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Re: "The Source Teachings of Theosophy" by Richard Taylor

Sep 11, 2003 03:23 AM
by Katinka Hesselink

Hi Daniel,

OK, I'll pick up the stick/ take up the challenge. For me the only 
source-teaching is the teaching of the inner Voice of the Silence 
[not the book]. Everything else (including HPB, Buddha, Krishnamurti, 
Besant, Purucker, Judge etc.) is secondary. This isn't to say that I 
don't think HPB's work is very important. Personally I am quite 
inspired by her work and my own thoughts on many subjects are more 
based on what she wrote than on anything else. 

I think the disagreeement and the differences of opinion start 
because we confuse the TS (or the theosophical organisations) with 
Blavatsky said all kinds of things about 'theosophy' and 'ancient 
wisdom' etc. And personally I take all that quite seriously. But that 
does not mean that I think every member of the TS is best served 
studying only that. In fact, the TS doesn't have its three objects 
for nothing. Those objects don't state: study only HPB. They don't 
state: study theosophy. They state (not verbatim): compare and study 
religion, philosophy and science and come up with your own 
understanding of truth. 

Still if our aim in life is wisdom, how can one ignore the fact that 
other writers than HPB have also written very inspiring things? How 
can one ignore the fact that HPB herself published stuff from widely 
varying perspectives? Why do some people think she wanted that 
eclecticism gone after her death? 

Theosophy is eternal wisdom. But the TS isn't a school of theosophy. 
The ES was that (what it is now, I don't know). The TS was a platform 
for people of widely different backgrounds and races to mingle, share 
thoughts, and grow in wisdom. As well as a place that showed the 
world that people from different religious and social backgrounds 
could get along and 'be merry'. Though of course they could fight 
very well also, but that was and is nothing new. 

One of the reasons at least why the TS was NOT a school of theosophy 
is that the masters were wise enough to realize that some 
preliminaries needed to be present in order for people to actually 
benefit from those teachings. One of those preliminaries was that one 
can't just teach people something, one has to deal with what they've 
already learnt. People learn wisdom best by facing up to what they 
are, including conditionings, including religious teachings 
previously received. And in order to do that well, there has to be a 
non-judgemental (=safe) place. The TS was meant to be that safe 
place. If the TS were to say: the doctrine of reincarnation is 
mandatory, in HPB's explanation of it, then it would no longer have 
that safe place.

The ULT does something slightly more nuanced, IMO. It says on the one 
hand: find out for yourself. It says on the other hand: HPB and Judge 
is where you should start. But that is not a free search. A free 
search starts anywhere the researcher feels it's right to search. 
Whether that be a new translation of the Yoga Sutras, a new book on 
Dzog Chen (have you all noticed how many of those there are?), or 
studying the Voice of the Silence, for instance (the latter is one of 
my favourites). 

HPB DID say that what she wrote was 'theosophy'. What she adamantly 
refused to say was: this is the only thing you should study. Now 
there are some people who are talented enough to be able to study 
both HPB and various other traditions. For most of us though, this is 
just too hard. The ULT position would be: well, start with HPB and 
then see how that fits into other things. The TS-Adyar position is: 
start anywhere you want, just be sure to practice it, and learn from 
others along the way. Personally, I think the second position is 
better for mankind as a whole, because it means that there is 
actually a group where one is welcome, whatever one studies, as long 
as brotherhood is felt to be important. 

Just one more note, before I close. HPB said that what she gave out 
was all that could be given out IN THIS CENTURY, as Dallas rightly 
quotes her (I am not quoting verbatim here). (Un)fortunately, that 
century has ended. HPB died in 1891, which makes it logical to think 
that after 1991 there could be other teachings from the masters. So 
HPB doesn't say she has the last word forever. And we are left 
wondering who the heck came at the end of the previous century 
(20th). Who is (or was) giving out those teachings that will last us 
through this century? My guess is the Tibetan Buddhists or perhaps 
Ken Wilber. But that's another issue. My point is: even by HPB's own 
words we should be going beyond the Secret Doctrine by now. 

Katinka Hesselink
--- In, "Daniel H. Caldwell" 
<danielhcaldwell@y...> wrote:
> In researching a different subject, I stumbled across this
> article which I had completely forgotten about.
> "The Source Teachings of Theosophy"
> by Richard Taylor
> I thought students might find this article interesting.
> I wonder if Katinka or Tony (as well as others) might disagree with
> one of Rich's contentions about what constitutes source teachings. 
> Daniel
> Daniel H. Caldwell

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