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School and Schools

Sep 18, 1995 11:24 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

Having deleted Rich's post on the occult schools by accident, I
reply to his comments as I can remember them.

We seem to converge on the idea that there are indeed many
esoteric schools around the globe, and that HPB was familiar
with many. This I not only believe but know as the result of
research in her writings and other material. Those specific
schools are not imaginary, not symbolic, but actual physical
locales where adepts of various traditions study.

But there is also, above the specific schools, the idea of The
School. Here is where I think Rich and I part company on the
issue of literalism. It is historically false to assert that
the various "schools" frequented by HPB are "branches" of "One
School" that exists as an organization on planet earth run by
embodied human beings. The "One School" is an abstraction, not
an entity on this plane. But I am perfectly happy to grant it
"existence" in the realm of Platonic Ideas, where it acts as an
Archetype that is invoked in the activity of any particular
school. In other words, we are talking about a word that has
meanings at more than one level, and I argue that popular
understanding of it has conflated these levels, with
lamentable results.

True schools of the adepts are present on every continent, now
as in HPB's time and far back into antiquity. The One School
of the Universal Brotherhood is a spiritual reality that lies
beyond the separate, specific socio-religious entities called

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