Re: Theos-World RE: RE: Cayce's relevance to Theosophy/theosophy
Nov 04, 2004 05:50 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
Thank you for your views, though based upon what you offer below, I am
not convinced that you do understand my concerns. Instead of addressing
my concerns, your replies seem to reinforce them instead. My responses
to yours below ought to elaborate upon what I mean:
W.Dallas TenBroeck wrote:
>In my view THEOSOPHY is not simply a religion to be presented and rubbed in.
Which is why I object when well meaning students present and rub
>It is essentially HISTORY.
I would say that its teachings are essentially (or at least presented
as) an elaborate and evolving philosophical system designed to bring
one to the realization of Self, but if you were to elaborate upon what
you mean by "HISTORY" we may still be in agreement. Theosophy is defined
in many ways, but seems to ultimately remain an abstraction like: "The
Good", "Truth", "The Path" ect.
>Apparently the book titled the SECRET DOCTRINE has as one of its functions
>the revealing of those "secret" doctrines that hitherto have ben restricted
>to the area of learning kept secret and sacred in the past in all religions.
>It underlies them all because it is basic to all.
While the SD points to the Secret Doctrine, I have never seen anywhere
in the SD where the Secret Doctrine is openly elaborated upon, or as you
say, "revealed.". Can you give an example?
>Additionally, I think, it is intended to waken the mind of those readers who
>are ready to consider it, as it offers a series of philosophical and logical
>points, as well as a great deal of information for review.
Yes, as I wrote earlier-- a springboard for further inquiry.
>I believe inherent in that Book, and in the rest of the authentic writings
>by HPB and the Masters that we have, is information concerning the link
>between metaphysics and ethics -- and explains, for instance : The BHAGAVAD
>GITA, and the DHAMMAPADA, and the "Sermon on the Mount."
That depends upon what you mean by ethics and metaphysics.
>Religion (as we know it and see it largely practised) is generated when
>people begin to "believe authorities they choose" (priests and priesthoods)
>without adequate examination, study or understanding. This usually leads to
>thoughtlessness, and eventually to prejudice and fanaticism, all divisive --
>instead of creating a community of interest, dialog and mutual respect.
An interesting definition, since you are defining the term by the
behavior of some of its adherents. Since, I see the same behavior
commonly exhibited among Theosophists, I would further suggests that
your definition of religion will also have to apply to Theosophy--which
is one of the points I was initially trying to get across.
>Theosophy is essentially an expression of the Laws of brotherhood and of
>infinite cooperation in action. It is based on a universal set of virtues
>to which all who think independently can subscribe unhesitatingly. It
>isolates, stigmatizes and attacks no one. It lets the evidence of
>universal virtue stand forward as the only basis for all to re-discover for
>themselves and endeavour to practise.
Note that the definition you gave for religion is in terms of the
behavior of some of its followers, where the definition you give here
for Theosophy begins as a label for certain philosophical notions ( i.e.
"Laws of brotherhood", "universal set of virtues") then takes on
anthropromorphic characteristics: (i.e. [Theosophy] isolates,
stigmatizes and attacks no one...). The ladder part of your definition
reminds me of Giordano Bruno's definition of "Truth" which he
metamorphosises into a woman. This is great for poetry and religious
rhetoric, but a very unfair way to compare religion and Theosophy.
>Every Great Teacher, Reformer, or Prophet to which a religion has been
>ascribed as its founder, will be found to offer as ideals the same general
>verities and enjoin their practice.
So we are told--and as long as one sticks with Indo-European religions,
it works--more or less. Once one begins to look more closely at
non-indo-European religions, this idea becomes increasingly problematic.
>The SECRET DOCTRINE offers (Vol 1, pp.
>272-3) a survey of the efforts made for millennia by The Single Lodge of
>Wise Adepts to keep wisdom, and its necessary derived ethics, available for
>anyone who wanted to find it, in the world
So we are told.
>For those who may have considered THEOSOPHY (as presented by HPB and the
>Masters) to be the latest rallying point, the verities are now written, and
>offered, supported by historical evidence and logical philosophical points.
As are the "verities" of any religion of the book.
>These, the latter, are a series of essential points, few in number, but long
>in explanation, made concerning the recurring origin, nature and
>functioning of the Universe (and that includes us). By these, I mean the
>"THREE FUNDAMENTALS" as found in the SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I, pp 14 -19,
>and then explained at length in that book as well as in articles written by
>HPB, and others. Of course, you may or may not agree with me on this.
I agree with you that the SD narrative is essentially an elaboration
upon the "THREE FUNDAMENTALS". Understanding of these three
propositions are necessary in order to follow the thread of logic that
ties together HPB's narrative. However, to put them on a level
comparable to that given by Christians to the Credo recited at every
Mass, is IMO, going too far.
>Further, I am deeply interested in the way the history of those ideas can be
>found traced in the many sources still available to us, derived from
>antiquity -- as myth, lore, literature, fable, history, scientific data,
>ancient monuments, traces of religions, sciences and philosophies, etc.
As am I.
>Are we on the road to TRUTH? Are we practising "Brotherhood?" I would say that the more universal and
>impersonal we are, the surer we will be in that regard.
Agreed if that practice is a personal one. On the other hand, preaching
of the "TRUTH" of Theosophy defeats the whole intent.
>It is said that the process of universal evolution, which give all fractions
>of life in NATURE an equal opportunity to progress, start from
>"universality" and descend into those many "particulars" we know of. All
>have an equal base, rooted in SPIRIT -- purity and truth -- and the 7-fold
>concept of that evolutionary process illustrates that [ S D I 157; II
It is so said.
>I am of the opinion that there are Wise Men, Avatars, Rishis, Mahatmas,
>Adepts, etc..., and that they have acquired their wisdom through great
>personal effort and self-discipline in the past.
So we are told.
> And in THEOSOPHY it is said
>that those never "died" but continue, very much alive, as "teachers" and
>"Elder Brothers" working continually for humanity. This idea has inspired
So we are told.
>I have felt further inspired by the concept that in essence, within me,
>there is a "spark" of the One Spirit, and Buddhi-wisdom, surrounds it. This
>provides me a "bridge" to understanding the nature and the work of beings
>such as HPB and the Masters of Wisdom.
This reminds me of a story that W.B. Yeats told concerning an open
discussion meeting he attended at HPB's. He wrote that there was a
woman present who was so taken by this idea of a divine spark within her
that during the course of the evening she repeated it again and again at
every opportunity. Finally HPB spoke up and said that: My dear, what
you say is true, but if you keep repeating it, that spark will go out.
>They have not used their acquired wisdom to isolate themselves, or to seek a
>host of mindless converts, and lead them to a mental desolation, or a
>selfish area of personal enjoyment -- at the expense of the rest of
Not their intent perhaps, but in many cases, their unintended outcome.
>As I said, their "names" and "residences" are unimportant. But to make those
>important as "personalities," and give them a limited presence, deflects the
>time anyone might better spend on research for verity and truth. I object
>to anything that diminishes their work and presence.
Like the portraits of M and KH, which, as an Indian member of our group
characterized as looking like "a couple of white men." ?
>Nor can they be made dependent on the expressions colored by the popular
>languages of the moment (or its dialects, and "levels of education") -- and
>there are many others than English which ought to be considered -- as the
>THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT and THEOSOPHY are worldwide movements.
>Now whether this may be characterized as globular, linear, or circular,
>personal, individual or general thinking or, "whatever," has little meaning
>for me. The main point is: IS IT COMPLETE? Is everyone free to discover,
>test and use it?
I would say, circular. Which is my initial point. Treating Theosophy
as an endless elaboration upon certain notions in order to prove certain
axioms is just another theology. A truly universal approach to Truth is
one that does not endlessly feed upon itself, but constantly broadens
its self by the progressive discovery of new truths which brings about a
broadening and ever evolving understanding of ourselves and the universe
inwhich we live.
>The next point is: How do we, students all, view the PROFESSORS (I mean the
>Masters of Wisdom in this, our "University of Life") and the practitioners
>of truth and law? Do we recognize and understand their sacrifice?
That understanding would requires an inquiry that includes and is
collaborated by information which lies outside of the Theosophical texts.
>I perceive that underlying the "eye doctrine" lies a "heart doctrine."
So we are told.
>is what I seek and try to understand. And in doing this I present my ideas,
>questions and discoveries in the area of logic and philosophy, to others --
>as I am in search of confirmation -- and without assuming any "authority" at
Except, of course, the authority of the Masters and their messenger,
which you endlessly quote in order to illustrate what you believe. Can
you find confirmation without reference to the Masters or to HPB? That
is the difference between a circular and a progressive inquiry.
>Certain things connected with the personality of a "great leader" have to be
>explained every now and again, even in among a group of students, or in a
>Society whose effort is as much as possible to avoid the discussion of
Explained? or, explained away?
>Sometimes they are disagreeable, especially when, as in the present
>instance, some other persons have to be brought in. And when the great
>leader is H.P. Blavatsky, and the question of her Teachers, a great number
>of principles, as to certain laws of the inner and divine nature in every
>human being are found to cluster around her and Their names.
Yes. A real problem which needs to be solved by going outside of the
Master's letters and HPB's writings if one is to get a balanced
>She, as their "representative," is the one who brought to us, from those
>wiser brothers of the human family, a consistent philosophy of the solar
>system, and also in herself, illustrated and practically demonstrated
>through her control, the existence of the supersensuous world, and of the
>potentials or, powers of the inner, the divine, and astral man.
As every devoted Theosophist is expected to believe.
>Hence any theory or assertion touching on Their relations - which to us are
>unseen -- and between her and the Masters she spoke for, opens up for
>discussion some occult laws or principles.
Occult laws or principles of which are beyond the personal experience of
your presumed discussors.
>Lets consider an item in the history of the THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT.
>It relates to the question settled in the SECRET DOCTRINE by the Masters as
>to the relations of Mars and Mercury to our Earth. The whole philosophy
>hangs upon it. The disagreement came about because Mr. Sinnett held that his
>view of one of the letters from the Master received in India -- through the
>hand of H.P.B. -- was the correct view, whereas she said it was not. Then he
>claimed she had been "deserted by the Masters." This pernicious theory and
>others like it were brought forward to show she was wrong, did not have the
>words from the Masters, and that Mr. Sinnett's narrow and materialistic
>views of the Master's statement was the correct ones. He kept rigidly to his
>position, and she asked the Master for further explanation. When this was
>received by her and shown to Mr. Sinnett he denied its authenticity, and
>then the theory that she was deserted by the Masters was republished by him.
However, Sinnett claimed (and evidently believed) that he also got
confirmation concerning this Mars/Mercury controversy from the same
masters through communications from them that continued beyond 1885.
> He seemed to forget that she was the channel and he was not.
He was told that she was sometimes a channel for them, and sometimes
taken over by "black magicians." Also, we must not forget that
Sinnett's book, Esoteric Buddhism was the first organized exposition to
the public of those notions which we call Theosophy: i.e. Globs, rounds,
Root and sub-races, reincarnation, devachan, kama loka, eighth sphere etc.
>Although wide publicity was not given to the charge then, it was fully
>discussed by the many visitors to both camps, and its effect remains to this
>day among those who of late have turned in private against H.P.B. Among
>themselves they explain away very easily, and in public they oppose those
>who adhere firmly to her memory, her honor, and the truth of her statements
>about the Masters and their communications to her.
Because of what they were told.
>They think that by dragging her down to the mediocre level on which they
>stand they may pretend to understand her, and look wise as they tell when
>she was and when she was not obsessed.
An ad homnium argument.
>This effort will, of course, be unsuccessful; and some will think the matter
>need not be brought forward. There are many reasons why it should be
>discussed and left no longer as a secret poison: because it leads to a
>negation of brotherhood; to an upholding of ingratitude, one of the blackest
>crimes; and, if believed, will inevitably lead to the destruction of the
>great philosophy broadly outlined by the Masters through H.P.B.
Especially if argued and everyone decides to come to the wrong
conclusions. Right? ;-)
>It strikes me forcefully that if critics and detractors cannot successfully
>attack the philosophy of THEOSOPHY, then they can muddy the waters by
>besmirching the reputation of its original and prime promulgators : Masters,
>HPB, Judge, etc. An effort ought to be made by those who know the history
>(I mean the sequence of events and documents) to clear their reputations
>once and for all. All who can ought to participate in that.
Yes, but not with another hagiography. We have too many of those
already which only serve to make Theosophy look all the more foolish to
the rest of the world.
>Well for the moment I will have to stop, but I do maintain my points as
>What is it that we know for sure from within?" What is an "intuition?"
>I hope this may be of use in our conversation.
Yes. Your comments are of great use, as I hope you will see above. BTW,
please understand that concerning the Mars/Mercury controversy, I was
playing devil's advocate with you in order to get across the difficulty
in "setting the record straight." Both sides have internally
consistent arguments, and upon the grounds that the controversy is
debated, it always comes down to who is to be believed. I'm sure that
HPB would nod in agreement when I say that it is more important that we
rely on our own authority--not hers, or the Masters. Remember Fern, who
failed because of his own fanaticism?
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