Sunday, April 2, 2017

T. Bryon Edmond - ufologist and esotericist

Serious investigators of UFO and paranormal phenomena sometimes, after many years, enter the ardous journey of proceeding from mere documentation of phenomena to philosophy searching for the elusive truth. Expressed in a different way, researchers hope to find a new paradigm or working hypothesis to account for all unexplained phenomena as the mainstream materialist, reductionist paradigm has become an intellectually untenable position. This journey proves a real challenge as there is a veritable smorgasbord of alternative worldviews and philosophies.

Here a few examples of alternative paradigms advocated by ufologists and other authors: Allen Hynek and Gordon Creighton (Anthroposophy), Jacques Vallee (Hermeticism), Gerard Aartsen (Benjamin Creme), Andrew Tomas (Nicholas Roerich), Charles Upton (René Guénon). Readers of this blog are aware of that I have for some years argued for the Esoteric Tradition as presented by a.o. Helena Blavatsky, Charles Leadbeater, Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency as the best alternative paradigm or working hypothesis. Simply because in my view these authors represent the most articulate, scholarly and intellectual efforts to formulate esotericism as a science of the multiverse.  A worldview and profound philosophy that can be accepted as a working hypothesis by critical and scientifically minded scholars and researchers.

Unfortunately the ufologists who have discovered and used this paradigm in their research are a rare species indeed on this planet. Two of the most prominent are Desmond Leslie and Riley Crabb, director of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (BSRF) 1959-1985. As an esotericist Riley Crabb even made this project his motto as expressed in his first editorial in the journal Round Robin July-August 1959: "Since coming to the mainland my lectures have been concerned with the problem of relating Flying Saucer data, and phenomena, to the teachings of the Mystery Schools. I believe you´ll agree this is no easy task. If I have one goal in life it is un uncompromising search for Truth, whatever that might be, and wherever it may lead."

Riley Crabb

In this blog entry I wish to re-introduce a British gentleman, T. Bryon Edmond, who was both a knowledgeable ufologist and an erudite esotericist. I have mentioned him briefly in earlier blog entries. In 1976 I studied Theoretical Philosophy at Stockholm University and was very much occupied with the problem whether it was in accordance with scientific thought and intellectual integrity to accept, as a working hypothesis, the reality of a multiverse in an esoteric sense, although the information generally cannot be verified by traditional empirical data and research. Expressed in academic philosophical language I tried to understand the fundamental ontological and epistemological issues in relation to esoteric philosophy. In common language - what is reality and how do we acquire knowledge of reality?

Unexpected help with this problem came from a letter to the editor of Flying Saucer Review, February 1976, vol. 21, no. 5, titled UMMO again. It was written by Mr. T. Bryon Edmond, living in Chester, England. Here was a man who obviously was very well informed on both the UFO problem and esotericism, quoting authors such as John Keel, Meade Layne, Alice Bailey and Charles Leadbeater.

On April 26, 1976 I wrote a letter to Mr. Edmond, expressing my appreciation of his views and that I also in my research was ”trying to blend the scientific and esoteric approach to this fascinating subject” and was therefore ”searching for people to correspond with who are both, how shall I say, ufologists and esotericists.” On May 1, 1976 I received a very friendly, extensive, handwritten reply saying ”Your letter came as quite a pleasant surprise, and we certainly appear to think along the same lines.” Although I received only two extensive letters from Mr. Edmond, his ideas and theories had a seminal influence on my thinking and research.

Using the method of my old mentor, Riley Crabb, in his journal Round Robin, I will give a summary of some of the points we discussed in a clips, quotes and comments form, with digitized excerps from the letters of T. Bryon Edmond.

From FSR letter February 1976

This probably means that T. Bryon Edmond was not a formal member of the Theosophical Society and as he also quoted Alice Bailey a more adequate term for his worldview is esotericist. What he had discovered was that ”their teaching is relevant to our subject”. In the second letter to me he detailed some interesting biographical data and history regarding his esoteric studies.

Esotericism is of course hardly a respectable worldview even today, if you wish to be a part of the mainstream cultural and intellectual elite. But after both academic studies and many years of private reading of philosophy I have reached the same conclusion as T. Bryon Edmond. Esotericism is the only branch of philosophy worth studying. The Esoteric Tradition, the Ancient Wisdom, the knowledge of reality, the science of the multiverse or The Philosopher´s Stone is The philosophy par excellence.

This statement was a definite eye-opener to me. Finally a tenable philosophical attitude to esotericism acceptable to a scientific and critical mind. Later I found this, esotericism as a working hypothesis view, clearly formulated many times by Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency.

From FSR letter February 1976

This is a correct observation. John Keel was an excellent reporter and Fortean investigator but he was no esotericist and his taxonomy of entities in the multiverse is very simplistic and reduced to elementals. This was one of the reasons that Riley Crabb regarded him as a ”metaphysical illiterate”. But elementals are obviously sometimes reported as UFO entities. In my estimation the Väggarö encounter of October 1965, that I investigated, was most probably elementals.

This is a very interesting comment, that the advent of visitors from other planets was unforeseen even by the adepts or planetary guardians of earth, and consequently not mentioned in esoteric literature. Like T. Bryon Edmond I had in vain searched in many esoteric tomes looking for information about interplanetary visitors in our time. In The Coming of the Guardians Meade Layne concludes that none of the great occult Orders has anything to say regarding UFO phenomena.

It was not until a couple of years ago that I finally did find an answer to this question, by a renewed and detailed study of Alice Bailey`s The Externalisation of the Hierarchy. In this volume the Tibetan adept D.K. actually confirms that the coming of interplanetary assistance was an unforeseen event even by the planetary guardians. But being an oriental he unfortunately presents this information in somewhat cryptic and symbolic language, although the meaning becomes obvious when comparing his many statements, which I have noted in earlier blog entries. Interplanetary visitors came in large numbers during the Second World War to assist the planetary guardians in a critical period for mankind. The implications of these quotes are obvious:

April-May 1940: "Hovering today within the aura of our planet are certain great spiritual Forces and Entities, awaiting the opportunity to participate actively in the work of world redemption, re-adjustment and reconstruction.... the waiting extra-planetary Forces." (p. 222-223)

April 1943: "Certain great Energies of extra-planetary significance Who stand ready to intervene..." (p. 392).

T. Bryon Edmond, being an old British gentleman, I was naturally interested in learning how he, after a lifetime of study and searching, estimated our existential situation on this planet. As he was a longtime student of the Esoteric Tradition I was somewhat surprised by this honest reply.

From an esoteric viewpoint this estimation is basically correct. Life on this planet is full of pain and suffering. The Tibetan, in Alice Bailey´s books often refer to earth as the ”Star of suffering”, ”this woeful planet”, ”the unhappy little planet of suffering which we call Earth”, ”this planet of suffering, sorrow, pain and struggle” etc. But the reason for this appears to have eluded T. Bryon Edmond. The Esoteric Tradition makes it very clear the our planet is, in part, a penal colony, a sort of interplanetary Alcatraz. This means that evolution on earth is exceedingly hard and much more difficult compared to other planets. T. Bryon Edmond quotes the Tibetan in saying ”On no other planet in the solar system does the same degree of suffering and misery exist as on this globe.” To which Edmond adds this comment: ”Not a comforting philosophy – but I want the truth, not comfort”.

After the second letter from T. Bryon Edmond I heard no more. I wrote a couple of times in 1976 but as he was a very old man I suspected he had died. His two very extensive letters were a great help to me during the 1970s, especially since I received a long list of recommended literature. To this day I cherish the memory of my correspondent, friend and mentor.