Three Spiritual Teachers of the 20th Century

(With some miscellaneous comments on Montségur)

Last update = 30 June, 2019

RS     PD     OMA
Herein are miscellaneous notes on three spiritual teachers, based on my own reading. I have read a great deal about them, and found their teachings valuable, just as valuable as mathematics. They are all on the western, Christian path. I know very little of the eastern path. One can be a Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Buddhist, Jewish, etc., and still be in harmony with their teachings.

Additional miscellaneous information on other topics is also included here. This information is provided for those who are curious.

These three all were born in the Balkans. There is apparently something special about this region. As well as these three teachers, the Bogomils also originated there, in the tenth century. More about this follows below. It is also said that Orpheus originated in this region, and had school there where he taught his disciples.


Rudolf Steiner

RS     RS

Rudolf Steiner is probably the greatest polymath who has ever lived. Those with a scientific inclination, and who are interested in what is spiritual in the world, will find his lectures very accessible and interesting. He has given lecture courses on many topics -- religion, agriculture, architecture, speech, drama, economics, medicine, eurhythmy, education, science, history, music, art, the gospels, healing for special-needs children, etc., etc..

Rudolf Steiner was born in 1861 into a Catholic German family, in Kraljevec, which is now part of Slovenia, but was then part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. He was educated in the technical university in Vienna. In 1890 he was asked to edit the scientific works of Goethe. He spent seven years in Weimar in this work. After moving to Vienna he became a close friend of Friedrich Eckstein, who at that time was widely known in the Vienna café culture as an expert on nearly everything. See Eckstein's book, "Alte, unnennbare Tage: Erinnerungen aus siebzig Lehr- und Wanderjahren", it is an interesting read.
In 1902 Steiner was asked to join the Theosophical Society, and to become the leader of the German section, which was rapidly growing. He agreed on condition that he would be allowed to speak on whatever topics he chose. In 1912 he was forced out of the society as a result of the Krishnamurthi "affair". The Theosophical Society was presenting the boy Krishnamurthi as the reincarnation of Jesus, to which Steiner objected.

In May, 1922, some nazis attempted to assassinate Steiner at a train station. And his lectures were frequently disrupted by "hooligans" at that time.

One of Steiner's central teachings is reincarnation and karma in a Christian sense. There are passages in the Gospels that indicate that a belief in reincarnation was common in biblical days.

A small selection of his books that I found extremely interesting.
RS "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds -- How is it Attained?"
Steiner gives specific exercises in concentration and meditation to help one on the spiritual path. They are not easy.
Theosophy "Theosophy"
This book is meant to be read from cover to cover, with concentration. It is a mind exercise, to guide one along a path of specific thoughts, which then produce a definite effect.
Karma "Karma of Untruthfullness"
Lectures from 1917, during WW1, when war propaganda was raging. These lectures, in two volumes, contain much information on the secret societies of the west, and their role in bringing about WW1. He says that one of the consequences of untruthfullness (ie, "fake news" and media lies), is wars of increasing frequency and intensity.
Luke "Gospel of Saint Luke"
Steiner's enlightening commentary on the Gospel of Luke. The four gospels are very different from each other. He has a lecture course on each one.
Luke "The Temple Legend"
Steiner's lectures on the masonic legend of the temple of Solomon. King Solomon hired the Phoenician Hiram Abiff, the master mason, to build his temple. There is a connection with the legend of Cain and Abel.
RS "The Life and Times of Rudolf Steiner" by Emil Bock -- Emil Bock's biography of Rudolf Steiner, in two volumes.


Peter Deunov

Deunov     Deunov

"A wolf knows that it's a wolf, and runs with the pack.
A sheep knows that it's a sheep, and stays with the flock.
And You...
What are You ?
If you are light, you will move towards the light."

    -- Peter Denuov

Peter Deunov was born in 1864 in Bulgaria, the son of an Orthodox Priest. In 1888 he travelled to the United States, and attended Boston University, and then the Boston School of Theology. He graduated as a Methodist theologian. He then returned to Bulgaria to begin his work. Over the years, he attracted a great following of thousands in Bulgaria.

Peter Deunov is the creator of Paneurhythmy, the sacred circle dance. This has become a very popular world-wide movement. He has a nice book about paneurhythmy, available in several languages:

paneurhythmy "Paneurhythmy", by Peter Deunov
A detailed description of the paneurhythmy dance, together with the music.

In 1910, Bojan Boev, a young Bulgarian man came to Switzerland to see Rudolf Steiner, and asked to become his disciple. Steiner said to him "I have nothing to teach you, go back to Bulgaria, the universal teacher is already working there". He went back and became a follower of Peter Deunov.

Albert Einstein: "The whole world bows down to me; but I bow down before the Master Peter Deunov from Bulgaria".

Cardinal Angelo Roncali, the future Pope John XXIII: "The greatest philosopher in the world today is Peter Deunov".

Peter Deunov's name is found in numerous spellings, Petar Danoff, Danov, Dunov, Petr, etc. He is also known as Beinsa Douno.

Many books of Deunov's talks with his followers are available. David Lorimer has written some excellent books about him.

paneurhythmy "The Circle of Sacred Dance", by David Lorimer
David Lorimer's book on paneurhythmy.
paneurhythmy "A Prophet of our Time", by David Lorimer
David Lorimer's biography of Peter Deunov.


Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov


"The stomach does not digest for itself alone, but for the whole body.
The lungs do not breathe for themselves alone.
The heart beats to send blood to the whole body."

    -- Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov was born in 1900 in Macedonia as Mihail Ivanov. When he was seventeen, he became a follower of Peter Deunov. In 1937 he was sent to France by his teacher. In 1959 he went to India for a year, where he met the renowned Babaji, as well as other spiritual teachers of India. While there he was given an initial A on his family name, and also given the name Omraam. (This is also the name [Amram] of Moses's father.)

When Aivanhov was visiting Israel, one of the rabbis suddenly bowed down to him and said "May all the world follow you".

Many of his lectures are available from Prosveta Publishers. The English books are published in two main series, the "Collected Works" and the "Izvor Collection". These are both series of edited lectures. There is also a "Vidélina" series in French of transcripts of unedited lectures. Like all his books, the three shown here contain revelations and great wisdom. Sometimes one must read between the lines.

Christmas "Christmas and Easter in the Initiatic Tradition", by Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
tree "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil", by Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
dragon "Sexual Force or the Winged Dragon", by Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
feuerstein "The Mystery of Light", by Georg Feuerstein
Georg Feuerstein's biography of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov.


Montségur and the Cathars

For some unknown reason, the story of the Cathars is extremely compelling. There is an amazing amount of information about them on the internet, and many very good books are available. The Cathars originated in Bulgaria, as the Bogomils, in the tenth century. According to Rudolf Steiner, their dualist teachings originated with Mani. See also. Some of them migrated to northern Italy, and then subsequently to the south of France, where they and their followers became known as the Cathars (the "pure ones"). Sometimes they were called Bulgarians, or even "bougres". The Cathar religion, a dualist variation of Christianity, attracted a huge following in the south of France -- in the late 1100's and early 1200's the region around Carcassonne and Toulouse and Beziers, and to the south of these cities, was largely Cathar. The Cathars did not pay tithes or taxes to the Catholic Church. In 1209 the Catholic Church, headed by Pope Innocent III, declared a crusade against the Cathars, the Albigensian crusade. In the course of twenty years, the Cathars were mercilessly exterminated, and their lands confiscated.
Nelli book "The Cathars" by René Nelli, a booklet about the Cathars, with stories and photos of many Cathar fortresses.
Their mountain-top fortress on Montségur (which means Mont Salvat in the Languedoc language) was besieged, and after nine months it capitulated. More than 200 Cathars were burnt there in a huge auto-da-fé. In 2017, I was able to visit Montségur, which is near Carcassonne, to its south-west. There is a hiking trail to the top of the mountain. The ruins of the fortress remain. There is an aura of great sadness that looms over the ruins. In the town at the bottom of the mountain there is a really nice museum. It has a model reconstruction of the original Cathar village on the mountain top. Also numerous artifacts and some films to watch, and a bookstore. It is well worth the visit.
Pog The ruins of the fortress of Montségur on the mountain top, the "pog".
During WW2, many German officers visited Montségur, and climbed the mountain looking for secret treasures. They thought Montségur was the castle of the Grail, because of the book "Crusade against the Grail", by Otto Rahn, a German historian.
The leader of the French army that was attacking the Cathars was Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester. He was killed when his head was crushed by a rock. English mercenaries were also attracted to join the crusade against the Cathars. The main inquisitor trying the heretics was the Dominican Arnaud Amaury. When asked "How shall we know which are Cathars and which are Catholics", he is said to have replied, "Kill them all, God will know his own".
Cathar "Cathar" by Christopher Bland -- an engaging historical novel about the Cathars, very well researched, a very credible story of life in mediaeval France