Re: Do the Masters exist?
Aug 26, 1995 03:38 AM
>>Welcome to the list ... and if you wish, perhaps you'd like to
say a few words about your particular approach to the world ... a particular
religious orientation? Scientific? Do you believe in any realm beyond that
presented through the physical senses? Do you pursue line of development?<<
Sorry, it was quite rude of me, I know, to just plunge into discussion
without even a formal introduction.
My name is Richard Taylor, I am 26, I live in the Bay Area in California, and
I am a Ph.D. student in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley. I have been a
student of Theosophy for about a decade as an associate of United Lodge of
Patrick asks if I have become acquainted with THE SECRET DOCTRINE by H.P.
Blavatsky, and I am pleased to say that it is the book I have spent the most
time with in my life. I have had the benefit of being a student in several
S.D. circles, as well as leading a study class on it for a few years. I am
not aware that the terms "Hierarchy" or "God's Plan" or "The Son of God"
appear in the S.D. at all in the way Patrick uses them, so I am concerned
that he cites the S.D. as his reference. THE MAHATMA LETTERS are even less a
plausible source for these doctrines. Rather, I hear a very Christian take
on the already fairly Christian Alice A. Bailey teahcings.
I wonder if this board has ever taken a serious look at the transformation of
Theosophy that is taking place in the 20th - 21st centuries. Does it seem
that in many ways Theosophy is slipping towards a religion? Several
prominent Theosophists or quasi-Theosophists have brought in prayers and
invocations, rituals, a formal hierarchy of deities (called "masters") etc.
If we compare this to the development of the early Christian Church, we find
a very similar process taking place. From what I perceive to be a very
Gnostic beginning with Jesus, in the tradition of the best Mystery Schools
(and there is every reason to suspect Jesus was an Initiate in at least an
Egyptian branch of the Mystery tradition), we find the Christians becoming
more and more organized, more and more hierarchized, and with each council
more and more definite in THE SINGLE CREDO which would be acceptable among
believers. Gnostics and other dissidents were marginalized, eventually
persecuted, and finally destroyed. We may say that by the Council of Nicaea
(325 CE) the direction was very much set, and by the Council of Chalcedon
(451 CE) the game was over. The Gnostics were dead, their texts burned, and
the "Catholic" Church was in complete control. Not coincidentally, Rome was
ruined as well, and Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages. (As we all no
doubt know, HPB has a lot to say on this topic.)
I know this all sounds rather apocalyptic, and I don't mean to suggest drama
on such a scale in the Theosophical world. But I perceive a definite move
among many students of Theosophy to formalize, "develop" and systematize the
teachings, rather than study them as they were given by an INITIATE and fully
digest and assimilate them. Perhaps then further light -- and further
teachings -- would come.
Is Theosophy becoming a religion or religions? If so, is this the decline of
Theosophy? What will we leave behind that future generations may benefit
from? Watching the decline of Christianity in Palestine and the decline of
Buddhism in Asia one becomes quite filled with grief and heartache, and I
would hate to witness in my lifetime the same for Theosophy.
Richard P. Taylor
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