Theos-World Farthing's Letter of 1998
Apr 23, 2000 08:25 PM
by M K Ramadoss
G. A. Farthing sent out a letter in 1998 which should be of great interest
and consideration by every theosophist as he discusses some of the
important issues. Here is the letter.
26 November 1998
To all General Councillors and others concerned
Dear Fellow Member,
For the last two years I have communicated with you by way of a Manifesto
and a Supplement to it. Both of these had no other motive than to promote
the welfare of the Society into the future and to emphasize the
responsibility that was placed upon it to promote a knowledge of Theosophy.
Both the Manifesto and the Supplement were written against a background of
a complete belief and faith in the Masters of the Wisdom who were
responsible for the founding of the Theosophical Society, and a recognition
of their intentions for it. Also in mind was their selection of Helena
Petrovna Blavatsky to carry out not only the launching of the Society into
the world in 1875 but through her writings the dissemination of so much of
the Ancient Wisdom as they felt prepared to make available to mankind at
that time. This was done through the books written by H.P.B., much
Influenced by the Masters, and her numerous other writings. These were the
source of present-day Theosophy; we have no other. What came later was
largely commentary on the original. Some was of high quality based on the
classics; some derived from psychic sources and was very much personalized.
The authors of these works did not have the intimate and continuous
connection with the Masters to the same extent that H.P.B. had. It was this
close relationship with her Masters that give her writings their authenticity.
It is said in The Secret Doctrine that some of the information then being
given out was *for the first time in the world's history*. It is very
important that this statement be given its full value. This was the advent
in the world of a teaching which had not been made public before. It was an
epoch-making event of a magnitude at least as great as the advent of Jesus
and his teaching. No religious teachers prior to the two Masters
responsible for the founding of our Society had ever before made available
information about the nature of the Universe and mankind, as a
justification of their teachings and the following scriptural writings.
Until the advent of Theosophy all that had been made available of the
Ancient Wisdom was in glyph, symbol or parable. The Masters' writings were
in plain language. They did state, however, quite clearly, that only a
small portion of their vast esoteric lore was then being given out.
Nevertheless, as H.P.B. said in the introduction to the S.D., it was a
comprehensive, whole doctrine.
If one believes implicitly in the Masters and their wisdom and powers, one
has to accept that they knew what they were doing in making this
information available and in the form they did it. They knew the present
state of humanity; they knew the general levels of comprehension of mankind
in the world. They foresaw that English was going to be the most commonly
spoken language for generations to come. It is not that they addressed
their message wholly to the western world. What they had to say was fresh
information, given to the western peoples; to the eastern peoples it
constituted material explanatory of many of their old time-honoured writings.
They also knew the level of intelligence of the people to whom their works
were addressed, and who would learn and hopefully assimilate the truths
that they contained. A common complaint since then is that their message
was couched in terms too difficult for the ordinary person to understand,
or even to read. The message was, however, obviously for those who could
understand. In the same way Jesus gave his message to his disciples, to a
chosen few. "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of
heaven, but to them it has not been given." Similarly when Jesus was facing
the prospect of crucifixion he said to his disciples that he would "give
you another Counsellor,... even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot
receive". H.P.B. tells us that in this context 'the world' is the
generality of people who have in no way concerned themselves with the deep
problems of existence and have not yet developed the faculties for 'seeing'
and 'hearing' in the sense of the words used by Jesus.
Surely within our Theosophical Society there are those with the necessary
powers of comprehension to read our massive literature, who can 'hear' and
'see' what is contained in it. It would appear that few of those who wrote
what has become known as the 'second generation' theosophical literature
did, in fact, so 'hear' and 'see'. They conveyed the message in the terms
with which they were familiar, those of the old time philosophies and
religions but Theosophy is not a reiteration of these. It is NEW.
Herewith is a small booklet entitled 'A Trilogy' written for those who have
not familiarized themselves with either the stories behind the writing of
our original literature, or its contents, or the intentions behind the
founding of the Theosophical Society. The booklet describes some of the
very extraordinary happenings behind the writing of Isis Unveiled and also
the very great sacrifice demanded of H.P.B., for many years, in the writing
of The Secret Doctrine. So far neither of these has seemingly been fully
appreciated, particularly by those members of the Society who have joined
in the last few decades or so. These stories in themselves give a back
ground to the birth of this new world teaching. They also indicate
something of what is demanded of us if we would carry on the work which was
then begun. At the very least we must first acquaint ourselves with the
teachings contained in those massive Iiterary works.
It is not suggested that this is a responsibility placed on every member of
the Theosophical Society. The Society can be regarded as one for seekers
after truth at any level at which they may be operating. He or she is under
no obligation to do any study, or even to promote the well-being of the
Society. The only obligation such people undertake is to further the idea
of universal brotherhood and to subscribe to the three objects. These
objects do not require anyone to study the Theosophy as given us by the
Masters. But it is surely expected that every one of us in the Society who
is helping to promote the epoch-making message uttered by the Masters is
acquainted with it. No one can possibly hand on to future generations a
message they do not themselves adequately possess. There is in our
literature a sufficiency of indications to us that this is what was intended.
This is not a personal message, it is a reiteration of what anyone who
reads the original literature of the Society, in the writings of H.P.B. and
of the Masters will find stated over and over again. The charge laid upon
us is abundantly clear; the dissemination of these teachings is the prime
responsibility of those who have access to them, can understand them and
appreciate their immense value to humanity. *The Society was not founded
for us to substitute anything for these teachings and call it Theosophy.
The Maha Chohan, the then Master of Masters, indicated that the Society was
to be Corner Stone of the future religions of humanity. This is an
assignment of the utmost importance and magnitude. How is our Society to be
established to be effectively such a Corner Stone? A discussion of a
question of this magnitude is surely worth the time of the General Council.
It is surely an obligation upon its members, and all concerned members of
the Society as a whole.
G A Farthing
Ex-General Secretary of the English Section
AN EXPLANATORY NOTE
Some of the principal differences between the original Master/H.P.B.
literature and that which came later are:
1. The constitution of the Earth Chain of Globes (Mars and Mercury?).
2. The numbering and classification of the cosmic planes and the human
principles (the introduction of the etheric double).
3. The descriptions of the various planes, particularly the Astral
(corresponding to the 4th H.P.B. plane, Kama).
4. The after-death states (per C.W.L., not A.B.).
5. The inconsistency of data etc. with those given in the Tables of
Correspondences in the Instructions to H.P.B's Inner Group, e.g. Adi and
Anupadaka are tattvas whereas in second generation literature they are
In spite of these discrepancies, books containing them continue to be
produced and their sale promoted by the Society.
The Masters account of the after death states given in the Mahatma Letters
to A.P. Sinnett is written up in my book When We~ Die; further, all the
information given about these and matters pertaining thereto in the whole
of the H.P.B./Masters literature is given in my book After Death
Consciousness and Processes.
The idea of the Corner Stone as the intended role of the T.S. in the future
is of the utmost importance. In The Secret Doctrine there is a recurrent
theme that man's destiny is to become free of the limitations of the
personality, and to unfold his consciousness into that of the Ego, or
immortal Individuality. This is of course the ultimate religious aim. An
Indication of this is to be seen in what is said about Maya in both the
Collected Writings and The Secret Doctrine. I have extracted the relevant
passages, together with references; a copy of this material is available on
application to me c/o The Theosophical Society in London, 50 Gloucester
Place, London W1 H 4EA.
November 1 998
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