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Re: theos-talk What is Theosophy? Some Fundamental Concepts

Jan 08, 2011 02:35 PM
by M. Sufilight

Dear Daniel and friends

My views are:

Interesting article you have published there.

I find it to be very true in content, until I reached the paragraph named "Some Fundamental Concepts of Theosophy".

If find for instance these two sentences to be false assertions to a certain degree:
"â The universe is eternal, but with innumerable worlds periodically manifesting within it."
"â Correspondences, analogies, meaningful connections, and patterned repetitions exist among all things in the universe. By using those correspondences, we can use what we know to discover the unknown."

and also the earliere words:
"HPB was the idea[l] woman who was largely responsible for formulating modern Theosophy,"

M. Sufilight says:
There is, to me, the fact of beyond time, and universe - and beyond Maya to consider.
Existence as well as non-Existence is in fact a Maya according to some theosophists and esoteric Buddhists. Cycles are by some theosophists also viewed as Maya, when we go beyond time. And analogical thinking really honestly has its limitations, when we go beyond thought. And there are not many patterns to repeat when we go beyond time and space.

With regard to this paragraph in the article with the many tenets, named "concepts", I find that we aught to thread carefully, if we want to stick to the truth about the Original Programe of the Theosophical Society, as I have learned it. Blavatsky was, as I see it, not responsible for formulating a secterian Theosophy, and that is important.

*** I find the following from that PROGRAME to be important to repeat ***

1. Any Fellow who shall in any way attempt to involve the Society In political disputes shall be immediately expelled.

2. No Fellow, Officer, or Council of the Theosophical Society, or of any Section or Branch thereof, shall promulgate or maintain any doctrinas being that advanced, or advocated by the Society. "

M. Sufilight says:
BECAUSE, when H. P. Blavatsky - (and that also apply to others from the old Theosophical Society in 1875-1891) wrote about theosophy and the promulgation of it, she did not do it so to promote a group of SECTERIAN tenets - on behalf of the Society - but simply to promote her own views on what she understood Theosophy to be. It was for each individual member or non-member to digest her words and so to speak from their own perspective of Theosophy within themselves. This must be the truth. Blavatsky time and again said that the doctrine about the existence of the Masters may not be forwarded as a dogma or similar, and the same about the doctrines on Karma and Reincarnation. (Try for instance: Blavatskys Collected Writings, Vol. XII, p. 490)

This is how I see it.
So I disagree politely with the content of that article in the manner it has formulated itself as if the Theoosphical Society had theosophical tenets as something which was promoted - on behalf  -of the Theosophical Society in its early days, because they were not so in 1875-1891, or at least aught not to have been so - if one sticks to the Constitution and Rules of that time.

But, I entirely agree with it when it says:
"In a message she sent to the American convention of 1888, Blavatsky wrote, âTheosophy [is] the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets.â  That is, Theosophy is not a body of beliefs, but a way of explaining thingsâa philosophy."

I do hope the readers understand this.

At the beginning of the formation of her Esoteric Section - which was claimed to be based - on the ORIGINAL LINES - of the Theosoophical Society - we find Blavatsky saying:
"For this reason it is now contemplated to gather the âelectâ of the T.S. and to call them to action. It is only by a select group of brave souls, a handful of determined men and women hungry for genuine spiritual development and the acquirement of soul-wisdom, that the Theosophical Society at large can be brought back to its original lines. It is through an Esoteric Section aloneââi.e., a group in which all the members, even if unacquainted with one another, work for each other, and by working for all work for themselvesââthat the great Exoteric Society may be redeemed and made to realize that in union and harmony alone lie its strength and power."

M. Sufilight says:
This was - as I see it, - the task, which Besant, Leadbeater, Steiner and Alice A: Bailey failed to accomplish - because they deviated from the ORIGINAL LINES by changing the Constitution and Rules. How can a Society be build on a rock if the Constitution and Rules it operates from is not build on a solid rock - but on a house of sand? Instead the Original aim was to seek - an openminded Society aimed at forwarding a philosophy based on the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy - multi-culturally speaking - with empahsis on comparative studying of the Eastern Doctrines (not the Western ones with its many dogmas etc.)  - and aiming at a clear understanding of the Psychological Key to the idea of an Universal Brotherhood of Humanity based on altruism for all - without regard for creed, social position, sex, caste and colur etc. etc. - With each member seeking his her own view of what Theosophy is, or was. This was the aim of the Exoteric Theosophical Society.

H. P. Blavatsky, when talking about the founders of the Theosophical Society, wrote the following about the ORIGINAL PROGRAME:
"Church organizations, Christian and Spiritual sects were shown as the future contrasts to our Society."
"(1) The Founders had to exercise all their influence to oppose selfishness of any kind, by insisting upon sincere, fraternal feelings among the Membersâat least outwardly; working for it to bring about a spirit of unity and harmony, the great diversity of creeds notwithstanding; expecting and demanding from the Fellows, a great mutual toleration and charity for each otherâs shortcomings; mutual help in the research of truths in every domainâmoral or physicalâand even, in daily life. "
"(2) They had to oppose in the strongest manner possible anything approaching dogmatic faith and fanaticismâbelief in the infallibility of the Masters, or even in the very existence of our invisible Teachers, having to be checked from the first. On the other hand, as a great respect for the private views and creeds of every member was demanded, any Fellow criticising the faith or belief of another Fellow, hurting his feelings, or showing a reprehensible self-assertion, unasked (mutual friendly advices were a duty unless declined)âsuch a member incurred expulsion. The greatest spirit of free research untrammelled by anyone or anything, had to be encouraged.

Thus, for the first year the Members of the T. Body who representing every class in Society as every creed and beliefâChristian clergymen, Spiritualists, Freethinkers, Mystics, Masons and Materialistsâlived and met under these rules in peace and friendship. There were two or three expulsions for slander and backbiting. The rules, however imperfect in their tentative character, were strictly enforced and respected by the members"
"Owing to the rapid increase in the Society in India, the present Rules and Statutes grew out. They are not the outcome of the deliberate thought and whim of the Prest.-Founder, but the result of the yearly meetings of the General Council at the Anniversaries. If the members of that G. C. have framed them so as to give a wider authority to the President-Founder, it was the result of their absolute confidence in him, in his devotion and love for the Society, and not at allâas implied in âA Few Wordsââa proof of his love for power and authority."
" âSelf-cultureâ is for isolated Hatha Yogis, independent of any Society and having to avoid association with human beings; and this is a triply distilled SELFISHNESS. For real moral advancementâthere âwhere two or three are gatheredâ in the name of the SPIRIT OF TRUTHâthere that Spirit of Theosophy will be in the midst of them. To say that theosophy has no need of a Societyâa vehicle and centre thereof,âis like affirming that the Wisdom of the Ages collected in thousands of volumes at the British Museum has no need of either the edifice that contains it, nor the works in which it is found. Why not advise the British Govt. on its lack of discrimination and its worldliness in not destroying Museum and all its vehicles of Wisdom? Why spend such sums of money and pay so many officers to watch over its treasures, the more so, since many of its guardians may be quite out of keeping with, and opposed to the Spirit of that Wisdom? The Directors of such Museums may or may not be very perfect men, and some of their assistants may have never opened a philosophical work: yet, it is they who take care of the library and preserving it for future generations are indirectly entitled to their thanks. How much more gratitude is due to those who like our self-sacrificing theosophists at Adyar, devote their lives to, and give their services gratuitously to the good of Humanity!"
" The Theosophical body is neither a Church nor a Sect and every individual opinion is entitled to a hearing. "
(Blavatsky Collected Writings, Volume 7, p. 145-173)

H. P. Blavatsky said:
"ENQUIRER. Which system do you prefer or follow, in that case, besides Buddhistic ethics?

THEOSOPHIST. None, and all. We hold to no religion, as to no philosophy in particular: we cull the good we find in each. But here, again, it must be stated that, like all other ancient systems, Theosophy is divided into Exoteric and Esoteric Sections.

ENQUIRER. What is the difference?

THEOSOPHIST. The members of the Theosophical Society at large are free to profess whatever religion or philosophy they like, or none if they so prefer, provided they are in sympathy with, and ready to carry out one or more of the three objects of the Association. The Society is a philanthropic and scientific body for the propagation of the idea of brotherhood on practical instead of theoretical lines. The Fellows may be Christians or Mussulmen, Jews or Parsees, Buddhists or Brahmins, Spiritualists or Materialists, it does not matter; but every member must be either a philanthropist, or a scholar, a searcher into Aryan and other old literature, or a psychic student. In short, he has to help, if he can, in the carrying out of at least one of the objects of the programme. Otherwise he has no reason for becoming a "Fellow." Such are the majority of the exoteric Society, composed of "attached" and "unattached" members.*  These may, or may not, become Theosophists de facto. Members they are, by virtue of their having joined the Society; but the latter cannot make a Theosophist of one who has no sense for the divine fitness of things, or of him who understands Theosophy in his ownâif the expression may be usedâsectarian and egotistic way. "Handsome is, as handsome does" could be paraphrased in this case and be made to run: "Theosophist is, who Theosophy does." â"
(The Key to Theosophy, p. 19)

- - -
And I will add a personal view of my own:
"The use of ideas is to shape a man or woman, not to support a system - which is viewed in a limited manner. This is one way in which the Wisdom Tradition is 'living', and not just the perpetuations of ideas and movements. This seems important to understand and know about. "

- - - - - - -

Happy days:
I just read the - text - to front-page of the Theosophical Society Adyar's website.

An excerpt:
"The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875, 
is a worldwide body whose primary object is Universal Brotherhood without distinction based on the realization that life, and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly One.  The Society imposes no belief
on its members, who are united by a common search for Truth and desire to learn the mean-ing and purpose of existence through study, reflection, self-responsibility and loving service."

And I got really happy. 

But then my arms fell down again and I got sad...Because I still found that the page and section with "Eminent Theosophists" to be in opposition to the text given on front-page. For instance under Leadbeater we find: "The LCC requires no specific commitment as to doctrine or belief from anybody who partakes of its services or approaches its altars." Really? Honestly? Which Liberal Catholic Church are we talking about, among the many, I wonder?
And the description of Annie Besant as a giving a great lead in politics. But so be it.

If anyone at Adyar are able to reconcile the front-page of their website with the Section named "Eminent Theosophists" and its descriptions of LCC and Annie Besants involvement with politics, let them please enlighten me.
But will they do that?

- - -
H. P. Blavatsky, when talking about the founders of the Theosophical Society, wrote the following about the ORIGINAL PROGRAME:
"Church organizations, Christian and Spiritual sects were shown as the future contrasts to our Society."

M. Sufilight

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Daniel 
  Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 9:43 PM
  Subject: theos-talk What is Theosophy? Some Fundamental Concepts

  What is Theosophy? Some Fundamental Concepts

  A good introduction to Theosophy.


  Blavatsky Study Center / Blavatsky Archives


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