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Nov 13, 2005 01:47 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck




An Anniversary -- A Rededication


Greetings to you:

130 YEARS AGO Col. H. S. Olcott, President of the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 

gave an inaugural address.

And, H. P. Blavatsky wrote of its SOURCE, origin and organization in an
article titled:


It is partially reproduced below in celebration of this 130th anniversary.


"[In order to leave no room for equivocation, the members of the T.S. have
to be reminded of the origin of the Society in 1875. Sent to the U.S. of
America in 1873 for the purpose of organizing a group of workers on a
psychic plane, two years later the writer [ H P B ] received orders from
her Master and Teacher to form the nucleus of a regular Society whose
objects were broadly stated as follows: 

(1) Universal Brotherhood; 

(2) No distinction to be made by the members between
<*> -- races, creeds, or
social positions, but every member had to be judged and dealt by on his
personal merits; 

(3) To study the philosophies of the East--those of India chiefly,
presenting them gradually to the public in various works that would
interpret exoteric religions in the light of esoteric teachings; 

(4) To oppose materialism and theological dogmatism in every possible way,
by demonstrating the existence of occult forces unknown to Science, in
Nature, and the presence of psychic and spiritual powers in Man; trying, at
the same time, to enlarge the views of the Spiritualists by showing them
that there are other, many other agencies at work in the production of
phenomena besides the "Spirits" of the dead. Superstition had to be exposed
and avoided; and occult forces, beneficent and maleficent- ever surrounding
us and manifesting their presence in various ways--demonstrated to the best
of our ability. 

Such was the programme in its broad features. The two chief Founders were
not told what they had to do, how they had to bring about and quicken the
growth of the Society and results desired; nor had they any definite ideas
given them concerning the outward organisation--all this being left entirely
with themselves. Thus, as the undersigned had no capacity for such work as
the mechanical formation and administration of a Society, the management of
the latter was left in the hands of Col. H. S. Olcott, then and there
elected by the primitive founders and members--President for life. But if
the two Founders were not told what they had to do, they were distinctly
instructed about what they should never do, what they had to avoid, and what
the Society should never become. Church organisations, Christian and
Spiritual sects were shown as the future contrasts to our Society. 

To make it clearer: 

(1) The Founders had to exercise all their influence to oppose selfishness
of any kind, by insisting upon sincere, fraternal feelings among the
Members--at least outwardly; working for it to bring about a spirit of unity
and harmony, the great diversity of creeds notwithstanding; expecting and
demanding from the Fellows, a great mutual toleration and charity for each
other's shortcomings; mutual help in the research of truths in every
domain--moral or physical--and even in daily life. 

(2) They had to oppose in the strongest manner anything approaching dogmatic
faith and fanaticism--belief in the infallibility of the Masters, or even in
the very existence of our invisible Teachers, having to be checked from the
first. On the other hand, as a great respect for the private views and
creeds of every member was demanded, any Fellow criticising the faith or
belief of another Fellow, hurting his feelings, or showing a reprehensible
self-assertion, unasked (mutual friendly advices were a duty unless
declined)--such a member incurred expulsion. The greatest spirit of free
research untrammelled by anyone or anything, had to be encouraged. 

Thus, for the first year the Members of the T. Body, who representing every
class in Society as every creed and belief--Christian clergymen,
Spiritualists, Freethinkers, Mystics, Masons and Materialists--lived and met
under these rules in peace and friendship. There were two or three
expulsions for slander and backbiting. The rules, however imperfect in their
tentative character, were strictly enforced and respected by the members. ..

.the Parent-body does exist, and will, so long as the last man or woman of
the primitive group of Theosophist Founders is alive. This--as a body; as
for its moral characteristics, the Parent-Society means that small nucleus
of theosophists who hold sacredly through storm and blows to the original
programme of the T.S., as established under the direction and orders of
those, whom they recognise--and will, to their last breath--as the real
originators of the Movement, their living, Holy MASTERS AND TEACHERS."

Belief in the Masters was never made an article of faith in the T.S. But for
its Founders, the commands received from Them when it was established have
ever been sacred. And this is what one of them wrote in a letter preserved
to this day: 

"Theosophy must not represent merely a collection of moral verities, a
bundle of metaphysical Ethics epitomized in theoretical dissertations.
Theosophy must be made practical, and has, therefore, to be disencumbered of
useless discussion. . . . 

It has to find objective expression in an all-embracing code of life
thoroughly impregnated with its spirit--the spirit of mutual tolerance,
charity and love. Its followers have to set the example of a firmly outlined
and as firmly applied morality before they get the right to point out, even
in a spirit of kindness, the absence of a like ethic Unity and singleness of
purpose in other associations and individuals. 

As said before--no Theosophist should blame a brother whether within or
outside of the association, throw a slur upon his actions or denounce him
lest he should himself lose the right of being considered a theosophist.
Ever turn away your gaze from the imperfections of your neighbor and centre
rather your attention upon your own shortcomings in order to correct them
and become wiser. . . . 

Show not the disparity between claim and action in another man but--whether
he be brother or neighbour--rather help him in his arduous walk in life. . .

"The problem of true theosophy and its great mission is the working out of
clear, unequivocal conceptions of ethic ideas and duties which would satisfy
most and best the altruistic and right feelings in us; and the modeling of
these conceptions for their adaptation into such forms of daily life where
they may be applied with most equitableness. . . . 

Such is the common work in view for all who are willing to act on these
principles. It is a laborious task and will require strenuous and
persevering exertion, but it must lead you insensibly to progress and leave
no room for any selfish aspirations outside the limits traced. . . . 

Do not indulge in unbrotherly comparisons between the task accomplished by
yourself and the work left undone by your neighbor or brother, in the field
of Theosophy, as none is held to weed out a larger plot of ground than his
strength and capacity will permit him. . . . 

Do not be too severe on the merits or demerits of one who seeks admission
among your ranks, as the truth about the actual state of the inner man can
only be known to, and dealt with justly by KARMA alone. Even the simple
presence amidst you of a well-intentioned and sympathizing individual may
help you magnetically. . . . 

You are the Free-workers in the Domain of Truth, and as such, must leave no
obstructions on the paths leading to it." . . . 

{The letter closes with the following lines which have now become quite
plain, as they give the key to the whole situation} . . . 

"The degrees of success or failure are the landmark we shall have to follow
as they will constitute the barriers placed with your own hands between
yourselves and those whom you have asked to be your teachers. The nearer
your approach to the goal contemplated--the shorter the distance between the
student and the Master." . . . 

H P Blavatsky

Ostende, Oct., 3rd 1886


>From H P B's pen in 1888, we have another mighty article. 

Here are some extracts:


"The Society was founded to become the Brotherhood of Humanity--a centre,
philosophical and religious, common to all." 

"There is an esoteric doctrine, a soul-ennobling philosophy, behind the
outward body of ecclesiastical Buddhism. ... This secret system was taught
to the Arhats alone, generally in the Saptaparna (Mahavansa's Sattapani)
cave, known to Ta-hian as the Chetu cave near the Mount Baibhar (in Pali
Webhara), in Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Maghada, by the Lord Buddha
himself, between the hours of Dhyana (or mystic contemplation). It is from
this cave--called in the days of Sakyamuni, Saraswati or "Bamboo-cave"--
that the Arhats initiated into the Secret Wisdom carried away their learning
and knowledge beyond the Himalayan range, wherein the Secret Doctrine is
taught to this day." 

"It is not the policy of self-preservation, not the welfare of one or
another personality in its finite and physical form that will or can ever
secure the desired object and screen the Society from the effects of the
social "hurricane" to come; but only the weakening of the feeling of
separateness in the units which compose its chief element. 

And such a weakening can only be achieved by a process of inner

It is not violence that can ever insure bread and comfort for all; nor is
the kingdom of peace and love, of mutual help and charity and "food for
all," to be conquered by a cold, reasoning, diplomatic policy. 

It is only by the close brotherly union of men's inner SELVES, of
soul-solidarity, of the growth and development of that feeling which makes
one suffer when one thinks of the suffering of others, that the reign of
Justice and equality for all can ever be inaugurated. 

This is the first of the three fundamental objects for which the
Theosophical Society was established, and called the "Universal Brotherhood
of Man," without distinction of race, colour or creed. " 

"Indeed, these original aims of the FIRST SECTION of the Theosophical
Society under whose advice and guidance the second and third merged into one
were first founded, can never be too often recalled to the minds of our
members. <> 

The Spirit of these aims is clearly embodied in a letter from one of the
Masters quoted in the "Occult World," on pages 71 and 73. Those Theosophists
then,-- who in the course of time and events would, or have, departed from
those original aims, and instead of complying with them have suggested new
policies of administration from the depths of their inner consciousness, are
not true to their pledges. 

"But we have always worked on the lines originally traced to us"-- some of
them proudly assert. 

"You have not" comes the reply from those who know more of the true Founders
of the T.S. behind the scenes than they do -- or ever will if they go on
working in this mood of Self-illusion and self-sufficiency. 

What are the lines traced by the "Masters"? Listen to the authentic words
written by one of them in 1880 to the author of the "Occult World": 

". . . To our minds these motives sincere and worthy of every serious
consideration from the worldly standpoint, appear selfish. . . . 

They are selfish, because you must be aware that the chief object of the
Theosophical Society is not so much to gratify individual aspirations as to
serve our fellow men . . . and in our view the highest aspirations for the
welfare of humanity become tainted with selfishness, if, in the mind of the
philanthropist, there lurks the shadow of a desire for self-benefit, or a
tendency to do injustice even there where these exist unconsciously to

Yet, you have ever discussed, but to put down, the idea of a Universal
Brotherhood, questioned its usefulness, and advised to remodel the
Theosophical Society on the principle of a college for the special study of
occultism. . . ."--(Occult World, p. 72.) 

But another letter was written, also in 1880, which is not only a direct
reproof to the Theosophists who neglect the main idea of Brotherhood. Here
are a few extracts from it. It was addressed again to those who sought to
make away with the "sentimental title" .

". . . In view of the ever-increasing triumph and, at the same time, misuse
of free thought and liberty, how is the combative natural instinct of man to
be restrained from inflicting hitherto unheard-of cruelties, enormities,
tyranny, injustice, if not through the soothing influence of a Brotherhood,
and of the practical application of Buddha's esoteric doctrines? . . . 

Buddhism is the surest path to lead men towards the one esoteric truth. As
we find the world now, whether Christian, Mussulman, or Pagan, justice is
disregarded and honour and mercy both flung to the winds. In a word, how,
since that the main objects of the Theosophical Society are misinterpreted
by those who are most willing to serve us personally, are we to deal with
the rest of mankind, with that curse known as 'the struggle for life,' which
is the real and most prolific parent of most woes and sorrows, and all

Why has that struggle become the almost universal scheme of the universe? 

We answer: because no religion, with the exception of Buddhism, has hitherto
taught a practical contempt for this earthly life, while each of them,
always with that one solitary exception, has through its hells and
damnations inculcated the greatest dread of death. 

Therefore do we find that 'struggle for life' raging most fiercely in
Christian countries, most prevalent in Europe and America. It weakens in
pagan lands, and is nearly unknown among Buddhist populations. . . . 

Teach the people to see that life on this earth, even the happiest, is but a
burden and an illusion, that it is but our own Karma, the cause producing
the effect, that is our own judge, our saviour in future lives--and the
great struggle for life will soon lose its intensity. . . . 

The world in general and Christendom especially left for two thousand years
to the regime of a personal God, as well as its political and social systems
based on that idea, has now proved a failure. If Theosophists say: 'We have
nothing to do with all this, the lower classes and inferior races [those of
India for instance, in the conception of the British] cannot concern us and
must manage as they can,' what becomes of our fine professions of
benevolence, reform, etc.? 

Are these professions a mockery? and, if a mockery, can ours be the true
path? . . . 

Should we devote ourselves to teaching a few Europeans, fed on the fat of
the land, many of them loaded with the gifts of blind fortune, the rationale
of bell-ringing, cup-growing, spiritual telephone, etc., etc., and leave the
teeming millions of the ignorant, of the poor and the despised, the lowly
and the oppressed, to take care of themselves, and of their hereafter, the
best they know how? 

Never! Perish rather the Theosophical Society . . . than that
we should permit it to become no better than an academy of magic and a hall
of Occultism. That we, the devoted followers of the spirit incarnate of
absolute self-sacrifice, of philanthropy and divine kindness as of all the
highest virtues attainable on this earth of sorrow, the man of men, Gautama
Buddha, should ever allow the Theosophical Society to represent the
embodiment of selfishness, to become the refuge of the few with no thought
in them for the many, is a strange idea. . . . 

And it is we, the humble disciples of the perfect Lamas, who are expected to
permit the Theosophical Society to drop its noblest title, that of the
Brotherhood of Humanity, to become a simple school of Psychology.

No! our brothers, you have been labouring under the mistake
too long already. Let us understand each other. He who does not feel
competent enough to grasp the noble idea sufficiently to work for it, need
not undertake a task too heavy for him. . . . 

"To be true, religion and philosophy must offer the solution of every
problem. That the world is in such a bad condition morally is a conclusive
evidence that none of its religions and philosophies--those of the civilized
races less than any other--have ever possessed the TRUTH. 

The right and logical explanations on the subject of the problems of the
great dual principles, right and wrong, good and evil, liberty and
despotism, pain and pleasure, egotism and altruism, are as impossible to
them now as they were 1880 years ago. They are as far from the solution as
they ever were, but. . . . 

"To these there must be somewhere a consistent solution, and if our
doctrines will show their competence to offer it, then the world will be the
first one to confess, that ours must be the true philosophy, the true
religion, the true light, which gives truth and nothing but the TRUTH. . .

And this TRUTH is not Buddhism, but esoteric BUDHISM. 

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. . . ." 

H P Blavatsky

Lucifer, August, 1888 


LOYALTY is the subject of a definition made by HPB in 1889, published as a 


In part she declares:

"It is pure nonsense to say that "H.P.B.... is loyal to the Theosophical
Society and to Adyar" (!?). 

H.P.B. is loyal to death to the Theosophical CAUSE, and those great Teachers
whose philosophy can alone bind the whole of Humanity into one Brotherhood. 

Together with Col. Olcott, she is the chief Founder and Builder of the
Society which was and is meant to represent that CAUSE; and if she is so
loyal to H. S. Olcott, it is not at all because of his being its
"President," but, firstly, because there is no man living who has worked
harder for that Society, or been more devoted to it than the Colonel, and,
secondly, because she regards him as a loyal friend and co-worker. 

Therefore the degree of her sympathies with the "Theosophical Society and
Adyar" depends upon the degree of the loyalty of that Society to the CAUSE. 

Let it break away from the original lines and show disloyalty in its policy
to the CAUSE and the original programme of the Society, and H.P.B., calling
the T. S. disloyal, will shake it off like dust from her feet. 

And what does "loyalty to Adyar" mean, in the name of all wonders? 

What is Adyar, apart from that CAUSE and the two (not one Founder, if you
please) who represent it? Why not loyal to the compound or the bath-room of
Adyar? Adyar is the present Headquarters of the Society, because these
"Headquarters are wherever the President is," as stated in the rules. 

To be logical, the Fellows of the T. S. had to be loyal to Japan while Col.
Olcott was there, and to London during his presence here. 

There is no longer a "Parent Society"; it is abolished and replaced by an
aggregate body of Theosophical Societies, all autonomous, as are the States
of America, and all under one Head President, who, together with H. P.
Blavatsky, will champion the CAUSE against the whole world. Such is the real
state of things. "


Lucifer, August, 1889


Best wishes,


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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