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FW: Theos-World What does Theosophy have that others don't?

Sep 04, 1999 12:33 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

Sept 3rd 1999

Dear Friend:

I thought the enclosed might be interesting to you to consider and
perhaps comment on.

Best wishes,



-----Original Message-----
> Subject: RE:  What has Theosophy to offer that others don't?
> From: On Behalf Of W. Dallas TenBroeck
> Date: Thursday, September 02, 1999

Sept 2nd 1999

Dear Friends:

Thanks -- enjoyed reading the discussion.  I would say off-hand that
there is a wide difference between psychic transmissions of
information that is deemed to be possibly "spiritual" and those that
are truly spiritual because of their innate worth and continued

No matter how letters or messages are said to be transmitted, it is
the content alone that
determines if they are "in line" with the "Message" of the Mahatmas.
The phenomenal delivery is a distraction.  As you can see from the
history of the TS and its members -- all that which has followed such
revelations.  It was the personal and the psychic that produced
divisions.  It was not the philosophy.  Nor can the philosophy be held
responsible for personal shortcomings.  Those who have studied it,
know that it is coherent and is an expression of the facts and
operations of nature as a vast cooperative which takes into account
every least part of the One Being.

HPB and Theosophy appeal for UNITY.  A unity of what ?  Names and
numbers?  I think not, but a unity in devotion to the CAUSE of
Theosophy -- which is the enlightenment of the human race.  It is a
personal dedication of the wisdom that the wise may acquire through
their study of Theosophy, for the benefit of mankind as a whole.  And,
especially for the present cycle of evolution which involves us all.
All true wisdom is a gift.  Students have to learn how to apply it in
their own lives.  It cannot be done for them.  Nor can their mistakes
be mitigated by anyone but themselves.  Karma demands that.

Why is there wisdom and learning in the world?  Is it not given to
inspire those who access it to a higher level of living?  Do these not
speak to the achievements that have already been made and which
encourage us to emulate in effort those who have preceded us?  Are we
not faced with the inquiry:  "Why is everything not better for us and
the World, if such knowledge is available?"  Then, we wonder how it is
possible that we find ourselves, in general, in difficulties, and we
meet circumstances that are painful and troublesome.

If one carefully reads the FIVE MESSAGES (from HPB to the American
Conventions, 1888 to 1891)  that becomes very clear.  But this
practical application is not set out in the form of rites, rituals or
methods.  Principles are given to consider and apply if the student
finds them reasonable.  Having shown the reason -- BROTHERHOOD, based
on the ONE SPIRITUAL SOURCE -- that every being shares in, HPB leaves
it to the aspirants to determine how they will proceed each in his own
way, but, hopefully each will be inspired to achieve a greater unity
to the rest.  Then, if firmly applied, in a cooperative manner, that
lead to a progress that all share in.  It is "diversity within certain
limits" that makes for the real strength of the Theosophical Movement.
A "Unity of units."

But the sameness is not one of ritual or rote, it is an interior one
of the "heart."  All hearts are aimed individually at a common
objective:  to become WISE.  One has to learn the difference between
the "Head (or "Eye") Doctrine -- which is all head learning and
memory, and that of the "Heart" or Buddhi-Manasic Doctrine -- which is
the one that weighs the moral and ethical value of all acquired (Head)
learning, and alters that into discriminative wisdom when  the
applications are grasped.   Then all relationships become a "contest
of smiles" as devotees seek to assist each other and learn to trust
and view all events as opportunities to be shared.  This is what
brings to life the ideals that shine through each other's eyes and
willing hands.  Nothing is ever imposed, but only suggested, or

Controversy begins when this remains unresolved.  The inability to
resolve is when the student cannot perceive whether the communication
is one that is "in line" with the "original impulse," the "original
method," and the "original objects."

I know this sounds awfully vague, but the aspirant to secret and
occult wisdom using the hints that Theosophy offers, has to make
himself into the "key" that will open the Gates of Gold.  He alone can
do this for himself.

The "Guru" may point the way, (HPB has done this repeatedly) but, the
adoptions and applications depend on the student's ability to study
and understand what he has been shown.  He alone (by choices he makes
himself) determines his own future and fate.  The presence or absence
of the Master" is not relevant, as the Master with his powers and
constant concern for the inner development of the disciples is able at
any time to cognize the nature of the student's mental and moral
state.  The student ought never to anticipate the Masters' physical
presence -- it is unnecessary.  These things have to be most deeply
thought over.  No one can make true progress in Theosophy without
devoting some time daily to its study and consideration -- as a duty
not to enhance ones' self-elevation, but as a debt that is due to
humanity as a whole -- so as to "point out the way" whenever needed.

Take HPB or the Masters -- ask simply:  Are they alive and present
now?  If Immortality and reincarnation are facts, then They Are.

Next:  why do they not manifest?  Is it not because they have left a
"Teaching" that is first to be LEARNED AND ASSIMILATED BY THOSE WHO
MIGHT HOPE TO "SEE " THEM?  Those who hold the ideal of HPB or the
Masters in their hearts are with them all the time.  They dedicate
their lives to working for Theosophy in the world.  They do not need
physical or even psychic manifestations to assure themselves of that
continued Presence.

Read the history of HPB's phenomena and the few doubters that were
never convinced of its honesty.  This is why phenomena were
discontinued. Sinnett profited the most, but even to the last he
remained a phenomenalist and eventually turned against HPB -- what a
pity.  And so too Theosophical History reveals, did Olcott.  No wonder
that the TS split and split again into factions and now is almost
wholly political keeping together a shell of the original, and almost
none of its original impulse, except in name.

Draw together all that the literature offers on Initiation, on the
major teachings of Theosophy and you will find that this is what can
be culled from it.

It is never a matter of superficial, or external reading that can do
this.  At best (in reading alone) one becomes very learned -- in terms
of memory in regard to any philosophy or
"-ism."  But that does not necessarily give "depth."  The "Heart
Quality" has to be apprehended intellectually, and then aspired to.
>From there the practice of discovery has to proceed.  Thinking
carefully about statements made in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE helps in
this.  Patanjali makes clear the distinction between the powers of the
"embodied mind" and those that are the powers of the immortal, the
spiritual Mind.

But even there, those are not clear unless one realizes that Patanjali
is hinting at the moral universe and the continual impact of the
personal volition and motive on the nature of our thinking and our
desire nature.

The doctrine of the "Skandhas" is to be seen applied here.  Each of
the Skandhas (the life-atoms) is also a Monad.  Each of those as we
use them are impressed with our thought-feelings.  It goes out into
the world and attaches itself successively to places and persons with
which it also has earlier karmic relations, and influences them.
Eventually it returns to us.  The cycle of such return may be rapid or
slow, depending on its nature and the adjustments that are constantly
made by Nature with all the rest of our active Karma.   Considering
this one important fact that unites us on the psycho-mental plane with
the rest of living nature, it can be surmised that no portion of our
selfishness can possibly remain without tainting the nature and the
aspiration of the disciple.  The "key" so formed is imperfect and the
"Gates" refuse to unlock.

How is such a statement to be understood?  How does it relate to our
ability to access the Masters?  Does it serve as a possible barrier?
The laws of esotericism and occultism require of each of us an
alteration in our motives and outlook on living.  If we are immortals
along with everything else, then all we do, think and feel adds or
deducts from our rate of individual progress.  But it is essential to
first grasp an idea of what the Goal may be and whether we are
actually in search of  THE ONE GOAL, or of some idealized,
personalized and selfishly aimed achievement, eminence or "power."
In that Occultism that Theosophy speaks about, only the most
universal, ideal, harmless, and unselfish motives have to become the
basis for our personal living.  If these are adopted, and we train
ourselves to do this, then there is a complete change in our life and
outlook. Then access to the "Masters" becomes easily attained, for "we
will see Them everywhere."  As a thought to be meditated on, we can
consider that the Master is always potential within ourselves, and is
temporarily imprisoned by our personality.

described, as the HIGHER SELF is the ATMA -- the MASTER within.

In the 2nd volume of the "Secret Doctrine" HPB tells us how at a
certain stage of evolution the physical forms and personalities that
were "ready" received the "Light of Mind" from the Dhyanis -- the
Wise, and those whose duty it was, sacrificed themselves to serve the
evolving Mind-man as an internal Witness and a constant mentor and
encourager of our better natures.  This is perhaps one of the most
encouraging as well as the most important doctrines.  [ see SD II 167,
79-80, 93-4, 272, 254-5;  SD I 539fn 182 207 ]  With this as
inspiration how can we falter or doubt further?

HPB wrote a number of significant articles that ought to be carefully
studied in this regard.

LODGES OF MAGIC,  Lucifer, Oct. 1888,
MAHATMAS AND CHELAS,  Theosophist, July 1884,
ARE CHELAS MEDIUMS?   Theosophist, June 1884,
CHELAS,   Theosophist, October 1884,
CHELAS AND LAY CHELAS,  Supplement to Theosophist, July, 1883,
PRACTICAL OCCULTISM,   Lucifer, April, May 1888.
SPIRITUAL PROGRESS,  Theosophist, May 1885,
IS THE DESIRE TO LIVE SELFISH?  Theosophist, July 1884,
				Spiritualist, London,  August 12, 1881
CAN THE MAHATMAS BE SELFISH?  Theosophist, August 1884,
Why worry about "modern saints?"  How would we recognize one?  Do we
have any knowledge of what a real "saint" looks like, or does, or says
?  One of the most serious points to consider is that if one ever
proclaimed himself/herself as such (or if HPB ever "returned" and said
"I am HPB who has returned to help and guide the Theosophical
Movement") who would believe them, or her ?  There would be
undoubtedly a rush of the curious and the skeptics -- and all the
superficial things, every thing written about HPB (or saints) would be
set out for comparison with the present claimant.  The importunities
of these curious and skeptics would make life impossible for such a

Further, would such a claimant be able to do any significant work if
so encumbered with publicity and curiosity seekers?  It is probably
the last thing that any real worker who desired to help the
Theosophical Movement would do. So if we are impelled to go out an
seek for "saints," or those who have truly helped the Theosophical
Movement, let us look at that which has been done to support and
enhance the ORIGINAL PROGRAM ,and all that, without any personal
publicity whatsoever.

Each one of us is held, because of the nature of our 6th and 7th
"Principle" (Wisdom and Spirit) to be, potentially, a "saint."  There
is a clue to this in our "Seven-fold Nature -- the
7-Principles"  We are a part of the ONE SPIRIT in our highest nature,
and also being immortals we carry with us all the time in the
principle named Buddhi a memory of all our honorable past.

In this life of ours, theosophy points to these facts and gives the
logic and metaphysics especially in the explanations of the SECRET
DOCTRINE to apprehend them.

It is the embodied mind that we call "Lower Manas" (or Kama-Manas)
technically that is presently active in us.  It is moved by desire (SD
II 176 top).  The quality of our desire
( Kama ) is entirely within our grasp.  It is "WE" -- the embodied
CONSCIOUSNESS"  (if we choose to aspire to act and live as our own
Buddhi-Manas would, if allowed by our personality) who are able to
transform the ordinary embodied mind -- a Monad that is curious,
doubtful, ambitious, prideful, pleasure-loving and inertia-desiring,
into the superior mind that is studious and also ideally directed, and
hence, ethical in all respects.

The "lower mind" does not permit this without a fight -- something
that Krishna illustrates to Arjuna in the BHAGAVAD GITA.  (see
chapters 14, 17, 18)  There he speaks of the 3 great Gunas, the 3
components of the Universe:

1.  SATTVA -- Light, Spirit, Truth;

2.  RAJAS -- desire - activity - passion; and,

3.  TAMAS -- inertia, indolence, procrastination .

One can see when they are combined in various ways, the whole gamut of
human mind and desire (psychological patterns) are described.
Chapters 17 and 18 further emphasize this study and the
transformations that the student can make within his own nature.

Among these there is always the ONE UNIVERSAL SPIRIT, and its "ray"
the Atman which is always interior to us and represents the apex of
universality -- our HIGHER SELF.  From this is derived  CONSCIOUSNESS.
It is the one unchangeable perceptive ray of intelligence that pierces
up and down through the several planes of our being and unites the 6
lower principles into a coherent active and living whole.  It is the
Human Consciousness that is able in a detached way to perceive each of
these separately, and all in their combinations.

This one most significant and important FACT, gives a clue to that
which Patanjali in his YOGA SUTRAS develops, and there, one may find
that he describes, as in a catalog, the various and successive states
of psychology (personal and selfish, as well as unselfish,
noble and universal) of the embodied personal man.  There too, will be
found described  the potentials that any man can develop or attain to.
The whole secret is to seize and control the
wandering mind (desire driven) stabilize it, focus it, and make it
subservient to our will.  Desire has to be firmly curbed and brought
under control.  It is only a tool of the Spirit that resides within --
and as such it is not the ruler, although for most of us humans at our
present stage, it seen that the desire-principle has subverted the
mind and diverted attention from the task of becoming WISE.

To be able to describe the statements made by these old philosophers
is excellent progress.  The study of an interpretation of the meaning
of ancient scriptures is important, but, as HPB shows repeatedly in
the SECRET DOCTRINE, we will always need a "key" that pierces through
the veils of symbolism and the "blinds" that reflect the inquirer away
from the Truth that may be inherent and concealed in such veils.
Theosophical  wisdom, being the root of  all these systems in
antiquity, now shows how they were devised and how to pierce through
to their basic meaning and intention.  The SECRET DOCTRINE provides

To make practical applications in and through ourselves is the next
step.  This is what HPB was aiming at showing.  It begins with the
idea of immortality and perfectibility as a goal.
and the process of (Higher) self-advancement is to be found through
the active practice of universal brotherhood in one's daily life so
that it becomes automatic.  In developing the qualities that are
represented to us as the "Virtues," we must first become impersonal
and universal in our outlook, and the first thing that is noticed, is
that we become absolutely harmless to all other beings that we live
and cooperate with.  This means becoming a cooperator with Nature.
There is no other way.  But each is as a free-willed being able to
frame their own rate of progress.  The result of our independent
thinking and choosing either raises and accelerates our progress, or
delays and diverts it.

The teachings of Theosophy are aimed at encouraging each of us to work
out the psychology of our own natures, and having discovered what is
the prime motivator (the desire) in  ourselves, proceed to modify or
enhance those factors that will lead to ultimate true progress and
victory.  It is said that only those that are universal and harmless
to others survive;  and they form the vesture of the True Spiritual
Man -- which is the Highest in Us.  We are the "Gods" that are "in the
making."  We "make" ourselves.  And, we are assisted when necessary.
The presence of Theosophy is of such a general assistance.  Can we
seize and use it ?  In the SECRET DOCTRINE, pages in Vol. 1, 570-573
gives us an idea of the importance of our potential development and
the range of achievement that is ours for the winning.

We have to realize that the ideas and principles that Theosophy
advances are neither novel ,nor are they designed to provide "powers"
for our selfish use and abuse.  The power of special knowledge is
easily abused by the thoughtless and the unscrupulous.  The
thoughtless do not consider themselves to be responsible immortals.
The unscrupulous desire to give their own present personalities all
the benefits that make for superiority at any cost over their fellows.
they have no concept of the eventual cost of such an objective to
themselves.  Neither of these two types have any consideration for the
setting of their life as of now.  Further they do not care anything
for the possible ease or discomfort that may be caused by them to
others around them.  They are selfish grabbers, and have no sense of
generosity, nor do they feel any gratitude for whatever they have
received from anyone.  This is not the "path" that Theosophy either
traces or encourages.

If we desire to learn from the experiences and work of others, we
observe them, not to try and attribute motives to them, but to view
their achievements.  There is this to always remember:  in all the
work that has to be done, we alone are the fashioners and
executioners of our own progress.  It is so in ordinary life and
education even within the realm of our present experience in this
life, if we will reflect upon it.  In the Life of the Soul there is
always embraced the needs and obligations that one owes to others as a
part of our personal working considerations.  Our very special debt to
the HIGHER SELF, and to the DHYANI who has overshadowed us ought to
urge us to the highest possible kind of living and excellence.

I hope this may be of help




-----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of
> Date: Thursday, September 02, 1999 7:55 AM
> Subject: Theos-World What does Theosophy have that others don't?

In a message dated 9/2/99 1:03:06 AM, writes:

<< The Terma tradition I think
could be transferred to the finding of the Nag Hammadi Scrolls, the
Sea Scrolls and the recent Kheroshti script scrolls in Afganistan. As
the Masters and the transmission or channeling of material to HPB and
Bailey as well as Madame Roerich and others, I think it has been not a
Terma Tradition (my opinion) but a discrediting of truth in some
ways... it
sought to fill the gaps as Dallas would say, but it has caused
and is not in my opinion as verifiable as legitimate discoveries being
in central asia and elsewhere >>

Yes, Art -- then we agree completely.  And I also think you make a
good point
in the previous email to Dallas about modern saints.  Theosophy does
seem to
have become frozen at around 1890.  But yet we like to claim that
Masters are
active all the time.  So this seems like a contradiction.  Without HPB
Judge to speak for us, many seem quite frightened to point to modern
Theosophical efforts when then proceed outside our lodges.

I agree that the work of Besant, Leadbeater, Bailey, Roerich and
while perhaps helpful in some way, has been more "altering" of
Theosophy, and
not "renewing" like true Termas.  The damage done by such schisms is
nigh incalculable, though quite predictable (even predicted by HPB
herself in
her own writings).

But we must not be afraid to see our Masters' work in the present
Many will agree with me, I think, when I point out that Sri Aurobindu,
Paramahansa Yogananda, Satya Sai Baba, Mohandas Gandhi, the current
Lama and many others have come out of India (to name just one
location) who
are almost certainly doing some aspects of Masters' work.  I think we
not hesitate to join forces with such personages, their followers and
organizations, and see how we can help humanity jointly.

I am very disappointed to find that, in the main, Theosophy this
century has
tended to be insular, pretending to have the truth, the whole truth,
nothing but -- and waiting for the world-weary to show up on its
The problems is: there are a great many doorsteps to show up on, and
it is
becoming more and more difficult to make the case that Theosophy
stands head
and shoulders above the rest!

So I ask the group, what does Theosophy have to offer that no readily
accesible spiritual group today has?  I would be very interested to


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