[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

re: re what draws them in

Oct 11, 1995 03:42 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Someone wrote:

> We too often overlook these objects and forget that when HPB
>founded the T.S. there was no Secret Doctrine, no Mahatma
>Letters. These seminal documents were given to us but only
>later. The original members were hearing lectures on the lost
> canon of proportion of the Egyptians.

We also must not overlook the fact that when the TS was founded,
there were no three objects. The now familiar first object did
not appear until 1878--three years after the TS was founded. The
present wording of the three objects (of the Adyar TS) was not
adopted until 1896.

JRC (responding to the first quote above)
An *excellent* point, and one that, if remembered, might curb
the attempts so many have made over the years to narrow the
originally broad range of studies and activities that composed
Theosophy. HPB *herself* never would have claimed to be teaching
"source" Theosophy, only that she was one of countless messengers
that have appeared over the centuries, each articulating but a
tiny and incomplete piece of an almost incomprehensibly large
body of teachings ... none of the messengers claiming to be
talking about anything other than a small piece, and all of
them framing those pieces to be suited to the times in which they
were living.

An interesting view. Mine is a little different, but not
necessarily contradictory. HPB called her teaching "the secret
doctrine" and claimed it to be the teachings of her teachers.
Those teachings of her teachers are what I (and I think you)
would call "source Theosophy." Yet HPB's teachings are also what
I would call "source", though they are admittedly secondary to
her teachers, and not "source" in the sense that I think you mean
to use the word, they are still source to us because they form
the soul of our modern theosophical literature, from which the
later writers played off of. So I think we can fairly use the
word "source" in two senses here with equal validity. As you
say, HPB was not giving out the whole of "the secret doctrine"
yet neither has anyone else, so we can only speculate upon what
that complete body of teaching would look like. But if we accept
HPB's teachings to be a piece of that body of teachings, then it
is reasonable to expect that the larger whole, and any further
teachings by others will be consistent with what she has given to
us. If they are not, then I think it should be noted and we need
to ask why. Thus this comparison of teachings to HPB is not
because she is necessarily less fallible, but because HPB's
teachings came first, and the later teachings claim consistency
with her's. These claims of consistency gives us an opportunity
to test those newer teachings by comparing them back to HPB's.

As Robbins says, "Ideas are made by masters, dogma by disciples,
and the Buddha is *always* killed on the road." I sometimes think
the reason why the spirit of great leaders rarely lasts long is
because they are nailed to crosses by their enemies while they
are alive, and nailed to pedestals by their followers after
they're dead.


Jerry HE


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application