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RE: Living the myth

Sep 14, 1995 10:00 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Art wrote:

>Art: That reminds me of what happened to Christians when the Nag
>Hammadi and the Gnostic gospels were found. Most of us would
>have said before this find,"Boy I wish we could have access to
>some primary documents closer to the events in the life of
>Jesus. We got them and they said things that burned many
>orthodox opinions. This is especially true of material like the
>Gospel of Thomas which advocates that salvation is about a
>change of consciousness. (See Stephan Hoeller. Jung and the Lost
>Gospels. Quest. 1989.)
>So much for wanting historical authenticity it screws up our
>myths too much. We want the historical evidence when it confirms
>our mythology but if it contradicts it well you know what
>Living the Myth

 You have such a wonderful way of summarizing into a few
words an entire dynamic. When I was studying Theosophy with my
teacher from 1963-1980, she used to often compare the Modern
Theosophical Movement with Christianity (her expertise was in the
history and teachings of the Greek Orthodox Church). She would
often comment that the failure of Christianity took three hundred
years to achieve, while the Theosophical Society failed in less
than thirty.

 HPB always made a distinction between ultimate Truth and
personal truths (See her article "What is Truth?"). Ultimate
truth is a Platonic concept that our post-modern philosophers
have now put into question. It is an unchanging immortal reality
that Blavatsky says is beyond normal human perception to realize.
Personal truths, on the other hand are all of the others that we
have left over. Some truths may be grander than others, but all
are less grand than ultimate Truth, and are always subject to

 So perhaps the failure of the Modern Theosophical Movement,
Christianity, and every religious movement within recorded
history, lies in the shortcoming of the followers to recognize
the relativity of the truths within their own system of belief.
If Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, Krishna, or even Blavatsky glimpsed
ultimate Truth, are we so naive to think that they could have put
this understanding into words?--that such a reality could be
reduced to the printed word in the Bible; the Rig Veda; or the
Secret Doctrine? Blavatsky never claimed to do any more than
point in a direction--the rest was up to us. Whether or not
Jesus really uttered the words "I am the way the truth and the
life", I would question how such a thing would be possible
without some kind of alchemical merger into the body of Christ as
symbolized in the Mass. For me this only makes sense if we are
taking about the Christos, which is not a historical person, but
what we call in theosophical parlance, the Higher Self, or Atma-
Buddhi (See "The Esoteric Character of the Gospels). Such a
concept--that the Truth, i.e. the Christos is within us, is for
me utterly profound. Yet the idea of a historical figure,
whether it be Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, or the Masters being able
to lift us to some superior spiritual position simply through our
belief in this person and/or their doctrines is (IMHO) one of the
most destructive myths that humanity clings to. It is the
background myth that made the Inquisitions of the middle ages and
its resulting human misery possible. But the Church does not
have an exclusive monopoly to this kind of destructive behavior.
Every religion embraces those loyal to its orthodoxy and
distinguishes itself from those who do not hold the proper
beliefs. Even the relatively insignificant Theosophical Society,
participates in this pathology through the routine
marginalization of those who march to a different drummer. Such
behavior is even exhibited on this net.

 Therefore, concerning the discussions between the Christian
and Theosophical camps of belief, I would say, let the pox fall
upon both of their houses. It is simply one orthodoxy fencing
(pun intended) against another. All of these little truths that
we find in Christianity and Theosophy are wonderful only when
they are used to guide us towards greater truths, but when we
mistake them for Truth itself, we have automatically assumed a
spiritual arrogance that insulates us from the discovery of any
greater truths and separates us from our fellow humanity.

 There has been much talk that the reason it has taken so
many years for Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Library to become
available to the public had to do with concerns that these
documents might reveal some truth that would threaten the
Christian orthodoxy. As typically happens in most shady
dealings, there is a lot of a** covering, and what is really
going on remains obscured under the ferment of accusations and
counter accusations. But whatever the reasons, we finally have
the Nag Hammadi Library after twenty five or thirty years. Now,
fifty years later, the light has appeared at the end of the
tunnel for all of the Dead Sea Scrolls to be published. These
documents have created an industry of books, some claiming that
they confirm orthodox Christianity, while others claim that they
tell a very different story. Some of these books represent
genuine scholarship, while others are apologies designed to shore
up the faith. Are we to expect a different story for theosophy
when (or if) the historical documents concerning the history of
the modern TM finally become available to the public? We will
have the Scholars and the apologist writers working diligently to
produce what their respective audiences want to hear.

 For those of us who are aspiring to be theosophists, I think
we need to take another look at the phrase H.N. Stokes (Editor of
the infamous O.E. Library Critic) coined back in 1918: "...Back
to Blavatsky." It is a phase that has been misunderstood from
the day that it was published, and even today is used as a
pejorative by "theosophists" against "theosophists" who primarily
study Blavatsky's writings. Stokes was not advocating the
dumping of every piece of theosophical literature since
Blavatsky, nor was he advocating the canonizing of Blavatsky's
writings into some kind of holy scripture. He was advocating
that we move away from the present (i.e. of 1918, but vestiges of
it remain today) atmosphere of revelations from the Masters
through their mouth pieces, and go back to the days of Blavatsky
when the study of theosophy was an exercise in the pursuance of
Truth, not the revelation of Truth itself.

And the Myth lives on....


Jerry Hejka-Ekins
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