Re: The Spirit of Theosophy: Why the cut off date of 1880?
Jun 16, 1996 11:46 AM
by alexis dolgorukii
At 12:52 PM 6/16/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Alexis, what happened in 1881? Why do you stop at 1880? HPB was
>alive until 1891. Was she less of an enthusiastic iconoclast from
>1881 till 1891?
Glad to answer your question. And yes, I can say that your summation is
probably the most important one. She did stop being such an enthusiastic
iconoclast in 1880. As I see it, when she began "pushing" not Eastern
Philosophy, but eastern religion and "The Mahatmas"; she ceased to be an
iconoclast altogether and became a hagiographer.
As I see it, and of course this is simply a personal view of one who has
studied the over-all picture for many years, the character and flavor of
Theosophy just prior to, and for all times after, it's removal to India was
an almost 180 degree "turn-around" from the theosophical movement that was
founded in New York city in 1875. It was distinctly a gigantic change from
Yelena Blavatskaya's activities prior to 1875.
As I said earlier, this was what I consider to be the "cut-off" line between
theosophy as an antidote to religion and Theosophy as religion. I am an
entirely "equal opportunity disapprover". I disapprove very strongly of ALL
religions, every single one of them, with no exceptions, as I believe they
foster and cater to the least attractive aspects of homo-sapient character.
The kind of Theosophy I call "Orthodox Theosophy" or "Literalist Theosophy"
of course joins all other religions as objects of my disapprobation.
It seems to me that there's an absolutely awesome chasm between the "Second
Object" which encourages the unbiased comparative scrutiny of all religions,
all philosophies, and "science" as it existed in 1875; and the "Pushing" of
Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism crossed with Dualistic Brahmanism that became the
hall mark of Theosophy just before, and then after, the removal to India. Do
you see what I mean? There's a big difference between encouraging the
comparative study of all religions and proselytizing for one particular
blend of religions.
Why did I choose 1880? Well, it's three years after the publication of "Isis
Unveiled" in 1877. Now "Isis" is, I believe an perfect example of her
"enthusiastic iconoclasm" and it seems to me based upon readings of her
writings, Olcott's reminiscences in "Old Diary Leaves", and various
histories of the Theosophical Society, that the period between 1878-80
showed the beginnings of a "change in focus". One could almost believe that
one "mission" ended, and another "mission" began. But that is nothing one
can be definitive about.
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