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Don't confuse the Esoteric School with the Theosophical Society

Apr 28, 2007 12:24 PM
by danielhcaldwell

Don't confuse the Esoteric School 
with the Theosophical Society.....

Some students confuse the Theosophical
Society with the Esoteric Section (School)
and vice versa.

BELOW is what H.P. Blavatsky wrote in
1889 in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY.  Notice the DISTINCTIONS that she
makes between the two organizations, etc.:


....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 here,
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 if
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 of
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 psychic
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 exoteric
Society, composed of "attached" and "unattached" members.
[An "attached member" means one who has joined some particular branch
of the T. S. An "unattached," one who belongs to the Society at
large, has his diploma, from the Headquarters (Adyar, Madras), but is
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 be
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

THEOSOPHIST. Not necessarily, until they have proven themselves to be
such. They have entered the inner group and pledged themselves to
carry out, as strictly as they can, the rules of the occult body....

....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 Babel
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 system
of their own.

ENQUIRER. May we be told what it is?

THEOSOPHIST. We make no secret of it. It was outlined a few years ago
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
Quoted from:


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