Re: THEOSOPHY AS A PROCESS
Jun 22, 1996 10:57 AM
by alexis dolgorukii
At 01:46 AM 6/22/96 -0400, you wrote:
>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.
You know I know many Quantum theorists and Particle physicists and not one
of them has an attitude towards their admittedly speculative science which
is based upon such observation as is available to them, that fits any
definition of "religion". Now, I do find statements like \: "truths which
the founders unveiled" to be of a distinctly religious flavor because of the
unavoidable air of reverence about them.
>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 Chris, that you have a much looser definition of "science" than I do.
>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.
But Chris, many of them do, in particular people who follow in the footsteps
of CWL who very clearly worshipped the "Masters" it's apparent in every word
that he wrote. How do YOU explain the fact that during the "twenties" adult,
supposedly intelligent Europeans prostrated themselves before both Annie
Besant and Jiddu Krishnamurti. If that isn't worship I don't know what is.
>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
I'd be astonished if you didn't find it confusing, even some people i've met
who practically know it by heart find it confusing at times. But, I think it
was meant to be confusing, I think it can be described as a very elaborate
Zen Koan. A thing designed to get a person so confused that they break
through the walls of their conditioning and education and begin to think for
themselves. I've been studying this material for almost thirty years now and
have a good library of Theosophical Written Works. What I've boiled it down
to is this: "Core Theosophy" is about 94.5% CWL, .5% Annie Besant
(comparative exegesis indicates pretty clearly that Mrs. Besant simply
"signed on to things CWL wrote for her) and only 5% H.P.B. It is my belief
that if one wishes to really study "Core Theosophy" one should concentrate
not simply on Blavatsky herself, but upon such of her work that could not
have been subject to severe revisionism in the years after Besant and
Leadbeater assumed absolute control over the Society after Olcott's passing.
>>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).
I really do think it would. "Basic theories", or "basic writings" do not
carry the philological and semantic freight that the word "Doctrines" does.
"Doctrines" is nearly synonymous with "Dogma" and they both have overtones
of infallibility about them. There are distinctly commonalities between the
World's major religions, of that there is no question. BUT, whether or not
those commonalities have any thing to do with intrinsic "truth" remains to
be seen. I, by the way prefer the word "reality" to the word "truth" as the
latter word also bears too much semantic freight. There is a better than
equal chance that a strenuous comparative study of all religions, and
especially of their commonality, may be more likely to produce an
understanding that none of them are of any value. At least that's what it
did for me.
>>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.
It seems to me that "the way one looks at life" IS the process through which
one lives it. If in fact "Religion" dictates how one lives one life...what
then of those of us who are Agnostic (as I am) or Atheist?
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.
I think that the "core writings" are speculative philosophy and nothing
more, as nothing more is possible.
>>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 ;-)
If the entire Human Race sat around on their bottoms 24 hours a day and
"meditated" the world would be an island of quiet and passivity, simply
because no one was doing anything at all, but there would be no real harmony
or peace. Real harmony an peace require active and intelligent participation
and dedication and personal sacrifice. I adamantly believe that "good works"
are infinitely more valuable than
>>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
>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.
Chris: I am a theosophical historian and if you've been reading some of my
other messages, and tuning into the thread on theos-list regarding CWL
you'll find that some of the "theosophists who came before us" were insane,
and some of them were terribly bad people.
>>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 :-)
It's clearly your absolute right to say so, it is also my absolute right to
say that, in my opinion, it is absolute nonsense.
>>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.
Chris, it is "revolutionary" to the Big "T" Theosophist because it is
entirely catalytic, and if followed to it's logical end, it will completely
overturn (that after all is the goal of revolution) their entire view of
theosophy and themselves. That I think qualifies as "revolutionary". Don't you?
>>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 ;-)
Chris: When you (or anyone) uses a phrase like: "underlying truth given out"
as opposed to say, "concepts presented", they are "muddying the waters, as
it were. We are discussing speculative philosophy of speculative
metaphysics, that's all. When we start talking about "truths given out" were
really talking about "revealed truth" and that, my friend, is the religious
approach not the intellectual approach. Metaphysics is not so much a "belief
system" as a systematic methodology for the attempt to comprehend abstract
realities. It postulates the existence of a greater reality outside of, and
beyond, physical realities. This is a greater reality that must be
experienced not "learned about". Other peoples "travelogues' are of value
only to themselves.
In Friendly disagreement
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