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Re: re Besant/HPB, contrasts

Sep 13, 2003 01:41 PM
by Katinka Hesselink

Hi Mauri,

I don't think you have your facts straight. Besant did not start the
Liberal Catholic Church, nor was she much involved in it (if she had
been I doubt there would have been an all mail clergy). 

Also, Besant was one of the few people who took full responsibility
for her belief that Krishnamurti was the Messiah. She did not
repudiate him and stayed his disciple, trying to incorperate what he
said into her life. And it has been pointed out that much of what she
said sort of forshadowed what Krishnamurti said. See for instance:

Besant had as her main fault I think the general wish (especially
later on) to want to include everyone in her version of theosophy. For
a full view on that tendency you should read a good Krishnamurti
Biography. For instance one that really goes into the relationship
Krishnamurti - theosophy/theosophical society: Krishnamurti and the
Wind, by Jean Overton-Fuller, published by the TPH-London. 

When comparing Besant and HPB it should also be kept in mind that
Besant was the TS president for the later part of her life. HPB never
was. HPB was the life of the TS, but Olcott was its president.
Organisation wasn't really HPB's strongsuit. 

A physical organisation can never be esoteric. Esoteric is the spirit
that guides it (perhaps), the influence on the thought of the people
(perhaps), the insight that gets transmitted with the help of the
organisation (perhaps), but the organisation itself is merely
convention. Not unnecessary, but not esoteric at all. An organisation
can be used for esoteric purposes, usually temporarily, but that is
always dependent not on the type of organisation but on the inner
quality of the people involved. (though I do think certain types of
organisation are better suited for the work than others, but that sort
of thing is time, place and culture dependent) 

--- In, Mauri <mhart@i...> wrote:
> I tend to find considerations, in general, 
> about Annie Besant's role in organizational 
> Theosophics interesting in that, as I tend to 
> see it, she seems to have wanted to at least 
> introduce (sort of regardless, in a sense?) 
> some kind of (what might be called?) 
> "Theosopical" (or "Liberal Cathollic"?) "new 
> ideas," (apparently?) ... ie, as if such 
> introductory exoterics could somehow help in 
> broadening the wisdom of ... whatever she 
> preferred to call the organization that she 
> led with Leadbeater after HPB's passing.
> So a question might be: was she tapping in 
> to, and making good use of, what might be 
> generally seen as "more-average" notions 
> about such as the Esoteric Tradition (ie, as 
> opposed to a leadership that might be seen to 
> more clearly differentiate between 
> "esoteric" and "exoteric"?) To my way of 
> thinking, speculating, HPB in her 
> organizational Theosophics was far more 
> "esoteric" (in a sense!) than Becant.
> BUT? When I compare the leaderships of 
> Besant and HPB, an interesting contrast tends 
> to come up (?): One can "now see" (as it 
> were, in some cases?), (ie, "thanks to 
> Besant's contrasting ways," in a sense, if 
> in an interpretationsl sense?), something of 
> the differences, contrasts, between HPB's 
> leadership and Besant's leadership, (not that 
> one couldn't necessarily see those contrasts 
> before, exactly, but ... ?), and so one might 
> consider (?) Besant's leadership 
> influence/role from a broader perspective 
> (?), and possibly even from a somewhat 
> "Broader perspective," in some cases ... ? 
> And of course we also have Alice Cleather to 
> thank for offering more in the way of 
> contrasting help, info? :-)
> In other words, if one steps back far enough 
> ... ? Except that of course exoterics will 
> forever remain exoterics (eh?); but/"but" ... ?
> Speculatively,
> Mauri

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