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defining theosophy

Nov 01, 1995 10:34 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Jerry S. writes:

>So far we on theos-l can't agree on what theosophy is or what
>it teaches or what we are supposed to be standing for or very
>much else. In a sense this is good. But it sure makes it hard
>to say just what theosophy is. I would really like to think
>that theosophy is more than a organized group of do-gooders.
>Jerry-HE suggests that theosophy has a body of teachings or
>doctrines. Eldon and I both agree. We are now trying to iron
>out what these teachings could be and how we do this without
>them becoming dogmatic.

This might be an opportune point to repeat some of my
observations on this subject. Perhaps it was bad timing and thus
went unheard:

I found two basic problems with defining the word
"theosophy." The first problem is that none of the Theosophical
Organizations have an offical definition for the membership to
memorize and parrot. IMO this was a wise choice since parroted
definitions soon loose meaning. The second problem is an excuse
the expression historical one. We have dictionary definitions
written before the foundation of the TS; we have definitions used
in philosophy; and we have dictionary definitions written after
the foundation of the TS. To say it in another way definitions
of theosophy fall within these three areas of definitions:

1. Intercourse with higher intelligences--or wisdom gained from
the gods. Pre TS

2. An approach to the formation of a philosophy. philosophical

3. A collection of doctrines that draw upon Eastern and Western
religion and philosophy.

The above definitions are paraphrases and not quotes but
you get the idea.

My experience with theos-l is that those who use the third
area of definitions will often disagree upon the content of those
doctrines. This seems to be the gist of the discussion between
Eldon and Jerry S. Those who use the first area of definitions
are very guarded about theosophy becoming a dogma. As for the
second area of definitions I seem to be the sole person on
theos-l to use it. However I recommend that others investigate
it because ot neutralizes the conflict between the second and

Jerry HE

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