Theosophy World — July 1997


July, 1997 Issue

Contents

[Other Issues]

In Vajrayana practice, then, once one has established a connection with an authentic guru, it does not matter so much whether that guru is in fact completely enlightened or not, so much as whether the student considers that guru to be completely enlightened. With this confidence, the student can receive the same benefits as though he or she were in the presence of a completely enlightened Buddha.

— Kalu Rimpoche


Cycles Do Not Create Us

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon an April 9, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net]

In our human existence, we experience various cycles. One is that of day and night, of waking and sleeping. In this cycle, we are active on the earth in our ordinary personality while awake here, and we are elsewhere, in higher realms, in deep sleep.

There is the cycle of the year, and the seasons also affect our daily activities. Yet another cycle is that of the lunar month, with yet other influences. And there are other cycles, related to the planets and stars, of an astrological nature, that have their influences too.

The word to emphasize is influence, for the cycles influence us, they qualify our experience of life. They do not define or create us, but there is an effect upon us.

We participate in a cycle by being in relation to the Being that creates the cycle. Living on the earth, for example, we experience an earth day, rather than, say, a venus day or a sense of daylessness in outer space.

The night time does not cause us to be different than we are in daylight hours. Rather, we adapt our behavior and lifestyle to accommodate it. We would generally choose to sleep at night and do our regular activities by day.

If we were complete cut off from day and night, like living in a cave, where the sunlight did not penetrate, our sleep cycle might adjust to another time period, longer than 24 hours. But we adjust to the 24 hours, as we do to the other cycles that we participate in. We are affected by the cycles, and synchronize our activities in accord with them.

Consider our astrological chart. It contains information from which we can analyze the cycles of various planets and their influences upon us. The birth chart shows the influences that set the keynote for our current incarnation. But we are not composed of those influences.

The birthchart does not show what we are. It shows certain cycles in effect that each have their respective affect upon us. But we are not created by, defined by, nor controlled by the cycles that the chart reveals. We are, rather, coming into birth in a world in which these are the prevailing conditions, conditions that limit and affect what we can be and do, but do not make us whom we are.

We could be any type of person, from the most primitive, unintelligent, cruel, evil, to the most sophisticated, brilliant, kind, and good. We could be any type of person, and yet be born at any particular moment. We are not prohibited from taking birth, limited to but certain points of time. We may find conditions more attractive to seek rebirth at certain times over others, but there is nothing uniquely us in any particular birthchart.

If you join a theosophical group, and attend a class, the experience of the class might be affected by the other class members and the history and personality of the group. Your experience of the class may be qualified by such, but you yourself are not whom you are, defined as a person, because of attending that class. If you can get along with the group, you will have a certain experience that would be different that if some of the people or the group itself were different, and that draws out a different part of you, but you are still yourself.

It is the same in coming into rebirth. The various cycles, including short-term cycles that may be signified by the astrological planets, as well as the long-term cycles measured in subraces and Root Races — these all qualify the experience of life on this earth. But you participate in the cycles, rather than are created and defined by them.

The astrological planets may come and go. They may become invisible in future Root Races, and others may become visible in future times. What we observe in the heavens depends upon both the condition and state of the other planets as well as the state of humanity and the behavior of earth (Globe D) matter.

The respective influences affect different parts of our nature. The basic underlying influence is of the Seven Sacred Planets, that reach us both directly and through a multitude of indirect means. These Sacred Planets are not necessarily the physical ones that we see with our modern telescopes. They are the influences of great Beings, of great Hosts of Beings, and not of the orbs of physical matter that our astronomers see.

When we consider a planet, such as mercury, and say that it rules the mind and thought, it is not literally true. Rather, it signifies a particular cycle which has a keynote which affects us in that way. As long as the keynote of that cycle is manasic in nature, we can say that the cycle has an affect on our minds.

But it is very possible that at other times the planetary influences are not the same, and that their keynotes may be different. The particular quality given expression in a cycle is determined by the being from whom the cycle originates.

We could, for instance, read a book. It could be a romantic novel. The experience of reading that book has a certain effect on us. Later, we read a theosophical book, and experience something different. Still later, we read a computer textbook, and have a third kind of experience.

The cycle of reading the book is the same, but the quality or effect of the cycle is different. The content of our experience is different, and it qualifies the cycle. And for our lifeatoms, those beings that experience us as the world in which they live, the three repetitions of the cycle were experienced in three different ways as well.

Besides day and night, another cycle that we experience is that of life and death, the cycle of reincarnation. From the standpoint of the personality, it is an asynchronous cycle. There is a birth, lifetime, and death, followed by a very long time until the next rebirth, which happens under unpredictable circumstances.

From the standpoint of the individuality, our lifetime on earth is one phase of a synchronous cycle. After the physical death,the human ego sleeps in devachan and the individuality or higher self can go elsewhere to do its real thing. A different story ...

It is useful to note, as an aside, that as we progress in our study of the theosophical doctrines, as we find more and more truths in them, that each unfolding of our understanding brings even more unanswered questions. Things are not neatly wrapped up as we learn more. We find that we have more and more questions to puzzle over, even as we obtain certainty and clarity on much that we have considered in our studies.

Yet bigger cycles than that of day and night, and that of rebirth, is the rise and fall of cultures and family races of cultures, and of yet bigger racial cycles. Eventually humanity is done with life on physical earth and moves onto another world on a higher plane for its continued existence (from Globe D to Globe E).

Over great time periods on 12 such globes, of which our visible earth is but one, we pass through a Round. And there are 12 Rounds to our existence in humanity, before still greater experi- ences in higher kingdoms.

Our evolution is through the kingdoms of nature, which include the Mineral, Plant, Animal, Human, and yet higher kingdoms.

The type of experience in those kingdoms depends upon which stream of evolution that we are in. There are three basic streams, composed of Gods, Monads, and Atoms.

The generic name for us as unique, indivisible, eternal, timeless sparks of the Divine is Monads. But depending on which stream of evolution that we are participating in, we might also be referred to as Gods or Atoms.

The Gods are those beings participating in the work of world architects. The Monads are those working as the builders, taking the plans of the architects and building and fashioning things in life according to them. And the Atoms work as the materials or substances out of which life is fashioned.

The cycle of rebirth, and the experience of life and its activities, is different for participants in each of these evolutionary streams.

As we achieve perfection, and complete our human evolution, we will one day enter the lowest kingdom of the Dhyani-Chohans. Following the normal course of evolution, we will have gone as human builders to Dhyani-Chohanic builders. We will still be participating in the role of applying desire and thought (Kama- Manas) to the shaping and fashioning of the world.

It is possible, thought, to start shifting to the work of the architects. We do so when we participate in the Hierarchy of Compassion, when we dedicate our lives to service, when we learn to function from the higher standpoint of the individuality rather than continuing to perfect our personalities.

Following the process of hastened evolution, and taking the great initiations, one enters the door into the lowest Dhyani-Chohanic kingdom, becomes a Human Monad in the constitution of a Dhyani-Chohan, and in the next Planetary Manvanatara participates in the work of the Dhyani-Buddhas and Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, the work of the architects, rather than being ordinary Dhyani-Chohans. (This is a complex subject that cannot be explained in a single paragraph, and is only mentioned here in passing.)

There is a dual track, then, to our spiritual evolution. Going through the cycles, we unfold the various faculties of conscious- ness and have increasingly difficult experiences. We evolve from one kingdom to the next, gaining increasing intelligence, capability, self-conscious spirituality, and eventually reach cyclic perfection, the end or completion of an evolutionary cycle through the kingdoms of nature.

The first track is this passage through the kingdoms and the acquisition of faculties of consciousness and the return to our evolutionary source.

The second track is the acquisition of selflessness, the development of compassion, the rising above the personal experiences of life to learn to love and appreciate and participate in the big picture. In this one, we go from materials, to builders, to architects. In this second track, we progress or evolve or unfold ourselves in a different manner than evolution in the ordinary sense. We are not perfecting our selves, we are rather transcending the selves, and learning to live in higher selves within.

We are ultimately responsible for the beings that we are. We are not defined by the cycles that we happen to fall under (like those defined in the astrological chart).

We are Buddhi, that karmic web of relationships that we create our outer selves as. Through Buddhi, we co-create the world and experience the saying that "you are your karma."

In addition to creating our self through the karmic relation- ships with those individuals that we know in life, we also do so by the relationships that we experience with the creators of the cycles of life. These relationships also help define the self that we will manifest. We have a karmic relationship with them too, and are affected.

There is a give and take, an interplay of life energies in a relationship with any person that we know in life. This helps define our personality in a lifetime, and we both influence or affect that other person as well as receive influences from and are affected by that person.

The same is true with the high Beings and creative intelli- gences that govern and give life to our world. We enter into karmic relationships with them too, but this kind of karma could be considered group karma. And that karma also defines whom we are, and establishes living links, living bonds with us whereby we are influenced and changed.

View life as an organic whole. Look for the creative intelli- gences behind things. Master life by understanding it. And understand it by understanding the great intelligences that make our world and its life possible. Like living well with a friend by knowing him well, let's know well all our Friends.

Contents


Family Life

by Andrew Rooke

[based upon a March 7, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net]

1994 is the International Year of the Family so I thought perhaps a few thoughts on the pressures on family life in the 1990s from a theosophical angle might be of interest.

The following comments are based on the Australian experience but they could equally hold for any Western country these days:

Any society is built on the nobility of family life. Unfortunately the last 20 years have witnessed an accelerated disintegration of family life in Australia which will have a powerful influence on the future of this country.

Over the past 15 years there has been a silent shift in the nation's wealth so that we have approx 30% of the population poor, compared to 10% in 1979. High bank interest rates in the 1980s forced both parents to work to pay unrealistically inflated home morgages with consequently wide reaching affects on the development of children.

An extreme barometer of these changes was reported by The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 1989. The Commission found that there were between 20,000 and 25,000 homeless children in Australia some of them suffering horrific abuses and others dying of malnutrition, drug abuse, and AIDS.

These are "nobody's children" of the 1990s who have left home due mostly to intolerable stresses, yet who do not have the skills and attitudes necessary for "success" in today's comptetive world. They will eventually have a major impact on the whole country due to the increasing crime rate related to homelessness and drug addiction, and in the future burden the community with the possible one in five kids who will be permanently unemployable.

What on earth has caused this situation in a comparitively wealthy country like Australia? Sociologists and economists cite statistics illustrating the decline in family life and the rise of domestic abuses such as incest and violence.

Social workers and criminologists speak of loss of respect and trust mutually between the parents and children of many stressed families where kids have not had the opportunity to develop the capacity to love. In the case of the "street kids" who leave home, social workers say that a more apt description would be to say that home left them!

Of course, the majority of Australian families provide a warm and stable environment for children, but these trends are alarming. They point to the importance of nuturing love and respect within individuals, towards family members of our immediate family, and outwards to the community — no matter how hard this may be given today's social problems.

Such positive attitudes could be built upon and acknowledgement that there are greater dimensions and responsibilities in life than the material values of our popular culture. Our churches used to supply this needed balance between the demands of the inner and outer life and to provide simple and commonly accepted rules for social behaviour.

This is no longer the case for many people as they reach, often blindly, towards new explanations for ancient questions or simply ignore the fact that human beings have one foot in the subconscious realm, and go on living as many do absorbed in the values of the outer world.

Theosophical teachers have always taught the practical value of the Ancient Wisdom in all aspects of human life. An appreciation of the fudamental truths of brotherhood, karma and reincarnation expressed in the mythology and religions the world over, is basic to the structure of the longest lived societies such as our Australian aboriginal culture. They have helped to build the great civilizations of the past, and must do so again in the future.

Today, practical help in the form of food, shelter, medical and financial assistance is needed urgently for the children of the street. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to the courageous individuals of many philanthropic organizations who provide such help unrelentingly.

Beyond these physical measures, the pervasive power of a loving environment built on mutual respect between parents and children and ultimately upon knowledge of the responsibilities of the different stages and stations in life based on Universal Law, is needed in our society.

Theosophicts as latter day guardians of the Ancient Wisdom, carry a responsibility to cast forth these powerful seed ideas into the consciousness of our nations.

Katherine Tingley, founder of the Point Loma theosophical community and mentor of Dr G de Purucker, concentrated much of her work on the practical value of theosophy to home life and social problems. Her words prophetically echo the challenges of the changing family structures of the 1990s:

The question naturally arises: What remedies must be applied to bring about a change for the better in the home life? What factors can be introduced to adjust it and bring it nearer to perfection? Theosophy answers that the parents should begin to study the science of life, self-evolution, and the greater responsibilities of fatherhood and motherhood even before marriage. Home should be acclaimed as the centre from which the higher life of nations should spring.

— Katherine Tingley interviewed by Claire Merton in 1921.

Perhaps others, particularly with experience in the Theosophical Order of Service or other philanthropic endeavours which attempt to apply theosophic ideals, may wish to comment on this subject.

Contents


Theosophical Work in Wales

by Dr. C. A. Bartzoas

Hafod Road, Gwemymynydd, Near Mold, North Wales CH7 SJS

[The following news was taken from a May 10, 1997 letter to serious students of Theosophy]

Firstly, let me introduce ourselves and our objectives:

We are small group of Theosophists meeting in Liverpool, Merseyside, North West of England. Whilst we strive to fulfil the third fundamental proposition of Theosophy, we also try:

1. to show to men that such a thing as Theosophy exists, and

2. to help them ascend towards it by studying and assimilating its eternal verities,

in the words of Blavatsky. Our approach consists of developing cross-validated editions of Theosophical classics, and referenced collations of the Theosophical writings for wide dissemination to every man — literally.

The Voice of the Silence — Classic Edition

Background

The Voice — being the most concise and, yet, comprehensive instructions for those who are determined to realize their inner potential — was singled out for group study in our Lodge. Almost every member had a different edition, but we felt secure in the knowledge that all were "exact copies, reprints, or facsimiles of the original 1889 edition", as their publishers had claimed.

Nothing could be furthest from the truth! It was not until we started transcribing one popular edition of The Voice into a word-processor — to allow systematic textual analysis and study — and cross-checked a number of queries with another, that unexpected differences between two allegedly verbatim reproductions of the original emerged.

Since we could not access an 1889 copy, we asked three Theosophists to commend their preferred edition; we ended up with three:

1. a reprint from the 1889 edition of The Voice of the Silence, with notes and comments by Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump. First published under the auspices of the Chinese Buddhist Research Society, Peking 1927. Re-published under the auspices of The H.P.B. Lending Library, Vernon 1978. ISBN 09690784-0-4;

2. a reprint from the 1889 edition of The Voice of the Silence, with introduction, notes and index by Arya Asanga. Golden Jubilee Edition, published by the Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar 1939;

3. a facsimile reprint of the 1889 edition of The Voice of the Silence, with introduction and index by Boris de Zirkoff. Centenary edition, first published by the Theosophical Publishing House. Wheaton 1991. Republished by Quest, Wheaton 1992. ISBN 0-8356-0680-5 (pbk).

Promulgation

In September 1996 John Algeo of the Theosophical Society in America requested a disk, with the view of releasing The Voice in the Internet through the Society's Web site. We are not aware of any further progress in this direction.

After an endorsement by Lilian Storey of the Theosophical Society in England, the Merseyside Voice was advertised in the Society's January / February 1997 journal (38: 1). To date not a single enquiry from England (or, indeed, from other parts of the Kingdom) was received.

Since 1991, Cygnus Book Club, an independent small mail order company, was trying to obtain the Boris de Zirkoff's edition of The Voice (third on the list above) but without success. It was not until February 1997 that Cygnus finally managed to secure a small supply and advertised that paperback together with our electronic edition (copies of the 1st and 5th page of their February catalogue enclosed).

To date 230 people acquired The Voice — including two dozen or so, who took advantage of the special offer and purchased both book and disk. You may be interested to learn that Geoff and Ann Napier, Directors of Cygnus, convinced that there is a substantial (and sustainable) public demand for Blavatsky and classic Theosophical books, are currently negotiating to reprint Sylvia Cranston's biography of Blavatsky and also considering to market Isis Unveiled.

If the last two titles prove popular, we shall be advising them to continue promoting the Theosophical teachings the Philippines edition of The Mahatma Letters and the single volume facsimile edition of The Secret Doctrine of the Theosophy Co.

The Voice of the Silence — Contemporary Edition

Blavatsky has initially dedicated The Voice to the "few." We believe that its exalted ethics and timeless message should now be extended to everybody. However, since 1889, when The Voice was first published, many words of the English language, particularly those with spiritual connotations, have been altered, redefined, and confused, as the socio-cultural contexts in which they were applied have been dramatically transformed, to give us today different meanings and significance.

Unless intrinsically motivated, readers who are not conversant with the 19th century English, mystical verse and Eastern vocabulary of The Voice, may not able to gain an appreciation of its dimensions and purpose. The Voice has been translated into many other languages.

We believe that rendering it into modern English prose is now opportune so that the today's "man in the street" can readily grasp its message. We just commissioned this exciting task to a leading academic in Poetry. The work is available in electronic form.

Theosophy — Inner Wisdom

An alternative title is perhaps Theosophy: What's It All About?

This collation, as it now stands, may be suitable for group study by Theosophists. However, the underlying aim is to produce much shorter abstracts for dissemination to the public at large.

Modifications of Consciousness and Cosmic Ultimates

An alternative title is perhaps Theosophy: Expanding Consciousness. This collation was initially compiled for private or group study. Again, selected abstracts can form the basis for public informational leaflets or advertisements. An outline of The One Reality and its Dual Aspects, being the first fundamental proposition of Theosophy, is also the mystical key to understanding consciousness (appended).

[Note that a copy of the work was received with the letter, and may be made available on the Internet.]

Can you see the guiding principles of our overall approach? Do you agree?

Please let us know of any typing errors or other inconsistencies in The Voice.

What do you think of the collations in general, selection of material, titles, and ranking of sections ? Can you improve on the wording of the section headings and subheadings?

Do you find the footnotes helpful or patronizing? Would you like to see more, or less, depth of explanation? Can you indicate other words that, in your opinion, 'every man' may not readily and fully understand?

We do not propose to assert any rights for these works. You may, therefore, appropriate as much or as little as you wish. However, we shall be delighted to receive any constructive criticism, to collaborate in Theosophical works, and to assist implementing other Theosophical objectives, in any way we can.

+44 (0) 151 604 7409 [office]
+44 (0) 1352 755 195 [home]
+44 (0) 151 604 7453 [fax, by prior arrangement]


parcels: Wirral Medical Microbiology, Clatterbridge Hospital, Merseyside L63 4JY, UK smail: Ty Ucha, Hafod Road, Gwernynymdd, Wales CH7 5JS, UK
Contents


Teaching Theosophy

by Thoa Tran

[based upon a May 18, 1997 posting to theos-l@vnet.net]

In my experience with 5 to 8 year olds, the children require strong guidance, simplicity, and freedom of expression. (Basically, someone strictly telling them to adhere to doing certain things, and yet within that confine, with very little expectation of the result). Materials taught should be in a simple, experiential manner, e.g. lots of colors, shapes, using simple motor skills. The teacher should also act in a parental manner.

With young college age students (around 18 years old), a very relaxed friendly setting is required. The students abhor authoritarian figures. However, strong rules have to be laid out with clear consequences stated, or else the students will lose interest, skip classes, etc.

At that age, who wants to be in a classroom? Materials taught should be challenging with the teacher expecting certain results, and should be full of experiences beyond the classroom. The expectations should be clear as far as certain aesthetic quality (as in art), and yet very open to allow for unique visions.

The teacher, in critiquing, basically, has to do mental gymnastics, seeing results in different point of views. That is, in critiquing, the teacher should note the effort put in, the critical thinking, and the creative effort. Basic environment is challenging and yet flexible.

With older folks who are pretty much set in their ways, the teaching is more geared toward what they are used to, and yet somehow diplomatically try to make them add different perspectives to their repertoire. They are usually more self-driven about what they need to do, do it with great effort, and yet those qualities are also responsible for them to be less receptive about trying different things.

It's hard to try to get them to paint abstract art when they're used to flowers, and vice versa. In this case, the teacher should not shock the student too much by trying to change the student, but rather just find strengths in what the student already knows.

I don't know much about theosophical politics, but here are some things I've noted.

The basic goals are search for truth, siblinghood and service to humanity.

One of the intention was to replace what was lacking in religions, perhaps correcting reliance on superstition, emotionalism, and factionalism.

There is a lot of factionalism among theosophists.

Theosophists are superstitious and emotional despite themselves. Helena Blavatsky was quite superstitious herself and obviously emotional (why would she swear so much?).

This conflict between what is ideal and what is natural have made the T.S. create its own archetype. By not compromising with the natural, conflicts arose, membership dwindled, and factionalism resulted. Instead of finding strength in its archetype, apply acceptance and forgiveness, the T.S. have chosen to shut out those members. Vice versa for the rejected members in which T.S. rules have become the archetype.

The Internet is great for bringing in those who may not converse with theosophists any other way. There are several groups who would be interested: people who heavily rely on the computer for occupation, information, and communication; retired people; and young people who have always known the computer. Because of the Internet, people are more likely to do a web search on theosophy due to their encounter with it through readings, friends, etc.

The Internet fails when it comes to human contact, experiences, and guidance. The virtual is not as powerful as the actual. On the other hand, sometimes actual contact may not be that great. Someone may have a hard time listening to what you have to say because of your nervous tics.

Again, the Internet is often the first time someone has an experience with real theosophists. There are certain expectations after reading those wonderful books, and these expectations may either be let down or met through the Internet. Since postings are information sources, there is a conflict between giving out information, and giving out wrong impressions. For example, it may be good for newbees to learn about all the grievances among theosophists, but it may also turn off newbees to theosophy.

With those observations in mind, here are some ideas.

Some activities could be workshops and more permanent classes. The permanent classes can be classical and new theosophical studies, martial arts which also focuses on mind/body/spirituality discipline, visual/spiritual arts, written arts (writing as opposed to just reading), psychology/karma (what drives one to commit certain acts/karmic results/analysis of solutions), and whatever else anybody can think of.

The workshops could be weekend intense experiences, such as journey into nature (including rituals from tribal cultures with history of intense nature experiences), dancing/drumming, meditation, psionic bombing effects

The two cores would be meetings to discuss general topics and concerns (a way for theosophists to get and give feedbacks to each other, this is critical), and volunteerism (preferably in an organized and group manner so that there would be more group dynamics).

Thus, we can have classes as ongoing lessons, workshops as lightning bolts of experiences, and cores as a way of unification and direction toward the main purpose, which is to do good.

Also, there should be a way for members to air grievances with a commitment to solution, forgiveness, and unification. For example, if one member is griping behind another's back to others, that member should be confronted in a group so that the griping would be out in the open and solved, keeping in mind that there will be forgiveness and no stigma attached.

But how do these things get started?

Feedback, feedback! If everyone takes responsibility for giving feedback, things could develop toward more than just talking. With only a couple people giving feedback here and there in a long while, pretty soon the energy will peter out. As I said in Internet discussion groups, I can always go somewhere else that suits me.

Feedback turning into clear plans, plans turn into concrete projects, projects start small and grow bigger. We all have our personal responsibility and jobs. If everyone chips in a little here and there, something could happen. The problem with the Internet community is that everyone is dispersed internationally, and it is all virtual. The momentum may be great on the Internet, but at the local level, the theosophist may find the task daunting.

People start workshops all the time. Theosophists living in the same area can band together to form workshops as a beginning. Workshops can later turn into classes, etc. Help, financial or otherwise, can be requested through the Internet. Of course, theosophists are no fools, thus requests from a long time Internet contributor would probably be more effective, and plenty of clear information should be provided.

And a million and one more ways that I can't think of right now. Whatever it is, the main thing is group contribution. If everybody cares, things will come to fruition. If few cares, nothing will come to fruition.

What can we do to heal the theosophical groups?

Prominent theosophists should be more willing to mingle with the rest of the chaps, be willing to listen to ideas, and give strong feedback.

Whatever's instituted, one of the goals should be a reunification of all theosophists. Steps should be clearly taken toward that. How can theosophists expect war to stop in the world if they can't forgive, forget, and compromise among themselves.

Don't think in terms of "I'm going to go out and form my own group that will meet my goals." or "Let those dissenting theosophists go where they may.", instead, constantly think in terms of all your sibling theosophists, wherever they are. I appreciate the fact that Einar is doing that. Reset those electrical circuits!

And all theosophists should go through a mandatory comedy course!

Contents


Theosophy on CD-ROM

by Gladney Oakley

[based on a May 22, 1997 posting to theos-tech@vnet.net]

There is underway a theosophical project, increasingly of interest to theosophists with computer skills, to co-operate and collaborate to produce a Union-Index of Theosophical Journals in electronic form, eventually to be available on CD-ROM (at cost), presently available in beta version on a diskette.

The Union-Index project aims include the following:

1. to index every journal H.P.B. founded. (well first we have to list the journals she founded and I do not believe that has been done. I can't find a scholar or ts lecturer or student who will stand up and say she edited these and no others.) But so far, the only one we know that she founded that is not being indexed is The Vahan. (circa 1890-1921).

2. to index the important ts journals she did not found. (Many of the important ones have almost been forgotten. So prior to indexation, one needs to catalogue the ts journals, which means cataloguing the holdings of the ts libraries. It is amusing but understandable for one to imagine that this has already been done, by librarians or scholars or Lodges.)

3. Accomplishments so far?

* A list (on diskette) has been produced of some 900 ts journals. No thorough cataloguing has been done of the Canadian or Wheaton (or German or Italian) journals. TS Librarians only have so much time, and precious few skillful volunteers. Have you, dear reader, ever thought of offering some volunteer time to help catalogue the journal holdings of your ts library?

* Thirty ts journals have been indexed. These thirty include the (Adyar) Theosophist, the (London) Lucifer, the (London) Theosophical Review and 27 others. Indexing of another ten or fifteen ts journals is underway.

* Indexing is going on in Australia, Manilla, Holland, France, and in California and NY. Four other countries are expected to start indexing their own section journals shortly.

* No one has stepped forward to index a single Canadian or Wheaton journal. No UK resident has stepped forward to index the Vahan. No Scot has risen to index Theosophy in Scotland. No Irish person has appeared to begin indexing Theosophy in Ireland.

4. The indexing itself is of little intellectual challenge, one is doing little more than compiling an errorless accumulated corrected Table of Contents summed over the life of the journal. There are challenges and surprises but they are best left as surprises.

5. If you don't know what a Union-Index is, consider your telephone book. It is a Union Index for the streets of the city in which you live. If you had one small phone book for each street, then that would be comparable to the present situation with ts journal indices, except that we don't even have the indices for a single journal in most cases.

6. How does one start? Meditate on the following steps:

* with the support and appreciation of your ts librarian list the ts journals in your local ts library

* If you have enthusiasm and energy to spare, and can see the final end-product in your imagination, contact the Union-Indexing Project and let them know you are keen to index such and such a journal, as your local ts library has a more or less complete set, or a substantial set. The Union-Indexing project will let you know whether you are the first and can therefore proceed or whether someone has already started to index that journal.

* Try to do it with whatever software and computer you have.

* Send a sample diskette with entries for 5 or 6 issues of the journal being indexed to us. We will praise any effort. We can provide answers to questions. We will tell you what (free & bug-free) software makes the work pleasant and easy should you have difficulty with your own software.

7. We have a wonderful list entitled "Please don't do this". We will send it to anyone who asks for a copy.

8. The Union-Indexing Project can be characterized, as is fashionable, in terms of inputs and outputs and inputs declined:

Inputs:

* lists (on paper is ok) of journals held in ts libraries

* indices (on diskette only) of ts journals

Outputs:

* a single list, on diskette, of all ts journals

* a single Union-Index, on CD-ROM of the important ts journals

Inputs declined:

* indices on paper of ts journals. We are in no position to convert these to diskette. Sorry. This should be done in or near the library holding the journals indexed.

* money — sorry. We are not fund raising.

9. The present protocol for a list of journals held by an individual library looks like this:

title: date first issue published date last issue published name of first editor city of first publication date of first issue held in library date of last issue held in library

Seems simple doesn't it? What one is not told is that every time there was a great sorrow or tremor or rumble or financial shortage or shaking or schism inside the society one way those in charge at the time responded was to change the name of the journal; or its city of publication, or its frequency of appearance; or all of the above. So a single Section journal may have had five or ten names in the course of its life.

10. The present protocol for indexing a journal looks like this, but is constantly under revision:

journal name: year vol issue # month page title author

What about Subject (Nirvana, Atmic Plane, etc) or type (article, poem, review)? We haven't found either necessary, but if you are this interested we can post further details.

11. Is there a deadline? Yes. An arbitrary deadline for contributions of autumn (Northern hemisphere) of the year 2000 has been set.

12. Does the Union-Index have a web page or an email address? Not yet. The text in this file you have been reading is a first attempt at a useful web-page. If no one is interested it will not be maintained.

The address of the Union-Indexing Project is:

Gladney Oakley
P O Box 223
Morisset NSW 2264
Australia

There is no phone or fax, but Gladney Oakley can be contacted care of Richard Caruana at:

Email (caruanar@rosebay.matra.com.au)
Contents


Putting an End to Unkindness

by Brenda Tucker

[based upon a March 3, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net]

Leadbeater is the most kind, gentle, patient, encouraging, thoughtful, loving, gracious teacher of theosophy that I have ever had. I would place him next to Jesus in his endurance of criticism and personal injustice.

A favorite quote of mine that I memorized after reading is that we should try to be "perfectly impervious to any attempt on our dignified serenity."

Please put down your guns, bring your most compassionate thoughts to mind, and peacefully encourage the thoughts of brotherhood and religious ideals as he did in his writings.

If we approach this study with dignity we won't fall prey to the concept that the occult work is as easy as a "simple refusal to lie," as well as a dogmatic adherence to the other nine of the ten commandments. It would mean as much to me if you said someone is guilty of swearing and can't be an initiate for this reason.

I doubt if Leadbeater ever said a harsh word about anybody. Can you imagine the level of criticism aimed at him because he dared to be different and pursue knowledge of the inner realms for the purpose of sharing it with humanity, not for selfish purposes.

If we think H.P.B. endured because of her beliefs and teachings, wouldn't it be a fine emotion to admire that endurance in another, too? I don't pretend to be a scholar or a diplomat, but regardless of my profession, there are many who work as I do, with the theosophical teachings in hope that we may help the work in some small way.

If this is offensive to you, do you think you should continue in theosophical circles? They have never excluded members because of their literacy or literary skill. All types of intellect are welcome, and the members themselves decided who are to be their leaders and teachers. Even if a member doesn't become a major voice in theosophy, he has the right to speak out, defend, and give voice to that still small spark within.

Leadbeater taught good solid truths and beautiful ideals, and I will always love and admire him and long to be like him, even at the cost of personal sacrifice in the way that "the world" might perceive me. (I already see the "naive, irrational, and blinded" insults coming at me.)

If your concern is to bring the outer life in line with the inner life, perhaps this is worth working for, but at times it may be a decision of the masters to allow things to take place on the outer physical plane because the rewards may not be relative to the work involved.

They (the masters) have defended H.P.B.'s good name perhaps to a greater extent than they have for Leadbeater. It isn't always possible to tell what the adepts have accomplished, only by looking at what has transpired, attempts have always been made to uphold H.P.B.'s character at all cost. Is this what irks you?

I would say it's instructive to see it done both ways: allowed to happen and revolted against. I'm sorry I'm not always able to prove what I believe, but there is some basis to the way my thoughts have formed.

I have read some of the controversies and masters' thoughts and words. And I have read Leadbeater's books which to me are the teachings that lead us to greatness. They are very much like Jesus's teachings and embody the good solid moral qualities of life. Don't try to shatter this by harsh words and scorn. One of the books I am referring to is Talks on the Path of Occultism, with commentary by Leadbeater and Besant.

I do think there are people worth revolting against and that at times a warlike attitude is necessary, but must we use "kicks in the teeth" to everyone studying theosophy?

Perhaps your aim is to bring as many unloved human beings into theosophical circles as possible, that if we are unable to love someone we are in the process of learning a valuable lesson. But couldn't it be possible that before the universal love becomes available to a human being that they be asked to lay down certain qualities which are inconsistent with altruism.

When a human being begins to learn peace and to halt anger and condemnation, isn't that the time when the love of the adepts flows out to encourage them onward? Doesn't anger and an unforgiving attitude mis-color our perceptions, too? Can't one be blinded by revenge?

Do you feel that there is some justice missing in the outer world and work to bring about the justice as you feel it should be done? Not even a judge or jury is able to make a decision without enough facts.

Even if they have a limited number of facts and certainties, it may not be enough for them to decide "guilty or not guilty." They may have to throw the case out of court on the basis that there is not enough evidence.

If you prefer to be lawyer-like and insist on justice, maybe you should study the legal system as this might be an outlet for your longing to prosecute. Why can't we just allow each person to judge for themselves and not speak so harshly of anyone's supposed shortcomings?

I think you're going to meet many members of The Theosophical Society that you won't really like or ever understand what it is they are doing as a member. So whether or not you understand The Secret Doctrine is inconsequential if you are unable to tolerate religious preference in the members.

Contents


News From Eastern School Press

by David Reigle

[The following note was mailed to friends of Eastern School Press in early June. The Research Report mentioned will appear in a future issue of Theosophy World.]

Eastern School Press
3185 Boyd Road
Cotopaxi, CO 81223 USA

A little over two years ago we made publicly known in a letter our work spanning two decades in perparation for the coming out of an original language manuscript of the Book of Dzyan, an event which we believe will do more than anything else to bring about the acceptance of the Theosophical teachings in the world.

At that time we mentioned our unfinished building which was to house the research collection we had gathered for the purpose of one day annotating the Book of Dzyan. Subsequently, many Theosophists sent contributions toward this. Recently, we received a contribution matching the amount of all the other ones.

As a result of this, we are pleased to announce that the roof has now been completed on the Eastern School "Book of Dzyan" Research Archives building. It is an all-steel roof including custom-made stell trusses, conforming to our fireproof contruction. In the future clectricity and other non-essentials will be added.

The accompanying Book of Dzyan Research Report, our fourth to date, is representative of the work we are doing here. If this contributes to the appreciation of the Book of Dzyan and The Secret Doctrine among thinking people, may the karma thus generated benefit our kind donors. With many thanks.

Contents


Looking to the Future of Theosophy

by Dallas TenBroeck

[extracts from a February 17, 1997 letter to Geoffrey Farthing, with permission.]

The Real Problem With the T.S.

The real problem with the T.S., as I look at its history, is that many FTS have mistaken the "outer form" (organization) for the ever elusive, yet, definite philosophy: Theosophy.

To expect some kind of unanimity in formalisms, is not possible, since individuals are ever free to choose their own paths, and no "organization" has the sole "key to heaven," or the "truth" limited to it. [This is what so many religions claim: the sole "pathway" to ... , whatever way in which they define "the goal!"] And increasingly intelligent mankind, desires to be free as individuals, if they are also honest and bold.

The only value of any association or organization is that it affords a focus for study and for the comparison of individual understandings, hypotheses, hopes and conclusions. And for this to operate well, there has to be freedom from any kind of "authority." Any attempt to coordinate the thinking of individuals inevitably leads to apathy and dissolution.

The T.S. was originally designed for this purpose and it functioned well so long as it was sustained by an impartial adherence to truth, impartiality in all things and impersonality.

To me, a "Theosophical Society," consisting of a constantly changing group of people who subscribe to its "Objects," is one thing. Theosophy, as a statement of facts in Nature, is another.

Some sympathy must exist between those who make of themselves members of a T.S., and the principles of Theosophy, however garbled, that originally attracted their attention and raised their hopes. Loyalty to Theosophy (because its practical nature is more or less grasped) does not imply political "loyalty" to a TS.

It seems to me that the degree of assiduity and sincerity of individuals in their study of Theosophy makes for most, if not all of individual convergencies, which may then express itself as a "T.S." But this convergence is voluntary and cannot be coerced, or identified by some external appearance or vocal agreement to forms, rules or names. The "heart" counts, not the "lips."

As I see it Theosophy lies at the root. The Theosophical Society was started [as a formal body wherein freedom of study and ease of association to compare the results of study were encouraged] in New York in 1875. Some 17 persons agreed to be the founders, and of these only three remained to sustain it till their death: H.P.B., H.S.O. and W.Q.J.

It was formed to promote the study of that historico- philosophical system we call Theosophy. When trouble arose in the original T.S., it always centered on personal differences.

It appears to me that personal views, through gossip, led away from Theosophy to personal opinions, which being grasped and sustained by "followers," made for all subsequent disunities and eventual divisions, as the uniting force of Theosophy was abandoned.

At present several bodies deriving from the original Society are in existence, exhibiting objects more or less similar to the originals, but now following some Tradition which depends on an historical and personalized basis. And yet respect for and adherence to Theosophy is acclaimed.

Theosophy, as I perceive it, is not the property of any one of the "Societies," nor is the "path" to "perfection," or to the Masters through any one of those "societies." Rather, it is an inner connection that each student makes for himself and by his own determined efforts.

The basic premise is that each is an immortal, and that the Higher Self is the inner resident attuned to the Universal AllThe Ever Impersonal and Incognizable Absolute. Therefore, not only are all men brothers, but brotherhood extends without exclusions or interruptions to all other "beings."

H.P.B. makes it amply clear that only moral excellence gives the key, and for each student (or member) the "path" is entirely individual, and free of organizational over-burden. True students of Theosophy cannot be considered a "flock of mindless sheep," or, the "blind following the one-eyed!"

The politics of the T.S., down the years, have distracted individuals from the study, and application of Theosophy in, as can be observed, a saddening way. And yet, it must be admitted that the launching of the T.S., as an organism that would enable individuals to group together and assist each other in study and in the personal embodiment of Theosophy, has left an indelible stamp on the era. If it can be returned to that, then success will be ours. I sincerely hope that readers help secure that success.

But it is Theosophy that has done this and not the T.S. as an organization. Without Theosophy, the T.S. would be just another society, similar to Masonry perhaps, dedicated to its three "Objects," and subject to the internal politics of office (as we have seen in T.S. history).

Adherence to theosophical principles by individuals ought to have precluded the present history of unbrotherliness and incapacity. [Compare the contents of most contemporary "Theosophical magazines and journals" with the vigor and depth of the original magazines: The Theosophist, Vols. 1 to 10, Lucifer, Vols. 1 to 5, and The Path, Vols. 1 to 10. I am sure the reader will conclude, as I have, and I see them all, that much of the thrust of living, seeking, independent thought and research is now quite absent.]

We have all been fortunate in terms of time, to participating at close range in the beginning of the modern effort to reinstall Theosophy, as a means to philosophical freedom, in the minds of people.

Individually we share in the sustaining, by whatever way we have contributed, to its diffusion and perpetuation. In terms of this proximity, I sense a great responsibility rested and rests on our combined shoulders. Our own destiny, made by our present choices, will inevitably shape our future incarnations.

But there is a problem that relates largely to a failure in the "physical" or "organizational" basis for the work that the T.S. was framed to pursue and promote. In my observation, the several T.S. organizations, as such, have narrowed their focus to some selected aspect of Theosophical philosophy, and rate loyalty by the formal behavior of individuals within the parameters they have adopted.

This consists of judgments made by others within such a group on the actions and presumed motives of individuals, either singly or taken en masse. The continuity of affiliation is based on politics and formal adherence, rather than on the broad base of a Universal Brotherhood that tolerates and includes all who are sincere in promoting the purposes for its existence. The only ones that have been excluded in the lifetime of H.P.B. were those who were destructive and sought to disrupt the Unity of the T.S.

I would say, however, that among those who join, or work in and through any of those organizations, there are very few who seem to understand the difference between Theosophy and its vehicle: the T.S.

And, there are fewer still who know, at least intellectually, what are the principles Theosophy offers to them for study, investigation, practice in their daily lives, and promulgation.

And finally, there are fewer still who apply Theosophy in their daily lives — in that secret "closet" into which they can retire — and there, answer only to their own conscience, to their Higher Self, and to the Masters.

The promulgation of Theosophy is especially important and ought to be limited to the presentation and consideration of the "original writings" for which we owe H.P.B. a debt that is unrepayable except through the careful preservation of that basis, and the offering, in our turn, of a forum entirely free from coercion or authority.

To my understanding, the distinction between Theosophy and the organizations is the difference between the "Eye" (or "Head") doctrine and the "Heart" doctrine. This characterization may well lay me open to criticism.

The resolution is not through arguments, but by each individual considering what he or she has done, and what their future living will be. In the forum of our own conscience stand the motives that have carried us this far.

In no way could I presume to lay down for anyone any principles. Each of us does this for themselves. Theosophy, being ideal, it offers each of us a "touch-stone" to rate our own character.

Theosophy, as a universal system, embraces us all, whether we know it or not, whether we are "members" of the T.S., or not, and whether we acknowledge Theosophy or not. I believe that those who assume the burden of "membership" in any association called "Theosophical" assume a great responsibility. I have found this aspect discussed in the older magazines, (The Theosophist, Lucifer, Path) published during or closely following H.P.B.'s lifetime.

I also believe that an understanding of the seriousness of choosing one's individual growth in understanding and applying Theosophy is a primary factor in such changes as we might impose on ourselves. That leads one to eventually perceive that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in life. It is a study that changes the orientation of the way we live and work.

Perhaps the saddest of all events was the tampering with H.P.B.'s writings which soon ensued, following her demise.

The Need to Study Theosophy

To my observation most of the problems that members of the T.S. exhibit, reside in the fact that they know little of what Theosophy is, or teaches. They have not studied it, nor have they tested its coherence, nor have become convinced of its validity. Many write in varying degrees of ignorance as a consequence.

What has happened, it seems to me, is that they read about H.P.B., and not what H.P.B. wrote. If they have read what H.P.B. wrote, they have not sutudies it thoroughly. They are confused about the philosophy and confused about the views offered concerning H.P.B., as a person within the observation of several biographers.

The many opinions advanced by those who made themselves her critics and enemies further confused them, and they have sought little of the means afforded to them to study her work and life in terms of the principles of Theosophy.

Consequently, basing themselves on "hear-say," they are like flies on a fly-paper, and become obsessed with the concept implanted in their heads that H.P.B. may have been fraudulent, either all the time, or some of the time.

It is an old ploy to try to destroy someone's integrity and credibility, by gossip and character assassination, and thus in the eyes of the crowd, the value of any philosophy or statement made by that personage is presumed damaged, or even destroyed as to its validity, and, thereafter, in those minds it remains suspect.

Theosophy survives, unaffected, as far as I can test it. To safeguard against this kind of situation, H.P.B. stated that her students were not to follow "her path," but the "path" she showed, "and the masters who are behind."

Many who become FTS and to some extent become her students, find that their approach to the study of Theosophy has become tainted with those suspicions acquired from others. They find it difficult if not impossible to determine what is fact or what is fiction. They seek to learn what Theosophy is, not from H.P.B. (whom they are usually told is "too difficult to understand"), but from interpreters who have established interpretative biases of their own.

This is not the path to Theosophy. They then abandon H.P.B. for the vagaries of "second opinion" writings, T.S. politics, and fall under the "leadership" of those of its officers who appear to be "authoritative." Those students, who became convinced of the validity of Theosophy, have, in most cases left the T.S., and as a result several bodies have arisen which more or less work at its active study. I have heard of very few Branches of the T.S. which actually make it a point to study the principles of Theosophy and its original literature.

If Occultism is true, and if Theosophy is a "statement of facts in nature," then fraud, by a personage such as H.P.B., is impossible. Had H.P.B. engaged in any "fraud," however small, her occult connection with the Lodge of the Ancient Brotherhood, would have been severed [Isis II 98-103].

No agent of Theirs can work fraudulently. In any such case the agent is deemed a failure, and is debarred from any further responsibility for the Masters' work and influence in the world. There is no evidence of this in regard to H.P.B., right up to her last article and letter.

[This is of course extraordinary in our world of hypocrisy and camouflage; and in most cases, individuals who publish such views are deemed, in certain quarters, to be "dupes."]

In the world of true occultism, where everyone's motives are bared and open to the piercing vision of the Adepts, fraud is impossible. One may assure oneself of this factor by culling Their statements to be found in The Mahatma Letters concerning Their relations with H.P.B., with this subject in mind.

Access to Genuine Theosophy

Unhesitatingly I would uphold H.P.B.'s statements and nature, as we have no other access to genuine Theosophy, except through her.

I would insist that there is a definite "theosophical system," but that this cannot be imposed on anyone, nor can an impossible unanimity of adherence among the FTS be insisted on. The T.S., as I understand it, and as originally constituted, was to be a "republic of conscience."

The T.S. was to be a forum where the conjoined study of its philosophy could be conducted, without any coercion or the breath of sectarianship, so that a true neutrality would be preserved, and its influence in all aspects of study could be exposed to public and "academic" consideration.

Theosophy, however, can not be cut, reformed, altered and molded to satisfy current "academic" specifications and theories. Some have tried to do this with various motives, but chiefly out of the hope of increased popularity, and the securing of academic endorsement, which would, hopefully, add a measure of "sanctity" to it.

If one studies the changes in "academic" consideration in a number of the disciplines in which Theosophy has offered doctrine and data, and compares them, one can soon notice that, increasingly, the academies are adjusting themselves to a closer alignment with statements made by H.P.B. This is particularly noticed in regard to the investigations into archaeology, paleontology, psychology and religious history.

The "historicity" of Christianity, the origins of the New Testament, and the relations of early Christian sects with the Gnostics are a case in point.

[In a way, one might say that analogetically, the history of the T.S. in the past 122 years has shown movements similar to those we detect historically over 3 to 4 centuries in early Christianity. So rapidly does Kali Yuga now move.]

"Dogmatism" would seem to imply the imposition (and uncritical acceptance) of the views of others. The course of the T.S. shows this was attempted in more than one way. And every time that this was resisted, secession from it ensued, or suspension and expulsion were imposed.

Brotherhood, the First Object, became constantly violated and the eclectic nature of the T.S. has suffered gravely from those "official" actions — just as it did when the members of the "American Section," and its Branches were declared to have "seceded (1895)."

A clear statement of one's views, is not "out-of-order" providing others are granted open-minded freedom of expression, and that all are encouraged to search for and find areas where facts and ideas can be considered.

From their very inception under the editorship of H.P.B., first, The Theosophist, and second, Lucifer, printed criticism and response without hesitation. When H.P.B. no longer edited those, an attempt to hide criticism from the readership became the editorial policy. Theosophy thus suffered, as did the "officers" and "members" alike.

Dissimulation and departure from brotherhood has progressively destroyed the original quality of the T.S., as I see it. That is my observation and opinion, but, I may be too harsh, or even wrong in some of this estimate.

Theosophy unifies. It does not divide, nor does it impose any special rules or rites on anyone. The T.S. ought to have emulated the work of a study forum, where many minds can meet in amity so that an amplification of knowledge may be achieved. But: no authorities!

As I see it, the T.S. is not concerned with "beliefs." Those are individual. A belief is, generally, an unprovable statement of ignorance. Beliefs need to be critically examined on the thesis that we live in a Universe of Law. They can serve to provide a focus for discussion so that individually, one may eliminate those that are unprovable or illogical from ones mind. But this is done each one for himself, and cannot be imposed or expected as a hypocritical "lip-profession" from others.

I am very much afraid that the T.S. has become a "stranded whale," and I would be surprised if it ever is able to roll off its present "sand-bank," back into the ocean of useful theosophical study and work.

I do believe it is possible to expect some aspects of organized reform, since it is up to the individuals who are its members to first, make a change in themselves.

Should this occur, then you will find that, Branches, and then whole Sections will adopt a freedom from "by-laws" as they begin to practice the rules of Brotherhood and of true Theosophy. Then, indeed will the original character of the "First Object" be reestablished by a non-regulated cooperative spirit.

Any one individual can frame a protest and outline the methods that they believe will lead to dearly-needed reform. Such protest will no doubt draw a mixture of response: but importantly one will probably find drawn to oneself individuals who appreciate one's ideas and attitudes.

The Adepts and the Theosophical Movement

I would say that it is unimportant as to whether there was unanimity or not in Adept circles in regard to the commencement of the Theosophical Movement of the 19th/20th Century. Suffice it to observe that the experiment was "permitted," and several Adepts participated in its animation.

Three of these, so far as we are made privy to Their decisions, made it their particular project. It is reasonable to suppose that when the work was put in hand — under the law of Karmic possibilities — all those Great Brothers lent assistance as needed, and that is indicated in the scraps of insightful reflection found in Their letters.

It seems evident that "H.P.B." was one of these Adepts, and took the burden of incarnation among us for this purpose.

I would say that there is a great distinction to be made between the Adept [H.P.B.] and the physical personality born and named "Helena Blavatsky." In several ways and places she makes this clear. In no way can we presume to consider that the real H.P.B. [the Adept] and her Adept Friends are "dead."

I would say that there is ample evidence in the historical development of the Theosophical Movement since 1891 to demonstrate their continued existence and interest.

Looking at the Theosophical Movement of modern times, the first seven-year period beginning in 1875 with the inauguration of the T.S. ended in 1882. During that cycle Isis appeared and The Theosophist began in Bombay. The bulk of the correspondence between the Masters, and Sinnett and Hume was exchanged.

The second cycle of 7 years embraces the period of 1882-1889. This saw the Coulomb conspiracy, and the S.P.R. "Report" as tests of the solidarity of the T.S. As one result, H.P.B. was exiled from Adyar, and Master's influence declined there. There was in contrast the revival of interest in Theosophy in America (under Judge), and in Europe (under H.P.B.). India (and Asia) was reported as becoming stagnant. The Secret Doctrine was published, and the hitherto secret E.S. was opened to the FTS as a means of drawing closer to the Masters, and to a real understanding, study and application of Theosophy.

Cycle the third, from 1889 to 1896 saw the death of H.P.B., and the "Judge Case" which ended in his death and the alienation of the bulk of the "American Section." From this the E.S. did not survive as originally framed. The T.S. being 21 years old reached its majority. Its choice of future was made: in Europe, India and in America.

How can the Masters be expected to work publicly with an organization which had systematically and deliberately excluded them? And where psychic attempts were made, and continued in various ways, in spite of Their warnings against that, to "contact" Them? This is, however, an "aside."]

From the literature available it is evident that many Adepts helped. From a doubtful to a successful effort, one can trace the steps made, the barriers encountered, and surmounted. I believe it is clear that "H.P.B.," the Adept, around whom the effort was centered, was dissatisfied with the results and proclaimed the Society to be "a failure," insofar as achieving moral and practical objectives was concerned.

In other words, its members did not support Theosophy as they could have — as though it was the most important thing in the world. She spoke of those apparent faults in several ways: lack of brotherhood, lack of study, and failure to spread it as far and as wide as they could have.

The manner in which H.P.B. was treated in India in 1884 is an indication of this. Read, for instance: A Puzzle from AdyarLucifer, August 1889; and "Why I do not Return to India" — The Theosophist, July 1929 (this was written by H.P.B. in April 1890, apparently meant for the "Indian Section," and conveyed to Col. Olcott by Bertram Keightley when he traveled to India, as I understand. Apparently this was suppressed at the time and never published in The Theosophist until 1929, 39 years after it could have made a difference.

H.P.B. was concerned with all these aspects, and H.P.B. alone provided the visible focus (the "Interpreter" — see Isis II 91) for the principles that were to be studied, checked, tested, verified, then used by students. Mr. W.Q.Judge, almost single handed in America, met this criterion as was recognized, according to existing documents, in Adept quarters.

One of the unfortunate breaks in the study of Theosophy that members of the original T.S. have labored under was the cloud cast on Mr. Judge, (1893-96) after the death of Mme. Blavatsky, and in spite of her several warnings in this regard.

The failure to make his works available to the membership, along with H.P.B.'s writings, and the introduction soon after, and from then on of distracting materials demonstrates this. [The Epitome of Theosophy (1887) is a sample of his work, marking his value to the Theosophical Movement.]

For many years the membership did not know that Mr. Judge was one of the three Founders of the T.S. in New York who had remained steadfast and loyal to its work and objects until his death in 1896. He is still, largely, unknown in T.S. circles.

Between the publishing of Isis Unveiled in 1877, and the issuing of The Secret Doctrine in 1888, the correspondence between the Masters and Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Hume developed, and then waned. In late 1879 The Theosophist began publication.

A great effort in India and Ceylon (1879-84) was made to demonstrate to the citizens of those countries that their age-old philosophies and lore had definite and continuing value. Their revival was supported by the T.S. Many of the Chelas of the Masters in those countries were induced to join the T.S. and lend their efforts to its promotion and growth. 1885 marked H.P.B.'s exile from India.

Mr. Sinnett's early publications ( The Occult World, and Esoteric Buddhism) did much to popularize and broadcast Theosophical principles, even if some of his statements and opinions had to be corrected by the Adepts in The Secret Doctrine, and in various magazine articles. A perusal of the material in The Mahatma Letters in comparison with his books shows how he erred.

Isis Unveiled had spearheaded an intellectual revival in the West, tracing as it does the principles and main events of an Occult nature down the centuries, and unveiling the single source of many important sects and religions, and particularly of Christianity.

Among the intellectuals of the time it evoked a stirring and a revival of search into the documentary traces of their past. The correlations it advanced showed that history records a unanimity of experience in psychic and occult matters, and that those provided explanations for the sudden exuberance of the phenomena in the "spiritualistic" movement.

It was for the general protection of mankind that theosophical literature was written, and the T.S. established, as a forum for conjoint study and work.

These served to provide sources, principles and examples concerning the psychic and the spiritual nature of man, so that a student of those events could secure evidence to assure themselves of knowledge about its existence in history and in modern fact. It opened inquiring minds to correlative avenues of research, and served to unite divided sects and natural philosophers.

An Approach to the Masters

An approach to the Masters can be achieved by any one, whether a member of the T.S., or not. It depends on the way in which he lives his life, and on the moral and ethical basis for his decisions in living.

It is plain that the E.S. associated with the T.S. ought to have afforded a continued basis for such a program, but all depends on the individual. No exoteric rite, ritual, or observance has any weight.

And, esotericism, as I understand it, cannot be contrived. It is a state of mind and life, or am I wrong? It is apparent to me that each individual has to establish his own "connections."

There is, I am convinced, no substitute for a deep and careful study of H.P.B.'s writings, and this includes her many articles which have unfortunately not been made easily accessible, in spite of being reprinted in extenso in Collected Works Blavatsky. A less expensive access is very much needed. ULT has tried to do this by issuing them in pamphlet form.

The Internet is, to my mind, like a telephone connection. It can be used for serious exchanges or for chatter. Each individual decides on that. It does have the advantage of rapidity in communication. The real question is whether the ideas so conveyed have real value and can truly assist inquirers.

It should be presumed that this, like other methods of communication, will be both well used and probably also, abused. One value to the printed page is that the student can retain a record of teachings and ideas, or of the study which he has made.

The records of the Internet appear to have a temporal fragility. I note, currently, that there are about 2,000 "addresses," and "pages" on Internet that avow concern in matters of Theosophical interest.

The dilution of Theosophy to make it "simple," or "popular," has been a serious problem. One forgets that those who truly want Theosophy will seek until it is found by them. If the source of their seeking is obscured by the petty thinking of petty minds, then a great disservice has been done in delaying the progress of those who have less perspicacity or determination.

It should be a matter of imperative search by those who have pierced the veil of obscurities to find kindred souls, eager for serious work. Such individuals or groups may be scattered, may appear to be "different" in organization from the forms that were established in 1875 for the T.S., but that is, I believe, not significant.

The opportunity for mutual study, and the comparing of such study ought to be provided, unbiased, and free for those who desire it. Does this already exist somewhere ? It is up to individuals to search for such places and to make their assistance available.

If necessary fresh centers for work can be established, and existing centers can be revitalized. I have noted in recent years that three of the main centers of theosophical endeavor have increasingly grown to share in work that is common, I mean the "T.S., Adyar," the "T.S. Point Loma and Pasadena," and the "U.L.T." All acrimony based on "tradition" seems to be fading in favor of conjoined work when possible.

For example the centenary celebration of the Theosophical participation at the Chicago Parliament of Religion in 1993, and the celebration of the 100th Death Anniversary of respectively H.P.B. (1991), and of W.Q.Judge (1996) are examples of this here in America.

All three of these Theosophical "bodies" are keeping H.P.B.'s works in print. What the T.S. Adyar seems to lack is the availability of Mr. Judge's works: The Ocean of Theosophy, Epitome of Theosophy, Echoes from the Orient, The Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, and his many articles.

On careful examination and comparison with H.P.B.'s writings it has been found that they are entirely in line with her exposition of Theosophical doctrines.

Looking around at our Theosophical scene I have noticed an individualistic orientation of motive or character in some persons which seems to serve as a barrier, and it has done this for many a learned individual who has become well versed in the literature of original Theosophy.

It is, briefly, the desire to shine before others, to be "recognized." It is this that makes for the disguise of personal claims and "authority." And this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of one's personality to abandon. But if we are truly immortals our opportunities to serve and assist stretch endlessly ahead, and we need not concern ourselves with how others may view us, providing we can be of help to them.

We will always, under our conjoined Karma, be united at many future times and occasions. That is inevitable, so we might as well set up and re-establish the bonds of friendship and mutual support, based on a similarity of principles, and objectives.

The application of impersonality and of service to others, to my way of thinking, can be the only basis for true unity, and constructive work. H.P.B. did not seek a following, but those who sensed the value of what she had to give clustered around her eager to receive the refreshing beverage of theosophical truth. As I see it, this enables us to emulate her, and to be of help to others.

For years the T.S. membership has had the opportunity of determining for themselves whether this is what they truly desire. Those that remain associated with that body and its structure, seem to believe there is a mystical power associating them through that "body" with the source of Theosophy.

It is an instinctive hope and desire, but that has to be rationalized, and there, I see that adherence to the "form named the T.S." can act as a barrier to individual and true progress.

If one is willing to assume a discipline of sustained effort and deep dedication to Theosophy and to H.P.B., then commensurate success may be achieved, whether one is a member or not a member of the T.S. It is essentially a "self-effort" affair, and no one can serve as a special guide, or do any more than perhaps open a door or a window on the illimitable fields of "becoming."

Looking or passing through those door/windows is entirely a matter of individual choice. But this is really nothing new.

In one place it is stated: "Getting back the memory of other lives is really the whole of the process, and if some people don't understand certain things it is either because they have not got to that point in their other lives, or because no glimmer of memory has yet come." That has been a kind of "beacon-light" which lures me on.

And, again, in The Voice of the Silence (p. 41) I read: "Tell him, O Aspirant, that true devotion may bring him back the knowledge, that knowledge which was his in former births."

A mystical writer once said: "To meditate on the Higher Self is difficult, seek then the bridge, the Masters ... think, think, think, on the truth that you are not body, brain, or astral man, but that you are That, and That is the Supreme Soul." And again: "Masters. They are Atman and therefore the very law of Karma itself. They are in everything in life, and in every phase of our changing days and years ... Think of the Master as a living man within you."

Looking at one's inner self, we certainly cannot limit our concepts to this physical body, because nothing in it per se motivates it to either thought, feeling or action. The invisible Man is in himself unlocatable physically.

We may look on ourselves as some do, as a "thinking atom," but that is a materialization which our physical-brain-minds need, to consider the invisible reality of the personal psychic man, and, beyond or within that, the Egoic, intuitive, individuality.

I have spent many years seeking to understand what these names and words imply. I have observed that names obscure, but functions, attributes and qualities tend to liberate the thought when applied to an understanding of the potency of the will and its polarity with the desire nature.

If we are truly immortals, then we ought by degrees to understand the implications of this fact, and begin to make applications in our lives to that situation. It implies a universality, and a responsibility, which ties the whole of life into a single kinship which we share all the time with uncountable others, who are our brothers.

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Welcome to the Theosophical Society in America's Internet List!

by John Algeo

[This message on June 6th by the National President of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) inagurated its new mailing list, ts-l@theosophia.org. It is reprinted with permission. For more information about this list, write:]

Email (olcott@theosophia.org)

To all members and friends of the Society who are Internet users: welcome to the electronic mailing list of the Theosophical Society in America.

This mailing list is dedicated to communicating Theosophy by and to members of the Theosophical Society and others who are interested in doing Theosophy via the Internet. It is a small step forward into a future of gigantic possibilities.

The Theosophical Society evolved out of meetings in 1875 at the home of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in New York City, where she presided over soirees focused upon ancient, Eastern, esoteric, and symbolic matters.

In July of that year, Blavatsky decided to establish a "philosophico-religious Society" with the help of her friend Henry Steel Olcott to further research in those areas. The Society was organized during the following September and October, and on November 17, 1875, Olcott delivered his inaugural address as the Society's first president, a date since remembered as the anniversary of the Society's founding.

The infant Society's activities set a pattern for its future: they consisted primarily of meetings with talks and discussion. And members of the Society have been talking and discussing ever since.

Blavatsky was also engaged in writing her first great book, Isis Unveiled, which she had begun even before the foundation of the Society, so the publication and dissemination of printed works became another early option in the Society's program of disseminating Theosophy.

In The Key to Theosophy, Blavatsky listed five ways members can help the Society. They are (1) studying Theosophy, (2) talking about Theosophy, (3) circulating books about Theosophy, (4) defending the Society from "unjust aspersions," and (5) living Theosophy. In fact those five ways are still as relevant today as they were in 1889. But some things have changed. In particular, the channels we use to study, talk, and circulate books are different. Whereas in H.P.B.'s day talk was face-to-face and printing was done with lead type, today, we have electronic channels that have revolutionized communication, both written and oral.

With the opening of this Theosophical list, we enter a new world — not a world of new activities, but a world of new ways for carrying on accustomed activities, a world of new possibilities. There can be little doubt that if H.P.B. and H.S.O. were living today, they would be pioneers in this new world of electronic communication. The Internet, the Web, and whatever comes after them are not new activities for us, but new ways of doing the old Theosophy better.

This list is actually the second we have opened. A bit ago we started a similar list for members of the National Lodge, a nonlocal association of Theosophists who study together. We have not yet learned all we need to know about operating such lists (when we do, we will have completed the Seventh Round on this Chain — for those who may not recognize it, that's an allusion to a Theosophical teaching about the long course of evolution humanity is engaged in); but we are forging ahead nonetheless.

This list will be open for anyone who wishes to subscribe to it, member of the Theosophical Society in America or not. But it is intended primarily for Theosophists, and so assumes that anyone subscribing to it is interested in Theosophy. It is appropriate here to repeat some of the words I wrote to National Lodge members when their mailing list was begun:

The purposes of our Society are many, but its central purpose is that stated in its first Object: "To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.". How we carry out that Object, however, must vary with time and circumstances. The Inner Founders told the first Theosophists what to do, but not how to do it. How we do the work of the Society today is still our own responsibility — our swadharma or individual calling.

How do we form a nucleus? At one time people came together principally by being in the same physical space at the same time. That is necessary for talking face-to-face and will always be important. But the invention of writing made it possible for people to communicate over time and space through marks made by hand; and the invention of printing made it possible for one person to communicate the same message to many others.

But the development of electronic communication in recent times, by wire, radio, television, and now the Internet, opens a wholly new phase in human exchange with radically new opportunities for social integration. Television has brought the farthest reaches of the earth to our living rooms, where we can observe events as they unfold anywhere on the globe. And now the Internet is making it possible for us to be not just passive spectators, but active participants in global communication.

Our nucleus is not just our local Lodge or Study Center, important as they are. Nor is it our national Society. Our real nucleus is the worldwide network of Theosophists. This Internet mailing list is a step toward realizing the potential of that global nucleus through electronic communication. Those who participate in it are pioneers in this new phase of Theosophical communication, which is a radically new way of forming the nucleus.

I urge you to participate in this channel of communication, to help us in discovering its possibilities and its most effective modes of use. What we do on this list is not just for our personal benefit, but for that of coming generations of Theosophists all over the world, and even more important for the solidarity and evolution of all humanity. Let us explore the potentials of this channel innovatively, fraternally, and with a sense of history — past history and future history.

Welcome to ts-l@theosophia.org — welcome to the future!

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High Country Theosophist Introduced

from High Country Theosophist

Richard Slusser, Editor 
140 S. 33rd St
Boulder, CO 80303-3426 USA
(303) 494-5482
Email (dslusser@indra.net)

... is an independent Journal and has the following editorial objectives:

(1) To serve the greater Theosophical Movement as a forum for the free interchange of ideas and commentary in the pursuit of Truth and to facilitate various projects in furtherance of Theosophical principles.

(2) To present articles and essays consistent with source theosophy, otherwise known as the Ancient Wisdom as given by The Masters and H.P. Blavatsky, and other theosophical writers consistent with this tradition.

(3) To examine contemporary ethical, religious, metaphysical, scientific and philosophical issues from the viewpoint of the source theosophical teachings.

(4) To impartially examine significant events and issues in the history of the theosophical movement which have affected and shaped its present-day realities.

Some Abstracts of Back Issues:

[Jul. 96] Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and T.S. Movement, Transition of Kingdoms on Globe D. , Values of the Jonangpa School, Letters; D. Keene, J. Cooper, Journey to Nepal and Tibet. Book review; The Theosophcal Enlightenment, QWAA report, Paperback request filled, A Theosophical Fable.

[Aug. 96] A new Martian mystery (Meteorite), Book Review; Message of the Sphinx, Letters; D. Eklund, D. Keene,Y. Gorbunov, J. Greschner, J. Cooper, S. Ginsberg, HCT editorial position, Questions to Hiraf.

[Sep. 96] Rosicrucian Path, Rosicrucians: Theosophical References, A Protest, Another Protest, Pilgrimage to India, An explanation to HCT readers

[Oct. 96] Autobio. Dr. Franz Hartmann, part 1. To be Able, Wm. Q. Judge - Transl. by R. Hutwohl

[Nov, 96] Harvest Festival at the Farm, ONAWAY Trust Funds, autobio. Dr. Franz Hartmann, part 2 of 2. Heavy doings in High Country, Letters; Rick Archer, Pilgrimage to India.

[Dec. 96] Mysteries of Anasazi Kivas, Conflict over Kivas, Secrets of the Anasazi, Seeds by D. Eklund, K.P. Johnson's House of Cards by D. Caldwell, Heavy Doings in High Country, Letters, Rick Archer, Pilgrimage to India

The HCT subscription year begins with the July issue and ends with the June issue of the following year.

Paid New Subscriptions received during the period July 1 - May 31 will be sent back issues, beginning with July, as indicated above. If received June 1 - 30, subscription will begin with July.

Rates: $9.00/year U.S.A. $11.00 Foreign (Surface) $18.00 Foreign (Via Air) Payment By check, money order or draft must be in U.S. currency (Dollars) payable to Richard Slusser. Checks payable to High Country Theosophist are not negotiable and will be returned (Free yearly Subscriptions are available on written request if cost is a hardship.) The price of back issues is available upon request.

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Planning Theosophical Work

by Eldon Tucker

A potluck lunch and meeting for the National Section of the T.S. Pasadena was held Saturday (June 7th). Held at the international headquarters in Altadena, California, several dozen members were in attendance from southern California.

The National President, Alan E. Donant, opened the meeting speaking of "potluck Theosophy," commenting on how well our lunch came together, with everyone bringing just what was needed. The suggestion was that in our theosophical work we all can likewise bring just what the group needs and help bring things to a successful conclusion.

On prominent display in the lobby was a computer featuring the new web pages for the American Section. Both the content and the graphics were excellent. The pages are now online, and can be viewed at:

Page (http://www.greenheart.com/amsec/)

Members took turns telling about their various approaches to promoting the philosophy.

The evolution of one study class, for instance, from a carefully-controlled introductory class to a class with high enthusiasm and strong participation by its long-term attendees, was described. It was scary, the members said, as they loosened control and stepped back, but things couldn't have gone better.

The regulars at the class have grown proficient in expressing the philosophy in their own words and have even shown skill in containing the occasional heckler that may show up at meetings, seeking to attack and tear down everything.

Everyone had a change to speak. The T.S. President, Grace Knoche, addressed the group at one point. Richard Hiltner mentioned the class that we've — Richard, my wife, and I — have been holding on Purucker's writings for about seven years. I mentioned Theosophy World and the value of participating in Internet theosophical mailing lists.

It was a cool, but pleasant cloudy day. The sound of children at play nearby on the grassy hillside gave a nice touch to the proceedings. At one point, a two-year-old walked into the room, and through the double circle of chairs to the other side. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere took it in, unphased, as his dad (me) raced out the door, around the hallway, then into the meeting room from the other side to scoop him up and bring him outside again.

What could be better? If things were different, perhaps in the future, there could be hundreds or thousands of people coming, with an equal interest in learning and sharing the timeless philosophy. Until then we do what work that we can, planting seeds for the future that will germinate in due time. If we keep up the work, there may come a time when everything will catch fire and the countryside will be aglow with the dharma!

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An Invitation to Study

by Einar Adalsteinsson

I have been preparing a workshop for our Summer School in Iceland, and for that purpose I am mining in some published and unpublished writings of Mr. Sigvaldi Hjalmarsson, my "guru" and mentor from the time I entered the TS until his death a decade ago.

I have always wanted to share his writings with somewhat wider international circle of spiritual seekers than is available here in Iceland because of the language barrier.

For this purpose I would like to make an experiment by inviting those that would like his style of practical spiritual advisory to "subscribe" to short selected passages translated from his writings.

Because of obvious copyright reasons this has to be on a person to person basis, although I am confident that he would not have minded a wider publicity for his teachings.

For the same reason I would like to invite to a person to person discussion about the subjects in hand — but — I will not argue, or indulge in arguments, on the truth or falseness of his points of view.

In general I think that argument is utterly futile "game of the mind" and in particular when S.H. is concerned my experience was that when I didn't understand some points, and invited myself to a discussion with him, I always came painfully aware of how little i knew and how profound his understanding was when it came to the mystical and esoteric realms.

In my opinion it is of paramount importance, when studying spiritual matters, to rely only on ones own "discrimination" and "momentous intuition".

One should never believe in anything one reads or hears or thinks or believes! Words can never convey the truth — they can point to "A truth" or an understanding within the receiver, but without such "momentous insights" words and concepts are only empty containers, a mere figments of the mind. Truth - or real understanding — is also always momentous and therefore non-memorable. Memories of truth is never the truth.

So, if you are still interested, then drop me a line and we will se if something can be worked out.

From the Spiritual Well of S.H.:

The conscious process is movement, and the body is more closely in contact with the consciousness if it is not static. The yogis in India were, and still are, moving about a lot. They walked from village to village, often travelling 5 hours a day, or more.

All thinkers have been great walkers and also all yogis. One should walk in a natural way, neither fast nor slow, and the consciousness is then in a meditative state. During the walking there will emerge a relaxed and light or exalted feeling, together with bodily fatigue, which also is in a mysterious way wakeful for the spirit.

Similarly it's my suspicion that it's necessary sometimes to be hungry. Here in the West we are never really hungry, on the contrary, we are often full, even overfilled, which is tremendously dulling for the psyche. He who doesn't wish to starve from time to time, should never eat so that he feels quite full, and perhaps that is the best way. (from hssh #39)

There is also some reading by H.S. at the TS homepage,

Page (http://www.itn.is/~theosoph/english)


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Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application