Elvis Presley Studied Alice Bailey to Find Health

Mind over Matter is the Key to Health says Bailey!

From mid-career until the end of his life, Elvis read voraciously.  It was his link to the minds of people and religions he wanted to bring into his life.  Those books were his friends and companions.  The Memphis Mafia who surrounded him, did not understand his thirst for knowledge, and his need for a discussion on an intellectual level.  His wife actually made him burn his books. He read hundreds, perhaps, thousands of works, and this blog will highlight many of those works. One of those authors was Alice Bailey.  Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about her:

Alice Bailey

Alice Bailey

Alice Ann Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949) was a writer and theosophist in occult teachings, esoteric psychology and healing, astrological and other philosophic and religious themes. Bailey was born as Alice LaTrobe Bateman, in Manchester, England. She moved to the United States in 1907, where she spent most of her life as a writer and teacher.

Some of the words in this short bio of Alice Bailey are power-charged.  Words such as “occult,” and “esoteric” can make our hearts beat very fast.  We are afraid of anything to do with works labeled in such a matter.  May I explain?  In every culture, there is a dominate religion.  That religion seeks to keep its “market share” of seekers and believers.  The way they keep those seekers in the “fold” is to demean and marginalize other religions.  If the dominate religion can put “the fear of God” into you regarding other religions, then they have successfully kept you for searching out other religions.

Example of Pentecostal Church

Example of Pentecostal Church

Elvis loved his Pentecostal roots.  He loved the music and the community it created, but it did not answer many of the questions that he had about his own life.  So, he crossed the fence, into territory that was labeled “occult or esoteric.”  Christianity itself had been given these labels early in its own existence.  In order to preserve a religion, sometimes people have to practice their religion in secret.  Esoteric, literally means, “secret or hidden.”  The word “occult” has also been given a bad “rap.”  If you find a definition of it, it includes magic and mystical beliefs.  These are beliefs that differ with a dominate or main religion of a culture. They are outside mainstream beliefs.

Throughout history people who differed with the power of the dominate religion often forfeited their lives.  It may have been a good thing to be labeled “occult or esoteric”  because it kept you from being destroyed by the dominate religion.  (People knew to keep everything to themselves because it was dangerous to differ with the main religion.) There is not enough time in this post to discuss violence and the monotheistic traditions.

Elvis risked his own career by studying these works.  He knew it, but he had to pursue questions that plagued him every day of his life.

Alice Bailey’s works, written between 1919 and 1949, describe a wide-ranging system of thought covering such topics as how spirituality relates to the solar system, meditation, healing, spiritual psychology, the destiny of nations, and prescriptions for society in general.

Elvis Presley Collection

Elvis Presley Collection

It is easy to speculate as to possible reasons as to why Elvis was drawn to Alice Bailey’s work. Elvis had many physical problems and diseases that he could not control or overcome. He was so young, why was his body breaking down? To discover the secrets of the origins of diseases, or to find a key to health, could change the course of his life. He was drowning in his work, and his body was failing him. And, as I have discussed in For the Love of Elvis, many suggest that he had some type of bone cancer. Elvis probably knew that he was dying, but no one around him understood his physical suffering.

As we will learn shortly, Bailey listened to an “Ascended Master,” a being who is ancient, has lived many lives, and knows more than most people. Elvis often wondered about his own life, and the riches and fame he gained. Was he a chosen one too? Could he have been an Ascended Master?

Alice Bailey’s work is reported to be a transcript from an Ascended Master, Djwhal Khal. Madame Blavatsky, one of the founders of Theosophy, conversed with her masters, and Alice Bailey, who once was a Theosophist, found her own Master that differed with mainline Theosophy. “Esoteric Healing. A Treatise on the Seven Rays,” draws upon many ancient religious traditions. I find traces of Buddhism, religions of India (Hinduism), and T(D)aoism in Bailey’s attempt to articulate reasons for diseases within people. She tried desperately to bring her readers out of what she called,  “rabid” Christianity,  into living more freely.

For Bailey, people needed to control their emotions, desires, and cravings. They needed to seek to free themselves, so that air can penetrate their bodies. The origins of disease begins with karma, or the body or life that we have inherited. Certain groups of people are born with certain types of diseases. Other diseases can be traced to living in a community with other people. Bailey believes in harmony and searching for it. Her basic view is that of a sannyasin (Hindu) who abandons everything to search for and experience with the Divine.   In both Buddhism and Hinduism, students practice control over matter.  Some sects within Buddhism advocate finding the “emptiness” or “the nothingness” or the “sunyata” as a way to find health.

Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business

If someone is ill, the disease will end in their death, and then they have a chance at rebirth and a new body, or reincarnation. “Death, if we could but realize it, is one of our most practical activities. We have died many times and shall die again and again, ”  says Bailey(437) “The last of the minor centers fade out in order to be resolved into the totality of the etheric substance.” (46)  The cause of disease is certainly not “sin.” The real culprit is disharmony inside and outside of the body, according to Bailey.

While Bailey’s astral vocabulary and view of disease is simplistic by modern standards, she did pass on the Asian belief that the mind can control the body.   (Check out Mary Baker Eddy on this concept also.) This  takes me to the Middle Path within Buddhism, and the seeker who meditates for days on end, in both Buddhism and Hindu practices. Her emphasis on balance also evokes both Confucian and Taoist belief in the Yin and Yang, the opposing and unifying aspects of the universe. Together they bring harmony to the universe.

And Elvis may have found some relief from his illnesses, as he read Bailey by disassociating his mind and body. Control may have been a way that allowed him to sing longer than most normal people who were ill. Perhaps it helped with his constant pain?  Maybe she helped him to understand his purpose in life?

Ultimately Bailey’s point of view is nihilistic. Nihilism teaches that there is really nothing out there.  The emptiness that the student seeks is really the death of the living creature. So Bailey looks at the end of life as a way to save it. Reincarnation will give you a new body. So to heal your body, you have to extinguish it.

One wonders if there could ever be another Elvis in any life?

Notes are from:  Alice Bailey, Esoteric Healing, New York: Lucis Publishing Company, (1953), 1977.

My apologies for the lengthy hiatus.  I decided to re-design the interior of my book Life Everlasting and the Twelve Mile Blues.

Life Everlasting and the Twelve Mile Blues

Life Everlasting and the Twelve Mile Blues

As always, this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge

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