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Re: Bjorn on Leadbeater and other issues

Aug 08, 1998 02:59 PM
by Jerry Schueler

>I ASSUME that you believe/accept the basic, major claims of Madame H.P.
>Blavatsky?  Some of these claims are:
>That she was the messenger of a certain Association of Adepts and that
>she was sent into the outer world to give out the ancient teachings of

This can be taken two ways: an exoteric "association" of physical
Adepts and an esoteric one such as the Brotherhood of Compassion
as described by G de Purucker. I am quite convinced that she was
of the latter. Whether of the former (a physical group of living Adepts) or
not I am sceptical and don't much care one way or another.

>That she was in direct communication with these adepts, i.e. Morya, Koot
>Hoomi and several other initiates.

I think that we all must agree to this. The real question is whether
these two individuals were actually members of a group of Adepts
(they do not come off as traditional gurus, thats for sure).

>That she was a tulku and the Mahatmas used her as an instrucment for
>various purposes.

I accept her as a tulku, in which case her "mathatmas" were likely

>That Morya and Koot Hoomi and several other adepts either dictated or
>wrote through her various portions of her writings especially Isis
>Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine.

The way she describes the procedure, they were not physically present
when they dictated to her. Thus she was a "channeler" of sorts.

>That these adepts were flesh and blood human beings and from time to
>time visited Blavatsky, Henry Olcott and others either in the flesh or
>in their Mayavi Rupas.

Yes, but were they organized or just acting as individual tutors?

>Do you accept any or all of these claims?  If you believe the above,
>then consider the following:
>H P Blavatsky wrote more than 10,000 pages on Theosophy, etc.  If we add
>to this, hundreds of published/unpublished letters of HPB, the letters
>of her Teachers as found in 3 published volumes and scattered in other
>published/unpublished sources, if we add all the historical evidence
>concerning HPB's life, her occult phenomena, testimony concerning her
>Teachers (during HPB's lifetime), etc., we have literally thousands of
>more pages of primary source material.

Yeah. I have waded through most of it over the last 30 years. But I
have read that she enjoyed pulling legs and often wrote with her
tongue in her cheek.

>>From this multitude of sources, a serious inquirer/student should be
>able to construct a pretty clear picture of what Blavatsky and her
>Teachers taught, the nature of the relationship between Blavatsky and
>her Teachers, what kind of Adept Association sponsored her work and what
>it means to be an Initiate of this Association.  Do you agree with any
>of this?

No, I don't think so. The nature of the relationship between her Masters
is confusing and in contention even today. The "Adept Association"
was very likely a loose group of a handful of individuals. She never
served a guru as a chela in the traditional sense (as described in
traditional Hinduism or Buddhism nor as described by herself).

>A SIDE NOTE:  Unfortunately, IMO, far too many students haven't taken
>the time and effort to read and study all this material.  What a pity!

Why should they? I did so, because I enjoyed it. But most of her material
can be condensed into just a few words (which is what Judge himself did).
It is also painfully evident to me that two people can read and study
her writings and get far different conclusions and worldviews (I think that
she wrote this way on purpose--let s/he who has ears, and so on).

>I am always encouraging those interested in Theosophy to go to
>Blavatsky's writings and ready and study them.

Good idea.

>Read enough of her
>writings so that one can understand what she is attempting to convey,

This can't ever happen. I have discovered by communications on theos-l
and theos-world that we all interpret her material differently.

>  Don't naively believe or disbelieve, don't accept or reject what
>she writes, but try to UNDERSTAND what she is writing, what she is
>attempting to convey.  How else can one come to know what any writer is
>trying to convey through the medium of words.  Give Blavatsky a chance
>to give her thesis, her case. . . .

Just what is her case? And how does this case apply to us today?
I suspect that we would each answer questions such as these

>If you believe what the Masters say in their letters, then HPB was a
>very unique individual.  I'll quote just two extracts to illustrate this

If you require "belief" then you are saying that Theosophy is just
another religion. I find direct confirmation of her ideas as I go
through my life else I would have left Theoosphy long ago.

>"This state of hers [HPB's] is intimately connected with her occult
>training in Tibet, and due to her being sent out alone into the world to
>gradually prepare the way for others.  After nearly a century of
>fruitless search, our chiefs had to avail themselves of the only
>opportunity to send out a European *body*  upon European soil to serve
>as a connecting link. . . ." Koot Hoomi in an 1881 letter to A.P.

Here your quote touches on a little problem area that we discussed
awhile back--Tibet. Are her Masters Tibetan? If not, then why go there
to "train?"  We now know exactly how Tibetan training takes place.
David-Neel spent years in training there, while HPB spent what? A
month?  I am always amazed that these "Masters" did not offer
such an opportunity to David-Neel.

>". . . We employ agents---the best available.

This statement right here bothers me because traditional
Hindu and Buddhist gurus and occult organizations did not
employ "agents." They do not use missionary tactics like
HPB's Masters did with her. It is just this kind of thing that
leans me to accept Paul Johnson's thesis about her Masters.

>She is *our direct agent*. . .

Can you give me one other instance of such an "agent?"
Ramakrishna did send his student (Vivekananda) to the West, but there
was never any suggestion of a secret organization that he was the
sole conduit to.

>Do you accept what the Master KH says about HPB?

With reservation, yes.

>Now let us briefly consider HPB's infallibility.
>She never claimed to be infallible.  Nor did her Teachers. But there is
>a huge difference/gap between being infallible on the one hand and being

I don't see the difference. If someone is not infallible, then they can
make a mistake and say or write something that is wrong. Then they
are no longer 100% reliable, are they?

>Also any person who takes the time and effort to read the 10,000+ pages
>of Blavatsky's published writings can, more or less, determine what the
>basic teachings of Theosophy are.

This sounds pretty clear, but folks on theos-l and theos-world have
been arguing this point for years now and still no definitive "basic
teachings" have been agreed to. As I recall, Don de Gracia made a
nice Theosophical help program for Windows that never even
mentioned reincarnation or karma or cycles, which to me seem
like the three hard-core teachings to me.

 > From her early
>writings to her later ones, one can find definite *recurring* themes,
>ideas, concepts, teachings (call them whatever).  And if you read the
>letters of the Masters, especially THE MAHATMA LETTERS, you can identify
>the same RECURRING teachings.  Do you agree with this?

Yes, but the details of those themes are vague and interpretive.

>So as David Green comments, we are not concerned with the infallibility
>of HPB's writings and teachings, but with how reliable they are.  No,
>HPB has no monopoly on the truth, but that doesn't mean that her
>writings are unreliable nor does that necessarily mean that her books
>are full of major errors of theosophical doctrine.

I think her writings are just fine. I have found a few nit-picks over the
years, and some major ommisions, but I find her to be pretty
reliable. However, that doesn't mean that I agree with her on every
topic (the idea that sex is anathema to occult practice, is, IMHO,
not only wrong but dangerous, for example).

>After Madame Blavatsky died, it is a historical fact that literally
>dozens of people have claimed to be in contact with her Adepts and have
>claimed to be the new messenger of the Mahatmas. Hundreds and hundreds
>of books have been written by all these various latter-day messengers.

I don't see what this has to do with HPB's writings or her Masters, but
yes it does seem to have been a phenomenon.


Hopefully, Dan, this kind of material will get us off throwing stones at
each other and back onto Theosophical themes. Thanks.

Jerry S.

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