Re: Theos-World Re: CORRECTION: Can theos-talk look at the world?
Sep 28, 2004 01:03 PM
by Morten N. Olesen
Hallo Erica and all,
My views are:
This is a long answer, partly because Erica asked for some detailed
Erica wrote in the below:
"The T.S has not been
involved in politics and will not,"...
So you agree that we shall rule out comparative political studies?
One more time then.
Try to read the following and view your own email below my reply at this
link, which I emailed earliere today:
I will take an exceprt from that email - and quote Blavatsky again, and
state what I have said before.
Letter I -- 1888 - Second Annual Convention -- April 22-23, by H. P.
"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. "
M. Sufilights comment:
So how can we do a comparative study of politics while we (do) not meddle
politics ? I would really like to know that.
As I see it, we can only do so when we fight corruption in government. And
while we relate to the below remarks on politics,
which Blavatsky formulated in The Key to Theosophy.
She says: "as a society it takes absolutely no part in any national or party
So how to make comparative studies in our present informations society while
NOT taking "part in any national or party politics" ???
I find this to be an important question to answer. I think it can only be
done while fighting corruption in government.
And how do we define the word corruption? And how did Blavatsky define it?
(Taken from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theos-talk/message/19218 posted
september 28th 2004, 12:24 pm )
Erica, If you would answer my questions - then we might reach somewhere.
Some detailed Comments are inserted in the below using ***.
M. Sufilight with peace and love...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Erica Letzerich" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 7:33 PM
Subject: Theos-World Re: CORRECTION: Can theos-talk look at the world?
> Here a quote from KH:
> A crisis, in a certain sense, is upon us now, and must be met. I
> might say two crises -- one, the Society's, the other for Tibet.
> For, I may tell you in confidence, that Russia is gradually massing
> her forces for a future invasion of that country under the pretext
> of a Chinese War. If she does not succeed it will be due to us...
> Letter No. 4
> So how do you think they would interfer?
Using altrusim no doubt. But not openly as official members of TS, that is
This is not a matter
> related to politics?
Yes. It clealry is.
I am not taking a subject to other subject, is
> very well related whatever I mentioned. The T.S has not been
> involved in politics and will not, but many of its members and also
> founders as so to say: Blavatsky, Besant and also the Mahatmas were
> clear involved with politics.
Yes. But in a quite different ways.
> The difference is Besant was open involved with politics,
I can agree upon the word "open".
> Mahatmas we dont know much about them, but whatever we know give us
> clues that they were also involved in politics. Blavatsky as I
> mentioned before must also have been involved in politics or with
> what purpose she would fight beside Garibaldi.
That was before 1875 and the establishment of Thje Theosopshical Society. Am
> It is not my intention to change what Blavatsky said, but to sustain
> that every T.S. member has the individual right to be involved with
> politics, that the second object of the T.S. also include politic
> science as any other science.
Yes, PROVIDED that they do not damage the Theosophical cause.
In her book "The Key to Theosophy", Section 12 - Blavatsky states the same.
> I was not questioning the purpose of the MAhatmas, that obviously
> was altruistic but I was saying that even the Mahatmas were
> contacting key persons that would help in the cause. So why they did
> not contact the Ze Cabbage that was living 1 km down from Sinnet's
> house and they contact Sinnet? Because Sinnet was the Editor of an
> important newspaper. Is this not strategy? Or did Sinnet had
> anything else special than just some influence at the time?
What kind of strategy and what kind of influence the Masters excersised
will have to remain an open question to those who are not prepared to know
> Now please in which level the political activities of Besant have
> damaged the T.S. ? Please I would like a detailed explanation on
> that. See that we are not discussing about the foundation of the
> Order of the star of the East. You are saying that the political
> actions of Besant have harmed the society. So please give samples
> that may sustain your affirmation.
Erica, you must understand, that it is quite easy to demand, that one should
explain in detail in an email what a woman did with her life
for a period of 30-40 years. Another it is to understand that this is quite
difficult to do in detail even when the topic is politics.
Another issue is: There have been many differing opinions on a personality
like Annie Besant, and her life and work.
One thing is opinion another is historical facts.
Let us keep ourselves to the facts.
I have not access to all the existing documents and material on Besant.
So it is difficult for me to document my statements in an email - unless I
use some extraordinary ESP.
That is why it is also somewhat difficult for me to present all the facts.
I however have to say this before I start anyone telling about the negative
side of Besant, that
she, as history clearly is a evidence of, did a lot of good to many of the
poor, to women and children by her
social involvement in the world. Both in India and abroad especially in
--- Now why she damaged The Theosophical Society because of her heavy
involvment with politics. ---
I will start with some of the more obvious issues and later put more into
1. By her open commitment to Politics as the TS leader.
Theosophy is not a political party and should not be mistaken for being
one - if it damages the thesosophical cause.
Besant no doubt created an emotional cult around her personality while being
engaged in politics.
To turn TS into an emotional cult was not the aim of the Masters and
It was certainly the aim of Besant. And her political activities created
more emotionalism within TS than was needed.
This should be compared with the statements made by Blavatsky about TS
involvement in politics - when 'doing it alone' so to speak.
Blavatsky quite interestingly states in her book the Key to Theosophy
(Section 12 ):
"Moreover, political action must necessarily vary with the circumstances of
the time and with the
idiosyncracies of individuals. "
...and few lines later...
"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
This is where Besant fails on many accounts.
2. The above has to be compared with the World teacher issue.
An open commitment to politics, while she at the same time forwarded
the World Teacher Maitreya, also called Krishnamurti. A cigaret smoking
World Teacher who went to Cambridge.
It is fair to say, that she used the World Teacher issue as a method to
arouse political emotionalism and thereby support for her views.
3. By her open commitment to Politics as the TS leader while she at the same
time supported a Seeker of dubious
'child-fumbling' clairvoyant nature by the name C. W. Leadbeater, who OPENLY
claimed to have spoken with the Logos.
4. Flirting with facsism without having a visionary understanding of how the
world would look 20 years later.
5. She had a political Socialist background before joining TS and becoming
an open political figure while being the TS leader.
This in it self has created problems to the theosophical cause in later
6. Quoting Radha Burnier: "She was a great organiser, and organised the Home
Rule League in every small town and even in some villages. Theosophists
helped her a great deal in this."
This is Theosophists fighting, what they thought was corruption. And so it
was. And this is good so far it goes. Because it was NOT a fight against
corruption in the sense in which they were lead to believe it. Many of them
They didn't have the needed overview of the difference between emotionalism
AND the difference between The Theosophical Society and Real life politics
In the above link it is said by Radha Burnier:
"In general, I think she was ahead of her time."
And I in a certain sense agree with that.
And because of that she damaged the theosophical cause. This is however
difficult to prove to any Seeker. But those of you who knows something about
the psychology of the Indian people, would problably understand what I am
talking about. "Too much light can damage the skin" as a singhalese would
It was in fact she who created Ghandiji by calling him a Mahatma. And what
"But for her, politics was only the basis for a spiritual and cultural
flowering that had to take place in India. She was elected President of the
Congress in 1917, but she differed with the leaders, particularly Gandhiji,
on the question of non-cooperation because she said it wouldn't matter if
freedom came a few years later, but it would matter tremendously if people
learned to disrespect and disregard the law. To make them respect law again
would be very, very difficult. And today we see the wisdom of what she said,
as there is an anarchical way of people going about things, demanding
various things. Of course, Gandhiji did not want violence either, but Annie
Besant told him that it was possible for him to carry on an agitation
without being violent, but to expect large masses of people to act as he did
would be impossible. So she strongly opposed it and lost her popularity. I
think this was an idea that was ahead of its time."
http://www.flonnet.com/fl1420/14201140.htm (quote by Radha Burnier)
If we are to trust Radha, then Besant considered politics as the same as
Theosophy - only - it seems - when we talk about politics in India.
Is this also the view of the present TS ? (Will no one answer this
question - like all the others.)
I hold the view I have learned through Blavatsky:
You cannot make Theosophy a political party in India if it creates
emotionalism or an emotional cult around TS.
This was not the original intnetion with the TS, and it is damaging its
cause to do so.
This is a fact.
7. My view is, that she, Annie Besant, would have served TS and the world
much better if she had decided to be either political OR the TS leader she
But, she refused and wanted to do both. And she got more chewed, than she
had bargained for.
"There are numerous unequivocal statements of H.P.B. which go to show that
neither the Theosophical Adepts nor Theosophical aspirants nor the Society
she founded can attach undue importance to political activity. In the very
first number of the first volume of her magazine, The Theosophist, that for
October 1879, in the article "What Are the Theosophists?" (reprinted in
U.L.T. Pamphlet No. 22) we find the following:
Unconcerned about politics; hostile to the insane dreams of Socialism and
of Communism, which it abhors-as both are but disguised conspiracies of
brutal force and sluggishness against honest labour; the Society cares but
little about the outward human management of the material world. The whole
of its aspirations are directed towards the occult truths of the visible and
invisible worlds. Whether the physical man be under the rule of an empire or
a republic, concerns only the man of matter. His body may be enslaved; as to
his Soul, he has the right to give to his rulers the proud answer of
Socrates to his Judges. They have no sway ove the inner man. "...
"All that the Adepts can do in this direction was indicated by H.P.B. in an
Editor's Note in The Theosophist of December 1883 (reprinted in THE
THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, January 1937), which also holds a hint for the
Neither the Tibetan nor the modern Hindu Mahatmas for the matter of that,
ever meddle with politics, though they may bring their influence to bear
upon more than one momentous question in the history of a nation-their
mother country especially. "
"In the Supplement to The Theosophist for July 1883 can be found a very
important pronouncement by Col. H. S. Olcott, the co-founder and President
of the Theosophical Society, against mixing Theosophy and politics. This
statement, which H.P.B. endorsed, reads:"
"I take this occasion to say that our Rules, and traditional policy alike,
prohibit every officer and fellow of the Society, AS SUCH, to meddle with
political questions in the slightest degree, and to compromise the Society
by saying that it has, AS SUCH, any opinion upon those or any other
questions. The Presidents of Branches, in all countries, will be good enough
to read this protest to their members, and in every instance when initiating
a candidate to give him to understand-as I invariably do-the fact of our
corporate neutrality. So convinced am I that the perpetuity of our Society
depends upon our keeping closely to our legitimate province, and leaving
Politics "severely alone," I shall use the full power permitted to me as
President-Founder to suspend or expel every member, or even discipline or
discharter any Branch which shall, by offending in this respect, imperil the
work now so prosperously going on in various parts of the world. "
I do hope you all now clearly can see the difference between Besants
activities and the activities of The Theosophical Scoiety in the hands of
H.S. Olcott and H. P.Blavatsky.
Blavatsky uses the word meddle a lot of times.
Here is what a few online dictionaries tells us:
Was this to your satisfaction?
M. Sufilight with peace and love...
> --- In email@example.com, "Morten N. Olesen" <global-
> theosophy@a...> wrote:
> > Hallo Erica and all,
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