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Re: Pre-HPB-TS

Aug 28, 1996 09:43 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky

> Richard Ihle writes>
> Max, may I ask you to elaborate further on what you mean by "original HPB
> programme" and what the "deviation" from it was?  Are you talking about her
> ES instructions?  If you are talking about the general TS, I can see how THE
> THREE OBJECTS could be considered an original programme, but not really how
> it could be considered an HPB programme.

I meant two opening HPB's articles in the very first issue of The
Theosophist (somewhere in her Collected Writings), one about Theosophy
and another about Theosophical Society. As far as I can remember, she
speaks there about 'abstract Theosophy' (in the spirit of Ammmonias
Saccas and Plotinus) embracing all creeds but not embraced by any of
them. Since perhaps nobody except HPB was able to make sense of 'abstract
Theosophy,' it was simplified to mean 'three objects.' HPB herself in
her many later expositions of the basic principles of Theocophy reduced
it to the three objects.

> My own opinion is that decline in membership etc. is the result of the Outer
> Society's gradual "deviation" over the years from being the natural "nucleus"
> for those who are willing to at least consider the validity of all
> theosophical ideas.  (Here I mean ~generic theosophy~:  "knowledge which at
> least originally derives from transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight,
> or higher perception.")  The doctrines found in HPB's writings will probably
> always remain the most important component of this, of course; however,
> allowing HPB's super-recondite contribution to little-by-little simply become
> known AS ~Theosophy~ does not seem to me like a membership-building strategy.

I understand Theosophy in the same way as HPB (please see above, and
also your definition of 'generic theosophy'),
which does not mean HPB's writings. In a nutshell, (this is my own
interpretation that should agree with HPB's) Theosophy is "Know thyself"
applied to an individual man while Theosophical Society in the perfect
world would mean same applied to humanity. In this sence Theosophy is
not a doctrine.

However, I do not mean that HPB's writings do not contain Theosophy. They
do, unlike almost all other books on Theosophy. As a Sufi said, nothing
expressed in words is truth. This applies to most books on Theosophy,
however, does not exactly apply to at least some of the HPB's writings
as they are not just words--in the same sense as "Om mani padme hum" is
not the same as its supposed translation "Oh, jewel in the lotus." It's
my estimate that around 20% of The Secret Doctrine are not plain words.

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