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Oct 08, 1995 04:11 AM
by Ann E. Bermingham

>Some of the problems of the LCC which come to *my* mind are these:

>(1) Emphasis on rituals. Neither the Masters, HPB, nor Mr. Judge in any of
>their writings indicate that ritual has any value whatsoever, particularly
>Christian ritual. . .

Would you express the same view for Masonic, American Indian or Buddhist
rituals, as well? How about social rituals, like weddings, funerals and
coming-of-age parties? The dating ritual of dinner and a movie?

My guess is that religious ritual simply does not do anything for you and your
primary sources back up what you already feel within. You seem like person who
is intellectually inclined and that is probably the path you should follow.

Although he is not by your definition, a "primary source", I would like to quote
Stephan Hoeller from his booklet, "The Mystery and Magic of the Eucharist". Mr.
Hoeller is a respected lecturer for the Adyar TS and a devote follower of HPB.

He writes: "Many persons, particularly within the so-called New Age-New
Thought-Metaphysical field, can see no use for ceremony, ritual and prayer and
tend to dismiss the entire subject as some much superstition. The practice of a
sacramental form of worship by occult, theosophical and mystically inclined
persons appears most incongruous to some. It is easy indeed to say there is no
need for ceremony and ritual in the life of the aspirant. It is also easy to
state that mystical truths can be understood without ritual. However this may
be, in our experience we find that abstract ideas must be made concrete within
our own field of vision and activity and that their assimilation is made easier
when presented symbolically rather than in the form of mere intellectual

I was recently informed that the HPB CD-ROM will be out next year. I look
forward to exploring it and seeing what she does have to say or not say about
ritual, as well as a great many other things.

>(2) Authority. The idea of having a bishop with spiritual authority over me
>makes me shudder. . .

Me, too. As an authority is one who exacts obedience, commands and judges, it
begins to sound like the spiritual police. Unfortunately, this was what the
term, bishop, came to mean for the orthodox church. IMHO, I believe it was
originally meant to be someone who was closer to the Light and could give a
greater blessing than a priest. In my experience, bishops in the LCC held no
authority over the layperson, only the clergy under them.

>(3) Churchiness.

>(4) History. The founding of the LCC does not appear to *me* to be from
>Masters, but from ordinary folks who thought "Hey, let's reform
>Christianity!" Questions about Leadbeater's character and those of his
>compatriots make the founding of LCC and its subsequent history hard for me
>to appreciate.

Recently, Theos-l had a raging discussion about the rather tawdry lives of the
founders of this country. Many of the past Popes fathered children. Several
gurus have fallen from grace because they couldn't keep their hands out of the
cookie jar or off their disciples. One great blessing in the study of history
is that we learn from the mistakes of the past. I hope!

>But before I get flamed for my . . .

There is only thing you'll get flamed for and that is forgetting number 5! ! !

5) No female clergy
I've always wondered what possessed CWL to exclude women, when he was so gung-ho
about including them in the Co-Masons. My guess is that it would have been too
revolutionary for the times, since the church started before women could even

Unfortunately, the idea of a male-only clergy is still being vigorously upheld,
making the church look like dinosaur from the past. That's one of the reasons I
left the LCC and joined the gnostic church, where I have been admitted to holy

- ann

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