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Re: School and Schools

Sep 19, 1995 05:17 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>How in the world can ANYONE who is not a top initiate in one of those Schools
>know this? If there are in fact, as Paul says, many such esoteric schools,
>how are we to know that at the top level they are not all aware of each other
>and co-operating?

When we talk about universities or schools, we are making analogies to
social structures that we know and experience. There would be correspondances,
but I'd expect that the organization may not directly correspond to some form
that we know. I like the analogy of a university, because the organization is
based upon learning, teaching, and advancing the frontiers of knowledge, all of
which we understand the Masters to be doing.

In a university, there are grades of professors. They teach or instruct the
public in extension courses; they teach regular classes; they teach graduate
seminars for those nearing professorship. The Masters have the dual
responsibilities of classroom instruction and research and publication.

Within an university, it may be organized into colleges, where there are
certain specialities. We could have a college of law, one of business, one
of medicine, one with a scientific slant.

And there are admissions requirements. One has to have taken the necessary
studies in lessor schools, the necessary preparations before admission is

There is, of course, limits to analogies. When we extend them too far we end
up with imagination and fancy. How far can we extend this one? I wonder.

There *is* a definite sense of hierarchy, of leadership and obedience to
one's teachers. We hear, for instance:

"But still if he choice lies between our disobeying the lightest injunction
of our Chohan as to when we may see either of you, or what we may write, or
how, or where, and the loss of your good opinion, even the feeling of your
strong animosity and the disruption of the Society, we should not hesitate a
single instant. It may be considered unreasonable, selfish, huffish and
ridiculous, denounced as jesuitical and the blame all laid at our door, but
law is LAW with us, and no power can make us abate one jot or tittle of our
duty." [Mahatma Letters, 3rd ed., p. 223]

>Putting the Masters and the Brotherhood in the Platonic realm is quaint and
>safe, but yet another unprovable assertion from Paul.

It is possible to reduce anything to psychological terms. It's one way to
relate to things. There is a living reality to the Masters and the work that
they are doing, that is quite independent of any of our perceptions or beliefs.

>Likewise, HPB's assertion that there IS a single esoteric network is
>unprovable, but SHE DOES ASSERT IT, and that is SOURCE THEOSOPHY. We are
>free to agree or disagree, but Paul cannot convince me that Theosophy does
>not teach Masters and this Brotherhood as a FACT in nature.

I'm not sure that we can call it a "network", anymore than we can call it
a "hierarchy." It's a network in the sense that everyone works with others
regardless of level. It's a hierarchy in the sense that there are grades or
levels and those on the higher levels tend to be teachers, mentors, gurus,
and project leaders to those on lower levels. One way to picture a hierarchy
is the figure of a pyramid, with each level getting smaller, until we get to
the point at the top. Where the idea of hierarchy is misleading, though, is
in assuming that there's something like a king or son of god or whatever at
the top. The topmost grade is composed of a class of advanced souls, not of
a single person, with a job or title or position in an organization that
gives him special authority.

Rich, what you've said is much closer to source Theosophy, what we have been
literally taught in the classic literature. It might be more forceful, and
evoke a more thoughtful response with some choice quotes.

I've written at times of the need to put things in our own words, and try
to do that myself most of the time. When I'm doing that, I'm required, by
necessity, to take a softer tone in my statements, even when I'm trying to
write about the original Theosophy, and not introduce my own additional
insights. This is because, when using my own words, I'm "unarmed"; I'm
speaking from my understanding and have no accompanying "proof" of what I
say. When taking a strong position to advocate a particular idea, without
the quotes, I can only *assert* what I believe, but not prove anything.
I can write things in a way that makes the ideas appealing and attract
people to consider them, but there is no to my words apart from their
own power to persuade a reader.

>I don't see the reason we should attack this "myth" as Paul calls it of the
>esoteric brotherhood.

We can attempt to understand the organization of the Masters. What I find
more interesting, though, is what they actually do with their time. My
speculation earlier was that it was in creative endeavors, with teaching
humanity as a useful sideline but not the primary focus. The primary focus,
I've suggested, is that of perserving the wisdom imparted to them by the
Dhyani-Chohans, and that preservation is by teaching and training each
generation so that the knowledge is passed on. And they would seek to gradually
extend that knowledge as well, since it is not the sumtotal of all that can
ever be known. How do they extend it? How do we really know the deeper
spiritual things? By a combination of inner exploration and insight, *followed
by giving tangible expression to what we've discovered*. The giving of
tangible expression is an important step in learning and truly knowing the
deeper truths. Because of this, I'd expect that the Masters are engaged in
both learning and in *acts of creativity*, acts which are not necessarily
meddling in the affairs of humanity, as it muddles along. They help us out as
much as our karma allows, but that helping may occupy only a fraction of their

>Until any one of us can know for
>sure, it seems like a useful devotional belief, and not dangerous to the
>world at large.

We don't need to defend the idea of the Masters as just being a useful
devontional belief. We can make a philosophical argument for the logical
necessity of their existence. We can describe how the source Teachings
consider their role in the evolutionary scheme and their place in the
spiritual ecology of the world.

There is much that we study that we cannot know by direct, external personal
experience. How many of us has "seen" Fohat? Or the waters of space? Or
our Manasaputra?

>So Paul, why do you really care if people like me and Art
>are "living the myth"? What's it to you?

Paul has a particular view on the Masters that he wants to keep before us.
But we all tend to respond when things have been said that we don't agree
with, coming in with our views, feeling that we need to speak up "to set
the record straight" from our point of view. Hopefully we are tolerant and
agreeable in our exchanges, so that each of us has a respectful airing of
our respective views.

Our discussion list, 'theos-l', is not a controlled environment, where a
particular approach to the source Teachings is being taught. Most of what
is posted is personal views, often in conflict with the source Teachings.
That's fine. At some point we could have different lists or discussion
groups that are moderated and given a specific focus. That would be fine.
This is a place, though, where we can have fun and speculate and hopefully
not bear terrible karma for the many times that we err in what we say,
through our enthusiasm.

Your attempt to keep some focus on the source Theosophy is valuable for
us, because sometimes we can get too far off the mark. But given the
free-wheeling nature of our group, and given the fact that we may have
readers unread in the basic materials, skillful means are necessary to
keep us pointed "true north."

-- Eldon

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