To: Arthur Patterson Re: This theosophy stufff
Oct 28, 1994 05:01 AM
by Liesel F. Deutsch
Welcome to our network. I'm pretty new to it myself, but I've
been a Theosophist for a very long time. To begin with,
Theosophists belong to all the religions of the world, usually to
the mystical branch. We say that Theosophy is part of the
ancient Wisdom Tradition. Some of our spiritual ancestors are
Orpheus, Plato, Pythagoras, the ancient Egyptians, Jesus, The
Buddha, Abraham, the Tibetans, the Medieval Mystics, the
Alchemists. Think the best thing I can do for you for starters
is to give you 2 ministers to look up, & to tell you about 2
Theosophical libraries, where you can read up or do research on
anything religious, including, I'm sure, Matthew Fox, and things
New Age, esoteric & mystical.
You're in California, I take it. I'm looking at the back cover
of Stephan Hoeller's latest book, "Freedom". He's a Gnostic
minister. He's a Theosophist. He's also big on Jung. According
to the blurp, he lives in Hollywood, teaches comparative religons
at the College of Oriental Studies in LA, and is director of the
Gnostic Society of LA.
There is an offspring of the Theosophical Society called the
Liberal Catholic Church. There are a number of such churches
around the US. The one I know about is in New York City. The
Minister is Ed Abdill, who's also past National Board Member, &
past President of the New York Theosophical Society (Adyar), and
he also ran the large NY Quest Book Store for a number of years.
I don't know his e-mail address, even though bits to buttons he
has one, since his wife, Mary works as a computer consultant.
You can write to him c /o The New York Theosophical Society, 242
E 53 Street, New York, NY 10022.
If you are near LA, the library at The Krotona Institute, 46
Krotona Hill, Ojai Ca. 93032 may be accessible to you. I don't
know under what conditions they lend out books because I get mine
from the Olcott Library, which is housed in the headquarters of
the Theosophical Society in America (Adyar), Box 270, Wheaton
Ill., 60189. e-mail address Olcott@dupagels.lib.il.us. They
mail-loan many of their books. If I remember correctly, it costs
$35.- per an. to join it as a non-member. It also costs $37.50
to be a Member-at-Large of the Theosophical Society (Adyar). If
you join, you have access to the Olcott Library without charge,
and you also get "Quest" magazine, a super quarterly, and the
"American Theosophist", which is sort of an in-house publication.
So, have your pick, if you're interested.
To give you an idea as to books you could borrow from the
libraries which I would think would interest a minister, I looked
up "Religion" in the latest Quest Book catalogue of the
Theosophical Publishing House, which is also at Box 270 etc.
(They have 800 numbers, but I don't know whether the East Coast
numbers work from the West Coast). You can borrow these from the
Library, or buy them from the Theosophical Publishing House, if
they're of enough interest to own. You can also just ask the TPH
for their catalogue, no charge.
There are 4 volumes of "Hidden Wisdom in The Holy Bible" by
Geoffrey Hodson. That's one of our classics. Some of it has
also been put on audio tape. "Angels & Mortals: Their
Co-Creative Power", "Celebrate The Solstice", "Christianity" &
"Esoteric Christianity" both by Annie Besant, our second
President, and a whiz. "Gospels as A Mandala of Wisdom",
"Reincarnation for The Christian" Quincy Howe Jr., "Reincarnation
in Christianity", "Hymn of Jesus", "Jung & The Lost Gospels","A
Rebirth for Christianity", "Rehearsal for Christmas" (a 1-act
play), "The Science of The Sacraments" (The sacraments of the
Liberal Catholic Church) Charles Ledbeater, its founder, "The
Transcendent Unity of Religions" Fritjof Schuon, "Jesus Christ,
Sun of God".
Those are only books published by us. The Olcott Library has
thousands of others. Let me just give you the titles of the
subdivisions of their holdings from their Annotated Book List of
Arts & Music, Astrology, Comparative Religion, Consciousness
(which is spirit etc.), Death & Dying, Life after Death, Health &
Healing, History of The Theosophical Movement, Karma, Meditation,
Myths & Symbols, Parapsychology, Precognition & Retrocognition,
Religions of The World & the Wisdom Tradition, Science & The
Wisdom Tradition, The Secret Doctrine, Spiritual & Other
Biographies, Theosophy, Yoga. If you contact them, I think
you'll find the staff most helpful. They've been to me.
I hope this will be of help to you, while you network your way
into a more sure footing for your church. I would like to say
just 1 more thing, before I quit writing for today. You sure
don't sound to me like you're going to "degenerate into a cult"
any time soon. You say "Watershed has built into itself some
self-critique & freedom which we are hoping will not allow any
individual to dominate another. We also acknowledge that this is
not the only place where a person can grow & it is not
necessarily the right place for everyone." Doesn't sound like a
cult to me. We try to work along similar directions. We have a
doctrine, starting from our founder, HB Blavatsky's "Secret
Doctrine". She was an early leader, who still counts for much in
the Society. But she believed with the Buddha that the thing to
do was to "work out your own salvation with diligence." And
that's what we try to do. We each try to develop along our own
Path. The only prerequisite for joining the Theosophical Society
is that you must believe in the Brotherhood of Man. All the
other facets of our doctrine must be examined by the individual,
weighed, and then either adapted of rejected. No 2 Theosophists
think exactly alike. We're not a cult either.
Best of luck to you. Others on theos-l will fill you in on other
theosophical details. If you have more questions, please feel
free... (Mrs.) Liesel Deutsch
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