resend of message
Sep 21, 1993 09:26 AM
I send the following message this moring but did not get a copy back
from 'theos-l'. A message I sent later came back almost immediately.
Since I'm not sure that it actually went out, I'm resending it.
Sorry if you get two copies! -- Eldon
A key idea of Buddhism, and Theosophy as well, is that all things are
impermanent. Cultures, schools of thought, philosophies come and go.
Everything has a beginning and a end.
With that in mind, though, I would still say that there are different
degrees of impermanence. Whereas a single philosopher or saint among
us may have a following that lasts for dozens, hundreds, prehaps a few
thousand years, there are other schools of thought that are eternal
(existing for this eternity or age) by comparison.
The core teachings of Theosophy are said to be based upon divine
revelation to humanity in its youth by the Dhyani Chohans, and
preserved and tested by personal study and experience by countless
generations of Adepts since that time. This knowledge is impermanent
too, but its "shelf life" is the entire Manvantara.
The ideas of Theosophy did not originate with Blavatsky, although I
could easily see various theosophical organizations facing the danger
of crystalizing into small orthodox religions if they are not
careful. They are not Victorian ideas, although many were given
expression at that time. And they are authoritative in the sense that
they are an direct expression of a higher body of knowledge that
anything that any person, acting on their own accord, would be able to
come up with.
A degree of faith and belief is initially required in the study of
Theosophy, as it is in the study of anything, from mathematics to
auto mechanics. The faith is in the fact that one has a teacher and
study materials that will enable one to learn an established body
of knowledge. You would not ask a three-year-old to teach you calculus.
You have to be assured that there is knowledge on the part of the
person acting as your teacher, and that you are working with something
There are a number of differences between confidence (or faith) in
your teacher and what you study and the blind faith of organized
religion, of which Blavatsky's teachers state is the cause of 2/3 of the
evil in the world. One difference is that there is a content, a
definite body of knowledge, behind the core theosophical materials. This
material is not presented it a manner that things are customarily taught
in the western world; it is taught in a manner that has been proven
through countless ages since humanity's infancy. Another difference is
that it is not possible to make progress with the study of theosophy
without constant reevalation of what you know, with continual reality
checks, which you are definitely discouraged to do in an organized
The core teachings of Theosophy represent a clearly-defined system of
thought that one can study and take from what one chooses. Of the
four major branches of Theosophy, the ULT, Point Loma, and Blavatsky
branches have introductory materials and classes and people who can
help one become familiar with the ideas.
I have found the Besant/Leadbeater ideas to differ in some respects from
the original ideas, and their books to not be helpful in getting a good
feel for what Theosophy consists of. My personal experience is that at
the age of 14, I came to Theosophy through "The Astral Plane" by CWL,
then read all his books, and many of Besant's and Jinarajadasa's and
related authors. But they did not enable me to really appreciate what
Blavatsky said. I was steeped in their ideas for about five to six
years, but found a whole other way of understanding Theosophy and a
key that enabled me to see what Blavatsky was really saying when I
started reading books by G. de Purucker (Point Loma background).
I would say that there is a definite core of ideas to what we find in
Theosophy, and that it is a treasure that is there for the taking.
And that it consists of both a valuable body of *content* as well as
a spiritualizing *process* what one undergoes in its study. I would
also recognize that one's personal experience of Theosophy, coming from
the approach of Leadbeater/Besant, which I found happened with myself
as well, might not be to see what is really there, because of the other
ideas that they taught and their difference in emphasis.
Regarding proof of ideas, it comes from subjecting your views to a
never-ending series of "reality checks". I won't limit reality checks to
the narrow field of approved activities that western materialism would
approve. You have an idea and you try it out. You could, for instance,
be reading a computer manual, and then write a test program. You are
doing something to see what happens, to test out your idea. And the
reality check is appropriate to what you would check. The check is to
see what happens in your higher nature, your higher principles, when you
study the deeper teachings, because that is the part of your nature that
is affected. You won't see affects with physical senses of this or any
other plane, because the changes are to a higher part of your nature
than the senses. I am talking about qualities and faculties of
consciousness, not of sensory perception. Various animals have senses
superior to the human, what distinguishes us is the mind, manas, a
faculty of thinking and knowing. And there are still faculties that
distinguish the Dhyani Chohans from otherwise being merely human.
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