RE: Theos-World Should an "ideal" Theosophical Society study & "promote" these books?
Jul 16, 2007 07:13 PM
by Eldon B Tucker
Before we can decide which authors should be promoted, we need to define
what the theosophical doctrines are sufficiently to distinguish when certain
authors write knowledgably about the philosophy. That is an intellectual
measure of accord. We would also need to determine to what degree we find
the heart life or higher spiritual inspiration behind the author's words.
Some writers are dry and lifeless; others are vital and life-giving. That is
an spiritual measure of accord. Then there is the skill of the writer. Some
people write poorly and can bury a simple idea under a pile of verbiage;
this writing style is popular in academic settings. Others can offer deep
perceptions in plain words that do not stand in the way of what is being
said. Yet another measure is the success of the writer in teaching rather
than offering deal-letter text. A style of writing that teaches only gives
part of the truth and brings about a receptive state of mind in the reader
that leads to the reader thinking out the idea himself or herself. This is
much better than stating a profound truth directly, with its depth and
significance totally missed by the reader.
A theosophical organization takes a particular approach to presenting
Theosophy. The existing ones are centered around different traditions and
have their favorite authors. We can find various traditions and slants on
theosophy including the Besant/Leadbeater, Kristnamurti,
Judge/Tingley/Purucker, and Judge/Crosbie slants. Each organization offers
its own "flavor" of Theosophy and presents authors it recommends to learn
more about it.
Each theosophical group has its own history as well, telling us what
happened from its point of view and giving significance to its past
leadership and philosophical authorities. The Point Loma school would
consider Tingley as a spiritual teacher and Purucker as a teacher that
taught the original philosophy and brought forth further information on many
of the theosophical doctrines. The ULT school would consider Crosbie as a
keeper of the original teachings of Blavatsky, but later associates were
considered senior students and would interpret the doctrines. The Adyar
school (Besant/Leadbeater) would say that Leadbeater differed from
Blavatsky, but that difference was because he knew better, from personal
experience of higher realms, and Blavatsky often taught but second-hand
learned materials that were subject to error. The "non-followers" of
Krishnamurti would reject all the doctrines and rituals of the other
theosophical groups, adopting a zen-like mindfulness of life, basically a
mirror opposite to the hierarchical role Leadbeater had set Krishnamurti to
hold as the next "World Teacher."
If any of us take an organizational position within an existing theosophical
group, we're subject to that group's politics and we may find limits put on
the free expression of our views. That's why it's often better to work on
independent theosophical projects where we are subject to no external
controls and where we are free to study and share what we freely think
without having to agree with a particular viewpoint.
I don't think that we can say that something is theosophical only if it is
found it something that Blavatsky has written. There is much more that can
be known than she had time to write down, and there are many things known
now that provide additional profound philosophical insights which were
impossible to know in her time. (Like the whole area of chaos, nonlinear
dynamics, fractals, etc., which required considerable mathematics and
computers with good graphical capability in order be by adequately
explored.) No one can say all there is to be known on a particular subject,
and as soon as we say that her writings are both complete and infallible,
we've made them into another Bible and substituted "the word of the
infallible masters" for "the word of God" as their authority.
In The Mahatma Letters, Sinnett is told that Chelas have to come to the
Masters or settle for crumbs. He's also told that their truths, if told
plainly, would sound like "insane gibberish". What we have, I think, with
the theosophical literature, is a good body of literature upon which we may
exercise our minds and grow. It was not indented to be infallible religious
literature. We have the crubs. What then is ok to study?
There does seem to be definite attenuation ("the reduction in amplitude and
intensity of a signal" in Wikipedia) as we look at a ever-widening circle of
authors. Besides Blavatsky, who should we read? It may depend upon our
individual preference and one person's favorite author may be another's
source of gibberish. I'd say, read some Blavatsky, and look into books by
others that seem to ring true. Live a good life and by the principle of
"like attracts like" good things will be drawn to you.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of danielhcaldwell
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 3:28 PM
Subject: Theos-World Should an "ideal" Theosophical Society study &
"promote" these books?
Should an "ideal", non-dogmatic, all-inclusive
Theosophical Society study and "promote" all
of the following books?
Books by Blavatsky, Sinnett, Judge, Besant,
Leadbeater, Tingley, G. de Purucker, Olcott,
Bailey, La Due, Ballard, Roerich,
Prophet, Chaney, Steiner, Hodson, King, Crosbie,
Wadia, Scott, Heindel, Innocente, Shearer, and
other "Theosophical" writers.
As well as books by various yogis, lamas,
metaphysicans, sufis, spirtualists, psychical reseachers,
kabalists, religionists, etc. etc. etc. etc.
I believe that almost all the named individuals
(in the 2nd paragraph above) have claimed contact with
the "Masters" and all their books could broadly be
Who is to say what and what is not Theosophy or
And who is to say what or what is not to be studied
and promoted in a Theosophical Society or group?
It should be noted that the three major Theosophical organizations
(TS Adyar, TS Pasadena and ULT) all feature, study and promote (i.e.,
SELL) ONLY CERTAIN authors and writers.
Therefore are these three groups being "dogmatic" or in fact
promoting a "fundamentalistic" version of Theosophy by LIMITING
which authors are promoted and/or studied???
Hopefully some food for thought...
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