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Re: Core Teachings

Jun 05, 1996 09:39 PM
by RIhle

Jerry S. writes>
>	Now, I know that we will not get a consensus
>agreement of these Core Teachings here on Theos-l,
>but this does seem like a good place to start.  Now, first
>of all, I want to assure everyone that we are talking about
>Theosophy (cap T) here.  As much as some of us are
>opposed to any core teachings at all, it is essential to
>define "Theosophy" for newbies, advertising, and so on.
>Because after we respond with the three Objectives and
>the requirement for universal brotherhood, the question
>always surfaces about "Yes, but what do theosophsts
>believe in?  What is your doctrine? "

Richard Ihle writes>
Capitalized ~Theosophy~ has already been defined by John Algeo, Eldon, and
others as basically those ideas found in the writings of HPB (and perhaps a
few other associated materials).  John even seems to want to make the
~Theosophical~ in ~The Theosophical Society~ officially stand for just this
definition; Eldon has never actually gone that far, but one suspects that
this development would not disappoint him.

I have more or less given up trying to persuade people that capitalized
~Theosophy~ should be restricted to two meanings:  1) the
organization/movement, and 2) the ineffable universal--Theo-Sophia.  The
"convenient habit" of simply referring to the ideas in THE SECRET DOCTRINE
etc. as "Theosophy" seems just too well-established.  If I cannot get someone
whom I respect as highly as you to consider the crystalizing implications of
this undoubtedly E.S.--approved usage, I know I am defeated.

However, other than for the purpose of possibly formally announcing that you
are "signing on" with the majority in regard to the capital ~T~, I guess I do
not understand the intent of your post.  Is it to suggest an alternative to
the party line or something?  In other words, do you possibly want to
establish a ~fourth~ (!) definition for capitalized ~Theosophy~ to mean
subject matter related to the topics you listed, irrespective of whether or
not a person's understandings about their content/workings agree with HPB or

If this is the case--oh, what the hell, I'll go along with you:  maybe if we
can get about a thousand definitions for capitalized ~Theosophy~ people will
sooner or later throw them all out and take another look at the broad
definition (basically stolen from multiple dictionaries) I offered for
uncapitalized ~theosophy~:

"Knowledge which has its base in, or at least originally derives from
transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight or higher perception."

(By the way, I was interested that one of Eldon's posts on alt.theosophy--it
has disappeared now for some reason--chose to define small ~t~ ~theosophy~ in
an ultra-vague, short-shrift way as something like "an individual's spiritual
path" rather than use any variant of the more substantial-sounding
foregoing--which I know he has seen several times.  It seems that "newbies"
will get many definitions of both T/theosophies depending upon the purposes
and generosity-toward-opponents of those who are there to help them. . . .)

Anyway, Jerry, are you now numbered with those who feel there exists
somewhere a properly catholic answer to the question "What do theosophists
believe (!) in?"


Richard Ihle

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