re: stuck in the middle
Jul 12, 1996 12:58 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
>I cannot provide much evidence right now--my impression is based
>on my reading during a long period of time. What first comes to
>my mind is how Olcott as a successor to Blavatsky has been
>chosen, and how Besant has been chosen next.
What do you mean by Olcott being a "successor to Blavatsky"?
Olcott was elected President of the TS in 1875 when it was
founded. HPB was Corresponding Secretary from that time until
1885, when the General Council asked her to resign. The only
other office she held in the TS was General Secretary of the
British Section from about 1887 until her death in 1891. It is
true that Besant did follow Olcott as President of the TS. She
was supposed to have been nominated by Olcott for that office, as
provided by the bylaws. But as you may know, the circumstances
behind that "nomination" are very suspicious.
>>But even in the ES of HPB's day,
>> members took a pledges to their "Higher Self," not to the
>> outer head. Under Besant, that all changed.
>As to the ES of HPB's days, I browsed through Compiler's
>Introduction to "Esoteric Instructions" (Blavatsky's Collected
>Writings, v.12, p. 479-511), and found a lot of refernces to
>Masters, not all of them being in tune with what you had to say
>(e.g. p.488 ["The real Head of the Esoteric Section is a Master,
>of whom H.P.Blavatsky is the mouthpiece for this Section"]).
Yes, HPB claimed to be the direct representative of the Masters.
But as I stated earlier, the members made a pledge to their
higher selves, *not* to HPB or to the Masters. Under Besant,
this changed and she had the members pledge obedience to her.
Another important difference is that in HPB's time, the ES was
*not* formed for the purpose of guiding or manipulating the TS,
but to give further instruction to those who pledged themselves
to make an effort towards spiritual development. Under Besant,
the ES became an outlet for CWL's revelations, and ES members who
wanted to be in favor with the Masters were also expected to be
active in the Liberal Catholic Church, Co-Masonry and if they
seemed to be promising workers for the cause, they would be
invited to join the Egyptian Rite.
Therefore, I agree with your contention that all of these
revelations from the Masters, and the idea of obedience to them
is a major factor in the ruin of the TS. I also agree that this
"karma got built in the very structure of the Society, so there
is little hope for T.S. to survive." But I disagree that this
encouragement of "unquestioning obedience" began with HPB and
HSO. HPB considered this for the ES but realized that such a
method was not suitable for a western audience, so she dropped
the idea immediately. But Besant adopted this idea when she took
over the ES. However, I see a major difference between HPB being
the "mouthpiece" for the Master's teachings, and the changes AB
and CWL brought about to made them spokes persons for what the
Masters desire or do not desire the members to do. To put it
another way, HPB encouraged her students towards autonomy, while
Besant encouraged them towards obedience to the Masters.
Obviously this was a distinction that most members were (and
perhaps still are) unable to make during Besant's time. Those
who did recognize this difference, either stayed on as the loyal
opposition, or left the TS completely. Those who stayed on as
the loyal opposition, had the CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST to express
their views when Besant would not publish them in the journals
under her control. For those who left, some of them started
opposing magazines or Organizations. The Arcane school and the
Anthroposophical Society are two examples.
|Jerry Hejka-Ekins, |
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