THEOSOPHY, Vol. 23, No. 12, October, 1935
(Pages 536-550; Size: 40K)
(Number 10 of a 10-part series)
XMany men have arisen who had glimpses of the truth, and fancied they had it all. Such have failed to achieve the good they might have done and sought to do, because vanity has made them thrust their personality into such undue prominence as to interpose it between their believers and the whole truth that lay behind. The world needs no sectarian church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mahomet, Swedenborg, Calvin, or any other. There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church -- the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find the way; the pure in heart see God.THE six completed volumes of The Theosophical Forum (over two thousand pages) are largely filled with the claims, revelations, promises and performances of Dr. de Purucker. Besides this output, Dr. de Purucker has contributed much matter to the other magazines issued from Point Loma, and to different periodicals, notably the London Forum (formerly The Occult Review). He has already had published the following books: Theosophy and Modern Science, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, Golden Precepts of Esotericism, Questions We all Ask, and an Occult Glossary. The first-named work is in two volumes, as are Questions We All Ask, while the Occult Glossary is stated to be but the forerunner of a much larger one to follow. In addition, a two volume publication, The Esoteric Tradition, is heralded for issuance November 1, 1935. Beyond these activities Dr. de Purucker has made two extended trips to Europe, has lectured almost incessantly, and has carried on an immense correspondence. His efforts have been indefatigably supported by devoted aides and followers, chief among whom is Mr. Joseph H. Fussell, already referred to. The various direct quotations given have, it is hoped, served to place clearly if succinctly before the reader the basis and objectives of Dr. de Purucker and his society. As all this literature is recent and easily obtainable, any student so minded can without difficulty follow up his investigations in extenso.
--H. P. BLAVATSKY: Isis Unveiled, II, 635.
Dr. de Purucker's imposing claims and his campaign to be accepted among Theosophists at large as the living Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom, and as the Spiritual Head of a Super-theosophical society to include all organizations, have fallen flat indeed -- so flat that even the Point Loma publications and propaganda now deal with these matters only lukewarmly. But during his first two or three years all Theosophists and the public at large gave much attention to these advertised and advertising features. Students already conversant with the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, and with the Successor claims of Mrs. Besant and Madam Tingley, and who had witnessed the extravagances of their careers, were little affected. Nor were those already committed to some other existing Successor and society; but many others, sincerely attached to the great First Object of the Theosophical Movement, and longing for peace among the "discordant, dissevered, belligerent" factions, hastened to lend ear and aid to the program of "fraternization" without scrutiny of what lay behind it or was implicit in it. For all these latter, Mr. William Kingsland, who had been associated with various currents of the Movement since the late '80's of the last century, served a most useful purpose. In a series of letters and pamphlets he laid bare the prevailing schisms, and exposed the fallacy or the falsity of Dr. de Purucker's pretensions and proposals. In consequence of all the discussions, the original egregious claims made have been moderated, in both the Adyar and the Point Loma societies, and no longer constitute the chief article of attention on the part of the leaders, nor the blatant article of faith of their adherents. By this it is not meant to imply that these "articles" have been abandoned, but only that, as in many similar cases, they are kept more or less in the background. This fact of itself should show any rational mind that there is far more of expediency and opportunism than of genuine conviction behind both the claims and the policies of these two best known theosophical organizations.
Thus, Dr. Arundale has recently inaugurated a "straight Theosophy" campaign in his society, and this is now being loudly declaimed and acclaimed throughout its numerous sections or "national societies." What is this but the tacit admission that for long years the Adyar society has pursued anything but devotion to straight Theosophy? Only, enthusiasm here, as in like cases, should be tempered with an investigative spirit. A quarter century ago, the late "Bishop" Leadbeater, whom Mrs. Besant had certified to the faithful as being "on the threshold of Divinity", gave out a list of suitable and trustworthy books to study in order to acquire a proper education in "straight Theosophy". Of some thirty books recommended, all but one were the production of "arhat" Leadbeater and "arhat" Besant! As if this were not enough, both Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater kept on industriously adding to their revelations until the end of their careers. What chance has any mind, thus saturated in advance with "neo-theosophy", to apprehend, let alone assimilate, the straight Theosophy of H. P. Blavatsky? The "study course" of the loudly advertised "straight Theosophy" boom in the Adyar society makes careful provision for the two heroes of neo-theosophy as a necessary portion of the education of the members in "straight Theosophy".
Identically the same strategy is now being employed in the Point Loma society, the tactics varying only in that Dr. de Purucker's voluminous flow in the inundation of the theosophical field is there held to be an essential requirement for the education of its members in "straight Theosophy". The same strategy and tactics have been eminently successful in Brahmanism, in the Catholic church, and, in lesser degree only, in every church of every sect of every religion. Why not, then, in the theosophical sects and their churches?
There may be some extenuation for the differing Hindu metaphysical and philosophical systems, as for the Patristic writings and the early schools of Western philosophy -- for all these faced difficulties no longer existent. Not one of the earlier great teachers committed his instructions to writing -- an art known to but few, and then accompanied by almost insuperable obstacles to multiplication and dissemination. Nor, manifestly, had the cycle of declension Theosophists are aware of, theoretically at least, been adjudged ripe for public teaching and record. But if the teachings of H. P. Blavatsky are, in fact, an accurate and faithful presentation, as far as they go, of the Wisdom-Religion of the Mahatmas in whose custody that Wisdom-Religion has been for untold ages, then simple common-sense as well as intellectual honesty and moral integrity should tell any man that it is to her writings that all must go who desire to inform themselves of straight Theosophy. By the same token, those who herald themselves as her "Successor", who profess to speak and write in her name and in that of her Masters, are ten times more bound in honor themselves to study her philosophy and to point inquirers and students to it as the original and only authentic presentation of Theosophy those Masters Themselves authorized. Her definite, unequivocal statements may be derided or ignored, but they were made and recorded and no sophistry, as no blandishment, can do away with them. Germane to the major issues considered in this series, those statements are:
I. No Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear, or send anyone to Europe or America until 1975.
II. Her writings contain all that was intended by those Masters to be delivered during the period of her Mission, and it "will be centuries before much more is given out".
III. Her writings are submitted, not as a revelation in any sense, not upon authority in any guise, but solely and only on their merits.
IV. Her work has been to small purpose if it has not shown that "apostolic succession is a gross and palpable fraud".
Of equal authenticity and importance is the simple fact that of all Western Theosophists William Q. Judge was the only one whose conduct and writings evidence that to the hour of his death he showed a complete consistency on his own part, an entire concordance with the teachings of H.P.B. This of itself makes him unique among the leading Theosophists of the first generation. When to this is added the recorded statements made by H.P.B. in respect to his place in the Movement in the West, it becomes manifest that "the work of these two cannot be separated", as Robert Crosbie never wearied in pointing out. Theosophists at large, not to speak of those whose ambitions have little by little undermined the repute and status of H.P.B. and Judge -- Theosophists at large, victims of the superficial and inattentive habits of thought engendered by Western civilization, have made but little effort to scrutinize the recorded facts of the unhappy years, 1894-6. They have made still less effort to look behind the scenes for the hidden causes of the events which succeeded and which still hold in thrall so large a proportion of those attracted to theosophical study and work.
The ethical and moral, not simply the intellectual and concrete, facts and factors inherent in every event have to be sought out and weighed, even in ordinary human relations, if one is not to mislead others and be himself misled. These instinctual considerations lead us all to take note of the consistency between profession and practice, between promise and performance, quite apart from events themselves, and apart from the intellectual or other ability of the participants. More than all else, the student of Theosophy and Occultism has to weigh motives, to appraise the intellectual honesty, the moral integrity, of himself and all others.
No Theosophist of any rank or persuasion but professes that for him "there is no Religion higher than Truth"; none but affirms assent and allegiance to the great First Object of the Theosophical Movement; not one but voices reverence for H. P. Blavatsky as the Messenger of the Masters of Wisdom for the cycle beginning in 1875. All alike declare their belief in her Masters, her Mission and her Message. By all this, then, is each Theosophist in honor bound to test his own devotion, his own discrimination, and those of all others. Here and here only is that agreed basis which should unite, not separate, all those who profess a common aim, a common purpose, a common teaching. If this is the sacred bond of union among Theosophists at large, how much more ought it to be the case with those who assume the role and the responsibility of leadership?
The claims of Dr. de Purucker, his promises and revelations, his campaign for "fraternization" -- are they, or are they not concordant with the four numbered statements of H. P. Blavatsky given above? Is he, or is he not, true to his own profession of faith? With these two questions alone is the true Theosophist concerned, and Dr. de Purucker has himself abundantly supplied the answers. No more than Mrs. Besant's has his course been consistent, either with the recorded statements of H.P.B., or in itself.
Neither in Mrs. Besant's course, nor that of Madam Tingley, nor in that of Dr. de Purucker, is there the assumption of direct responsibility for what is said and done. To put it as mildly as possible, it is the attempt to saddle the Masters of Wisdom, H.P.B., Judge, with the responsibility for their words and deeds. Dr. de Purucker does not submit what he utters on its merits, for impartial and disinterested examination, nor as the contribution of a student of Theosophy to his fellow-students for their inspection in the light of the recorded teachings of H.P.B., their own judgment of its possible value as such a student-contribution. In his campaign for "fraternization", he does not seek a hearing as fellow-student, but as Successor. He speaks, not as a brother-theosophist, but in the tones of Spiritual Authority; not as man to man, but as Messenger.
When one comes to an examination of the voluminous writings of Dr. de Purucker it will be found that, like Mrs. Besant, what he has to say does not lead the student and inquirer from himself to H.P.B. and her Theosophy, but the other way about. Like Mrs. Besant he does not irrigate, he floods the field sown by H.P.B.
Ostensibly, for example, the Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, originally a course of lectures to the Point Loma "E.S.", purports to interpret and render more comprehensible for "average" minds, H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. Few take note that if H.P.B. was what Dr. de Purucker admits her to have been, she should have been amply competent to say for herself what she had to say and as she wished it said. In this, as in his other books, notably his Occult Glossary, Dr. de Purucker has done two things to which attention should be called. He repeatedly goes outside what H.P.B. recorded as the message of Theosophy to the Western world; he repeatedly misconceives her own presentations. Bluntly, his presentation of her Theosophy, and his presentation of his Theosophy, cannot be relied upon in the one case, nor substantiated from her writings in the other. Moreover, given Dr. de Purucker's Fundamentals to study, what inquirer could by any possibility determine that what is presented as H.P.B.'s Theosophy is hers and not his -- and vice versa? Fundamentals, and other similar books necessarily take precedence over the original teachings with those persuaded that their author is the Successor of H.P.B., the living Messenger of the Masters. Otherwise, what is the occasion for either? The book is, manifestly, an attempt on Dr. de Purucker's part to "work out a complete system of thought" from The Secret Doctrine of H.P.B. -- whereas, she herself says that that work itself is no more than "a select number of fragments" of the "fundamental tenets." Those interested have but to read with attention the Preface to The Secret Doctrine, to note that, like the writings of Mrs. Besant and numerous others, those of Dr. de Purucker must in effect but pander to and increase the appetite for "further revelations", and of necessity lead away from any real study of The Secret Doctrine itself. Nor was that work ever intended for the "average" mind, but for genuine students of Occultism -- as H.P.B. herself warns in the book itself. Her other writings, and those of Mr. Judge, afford ample material for "average" as well as "superior" minds, but the published matter in the Point Loma as in the Adyar society shows that, "Successors" and believers together, they have failed to heed the closing words in the second volume of The Secret Doctrine. Practically all of the literature of those societies shows plainly that the writers are not students of the Theosophy of H.P.B., but consciously or unconsciously work to substitute themselves, their revelations and interpretations, for the great Messenger and the Theosophy she gave her life to record and teach.
More flagrant still is Dr. de Purucker's Occult Glossary. The last work of H.P.B. was her own Theosophical Glossary. Is Dr. de Purucker's book a supplement or a substitute? Will this work and its still more ambitious edition to follow, direct students to H.P.B.'s Glossary or away from it? The questions answer themselves.
Dr. Arundale has, since his election to the presidency of the Adyar society, taken occasion to discourse and to write on H. P. Blavatsky, much in the fashion set by Mrs. Besant after 1907 when she succeeded to the office and functions of Colonel Olcott, the "President-Founder". Those actually conversant, both with the writings of H.P.B. and the career of Mrs. Besant, know for themselves the ever-widening chasm dug by that "Successor" until, in the end, both the spirit and the letter of the "great original" had been mangled beyond recognition. Those who, since the death of Mrs. Besant, occupy the seats of power in the Adyar society, notably Dr. Arundale and Mr. Jinarajadasa, show in their writings that their own conceptions of Theosophy have been derived from Mrs. Besant and "Bishop" Leadbeater, and that they lack even a "book knowledge" of the teachings of H.P.B. herself. They laud her, but who among them studies or has studied what she recorded? Thus, they do not even themselves know the gulf between what they preach and practice and the genuine message and example of the very one to whom they refer as the Messenger of the 19th century, and whose work they claim to be continuing.
This attitude of mind, this course of conduct, are plainly to be seen in the leading article in the American Theosophist for July, 1913, entitled, "Theosophy Versus Theosophical Orthodoxy". The article was written by Mr. A. P. Warrington, then and for many years the esoteric and exoteric head and front of the American wing of the Adyar society, and one of Mrs. Besant's most trusted and intimate aides. The attendant circumstances which called forth Mr. Warrington's article, and the essential position from which it proceeds, are discussed in THEOSOPHY for September, 1913, under the title, "Blind Leaders of the Blind", to which readers of the present series are referred. Neither the course of the Adyar, the Point Loma, the Hargrove society, nor that of the "Temple of the People", any more than the course of any other association or person, can be intelligently understood without understanding what that course is based on. The basis of all these organized societies is one and the same, and Mr. Warrington's article places it accurately, if unwittingly, in a single paragraph when, after lauding H.P.B., he goes on to say:"...her place was that of the first herald of our great movement, and we accepted her message as true. Mrs. Besant's is that of the second, having been directly appointed by H.P.B. as her successor, and as long as she holds the position of leader her message is entitled to the same respectful acceptance. A part of H.P.B.'s message was in reality the announcement of the coming of an Avatar and she clearly felt that her work was the beginning of a campaign of education that would constitute a preparation for His advent. Although she may have believed from philosophic reasoning or other cause that He would not appear until the latter part of this century, certainly none but the literalist would see in this anything to make him believe that H.P.B., if she were living, would not now be advocating an earlier date."More this statement is examined, more it will be seen to disclose the true source, in both leaders and led, of the schisms which affect the course of the Theosophical Movement in all times. The questions which each inquirer as well as each Theosophist must determine for himself are all contained in Mr. Warrington's pronouncement. Is this basis of theosophical attitude and theosophical conduct a sound one? Is this conception of Theosophy or of "Theosophical Orthodoxy" the true one? Are the mission and the message of H. P. Blavatsky intended by the Masters of Wisdom to be abridged, extended, varied, corrected, discarded in whole or in part by each subsequent generation of Successors to suit their own revelations and consequent necessities? Are the Masters of Wisdom Themselves of one opinion today and another tomorrow as to what is Theosophy and Theosophical Orthodoxy? Can any "average" mind be so obtuse or so blind, once these questions are fairly faced, as to be unable to see for himself to what such an attitude and such conceptions have ever led in human history, to what they have led in the Movement of our own times, to what they must, under Law, continue to lead those who accept such views and act upon them? The position assumed, its inevitable sequence of manifestation, vitiate the whole spirit, the whole theorem or theory of Masters of Wisdom, as well as every one of the fundamental statements contained in the "Summing Up" of The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, pages 272-280.
In the Point Loma society it is as manifest as in the Adyar literature that the real attitude and activities come under the Warrington and not under the H. P. Blavatsky definitions of Theosophy and Theosophical Orthodoxy -- and this without calling in question human character or human reputation in the one case or the other, or the right and duty of every man to choose for himself which course he shall follow. Whatever the ultimate outcome, it must be for each the logical sequence of the basis adopted. No more than to H.P.B. or her Masters does it fall to any Theosophist to do another's thinking or choosing for him. But so long as these two irreconcilable springs of conduct confront mankind, so long does the necessity continue for keeping them from being obscured, ignored, misrepresented, by no matter what man or society, or method. The "average" mind does not know to what extent it is made the target for specious statements and special pleading, nor will it ever learn unvarnished facts any more than unadulterated philosophy from those whose partisanship or whose interest aligns them against "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".
And yet -- "straws show which way the wind blows." Just as in Mr. Warrington's quoted words are the key to the Adyar substitution of the husks for the grain, so in an obiter dictum of Dr. de Purucker is to be found a key to the mountain of "refuse" which the Point Loma grist-mill would substitute for the "flour" provided by H.P.B. Thus, in the correspondence before referred to, Dr. Lischner, in his first letter to Dr. de Purucker, took occasion to quote from H.P.B.'s "Five Messages to the American Theosophists". In replying, Dr. de Purucker says (italics ours):"Thank you for the extracts that you have made from 'Five Messages'. This seems to be some book I have not heard of, although I don't question the authenticity of the two extracts you have typed. There were many more than five Messages that H.P.B. sent to her students."And this from the Successor of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge!
Turning now to the third The Theosophical Society, outcome of the "bolt" of E. T. Hargrove and his followers from the Chicago Convention of the T.S. in A. in 1898, which, as stated, resulted in its absorption in Madam Tingley's "Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society" -- Mr. Hargrove's society was founded on the same "inspiration" that had caused that gentleman first to play the leading part in saddling Madam Tingley on the "E.S.T." and the T.S. in A. as the "Successor" appointed by Mr. Judge; next, to try to upset her from her papal seat; finally, to take her role upon himself as "the Voice of the Master". In simple justice it should be noted by all inquirers into Theosophical history that not even Mrs. Besant, Madam Tingley nor Dr. de Purucker has ever quite equaled Mr. Hargrove in pontifical self-assurance. His privately printed and circulated pamphlet, entitled "E.S.T.", dated March 1st, 1898, and issued immediately following his "bolt", is a monument of priestly arrogance. Whatever the sins of omission or commission of Madam Tingley during her thirty years of irresponsible authority as Judge's "Successor", whatever the theological excesses of Mrs. Besant as "Successor" to H.P.B., whatever the claims made by Dr. de Purucker as a Trinitarian "Successor" -- they all pale like moons in daylight in the presence of Mr. Hargrove's dictums "in the name of the Masters". Under the maxim of Thomas À Kempis, "Of two evils, the less is always to be chosen," the Theosophists of 1896 could hardly hesitate as between Mr. Hargrove and Madam Tingley.
Nor did they. Of the more than six thousand then members, less than five per cent took Mr. Hargrove seriously. But those who did, have little by little come to take him as seriously as he has taken himself since the death of Mr. Judge. Among those who regarded Mr. Hargrove as "Masters' Agent" were some of the most cultured minds in the Movement, some of its best known writers -- all, men and women of the highest personal character and standing. It suffices to mention Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Griscom Jr., Mr. Charles Johnston, Dr. Archibald Keightley and his wife, known far and wide as "Jasper Niemand", Dr. J. D. Buck, and Professor H. B. Mitchell. With the exception of Dr. Buck, who finally landed on the hospitable shores of "the T.K." and that worthy's "Great Work", all these remained consistently devoted to the course thus indicated. Mrs. Griscom ("Cavé" by repute), Professor Mitchell and Mr. Hargrove himself are now the only well-known survivors.
From the first an attitude of exclusiveness, to put it as considerately as the facts permit, has dominated this group of Theosophists who are, according to their unvarying proclamation, The Theosophical Society, the sole representatives of the Mission of H.P.B. and Judge, as of the Masters behind.
The evidence? It is super-abundant and first-hand, provided by Mr. Hargrove's "E.S.T." pamphlet referred to, and by the thirty-three volumes of The Theosophical Quarterly, "published by The Theosophical Society". This society has never engaged in Theosophical propagandum, has from the first maintained the attitude of "self-gratulation" inevitably the concomitant of its assertion of exclusive proprietorship of the "incorporeal hereditaments" of the Theosophical Movement. The membership has varied but little during its nearly forty years of existence, never numbering over a few hundred. No "new blood" of comparable ability has appeared among its writers or in its ranks. With depletions by death and advancing age, the future of this society appears a barren prospect indeed. The last published figures permitted to appear will be found in the Convention Report printed in the Quarterly for July, 1932. From this it appears that membership dues received during the preceding year amounted in all to $337. -- a tell-tale indication of the size of the membership. The Report of this year's Convention (Quarterly for July, 1935), gives no figures of any kind but does contain, like preceding numbers, astonishing matter to Theosophists at large, were they but acquainted with this officially published magazine. Always opposed to active Theosophical propagandum, it is announced publicly that a period of "indrawal" is now at hand, and Mr. Hargrove in his Convention remarks envisions the suspension of publication of the Quarterly, the cessation of all public work, and the retirement of the membership within the monastic seclusion of their "E.S.T."
Finally, the "Temple of the People" should at least be mentioned as the fourth of the avowedly Theosophical unique channels for inspired communications "in the name of the Masters". Just as "arhats" Besant, Leadbeater, Wedgewood, Jinarajadasa and Arundale have given out a flood of their revelations; just as Madam Tingley and Dr. de Purucker have competed with claims and emissions of their own; just as Mr. Hargrove and "Cavé" have done likewise with their handful of "elect" -- so has been the course of Mrs. LaDue ("Blue Star") and her "Successor", Dr. W. H. Dower. All alike have claimed and claim to represent the same Lodge of Masters, the same Wisdom-Religion, the same Objects as H.P.B. and her Masters. All these claims and messages are directly at odds, (a) with each other; (b) with the recorded Theosophy and the historic example of H.P.B. and Judge. "The Temple of the People" has lacked both the proselyting energy of the Adyar and Point Loma societies, and the intellectual and personal character of the Hargrove group, and as with the latter, no cultivated or strong writers or members have entered this society, which began in the winter of 1898-9. It is as negligible in numbers as in influence.
Aside from the four societies Theosophical in name, in profession, in claims to public and private attention on that account, the course of the Theosophical Movement has directly and indirectly opened the doors for a swarm of individual pretenders--"Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooksAs these various individual claimants and followings do not assert succession to the work of H.P.B. and Judge, make no Theosophical pretenses, but proceed under their own devices and on their own responsibility, they require no especial treatment in these papers. Many of these elliptical movements, however, have originated with ex-students of Theosophy and ex-members of the original "E.S.T." All of them have appropriated whatever they could use for their own purposes, some openly, others plain "acts of piracy on the high seas" of the Theosophical Movement at large. Among such are Hiram Butler's still existing colony at Applegate, California, with its "Esoteric Christianity"; the "Anthroposophy" of Dr. Rudolph Steiner; the "Christian Mystics" of Dr. and Mrs. F. Homer Curtis; the "Liberal Catholic Church" and the "Star" movement, formerly the "Order of the Star", of Besant-Leadbeater begetting; "Dion Fortune's" "Fraternity of the Inner Light"; four separate and equally dubious "Rosicrucian" orders; "The T.K." and his "Great Work"; "Chela XII"; the "Institute of Mentalphysics" of Edwin J. Dingle, "F.R.G.S."; a host of Buddhistic, Hindu, and other Oriental-born groups, actively sponsored in Europe and America; the followings of Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump, of Manly P. Hall, of Pelley, hero of "The Silver Shirts", of Mr. and Mrs. Ballard and their "Ascended Masters", "and others too numerous to mention." Like the professedly Theosophical societies and followings, they one and all belong in the same company -- that of those who "think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." If their meta-physics are dubious, they none the less serve the Movement as "physics" -- for they are the natural down and out channels for the Skandhas of human evolution. Great as is the harm they do, the pretender and the sectarian are none the less as truly self-elected Karmic Agents as are the genuine Adepts and the true disciples -- "for these two, Light and Darkness, are the world's eternal ways" of learning the lessons of life in the long cycle of human incarnations.
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High over-arched imbower."
The rise of The United Lodge of Theosophists has already provided some evidence of the brighter side of the tableau-vivant of the Theosophical Movement, for its Association is almost equally composed of ex-members of one or another of the various societies and of inquirers devoid of such affiliations. Its Declaration and its activities provide a policy and an example that any student or any group of students can adopt and emulate -- without rivalry and without other "authority" than their own will and devotion to the original Teachings and the original Objects of the Movement. Disclaiming any semblance of authority or organization, self-limited to the study, application and promulgation of authentic Theosophy, this Association has remained undeviatingly true to the course set by the great Founders. In numbers it has grown from an original seven to a membership second only to that of the Adyar society -- and this without proselyting, without claims, with nothing whatever of its own to offer in substitution or modification of the original program. It is a body of students pure and simple, engaged in acquiring a Theosophical education for themselves, and in doing their utmost to make that education possible to all who will. It has republished in their authentic texts all the original writings of H.P.B. and Judge, and has made the facts of Theosophical history accessible to any inquirer who desires to inform himself. Its meetings the world around are the best attended in the Theosophical area. Anyone so minded can attend them without obligation of any kind, and thus witness for himself the fruits of this policy.
The magazine THEOSOPHY has since its first issue in November, 1912, made a permanent public record which anyone interested can examine at first-hand for its consistent adhesion to straight Theosophy. Only the self-interested, the heedless, the credulous-minded who prefer hear-say to direct evidence, need be in any doubt or subject to any misinformation either in regard to "The United Lodge of Theosophists -- Its Mission and Its Future", or to the magazine THEOSOPHY. Moreover, this magazine has, from its foundation, served all correspondents alike, regardless of their affiliations, interests, or sympathies, in all that concerns Theosophy and Theosophical history. In other words: "U.L.T." and THEOSOPHY magazine have carried on a consistent and constant work for fraternization on the only basis such a fraternity is possible -- that of the declared Motto, the declared Objects, the declared Teachings, which all who call themselves Theosophists profess to regard with respect and fidelity. "Fraternization" on any other basis is worse than a failure: it is a fraud -- on the Movement and on the public alike; this, without in any way questioning the sincerity or the good intentions of those Theosophists who have advocated what is in fact fraternization at any price.
Nor is it questioned that every person named in this series, every one of any prominence in the history of the Movement, has had his "glimpses of the truth" -- for, if the teachings of Theosophy are true, it must follow that every one soever attracted to them, has had his own "glimpses of the truth" or he could not be so attracted. And this, irrespective of his subsequent course, inevitable sequence of his use of those glimpses. But who, viewing the words and deeds of these participants in the Movement, can reasonably doubt that, with the rarest of exceptions, those who have assumed leadership, authority and "succession" since the death of H.P.B., have "failed to achieve the good they might have done and sought to do, because vanity has made them thrust their personality into such undue prominence as to interpose it between their believers and the whole truth that lay behind"?
Writing in her Secret Doctrine, H.P.B. stresses that:"Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world."Here is the modulus of that true Clairvoyance which any student can practice. Casting a retrospective eye over the events of theosophical history, who can fail to see that had the various leading actors, from the death of H.P.B. to date, shown simple fidelity to the motto, the objects, the teachings of H.P.B., the Movement would have continued unbroken to now, the good achieved would have been immeasurably greater, and an enormous amount of "bad Karma" dissipated instead of being re-engendered and multiplied? Casting the same clairvoyant eye toward the as yet unborn future until 1975, who can doubt, if Theosophical students of today, and those still to come, turn their backs upon the sectarian and predatory influences now so prevalent, by returning to the Source of all their original "glimpses of the truth", that Unity, Fraternity, Solidarity, will become the reality instead of the pretense and the mockery masquerading today in borrowed robes?
In concluding this series, we cannot do better than to repeat for the consideration of our fellow-students the opening words of the Preface to Isis Unveiled:"The work now submitted to public judgment ... is offered to such as are willing to accept truth wherever it may be found, and to defend it, even looking popular prejudice straight in the face...."THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH."
The book is written in all sincerity. It is meant to do even justice, and to speak the truth alike without malice or prejudice. But it shows neither mercy for enthroned error, nor reverence for usurped authority. It demands for a spoliated past, that credit for its achievements which has been too long withheld. It calls for a restitution of borrowed robes, and the vindication of calumniated but glorious reputations. Toward no form of worship, no religious faith, no scientific hypothesis has its criticism been directed in any other spirit. Men and parties, sects and schools are but the mere ephemera of the world's day. TRUTH, high-seated upon its rock of adamant, is alone eternal and supreme."
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
THE TRUE CRITERION
Another rule this disciple must follow is that no boasting may be indulged in on any occasion, and this gives us the formula that, given a man who speaks of his powers as an Adept or boasts of his progress on the spiritual planes, we can be always sure he is neither Adept nor disciple.... But, hiding themselves under an exterior which does not attract attention, there are many of the real disciples in the world. They are studying themselves and other human hearts.... Their whole life is a persistent pursuit of the fast-moving soul....
--William Q. Judge
[Reminder: The AFTERMATH series has now ended.]
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(1) Corrections, objections, criticisms, questions and comments are invited from all readers on any facts or conclusions stated in this series. --Editors, THEOSOPHY.
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