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Re: Nigel: "...I find Pedro's words to be disingenuous in the extreme...."

Apr 30, 2007 01:47 AM
by nhcareyta

--- In, "danielhcaldwell" 
<danielhcaldwell@...> wrote:
> Nigel:  "...I find Pedro's words 
> to be disingenuous in the extreme...."
> Nigel,
> I've extracted just a tidbit from your
> recent post. But your words prompt me
> to ask if you would be so kind as to give
> some of your own comments on what Pedro
> has written at:
> This may throw some light on what I quoted from
> your posting.
> Daniel

Hello Daniel
Thank you for your response to my posting and for asking the above 
Please forgive the somewhat lengthy answer and for using and 
sometimes extending some of your recent abbreviated quotations. They 
are passages I have used many times before.

For me, a sense of disingenuousness emerges from Bishop Oliviera's 
(hereinafter referred to as Pedro) article. 
I don't believe he has been entirely open and forthcoming in an 
objective manner. 
When you are a long standing, highly knowledgeable, very senior 
member of a Theosophical organisation, such that Pedro is in 
Australia, which claims impartiality in the search for the truths of 
life, and you are writing an explanatory and comparative theosophical 
article in a national magazine with international circulation, it is 
my opinion that the approach should be manifestly objective and 
thorough, with equal representation of opinions rather than merely 
quoting passages which may support a possible underlying agenda.

Allow me to demonstrate my reasoning through the following process.

Pedro writes,  "Soon after HPB died, in May 1891, differences of 
approach to the teachings of Theosophy became evident." 

Differences of approach?! In truth, there were many and major 
contradictions of which it is inconceivable for Pedro to be unaware. 
In the interests of objectivity and fairness this should have been 

He writes, "Considering that proselytising was never a platform of 
the Society"

The Oxford English dictionary defines proselytise as, "To try to 
convert people to ones beliefs or opinions."
>From my perspective, Bishop Leadbeater et al often wrote with the 
expectation that people would see things from their point of view. He 
would putatively encourage people to think for themselves whilst at 
the same time making authoritarian pronouncements with an expectation 
of compliance. This to me is disingenuous, worthy of the highest 
political accolade if successful, which unfortunately it was and is 
still to this day.
This is where I perceive hypocrisy in Pedro's statement. Whilst there 
is no stated policy or "platform" for this compliance, nevertheless 
Bishop Leadbeater and his books are still heavily promoted by members 
within and by the Society. 
Moreover in years past, perhaps less so today, Theosophical Society 
members who were not also members of "either/or" the Liberal Catholic 
church, Co-Masonic Association and Esoteric Section were unlikely to 
achieve high office. 

Pedro writes, "Several books by Besant and Leadbeater are based on 
their clairvoyant investigations, including Thought-Forms, Man: 
Whence, How and Wither, The Lives of Alcyone, Occult Chemistry, among 
others. A number of statements made in these books were not 
independently corroborated and for some this called into question the 
legitimacy of teachings based on clairvoyant observations. However, 
it is interesting to note that HPB herself used some form of 
clairvoyance in the writing of The Secret Doctrine."

He then chooses one isolated passage where Madame Blavatsky 
explains, "Well, you see, what I do is this. I make what I can only 
describe as a sort of vacuum in the air before me, and fix my sight 
and my will upon it, and soon scene after scene passes before me like 
the successive pictures of a diorama, or, if I need a reference or 
information from some book, I fix my mind intently, and the astral 
counterpart of the book appears, and from it I take what I need. The 
more perfectly my mind is freed from distractions and mortifications, 
the more energy and intentness it possesses, the more easily I can do 

Pedro omits to mention Madame Blavatsky's writing of the Secret 
Doctrine was not only corroborated by the Mahatmas but was 
largely "written" by them through a sophisticated occult process.
Referring to just three examples:
"I have also noted your thoughts about the `Secret Doctrine.' Be 
assured that what she has not annotated from scientific and other 
works we have given or suggested to her. Every mistake or erroneous 
notion corrected and explained by her from the works of other 
theosophists, was corrected by me, or under my instruction." Mahatma 
KH; Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom 1st Series.

"The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its 
cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system:  e.g., 
even in the exotericism of the Purânas.  But such is the mysterious 
power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually 
occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to 
marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of 
evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical 
signs and glyphs.  The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated 
into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things 
there, where an ordinary profane, however learned, would have 
perceived but the external work of form.?It is useless to say that 
the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated 
individuals.  That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands 
of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to 
test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to 
another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched 
over the childhood of Humanity.  That for long ages, the "Wise Men" 
of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last 
cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in 
learning, not teaching.  How did they do so?  It is answered:  by 
checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the 
traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., 
men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, 
and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree.  No vision 
of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the 
visions?so obtained as to stand as independent evidence?of other 
adepts, and by centuries of experiences." SD Vol 1 p 272/2 
(photographic facsimile edition 1888)

Similarly with the occult process of precipitation, one of the 
methods used by the Mahatmas through Madame Blavatsky to "write" the 
letters to Mr Sinnett and Mr Hume:

". . . . bear in mind that these my letters are not written, but 
impressed, or precipitated, and then all mistakes corrected."  No.10 
(1)  ". . . I have to think it over, to photograph every word and 
sentence carefully in my brain, before it can be repeated by 
precipitation. As the fixing on chemically prepared surfaces of the 
images formed by the camera requires a previous arrangement within 
the focus of the object to be represented, for, otherwise?as often 
found in bad photographs?the legs of the sitter might appear out of 
all proportion with the head, and so on?so we have to first arrange 
our sentences and impress every letter to appear on paper in our 
minds before it becomes fit to be read." No.12 (1)

These occult processes used in the construction of the Secret 
Doctrine and Mahatma Letters cannot remotely be compared with the 
putative "clairvoyance" of Bishop Leadbeater and Dr Besant and to so 
suggest using only one quote is quite disingenuous to me.

Pedro writes, "There are a number of other areas of perceived 
differences between the two literatures that space constraints 
prevent us to address: the controversy about Mars and Mercury and the 
Earth Chain, investigation of past lives, the nature and work of the 
Brotherhood of Adepts, the after-death states, stages on the Path, 
among others."
For me, this is once again disingenuous.
Any literary comparison of these subjects demonstrates overwhelming 
and unequivocal contradictions and certainly not merely "perceived 
differences." It might cause us to question why Pedro does not 
mention the word contradiction or refer to the differences in this 
Could the answer be because Bishop Leadbeater often claimed to be in 
direct occult contact with the same Adept teachers as Madame 
Blavatsky and that this would then beg the question as to why those 
very same occult teachers would completely contradict themselves so 
utterly in the space of a few years after waiting almost a century to 
bring their information to the western public? 
Could it also be that Pedro is a Bishop in Bishop Leadbeater's church 
and would not want any public loss of credibility to his church and 
its founder and his own hard-earned position of power? I have no 
doubt Pedro believes Bishop Leadbeater to have done much good in the 
Society and that his followers have tried to be fine, upstanding 
Whatever Pedro's reason/s it is disingenuous to me not to be open and 
comprehensive when representing theosophical matters. If the 
Society's motto affirms no religion higher than Truth, simply telling 
all of the story would be a good place to start. Telling only part of 
it, perhaps to suit a particular agenda is disingenuous to me. 

Given the above and in light of Perry's experience of being barred 
from rejoining the Adyar Theosophical Society in Australia for 
speaking out against what he saw as censorship of a kind in an 
organisation which demands in writing "freedom of thought", this 
indicates in my opinion a systematic pattern of disingenuousness at 
the level of certain individuals who represent the organisation.

>From my perspective this is an occult tragedy, as the promise of an 
international organisation of individuals devoted to the open search 
for Truth, open to rigorous and critical challenge has been all but 
lost or at least seriously diluted, perhaps only for the purpose of 
protecting certain peoples' sacred cows?

(1)	Mahatma Letters to AP Sinnett and AO Hume; chronological 
edition of George Linton and Virginia Hanson

Kind regards


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