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Re: Various and Sundry

Jun 22, 1996 01:07 PM
by RIhle

Paul Johnson writes>

>Re: Theosophy as process.  HPB put it this way (pardon my
>paraphrase); "Theosophy is the philosophy of rational
>explanation of things, not the specific tenets."  And
>"Theosophist is as Theosophy does" NOT "Theosophist is as
>Theosophy *believes*"-- which I take to mean both attaining
>some level of gnosis and transforming your life accordingly.

Richard Ihle writes>

Welcome back, Paul!  Did anyone mistake you for a local inhabitant?

While you were gone, things on theos-l got better, then got worse, then got
much worse, then got great for a second, then got far worse than they have
ever been, then there was a group orgasm, then we realized everyone was
faking it, then things got worse again. . . .

I think I am in agreement with "theosophy as a process."  More simply,
however, I am convinced that we have to hold fast to the idea that the
Society includes both "dictionary definitions" (both small and capital T).
 Right now it is my perception that John Algeo and others, by seemingly
pushing for the idea that the ~Theosopical~ in ~The Theosophical Society~
stands for capital-T = HPB's doctrines, are trying to squeeze the general
Truth seekers out of the Society completely.

By organizing the Society around THE THREE OBJECTS, it seems clear to me that
the Founders had the broad epistemological definition (small ~t~) in mind for
the general membership.  (~theosophy~:  "knowledge derived, at least
originally, on transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight or higher
perception.")  By "weeding" the Society of members who do not necessarily
believe all the "core doctrines" but who are nonetheless willing to consider
knowledge which comes via theosophical epistemology, John and others (if this
is indeed their purpose) may be pulling up much of HPB's most worthwhile
future crop.

Jack Hatfield's letter to the editor (resigning membership) in the latest AT
may be a harbinger in this regard.  John's answer probably did not give him
much satisfaction; it certainly did not beg him to stay or anything.  Bill
Delahunt's article just preceding perhaps sums up the reality better than
John did:  "If you are not open to the study or consideration of Theosophical
teachings, then why do you want to be part of the Society whose mission it is
to teach and promote those ideas?"

Did you catch the subtle machination in the second part of the sentence?
 While we are undoubtedly all open to study etc., where in THE THREE OBJECTS
does it say anything about a "official mission" to teach and promote HPB's
ideas?  I can perhaps live with this as the sort of  "quiet understanding" it
has been for over a hundred years; however, the new fatuous and/or mendacious
overtness regarding this subject is pretty amazing and depressing.

Anyway, glad you are back.


Richard Ihle

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