RE: [bn-study] Re: How our THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT can possibly reach the whole world
Jun 02, 2006 11:52 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
6/2/2006 11:34 AM
May we, in thinking of this, (see below) consider:
Q.: Are theosophical doctrines for the cultured classes? Should we pay
most attention, in propaganda, to the cultured and "respectable" or to those
in a lower stratum?
W.Q.J.-If theosophical doctrines are to be of any benefit to the race, then
they must be for all classes, poor and rich, cultured and uncultured, young
Some people think that these doctrines are really only comprehensible by the
educated and cultured; that most attention should be paid to these classes,
to learned scientific persons, and to those who possess a worldly and
powerful reputation. For, they argue, if we can get hold of such, then we
may the more quickly affect the others.
But what has experience shown? Merely that the cultivated and respectable
and scientific have laughed at Theosophy, and never would have paid it any
attention if not forced to. A very prominent scientist, Prof. Crookes, early
became a member of the London Lodge, but nothing has resulted therefrom to
the distinct benefit of the movement. Many attempts have been made in the
parlors of the rich, with hardly any result; certainly not enough to justify
the outlay of strength and time.
The theosophical propaganda has gone forward in the face of considerable
opposition and coldness from the so-called better classes. Very true it is
that the working, laboring classes have not pushed it, nor do they, as a
whole, know a very great deal about it; yet that indefinite section of the
working classes sometimes called the "middle class" has been its great
propagator and supporter.
As to understanding the doctrines, it is my opinion that this is as easy for
the uneducated as for the educated. Indeed, in some cases, over-education
has been a bar, and deep intellectual study of Theosophy has led to a want
of comprehension of the principle of Brotherhood and to a violation of it.
The purpose and aim of Theosophy in the world is not the advancement of a
few in the intellectual plane, but the amelioration of all human affairs
through the practice of Brotherhood. The theosophical doctrines show what
Brotherhood is and how it is to be practiced, and if we cannot
succeed in the practice of it then we are failures.
Brotherhood is more likely to arise in the ranks below than to spring from
those above, for it cannot be declared that present conditions- even in
governments abroad- are largely due to the better, the upper, the educated
However- and here lies the duty of those Theosophists who have education- it
is necessary to clearly explain the doctrines to the uneducated classes
before these can grasp them. But when so explained, it will be found that in
practice alone the doctrines are understood. We must not forget, in all
this, that in America the proportion of illiteracy is not large, and hence
in this land it is easier to propagate Theosophy among the masses. And
history, the facts of today, amply prove this. [Forum Ans. pp. 117-8]
Q.: Ages of blind, usurious laws have brought the world to ruin. Our
struggle for physical existence prevents the full study of Divine Wisdom.
Would it not be wise for Theosophists to unitedly advocate improved
conditions, say through the Labor Exchange system or some such method? One
may ask, why should we strive for that which would place us on the higher
planes of thought or feeling when conditions are so unfavorable?
W.Q.J.-I cannot admit the two first assertions of the question. The world is
not yet in ruins; the struggle for existence does not prevent the full study
of Divine Wisdom. The study of self, the attempt to carry out the old
direction, "Man, know thyself," does not depend on human laws, nor upon
The body may be in prison, or engaged in incessant labor, but the soul and
cannot be bound by environment unless we ourselves allow it. The soldier
does not seem to be in a business or conditions favorable to
self-development, but even while in his sentry-box he can still think on the
matter and thus study it- for study does not mean mere reading of books and
writing of compositions.
People fail in their efforts to study truth just because they start out by
formulating a need for different conditions, or by insisting on having
surrounding objects in just such a position and of such a quality before
they will begin the work. They are wrong.
Inasmuch as Divine Wisdom and the nature of the Self are not material,
physical things or objects, they are not to be confounded with mere physical
surroundings. Hence material environments should not be permitted to confuse
or throw back the man who desires to study that Divine Wisdom.
Again, as all things down to the most gross from the most ethereal are a
part of Divine Wisdom, it is a mistake to try and destroy or put away
because one does not presently like them, the very conditions in which under
Karma one is obliged to study Divine Wisdom.
The second part of the question contains a proposition for the T.S., or
Theosophists as a body, to advocate some one or other of the many proposed
reforms. This should never be done. The T.S. is free and independent of all
such reforms, while it applauds all good results. But it does not follow
that the reformatory measures are the best. Nor has the last word been
spoken on those subjects. It is very wise and right to alter if we can the
oppressive conditions about the poor or others. But so long as the
philosophy, the religion, and the view of life held by the people are wrong,
just so long all reforms will be temporary.
The people must be altered in thought and heart, and then conditions will
right themselves. I therefore strongly oppose any propositions looking
toward binding the T.S. down to any system of reform or of legislation.
Individual members can do as they please about it so long as they do not
involve the Society.
Forum Ans. pp. 130-1
From: Steven Levey
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:48 AM
Subject Re: How our THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT can possibly reach the whole
Doesn't it seem like an odd course to take to discuss the technicalities
of how the knowledge of Theosophy is to be spread. Unless of course it has
been forgotten that Theosophy, as the Widom Religion, is contained in all
human endeavor, so that it,
Theosophy, technically speaking, is all that can
be known, as the kernal of wisdom, in any discipline of thought. So, a
better question might be; how is it not spread? None of this kind of
thinking has ever been missionary like, for thinking was and is too shallow.
From this point of view, then, anyone is free to keep from spreading what
they know, especially if they have put others peoples's needs beneath their
notice. I find that fairly inhuman. While dispensing it for money and or
power, is just earthly business. But freely doing this to assist a fellow
human being in need is compassion, and otherwise kept back when needed, is
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