Re: theos-talk Views on E. L. Gardnerâs criticism of C. W. Leadbeater
Mar 07, 2011 08:41 AM
by M. Sufilight
My views are:
AN APPRECIATION OF C. W. LEADBEATER
I cannot help thinking that Geoffrey Hodson here as usual was referring to Leadbeaters teachings in the most positive manner possible to him.
If one read his words carefully, I think one also will recognize that Hodson left room for errors in Leadbeaters writings, despite he claimed that they in the overall were true compared to his own level of obeservations.
I will agree upon that Leadbeater was a very good Astral clairvoyant, and had a certain knowledge about mental clairvoyance as well. Indeed Leadbeaters level of astral clairvoyance was a rare one even compared to the ones seen on the planet today. But, when we consider that Leadbeater perhaps - if we should conclude from his own words - was THE single theosophist - who transformed most speedily from not being clairvoyant to becoming a very very able one indeed, if we should accept the words given by himself and others - and he even claimed or accepted to be an Arhat, --- then I begin to be a bit amazed, and question whether all this really happened?
Still my own readings (although not claimed all that reliable) verify that Leadbeater was indeed trained by the Masters. But I still maintain that he comitted som very grave errors. And I find that The Theosophical Society are still paying because of this. I say this despite Hodsons very wellmeaning and postives only stance.
(See Blavatsky Secret Doctirne, Vol. I, p. 206-207 --- "The Arhan, though he can see the Past, the Present, and the Future, is not yet the highest Initiate; for the Adept himself, the initiated candidate, becomes chela (pupil) to a higher Initiate. Three further higher grades have to be conquered by the Arhan who would reach the apex of the ladder of Arhatship." There are those who have reached it even in this fifth race of ours, but the faculties necessary for the attainment of these higher grades will be fully developed in the average ascetic only at the end of this Root-Race, and in the Sixth and Seventh. Thus there will always be Initiates and the Profane till the end of this minor Manvantara, the present life-cycle.)
One of my clearest disagreements about Leradbeaters writings will be that Leadbeater used the word "God" in such a careless manner as he did. (Others might like to call him a "dishy" Vicar with Bishop-hat and all, - but I will certainly not!) If he had avoided this, much would have been gained. Else I can agree with Hodson on that Leadbeaters use of words and sentence-constructions in generel were of high quality. And one can only be greatful for that. Yet, it aught not to be omitted that Leadbeater's books contain certain grave faults and errors with regard to the Eastern Wisdom Tradition, - and from time to time a tendency towards Spiritualistic leanings and emotionalism. - And with remarkable little regard for the fact that Theosophy, was know to be the "exact science on Psychology" (The Theosophist, 1879, Vol. I) - and thereby Anti-cult Mind Control schemes, --- such as the promotions of World Savoiur emotionalisms. (But allright only few wrote about Mind Control in the 1920'ties. (Yet the very influential Tavistok Clinic formed 1920 was already exchanging views on the matter.) And despite these facts, we find that Hodson preferred to point out the positives, and avoided the negatives in Leadbeaters teachings in his overall presentation about his views on Leadbeater. But, that is I think Hodson in a nutshell to do something like that. Maybe so to protect the Theosophical Society? I find however such a stance to be not quite honest. But that is just me.
The biggest problem is to me, that I will never be able to recommend Leadbeater's books to any phaedophile victim or family having such a victim. And I do hope that the members of the Theosophical Society with Adyar HQ will understand why. But so far it seems that they do not. Let them tell us that we are in error, and why, if this is the case. But, so far I tend to doubt that they really aim at spreading the theosophical teachings - also known as 'the exact science on Psychology'. But I will patiently wait for an answer.
I suggest, that we bear in mind, that We do not live in 1965, when Hodsons words were published. We live in the information-age year 2011. And what was kept hidden in the Adyar vaults is now shouted from the rooftops.
And the value the Liberal Catholic Church had to some in the old days before 1965 - when Christinaity was much more respected and important to many - is not the same as it has today year 2011. Christianity and anything looking like it have gotten are continously more and more bad flavour. And in that respect Leadbeater failed, and Hodson's positive remarks did as well. Byt that is just my view.
Yet, as we say: errare Humanum Est. - We humans do fail.
But, all these are just my views. And I do not claim to be an Arhat.
And I might be in error.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2011 6:20 AM
Subject: theos-talk Views on E. L. Gardnerâs criticism of C. W. Leadbeater
A recent compilation titled âViews on E. L. Gardnerâs criticism of C. W.
Leadbeaterâ can be found at
The simple argument of Gardner is that much of what CWL wrote on unseen
worlds etc as well as Coming of the World Teacher are all created by his own
unconscious Kriyashakti. While researching this issue, I ran into what
Geoffrey Hodson wrote about CWLâs Clairvoyance. Hodson is a very reputed
clairvoyant of modern times and we cannot simply ignore his authentication
of many things CWL wrote about. Here is a quote of what Hodson wrote:
An Appreciation of C W. Leadbeater
The reliability of the seership of C. W. Leadbeater has been challenged by
E. L. Gardner, who has described the former's occult experiences as being
mere unconscious 'thought-creations'. Since some members of the Theosophical
Society have become very disturbed by this charge, I have decided, in
response to many requests, to relate certain personal experiences which
demonstrate to me that E. L. Gardner is in error.
One of the accusations made by Mr Gardner is that C. W. Leadbeater's
supposed contacts with the Masters of the Wisdom were largely imaginary,
being the result of the unconscious projections of his own thoughts. It
should be remembered, however, that C. W. Leadbeater received two letters
from one of the Masters, both being in solid, objective form and transmitted
occultly from beyond the Himalayas. This being the case, neither Mr Gardner
nor anyone else can truthfully say that C. W. Leadbeater's first contacts
with the Masters were imaginary. The two letters were, and still are,
physical objects now preserved in the archives of the Theosophical Society.
Although a very great deal of what C. W. Leadbeater said and described is
beyond my own limited experience, I am able to offer the testimony that I
have independently become assured of the truth of certain of his teachings.
The existence of the human aura, for example, and of the changes and
conditions produced in it by both temporary and habitual feelings and
thoughts, are undeniable facts for me. It fell to my lot for some six years
to make a special study of this subject, having been drawn into
collaboration with certain medical men and used as an investigator and
diagnostician in London from 1923 to 1929. Again and again in the course of
my investigations I received evidence of the close relationship existing
between the physical body and clairvoyantly observable psychological and
As I thus studied the subject I found that much which is written in âMan
Visible and Invisibleâ and âThought-Formsâ concerning the aura, and the
astral and mental bodies of man, is strictly in accordance with my own
observations. I am therefore able to say that I know that the human aura
exists, and that it is correctly portrayed in many of the descriptions and
illustrations contained in these two books by C. W. Leadbeater.
The health aura, to which C. W. Leadbeater also draws attention, was the
fIrst etheric phenomenon which I observed and later charted, noting the
outflowing from the body of both unused and used âpranaâ and of certain
electro-magnetic forces. I further remember sending a copy of my chart to E.
L. Gardner and a group of students then gathered around him. I confIrm, in
addition, the existence and visibility ofthe vitalizing, life-energy from
the sun, known in Sanskrit as âprana,â its absorption by the body, and its
later distribution to different organs according to a very precise system of
reception, individualization and circulation of that life-energy.
I am also able to support, from independent observations made throughout a
great many years, C. W. Leadbeater's teachings concerning the existence of
the Serpent Fire or Kundalini. I have made a special study of this force in
varying degrees of its activity, including its effects upon advanced
occultists in whom it is fully aroused. The resultant increased functions of
the seven force-centres or Chakras in the Etheric, Astral and Mental Bodies
of man have also long been a subject of study.
I pause at this point to assure my readers that the above and following
observations concerning C. W. Leadbeater's seership are offered in response
to special requests. It was thought that, as one who has carried out
researches in the same field of study, I might be regarded as an acceptable
Continuing, I am also able to confirm that one can be conscious and active
in one's superphysical bodies whilst the physical body is asleep. In
consequence, I have found that it is possible to serve effectively in this
manner as helper, healer and protector of one's fellowmen.
The existence of nature spirits and of the Angelic Hosts has become a
reality to me and here again C. W. Leadbeater's vision, far outranging my
own, is to me a correct source of information concerning members of this
other kingdom of Nature. He also wrote âOccult Chemistry, â a work
admittedly not yet found to be in conformity with modem physics. The book
consists both of co-ordinated and illustrated descriptions of presumed
etheric counterparts of the atoms of the then known chemical elements, and
of other expositions of occult physics. I was at one time invited to
collaborate with a scientist who, without informing me of the statements
contained in Occult Chemistry, requested that I should attempt clairvoyant
investigation of certain elements. The existence of etheric structures
similar to the geometrical figures which C. W. Leadbeater described were on
numerous occasions also seen by myself.
C. W. Leadbeater's teachings that the akashic records or memory of Nature
exist, as also does man's power to read them, are demonstrably true for me.
I have, for example, under the direction ofa scientist, clairvoyantly
examined fossil bones of ape-men and men-apes, and was later taken into the
cave where these relics were found. The palaeontologist concerned confirmed
in a written statement the correctness of most, but not all, of that which I
had described. Interestingly enough, he tested the possibility of mind
reading by verbally giving me faulty information, and at the same time
projecting into my mind a wrong thought-form concerning a specimen. I was
not, however, aware of either of these actions and, as he later testified,
saw and described the correct owner of the fossil - in this case an ape.
Thus the two ideas advanced by C. W. Leadbeater -the existence of the
akashic records and of the faculty of reading them -are, I repeat, in this
instance demonstrable facts to me.
The discovery of Krishnamurti, and the prophecy that he had been selected to
be a vehicle for a great Teacher, have an important place in E. L. Gardner's
book. He assumes that since the manifestation did not occur in the manner
expected, the prophecy was in error. Whilst this subject is referred to in
another part of this booklet, I here describe certain experiences of my own
in relation to the prophecy.
As I have elsewhere written, I attended several of the Star Camps in Holland
and was present when there was evidence of remarkable, if brief, supernormal
manifestations. On more than one occasion some two thousand people from many
parts of the world were gathered at Ommen to hear Krishnamurti. Each
evening, all were seated in concentric circles round a large camp fire.
Krishnamurti would arrive, take his place for a time, and then rise and
apply a torch to the camp fire. As the flames arose against the evening sky
he would chant a mantram to the god Agni, and return to his seat. Thereafter
he would begin to speak, and on more than one occasion a noticeable change
took place in him. His voice altered and his hitherto rather iconoclastic
utterances gave way to a wonderful tenderness of expression and thought
which induced in those present an elevation of consciousness. The Talks were
followed by prolonged meditative silences. Many of those present, myself
among them, bore testimony to the sense of divine peace which had descended,
to a realization of the Presence of the Lord, and to an assurance that the
prophecy had begun to be fulfilled.
These phenomena occurred during some few successive years, the events being
so marked that Krishnamurti himself thereafter changed the Objects of the
Order of the Star in the East from, in effect, 'To prepare for the coming of
the Lord' to 'To serve the World Teacher now that He is in our midst'. I,
myself, more than once heard Krishnamurti affirm that the great Teacher was
now here and that the 'Coming' had actually occurred. Even now when he is
speaking, with others I discern a spiritual influence emanating from him, as
if a great Being were still using him as a vehicle. This, however, does not
constitute a complete fulfilment of the original prophecy.
The foregoing and many other experiences prevent me from allowing to pass
unchallenged an attack upon the seership of C. W. Leadbeater. I am convinced
that his occult experiences were no mere projections of his own
thought-creations, and it should ever be remembered that he himself never
assumed total accuracy; neither did he ever ask his readers to believe his
observations merely because they were made by him. He wished them to be
judged on their merits alone, after application of the tests of reason and
intuition. Indeed, recalling C. W. Leadbeater's presence, the clarity of his
mind and the stamp of authority and greatness in him, I deny that he was a
self-deceived, deluded man. E. L. Gardner himself recognizes this in the
remarkable perception and pre-vision exhibited by C. W. Leadbeater in his
discovery that an apparently normal Indian boy was, in fact, the
reincarnation of an advanced human being, as has since been proved to be the
case; for Krishnamurti is today recognized throughout the world as a great
teacher and helper of mankind, large numbers of people flocking to hear him
wherever he goes.
Finally, I think it would be a great tragedy if, because of E. L. Gardner's
attack upon C. W. Leadbeater, less notice were taken of the latter's
valuable writings, especially those which expound basic Theosophy, for he
always wrote with rare lucidity. His unique contributions to the literature
upon the spiritual life, the Path of Discipleship, the Masters of the Wisdom
and the Great White Brotherhood of Adepts upon Earth, are not likely to be
equalled in their power to transform people's lives in this period of world
history. With so many other revealers of spiritual and occult wisdom to
mankind, he has been -and by E. L. Gardner is now -decried and assailed. For
me, however, C. W. Leadbeater was a giant amongst men, a great teacher and
light-bringer to mankind, and I am indeed grateful for this opportunity of
adding my testimony to that of others who knew him far more intimately than
ever was my own privilege.
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