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"source teachings"

Sep 03, 1995 09:40 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Brenda Tucker writes:

BT>I've come to the conclusion that this idea of "Source
>Teachings" is wrong and I don't really know where it started,
>but it may become the cause of lots of dissension. You want to
>include certain writings within a select group and by doing so
>you include certain people in a select group and leave others

 I cannot say with absolute certainty where it started, but
we began using the rhetoric "core concepts" and "source
teachings" in our classes around 1981, and introduced this
concept at the 1984 Networking conference. We also used it in
our historical slide presentation we began giving around that
time in Los Angeles. We also did this historical presentation in
Toronto Canada and a section of it in New York city in 1986. I
was also corresponding with Linda Jo Pym around that time, and
she adopted these terms into her Field Work communications that
were distributed nationally. In 1990 we released our ~Perennial
Wisdom~ video and handbook which also uses this rhetoric. This
video is distributed through Quest books and Theosophical
University press. The video continues to sell to theosophists
and inquirers of all traditions, and I was recently told that it
is the most requested video that the library (or dept. of
education?) loans out. So, as far as we know, we may have been
the source for the use of this word (By the way, I'm very
interested in any accounts that others may have concerning where
and how they first heard or used these terms). The fact that
these terms have caught on is testimony to the need for them,
though their present usage may not be exactly how we intended

BT>This approach is so divisive and judgemental and not at all
>keeping with the spirit of theosophy which is to "find the
>source within."

 Our purpose for coining this rhetoric was precisely the
opposite. It was to counter the anti-fraternal divisiveness that
was already in place. For example, the Adyar policy of naming
Blavatsky and Olcott as the founders of the Theosophical Society,
and excluding any mention of Judge is in my opinion "divisive and
judgmental." This act not only ignores an undeniable historical
fact, but it excludes those theosophical traditions which
recognize Judge not only as a founder, but as one who remained
devoted to the theosophical movement to the end of his life.
 In answer to this divisive policy that excludes and rejects
the legitimacy of other theosophical traditions, we simply
pointed out what was already obvious--that the earliest
theosophical teachings came from the founders and from the
letters of the masters. Therefore, the core literature are those
writings that first defined the theosophical teachings. One
could also call them the first generation of theosophical
writings. This body of literature would include the writings of
the Mahatmas, Blavatsky and Judge. It would also include any
writings of Olcott that define theosophy, and any writings of
A.P. Sinnett up to 1885 (i.e. ~The Occult World~ and ~Esoteric
Buddhism.~). This division is based upon historical evidence,
not upon the agenda of any theosophical traditions. This core of
writings are universally acknowledged as the source theosophical
writings from which all later writings refer back to. Even CWL
constantly alludes back to HPB (or sometimes correcting her) for
authoritative backing for this or that concept he is writing
about. Consequently, those writers who base their ideas upon,
comment upon, or adjunct their writings to the source writings
are the secondary sources. These would include Besant,
Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa, Arundale, Barborka, Purucker, Tingley,
Johnson, Hargrove, Crosbie, Wadia etc. This is such a commonly
used distinction that it is primary in order to do any research.
For instance, if one wishes to study Blavatsky's writings, Wadia
may be a good commentary, but it is not a substitute for reading
Blavatsky. It does not mean that Wadia is inferior to Blavatsky,
it only recognizes that Wadia's writings are commentaries on and
possibly extensions of HPB's writings.
 Therefore, we devised this rhetoric, not to divide
theosophists (the Adyar policy of not recognizing Judge already
did that), but to bring them together again by pointing out that
they are already united by a core set of teachings from which
each tradition has evolved.

Jerry Hejka-Ekins
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