The Theosophists

Discussion in 'Esoteric' started by Bruce Michael, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    Hello All,
    Who or what are theosophists?

    "Theosophy" is a book by Rudolf Steiner. The word means "Divine Wisdom" or the "wisdom of God". It is not specifically Eastern, Western, Northern or Southern. Some of the famous theosophists of history are Paracelsus, Oetinger and Jacob Boehme; all of whom were Western or Christian theosophists.

    The original impulse behind the modern Theosophical Society was a Rosicrucian one, according to Dr. Steiner- who was himself a member of that said society (along with his wife Marie). During the long period in which he was a member, he was also the leader of the German section.

    Now the question is, if the Theosophical society taught Eastern doctrines why was Dr. Steiner allowed to teach his Western Rosicrucian teachings and be a leader of the section? Why was this allowed to happen?

    The reason is that the stated aim of the TS was to avoid dogma. It was a truly open forum with members making up their own minds on whether they wanted follow Eastern or Western paths.
    Theosophy is not a religion. In London during the time when H.P. Blavatsky was alive, Dr. Kingsford was the leader of the Lodge and she taught her own brand of Christian teachings.

    HPB moved away from the Rosicrucian to a more Eastern approach- first Indian Hindu and then Tibetan Buddhist. But her teachings were never meant to be dogma.

    These are the aims of one of the Theosophical Societies:


    "To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
    To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
    To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in Man."
    There is nothing there about it being a path or having dogmas (Eastern or otherwise) and forcing people to believe one thing or another. You often find anthroposophists speaking at theosophical societies around the world.

    As I said, theosophy is not a path. Blavatsky (who is not easy reading) never taught meditation or occult exercises. If someone wants to talk about anthroposophy at the Theosophical Society they can- this goes for the Adyar society.

    If Annie Besant had accepted Steiner instead of Leadbeater as her guide, there may never have been an anthroposophical society. Dr. Steiner was in no hurry to leave but things became unbearable with the Krishnamurti issue.


    -Br.Bruce
     
  2. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    As Rudolf Steiner said, the Theosophical Society was not an occult movement but a place where occultism was discussed. It was, as he saw it, a place for discussion, where each and every member was as important as another.
    See lecture, Occultism and Theosophy, in The Temple Legend.
    Dr. Steiner was happy to call his book "Theosophy"- he didn't consider it an Eastern term.

    He, or his followers to be precise, broke away from the TS when the original aims and objects of the Society were threatened with change by the Order of the Star of the East. No longer was the Society going to be a place for discussion, no, it was being turned into a religion.

    As far as I've seen, the Adyar TS is still a place for discussion. The TS bookshops sell a wide variety of spiritual literature which includes Anthroposophy. There are many red hot students of Steiner who are members of the TS.

    When lecturing at the TS, Dr. Steiner would start his lecture with "My dear Rosicrucian friends". He discusses in one of his lectures, that there were protests from some that he would say this. He replied that it was possible/allowable for one to be a Rosicrucian and a theosophist at the same time.

    Rudolf Steiner was a Rosicrucian, according to his own statement.

    -Br.Bruce
     
  3. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    "A theosophist has always before him the ideal of a universal single occultism, free of all religious prejudice."

    Here Rudolf Steiner explains the ideals of theosophy, not as Eastern or Western but as a universal movement.

    Lecture I: Man in the Light of Occultism

    God is no respecter of personalities and neither is occultism.
    Occultism- the same for all mankind:
    Occultism- the property of all Mankind, and the breaker down of religious differences:
    -Br.Bruce
     
  4. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    There is no Eastern, Western, Christian or Buddhist Theosophy:

    "We must learn completely to overcome the inclination to a theosophy of a definite stamp and colouring. It has gradually come about in the history of evolution that theosophies have tended to receive a certain nuance and colouring in accordance — I will not say with religious prejudices, but with religious preconceived feelings and opinions. Theosophy needs to keep constantly in view its ideal, — to be a reflection of occultism. There can therefore be no such thing as a Buddhist theosophy or a Hindu theosophy, or a Zoroastrian or a Christian. Naturally, regard must be had to the characteristic ideas and thoughts with which particular people will approach theosophy."


    Theosophy must be a reflection of occultism.

    Theosophy can bring peace to all on Earth:
    -Br.Bruce

    Quotes form Steiner
     
  5. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    The Christian and the Buddhist can come together in agreement under the banner of Theosophy.

    Certain concepts from Buddhism can, quite harmoniously, be included in Christianity:


    The Buddhist too, will gain an understanding of Christianity:
    -Br.Bruce

    Quotes from Steiner
     
  6. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    The essential difference between Buddhism and Christianity:
    Universal Occultism:

    -Br.Bruce
     
  7. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

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    The recent book that I read on the history of Buddhism’s journey to the West (All is Change by Lawrence Sutin) contained a chapter on Theosophy. It begins:

    “It is the central paradox of the Theosophical Society that its writings on Buddhism, by Blavatsky and others, were sometimes blatantly inaccurate as to matters of fact and even of basic doctrine – and yet there were many in Europe, America, and even Asia, who were spurred by those writings to pursue a deeper understanding of Buddhist practice.”

    Other words that I found notable in the chapter included "disrespectful methods", "lurid", "mythic fabrication" and "fraudulent".

    I think that's satiated my interest.


    s.
     
  8. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Yes Snoopy, and some folks still call HPB, St. Germaine, and Cagliostro (HPB in her prior incarnation) charlatans ... simply because they do not know better! We've seen that here at C-R, time & time again.


    What's difficult in this situation, is that no one bothers to actually READ The Secret Doctrine, in which book we find clarification as to some of the confusion even in the very INTRODUCTION to the First Volume!!!

    Unwise are those who, in their blind and, in our age, untimely hatred of Buddhism, and, by re-action, of "Budhism," deny its esoteric teachings (which are those also of the Brahmins), simply because the name suggests what to them, as Monotheists, are noxious doctrines. Unwise is the correct term to use in their case. For the Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to withstand, in this age of crass and illogical materialism, the repeated attacks on all and everything man holds most dear and sacred, in his inner spiritual life. The true philosopher, the student of the Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Moreover, Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion. It proves the necessity of an absolute Divine Principle in nature. It denies Deity no more than it does the Sun. Esoteric philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever Unknowable. Furthermore, the records we mean to place before the reader embrace the esoteric tenets of the whole world since the beginning of our humanity, and Buddhistic occultism occupies therein only its legitimate place, and no more. Indeed, the secret portions of the "Dan" or Jan-na"("Dhyan")of Gautama's metaphysics -- grand as they appear to one unacquainted with the tenets of the Wisdom Religion of antiquity -- are but a very small portion of the whole. The Hindu Reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the Wisdom Religion, to Ethics and MAN alone. Things "unseen and incorporeal," the mystery of Being outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public lectures, reserving the hidden Truths for a select circle of his Arhats. The latter received their Initiation at the famous Saptaparna cave (the Sattapanni of Mahavansa) near Mount Baibhar (the Webhara of the Pali MSS.). This cave was in Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Mogadha, and was the Cheta cave of Fa-hian, as rightly suspected by some archaeologists.


    Time and human imagination made short work of the purity and philo- sophy of these teachings, once that they were transplanted from the secret and sacred circle of the Arhats, during the course of their work of proselytism, into a soil less prepared for metaphysical conceptions than India; i.e., once they were transferred into China, Japan, Siam, and Burmah. How the pristine purity of these grand revelations was dealt with may be seen in studying some of the so-called "esoteric" Buddhist schools of antiquity in their modern garb, not only in China and other Buddhist countries in general, but even in not a few schools in Thibet, left to the care of uninitiated Lamas and Mongolian innovators.

    Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important difference between orthodox Buddhism -- i.e., the public teachings of Gautama the Buddha, and his esoteric Budhism. His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the initiated Brahmins of his day. The Buddha was a child of the Aryan soil; a born Hindu, a Kshatrya and a disciple of the "twice born" (the initiated Brahmins) or Dwijas. His teachings, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the whole Buddhist reform merely consisted in giving out a portion of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the "enchanted" circle of Temple-Initiates and ascetics. Unable to teach all that had been imparted to him -- owing to his pledges -- though he taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of the true esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only its outward material body and kept its soul for his Elect. (See also Volume II.) Many Chinese scholars among Orientalists have heard of the "Soul Doctrine." None seem to have understood its real meaning and importance.

    One has to thoroughly consider the implications of this idea - call it an HYPOTHESIS if you must - that only an INITIATIC Tradition can preserve the true and innermost teachings of such a Great One as the Buddha (Shakyamuni, let alone His predecessors) or the Christ.

    Once this is realized (or contemplated), it will become apparent that no disrespectful methods, and no mythical fabrications have been made by H.P. Blavatsky and the early Theosophists as regards the true nature of esoteric BUDHISM (spelled with one `B'), or even as regards the exoteric religion BUDDHISM which is highly praised as being closest of today's great spiritual traditions to the true, Esoteric Doctrine.

    Now, HOW would HPB be in a position - of authority, and/or of knowledge - to KNOW all this, and to proclaim such?

    Simple. She LIVED AND STUDIED ... LITERALLY, At the Feet of the Master. HPB visisted Tibet not once but TWICE, and she spent more than a year in her own Master's Ashram - inasmuch as that Ashram had, at the time, an outward physical expression in the Sacred valley in Tibet. She learned from Masters KH and M, as well as from the Arhat Initiate pupil of KH, Djhwal Khul. And HPB witnessed DIRECT many, many things which are recorded in her various writings.

    Those who KNOW all this, have testitifed to it, since HPB's day, and DURING her lifetime ... right up to the present. Others have chosen only to slander her and deny what they neither understand, nor have any experience of (either direct, or otherwise). Remember, abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence.

    And yet in the case of HPB, and of Theosophy, we have PLENTY of eyewitness testimony as to all manners and methods of demonstration of various MINOR occult powers, or lesser siddhis, which HPB was allowed (even INSTRUCTED) to demonstrate - not to gain a blind following, or to make fast converts - but to help suss out those who might recognize these phenomena, these demonstrations, for what they really are/were.

    Anyone who has bothered to study these matters firsthand, taking into consideration the dozens upon dozens of SWORN or pledged testimonies regarding HPB's abilities and demonstrations - testimonies NOT from her `confederates,' but from MEN OF SCIENCE, and people of NO BIAS, or real SKEPTICS if anything - anyone considering these accounts, cannot but conclude that SOMETHING indeed, was going on ... and this, MORE than fraudulence and charlatanism.

    But you see, Snoopy, so long as you are reading from second-hand sources, and from account written by those who have an axe to grind ... you're not going to get to the heart of the matter.

    Are today's Buddhist `experts' biased and uneducated? Well, yes to the first part, but certainly no to the second. The various high lamas, even including His Holiness himself, have all - clearly - mastered a great portion of the EXOTERIC teaching, and I daresay they are fairly initiated into and aware of an esoteric tradition (Tantrism, for example) as well!

    However, this is not the same as INITIATION, as it is understood, taught and preserved (and enacted, or conducted) in the Universal sense, or as per the tradition of Theos Sophia ... which does not mean AN Theos Sophia, but rather - the Theos Sophia. This is called Brahma Vidya in India, and we can only call it the Ageless Wisdom here in the West in an effort to suggest that these are TIMELESS TRUTHS - forming the heart, or the core, of every great religion this world has ever known.

    To propose that it is a different `God' - or set of Gods - Who Initiate each person into the Inner Mysteries ... according to race, nationality, choice of religion and even world epoch or astrological age ... might be an idea worth pondering, but not against the backdrop - or the underlying teaching in the Ageless Wisdom - of THE ONE. Not Monotheistic, but more Pan-En-Theistic, all true Initiates of the Ageless Wisdom tradition gain entry into a Planetary Spiritual Hierarchy ... and NOT simply the inner portions of their particular religious path, etc.

    We have seen the argument, from non-initiates, to the contrary - but such is unsupported. No one is suggesting that the various world religions do not preserve - to varying degrees - portions of the original doctrines of their Founders. But simply because I might happen to be a Lharampa Geshe, and have highest honors as a master of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, does NOT mean - that I am an INITIATE in the esoteric sense of this word. Much as I myself find such lamas to be an inspiration, and much as I enjoy hearing their teachings, as I have done in the past, I must maintain my own recognition - or awareness - that we do not certify ourselves into Tushita Heaven, or into Nirvana, any more than Christians save themselves, thereby gaining eternal Salvation.

    No earthly institution exists, as yet, bearing the authority (even based on Wisdom or knowledge, let alone bearing the true power) ... to INITIATE us into the Mysteries, and to thereby bring us closer to the heart of God. On other posts, I have mentioned that the Christ, or Bodhisattva is the HIEROPHANT for the 1st two Initiations, this making clear the true and esoteric meaning of John 14:6. At the next two Initiations, it is our Planetary Deity, or `the Father,' Who presides. This would have been true for HPB, just as it was for St. Paul, and for Jesus before him ... and for the Saints, mystics, initiates and sages of every religious tradition - for 18 million years.

    This gets a bit away from the criticisms of early the Theosophical Society by those who really don't have a clue ... but then, it is helpful to know something of the FOUNDATION of the true Work. As yet, I would say that 99% of the authors writing upon the subject demonstrate nothing but pure bias and ignorance, showing that their accusations are totally baseless ... while the remaining 1% fall into various camps, according to whose second-hand material they happen to agree with, either pro or con, and even then, we have several generations of Theosophical writing and authority.

    Nick, or Bruce Michael, can do this subject much more justice than I can, and probably with greater brevity ... yet I have tried to show that we are dealing with accustations and opinions from those who either have a clear bias, or who are forced to toe the party line, because they feel they must DEFEND their various traditions (Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, etc.), owing to the fact that they haven't even READ what HPB has to say (firsthand).

    Poor old Jack, I know she was just trying to get people to realize that all of these many branches (and twigs) proceed from One TREE ... even THIS being a necessary realization before we can begin to speak about our common ROOTS.

    Yet here the various groups are, all fighting to say, "NO! WE are the only BRANCH that matters; all the others are unimportant - and false!" ... as if a bunch of branches of the Great Yggdrasil just kind of hang there, unattached and self-existent. :rolleyes:

    One Trunk, with roots deeper than any of us yet realize ... and NOWHERE does HPB say that Theos Sophia, in its modern form, has been a presentation of `the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.' She simply tells us what it is, where & how it originates, and why it is begin given forth - in greater measure - at this time. And she leaves it up to the wise, to those with a MODICUM of recognition and discernment, to learn and apply the Truths she has made available (as instructed by the Great Ones).

    She has been followed by half a dozen or more Messengers in the late 19th and 20th Centuries. A shame, that people still cannot get over HPB-bashing, much realize what Great Work she helped prepare, and even wrought, herself.

    Some of us see it. And we thank her. We KNOW - about the Messengers.

    HPB.jpg
     
  9. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    Did you read this thread Snoopy?

    "There can therefore be no such thing as a Buddhist theosophy or a Hindu theosophy, or a Zoroastrian or a Christian."

    The Theosophical Society is a place where occultism is discussed- it does not have dogmatic teachings. In fact in one lecture hall that I am familiar with, there are symbols of all the major religions.

    Blavatsky was drawn to Tibetan Buddhism when not a great deal was known about it in the West. She did make some mistakes, but some of what she presented was meant to be secret teachings.

    As to doctrine, the various Buddhist sects have different doctrines.

    But as I said, the Theosophical Society is not there to be another dogmatic religion, but a place for much varied discussion. The original members were in fact Masons, not Buddhists or Hindus.

    Blessings,
    Br.Bruce


     
  10. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

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    Well I was reading a book on (primarily) Buddhism so I’m not claiming to be reading an original source of Theosophy.

    My assessment of Theosophy has not come from those on this forum who do not “know better” but from those who promote and defend it. It appears to me, in my ignorance, to be a dog’s dinner cobbled together by a well dodgy fraud (rather like scientology in that respect, strangely, given their linkage on the Are Theosophy & Anthroposophy Religions? thread.)

    There may be precious jewels of Christianity and precious jewels of Buddhism to be found in Theosophy but they appear to me to have been assembled by a jewel thief. Still, whatever floats yer boat...

    s.
     
  11. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Ahhh ... so Christ and Buddha are Jewel Thieves, because they come to us on the 2nd Ray under the Cosmic Christ on Sirius?

    You say that these Great Founders of religions are the frauds?

    Snoopy, you do NO LESS when you fall in with the lockstep goose-stepping accusers ... having no real inkling of what HPB was about - and WHY she labored so tirelessly. I know you have no real understanding of WHO sent her, but for God's sake, at least show that you are better than the folks who cannot go to the Source on the matter. Give it a shot, eh? ;)

    If, once you have done so, you discover that she was anything other than what she purported to be ... then I will stand corrected.

    Until then, all of the baseless accusations and slander are only just so much p*ssing in the wind ... :eek:
     
  12. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

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    If you say so. I didn't.

    No I didn't say that.

    s.
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Snoopy, you shared with us a quote,
    [The Theosophical Society's] "...writings on Buddhism, by Blavatsky and others, were sometimes blatantly inaccurate as to matters of fact and even of basic doctrine...."
    --> Perhaps you could share some examples? Perhaps there is a side to Buddhism that we have not seen?

    You also listed these words regarding Theosophy.
    "disrespectful methods", "lurid", "mythic fabrication" and "fraudulent".
    --> Such negative accusations need to be backed up with examples. Feel free to provide them.
     
  14. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

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    As you will see from my post, I was quoting from a book. Feel free to read it. :rolleyes:

    s.
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Snoopy,
    I am too busy to read the book. You have made general, vague, negative references to Theosophy, but you do not provide specific examples here.

    That is called trash-talking.

    I have reservations about other traditions, and I am always willing to discuss concepts in other traditons, but I never trash-talk.
     
  16. Snoopy

    Snoopy zennish

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    I just don’t see the value in getting embroiled in lengthy exchanges to no end; I've seen that happen with other folk.

    The TS seems to have generally appropriated (misappropriated?) Buddhist and Christian (?) terminology and doctrine for whatever ends their founders saw fit. This is my perception based on what I have read on this forum, that’s all. The book merely confirmed it. If that's trash talking, so be it.


    s.
     
  17. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    Hello Snoopy,
    You still don't get it do you? It is not altogether surprising considering that now and in the past certain folk have tried to turn Theosophy into a dogmatic religion-as Leadbeater had done.

    But the sublime ideal of Theosophy should be universalism. How else can you talk of universal Brotherhood? Religious prejudices should be set aside.

    It might appear as a "dog's breakfast" but that is how it is when a groups of people get together with differing views.

    Even you, with your Buddhist views, would be welcome at a theosophical meeting.

    Scientology calls itself a religion, has a set path, is dogmatic and charges fees.

    Neither Anthroposophy or Theosophy are religions, you can study the teachings fro free, they a non-dogmatic there is no set path and no one is going to pester you if you don't turn up to a meeting.

    I just made the point that under legal definition you could register the AS and TS.

    >Buddhism to be found in Theosophy but they appear to me to have been >assembled by a jewel thief.

    Theosophy never claimed to own those truths. As HPB said she just provided the ribbon with which tie up the flowers of wisdom.

    Best Wishes,
    Br.Bruce
     
  18. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Hmm, clearly it seems, that unless I too, decide to WRITE A BOOK (and have I not written several-worth, with my ridiculously long posts and parenthetical comments here at C-R) ... my contributions will be ignored. And yet, the moment I do get published, and get folks to read my opinons - clearly, no matter how inaccurate my conclusions are, or how shoddy my research has been - with publication I become a veritable GOD ... and my `information' becomes wholly accurate - with NO NEED for further verification! :rolleyes:

    Yes, yes, yes ... do forgive my usual sarcasm, but this just takes the cake. Snoopy, it's a shame. But this is exactly how you make things appear.

    Nevermind that you are hearing DIRECTLY from one member of the TS, one former member of the TS, and another person deeply versed in (modern) Theosophical teachings - plus a follower of the Anthroposophical teachings. Nevermind, because clearly you have reached some sort of satori on the subject, now that you have come to the opinions of Lawrence Sutin - which you seem either unwiling, or unable, to elaborate or defend!''

    And nevermind, that some of us here are probably QUITE familiar with various Buddhist and/or Hindu schools of thought, or branches of exoteric religion, with various interests - even devotions - which may equal, or eclipse, our interest and devotions to Western forms of (exoteric) religion! For, as we have seen before, as soon as we publicly don the hat - we become experts in the Faith of our (new) choosing, and OUR OWN statements and opinions, like those of Mr. Sutin, no longer need any kind of real support or backing (as those which come from careful research, or the lectio divina which has Thomas has mentioned). No no, I suppose the bottom line might be found by asking a question like, "HOW LONG have you been practicing?" .... or, "HOW OFTEN do you attend services/temple?" :(

    I wonder, if you were writing a research paper, even just a standard term paper for your high school English class (much less for a college course) ... would a teacher consider Mr. Sutin's opinons GOSPEL, and grade your paper with highest marks - as an apt representation of Theosophy's contribution to the understanding of Buddhism and Hinduism in the West?

    Or would it just possibly be, that that professor would want a couple more sources ... showing a little less bias, or in the very least, being able to DEFEND these accusations?

    It is one thing to say, "Modern Theosophy helped enormously to familiarize people in the West with the core doctrines of Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, etc. ... as well as the ancient mythologies of the East, with literally thousands of references to original source documents which ONE woman clearly could not have possibly researched on her own - YET, some mistakes were made, and readers have often failed to distinguish between a Universal, esoteric doctrine (portions of which HPB presented and elaborated) ... and an exoteric characterization of these Eastern traditions ... thus resulting, at times, in confusion regarding what Theosophy has to say - about religions both East and West."

    It is another thing entirely, to simply come across an opinion such as Sutin's, obviously one which is not supported by any serious consideration (or reading) of HPB's own, firsthand writings (and source materials) ... and then compare this to some rather prejudiced, biased, and uninformed views - reminiscent of those which we can see spammed here at C-R quite frequently ... and conclude, "Aha! Modern Theosophy misrepresents the Eastern traditions, and uses unscrupulous methods to try and gain a following, etc. etc."

    Meanwhile, let us sit smugly upon the throne of a real, well-established, mainstream tradition ... which we can say has been much better understood in the past 125+ years (since some of the earliest publications and exposure of these traditions, here in the West - thanks to Theosophy) ... and simply speak down to (or trash talk) those poor unenlightened chaps who do bandy on about their Universalism and `Secret Wisdom' ... all of it being, as any idiot can see - just a bunch of 19th Century parlor tricks, and poor rehashings of legitimate religion aimed at taking in the gullible & credulous! :rolleyes:

    Well, I admit my frustration, because I feel that I really am ... watching the proverbial ship of fools drifting farther and farther away from the shore. It seems that folks are climbing over each other's backs just to gain a spot on this Titanic of religious traditions & philosophical opinion ... and even as those nice pretty white floating mountains keep popping up on every side, we hear the chant, louder than ever -- "FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!"

    Amidst all this madness, when not lamenting our all-but-inevitable fate (and a shared one, because it really is - one big boat) ... there are still those who calmly sit, chanting OM or pondering the verities - even sincerely and devotedly meditating, or so I like to believe. Their meditations creatively visualize a future in which such vessels as the above no longer need visit these well-traveled shores of human ignorance, apathy, materialism and greed ... for lack of even one single passenger, still content with maya, glamor or illusion.

    This may be several more cycles around the Wheel, for all of us, but we know that a day is coming not so far into the future, when the trash-talkers, the slanderers and the religiously smug will know HPB (and the Cagliostros of every day) as the Galileos of the 19th and 20th Centuries, arguing before the regular `authorities' ... who always seem to know better, before discovering - or just plain admitting - that THEY WERE WRONG.

    There are the wrongs of Suppression, which we are up against today - even much the same as for many thousands of years ... and there are the wrongs of Ignorance, which is even more endemic to the human condition. It has been argued, and on solid ground, that if a person really knows the Good, s/he will do the Good, and this is a complementary type of understanding to the awareness of Truth which is the antidote to ignorance. The extent to which we truly do Good CAN thus be used as a measuring stick ... for how much we really know about Life, the Universe and Everything (not excluding God and Self).

    It is the efforts of the unenlightened to actively suppress the Truth, which is so lamentable, and really quite despicable, when seen for what it really is. Ignorance may be a factor in adjusting karma, but a heretic burned is often later discovered to be a genius, a savant or a Sage - persecuted. And when Humanity sends its Greatest of all Saviors to the next world ahead of His time ... I doubt the Lords of Karma of find much humor in it, or take lightly the implications for what burden (or fate) that world is swiftly bringing down upon the collective shoulders (or heads), of its denizens.

    Cosmic Aid, both de rigeur and of the Emergency sort, may be brought in to assist our little planet. Will we feel so self-assured and justified in our ill-informed opinions - even a few years hence - if we begin, even if we just BEGIN, to get an inkling of just how RIGHT ON TRACK such great disciples as Helena Petrovna Blavatskaya actually were ... and are?

    Yes, true, we are judged largely according to what we have recognized, understood, believed - and thereby acted upon ... yet this does not give us free license to judge, condemn or even to discriminate - even just in terms of some kind of social status, or CASTE - against those who see things differently.

    Buddha taught anatman, or `no soul,' for example. Yes? This is what we are led to believe, as far as exoteric Buddhism is aware ... and so it has become assumed that if the Buddha could speak to us in plain language today, He would deny the Atman as a real, or significant PRINCIPLE of Consciousness (or Being).

    Esoteric teachings tell us otherwise. And upon what authority do such teachings rest? Where, when and how have we received them? How do they stand up against the exoteric tradition, insofar as they can be applied ... in short, what has Theosophy to contribute in this area, and how can it be substantiated (if at all)?

    Either we are willing to ASK these questions, and hear the response ... or I would suggest that we really don't care about the answers anyway, because our mind is already made up, and we know what we believe, or prefer to believe. This, I point out, may or may not coincide with what is the actual Truth on the matter.

    But you see, who cares! Who cares what the Buddha taught, if we aren't even going to apply it, but simply - dig around in our presumed 1st, 2nd & 3rd-hand source materials, and post our own OPINIONS on a discussion forum! :eek:

    I believe it was the Buddha Shakyamuni Who is supposed to have said, "Cease to hold views." Hmmm, what could that mean?

    Did He not also relate a story about a poisoned arrow? When Malunkyaputta asked his Teacher about several deeper, metaphysical issues, the Great One ...
    ... asked Malunkyaputta to imagine a man who had been wounded by a poisoned arrow. His friends and relatives send for a surgeon but when the surgeon arrives, the wounded man says: 'I will not let the surgeon pull out this arrow until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble or a brahmin (priest), or a merchant or a worker...tall, short, or middle height...brown or golden-skinned...whether he lives in such a village or town or city...whether the bow that wounded me was a long bow or a cross bow...' and so on.

    The Buddha then explains that before all the wounded man's questions would have been answered he would have died. The Buddha's point is that whilst we speculate on questions such as those above we are missing the main point of his teachings. These are encapsulated in the four noble truths: 'This is suffering', 'this is the origin of suffering', 'this is the cessation of suffering' and 'this is the way that leads to the cessation of suffering'.


    He declares that to speculate on such questions is a distraction from what is essential to lead a holy life - it does not lead 'to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana'.
    Eventually, as we progress along the road to enlightenment, and assuming we apply the Buddha's moral teachings (or those of the Christ, or of any Great One), we will come to the point - as did Shakyamuni's Arhats - where we do need to understand something of these deeper questions in life. Argument about them now, is largely fruitless, and futile, a complete waste of time. Yet because there are so many who are seeking to discover something of the Mysteries, we may consider ourselves fortunate that several presentations of the Wisdom, or the Ageless Wisdom, have been made available ... during the past ~125 years.

    We are encouraged, or even obliged,to look at what has been given us in relation to all else that we have come to believe or understand ... yet, once again, it helps to read the original source, or teachings ... and not rely upon second-hand opinions and poor scholarship for our overall understanding. When people do the latter, it doesn't just give Theosophy a bad name ... it gives the Buddha a bad name, and the same for every other Great Teacher or Sage. For they ALL, every single one, taught their students to QUESTION, and not to swallow what they have heard whole hog.

    I quote gain, from the beginning of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, by the Tibetan Master:
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]THE LORD BUDDHA HAS SAID[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. "For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT]​
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]- Secret Doctrine III. 401[/FONT]
     

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