Sep 24, 1995 10:46 PM
As a lurker to this list and a member of the Adyar TS, I have enjoyed the
different perspectives offered by those of you that express yourself so
clearly. I have little, if any, I can add to the disscussions. The times that I
do feel that there is a point to add someone ALWAYS brings it to the forum.
I have been having a little dialog on AOL with Joe Fulton and I have attached a
copy of one of his replies. The ideas he presents are in-tune with some of the
threads that are currently going on Theoso_L.
I have given Joe the info he would need to subscribe to the mailing list but
I'm unsure if he has connected yet. He has no problem with his message being
posted to the list and wished to continue the dialog with others. SO, until he
does subscribe, all replies should be forwarded to the address in the attached
Keep the Ideas flowing,
email@example.com (Joseph P. Fulton)
I will happily take up the invite to comment and debate. I do not make
the following comments in any "negative" sense, but simply in a spirit
of truthfulness about Theosophy and the T.S..
The "Freedom of the Society" and the "World View" were lifted off of
the American Theosophist and the mention of the number of "sections"
around the world makes the "Adyar" Society seem very impressive. The
truth is that the American Section is in a VERY sick condition,
something acknowledged by most serious students in the movement. The
T.S. has virtually run out of people who understand very much of what
H.P.B. was trying to do, her methodology and her writings, most of
which are available either in her "Collected Writings" series, or in
the form of her major works, "The Secret Doctrine," and "Isis Unveiled"
(as well as other works such as "Practical Occultism" and "Voice of the
Silence"). The "Voice of the Silence" has been endorsed by the Panchen
Lama (preface to 1935 Point Loma ed.) as being written by someone with
intimate knowledge of the inner, secret teachings of "higher lamaism."
Christmas Humphreys, founder of the Buddhist Society had his copy of
"Voice of the Silence" signed by the Dalai Lama, who has spoken for the
T.S. several times. So much for the aside.
The T.S. has become "infected" by a crisis caused by lazy mindedness
and a lack of rational integrity. Most of this trend can be traced and
tagged onto A.P. Sinnett and his "inductees" into Theosophy, namely,
the London Lodge spiritualists and C.W. Leadbeater. When Sinnett was
"cut off" he started consulting the medium he referred to as "Mary,"
who started "channelling" the Mahatma's. After 1900, particularly
after 1905 the T.S. (Adyar) got involved in a frenzy of members "past
lives," which culminated in the Krishnamurti (Alcyone) affair. A vast
departure took place in the methodology applied by H.P.B. to herself
and her immediate "followers" (hardly, in the traditional sense). She
held Mead, Besant, Olcott, Wilder and others to a simple standard. If
you make a statement or assertion, you had better be able to back it
up. As a result, the pages of the Theosophist, and later Lucifer under
H.P.B.'s editorship not only made lively reading, but also attracted
the best minds in the world they lived in. In addition, H.P.B. was not
afraid to use the Theosophist to engage in attacking the cant and
hypocrisy rife in the Victorian Age (most of it still present).
I make the above points partially to give background to what the
original Theosophical movement was and what has become of it. In my
own view, and partially (at least in Adyar) the craziness that Besant,
Leadbeater and Arundale perpetuated in their "occult" work (which lead
in 1923 to that "Freedom of the Society" statement because the Liberal
Catholics, Co-Masons and the Order of the Star had overrun the movement
and distorted it into a raving madhouse where certain members received
three "initiations" in one week ("Krishnamurti - Years of Awakening,"
Mary Lutyens, Pp. 231, 232). The traditional concept of "Initiation,"
according to H.P.B. is tied very closely with the mastery of the
various stages of yoga (dharana, dhyana, samadhi [and its various
The Adyar Society came out of this position quite embarrassed, their
coming (Krishnamurti) having went (with most of their members) to the
"pathless land." After this point the Society became something of a
timid, inward looking group with hopes that 1975 would somehow save
them with the advent of a new teacher, as predicted by H.P.B.. 1975
also came ... and went. Since then the American Section has been
plagued by a series of leaders, either ineffectual in management skill,
knowledge of Theosophy (usually both) and faced with local groups
intent on going their own way. Freedom of thought is certainly a
wonderful thing, but I would assert for an organization like the T.S.
to function properly, this "freedom" like all other "freedoms" must be
handled responsibly. Freedom of thought has become a license for
looseness of thought, under the guise of "spirituality" fostered by pop
psychology and the teachings of "new agers" such as Alice Bailey and
others who thrive on ungrounded assertions and devotional natures.
Modern Theosophy also suffers from another malady, that is SELFISHNESS.
In the "Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett," Sinnett's correspondent gives
a description of the London Lodge and of a mysterious group of European
occultists who formed some twenty years earlier. Theosophy made its
name, contrary to the statements made by Paul Gillingwater in the next
posting on Theosophy. The problem with the lack of "Universal
Brotherhood," now and always is that truth always takes a back seat to
Mrs. Grundy and that almighty GOD of this age, public opinion. The
truth is that no major innovation or advance in civilization ever took
place without a struggle and it never will. To go along with the flow
is to assure continuation of the "same old, same old." A good example
of this is the Judaeo-Christian monstrosity we refer to as God. H.P.B.
and her teachers would not budge one micron on the non-existence of
this "being" (see Letter #10, Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett), but
modern Theosophists go out of their way to sophistrise and rationalize
the existence of an entity that all Buddhists reject as an untenable
possiblity (the Dali Lama refers to worship of such as "foolish
chatter") and which the Sankhyas would relegate to the status of a
"created being," thus stripped of all qualities assigned by his
I hope that this exposition has been coherent enough to draw a threat
(sutra) through and make some sense of. My hope for the T.S. is that
(in strict defiance of the Kali Yuga cycle) is that a moral,
intellectual and spiritual resurgence take place, that its members and
leadership would once again fearlessly speak on the issues that raise
their heads every day and try to understand the full implications of
the three objectives placed before them. But this is probably as
likely to happen as the Kalki Avatara appearing at the wrong point in
the cycles or the Christian God repenting of His sins against nature.
Anyway, so much for my two cents. I am more than happy to correspond
with you, or anyone seriously interested in Theosophical work.
P.S. to tyagi nagasiva:
Thank you for the opportunity to create some discussion and help
fertilize some of the thought in the Theosophical world. Please feel
free to post publicly. I have no qualms about defending my positions,
and learning from another if I am wrong.
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