Re: Differences in teachings "Which Theosophy"
Apr 27, 2007 06:48 PM
Thanks for your comments. As I have found with most things there are
paradoxes and various shades of grey.
The objects do indeed have a history and have changed over the years,
however I would argue that the society as it stands today has to
uphold the objects as they are today and that is what they are
constituently there to do.
I have never heard HPB state anywhere that the Society was there to
only study her writings, if this was the case it should be clearly
pointed out to people when they join the society.
When I first joined the society I joined not because of a particular
doctrine but because of an institutional ethos that encouraged
comparative study of philosophy, science and religion free of
dogmatism and I think this is the case for most people.
If the society is constitutionally only there to study HPB writings
where is this stated?
--- In email@example.com, "nhcareyta" <nhcareyta@...> wrote:
> Hello Perry and All
> Thank you Perry for bringing this interesting article by Bishop
> Oliviera to this forum and for your subsequent comments pertaining
> 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
> for the past few years would agree by now that free, honest and
> 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
> extant in the world today.
> As mentioned many times by numerous correspondents, the required
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> govern the universe." Whilst to my knowledge there is no
> account as to the discussion which led to the actual wording of
> object, it would be inconceivable that Madame Blavatsky, and
> therefore her teachers, had nothing to do with it and indeed,
> 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
> 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
> 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
> and prejudices began to manifest within the membership
> 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
> their importance to Humanity."
> Note that this object is in accord with the Adepts
> 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
> 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
> 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
> Moreover, Madame Blavatsky wrote copiously quoting Buddhism,
> 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
> was now shifting to western style Christianity wherein the
> differences with "original" Theosophy were and are indeed stark.
> of course culminated in a theosophical church strongly associated
> with the Adyar Theosophical Society which remains as such to this
> 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
> Annie Besant's Christianity and their "coming world teacher."
> This caused the production of the "Freedom of Thought" statement
> the General Council in the early 1920's which whilst necessary to
> promote tolerance and brotherliness, nevertheless further
> 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
> in her writings to help guard against this occurring. But she and
> Mahatmas were earnestly hoping for the sake of humanity we would
> throw out their hard won knowledge and that we would use their
> words with an ever open and expansive mindset to go beyond, into
> mystical states of consciousness, wherein definitions dissolve and
> Reality beckons.
> Kind regards
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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.
> > http://www.austheos.org.au/magazine/pedro-which-theosophy.htm
> > 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
> > 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
> > theosophical ideal.
> > We need not become divided into Blavatsky barrackers or
> > 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
> > Perry
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