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Jul 26, 1994 10:39 AM
by RIhle

Here is a general summary and a thought or two regarding last Sunday's
Founders' Day Lecture and related discussion:

Ed Abdil did a fine job describing the "Occult Brotherhood" which HPB
and other early Theosophists said they were in communication with.  Ed
seemed to be on the side which accepted the existence of these exalted
personages, the authenticity of their "precipitated" correspondences
etc.; however, he was careful to emphasize that such a belief was
certainly not a Theosophical requirement of any kind.

A video program on the same subject followed.  It was well done,
offered some scientific/scholarly analysis of the writings etc.  and
was only just a little bit tendentious.  The program not only added
support for the idea that Koot-Humi and other Masters were real, living
individuals, but also that they had all of the advanced powers which
have been attributed to them.

Our discussion group was divided on the subject, but everyone presented
his or her views in a polite way.

I told the group about the real estate practice of "burying St.
Joseph" in order to sell your house.  Many people swear that actually
digging a hole and burying a little statue of this figure in your back
yard will produce a buyer in a short period of time.  Many successful
sellers remain absolutely convinced about the efficacy of the method,
and no amount of "scientific" animadversion seems to be able to change
their opinion.

As a theosophist, of course, I can "sort of" believe it also--but
naturally in my typically unstraightforward theosophical way.  That is,
I doubt whether an actual St.  Joseph is selling the house; rather, it
may be that the "content-containing" psyches of the individuals who
planted him provide the operative power.  I mean, the people are going
around day after day with a vague, SUBTLE sense that the old saint is
out there in the back yard taking care of real estate business.  This
sounds like reasonable magical operating procedure to me.

Anyway, this all may relate to the subject of the existence and UTILITY
of the Masters in the following way: Is it not true that when the bulk
of the membership was nurturing the concept of the actual existence of
the Occult Brotherhood that the Society enjoyed its greatest growth and
successes? Was this the power of combined psyches "contaminated" with
the same content working in an inexplicable yet indisputably puissant
way? All true magic begins with a psychic con, perhaps.  .  .  .

Unfortunately, whether they were fact or fiction, I believe too much
time has separated us from Theosophy's original cast of Adept
Characters to ever reach "critical occult mass" again by means of them.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that the Theosophical Society has a
special place in Preternatural History and Destiny.  Perhaps this
simple unromantic notion--combined with some PRACTICAL psychological
interpretations and applications of HPB's work--can provide the
aggregation of esoteric power necessary for Theosophy's future.

Warm regards from Madison, Wisconsin.

Richard Ihle

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