On how to approach Theosophy, from a letter
Q: Where can I find truth, I’ve read the Alchemists, Rosicrucians, modern 2nd generation theosophists…
While your approach to the original teachings – via some others – has come at a tangent to them, that is not so unusual.
Students have very different journeys – it is said that one’s past karma aids or hinders us depending on the use made of our opportunities ‘last time around.’ This is an important consideration for what we do in the present.
Now there’s a crucial point to consider in the above about the original teachings, the Perennial Wisdom – the uncut Theosophy of those behind the TS.
To appreciate that, investigate for yourself what reliable esoteric material was in print before 1875 when the TS was started by H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge and Col Olcott. Even accounting for Éliphas Lévi’s limited and difficult texts there was very little of any real help extant. That all changed, especially later on, in the 1880s and early 90s.
Now poor Krishnamurti was hardly taught anything of genuine Theosophy by C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant, who had replaced it with their own additions, some of which is unreliable.* He came on the scene after H.P. Blavatsky passed – do you know his history? It’s a very illuminating one. His ideas while being popular in some quarters are not always helpful in the long run, as many have found if they are followed to their logical conclusion, which culminates in a negation of the thinking and discerning principle, Manas. Something of this is in the idea “Truth is a pathless land.”
This has always been quite a common error of thought and was identified in some strands of Eastern thinking, the idea that one can reach Moksha (Nirvana or absorption into Unity) by skipping over Manas (mind) and going directly to Atma-Buddhi without the cultivation of proper mental states and capabilities. This has been warned against, the Masters who are behind the Movement are the living examples of the Path that aspirants are encouraged to take they embody great spiritual, mental and physical development and have cultivated all three ‘pari pasu’, equally. This is the age-old and safest way.
Some second generation writers have more or less obscured Theosophy pure and simple. They did this – consciously or not – to make room for their own ‘improvements’ which in many cases were not so. They offered popular opinion something easier – more psychic, less spiritual and taxing morally. All this only took them a short step from the anthropomorphism and psychism that it was Theosophy’s role to transcend and enlighten.
Theosophy, also called “Esoteric Budhism” (one ‘d’), as many rightly suspect, is the original Gnosticism, Hermetic philosophy, and vibrant mysticism of the West and East; pure and simple it came from the Lodge of Masters of the trans-Himalayan Brotherhood, H. P. Blavatsky’s accredited and well known Teachers. Many of the later variants were dilutions that risked running on “… until in time the mighty art was lost” as the Bhagavad Gita puts it in Chapter 4. This seems forever the way of things, “we cannot take sufficient precautions against theological subterfuges.” (Secret Doctrine 2: 476).
But so reliably and positively do H.P. Blavatsky’s and W.Q. Judge’s writings inform and inspire, they remain with the most serious students their consistent study. However as each must make their own assessment, we need do little more than point to these and let the enquirer judge.
In this, you may find the article “What is Truth?” of use http://www.ultindia.org/pamphlets/hpb/TheosPhilos.pdf
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ULT Lodges take up a definite programme of study that, in H. P. Blavatsky’s words, aims “at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish.” [from The Key to Theosophy]
With fraternal regards,
The United Lodge of Theosophists, London UK
Where to Start? for further reading