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Re: Theos-World What is Theosophy

Feb 14, 2008 05:30 PM
by Cass Silva

Sorry Morten, I always get the psyudenoms mixed up.

Morten Nymann Olesen <> wrote:
          I think MKR is not named Morten?
I certainly never defended the Catholic Church, at least not for over forthy years, - and that was before I was born into this physical body!

M. Sufilight

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Cass Silva 
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Theos-World What is Theosophy

Do members of the LCC have a different version of theosophy than what HPB stated. Let's take Mars and the BS about the atoms that Leadbeater wrote about. I don't know where you are coming from, but there was nothing in HPB's teaching that advocated the establishment of a religious organisation. LCC is THE LIBERAL CATHOLIC CHURCH, find me one quote where she or the masters said one good word about the Catholic Church. You are so vehement about the Jesuits, yet you stand now in defence of a Catholic Church. Where are you coming from?

Listen, I don't have a Phd or anything near it, but I was asked by theMelbourne Theosophical Society to lecture, I declined as I felt that my knowledge was inadequate. You really have a problem with people who are smart. I love them, they have done all the hard work and have passed on their knowledge to me ex gratia.

One cannot follow HPB and the LCC, its one or the other.


MKR <> wrote:
It is well-known that "officially' there is no connection between TS
and LCC and Co-masonry. But, many in leadership position in one have
held the leadership position in the other. Also, for a newbee, it is
very difficult to reconcile the first object of TS and the hierarchy
of LCC. How many women bishops or priests are there in LCC? Answer is
none. Also it was an invention after the time of HPB. Are there any
mention in HPB's writings or that of MLs
about the future establishment of a Church? Also when one is a member of
multiple organization with cross memberships and leaderships, it produces
all kinds of subtle strong pressures to conform and not to rock the boat if
one wants to move up with titles and get favors like
being provided opportunity to be lecturers etc.

All one needs to do is google the past discussions on the theosophical
maillists to get a gist of the varied opinions on various
organizational issues and some of it will be revealing and as well as

My 0.02.


On 2/13/08, Pablo Sender <> wrote:
> On what grounds do you say that "It was Besant who (with Leadbeater's
> input) turned Theosophy into a religious organization through the
> LCC"? In this circle it is fashionable to criticize Besant and
> Leadbeater for whatever they did, and most of the times the statements
> are unsupported.
> What is the influence of the LCC upon the TS today? NONE. That is the
> truth. But, as result of that endeavor in the past, there is today in
> the world a Christian church that has a theosophical foundation. What
> could be better than that? Since the traditional Christianity is
> dying, the LCC could be a wonderful bridge between Christianity and
> Theosophy in the future. We cannot expect all the Egos with their
> different states of evolution to be interested in Theosophy. But the
> LCC might be a very good tool in taking that step from Christianity to
> Theosophy. The Mahatmas make their plans in terms of hundred of years,
> so we don't know what could the future role of the LCC be.
> Anyway, apart from that, the LCC doesn't affect the TS at all. The
> over-reactions through the years proved to be groundless and based
> only in one thing (as every fundamentalist thinking is): Fear.
> --- In <>, Cass
> Silva <silva_cass@...> wrote:
> >
> > I can see your point, I think. Have you considered that every great
> teacher will have a following. Jesus did not start out to set up
> Christianity but to reintroduce the ancient wisdom. HPB had her
> advaitees too. It was Besant who (with Leadbeater's input) turned
> Theosophy into a religious organization through the LCC and the belief
> that a saviour was to return to save mankind. He was supposedly
> coming into Sydney Harbour!
> >
> > I agree that many people who follow Krishnamurti have an
> intellectual mind set but one cannot blame the teacher if the
> followers misunderstand the message. Yes organizations were set up
> around him, but did he personally benefit from the establishment of
> these organizations? I never saw any trappings of wealth around him,
> all I saw, was a man who devoted his life to spreading the teaching of
> advaita.
> >
> > I guess we are just going to disagree on Krishnamurti as I don't
> place him in the same pot as Besant and Leadbeater. Yes, he had
> personality issues, but so did HPB, the stronger the soul, the
> stronger the ego.
> >
> > Cass
> >
> > Morten Nymann Olesen <global-theosophy@...> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Allright Cass. But, I think you turn it all up side down. Try to
> listen to what I say.
> >
> > I just follow H. P. Blavatsky's views. She said: Theosophy is
> religion, and not a religion.
> > So when I talk about a Theosophical camp it might not be the one you
> refer to.
> >
> > It is when you turn theosophy into - A - religion like J.
> Krishnamurti, Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater did, I do not support
> their activities and views. And the same goes to the present day
> fanatics witihin the J. Krishnamurti camp.
> >
> > M. Sufilight
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Cass Silva
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:03 AM
> > Subject: Re: Theos-World What is Theosophy
> >
> > Sometimes one has to get lost in order to be found. Again, Morten,
> you are attacking Krishnamurti over Theosophy. He never said he was a
> theosophist. He rejected Besant/Leadbeater theosophy because it
> advocated a Maitreya. Don't make the mistake of making Theosophy the
> one true religion.
> > Cass
> >
> > Morten Nymann Olesen <global-theosophy@...> wrote:
> > To all readers
> >
> > My views are:
> >
> > Interesting email Pablo. I thank you.
> >
> > Pablo wrote:
> > "It is our responsibility to
> > preserve a space of freedom for every member to discover universal
> > theosophy by himself so that, by living according to its teachings, he
> > or she may realize the theosophical state of consciousness."
> >
> > A peacefully ask all readers:
> > Does this - "responsibility" - imply, that it is a very good idea to
> promote a socalled Messiah or Meitreya or J. Krishnamurti cult within
> the theosophical camp and thereby creating an emotional or
> intellectual cult of followers, claiming that this is theosophical
> teachings?
> >
> > M. Sufilight
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Pablo Sender
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 5:34 AM
> > Subject: Theos-World What is Theosophy
> >
> > "What is Theosophy?" is one of the most frequently asked
> > questions in the theosophical milieu and, since the word
> > `theosophy' remains without an official definition, it will
> > always be a matter to ponder over. To answer this question, I will quote
> > H. P. Blavatsky's words, because the theosophical movement as a
> > whole accepts her as a common source of inspiration. Nevertheless, the
> > same concepts may be found in many other theosophical writers.
> >
> > The term theosophia apparently was first recorded during the 3rd century
> > of our era by Porphyry, a well-known Alexandrian philosopher who
> > belonged to the Neo-Platonic school. It is composed of two Greek words:
> > theos, meaning `god' or `divine'; and sophia, or
> > `wisdom', which may also be translated as the `wisdom of the
> > gods', `wisdom in things divine', or `divine
> > wisdom'. The term flourished among Neo-Platonists down to the 6th c.
> > and was also used by certain Christians. In the course of time, several
> > people and movements spiritually inclined also adopted the denomination
> > of `theosophers' or `theosophists' for themselves. That
> > was the case of Meister Eckhart in the 14th c., a group of Renaissance
> > philosophers such as Paracelsus in the 16th c., Robert Fludd, Thomas
> > Vaughan, and Jacob Boehme in the 17th; and Emanuel Swedenborg and Karl
> > von Eckartshausen in the 18th c., among others. Finally, the
> > theosophical movement reappeared in the 19th c. with the founding of the
> > Theosophical Society in 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, and
> > others. Through it, certain eternal truths were presented again in a
> > suitable fashion to modern times and a rich literature has been produced
> > by Theosophical Society members in its more than 130 years of activity.
> >
> > But then the question arises: Is theosophy what the founders of the TS
> > taught? Is it what every leader of the TS wrote? What is the
> > relationship between the teachings given through the TS and those older
> > ones also known as theosophy? Since people with different religious and
> > philosophical backgrounds used the same word `theosophist' to
> > call themselves, the term `theosophy' must represent something
> > that unites them beyond concepts and beliefs.
> >
> > Theosophia as a state of consciousness
> >
> > In her article `What is Theosophy?' HPB attempts an explanation
> > of the term `theosophy', describing who a theosophist is. To
> > that end, she quotes Vaughan's definition:
> >
> > A Theosophist-he says-is one who gives you a theory of God or
> > the works of God, which has not revelation, but an inspiration of his
> > own for its basis. [i]
> >
> > A theosophist's knowledge about the Divine does not come from any
> > external source. He does not gather information from books, teachers,
> > etc., but from his own inmost nature. In fact, an essential common
> > feature of every theosophist is his teaching about the possibility for a
> > human being to reach the Divine at the moment of real ecstasy, or what
> > is known as samâdhi in Eastern philosophy. In her article `The
> > Beacon of the Unknown', HPB speaks about this as being a
> > `transcendental Theosophy', which, according to her, `is
> > true Theosophy, inner Theosophy, that of the soul':
> >
> > The infinite cannot be known to our reason, which can only distinguish
> > and define; but we can always conceive the abstract idea thereof, thanks
> > to that faculty higher than our reason-intuition, or the spiritual
> > instinct of which I have spoken. The great initiates, who have the rare
> > power of throwing themselves into the state of samâdhi-which can
> > be but imperfectly translated by the word ecstasy, a state in which one
> > ceases to be the conditioned and personal `I', and becomes one
> > with the ALL-are the only ones who can boast of having been in
> > contact with the infinite; but no more than other mortals can they
> > describe that state in words . . . .
> >
> > These few characteristics of true Theosophy and its practice have been
> > sketched for the small number of our readers who are gifted with the
> > desired intuition. [ii]
> >
> > And HPB herself had access to this kind of Divine Wisdom. Let us see
> > what she wrote about her own source of knowledge:
> >
> > Knowledge comes in visions, first in dreams and then in pictures
> > presented to the inner eye during meditation. Thus have I been taught
> > the whole system. . . . Not a word was spoken to me of all this in the
> > ordinary way . . . nothing taught me in writing. And knowledge so
> > obtained is so clear . . . that all other sources of information, all
> > other methods of teaching with which we are familiar dwindle into
> > insignificance in comparison with this. [iii]
> >
> > This kind of knowledge is much deeper than that acquired through books
> > and lectures, because one deals with reality in a more direct way than
> > through ideas-this perception is supra-conceptual. From this point
> > of view, theosophy, essentially, is not a limited body of concepts, but
> > transcends any verbal formulation. It is a state of Divine Wisdom, which
> > is potentially in every human being. A theosophist, in his turn, is one
> > who realizes that state of inner enlightenment, irrespective of his
> > culture, time, or language:
> >
> > In this view every great thinker and philosopher, especially every
> > founder of a new religion, school of philosophy, or sect, is necessarily
> > a Theosophist. Hence, Theosophy and Theosophists have existed ever since
> > the first glimmering of nascent thought made man seek instinctively for
> > the means of expressing his own independent opinions. [iv]
> >
> > Theosophia and theosophical teachings
> >
> > But the word theosophy is also applied to the theosophical teachings;
> > that is, the body of concepts taught by a theosophist as a result of his
> > insight and wisdom. There is an important difference between theosophy
> > as the state of Divine Wisdom and theosophy as the teachings that come
> > through someone who has attained (whether temporarily or permanently)
> > that enlightened state. The Divine Wisdom is the perception of Truth,
> > but the teachings are a necessarily partial and conditioned expression
> > of the real theosophia. They are, therefore, not the Truth, but a
> > description of it. One may be in touch with the theosophical teachings
> > and know them very well, but it is not the same as to realize the
> > theosophical state of consciousness, because we cannot reach Wisdom
> > through the accumulation of knowledge. When taken as an end in
> > themselves, the theosophical teachings are of little value; but if the
> > aspirant is earnest, their application will help him to live the right
> > life, to develop self-knowledge, and ultimately to awaken the Divine
> > Wisdom that is in his inmost being.
> >
> > Now, the very nature of the theosophical teachings accounts for their
> > diversity. A theosophist will speak according to his own inspiration
> > `expressing his own independent opinions'. They are not
> > brain-born ideas, but arise from a deep state of consciousness, where
> > the individual is facing Truth in some of its many aspects. And in that
> > state he does not learn through easily repeated concepts, but through
> > `images'. He has therefore the difficult task of putting into
> > words his holistic comprehension of something which is beyond our known
> > reality. We can imagine how faint must be the expression of a truth in
> > our languages, and why many mystics refused to put into words that which
> > is Sacred. Quoting again HPB's words:
> >
> > One of the reasons why I hesitate to answer offhand some questions put
> > to me is the difficulty of expressing in sufficiently accurate language
> > things given to me in pictures, and comprehended by me by the pure
> > Reason, as Kant would call it. [v]
> >
> > Nevertheless, they have to communicate it as skilfully as they can if
> > they want to point out the way to others. Thus, the expression of the
> > theosophical teachings must necessarily be different from theosophist to
> > theosophist according to his own temperament, intellectual background,
> > and so on, giving to the theosophical exposition an extraordinarily
> > dynamic nature that prevents it from becoming a creed. Therefore,
> > although one person may feel more attracted by the theosophical
> > teachings as expressed by a particular theosophist, if he has a right
> > understanding, he will know that no verbal exposition is able to express
> > the Truth (not even at an intellectual level) and that theosophia will
> > not be attained by believing in any body of concepts. This is why, since
> > its inception, the Theosophical Society has encouraged no dogmatism or
> > belief.
> >
> > Ancient Wisdom, a universal theosophy
> >
> > There were theosophists and Theosophical Schools for the last 2,000
> > years, from Plato down to the medieval Alchemists, who knew the value of
> > the term, it may be supposed. [vi]
> >
> > Theosophy transcends the Theosophical Society and was with humanity
> > since its inception, not only in Western countries, but also in the
> > whole world. Since `every great thinker and philosopher is a
> > Theosophist', Buddha, Zoroaster, Lao Tzu, Jesus Christ,
> > Patañjali, Sankarâchârya, Nâgârjuna, and Rumi, among
> > others, gave theosophical teachings, no matter how they labelled their
> > teachings.
> >
> > According to the theosophical view, every world religion is based on,
> > and comes from, one and the same ancient truth known in the past as the
> > `Wisdom-Religion'. This universal theosophy we are talking about
> > `is the body of truths which forms the basis of all religions, and
> > which cannot be claimed as the exclusive possession of any'.
> >
> > However, the pure and original teachings of religions became, in time,
> > more or less corrupted by human ambition and selfishness, and obscured
> > by superstition and ignorance. Thus, universal theosophy became
> > entangled in a mass of confusion, and now a special effort is necessary
> > to bring back its purity. One of the aims of the Theosophical Society is
> > to encourage its members to investigate and discover the eternal truths
> > enshrined in different religions, philosophies, and sciences, and to
> > offer them to the public in a purified form.
> >
> > Modern Theosophy and the TS
> >
> > When the Theosophical Society was founded it had no literature of its
> > own, and the main activity of its members was in the field of that
> > universal theosophy. But today, after more than 130 years, the
> > literature produced through the TS covers a wide field of subject
> > matter. It has a metaphysical dimension that teaches the functioning and
> > constitution of the Cosmos, the aim of sentient existence in different
> > forms of life, the universal laws that rule its development, and so on.
> > Besides, modern theosophical literature speaks about right living and
> > the application of theosophical principles in daily life and, finally,
> > there are also a good number of books revealing universal theosophy as
> > present in different myths, philosophies, religions, and sciences. All
> > this literature is known as `modern Theosophy' (now usually
> > written with a capital `T').
> >
> > Modern Theosophy offers a certain shared cosmovision, but since it was
> > produced by some theosophists' own inspiration, it is not a definite
> > body of knowledge, but a dynamic exposition that differs in many details
> > or ways of expression from one author to another. Modern Theosophy is
> > not based on revelation or the teachings given by someone considered
> > special and infallible, and it constantly receives new additions,
> > presenting different aspects and new formulations of the theosophical
> > principles. In fact, that is the way the Founders originally meant it,
> > as revealed in many of their writings, and even in those of the Masters
> > of the Wisdom. For example, in her first letter to the American
> > Theosophists assembled in the 1888 Convention, HPB wrote:
> >
> > According as people are prepared to receive it, so will new Theosophical
> > teachings be given. But no more will be given than the world, on its
> > present level of spirituality, can profit by. It depends on the spread
> > of Theosophy-the assimilation of what has been already given-how
> > much more will be revealed and how soon. [vii]
> >
> > If modern Theosophy would have been given to the world only during the
> > first years of the TS, the remaining members working for more than 100
> > years on a repetition of what had already been given, it would mean the
> > failure of the theosophical movement, as HPB warns in The Key to
> > Theosophy [viii]. But fortunately that was not the case. There were
> > several theosophists in the Theosophical Society, and each one of them
> > transmitted his insights and wisdom in a distinct and original way.
> >
> > The role of the Theosophical Society
> >
> > Theosophy is an all-embracing Science; many are the ways leading to it,
> > as numerous in fact as its definitions. [ix]
> >
> > Many are the ways leading to that state of Divine Wisdom, because many
> > are the different personal dispositions, states of development, and
> > karmic bonds of every aspirant. The emphasis in every genuine
> > theosophical association is not gathered around a single way but around
> > a single aim. Thus, for example, J. Boehme's Christian theosophy,
> > Mme Blavatsky's occultist theosophy, and J. Krishnamurti's
> > psychological theosophy (if we can give them those labels), though
> > different in language and concepts, are nevertheless theosophical
> > teachings, since they all tend to awaken the Divine Wisdom in the
> > aspirant. And this feature of the TS, the policy of allowing freedom of
> > thought and encouraging its members' incessant searching with an
> > open mind, is essential not only for the realization of theosophia in
> > oneself, but also for the vitality of the modern theosophical movement.
> > In HPB's words:
> >
> > Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is
> > diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical
> > Society a living and healthy body, its many other ugly features
> > notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount
> > of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy
> > divergences would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a
> > sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of
> > the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge.
> > [x]
> >
> > Almost every sentence of this excerpt is worthy of deep thought, but we
> > will leave that to the reader. We will only point out that to say
> > genuine Theosophy is only HPB's and her Masters' teachings (for
> > example) is not only based on a misunderstanding of what theosophy
> > really is, but it also goes against the TS' own interests. One
> > individual member may agree particularly with a certain exposition of
> > theosophy, let us say, Mme Blavatsky's, and he has a right to do so.
> > But he should neither try to force others to accept his view, nor claim
> > that her particular expression of theosophy should be exclusively
> > studied, at the risk of betraying the Founders' original aim. The
> > Theosophical Society, aiming to become a nucleus of the universal
> > brotherhood, must remain open to universal theosophy, to everything that
> > may help to morally and spiritually elevate people who belong to
> > different races, creeds, sex, castes, and colours. Otherwise, it will
> > become a particular sect, promoting a `stereotyped creed',
> > suitable only to a portion of humanity sharing certain common
> > characteristics. That would be the failure of the TS:
> >
> > Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in
> > failure, because, sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set
> > up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees
> > that vitality which living truth alone can impart. [xi]
> >
> > Of course, this does not imply that where Theosophical groups as such
> > meet should be a place to spread other traditions (see John Algeo's
> > `On the Watch-Tower', The Theosophist April 2007) nor that
> > everything promoted as being a `spiritual teaching' is really
> > theosophy. That is, not everything promoted as being spiritual,
> > philosophical or religious helps to elevate the human condition. As we
> > said, sometimes the originally spiritual teaching was corrupted out of
> > ignorance, thirst for domination, and so on. In other cases the teaching
> > is offered by a `false prophet'-someone whose intention is not
> > at all to give a spiritual teaching, but to obtain personal profit.
> > There are also some schools that spread a kind of `spiritual
> > materialism' leading to the psychic, to fanaticism, or other forms
> > of selfishness, as is happening today in the New Age movement to a large
> > extent. Therefore, each member of the TS must develop a deep
> > understanding and discrimination in order to discover, in an open and
> > non-dogmatic way, where theosophy is truly expressed and where it is
> > not.
> >
> > Summary
> >
> > Thus it is clear that the term `theosophy' is used in different
> > contexts. To clarify this matter, we could apply the following
> > classification to make a distinction among the different applications of
> > this term:
> >
> > a) theosophia: the transcendental theosophy, that is, the state of
> > consciousness of inner enlightenment.
> >
> > b) universal theosophy: those theosophical teachings given by every
> > great thinker, sage, and philosopher, modern or ancient. In this
> > category we may add two subcategories:
> >
> > b1) ancient theosophy, sometimes called the Ancient Wisdom,
> > meaning that ancient truth known in the past as the
> > `Wisdom-Religion'.
> >
> > b2) modern Theosophy, the Theosophical teachings offered by
> > members of the Theosophical Society.
> >
> > Since the TS was not founded to promote any particular system, its
> > members should not limit Theosophy to a definite set of concepts, if
> > they do not want to create a new cult. It is our responsibility to
> > preserve a space of freedom for every member to discover universal
> > theosophy by himself so that, by living according to its teachings, he
> > or she may realize the theosophical state of consciousness.
> >
> > Pablo D. Sender
> >
> > The Theosophist, Dec. 2007
> > <>
> >
> > References
> >
> > [i] Collected Writings, vol. II, p. 88, `What is Theosophy?'
> >
> > [ii] Ibid., XI, p. 258.
> >
> > [iii] Ibid., XIII, p. 285, `Knowledge Comes in Visions'.
> >
> > [iv] Ibid., II, p. 88, `What is Theosophy?'
> >
> > [v] Ibid., XIII, p. 285, `Knowledge Comes in Visions'.
> >
> > [vi] Ibid., VII, p. 169, `The Original Programme Manuscript'.
> >
> > [vii] Ibid., IX, p. 244, `Letter from H. P. Blavatsky to the Second
> > American Convention'.
> >
> > [viii] The Key to Theosophy, Conclusion, `The Future of the
> > Theosophical Society'.
> >
> > [ix] CW, vol. VII, p. 169, `The Original Programme Manuscript'.
> >
> > [x] Ibid., IX, pp. 243-4, `Letter from H. P. Blavatsky to the Second
> > American Convention'.
> >
> > [xi] The Key to Theosophy, Conclusion, `The Future of the
> > Theosophical Society'.
> >
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >
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