Re: Theos-World Anand: "you recommend books which encourage such criticism ...about founders"
Jul 25, 2004 07:19 AM
by Anand Gholap
HPB knew that Annie Besant was to take very big responsibility in future. So she wanted to test her intuition and if her judgement could be misled by report of Society for Psychical Research.
For ordinary members with whom we deal, I would not suggest such severe test in the beginning.
Col. Olcott and Annie Besant were most important office bearers and they had to take decision regarding Judge whose actions were affecting functioning of TS. So they had to talk about that. They had no choice.
You might have noticed that except reference in ODL, Annie Besant and Leadbeater hardly ever talked about Judge affair in their world-wide work of decades. They knew effect of criticism on Theosophical movement was bad.
HPB and others criticized religions severely sometimes. Religious reforms were very necessary and I think they did right thing. I don't think we should reform Theosophy by criticizing leaders. TS already freed people from blind beliefs by officially declaring policy of free enquiery.
One reason why I asked to remove books and articles critical of leaders is given by Annie Besant in 'Study in Consciousness' It is most profound insight in law of karma. Unfortunately that book does not seem to be available on web. I strongly recommend reading last paragraph in chapter V- Emotion (continued) " That the pure light of Self............)
Send me that paragraph and it will save you from many wrong karma which you are unknowingly doing.
----- Original Message ----- From: Daniel H. Caldwell
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2004 7:54 AM
Subject: Theos-World Anand: "you recommend books which encourage such criticism ...about founders"
Your words in your post at:
are quite revealing and
their implications are, well, almost
For example, you write:
". . . there is always lot of criticism about
many occultists and you recommend books which
encourage such criticism, suspicion about
founders and their capacity. It very badly affects
new members and they lose faith in Theosophy.
So their spiritual development suffers. . . . "
If this is what I am really doing, then if
anything I am following in HPB's steps.
Here is what Annie Besant wrote in her
"And so it came to pass that I went again to
Lansdowne Road to ask about the Theosophical
Society. H. P. Blavatsky looked at me piercingly
for a moment. 'Have you read the report about
me of the Society for Psychical Research?'
'No, I never heard of it, so far as I know.'
'Go and read it, and if, after reading it,
you come back-well.' And nothing more would
she say on the subject, but branched off to
her experiences in many lands."
"I borrowed a copy of the report, read and
reread it. . . . "
Here is Madame Blavatsky recommending to
a newcomer to Theosophy a book which
to quote your own words encourages "such
criticism, suspicion about
founders and their capacity." !!!
"I knew Judge affair long back but I never
posted any negative massage about Judge on
any of my web-sites or groups. I never
criticized Judge or his work because I
know it only harms Theosophical movement."
But both Mrs. Besant and Col. Olcott
"criticized" Judge. I guess they
did not know what you know, that is, that such
criticism "only harms Theosophical movement."
You say that:
"If you want to live first objective of the
Theosophical Society see that your postings
. . . are not spreading suspicion, confusion
So I guess Henry Olcott was NOT living the first
object of the TS when he spread "suspicion", etc
about Mr. Judge. See volumes V and VI of Olcott's
OLD DIARY LEAVES. He did this in these 2 volumes
after Mr. Judge was dead.
". . . you recommend books which encourage such
criticism, suspicion about founders and their
capacity. It very badly affects new members and
they lose faith in Theosophy. So their spiritual
development suffers. . . . "
Well, I know this may sound unkind but your words
remind me of some orthodox Christian preacher
trying to shelter his flock from criticisms of
Christianity and Jesus Christ.
Is this what we should be doing in a Theosophical
Madame Blavatsky's first major work ISIS UNVEILED
was extrememly critical of exoteric Christianity.
And she even wrote in the preface of the 2nd volume:
"Were it possible, we would keep this work out of the hands of many
Christians whom its perusal would not benefit, and for whom it was
not written. We allude to those whose faith in their respective
churches is pure and sincere, and those whose sinless lives reflect
the glorious example of that Prophet of Nazareth, by whose mouth the
spirit of truth spake loudly to humanity. Such there have been at all
times. . . These have ennobled Christianity, but would have shed the
same lustre upon any other faith they might have professed -- for
they were higher than their creed. . . . Their charity, and simple,
child-like faith in the infallibility of their Bible, their dogmas,
and their clergy, bring into full activity all the virtues that are
implanted in our common nature. We have personally known such God-
fearing priests and clergymen, and we have always avoided debate with
them, lest we might be guilty of the cruelty of hurting their
feelings; nor would we rob a single layman of his blind confidence,
if it alone made possible for him holy living and serene dying.
. . . the clergy apart, none but the logician, the investigator, the
dauntless explorer should meddle with books like this. Such delvers
after truth have the courage of their opinions."
Anand, are we to encourage similar "blind confidence" in Theosophy
and the claims of the Founders of Theosophy?
Or should we encourage Theosophists to be "delvers after truth"?
You seem to encourage this approach of sheltering
"theosophists" so that they will not lose their faith in
This reminds me of what Master Koot Hoomi once wrote:
"I dread the appearance in print of our philosophy as expounded by
Mr. H[ume]. . . He says that people will not accept the whole
truth; that unless we humour them with a hope that there may be
a 'loving Father and creator of all in heaven' our philosophy will be
rejected a priori. In such a case the less such idiots hear of our
doctrines the better for both. If they do not want the whole truth
and nothing but the truth, they are welcome. But never will they find
us -- (at any rate) -- compromising with, and pandering to public
Anand, how do we discover the truth, unless we can see more than
one side of an issue?
Again, H.P. Blavatsky wrote:
"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at their right
value; and unless a judge compares notes and hears both sides he can
hardly come to a correct decision." H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist,
July, 1881, p. 2
Applying this to Theosophical history, how can we come to determine
what really happened, etc. if we don't hear both sides?
If you talk about Theosophical history, you cannot avoid these
controversies. And if you are really a seeker after the truth in
these matters, you need to hear all sides. Wouldn't you agree?
Now if you are not interested in such history, then just stick to the
philosophy of Theosophy. But once you start making comments about
Leadbeater's life or Besant's role in the ES, then you are entering
the arena of history whether you like it or not.
I will be most interested to see the list of books on Theosophical
History that you recommend to the poster on your Yahoo! group.
P.S. OBTW, thank the gods that you are not the moderator of this
Yahoo! Groups Links
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