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RE: Theos-World RE: T S and POLITICS

Sep 09, 2004 11:24 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

-----Original Message-----
From: Morten N. Olesen [mailto:global-theosophy@a...] 
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 3:31 AM
Subject: Re: Theos-World RE: T S and POLITICS

Hallo Dallas and all,

My views are:

1. We aught not to forget the following quote either:

" I am confident that, when the real nature of Theosophy is understood, the
prejudice against it, now so unfortunately prevalent, will die out.
Theosophists are of necessity the friends of all movements in the world,
whether intellectual or simply practical, for the amelioration of the
condition of mankind. We are the friends of all those who fight against
drunkenness, against cruelty to animals, against injustice to women, against
corruption in society or in government, although we do not meddle in
politics. We are the friends of those who exercise practical charity, who
seek to lift a little of the tremendous weight of misery that is crushing
down the poor. But, in our quality of Theosophists, we cannot engage in any
one of these great works in particular. As individuals we may do so, but as
Theosophists we have a larger, more important, and much more difficult work
to do. People say that Theosophists should show what is in them, that "the
tree is known by its fruit." Let them build dwellings for the poor, it is
said, let them open "soup kitchens," etc., etc., and the world will believe
that there is something in Theosophy. These good people forget that
Theosophists, as such, are poor, and that the Founders themselves are poorer
than any, and that one of them, at any rate, the humble writer of these
lines, has no property of her own, and has to work hard for her daily bread
whenever she finds time from her Theosophical duties. The function of
Theosophists is to open men's hearts and understandings to charity, justice,
and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human kingdom
and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being.
Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have
learnt to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think, they
will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be
done spontaneously by all. "
( Letter from H. P. Blavatsky, dated April 3, 1888
read by William Q. Judge,
afternoon session, April 22 - 1888; reproduced verbatim from the original
typescript in the Archives of the Theosophical Society, Pasadena )

2.. And...One thing we aught not to forget while reading this is,
that Politics back then in 1875-1891 was not the same in England, US,
France, India and other countries - as it is TODAY.

When viewed in that light, I think we aught to be careful to read these
words by Blavatsky in any dead-letter sense or in any literal manner.
Do the readers not agree?

More so if one read the below quotes then one will find, that
Blavatsky are talking about theosophy's relation to politics
in a manner as if she is addressing people with different levels of
and different types of Seekers,

For instance:
"the Society cares but little
about the outward human management of the material world"


"who work together for one object, the improvement of humanity"


"Moreover, political
action must necessarily vary with the circumstances of the time and with the
idiosyncracies of individuals."

and also

Theosophist, therefore, is bound to do his utmost to help on, by all the
means in his power, every wise and well-considered social effort which has
for its object the amelioration of the condition of the poor. "


So let us learn to work "spontaneously" towards all as Blavatsky said.

"Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have
learnt to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think, they
will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be
done spontaneously by all."
(I do like this sentence.)

M. Sufilight

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "W.Dallas TenBroeck" <dalval14@e...>
To: "AA-BNStudy" <study@b...>
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 10:58 AM
Subject: Theos-World RE: T S and POLITICS

Sept 8 2004


For what it is worth, here is what HPB the founder of the THEOSOPHICAL
SOCIETY and the primary promulgator of THEOSOPHY said:

Red and think about the principles involved:


"Unconcerned about politics; hostile to the insane dreams of Socialism and
Communism, which it abhors--as both are but disguised conspiracies of brutal
force and sluggishness against honest labor the Society cares but little
about the outward human management of the material world." HPB
--"What are the Theosophists ?" Theost. Oct 1879, p. 7

"...Work, therefore, to bring about the moral regeneration of the cultured
but far more immoral classes before you attempt to do the same for our
ignorant younger Brethren. The latter was undertaken years ago, and is
carried on to this day, yet with no perceptible good results. It is not
evident that the reason for this lies in the fact that [except] for a few
earnest, sincere and all-sacrificing workers in that field, the great
majority of the volunteers consists of those same frivolous, ultra-selfish
classes, who 'play at charity' and whose ideas of the amelioration of the
physical and moral status of the poor are confined to the hobby that money
and the Bible alone can do it."
HPB -- "The Tidal Wave" Lucifer, Nov. 1889


ENQUIRER. The Theosophical Society is not, then, a political organization?

THEOSOPHIST. Certainly not. It is international in the highest sense in that
its members comprise men and women of all races, creeds, and forms of
thought, who work together for one object, the improvement of humanity; but
as a society it takes absolutely no part in any national or party politics.

ENQUIRER. Why is this?

THEOSOPHIST. Just for the reasons I have mentioned. Moreover, political
action must necessarily vary with the circumstances of the time and with the
idiosyncracies of individuals. While from the very nature of their position
as Theosophists the members of the T. S. are agreed on the principles of
Theosophy, or they would not belong to the society at all, it does not
thereby follow that they agree on every other subject. As a society they can
only act together in matters which are common to all -- that is, in
Theosophy itself; as individuals, each is left perfectly free to follow out
his or her particular line of political thought and action, so long as this
does not conflict with Theosophical principles or hurt the Theosophical

ENQUIRER. But surely the T. S. does not stand altogether aloof from the
social questions which are now so fast coming to the front?

THEOSOPHIST. The very principles of the T. S. are a proof that it does not
—or, rather, that most of its members do not— so stand aloof. If humanity
can only be developed mentally and spiritually by the enforcement, first of
all, of the soundest and most scientific physiological laws, it is the
bounden duty of all who strive for this development to do their utmost to
see that those laws shall be generally carried out. All Theosophists are
only too sadly aware that, in Occidental countries especially, the social
condition of large masses of the people renders it impossible for either
their bodies or their spirits to be properly trained, so that the
development of both is thereby arrested. As this training and development is
one of the express objects of Theosophy, the T. S. is in thorough sympathy
and harmony with all true efforts in this direction.

ENQUIRER. But what do you mean by "true efforts"? Each social reformer has
his own panacea, and each believes his to be the one and only thing which
can improve and save humanity?

THEOSOPHIST. Perfectly true, and this is the real reason why so little
satisfactory social work is accomplished. In most of these panaceas there is
no really guiding principle, and there is certainly no one principle which
connects them all. Valuable time and energy are thus wasted; for men,
instead of co-operating, strive one against the other, often, it is to be
feared, for the sake of fame and reward rather than for the great cause
which they profess to have at heart, and which should be supreme in their

ENQUIRER. How, then, should Theosophical principles be applied so that
social co-operation may be promoted and true efforts for social amelioration
be carried on?

THEOSOPHIST. Let me briefly remind you what these principles are --
universal Unity and Causation; Human Solidarity; the Law of Karma;
Re-incarnation. These are the four links of the golden chain which should
bind humanity into one family, one universal Brotherhood.


THEOSOPHIST. In the present state of society, especially in so-called
civilized countries, we are continually brought face to face with the fact
that large numbers of people are suffering from misery, poverty and disease.
Their physical condition is wretched, and their mental and spiritual
faculties are often almost dormant. On the other hand, many persons at the
opposite end of the social scale are leading lives of careless indifference,
material luxury, and selfish indulgence. Neither of these forms of existence
is mere chance. Both are the effects of the conditions which surround those
who are subject to them, and the neglect of social duty on the one side is
most closely connected with the stunted and arrested development on the
other. In sociology, as in all branches of true science, the law of
universal causation holds good. But this causation necessarily implies, as
its logical outcome, that human solidarity on which Theosophy so strongly
insists. If the action of one reacts on the lives of all, and this is the
true scientific idea, then it is only by all men becoming brothers and all
women sisters, and by all practising in their daily lives true brotherhood
and true sisterhood, that the real human solidarity, which lies at the root
of the elevation of the race, can ever be attained. It is this action and
interaction, this true brotherhood and sisterhood, in which each shall live
for all and all for each, which is one of the fundamental Theosophical
principles that every Theosophist should be bound, not only to teach, but to
carry out in his or her individual life.

ENQUIRER. All this is very well as a general principle, but how would you
apply it in a concrete way?

THEOSOPHIST. Look for a moment at what you would call the concrete facts of
human society. Contrast the lives not only of the masses of the people, but
of many of those who are called the middle and upper classes, with what they
might be under healthier and nobler conditions, where justice, kindness, and
love were paramount, instead of the selfishness, indifference, and brutality
which now too often seem to reign supreme. All good and evil things in
humanity have their roots in human character, and this character is, and has
been, conditioned by the endless chain of cause and effect. But this
conditioning applies to the future as well as to the present and the past.
Selfishness, indifference, and brutality can never be the normal state of
the race— to believe so would be to despair of humanity— and that no
Theosophist can do. Progress can be attained, and only attained, by the
development of the nobler qualities. Now, true evolution teaches us that by
altering the surroundings of the organism we can alter and improve the
organism; and in the strictest sense this is true with regard to man. Every
Theosophist, therefore, is bound to do his utmost to help on, by all the
means in his power, every wise and well-considered social effort which has
for its object the amelioration of the condition of the poor. Such efforts
should be made with a view to their ultimate social emancipation, or the
development of the sense of duty in those who now so often neglect it in
nearly every relation of life.

ENQUIRER. Agreed. But who is to decide whether social efforts are wise or

THEOSOPHIST. No one person and no society can lay down a hard-and-fast rule
in this respect. Much must necessarily be left to the individual judgment.
One general test may, however, be given. Will the proposed action tend to
promote that true brotherhood which it is the aim of Theosophy to bring
about? No real Theosophist will have much difficulty in applying such a
test; once he is satisfied of this, his duty will lie in the direction of
forming public opinion. And this can be attained only by inculcating those
higher and nobler conceptions of public and private duties which lie at the
root of all spiritual and material improvement. In every conceivable case he
himself must be a centre of spiritual action, and from him and his own daily
individual life must radiate those higher spiritual forces which alone can
regenerate his fellow-men.

ENQUIRER. But why should he do this? Are not he and all, as you teach,
conditioned by their Karma, and must not Karma necessarily work itself out
on certain lines?

THEOSOPHIST. It is this very law of Karma which gives strength to all that I
have said. The individual cannot separate himself from the race, nor the
race from the individual. The law of Karma applies equally to all, although
all are not equally developed. In helping on the development of others, the
Theosophist believes that he is not only helping them to fulfil their Karma,
but that he is also, in the strictest sense, fulfilling his own. It is the
development of humanity, of which both he and they are integral parts, that
he has always in view, and he knows that any failure on his part to respond
to the highest within him retards not only himself but all, in their
progressive march. By his actions, he can make it either more difficult or
more easy for humanity to attain the next higher plane of being.

ENQUIRER. How does this bear on the fourth of the principles you mentioned,
viz., Re-incarnation?

THEOSOPHIST. The connection is most intimate. If our present lives depend
upon the development of certain principles which are a growth from the germs
left by a previous existence, the law holds good as regards the future. Once
grasp the idea that universal causation is not merely present, but past,
present and future, and every action on our present plane falls naturally
and easily into its true place, and is seen in its true relation to
ourselves and to others. Every mean and selfish action sends us backward and
not forward, while every noble thought and every unselfish deed are
steppingstones to the higher and more glorious planes of being. If this life
were all, then in many respects it would indeed be poor and mean; but
regarded as a preparation for the next sphere of existence, it may be used
as the golden gate through which we may pass, not selfishly and alone, but
in company with our fellows, to the palaces which lie beyond." Key , p.
231 - 7

Politics have no relation to Universal Brotherhood that I can discern.

"Theosophist is who THEOSOPHY does."

Each student of Theosophy needs to make up their own individual mind.

Karma follows all INDIVIDUAL decisions.. Each ne is responsible for their

Best wishes



-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 11:27 AM

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