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Sep 30, 1993 11:17 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

     After reading your comments to Eldon, feel compelled to make
a remark or two on his behalf.  I have known Eldon for over
twenty years, and feel that any description that suggests that he
is "exclusive" doesn't fit.  Eldon has worked openly and
unselfishly for many theosophical efforts and projects,
regardless of the politics of the people he is working with. I
feel the meanings of Eldon's comments have been misunderstood,
perhaps through careless phrasing on his part (don't we all do
this at one time or another?), and no doubt he will try again to
clairify his meaning.  But I can say from twenty years of knowing
Eldon, that there is nothing "exclusive" about his mentality,
beliefs, or the way he works for theosophy.  If you give him that
benefit of a doubt, I think you will see his comments in a better

     Now, regarding your comments to John Mead: Since the purpose
of the modern theosophical movement (as I understand it) was to
work towards a world unified in "brotherhood," theosophy is
hardly to be blamed for failing to unify the world through
technology, since that was not the goal.  In fact, Blavatsky was
well aware of the fact that we were in a technological cycle, and
gave that as a reason why the theosophical movement was so
important: "to stem the tide of materialism" she says. Whether or
not the theosophical movement was successful in this effort, may
be a point of disagreement, but I believe that in this manner,
the theosophical movement was enormously successful (but I will
curve my temptation at the moment to expand on this idea).

     As for the "branchings" being "ruptures, fissions," call
them what you like.  I for one am neither "embarrassed" nor
"proud" of them. I see The Theosophical Society as following the
same pattern as every other religious, philosophical and
spiritual effort.  A movement begins, them splinters.
Christianity began with Gnosticism--I think the historians count
about sixty groups--then there was the Eastern and Western Roman
Churches vying for power, culminating with the Roman church
excommunicating the Greek church in 1000 A.D. through an edict
posted on the high alter of the Hagia Sophia.  Then came the
Protestant "revolution" that now has hundreds of sects.  The same
with Buddhism.  Some scholars count 2000 sects.  Even Islam is
divided into the Suni and Shi'ii, with disagreements within them.
Platonism lasted only fifty years before Aristotle went off and
established his own competing school.  From these have come
school after school of philosophy, each contending against the
others. Do you think that The Theosophical Society was supposed
to have been exempt from those forces that divide every
organization?  If so, then on what basis?  Look at letter 19 of
Jinarajadasa's LETTERS FORM THE MASTERS OF WISDOM, First series.
K.H. writes Olcott that:

"H.P.B. has next to no concern with administrative details, and
should be kept clear of them....But this I must tell to all:--
With occult matters she has everything to do....In the adjustment
of this European business [i.e. the establishment of the E.S.],
you will have two things to consider--the external and
administrative, and the external and psychical. Keep the former
under your control and that of your most prudent associates,
jointly; leave the latter to her."

Here we see that the Masters made a separation between the
external Society and the internal movement. If we are to look for
the causes of the splintering, a good place to start would be
with the initial decisions made by Olcott and his associates both
before and after Blavatsky's death.  Do you know the year and the
situation behind the first split?  I submit to you that it wasn't
in 1895 when the American Section became an independent
organization.  I submit to you that the first split occurred ten
years earlier, in 1885, over the Coulomb conspiracy, which
resulted in H.P.B. being forced to leave India.  It is true that
no new "Society" was created, in fact, H.P.B. and Olcott where
very careful to keep their disagreements away from public view,
and to continue to show a united front.  But the correspondence
between them during this period is very revealing, and much of it
still unpublished.  It shows a division of a much deeper and
fundamental sort; a crippled the Theosophical Society as a
spiritual body.  I suggest that you look at the open letter
H.P.B. wrote in 1890, a few months before she died, where she
states her case concerning this "split," and the damage done to
The Theosophical Society.  After reading it, ask yourself why
this open letter was not published until 1972, and only then in a
magazine independent of the Adyar Society.  You will find the
letter in Volume XII of the Collected Writings, beginning on p.

     Your example of "synthesis" in science, already has a name
in philosophy and religion.  It is called "syncretism."  like
your "fusion" of science, it is the bringing together of ideas
from different movements, thus creating a third.  An oft given
example is the syncretism of Catholicism with Yoruba tribal
religion, creating Voodoo.  Obviously from this example, the
issue from these "fusions" are not necessarily improvements.  An
excellent argument can be made that the various contending ideas
that fall under the label of Theosophy are really more the result
of syncretism, rather than organizational "fissions."

     Now I would like to express my own opinion regarding the
potential of the T.S., or any of the Societies for that matter,
in being a "clearing house for an all embracing eclectic
spirituality."  I think that they first need to clear out their
own karmic cob-webs before they can do any meaningful work in
this area.  But before I expand upon that, I need to share some
of my own background, to give you an idea as to where I am coming
     Upon first joining the T.S. thirty years ago, I also fought
for the same vision of "fusion, synthesis, and inclusiveness"
that you now speak of, and still havn't given up the fight. I did
however achieve a minor step towards success in that battle: Ten
years ago, I organized a networking conference at Krotona, with
the idea of bringing the theosophical splits into meaningful
communication with each other.  The speakers included some of the
most important representatives of the various groups: Henry
Geiger, Kirby Van Mater, Emmett Small, Ted Davy, and Jim Perkins.
The conference drew 150 people, and the concept caught on like
wild fire all over the world after that.  Over the next years,
there were networking conferences organized by members in
Societies representing all three major traditions, and a half
dozen networking newsletters were begun, including the
independent THEOSOPHICAL NETWORK.  Two of them are still
circulating.  The Theosophical Society (Pasadena) gave official
recognition to the conference and now continues this effort as a
matter of policy.  U.L.T., because of the nature of the
organization was unable to give "official" recognition, but did
everything in their power, within their parameters to support it.
Though The Theosophical Society (Wheaton/Adyar) never gave
recognition to the conference, I note that Krotona is now
organizing a networking conference this Spring, and I'm anxious
to see how they handle it.

     Based upon the above experience, I believe that there are
things that we can do to effect change in the Theosophical
Organizations, but we can't erase their karma, and it is not in
the nature of Organizations to admit to their errors.  I believe
the Theosophical Movement is still alive and well, but finds
little opportunity for expression through Theosophical
Organizations.  But I also feel that the Organizations still
fulfill important functions, such as the publication of books and
educational materials.  Though I'm active with three
organizations, most of the work I do for the Movement is done
independently of them.

     You might be interested in an editorial I wrote for the
reprinted in the ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST, May/June 1986.  The
Editorial was entitled: "Are We Chained to the Past", and states
my position in greater detail.  I ended the article with a
quote from Edwin Markham:

He drew a circle that shut me out,
     Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout:
But love and I had the wit to win
     For we drew a circle that took him in.

And I closed by saying: "we need to seek the positive in others
and find ways to work together.  The work of theosophy is too
important to be handicapped by the pasts of its own
organizations. If the theosophical fraternities cannot do the
work for which they were designed, the Theosophical Movement will
find another way of expression."

     And I believe that it has already done so. I will make the
whole article available if there is any interest.

     One or two more general comments on other communications:  I
think someone suggested that history be uploaded into a reference
file.  On the surface, that sounds good, but on the other hand,
everyone has their own version of history.  I would rather see
historical discussions remain where they can be dialogued and
commented upon.  I firmly believe in the value of having
knowledge of our theosophic past. As George Santana once wrote to
the effect that if we forget our past, we are condemned to relive
it.  But we need to keep it where we can discuss it from our
different view points.  If you want a book on history, lots have
already been written.

     My final comment, is in regard to part two of an article
naming Newton, Blavatsky and Jobbs as "avatars." As to the merits
of this argument, I have no comment, but I think it evokes an
important point.  When writing expositions of this kind, we need
to be careful about defining terms when we use them differently
from the accepted dictionary definitions.  For a word like
"avatara" it is especially important, as it has a dictionary
meaning, as well as being defined differently by writers in
different theosophical traditions.  Perhaps definitions were
given in part 1, but my point is a general one, and not on this
       Jerry Hejka-Ekins

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