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Mish-mash or no mish-mash?

Sep 08, 1995 06:27 PM
by Richtay

Jerry: "Theosophy teaches material that can be found, here and there,
scattered throughout the world's religions, all tied together with some new
materials. How can it help from being "hodge-podge" in that sense? HPB
quotes Montaigne as saying "I have here made only a nosegay of culled
flowers, and
have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them" (SD, Vol I, p.
xivi). A "nosegay of culled flowers" is, in a sense, a hodge-podge. However,
the "string" that links them is the real key that theosophy offers."

No, no, and again I say no. Theosophy is a distinct path, it is the practice
and study of the Great lodge through all time, at least if we are correctly
understanding HPB. Theosophy does not teach Buddhism or Christianity PER SE,
but mentions certain aspects of them as helpful comparisons to what the
Masters intended to teach.

The REASON that HPB and her teachers bothered to bring in stuff from all
other religions and cultures was that no one would bother to study Theosophy
in such a skeptical age if it couldn't be shown to have some objective
legitimacy. IF HPB were to say "just follow this path I show, in 25 years
you will be a chela and understand everything" in 19th century Europe, would
a single person have signed up?

Rather, traces of past Theosophical thinkers and workers needed to be shown,
in every culture, in every epoch. This is the single greatest mistake
newcomers make with Theosophy as well. They think "synthesis" means
"eclectic." It doesn't. (Try a dictionary if you doubt it.)

A synthesis is harmonizing what truly is from a homogeneous source. And that
is the thesis of the Masters -- all religions are sprung from a common trunk
("Pre-Vedic Buddhism and Brahmanism") and must now be made to merge back into
their parent source. The Masters preserve and practice that esoteric parent
source which has existed unchanged through the millenia -- or so Theosophy

Theosophy is not constructed A POSTERIORI (after the fact) from bits and
pieces that HPB happened to run across. It is a LIVING tradition among the
Adepts, and not a theoretical jargon and mish-mash thrown together just to
make the Secret Doctrine publication.

Theosophy is A PRIORI the philosophical study of Nature, its laws and
processes, and it forms the VEHICLE of attaining our highest natural state.
 Wherever the Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Neo-platonists, Brahmins etc.
have been successful in this, HPB quotes with approval. She also criticizes
all these traditions harshly for their blatant and not-so-blatant failures.

What is her yardstick to judge? If Theosophy is truly a hodge-pode, how then
can all organized religions be criticized? This is a nonsensical idea. The
Masters do not live and teach some vague consortium of religious practices,
doing puja one day, Catholic Mass the next, and attending a bar-mitzvah the
third. Their path is what lies behind all exoteric paths, that white light
out of which all colored light comes.

Insofar as Theosophy is the truth, of course it can be found here and there
-- IN PART. But it is much, much more than a compilation and comparison of
world tradition -- this was merely an exercise to show us little moles that
there is a pursuit here and a discipline worth studying. But beyond exoteric
Theosophy, there is Occultism, that single, certain knowledge of nature's
mysteries, which again, are not a hodge-podge but a single, organic whole.


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