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Re: theos-talk Rebirth of Ethics

Mar 20, 2011 06:33 PM
by Cass Silva

Well by your account Morten, nothing has changed since 1951 so Birkhoff's spearheading didn't appear to work when it came to ethics and altruism either within or without the TS society.

--- On Mon, 21/3/11, M. Sufilight <> wrote:

From: M. Sufilight <>
Subject: Re: theos-talk Rebirth of Ethics
Received: Monday, 21 March, 2011, 2:52 AM



----- Original Message ----- 
From: jdmsoares 
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:45 AM
Subject: theos-talk Rebirth of Ethics

Dear Sufilight, friends,

Sufilight, thanks!

I would like to mention here also two paragraphs of an article written
by Boris de Zirkoff, that reminds us about the current limitations faced
by the theosophical movement, but also of its immense potential to
contribute to the process of planetary ethical regeneration.

The article was entitled "Wanted: a Rebirth of Ethics" and was published
in 1951 in "Theosophia" magazine.

He wrote:

"The ethical lethargy in this century has affected every facet of life
and every school of thought, including the Theosophical Movement in its
organized forms. The latter fact is perhaps of greater moment to
students of Theosophy than anything else. In the ranks of the
present-day Theosophical Organizations we see the same downfall of
ethical conduct, the same intellectual confusion, the same questionable
methods of procedure, and the same conflicting emotions which
characterize the world at large. In spite of high-sounding words on the
part of those in power, In spite of ponderous tomes replete with
intellectual as well as ethical teachings sufficient to feed generations
to come, the Theosophical Movement, as an organized body, while doing
much good work in various parts of the world, has none of the qualities
and earmarks of a living power bringing regeneration to human hearts and
new vital impulses to human minds. It has settled itself long ago into
comfortable grooves of thought, lofty in ideals, universal in character,
thought-provoking in content, yet just as deadly in their crystallizing
influence as any other mental or emotional rut. It is a far cry from the
vital, dynamic, soul-stirring power it used to be before the spirit of
its birth, and the original "daimon" of its inspiration, fled from the
much abused form with feet of clay.


The Theosophical Movement, in its philosophical, ethical, and scientific
foundations, has the innate power to spearhead such a movement of
ethical regeneration. It has the latent potency to lead it. It possesses
the virility of concepts and the depth of knowledge to be the
cornerstone of such a revival of ethical and spiritual forces in the
world of today. Whether it has the capacity of leadership and the
spiritual freedom of action to initiate it, or even to uphold and
promote it, remains a question which some have already answered in the
negative. It depends primarily upon the depth of the mental and
emotional ruts of its adherents, upon the degree to which they will be
willing to sacrifice their preconceived ideas, their petty jealousies
and narrow superstitions. It depends upon the character of the
individuals who will come in the next generation or so within the
influence of the ageless teachings. It depends also upon the extent to
which the adherents of the Movement will be inspired by the original
ideals of the Founders, their fundamental program of action, and their
broad policies for the future."

The complete text
"Wanted: A Rebirth of Ethics", by Boris de Zirkoff,
can be found at <> .

Best regards, Joaquim

--- In, "M. Sufilight" <global-theosophy@...>
> Dear friends
> My views are:
> The following article by W. Q. Judge was written in 1892 to the
theosphical magazine named the Path...
> I find it interesting in content since it touches some issues, which,
to me, still seem to be neglected in various theosophical groups.
> THE Theosophical Society was founded to destroy dogmatism. This
is one of the meanings of its first object - Universal Brotherhood. And
Col. H. S. Olcott in his inaugural address in 1875, at Mott Memorial
Hall, New York, said that such was the object in view, citing the bad
effect that intolerance had had in the past. That address was read by
Mme. H. P. Blavatsky before its delivery, or its contents were
communicated to her, so that it had her assent, for she was present when
it was delivered.
> In the Key to Theosophy, in the "Conclusion," H.P.B. again
refers to this subject and expresses the hope that the Society might
not, after her death, become dogmatic or crystallize on some phase of
thought or philosophy, but that it might remain free and open, with its
members wise and unselfish. And in all her writings and remarks,
privately or publicly, she constantly reiterated this idea. Of this the
writer has direct evidence as to her statements in private.
> If our effort is to succeed, we must avoid dogmatism in
theosophy as much as in anything else, for the moment we dogmatise and
insist on our construction of theosophy, that moment we lose sight of
Universal Brotherhood and sow the seeds of future trouble.
> There is a great likelihood that members of the Society will
insist on a certain orthodoxy in our ranks. They are already doing it
here and there, and this is a note of warning to draw their attention to
the danger. There is no orthodoxy in our Society. Even though
nine-tenths of the members believe in Reincarnation, Karma, the
sevenfold constitution, and all the rest, and even though its prominent
ones are engaged in promulgating these doctrines as well as others, the
ranks of the Society must always be kept open, and no one should be told
that he is not orthodox or not a good Theosophist because he does not
believe in these doctrines. All that anyone is asked to subscribe to is
Universal Brotherhood, and its practice in the search for truth. For the
efforts of those who are thus promulgating specific ideas are made under
the sanction of the second object of the Society, which any one is free
to follow or to refuse to follow as he sees fit. One may deny -
undogmatically - reincarnation and other doctrines, or may assert belief
in a personal or impersonal God, and still be a good member of the
Society, provided Universal Brotherhood is subscribed to and put into
> If a member says he must formulate a God, or cannot believe in
Reincarnation, none other should condemn or draw comparisons, or point
to the writings of H.P.B. or any one else to show that such a member is
untheosophical. The greatest minds on earth are puzzled by great ideas
such as these, and yet, holding them, can still search for truth with
others in a perfect spirit of toleration.
> But at the same time it is obvious that to enter the Society and
then, under our plea of tolerance, assert that theosophy shall not be
studied, that the great body of thought and philosophy offered in our
literature shall not be investigated, is untheosophical, unpractical,
and absurd, for it were to nullify the very object of our organization;
it is a dogmatism that flows from negation and indifference. We must
study the philosophy and the doctrines offered to us before we are in a
position to pass judgment and say that they are not true or that they
shall be rejected. To judge or reject before examination is the province
of little minds or prejudiced dogmatists.
> And as the great body of philosophy, science, and ethics offered
by H. P. Blavatsky and her teachers has upon it the seal of research, of
reasonableness, of antiquity, and of wisdom, it demands our first and
best consideration in order that we may with fitness conclude upon its
acceptation or rejection.
> So, then, a member of the Society, no matter how high or how low
his or her position in its ranks, has the right to promulgate all the
philosophical and ethical ideas found in our literature to the best
ability possessed, and no one else has the right to object, provided
such promulgation is accompanied by a clear statement that it is not
authorized or made orthodox by any declaration from the body corporate
of the T.S. Our Society must be kept free and open, no matter if,
because we refuse to formulate beliefs as a Society, we remain small in
number, for we can always be strong in influence.
> Path, January, 1892
> Now I ask:
> What about avoiding crystallizing the TS and avoiding dogmas, and
secterian doctrines?
> - - - - - - -
> A few words about the upcoming psychological science named Mind that the readers might consider its possible relation to
the above article and question:
> Charismatic authority
> "Weber's model of charismatic leadership giving way to
institutionalization is endorsed by several academic sociologists, such
as Eileen Barker. In a book written for the general public Barker
discusses the tendency for new religious movements to have founders or
leaders who wield considerable charismatic authority and are believed to
have special powers or knowledge. Charismatic leaders are unpredictable,
Barker says, for they are not bound by tradition or rules and they may
be accorded by their followers the right to pronounce on all aspects of
their lives. Barker warns that in these cases the leader may lack any
accountability, require unquestioning obedience, and encourage a
dependency upon the movement for material, spiritual and social
resources.[9] George D. Chryssides asserts that not all new religious
movements have charismatic leaders, and that there are differences in
the hegemonic styles among those movements that do.[10]"
> from the heart
> M. Sufilight
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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