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re: historical and doctrinal

Oct 20, 1995 09:22 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Jerry S writes:

Question to Jerry HE - How do you envision that
defining 'theosophy" as the "ancient wisdom" is
going to help solve our communication problems
on theos-l? You seem to be defining one nebulous
word with two other nebulous words, which doesn't
help much.

 I don't: nor did I define theosophy that way, but rather
cited extant definitions in order to point out that these
organizational definitions tend to imply that theosophy is a body
of teachings. As for our communication problems, I don't have a
solution. I suggested earlier (in a rather oblique way) that we
build upon what we all agree upon, but that doesn't seem to work
either--not because of disagreements in common ideas, but
apparently because of an unwillingness by some to build upon
these common ideas.

But I do think if we can agree on a list of doctrines
like reincarnation, cycles, and karma, that we
will be getting at least somewhere. So far, we can't even
agree on what are the "source teachings" let alone what
are the "source doctrines." And, maybe it really
doesn't matter (?).

 Good luck. I've given up. On the other hand, I'm inclined
to agree with you--in many ways it doesn't matter. Yet, I also
have to agree with Rich who writes:

I would gently suggest that it does matter: without a focus,
Theosophical energies in the world will scatter and be absorbed
and diluted.

 And this is precisely what has happened.

There should be a way to lay out a core philosophy and a core set
of ideas without making them dictatorial, enforceable, etc.

 This was done originally, but it appears that the Adyar
Society never succeeded in refocusing after its diversion with
the Krishnamurti episode.

To look to Buddhism for parallels, there are a number of schools,
each with very specific texts, teachers, and meditation
techniques. However, participation in those traditions is
VOLUNTARY, and nothing is enforced. However, if you want to
belong to a school of Buddhism, you are expected to believe what
that school believes, practice what it practices, etc.
Otherwise, switch school, right?


Likewise, I hope that Theosophy will be recognized as a distinct,
clear tradition with specific doctrines and approaches. No one
is forced to accept such doctrines and approaches, but they also
can't say that they don't exist. Being a Theosophist seems to me
a VOLUNTARY thing, but the student who calls him/herself a
Theosophist can not go about saying "I am a Theosophist and
whatever I do and believe is Theosophy."

 This "Theosophy" that you speak of here makes up the body of
teachings of what I like to call "the modern theosophical
movement" to distinguish it from the earlier movements going back
to the neo-platonists or perhaps earlier. Those doctrines of the
modern TM (as I see it) were all given out during HPB's lifetime.
However new doctrines were given out as early as 1895 that differ
significantly from those given out by HPB and her teachers. This
new set of doctrines are what I like to call "neo-theosophy."

Jerry HE

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