[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: theos-talk Jiddu Krishnamurti on Religious Organizations

Dec 15, 2011 04:11 AM
by M. Sufilight

Dear MKR and friends

My views are:

I will seek to answer you by givning a few views attempting to answer the words by J. Krishnamurti.
I do hope that you and other readers will find the words helpful.

I tend to differ in my view compared to the actual words by J. Krishnamurti which I answer on.
Yet my differing depends very much upon what J. Krishnamurti actually meant with what he said.
I tend to think that most of the relatively new seekers after visdom, compassion and truth - find themselves having difficulties with regard to organisational matters and understanding the implications of them.
And if true, I find that this can-not be unimportant to consider if one aim at promoting altruism, and as a consequence thereof - psychological change in the individual - or what some call spiritual development.

H. P. Blavatsky wrote the following very interesting words:
"Theosophy teaches mutual-culture before self-culture to begin with. Union is strength. It is by gathering many theosophists of the same way of thinking into one or more groups, and making them closely united by the same magnetic bond of fraternal unity and sympathy that the objects of mutual development and progress in Theosophical thought may be best achieved. 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!"
(BCW., Vol. VII, p. 160-161)
(Such articles we do not often see arriving from the Theosophical Society in Adyar.)

The question is whether so-called "self-culture" is more important than mutual-culture when promoting altruism?

I think that mutual-culture aught not to be sought avoided - not even here - in the physical. In fact it is difficult to avoid. We are all members and citizens on this planet and...also this universe of ours.
And J. Krishnamurti did not recommend avoiding mutual-culture as far as I am aware of his teachings. In fact J. Krishnamurti himself established schools for children and allowed himself to be regarded as a Guru. What J. Krishnamurti was against was the sectarian dimension with regard to religious groups. This he often spoke about in his own manner. I will however question whether his approach on the issue was precise and psychologically wise - and explained and empahsized clearly enough. And did J. Krishnamurti avoid a sectarian dimension with regard to himself? I think not. Although he sought to avoid it in the latest years in his life, he did not emphasize this potential and factual problem very much as far as I am aware of.

On the other hand I think we have to recognized the historical facts through the ages - and through the years since 1875 when the Theosophical Society was established. The historical facts with regard to whether the Society has been used for aims of various kinds of political power or personal power, or influence, and, historical facts with regard to whether the Society has been failing with regard to its main aim of promulgating altruism (ie. the same as to form a "nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour. Second." as given in its Constitution year 1890. Something clearly deviated from latger on by theosophical groups.) - and - that various unhappy results have followed because of such failings?

I think that the Theosophical Scoiety has failed in many respects with regard to its first aim of altruism. And others have mentioned it, even as early as in the 1880-ties. In other respects it has indeed suceeded very much. - And this I find to be just as important, and that it aught never to be overlooked by those who aim at being honest and objective when critisizing the Society.

As they say: Errare humanum est. We humans fall into error, at least from time to time.
Yet, that does as I see it not imply that a non-sectarian Society - as the Theosophical Society originally was aught to be thrown away into a trashcan.

One of the main reasons for the various failings was the missing key of being aware of the ACTUAL difference between sectarian and cult behaviour - versus - non-sectarian behaviour and non-cult behavior.
This is issue so central to any activity which aim at the promulgation of altruism - that it never aught to be overlooked. - Despite this we will most certainly also find that this issue of always having the difference of sectarian versus non-sectarian activity in mind - always will be the stumbling-block for any organisations aiming at promoting altruism - in the physical. I am here clearly saying: the physical. Because in the non physical the situation might be different, although it is neither always the case. And this stumbling-block is a logical fact - because humanity at this stage of evoution are so very much used to sectarian behaviour - and - many new seekers after truth and compassion, and visdom - are in a situation where their minds are not - aware of the actual difference between sectarian behaviour and non-sectarian behaviour - and - not at all used to - or - in the habit of thinking in terms of non-sectarian behaviour at all. And non-sectarian behaviour is central to anyone aiming at promulgating altruism - in the physical, well at least in this world.

The questions is also whether the members of various theosophical organisations, (the main original body included), find that their organisation are giving the aspect of sectarian and non-sectarian behavior enough empahsis - And especially the emphasis needed when they aim for the promulgation of something as serious as ALTRUISM?
What kind of mutual-culture are you actually aiming at promoting?
A culture of business-as-usual? OR one where YOU recognize that YOU need to take a stance in your life and change psychologically? And change with regard to your apporach and lack of emnpahsis on organisational matters and their importance to the promulgation of altruism - which you hold so close to your heart?
( - "change psychologically"...."Change completely" as Krishnamurti said it. The change begin within oursleves and our relation to organisational matters sectarian versus non-sectarian, does it not?)

Another aspect is that when you have a minor religious group of 20-25 members, serious trouble might araise even so. This have in many instances been shown when we go through the annals of history - with regard to minor religious organisations turning bad. (Just ask any wellknown Exit-Counsellor or Anti-cult organisation about this.) So in this regard I will have to disagree with J. Krishnamurti - when the words are forwarded in the manner they are. I can mention some of the small religious organisations which turned bad if asked about it. An easy example is: "Family"-cults do exists, and not all of them are yielding fruits of compassion very much. - Another is the question of whether any company which operates a business is not a sect more or less of its own kind - at least it follows an organisational culture - whether you call it religious or not.


H. P. Blavatsky wrote:
......."but you must bear in mind how many powerful adversaries we have aroused ever since the formation of our Society. As I just said, if the Theosophical movement were one of those numerous modern crazes, as harmless at the end as they are evanescent, it would be simply laughed atâ as it is now by those who still do not understand its real purport â and left severely alone. But it is nothing of the kind. Intrinsically, Theosophy is the most serious movement of this age; and one, moreover, which threatens the very life of most of the time-honoured humbugs, prejudices, and social evils of the day â those evils which fatten and make happy the upper ten and their imitators and sycophants, the wealthy dozens of the middle classes, while they positively crush and starve out of existence the millions of the poor. Think of this, and you will easily understand the reason of such a relentless persecution by those others who, more observant and perspicacious, do see the true nature of Theosophy, and therefore dread it."
"I do not call the enemies we have had to battle with during the first nine or ten years of the Society's existence either powerful or "dangerous"; but only those who have arisen against us in the last three or four years. And these neither speak, write nor preach against Theosophy, but work in silence and behind the backs of the foolish puppets who act as their visible marionnettes. Yet, if invisible to most of the members of our Society, they are well known to the true "Founders" and the protectors of our Society. But they must remain for certain reasons unnamed at present. " 

It is good to know that the there through the Ages always have been those in possesion of Wisdom on our planet. And from time to time they arrive in the open and teach humanity.
They no doubt still watch the Society - as well as great manyb other Societies - also those who claim the "ultima thule" of Knowledge compared to other with regard to altruism - and - non-sectarian behavior.
I will here let the readers decide for themselves what they find to be important.

I could be a good idea to have the older and more original Constitution of the Theosohical Society in mind.
And this can no doubt with advantage be compared with present day versions of the mother Society and other branched-off Societies of claimed theosophical origin.

Here are some of the very central parts of the Constitution of the Theosophical Society as it was given in 1890.
The below content is as far as I know it not followed by most of the major theosophical orgnaisations today. At least not openly - and with emphasis.
And we wonder why?
I have asked about it many times, and no answer arrive.

"The Theosophical Society is absolutely unsectarian, and no assent to any formula of belief, faith or creed shall be required as a qualification of membership; but every applicant and member must lie in sympathy with 

the effort to create the nucleus of an Universal Brotherhood of Humanity."

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 doctrines being that advanced, or advocated by the Society.

3. Any Fellow of the Society accused of slandering another Fellow; or of willfully offending the religious feelings of any other Fellow at any meeting of any Branch or Section; or of being guilty of gross misconduct; or 

any Fellow convicted of any offence under the Penal laws of the country he inhabits, involving moral turpitude, shall be given an opportunity to defend himself, at a special meeting of such Branch or Section; and on 

being found guilty, or failing to make valid defence, the Executive of the Section may, if deemed expedient, expel such fellow, notifying the President of the fact that his name may be removed from the register of 

Fellows; provided, however, that the accused shall have the right of appeal to the President whose decision shall be final; and pending the Presidentâs decision his rights of membership shall be suspended."

I find that the above Constituion aim at avoiding sectarian behavior.
If the rules of electing the leaders of such an organisation - fail - to follow this aim of non-sectarian behavior - the aim of altruism also fail.

So the question i forward is whether mutual-cultrue is as bad as pictures by J. Krishnamurti, and whether it (more or less) at all can be avoided when we live on this planet and in this universe?

The above are just a few views given by me so to if possible help altruism flourish.

M. Sufilight

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: MKR 
  To: theos-talk 
  Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:12 PM
  Subject: theos-talk Jiddu Krishnamurti on Religious Organizations

  Jiddu Krishnamurti is known to be a very keen observer of the world around
  him. Frequently, his comments wake us up to see situations as they really
  are. Here is a quote, I saw this morning which made my day.


  To Climb High One Must Begin Low

  Religious organizations become as fixed and as rigid as the thoughts of
  those who belong to them. Life is a constant change, a continual becoming,
  a ceaseless revolution, and because an organization can never be pliable,
  it stands in the way of change; it becomes reactionary to protect itself.
  The search for truth is individual, not congregational. To commune with the
  real there must be aloneness, not isolation, but freedom from all influence
  and opinion. Organizations of thought inevitably become hindrances to

  As you yourself are aware, the greed for power is almost inexhaustible in a
  so-called spiritual organization; this greed is covered over by all kinds
  of sweet and official-sounding words, but the canker of avariciousness,
  pride and antagonism is nourished and shared. From this grow conflict,
  intolerance, sectarianism, and other ugly manifestations.

  Would it not be wiser to have small informed groups of twenty or
  twenty-five persons, without dues or membership, meeting where it is
  convenient to discuss gently the approach to reality? To prevent any group
  from becoming exclusive, each member could from time to time encourage and
  perhaps join another small group; thus, it would be extensive, not narrow
  and parochial.

  To climb high one must begin low. Out of this small beginning one may help
  to create a more sane and happy world.

  J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life


  MKR Comments:

  Many of us see the above in theosophical organizations as well. In the
  early days, there was no money or property or dogma (formal or informal) to
  deal with. TS grew by the sweat and blood and original thinking of a few
  pioneers and not because of fatcats who were able to write large checks and
  meddle with how it should be spent - old adage, he who pays the piper,
  calls the tune. Compared to early days, we see an emaciated organization
  with dwindling members and tiny groups around the world. Now the emphasis
  is money and property and its management and it seems theosophy and its
  propagation is secondary. For example, we have not seen a single elected
  official visiting San Antonio in the last ten years. San Antonio is the 7th
  largest city in the USA. Why? There is no property or money in the bank.

  Even in activities on Internet, the situation is pitiful. No active
  interactive involvement in cyberspace nor attempts to make electronic
  copies of publications available for free download so eager souls can
  access them. Mind you, the number of individuals interested in theosophical
  subjects is minuscule and TS was started not accumulate money and property,
  but to spread theosophy and make theosophical doctrines available to those
  starving for it.


  There is no religion higher than Truth.

  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application