Re: Theos-World Terrorism, Wars & the Original Teachings
Sep 12, 2006 09:00 PM
Thank you so very much for your post, for saying what I constantly feel inside about the world situation right now. I watch all the cable news every night and in particular every TV production about world events, like last night's "The Path to 9/11." I sit there and know in my heart that Theosophy has the answer(s) and that if everybody knew them there would be nor more discord. I do what I can on the internet societies I belong to, but it seems I get shouted down. I feel powerless, but I keep trying as I can. I keep having this daydream of sitting down the the Ayatollahs of Wahabism (sp) and clueing them in on what their religion means and is trying to tell them. But even if Mohammad came down from heaven on his white horse and told them the error of their ways would they even listen? I feel inside that it is my duty to try.
P.S.: Where can I find that Prayag Letter?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:44 PM
Subject: Theos-World Terrorism, Wars & the Original Teachings
[ Earlier today, Sept. 12, Syrian military officers successfully defended the USA Embassy in Damascus against the attack of terrorists who were using two car bombs. Three terrorists were killed, and a fourth one was arrested. While violence continues as usual in the Gaza Strip and other places, you will see below an analysis of the meaning of such events to theosophists, and the ethical challenge we face because of present day acts of war and terrorism. ]
Five years ago, on September 12, 2001, the world had just known that a huge change was taking place; a turning point had been reached, and it would be necessary to awaken to an entirely new situation.
It is not clear whether we have awakened yet.
The first reaction of the USA government to the 2001 terrorist actions of Al Qaeda was developed at a merely military conventional level. The results, as one can see in 2006, have been rather poor.
Serious strategists could well have known - in September 2001 if not even before - that an effort should be made to politically and culturally isolate terrorists within the islamic community. This could be made not only by stimulating social and economical justice worldwide, but also by promoting interreligious friendship and cultural interchange between Christians and Muslims.
In India, where now (in 2005-2006) the terror also strikes with violence, such a cros-cultural bridge should be built especially between Hindus and Muslims. In Israel/Palestine, there should be a cultural bridge between Jews, Christians and Arabs.
Scarcely anything has been done in that direction so far. As the theosophical movement includes dozens of thousands of people around the world, perhaps it is the time for us to start asking ourselves:
1) Is there an occult explanation for the religious intolerance we see around us?
2) What do we have to learn from it?
3) Are we mere spectators, or can we successfully do something against the CAUSES of such interreligious fanaticism and violence?"
As we look at the daily acts of violence in Irak, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine and in other countries, not to talk about the danger of nuclear proliferation - perhaps we can suspect that we are confronting the consequences of one mistake of ours: the fact that the theosophical movement has not made any great effort, since 1891, to expose the CAUSES of religious dogmatism. Yet we were most emphatically invited to do that, by both H.P.B. and the Masters of the Wisdom.
Fortunately, we still can do that. And who else would make such an effort, starting from correct philosophical foundadions?
We should think more often about the "Prayag Letter", whose authenticity is now universally accepted by theosophical groups. In that text, one of the Himalayan Mahatmas says that the Gods of Hinduism, Christianism, Islamism and other dogmatic religions are NOT just "fiction".
Such "Gods" are in fact real "Chohans of Darkness", the Ma-mo Chohans, a materialistic sort of intelligences - and that's why they actively inspire fanaticism, intolerance, war and terror.
Through dogmatic religions these false gods try to block and and hinder - in human minds and hearts - the action and influence of the Dhyan Chohans, the "Chohans of Light" which stimulate human evolution toward Truth.
"All in the Universe is contrast", says the Master in that ground-breaking document. (1)
In the original teachings of Theosophy, the content of this Letter is far from being an isolated fact. The text confirms the remarkable position taken by the Masters with regard to dogmatic religions in various other Letters, besides H. P. Blavatsky's books and writings.
There are at least seven Letters from Adepts dealing with dogmatic religions:
1) The Prayag Letter, quoted above;
2) Letter 10, non-chronological editions (or Letter 88, chronological edition);
3) Letter 22, non-chronological ed. (or 90, chronological edition);
4) Letter 01, first series, in "Letters From The Masters of the Wisdom", TPH-Adyar (1973 edition);
5) Letter 43, first series, in "Letters From The Masters of the Wisdom", TPH-Adyar (1973 edition);
6) Letter 82, second series, "Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom"; and
7) Letter 46, first series, "Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom", which is the famous "1900 Letter". As to this 1900 Letter, see especially its full text, published in "Theosophical History", London, October 1987, pp. 115-117.
In the Theosophy of H.P.B. and the Masters, dogmatic religions are clearly described as a "plague", very much in the same way as Sigmund Freud would call them decades later in his essay "The Future of an Illusion" (2). Those who can examine these two texts will see that "The Future of an Illusion" is strikingly similar, in content, to the Mahatma Letter number 10 ( non-chronological editions).
In the Psychological field, Carl G. Jung and his followers abandoned the criticism of dogmatic religions started by Sigmund Freud, just as some post-HPB theosophical leaders abandoned this key aspect of her work..
It was very convenient to stop fighting religious dogmatism, of course. It is never easy to destroy thick walls of illusion and ignorance, in any aspect of our "cultural traditions".
To make the movement stop questioning dogmatic religions was one of the most serious mistakes done by Annie Besant - as she left the original teachings aside in order to start promoting her own ritualistic illusions. Her successors but followed her steps.
Yet, it must be said that unfortunately such a mistake is not exclusive to Adyar. For this or that reason, other sections and groups of the theosophical movement also abandoned the "unconfortable" task of struggling to free humanity from dogmatic religions. We seem to be facing now the ultimate results of such a policy.
In the progress toward illusion along 20th century, "being spiritual" was made a synonym to "being brotherly", and "being brotherly" was made to be "looking like a brotherly person". Hence the need came to "make other people believe we look like brotherly and friendly". Thus make-believe was important and truth was put at the service of appearances.
As a consequence of this, at least two well-known sentences, present in the Letter-Report on the Chohan's Views about the movement, are even more significant today than they were in the 19th century - and they were already extremely important by then. The sentences are:
"The intellectual portions of mankind seem to be fast drifting into two classes, the one unconsciously preparing for itself long periods of temporary annihilation or states of non-consciousness, owing to the deliberate surrender of their intellect, its imprisonment in the narrow grooves of bigotry and superstition (...); the other unrestrainedly indulging its animal propensities with the deliberate intention of submitting to annihilation pure and simple (...). Between degrading superstition and still more degrading brutal materialism, the white dove of truth has hardly room where to rest her weary unwelcome feet. It's time that Theosophy should enter the arena (...)."(3)
Real Theosophy, of course, is the one that should enter the arena, not its watered-down versions. Giving up illusions is often an uncomfortable task, but a central one.
If we try to understand why such a decisive message from the Mahatmas - their views about the dogmatic religions - was suppressed from the daily life of the movement, perhaps we can perceive the practical consequences for human history of the fact that the theosophical movement partially abandoned the original impulse it had received from HPB and the Mahatmas.
Theosophy was not given to us as a merely literary exercise. Reading the Original Writings over and over again and keeping them available in print will not be enough.
It is by understanding the practical importance of such teachings for the world that we may answer to the challenges facing us right now. We are citizens of a planetary civilization and have a responsibility over it.
For instance, there is much we can do - even if at an apparently small scale - to promote the mutual understanding between religions like Hinduism, Christianism, Islamism and Judaism.
If we can TRY to express in an active and creative way our feeeling of co-responsibility for the state of the world, we will be able to develop some of the potentialities which the theosophical movement has right now at its disposal. And Theos-talk is one of the living laboratories for that.
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
O o o O o o O o o O
(1) See "The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett" - Letter 134, pp. 454-457, in the TPH Adyar third edition (1972); Letter 30, pp, 94-96, in the Chronological Edition, T.P.H. Philippines; or Letter CXXXIV, pp. 461-464, in the T.U.P. edition, 1992, Pasadena, CA, USA.
(2) "The Future of an Illusion", Sigmund Freud, W.W. Norton & Company, New Yok - London, copyright 1989, 80 pp.
(3) Letter 01, first series, "Letters From The Masters of the Wisdom", Adyar (1973 edition), pp. 3-4. This letter is wrongly know as "The Maha-Chohan Letter". Yet it is not a letter - but a report. And it was not written by the Maha-Chohan.
O o o O o o O o o O o o O o o O
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