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Ojai and LA Lodge

Oct 03, 1994 07:35 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Eldon Tucker


Ojai Lecture

       Brenda and I attended the opening lecture to the
Krotona School at Ojai. Houston Smith gave a talk on
comparative religions. He made two interesting points
that stand out in my mind that I would share.

1. Regarding Fundamentalism

       Despite its many bad qualities, there are some good
aspects to it. One quality is a total conviction, a
unshakable belief in the spiritual. This is something
lacking in a more-liberal point of view. This conviction
is needed to lead a truly-religious life.

2. Regarding Oral Versus Written Traditions

       When he takes someone on a tour of the University
of California library system at Berkeley, there are
hundreds of thousands of books, if not more. There's
knowledge on almost anything if one can find it. But
there's no sign that says "this is the way to what's
important!" There's nothing to tell us where to go,
where to find the books that are valuable to us to read.
       In a society where there's only an oral tradition,
they have something special. People meet nightly around
the campfire and the elders retell the important
stories. There is always a selection of what is
important. The unimportant stories are told less often,
and disappear after time from society's memory. The
important stories live on.

Celebration of Los Angeles Lodge

       The Los Angeles branch of the T.S. [Adyar] is 100
years old this year. It was chartered June 8, 1894, as
the "Harmony Lodge". It was the third oldest Adyar T.S.
lodge, until the Canadian Section was expelled, along
with the Toronto Lodge, founded in 1891.
       The lodge had a celebration dinner for its members,
and Jerry Hejka-Ekins, a former President, attended, and
give a short talk on the history of the first ten years
of the Lodge. Jerry told a number of interesting stories
that we may, hopefully, read about later on, when
perhaps published by Theosophical History magazine.
       There were two interesting historic facts mentioned
in the talk.
       (1) The "Judge Split" where the American Section
parted from the Theosophical Society in 1895 was not
intended to be a split. The American Section voted to be
an autonomous section of the T.S. Col. Olcott refused to
recognize the autonomy, and choose to interpret it as
succession, and expelled the Section, the Lodges, and
all the individual members. The Section, Lodges, and
members did not quit or resign, they were expelled for
daring to choose, at a national level, their
independence from the central rule of Adyar. (This is
different than the German split, later on, where R.
Steiner and most of that Section intentionally quit the
T.S. to form their own organization.)
       (2) The Los Angeles lodge was one of those thereby
expelled. Unlike most of the expelled lodges, which
immediately voted to remain with Judge's national
organization, it remained neutral for a number of years.
By the time that Katherine Tingley was closing all the
Judge lodges in order to draw the entire support of her
T.S. towards helping build the Point Loma community, the
Los Angeles lodge had realigned itself with Adyar and
was considered part of it again. There was a period of a
few years during which the lodge was in limbo, being
expelled from Adyar but not officially joining Judge's

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