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Pedro on what Leadbeater & Besant Claimed

Feb 23, 2007 06:45 PM
by danielhcaldwell

BELOW I have collated some of what Pedro wrote concerning
what Leadbeater and Besant claimed for their books, writings
and teachings.

Now I ask:  If what Pedro says is actually true, then how do these 
claims of CWL and AB compare and contrast with the claims of H.P. 
Blavatsky concerning her own books, writings and teachings and her 
role in regards to the Mahatmas.

In a future email I will make several comments on this line of 


There are clear differences between Theosophy as presented in HPB's 
writings and in the Mahatma Letters and CWL's presentation. If one 
may say so, the original presentation is utterly impersonal and 
profoundly metaphysical. It is, as the Mahatmas and HPB mentioned, a 
system, which is logical, consistent and based on fundamental 
premises. In CWL's case, his presentation was bound to be distinct 
from the early teaching since most of it consists of descriptions of 
clairvoyant investigations which he undertook. He was bound to differ 
in some instances from the original teachings because he was 
describing things that he himself had seen as an independent 
researcher, and he recognized, more than once, that there were many 
pitfalls on the path of the investigator....

As an independent thinker, CWL was presenting his own understanding 
of the original teachings and there is plenty of room in theosophical 
studies for that. The fierce exchanges between HPB and Subba Row (The 
Theosophist, April 1887 onwards) are an example of it. HPB preferred 
the septenary constitution for both the human being and the cosmos, 
while Subba Row held to the fourfold division....

....he [Leadbeater] was also an investigator of the unseen dimensions 
of existence. Like every clairvoyant, whatever he "saw" was through 
the filter of his own cultural and intellectual background. He said 
numerous times that he did not expect his readers to believe him, but 
that he only reported what he had seen....

...He [Leadbeater] always considered it his duty to observe the inner 
realities of existence and to report his observations as accurately 
as possible. He declared, more than once, that he did not expect 
people to believe his clairvoyant descriptions of the unseen world, 
although he said that for him they were a reality....

CWL never claimed that his books had been dictated by a Master. He 
wrote them himself. In An Outline of Theosophy, for example, he wrote:

"Furthermore, I claim that it [the Theosophical teaching] is a fact 
which may be verified at first hand by any person who is willing to 
devote the time and trouble necessary to fit himself for the 
investigation. I am not offering to the reader a creed to be 
swallowed like a pill; I am trying to set before him a system to 
study, and above all, a life to live. I ask no blind faith from him; 
I simply suggest to him the consideration of the Theosophical 
teaching as a hypothesis, though to me it is no hypothesis, but a 
living fact."

...Both AB and CWL took responsibility for their books and did not 
claim approval of a higher authority for them. In the Introduction to 
one of their most controversial books, Man: Whence, How and Whither, 
Besant and Leadbeater wrote:

"The writers of this book, having been taught the method of gaining 
touch [with the "Memory of Nature"], but being subject to the 
difficulties involved in their uncompleted evolution, have done their 
best to observe and transmit, but are fully conscious of the many 
weaknesses which mar their work. Occasional help has been given to 
them by the Elder Brethren, in the way of broad outlines here and 
there, and dates where necessary."

"As in the case of the related books which have preceded this in the 
Theosophical movement, the 'treasure is in the earthen vessels', and, 
while gratefully acknowledging the help graciously given, they take 
the responsibility of all errors entirely on themselves."

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