When there are conflicting claims, who or what do you believe?
Apr 25, 2006 11:20 AM
Many persons who have become interested
in Theosophy, its history, its teachings,
its claims, have also noticed that there
have been many claims and counterclaims made
by the principal exponents of modern
After Blavatsky died, we have Judge, Besant,
Tingley, Hargrove, Crosbie, Leadbeater, Bailey
and many others stepping on the Theosophical
stage and making various claims.
To a new student, to a person who wants to
approach all of these claims without prejudging
any of them or jumping to conclusions one way or the
other it is quite a daunting task to first of all
know what all these claims are, what evidence there
may be for any or all of the claims, etc.
Yesterday Carlos wanted us to simply compare and
contrast Crosbie with Besant and Leadbeater.
But I would suggest that a better comparison might
be done between Crosbie, Tingley and Hargrove.
All three of these individuals were on Judge's side
in the so-called Judge case, all three viewed Besant
and Leadbeater in negative terms.
Yet all three of these individuals --- all of who claimed
to be personal students and co-workers of Judge --- made various and
conflicting claims. These contradictory claims in fact led to the
creation of three separate Theosophical groups, each with their own
version of Theosophical history.
Now maybe these three organizations did good work, the "fruits"
Carlos has written about, but how do we untangle and understand
which if any of these claims by Tingley, Hargrove and Crosbie were
true, valid or not?
This endeavour is in part what a historian might engage in. Trying
to look at the claims, the various evidences and testimonies
supporting the claims, etc. etc. Maybe there is more to all of this
than the mere historical, the outer events, but I suggest that we
need to start somewhere and the most obvious place to start is with
that which is most tangible, that is the history of these early days
of theosophy as discovered in the historical record.
If it is a good idea to ask the T.S. Adyar to make available from
its archives all the historical documents relating to the Judge
Case, I would imagine it would be a good idea to ask all the
existing Theosophical archives to make available their historical
documents as they relate to Tingley, Hargrove and Crosbie.
And in all of this we each need to ask ourselves:
are we seekers of truth whatever that may be, or simply partisan
defenders of one version of Theosophical history as compared to some
Food for thought.
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