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Theos-World DTB = Carl, Re: Is Theosophy "Syncretic"?

Mar 04, 2000 05:22 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

March 4th 2000

Dallas offers:

Dear Friends:

Might I interject a short observation?  Is Theosophy also History

Theosophy ought to be thought of as  HISTORY.  It deals with the
past in terms of presenting to us the observations of events from
an immense past.  From a "past" that is ours.    Examples:

It deals with the formation of the Worlds, Galaxies and Universes
as a pattern, a plan and this includes the LAWS and/or processes.
Implicit in this vast Plan are Nature's (the WHOLE) periodical
emanations from the non-manifest into manifestation, and back
again into the rest and non-manifestation of a Maha-Pralaya.
This is not "annihilation," as every manifestation adds to the
accumulating experience of all Monads active in this.  The
"Monads" are deemed to be the basic "units" of the eternally
contrasting SPIRIT/MATTER  [Atma/Buddhi] .  They return into
manifestation and evolution with every re-awakening of the
Universes and the Worlds.

Thus described, we see :  Space, Area, Time, Cause, Planes and
levels of Consciousness, and those Agencies whose intelligent
assistance (the Agents being named:  "Builders, Ah-hi, Buddhas,
Rishis, Mahatmas, etc...") and active guidance is needed to
actually re-create and then to sustain all aspects of an
evolution in all its vast detail. [ If the atoms (or rather
'quarks'?)  are the building blocks of Nature and "matter," then
the laws that guide them into the formation of larger structures
that are able to interact on more complex levels, are implied --
as to intelligence, purpose, and actuality.  We, each of us, are
a living part of this constantly developing History.

>From Kosmology and Cosmogenesis, Theosophical History moves to
the description of the many and intricate stages of the
development of humanity (Anthropogensis), and explains legend and
mythology as well as theogony to be the events that embrace and
describe by analogy our own Past -- we were that Past, as
individuals living then, as part of the humanity of those eras.
In doing this, it discusses and exposes aspects of the great Laws
that govern all departments of ITSELF.  We are a living part of
this great LIFE.  We seek, even unconsciously to learn more of
the "causes" and the details of this collaboration.  We sense
that if we secure these, we may be better able to more accurately
choose, and optimize our future

The reason and cause of this vast scheme is that the immortal
Monads (you and me and all the rest of Evolution) have to pass
through all levels and ranges of experience in order to emerge
(by their own self-induced efforts) into the ranks of the
"Agents."  These are "Wise agents." We/they assist each other in
their own way and place, and serve to guide "evolution" in its
many works.  This work is eternally ours as, in the past,  we
moved through the centuries and millennia of the past (as
History) and now, face the future, which we will be devising in
confluence with others.

These Agents are called the Great Souls (Mahatmas)  -- of many
degrees -- and Mankind as a class, generally, represents the
"mind-stage" of this great process of "becoming."  All the great
Agents, Adepts, Mahatmas, Buddhas, have passed through the
"human-mind" stage, a stage that we are now in and which Nature
is guiding us through under the Law of Karma.  We all seek to
"graduate" into the next higher level.  Theosophy affords a view
of the structure of evolution, and it assures us that all our
efforts remain in our control and are available to us as acquired
talents and genius, and as memories in assistance of our own (and
humanity's)  future.

The history of humankind therefore, is not only a matter of time,
civilization and events  (in which we have participated as
Immortal reincarnating Monads),  but marks the many areas and
disciplines inherent in Nature that are necessary to provide an
integrated and cooperative basis for all beings (Monads) to live
and work in, in harmony with each other.

Karma is a general term embracing a vast number of intelligent
units (Monads as "life-atoms") that have to work with one-another
so that they may all develop as they work, individually.  This is
generally expressed as Universal Brotherhood.

It introduces us, intellectually, to an understanding of what
Universal and Impersonal ETHICS means --  A paying of due regard
to the rights and duties of other Monads, which not only assist
in our "vestures" (principles), but are themselves immortal
entities that are undergoing development in, through and around
US.  WE are serving them and THEY are serving us.  It is Unity in
diversity, everywhere and all the time.

If we observe the work of scientists, philosophers,
psychologists, and humanity in general we will see the process of
learning proceeding constantly.

We, "they," all intelligent beings, regardless of the level of
mental intelligence, live in and are constantly studying some
aspect of Nature.  But we note that any one aspect of Nature
involves others, until the "hologram" of interlocking laws,
actions, causes and effects, become clear to our inquiring
individual Minds.  We can departmentalize our specialties, but we
cannot exclude the fact of cooperation from those specific
details that we are presently selecting for more intense
consideration.  Whether one is a mathematician, chemist,
physicist, astronomer, engineer, sociologist, psychologist,
philosopher, or "just a home-body,"  one cannot isolate oneself
from any of the many aspects of conjoint living in our position
in this constantly moving, changing and law-abiding Universe.

Theosophy taken as a whole appears to me to provide the outline
of an intelligent scheme that suits the evolution of an enormous
mass of intelligent immortals -- the MONADS.  We, as humans mark
a specific level of this development.  We have become endowed,
each one of us, with an independent MIND.

This Mind, as a faculty, enables us to sense our Unity and
uniqueness, our "past" as history, and our future as "what we
will decide on as a goal for ourselves to achieve."   In doing
this we observe that "WE" are not the Mind, but it is a "tool"
that we guide and control.  Our feelings and emotions are
likewise controllable and under constant observation -- as they
impact on us all the time.  Taking the two together, Theosophy
uses the appellation of Kama-Manas to describe our average daily
level of consciousness.  All decisions we make and acts we
perform start at this level.

Theosophy expresses this situation as:

"Our consciousness is ONE and not many, nor different

of the actions and experiences of every state we are in or pass
through, such as sleep, dreams, waking, etc...

The ONE CONSCIOUSNESS pierces up and down through all the states
or planes of Being (experience), and serves to uphold the
memory--whether conscious or unconscious--of each state's

The "Path" to individual success (perfection of our humanity) has
to be commenced.  It is done by a wholly voluntary effort.  Such
effort is thereafter entirely self-sustained and self-monitored.

The ascent to "adeptship" or "Mahatmaship" is said to begin, as a
first step, with an abandoning of errors, the giving up of
selfishness and personal habits that obscure and delay ones' view
of and work towards that GOAL.  It is expressed mystically, as
"becoming one with the Spirit."

The second step is joining the company of those who desire to
attain to PERFECTION as we do.  It becomes a cooperative effort,
listening, considering, and practicing the highest altruism one
is able to envisage and aspire to.  It is that which is implied
in BROTHERHOOD -- a brotherhood of immortals in which each works
for the rest, and all the rest work for each individual.

The third step is sustaining and reinforcing this practice,
developing confidence in what one learns, and persisting in its
attentive and all-consuming practical continuance as one meets
his or her daily duties and responsibilities in life.

Whoever does this, lays a sure foundation for ascent to
adeptship, or CONSCIOUS IMMORTALITY.  This is what mystics call a
"peak" experience,  where "the whole Universe grows I," and, we
see that we are an ineradicable and an essential, immortal part
of the vast WHOLE.

I hope these ideas may prove to be of use.  It makes of our
immortality a matter which we can depend on and use practically.
It is the basis of a positive and wholesome change in our
attitudes and ways of living.  It gives an insight into the
essentiality of all things and situations.  Karma and
reincarnation are seen to be two of these essential concepts.
They are actually working in and through every one, and form the
basic operations of all individual and collective (monadic)
living at every level.

This is offered in the hope of evoking further consideration of
these great and wonderful laws -- laws that work complexly in all
aspects of manifestation and evolution -- yet most simple in
concept.  As the great Hillel once said:  "Do unto others as you
would have them do unto you.  All the rest is commentary."



-----Original Message-----
From: C----l
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2000 8:51 PM
Subject: Re: Is Theosophy "Syncretic"?

Dear --------,

As I am sure you know, I oppose the notion that Theosophy is a
synthesis, and yet, as it has been pointed out to me on more than
occasion, HPB speaks of The Secret Doctrine as "The Synthesis of
Science, Religion, and Philosophy" - and this on the title page
of her
book!  I believe that it is important to address this claim that
reduce the writings of Blavatsky to an assortment of ideas pieced
together in some unique way that came to be called Theosophy due
to the
new structuring of earlier works.  According to this charge, HPB
little more than a compiler of data already available - though

>From what you wrote, it is obvious that the syncretic view does
account for the Theosophical perspective that HPB made available,
does it follow from a close reading of The Secret Doctrine.
Thus, to
account for the use of the word "synthesis," we need to consider
word within the context of the writing itself and how that
context might
explain the usage of the word.

For those not familiar with the study of semantics, one
definition, and
that being the most common one, will often suffice.  In this
however, we know that is not true.  Synthesis is usually defined
as the
putting together of parts to form a whole, but actually the
possibilities are not exhausted in this one meaning.  In
synthesis is the process of deductive reasoning, from the simple
elements of thought into the complex whole, from cause to effect,
from a
principle to its application.  Certainly, this is the definition
best describes the works of HPB.

Perhaps, more important, we should consider that synthesis is
opposed to
or set over against analysis.  An analysis is the examining of a
substance by breaking it up into its constituent parts.  Consider
the phrase: "The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy."
If I
analyse them, I address the parts, but was it not Blavatsky's aim
address the whole (the synthesis) - not the fragment?  In so
doing, she
moved from the simple elements of thought that were foundational
definitive to Science, Religion, and Philosophy into the complex
which she termed Theosophy.  I believe this to be the synthesis
to in The Secret Doctrine - and not the congealed debris of the


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