RE: time to review
Sep 16, 2003 05:33 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Sept 16 2003
RE: time to review
The philosophy of Theosophy as I understand it begins with the Spiritual
side of things as a model or an ideal. It is the eternal, and to it is
ascribed purity, wisdom, purpose and LIFE.
But there is also associated with it she antitype the physical, material
"form." This is considered to be potential "Spirit." Something that is
intelligent and can be educated to perceive a wider horizon than the
selfish personal and "limited to this one life" view. If the bodily
form is constantly changing, then, what in it is permanent?
For these seeming "opposites" to be perceived, an independent Mind, a
free INTELLIGENCE is apparently needed. How do we see "ourselves?"
What is the power of visualization, of introspection and of
The purpose ascribed to the evolutionary process -- which is universal
and includes our Earth -- is the development of an understanding of the
ideal in the self-limited forms.
The interval (between Spirit and Matter -- form) is the bridge of
intelligence and of consciousness -- reason -- mind and thought. But
even this "bridge" is dual since the desires of the form focused on
itself prove to be an impediment. That impediment is the fact that they
(the "desires") are selfish and not universal in scope. Hence they are
not of themselves IDEAL. Our self-perceptions change all the time. To
be able to "see" these changes there is evidently something in Man's
consciousness that is permanent and changeless. How are we to sort out
As the immortal Spirit/Soul goes through life experience using form
after form in the process of reincarnation, the intelligence in the form
modifies its outlook. These modifications form the field of memory. But
such memories as we ordinarily have are limited to this life and its
Theosophy claims a permanency to a deathless portion of man,
provisionally called the "Spirit/Soul." Altruism and idealism are the
hallmarks of its presence.
Allow me to include here a survey of Theosophical philosophy and work.
THEOSOPHY SIMPLY STATED
THEOSOPHY, as the Wisdom-Religion, has existed from immemorial time. It
offers us a theory of nature and of life which is founded upon knowledge
acquired by the Sages of the past; and its higher students claim that
this knowledge is not imagined or inferred, but that it is a knowledge
of facts seen and known by those who are willing to comply with the
conditions requisite for seeing and knowing. As the oldest tradition of
human wisdom, Theosophy has been expressed in different ages by such as
Krishna and Buddha in the East, by Pythagoras, Plato and Jesus in the
Following these teachers, lesser voices have supported the central tenet
of the philosophy - immortality through reincarnation or rebirth. Bruno
van Helmont, Goethe and Schopenhauer, Shelley, Kipling and Masefield,
Emerson and Whitman, to name but a few, have all upheld the doctrine
given its full philosophical import in the Theosophy presented by H. P.
Theosophy is not a "Faith," for "Faiths" may be changed; but, being
knowledge which each can make his own, it is not dependent upon dogma or
revelation. Theosophists do not demand acceptance of Theosophy; they
point out its principles and their applications. Theosophy makes certain
statements, but not as statements to be believed. The object of
Theosophy is to teach man what he is, through showing him the necessity
of knowing for himself and becoming his own authority.
Although Theosophy contains by derivation the name God and thus may seem
at first sight to embrace religion alone, it does not neglect science.
It is the Science of sciences, for no science is complete which leaves
out any department of nature, whether visible or invisible. Conversely,
that religion which, depending solely on an assumed revelation, turns
away from things and the laws which govern them, is nothing but a
delusion, a foe to progress, and an obstacle in the way of man's
advancement toward happiness. Embracing both the scientific and the
religious, Theosophy is a scientific religion and a religious science.
No new ethics are presented by Theosophy, as it is held that right
ethics are forever the same. But in the doctrines of Theosophy are to be
found the philosophical and reasonable basis for ethics and the natural
enforcement of them in practice. The ideas we entertain of Deity and of
the Self, of Nature's Laws, and of Evolution, govern the actions we
perform. We are now acting, either consciously or unconsciously,
according to the philosophical ideas we hold. Are they the best and
Theosophy is to be explained by reference to the three great principles
which underlie all life, as well as every religion and every philosophy
that ever has been, or ever can be. They may be briefly named: (1) The
Self, as reality in man; (2) Law, as the processes by which man evolves
both in form and soul; (3) Evolution, as the design of life in terms of
meaning and purpose.
FIRST FUNDAMENTAL IDEA
As to Self, and the Source of Life, the great Theosophists, both ancient
and modern, have recorded that there is One Infinite Principle, which is
the Cause of all that was or ever shall be. Thus this causal Self, the
only true "Deity," can be absent from no point of space, and we are
inseparable from it. Each one is a ray from and one with that Absolute
Principle. This is the one realization which immediately sets our minds
in order: we are, in essence, THAT which is unchangeable and unchanging.
Behind all perceiving and knowing and experiencing is the One undivided
Self. The power in us to perceive, to know, to experience - apart from
anything that is seen, known or experienced - is the One Self, the one
Consciousness, shared by all alike, the Power of every being. Herein
lies the true basis of Brotherhood - the unifying bond for all above man
and for all below man.
SECOND FUNDAMENTAL IDEA
The second great principle - law, is referred to in Theosophy as Karma.
Karma is the law of recurring cycles in Nature and the constant tendency
to restore disturbed equilibrium. Applied to man's moral life it is the
law of ethical causation, of justice, reward and punishment, the cause
for birth and rebirth. Viewed from another standpoint it is simply
effect flowing from cause, action and reaction, exact result for every
thought and act. It is act and the result of act; for the word's literal
meaning is action. Theosophy views the Universe as an intelligent whole,
hence every motion in the universe is an action leading to results,
which themselves become causes for further results. We are all reaping
what we have sown, individually and collectively; we never act alone. We
always act on and in connection with others, affecting them for good or
evil, and we get the necessary reaction from the causes set in motion by
ourselves. This presents to us the idea of absolute Justice, in
accordance with which each being receives exactly what he gives - the
essence of free-will.
Indissolubly connected with Karma is another aspect of the law of cycles
- Reincarnation. It means that man as a thinker, composed of soul, mind
and spirit, occupies body after body in life after life on the earth
which is the scene of his evolution, and where he must, under the very
laws of his being, complete that evolution, once it has been begun. In
any one life he is known to others as a personality, but in the whole
stretch of eternity he is one individual, feeling in himself an identity
not dependent on name, form, or recollection. The physical body is
merely the shell of man, made of matter of the earth, from the three
lower kingdoms - mineral, vegetable, and animal - and is being
constantly renewed and worn out from day to day. Man, himself, is that
invisible entity which inhabits the body, which is the cause of its
present construction and development from lower forms of consciousness.
The body is but one instrument of the man within. Other divisions are
the psychic, mental and intuitional natures. Each of these "instruments"
is composed of intelligent "lives," and when the controlling being
withdraws at death, the "instruments" and "lives" separate, only to be
later re-assembled. In this separation of the instruments of man lies
the explanation of "spirit-manifestations" - which are nothing more than
the automatic reflexes of "lives" impressed by the departed soul with
The doctrine of Reincarnation is the very base of Theosophy, for it
explains life and nature. It is one aspect of evolution, since evolution
could not go on without reembodiment. Reincarnation was believed in at
the time of Jesus and taught by some of the early Christian Fathers.
According to the view offered by Karma and Reincarnation, each is his
own judge, and his own executioner; one's own hand forges the weapon
which works for his punishment, and each earns his own reward.
Reincarnation banishes the fear and sorrow of death, for as sleep is a
release from the body, during which we have dreams, so death is a rest
and release, after which we are again incarnated in a new body on earth.
We come once more into what we call waking existence, and meet again and
again the various Egos whom we have known in prior births, that the
causes generated in company with them may be worked out. Schopenhauer
once wrote that this doctrine "presents itself as the natural conviction
of man whenever he reflects at all in an unprejudiced manner."
THIRD FUNDAMENTAL IDEA
Reincarnation brings us to the doctrine of Universal Evolution as
expounded by the Sages of the Wisdom-Religion. The third fundamental
principle of Theosophy points to the fact that all beings in the
universe have evolved from lower points of perception into greater and
greater individualization; that beings above man have gone through our
stage; that there never can be a stoppage to evolution in an infinite
universe of infinite possibilities; that whatever stage of perfection
may be reached in any race, on any planet, or in any solar system, there
are always greater opportunities beyond.
Viewing life and its probable object, with all the varied experience
possible for man, one must be forced to the conclusion that a single
life is not enough for carrying out all that is intended by Nature, to
say nothing of what man himself desires to do. The scale of variety in
experience is enormous; every form of evolving intelligence in nature
either is now a man, has been a man, or will become a man. Further there
is a vast range of powers latent in man which may be developed under
lawful conditions. Knowledge infinite in scope and diversity lies before
us, although we perceive that we have no time to reach up to the measure
of our high aspirations. To say that we have but one life here with such
possibilities put before us and impossible of development is to make of
the universe and life a huge and cruel joke.
THE TEACHING OF HOPE
The two teachings that the West is most urgently in need of are those of
Karma and Reincarnation, the doctrines of hope and responsibility.
Karma, the doctrine of responsibility, means that whatever a man sows he
shall also reap. Reincarnation, the doctrine of hope, means that
whatever be is reaping, he may yet sow better seed. The very fact of
suffering is a blessing. Karma and Reincarnation show us that suffering
is brought about by wrong thought and action; through our suffering we
may be brought to a realization that a wrong course has been pursued. We
learn through our suffering.
WHAT THEOSOPHY EXPLAINS
Theosophy is the only system of religion and philosophy which gives
satisfactory explanation of such problems as these:
First. The contrasts and unions of the world's faiths, and the common
foundation underlying them all.
Second. The existence of evil, suffering, sorrow - a hopeless puzzle to
the mere philanthropist or theologian.
Third. The inequalities in social condition and privilege; the sharp
contrasts between wealth and poverty, intelligence and stupidity,
culture and ignorance, virtue and vileness; the appearance of men of
genius in families destitute of it, as well as other facts in conflict
with the theory of heredity; the frequent cases of unfitness of
environment around individuals, so sore as to embitter disposition,
hamper aspiration, and paralyze endeavor; the violent antithesis between
character and condition; the occurrence of accident, misfortune and
untimely death - all of them problems solvable only by the Theosophic
doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation.
Fourth. The possession by individuals of psychic powers - clairvoyance,
Fifth. The true nature of genuine phenomena in spiritualism, and the
proper antidote to superstition and to exaggerated expectation.
Sixth. The failure of conventional religions to extend their areas,
reform abuses, re-organize society, expand the idea of brotherhood,
abate discontent, diminish crime, and elevate humanity; and an apparent
inadequacy to realize in individual lives the ideal they professedly
>From the perspective of Theosophy, life is one grand school of Being,
and we have come to that stage where it is time for us to learn to
understand the purpose of existence; to grasp our whole nature firmly;
to use every means in our power in every direction - waking, dreaming,
sleeping, or in any other state - to bring the whole of our nature into
accord, so that our lower instrument may be "in line" and thus more
fully reflect our divine inner nature.
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
The Theosophical Movement, broadly considered, is to be found in all
times and in all nations. Wherever thought has struggled to be free,
wherever spiritual ideas, as opposed to forms and dogmatism, have been
promulgated, there the great movement is to be discerned, for noble
action is inspired by noble thought, and Theosophy represents the
principles of such thought.
The Theosophical movement begun by Madame Blavatsky in 1875 has passed
through many changes - changes unavoidable in a period of transition and
among people whose heredity and training are obstacles in the way of
right appreciation and application. But out of all these confusions must
come the nucleus of brotherhood among all men and nations, the formation
of which these teachers had in view from the very first.
CENTERS FOR STUDY AND WORK
There are today, in America and elsewhere, lodges of working students
without organizational affiliations of any kind, engaged in obtaining a
Theosophical education and in making Theosophy available to the
I hope this may help,
From: Thomas E
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 5:59 AM
Subject: Re: time to review
I have read some of the discussion at this talk group with great
and this mail Adelaise point out some of the essence in theosophy.
Of course I know in advance that my wiews will make me a victim of
prejustice. (being someone on the other side; "narrowminded")
In fact in my opinion, the theosophical doctrine of "oneness" and
anti-seperatism is falling under its own rhetorical argumentation. That
is because the hierarcial/pyramidical nature of initation, evolution and
evolving of conciousness - which is the fundamental doctrine in
theosophy - preaches not a union of mankind, but a separation of the
higher, from the lower.
This is in my opinion nothing else than an abstraction of the laws of
nature, which is the survival of the fittest - and is the antithesis of
the kingdom in heaven: our common divine nature, which is creation -
where we all are equal.
Well, the whole doctrine of evolving into God (and its falsness), is of
course thouroghly presentet in the Bible - I will refer to that book. I
just want to give another version of "the big picture", or the Golden
Age. Maybe it is not the utopia of a great human divine plan, but simply
one person being able to grow fond of another person, not "falling in
love", but the ability to actually love
things and poeple for what they are, and not what they should become.
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