Re: Should an "ideal" Theosophical Society study & "promote" these books?
Jul 20, 2007 09:04 PM
Thank you for this post. To further the dialogue I will share a
little of the reasoning behind my perspective concerning Bishop
Leadbeater and his works.
Your wish to investigate "common ground" should, from my perspective,
be at the heart of genuine theosophical inquiry. For many reasons,
not the least of which to guard against putative authority or dogma,
this open mindset can promote understanding of differing perspectives
and perhaps even tolerance of our own and others' inevitable errors
of word and deed.
Ideally this mindset should be pursued wherever and however possible,
however we perhaps need to guard against it becoming a blind,
dogmatic practice. Dogma in all its forms can blind us and divert us
from that which might otherwise be staring us in the face.
Nevertheless, to relinquish this process should perhaps be a last
resort and maybe even conducted on a case-by-case or subject-by-
>From my perspective, some of Bishop Leadbeater's documented
pronouncements and self-confessed behaviour cause me to invoke this
last resort in toto. So many of his statements have been proven to me
to be either utterly fanciful or worse, indisputably dishonest. If
this man were to have practiced medicine or scientific research he
and his discredited statements would have been removed from any
honourable body. Moreover, his admitted behaviour with some of the
boys in his care was unconscionable.
I can empathise with your heartfelt desire to focus on similarities
rather than differences. Given the attachments of human nature, there
is after all the potential for the argumentative, destructive mindset
to contribute to more extreme forms of violence and hatred. In this I
am in agreement with Radha and her concerns.
The manner of approach for me is to objectively, and in a detached
manner, differentiate between the person and their actions. As to his
person I have compassion for Bishop Leadbeater as an evolving soul.
In simple terms I would not wish for myself or anyone else to have
the skandhas and pre-dispositional proclivities he had.
In terms of his actions he chose to be continually untruthful and
very greatly misrepresented Madame Blavatsky's version of Theosophy
whilst often claiming to be in direct contact with her very same
teachers and their superiors. He would have "hated" the Mahatma
Letters to AP Sinnett, as has been recently mentioned in this forum,
partly because they exposed some of his dishonest and fraudulent
pronouncements. As to his behaviour with the boys it is probably
better left unsaid. Suffice to say, these and his abovementioned
actions deserve challenge and condemnation of the highest order.
Given the above it remains for me to decide whether there is any
redeeming value in supporting Bishop Leadbeater's works either
directly or tacitly. On balance, I have decided at this stage there
is not. And herein lies another consideration. Occult energies are
subtle, as perhaps we know. To direct energy towards demonstrable
untruths and misbehaviour of an extreme nature necessarily empowers
these untruths. Furthermore, to do and say nothing, once we are
aware, likewise contributes to their perpetuation, by default alone.
This is elucidated in the wise saying, "If we are not part of the
solution we are part of the problem."
Madame Blavatsky among many others has urged us to compare and
contrast various traditions and teachings. But she certainly rejected
and condemned those that do not pass the test of fidelity or
>From my perspective, as Theosophical students, we have a certain
obligation to seek, uncover and expose truths and untruths wherever
we may find them, including and perhaps especially where our sacred
cows are concerned. This needs to be carried out in a sensitive and
considerate manner because, after all, we could be incorrect in our
determinations. However, situations occasionally arise where we are
called upon by our conscience to take a stand and say "thus far and
I have chosen this course of action with respect to Bishop
Leadbeater's works because for me this is one of those occasions and
to do otherwise would risk perpetuating the energies of dishonesty
and deception, the anathema of Theosophy and simple truth.
Thank you again for this most interesting discussion.
--- In email@example.com, "Pablo Sender" <pasender@...>
> Dear Nigel
> Your post is very interesting to me, and I understand your
> because it is supported on your experiences. My path was the
> opposite. I began knowing quite well the "outsiders "outsiders'
> perspectives" to discover almost by chance (I didn't know I would
> work in the Archives nor that I went there in other to find out
> anything) that those "perspectives" were in many cases inaccurate,
> when not malicious.
> But you see, this is all my point: here we have two fairly sincere
> people (you and me) with different points of view, according to
> experiences, features, etc. Could we work together? Or those
> differences in opinions would prevent it? If we could, on what
> Should one of them (me, for example) accept the view of the other
> and be in a Society that condemns Leadbeater? Should you accept
> Leadbeater and talk good things about him? This situation will
> be present in different issues, unless we build a hard set of
> concepts to be accepted by everyone. That is what almost every
> institution did in the past and present. I'd like to try something
> different. Let's build a Society where people may say
> don't agree with this author or personality" and receive as
> answer "Ok, let's find out our common ground and work together in
> same direction." I think this is possible.
> Kind regards
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application