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Dec 05, 2004 05:35 PM
by Regina St Clare

One and All,
To me, the day when any one who calls himself a theosophist can actually accept the point of view of another, without defense or offense in thought, word or deed, then we will have the true spirit of what HPB, in her best intention, flaws and all, was dedicated to accomplishing.

In alignment with all great world teachers, masters, et. al. we are, at best struggling to demonstrate Unity and Oneness. 

Actually, contention is alive and well in the ts and spiritual circles.

So, as far as we have come, we have much to go, in what I call vertical development. Horizontal development is easy, just more of the same, that is in our comfort zone. And, it is often spectacular exchanges of information and insight.

Who, is willing to make the Everest climb to the place when we have NO CONTENTION for which brand name or generic model of theosophy that one espouses.


ay it be really new and better than every before


-- "W.Dallas TenBroeck" <> wrote:

Dec 5 2004




Dear Friends:

This is a summary of what HPB wrote in:


Are they what they claim to be--students of natural law, of ancient and
modern philosophy, and even of exact science? Are they Deists, Atheists,
Socialists, Materialists, or Idealists; or are they but a schism of modern
Spiritualism,--mere visionaries? Are they entitled to any consideration, as
capable of discussing philosophy and promoting real science; or should they
be treated with the compassionate toleration which one gives to "harmless

Men slander only those whom they hate--or fear. 

Holding this country [India], as we do, for the fruitful hot-bed whence
proceeded all subsequent philosophical systems, to this source of all
psychology and philosophy 

The line of philosophical heredity, from Kapila through Epicurus to James
Mill; from Patanjali through Plotinus to Jacob Boehme, can be traced like
the course of a river through a landscape. 


…one of our objects, ‘’’[is] to revive the work of Ammonius Saccas, and make
various nations remember that they are the children "of one mother."
[Eclectic Theosophy of the 3rd Century in Alexandria, Egypt. see “Key to
Theosophy,” p. 3-5, 39]

With how much, then, of this nature-searching, God-seeking science of the
ancient Aryan and Greek mystics, and of the powers of modern spiritual
mediumship, does the Society agree? Our answer is: WITH IT ALL. 


But if asked what it believes in, the reply will be: "AS A BODY--NOTHING." 

The Society, as a body, has no creed, as creeds are but the shells around
spiritual knowledge; and Theosophy in its fruition is spiritual knowledge
itself--the very essence of philosophical and theistic enquiry. 

The religion of the Society is an algebraical equation, in which so long as
the sign = of equality is not omitted, each member is allowed to substitute
quantities of his own, which better accord with climatic and other
exigencies of his native land, with the idiosyncrasies of his people, or
even with his own. 

Having no accepted creed, our Society is very ready to give and take, to
learn and teach, by practical experimentation, as opposed to mere passive
and credulous acceptance of enforced dogma. 

It is willing to accept every result claimed by any of the foregoing schools
or systems, that can be logically and experimentally demonstrated.
Conversely, it can take nothing on mere faith, no matter by whom the demand
may be made. 


The Society's members represent the most varied nationalities and races, and
were born and educated in the most dissimilar creeds and social conditions.
Some of them believe in one thing, others in another. Some incline towards
the ancient magic, or secret wisdom that was taught in the sanctuaries,
which was the very opposite of supernaturalism or diabolism; others in
modern spiritualism, or intercourse with the spirits of the dead; still
others in mesmerism or animal magnetism, or only an occult dynamic force in
nature. A certain number have scarcely yet acquired any definite belief, but
are in a state of attentive expectancy; and there are even those who call
themselves materialists, in a certain sense. 

Of atheists and bigoted sectarians of any religion, there are none in the
Society; for the very fact of a man's joining it proves that he is in search
of the final truth as to the ultimate essence of things. 


If there be such a thing as a speculative atheist, which philosophers may
deny, he would have to reject both cause and effect, whether in this world
of matter, or in that of spirit…But even they are not atheist in the
speculative sense, whether they identify the material forces of the universe
with the functions with which the theists endow their God, or otherwise; for
once that they cannot free themselves from the conception of the abstract
ideal of power, cause, necessity, and effect, they can be considered as
atheists only in respect to a Personal God, and not to the Universal Soul of
the Pantheist. 

On the other hand the bigoted sectarian, fenced in, as he is, with a creed
upon every paling of which is written the warning "No Thoroughfare," can
neither come out of his enclosure to join the Theosophical Society, nor, if
he could, has it room for one whose very religion forbids examination. 


As a body, the Theosophical Society holds that all original thinkers and
investigators of the hidden side of nature whether materialists--those who
find in matter "the promise and potency of all terrestrial life," or
spiritualists--that is, those who discover in spirit the source of all
energy and of matter as well, were and are, properly, Theosophists. 

For to be one, one need not necessarily recognize the existence of any
special God or a deity. 

One need but worship the spirit of living nature, and try to identify
oneself with it. To revere that Presence, the invisible Cause, which is yet
ever manifesting itself in its incessant results; the intangible,
omnipotent, and omnipresent Proteus: indivisible in its Essence, and eluding
form, yet appearing under all and every form; who is here and there, and
everywhere and nowhere; is ALL, and NOTHING; ubiquitous yet one; the Essence
filling, binding, bounding, containing everything, contained in all. It
will, we think, be seen now, that whether classed as Theists, Pantheists or
Atheists, such men are near kinsmen to the rest. Be what he may, 

…once that a student abandons the old and trodden highway of routine, and
enters upon the solitary path of independent thought--Godward--he is a
Theosophist; an original thinker, a seeker after the eternal truth with "an
inspiration of his own" to solve the universal problems. 

With every man that is earnestly searching in his own way after a knowledge
of the Divine Principle, of man's relations to it, and nature's
manifestations of it, Theosophy is allied. 

It is likewise the ally of honest science, as distinguished from much that
passes for exact, physical science, so long as the latter does not poach on
the domains of psychology and metaphysics. 

And it is also the ally of every honest religion--to wit, a religion willing
to be judged by the same tests as it applies to the others. 

Those books, which contain the most self-evident truth, are to it inspired
(not revealed). But all books it regards, on account of the human element
contained in them, as inferior to the Book of Nature; to read which and
comprehend it correctly, the innate powers of the soul must be highly

Ideal laws can be perceived by the intuitive faculty alone; they are beyond
the domain of argument and dialectics, and no one can understand or rightly
appreciate them through the explanations of another mind, even though this
mind be claiming a direct revelation. 


And it is also due to the unremitting labors of such Orientalists as Sir W.
Jones, Max Müller, Burnouf, Colebrooke, Haug, St. Hilaire, and so many
others, that the Society, as a body, feels equal respect and veneration for
Vedic, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, and other old religions of the world; and, a
like brotherly feeling toward its Hindu, Sinhalese, Parsi, Jain, Hebrew, and
Christian members as individual students of "self," of nature, and of the
divine in nature. 


Born in the United States of America, the Society was constituted on the
model of its Mother Land. The latter, omitting the name of God from its
constitution lest it should afford a pretext one day to make a state
religion, gives absolute equality to all religions in its laws... The
Society, modelled upon this constitution, may fairly be termed a "Republic
of Conscience." 


We have now, we think, made clear why our members, as individuals, are free
to stay outside or inside any creed they please, provided they do not
pretend that none but themselves shall enjoy the privilege of conscience,
and try to force their opinions upon the others. 

In this respect the Rules of the Society are very strict: 

It tries to act upon the wisdom of the old Buddhistic axiom, "Honour thine
own faith, and do not slander that of others"; echoed back in our present
century, in the "Declaration of Principles" of the Brahmo Samaj, which so
nobly states that: "no sect shall be vilified, ridiculed, or hated." 

RULE:	It is not lawful for any officer of the Parent Society to
express, by word or act, any hostility to, or preference for, any one
section (sectarian division, or group within the Society) more than another.
All must be regarded and treated as equally the objects of the Society's
solicitude and exertions. All have an equal right to have the essential
features of their religious belief laid before the tribunal of an impartial

In their individual capacity, members may, when attacked, occasionally break
this Rule, but, nevertheless, as officers they are restrained, and the Rule
is strictly enforced during the meetings.


…we may state that [the T S], broader and far more universal in its views
than any existing mere scientific Society, it has, plus science, its belief
in every possibility, and determined will to penetrate into those unknown
spiritual regions which exact science pretends that its votaries have no
business to explore.


And, it has one quality more than any religion in that it makes no
difference between Gentile, Jew, or Christian. It is in this spirit that the
Society has been established upon the footing of a UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD. 


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…They have no sway over the inner man. 

The true student has ever been a recluse, a man of silence and meditation.
With the busy world his habits and tastes are so little in common that,
while he is studying, his enemies and slanderers have undisturbed
opportunities. But time cures all and lies are but ephemera. Truth alone is

One man's thought, infinitely various as are its manifestations, is not

Denied ubiquity, it must necessarily speculate but in one direction; and
once transcending the boundaries of exact human knowledge, it has to err and
wander, for the ramifications of the one Central and absolute Truth are


But as all work for one and the same object, namely, the disenthralment of
human thought, the elimination of superstitions, and the discovery of truth,
all are equally welcome. 

The attainment of these objects, all agree, can best be secured by
convincing the reason and warming the enthusiasm of the generation of fresh
young minds…And, as each--the great ones as well as small--have trodden the
royal road to knowledge, we listen to all, and take both small and great
into our fellowship. For no honest searcher comes back empty-handed, and
even he who has enjoyed the least share of popular favor can lay at least
his mite upon the one altar of Truth. 

- HPB THEOSOPHIST, October, 1879 






HPB does not claim "authority." She claims to be a "messenger."
Specifically a messenger from the Great and Ancient Lodge of ADEPTS. 

In both ISIS UNVEILED and The SECRET DOCTRINE she disclaims any personal
authority and gives the credit for the records she transmits to the real
authors, the Mahatmas.

Since she was well aware that the Theosophical theories and hypotheses would
be received with various degrees of incredulity from the academies, she was
careful to make it clear that the information was in reality taken from the
HISTORY that the Adepts and their disciples (chelas) had recorded down the
ages. All that she requested was "equal time" and open consideration of
what Theosophy had to offer. [ S D I 272 - 300 ]

This suggests that THEOSOPHY is not a new fangled system of collated ideas
drawn from many sources -- in fact if it were even that, then the marvel is
of HPB's mind. And, her capacity in drawing such a vast diversity together
and showing how the many pieces hung together to form a seamless whole in
the world of ideas and concepts. In many student's experience and wide
reading, there is no one who has written such a comprehensive view of our
world, the organization of the universe, on the spiritual, intellectual and
psychological basis, and the part that Mankind plays in that.

The immortality of man's Spirit / Soul and the "God-spirit" (the Universal
DEIFIC ESSENCE), being present in every "life-atom" of our LIVING UNIVERSE,
are fundamental concepts. 

Everything in Nature trends in its life-experience towards a higher degree
of knowledge, wisdom, and perfection. Each life-cycle (incarnation) is like
a separate day at school and all are drawn together by the uniting thread of
the immortal, and eternal spiritual Self which is at their core. In fact
she shows how Theosophy traces the evolution of the "consciousness and
intelligence" of the SPIRITUAL SOUL or Monad, through many forms -- from the
atom to the human condition of independent free-will. As below, so above --
said the wise Hermes. The Atom and the Universe correspond in structure,
movement and objectives. They are integrated into one vast brotherhood of
sensitive and inter-protective laws. The great and the "small" are mutually
dependent. "Spirit" cannot exist without "matter." Eternal Mind -- is the
witness to all progress and life.

This sweep and concept is one that can be traced in every one of the great
religions and philosophies of the world. It is the record of their
existence, of their common source, and of our participation, again and
again, in those processes. 

Currently there is debate as to whether Theosophy has its roots in Buddhism,
Hinduism, Jainism, etc... And the place of Judaism, Kabala, Islam and
Sufism is debated and considered in many ways. The question is always
asked: 'Does knowledge, wisdom, and action have limits?" The Universe
stands as evidence that they not only do, b out that the inter-relationship
which permits diversified "life," is as ancient as Science and philosophy
are able to trace.

It is understood that scholars who are deeply familiar with those systems
and their development can trace the evidence and the pathways of the
development of similarities in observation and thought. However, HPB claims
on behalf of the great and ancient Lodge of Adepts, that all those were
derived from the "Sanatana Dharma," the "Perennial Philosophy." which is a
record of Life's development and history which they have observed and left
records of.. [ ISIS UNVEILED Vol. 2, pp 98-105. ] Modern "Theosophy" [the
Wisdom of the Deity] claims to expose the outlines of this system and traces
these facts everywhere in the world, and in the records of history on all

As such Theosophy claims to be at the root and at the origin of all the
great ancient religio-philosophical systems and provides a reason for their
development as systems of practice leading to that kind of "initiation"
which develops Wisdom in thought and mind as well as simultaneously the
application of compassion and harmlessness in motive.

Thus, Theosophy, is not exclusively religion, or philosophy but also
includes science -- it is the power to investigate and record the workings
of NATURE (Life as a Whole) in every stage and department of the world and
our Universe.

The sweep of the ever-present immortal Life, through cycles of evolution
lead at last to the "all-Knowingness" of the PERFECTED MAN. The designation
"Mahatma" (Great Soul) is one that includes all such self-developed men of
superior knowledge and nature. It is held that every single "monad" in our
world, and our Universe is destined to eventually enter the human stage of
"freedom to think." From there on, as we, humans can, the power to develop
further is placed squarely in our hands. The current test of humanity is?
will it dare to assume the responsibility? Will it follow Hermes' other
injunction: " Man, Know Thyself." 

The SECRET DOCTRINE therefore speaks of those great Initiates, the "Fathers"
and the "Guardians" of wisdom, as the intelligent guides, and assistants
that Nature employs to assist every fresh evolutionary effort, a "new Day"
of intelligent development and progress -- open without exceptions to all

If this is grasped the minute details and studies of specialists, while
respected, as continuing proof of the inclusive nature of Theosophy, is also
shown to be but the outer covering, to be but one way to approach to the
interior mystery of man's own mind, and its almost infinite capacities. 

If this infinite capacity of the human mind to grow and to understand the
most simple, as well as the most complex subjects is grasped, the more
learned will continually encourage the learners to investigate and prove for
themselves all avenues, however diverse, of information, tradition and lore.
And that is the always growing tip of the self-enlightening Mind. It always
widens out to that which is permanent and universal, when given a chance to
emerge from ignorance, doubt, skepticism and lethargy.

Theosophy shows us that the real energizers are OURSELVES.



-----Original Message-----
From: Koshek 
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 12:59 AM

I've been thinking about those questions for some time. Even though it is
explained in Key to Theosophy, I still wonder "Who is a theosophist?"
If you remember, HPB says that membership in the Theosophical Society does
not make one a theosophist, and furthermore, most members are not. 

She goes on to say that there are many theosophists, more than there are
theosophists who are members in the Theosophical Society. (Section 2, page
20 in my addition.)

Since I assume that a member of the Theosophical Society is most likely
studying the Ancient Wisdom, perhaps study does not make one a theosophist? 

At the same time, a complete altruist may know nothing of the Ancient
Wisdom, so the question arises - how can he be a true theosophist? 
Does altruism naturally lead to theosophy?
Another question that also comes to mind is that of AUTHORITY. 

My own introspection leads me to the following conclusion. We first must
listen before we can think. During the listening phase, when information is
being passed on, doesn't the granter of that wisdom become an authority?
This is why when we have faith in the Masters, as HPB says is pre-requisite
to getting the teachings, our cup is empty so to speak and we listen without
criticism. Then there is the second phase, which is thinking about the
teaching. This is when we should be critical of what we have received, and
wrestle with the concepts and see if it fits reason. At this second phase,
it's best you do not consider authority, not even of the Master's
So my conclusion is, considering AUTHORITY depends on which phase of the
process you are in, receiving or thinking.
Perhaps this resolves the apparent contradiction in the words of HPB and the
Masters on AUTHORITY and DOUBT. This is my guess.

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