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Re: Theos-World To Govert: Part 3: Theosophical SOURCE Material

Apr 14, 2009 02:29 PM
by Govert Schuller

Dear Daniel,

I do belief that HPB came out with a lot of original material, that could be called 'source material' for Theosophy.

But that's merely a belief as I have not studied all the source material which she herself had around while writing. For example whatever I have read of and about Higgin's Anacalypsis just sounds very familiar and similar to Isis Unveiled. 

And then there are little bits of her writings that I tried to check and found her inaccurate--about which later more.

And quoting Jerry and Sinnett doesn't amount to much either for me. 

So, probably we'll just have to chip away at HPB to see what is really original and what not, and what is true and what not. 


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: danielhcaldwell 
  Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 9:32 AM
  Subject: Theos-World To Govert: Part 3: Theosophical SOURCE Material

  I would like to quote what Jerry H.E. wrote years ago on theos-l:

  "...we tried to promote a historically based general definition of
  [Theosophical] source material that focuses upon the period before
  the splits [in the Theosophical Society], when this material
  was being given out for the first time. Therefore, this period is
  common history for everybody [i.e., for Theosophical students]".

  Notice Jerry's words:

  "...when this material was being given out for THE FIRST TIME". caps

  It was H.P. Blavatsky who showed up on the public scene in late 1874
  and 1875 in America and started the process of giving out the "source
  material" which she said emanated from her Lodge, from her Masters.

  In July, 1875, when she wrote her "first occult shot" Olcott knew
  virtually nothing about the "source teachings" except what HPB had
  started to give him.

  Judge, Mavalankar, Sinnett, Subba Row, Chatterji, Holloway,
  Leadbeater, Besant and others had not even meet HPB at this time!

  Each in turn had a fateful day when they heard of and then met HPB.

  She was the SOURCE, the channel through which each of them obtained
  their initial knowledge and understanding of Theosophy and the

  Sinnett himself readily admits this in one of his books "The Early
  Days of Theosophy":

  "Madame Blavatsky is the CENTRAL FIGURE to be considered. She was THE
  ONE PERSON who knew of her own knowledge, that The Brothers, - as she
  called them in those days - were Beings, human in aspect, of flesh
  and blood, for she had been for a time in company with two of them in
  Tibet. She knew they had dazzling powers in dealing with the affairs
  of the world. She herself had faculties of a super-physical order
  that kept her in touch with them wherever she might be. She knew she
  had a mission to fulfil which had for the moment assumed the shape of
  the Theosophical Society. She must have been conscious of possessing
  wonderful powers the exercise of which was under restriction, to
  which she submitted in devotion to the great Brother whom she
  regarded as her own Master, in a pre-eminent degree. .[page 17] caps

  Relevant to keep in mind is what HPB herself wrote in 1877 in her
  very first book ISIS UNVEILED. She told her readers about these
  Adepts and her role in giving out the fundamentals of Theosophy as

  ". . .we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such
  mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly
  designate them as the sages of the Orient. To their instructions we
  lent a ready ear." p. vi

  "The work now submitted to public judgment is the fruit of a somewhat
  intimate acquaintance with Eastern adepts and study of their
  science." p. v

  Moving on....

  And during the 16 and 1/2 years of her public work, HPB was
  constantly giving out these "source teachings" of Theosophy.

  And if, for example, William Judge or C.W. Leadbeater had never become
  a Theosophist, we would still have Theosophy as given by HPB in the
  10,000 plus pages of her writings as well as all the extant letters
  of the Masters.

  If Sinnett or Besant had never come into contact with HPB or if they
  had become students of Theosophy but had never written a word on the
  subject, we would still have "the source teachings" as given through

  Historically speaking therefore, HPB was the SOURCE, i.e. "the point
  at which something springs into being", for Theosophy as we know it
  in modern times.

  HPB came FIRST; each of the individuals named above came LATER.

  Now I am not saying that Olcott, Judge, Mavalankar, Sinnett,
  Leadbeater Besant and others may not have made contributions to the
  Theosophical work that HPB had originally started. They may have....

  But my point here is that they built on her original foundation, they
  followed or tried to follow or at least said they tried to follow in
  her footsteps.

  But had none of these individuals ever written any thing on
  Theosophy, the "source teachings" as given by HPB would still be

  Notice again that Jerry HE writes: "...we tried to promote a
  historically based general definition of source material that focuses
  upon the period BEFORE [caps added] the splits [occurred in the
  Theosophical Society]....]

  When did the splits occur? One split that Jerry HE is probably
  referring to is the serious split between Besant and Judge.

  But there was a "split" as early as 1886 when A.P. Sinnett sought
  communication with the Masters through a SOURCE other than HPB.

  Originally Sinnett was put into contact VIA HPB with the Masters
  through letters beginning in Oct. 1880.

  But in 1884, he started to "resent" some of what the Masters were
  telling him in their letters. And he began to have doubts about HPB
  and sought in 1886 to gain access to the Masters through Maude
  Trevers whom he hypnotised.

  Actually Sinnett had tried this very same thing (hypnosis) in the
  summer of 1884 with Laura Holloway.

  Sinnett's seeking for a source to the Masters OTHER THAN through HPB,
  lead finally to that famous K.H. letter to Colonel Olcott in August,
  1888. (See Letter 19 in "The Letters of the Masters of the
  Wisdom*First Series".)

  Olcott, Judge, Mavalankar, Sinnett, Subba Row, Leadbeater, Besant AND
  OTHERS may have made valuable contributions to Theosophy BUT whatever
  they accomplished (or did not accomplish) was built upon the
  foundation of "source teachings" FIRST given by H.P. Blavatsky.

  And when the serious split between Judge on one side and
  Besant/Olcott on the other side started and culminated in 1893-1995,
  BOTH SIDES claimed contact with the Masters and the deceased HPB.
  Then the Theosophical Society was splintered.

  Who was in the right and who was in the wrong is not easy to

  But I have file folders of letters from serious Theosophy students
  giving their differing views. Some believe Besant and Olcott fell by
  the wayside and Judge remained faithful to the Masters. Others
  believe Judge fell by the wayside as well as Olcott and Besant.
  Others say Judge failed but Besant continued the orginal tradition.
  etc. etc.

  On Theos-Talk in the last few years we have seen various
  correspondents take different sides and views. Frank R., Anand G.,
  Dallas T., Nigel C. and others have voiced their differing views.
  Now Govert has posted some material giving even another view.

  Going back to what Jerry H.E. wrote: "Therefore, this period [before
  the splits] is common history for everybody."

  I would amend this to read:

  Therefore, this period BEFORE HPB died SHOULD BE common history for

  Again summarising the above:

  HPB was the first to come on the public stage and give the source
  teachings of Theosophy in 10,000 + pages of writings plus the letters
  of the Masters given out during HPB's life.

  The Theosophists I have mentioned above and others such as Tingley,
  de Purucker, Bailey, etc. came on the scene sometime after HPB. They
  may have all been sincere, truth seeking individuals and all may have
  made to a greater or lesser degree various contributions (literary or
  otherwise) to HPB's work, but especially after HPB's death, claims
  and counter claims proliferated.

  For a listing of more of the claims and counterclaims, see:

  But Theosophical students should have in HPB's claims and teachings a
  COMMON SOURCE to focus on, regardless of the truth and validity of
  the secondary "sources" and later claims of some of HPB's students or
  later followers or claimants after HPB died.

  Now, I am not implying or saying that there were no contacts with the
  Masters after HPB's death. After her death and even today other
  agents MAY have come forth. That is, genuine contacts from HPB's

  Unfortunately, you cannot get a room of serious Theosophy/Blavatsky
  students from diverse Theosophical backgrounds to agree on who that
  person or agent was or is!

  That is a fact that should make a reflective and thoughtful person
  pause and ponder.

  I suggest especially to new students and inquirers that they would be
  wise to focus [at least initially] on the writings of HPB and the
  letters of the Masters which from the perspective I have been
  outlining above are the SOURCE Teachings of modern day Theosophy.

  Here is a huge body of material that contains more than enough food
  for thought for serious inquirers, seekers and new Theosophists.

  Daniel Caldwell


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