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Re: Defining Theosophy

Feb 21, 1997 09:55 AM
by Titus Roth

Jerry Hejka-Ekins <> wrote

> I think Blavatsky's intention for the Organizational exposition of Theosophy
> is well outlined in the KEY TO THEOSOPHY.  Here she makes it very clear that
> the Theosophical Society has teachings (not dogmas).

Yes. There is nothing wrong with an identity, a focus. Teachings provide this,
but as you say, they are not intended to be dogmas.


> Though, in London, most members of the TS were drawn into it because of
> Blavatsky.  A.P. Sinnett complained of this.  He had a competing Lodge in
> London where he had his own teachings and claimed to be in contact with the
> Masters through a medium who he identifies as "Mary."

An aside ...

This is why I am a little wary of a few of Sinnetts letters which he claims
come from the Masters - especially the later ones. Like K. Paul Johnson, I
think we should keep our eyes open when reading things attributed to the
Masters and I applaud his scholarship. Unlike Paul, I do happen to believe M,
KH et al. really existed.


> I've known many old time Theosophists who never read Blavatsky.
> In fact, during the 20's and 30's members were discouraged from
> doing so, and encouraged to read the newer material published by
> Besant and Leadbeater.  I agree that HPB never wanted her books
> to become Theosophical Bibles, but I don't think the TS ever
> wanted this either.  Rather, I believe that the vast majority of
> TS members are ignorant of HPB's writings, and I would say the
> majority of the management too.

Astonishing, but I'd believe it. There seems to be a movement these days away
from reading the classics in a field. When I studied Jung, for instance, most
of my class mates read from Jungians, not Jung. I have nothing against reading
Jungians. Certainly depth psychology did not stop with Jung, but why disregard
the luminaries that brought the first and often most vital impulse in a new


> I think the TS has long blaimed and misrepresented the "Back to
> Blavatsky" rhetoric as a cause of their problems.  They blame the
> "Back to Blavskyites" as the cause of disruption in the TS.  But
> the "Back to Blavatsky" argument as posed by H.N Stokes in 1918
> was not a plea to banish all but Blavatskian Theosophy, but to
> banish the growing dogma in the Society--to go back to the
> undogmatic days of Blavatsky.

Well said. One should look often at the spirit brought by pioneers, but not
get stuck on an ossified body left by them. Pioneers in any field carried
something vital. This vital thing was not always the doctrines left behind,
but I think if a study of their works is done rightly, it enhances the growth
and evolution of what they brought.


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