Re: Theos-World Re: A Question for Zack about setting up "hard-and-fast dogmas"
Jan 15, 2003 01:13 PM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
Hi Zack and all of you,
Well said Zack !
And to sort of offer you and answer, I will suggest the sufi and author
Idries Shah's view.
He often in his books says, that the true Sufi og Theosophist if you like,
doesn't really belong to any physical organization of any kind - neither -
the physical versions of Summit Lighthouse, Lucis Trust, Sai Baba,
Maharishi, ULT, Pasadena Theosophists or Adyar Theosophists etc. --- would
or even could have the core interest for such a Theosophist.
If it happens, then the true Sufi or Theosophists always serves a purpose,
which is higher than the belonging to the PHYSICAL organization. That is a
If we would look upon all here at Theos-Talk as being potential of acting as
such Theosophists, Sufis or seekers - then we maybe will understand - why
some of us belongs to an organization and why some of us really doesn't.
And one could say, that where PHYSICAL organization goes IN, the TRUE spirit
goes OUT. Agreed ?
Krishnamurti comes to my mind now. But he didn't - at least in a period of
his life - really teach the Bhagavad Gita properly, and that was a problem.
(Well, that is just my view).
There is so to speak the negation doctrine or ... no-organization
doctrine. And there is the Organization doctrine.
Both serves their purpose either it is on the physical level or the
The word PHYSICAL could be replaced with ASTRAL - in the above - when one is
ready for it.
Feel free to comment or do your best...
M. Sufilight with peace...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Zack Lansdowne" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 9:10 PM
Subject: Theos-World Re: A Question for Zack about setting up "hard-and-fast
> You made some good observations, and so, upon reflection, I no longer
> with my earlier claim, which was:
> "I think that HPB, AAB, and ACIM are telling us the same thing:
> namely, it is a mistake to turn any written doctrine into a hard-and-
> fast dogma. . . ."
> A rigid rule, such as "never turn any written doctrine into a
> dogma," is itself a hard-and-fast dogma.
> HPB, in "The Key to Theosophy", p. 240, gives us a better way to make
> "Theosophy teaches self-abnegation, but does not teach rash and useless
> self-sacrifice, nor does it justify fanaticism.
> But how are we to reach such an elevated status?
> By the enlightened application of our precepts to practice. By the use of
> our higher reason, spiritual intuition and moral sense, and by following
> dictates of what we call 'the still small voice' of our conscience."
> Nevertheless, on p. 305, HPB suggests that theosophists who are "warped"
> "unconsciously biased" will tend to set up "hard-and-fast dogmas" of
> own, while theosophists who avoid that danger will tend to work to "burst
> asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas."
> Yet I agree that it is possible for theosophists who generally are working
> towards bursting asunder the fetters of creeds and dogmas might
> occasionally, due to their higher reason, spiritual intuition, and still
> small voice, denounce a particular teaching or religious group.
> HPB, in "The Key To Theosophy", p. 305, offered us an inspiring vision of
> what the Theosophical Society might have accomplished during the 20th
> ""Then the Society will live on into and through the twentieth century.
> will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and
> intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion,
> and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron
> of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break down
> racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the
> practical realisation of the Brotherhood of all men."
> I think that the history of the Theosophical Society during the past 125
> years can be an extraordinary teaching example. HPB tried to establish a
> society in which its members would overcome the fetters of creeds and
> among themselves and would then help to burst those fetters for everyone
> else. Yet past theosophists, in spite of Blavatsky's intentions and clear
> warnings, have used her writings in a sectarian way; that is, they have
> Blavatsky's writings to create new creeds and dogmas that separated
> themselves from other theosophists and from everyone else, and so the
> theosophical movement has atrophied and splintered into all of these
> What should we do about ourselves? We are all studying some spiritual
> teaching or another. But are we using those teachings to break down our
> mental barriers that separate us from other people, or are we using those
> teachings to erect new mental barriers? For example, we might think that
> are more special or advanced than other people, because our doctrines are
> somehow more mystical, occult, or esoteric than other doctrines. This is
> the kind of mistake that theosophists made during the past century, and
> perhaps we can learn from their example.
> Zack Lansdowne
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