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Re: Is HPB making an important distinction between the TS & ES??

Mar 13, 2007 00:59 AM
by Anton Rozman

Hi Daniel and all,

Here are excerpts from the J. Ransom's "Short History of the TS" 
regarding the relation between the TS and ES when H.P.B. was still 
alive. It would be nice to have other documents to further enlighten 
this relation in that period.

Warmest regards,


1881 - ? on 25 February the Colonel had a long "consultation with 
H.P.B. about The Society, resulting in an agreement to reconstruct it 
on a different basis, putting the Brotherhood idea more prominently 
forward and keeping the occultism more under cover - in short, to 
have a secret society for it ?" This was the germ of the future 
Esoteric Section of The Theosophical Society.

1883 - In June Esoteric Buddhism was published, and round the 
Sinnetts gathered a group of people to study its contents. The Lodge 
passed a resolution that it should devote "itself chiefly to the 
study of occult philosophy as taught by the Adepts of India with whom 
Mr. Sinnett has been in communication." He was further advised by 
H.P.B. to have an "inner ring" or "group" to whom to give instruction 
which he would receive. Many of the meetings had for some time taken 
place at Miss Arundale's house in Elgin Crescent, where the most 
interested members met to discuss Occultism.

1884 - A Committee (proposed by Subba Row) was formed to receive and 
direct further Esoteric Teachings and transmit them to the Inner 
Group (London) and Branches. The Masters consented to detail a 
Committee of their regular chelas to give material to this Committee 
through Subba Row and Damodar. (The Committee consisted of: Col. H.S. 
Olcott, Madame H.P. Blavatsky, T. Subba Row, B.A. B.L., Damodar K. 
Mavalankar, A.J. Cooper-Oakley, Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, S. Ramaswami 

1888 - An organisation was formed, 9 October, to meet the persistent 
demand to have esoteric teaching from H.P.B., and an opportunity of 
preparing for chelaship (pupilship) under her guidance. She had, as 
we have seen, often formed small groups of people to prepare them to 
be "chelas," and Sinnett had been for years the transmitter 
of "instructions" to an "Inner Group." These groups had had both 
success and failure. The President had objected to the formation of 
another, and H.P.B. warned him that if his objections persisted there 
would be two "Theosophical Societies, entirely independent of each 
other - Indian and European." After receiving the Master K.H.'s 
letter, and realising that though he did not care for such groups, he 
must yield to H.P.B., the Colonel issued an "Order in Council" 
forming an Esoteric Section with Madame Blavatsky as its responsible 

1. To promote the esoteric interests of the Theosophical Society by 
the deeper study of esoteric philosophy, there is hereby organized a 
body, to be known as the "Esoteric Section of the Theosophical 
2. The constitution and sole direction of the same is vested in 
Madame H. P. Blavatsky, as its head; she is solely responsible to the 
members for results; and the section has no official or corporate 
connection with the Exoteric Society, save in the person of the 
President-Founder ?
Attest: H. P. Blavatsky, Corresponding Secretary.
(Sd.) H. S. Olcott, President in Council.

Sinnett declined to participate in this work. About twenty students 
who had been with him since 1883 continued to study with him. But the 
Inner Group which had been working under him became the Inner Group 
of the Esoteric Section, with Mrs. Besant as chief Secretary and 
Recorder of the Teachings. In May 1887, Mr. Judge had asked to have a 
group in America similar to Mr. Sinnett's, working under himself, and 
sent H.P.B. a request to authorise him to do so. She told him he 
might go ahead without the authorisation, as she had other plans in 
mind. A few months afterwards she was explaining her plans in London 
when Judge telegraphed asking her to make them public. She invited 
him to come to help, which he did, and assisted her in drawing up the 
Rules. (On the strength of these incidents Judge afterwards claimed 
that he was "one of the Founders with H.P.B." of the E.S. The E.S. 
members were formed into privates Lodges with their own charters.)

1889 - On 8 August the President left via Ceylon for Europe, and 
arrived in London 4 September. One of the main reasons for this visit 
was the growing tendency to misapply a clause in the E.S. Rules, 
which was to the effect that members were to obey the Outer Head of 
the Section in all that concerned their Theosophical duties and 
Esoteric work. It caused the question to arise as to whether H.P.B. 
was loyal to Adyar and to the Colonel, or whether she was trying to 
control Adyar. H.P.B. very vigorously denied that the Esoteric 
Section, with the exception of the President, had anything to do with 
The Society or its Council. She alone was responsible for its 
members, and it had no pretensions to control The Theosophical 
Society. As to loyalty, she declared: "H.P.B. is loyal to death to 
the Theosophical CAUSE, and those great Teachers whose philosophy can 
alone bind the whole of Humanity into one Brotherhood." She pointed 
out what was being obscured was that she, with Col. Olcott, was the 
chief Founder and Builder of The Society; that her loyalty to the 
Colonel was not because he was President but because he had been so 
devoted to it, and was a loyal friend and co-worker. The degree of 
her sympathy with The Theosophical Society and Adyar depended upon 
the degree of loyalty of that Society to the CAUSE. Should it break 
away or show disloyalty to that Cause, and the original programme of 
The Society, (Lucifer, Aug. 1889.) she would shake it off like dust 
from her feet. As to loyalty to Adyar, what was it apart from the 
Cause and the "two (not one Founder ?)" to be logical according to 
the Rules of The Society members had to be loyal to, the place 
wherever the President happened to be. The President, however, 
declared he would resign if H.P.B. did not amend the "obedience" 
clause, since it led to so many misunderstandings and was giving him 
so much trouble in the management of The Society. H.P.B. did amend 
it. To prevent further complications, she, in December, appointed the 
Colonel as her confidential agent and sole representative of the E.S. 
in Asiatic countries. The name of the E.S. was changed to The Eastern 
School of Theosophy, and the fact that it had no official connection 
with The Society was reasserted.

1890 - An old house, 193 Bow Road, was taken and renovated, and a 
Hall built. It was opened, 15 August, by H.P.B., and placed in charge 
of Mrs. Besant and Miss L. Cooper. ? It was a large house standing in 
its own grounds, and became the Headquarters of the British Section, 
and also of the European Section when it was formed. An additional 
room was built for the Esoteric Section, and for Blavatsky Lodge a 
meeting-hall of corrugated iron which held 200.

There were more than a thousand pledged supporters of H.P.B. who were 
students of Occultism and looked to her for guidance and inspiration. 
Many were inclined to deprecate Col. Olcott's more outward-turned 
activities, and knew very little of the great changes in thought and 
action he had wrought in Eastern countries, particularly in India and 
Ceylon. Opinion had grown up that he neglected and did not understand 
the needs of the West; complaints often reached him on this score 
both from Europe and America, where Judge was sole director of the 
work, with an increasing influence, and around him competent workers. 
This sense of grievance against the President was accentuated in 
Europe when he sent, 28 May, to Dr. G. Encausse (Papus) the charter 
he had applied for. H.P.B. was opposed to this, knowing Encausse was 
making trouble and threatening to attack the Society. The President 
had to suspend the Charter in August, and, on his advice, Encausse 
was expelled from The Society by the Council of the European Section.
In June H.P.B. demanded the formation of a European Section with 
herself as head, or she would break off. This time Col. Olcott felt 
he must let matters take their course. On 9 July he sent H.P.B. an 
Order to organise a European Section. He then received what he 
described as a "revolutionary" letter from the British Section, 
decreeing absolute Presidential power to H.P.B. for Europe. This 
Resolution was published in Lucifer, July, as a Notice:
"In obedience to the almost unanimous voice of the Fellows of the 
Theosophical Society in Europe, I, H.P. Blavatsky, the originator and 
Co-Founder of the Theosophical Society, accept the duty of exercising 
the Presidential authority for the whole of Europe: and in virtue of 
this authority I declare that the Headquarters of the Theosophical 
Society in London, where I reside, will in future be the Headquarters 
for the transaction of all official business of the Theosophical 
Society in Europe. H.P. Blavatsky."
H.P.B. said that Col. Olcott remained "as heretofore, President-
Founder of The Theosophical Society the world over." She had selected 
as an advisory Council, including the three colleagues formerly 
appointed by the President Annie Besant, Wm. Kingsland, H. Burrows, 
A.P. Sinnett, Dr. H. A. W. Coryn, E.T. Sturdy and G.R.S. Mead. At a 
Council Meeting of the British Section, stress was laid on the 
advantage of being directed from a European Centre and not from an 
Asiatic one, and that this would do away with the delays in obtaining 
Charters and Diplomas, and answers to pressing questions, though as a 
matter of fact these were already directed to H.P.B.
A requisition was drawn up embodying the views of those concerned, to 
be addressed to the President. It stated that the Continental Lodges 
and unattached members had made appeal to H.P.B. to place themselves 
directly under her authority, and the British Section joined in their 
demands that the constitutional powers at present exercised by Col. 
Olcott in Europe, should be transferred to H.P.B. and her Advisory 

Feeling discouraged, Col. Olcott, 25 September, advised Mr. Mead, as 
General Secretary of the Europen Section, that he wished to retire 
and leave the sole headship to H.P.B. He wrote to her, 7 October, 
telling her he meant to retire, and, 12 November, asked her to take 
the office of President. He wrote the same to others in Europe and 
America, and began to make plans for building a house in Ootacamund. 
He sent, 9 December, to Tookaram Tatya the draft of a scheme to sell 
Adyar to the Adyar Library and have him support it with a 
Theosophical Society Fund of Rs. 50,000. The Society was to retain 
such rooms and grounds as would suffice for Headquarters' business.
Towards the end of November, Richard Harte drafted an address for 
Keightley to read, as from H.P.B. to Convention, about Col. Olcott s 
retirement. This draft Keightley revised and sent to H.P.B. for 
approval. Upon receipt of it she cabled her emphatic refusal to have 
such an address read on her behalf. She declared the Master 
disapproved of the Colonel's resignation. She followed this up with 
an order to Keightley to return if the Colonel retired, and she 
threatened she would sever her connection with the Society if he did 
Meanwhile, the President had received innumerable appeals that he 
would remain in office. These would not perhaps have affected his 
decision, but he received news that the New York Sun would stand suit 
on the libels against H.P.B. and Judge. He feared that this might 
mean Prof. Coues, who was behind the attack, had obtained other 
Coulomb letters. It meant difficulty for H.P.B., and he did not see 
how in that case he could retire and desert her. (Diary, 17 Dec. 
When the withdrawal of his resignation was communicated to 
Convention, 27 December, there was a great outburst of pleasure and 
satisfaction, and the Convention reaffirmed the right of the Colonel 
to remain President for life. In his Presidential Address Col. Olcott 
explained that the long stress of work had wearied him and strained 
his constitution. He realised that since H.P.B. would withdraw if he 
did, it would mean the breaking up of The Society, too precious thus 
to imperil.

1891 - The President's first action was to notify H.P.B. of 
his "suspended resignation." He advised her that his readiness to 
resume office would depend on her willingness to alter still further 
the form of obligation taken by E.S. members. He was finding that the 
flow of The Society was in the direction of H.P.B., and that 
throughout the world her instructions held chief place in the lives 
of the members.

Knowing that the hour of her passing drew near, H.P.B. gathered 
closer round her such of her pupils as circumstances rendered the 
most accessible, and began a system of regular instruction, opening 
up new lines of thought and study which, if steadily pursued, would 
yield fruit indefinitely. She instructed them "regularly one evening 
each week, ? But during other days for some time previous to her 
departure, H.P.B. gradually abstracted herself, becoming more and 
more reclusive, and, at times, quite inaccessible even to those 
intimately around her. Her sitting room, for years past constantly 
open to all comers, whether Theosophists or not, became more and more 
a place of retreat and solitude for her and daily more impregnated 
with her own strong atmosphere of individuality." (W.R. Old, in The 
Theosophist, June, 1893, p. 547.)

On the night of the 6th a change for the worse set in, but the crisis 
passed and on the morning of the 7th she got up, and sat in her large 
armchair in her sitting-room. With great effort she rolled a 
cigarette for Dr. Mennell - the last she ever made. Finding no ease 
in bed, she was propped up with pillows in her chair. At 11 a.m., 8 
May, she grew worse. Around her were Miss Laura Cooper who supported 
her head, and C.F. Wright and W.R. Old who knelt beside her holding 
her hands. At the last she passed so quietly that they hardly knew 
when she ceased to breathe.

Mrs. Besant and Mr. Judge together visited several Lodges to lecture. 
They agreed, in consultation with the E.S. Council, that they should 
together assume full headship of the E.S., Mr. Judge for America and 
Mrs. Besant for the rest of the world, with Headquarters in London.

On the 27th (July) the President announced there would be no change 
in the general policy of The Theosophical Society, and its three 
declared Objects would be strictly followed out. The Society would be 
kept neutral; the untrammelled right of private judgment and the 
absolute equality of members was reaffirmed and guaranteed; the 
principle of autonomous government in Sections and Branches within 
the lines of the Constitution, and of non-interference by 
Headquarters, save in extreme cases, was to be loyally observed.


--- In, "danielhcaldwell" 
<danielhcaldwell@...> wrote:
> In the FOLLOWING two excerpts from H.P. Blavatsky's pen, is she 
> making a vital distinction?
> Is this a distinction between the Theosophical Society and
> the Esoteric School?
> And between the Theosophical Society and the School of her Masters?
> Daniel
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Section 2
> ....ENQUIRER. Which system do you prefer or follow, in that case,
> besides Buddhistic ethics?
> THEOSOPHIST. None, and all. We hold to no religion, as to no
> philosophy in particular: we cull the good we find in each. But 
> again, it must be stated that, like all other ancient systems,
> Theosophy is divided into Exoteric and Esoteric Sections.
> ENQUIRER. What is the difference?
> THEOSOPHIST. The members of the Theosophical Society at large are
> free to profess whatever religion or philosophy they like, or none 
> they so prefer, provided they are in sympathy with, and ready to
> carry out one or more of the three objects of the Association. The
> Society is a philanthropic and scientific body for the propagation 
> the idea of brotherhood on practical instead of theoretical lines.
> The Fellows may be Christians or Mussulmen, Jews or Parsees,
> Buddhists or Brahmins, Spiritualists or Materialists, it does not
> matter; but every member must be either a philanthropist, or a
> scholar, a searcher into Aryan and other old literature, or a 
> student. In short, he has to help, if he can, in the carrying out of
> at least one of the objects of the programme. Otherwise he has no
> reason for becoming a "Fellow." Such are the majority of the 
> Society, composed of "attached" and "unattached" members.
> [An "attached member" means one who has joined some particular 
> of the T. S. An "unattached," one who belongs to the Society at
> large, has his diploma, from the Headquarters (Adyar, Madras), but 
> connected with no branch or lodge.] These may, or may not, become
> Theosophists de facto. Members they are, by virtue of their having
> joined the Society; but the latter cannot make a Theosophist of one
> who has no sense for the divine fitness of things, or of him who
> understands Theosophy in his own -- if the expression may be used --
> sectarian and egotistic way. "Handsome is, as handsome does" could 
> paraphrased in this case and be made to run: "Theosophist is, who
> Theosophy does."
> ENQUIRER. This applies to lay members, as I understand. And what of
> those who pursue the esoteric study of Theosophy; are they the real
> Theosophists?
> THEOSOPHIST. Not necessarily, until they have proven themselves to 
> such. They have entered the inner group and pledged themselves to
> carry out, as strictly as they can, the rules of the occult body....
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Quoted from:
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Section 4
> ....ENQUIRER. But surely those few who have felt the need of such
> truths must have made up their minds to believe in something
> definite? You tell me that, the Society having no doctrines of its
> own, every member may believe as he chooses and accept what he
> pleases. This looks as if the Theosophical Society was bent upon
> reviving the confusion of languages and beliefs of the Tower of 
> of old. Have you no beliefs in common?
> THEOSOPHIST. What is meant by the Society having no tenets or
> doctrines of its own is, that no special doctrines or beliefs are
> obligatory on its members; but, of course, this applies only to the
> body as a whole. The Society, as you were told, is divided into an
> outer and an inner body. Those who belong to the latter have, of
> course, a philosophy, or -- if you so prefer it -- a religious 
> of their own.
> ENQUIRER. May we be told what it is?
> THEOSOPHIST. We make no secret of it. It was outlined a few years 
> in the Theosophist and "Esoteric Buddhism," and may be found still
> more elaborated in the "Secret Doctrine." It is based on the oldest
> philosophy of the world, called the Wisdom-Religion or the Archaic
> Doctrine....
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Quoted from:

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