Sep 23, 1993 00:00 AM
by Gerald Schueler
To Sarah. HPB smoked hashish (a little) and tobacco (more than a
little). She often carried a tobacco pouch around her neck (you
had to roll your own in her day) and she called stupid people
"flapdoddles" and other unspeakable things.
Jesus said that by their fruits we shall know them, and I use
this guideline to determine who to respect and who not to respect
rather than anyone's personality characteristics. We also have
to remember that pot, coke, and a lot of other drugs now illegal
and considered awful, used to be perfectly legal and socially
acceptable (at least for men - women weren't supposed to smoke in
To Eldon. I think we should make a clear distinction between
theosophy (a philosophy and way of life) and any Theosophical
Society (human organization that proscribes to theosophy). While
there are clear differences in TSs and in emphasis, and so on, I
would like to think that there is only one theosophy (just as
there is only one *truth* however many ways there may be to look
at it and to define it and to dissect it). I concur with your
"genuine Mystery Teachings, in an exoteric form, at the core of
the theosophical writings." Truth per se, cannot be put into
words because words and language all originate on the mental
plane, and the spiritual is far beyond the human mind. However,
it is there (or so I believe, if belief has to be brought into
the picture). This "truth" shines or glimmers through many
writings - Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, theosophical, and so on
(all religions have some of it). But the organizations that try
to define it in words, thoughts, and ideas, are far apart on many
points because truth can be expressed in so many ways.
When I read/study theosophical writings, I intuitively feel a
sameness running beneath the words. I have previously called
this the theosophic current. This current is, in my view, a
spiritual force acting through the lower planes of manifestation,
and can be compared/contrasted with the thelemic current of the
OTO, the sethian current of some New Age magic groups, and other
so-called currents (there is a masculine current, feminine
current, and so on). Each has a special "flavor" based on its
intent or purpose. The theosophic current, to me, is almost
purely spiritual (ie, not magical or power-oriented) and carries
with it a strong feeling of compassion. I find this current to
be stronger in some writings than in others, but I suspect that
virtually all theosophical works of any merit will have some of
I view this (rightly or wrongly) as esoteric teachings which can
be contrasted with purely exoteric teachings. The exoteric
teachings are all of those that can be put into words and they
speak directly to the mind/brain. The esoteric teachings cannot
be put into words and they speak directly to the heart.
This makes defining "theosophy" very difficult. I know what it
is to me. I know it when I see it. But I would have a very hard
time trying to define it in words for you right now.
Exoterically, there are many possible definitions. Esoterically,
there is only one.
I also like your idea of periodic "reality checks." This helps
us to assimilate new theosophical teachings into our daily lives
and into our experiences. Because I have already talked about
how our experiences tend to confirm our beliefs, and change as
our beliefs change, I won't go into this again. But we do need
to take periodic stock of ourselves, our lives, and our beliefs
(ie, our worldview) now and then. This kind of assimilation
process is said to take place in Devachan. By doing it now,
during life, I think we can hasten the devachanic processes and
speed about our rebirth.
To Don. When you say "the burden of proof falls on Eldon" I have
to disagree (I suppose everyone would be surprised by now if we
were actually to agree on something (:-) Your statement is like
telling a Christian that he must "prove" the existence of God.
Mystery Teachings, or the Esoteric Tradition, do not have to be
proved to anyone except to each individual. They will never be
proved by the mind; only by the heart. Doubting Thomases will
always exist no matter what. I prefer to think that, like
Buddhism, theosophists should use doubt like a sword until
something strikes the intuition and simply "feels" like it is
true. Those, and those alone, should serve as our temporary
anchors through life. As we grow, our intuition will also grow.
Our definitions of God and Truth will change, but does that mean
that God and Truth themselves are changing? I prefer to think
that they are outside of our spacetime continuum completely and
thus are timeless and infinite.
One way of looking at the teachings of theosophy or the laws of
science, is to consider them as the specific rules governing this
manvantara (much like the rules of a game that we may play).
They may not apply to other manvantaras or to other universes,
but they do apply here and now to us.
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