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Theos-World Re: PERRY BARRED FROM ADYAR TS AND THE TRUCE ON THEOSTALK

Aug 10, 2006 05:28 AM
by plcoles1


Hello Nigel,

You wrote :

"We are in a state of "truce" here on theostalk and a truce is held in
an attempt to bring about peace. In this spirit, there can only be
lasting and genuine peace where such principles as openness, honesty,
truth, freedom and trust are sincerely attempted by all parties in an
atmosphere of mutual care and concern."

To me this statement pretty much sums it up, deeper reflection 
on these types of issues is an important part of the spiritual 
journey.
Thanks very much for your insightful comments!

Regards

Perry


--- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com, "nhcareyta" <nhcareyta@...> wrote:
>
> Dear Perry
> Thank you for your recent posts, particularly your "first posting." 
> (see below). 
> I support much of what people have written to you about this matter.
> You write concerning your barring from the Adyar Theosophical 
Society:
> "...the hierarchy (of the Adyar Theosophical Society) bear a heavy 
> karmic responsibility in the choices it makes and enforces."
> 
> We are in a state of "truce" here on theostalk and a truce is held 
in 
> an attempt to bring about peace. In this spirit, there can only be 
> lasting and genuine peace where such principles as openness, 
honesty, 
> truth, freedom and trust are sincerely attempted by all parties in 
an 
> atmosphere of mutual care and concern. 
> 
> If basic Theosophical propositions have any authenticity, your 
> abovementioned quote must be correct.
> 
> The Adyar Theosophical Society's motto is "Satyam Nasti Paro 
Dharma", 
> ie; There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth. Karmically then, its 
> representatives' focus must be on truth in all its forms, including 
> the effort to tell the truth, as difficult as that may be at times. 
> Truth not only means to describe accurately, or as accurately as 
> possible, but also to play no deliberate part in its obfuscation.
> Not being entirely open and honest can be an act of violence in 
> itself as it involves the destruction of  truth. This does not mean 
> we need be brutal in our openness and honesty, but it does mean 
that 
> in a theosophical setting we are allowed to express those things 
> which impact on the truth and accuracy of matters.  
> 
> Through their "Freedom of Thought" statement, it is understood that 
> the dharma of the Adyar Theosophical Society is the unhindered 
search 
> of each individual for that illusive truth, and to, 
> quote: "...fearlessly exercise their own right of liberty of 
thought 
> AND OF EXPRESSION THEREOF, within the limits of courtesy and 
> consideration for others." (my caps) 
> This being the case, the elected or appointed Theosophical 
hierarchy 
> has a bounden duty and obligation to facilitate and encourage that 
> process. Consideration for others should not include censorship or 
> silencing of newly discovered historical facts, particularly where 
> those facts have a direct bearing on the credibility of a teacher 
or 
> teaching, especially where revered Adyar Society past leaders and 
> writers such as "(Dr.A.)Besant and (Bishop C.W.) Leadbeater ... 
> demonstrably and consistently lied and subverted the purpose of the 
> Society for their own ends." (my brackets), as you write.
> 
> I am often bemused by some who suggest we should forget the past 
and 
> only work from where we are now. This might be fine for a yogi or 
> adept,  but studying, analysing and re-assessing the past can help 
> the rest of us make more informed and hopefully wiser choices in 
the 
> present and future.
> 
> Is it not time for the various Theosophical hierarchies to take the 
> lead and trust their fellow members with researched and recognised 
> facts about theosophical leaders, teachers and authors. "Are our 
> beards not grown" as a Mahatma asks us? 
> For example, how can these hierarchies in good conscience 
perpetuate, 
> through publishing, sales and libraries, literature which extols 
the 
> revered, holy status and/or theosophical accuracy of those who have 
> been fraudulent and untruthful. 
> 
> If an investment adviser were known to be untruthful and fraudulent 
> to you, would you want to use him/her. Would you want your friends 
to 
> use him/her as their adviser? As an organisation would you want to 
> promote him/her? And that only concerns the mundane world of 
finance.
> If a scientist is discovered to have falsified information, or 
> her/his theories are no longer valid, aren't they and their 
theories 
> permitted to be challenged if not latterly discredited or even 
> discarded? And that only concerns materialist science.
> Surely with matters spiritual, the reputation and credibility of an 
> adviser or teacher in terms of honesty and accuracy is of somewhat 
> greater concern? Certainly read and study their literature if we 
> choose, but be aware, or at least be made aware by its 
> representatives, of any and all discovered discrepancies or 
fallacies.
> 
> Are we still so trapped in the mindset that wants things as we want 
> them, rather than facts and truth. Do we so need to follow 
> individuals no matter their honesty or accuracy. Isn't this a mind 
> still attached to its childlike need for a leader, rescuer or 
knight 
> in shining armour, no matter in what form?
> 
> For genuine peace to reign here on theostalk, and occultly 
> everywhere, there has to be at least an honest attempt at openness, 
> truth and accuracy by all parties otherwise we all merely 
perpetuate 
> the old competitive win/lose mindset where I'm right, you're wrong, 
> which leads towards the inevitable descent into its extreme 
> expression, war.
> 
> Best wishes
> Nigel
> 
> "The Adyar Theosophical Society has for many years supported and
> maintained the publication and dissemination of the writings of C.W
> Leadbeater and Annie Besant.
> 
> Most members have come to accept these two writers as being
> representative and true to the teachings of the Mahatmas and their
> student and spokesperson Madame H.P. Blavatsky who together helped
> establish the Theosophical Society in 1875.
> 
> This acceptance arose from repeated statements by both Leadbeater 
and
> Besant claiming to be in direct contact with these same Mahatmas.
> Followers were further reassured that, far from changing any of her
> teachings, they were merely simplifying Blavatsky's works to enable
> greater accessibility for students.
> 
> However, even the most cursory comparison of the teachings of the
> Mahatmas and Blavatsky with those of Leadbeater and Besant
> demonstrates clear and profoundly opposing views. (1)
> 
> The main purpose of this post is not so much to discuss these 
critical
> differences, although some references will be necessary, but to try
> to address my problem of why there seems to have been no open and
> free debate of this in the Adyar Theosophical Society, from which I
> recently resigned.
> 
> From my experience, it appears very few members of the Society are
> aware that these contradictions exist.
> 
> For an organisation supposedly dedicated to the search for Truth,
> doesn't this put the responsibility and onus on the leadership of 
the
> Society, its sections and branches to point out these differences to
> the membership at large, through their magazine articles, 
promotional
> pamphlets, lectures and online? And if not, why not?
> 
> So the questioning begins for me, not so much with whether the
> theosophy of Blavatsky and the Mahatmas is right and Leadbeater and
> Besant's wrong, although this will be considered later, but whether
> the differences and contradictions are being somehow hidden from the
> Adyar Society membership passively through non-exposure due to what
> seems to be the practice of the Adyar society in not publishing
> articles that are seen as `divisive' or critical of CWL, ABs
> neo-theosophy?
> 
> My understanding of the theosophical process is one of jnana yoga 
ie;
> using compassion, reason and rigorous ongoing investigation to try 
to
> understand the nature of reality.
> 
> Many people who get earnestly involved with the theosophical 
movement
> would presumably support the idea that a non-dogmatic and free mind,
> one that is prepared to change its point of view and re-examine new
> evidence and insights is, next to that of a compassionate mind, of
> the utmost importance.
> 
> Moreover, those same people would hopefully agree that the writings 
of
> Blavatsky and the Mahatmas are limited and can only at best point in
> a particular direction towards gaining an understanding of that
> reality and should not in any sense be considered infallible holy
> writ. Blavatsky's and the Mahatmas' writings hold no more authority
> than any other.
> 
> So, as mentioned, the main problem for me is not so much with the
> teachings although, as we will see later, Leadbeater and Besant's 
are
> highly contentious, but that they appear to me not be seriously
> challenged in the public or private publications of the Adyar 
Society.
> 
> Nowhere have I read in Adyar theosophical pamphlets or literature
> where the controversial differences have been debated and properly
> aired and discussed with free and legitimate, intellectual 
comparison.
> 
> In my experience, if anyone starts to call this to test they are
> likely to be advised of the potential for divisiveness, shown the
> official "Freedom of Thought" statement and/or provided with some
> other convenient diversion.
> 
> This to me, seems to be a most insidious kind of unwritten 'law',
> where written exposure of some obvious contradictions of teachings,
> for the purpose of discussion and debate, can be disallowed by a
> governing body. How can there be a genuine search for Truth or
> legitimate freedom of thought if this is allowed to occur?
> 
> The Theosophical Society was established to be the custodian of the
> theosophical doctrine given out by Blavatsky's Adept teachers. This 
is
> historically indisputable.
> 
> Blavatsky pointed out repeatedly that these teachings were never
> intended to become another form of religious belief system, but were
> offered as a kind of matrix for members to freely compare and 
reflect
> upon in comparison with science, philosophy and religion.
> 
> This principle of freedom of comparison, naturally supports the 
rights
> of members to also read, share and discuss those teachings of
> Leadbeater and Besant. So why, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't 
a
> consideration of the contradictions appear in any Adyar publication?
> 
> After studying some of these contradictions and the claims made by
> Leadbeater and Besant concerning their alleged contact with the same
> Mahatmas of Blavatsky, it strikes me that their writings cannot and
> should not be presented as theosophy.
> 
> They may have some similarities but they are not the same teachings.
> 
> As an example, some of the extant Buddhist ideas such as 
reincarnation
> into an animal form, or Christian ideas of vicarious atonement are
> not the theosophical teachings of either the Mahatmas or Blavatsky
> and, if true to its mandate, would not be presented as such in the
> Adyar Society. People and members are of course allowed to believe
> these concepts if they wish, but the Mahatma/Blavatsky theosophy
> suggests something entirely different.
> 
> Furthermore, the General Council's response(4) to Geoffrey 
Farthing's
> manifesto (5) is as follows:
> 
> "Belief that the writings of H.P.B. and the Mahatma Letters 
constitute
> the only source of the message the T.S. should promulgate cannot be
> imposed on the members, as such limitation goes against the grain of
> that freedom of thought.
> 
> Each one must have the freedom to decide what best helps 
understanding
> of oneself and provides inspiration to work for the ideal of human
> progression and perfection."
> 
> To this I would ask what they mean by promulgate?
> 
> Do they mean the books sold in the bookshops or offered for loan 
from
> the libraries of the Theosophical Society lodges and branches, or do
> they mean that which is promulgated in the books published by the
> Society as being the theosophical perspective?
> 
> For example, would the Society support the idea of a priest being 
able
> to absolve sins?
> 
> Is that a view the Society should promulgate as theosophical?
> 
> Well, Leadbeater's book "Science of the Sacraments", a book 
published
> and distributed for sale from theosophical bookshops by the
> Theosophical Publishing House at the Society headquarters in Adyar,
> states that a priest can do this in some kind of 'astral
> straightening out'!
> 
> Leadbeater also supports the idea of special powers and the
> relationship of the priest with the "Christ" that the "laity" don't
> have.
> 
> This flies in the face of one of the fundamental theosophical
> propositions of Oneness, not to mention the first object of the
> Society (2) which re-establishes the very ideas the Mahatmas were
> trying to breakdown ie; an elitist priesthood.
> 
> I would support everyone's right to study Leadbeater and Besant's
> writings, but I cannot support them being "promulgated" in the
> Society as being theosophical.
> 
> The General Council's statement seems to make it sound like Mr
> Farthing was asking for an imposition of belief and thought of the
> Mahatma/Blavatsky material which, in my opinion, is a complete
> misreading of what he was proposing.
> 
> Hopefully no-one would suggest that members or students should only
> read Blavatsky or the Mahatmas' letters, this should go without 
> saying.
> 
> Additionally, will it be denied by the General Council that 
Blavatsky
> and the Mahatmas went to great lengths to point out the differences
> between their theosophical doctrine on life after death and that
> given by the Spiritualists? The Mahatmas went so far as to describe
> Spiritualism as "...the most insane and fatal of superstitions..."
> (L20 ML to etc)
> 
> If the Society had no definite teachings on this subject then why
> would Blavatsky and her teachers spend so much time explaining the
> occult rationale behind some of the phenomena being experienced by
> the Spiritualists and the philosophical differences between the two
> traditions?
> 
> It's a very interesting point that Leadbeater's ideas on life after
> death are much more like Spiritualist beliefs than Blavatsky and the
> Mahatmas' theosophical concepts.
> 
> So again, Leadbeater and Besant's beliefs attempt to re-establish 
the
> very ideas the Mahatmas were attempting to counter. And Leadbeater
> and Besant claimed to be in contact with these Mahatmas!
> 
> The Mahatmas and Blavatsky were not presenting the occult rationale
> out of a need to set up new dogmas rather, on the contrary, to get
> people out of their 'worn grooves' of wanting to believe emotionally
> gratifying, but limited and superstitious beliefs that were not 
based
> in any kind of legitimate, philosophical rationale or spiritual 
> process.
> 
> I think I would be able to take the Adyar Society more seriously if 
it
> allowed articles that were genuinely and constructively,
> intellectually and theosophically critical of Leadbeater and 
Besant's
> beliefs to be published in its journals. If it is true to its
> "Freedom of Thought" statement then students would be free and in
> fact encouraged to do just that, if they have genuine issues to
> investigate and take to task.
> 
> Anyone who has studied at University, or any other credible
> institution and has learnt the techniques of critical thought would
> simply take this as being an expected matter of course. But, in my
> experience and as far as I know in the Adyar Society, this type of
> critical approach is frowned upon.
> 
> One has then to ask, where is the freedom in that?
> 
> HPB in an article titled "To the readers of Lucifer" (3) says
> -"Sincerity is true wisdom, it appears, only to the mind of the 
moral
> philosopher. It is rudeness and insult to him who regards
> dissimulation and deceit as culture and politeness, and holds that
> the shortest, easiest, and safest way to success is to let sleeping
> dogs and old customs alone.
> 
> But, if the dogs are obstructing the highway to progress and truth,
> and Society will, as a rule, reject the wise words of (St.)
> Augustine, who recommends that `no man should prefer custom before
> reason and truth, is it a sufficient cause for the philanthropist to
> walk out of, or even deviate from, the track of truth, because the
> selfish egoist chooses to do so?'....
> 
> Readers, therefore, who are accustomed to find in magazines and 
party
> publications only such opinions and arguments as the editor believes
> to be unmistakably orthodox--from his peculiar standpoint-must not
> condemn any article in Lucifer with which they are not entirely in
> accord, or in which expressions are used that may be offensive from 
a
> sectarian or a prudish point of view, on the ground that such are
> unfitted for a theosophical magazine.
> 
> They should remember that precisely because Lucifer is a 
theosophical
> magazine, it opens its columns to writers whose views of life and
> things may not only slightly differ from its own, but even be
> diametrically opposed to the opinion of the editors.
> 
> The object of the latter is to elicit truth, not to advance the
> interest of any particular ism, or to pander to any hobbies, likes 
or
> dislikes, of any class of readers. It is only snobs and prigs who,
> disregarding the truth or error of the idea, cavil and strain merely
> over the expressions and words it is couched in.
> 
> Theosophy, if meaning anything, means truth; and truth has to deal
> indiscriminately and in the same spirit of impartiality with vessels
> of honour and of dishonour alike."
> 
> If the Society has to continue to 'promulgate' the 'neo-theosophy'
> doctrines then surely they are obliged to allow those members, who
> feel duty bound to criticize those teachings, that freedom they 
claim
> to support in their own "Freedom of Thought" statement without, what
> appears to me to be, the cold hand of censorship.
> 
> I would here challenge the Adyar Theosophical Society to publish 
such
> articles in its international magazine 'The Theosophist' so that the
> arguments can be put to the membership directly and openly.
> 
> If the Society has any credibility in its search for Truth, it will
> welcome this challenge with open arms.
> 
> I think it would have wide implications for the theosophical 
movement
> as a whole if this were to happen and perhaps even be the first step
> in bridging the gap between the various theosophical organisations
> and groups, even if only in the area of more serious dialogue.
> 
> With regard to the 'Freedom of Thought' statement (hereinafter
> paraphrased) there is a part I would be interested in having 
> clarified:
> 
> "The Theosophical Society maintains the right of individual freedom 
of
> thought for every member. Those who join the Society are not asked 
to
> give up the teachings of their own faiths. No doctrine, no opinion,
> by whomsoever taught or held, is in any way binding on any member of
> the Society, and no teacher or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards
> any has authority to impose opinions on others. All members are 
urged
> to defend and act upon these fundamental principles and also
> fearlessly to exercise their own right of liberty of thought and of
> expression within the limits of courtesy and consideration for 
> others."
> 
> Do 'the limits of courtesy and consideration' imply a "no debate
> allowed" stance by the Society.
> 
> If this is the case, how can authoritarian pronouncements made by
> members past or present receive an open challenge and debate as
> Blavatsky clearly encourages for theosophical journals?
> 
> A political irony is that it was Besant who released this "freedom"
> statement for the Society while at the same time demanding absolute
> obedience within the Esoteric Section and coming out with the most
> authoritarian, fanciful and deluded pronouncements.
> 
> Here are some of the statements she was making regarding the 12
> theosophical apostles and the "World Teacher" 
> 
> "And now I have to give you, by command of the King, His message, 
and
> some of the messages of the Lord Maitreya and His great 
Brothers. . .
> what I am saying, as to matter of announcement, is definitely at the
> command of the King whom I serve.
> 
> His taking possession of His chosen vehicle . . . will be soon. Then
> He will choose, as before, His twelve apostles . . . and their 
chief,
> the Lord Himself. He has already chosen them, but I have only the
> command to mention seven who have reached the stage of Arhatship."
> 
> Who were the "Arhats"?
> 
> "The first two [Mrs. Besant continued), my brother Charles 
Leadbeater
> and myself, . . . C. Jinarajadasa, . . . George Arundale, Oscar
> Kollerstrom, . . . Rukmini Arundale,
> 
> I left out one and must leave out another. Naturally, our Krishnaji
> was one, but he is to be the vehicle of the Lord. And the other is
> one who is very dear to all of us, as to the whole Brotherhood:
> Bishop James Wedgwood. He had borne his crucifixion before the seal
> of Arhatship was set upon him by his King.
> 
> Those are the first seven of the twelve whom He has chosen, with
> Himself as the thirteenth. `Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye do
> well, for so I am'. Now the wonder may come into your mind: H.P.B.
> was the only one who was really announced as the messenger of the
> Master. Since then the world has grown a good deal, and it is
> possible that while the few may be repelled, many thousands will be
> attracted to the Christ. . . . Whatever the effect, since He has 
said
> it, it is done. . ." Unquote.
> 
> And the pledge of obedience for ES members :
> 
> "I pledge myself (a) to support before the world the Theosophical
> Society, (b) in particular to obey, without carvel or delay, the
> orders of the head of the Esoteric Section in all that concerns my
> relationship with the theosophical movement.(c) to work with her, on
> the lines she shall lay down in preparation for the coming of the
> World Teacher, and (d) to give what support I can to the Society in
> time, money and work."
> 
> These statements show the mindset of arrogance, pure fantasy and 
blind
> faith that was rife in the Society at the time Mrs Besant was
> promoting them.
> 
> This is interesting in the light of the "Freedom of Thought" 
statement
> which was put together after all the very embarassing Messianic 
> mayhem.
> 
> If no teacher or writer from "H.P.Blavatsky onwards" is outside
> criticism then let that statement be tested, tried and put into
> practice. Otherwise the Statement is nothing more than a hollow and
> empty mockery and should not be presented as the "policy" of the
> Adyar Society.
> 
> Surely tolerance means not only allowing others to hold views 
contrary
> to our own, but also allowing them to be intellectually challenged?
> 
> Besant and Leadbeater may have said and written some interesting and
> wise statements but they demonstrably and consistently lied and
> subverted the purpose of the Society for their own ends under the
> pretence of being high initiates in contact with Blavatsky's Adept
> teachers.
> 
> Their claims fail to concur with the facts once a critical analysis 
is
> undertaken.
> 
> If members still believe them to be legitimate after such an 
analysis,
> then at least that decision has been made after a thorough and
> objective examination of the facts has been made.
> 
> What right does a Society, supposedly dedicated to the search for
> Truth, think it has in not openly presenting this information to its
> members in its publications, information they have a right to know
> however uncomfortable it may be to read?
> 
> Will the Adyar Society take up the challenge and actively discuss
> these issues with the membership?
> 
> Leadbeater and Besant have a very large following in the Society
> especially in India and so for the Society to openly and in print
> start to compare and challenge their writings with those of the
> Mahatmas and Blavatsky, would be to raise difficult political issues
> within the organisation.
> 
> But for a Society with such a high sounding motto of "There is no
> religion higher than Truth", one has to ask whether political
> expediency is being practised, to put it mildly.
> 
> To me, the answer is obvious and once one has heard all the
> apologetics for Leadbeater and Besant and the ready quoting of the
> "Freedom of Thought" statement, my conclusion is that the Adyar
> Society is possibly trying to keep things under wraps.
> 
> In my opinion, if it was sincere in its motives, it would welcome 
and
> encourage a comparative, critical analysis of Leadbeater and 
Besant's
> "theosophy" with that of Blavatsky and her teachers, rather than
> seeming to avoid it.
> 
> It will undoubtedly be a difficult process and one that may involve
> considerable discomfort, but if it is Truth and genuine Self 
Knowledge
> we are searching for, then we will know and understand that these
> types of challenges are all part of the process.
> 
> Rather than take the easy comfortable route, we need to be prepared 
to
> follow dharma where it takes us on that journey.
> 
> Perhaps it's too tall an order. Arjuna faced the same sort of
> questions on the field of Kurukshetra.
> 
> In the end it's up to each of us whether we face these challenges or
> seek rather the path of comfort and ease.
> 
> If the Adyar Society were to sincerely and actively do this, I would
> seriously consider renewing my membership.
> 
> But without genuine, intellectual rigor in these areas, I would see 
no
> reason to support the Society as it now stands.
> 
> 
> Perry
> 
> (1) Please see the following link to examine some of these 
> differences-
> 
> (you will need Adobe Acrobat reader to view this) HYPERLINK
> "http://theosophy.info/tontitlepage.pdf";
> 
> (2) To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity 
without
> distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour
> 
> (3)The General Council 1996 Annual Report (Adyar Theosophical 
Society)
> 
> (4)The Theosophical Society and Its Future" by Geoffrey A. Farthing
> 
> (5) HYPERLINK
> "http://www.blavatsky.net/blavatsky/arts/ToTheReadersOfLucifer.htm#F
NT
> 1"
>







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