Re: Theos-World Discrimination
Jun 30, 2009 08:50 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
Dear Robert and friends
My views are:
* First. I will suggest that the Seekers considers whether this fascimile version is the real origianal one. Is it the real one?
* Second. If I should defend H. P. Blavatsky, I would ask:
Can the readers tell me whether there is clear and important difference between "blind obedience" and "spiritual obedience", and whether it is more likely that H. P. Blavatsky was referring to latter kind of obedience in the Pledge folder???
Remember that if there was any person in the 19th century who fought agsint blind beliefs and blind obediences it was H. P. Blavatsky. So to accuse her for having the opposite view is quite unfair as far as I am concerned.
* Third. The word obedience did as far as I know, not have the same sinister ring to it in 1888 as it has today.
* Fourth. And I am sure any ES pledge folder today would be quite different in content, if one would at all use a pledge folder. The theosophical teachings always adapt it self to time, place, people and circumstances - and humanity's level of evolution.
* Fifth. Please read the below carefully.
H. P. Blavatsky said (Esoteric Section III, p.640):
"But the case of each of you, pledged to the HIGHER SELF, is quite another matter. You cannot invoke this Divine Witness with impunity, and once that you have put yourself under its tutelage, you have asked the Radiant Light to shine into and search through all the dark corners of your being; consciously you have invoked the Divine Justice of Karma to take note of your motives, to scrutinize your actions, and to enter up all in your account. The step is as irrevocable as that of the infant taking birth. Never again can you force yourselves back into the Matrix of Avidyâ and irresponsibility. Resignation and return of your pledges will not help you. Though you flee to the uttermost parts of the earth, and hide yourselves from the sight of man, or seek oblivion in the tumult of the social whirl, that LIGHT will find you out and lighten your every thought, word and deed. Were any of you so foolish as to suppose that it was to poor, miserable H.P.B. you were giving your pledge? All she can do is to send to each earnest one among you, a most sincerely fraternal sympathy and hope for a good outcome to your endeavours. Nevertheless, be not discouraged, but try, ever keep trying,* twenty failures are not irremediable if followed by as many undaunted struggles upward. Is it not so that mountains are climbed?"
H. P. Blavatsky said:
"Even in some exoteric public branches, the members pledge themselves on their "Higher Self" to live the life prescribed by Theosophy. They have to bring their Divine Self to guide their every thought and action, every day and at every moment of their lives. A true Theosophist ought "to deal justly and walk humbly." "
"Unfortunately, the state of men's minds in the present century is such that, unless we allow these clauses to remain, so to speak, obsolete, no man or woman would dare to risk joining the Theosophical Society."..."No Theosophist should be silent when he hears evil reports or slanders spread about the Society, or innocent persons, whether they be his colleagues or outsiders. "
(The Key to Theosophy, p. 49-52, 250)
- - -
The Pledge taken in the ES was towards the Inner Self, and towards seeking to work according to the rule of seeking the Social Relations (here working together with HPB) spiritually needed. Disagreements occurred in the ES when HPB was its Outer Head, but also agreements. Sometimes a given teacher will have to ask a student of a Section similar to ES to leave and recommend the person to travel to another Teacher of a similar but different ES, and a Teacher who will be named to the student so he or she will be able to identify that particular Teacher. I.e. Sometimes.
And sometimes a Seeker claims that he or she are eager to learn, but when the truth is told, the Seeker runs a way and perhaps back into the ordinary primitive pleasures of life, or starts to behave like a snerrer or a worshipper towards the Teacher. I.e. Sometimes.
Interview with Idries Shah about Sufi circles (ie. theosophical ES groups):
"IS: In responsible Sufi circles, no one attempts to handle either the sneerers or the worshippers, and they are very politely detached from the others.
EH: They are not fertile ground?
IS: They have something else to do first. And what they need is offered abundantly elsewhere."
And elswhere is in one of the many New Age groups, with their emotional creeds, their average Messiahs and World Teachers, their sunday-clairvoyants, and their pseudo-Eucharists, and their money-making schemes.
In a Master-Chela relationsship one is also pledging ones higher self to coordinate with the Atma of the Master, recognising the Master as a teacher, while for instances humbling oneself, and removing ones own arrogant and non-admitted better-knowing attitudes.
It is when the Seeker admits how much ignorant the Seeker is, that he or she might have a chance of becoming a Chela - a Chela on probation.
- - -
As Master K. H. said:
"You see then, that we have weightier matters than small societies to think about; yet, the T.S. must not be neglected. The affair has taken an impulse, which, if not well guided, might beget very evil issues."
. . .
""Olcott has raised the very devil again! . . . The Englishmen are going crazy. . . . Koot Hoomi, come quicker and help me!" -- and in her excitement forgot she was speaking English. I must say, that the "Old Lady's" telegrams do strike one like stones from a catapult!"
And of course nothing like that have happended since Radha Burnier came into to the Seat of Leadership???
No answer to my questions is also an answer.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:43 AM
Subject: Theos-World Discrimination
Part of the original ES pledge that Anand has recently presented on this site states:
" I pledge myself to support, before the world, the Theosophical movement, its leaders and its members". Now this may be an ES pledge, but if the ES was to be practicing the highest morality at this time (a morality that many of the ES members may have found difficult to uphold), then this pledge is an ideal that all theosophists should be aspiring to.
What does it mean to support the Theosophical movement and its members? It is one thing to argue fiercely about different philosophical positions, but when does such argument cross the line? Certainly the following pledge gives us a clue, "I pledge myself never to listen, without protest, to any evil thing spoken of a Brother Theosophist, and to abstain from condemning others." The simple answer is that it is important to constantly uphold the honour of the Society and the honour of its members. By doing this we begin to recognize virtue when we see it and establish virtue in ourselves. It is extremely easy to fall prey to doubt about the doctrines of theosophy and those trying to understand and follow them. It is all our duties to recognize and encourage virtue in each other.
Anand has brought to the attention of Theos-Talk that the following rendition of pledge #2 of Blavatsky's ES is inconsistent with Blavatsky's statement that the ES was not to be a political tool to wield against the TS. The pledge states, " 2. I pledge myself to support, before the world, the Theosophical movement, it's leaders and it's members; and in particular to obey, without cavil or delay, the orders of the Head of the Esoteric Section in all that concerns my relation with the Theosophical movement." It has been argued elsewhere (Message #51958 of TT) that this sentence is not even internally consistent. Would the Masters, if they are agreed to exist, have allowed such a pledge to be made by ES aspirants? Could it not be argued that if Blavatsky was a chela of the Masters, and was creating a school in which they were involved, would not the pledges have been reviewed by the Masters? If so, would they ever have allowed such a pledge to me made? If not, then could it not be claimed that Blavatsky was not a chela of any spiritual brotherhood of adepts and consequently the whole Theosophical Movement is a lie? Is not claiming such a pledge to come from Blavatsky a claim of an "evil thing" written of a Brother Theosophist.
The question I ask: Does not a lack of discrimination sometimes do more harm to the Society and its members than anything else? In order to "support, before the world" the TS and its members, does this not require the use of discrimination? Through this one inconsistency, it would seem that a crafty priest could undermine the moral integrity of the Society and make fools of us all.
Is this argument sound, or have I missed something? Please explain to me how this pledge could be construed in a favorable light.
Thanks - Bruce
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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