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To Rick & Liesel

Aug 29, 1995 09:48 AM
by Jerry Schueler

The following are some random comments. I have
been off for a few days, and when I returned
today I found 100 mail messages waiting (and
on CompuServe, I have to pay 10 cents to read
each and every message you guys throw online).

Rick: < Leadbetter added nothing to the path HPB
and the Mahatmas showed, and in fact he ignored or
obscured much with his tireless claims to "new"
teachings, "new" revelations.>
I think that this is a matter of opinion. I, and
others simply have a different view here. (Once
again, we find ourselves in a Leadbeater-bashing
mode) and perhaps an Adyar-bashing mode as well.
If nothing else, Leadbeater (lets get his name
spelled right, shall we?) presented us with some
very good descriptions of the lower planes and he
helped popularize the Eastern notion of chakras
and nadis. Much of his work was directed toward
the third objective of the TS - the one that
most TSs and theosophists would like to forget
exists. Anyway, I think that we have all
bashed poor ol CWL enough already.

Rick: <THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE is very eloquent on
the path of the disciple, as well as the dangers of
the astral plane, the "hall of learning," where one
may find "the blossoms of life, but under every flower
a serpent coiled." (page 7)>
This quote is always being used to prove the terrible
dangers of psychism, which, in my view, are very
much overrated. Where is the danger if you already
know about the lurking serpents? I see as much
egotism (which is, after all, the only real danger
here) in my fellow theosophists as I do with
my fellow magicians (alias psychism-ists). Sometimes
I feel that my fellow theosphists overplay the danger
card just a bit (methinks they dost protest too much,

Rick: <Is Theosophy becoming a religion or religions?
If so, is this the decline of Theosophy?>
In my view it is neither a step up or down, but
rather inevitable given the formulations of the
human mind. HPB speaks a lot about theosophy
forming the cornerstone of a worldwide religion
especially as it itself incorporates many many
ideas from the world's religions. Judge states
that theosophy is the cornerstone of a new
"western occultism" but alas, never defines what
he means. However, I for one, find only a hair's
breath between occultism and psychism. As most
of you already know, the historical cornerstone
of western occultism is that left to us by the
ancient Egyptians. Alas, they too delved into
psychism apparently oblivious to its dangers
right up to the end.

Liesel: <"Formalize, 'develop' & systematize the
teachings", and you're a dead duck, in my
opinion. If you constrain teachings by boxing
them in, you create stultified fossils, instead
of a living breathing doctrine, which can
inspire people.>
One part of me agrees with you here. But another
says that you are dreaming. The "systematized"
teachings are already given to us ala HPB and the
MLs. Its a done deal, and to say otherwise is
wishful thinking. All of the TSs except Adyar
have already systematized the teachings by making
HPB and her Master's writings gospel. Only Adyar
has dared to try to further their work by "extending"
it into new territory - and they are soundly
criticized for their efforts by the other TSs.

Let me give you one simple example. A couple years
ago, Don de Gracia wrote a Windows help file on
theosophy proportedly for new people to give them
an idea of what theosophy is (rather in the nature
of advertising). I, and many others jumped on him
for failing to even mention reincarnation and
karma, which I saw as key theosophical teachings
(rather in the nature of Eldon's "core teachings"
for which he got trounced by many on this net). My
point is, that without core teachings, or key
doctrinal ideas, or whatever we want to call such
systematization such as reincarnation and karma,
we are left in the rather embarrassing position
of having an organization without any real definition.
The whole argument of "what is theosophy" lies at
the root of systematizing or leaving things loose
and nebulous. Maybe its my age, but I find
myself agreeing with Eldon, that we do, in fact,
need "core teachings" for our self-identity. How
else can headquarters throw someone out? But perhaps
even more importantly, how else can we recognize
others as "fellow theosophists" and how can we ever
hope to promote it, if we can't even define it
(definition is formalization)?

Jerry S.

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