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Contrast of Two Schools

Sep 24, 1993 05:52 PM
by Gerald Schueler

Hello All.

There are many interesting messages on the line, and I would like
to take this opportunity to respond to at least one.  First, let
me say hello to Jerry Helka-Ekins.  Thank you for the informative
history lesson.  Jerry suggests that perhaps we could discuss
some of the differences between Besant/Leadbeater and G. de
Purucker, as these two "schools" represent two different but
viable ways of approaching theosophy, or perhaps two main
offshoots of the current theosophical movement.  Since I have
read both, I would like to add my own two cents worth here.

Shortly after I joined Pasadena, in 1969, James Long promised me
that he would tell me why the Pasadena TS did not agree with
Besant/Leadbeater.  Unfortunately, he died before doing so and
the subject never came up in my discussions since then with Grace
Knoche.  So, I really still don't know the official rationale;
ie., if the problem is one of content, style, subject matter, or
what.  However, I do have my own opinion on the subject.  I hope
that this will not cause too much emotional reaction in any of
our study-group members.  It is, after all, simply my own
opinion, and I would gladly hear other points of view.

To put it in a nutshell, the writings of de Purucker (like those
of HPB) appeal to my intuition and to my spiritual nature.  They
stir something inside me that is nobel and universal.  I simply
don't get the same reaction/response from the writings of Besant
or Leadbeater who appeal to me only on the mental level.  It
seems to me that de Purucker wrote from a higher level in the
sense that his writings convey a stronger spiritual tone (at
least to me) that is not there in anything I have read from
Besant or Leadbeater (although Besant comes very close at times).
While I enjoy reading Leadbeater, his overwhelming emphasis is at
the psychic level, while de Purucker reaches into the spiritual
level.  I am aware that Besant was a gifted speaker and could
stir her listeners.  I don't see this in any of her writings,
however, which all seem stilted and dry to me; almost like school
textbooks (Krishnamurti, by contrast, can make you think and can
stir your intuition even when you disagree with him).  So in my
view, the differences are in emphasis as well as style and I
consider de Purucker to be the better writer of the three, though
not as good as HPB.

I suspect that Pasadena would go further than this.  Besant/
Leadbeater books encourage psychic activity/experimentation,
while de Purucker's encourage spiritual activity such as
developing compassion for others.  I can't say if either Besant
or Leadbeater were able to raise their consciousness above the
human, and into the divine realms.  If so, I don't see it in
their writings.  But I do see it in the writings of de Purucker.
But again, it is a matter of emphasis.  If you want to study
psychic phenomena read CWL.  If you want to study the process of
reincarnation in some detail, study G de P.  If you want to study
dreams, read CWL.  If you want to study the Gupta Vidya Model and
learn the details about our planetary chain, read G de P.  I have
not been able to find any real disagreement, except in emphasis
and perhaps in style.

I will close by echoing Eldon's desire for a ULT member.  I know
almost nothing about the ULT and would like to have more
                                          Jerry S.

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