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Re: The Esoteric Section

Nov 09, 2008 10:44 PM
by Anand

> Let's have a look at Mrs. Besant's remarks in The Theosophist of 
> October 1907: 
> "In the T.S. we have a curious mixture. The Exoteric Society is 
> purely democratic - it is only fair to admit this fully. On the other 
> side we have an Esoteric body which is practically autocratic in its 
> constitution ... The existence of a secret body to rule the outer 
> Society made the constitution of the T.S. a mere farce, for it was at 
> the mercy of the inner � All the differences that arose between the 
> Colonel and myself were on this point; he could not believe that I 
> was serious in saying that I would not use the E.S. against him, but 
> slowly he came to understand it ... The greatest power will always be 
> in the hands of the E.S., and not in the head of the Society ... I 
> know that I exercise a quite unwarrantable power. This is what makes 
> some people say there should not be an E.S.T. � We must recognize the 
> danger and try to neutralize it. At any time during the last fifteen 
> years I could have checkmated the Colonel on any point if I had 
> chosen ..." 

Last many days I had been thinking about this conflict of
principles-democracy in TS and autocracy in ES interfering in each
other. But I have not found any satisfactory solution so far, so I did
not talk about it. I think ES is important and necessary, but it also
defeats to some extent democracy expected in TS. Annie Besant has
described it quite eloquently and boldly.
There are two points that need to be noted in above passages of Annie
1) It is possible for ES head to checkmate TS President.
2) "We must recognize the danger (as given in point 1) and try to
neutralize it." Annie Besant suggests in this second point that ES
head should show high level of morality and refrain from abusing power
which ES headship confers. But whether ES head uses or abuses his
power depends on his own conscience. It appears that so far there are
no constitutional provisions which can stop ES head from abusing
power, and only thing that can stop it is his own conscience and
desire to be morally right.
If Annie Besant could not find constitutional provisions to avoid
these dangers, it obviously is difficult to find constitutional
solution to avoid this problem. 
I read messages from some shallow minded members, who said that ES
should be closed to solve this problem. It is like saying "If brain
has a problem, just remove the brain"
I was told that earlier ES head and TS President were different
individuals. And I also heard that during the Presidency of Radha
Burnier, rules were changed giving ES headship to elected President of
the TS, who was Radha Burnier herself. Perhaps this focusing of ES
power in TS President further makes TS autocratic. 
Some people might have knowledge about this rule change which gave ES
headship to TS President. This requires more information and analysis.

Anand Gholap

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