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which ideas are theosophical?

Sep 15, 1993 07:49 AM
by eldon

Based on G.S.'s comments on "theos.exe", I'd like to bring up some
points of discussion.

To discuss what should be considered as basic ideas of Theosophy, you
might consider a quick-and-dirty family tree of various philosophies
coming from the original Theosophy of HPB:

-- H.P. Blavatsky
--     F. Hartmann (also took German T.S. section at another time?)
--         * indep. Theosophical group in Germany
--     A. Besant -- C.W. Leadbeater
--         A. Bailey (wife of Foster Bailey, head of American T.S.)
--             * Arcane School
--         J. Krishnamurti ("coming Christ" of CWL's, renounced idea)
--             * large following of his "no followers, no belief" belief
--         R. Steiner (took German T.S. section)
--             * Anthroprosophical (sp?) Society
--         G. Arundale -- C. Jinarajadasa -- etc. (con'd CWL's ideas)
--             * TS Adyar
--     W.Q. Judge
--         F. LaDue (???)
--             * Temple of the People at Halycon (not accept Tingley)
--         K. Tingley
--             R. Crosby (broke with Tingley)
--                 * ULT Los Angeles (mainline ULT)
--                 * ULT Santa Barbara (different yet the same)
--             G. de Purucker -- I.L. Harris (adm. 3 yrs)
--                 A.L. Conger -- J.A. Long -- G.F. Knoche
--                     * Pasadena T.S.
--                 indep. Point Loma students (not accept Conger/Long)
--                     * Point Loma Publications
--                     * various study groups (Chicago, Berlin, etc.)
--                     * indep workers (B. de Zirkoff, G. Barborka etc.)
--                 other Point Loma T.S.'s (also claim to be
--                 official T.S.)
--                     * the School in the Hague etc.

There may be errors in the above, and it could use refinement, but for
purposes of this discussion, it can suffice.

The original Theosophy of HPB emphasized certain teachings, an approach
of learning and study and morals that might be characterized as a form
of Jnana Yoga, a path of study and contemplation.

It is important to be familiar with HPB's writings, and those of her
Teachers (found in "The Mahatma Letters"). New ideas were introduced in
each of the various branches of the family tree above. If you don't
know what Blavatsky said, you may not be able to tell if what you're
reading is a further exposition of the same Mystery Teachings, or if
it is something different.

There are a number of questions that I would like the group to consider,
and might be discussed:

1. Are the differences between the teachings of the different groups
   merely a manner of emphasis and expression, or are some right and
   others wrong?

   (We read of the considerable value of the study of the theosophical
   philosophy, yet Krishnamurti would be against such an effort.)

2. It is necessary to know the actual personality and history of the
   theosophical writers that you study, in order to properly evaluate
   their books? Do their respective personality flaws reveal their
   philosophies to be invalid?

   (For example, did you know *what* Blavatsky smoked? Or the sort of
   language that she'd use in polite company?)

3. Is it necessary to rewrite history to make theosophical authors
   saintly, and to edit out offensive portions of their books in order
   to preserve respect for their ideas?

   (An example that I heard--correct me if I'm wrong and I don't mean to
   single out CWL for special criticism--is that "The Inner Life" was
   reprinted in an edition with all his mention of human society on mars
   with water in the canals etc. edited out.)

                                 Eldon B. Tucker

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