Nov 30, 1995 05:25 AM
by K. Paul Johnson
Yesterday Coherence repeated his earlier impression that many
posters on theos-l did not find Theosophy spiritually
nourishing. Funny but I have never gotten that impression
from a single one of us. Which probably indicates that we mean
different things by either `Theosophy' or `spiritually
By definition really theosophy is spiritually nourishing--
else it wouldn't be theosophy. With the capital T meaning the
teachings/movement emanating from HPB lots of people don't
find it so but that presumably doesn't include any of us.
Certainly not me although I suspect things I've said may
number me among those Coherence is thinking of. Why would any
of us be here if not?
On the other hand many of us have expressed various ways we
have found Theosophical organizations lacking in nourishment
for us; but that's the organizations not Theosophy. And
having read the SD cover to cover four times in my early years
I don't expect to find any nourishment in doing so again-- you
can't step into the same river twice or at least not five
times in my case. Others have expressed similar feelings.
But it certainly was and is spiritually nourishing.
It is however quite a different matter if we ask: does the
Theosophical literature/movement/etc. provide nourishment that
is balanced complete and appetizing to the extent that we have
little interest in anything else? I'd have to say I find the
ARE literature more balanced more focused on integrating
physical emotional mental and spiritual well-being-- yet less
satisfying from a purely intellectual point of view. Jerry S.
might say something similar about Magick or Alan about
Kabbalah. But IMO what HPB and her Masters intended the
Theosophical movement to be was not a complete balanced
spiritual meal that would satisfy all the needs of the
members. Rather it would bring together people who derived
nourishment from a great variety of sources-- who would then
nourish one another largely because of this diversity. In
which case are we not a microcosm here on theos-l of that
This metaphor of nutrition made me think about ways different
people assimilate Theosophy. When I found it at 24 I
proceeded to "swallow it whole"-- devouring ALL of HPB's works
later Purucker's other secondary stuff and having little
interest in other things. Later the same thing happened with
Fourth Way literature and the works of Idries Shah. But this
kind of compulsiveness and narrowness of focus is typical of
the young. It's hard to imagine someone encountering Theosophy
in middle age acting that way; they would have more background
in life and would assimilate more slowly and selectively. I'm
currently working my way through the 24 volumes of Cayce
readings finding plenty of nourishment but without the sense
of personal hunger that motivated the HPB phase. Rich Taylor's
mention of getting instruction in Theosophy through dreams
echoed exactly what I went through long ago. If you assimilate
the stuff during the day you're bound to digest it nocturnally.
Anyhow I'm rambling and it's time to go eat. But Coherence's
comments deserve further exploration so I'll end with
How do you whoever cares to comment find Theosophy
spiritually nourishing? How does this compare to nourishment
found elsewhere? to ways you found it nourishing in the past?
to the experience of other Theosophists you know? This
metaphor could really help us understand one another better.
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