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Re: Should an "ideal" Theosophical Society study & "promote" these books?

Jul 18, 2007 04:17 PM
by Pablo Sender

Dear Nigel

Yes, you are mostly right. But I think the problem we are dealing 
with is human nature itself, and that makes the situation quite 
complex. . . Let me explain myself. 
I'm 32 and I've been in the TS (Adyar) since I was 20. From the very 
beginning I was deeply interested in Theosophy and also involved in 
the institutional work. I was member of the TS National Council in 
Argentina, I gave lectures and courses (in my country and several 
others, including Spain), conducted a Summer School, and so on. Then, 
I went to Adyar and I was working in the Archives for one and a half 
year. I've gave several lectures there and, along with my wife, a 
three-month course on the Secret Doctrine. I'm telling this only to 
convey I've been involved both in the teachings and in the 
institutional work.

First let's clear the field. I think there is a wrong idea about the 
Adyar TS, when people say we appreciate Leadbeater as being more 
learned than HPB, or things like that. I've never heard anything of 
that sort, and I can say we have a deep appreciation and reverence 
for HPB. During all these years and experiences, I was never forced 
to study or accept anything from anyone. Being more in tune with 
HPB's teachings, I did not read much of Leadbeater's. In my lectures, 
courses, etc., I never made use of his teachings, and nobody said 
anything, nor even noticed it. So, Leadbeater is just one of the many 
author we study. Even when in Adyar, I heard lectures about HPB and 
no one about Leadbeater (well, one, in fact, that was mine). It is 
not that the Adyar TS don't like Leadbeater, but his teachings are 
not its main subject.

Being in Argentina I had a fairly bad conception about Leadbeater. 
But then, being in the Archives, I had access to information, 
personal letters written by him, etc., and my previously bad idea 
about him changed completely. Now I feel certain silent admiration 
for him as a person, although I'm not generally in tune with his 
style of teaching. This change of mind was only due to my research. 
Nobody ever told me anything about him in my year and a half there. 
And I've read letters written by other people (for example GdeP) that 
left a very poor image of him. (Once I talked to Radha Burnier about 
the bad idea I had on Besant and Leadbeater, etc., that was mainly 
due to a lack of information or, in fact, because the only 
information I had come across came from those who don't like them and 
write against them. So I asked shouldn't we write books showing the 
other side of the coin? And she told me she rather would not do 
anything on that line because the main result of that is the 
increasing of controversy and the contamination of the mental 
atmosphere with thoughts of hatred, criticism, etc.)

Then, my point is: many people outside the TS say "how can you 
believe in HPB with her speaking of those "invented" Mahatmas, she 
being a fraud, as demonstrated by..." etc., etc. Yet, for us, HPB was 
right. The same happens with Leadbeater, for example, or many other 
leaders all over the world. There are accusations that are very 
obvious to certain people, but wrong to other. You cannot help it. It 
has been always like that, and today Simon Magus was a black magician 
and Peter the mouthpiece of God to most of the people (just to 
mention one case).
So, if you think Besant was deluded, everything will sound 
outrageous. But if you think she was right, then many things make 
sense. Here is an interesting exercise: read what happened to HPB and 
around her, but instead of being HPB, think it was Besant. Many 
things you now accept will sound very doubtful. I did that exercise 
with HPB Judge, Besant, etc. It'll reveal a lot.
Thus, my answer is that it is close to impossible to skip 
controversies over personalities; there will always be two sides. 
Therefore, what is the most intelligent attitude? To me, it is that 
of tolerance. I know this attitude is challenging, it also has 
several weaknesses, and it requires a lot of discrimination by the 
members. You will meet some people reading things I don't consider 
theosophy at all. That's right. The attitude of saying "this set of 
authors are theosophical" is easier, provides more psychological 
security, etc. But I sincerely prefer the side-effects of tolerance 
to those of marking limits. And I've seen in some Lodges in my 
country. Where they are "orthodox", you have few people knowing about 
HPB with certain understanding, and the rest of the members only 
repeating as parrots. While in Lodges where there was an exposal to 
different lines of thought (and the members were serious) there was a 
much deeper understanding even of HPB's writings. I think the second 
object of the TS has a deep significance, far beyond a mere academic 
one. In fact, that was my case. The more I opened my horizon, the 
more deeply could I understand HPB's teachings (remember HPB said an 
occultist should know, although not necessarily dominate, all the 

I personally am very happy with the Adyar TS policy and I sincerely 
think is what the Founders wanted for the TS, although I understand 
some people may consider it differently of may need another approach. 
What I cannot justify is the systematic attack upon the Adyar TS, 
because it damages the whole movement, and is far below every 
theosophical-occultist consideration (see for example what Mahatma KH 
says about the elementals putting in activity by a person who goes to 
denounce a neighbor, and other who spent that energy in something 

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