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Jun 20, 1996 06:06 PM
by Christopher Allen

At 06:20 PM 6/20/96 -0400, you wrote:
>In my very first message, I mentioned that in my view there was a very broad
>chasm that has developed between those of us (admittedly a minority) who
>view theosophy as a process, and those who see Theosophy as based on a "Core
>Doctrine" which brings it very close to a religion.
>Now as we know this is a development very much feared by HPB who said that
>"If theosophy takes a wrong turn and becomes a religion, it is doomed."

That's a very interesting point.  By this definition one could call Physics
a religion, and to many, it is just that.  I view Theosophy as more than
just a set of core doctrines.  It is a process, but that doesn't invalidate
the core, underlying truths that the founders Unveiled.

My own personal definition of religion involves some deep, reverant
adoration of a supreme deity(ies).  Anything other than that is a science.
I think we may have a problem the day Theosophists start worshiping the
Solar Logos- but I see no problem with the acknowledgement of such entities.

>Today there is a message on this list from Christopher Allen who is
>lamenting a lack of "Core Doctrines" being taught in the vicinity of the

Actually I was upset by the fact that I couldn't locate a group that
discussed the writings of Blavatsky, Leadbeater, Beseant, etc.  I wanted to
understand more of what these writers had to say.  Personally, I found the
Secret Doctrine rather complicated and confusing the first several times of
reading it.  Come to think of it, I still find it rather confusing at times. :-)

>What was it that made those of us who view theosophy as a process
>theosophists? It was four things. The motto of the society: "There is no
>Religion Higher than Truth" (SATYAT-NASTI-PARO-DHARMA) and The Three

Another important aspect resides in the underlying truth common between all
major world religions.  This underlying truth being examined in many of the
"core doctrines" (maybe writings would be a better word).

>Theosophy, therefore is a process of self-transformation, through personal
>action. Now as the three objects are what they are, and as the first of the

Personally I view Theosophy as a way of looking at life, not necessarily the
process through which one lives it.  I think that the religion one may or
may not hold dictates how one lives their life.  I view it this way because
theosophy is *not* a religion, but rather, a set of underlying truths
(explained in the core writings) that tie various religions together.  Hence
the reason that any creed could join- because it held none of it's own.

>objects essentially entails helping to bring about a condition of planetary
>amity and planetary equality and those conditions require absolute liberty,
>it means and requires far more than sitting around and meditating or reading
>theosophical books. It absolutely requires action out in the world to bring
>about the desired conditions. the thing I call "theosophy as process"
>creates a thing I call "theosophists as transactional activists". Yelena

I see it a little differently.  I view the internal, self-transformation,
one goes through as the cause of the outward effect of world-wide harmony
and peace.  Of course this requires everyone to participate ;-)

>One might interpret the second object as an injunction to "ivory tower
>intellectuality". But that's not how I see it,  the process is comparative
>and synthesizing. It's an activist approach to the study and comparisons of
>religions, philosophies, and all the sciences in an inter and intra
>disciplinary manner. Each discipline compared with others like it and then
>cross-disciplinary comparison.

My thoughts exactly.  And what I term the Core Doctrines are the thoughts,
opinions, and findings of those Theosophists who came before us.  It was how
they perceived life, outwardly and inwardly.

>And lastly, and most important of all if the others are to be realized: an
>attempt to become aware of the greater reality outside of physical reality
>by way of a personal quest of paranormality.

Exactly.  Another good point.  Many of the core writings delve into such
aspects of physical reality.  Occult Chemistry is a very interesting one if
I may say so :-)

>All of this is active, all of this is radical, all of this is revolutionary.
>I view myself as a philosophical and theological anarchist, I view Yelena
>Blavatskaya as a philosophical and theological anarchist too.

How is this viewpoint revolutionary with respect to the Theosophist?  Not a
flame, just curious.

>If Theosophy (note the big "T") devolves into a study group devoted entirely
>to the reading and re-reading of a few old books, which may or may not be in
>any way valid in our temporal context, and devotes itself to the religious
>view of those books and the iconization of their authors, then as HPB
>predicted, her movement is dead.

A good process to work on is to understand the underlying truth given out in
these doctrines and writings as they relate to current society.  They're as
equally valid now as they were then, and in my opinion, will be valid
through the next age.  If you read Blavatsky's Cosmogenesis, it spans
Aeons...if one happens to follow that particular writing of hers, the whole
belief system has been around for quite some time ;-)

Christopher Allen

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