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Re: Differences in teachings "Which Theosophy"

Apr 27, 2007 00:16 AM
by nhcareyta

Hello Perry and All
Thank you Perry for bringing this interesting article by Bishop 
Oliviera to this forum and for your subsequent comments pertaining to 
it and to Daniel's pertinent quotes. These can perhaps give rise to 
much consideration on a number of matters.

It is to be hoped that most who have been contributing to this forum 
for the past few years would agree by now that free, honest and open 
discussion on all matters, in particular those of a theosophical 
nature, is paramount if we as individuals are to begin to negotiate 
and ultimately make sense of the labyrinth of spirito/religious ideas 
extant in the world today. 
As mentioned many times by numerous correspondents, the required open 
mind is also vital if we are to become aware of, and confront and 
control our biased perspectives, prejudices and predilections so as 
to begin the process of understanding and knowing matters as they 
really are, rather than simply how we might prefer them to be.

A burning question which continually flares up in the Adyar Society 
to which Pedro belongs, and to which he has addressed his article, 
involves the definition of theosophy/Theosophy.

What has been of great importance to me over many years concerns 
whether there are differing versions of theosophy/Theosophy and 
whether this really matters. From the perspective of what is 
euphemistically called "original" Theosophy, it clearly does.

When we consider from indisputable history who it was who created the 
powerful impetus for this "original" Theosophy to re-enter the 
western mindset in the 19th century, it begs the question as to 
whether their version might be what they wished to be promulgated, as 
alluded to in the Mahachohan's quote.

It also begs the question as to whether they wished the Society, 
which they asked Madame Blavatsky to establish via Colonel Olcott and 
others, be a place to study and make extant their version of 
Theosophy. Clearly they did.

>From the original by-laws of 1875 clause 2 states; "The objects of 
the Society are, to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which 
govern the universe." Whilst to my knowledge there is no indisputable 
account as to the discussion which led to the actual wording of this 
object, it would be inconceivable that Madame Blavatsky, and 
therefore her teachers, had nothing to do with it and indeed, knowing 
her character and respected reputation amongst those present, she 
most probably caused the wording to be as such. After all, it was 
solely because of her and her words and actions that people initially 
became attracted to Theosophy and its ideas in the first place. 

The wording of this original object is important. "?to collect and 
diffuse a knowledge of the laws?" This was the cornerstone which was 
to set the theme for the collection and release of a body of 
knowledge. From the wording, this particular body of knowledge was 
already in existence. 

Moreover, Colonel Olcott accounts in Old Diary Leaves in the very 
early years, "The Brotherhood plank in which the Society's future 
platform was...(was) not thought of;?" 

As the Society evolved it became clear that the aforementioned biases 
and prejudices began to manifest within the membership necessitating 
the "brotherhood" object. 

As this object was added later, so too were others.
In 1890, a year before Madame Blavatsky's death there was a second 
object which read; "To promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern 
literatures, religions, philosophies and sciences, and to demonstrate 
their importance to Humanity."
Note that this object is in accord with the Adepts statement, "After 
nearly a century of fruitless search, our chiefs had to avail 
themselves of the only opportunity to send out a European body upon 
European soil to serve as a connecting link between that country and 
our own." And, "This state of hers (HPB's) is intimately connected 
with her occult training in Tibet, and due to her being sent out 
alone into the world to gradually prepare the way for others."
The Mahatmas clearly had a specific body of occult knowledge to 
share, which was Aryan and Eastern in nature, whilst Madame Blavatsky 
had a definite and specific role to release it.

Pedro writes that when the Mahatmas and Madame Blavatsky were 
referring to their rejection of God they were writing from 
their "Buddhist perspective". As you point out, orthodox Tibetan 
Buddhism has numerous and major differences from the Theosophy of 
Madame Blavatsky and her teachers. So the Mahatmas were clearly not 
traditional Buddhists and were not in fact writing from that dogmatic 
Moreover, Madame Blavatsky wrote copiously quoting Buddhism, Hinduism 
and Vedanta texts to expound this knowledge. 

It was 5 years after her death in 1896, when certain western 
influences had begun watering down these "Aryan and Eastern" occult 
teachings that the second object was changed to read; "To encourage 
the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science." The focus 
was now shifting to western style Christianity wherein the 
differences with "original" Theosophy were and are indeed stark. This 
of course culminated in a theosophical church strongly associated 
with the Adyar Theosophical Society which remains as such to this day.

The "forlorn hope" of the Mahatmas included recognition of the 
probability that despite earnest warnings from them and Madame 
Blavatsky for their occult body of knowledge not to be dogmatised, 
dogma arose in the Adyar Society fuelled by Bishop Leadbeater and Dr 
Annie Besant's Christianity and their "coming world teacher."

This caused the production of the "Freedom of Thought" statement from 
the General Council in the early 1920's which whilst necessary to 
promote tolerance and brotherliness, nevertheless further contributed 
to the belief that Theosophy included anything and everything of an 
esoteric nature. 

Whilst this freedom is to be strongly encouraged it is to be hoped 
that the essence of  "original" Theosophy is not lost.

Whether or not Madame Blavatsky and her teachers' knowledge is 
accurate or not, they certainly wished for the Theosophical Society 
to be a vehicle for it.
She and the Mahatmas certainly encouraged us not to turn their body 
of knowledge into yet another dogma. Madame Blavatsky wrote 
tangentially and referred to almost every spirito/religious tradition 
in her writings to help guard against this occurring. But she and the 
Mahatmas were earnestly hoping for the sake of humanity we would not 
throw out their hard won knowledge and that we would use their occult 
words with an ever open and expansive mindset to go beyond, into the 
mystical states of consciousness, wherein definitions dissolve and 
Reality beckons.

Kind regards

--- In, "plcoles1" <plcoles1@...> wrote:
> Hello All,
> I have just read Pedro Oliveira's article "Which Theosophy" which 
> published in the magazine "Theosophy in Australia" in March 2006.
> I have to say that I am by largely in agreement with Pedro's 
> statements and also with the spirit within which it seems to have 
> been written.
> The theosophical approach is not an ism and certainly is not a 
> prescribed pathway it is a journey that will be unique and 
> for each individual.
> As students and individuals we will all naturally be drawn to one 
> school of thought more than another, the theosophic approach is by 
> its very nature eclectic.
> The way to unity is by way of embracing diversity, yes we need to 
> debate and discuss points of difference but probably more 
> we also need to underline the points of intersection and in our 
> hearts hold to that spirit of Brotherhood and Oneness which is the 
> theosophical ideal.
> We need not become divided into Blavatsky barrackers or Leadbeater 
> booers.
> The wheat from the chaff of both can only be sorted out for 
> through our own process and in our own way and time.
> Thanks Pedro for the article it has given me some food for thought.
> Perry

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