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Re: theos-talk Geoffrey FarthingÂs Manifesto

Dec 10, 2010 10:11 PM
by MKR

I am sure that we have discussed Farthingâs views in the past. The
uniqueness of TS is that no oneâs word is final. Each one is allowed full
freedom of thought and action so long as one is in sympathy with the three
objects, especially the first one. A new comer would wonder how an
organization with no top down control has survived 135 years. I think it is
the genius of the Founders that they identified the glue that keeps us all
together even though we could be a set of contentious free thinking


On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 5:53 PM, jdmsoares <> wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> Mr. Geoffrey Farthing was one of the main Adyar Theosophists in the
> period after the second world war.
> He also was the most outspoken and best known voice in defense of the
> original theosophy in Adyar Society since the 1920s.
> He had much in common with Mr. B. P. Wadia. The difference being that
> Mr. Wadia left Adyar to help the growth of the United Lodge of
> Theosophists in 1922, while Farthing remained within Adyar up to his
> death in 2004.
> I reproduce below some of the most important parts of this 1996
> Manifesto on the future of the Theosophical Society (Adyar).
> See below.
> Best regards, Joaquim.
> 000000000000
> Source:
> <>
> The fact that neither Annie Besant nor CWL, after maybe one or two
> initial incidents, was actually in touch with any Master although they
> may have genuinely believed they were has serious implications when
> considering what they said and did when they assumed positions of
> authority.
> The whole tenor of the Society thereafter was one of make-believe! It
> became a pantomime, largely devised and orchestrated by CWL: a fairy
> story, but with a thread of truth running through it.
> Except for passing references to HPB as 'our revered teacher', her
> literature as such was seldom referred to or studied. There was,
> however, a flood of literature purporting to be 'theosophical' from both
> Annie Besant and CWL, and later from others.
> CWL's writings were largely colored by his own real or imaginary
> clairvoyant insights and his interpretations of them.
> It is noteworthy here that, in the HPB/Masters literature there is
> little reference to, and no diagrams of, the Chakras so much featured by
> later writers. What little there is is in the papers to the Inner Group
> (incorporated by Annie Besant into her Vol III of the S.D.)
> Whereas the Annie Besant and CWL literature can be criticized from a
> purely theosophical point of view, much of what Annie Besant wrote was
> significant spiritual instruction. It was, however, of the conventional,
> classical religious type, derived largely from the Indian scriptures but
> with a Christian and a 'theosophical' flavor.
> She had reviewed THE SECRET DOCTRINE at the time of its publication;
> this must have made a lasting impression on her but apart from
> acknowledging her debt to HPB, she seldom, if ever, specifically
> referred back to its teaching, or to that in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY.
> CWL seems never to have read either of these books. He puts himself in a
> very false position as an 'occult' author in the Introduction to his
> book THE ASTRAL PLANE where he says that his manuscript was considered
> so excellent as an exposition that the Masters wanted it for their
> archives.
> It is difficult to see why this should be; much of the information given
> us in the book is at variance with their teaching and furthermore it is
> not clear, for example, which 'astral' plane he is describing, the HPB
> or the A.B./CWL one, the former being the 2nd plane of Nature and the
> latter being the 4th.
> There is no mention of the 'etheric double' in the HPB/Masters
> classification of the human principles. It is to this double that CWL
> ascribes many of the qualities that HPB attributes to her astral body.
> The changes of numbering of the principles where Kama (emotion, desire)
> was put 2nd instead of 4th is important. An aid to the understanding of
> THE SECRET DOCTRINE is analogy and correspondences.
> In the Masters' literature Kama as the 4th principle is emphasized in
> the evolutionary stages of development in the 4th Round, the 4th Race,
> the 4th Substance, not the 2nd. One example of the extent to which the
> members of the Theosophical Society, from senior members to the newest,
> were 'infected' by CWL is exemplified by Jinarajadasa's acceptance of
> the fact that CWL's Astral Plane manuscript had in fact been transmitted
> magically to the Masters.
> Obviously also Jinarajadasa's statement that he, in common with others,
> had had several initiations about which he knew nothing except what CWL
> told him, again raises the question of CWL's veracity.
> As the years progressed the divergence between the HPB/Masters teachings
> and the second generation Theosophy widened; even basic information was
> changed, e.g. the introduction of the 'etheric double' (with four
> 'etheric' states of physical matter), the alterations to the
> classification of principles and planes, and the CWL account of the
> after-death states which is quite different from that of the Masters,
> etc.
> The divergence of the two systems became clearly apparent with the
> publication of the Mahatma Letters in 1924/5. It was unfortunate that,
> for a number of reasons, their publication had been delayed till then.
> Apart from 'occult' material in them, these letters set a background of
> specific purpose to the founding of the Society. This was closely
> related to the Masters being regarded as one tier of membership in the
> Society, with their accepted Chelas as a second and the ordinary members
> a third.
> To begin with this was the case but it obviously ceased to be so on
> HPB's death (if not before). An attempt to reintroduce it by edict later
> was obviously spurious.
> The Letters also describe in some detail the conditions that were
> essential for a relationship between the Masters and their Chelas. These
> conditions were very stringent, particularly as regarding honesty and
> straightforwardness.
> In the period after HBP's death and with the withdrawal of the Masters
> once again into obscurity, instead of direct guidance from or
> association with the Master, even if it were visiting him in the Astral,
> the practice grew up of this being done indirectly.
> For example, people were taken to the Masters in their astral bodies for
> initiations etc., but about which next day they knew nothing apart from
> what they were told. In one or two places the Masters do say that this
> can happen in the matter of training but not by proxy. Further,
> initiations are matters of enhancement of waking consciousness and this
> can occur only when certain conditions created necessarily by the pupil,
> not someone on his behalf, have been met.
> Regardless of the state of the Society, thanks to the Masters'
> insistence and help, and the sacrifices of HPB, the world and
> particularly the Society have a voluminous and authentic
> Initiate-Master-inspired literature.
> The Society itself is now a world-wide organization of an idealistic and
> benevolent nature, inspired by the idea of universal brotherhood, but
> the second and third objects are interpreted very loosely and widely to
> include anything from UFO's to what is generally extraordinary and
> sensational.
> All this, however, against a background of what might be termed
> 'religion' or spirituality, mostly by way of, for example, the Eastern
> exoteric scriptures and various ideas on Theosophy, methods of yoga and
> meditation. There is also in some places a strong adherence to the
> Liberal Catholic Church and Co-Masonry as if they were indeed part of
> the theosophical movement.
> In some places, notably Africa, the Theosophical Society is identified
> with the Theosophical Order of Service. Charity is impressed on every
> member through the brotherhood idea; there are however hundreds of
> charitable organizations to work for and there can be nothing special
> about the 'theosophical' one to warrant its association with the
> Society.
> Similarly the Round Table is an admirable organization but again nothing
> in it is specifically theosophical.
> Theosophical Service groups while keeping interested members informed of
> current scientific matters have seldom if ever related science to
> anything specifically associated therewith in the classical theosophical
> literature. Because some scientific members have found faults and
> inconsistencies in 'scientific' statements in the literature they have
> abandoned the whole grand theosophical system, demonstrating at least a
> lack of a sense of proportion.
> Where older Lodges have survived, and in Section central libraries,
> books on Theosophy on display or listed in catalogues, are mostly those
> of the second generation writers. Their contents on the whole are taken
> to be Theosophy without question. A few individuals try to correct this
> situation but their influence generally is very small. Only a scattered
> and desultory interest is paid to the classical 'theosophical
> literature' of the HPB/Masters era. The idea is widespread that the
> jealously guarded freedom of thought of members can mean that anyone's
> view or opinions about 'theosophy' can be put out as such.
> This was certainly the case in the early days of the 20th century. It
> was almost vehemently stressed then that there was no such thing as a
> definite 'theosophical' system of thought, knowledge or teaching. The
> great fear was of 'dogmatism'.
> This word, however, was, and still is in places, wrongly applied. A
> dogma means an obligatory belief and no such thing is imposed on
> Theosophical Society members. This does not mean that there are not
> authoritative statements of fact such as those given us by the Masters,
> who claim to know what they speak or write about, i.e. they are not
> speculating, voicing opinions or advancing theories.
> All beliefs concerning Theosophy and the Theosophical Society ought
> seriously to be questioned against what can easily be discovered of the
> original teaching and intentions for the Society. A serious perusal of
> THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY will do this.
> What is said above about 'make-believe' in the Society also applies to
> the E.S. The implied connection of it with the Masters through the Outer
> Head is an example. There is in fact no such connection.
> Furthermore, the implication by secrecy, or even privacy, that it
> possesses some esoteric knowledge which it can impart to members is also
> 'make-believe'. It makes an appeal to would-be aspirants to chelaship
> and imposes some preliminary disciplines but omit the necessity for hard
> work in studying and assimilating the eternal verities of Theosophy as
> given by the Masters.
> First the Adyar Society must take an honest look, fearlessly, at the
> present position against the background outlined above.
> Loyalties to past leaders, to their personal influence and their
> teachings, must become secondary issues. This means an acknowledgment
> that all that happened to the Society as a result of C. W. Leadbeater's
> influence on it, directly or indirectly, his influence on Annie Besant
> and his enduring influence by way of his writings, is suspect. It must
> be recognized that these writings are 'theosophically' defective and
> misleading.
> Annie Besant's influence, by reason of her long term as President, must
> also be very objectively assessed. Whatever her personal integrity she
> was obviously misled and mistaken, witness the Krishnamurti fiasco, her
> espousal of Co-Masonry as part of the Theosophical Society and her
> handling of the Judge 'case' with its disastrous results.
> For most members a change of mind or basic beliefs will at best be
> painful and at worst difficult if not impossible. This means that only a
> section of the existing membership can, in the first instance at any
> rate, be expected to make any radical change, and this section will
> necessarily include E.S. members who will obviously have their loyalties
> but they will also presumably have acquired some self-reliance and have
> learned to think independently.
> Some members already have or will have difficulty with the question of
> their membership of the Liberal Catholic Church and CoMasonry in the
> light of their longstanding association with the Society. Many of these
> institutions have in fact been regarded as 'theosophical', even
> theosophy itself.
> However, it is necessary that the Society should formally declare that
> henceforth neither of them is really any part of, or has any special
> association with, the Theosophical Society.
> This does not mean that members are not free to join the Liberal
> Catholic or any other Church, or become Masons or members of any other
> institution they wish, provided that they are not inimical or
> antithetical to Theosophy, and still be members of the Society.
> The Society has is own special message to promulgate. This message only
> exists in the writings of HPB and in the Mahatma Letters. This message
> in its completeness (as far as it was given out) is unique.
> The future direction of the Society must therefore include:
> 1. The eradication of the 'make-believe' Leadbeater influenceâin
> all departments including literature, and severance from the Society of
> all other organizations, i.e., the Liberal Catholic Church and
> Co-Masonry.
> 2. A thorough examination of all literature purporting to be
> 'theosophical,' and a brave declaration, and no further promotion, of
> any which is not wholly consonant with the original teachings. This is
> no proscription but all books purporting to be theosophical which
> strictly are not should be clearly labeled or marked that they are the
> author's views on the subject and not necessarily authentic. Members
> are, of course, free to read what they like but they can be warned, if
> not guided. The section in any Theosophical Society library purporting
> to be theosophical literature should be segregated from other material
> offered, be clearly marked and the books given prominence on book lists,
> catalogues, etc.
> 3. The retention and promotion of the three objects of the Society
> plus an active promotion ofâTheosophy as given by the Masters.
> 4. At all Theosophical Society Centers, Headquarters, etc., there
> should be someone qualified to discuss Theosophy, say what it is, and
> recommend books to enquirers. This service should as far as possible be
> available at all times or a notice displayed as to where it can be
> obtained.
> 5. Commercialism in any form, i.e., book selling or publication as
> such, without specific reference to the promotion of a knowledge of
> Theosophy, is not part of the legitimate activities of the Society.
> 'Fringe' literature can be obtained in ordinary bookshops or from other
> organizations, e.g., the Arcane School, the Anthroposophical Society,
> etc. This recommendation is made with our second object specifically in
> mind. Study of comparative religion is encouraged by the Society but it
> does not have to publish or supply the books.
> 6. Professionalism in the Society should be examined. Whereas 'goods
> and services' must obviously be paid for, Theosophy as such cannot be
> sold. Should exponents be paid? If so, to what extent?
> 7. Serious study of the 'prime' literature, whatever else is done in
> Lodges, at Centers, etc., should be encouraged and all facilities
> provided. Facilities should be provided for meditationâquite and
> solitude if possible. Meditation should, however, be 'theosophical,'
> i.e., classical (Patanjali), HPB Diagram, or just silence, not according
> to local gurus and amateurs with 'special' methods, and NEVER for money.
> 8. The Society will obviously need a group of students dedicated to
> the study of the literature and to the dissemination of what they
> discover both in the writings, and in themselves, as they progress. This
> can be supplied by some of the existing members of the E.S. At the
> present there are no 'esoteric' leaders or teachers in the Society; it
> will therefore in this respect have to 'lift itself up by its own
> boot-laces' as the expression has it.
> There is no justification for secrecy within the E.S. or the Society but
> on occasion private member meetings could be efficacious for discussion,
> exchange of information, mutual encouragement, etc. There is obviously
> now no corporate connection with the Masters so that that 'make believe'
> can be dispensed with. The E.S. study should be confined to the Master
> or HPB writings. The Society has no other Initiate-inspired literature.
> Where the E.S. members feel they need inspirational literature apart
> from books like THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, LIGHT ON THE PATH and some of
> the classical mystical works like THE BHAGAVAD GITA, as this is a
> personal matter they should be free to discover their own.
> Discrimination as to what is consonant with theosophical teachings will
> grow. Let students beware of self-styled teachers and of themselves
> posing as such. They will know when they really are qualifiedâthey
> will have been 'authorized.' Let none pretend.
> 9. The Society's relation to 'computerization,' the Internet, etc.,
> needs serious examination and Section given guidelines.
> 0000000000
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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