RE: [bn-study] Re: FW: Theos-World Geoffrey Farthing
Jun 04, 2004 06:21 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck
June 4 20004
Re: MANIFESTO by Mr. G. Farthing
Here it is;
The Theosophical Society and Its Future
Towards the end of the 19th century, even though their colleagues in
the 'Brotherhood' did not feel that the time was opportune, i.e. that
humanity generally had not progressed spiritually enough even though a
few may have done so, two Masters of the Wisdom were allowed to make
the attempt to make available to mankind in general some of their
occult knowledge concerning the nature of existence and man's being.
Up till then this had been kept secret.
The Theosophical Society, founded in New York in 1875, was formed
originally as an association of people interested in spiritualism and
psychic phenomena. Its early objects reflected this but they were soon
to become, after a few changes, as they are now, with an emphasis on
The Headquarters of the Society was removed to Bombay in 1880 and then
to Adyar in 1883. Although the Masters were emphatic that the Society
was not to be a school of Occultism or Magic and that their sole
purpose was to benefit mankind at large, they nevertheless in various
ways let it be known not only that they were possessed of occult
knowledge and power but that they were able and willing to make some
of it available to suitable candidates.
This was to be done principally in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, but
some information was given directly by the two Masters concerned in
their letters to A.P. Sinnett.
Some of this knowledge was distinct from that contained in any extant
literature at the time, with the exception of some older and/or
obscure 'occult' writings. These were mostly unintelligible without
the necessary 'keys'.
It was claimed, however, that the knowledge contained in the new
outpouring was the source and origin of all philosophical and
religious knowledge, in its pure form. The old scriptures and
philosophical writings had been 'contaminated' by human
interpretation, additions and alterations. They had to a large extent
departed from the pure original and had distorted their meanings.
The first major attempt at elucidation of this ancient knowledge was
the writing of Isis Unveiled by H.P.B. published in 1877, a work of
enormous erudition in which 1,330 other works. some of great rarity
and antiquity were quoted from. It is known that several Masters had a
hand in it, providing H.P.B. with much of the information it contains.
This Ancient Wisdom was later more fully and specifically described in
The Mahatma Letters To A. P. Sinnett, from which he wrote two books:
The Occult World and later Esoteric Buddhism.
This latter, although by no means complete or wholly accurate, is
important as being the first systematic formulation, in outline, of
what was later to become known as Theosophy. The books were published
in 1884 and 1885. From 1875 onwards H.P.B.'s almost continuous output
of articles and letters contained aspects of the teachings. These
writings are now collected together and edited in fourteen volumes of
H.P.B. was with the Theosophical Society in India for about two years
during which time her phenomena and contacts with the Masters were
amply demonstrated. A number of people, however, even at Headquarters
did not accept these manifestations as genuine. Furthermore, the
phenomena were completely beyond the credence of the local church
Some letters purporting to come from H.P.B. addressed to members of
the staff at Adyar clearly gave the impression that H.P.B.'s phenomena
were based on deception. After a lengthy enquiry by an investigator
from the Society for Psychical Research who relied much on adverse
witnesses and a hand-writing expert he declared H.P.B. to be a fraud.
This was in a document adopted by the S.P.R. which later became known
as the Hodgson Report. It has been repudiated since by a number of
investigators, latterly even by the S.P.R. One tragic outcome of the
report was that H.P.B., who in any case at the time was in poor
health, was advised to leave Adyar.
After leaving India H.P.B. traveled to England via Germany and
Belgium. During this time she was occupied as and when health and
other circumstances permitted, in writing The Secret Doctrine which
was published in 1888 in London.
This was her most important theosophical work. It is an exposition of
all of the Ancient Wisdom that the Masters were then prepared to make
public. It is an enormous work in which 1,100 other works are referred
to and in which ancient (and modern) religions and philosophies are
explained and form a background to an immense system of knowledge of
the whole universal scene and man in it.
H.P.B. was miraculously kept alive by her Master on two or three
occasions of dire illness, to complete the work which was followed two
years later by The Key to Theosophy.
On a number of occasions it was stressed that H.P.B. was the Masters'
sole agent. With her departure from Adyar their influence there
ceased. One consequence of this was that most of their Chelas
'disappeared' (including Damodar who never returned to the Society
[Communication with Masters]
We also have her positive statement that, should she for any reason
cease to act as the Masters' agent, there would be no more contact
with them (see M.L. 136, [Barker] 2nd and 3rd editions).
All this seems to have been forgotten or ignored later. A number of
people both within the Society and without, e.g. Alice Bailey, later
claimed to have contact with the Masters and to have received
communications from them.
These communications, some of them very copious and impressive, were,
however, received psychically or 'channeled': very importantly they
were all uncorroborated.
Communications through psychic mediums was not the method used by the
Masters. These facts, the nature of the message and the special
position of H.P.B., are of prime importance in the consideration of
what followed in the early 20th century, of the present state of the
Society and its successful launch into the 21st century.
In the latter years of H.P.B.'s life a significant event was that
Annie Besant was welcomed with open arms into the Theosophical Society
by H.P.B. who saw in her an exceptional and able helper. She was later
admitted to H.P.B.'s Inner Group of twelve.
A reference to Annie Besant in The Mahatma Letters indicates that she
was known to the Masters; however, there is no reference to her ever
becoming a chela, although she did receive in 1900 what seems to be an
authentic letter from the Masters. There is no other evidence, apart
from her own inferences, that she had any contact with them.
Had Annie Besant been a chela her 'magnetization' by Chakravati,
ostensibly to 'align her principles', described in an eye witness
statement (1895) by Dr Archibald Keightly, would have severed any
relations she may have had with her Master.
After H.P.B.'s death Annie Besant let it be inferred, in assuming the
"Outer Headship" of the E.S., that she was in touch with the Masters.
She also introduced Co-Masonry into England and associated it with the
Theosophical Society, which, however, had been founded quite
independently of any other organization. All international Presidents
since have, however, held high office as Co-Masons.
H.P.B. expressly stated that 'we do not meddle in politics ... ' yet
Annie Besant's prime interest in India was political.'
This is not in any way to say that she did not do an immense amount of
good in establishing schools and colleges and altering social
practices, but these activities are not specifically theosophical.
Politics aims to change systems for the benefit of people; Theosophy
aims to change people themselves for the long-term benefit of humanity
It is undeniable that in the early years of her membership of the
Society,' Annie Besant was a powerful voice in the cause of Theosophy
and its dissemination. This seems to have been foreseen by H.P.B.
However, from the time of her 'magnetization' by Chakravati, it
appears that, possibly still under his influence, she to a large
extent espoused Hinduism. This is evident in her later writings to
such a point that a major reference to Theosophy in the Encyclopedia
Britannica is under the heading of Hinduism.
Apart from Chakravati there is not much doubt that Annie Besant was
later also much influenced by C.W. Leadbeater. He obviously prevailed
upon her in the matter of the Liberal Catholic Church and in the
C. W. Leadbeater
C.W.L. joined the Society in 1883. He did not, unlike Annie Besant
receive a welcome from H.P.B., nor was he admitted to her Inner Group.
He was given some instruction by a regular chela at Adyar for a period
and developed his clairvoyance but there is no reference that this
He did receive a reply to his early communication with the Masters but
there is no corroborative evidence that he ever had any more contact
with them after these introductory letters.
It also came to light that his veracity is much in question: his
statements, for example, about his age, his family in South America,
and his implying that he had been to Oxford as an undergraduate were
discovered later to be false.
In the light of what the Master K.H. said about God, religion and the
priestly caste in Mahatma Letter X, had Leadbeater been a chela he
could never have allied himself with the Liberal Catholic Church and
certainly he could never have allowed himself to be made a Bishop and
thereafter always dress as such. The Masters had said "Our chief aim
is to deliver humanity of this nightmare ... etc. " (A personal God of
Theology) (M.L. X, 2nd and 3rd editions). [ see M L, pp, 57-8 Barker
This is important in the light of C.W.L.'s later claims of an intimate
and continued relationship with not only one but a number of Masters,
even up to the highest in the Hierarchy from whom he claimed
periodically to have received instruction in such matters as the
upbringing of Krishnamurti.
In the light of some of these supposed contacts e.g. Comte St Germain,
Jesus, etc. the association of the Liberal Catholic Church with the
Society was justified.
However, both the Church and the CoMasons were representative of past
dispensations. They both had their roots in ceremonial magic, the
practice of which H.P.B. did not endorse on account of the possible
dangers involved. In a letter which Damodar wrote to Sinnett, Masonry
and Rosicrucianism were specifically forbidden (M.L. Old Edition No.
142A, Chronological No. 14A).
During the founding of the Society it had been proposed that the
Society might become Masonic. This was specifically decided against.
Other behavior of the then leaders is also questionable.
In view of H.P.B.'s sundry comments about Masonry (into which she was
admitted on account of her knowledge of it, but never formally
'initiated'), having lost its secrets, how came it that the Leaders of
the Society not only espoused Co-Masonry but the Egyptian Rite which
C.W.L. together with a colleague in Australia had devised and which is
still widely practiced by some members in the E.S.?
Krishnamurti was 'discovered' by C.W.L. in 1909. After many
difficulties, including law suits, he and his brother were brought up
by the Society.
He was hailed as the future mouthpiece of the Lord Maitreya He was
even seen as a second coming of the Lord. He was unusually gifted but
it was C.W.L.'s 'insights' that initially established him in his role.
The Lord Maitreya himself is supposed to have instructed C.W.L. in his
upbringing and training. He was brought up and groomed in the fashion
of an English gentleman, a far cry from a Hindu 'Avatar'.
Those who had his upbringing and education in hand, notably C.W.L. and
Dick Balfour-Clark, were very much second generation theosophists.
Krishnaji therefore probably never knew anything of the H.P.B./Masters
It is also very doubtful whether Krishnaji himself ever had a
first-hand 'Master' experience although he did describe once having
seen three Masters in a vision. Had he had a real experience, however,
he could neither have forgotten it nor thereafter have doubted their
existence and later have repudiated them.
Furthermore, as Krishnaji's teachings of freedom, self-reliance,
non-dependence on authority and institutions and so on, are all
virtually in proper accord with the 'Master' Theosophy, there would
not have been any reason for him to repudiate it, nor his connection
with the Society.
His loss was that he never became acquainted with the sea of
theosophical knowledge which would to a large extent not only have
justified his views but provided him with relevant data for use in his
teaching, e.g. the difference between the personality and the
individuality, the essential idea of Unity, and had he been
interested, the proper nature of the Self, the total cosmic structure
His 'launching' was a reversion again, as in the case of the Liberal
Catholic Church and the Co-Masons, to the traditional old dispensation
of an authoritarian regime.
The second coming of the Christ was at that time (1920's) being
regarded as imminent whereas, according to the Masters and
theosophical teaching, such a 'second coming', i.e. the advent of an
Avatar, was not expected for millennia. In any case the severance of
the Society from the Masters made such a 'coming' into it
The arrogance of those who professed to be able to elect Krishnaji's
twelve disciples was an example of the distorted view of themselves
that those leaders had. Surely an 'Avatar' would have been quite
capable of electing his own disciples.
In any case in the nature of Karma his upbringing and earthly
surroundings would have all been in proper accord without the
interference of C.W.L. Many things are puzzling about Krishnaji's
upbringing: one was that from reports kitchen staff at Adyar were
changed because they were of the wrong caste. In a Society which
specifically allows no such distinctions this is hard to understand.
The recognition of Krishnaji's spiritual development from a
clairvoyant examination of his aura when he was so young undoubtedly
demonstrated C.W.L.'s possession of that faculty but this does not
corroborate his claim to have received messages from the 'King of the
The 'finding' of Krishnaji, his upbringing and then adoption as a
vehicle for the Lord-Maitreya was virtually the culmination of the
'split' from Master Theosophy.
Krishnaji's repudiation of this position was a serious blow to Annie
Besant who obviously believed absolutely sincerely in her announcement
of the New Coming. C.W.L.'s reaction to this repudiation seems to have
been more limited and far less painful than Annie Besant's although he
suffered a loss of stature that he would otherwise have had as the
finder, sponsor and educator of this new divine vehicle.
After Krishnaji's withdrawal from the Society, Annie Besant also
suffered a gradual diminution in stature and thereafter her health
Second Generation Theosophy
The fact that neither Annie Besant nor C.W.L., after maybe one or two
initial incidents, was actually in touch with any Master although they
may have genuinely believed they were has serious implications when
considering what they said and did when they assumed positions of
The whole tenor of the Society thereafter was one of make-believe! It
became a pantomime, largely devised and orchestrated by C.W.L.: a
fairy story, but with a thread of truth running through it.
Except for passing references to H.P.B. as 'our revered teacher', her
literature as such was seldom referred to or studied. There was,
however, a flood of literature purporting to be 'theosophical' from
both Annie Besant and C.W.L., and later from others.
C.W.L.'s writings were largely colored by his own real or imaginary
clairvoyant insights and his interpretations of them.
It is noteworthy here that, in the H.P.B./ Masters literature there is
very little reference to, and no diagrams of, the Chakras so much
featured by later writers. What little there is is in the papers to
the Inner Group (incorporated by Annie Besant into her Vol III of the
Whereas the Annie Besant and C.W.L. literature can be criticized from
a purely theosophical point of view, much of -what Annie Besant wrote
was significant spiritual instruction. It was, however, of the
conventional, classical religious type, derived largely from the
Indian scriptures but with a Christian and a 'theosophical' flavor.
She had reviewed The Secret Doctrine at the time of its publication;
this must have made a lasting impression on her but apart from
acknowledging her debt to H.P.B., she seldom, if ever, specifically
referred back to its teaching, or to that in The Key to Theosophy.
C.W.L. seems never to have read either of these books. He puts himself
in a very false position as an 'occult' author in the Introduction to
his book The Astral Plane where he says that his manuscript was
considered so excellent as an exposition that the Masters wanted it
for their archives.
It is difficult to see why this should be; much of the information
given us in the book is at variance with their teaching and
furthermore it is not clear, for example, which 'astral' plane he is
describing, the H.P.B. or the A.B./C.W.L. one, the former being the
2nd plane of Nature and the latter being the 4th.
There is also no mention of the 'etheric double' in the H.P.B./Masters
classification of the human principles. It is to this double that
C.W.L. ascribes many of the qualities that H.P.B. attributes to her
The changes of numbering of the principles where Kama (emotion,
desire) was put 2nd instead of 4th is important. An aid to the
understanding of The Secret Doctrine is analogy and correspondences.
In the Masters' literature Kama as the 4th principle is emphasized in
the evolutionary stages of development in the 4th Round, the 4th Race,
the 4th Substance, not the 2nd.
One example of the extent to which the members of the Theosophical
Society, from senior members to the newest, were 'infected' by C.W.L.
is exemplified by Jinarajadasa's acceptance of the fact that C.W.L.'s
Astral Plane manuscript had in fact been transmitted magically to the
Obviously also Jinarajadasa's statement that he, in common with
others, had had several initiations about which he knew nothing except
what C.W.L. told him, again raises the question of C.W.L.'s veracity.
As the years progressed the divergence between the H.P.B./Masters
teachings and the second generation Theosophy widened; even basic
information was changed, e.g. the introduction of the 'etheric double'
(with four 'etheric' states of physical matter), the alterations to
the classification of principles and planes, and the C.W.L. account of
the after-death states which is quite different from that of the
The divergence of the two systems became clearly apparent with the
publication of the Mahatma Letters in 1924/5. It was unfortunate that,
for a number of reasons, their publication had been delayed till then.
Apart from 'occult' material in them, these letters set a background
of specific purpose to the founding of the Society. This was closely
related to the Masters being regarded as one tier of membership in the
Society, with their accepted Chelas as a second and the ordinary
members a third.
To begin with this was the case but it obviously ceased to be so on
H.P.B.'s death (if not before). An attempt to reintroduce it by edict
later was obviously spurious.
The [Mahatma] Letters also describe in some detail the conditions that
were essential for a relationship between the Masters and their
Chelas. These conditions were very stringent, particularly regarding
honesty and straightforwardness.
In the period after H.P.B.'s death and with the withdrawal of the
Masters once again into obscurity, instead of direct guidance from or
association with the Master, even if it were visiting him in the
Astral, the practice grew up of this being done indirectly.
For example, people were taken to the Masters in their astral bodies
for initiations etc., but about which next day they knew nothing apart
from what they were told. In one or two places the Masters do say that
this can happen in the matter of training but not by proxy. Further,
initiations are matters of enhancement of waking consciousness and
this can occur only when certain conditions created necessarily by the
pupil, not someone on his behalf, have been met.
Regardless of the state of the Society, thanks to the Masters'
insistence and help, and the sacrifices of H.P.B., the world and
particularly the Society have a voluminous and authentic
The Society itself is now a world-wide organization of an idealistic
and benevolent nature, inspired by the idea of universal brotherhood,
but the second and third objects are interpreted very loosely and
widely to include anything from UFO's to what is generally extra-
ordinary and sensational.
All this, however, against a background of what might be termed
'religion' or spirituality, mostly by way of, for example, the Eastern
exoteric scriptures and various ideas on Theosophy, methods of yoga
and meditation. There is also in some places a strong adherence to the
Liberal Catholic Church and Co-Masonry as if they were indeed part of
the theosophical movement.
In some places, notably Africa, the Theosophical Society is identified
with the Theosophical Order of Service. Charity is impressed on every
member through the brotherhood idea; there are however hundreds of
charitable organizations to work for and there can be nothing special
about the 'theosophical' one to warrant its association with the
Similarly the Round Table is an admirable organization but again
nothing in it is specifically theosophical.
Theosophical Science groups while keeping interested members informed
of current scientific matters have seldom if ever related science to
anything specifically associated therewith in the classical
theosophical literature. Because some scientific members have found
faults and inconsistencies in 'scientific' statements in the
literature they have abandoned the whole grand theosophical system,
demonstrating at least a lack of a sense of proportion.
Where older Lodges have survived, and in Section central libraries,
books on Theosophy on display or listed in catalogues, are mostly
those of the second generation writers. Their contents on the whole
are taken to be Theosophy without question.
A few individuals try to correct this situation but their influence
generally is very small. Only a scattered and desultory interest is
paid to the classical 'theosophical literature of the H.P.B./ Masters
era. The idea is widespread that the jealously guarded freedom of
thought of members can mean that anyone's views or opinions about
'theosophy' can be put out as such.
This was certainly the case in the early days of the 20th century. It
was almost vehemently stressed then that there was no such thing as a
definite 'theosophical' system of thought, knowledge or teaching. The
great fear was of 'dogmatism'.
This word, however, was, and still is in places, wrongly applied. A
dogma means an obligatory belief and no such thing is imposed on
Theosophical Society members. This does not mean that there are not
authoritative statements of fact such as those given us by the
Masters, who claim to know what they speak or write about, i.e. they
are not speculating, voicing opinions or advancing theories.
All beliefs concerning Theosophy and the Theosophical Society ought
seriously to be questioned against what can easily be discovered of
the original teachings and intentions for the Society. A serious
perusal of The Key to Theosophy will do this.
What is said above about 'make-believe' in the Society also applies to
the E.S. The implied connection of it with the Masters through the
Outer Head is an example. There is in fact no such connection.
Furthermore, the implication by secrecy, or even privacy, that it
possesses some esoteric knowledge which it can impart to members is
also 'make-believe'. It makes an appeal to would-be aspirants to
chelaship and imposes some preliminary disciplines but omits the
necessity for hard work in studying and assimilating the eternal
verities of Theosophy as given by the Masters.
First the Adyar Society must take an honest look, fearlessly, at the
present position against the background outlined above.
Loyalties to past leaders, to their personal influence and their
teachings, must become secondary issues. This means an acknowledgment
that all that happened to the Society as a result of C.W. Leadbeater's
influence on it, directly or indirectly, his influence on Annie Besant
and his enduring influence by way of his writings, is suspect. It must
be recognized that these writings are 'theosophically' defective and
Annie Besant's influence, by reason of her long term as President,
must also be very objectively assessed. Whatever her personal
integrity she was obviously misled and mistaken, witness the
Krishnamurti fiasco, her espousal of Co-Masonry as part of the
Theosophical Society and her handling of the Judge 'case' with its
For most members a change of mind or basic beliefs will at best be
painful and at worst difficult if not impossible. This means that only
a section of the existing membership can, in the first instance at any
rate, be expected to make any radical change, and this section will
necessarily include E.S. members who will obviously have their
loyalties but they will also presumably have acquired some
self-reliance and have learned to think independently.
Some members already have or will have difficulty with the question of
their membership of the Liberal Catholic Church and CoMasonry in the
light of their longstanding association with the Society. Many of
these institutions have in fact been regarded as 'theosophical', even
However, it is necessary that the Society should formally declare that
henceforth neither of them is really any part of, or has any special
association with, the Theosophical Society.
This does not mean that members are not free to join the Liberal
Catholic or any other Church, or become Masons or members of any other
institution they wish, provided that they are not inimical or
antithetical to Theosophy, and still be members of the Society.
The Society has its own special message to promulgate. This message
only exists in the writings of H.P.B. and in the Mahatma Letters. This
message in its completeness (as far as it was given out) is unique.
The future direction of the Society must therefore
1) The eradication of the 'make-believe' Leadbeater influence - in all
departments including literature, and severance from the Society of
all other organizations, i.e. the Liberal Catholic Church and
2) A thorough examination of all literature purporting to be
'theosophical', and a brave declaration, and no further promotion, of
any which is not wholly consonant with the original teachings. This is
no proscription but all books purporting to be theosophical which
strictly are not should be clearly labeled or marked that they are the
author's views on the subject and not necessarily authentic. Members
are, of course, free to read what they like but they can be warned, if
not guided. The section in any Theosophical Society library purporting
to be theosophical literature should be segregated from other material
offered, be clearly marked and the books given prominence on book
lists, catalogues, etc.
3) The retention and promotion of the three objects of the Society
plus an active promotion of Theosophy as given by the Masters
4) At all Theosophical Society Centers, Headquarters, etc., there
should be someone qualified to discuss Theosophy, say what it is, and
recommend books to enquirers. This service should as far as possible
be available at all times or a notice displayed as to where it can be
5) Commercialism in any form, i.e. book selling or publication as
such, without specific reference to the promotion of a knowledge of
Theosophy, is not part of the legitimate activities of the Society.
'Fringe' literature can be obtained in ordinary bookshops or from
other organizations, e.g. the Arcane School, the Anthroposophical
Society, etc. This recommendation is made with our second object
specifically in mind. Study of comparative religion is encouraged by
the Society but it does not have to publish or supply the books.
6) Professionalism in the society should be examined. Whereas 'goods
and services' must obviously be paid for, Theosophy as such cannot be
sold. Should exponents be paid? If so, to what extent?
7) Serious study of the 'prime' literature, whatever else is done in
Lodges, at Centers, etc., should be encouraged and all facilities
provided. Facilities should be provided for meditation - quiet and
solitude if possible. Meditation should, however, be 'theosophical',
i.e. classical (Patanjali), H.P.B. Diagram, or just silence, not
according to local gurus and amateurs with 'special' methods, and
never for money.
8) The Society will obviously need a group of students dedicated to
the study of the literature and to the dissemination of what they
discover both in the writings, and in themselves, as they progress.
This can be supplied by some of the existing members of the E.S. At
present there are no 'esoteric' leaders or teachers in the Society; it
will therefore in this respect have to 'lift itself up by its own
boot-laces' as the expression has it.
There is no justification for secrecy within the E.S. or the Society
but on occasion private members meetings could be efficacious for
discussion, exchange of information, mutual encouragement, etc. There
is obviously now no corporate connection with the Masters so that that
'make-believe' can be dispensed with. The E.S. study should be
confined to the Master or H.P.B. writings. The Society has no other
Where the E.S. members feel they need inspirational literature apart
from books like The Voice of the Silence, Light on the Path and some
of the classical mystical works like The Bhagavad-Gita, as this is a
personal matter they should be free to discover their own.
Discrimination as to what is consonant with theosophical teachings
will grow. Let students beware of self-styled teachers and of
themselves posing as such. They will know when they really are
qualified - they will have been 'authorized'. Let none pretend.
9) The Society's relation to 'computerization', the Internet, etc.,
needs serious examination and Sections given guidelines.
H.P.B. used the words Occultism, Esotericism, Esoteric Science, etc.,
as synonymous with Theosophy. In The Secret Doctrine she states
several times that some of the teaching given there had never been
made public before. These statements indicate that the teachings
included more material than was contained in any published religious
or philosophic literature.
This distinction has been almost entirely overlooked. The great Hindu
scriptures have been taken virtually to be Theosophy. Initiated
Brahmins know this is not the case but they keep their esoteric
knowledge to themselves.
This was the position when H.P.B. made some of that knowledge public:
it was much resented even -by Subba Rao whose Master incidentally was
the same as H.P.B.'s. All extant scriptures are exoteric even though
in their mystical content they reflect much of what is in Theosophy.
Such treatises as The Bhagavad-Gita, the Puranas, many Sufi writings
and other world acknowledged scriptural writings are beautiful and
inspiring, potentially capable of leading aspirants on to the highest
Neither they nor Hinduism nor Buddhism, in their published form, are
'esoteric', nor of course is the now published The Secret Doctrine
except that its prolonged study changes our modes of thinking and
understanding, giving us insights we could otherwise not get.
What do the theosophical writings include that others do not? While
the differences might appear superficial in themselves, in their
totality they are not.
For example, the Hindu system is fivefold, as far as the human
principles and the skandhas are concerned, whereas the theosophical
system is sevenfold. The planes of Nature are sevenfold, with each
having a corresponding level of consciousness.
In Theosophy Karma is a comprehensive Law applying universally, not
just to human beings by way of reward or retribution. Theosophy
contains the vast evolutionary scheme by Chains, Globes, Rounds and
Races which process by analogy applies to all manifest things, e.g.
all those 'things' comprising the kingdoms of Nature. Incidentally,
properly there are no 'things'; every 'thing' is a life.
Some 'esoteric' systems of the past, notably the original Kabala, had
reflections, in some instances almost exact, of the theosophical
scheme, but they were neither so comprehensive nor so explicit. In The
Secret Doctrine for example, H.P.B. relates much of the theosophical
teaching to the principal world religions and explains much of their
symbolism and practices.
Some of this is also dealt with in Isis Unveiled wherein the student
can find exciting insights and many explanations of even obscure
ancient writings. It is a mine of information leading up to the
comprehensive and relatively systematized exposition in The Secret
Doctrine of as much of the Ancient Wisdom as could be published then.
All this knowledge was in addition to that of the 'mystical'
information and teachings in exoteric literature. The outpouring of
information and teaching given in The Secret Doctrine pushed forward
the boundaries of knowledge several steps beyond what was then
otherwise available to the layman.
To a very large extent this has been ignored by the world and much
more sadly even by the majority of members of the Theosophical
Society, who according to the Key have the special responsibility "of
letting it be known that such a thing as Theosophy exists". They
cannot possibly do that if they themselves do not know what it is.
The Maha Chohan uses the expression "to popularize a knowledge of
Theosophy". Where this has been heeded at all it has been taken to
mean the rendering of the vast and erudite teachings of Theosophy into
a form suitable for assimilation by the general populace.
Quite obviously this cannot be done and any attempt to do so must at
least oversimplify the grand concepts and at worst dilute them until
their profundity and inner meaning is completely lost. Such an attempt
to 'popularize' Theosophy in this way, to make it appeal to people who
otherwise cannot comprehend it, is virtual sacrilege.
This, however, is a tactic used to increase membership of the Society.
The Society's three objects are popular, for anybody to subscribe to,
but apart from letting it be known as widely as possible that it
exists, Theosophy itself cannot be popularized.
This is something that has to be accepted when considering the future
of the Society. We must never forget the nature of the original
writings. No attempt was made even in The Key To Theosophy, to
'simplify' or 'dilute' the subject matter. They were written to appeal
to the 'highest minds', who in turn, as far as possible, would
disseminate their content to others, i.e the grand ideas would
percolate down and so influence all society.
A consequence of the virtual substitution of the original literature
by that of the second generation writers has meant that there has been
very little follow-up material in the H.P.B./Masters vein. There is,
however, enough to introduce the subject to intending students.
To comprehend Theosophy one has to make a serious and prolonged
effort. In Bowen's Notes "Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy",
H.P.B. explained to him, "This mode of thinking is what the Indians
call Jnana Yoga" and then mentioned the likely experiences that may
But nothing can happen without the effort. The Theosophical Society
was founded at the instigation of the Masters with a sublime object in
view: the salvation of the whole human race by a 'popularization' of
their teachings. Surely we can attempt to do this to the limit of our
capacity. Let us try!
[from the May, 1997 The High Country Theosophist]
[Ed. Notes by DTB are placed in "[ ]". ]
From: Jerome Wheeler [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2004 11:01 PM
Subject: [bn-study] Re: FW: Theos-World Geoffrey Farthing
No, it more of a return to REAL THEOSOPHY type manifesto. Maybe
Dallas has a copy of it on the internet or knows where it is?????
On Wed, 2 Jun 2004 18:34:05 -0400 "Christina"
Is this the manifesto you speak of [follow URL:
From: Jerome Wheeler [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 8:30 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: [bn-study] Re: FW: Theos-World Geoffrey Farthing
He also published Deity, Cosmos and Man which we have on order.
Rodolfo Don speaks quite highly of it. He will be missed.
On Tue, 1 Jun 2004 17:24:20 -0700 "Dallas TenBroeck"
> June 1 2004
> Respected elder Geoffrey Farthing died May 30 2004, heart
> Author of MANIFESTO to the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
> This ought to be kept for study and reflected on frequently
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eldon B Tucker [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 7:21 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Theos-World Geoffrey Farthing
> I just received the following message:
> >From: Geoffrey Farthing [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> >Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 6:41 AM
> >Subject: Geoffrey Farthing
> The National President of the Theosophical Society in England Colin
> Price has agreed that I should email as many people as I can with
> the very sad news that Geoffrey Farthing died on Sunday morning. He
> had been in hospital with health problems but was back home and
> making a slow recovery. Then came a heart attack and he died
> instantly. When I left him on Friday he was impatient to regain his
> strength and get back to work on the latest book he was writing.
> I have been coming to his house twice a week (except for holidays)
> for over seventeen years and cannot imagine not doing so any more.
> He was very special to me.
> If you want to contact Colin his email address is:
> email@example.com or c/o The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester
> Place, London WIU 8EA
> From Jill (Geoffrey's secretary)
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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