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Re: Theos-World Re: On CWL

Feb 21, 2006 04:08 PM
by Cass Silva

Dear TH
Skepticism, can be a valuable tool, when addressing all spiritual matters.  CWL theologised theosophy due to his own particular bent.  Yes, he added some valuable insight into some subjects, but unlike the co-founders, he merely interpreted what he believed was the truth.  I take from all theosophical writers what resonates with me.  


prmoliveira <> wrote: --- In, "T. H. Hauw"  wrote:

> Please allow me to say a few words from the angle of a new student 
> Theosophy.
> I've been doing some reading in the past 2 months since I join the 
local TS.
> Those on CWL posted by some members here are not the only thing 
> intrigue me; there are also stories of betrayal, resignation, 
chelas who
> went mad etc. I don't know what really happened, I have no way of 
> which is true and what is false. All I can do  at this stage 
(until I decide
> if Theosophy is for me) is to remind myself that theosophists are 
not the
> same as Theosophy; no matter how old their souls are they are 
still human
> beings and they make mistakes.
> On CWL, I have read his "How Theosophy Came To Me" and almost 
completed "The
> K H Letters to C W Leadbeater" with a commentary by C Jinarajadasa 
> by TPH; I also looked him up on the Internet. My reading is as 
follow: he
> had dedicated to his Master whole-heartedly and had always held a 
very high
> respect for HPB and her works; he had made great sacrifices for 
Theosophy by
> giving up a secured and comfortable job in England, then worked 
under very
> adverse condition for many years in Ceylon and India; he 
contributed a great
> deal to Theosophy such that he is respected by many theosophists 
and hated
> by many from the Church; of course I also read his writing 
on 'life on Mars'
> and the charges against him; last but not least I don't think he 
> materially at any time.
> But for weeks I have been reading negative postings in theos-talk 
about him
> and his writings. The unkind words that were used on this man in 
the last 2
> days include 'stupid', 'stick to insult him', 'wild fantasy' and 
so on and
> this really astounds me, a new student. I can't understand why he 
cannot be
> accorded better respect? I'm reminded of 3 books I read--"The 
After Life
> Experiments", "Past Lives Regression" and "Out On A Limb". In each 
of them,
> the author states that if 'reincarnation', 'karma' and the 'living 
> hypothesis' are true, everyone should be living more purposefully 
> everyone will become a better person, be more forgiving and loving 
> not only each alone is responsible for whatever he does and says, 
> he does and says are being watched by thousands of other souls! 
(well that's
> not the exact wordings but it's to that effect.) Shouldn't 
> believe more in this than non-theosophists? Why do we keep bashing 
> who had made mistakes but who had contributed a lot to Theosophy 
and who is
> not around to defend himself? Why do we have to push so hard to 
have that
> last say?
> When I joined theos-talk I looked forward to reading words of 
wisdom from
> those who have studied Theosophy a longer time. I want to make 
sure I'm in
> the right place.

Dear Hauw,

Greetings from Australia. Allow me to present a few comments on your 
posting. If you search in the message archives, you will notice that 
criticism of CWL's teachings and person are a common feature of 
theos-talk. Criticism about him is not new; it is a hundred years 
old! Sometimes rational criticism gives way to explicit personal 
attacks, which is also not uncommon. 

By presenting the results of his own investigations, in a language 
that did not necessarily conform to the original presentation of 
Theosophy in Madame Blavatsky's writings and in the letters from the 
Mahatmas, he courted opposition from students who adhere to the 
original teachings. But, to my knowledge, he never claimed 

In an article entitled "The Attitude of the Enquirer" (Adyar 
Pamphlets No. 2, 1912), therefore before the publication of books 
like "Man: Whence, How and Whither" and "The Masters and the Path", 
and just after "The Inner Life" was published, CWL has this to say:

"In Theosophy we strongly deprecate the attitude of blind belief, 
for we say that it has been the cause of a vast amount of evil in 
the world. ... It would be quite useless for a man to exchange blind 
faith in orthodox Christianity for a similar blind faith in those 
who happened to be writing or speaking on Theosophy. To say: "Thus 
saith Madame Blavatsky or Mrs. Besant," is after all only a small 
advance on saying: "Thus saith S. Paul or S. John."

We who live in western countries have a bad heredity behind us in 
these matters, for the point of view of our forefathers has usually 
been either the blind faith of the unintelligent and biassed person, 
or the blank and rather militant incredulity of the materialist. We 
have been too much in the habit of thinking that what does not 
happen in Europe or America is not worth taking account of, and that 
nobody outside of ourselves knows anything at all. Many of us have 
grown up in the midst of the ridiculous theory that there was only 
one religion in the world, and that the vast majority of its 
inhabitants were 'heathens', whom we had to 'save'. ...

On taking up the study of Theosophy it is necessary that we should 
adopt an entirely new attitude - that we should open the doors of 
the mind, and learn to treat religion as a matter of common-sense, 
exactly as we do science. ... The proof of any proposition must be 
congruous with the nature of the proposition, and consequently the 
final proof of some of the deepest Theosophical doctrines must lie 
in the experience of the evolved soul. ...

Theosophy has a considerable literature, but it has no inspired 
Scriptures. We who write books on the various branches of the 
subject, put before our friends the results of our investigations, 
and we take every care that what we state shall be scrupulously 
accurate as far as our knowledge goes. ...

Our attitude to Theosophy should, I think, be thus characterised:
(1) We must not exchange the blind belief in the authority of the 
Church for an equally blind faith in personal Theosophical teachers.
(2) We must preserve an open mind and an intelligently receptive 
(3) We should accept as working hypotheses the truths which are 
given to us, and should set to work to prove them for ourselves. ...

Criticism (and attacks) of him will probably continue, some 
reasonable some unreasonable. Life, as we know, takes its own 
course. But I think there will always be those who, from time to 
time, will be able to remind ourselves that his overall contribution 
was a positive one, for through his books many, in many parts of the 
world, had their first glimpses of Theosophy and its life-altering 

Warm regards,
Pedro Oliveira      


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