Re: "The Source Teachings of Theosophy" by Richard Taylor
Sep 11, 2003 03:23 AM
by Katinka Hesselink
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
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.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Daniel H. Caldwell"
> 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 H. Caldwell
> BLAVATSKY STUDY CENTER
> THEOSOPHY STUDY CENTER
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