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Re: Art on van der Leeuw

Sep 22, 1995 12:20 PM

Dear Art,

A few comments back on what you stated

Re the ES: It *is* hierarchical, & I too prefer a concensus
atmosphere. I think it does create a schism between those who
belong & those who don't. Some of them are among our leaders, &
some of them work at I don't know what, behind the scenes.

They're a secret organization, and no one is allowed to
acknowledge that they're a member. That means that they can't
come out & speak up for themselves. Annie Besant was a founder,
& since she was such a sensible, practical lady otherwise, I
must assume that the ES was established for valid purposes. I
know 2 of them ... to be of service, & to have access to an
inside track to quicker spiritual development. That ain't hay.
They might even have changed their organization not to be that
hierarchical anymore. Who knows. ... Incidentally, I once asked
one ES member how they could belong to an organization in which
they were told what to do, & the answer was "I chose to
join"... It's the exclusivity, & the secrecy, & perhaps the
hierarchy that one must question nowadays.

Art - I don't however know exactly what distinguishes the
various emphasis' of the different varieties of Theosophy.

Liesel - That makes 2 of us. I only know what distiguishes the
ULT. They confine their studies to the works of HPB. That's
really narrow. But even HPB by herself presents a tremendously
wide panorama. Later Theosophists just followed along in her
footsteps. I only just realized it when I viewed that tape
yesterday & heard the ULT member speak of all the civilisations
that had gone before and had taught & lived by the Ancient
Wisdom. I'm sure her talk was based on HPB's writings.

You ask about local Lodges. Most of them are small & are called
Study Centers. Lodges, the current name for them is "Branches",
are large centers. They sometimes own a house, (New York owns 2
brownstones side by side), they have a Quest book store, & they
have activities going on all week long. They are places where
Theosophists study & discuss together. I think about half our
membership conists of members-at-large, like yourself.

We do have a service branch, the Theosophical Order of Service.
The departments I can remember just offhand are Peace, Animal
Welfare, Parents', Healing, the Arts, Social Welfare,
Environmental concerns. People can belong to them & do
projects, mostly individually, it seems. Many Theosophists give
service as individuals, as volunteers, often also with the work
they do, as you do, & as I did when I was working. I was just
thinking that Shirley Nicholson put out a real nice manual on
how to lead a spiritual life (I forget the exact title). One of
the components of a spiritual life she mentions is service. 3
others are self-improvement, meditation, study.



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