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To Govert: Part 3: Theosophical SOURCE Material

Mar 21, 2009 06:32 AM
by danielhcaldwell

I would like to quote what Jerry H.E. wrote years ago on theos-l:

"...we tried to promote a historically based general definition of
[Theosophical] source material that focuses upon the period before
the splits [in the Theosophical Society], when this material
was being given out for the first time. Therefore, this period is
common history for everybody [i.e., for Theosophical students]".

Notice Jerry's words:

"...when this material was being given out for THE FIRST TIME". caps

It was H.P. Blavatsky who showed up on the public scene in late 1874
and 1875 in America and started the process of giving out the "source
material" which she said emanated from her Lodge, from her Masters.

In July, 1875, when she wrote her "first occult shot" Olcott knew
virtually nothing about the "source teachings" except what HPB had
started to give him.

Judge, Mavalankar, Sinnett, Subba Row, Chatterji, Holloway,
Leadbeater, Besant and others had not even meet HPB at this time!

Each in turn had a fateful day when they heard of and then met HPB.

She was the SOURCE, the channel through which each of them obtained
their initial knowledge and understanding of Theosophy and the

Sinnett himself readily admits this in one of his books "The Early
Days of Theosophy":

"Madame Blavatsky is the CENTRAL FIGURE to be considered. She was THE
ONE PERSON who knew of her own knowledge, that The Brothers, ? as she
called them in those days ? were Beings, human in aspect, of flesh
and blood, for she had been for a time in company with two of them in
Tibet. She knew they had dazzling powers in dealing with the affairs
of the world. She herself had faculties of a super-physical order
that kept her in touch with them wherever she might be. She knew she
had a mission to fulfil which had for the moment assumed the shape of
the Theosophical Society. She must have been conscious of possessing
wonderful powers the exercise of which was under restriction, to
which she submitted in devotion to the great Brother whom she
regarded as her own Master, in a pre-eminent degree. ?[page 17] caps

Relevant to keep in mind is what HPB herself wrote in 1877 in her
very first book ISIS UNVEILED. She told her readers about these
Adepts and her role in giving out the fundamentals of Theosophy as

". . .we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such
mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly
designate them as the sages of the Orient. To their instructions we
lent a ready ear." p. vi

"The work now submitted to public judgment is the fruit of a somewhat
intimate acquaintance with Eastern adepts and study of their
science." p. v

Moving on....

And during the 16 and 1/2 years of her public work, HPB was
constantly giving out these "source teachings" of Theosophy.

And if, for example, William Judge or C.W. Leadbeater had never become
a Theosophist, we would still have Theosophy as given by HPB in the
10,000 plus pages of her writings as well as all the extant letters
of the Masters.

If Sinnett or Besant had never come into contact with HPB or if they
had become students of Theosophy but had never written a word on the
subject, we would still have "the source teachings" as given through

Historically speaking therefore, HPB was the SOURCE, i.e. "the point
at which something springs into being", for Theosophy as we know it
in modern times.

HPB came FIRST; each of the individuals named above came LATER.

Now I am not saying that Olcott, Judge, Mavalankar, Sinnett,
Leadbeater Besant and others may not have made contributions to the
Theosophical work that HPB had originally started. They may have....

But my point here is that they built on her original foundation, they
followed or tried to follow or at least said they tried to follow in
her footsteps.

But had none of these individuals ever written any thing on
Theosophy, the "source teachings" as given by HPB would still be

Notice again that Jerry HE writes: "...we tried to promote a
historically based general definition of source material that focuses
upon the period BEFORE [caps added] the splits [occurred in the
Theosophical Society]....]

When did the splits occur? One split that Jerry HE is probably
referring to is the serious split between Besant and Judge.

But there was a "split" as early as 1886 when A.P. Sinnett sought
communication with the Masters through a SOURCE other than HPB.

Originally Sinnett was put into contact VIA HPB with the Masters
through letters beginning in Oct. 1880.

But in 1884, he started to "resent" some of what the Masters were
telling him in their letters. And he began to have doubts about HPB
and sought in 1886 to gain access to the Masters through Maude
Trevers whom he hypnotised.

Actually Sinnett had tried this very same thing (hypnosis) in the
summer of 1884 with Laura Holloway.

Sinnett's seeking for a source to the Masters OTHER THAN through HPB,
lead finally to that famous K.H. letter to Colonel Olcott in August,
1888. (See Letter 19 in "The Letters of the Masters of the
Wisdom*First Series".)

Olcott, Judge, Mavalankar, Sinnett, Subba Row, Leadbeater, Besant AND
OTHERS may have made valuable contributions to Theosophy BUT whatever
they accomplished (or did not accomplish) was built upon the
foundation of "source teachings" FIRST given by H.P. Blavatsky.

And when the serious split between Judge on one side and
Besant/Olcott on the other side started and culminated in 1893-1995,
BOTH SIDES claimed contact with the Masters and the deceased HPB.
Then the Theosophical Society was splintered.

Who was in the right and who was in the wrong is not easy to

But I have file folders of letters from serious Theosophy students
giving their differing views. Some believe Besant and Olcott fell by
the wayside and Judge remained faithful to the Masters. Others
believe Judge fell by the wayside as well as Olcott and Besant.
Others say Judge failed but Besant continued the orginal tradition.
etc. etc.

On Theos-Talk in the last few years we have seen various
correspondents take different sides and views. Frank R., Anand G.,
Dallas T., Nigel C. and others have voiced their differing views.
Now Govert has posted some material giving even another view.

Going back to what Jerry H.E. wrote: "Therefore, this period [before
the splits] is common history for everybody."

I would amend this to read:

Therefore, this period BEFORE HPB died SHOULD BE common history for

Again summarising the above:

HPB was the first to come on the public stage and give the source
teachings of Theosophy in 10,000 + pages of writings plus the letters
of the Masters given out during HPB's life.

The Theosophists I have mentioned above and others such as Tingley,
de Purucker, Bailey, etc. came on the scene sometime after HPB. They
may have all been sincere, truth seeking individuals and all may have
made to a greater or lesser degree various contributions (literary or
otherwise) to HPB's work, but especially after HPB's death, claims
and counter claims proliferated.

For a listing of more of the claims and counterclaims, see:

But Theosophical students should have in HPB's claims and teachings a
COMMON SOURCE to focus on, regardless of the truth and validity of
the secondary "sources" and later claims of some of HPB's students or
later followers or claimants after HPB died.

Now, I am not implying or saying that there were no contacts with the
Masters after HPB's death. After her death and even today other
agents MAY have come forth. That is, genuine contacts from HPB's

Unfortunately, you cannot get a room of serious Theosophy/Blavatsky
students from diverse Theosophical backgrounds to agree on who that
person or agent was or is!

That is a fact that should make a reflective and thoughtful person
pause and ponder.

I suggest especially to new students and inquirers that they would be
wise to focus [at least initially] on the writings of HPB and the
letters of the Masters which from the perspective I have been
outlining above are the SOURCE Teachings of modern day Theosophy.

Here is a huge body of material that contains more than enough food
for thought for serious inquirers, seekers and new Theosophists.

Daniel Caldwell


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