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Re: Theos-World Blavatsky & Krishnamurti (3)

Feb 19, 2009 07:25 AM
by Govert Schuller

Dear Pedro,

Thanks for taking some time while facing deadlines.

Before responding I like to reconstruct your argument, just to be sure I understand it.Your argument seems to go as follows:

The original writings of Marx were distorted by the emerging ideology and political activism of Marxism. Marx had to be saved from Marxism.

Parallel to this:

The spirit of HPB's original thought has to be saved from the Theosophical Movement as the latter became fundamentalist Blavatsky-ism. HPB has to be saved from Theosophy.

To retrieve the spirit one can do so through the analogous idea that any set of writings has a body, soul and spirit and that by careful differentiation between the three the spirit can be discerned and assimilated. 

Applied to HPB: the body of her writing is the whole of the Perennial Wisdom, its soul is Selflessness, and its spirit is Freedom, especially the freedom from the illusion of separateness, as the concept of the Tao and HPB's TRUTH indicate.  

Different authors of the Perennial Wisdom have given different emphases on the different parts, but all have indicated the need to transcend the mind, and this has to be done by oneself.

Therefore (and this seems to be the underlying conclusion and aim of your argument):

Krishnamurti--being a thinker within the Perennial Wisdom Tradition emphasizing liberation from mentation, images, outer authority and other separateness inducing activities--is closer to the spirit of HPB's teachings than any fundamentalist Blavatskyite or neo-Theosophist might be aware of (even to the point that it is Krishnamurti par excellence who can lead the Theosophical Movement back to its original spirit and therefore may occupy now a preferential position). 

Fair reconstruction?



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Pedro Oliveira 
  Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 7:43 PM
  Subject: Re: Theos-World Blavatsky & Krishnamurti (3)


  Dear Govert,

  Thank you for your comments. I must confess that extreme language
  ("Krishnamurti was used by the anti-Christ"), absolutistic language
  ("K failed") or even ideological name-calling ("You are a
  Krishnamurtian Theosophist"), as used in previous messages discussing
  Krishnamurti's teachings vis-a-vis Theosophy in this list, have
  somewhat discouraged me to join the discussion. However, I would like
  to contribute a few ideas before an army of deadlines engulfs me.

  When I was a student of Philosophy in Brazil, one of the presenters at
  a conference held at the university I was studying in, dealt with the
  following subject: "To Free Marx from Marxism." As you probably know,
  almost every department of Philosophy in a number of countries in
  South-America after WWII was dominated by Marxists as Karl Marx's
  ideology seduced quite a number of intellectuals in the western world
  for a number of decades. The point made by the presenter at that
  conference many years ago was that Marxism had become an ideology, an
  emotionally-laden world view, mixed up with political struggles and
  the promised land of Revolution and its myths, all of which had thrown
  a thick cloud on Karl Marx as an author, philosopher and economist.

  I would like to suggest, almost faintheartedly, that the history of
  the Theosophical Movement makes it difficult to appreciate HPB's
  teachings, or any other author for that matter, because of the
  deep-seated emotional reactions generated by the perception of the
  writings of the post-HPB authors vis-a-vis the so called original
  authority of her writings. They have become such a benchmark for so
  many students that many times the expression "Theosophical Movement"
  seems to be interpreted or even held to be the history of Blavatsky's
  teachings and of those who broke away from them. Please understand
  that what I have just said is a very tentative enunciation of my
  thoughts on the subject as I am still trying to understand and come to
  terms with it. But I would venture to say that there may be a sense in
  which HPB's teachings may have been "imprisoned" by the Theosophical
  Movement when the latter is seen as a deep-seated emotional and
  intellectual investment that tends to alienate and exclude almost
  every non-Blavatskyan formulation of a theosophical worldview.

  As you know, HPB placed great importance on the law of analogy. Annie
  Besant wrote in her book Esoteric Christianity: "In the Fourth Book of
  De Principiis, Origen explains at length his views on the
  interpretation of Scripture. It has a "body", which is the "common and
  historical sense"; a "soul", a figurative meaning to be discovered by
  the exercise of the intellect; and a " spirit," an inner and divine
  sense, to be known only by those who have "the mind of Christ"." 

  Can Theosophy have a body, a soul and a spirit?

  Perhaps we could see the 'body' as the teachings of the Perennial
  Wisdom throughout the ages, in many cultures. I would suggest that the
  'soul' is Altruism or Selflessness, the result of the assimilation of
  the teachings. And one could imagine the 'spirit' as freedom in its
  broadest and deepest sense. Although these three dimensions may be
  seen as present in many expressions of Theosophia, different teachers
  may have given different emphasis to each. But it seems clear from
  their teachings that the ultimate goal implies the complete
  emancipation of human consciousness from the great illusion:
  separateness. A few examples:

  "The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and
  unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and
  unchanging name." (Form Book 1 of the Tao Te Ching, translated by J.

  "This mode of thinking (she says) is what the Indians call Jnana Yoga.
  As one progresses in Jnana Yoga, one finds conceptions arising which,
  though one is conscious of them, one cannot express nor yet formulate
  into any sort of mental picture. As time goes on these conceptions
  will form into mental pictures. This is a time to be on guard and
  refuse to be deluded with the idea that the new found and wonderful
  picture must represent reality. It does not. As one works on, one
  finds the once admired picture growing dull and unsatisfying, and
  finally fading out or being thrown away. This is another danger point,
  because for the moment one is left in a void without any conception to
  support one, and one may be tempted to revive the cast-off picture for
  want of a better to cling to. The true student will, however, work on
  unconcerned, and presently further formless gleams come, which again
  in time give rise to a larger and more beautiful picture than the
  last. But the learner will now know that no picture will ever
  represent the TRUTH. This last splendid picture will grow dull and
  fade like the others. And so the process goes on, until at last the
  mind and its pictures are transcended and the learner enters and
  dwells in the World of NO FORM, but of which all forms are narrowed
  reflections." ("Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy")

  I would like to highlight the following statement by HPB from the
  above quote:

  "But the learner will now know that no picture will ever represent the

  If we become fixated on the body of Theosophy we may become prisoners
  of images or descriptions of universal processes and systems. Here is
  HPB's warning about the dangers of excessive mentation:

  "The Atom, the Man, the God (she says) are each separately, as well as
  all collectively, Absolute Being in their last analysis, that is their
  REAL INDIVIDUALITY. It is this idea which must be held always in the
  background of the mind to form the basis for every conception that
  arises from study of the S. D. The moment one lets it go (and it is
  most easy to do so when engaged in and of the many intricate aspects
  of the Esoteric Philosophy), the idea of SEPARATION supervenes, and
  the study loses its value." (same source as the previous quotation)

  I would like to suggest that every teacher of the Perennial Wisdom, in
  some aspects of their teaching, have pointed to the intrinsic
  conditioning of the human mind and the need to transcend it. This may
  have been Krishnamurti's essential emphasis. But he certainly was not
  alone in this. The Samskrit word 'shaksatkara' means experience, not
  ordinary experience, but a transformative experience. It is derived
  from the verb 'shaksat', "to see with one's own eyes". Perhaps HPB was
  emphasizing a similar view when she wrote:

  "Be what he may, once that a student abandons the old and trodden
  highway of routine, and enters upon the solitary path of independent
  thought--Godward --he is a Theosophist; an original thinker, a seeker
  after the eternal truth with "an inspiration of his own" to solve the
  universal problems." ("What are the Theosophists?", The Theosophist,
  October 1897.)

  With best wishes,



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