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January 17th

Jan 18, 1999 01:53 PM
by Frank Reitemeyer

January 17th marks the commemoration of the birthday of Dr. G. de Purucker,
last leader of the Theosophical Society (Point Loma).
Worth to remind us about his policies. Worth to think about and wonder, if
his hopes, aspirations and objectives are still important in this last days
of the 20. century.

"Dear Brothers in Theosophy and Fellow-students:
I have been asked rather earnestly by those having charge and duty of
organizing these remarkable interorganizational Fraternization Conventions
to write at least a few lines of greeting and brotherly sympathy, and I
gladly do this, and address myself to all, irrespective of Theosophical
affiliation. It seems to me and has always seemed to me, speaking as an
individual Theosophist and student of our blessed God-Wisdom, that there are
few individual activities in the Theosophical world of Movement which are
more creditable to Theosophists as such than are these Fraternization
Conventions, in and during which Theosophists of different shade or color of
feeling and conviction may meet on a common basis of amity, comity, and
brotherly sympathy, and thus learn to know each other better and to see the
good in each and in all.
Personally I have refrained, and very carefully and thoughtfully refrained
up to the present, from taking part in these Fraternization Conventions,
either by message or otherwise, lest such message or word or action of mine,
showing sympathy on my part in these Conventions, be misconstructed into
something which when all is said is farthest from my desire, to wit, to
influence anyone in any direction whatsoever. As a matter of fact I doubt if
any word from me would influence anyone; but any such message or action from
me could be construed possibly, perhaps, peradventure, as an attempt to
influence. Yet I have never failed on every occasion which has offered
itself to express my deepest sympathy for these Fraternization Conventions
and to urge all who are interested in mutual Theosophical fellowship and who
can do so to take part in them.
It has been the feeling of the present writer from the inauguration of the
Fraternization Movement that candor, frankness in thought and in speech, and
honorable dealing, and fidelity to one's own Theosophical principles, should
be the basis of mutuality, and the basis of fraternizing intercourse, and it
is my prayer that in these splendid Fraternization Conventions this basis
which I believe to have existed up to the present may continue.
The present writer is one of the few I fear - I wish there were more - who
feel that the separation of our beloved H.P.B.'s original Society into the
different modern Societies, was a good thing, was furthermore foreseen and
predestined to take place; and I can explain this as being my own feeling by
making the statement that I think that the existence today of the different
Theosophical organizations is not a sign of disintegration nor of decay nor
of imminent dissolution of the Theosophical Movement as a whole, but that it
is a sign of vitality and individuality and of the exercise of the latter by
Theosophically free-thinking men and women; and I for one know no better way
by which the Theosophical Movement could have been from becoming
dogmatically frontiered by its own bounds alone and thus set apart among the
world's Movements as but one more organization or body self-satisfied with
its won self-asserted perfections. I wonder if I make my meaning clear. As
long as the different Theosophical organizations exist, they act to a
certain extent as checks on each other, and should be friendly critics of
each other - a criticism not degenerating into mud-slinging or enmity, but
on the contrary mutually stimulating each other to keep strictly on the now
historic lines laid down by the Masters and our beloved H.P.B. There is an
old proverb that says that from the stock of ideas spring forth light. And
it is good that we Theosophists should interchange ideas, and one of the
best ways to do this is by fraternization and Conventions working on the
Fraternization basis.
It is of course in one sense a tragic historic event that the original
Society broke up into different Organizations that now exist, because
theoretically it could have kept utterly clean and true in its fidelity to
the Master's original program; yet the lessons that history teaches us show
us on the other hand that differences of viewpoint are wholesome and healthy
and that as H.P.B. nobly wrote in her First Message to the American
Theosophists in 1888: 'Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible
nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps
the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly
features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence, of a large
amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy
divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a
sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the
living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge.'
To my mind these are some of the wisest words that H.P.B. ever wrote. and I
believe they were not merely wise but prophetic. Hence it is, as should be
clear enough from the dictation of these lines, that the present writer is
one of those who consider, as stated above, that the separation of the
original T.S. into the different Movements was a good thing - good for the
reasons above named, although, as also  above stated, because of the
weakness of human attributes and the tendency to degenerate into sectarian
orthodoxy it was from that standpoint a pitful thing.
Let us, Theosophists all, of whatever affiliation, look at the situation in
the Movement as it exists, and by earnestly striving to be brotherly and
kindly towards each other, make the world respect us as Theosophists because
showing to the world that we can at least meet in friendly conclave upon the
basis of the blessed God-Wisdom common to us all. I do not believe and have
never believed and have often proclaimed my disbelief in this point, that
the breaking up of H.P.B.'s original T.S. into what are now the later
Societies, was  a bad thing or a sign of impending dissolution; but on the
contrary believe, and have always so stated in public, that having in view
the weakness of human nature and its proclivities to dogmatic orthodoxy, it
was a good thing, and that it was foreseen by the Masters, if not actually
engineered by them.
There are few better checks on the different Theosophical organizations
today than the very existence of these different Theosophical organizations
watching each other carefully, and, if they have any sense at all and good
Theosophical fellowship at all, learning from each other and making each
desirous to avoid Theosophical wrongdoing and lapses into the faults against
which the Masters and H.P.B. have warned us.

Dear Companions in Theosophy all, accept the assurance of my heartiest
sympathy, and although I personally very carefully refrain from taking any
part in these Fraternization Conventions, any work which tends to bring
Theosophical thinkers together on a basis of mutual fellowship for the
increase of a better understanding has my instant and profound sympathy. May
your deliberations be governed by the spirit of Truth and be along the lines
laid down by our beloved H.P.B.

I am, dear Brothers all,

            Fraternally and faithfully yours,

                            G. de Purucker"

- Letter to the Sixth Fraternization Convention, Boston, Massachusetts, June
25-26-27, 1938. Reprint in: G. de Purucker: Messages to Conventions and
other Writings on the Policies, Work and Purposes of the T.S, San Diego,
Point Loma Pubc. 1993, pp. 153ff.

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