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Theosophy & HPB

Jul 16, 2006 12:32 PM
by robert_b_macd

What has the personal life of HPB have to do with Theosophy, its laws
and principles.  Very little in one sense.  After all knowing whether
HPB was a fraud or not is hardly helpful in understanding the great 
spiritual truths by which we live.  On the other hand each and every
life is an expression of those laws and principles thereby verifying
their reality.  Still, someone who spends their whole life looking for
some small proof that HPB is a fraud is probably not going to evolve a
whole lot spiritually.  The whole process speaks of a less than noble
motivation.  Why start from the belief that HPB is a fraud?  Obviously
something she has said or written has offended me and I must therefore
disprove this offense by showing the world what she really is, a common
fraud.  Perhaps there is no proof to be had, then the repitition of old
lies and slanders will serve just as well.

Perhaps I don't think she is a fraud, but I wonder whether she might be.
I wonder who this fascinating person was and what I might learn from
exploring her life.  Fair enough.  If you are going to research the life
of another person, and make some judgments as to what you thing that
person is about, that is fine.  If you are going to present your
findings to the world, then you are making a very strong editorial
comment.  If you believe that each of us is at different stages in a
personal evolutionary journey towards the spiritual, then in order to
judge another you must be at a vantage point that is higher and more
spiritual than the person you are judging.  Otherwise you will always
misunderstand their actions and words. You may also believe that
everyone is at the same spiritual level of understanding or that there
is no spiritual nature in man and consequently your judgments are simply
a matter of presenting the facts and arriving at the truth.  If you
accept the latter, then you probably do not accept the motto: "There is
no religion higher than Truth."  You do not believe in an ever ascending
hierarchy of truth.  You believe in the face-value of things and are not
interested in going deeper.  The latter is not a theosophist for they
are not interested in spiritual growth.  The majority of humanity sits
in this category.

If you believe yourself to be spiritual enough to be able to judge HPB
and present your judgments to the world, then you are presenting
yourself as an authority.  The problem with this is that theosophists do
not accept external authorities.  HPB, Judge, the Masters, none of these
are looked upon as authorities.  Hence theosophists have no dogmas.  The
writings of the founders are a point of departure for those who want to
seek the truth.  We seek to understand what they have written so that we
can share a dialogue and work with each other in understanding more
deeply our spiritual reality.  That might mean disagreeing with what
they have posited, so be it.  In far future times, these writings will
have been left behind as superficial and too simplistic.  For now they
are food for thought to be argued about and understood, each in our own
way.  We could easily start with Besant or Leadbeater or some other
writer, but these writers did not found the Society so we do not beging
with them.  We start with the founders and then understand others in
their terms.  This way we can all participate in the dialogue using the
same terminology.

To say that HPB is a fraud and that consequently her writings are wrong
and we must start with someone else is meaningless.  There are no
authorities so it does not matter where we start as long as we are
interested in arriving at Truth.  Also, to say HPB is a fraud is to put
yourself forward as an authority which is again not logically consistent
with the Movement that she set up.  We start with her because this is
her Society.  No one has the authority to take that away.  The Society
will live and die on her writings.  If someday some researcher  brings
forward what they believe to be a smoking gun, what does it matter?   No
one says that the Movement that she founded takes a word of what she has
written to be gospel.   Consequently, theosophists  understand there to
be no value in judging one another whether dead of alive as our only
authority is our own higher self.  Judging the life of HPB is like
trying to judge a man's personality based on the clothes he wore on one
day of his life without having any idea why he wore that set of clothes
on that particular day.  We can perhaps generalize that certain
personality types would be attracted to this style of clothing, but that
gives us little insight into the particular man in question.

Again, I understand an attack on HPB by another Theosophist  to be an
attack on my Self-Authority.  By attack I understand any attempt to
undermine her reputation (such as repeating in books and public forums
unproven allegations).  All we are doing by allowing theosophists to
delve into the personal lives of one another is giving  legitimacy to
emotional blackmail.  Anyone who makes a commitment to live a
theosophical life immediately sets the forces of Nature against himself.
He struggles against his own base nature as one after another old karmic
seeds are again activated.  No doubt the theosophist who makes the most
advancement has also failed the most as well.  What has allowed him to
advance is his courage to get up again each time he has failed and try
again.  If we legitimize the practice of looking into each others
private lives, then who is going to want to become a theosophist?   It
is easy to do nothing and live a life without moral uncertainties or
temptations, but what value is that?

I understand The Theosophical Society as an attempt to return
responsibility for ones beliefs back to the individual.  The attacks on
HPB and Judge were the attacks made by institutions to undermine their

Peace, Bruce

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