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re: CWL, LCC, Adyar, Olcott etc.

Oct 02, 1995 11:32 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Ann writes regarding the LCC:

>I for one, am very glad it existed in 1971. Both my parents
>were emotionally and physically abused as children. They
>brought what had been shown to them to their parenting. I was
>an only child and by the time I got to college I was pretty
>messed up.
>In 71' I began reading Cayce books that I had borrowed from the
>public library. At the college I was attending, someone from
>the local LCC put up a poster for the church. It opened up a
>whole new world for me, one that I did not even know existed.
>It saved my life. I was married in the church and still have
>friends from that time.

 Thank you for bringing up a very important aspect of
organizations. Though the primary objective of the LCC (to be
the vehicle for K.'s new religion) is no longer relevant, you
have demonstrated very well that it doesn't mean that the
Organization cannot still have a positive function in society.
Who knows how many thousands or perhaps millions of people's
lives were changed for the better through joining some kind of
church or fraternity. This is the positive side of spiritual
organizations, and I thank you, Ann, for being here to remind us
of this. As critical as I'm about the TS, I must also add that I
feel that I have benefitted tremendously from my association with
it, and consequently have a deep love for Theosophy and what it
can do for the world. But my deep love for Theosophy is also
what motivates me to be critical of those Organizations--those
vehicles of theosophy--which so often stifles the spiritual power
of the Movement.

>Perhaps, Brenda, who "loves that Leadbeater", has found great
>personal satisfaction in his works. We both have had good
>experiences with things you are condemning and we may find it
>difficult to comprehend your negativity.

 I've known Brenda for some ten years, consider her a friend,
a very very bright, and a very delightful person. I'm very aware
of her feelings towards CWL, as she is aware of mine. I enjoy
reading Brenda's point of view precisely because it is so
different from my own. However, I would not dream of concealing
my opinions from this board just because Brenda is on it, nor
would I expect her to do so for me. I would think that hiding my
opinions from Brenda would be doing her a real disservice--it
would be a real put down to her. I'm aware that Brenda sometimes
finds my viewpoint dificult to comprehend, and I also sometimes
find her difficult to follow. But I still listen and appreciate
what she has to say.

>Personally speaking, I have a problem with Deepak Chopra. The
>guy makes me squirrelly. I think he's just rehashing yogic
>stuff and making a bundle off of it. But I know there are
>people who are benefiting.
 I saw a video of him for the first time the other night, and
got exactly the same feeling.

>While I'm on the subject, I've also been every satisfied with
>Olcott in Wheaton. Nothing is perfect, but I have enjoyed the
>annual meetings, summer school, lectures, study group, lodge and
>newsletter. I find Quest to be a bit too intellectual for me,
>but that's me. Olcott is serving my needs just fine, thank you.

 I'm sure that there are many who feel as you do. If Olcott
wasn't doing a service it would not exist for very long. I'm
Glad it meets your needs. But keep in mind that there are also a
lot of us who have been turned off. Remember, more than 95% of
those who join the Adyar TS quit within two years. Can we afford
to ignore that 95%?

>I would like to pose some questions to Jerry and Rich:

>What is your ideal theosophical organization?

 There ain't no such animal. I don't believe that ideal
organizations of any type are possible. They are by their very
nature imperfect. For instance, an Organization is like a
person, it grows through experiencing conflict and learning from
it. But like people, Organizations become sick. Typically a
sick Organization works to hide the very conflicts that they need
in order to recognize their mistakes and become better
Organizations. Healthy Organizations are very rare, but they
happen. Though they are not perfect, you won't find them laden
with pathology.

>What ideas would it be founded on?

 The three objects of the TS are not the objects which it was
founded on in 1875. World brotherhood was not adopted until
1878, and the present wording was not adopted until 1896. So
even the TS, has changed the "ideas" upon which it was founded.
I'm in support of the "ideas" expressed in the present expression
of the three objects (though the wording needs to be updated),
yet I don't feel that those objects have been carried out in the
TS. The Leeuw pamphlet that I posted recently goes into some of
those reasons.

>How would it be structured?

 There is no ideal structure any more than there is an ideal
organization. However, the International Adyar TS has been run
by the same family for over 50 years. I call this a dynasty and
do not find it ideal. The Wheaton Society has been run by the
same click for almost 50 years also. But you asked for ideals so
here goes: For starters, an ideal structure for me would be that
there is 100% member participation in the organization; that
those in power encourage rather than be threatened by members
with innovative ideas; that those in power will be more invested
in the progress of the Organization then they are invested in
maintaining their influence in it; that the Organization is open
and honest about past errors and learns from them; that the
Organizations cooperates from principles of cooperation rather
than co-optation; and I can go on and on.

>Would it have a central headquarters? Branches?

 If that is what the members want.

>What would membership be based on?

 Depends upon the objects of the Organization.

>Would it ban Leadbeater and Besant from being studied?

 Why should it?

>What works would it emphasize?

 It shouldn't emphasize any works.

>What do think should happen to the ES?

 The ES was originally founded as a separate Organization,
not connected to the TS, except that one must be a member of the
TS to join it. If the ES operated upon the principles for which
it was founded, it would be fine. On the other hand, the
existence of the ES implies to me the existence of an Outer Head
of equal or better status to HPB as a spiritual teacher.

>What would you do to make HPB easier to understand?

 I have been teaching HPB for over twenty years, so I think I
can address this with some personal authority. To make HPB
easier to understand to others, one must first understand what
HPB was saying, and not confuse it with what other theosophical
writers say, or what they say she says. Secondly, my experience
in teaching HPB and training others to teach HPB, is that once
one understands HPB, one can make her understandable to others.
Therefore, in order to make HPB easier to understand, I would
first make sure that those who are teaching HPB have really read
her writings, have a comprehensive understanding of her, and that
they don't confuse her teachings with other writers. Thirdly,
one does not have to use theosophical jargon to teach HPB's
ideas. Obviously we use the jargon in class because that is what
she uses. But when we do, I make sure that the student has an
understanding of what those terms mean in context to the material
we are studying. Yet, true evidence of understanding the ideas
is when the student is able to put the teachings into their own
words and rise above the jargon. So when I'm on the university
campus, I talk about Theosophy all of the time--though I don't
use the word, and I don't use the jargon.

>How would you make theosophy more acceptable to the
>intelligentsia and those with "real power"?

 Under our present circumstances, most of our students have a
university education at the Bachelor or Masters level. My wife
has a Phd and is a Professor at the University. I'm a Grad.
student working on my thesis, and occasionally teach freshmen
writing classes. We talk about theosophy all of the time to our
University students, though we never, or rarely mention the word.
When we teach theosophy classes out of our home, we have no
trouble at all making theosophy acceptable to our students, and
they have no problem accepting Blavatsky. On the other hand, we
don't teach "neo-theosophy" because we don't believe in it, but
also because the people we get are simply too educated to accept
those teachings. But even more importantly, we don't associate
ourselves with present day neo-theosophy which is (I think
rightfully) considered a cult.

>Also, in what ways do you think theosophy would be different if
>Judge would have succeeded HPB?

 Personally, I don't believe in spiritual successorship, so
the question has no meaning to me. But if you were to ask what
would be different if Judge would have lived, was not discredited
and pushed out of the Society by Besant and Olcott, and followed
Olcott as President of the TS, I think things would have been
vastly different. First; the TS would not have split in half in
1895, and perhaps it would not have continued to split into
warring factions. I would not have been campaigning for
networking across the Movement for over ten years, and Wheaton
finally sending greetings to ULT, Pasadena and Halcyon in 1995
would not have been a significant event. Secondly; the TS would
more likely have stayed on the original lines as outlined by HPB
and the Masters. Thirdly; we would not have had the crises of
1930, and fourthly; the Theosophical Society would not be
regarded by the public as a cult as it is today.

>And finally, what would you do if another group of theosophists,
>who did not agree with your ideas, formed a rival organization?

 Welcome and embrace them as Judge tried to do with Adyar.

Jerry Hejka-Ekins
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