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Excommunication of the Heretic Elections?

Jun 02, 2008 11:31 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

To all readers

My views are:

There is an interesting phamplet published in The Theosophical Society in 1930, which was talked about some years back at this forum named Theos-talk. Now it is online at Govert  Schuller's website. (

Here is an interesting part of it:
Revelation or Realization:

The Conflict in Theosophy 

by J.J. van der Leeuw, LL.D.

"When Krishnamurti began speaking in his own authority, and in his own name as the World Teacher, the things he said were widely different in spirit and purpose from all messages thus received. First of all, he emphatically denied being the vehicle of another consciousness or being used by anyone who spoke through him or inspired him. He claimed to be the World Teacher, not because some other intelligence possessed or used him, but be cause he had gained liberation and become one with life, which is the only Teacher. He utterly denied having any apostles or even disciples and rejected ceremonial, however and wherever used, as an obstacle on the path to liberation. Neither would he have anything to do with the occult path of discipleship and initiation, characterising all these as "unessentials." It was therefore inevitable that theosophists all over the world should have begun to doubt all previous revelations and to suspect that these were more in the nature of subjective opinions.
It takes the mental acrobatics of trained theosophical students to reconcile the contradictory facts contained in the earlier revelations and the subsequent teaching of Krishnamurti. Even though he himself strongly denies being used by another consciousness, they claim to know better than he does what is actually taking place in his own consciousness, and still maintain that there is another person, the "real" World Teacher, living in the Himalayas, who occasionally speaks through Krishnamurti. This real World Teacher entirely endorses all previous revelations, he has apostles and approves the ceremonial movements, especially the Liberal Catholic Church. The fact that Krishnamurti denies the value of all these is then explained by the fact that he, being "only a vehicle", cannot express fully the "glorious consciousness" which they, the speakers, know so much more intimately than he. Thus it means nothing that he should contradict things previously revealed, it only shows that at that time, it was not the World Teacher speaking - but only Mr. Krishnamurti. The interesting situation arises that a few people are to be credited with the ability to tell us when Krishnamurti speaks and when the World Teacher is speaking. The result would seem to be that when the opinions agree with their own, it is the World Teacher speaking, while otherwise it is Mr. Krishnamurti. The only one who evidently is not to be believed, when he says the World Teacher is speaking, is Mr. Krishnamurti himself.

It is needless to expound further the length to which theosophical casuistry can go; the tragical fact remains that there appears to be less desire to understand what Krishnamurti says than to fit it in with revelations previously given. It would be far simpler to recognize the previous revelations to have been erroneous. But this, of course, would discredit the cause of revelation.

Enough, however, has been said to show how fatal the effects of revelation are in any movement. The fact that revelation is a message coming from an unseen authority, inaccessible to others, places it beyond the realm of reason and makes it impossible to criticise or discuss its value. In all discussions which I have ever had on the subject the adherents of revelation would always end by saying, "Well, all I can say is that the Master told me to do this, and so I do it." This ends any discussion, and puts the question beyond reason. Thus I maintain that the evil effects of revelation are caused by the fact that revelation can only be accepted or denied, but never criticised in the light of reason. I know that theoretically this can be done, and whenever the subject is brought up, we are told that theosophical leaders have always urged their disciples to judge for themselves and not accept anything because they said it. This, however, is theory; in practice, one who ventured to criticise or doubt a message coming from the Master, would suffer the silent excommunication of the heretic, and be made to feel that he was unfit to be of the elect. 

Of what value is the freedom to criticise and to judge for oneself when, in the rare cases, where some brave soul has ventured to do so, we are told that "in incarnations to come, he will, through untold suffering, grope in vain for the light which he thus willfully rejected"? This is but Eternal Damnation in another form. It is the threat and fear of punishment to come which terrorises the would-be critic back into an attitude of obedient submissiveness. In the Mahatma Letters and the correspondence between H.P.B. and Sinnett, we can read what is said about those who do not take a hint once given, or who dare to argue about an order coming from above. Even Sinnett himself was repeatedly threatened with the breaking off of all further intercourse with his Master if he did not follow the orders given. And there is no doubt that, if a theosophist at any time criticises or rejects a message coming to him from the Master through an appointed channel, he will thereby be said to have cut himself off for a long time to come from any further such privileges. Where simultaneously discipleship and a drawing nearer to the Master are held up as the goal of life, it is clear that the theoretical freedom of criticism means the giving up of all that is held dearest and highest in the life of theosophists."

M. Sufilight

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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