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RE: Theos-World Why the decline in interest in TS/Theosophy

May 05, 1999 07:03 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

May 5th 1999


I just finished this and sent it.

Then Yours came in and I read it with great happiness.


Interesting how there are two points of view and approach:

Yours is reasonable, and my is challenging.  and probably will
cause some upset to Martin's complacency.  I have met him here
when some months back he visited our SD class in Malibu.

I had hoped he would come again.

Eldon the one responsible for  "theos-talk" comes regularly and
he has very valuable insights to contribute to our study..




Dear Martin:

May Interject a few comments below?


              Dallas TenBroeck


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Martin
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: Theos-World Why the decline in interest in

I think we all have good points about the decline in interest in
joining the TS.

And, I think that our leaders are doing the best they can do, and
therefore I do
not agree with Ramadoss in his never-stopping attack to the TSA
We are all humans, and we only do what we can do.


As I read what Ramadoss writes he is not "attacking" any one.  He
is asking for "openness" from those who manage the T S.
Theosophically this is due to the least of FTS.

In terms of theosophical ethics, those who assume the
responsibility to the members of running the TS have to do this
as though they were in a "fish-bowl."  I believe that this is
what Ramadoss asks.

It is plain that so long as this response is denied or withheld,
there will remain suspicions in view of certain actions taken by
those "officers."  Once these are made clear and plain the
suspicion vanishes.

Also, in the history of the TS this is not the first time that
situations of concealment have arisen and in historical
retrospect no amount of concealment  has ever succeeded (whether
in the TS or not).  Why not "openness?  What is there to hide ?

As I see it, the fundamental concept for the TS was not to
establish another "secret society."  It was established for the
study, promotion, and promulgation of THEOSOPHY.  And it existed
as a forum where its propositions and doctrines could be
discussed by its members.

This is adequately and repeatedly explained by HPB around whom
the TS was formed.  HPB was the agent of the Masters as They say
several times openly.  Col. Olcott associated himself with HPB
and constituted himself as her pupil.  He assumed the functions
of promulgation and also the management of the organization.  And
he associated himself with HPB for the purpose of supporting and
promoting the work of the TS, which was, and is, the promulgation
of THEOSOPHY as originally put forward -- by HPB on behalf of the
Masters of Wisdom..

The Knowledge, Wisdom, Ethics, and the diffusion of the ancient
philosophy was HPB's primary responsibility.  Without her there
would have been no life to the TS.  The nature of THEOSOPHY is
the nature of the most honest and straightforward approach to any
teaching, problem or question.  There is no place for the Spirit
to live and work in this, our world, without these conditions
being met.

The invulnerability of the T S does not depend on either present
or  past "officers."  (There are no "leaders" in the constitution
of the TS.

In fact each FTS is constituted a "leader."  He is a leader of
himself as his progress in terms of individual Karma depends on
his honesty, straightforwardness and purity of intentions.

It does  not  depend on formalities or any formal adherence to
"rules and regulations."  Each FTS thus is independently
associated with every other FTS (and anyone else in the world),
and as such, as a free entity and Soul, he supports those things
that can be supported because they are consubstantial with the
ETHICS of THEOSOPHY and his own sense of rectitude.

Every "Theosophical organization or body" succeeds or fails
depending on these impersonal and universal criteria.  In the
Theosophic life of the T S, there can be no hidden nooks and
crannies that are required to be concealed from the TS member.

HPB made this quite plain in her article, published in LUCIFER in
August 1889:  "A PUZZLE FROM ADYAR." (Vol. 4, p. 506)

The reason for this article is the earlier published article
"Applied Theosophy" by R. Harte, which was published by him as
"acting Editor" (during Col. Olcott's absence) in THEOSOPHIST,
Vol. 10, p. 523, June 1889

In "A PUZZLE FROM ADYAR" HPB makes quite plain what the
principles of TS administration are and how they are to be
applied by any individual FTS from the point of view of the
universal and spiritual THEOSOPHICAL perspective.  They cut
across all "party lines" and all "politics" of any kind and focus
on the practice of truth.  And, the TS is specially open to this
kind of scrutiny as it has to be a Model of models -- an ideal,
in term of brotherhood in action to the world.

Shortly thereafter, in response to requests from Indian FTS that
she should "return to India,"  HPB wrote a memorable letter in
April 1890, addressed to them.  She commissioned Mr. Bertram
Keightley, who was traveling to India to work with Col. Olcott,
to carry this letter to him for publication in THEOSOPHIST.  It
was delivered, but it was not made public till the January 1922
issue of THEOSOPHIST, where it was finally printed from the

These are not issues that can be swept under the "rug" on the
plea that we are way past the time when they were applicable.
The principles are fundamental, and it is on their present day
application that the TS will either continue to rise or fail.
The information is there and it is up to individuals to learn
from it and apply it, in or out of the TS, in whatever way they
see fit.

These two items are currently available in print through
Theosophy Company, 245 W 33rd St., Los Angeles, Ca, 90007.  They
are in an inexpensive pamphlet form.  In the "H.P.BLAVATSKY
COLLECTED ARTICLES," they are in Vol. 1, pp. 217 and 106
respectively.  For those who have the large set BLAVATSKY -
COLLECTED WORKS, they are respectively in Vol. XI, p. 378 and
Vol. XII p. 156.


Expectations are giving Armadas a bad time. So please put in
practice K.
teachings about expecting, memories, etc.

I also think that Jerry has touched a point when he said: "-that
the decline
is based on not enough meditation and "work on higher planes."

There will be always couple thousand of people who love  the way
the TS is now.
Therefore the TS's will not disappear,  but is that enough to
reach the
community?  I don't think so. But  for most it is enough.

The work is inside, we should not theosophise but to become
theosophist and
become the expression of the 3 Objects.


I am not sure what you mean by "theosophize"

Would you call HPB's suggestions as to practical applications of
Theosophical propositions and principles in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY,
the "Practical Section" -- theosophizing ?  Actions speak louder
than words.

Merely being an FTS confers no special benefits that I know of.
Individual Karma remains individual Karma and we alone alter it
by our choices.

But the active practice of Theosophical ethics in one's daily
life, is important.  And that, as I understand it, is what HPB
put into her exposition of Theosophy on behalf of the Masters of


When we stop answering important questions with quotes from the
Ocean, the Key ,
the round and chains, etc, and learned to look into the eyes and
souls of
people, straight into their needs and talk from the heart, we may
grow in
membership, and our halls will be filled with members and friends
of Theosophy.
Otherwise, the lodge membership will fit in living rooms where we
feel very
comfortable and quote more from the greatest theosophical books.

Can we better train  our leadership? I think we can.
But it takes courage to break the TAMAS of not doing it, the
inertia of not
being responsible for a group,  the responsibility for lecturing
like Besant,
Olcott, the responsibility of establishing a great Point Loma
site like GDP, etc
. . . and like Crosbie in filling that beautiful Theosophical
Hall in downtown
LA . . .   and not blame the person for not 'getting' the quoted



I think that any consideration of "leadership" or the acceptance
of supposed "leadership" is a "snare and a delusion."  We each
are "leaders" of ourselves.

We cannot and should not take another's "directions" or
"suggestions as a base for our work and cooperation.  Our
independent judgement and decision is the sole forum of
conscience at which our actions are to be arraigned. And we alone
know what they are.

In my esteem no one ought to ever consider himself or herself as
anything more than a "Student of Theosophy."  No one ought to
think of themselves as a "leader."

Theosophy eschews "authority" of any kind, other than the
self-authority which the Inner Spirit/Soul confers on each human
being.  In  that we are all brothers.  Cooperation is always
offered, it is not demanded or expected because in the demand or
the expectation is an element of tyranny.  One  wonders what the:
"Or else..." means.

We are responsible for our own decisions.  No one can be
responsible for another or others.  The idea of "leadership" of
any kind, is ludicrous.  Further it is totally against the ideals
and the purposes of the original establishment of the TS.  No one
ought to ever accept such a title.

"Be ye lights unto yourselves." said the Buddha.


This is what my reflections brought to me when Dallas wrote:
In the next week the anniversary of H.P.B.'s death (May 8th) will

Have we assured ourselves that there is validity to Theosophy? "

Become a theosophist, and the sun will shine.


The SUN, whether the physical sun or the SUN OF TRUTH will shine
regardless of our views and attitudes.  Theosophy is our sun if
we look on it as the exposition of UNIVERSAL TRUTH and a faithful
record of honest work with nature to carry out her purposes of
UNIVERSAL EVOLUTION FOR ALL, down the uncountable years of
manifested time ( see SD I 272-3 ).

To become a "theosophist" one has to practice THEOSOPHY and no
amount of membership accreditation will every place anyone closer
to TRUTH than a sincere attempt to learn and rigorously put it
into daily and hourly application.

At least that is how I see the matter.

And I must apologize to brother Leiderman if my views seem in
some ways to be different from his.  I cannot help expressing
those that I believe to be fair and accurate, and valuable for
all of us, whether we are "FTS." or use some other designation,
or none at all.

I believe it would be a great pity for the T S to fail.  It has
so valuable a mission, but until and unless it returns to the
invigorating study and careful full application of THEOSOPHY, as
originally promulgated by HPB for the Masters of Wisdom, it will
continue to have a difficult time.  Too much time is wasted on
explanations, which could be constructively spent (if made
available) on the practice and promulgation of those Ideals for
which it was established.

Best wishes as always,



p.s.  Armadas, 2 weeks ago I gave 3 talks in the TSA, Houston,
Were do you live?

Martin Leiderman
in West LA

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