Theosophy World Home Page
THEOSOPHY WORLD -------------------------------------- July, 1997
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscribe, write
(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"Cycles Do Not Create Us" by Eldon Tucker
"Family Life" by Andrew Rooke
"Theosophical Work in Wales" by Dr. C. A. Bartzokas
"Teaching Theosophy" by Thoa Tran
"Theosophy on CD-ROM" by Gladney Oakley
"Putting an End to Unkindness" by Brenda Tucker
"News From Eastern School Press" by David Reigle
"Looking to the Future of Theosophy" by Dallas TenBroeck
"Welcome to the Theosophical Society in America's Internet List!"
by John Algeo
"The High Country Theosophist"
"Planning Theosophical Work" by Eldon Tucker
"An Invitation to Study" by Einar Adalsteinsson
"In Vajrayana practice, then, once one has established a
connection with an authentic guru, it does not matter so much
whether that guru is in fact completely enlightened or not, so
much as whether the student considers that guru to be completely
enlightened. With this confidence, the student can receive the
same benefits as though he or she were in the presence of a
completely enlightened Buddha."
-- Kalu Rimpoche
CYCLES DO NOT CREATE US
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an April 9, 1994 posting to email@example.com]
In our human existence, we experience various cycles. One is
that of day and night, of waking and sleeping. In this cycle, we
are active on the earth in our ordinary personality while awake
here, and we are elsewhere, in higher realms, in deep sleep.
There is the cycle of the year, and the seasons also affect our
daily activities. Yet another cycle is that of the lunar month,
with yet other influences. And there are other cycles, related
to the planets and stars, of an astrological nature, that have
their influences too.
The word to emphasize is influence, for the cycles influence us,
they qualify our experience of life. They do not define or
create us, but there is an effect upon us.
We participate in a cycle by being in relation to the Being that
creates the cycle. Living on the earth, for example, we
experience an earth day, rather than, say, a venus day or a sense
of daylessness in outer space.
The night time does not cause us to be different than we are in
daylight hours. Rather, we adapt our behavior and lifestyle to
accommodate it. We would generally choose to sleep at night and
do our regular activities by day.
If we were complete cut off from day and night, like living in a
cave, where the sunlight did not penetrate, our sleep cycle might
adjust to another time period, longer than 24 hours. But we
adjust to the 24 hours, as we do to the other cycles that we
participate in. We are affected by the cycles, and synchronize
our activities in accord with them.
Consider our astrological chart. It contains information from
which we can analyze the cycles of various planets and their
influences upon us. The birth chart shows the influences that
set the keynote for our current incarnation. But we are not
composed of those influences.
The birthchart does not show what we are. It shows certain
cycles in effect that each have their respective affect upon us.
But we are not created by, defined by, nor controlled by the
cycles that the chart reveals. We are, rather, coming into birth
in a world in which these are the prevailing conditions,
conditions that limit and affect what we can be and do, but do
not make us whom we are.
We could be any type of person, from the most primitive,
unintelligent, cruel, evil, to the most sophisticated, brilliant,
kind, and good. We could be any type of person, and yet be born
at any particular moment. We are not prohibited from taking
birth, limited to but certain points of time. We may find
conditions more attractive to seek rebirth at certain times over
others, but there is nothing uniquely us in any particular
If you join a theosophical group, and attend a class, the
experience of the class might be affected by the other class
members and the history and personality of the group. Your
experience of the class may be qualified by such, but you
yourself are not whom you are, defined as a person, because of
attending that class. If you can get along with the group, you
will have a certain experience that would be different that if
some of the people or the group itself were different, and that
draws out a different part of you, but you are still yourself.
It is the same in coming into rebirth. The various cycles,
including short-term cycles that may be signified by the
astrological planets, as well as the long-term cycles measured
in subraces and Root Races -- these all qualify the experience of
life on this earth. But you participate in the cycles, rather
than are created and defined by them.
The astrological planets may come and go. They may become
invisible in future Root Races, and others may become visible in
future times. What we observe in the heavens depends upon both
the condition and state of the other planets as well as the state
of humanity and the behavior of earth (Globe D) matter.
The respective influences affect different parts of our nature.
The basic underlying influence is of the Seven Sacred Planets,
that reach us both directly and through a multitude of indirect
means. These Sacred Planets are not necessarily the physical
ones that we see with our modern telescopes. They are the
influences of great Beings, of great Hosts of Beings, and not of
the orbs of physical matter that our astronomers see.
When we consider a planet, such as mercury, and say that it rules
the mind and thought, it is not literally true. Rather, it
signifies a particular cycle which has a keynote which affects us
in that way. As long as the keynote of that cycle is manasic in
nature, we can say that the cycle has an affect on our minds.
But it is very possible that at other times the planetary
influences are not the same, and that their keynotes may be
different. The particular quality given expression in a cycle is
determined by the being from whom the cycle originates.
We could, for instance, read a book. It could be a romantic
novel. The experience of reading that book has a certain effect
on us. Later, we read a theosophical book, and experience
something different. Still later, we read a computer textbook,
and have a third kind of experience.
The cycle of reading the book is the same, but the quality or
effect of the cycle is different. The content of our experience
is different, and it qualifies the cycle. And for our lifeatoms,
those beings that experience us as the world in which they live,
the three repetitions of the cycle were experienced in three
different ways as well.
Besides day and night, another cycle that we experience is that
of life and death, the cycle of reincarnation. From the
standpoint of the personality, it is an asynchronous cycle.
There is a birth, lifetime, and death, followed by a very long
time until the next rebirth, which happens under unpredictable
From the standpoint of the individuality, our lifetime on earth
is one phase of a synchronous cycle. After the physical
death,the human ego sleeps in devachan and the individuality or
higher self can go elsewhere to do its real thing. A different
It is useful to note, as an aside, that as we progress in our
study of the theosophical doctrines, as we find more and more
truths in them, that each unfolding of our understanding brings
even more unanswered questions. Things are not neatly wrapped up
as we learn more. We find that we have more and more questions
to puzzle over, even as we obtain certainty and clarity on much
that we have considered in our studies.
Yet bigger cycles than that of day and night, and that of
rebirth, is the rise and fall of cultures and family races of
cultures, and of yet bigger racial cycles. Eventually humanity
is done with life on physical earth and moves onto another world
on a higher plane for its continued existence (from Globe D to
Over great time periods on 12 such globes, of which our visible
earth is but one, we pass through a Round. And there are 12
Rounds to our existence in humanity, before still greater experi-
ences in higher kingdoms.
Our evolution is through the kingdoms of nature, which include
the Mineral, Plant, Animal, Human, and yet higher kingdoms.
The type of experience in those kingdoms depends upon which
stream of evolution that we are in. There are three basic
streams, composed of Gods, Monads, and Atoms.
The generic name for us as unique, indivisible, eternal, timeless
sparks of the Divine is Monads. But depending on which stream of
evolution that we are participating in, we might also be referred
to as Gods or Atoms.
The Gods are those beings participating in the work of world
architects. The Monads are those working as the builders, taking
the plans of the architects and building and fashioning things in
life according to them. And the Atoms work as the materials or
substances out of which life is fashioned.
The cycle of rebirth, and the experience of life and its
activities, is different for participants in each of these
As we achieve perfection, and complete our human evolution, we
will one day enter the lowest kingdom of the Dhyani-Chohans.
Following the normal course of evolution, we will have gone as
human builders to Dhyani-Chohanic builders. We will still be
participating in the role of applying desire and thought (Kama-
Manas) to the shaping and fashioning of the world.
It is possible, thought, to start shifting to the work of the
architects. We do so when we participate in the Hierarchy of
Compassion, when we dedicate our lives to service, when we learn
to function from the higher standpoint of the individuality
rather than continuing to perfect our personalities.
Following the process of hastened evolution, and taking the great
initiations, one enters the door into the lowest Dhyani-Chohanic
kingdom, becomes a Human Monad in the constitution of a
Dhyani-Chohan, and in the next Planetary Manvanatara participates
in the work of the Dhyani-Buddhas and Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, the
work of the architects, rather than being ordinary
Dhyani-Chohans. (This is a complex subject that cannot be
explained in a single paragraph, and is only mentioned here in
There is a dual track, then, to our spiritual evolution. Going
through the cycles, we unfold the various faculties of conscious-
ness and have increasingly difficult experiences. We evolve from
one kingdom to the next, gaining increasing intelligence,
capability, self-conscious spirituality, and eventually reach
cyclic perfection, the end or completion of an evolutionary cycle
through the kingdoms of nature.
The first track is this passage through the kingdoms and the
acquisition of faculties of consciousness and the return to our
The second track is the acquisition of selflessness, the
development of compassion, the rising above the personal
experiences of life to learn to love and appreciate and
participate in the big picture. In this one, we go from
materials, to builders, to architects. In this second track, we
progress or evolve or unfold ourselves in a different manner than
evolution in the ordinary sense. We are not perfecting our
selves, we are rather transcending the selves, and learning to
live in higher selves within.
We are ultimately responsible for the beings that we are. We are
not defined by the cycles that we happen to fall under (like
those defined in the astrological chart).
We are Buddhi, that karmic web of relationships that we create
our outer selves as. Through Buddhi, we co-create the world and
experience the saying that "you are your karma."
In addition to creating our self through the karmic relation-
ships with those individuals that we know in life, we also do so
by the relationships that we experience with the creators of the
cycles of life. These relationships also help define the self
that we will manifest. We have a karmic relationship with them
too, and are affected.
There is a give and take, an interplay of life energies in a
relationship with any person that we know in life. This helps
define our personality in a lifetime, and we both influence or
affect that other person as well as receive influences from and
are affected by that person.
The same is true with the high Beings and creative intelli-
gences that govern and give life to our world. We enter into
karmic relationships with them too, but this kind of karma could
be considered group karma. And that karma also defines whom we
are, and establishes living links, living bonds with us whereby
we are influenced and changed.
View life as an organic whole. Look for the creative intelli-
gences behind things. Master life by understanding it. And
understand it by understanding the great intelligences that make
our world and its life possible. Like living well with a friend
by knowing him well, let's know well all our Friends.
by Andrew Rooke
[based upon a March 7, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org]
1994 is the International Year of the Family so I thought perhaps
a few thoughts on the pressures on family life in the 1990s from
a theosophical angle might be of interest.
The following comments are based on the Australian experience but
they could equally hold for any Western country these days:
Any society is built on the nobility of family life.
Unfortunately the last 20 years have witnessed an accelerated
disintegration of family life in Australia which will have a
powerful influence on the future of this country.
Over the past 15 years there has been a silent shift in the
nation's wealth so that we have approx 30% of the population
poor, compared to 10% in 1979. High bank interest rates in the
1980s forced both parents to work to pay unrealistically inflated
home morgages with consequently wide reaching affects on the
development of children.
An extreme barometer of these changes was reported by The Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 1989. The Commission
found that there were between 20,000 and 25,000 homeless children
in Australia some of them suffering horrific abuses and others
dying of malnutrition, drug abuse, and AIDS.
These are "nobody's children" of the 1990s who have left home due
mostly to intolerable stresses, yet who do not have the skills
and attitudes necessary for "success" in today's comptetive
world. They will eventually have a major impact on the whole
country due to the increasing crime rate related to homelessness
and drug addiction, and in the future burden the community with
the possible one in five kids who will be permanently
What on earth has caused this situation in a comparitively
wealthy country like Australia? Sociologists and economists cite
statistics illustrating the decline in family life and the rise
of domestic abuses such as incest and violence.
Social workers and criminologists speak of loss of respect and
trust mutually between the parents and children of many stressed
families where kids have not had the opportunity to develop the
capacity to love. In the case of the "street kids" who leave
home, social workers say that a more apt description would be to
say that home left them!
Of course, the majority of Australian families provide a warm and
stable environment for children, but these trends are alarming.
They point to the importance of nuturing love and respect within
individuals, towards family members of our immediate family, and
outwards to the community -- no matter how hard this may be given
today's social problems.
Such positive attitudes could be built upon and acknowledgement
that there are greater dimensions and responsibilities in life
than the material values of our popular culture. Our churches
used to supply this needed balance between the demands of the
inner and outer life and to provide simple and commonly accepted
rules for social behaviour.
This is no longer the case for many people as they reach, often
blindly, towards new explanations for ancient questions or simply
ignore the fact that human beings have one foot in the
subconscious realm, and go on living as many do absorbed in the
values of the outer world.
Theosophical teachers have always taught the practical value of
the Ancient Wisdom in all aspects of human life. An appreciation
of the fudamental truths of brotherhood, karma and reincarnation
expressed in the mythology and religions the world over, is basic
to the structure of the longest lived societies such as our
Australian aboriginal culture. They have helped to build the
great civilizations of the past, and must do so again in the
Today, practical help in the form of food, shelter, medical and
financial assistance is needed urgently for the children of the
street. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to the courageous
individuals of many philanthropic organizations who provide such
Beyond these physical measures, the pervasive power of a loving
environment built on mutual respect between parents and children
and ultimately upon knowledge of the responsibilities of the
different stages and stations in life based on Universal Law, is
needed in our society.
Theosophicts as latter day guardians of the Ancient Wisdom, carry
a responsibility to cast forth these powerful seed ideas into the
consciousness of our nations.
Katherine Tingley, founder of the Point Loma theosophical
community and mentor of Dr G de Purucker, concentrated much of
her work on the practical value of theosophy to home life and
social problems. Her words prophetically echo the challenges of
the changing family structures of the 1990s:
> The question naturally arises: What remedies must be applied to
> bring about a change for the better in the home life? What
> factors can be introduced to adjust it and bring it nearer to
> perfection? Theosophy answers that the parents should begin to
> study the science of life, self-evolution, and the greater
> responsibilities of fatherhood and motherhood even before
> marriage. Home should be acclaimed as the centre from which the
> higher life of nations should spring.
> -- Katherine Tingley interviewed by Claire Merton in 1921.
Perhaps others, particularly with experience in the Theosophical
Order of Service or other philanthropic endeavours which attempt
to apply theosophic ideals, may wish to comment on this subject.
THEOSOPHICAL WORK IN WALES
by Dr. C. A. Bartzokas
Hafod Road, Gwemymynydd, Near Mold, North Wales CH7 SJS
[The following news was taken from a May 10, 1997 letter to
serious students of Theosophy]
Firstly, let me introduce ourselves and our objectives:
We are small group of Theosophists meeting in Liverpool,
Merseyside, North West of England. Whilst we strive to fulfil
the third fundamental proposition of Theosophy, we also try:
1. to show to men that such a thing as Theosophy exists, and
2. to help them ascend towards it by studying and assimilating
its eternal verities,
in the words of Blavatsky. Our approach consists of developing
cross-validated editions of Theosophical classics, and referenced
collations of the Theosophical writings for wide dissemination to
every man -- literally.
THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE -- CLASSIC EDITION
The VOICE -- being the most concise and, yet, comprehensive
instructions for those who are determined to realize their inner
potential -- was singled out for group study in our Lodge.
Almost every member had a different edition, but we felt secure
in the knowledge that all were "exact copies, reprints, or
facsimiles of the original 1889 edition", as their publishers had
Nothing could be furthest from the truth! It was not
until we started transcribing one popular edition of the VOICE
into a word-processor -- to allow systematic textual analysis and
study -- and cross-checked a number of queries with another, that
unexpected differences between two allegedly VERBATIM
reproductions of the original emerged.
Since we could not access an 1889 copy, we asked three
Theosophists to commend their preferred edition; we ended up with
1. a reprint from the 1889 edition of THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE,
with notes and comments by Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil
Crump. First published under the auspices of the Chinese
Buddhist Research Society, Peking 1927. Re-published under the
auspices of The H.P.B. Lending Library, Vernon 1978. ISBN
2. a reprint from the 1889 edition of THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE,
with introduction, notes and index by Arya Asanga. Golden
Jubilee Edition, published by the Theosophical Publishing House,
3. a facsimile reprint of the 1889 edition of THE VOICE OF THE
SILENCE, with introduction and index by Boris de Zirkoff.
Centenary edition, first published by the Theosophical Publishing
House. Wheaton 1991. Republished by Quest, Wheaton 1992. ISBN
In September 1996 John Algeo of the Theosophical Society in
America requested a disk, with the view of releasing THE VOICE in
the Internet through the Society's Web site. We are not aware of
any further progress in this direction.
After an endorsement by Lilian Storey of the Theosophical Society
in England, the Merseyside VOICE was advertised in the Society's
January / February 1997 journal (38: 1). To date not a single
enquiry from England (or, indeed, from other parts of the
Kingdom) was received.
Since 1991, Cygnus Book Club, an independent small mail order
company, was trying to obtain the Boris de Zirkoff's edition of
the VOICE (third on the list above) but without success. It was
not until February 1997 that Cygnus finally managed to secure a
small supply and advertised that paperback together with our
electronic edition (copies of the 1st and 5th page of their
February catalogue enclosed).
To date 230 people acquired the VOICE -- including two dozen or
so, who took advantage of the special offer and purchased both
book and disk. You may be interested to learn that Geoff & Ann
Napier, Directors of Cygnus, convinced that there is a
substantial (and sustainable) public demand for Blavatsky and
classic Theosophical books, are currently negotiating to reprint
Sylvia Cranston's biography of Blavatsky and also considering to
market ISIS UNVEILED.
If the last two titles prove popular, we shall be advising them
to continue promoting the Theosophical teachings the Philippines
edition of THE MAHATMA LETTERS and the single volume facsimile
edition of THE SECRET DOCTRINE of the Theosophy Co.
THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE -- CONTEMPORARY EDITION
Blavatsky has initially dedicated the VOICE to the "few." We
believe that its exalted ethics and timeless message should now
be extended to everybody. However, since 1889, when the VOICE
was first published, many words of the English language,
particularly those with spiritual connotations, have been
altered, redefined, and confused, as the socio-cultural contexts
in which they were applied have been dramatically transformed, to
give us today different meanings and significance.
Unless intrinsically motivated, readers who are not conversant
with the 19th century English, mystical verse and Eastern
vocabulary of the VOICE, may not able to gain an appreciation of
its dimensions and purpose. The VOICE has been translated into
many other languages.
We believe that rendering it into modern English prose is now
opportune so that the today's "man in the street" can readily
grasp its message. We just commissioned this exciting task to a
leading academic in Poetry. The work is available in electronic
THEOSOPHY -- INNER WISDOM
An alternative title is perhaps THEOSOPHY: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
This collation, as it now stands, may be suitable for group study
by Theosophists. However, the underlying aim is to produce much
shorter abstracts for dissemination to the public at large.
MODIFICATIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND COSMIC ULTIMATES
An alternative title is perhaps THEOSOPHY: EXPANDING
CONSCIOUSNESS. This collation was initially compiled for private
or group study. Again, selected abstracts can form the basis for
public informational leaflets or advertisements. An outline of
THE ONE REALITY AND ITS DUAL ASPECTS, being the first fundamental
proposition of Theosophy, is also the mystical key to
understanding consciousness (appended).
[Note that a copy of the work was received with the letter, and
may be made available on the Internet.]
Can you see the guiding principles of our overall approach? Do
Please let us know of any typing errors or other inconsistencies
in the VOICE.
What do you think of the collations in general, selection of
material, titles, and ranking of sections ? Can you improve on
the wording of the section headings and subheadings?
Do you find the footnotes helpful or patronizing? Would you like
to see more, or less, depth of explanation? Can you indicate
other words that, in your opinion, 'every man' may not readily and
We do not propose to assert any rights for these works. You may,
therefore, appropriate as much or as little as you wish.
However, we shall be delighted to receive any constructive
criticism, to collaborate in Theosophical works, and to assist
implementing other Theosophical objectives, in any way we can.
+44 (0) 151 604 7409 [office]
+44 (0) 1352 755 195 [home]
+44 (0) 151 604 7453 [fax, by prior arrangement]
parcels: Wirral Medical Microbiology, Clatterbridge Hospital,
Merseyside L63 4JY, UK
smail: Ty Ucha, Hafod Road, Gwernynymdd, Wales CH7 5JS, UK
by Thoa Tran
[based upon a May 18, 1997 posting to email@example.com]
In my experience with 5 to 8 year olds, the children require
strong guidance, simplicity, and freedom of expression.
(Basically, someone strictly telling them to adhere to doing
certain things, and yet within that confine, with very little
expectation of the result). Materials taught should be in a
simple, experiential manner, e.g. lots of colors, shapes, using
simple motor skills. The teacher should also act in a parental
With young college age students (around 18 years old), a very
relaxed friendly setting is required. The students abhor
authoritarian figures. However, strong rules have to be laid out
with clear consequences stated, or else the students will lose
interest, skip classes, etc.
At that age, who wants to be in a classroom? Materials taught
should be challenging with the teacher expecting certain results,
and should be full of experiences beyond the classroom. The
expectations should be clear as far as certain aesthetic quality
(as in art), and yet very open to allow for unique visions.
The teacher, in critiquing, basically, has to do mental
gymnastics, seeing results in different point of views. That is,
in critiquing, the teacher should note the effort put in, the
critical thinking, and the creative effort. Basic environment is
challenging and yet flexible.
With older folks who are pretty much set in their ways, the
teaching is more geared toward what they are used to, and yet
somehow diplomatically try to make them add different
perspectives to their repertoire. They are usually more
self-driven about what they need to do, do it with great effort,
and yet those qualities are also responsible for them to be less
receptive about trying different things.
It's hard to try to get them to paint abstract art when they're
used to flowers, and vice versa. In this case, the teacher
should not shock the student too much by trying to change the
student, but rather just find strengths in what the student
I don't know much about theosophical politics, but here are some
things I've noted.
The basic goals are search for truth, siblinghood and service to
One of the intention was to replace what was lacking in
religions, perhaps correcting reliance on superstition,
emotionalism, and factionalism.
There is a lot of factionalism among theosophists.
Theosophists are superstitious and emotional despite themselves.
Helena Blavatsky was quite superstitious herself and obviously
emotional (why would she swear so much?).
This conflict between what is ideal and what is natural have made
the T.S. create its own archetype. By not compromising with the
natural, conflicts arose, membership dwindled, and factionalism
resulted. Instead of finding strength in its archetype, apply
acceptance and forgiveness, the T.S. have chosen to shut out
those members. Vice versa for the rejected members in which T.S.
rules have become the archetype.
The Internet is great for bringing in those who may not converse
with theosophists any other way. There are several groups who
would be interested: people who heavily rely on the computer for
occupation, information, and communication; retired people; and
young people who have always known the computer. Because of the
Internet, people are more likely to do a web search on theosophy
due to their encounter with it through readings, friends, etc.
The Internet fails when it comes to human contact, experiences,
and guidance. The virtual is not as powerful as the actual. On
the other hand, sometimes actual contact may not be that great.
Someone may have a hard time listening to what you have to say
because of your nervous tics. .
PUTTING AN END TO UNKINDESS
by Brenda Tucker
[based upon a March 3, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org]
Leadbeater is the most kind, gentle, patient, encouraging,
thoughtful, loving, gracious teacher of theosophy that I have
ever had. I would place him next to Jesus in his endurance of
criticism and personal injustice.
A favorite quote of mine that I memorized after reading is that
we should try to be "perfectly impervious to any attempt on our
Please put down your guns, bring your most compassionate thoughts
to mind, and peacefully encourage the thoughts of brotherhood and
religious ideals as he did in his writings.
If we approach this study with dignity we won't fall prey to the
concept that the occult work is as easy as a "simple refusal to
lie," as well as a dogmatic adherence to the other nine of the
ten commandments. It would mean as much to me if you said
someone is guilty of swearing and can't be an initiate for this
I doubt if Leadbeater ever said a harsh word about anybody. Can
you imagine the level of criticism aimed at him because he dared
to be different and pursue knowledge of the inner realms for the
purpose of sharing it with humanity, not for selfish purposes.
If we think H.P.B. endured because of her beliefs and teachings,
wouldn't it be a fine emotion to admire that endurance in
another, too? I don't pretend to be a scholar or a diplomat, but
regardless of my profession, there are many who work as I do,
with the theosophical teachings in hope that we may help the work
in some small way.
If this is offensive to you, do you think you should continue in
theosophical circles? They have never excluded members because of
their literacy or literary skill. All types of intellect are
welcome, and the members themselves decided who are to be their
leaders and teachers. Even if a member doesn't become a major
voice in theosophy, he has the right to speak out, defend, and
give voice to that still small spark within.
Leadbeater taught good solid truths and beautiful ideals, and I
will always love and admire him and long to be like him, even at
the cost of personal sacrifice in the way that "the world" might
perceive me. (I already see the "naive, irrational, and blinded"
insults coming at me.)
If your concern is to bring the outer life in line with the inner
life, perhaps this is worth working for, but at times it may be a
decision of the masters to allow things to take place on the
outer physical plane because the rewards may not be relative to
the work involved.
They (the masters) have defended H.P.B.'s good name perhaps to a
greater extent than they have for Leadbeater. It isn't always
possible to tell what the adepts have accomplished, only by
looking at what has transpired, attempts have always been made to
uphold H.P.B.'s character at all cost. Is this what irks you?
I would say it's instructive to see it done both ways: allowed to
happen and revolted against. I'm sorry I'm not always able to
prove what I believe, but there is some basis to the way my
thoughts have formed.
I have read some of the controversies and masters' thoughts and
words. And I have read Leadbeater's books which to me are the
teachings that lead us to greatness. They are very much like
Jesus's teachings and embody the good solid moral qualities of
life. Don't try to shatter this by harsh words and scorn. One
of the books I am referring to is TALKS ON THE PATH OF OCCULTISM,
with commentary by Leadbeater and Besant.
I do think there are people worth revolting against and that at
times a warlike attitude is necessary, but must we use "kicks in
the teeth" to everyone studying theosophy?
Perhaps your aim is to bring as many unloved human beings into
theosophical circles as possible, that if we are unable to love
someone we are in the process of learning a valuable lesson. But
couldn't it be possible that before the universal love becomes
available to a human being that they be asked to lay down certain
qualities which are inconsistent with altruism.
When a human being begins to learn peace and to halt anger and
condemnation, isn't that the time when the love of the adepts
flows out to encourage them onward? Doesn't anger and an
unforgiving attitude mis-color our perceptions, too? Can't one be
blinded by revenge?
Do you feel that there is some justice missing in the outer world
and work to bring about the justice as you feel it should be
done? Not even a judge or jury is able to make a decision without
Even if they have a limited number of facts and certainties, it
may not be enough for them to decide "guilty or not guilty." They
may have to throw the case out of court on the basis that there
is not enough evidence.
If you prefer to be lawyer-like and insist on justice, maybe you
should study the legal system as this might be an outlet for your
longing to prosecute. Why can't we just allow each person to
judge for themselves and not speak so harshly of anyone's
I think you're going to meet many members of The Theosophical
Society that you won't really like or ever understand what it is
they are doing as a member. So whether or not you understand The
Secret Doctrine is inconsequential if you are unable to tolerate
religious preference in the members.
NEWS FROM EASTERN SCHOOL PRESS
by David Reigle
[The following note was mailed to friends of Eastern School Press
in early June. The Research Report mentioned will appear in a
future issue of THEOSOPHY WORLD. To contact Eastern School
Press, write 3185 Boyd Road, Cotopaxi, CO 81223. Note that they
don't have an email id at this time.]
A little over two years ago we made publicly known in a letter our
work spanning two decades in perparation for the coming out of an
original language manuscript of the Book of Dzyan, an event which
we believe will do more than anything else to bring about the
acceptance of the Theosophical teachings in the world.
At that time we mentioned our unfinished building which was to
house the research collection we had gathered for the purpose of
one day annotating the Book of Dzyan. Subsequently, many
Theosophists sent contributions toward this. Recently, we received
a contribution matching the amount of all the other ones.
As a result of this, we are pleased to announce that the roof has
now been completed on the Eastern School "Book of Dzyan" Research
Archives building. It is an all-steel roof including custom-made
stell trusses, conforming to our fireproof contruction. In the
future clectricity and other non-essentials will be added.
The accompanying BOOK OF DZYAN RESEARCH REPORT, our fourth to
date, is representative of the work we are doing here. If this
contributes to the appreciation of the Book of Dzyan and THE
SECRET DOCTRINE among thinking people, may the karma thus
generated benefit our kind donors. With many thanks.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE OF THEOSOPHY
by Dallas TenBroeck
[extracts from a February 17, 1997 letter to Geoffrey Farthing,
The Real Problem With the T.S.
The real problem with the T.S., as I look at its history, is that
many FTS have mistaken the "outer form" (organization) for the
ever elusive, yet, definite PHILOSOPHY: THEOSOPHY.
To expect some kind of unanimity in formalisms, is not possible,
since individuals are ever free to choose their own paths, and no
"organization" has the sole "key to heaven," or the "TRUTH"
limited to it. [This is what so many religions claim: the sole
"pathway" to ..., whatever way in which they define "the goal!"]
And increasingly intelligent mankind, desires to be free as
individuals, if they are also honest and bold.
The only value of any association or organization is that it
affords a focus for study and for the comparison of individual
understandings, hypotheses, hopes and conclusions. And for this
to operate well, there has to be freedom from any kind of
"authority." Any attempt to coordinate the thinking of
individuals inevitably leads to apathy and dissolution.
The T.S. was originally designed for this purpose and it
functioned well so long as it was sustained by an impartial
adherence to truth, impartiality in all things and impersonality.
To me, a "Theosophical Society," consisting of a constantly
changing group of people who subscribe to its "Objects," is one
thing. THEOSOPHY, as a statement of facts in Nature, is another.
Some sympathy must exist between those who make of themselves
members of a T.S., and the principles of THEOSOPHY, however
garbled, that originally attracted their attention and raised
their hopes. Loyalty to THEOSOPHY (because its practical nature
is more or less grasped) does not imply political "loyalty" to a
It seems to me that the degree of assiduity and sincerity of
individuals in their STUDY OF THEOSOPHY makes for most, if not
all of individual convergencies, which may then express itself as
a "T.S." But this convergence is voluntary and cannot be coerced,
or identified by some external appearance or vocal agreement to
forms, rules or names. The "heart" counts, not the "lips."
As I see it THEOSOPHY lies at the root. The THEOSOPHYCAL SOCIETY
was started [as a formal body wherein freedom of study and ease
of association to compare the results of study were encouraged]
in New York in 1875. Some 17 persons agreed to be the founders,
and of these only three remained to sustain it till their death:
HPB, HSO and WQJ.
It was formed to promote the study of that historico-
philosophical system we call THEOSOPHY. When trouble arose in
the original T.S., it always centered on personal differences.
It appears to me that personal views, through gossip, led away
from THEOSOHPY to personal opinions, which being grasped and
sustained by "followers," made for all subsequent disunities and
eventual divisions, as the uniting force of THEOSOPHY was
At present several bodies deriving from the original Society are
in existence, exhibiting objects more or less similar to the
originals, but now following some TRADITION which depends on an
historical and personalized basis. And yet respect for and
adherence to THEOSOPHY is acclaimed.
THEOSOPHY, as I perceive it, is not the property of any one of
the "Societies," nor is the "path" to "perfection," or to the
Masters through any one of those "societies." Rather, it is an
inner connection that each student makes for himself and by his
own determined efforts.
The basic premise is that each is an IMMORTAL, and that the
HIGHER SELF is the inner resident attuned to the UNIVERSAL ALL --
THE EVER IMPERSONAL AND INCOGNIZABLE ABSOLUTE. Therefore, not
only are all men BROTHERS, but brotherhood extends without
exclusions or interruptions to all other "beings."
HPB makes it amply clear that only moral excellence gives the
key, and for each student (or member) the "path" is entirely
individual, and free of organizational over-burden. True
students of THEOSOPHY cannot be considered a "flock of mindless
sheep," or, the "blind following the one-eyed!"
The POLITICS OF THE T.S., down the years, have distracted
individuals from the study, and application of THEOSOPHY in, as
can be observed, a saddening way. And yet, it must be admitted
that the launching of the T.S., as an organism that would enable
individuals to group together and assist each other in study and
in the personal embodiment of THEOSOPHY, has left an indelible
stamp on the era. If it can be returned to that, then success
will be ours. I sincerely hope that readers help secure that
But it is THEOSOPHY that has done this and not the T.S. as an
organization. Without THEOSOPHY, the T.S. would be just another
society, similar to Masonry perhaps, dedicated to its three
"Objects," and subject to the internal politics of office (as we
have seen in T.S. history).
Adherence to THEOSOPHICAL PRINCIPLES by individuals ought to have
precluded the present history of unbrotherliness and incapacity.
[Compare the contents of most contemporary "Theosophical
magazines and journals" with the vigor and depth of the original
magazines: THEOSOPHIST, Vols. 1 to 10, LUCIFER, Vols. 1 to 5,
and PATH, Vols. 1 to 10. I am sure the reader will conclude, as
I have, and I see them all, that much of the thrust of LIVING,
SEEKING, independent thought and research is now quite absent.]
We have all been fortunate in terms of time, to participating at
close range in the beginning of the modern effort to reinstall
THEOSOPHY, as a means to philosophical freedom, in the minds of
Individually we share in the sustaining, by whatever way we have
contributed, to its diffusion and perpetuation. In terms of this
proximity, I sense a great responsibility rested and rests on our
combined shoulders. Our own destiny, made by our present
choices, will inevitably shape our future incarnations.
But there is a problem that relates largely to a failure in the
"physical" or "organizational" basis for the work that the T.S.
was framed to pursue and promote. In my observation, the several
T.S. organizations, as such, have narrowed their focus to some
selected aspect of Theosophical philosophy, and rate loyalty by
the formal behavior of individuals within the parameters they
This consists of judgments made by others within such a group on
the actions and presumed motives of individuals, either singly or
taken EN MASSE. The continuity of affiliation is based on
politics and formal adherence, rather than on the broad base of a
universal BROTHERHOOD that tolerates and includes all who are
sincere in promoting the purposes for its existence. The only
ones that have been excluded in the lifetime of HPB were those
who were destructive and sought to disrupt the Unity of the T.S.
I would say, however, that among those who join, or work in and
through any of those organizations, there are very few who seem
to understand the difference between THEOSOPHY and its vehicle:
And, there are fewer still who know, at least intellectually,
what are the principles THEOSOPHY offers to them for study,
investigation, practice in their daily lives, and promulgation.
And finally, there are fewer still who apply THEOSOPHY in their
daily lives -- in that secret "closet" into which they can retire
-- and there, answer only to their own conscience, to their
Higher Self, and to the Masters.
The promulgation of THEOSOPHY is especially important and ought
to be limited to the presentation and consideration of the
"original writings" for which we owe HPB a debt that is
unrepayable except through the careful preservation of that
basis, and the offering, in our turn, of a forum entirely free
from coercion or authority.
To my understanding, the distinction between THEOSOPHY and the
organizations is the difference between the "Eye" (or "Head")
doctrine and the "Heart" doctrine. This characterization may
well lay me open to criticism.
The resolution is not through arguments, but by each individual
considering what he or she has done, and what their future living
will be. In the forum of our own conscience stand the motives
that have carried us this far.
In no way could I presume to lay down for anyone any principles.
Each of us does this for themselves. THEOSOPHY, being ideal, it
offers each of us a "touch-stone" to rate our own character.
THEOSOPHY, as a universal SYSTEM, embraces us all, whether we
know it or not, whether we are "members" of the T.S., or not, and
whether we acknowledge Theosophy or not. I believe that those
who assume the burden of "membership" in any association called
"Theosophical" assume a great responsibility. I have found this
aspect discussed in the older magazines, (THEOSOPHIST, LUCIFER,
PATH) published during or closely following HPB's lifetime.
I also believe that an understanding of the seriousness of
choosing one's individual growth in understanding and applying
THEOSOPHY is a primary factor in such changes as we might impose
on OURSELVES. That leads one to eventually perceive that
Universal Brotherhood is a fact in life. It is a study that
changes the orientation of the way we live and work.
Perhaps the saddest of all events was the tampering with HPB's
writings which soon ensued, following her demise.
The Need to Study Theosophy
To my observation most of the problems that members of the T.S.
exhibit, reside in the fact that they know little of what
THEOSOPHY is, or teaches. They have not studied it, nor have
they tested its coherence, nor have become convinced of its
validity. Many write in varying degrees of ignorance as a
What has happened, it seems to me, is that they read ABOUT HPB,
and not what HPB WROTE. If they have read what HPB wrote, they
have not STUDIED IT THOROUGHLY. They are confused about the
philosophy and confused about the views offered concerning HPB,
as a person within the observation of several biographers.
The many opinions advanced by those who made themselves her
critics and enemies further confused them, and they have sought
little of the means afforded to them to study her work and life
in terms of the principles of THEOSOPHY.
Consequently, basing themselves on "hear-say," they are like
flies on a fly-paper, and become obsessed with the concept
implanted in their heads that HPB may have been FRAUDULENT,
either all the time, or some of the time.
It is an old ploy to try to destroy someone's integrity and
credibility, by gossip and character assassination, and thus in
the eyes of the crowd, the value of any philosophy or statement
made by that personage is presumed damaged, or even destroyed as
to its validity, and, thereafter, in those minds it remains
THEOSOPHY survives, unaffected, as far as I can test it. To
safeguard against this kind of situation, HPB stated that her
students were NOT to follow "her path," but the "path" she
showed, "AND THE MASTERS WHO ARE BEHIND."
Many who become FTS and to some extent become her students, find
that their approach to the study of THEOSOPHY has become tainted
with those suspicions acquired from others. They find it
difficult if not impossible to determine what is fact or what is
fiction. They seek to learn what THEOSOPHY is, not from HPB
(whom they are usually told is "too difficult to understand"),
but from interpreters who have established interpretative biases
of their own.
This is not the path to THEOSOPHY. They then abandon HPB for the
vagaries of "second opinion" writings, T.S. politics, and fall
under the "leadership" of those of its officers who appear to be
"authoritative." Those students, who became convinced of the
validity of THEOSOPHY, have, in most cases left the T.S., and as
a result several bodies have arisen which more or less work at
its active study. I have heard of very few Branches of the T.S.
which actually make it a point to STUDY THE PRINCIPLES OF
THEOSOPHY AND ITS ORIGINAL LITERATURE.
If Occultism is true, and if Theosophy is a "statement of facts
in nature," then FRAUD, by a personage such as HPB, is
impossible. Had HPB engaged in any "fraud," however small, her
OCCULT CONNECTION WITH THE LODGE OF THE ANCIENT BROTHERHOOD,
WOULD HAVE BEEN SEVERED [ISIS II 98-103].
No AGENT of Theirs can work fraudulently. In any such case the
agent is deemed a FAILURE, and is debarred from any further
responsibility for the Masters' work and influence in the world.
There is no evidence of this in regard to HPB, right up to her
last article and letter.
[This is of course extraordinary in our world of hypocrisy and
camouflage; and in most cases, individuals who publish such views
are deemed, in certain quarters, to be "dupes."]
In the world of true occultism, where everyone's motives are
bared and open to the piercing vision of the Adepts, fraud is
impossible. One may assure oneself of this factor by culling
Their statements to be found in THE MAHATMA LETTERS concerning
Their relations with HPB, with this subject in mind.
Access to Genuine Theosophy
Unhesitatingly I would uphold HPB's statements and nature, as we
have no other access to genuine THEOSOPHY, EXCEPT THROUGH HER.
I would insist that there is a definite "theosophical system,"
but that this cannot be imposed on anyone, nor can an impossible
unanimity of adherence among the FTS be insisted on. The T.S.,
as I understand it, and as originally constituted, was to be a
"republic of conscience."
The T.S. was to be a forum where the conjoined study of its
philosophy could be conducted, without any coercion or the breath
of sectarianship, so that a true neutrality would be preserved,
and its influence in all aspects of study could be exposed to
public and "academic" consideration.
THEOSOPHY, however, can not be cut, reformed, altered and molded
to satisfy current "academic" specifications and theories. Some
have tried to do this with various motives, but chiefly out of
the hope of increased popularity, and the securing of academic
endorsement, which would, hopefully, add a measure of "sanctity"
If one studies the changes in "academic" consideration in a
number of the disciplines in which THEOSOPHY has offered doctrine
and data, and compares them, one can soon notice that,
increasingly, the academies are adjusting themselves to a closer
alignment with statements made by HPB. This is particularly
noticed in regard to the investigations into archaeology,
paleontology, psychology and religious history.
The "historicity" of Christianity, the origins of the New
Testament, and the relations of early Christian sects with the
GNOSTICS are a case in point.
[In a way, one might say that analogetically, the history of the
T.S. in the past 122 years has shown movements similar to those
we detect historically over 3 to 4 centuries in early
Christianity. So rapidly does Kali Yuga now move.]
"Dogmatism" would seem to imply the imposition (and uncritical
acceptance) of the views of others. The course of the T.S.
shows this was attempted in more than one way. And every time
that this was resisted, secession from it ensued, or suspension
and expulsion were imposed.
Brotherhood, the First Object, became constantly violated and the
eclectic nature of the T.S. has suffered gravely from those
"official" actions -- just as it did when the members of the
"American Section," and its Branches were declared to have
A clear statement of one's views, is not "out-of-order" providing
others are granted open-minded freedom of expression, and that
all are encouraged to search for and find areas where facts and
ideas can be considered.
From their very inception under the editorship of HPB, first,
THEOSOPHIST, and second, LUCIFER, printed criticism and response
without hesitation. When HPB no longer edited those, an attempt
to hide criticism from the readership became the editorial
policy. THEOSOPHY thus suffered, as did the "officers" and
Dissimulation and departure from brotherhood has progressively
destroyed the original quality of the T.S., as I see it. That is
my observation and opinion, but, I may be too harsh, or even
wrong in some of this estimate.
THEOSOPHY unifies. It does not divide, nor does it impose any
special rules or rites on anyone. The T.S. ought to have
emulated the work of a study forum, where many minds can meet in
amity so that an amplification of knowledge may be achieved.
But: no AUTHORITIES!
As I see it, the T.S. is not concerned with "beliefs." Those are
individual. A belief is, generally, an unprovable statement of
ignorance. Beliefs need to be critically examined on the thesis
that we live in a Universe of Law. They can serve to provide a
focus for discussion so that individually, one may eliminate
those that are unprovable or illogical from ones mind. But this
is done each one for himself, and cannot be imposed or expected
as a hypocritical "lip-profession" from others.
I am very much afraid that the T.S. has become a "stranded
whale," and I would be surprised if it ever is able to roll off
its present "sand-bank," back into the ocean of useful
THEOSOPHICAL study and work.
I do believe it is possible to expect some aspects of organized
reform, since it is up to the individuals who are its members to
FIRST, make a change in themselves.
Should this occur, then you will find that, Branches, and then
whole Sections will adopt a freedom from "by-laws" as they begin
to practice the rules of Brotherhood and of true THEOSOPHY.
Then, indeed will the original character of the "First Object" be
reestablished by a non-regulated cooperative spirit.
Any one individual can frame a protest and outline the methods
that they believe will lead to dearly-needed reform. Such
protest will no doubt draw a mixture of response: but importantly
one will probably find drawn to oneself individuals who
appreciate one's ideas and attitudes.
The Adepts and the Theosophical Movement
I would say that it is unimportant as to whether there was
unanimity or not in Adept circles in regard to the commencement
of the Theosophical Movement of the 19th/20th Century. Suffice
it to observe that the experiment was "permitted," and several
Adepts participated in its animation.
Three of these, so far as we are made privy to Their decisions,
made it their particular project. It is reasonable to suppose
that when the work was put in hand -- under the law of Karmic
possibilities -- all those Great Brothers lent assistance as
needed, and that is indicated in the scraps of insightful
reflection found in Their letters.
It seems evident that "HPB" was one of these Adepts, and took the
burden of incarnation among us for this purpose.
I would say that there is a great distinction to be made between
the Adept [HPB] and the physical personality born and named
"Helena Blavatsky." In several ways and places she makes this
clear. In no way can we presume to consider that the REAL HPB
[the Adept] and her Adept Friends are "dead."
I would say that there is ample evidence in the historical
development of the Theosophical Movement since 1891 to
demonstrate their continued existence and interest.
Looking at the Theosophical Movement of modern times, the first
seven-year period beginning in 1875 with the inauguration of the
T.S. ended in 1882. During that cycle ISIS appeared and the
THEOSOPHIST began in Bombay. The bulk of the correspondence
between the Masters, and Sinnett and Hume was exchanged.
The second cycle of 7 years embraces the period of 1882-1889.
This saw the Coulomb conspiracy, and the SPR "Report" as tests of
the solidarity of the T.S. As one result, HPB was exiled from
Adyar, and Master's influence declined there. There was in
contrast the revival of interest in THEOSOPHY in America (under
Judge), and in Europe (under HPB). India (and Asia) was reported
as becoming stagnant. THE SECRET DOCTRINE was published, and the
hitherto secret E.S. was opened to the FTS as a means of drawing
closer to the Masters, and to a real understanding, study and
application of THEOSOPHY.
Cycle the third, from 1889 to 1896 saw the death of HPB, and the
"Judge Case" which ended in his death and the alienation of the
bulk of the "American Section." From this the E.S. did not
survive as originally framed. The T.S. being 21 years old
reached its majority. Its choice of future was made: in Europe,
India and in America.
How can the Masters be expected to work publicly with an
organization which had systematically and deliberately excluded
them? And where psychic attempts were made, and continued in
various ways, in spite of Their warnings against that, to
"contact" Them? This is, however, an "aside."]
From the literature available it is evident that many Adepts
helped. From a doubtful to a successful effort, one can trace
the steps made, the barriers encountered, and surmounted. I
believe it is clear that "HPB," the Adept, around whom the effort
was centered, was dissatisfied with the results and proclaimed
the SOCIETY to be "a failure," insofar as achieving moral and
practical objectives was concerned.
In other words, its members did not support THEOSOPHY as they
could have -- as though it was the most important thing in the
world. She spoke of those apparent faults in several ways: lack
of brotherhood, lack of study, and failure to spread it as far
and as wide as they could have.
The manner in which HPB was treated in India in 1884 is an
indication of this. Read, for instance: "A PUZZLE FROM ADYAR" --
LUCIFER, August 1889; and "Why I do not Return to India" --
THEOSOPHIST, July 1929 (this was written by HPB in April 1890,
apparently meant for the "Indian Section," and conveyed to Col.
Olcott by Bertram Keightley when he traveled to India, as I
understand. Apparently this was suppressed at the time and never
published in THEOSOPHIST until 1929, 39 years after it could have
made a difference.
HPB was concerned with all these aspects, and HPB alone provided
the visible focus (the "Interpreter" -- see ISIS II 91) for the
PRINCIPLES that were to be studied, checked, tested, verified,
then used by students. Mr. W.Q.Judge, almost single handed in
America, met this criterion as was recognized, according to
existing documents, in Adept quarters.
One of the unfortunate breaks in the study of THEOSOPHY that
members of the original T.S. have labored under was the cloud
cast on Mr. Judge, (1893-96) after the death of Mme. Blavatsky,
and in spite of her several warnings in this regard.
The failure to make his works available to the membership, along
with HPB's writings, and the introduction soon after, and from
then on of distracting materials demonstrates this. [THE EPITOME
OF THEOSOPHY (1887) is a sample of his work, marking his value to
the Theosophical Movement.]
For many years the membership did not know that Mr. Judge was
one of the three Founders of the T.S. in New York who had
remained steadfast and loyal to its work and objects until his
death in 1896. He is still, largely, unknown in T.S. circles.
Between the publishing of ISIS UNVEILED in 1877, and the issuing
of THE SECRET DOCTRINE in 1888, the correspondence between the
Masters and Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume developed, and then waned.
In late 1879 the THEOSOPHIST began publication.
A great effort in India and Ceylon (1879-84) was made to
demonstrate to the citizens of those countries that their age-old
philosophies and lore had definite and continuing value. Their
revival was supported by the T.S. Many of the CHELAS of the
Masters in those countries were induced to join the T.S. and
lend their efforts to its promotion and growth. 1885 marked
HPB's exile from India.
Mr. Sinnett's early publications ( THE OCCULT WORLD, and
ESOTERIC BUDDHISM) did much to popularize and broadcast
Theosophical principles, even if some of his statements and
opinions had to be corrected by the Adepts in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, and in various magazine articles. A perusal of the
material in THE MAHATMA LETTERS in comparison with his books
shows how he erred.
ISIS UNVEILED had spearheaded an intellectual revival in the
West, tracing as it does the principles and main events of an
Occult nature down the centuries, and unveiling the single SOURCE
of many important sects and religions, and particularly of
Among the intellectuals of the time it evoked a stirring and a
revival of search into the documentary traces of their past. The
correlations it advanced showed that history records a unanimity
of experience in psychic and occult matters, and that those
provided explanations for the sudden exuberance of the phenomena
in the "spiritualistic" movement.
It was for the general protection of mankind that THEOSOPHICAL
literature was written, and the T.S. established, as a forum for
conjoint study and work.
These served to provide sources, principles and examples
concerning the psychic and the spiritual nature of man, so that a
student of those events could secure evidence to assure
themselves of knowledge about its existence in history and in
modern fact. It opened inquiring minds to correlative avenues of
research, and served to unite divided sects and natural
An Approach to the Masters
An approach to the Masters can be achieved by any one, whether a
member of the T.S., or not. It depends on the way in which he
lives his life, and on the moral and ethical basis for his
decisions in living.
It is plain that the E.S. associated with the T.S. ought to
have afforded a continued basis for such a program, but all
depends on the individual. No exoteric rite, ritual, or
observance has any weight.
And, esotericism, as I understand it, cannot be contrived. It is
a state of mind and life, or am I wrong? It is apparent to me
that each individual has to establish his own "connections."
There is, I am convinced, no substitute for a deep and careful
study of HPB's writings, and this includes her many ARTICLES
which have unfortunately not been made easily accessible, in
spite of being reprinted IN EXTENSO in "COLLECTED WORKS
BLAVATSKY." A less expensive access is very much needed. ULT has
tried to do this by issuing them in pamphlet form.
The Internet is, to my mind, like a telephone connection. It can
be used for serious exchanges or for chatter. Each individual
decides on that. It does have the advantage of rapidity in
communication. The real question is whether the ideas so
conveyed have real value and can truly assist inquirers.
It should be presumed that this, like other methods of
communication, will be both well used and probably also, abused.
One value to the printed page is that the student can retain a
RECORD of teachings and ideas, or of the study which he has made.
The records of the Internet appear to have a temporal fragility.
I note, currently, that there are about 2,000 "addresses," and
"pages" on Internet that avow concern in matters of Theosophical
The dilution of Theosophy to make it "simple," or "popular," has
been a serious problem. One forgets that those who truly want
THEOSOPHY will seek until it is found by them. If the source of
their seeking is obscured by the petty thinking of petty minds,
then a great disservice has been done in delaying the progress of
those who have less perspicacity or determination.
It should be a matter of imperative search by those who have
pierced the veil of obscurities to find kindred souls, eager for
serious work. Such individuals or groups may be scattered, may
appear to be "different" in organization from the forms that were
established in 1875 for the T.S., but that is, I believe, not
The opportunity for MUTUAL STUDY, and the comparing of such study
ought to be provided, unbiased, and free for those who desire it.
Does this already exist somewhere ? It is up to individuals to
search for such places and to make their assistance available.
If necessary fresh centers for work can be established, and
existing centers can be revitalized. I have noted in recent
years that three of the main centers of theosophical endeavor
have increasingly grown to share in work that is common, I mean
the "T.S., Adyar," the "T.S. Point Loma and Pasadena," and the
"U.L.T." All acrimony based on "tradition" seems to be fading in
favor of conjoined work when possible.
For example the centenary celebration of the Theosophical
participation at the Chicago Parliament of Religion in 1993, and
the celebration of the 100th Death Anniversary of respectively
HPB (1991), and of W.Q.Judge (1996) are examples of this here in
All three of these Theosophical "bodies" are keeping HPB's works
in PRINT. What the T.S. Adyar seems to lack is the availability
of Mr. Judge's works: THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, EPITOME OF
THEOSOPHY, ECHOES FROM THE ORIENT, BHAGAVAD GITA, PATANJALI YOGA
SUTRAS, and his many articles.
On careful examination and comparison with HPB's writings it has
been found that they are entirely IN LINE with her exposition of
Looking around at our Theosophical scene I have noticed an
individualistic orientation of motive or character in some
persons which seems to serve as a barrier, and it has done this
for many a learned individual who has become well versed in the
literature of original THEOSOPHY.
It is, briefly, the desire to shine before others, to be
"recognized." It is this that makes for the disguise of personal
claims and "authority." And this is perhaps the most difficult
aspect of one's personality to abandon. But if we are truly
immortals our opportunities to serve and assist stretch endlessly
ahead, and we need not concern ourselves with how others may view
us, providing we can be of help to them.
We will always, under our conjoined Karma, be united at many
future times and occasions. That is inevitable, so we might as
well set up and re-establish the bonds of friendship and mutual
support, based on a similarity of principles, and objectives.
The application of impersonality and of service to others, to my
way of thinking, can be the only basis for true unity, and
constructive work. HPB did not seek a following, but those who
sensed the value of what she had to give clustered around her
eager to receive the refreshing beverage of THEOSOPHICAL truth.
As I see it, this enables us to emulate her, and to be of help to
For years the T.S. membership has had the opportunity of
determining for themselves whether this is what they truly
desire. Those that remain associated with that body and its
structure, seem to believe there is a mystical power associating
them through that "body" with the SOURCE of THEOSOPHY.
It is an instinctive hope and desire, but that has to be
rationalized, and there, I see that adherence to the "form named
the T.S." can act as a barrier to individual and true progress.
If one is willing to assume a discipline of sustained effort and
deep dedication to THEOSOPHY and to HPB, then commensurate
success may be achieved, whether one is a member or not a member
of the T.S. It is essentially a "self-effort" affair, and no one
can serve as a special guide, or do any more than perhaps open a
door or a window on the illimitable fields of "becoming."
Looking or passing through those door/windows is entirely a
matter of individual choice. But this is really nothing new.
In one place it is stated: "Getting back the memory of other
lives is really the whole of the process, and if some people
don't understand certain things it is either because they have
not got to that point in their other lives, or because no glimmer
of memory has yet come." That has been a kind of "beacon-light"
which lures me on.
And, again, in the VOICE OF THE SILENCE (p. 41) I read: "Tell
him, O Aspirant, that true devotion may bring him back the
knowledge, that knowledge which was his in former births."
A mystical writer once said: "To meditate on the Higher Self is
difficult, seek then the bridge, the Masters ... think, think,
think, on the truth that you are not body, brain, or astral man,
but that you are THAT, and THAT is the Supreme Soul." And again:
" Masters. They are Atman and therefore the very law of Karma
itself. They are in everything in life, and in every phase of
our changing days and years ... Think of the Master as a living
man within you."
Looking at one's inner self, we certainly cannot limit our
concepts to this physical body, because nothing in it PER SE
motivates it to either thought, feeling or action. The invisible
Man is in himself unlocatable PHYSICALLY.
We may look on ourselves as some do, as a "thinking atom," but
that is a materialization which our physical-brain-minds need, to
consider the invisible reality of the personal psychic man, and,
beyond or within that, the Egoic, intuitive, INDIVIDUALITY.
I have spent many years seeking to understand what these names
and words imply. I have observed that names obscure, but
functions, attributes and qualities tend to liberate the thought
when applied to an understanding of the POTENCY OF THE WILL AND
ITS POLARITY WITH THE DESIRE NATURE.
If we are truly immortals, then we ought by degrees to understand
the implications of this fact, and begin to make applications in
our lives to that situation. It implies a UNIVERSALITY, and a
RESPONSIBILITY, which ties the whole of life into a single
kinship which we share all the time with uncountable others, who
are OUR BROTHERS.
WELCOME TO THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA`S INTERNET LIST
by John Algeo
[This message on June 6th by the National President of the
Theosophical Society (Adyar) inagurated its new mailing list,
email@example.com. It is reprinted with permission. For more
information about this list, write firstname.lastname@example.org.]
To all members and friends of the Society who are Internet users:
welcome to the electronic mailing list of the Theosophical Society
This mailing list is dedicated to communicating Theosophy by and
to members of the Theosophical Society and others who are
interested in doing Theosophy via the Internet. It is a small
step forward into a future of gigantic possibilities.
The Theosophical Society evolved out of meetings in 1875 at the
home of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in New York City, where she
presided over soirees focused upon ancient, Eastern, esoteric,
and symbolic matters.
In July of that year, Blavatsky decided to establish a
"philosophico-religious Society" with the help of her friend
Henry Steel Olcott to further research in those areas. The
Society was organized during the following September and October,
and on November 17, 1875, Olcott delivered his inaugural address
as the Society's first president, a date since remembered as the
anniversary of the Society's founding.
The infant Society's activities set a pattern for its future:
they consisted primarily of meetings with talks and discussion.
And members of the Society have been talking and discussing ever
Blavatsky was also engaged in writing her first great book, ISIS
UNVEILED, which she had begun even before the foundation of the
Society, so the publication and dissemination of printed works
became another early option in the Society's program of
In THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, Blavatsky listed five ways members can
help the Society. They are (1) studying Theosophy, (2) talking
about Theosophy, (3) circulating books about Theosophy, (4)
defending the Society from "unjust aspersions," and (5) living
Theosophy. In fact those five ways are still as relevant today
as they were in 1889. But some things have changed. In
particular, the channels we use to study, talk, and circulate
books are different. Whereas in HPB's day talk was face-to-face
and printing was done with lead type, today, we have electronic
channels that have revolutionized communication, both written and
With the opening of this Theosophical list, we enter a new world
-- not a world of new activities, but a world of new ways for
carrying on accustomed activities, a world of new possibilities.
There can be little doubt that if HPB and HSO were living today,
they would be pioneers in this new world of electronic
communication. The Internet, the Web, and whatever comes after
them are not new activities for us, but new ways of doing the old
This list is actually the second we have opened. A bit ago we
started a similar list for members of the National Lodge, a
nonlocal association of Theosophists who study together. We have
not yet learned all we need to know about operating such lists
(when we do, we will have completed the Seventh Round on this
Chain -- for those who may not recognize it, that's an allusion
to a Theosophical teaching about the long course of evolution
humanity is engaged in); but we are forging ahead nonetheless.
This list will be open for anyone who wishes to subscribe to it,
member of the Theosophical Society in America or not. But it is
intended primarily for Theosophists, and so assumes that anyone
subscribing to it is interested in Theosophy. It is appropriate
here to repeat some of the words I wrote to National Lodge
members when their mailing list was begun:
The purposes of our Society are many, but its central purpose is
that stated in its first Object: "To form a nucleus of the
universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race,
creed, sex, caste, or color.". How we carry out that Object,
however, must vary with time and circumstances. The Inner
Founders told the first Theosophists what to do, but not how to
do it. How we do the work of the Society today is still our own
responsibility -- our swadharma or individual calling.
How do we form a nucleus? At one time people came together
principally by being in the same physical space at the same time.
That is necessary for talking face-to-face and will always be
important. But the invention of writing made it possible for
people to communicate over time and space through marks made by
hand; and the invention of printing made it possible for one
person to communicate the same message to many others.
But the development of electronic communication in recent times,
by wire, radio, television, and now the Internet, opens a wholly
new phase in human exchange with radically new opportunities for
social integration. Television has brought the farthest reaches
of the earth to our living rooms, where we can observe events as
they unfold anywhere on the globe. And now the Internet is
making it possible for us to be not just passive spectators, but
active participants in global communication.
Our nucleus is not just our local Lodge or Study Center,
important as they are. Nor is it our national Society. Our real
nucleus is the worldwide network of Theosophists. This Internet
mailing list is a step toward realizing the potential of that
global nucleus through electronic communication. Those who
participate in it are pioneers in this new phase of Theosophical
communication, which is a radically new way of forming the
I urge you to participate in this channel of communication, to
help us in discovering its possibilities and its most effective
modes of use. What we do on this list is not just for our
personal benefit, but for that of coming generations of
Theosophists all over the world, and even more important for the
solidarity and evolution of all humanity. Let us explore the
potentials of this channel innovatively, fraternally, and with a
sense of history -- past history and future history.
Welcome to email@example.com -- welcome to the future!
THE HIGH COUNTRY THEOSOPHIST
Richard Slusser, Editor
140 S. 33rd St, Boulder, CO 80303-3426 USA; Phone (303) 494-5482
... is an independent Journal and has the following editorial
(1) To serve the greater Theosophical Movement as a forum for the
free interchange of ideas and commentary in the pursuit of Truth
and to facilitate various projects in furtherance of Theosophical
(2) To present articles and essays consistent with source
theosophy, otherwise known as the Ancient Wisdom as given by The
Masters and H.P. Blavatsky, and other theosophical writers
consistent with this tradition.
(3) To examine contemporary ethical, religious, metaphysical,
scientific and philosophical issues from the viewpoint of the
source theosophical teachings.
(4) To impartially examine significant events and issues in the
history of the theosophical movement which have affected and
shaped its present-day realities.
Some Abstracts of Back Issues:
[Jul. 96] Brahma, Vishnu, Siva & T.S. Movement, Transition of
Kingdoms on Globe D. , Values of the Jonangpa School, Letters;
D. Keene, J. Cooper, Journey to Nepal & Tibet. Book review;
The Theosophcal Enlightenment, QWAA report, Paperback request
filled, A Theosophical Fable.
[Aug. 96] A new Martian mystery (Meteorite), Book Review;
Message of the Sphinx, Letters; D. Eklund, D. Keene,Y.
Gorbunov, J. Greschner, J. Cooper, S. Ginsberg, HCT editorial
position, Questions to Hiraf.
[Sep. 96] Rosicrucian Path, Rosicrucians: Theosophical
References, A Protest, Another Protest, Pilgrimage to India, An
explanation to HCT readers
[Oct. 96] Autobio. Dr. Franz Hartmann, part 1. To be Able,
Wm. Q. Judge - Transl. by R. Hutwohl
[Nov, 96] Harvest Festival at the Farm, ONAWAY Trust Funds,
autobio. Dr. Franz Hartmann, part 2 of 2. Heavy doings in High
Country, Letters; Rick Archer, Pilgrimage to India.
[Dec. 96] Mysteries of Anasazi Kivas, Conflict over Kivas,
Secrets of the Anasazi, Seeds by D. Eklund, K.P. Johnson's
House of Cards by D. Caldwell, Heavy Doings in High Country,
Letters, Rick Archer, Pilgrimage to India
The HCT subscription year begins with the July issue and ends
with the June issue of the following year.
Paid New Subscriptions received during the period July 1 - May 31
will be sent back issues, beginning with July, as indicated
above. If received June 1 - 30, subscription will begin with
Rates: $9.00/year U.S.A. $11.00 Foreign (Surface) $18.00 Foreign
(Via Air) Payment By check, money order or draft must be in U.S.
currency (Dollars) payable to Richard Slusser. Checks payable to
High Country Theosophist are NOT negotiable and will be returned
(Free yearly Subscriptions are available on written request if
cost is a hardship.) The price of back issues is available upon
PLANNING THEOSOPHICAL WORK
by Eldon Tucker
A potluck lunch and meeting for the National Section of the T.S.
Pasadena was held Saturday (June 7th). Held at the international
headquarters in Altadena, California, several dozen members were
in attendance from southern California.
The National President, Alan Donant, opened the meeting speaking
of "potluck Theosophy," commenting on how well our lunch came
together, with everyone bringing just what was needed. The
suggestion was that in our theosophical work we all can likewise
bring just what the group needs and help bring things to a
On prominent display in the lobby was a computer featuring the new
web pages for the American Section. Both the content and the
graphics were excellent. The pages are now online, and can be
Members took turns telling about their various approaches to
promoting the philosophy.
The evolution of one study class, for instance, from a
carefully-controlled introductory class to a class with high
enthusiasm and strong participation by its long-term attendees,
was described. It was scary, the members said, as they loosened
control and stepped back, but things couldn't have gone better.
The regulars at the class have grown proficient in expressing the
philosophy in their own words and have even shown skill in
containing the occasional heckler that may show up at meetings,
seeking to attack and tear down everything.
Everyone had a change to speak. The T.S. President, Grace
Knoche, addressed the group at one point. Richard Hiltner
mentioned the class that we've -- Richard, my wife, and I -- have
been holding on Purucker's writings for about seven years. I
mentioned THEOSOHPY WORLD and the value of participating in
Internet theosophical mailing lists.
It was a cool, but pleasant cloudy day. The sound of children at
play nearby on the grassy hillside gave a nice touch to the
proceedings. At one point, a two-year-old walked into the room,
and through the double circle of chairs to the other side. The
friendly, relaxed atmosphere took it in, unphased, as his dad (me)
raced out the door, around the hallway, then into the meeting room
from the other side to scoop him up and bring him outside again.
What could be better? If things were different, perhaps in the
future, there could be hundreds or thousands of people coming,
with an equal interest in learning and sharing the timeless
philosophy. Until then we do what work that we can, planting seeds
for the future that will germinate in due time. If we keep up the
work, there may come a time when everything will catch fire and
the countryside will be aglow with the dharma!
AN INVITATION TO STUDY
by Einar Adalsteinsson
I have been preparing a workshop for our Summer School in
Iceland, and for that purpose I am mining in some published and
unpublished writings of Mr. Sigvaldi Hjalmarsson, my "guru" and
mentor from the time I entered the TS until his death a decade
I have always wanted to share his writings with somewhat wider
international circle of spiritual seekers than is available here
in Iceland because of the language barrier.
For this purpose I would like to make an experiment by inviting
those that would like his style of practical spiritual advisory
to "subscribe" to short selected passages translated from his
Because of obvious copyright reasons this has to be on a person
to person basis, although I am confident that he would not have
minded a wider publicity for his teachings.
For the same reason I would like to invite to a person to person
discussion about the subjects in hand -- BUT -- I will not argue,
or indulge in arguments, on the truth or falseness of his points
In general I think that argument is utterly futile "game of
the mind" and in particular when S.H. is concerned my experience
was that when I didn't understand some points, and invited myself
to a discussion with him, I always came painfully aware of how
little i knew and how profound his understanding was when it came
to the mystical and esoteric realms.
In my opinion it is of paramount importance, when studying
spiritual matters, to rely ONLY on ones own "discrimination" and
One should never believe in anything one reads or hears or thinks
or believes! Words can never convey the truth -- they can point
to "A truth" or an understanding within the receiver, but without
such "momentous insights" words and concepts are only empty
containers, a mere figments of the mind. Truth - or real
understanding -- is also always momentous and therefore
non-memorable. Memories of truth is never the truth.
So, if you are still interested, then drop me a line and we will
se if something can be worked out.
From the Spiritual Well of S.H.:
> The conscious process is movement, and the body is more closely
> in contact with the consciousness if it is not static. The yogis
> in India were, and still are, moving about a lot. They walked
> from village to village, often travelling 5 hours a day, or more.
> All thinkers have been great walkers and also all yogis. One
> should walk in a natural way, neither fast nor slow, and the
> consciousness is then in a meditative state. During the walking
> there will emerge a relaxed and light or exalted feeling,
> together with bodily fatigue, which also is in a mysterious way
> wakeful for the spirit.
> Similarly it's my suspicion that it's necessary sometimes to be
> hungry. Here in the West we are never really hungry, on the
> contrary, we are often full, even overfilled, which is
> tremendously dulling for the psyche. He who doesn't wish to
> starve from time to time, should never eat so that he feels quite
> full, and perhaps that is the best way. (from hssh #39)
There is also some reading by H.S. at the TS homepage,
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application