Spiritual Glamour

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THE word “glamour” was long ago defined in old dictionaries as “witchery or a charm on the eyes, making them see things differently from what they really are.” This is still the meaning of the word. Not long ago, before the strange things possible in hypnotic experiments became known to the Western world, it seemed as if everything would be reduced to mere matter and motion by the fiat of science. Witchery was to fade away, be forgotten, be laughed out of sight, and what could not be ascribed to defective training of the senses was to have its explanation in the state of the liver, a most prosaic organ. But before science with its speculation and ever-altering canons could enlighten the unlearned multitude, hypnotism crept slowly and surely forward and at last began to buttress the positions of theosophy. Glamour stands once more a fair chance for recognition. Indeed, H. P. B. uttered prophetic words when she said that in America more than anywhere else this art would be practised by selfish men for selfish purposes, for money-getting and gratification of desire.[1]

Some glamours

  • 1. The glamour of destiny. This is a glamour which indicates to the one whom it controls, that he has important work to do, and that he must speak and work as destined. This feeds a pride which has no foundation in fact.
  • 2. The glamour of aspiration. Those thus conditioned are completely satisfied and pre-occupied with their aspiration towards the light and rest back upon the fact that they are aspirants. Such people need to move onward on to the Path of Discipleship and cease their preoccupation and satisfaction with their spiritual ambitions and goals.
  • 3. The glamour of self-assurance or of what might be called the astral principles of the disciple. This is the belief, in plain language, that the disciple regards that his point of view is entirely right. This again feeds pride and tends to make the disciple believe himself to be an authority and infallible. It is the background of the theologian.
  • 4. The glamour of duty. This leads to an over-emphasis of the sense of responsibility, producing lost motion and the emphasis of the non-essential.
  • 5. The glamour of environing conditions, leading frequently to a sense of frustration, or futility or of impotence.
  • 6. The glamour of the mind and of its efficiency, and its capacity to deal with any or every problem. This leads inevitably to isolation and loneliness.
  • 7. The glamour of devotion, leading to an undue stimulation of the astral body. The man or woman thus glamoured sees only one idea, one person, one authority and one aspect of the truth. It feeds fanaticism and spiritual pride.
  • 8. The glamour of desire with its reflex action upon the physical body. This leads to a constant condition of fighting and of turmoil. It negates all peace and fruitful work and must some day be brought to an end.
  • 9. The glamour of personal ambition.

There are many other glamours, both individual and worldwide, but these will serve to indicate a general tendency." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 26/7)


The practical test of all these strange religious experiences of mysticism, ecstasy, and inspiration is to observe whether these phenomena cause an individual:

But prayer has no real association with these exceptional religious experiences. When prayer becomes overmuch aesthetic, when it consists almost exclusively in beautiful and blissful contemplation of paradisiacal divinity, it loses much of its socializing influence and tends toward mysticism and the isolation of its devotees. There is a certain danger associated with overmuch private praying which is corrected and prevented by group praying, community devotions. (91:7. 1-6)

See also