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Jun 29, 2009 07:43 PM
by robert_b_macd

Hello All,

Part of the original ES pledge that Anand has recently presented on this site states:
" I pledge myself to support, before the world, the Theosophical movement, its leaders and its members".  Now this may be an ES pledge, but if the ES was to be practicing the highest morality at this time (a morality that many of the ES members may have found difficult to uphold), then this pledge is an ideal that all theosophists should be aspiring to.

What does it mean to support the Theosophical movement and its members?  It is one thing to argue fiercely about different philosophical positions, but when does such argument cross the line?  Certainly the following pledge gives us a clue, "I pledge myself never to listen, without protest, to any evil thing spoken of a Brother Theosophist, and to abstain from condemning others."  The simple answer is that it is important to constantly uphold the honour of the Society and the honour of its members.  By doing this we begin to recognize virtue when we see it and establish virtue in ourselves.  It is extremely easy to fall prey to doubt about the doctrines of theosophy and those trying to understand and follow them.  It is all our duties to recognize and encourage virtue in each other.

Anand has brought to the attention of Theos-Talk that the following rendition of pledge #2 of Blavatsky's ES is inconsistent with Blavatsky's statement that the ES was not to be a political tool to wield against the TS.  The pledge states, " 2. I pledge myself to support, before the world, the Theosophical movement, it's leaders and it's members; and in particular to obey, without cavil or delay, the orders of the Head of the Esoteric Section in all that concerns my relation with the Theosophical movement."  It has been argued elsewhere (Message #51958 of TT) that this sentence is not even internally consistent.  Would the Masters, if they are agreed to exist, have allowed such a pledge to be made by ES aspirants?  Could it not be argued that if Blavatsky was a chela of the Masters, and was creating a school in which they were involved, would not the pledges have been reviewed by the Masters?  If so, would they ever have allowed such a pledge to me made?  If not, then could it not be claimed that Blavatsky was not a chela of any spiritual brotherhood of adepts and consequently the whole Theosophical Movement is a lie?  Is not claiming such a pledge to come from Blavatsky a claim of an "evil thing" written of a Brother Theosophist.

The question I ask: Does not a lack of discrimination sometimes do more harm to the Society and its members than anything else?  In order to "support, before the world" the TS and its members, does this not require the use of discrimination?  Through this one inconsistency, it would seem that a crafty priest could undermine the moral integrity of the Society and make fools of us all.

Is this argument sound, or have I missed something?  Please explain to me how this pledge could be construed in a favorable light.

Thanks - Bruce

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