Re: Source Teachings
Oct 01, 1995 00:44 AM
Thanks, Patrick for your recent postings on Source Teachings.
>It seems that to restrict theosophy to one set of writings is as delu-
>sionary as saying that theosophy includes all writings. Theosophy is the
>threads of wisdom which flow through all. There are writings which are
`purely' from the Mahatmas and there are the writings of the Initiates and
>there are also writings by the deluded which take people away from truth.
>Our task is one of learning to discern the difference....
I certainly agree with this more or less.
When writing my essay in parts on Source Teachings, I wa n
When writing my essay in parts on Source Teaching, I was not claiming that
HPB's writings of 10,000 + pages were the only source for Theosophy. Surely
Theosophy is not something of recent invention. BUT I was simply pointing
out the facts which show that HPB was the first person in modern times to
claim contact with the Masters and also to claim that she was giving out (at
least) portions or the basics of their Esoteric Science.
*Isis Unveiled* I, v-vi: "The work now submitted to public judgment is the
fruit of a somewhat intimate acquaintance with Eastern adepts and study of
their science....we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such
mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly designate
them as the sages of the Orient. To thier instructions we lent a ready ear....
Our work...is a plea for the recognition of the Hermetic philosoophy, the
anciently universal Wisdom Religion." [This last sentence is from p. vii of
*The Path*, Dec., 1886, p. 257: "...I was the first in the United States to
bring the existence of our Masters into publicity...having exposed the holy
names of two members of a Brotherhood hitherto unknown to Europe and America
(save to a few mystics and Initiates of every age), yet sacred and revered
throughout the East, and especially India...."
*The Key to Theosophy*, 1889 ed., pp. 302 & 301: "We Theosophists were,
unfortunately, the first to talk of these things, to make the fact of the
existence of in the East of `Adepts' and `Masters' and Occult knowledge
known....Great are the desecrations to which the names of two of the Masters
have been subjected. There is hardly a medium who has not claimed to have
seen them. Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims
to be guided and directed by `Masters,' often supposed to be far higher
So HPB claimed to be in contact with these Masters and to convey throught
her writings some of the teachings of this Theosophy.
She claimed this to be true. It is for the interested inquirer and seeker to
determine if these claims merit his or her attention. But as far as I can
ascertain she was the first to make this claim in modern times. Later even
during her lifetime and especially after her death, Judge, Besant, Leadbeater
and many others made similar claims BUT all their claims are based upon her
original claim. If HPB's claims can be proven false, then all the LATER
claims are therefore false. But the later claims are dependent on HPB's
original statements. IF Alice Bailey's claims can be shown to be false, then
such a finding does NOT invalidate HPB's claims. The truth or falsity or
whatever of HPB's claims are not dependent on Bailey's statements. I remember
reading a book about 20 years ago in which the author wrote that he regarded
highly Bailey's work and teachings but had serious doubts about Blavatsky's!
That is truly getting the cart before the horse!!!!
>From a historical perspective, therefore, I contend that HPB's writings (plus
the Mahatma Letters) constitute alone "Source Teachings" of modern Theosophy.
And to say this, is not to say that Theosophy is only as old as HPB's claims.
For KH himself says: "...this Theosophy is no new candidate for the world's
attention, but only the restatement of principles which have been recognised
from the very infancy of mankind...." Nor do I contend that AFTER H.P.B.'s
initial claims that there were not other individuals who may have had contact
with HPB's teachers and who may have also given out genuine Theosophical
teachings. Each claim (like HPB's initial claim) would need to be considered
on its own merits.
But, Patrick, most of the serious Blavatsky students I personally know, do
not accept the claims and teachings of Bailey, the teachings of the Temple and
some of the writings of Helena Roerich. In telling you this, I am not saying
that you are wrong and they are right. But what I am saying to you is that
they AND you would all agree that HPB's claims and teachings are of merit and
deserve careful consideration. Therefore, her writings can be considered the
SOURCE teachings on which all students of Theosophy can (at least in theory)
agree that the modern Theosophical movement was founded. And I, at least,
don't believe that HPB should be considered as some ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY or
INFALLIBLE SOURCE. But having said that, I believe that her writings deserve
serious study in order to really understand the teachings she gave. And study
does not mean that one has to accept or reject, believe or disbelieve what one
is reading and studying but to serious study in order to UNDERSTAND the ideas
HPB puts forth as "this Theosophy" KH talks about.
Many students of Theosophy have spent far too much time squabbling over who
was or was not the next messenger after HPB and little if any time studying
the writings of the first "messenger".
Even during HPB's time, theosophical writers gave out erroneous conceptions
of some of the Theosophical teachings. This according to HPB herself who
writes in *The Secret Doctrine*, I, viii:
"The publication of many of the facts herein stated has been rendered
necessary by the wild and fanciful speculations in which many Theosophists
and students of mysticism have indulged, during the last few years, in
their endeavour to, as they imagined, work out a complete system of thought
from the few facts previously communicated to them."
And as early as 1882, Master K.H. said the following about one person who
was trying not only to understand Theosophy but also to write about it:
"I dread the appearance in print of our philosophy as expounded by Mr.
[A.O.] H[ume]. I read his three essays...and had to cross out nearly all.
..if he publishes what I read, I will have H.P.B. or Kual Khool deny the
whole thing; as I cannot permit our sacred philosophy to be so disfigured.
He says that people will not accept the whole truth; that unless we humour
them...our philosophy will be rejected *a priori*. In such a case the less
such idiots hear of our doctrines the better for both. If they do not want
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they are welcome. But never will
they find *us*---(at any rate)---compromising with, and pandering to
And this was in 1882!
And HPB herself admits that there is such a thing as PSEUDO-THEOSOPHY.
Students of Theosophy can believes whatever but those who accept HPB's
original claims would be wise to also carefully consider the warnings
given by HPB and the Masters about bogus claims and distortions of Theosophy.
If such could happen in the 1880s, why not after 1891?
"Each tub stands on its own bottom."
Food for thought,
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