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re Besant's role in Theosophy

Sep 06, 2003 11:37 AM
by Mauri

re Besant

If I remember correctly, A.L. Cleather wrote (among other things!)
that Besant was at least partly responsible (along with Mead?)
in making thousands of changes to SD 3. Thousands!?
What does that tell you about Besant? Personally,
I wouldn't make any of those kinds of changes if I had the opportunity, because, as I see it, one could always offer an
an alternate, edited edition, in which the changes could be
clearly spelled out. In other words, seems to me that
HPB correctly characterized about Besant when she commnented
that she was "all intellect" and "not spiritual," or something
to that effect. But I guess we all interpret the likes of
Cleather's GREAT BETRAYAL and HPB AS I KNEW HER differently.

The Toronto TS, of which I'm a member, recently sent me an email
inviting me to attend their "celebration" of Besant's "life and
work." My response was to effect that even HPB occasionally drew
a few lines, here and there. I have long ago given up on the
regular meetings of the Toronto TS, but continue to use their
library occasionally. Of course (?), on the other hand, one
might prefer to think that no human is beyond the need for
celebrations? But I would ask: in what kind of context, in what
sense would such celebrations be held, by what kinds of people?

Judging by what I've read so far (two of Cleather's books), seems
to me that, on balance, Besant's contribution to Theosophy might be
somewhat questionable, to say the least, (ie, in spite of her
earlier helpful role). To me, Besant seems to be one of those who
was lacking in spiritual insights, tried to make up for it with what to her might have appeard to be "intellectual insights," but ... ?


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