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Theosophy Comments - Replies


Introduction to replies on comments.

Having been very busy during last months, I discovered finally the comments attached to my articles. It seemed a good idea to respond in a separate file so that those who made their comments are not forced to browse my articles again. Anyway, I'm glad that there is interest with so many people in reading my articles, which point to a genuine spiritual path and in which I try to point out the basics of spirituality in daily life through a compilation of some essential ideas from Theosophy.

A general comment by me to all the interested readers: in order to get more info about Theosophy, especially detailed questions about the difference between Theosophical organisations, info about books, history, etc., I strongly advise everybody to do some networking with the Theos-l mailing list subscribers and/or theosophy.org participants. A wealth of ideas and info can thus be obtained. At the end of this document I will give the necessary data for subscription.

Now I will attempt to answer some questions:

PhillyBill [3-Nov-95-19:20]:

Have found the Theosophical Society and the United Lodge of Theosophists, what is the difference if any? I've also heard of the Three Principles, what are they? Thanks in advance for your reply.

Short reply:

The United Lodge focusses on the study of the writings of Blavatsky and Quan Judge; The American Theosophical Society (Adyar) is more diverse in its approach. Note that there are other Theosophical Societies such as Pasadena and Point Loma, which focus more on the writings of Godfried De Purucker (GdP). Note also that I myself draw a lot of info from GdP.

The three principles can be found in the prologue of the Secret Doctrine

(pp. 14-19)

Briefly, these are:

1. There is One ubiquitous, boundless and unchangeable Principle, 'The Great Breath', pure subjectivity and abstract motion, which is beyond human understanding.

2. The eternity of the Boundless Universe, which is the stage of countless universes that manifest and disappear in a cyclic pattern. The law of periodicity is considered fundamental as is easy to understand: life and death, sleep and being awake, day and night, etc. are common facts of life, to give just a few examples.

3. The essential identicality of all souls with the Universal Oversoul, which is Itself an aspect of the Boundless ('The Rootless Root).

H.P. Blavatsky elaborates quite a bit on these three principles.

PURUSHA [25-Oct-95-12:02]:

A good beginning. Do not neglect to investigate further.
Comment: right, we always have to investigate things, develop our understanding of life.
Theosophy has changed.
Comment: the essential truths never change, but the clothing in words does. More information will become available when scientists start appreciating the intelligence present within matter and working through matter.

The vehicle is no longer adequate.
Comment: an important task for spiritual oriented teachers is to modernize the ancient teachings, such as Theosophy, in a language and concepts that are appropriate for this time.

The Masters have never ceased their work.
Comment: right. Also, the Masters work through whomever is able and willing to live a spiritual life in the service of humanity.

cw butler [25-Oct-95-07:00]:

Is there an electronic copy of The Secret Doctrine available? Can't seem to find one with Netscape's Net Search . Having been published in 1878 [should be: 1888 ] it is obviously public domain.

Comment: as far as I know, there's no electronic copy available yet. But I know of a guy who is putting HPB's works on CD-Rom. (not completed yet, I guess)

Kim Poulsen [2-Oct-95-05:56]:

This teaching on "the seven jewels" is most interesting. It is of the highest esoteric nature. Who originated this doctrine?
Comment: The Ancient Wisdom-Religion, nowadays called 'Theosophy', states that there are seven keys to Wisdom and future Initiations. Godfried De Purucker elaborates on these keys explicitly in his book 'Fundamentals of esoteric philosophy' (Point Loma edition or Theosophical University Press; my general preference is Point Loma editions regarding books from De Purucker)

lynley [25-Sep-95-18:32]:

i think you should talk a little bit more on the difference between plato's teachings and the teachings of the bible. there are some definite differences between the teachings, and some people are unaware that plato's teachings influence their lives more than the teachings of the bible.
Comment: I'm not sure what aspects of Plato's teachings you have in mind. It is interesting however, and well known among scholars, that Neo-Platonic and Neo-Pythagorean influences have been strong in the early period of the church. Blavatsky ('Isis Unveiled', 'Secret Doctrine' ) and De Purucker have written about this . I'm sure some other Theosophists have written about this as well. Spierenburg ('New Testament commentaries of H.P. Blavatsky') has compiled and annotated Blavatsky's commentaries on the Gospels,etc. and has included original Greek passages. A real must for those that want to understand the esoteric meaning of the New Testament. The 'pagan' origins of Christianity is clearly shown. (Point Loma edition)

Another author in this realm is Henry Travers Edge.

Mark Neff [18-Sep-95-14:24]:

Can you find other religious or philosophical organizations sharing beliefs with yours, and can you not join together?
Comment: this is quite difficult. While there may be organizations that share *some* beliefs, most of them differ considerably, also regarding culture, objectives,etc. People will feel attracted to those organizations that somehow fit their character. This is a natural thing. Should organizations join together? They could work more together I guess. In practice, however, personal ambitions of leaders or different agendas will effectively block cooperation. This is a limitation of human nature as it is now, I guess. It may improve in the next millenium, as the scope of problems in this world begins to require more co-operation. Let everybody just do what s/he can.
What about Science and Mind? A book I scaned years ago read alot like Christian Science doctrine as well as Scientology?
Comment: I didn't read this book. Anyway, I don't like Scientology; Regarding Christian Science I have some doubts too. The problem regarding Scientology is

1. They charge huge amounts of fees for their courses, something a *real* spiritual organization will _never_do;
2. The characteristic of this organization is well-known if you follow the newspapers and internet discussions.

I spent quite some time in my youth reading all kinds of books from all kinds of organizations. Gradually I learned to recognize pseudo-spirituality from genuine spirituality as I participated in the Dutch Point Loma Society (of which I am not longer a member- but that's another story) My hope is that people will learn to develop their critical thinking faculty and learn to discriminate between fake and genuine spirituality. Sincerity is required for that, and, some study of great scriptures, and, some basic spiritual intuition.

I realize your beliefs include thoughts about post this life; yet, it is this life that concerns us most.
Comment: right. That's what I say in Theosophy Basics-2 and my other articles: start NOW with changing your patterns of thinking and your habits. How can it be else? Plain common sense is required.
What are your efforts to unify with like minded groups? I would think a large group would better get the attention of curious Christians.
Comment: A large group is *not* necessarily more effective than a small group. It depends more on quality, motivation, skills in communication, sincerity, common-sense, etc. than on the number of individuals.

nick hunter [10-Sep-95-18:48]:

The jewels are most interesting and relevant. I enjoy your contributions and welcome reading more
Comment: you're welcome. There are other writers too, however, like De Purucker, who has greatly contributed to Theosophical literature.

anonymous [9-Sep-95-23:12]:

thanks to the masters the world has a better chance!<
Comment: while acknowledging the neverending work of the masters, I would yet emphasize our *personal* responsibilities in life, including our spiritual ones. It is *us* that must change the world, by changing ourselves!

susan [2-Sep-95-11:19]:

i would like to know if this and the arcane school are one in the same.
Comment: No. The arcane school is more involved with the writings of Alice Bailey. I 've read most of her books a long time ago, but there's a very great difference between Bailey and Theosophy (in my humble opinion). If you want to know more about this, read the pamphlet from the United Lodge about Bailey (the pamphlet contains material from Alice Leighton-Cleather)

Mike [29-Aug-95-03:38]:

I am trying to read the "Secret Doctrine", and should say, that it is very hard.
Comment: yes, it's hard indeed. Try the Fundamentals of Esoteric Philosophy from GdP. That's an introductory study to the SD. Did you read some intro- ductory books, like 'The Ocean of Theosophy' from William Quan Judge?
But I, and my wife, do have one small question:
How is it possible to prove, that reinkarnation exist?
I mean on the physikal level. I'll be very thankful for any kind of information.
Mike
Comment: This is not easy, if at all possible. Remember, it is the human Ego that reincarnates, thus a subjective entity from the inner planes, manifests through its vehicles on the outer plane. How can you measure that? Yet, it might be possible for certain individuals to remember his/her former lives depending on certain factors (A certain sensitivity to the inner spheres, and more). I believe there are some amazing accounts of former lives by young children, which have been established as accurate and factual in the sense of there being records and registrations of such persons who died at such and such a period, etc. I don't know if this is what you're looking for. In addition, there are *strong arguments* for the reality of reincarnation. William Quan Judge devotes a whole chapter to this in his book 'The Ocean of Theosophy'.

anonymous [19-Aug-95-11:22]:

An interesting paradigm. Perhaps the one I might ultimately take up. Regardless, it is important to realize that it is only one system of thought.
Comment: Theosophy is a Raja Yoga system, ie, a system suited to those who are able to self-consciously achieve union with their Higher Self. I have provided some pointers to this system in my articles. The four Yoga systems (one of which is Raja Yoga) are a story apart to tell. For example, Karma Yoga,ie achieving Union or Enlightenment by good works is also a recognized system (way of living), not in Hinduism alone; remnants of this can be found also in the Roman Catholic Church (the doctrine of good works, charity, etc.).

Let me add that Theosophy is a kind of synthesis of age-old doctrines and ideas, validated by many seers. Eventually, it will merge with a new kind of science, a science of the sacred, when scientists finally come to the conclusion that consciousness must be factored in in their approach and models of nature and man.

Jay E. Murray [18-Aug-95-10:24]:

As a follower of various paths over the years I immediately
recognize the wisdom which theosophy expounds. I have fallen
off the path more times than I can count. This www page has
once again put the light back on so I can find my way back to
the path. It's been dark out there! Jay
Comment: great! That's the main purpose of this www page.

JOSE L.CARITG [5-Aug-95-17:48]:

YOUR WWW IS A GOOD THING. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THEOSOPHY IS NECESARY. THE BEST FOR YOU.L.V.X.
Comment: Thanks. The bibliography at the end of my articles provide a list of books that contain a wealth of information about Theosophy. In addition, you can download lots of free articles at theosophy.org

jason [3-Aug-95-11:36]:

I think your page was good , Ive just finished reading the Plato / socrates stuff you were talking about but have you ever read those books about "Masters of the far east" and are they worth reading or are they nonsense.
Comment: Do you mean Spalding's book? I've heard of it, but not read it. I would be a bit careful with believing all kind of things written about Masters;There is a lot of nonsense in some Newage literature, I'm sorry to say. But *the* book regarding the Masters is ofcourse: 'The Mahatma letters to A.P. Sinnett' from the Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton. This book is a collection of letters from two Masters to two of their 'lay-chela's' (a kind of spiritual students). Judge for yourself if this is genuine or not. I greatly enjoyed it as one of the best books I've ever read.