RE: theos-l digest: February 01, 1999 == What is the purpose of Theosophy ? What did HPB do ?
Feb 02, 1999 01:56 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
I think I understand what you say when you speak of your reaction
to some of HPB's statements. In many cases she makes statements
that I found to be "explained" in another part of her writings -
and that can be exasperating, as it makes one wait for a long
time in some cases for a reasonable answer.
Theosophy isn't a "quick study."
But I have found that when she writes, she does explain away so
many of the current gaps in knowledge and information that I have
become convinced that Theosophy covers our information needs with
great reasonableness - not so that we will "believe" blindly, but
rather that we may trust it, and still have the latitude and the
need to "find out" for ourselves. I think that it encourages the
attitude of "attention" and "constant vigilance" and does not
reject these. In that sense it is not a "belief" system that
demands blind adherence to "authority." There is a vast
difference between stating facts that one knows and insisting
that others adopt their expression even if they do not
understand. Theosophy rejects such a concept and demands
individual investigation as a vigorous part of learning.
>From that point of view it does not conform with the normal
concept of a "religion." But, is we look at "religion" as the
binding together of people and ideas, then what it does (for me)
is to encourage me to discover if its propositions are facts. So
I reach out to anyone who has concepts similar or opposed to
You might call it a "do it yourself religion." In that case it
assumes the position of philosophy and science, as both logic and
(and truth in reporting) are essential to it as a "whole."
HPB made no claims for herself, only that she was a
"transmitter." And the transmission consisted in information
which ancient Sages (who had taught themselves about Nature and
her workings long, long ago) felt it necessary for anyone of us
to know about. (see SD I 272-3 for a description of this method
>From that point of view it is the presentation of a course in the
study of Nature and of one's self and of others. It tends to
universalize and impersonalize, so as to avoid any hard and fast
ideas that stem from a personal bias -- of one or a few
So, pursuing this, one can see that some things become clearer
and others seem darker, and we are left to distinguish between
both, without any coercion.
The value of a "chat" group such as this is that we can share
what we discover and by comparison we can secure a greater
assurance of accuracy.
The main thrust of Theosophy is that our Consciousness and
Intelligence are the result of our being, at core, an eternal
being - a PERCEIVER - a Unit Ray of the ONE UNIVERSAL
ABSOLUTENESS. As we travel through time and experience, we
reincarnate. The Universe in its operative and evolutionary
progress has provided vast and infinitely sensitive plans of
operation, and these strict rules of cooperation involve every
aspect of living Nature and all is components.
Our physical, emotional, mental and "spiritual" aspects
(principles) are a part of the living tools of which the whole
Universe is formed, from the minutest sub-atomic particle to the
grates range of SPACE. We Perceive these, living and operating
around and in us - as our bodies are made of the living, basic
Life-Atoms of nature.
We, as Perceivers, are Life-Atoms that have acquired
self-consciousness over an enormously long evolution, and we are
now proceeding to the acquirement of that experience and
knowledge that will enable us to see the most minute, as well as
the grandest aspects of the whole Universe. This is not a
process that binds us to blind-belief but rather, it s free, and
interiorly, innately, we know we are free beings. We are in the
process of self-consciously accelerating that capacity.
Time is not a factor. Our character and innate natures are
evidence of the experience we have stored. Our present life is
evidence of the lessons we can learn now, as well as the good and
the bad things we have done in the past ( of this life, as well
as of past lives). And that is called in general Karma. [ Karma
is thus the Laws that rule the Universe or a solar system, and
the adjustments that pursue an individual who knowingly or
unknowingly breaks the rules of brotherhood and compassion. ]
All these facts, we can verify by carefully reviewing them in our
minds and determining how much we know and what additional areas
we need to become competent in.
We are presented with a tangible "Goal." It is the acquirement
of all the knowledge and wisdom that he entire Univese offers.
This is mind-boggling to our brain-mind as we know we do not have
time in any one life to encompass such a goal. But if we take
the idea of immorality for the REAL MIND - the eternal Pilgrim,
called sometimes the HIGHER EGO in us, then we can see that
reincarnations and a string of personalities is like a series of
"days" experiences at a school - the vast School of Life.
I hope this may be of some service to you in understanding the
difference between a teaching and a "teacher" - such as HPB was.
She did not come to present those ideas to any one religion,
nation, science, or a group of academics. She came to offer them
to mankind so that any one, with any background, could think
about them and then see if they were reasonable and worth using
She is thus the despair of the academics who limit themselves to
a specific area of study. Theosophy being universal in the past,
draws for its modern expression, words and ideas that can be
traced to older religions and philosophies, and because it is
ageless, it mixes up the key words so as to emphasize key ideas
that are common in all of them. Theosophy in its modern
presentation can be read and understood by those whose background
may derived from any of the great religious, philosophical or
I do hope this proves to be of some us.
Best wishes, as always,
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