order the lower and in which the apparent random activity here on Earth below can be seen to be orderly behaviour when viewed from the heavens above" (p.3).

Ibn Arabi (1165 - 1240) was an Andalusi Muslim scholar, mystic, poet, and philosopher, extremely influential within Islamic thought. Out of the 850 works attributed to him, some 700 are authentic while over 400 are still extant. His cosmological teachings became the dominant worldview in many parts of the Muslim world.
After his death, and specifically among practitioners of Sufism, he was renowned by the honorific title Shaykh al-Akbar, which, in turn, was the name from which the "Akbarian" school of Sufism derived its name. Ibn Arabi is considered a saint by some scholars and Muslim communities. (Wikipedia)
Ibn Arabi is known for being the first person to explicitly delineate the concept of "Unity of Being", a monist doctrine (a view that there is only one kind of ultimate substance, and that all things are originated from and made from this same substance) which claimed that all things in the universe are manifestations of a singular "reality". Ibn Arabi equated this "reality" with the entity he described as "the Absolute Being".
Firmly rooted in the Quran, his work is universal, accepting that each person has a unique path to the truth, which unites all paths in itself. He has profoundly influenced the development of Islam since his time, as well as significant aspects of the philosophy and literature of the West. His wisdom has much to offer us in the modern world in terms of understanding what it means to be human.
“Ibn Arabi’s teachings open a door to an inclusive spiritual perspective. This necessarily includes all perspectives, not by focusing on the detail of each, but by concentrating on the point from which all perspectives arise and consequently encompasses them all. This is the still point at the centre of the circle, the point about which the universes turn.” Huffington Post
Ibn Arabi’s philosophy is religious-metaphysical in nature, as evidenced in verse:
“My heart has become capable of all forms
For gazelles a pasture, and for monks a convent
I follow the religion of Love, whichever path its caravans take
For love is my religion and faith.”

Mabel Collins (1851-1927). According to the website Theosophy.World, Collins joined the Theosophical Society in 1884, becoming a member of the London Lodge. She acted as Assistant Editor to H. P. BLAVATSKY on the periodical LUCIFER from September 1887 to February 1889. She had a disagreement with Blavatsky and withdrew from the TS. Later, at her own request, she was reinstated into the Society, but did not remain a member very long.
Collins was said to be clairvoyant and was considered by some to be a channel for the Masters. Probably her most important book from a theosophical viewpoint is Light on the Path which was published in 1885. Light on the Path was written in 1884. On 8th November 1884, Collins met Blavatsky shortly before the latter returned to India, and it was Blavatsky who identified the Master Hilarion as the source of the content.
On the title page of a copy of the first edition in the archives of “The H. P. B. Library,” North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the work is attributed by Collins to the Master Hilarion, but in 1889 she repudiated this claim and maintained that it was entirely her own work.
Mabel Collins is remembered today, when at all, as being the author of the spiritual work Light on the Path. She wrote a number of articles, some of which were to form the basis for her books. In later years her experiences in the occult and theosophy were used as a basis for her fiction writing. 
Mabel’s name pops up again and again in theosophical histories, and was an instrumental figure in early theosophy. However, owing to the disputes she was involved in she has more or less disappeared from the history books. 
Collins was a prolific writer having a great number of novels, articles and short stories published. Publications include: Light on the Path; Idyll of the White Lotus; The Story of Senza; When the Sun Moves Northward; The Story of the Year; As the Flower Grows; A Cry From Afar; Fragments of Thought and Life; Through the Gates of Gold.

Mencius,  born  Meng Ke, (372–289 BC) was a Chinese Confucian  philosopher who has often been described as the "second Sage", that is, second to Confucius himself. He is part of Confucius' fourth generation of disciples. Mencius inherited Confucius' ideology and developed it further. Living during the “Warring States” period, he is said to have spent much of his life travelling around the states offering counsel to different rulers. Conversations with these rulers form the basis of the Mencius, which would later be regarded as a Confucian classic.
One primary principle of his work is that human nature is righteous and humane. The responses of citizens to the policies of rulers embody this principle, and a state with righteous and humane policies will flourish by nature. The citizens, with freedom gained from good rule, will then allocate time to caring for their wives, brothers, elders, and children, and be educated with rites and naturally become better citizens. This placed him at odds with his near contemporary, Xunzi, who believed that human nature is evil by birth.
Mencius expounds on the concept that the human is naturally righteous and humane. It is the influence of society that causes bad moral character. Mencius describes this in the context of educating rulers and citizens about the nature of man. "He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature" and "the way of learning is none other than finding the lost mind."
Human nature has an innate tendency towards goodness, but moral rightness cannot be instructed down to the last detail. This is why merely external controls always fail in improving society. True improvement results from educational cultivation in favourable environments. Likewise, bad environments tend to corrupt the human will. This, however, is not proof of innate evil because a clear thinking person would avoid causing harm to others. This position of Mencius puts him between Confucians such as Xunzi who thought people were innately bad, and Taoists who believed humans did not need cultivation, they just needed to accept their innate, natural, and effortless goodness. The four beginnings/sprouts (The feeling of commiseration definitely is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom.) could grow and develop, or they could fail. In this way Mencius synthesized integral parts of Taoism into Confucianism. Individual effort was needed to cultivate oneself, but one's natural tendencies were good to begin with. The object of education is the cultivation of benevolence, otherwise known as Ren.
Mencius's interpretation of Confucianism has generally been considered the orthodox version by subsequent Chinese philosophers, especially by the Neo-Confucians of the Song dynasty. Mencius's disciples included a large number of feudal lords, and he is said to have been more influential than Confucius had been.
Although he was alive around 300 BC, Mencius helped pave the way for future generations of Chinese thinkers and theologians. He is best known for his work with Confucianism, and his interpretations of Confucius’ sayings shaped the way that the religion is now practiced. He also was one of the scholars at the Jixia Academy, a prestigious school for philosophers. His status allowed him to be one of China’s most respected officials. Mencius maintained a high regard for education, but he was very specific on how he thought people should learn. He denounced memorization and other elementary forms of learning. Instead, he wanted people to awaken their cognizance and realize how powerful their minds could be.
Mencius also believed that mankind was essentially good; however, society was a negative influence on peoples’ behaviour. He hoped that his influence would steer his culture in the right direction in order to help people grasp their full potential for goodness. This swayed his opinions on politics, as he believed that politicians should only stay in power as long as they were working on behalf of the public’s best interest.

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