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The future of the TS

Jan 09, 2009 04:47 PM
by Cass Silva

No wonder Besant wanted all the copies of this paper burned - thanks Katinka!
These are some extracts
To-day we seem to have drifted steadily away from the "original impulses" which H.P. Blavatsky referred to; drifted so far, indeed, that even our President - who has worked so strenuously to build up the Society - seems unable to reconcile the policy of today with H.P. Blavatsky's original impulses, and H.P.B. has apparently to be put in the wrong. Referring to "The Key to Theosophy" statements, the President writes in the "Watchtower" of "The Theosophist" for June, 1921: -
          "It is inconsistent, under these circumstances, to make H.P. Blavatsky's reading of a phrase of a Tibetan teacher, addressed some centuries ago to a group of his followers, a direction to the T.S. of the twentieth century, outlining its work for one hundred years. The T.S. does not even assert the existence of the Hierarchy. How, then, can it be bound by the direction of a Buddhist Lama? The `present objects' of the Society were not laid down by H.P. Blavatsky, still less by any superhuman teacher. They have been changed several times, and were last hammered out by a small committee.
 "The present objects of the Society were not," says Mrs. Besant, "laid down by H.P. Blavatsky." Admittedly they were laid down by a very few people, of whom H.P. Blavatsky was one and Col. Olcott, the joint founder of the Society, another. To nominate a small committee to "hammer them out" would be a common-sense way of getting them defined for registration; but readers of Mrs. Besant's comment must not suppose that these objects have been changed from time to time at the fickle will of later generations. In September, 1881, a Mr. A.O. Hume, replying to criticisms in an English review, quotes the objects as they then stood (see "The Occult World" preface to fourth edition), and they read: - 
          (1) To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of humanity.
          (2) To study Aryan literature, religion, and science.
          (3) To explain the importance of this enquiry. 
          (4) To explore the hidden mysteries in Nature and the latent powers in man.
          The difference between this wording and that now found in our magazines forty years later is the difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and the basic object then as now was, "To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of humanity." Not, be it noted, to start a new fashion in our regard for morality and sex matters; not to provide an adventist movement; not to promote a new religion or a new religious sect. The aim is, however, positive and constructive. To form a nucleus which shall be universal. No one sect can be universal, no one religion can be universal, no view of sex matters
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can be universal; these things are all opposed to universality, and therefore forbidden to the Theosophical Society. To avoid association with any set of ideas, or any movement which is sectarian, becomes for us as much a constructive duty as to establish new centers in which the ideals of universal brotherhood can be promoted and the Ancient Wisdom promulgated.
          H.P. Blavatsky cannot and should not be quoted as authoritative on this question of T.S. objects, or any other. All probably can admit that. All the same, members may perhaps be allowed to decide for themselves as to whether, when opinions clash, they will prefer to accept her views or those of others. Those of our members in the American section who have banded themselves in a "Back to Blavatsky" movement, claim no more than this. It is puerile to attempt to meet the difficulties of such members by mis-stating their platform and pretending that H.P. Blavatsky is being set up as the root of some Theosophical orthodoxy.
These are Mr. Leadbeater's words, officially recorded and printed in the Convention issue (May 2, 1921) of "Theosophy in Australia," on page 56, after revision by the speaker:
          "I will tell you this much, if it is of any interest to you. Your President and I work together on other planes than this; but we have always made it our custom to interchange communication on the physical plane with regard to occult matters. We find it best to do this, because we recognize there may be mistakes in transmission, so that when I get anything of importance I immediately - write or telegraph it to her in the same way. If she remembers it, she sends it to me, and so we compare our two statements. That is of no particular interest to you, except in so far as it gives you a little glimpse of the care which we take. Apparently some people think we make vague statements out of the void. As a matter of fact, we have regarded ourselves, because we have developed other powers, as eyes for the Society, and as far as we have been able, we have shared our knowledge with our brothers. But always before we do that we take every
 precaution to see it is right, and again and again I have modified some point because she has not seen it, and she has modified some things because I have not seen them. We give to you the residuum which we have both seen."
In these words it is made clear to all that the policy of the Theosophical Society is a matter of the psychic vision of two people, to be decided from time to time, as this inner vision may determine. If the T.S. is to be a sect or a new religion there is no need to quarrel with this arrangement. Other religions have been started in the same way and made quite a big show in the world. The great Mormon organization had as its foundation the visions of Joseph Smith. Swedenborg, one of the most capable of modern psychics, left behind him a new sect; and who does not remember the seeings of the warrior psychic, Mahomet, whose followers now vie in numbers with those of the world's greatest religions. But why continue with examples? History is full of them.

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