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Re: The Importance of Open Communication

Feb 20, 1998 09:15 PM
by Bart Lidofsky

Dr. A.M.Bain wrote:

> In message <>, Bart Lidofsky
> <> writes
> >   But. at least according to HPB, theosophy IS religion.
> So why does TS literature often say that membership is open to people
> of any religion or *none*?  If your remark above is a direct quote, she
> does not say that theosophy is *A* religion.

    Correct. The quote (from the article "Is Theosophy A Religion", found in
her collected writings, or the excellent collection, H. P. B. TEACHES) is,
"Theosophy is not a religion. Theosophy IS religion".

> Ergo, "theosophy" was not the best choice of word, or, the masters
> were saying something different from HPB ....

    My belief is that new knowledge obeys the 2nd principle, and comes in
cycles. New science is found, upsetting the world-view of people, and causing
new philosophies. Then things settle down, and the philosophies become
religion. But then it is discovered that the old science is just a special
case of a more general science, kicking off the cycle again. Theosophy was
found during a religious phase of the cycle, hence its religious leaning in
the early days. Unfortunately, we have since gone through a science phase and
are at the beginning of a philosophy phase, while many old-line Theosophists
have remained in the religious phase (a notable exception was Fritz Kunz' and
Emily Sellon's MAIN CURRENTS IN MODERN THOUGHT, which brought together
prominent scientists and philosophers who were sympathetic towards
theosophical thought).

    In any case, to complete the answer to your questions, in the United
States, a religious educational organization does not have to be, and seldom
is, a place for religious indoctrination (those that do so are generally
registered as religious groups), but can be an ecumenical organization, as
well. We did not lie to the judge, nor concealed any truth, and we were
considered to be a religious educational organization.

    Bart Lidofsky

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