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Re: Theosophy: whence and whither? or to wither

Aug 02, 1997 06:20 AM
by Martin Euser

Don DeGracia raises some very important points in his posting.

> The issue of different theosophical "denominations" has come up
> in discussions from time to time. It's not a pretty issue and it
> gets people quite fired up, protecting their favorite school of
> thought. In some respects this is understandable, but I feel it
> is a blatant contradiction to the principles of Theosophy.

Quite so. I feel that the different TSs have missed a crucial
point here. Subba Row says in his observations on 'a letter
addressed to the fellows of the London Lodge of the TS, by the
president and a vice-president of the lodge':

> There is nothing said in the Rules of the Theosophical Society
> which is likely to induce one into the belief that the Society,
> as such, has any particular religious doctrines, or owes
> exclusive allegiance to any definite school or system of
> philosophy, or to any fraternity of religious teachers.

On the other hand, the Rules clearly indicate that the Society is
at full liberty to investigate any philosophical system, ancient
or modern, with a view to ascertain the broad fundamental
principles which form the basis of every school of religious
philosophy, properly so called, and therby "promote the principle
of a Universal Brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of
race or creed".

Subba Row says that the Society will be able to "reconstruct
religion on a scientific and science on a religious basis and
elaborate a perfect system of thought and rule of life" .."Before
this grand object can be accomplished, every member is expected
to study, to the best of his abilities, *any* system of religious
philosophy which he may select and place the result of his
investigations before his fellow-members for comparison and
discussion" (but not force his opinions or beliefs on his
fellow-members). "The Society does not constitute a body of
religious teachers, but is simply an association of investigators
and inquirers" "these are the principles that are definitely laid
down for the guidance of the TS, with the approval and
approbation of the great Himalayan Initiates, who are its real

Colonel Olcott has issued a similar warning, but his warnings too
have been ignored by TS members and organizations. How far have
the TSs strayed from these simple guidelines!

In my opinion the TSs should be a meeting place for all people
that are interested in discussing things of the spirit, whatever
their belief, opinion, religion, etc. Instead, TSs promulgate
teachings like dogmas, instead of discussing these as preliminary
results of investigations by a relatively small number of people.
Also, as Don De Gracia notes: theosophy has become too much a
goal in itself, instead of forming the means to guide one's own
'adventure of consciousness'.

> We must ask: has the TS stayed in step with the world? Has it
> lost touch? What?

TS has lost touch with the modern world, the real needs of real
people. There are still individuals within the TSs that
understand this vital point, but this is a relative minority IMO.
Today, people need sound psychological advice and feedback based
on spiritual knowledge and experience. I doubt whether there are
many people in the TSs who can provide such advice.

I could go on commenting but first I want to see some thoughtful
reaction(s) to these considerations.

Martin Euser

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