a final proof of the Teachings
Jan 12, 1994 07:54 AM
We seem to be operating from slightly different views of what
Theosophy consists of, and its place in the world.
A different approach may be needed in writing about Theosophy when the
intent is to interest people with ready minds. Writing in an academic
style may appeal to a certain type of mind. Other writing in religious,
philosophical, or poetical styles may appeal to people of other
temperaments. By clothing the same doctrines in different forms, we can
appeal to many different types of people.
People are looking for ideas that satisify, ideas that bear the ring
of truth to them, ideas that prove helpful in their lives. And the
ideas must also stand up to a form of reality check as well, but that
reality check is measured in terms of the effect upon one's spiritual
life and one's ability to understand life itself.
The knowledge is independent of its manner of expression. It covers
material that is not otherwise known in our western society. There are
parts of it easily understood, and there are parts that only a Mahatma,
perhaps, may understand. Some if it appears in our theosophical
I don't think that HPB's knowledge was simply derived from the books
that she had read, and from her own, undirected learning. She was taught
by her Teachers, and given material to present in her writings.
With Purucker, it would have been possible to provide many citations to
HPB, the Mahatma Letters, and other literature, because he is speaking
about the same doctrines. There may be a few times when he went a bit
further, and explained some things only hinted at before, like the idea
of outer rounds, but even then a connection could be made to earlier
There is the question, though, of the presence of original teachings.
If you consider HPB as the sole source of the current presentation of
original teachings, then citations to her would be needed to show where
a writer learned of any particular truth. The citations would be used
to validate what someone says.
If you consider others as representatives of the Masters too, trained
and authorized to present the theosophical doctrines, then citations
are not needed to prove their statements. References to the works of
others would not be needed to show where that person learned of
something. The references would be simply to show where examples,
illustrations, and supporting materials had happened to be found.
There is a question here of original teachings. And I'd consider
Purucker as a potential source, and not just a reader and communicator
of the ideas of others. And the same was true with Blavatsky, where she
taught more than was publically known before, where some of her writings
consisted of new material and not just of bringing public attention to
the already-existing writings of others.
The knowledge that I am speaking of is not ultimate Truth, it is that
body of doctrines that was checked and rechecked by countless
generations of adepts, since its original divine revelation from the
Dhyani-Chohans. It would only be considered ultimate Truth in the sense
that it represents the highest that is currently possible to be known
and still be in the human kingdom, the highest knowable by the Mahatmas
I would consider that knowledge to include an oral tradition,
communicated from teacher to student through some manner of training.
This is because I'd consider it to deal, in its highest reaches, with
things that simply cannot be put into words, and written.
And when we come to our theosophical books, and read and study them,
there is a limit that we come to, a barrier, beyond which we cannot
pass. We can read and study, but are limited by ourselves, by our
There has to be inner changes in us, changes in our outlook and lives,
changes that make the Teachings a living part of our lives. And then
we can know more. We can have original thought on Theosophy. We are
in touch with its thought current and can know new things. We are not
just putting ideas that we've already known together in new and
different ways, but are learning from the source of the ideas. There
is a genuine thought current, and we can be in touch with in, and make
it a part of our manasic experience of our lives.
Until we lead a spiritual life, until we make a religious practice of
Theosophy, we can progress no further. The term "religious practice"
may be misleading, because it cannot be compared to the typical
practice of religion in the west. It is not like someone going to
church (lodge) regularly, reading the Bible (Secret Doctrine) intently,
and spreading the good word (teaching Theosophy). It is not exactly
devotional or bakti, because it is cool, sweetly spiritual, rather
than fiery and demanding. But there is both a feeling, a thought
atmosphere, and a sense of the spiritual that is different than before.
All our principles feel its effect.
Part of the study of Theosophy involves changing ourselves, and until
that happens we reach a natural limit to what we can know. A
consideration of the doctrines from a purely intellectual standpoint
can only take us so far. Until they are *believed*, acted upon, and made
a part of the student's life, there is a lot that simply cannot be
After a serious consideration of Theosophy as a philosophy, and finding
it worth of the respect that it deserves, it is a natural step to
take it seriously, and practice it. I would suggest that it is in this
practice that we provide ourselves with a final proof of the Teachings.
Eldon Tucker (email@example.com)
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