Re: Theosophy is a Coined Term
Jun 08, 1996 09:22 PM
>>Richard Ihle writes>>
>>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 would see a use for a diversity of specializations
>among theosophical organizations, including one or a
>few with a -- gasp! -- actual interest in preserving and
>passing on the source teachings of Theosophy.
Does an organization based upon THE THREE OBJECTS seem like the natural
candidate for specialization?
Anyway, I do not believe that an ever-shrinking Society made up of experts on
the source teachings, semi-experts, and some confused people who think they
might want to be experts someday will help preserve or pass along HPB's
writings. In my opinion, the genius of the Founders' original plan ~must~ be
understood and followed--viz., attract a large number of Truth-seekers and a
certain "elite" percentage will naturally start gravitating toward HPB's
writings. The "HPB percentage" is never likely to change; the actual number
it represents can only grow when more general Truth-seekers are attracted.
I would not even object to the E.S.'s continuing control over the general
Society if only they had some grasp on the original organizational idea and
the forebearance and finesse to keep it in proper operation. You, Jerry S.,
and John Algeo are not the first to come up with the idea of trying to turn
the ~entire outer Society~ into a simulacrum of the inner Society by means of
further defining the doctrines that the outer is to be officially associated
At this stage in its history, the Theosophical Society should almost be
synonymous with general Truth-seeking of a spiritual and metaphysical nature.
It is not. Thank you, certain present and former members, for you have now
almost won your great battle to purge the Society of the little ~t~
theosophists. All the little t's wanted was to belong to a Society which
championed the validity of theosophical ~epistemology~--i.e., the idea that
valid knowledge is possible by transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight
or higher perception--and the idea of the personal Quest, wherever it might
lead. Now, as you are preparing to give the little t's their hats and coats
and politely explain that the T.S. is really not meant to be as general as
that, where will you suggest that they go--the Unitarians?
Indeed, as if it were not bad enough that you, certain present and former
members, have almost succeeded in making the term ~Theosophy~ stand
specifically for (or "be consistent with") HPB's understanding and
articulations of the doctrines, you also want to make the very name of the
Society officially ~stand for~ these doctrinal articulations as well. You
want all foreheads clearly stamped with ~T = HPB~ before they enter the Tent.
Paradoxically, the doctrines in question are my primary interests as well;
however, my forehead is stamped with ~t = I'll See~.
Let me hasten to say, Eldon, that I do not believe you and Jerry S. have the
full-coagulating attitude which may well ultimately be responsible for the
demise of the Society. (At this point, the Society's will-to-clot seems so
inexorable that perhaps only direct intervention of the Masters can get it
back on track toward becoming the pre-eminent organization for the type of
Truth-seeker who is willing to consider the validity of theosophically based
knowledge.) I am more-so thinking of others at the moment. . . .
For example, those responsible for the possible passing of QUEST MAGAZINE.
Is it really the money issue, or is it that the publication has too much of
the traditional outer-Society, little ~t~ orientation for the liking of
certain individuals? The Fog Index has been offered as another explanation.
Yes, it might have been hard for some people to read, I agree; however,
compared with the subjects that you, Jerry S., and many others want to more
strictly identify as ~Theosophy~, QUEST may possibly live in people's
memories as having had the reading ease of a tabloid. Extended discourses on
swabhava, the mechanisms of Devachan, etc.: these will have to be analyzed
with the new Fog-on-Fog Index. . . .
Sometimes I cannot help but wonder whether the Theosophy-really-means-this
people really want thousands of new, freely Questing people for the Society,
or whether they just want a relatively few more individuals in
student-bondage to themselves. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but have
you noticed that many of those who want a strict doctrinal definition of
~Theosophy~ often include primarily those subjects they themselves are expert
in? If you defined Theosophy, I would have to show up at your feet to learn
what it is; if I defined it . . . well, you could give me a shine while I
pontificated. . . .
>I think that Jerry S. is indicating that there is something
>to the theosophical ideas themselves. Perhaps he recognizes
>that there are definite doctrines to be written about and
>presented to the new student, and that there's more to
>Theosophy than a seeker's club where people compare opinions
>but have nothing to come together to study apart from
>playing "show and tell".
Richard Ihle writes>
If Theosophy (the org.) truely became a seeker's club, there would be a great
renaissance. Right now it seems moving in the direction of becoming even
more of a speaker's club for the approved and a sleeper's club for the rest.
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