Re: Tony & Dallas on "Impersonality and Anonymity"
Sep 13, 2003 04:17 AM
by Katinka Hesselink
I don't think we misunderstand each other. I do think we strongly
disagree on matters of policy in theosophical organisations and
interpretation of HPB's work.
The book "The Theosophical Movement" contains much that could be seen
as slandering Besant and Olcott. Unfortunately, any quote will be out
of context as the work is so full of both quoted letters and such as
well as innuendo. The latter is what I am complaining against. The
fact that this book was published anonimously makes it very hard to
say: this person did that wrong. Or at the time of writing it,
correspondence with that person on subjects like, have you looked at
that document, why haven't you looked at that side of the story. I
understand the ULT-policy, I just note that it wasn't HPB's policy and
that therefore (and for all the reasons mentioned before) the ULT may
want to consider changing it. Unfortunately the ULT has no governing
body so that nobody could make the decision to change something.
As for the quote. Here goes a random one:
p. 457 The Theosophical Movement (1925, E.P. Dutton&Company, 681 fifth
>> Now, having traced the successive moves of Mr. Judge, and having
followed Mrs. Besant's successive positions on the chessboard, it is
necessary to review Col. Olcott's share in the strategy and tactics of
the rapidly culminating manoeuvres. We have shown him in his "Old
Diary Leaves," in his Presidential Adress, in his letter to the
American Section Convention of 1893, in his part in the "White Lotus
Day" celebration at Adyar on may 8, 1893, in his use of Mr. Sturdy as
a pawn, and Mr. Walter R. Old as a more important piece through which
to make his moves. >>
This suggests a negative motive in both Olcott and Besant. The
biography of one of the persons mentioned here as a 'piece through
which to make his move' has been completed recently (Walter Old - see
my website. I am not going to give the URL another time. Searching
google for Sepharial will sufice). That biography makes Walter Old
very much his own person. Not a pawn in a conspiracy against Judge.
Personally I think it rather preposterous to think that Judge, or
Besant or Olcott were parts of plots. They may have disliked each
other, they may have made mistakes and those mistakes and dislikes may
have built up to create or at least partly cause the whole
Judge-affair. But that doesn't mean anyone of those people had a
conscious motive to create something of the sort. And that is what is
being suggested here.
--- In email@example.com, "W. Dallas TenBroeck"
> Thursday, September 11, 2003
> Re: "Impersonality and Anonymity"
> Dear Katinka, and friends:
> I have a strong feeling we are misunderstanding one another. Possibly
> you do not know much of the UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS -- its aims and
> Its basis is in the DECLARATION (see below).
> In that light may I make some statements and queries, so that we may be
> sure we understand one another ?
> You write in part:
> ----------------------------------- quote
> "To work impersonally probably means something very different from what
> Dallas thinks it does.
> HPB was impersonal in the sense that she didn't just publish her own
> thoughts and ideas and knowledge, but also that of people who opposed
> She was impersonal in the sense that she did not take the opportunity to
> make a decent pay (writing for a Russian magazine), because she had work
> to do for the TS.
> But she was obviously not impersonal in the sense of being anonymous.
> In fact, when one looks up the word anonymous in the Collected Writings
> CD-rom one comes across many references where she complains that people
> write to slander her, without telling her who they are.
> This kind of reminds me of the slander in some ULT publications, where
> also a name is missing. The clearest quote I could find on HPB's policy
> on anonymous letters is the following:
> >> We have received several communications for publication, bearing on
> the subjects discussed in the editorial of our last issue, "Let every
> man prove his own work." A few brief remarks may be made, not in reply
> to any of the letters-which, being anonymous, and containing no card
> from the writers, cannot be published (nor are such noticed, as a
> general rule)>> B: CW vol. 8, p. 295
> HPB was courageous enough to stand for what she believed in and sign her
> name to it, clearly realizing how dishonest it looks to not sign a name.
> When there isn't a name, nobody can be held accountable.
> This is understandable in situations where religious freedom itself
> still needs to be fought for, (as unfortunately in some places there
> still isn't religious freedom), but in the US, where the ULT is largest,
> this isn't exactly necessary. So what is left is the impression that the
> ULT makes of cowardice its policy."
> ------------------------------- end quote
> You make statements before you ask questions to first elicit accuracy in
> meaning between us.
> Let me try to make a few things clear.
> ULT stands for UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS. This name is said by its
> sponsor, Mr. Robert Crosbie "to stand for certain principles and ideas."
> 1 ULT is an association of free independent individuals. It
> exists for the study of THEOSOPHY. It sole basis is a document called
> THE DECLARATION of the ULT.
> Have your read and understood it ? (see below)
> 2 It has no leaders or spokespersons. It endorses nothing but
> the "Original Teachings of Theosophy" -- books and articles written by
> H. P. Blavatsky and Wm. Q. Judge. Their worth is inherent and innate in
> 3 All that I write, I do on my own responsibility as an
> individual. I do NOT represent the ULT.
> 4. Since you state that some ULT publications contain items of
> anonymous slander, if you have any specimen or quotation, signed or
> unsigned, endorsed or unendorsed by "ULT" that you have in mind, I, for
> one, would be glad to see it or them. Kindly give full references as to
> source, so all can verify them.
> I am sure those who read this would like to see it (or those) also.
> Otherwise your allegation is vague and, as such, has to remain
> But I cannot allow it to remain unchallenged and unprotested.
> 4 In the dictionary the word "impersonal" includes as part of
> the definition the idea of "unspecified agency," "no personal reference
> or connection." It is not given a negative connotation.
> 5 Anonymous means "no name given." It implies an unknown and
> unavowed authorship or donorship. Any writing is made then to stand on
> its own merit, and not on the "weight" of some author's name attached to
> 6. ULT recommends a policy of anonymity for a single reason. To
> avoid any "authority."
> 7. For this sole reason it endorses the study, and mastery, of
> the "ORIGINAL TEACHINGS OF THEOSOPHY."
> 8 Slander in the dictionary (and calumny its synonym) is
> defamation by the false accusation of a crime, maliciously reported, and
> aimed at injuring the reputation of another
> 9. Cowardice implies a lack of courage to face facts, ignoble
> timidity, lack of bravery, and a contemptible lack of courage, among
> other definitions.
> 10. It is my opinion that the existence and work of the ULT shows
> continued courage against high odds. As an association it is composed
> of individuals united solely by their love of, and desire to prove and
> demonstrate the validity of the teachings of Theosophy. It endorses
> reprints of the "Original Teachings." It offers when possible a forum
> (oral or written) where those teachings may be discussed and
> UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS
> The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of
> Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical
> organization. It is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical
> Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of
> individual opinion.
> The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing
> and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side
> issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental
> Principles of the Philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in
> practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a
> profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.
> It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists,
> wherever and however situated, is "similarity of aim, purpose and
> teaching," and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers,
> the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to
> disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.
> It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of
> Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or
> organization, and
> It welcomes to its Association all those who are in accord with its
> declared purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and
> otherwise, to be the better able to help and teach others.
> "The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet belongs to each
> and all."
> The following is the form signed by Associates of the United Lodge of
> Being in sympathy with the purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its
> "Declaration," I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate,
> it being understood that such association calls for no obligation on my
> part, other than that which 1, myself, determine.
> I include this to make is sure that what we are talking about is clear.
> Best wishes, and I hope this clears the air.
> Dallas TenBroeck
> ON THE U L T
> A STUDENT'S THOUGHTS and STUDY
> "Theosophist is who Theosophy does."
> I was thinking about "The ULT Declaration." From the first it sets no
> bonds. It makes us all volunteers. It recognizes that everyone is a
> free chooser, always.
> We may therefore see that we are all united by the CAUSE of THEOSOPHY.
> And, that is the only enduring primary CAUSELESS CAUSE. Theosophy as it
> is before us is a doctrine that includes a statement concerning some of
> the main and fundamental Laws in Nature, impersonal and universal.
> Any attempt to set up a framework of criteria implies judgment. We, as
> presently constituted lower minds (Kama Manas) cannot judge the karma
> and the "path" of anyone but ourselves.
> That Divine Light of the Universal Spirit - ATMA -- which surrounds us
> and interpenetrates all beings, seems to lure, to draw us on, it is
> perhaps indicated in the phrase: a high ideal--an exalted motive.
> To me, the next step appears to be the developing of assurance in this
> single concept:
> The Unity of ALL in all. We each share in all others.
> It would then be clear that a "strong will, a total forgetting of self "
> is the position to adopt. And, as a result we see that nothing has any
> real power to oppress us. We have to recognize that opposition (and
> oppression) comes from the operation of Karma, ours and that of the
> cycle and race. Fear nothing that is in Nature and visible. Dread no
> influence . you are at war with none. It is peace you are seeing,
> therefore it is best that the good in everything is found.. This
> brings peace." WQJ Articles, Vol. II 415-6
> This leads to consider another proposition that Mr. Judge offers:
> "He who would live the life or find continued wisdom can only do so by
> continued effort.[he] learns to look partially within the veil, or has
> found in his own being something that is greater than his outer self."
> WQJ Articles, Vol. II, p. 410
> What then might we say would indicate to us, our path, and our progress?
> Is it not the ability to be impersonal concerning ourselves? Can we not
> "stand apart?" What, for us, is the way in which we train our personal
> selves (Kama Manas) to fit the pattern that Karma has in store for us?
> Can we not sense this in :
> "Each and every one is here for a good and wise reason. If we find
> partially the why, then.we should by intelligent contact with life seek
> in it the farther elucidation of the problem. It is not the study of
> ourselves so much, as the thought for others that opens the door. The
> events of life and their causes lead to knowledge. They must be studied
> when they are manifested in daily life." WQJ II 411
> The great economy of Nature is a sensitivity that encompasses all
> beings, and ourselves. It is living Karma. As such, It will always seek
> to illuminate our personal Path, so that an understanding of its
> purposes and our won become ever clearer. The process is continuous. We
> need to develop the acuity of attention to see it in its impersonal
> operation in and through our surroundings and the events of our own
> life, as it is in all other things and objects. It is a force more
> ancient and comprehensive than any "form," or set of forms.
> We find Mr.. Judge also saying:
> "We are tried in wondrous ways, and in the seemingly unimportant affairs
> of life . he must take and perform that which presents itself. take up
> his labor as if there were no tomorrow . life is the outcome of the
> Ever-Living . [it makes] life brighter, more joyous, better [for
> others]." WQJ II 412-3
> He adds:
> "The greatest of all truths lies frequently in plain sight, or veiled in
> contraries . you own not one thing in this world . all you possess is
> given to you only while you use it wisely . desire to do good with what
> you have -- and do it. . Work in life and the Occult are similar; all
> is the result of your own effort and will . you can only lift yourselves
> by your own efforts. " WQJ II 414-5
> "Seek to realize the meaning of every event. Strive to find the Ever
> Living and wait for more light."
> WQJ II 415
> For those who may hold a hope for exalted responsibilities, there is to
> be remembered the simple fact that the atom in its place and the Sun in
> its both perform necessary duties, and neither one nor the other is
> "superior." One realizes, by this introspective consideration, that
> 'ambition' and self-regard form the basis for delay in true success.
> Mr. Judge then says:
> ".as you live your life each day with an uplifted purpose and unselfish
> desire, each and every event will bear for you a deep significance--an
> occult meaning--.so do you fit yourself for higher work."
> WQJ II 416
> As one advances and grows in wisdom, the practice of brotherhood and
> compassion are epitomized as:
> "Be temperate in all things . he who has passed onward to a certain
> point, finds that the hearts of men lie spread before him as an open
> book . the motives of men are clear.but not selfishly [may he use such
> knowledge]." WQJ II 417
> In dealing with others, he suggests:
> "Urge no man to see as yourself.It is wiser to let the matter rest
> without argument. No man is absolutely convinced by that ." WQJ
> II 417
> "There is to be abandoned hope for the gratification of our passions,
> our curiosities, our ambitions or desire for gain. There is another
> Hope--the true; and he is a wise man who comes to the knowledge of it.
> [It is] Sister to Patience, [and] they together are the Godmothers of
> Right Living, and Two of the Ten who assist the Teacher [within -- the
> HIGHER SELF]." WQJ II 417-8
> Finally: ".[no man] is wise enough to sit as a judge upon the spiritual
> development of any living being." WQJ II 413; and: ".evil is the
> good gone astray." WQJ II 412
> These simple statements is urge us to review, meditate on, and deeply
> consider the practice of that self-effacing brotherhood which is always
> harmless and true.
> It welcomes and permits all to practice their ideals; and is helpful in
> showing us in advance so to say, the potential future of any of our
> choices or decisions, then, offer them, so that another may make a
> better choice.
> Hence, ever it encourages individual devotion and study, and the sharing
> of such perceptions of the TRUE as one may acquire by impersonal,
> good-willed perception. Those are always to be shared.
> To my way of seeing, This is what the ULT Declaration has placed before
> us as our bond and our ideal -- we have to chose to understand it and to
> practice brotherhood in all respects if we would be true "Theosophists."
> Best wishes,
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Katinka Hesselink [mailto:mail@k...]
> Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2003 2:46 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject:: Tony & Dallas on "Impersonality and Anonymity"
> Hi all,
> To work impersonally probably means something very different from
> what Dallas thinks it does. HPB was impersonal in the sense that she
> didn't just publish her own thoughts and ideas and knowledge, but
> also that of people who opposed her. She was impersonal in the sense
> that she did not take the opportunity to make a decent pay (writing
> for a Russian magazine), because she had work to do for the TS. But
> she was obviously not impersonal in the sense of being anonymous. In
> fact, when one looks up the word anonymous in the Collected Writings
> CD-rom one comes across many references where she complains that
> people write to slander her, without telling her who they are. This
> kind of reminds me of the slander in some ULT publications, where
> also a name is missing. The clearest quote I could find on HPB's
> policy on anonymous letters is the following:
> >> We have received several communications for publication, bearing
> on the subjects discussed in the editorial of our last issue, "Let
> every man prove his own work." A few brief remarks may be made, not
> in reply to any of the letters-which, being anonymous, and containing
> no card from the writers, cannot be published (nor are such noticed,
> as a general rule)>>
> CW vol. 8, p. 295
> HPB was courageous enough to stand for what she believed in and sign
> her name to it, clearly realizing how dishonest it looks to not sign
> a name. When there isn't a name, nobody can be held accountable. This
> is understandable in situations where religious freedom itself still
> needs to be fought for, (as unfortunately in some places there still
> isn't religious freedom), but in the US, where the ULT is largest,
> this isn't exactly necessary. So what is left is the impression that
> the ULT makes of cowardice its policy.
> --- In email@example.com, "Daniel H. Caldwell"
> <danielhcaldwell@y...> wrote:
> > Tony,
> > You bring up a good point below.
> > "Impersonality" and "anonymity" may be the policy
> > and method of the U.L.T. but it was NOT the policy
> > of the original Theosophical Society.
> > Madame Blavatsky apparently failed to understand
> > what Dallas writes about because she added her
> > own name to her major works as well as to most
> > of her articles. !! :) Why didn't she issue
> > her works anonymously?
> > Again, impersonality and anonymity may be the policy
> > of "Theosophy" magazine (the major ULT organ) but
> > it was not HPB's policy in editing her two magazines
> > THE THEOSOPHIST and LUCIFER. She also invited and published
> > contrary and diverse views in her magazines which apparently
> > the ULT publication avoids.
> > Too bad HPB didn't live long enough to know about
> > the ULT policy and practice.
> > Daniel
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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