RE: "Original Teachings of theosophy" - why perpetuate them ?
Mar 11, 1999 02:58 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Mar 11th 1999
Your post on "slander" and provocation is a fine one. What an
excellent definition - and in line with harmlessness and
As to my contention that there is merit in perpetuating the
"original message." Let me offer you an example elsewhere. Now
what I am going to say is not an "attack" on the Teachings of
Jesus, but, if anything I am taking up the practice of some of
the branches of Christianity and asking the following questions.
[ I could do this easily with Hinduism, or Buddhism, or any
groups in the world where a "religion" has been built up around
the words and teachings of a reformer and made a barrier between
the people and their "savior." And those saviors, may be Buddha,
Lao-Tse, Muhammad, Jesus, or anyone that one believes represents
a high moral Leader. ]
I note how much of a scramble is on nowadays among biblical
Scholars to find the original sources of the BIBLE and Hebrew and
Gnostic texts. Careful translations and comparison with
contemporary texts show that there have been a series of
alterations made in expressing the original teachings.
Alterations, elisions, and perversions of meaning are now being
show up in many areas. The effort to restore and purify the text
that are given to the people have produced a flood of literature
and new translations. Yet, the "Gideon Bible" of the King James
version" can be found in the bedside drawer of most hotels and
motels. I have noted in some cases that something on Buddhism
has been also placed thee, but, why not on Islam, Confucianism,
Zen, theosophy etc. ... ?
I also find that attempts to review and revise ancient texts from
India, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Persia, etc., are in process but
that the Christian overlay that rules our "Western" scholarship
seems to stifle them somewhat.
There is excellent work being done to correlate and codify the
texts by many and Richard Taylor among those who are also
students of theosophy, has been doing this work so well, as an
Peter Marriott just posted a note explaining how the variations
in transliterating oriental words and adjusting them to
pronunciations using Latin letters, occurred historically. This
helps us all.
Back to my example using Christianity as an example of Church
teaching vs. Jesus' teachings.
They find after almost 2,000 years that they need those for
accuracy. At least the scholars do.
The average person is willing to let the minister, priest, etc.
do the interpreting for them. How many can say anything about
the sermon in say 15 minutes after it is over ? Are the
parishioners being taught to think about the teachings given
there? What happens to parishioners who have a sense of right,
and who questions seriously some of the practices and doctrines
or dogmas of their church ? How are the teachings being applied
in every-day life ? do they give respect and regard for others'
religions and teach tolerance, or are they intolerant of other
religions, and if so why ? in our age, those who inquire
broadly, have found that the same code of ethics prevails and is
taught in each religion perhaps in slightly different words. But
the key and basic ideas and recommendation for practice seem to
derive from the one fundamental: Brotherhood. "Do unto others,
as thou would'st have them do unto you."
So, in all this diversity who wins ?
Where is one to place one's faith? Should one uninquiringly
accept a belief in the sense of a set of teachings. It is the
illogical and unethical applications and the gaps in logic that
have ended up in putting upright people on the thinking seat. If
they find that their Church teaches something else than the
prophet in applications, and no sense is to be made for the
change, then maybe they go to the scholars, or to theosophy if
they hear of it, and, they will find in both cases that they are
asked to think out who they are and what they can do.
That usually makes Theosophy appear "cold and unpopular." It
also speaks of ethics as something you can reason out for
yourself. Very few priests or ministers will take to that well,
as their purpose and authority has to change. They tend to
discourage the person from becoming "a priest unto himself." If
no one pays for the priest's services, then where and how will he
find work ?
Theosophical philosophy takes the idea of universal SPIRIT, and
of a Universal omnipresent GOD, and states for that reason, man's
soul is a part of IT and is therefore immortal. It (immortality)
is not something one can gain be adhering to a faith or observing
It also speaks of the OMNISCIENCE of GOD. The all-knowingness
not only comes from universality and universal awareness, but
because GOD's LAWS are self administering and self-adjusting.
There is no "remission of sins." And logically everyone is
responsible for their choices. God does not, and cannot play
favorites at the expense of all the rest of the universe and
conserve his/its integrity. And if the evidence of "miracles" is
advanced, Theosophical knowledge about the operation of the
secret side of nature and the laws that operate there quickly
provides an answer. Many such answers are to be found in ISIS
UNVEILED, and THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Also in many of the articles
that HPB wrote. They have to be looked for and catalogued. But
they are there.
And if one adds to that OMNIPOTENCE, then Man being a portion of
God, can, by his own self-determined efforts and aims, raise
himself to know all that GOD already knows. And why should God
be worried. If it is a personal God it/he/she will welcome the
help. Thus the burden of administration is spread among
thousands and millions of willing helpers.
If one accepts as a hang-over from Judaism the idea of Jehovah
(the angry, wrathful, whimsical, God that enjoys torturing its
subjects for no reason). I ask you what kind of a God is it that
allows the phrase "Lead me not into temptation..." -- as though a
God that the poor, weak, defenseless, women, little children and
the oppressed trust and honor, would do, or allow that ! ]
It is not Christianity alone that has turned the teachings of
moral equity advocated by the gentle reformed Jesus into a
mockery but also the responsibility of all who have allowed that
to happen. And, it is the same if every religion that has been
formalized and in which a priesthood has gown to claim
intermediacy between man and God.
Show the people that the closest place to GOD is in their own
Heart, and a great light will dawn and the mind be turned to
self-control and self-reform.
Apply this now to the statements made by any of the "followers"
an "successors" of HPB who write or try to interpret Theosophy
and please include myself). Everyone of those writers has a
view-point (so do I). It may be a very good one, or it may be
flawed. How does one determine the value of someone's words? By
the mind-held touchstone of universality. Is what is said true
at all times, in all places and for all persons, or is it only
limited in its accuracy and partially applied.
The search for TRUTH demands universality, impersonality, and
impartiality. It has to stand up to the test of logic, of reason
and be capable of applications in a way which harms no one.
Compare the statements made with those of HPB. Then you can and
anyone can decide for themselves which through the greatest light
on any subject considered. All writers will shed some light and
also appeal to a certain group of people, but the question is
more of universality than of personal or group preference.
I think this is enough to expose my views so you can understand
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of
> Gerald Schueler
> Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 1999 7:51 AM
> Subject: Theos-World Response to Dallas
<<I have always thought it was a deep disservice to provide some
kind of a filter between the "ORIGINAL PRESENTATION" of these
the modern student who desired to study them. I say "filter"
matter how well-intentioned the changes
introduced may be, they divert attention, perhaps, from what HPB
and the Masters desired to say. >>
Dallas, I understand your feeling here, but there is another
side to it. It is vitally important to keep the Teachings alive.
If we just keep the original writings and work only from them,
we will soon have a dead letter. Someone recently posted
a long quote from G de Purucker to the effect that words
alone will reduce the TSs to just another religion, and
that it is necessary to keep the spirit of the Teachings alive.
This is done primarily by living the words, but also by
communicating them in newer words. Truth has to be
re-clothed in new expressions or it dies.
I have yet to hear you give examples as to
how the original message is "diverted" or abused by
later writers, although I would agree that CWL tended
to Christianize Theosophy, which is not good. What
other writers do you think have adversely "filtered"
the original message? de Purucker? Just curious.
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