THEOSOPHY, Vol. 23, No. 7, May, 1935
(Pages 290-299; Size: 37K)
(Number 5 of a 10-part series)
VThese truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation; nor does the author claim the position of a revealer of mystic lore, now made public for the first time in the world's history.WRITING in The Theosophist for December-January, 1883-1884, a chela of "K.H.", in a signed article, discusses the notion of a "personal God" and asserted "revelations" therefrom through a "higher intuition." He says:It is above everything important to keep in mind that no theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority.
--The Secret Doctrine, I, vii.
Natural sciences, archaeology, theology, philosophy, all have been forced in The Secret Doctrine to give their evidence in support of the teachings herein again propounded. Vox audita perit: litera scripta manet.... Had I acted otherwise, The Secret Doctrine, from the first chapter to the last, would have amounted to uncorroborated personal affirmations.
--The Secret Doctrine, I, xix.
--H.P.B.: Lucifer, July, 1896."This is proclaimed to be the highest truth which must ex hypothesi include all lower truths! Let us examine how it includes the truth of reason. Whatever the translator might say regarding the fallibility of reasoning, he is too philosophical, I take it, to deny to reason the attribute of being the only test of truth."Since the death of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge there has been an unceasing flow of theosophical literature to which the only term that can fitly be applied is "revelation" -- in other words, "uncorroborated personal affirmations." "Occultists," theosophical, neo-theosophical, and mystical, have flooded the terrain of the Movement. At no time has it been difficult in human history for a "revealer of mystic lore" to gain a following -- and the more easily if the claim is made that what is thus revealed is "now made public for the first time in the world's history."
To cite only a few instances: Swedenborg in Europe, Keshub Chunder Sen in India, Mary Baker G. Eddy in America, are illustrative examples. To-day, Mr. Frank N. D. Buchman and his "Oxford Group Movement" are repeating both the successes and the follies of the past. "Human nature," essentially fallible, forever tends to seek an infallible mentor, guide and protector against its own mistakes. Hence the "personal God," the "revealed Word," the "loving Savior," the "vicarious Atonement," the "apostolic Succession" -- the "believe and be saved" shibboleths of every religion, religious sect, priest, seer and psychic.
The whole attitude, policy and method of the Masters of Wisdom, the whole example and teachings of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge are a warning and an instruction to students of Theosophy to beware of this deadliest of all pitfalls. When the writings and the conduct of the various exponents among the second and third generation of Theosophists are examined, two facts will stand out clearly: (a) that the numerous claimants to attention invariably pose as revealers; (b) that their claims and revelations meet with a ready acceptance on their mere ipse dixit.
Even from the necessarily brief extracts given in preceding numbers of this series it can but be apparent how entirely Mrs. Besant was engulfed in the abyss; how unquestioningly her successive revelations were accepted en bloc by her followers. Yet, from first to last, every revelation by Mrs. Besant rested simply upon "uncorroborated personal affirmations." This was the fact with her "case against W. Q. Judge." Of actual evidence, let alone proof, there never was a scintilla of testimony in the "Judge case" that could stand a moment's impartial examination in the light either of opposing evidence or of reason. The whole "case," like the entirely similar case of the Society for Psychical Research against H.P.B., rested solely on charges made, on the reputations of those who made the charges, on the human tendency to listen to slander and calumny. The time-tested maxim of jurisprudence to safeguard against this weakness in human nature is the rule that he who is charged with an offence is to be assumed innocent until the charges are proved.
The paradox of human nature is exemplified in the career of Mrs. Besant. No one, perhaps, suffered more than herself in the first half of her life from baseless and causeless calumny; no one in human history has been the author of more cruel and wicked accusations against others than Mrs. Besant during the latter half of her public career. No one relied more upon reason, however faulty her reasoning, than Mrs. Besant during that part of her life which at last brought her to H.P.B. and Theosophy; no one whose later life showed a greater, if unconscious, loss of moral equilibrium due to her reliance upon revelations from Chakravarti and Leadbeater. Her sense of justice came at last to be confined only to herself, so much so that to question in any way any ex cathedra utterance of hers was to become anathema in her own sight and in the eyes of her followers.
The year 1926 was spent by Mrs. Besant in a tour of England and America, accompanied by her newest revealer, Krishnamurti, for whom she acted as "press agent." The Adyar T.S. as well as the "Order of the Star" was, with few exceptions, surrendered to this new folly -- a willing surrender on the part of the great majority of the membership. A pentecostal feast was held at the Chicago convention of the American Section of the T.S. A notice by the General Secretary-Treasurer in the September, 1926, issue of the Herald of the Star will illustrate the prevailing fervor of blind faith:"The Congress of 1926 will become an historic date for the Order. From now onwards we shall no longer speak of the coming of the Teacher for He is already in our midst.A story has come down that once, when asked what is the prime requisite for Adeptship, H.P.B. replied to the worshipful questioner: "a sense of humor." A sense of humor is noticeably absent, not only from Mrs. Besant, but from all those who drank of the inspiration piped into the Adyar T.S. This is well illustrated by two articles contributed by "arhat" Jinarajadasa to The Theosophist for December, 1926, and January, 1927, respectively entitled "Revelations and Psychism," and "More Revelations." Saturated through and through with the revelations and initiations derived via Leadbeater whose devoted pupil and disciple he has been since his boyhood, Mr. Jinarajadasa could scarcely be expected to lend an appreciative ear to competing dispensers, or to apply to his own "sphere of expectations" the same canons of judgment that governed his reception of the communications which he discusses:
"This year, and this Congress, have become for us the starting place for a new life within the Order. Here and now Krishnaji has definitely begun his public work. He has laid the foundations of that Kingdom of Happiness which the Teacher will establish upon earth.""Life is normally complicated enough for those who aspire to tread the occult path. But a new complication is slowly arising for them, in the number of revelations which are presented to them authoritatively as coming from the Masters. I am constantly the recipient of such occult instructions. Most of them are supposed to emanate from the Masters, but now and then they are said to be from no less a person than the World Teacher himself."Mr. Jinarajadasa then gives samples of these "messages" and comments:"I have quoted just these few instances of revelations to draw the attention of members to the point with which I began, which is, that life is becoming very complicated with the plethora of revelations....If there were, indeed, "no guide about the matter except one's own individual judgment," then Theosophy as a statement of the laws, principles, and practices governing the discrimination of "the true from the false" is worthless. And if the "judgment of each one is influenced by his predispositions," how can he gain the "dispassion and intuition" which Mr. Jinarajadasa affirms to be requisite?
"I think I need make no great comment after all these cases, on this topic of revelations and psychism.... But the tragic fact is that, while most revelations are trash, now and then we do come across true revelations. But how shall we discover the true from the false? That is indeed the great question which concerns us all to-day....
"No special warning need be given to old students, though even an old member can sometimes be utterly deluded by the subtle flattery which is implied in receiving communications from the Masters. To new students, I can only re-assert the warning given again and again, that the greatest caution should be exercised regarding communications from the invisible through whatever channel they come. There is no guide about the matter except one's own individual judgment, and since the judgment of each one of us is influenced by his predispositions, the matter is one requiring the utmost dispassion and intuition."
As if in unconscious irony, The Theosophist for April, 1927, contains Mrs. Besant's "New Message" as a sample of the "individual judgment" and "intuition" which the Adyar leaders regarded as the means to determine the true from the false in revelations. Mrs. Besant writes:"So the world is looking for another message to guide the Nations for centuries to come.... If so, where is the Teacher, and what His message? ... The World Teacher comes with a message of Happiness for the guidance of the Nations for centuries to come. Only thus can the world be saved....It would require an "arhat" of Mrs. Besant's own definition to distinguish between this manifesto and the countless religious fanatics, seers, and psychics, or to differentiate between her own "messages" and the ones which Jinarajadasa cites as examples of delusion run riot. Nevertheless, all this proved palatable and inspiring to her followers and those of "Krishnaji;" feeble and dispirited protests were here and there raised, as instanced in the quotations from Mr. Smythe of the Canadian Theosophist. Only the "outcaste," Dr. Stokes, continued to sting with his O.E.L. Critic the "New Dispensation." All this did not prevent The Theosophist from continuing month in and month out the laudations of "the Christ" and his theosophical sponsor, Mrs. Besant. The various sectional publications, except as noted, continued their echoing "amens," so that save for mere change of names and terms, the Adyar T.S. presented all the characteristics of a religious sect. From time to time the gross and palpable absurdities, the extremes of contradiction from the teachings of Theosophy as originally recorded, provoked questioning. But the published articles indicative of such doubts and bewilderments are uniformly in the tone of a faithful believer asking his priest for assistance in returning to the bliss of blind faith. Nowhere in the literature of "Besantism" is there a more striking example of this attitude of mind than in the correspondence of Mr. T. H. Martyn with Mrs. Besant prior to his being "read out of the fold" by her.
"The Divine Spirit has descended once more on a man, Krishnamurti, one who in his life is literally perfect as those who know him closely can testify. During the last year, since December 28, 1925, when the Christ spoke through him ... he has been undergoing swift changes....
"In him the manhood had been taken up into Divinity, and we beheld his glory, full of grace and truth. The Spirit had descended and abides on him. The World Teacher is here."
What need for study when by "going into the silence" the devout could find the "Kingdom of Happiness" preached by Mrs. Besant and Krishnamurti? What need for philosophy when "revelations" could be so easily obtained, either at first-hand quite satisfactory to the "individual judgment," or by recourse to The Theosophist and the Herald of the Star? What need to face the "problems of life" by the hard and penible self-discipline and conduct implicit in devotion to the Three Objects of the Theosophical Movement, when ready to hand was the means to be relieved of all burdens by faith in the "World Teacher?"
As if the revelations already bestowed by Mrs. Besant and her circle of "arhats" were not enough for the appetites of the credulous, The Theosophist for June, 1928, carried the prevailing frenzy a step further. Mrs. Besant there introduces her own form of Mariolatry, thus furnishing the faithful with a "theosophical" Roman Catholicism complete in its imitation of the papal religion substituted through long centuries for the teachings of Jesus. Genuine Theosophists, in contemplating this perversion of the Wisdom-Religion, should be able to see in it simply "the inexorable shadow" of the Karmic law of cycles, the repetition of what has occurred following every representation of "the ancient, constant and eternal Doctrine." Mrs. Besant and her surrounding satellites are no worse, because no different, than the same phenomenal recurrences in former periods, and are but theosophical manifestations of the same vagaries and the same misguided "personal experiences in psychology" clearly delineated by H.P.B. in the article, "Is Theosophy a Religion?" This article, both historically and prophetically true, was originally published in Lucifer for November, 1888, coincident with the formation of the "Esoteric Section," and six months before Mrs. Besant announced her "conversion" to Theosophy. [Note: A link to "Is Theosophy a Religion?" has been placed at the end of this article. --Compiler.]
This article was reprinted in THEOSOPHY for April, 1913, without comment, for the information and guidance of all theosophical students at the time when the "Krishnamurti cult" had reached its birth-hour after five years incubation. It was followed in February, 1917, by an article on the "Old Catholic Church" (now the "Liberal Catholic Church"), promoted by "Bishop" Leadbeater and Mrs. Besant in furtherance of the "objects" derived by them from the "King of the World." "Is Theosophy a Religion?" was again reprinted in THEOSOPHY for December, 1922, preceded by a retrospective and perspective article entitled "Prevailing Tendencies." Both articles were intended to put all Theosophists, irrespective of affiliations, on notice and on guard against what, in "the unbroken series of events," took place at Ommen, Holland, and at Adyar, in 1925. Theosophists of to-day, in observing the course of the Adyar society as well as its Point Loma competitor, may still profit by comparing the "messages from the Masters," with which they are so liberally regaled by their "leaders and official heads," with H.P.B.'s statements in "Is Theosophy a Religion?" [Note: A copy of "Prevailing Tendencies" has also been placed at the end of this article, along with the link to HPB's article. --Compiler.]
"Promotion" is swift among the "occult hierarchy" as thus caricatured. In 1925 Rukmini, the young wife of Mr. Arundale, was denominated by Mrs. Besant an "arhat." By June, 1928, Mrs. Besant was ready to make a further revelation:"When the World-Mother spoke to me, and spoke of 'our blessed Lord' now in the world, it was a glad surprise, and linked together, as with a golden clasp, the Kingdom of Happiness proclaimed by our Krishnaji, and the all-embracing Compassion of the Divine Motherhood....Mrs. Besant gives "the accepted Invocation to the World-Mother:"
"... Shrimati Rukmini Devi has been chosen to lead the movement for the uplift of Motherhood to its rightful place in the Life of the Nation. It is fitting that for this movement, as for that which is the mission of Him whom the World-Mother calls 'our blessed Lord,' an Indian body should be chosen.""We bow in homage and adorationMrs. Besant delivered a sermon in the Liberal Catholic Church at Adyar, reproduced as an insert in The Theosophist for June, 1928. In the course of this sermon Mrs. Besant said:
To the mighty and glorious Hierarchy,
The Inner Government of the world;
And to Its exquisite Jewel,
The Star of the Sea,
The World-Mother.""And this great movement in India, coming directly from the Divine Motherhood of the World-Mother, cannot be strange to the Indian mind, for, as She said just now to me: 'You have been worshipping Me for many, many years, for Durga and Lakshmi and Sarasvati are aspects of the Trimurti in Its feminine manifestation, and it is the power of Those that I embody as the World-Mother.' For there is only one World-Mother, as there is only one World-Teacher,..."In the same year, 1928, Mrs. Besant was re-elected President of the Adyar T.S., practically unanimously. She continued her lecturing tours and writing with unabated vigor, and was present at the Ommen Camp in 1929. In that same year Krishnamurti dissolved the "Order of the Star," and his sponsors were somewhat strained in their efforts to minimize that event, together with the ignoring by the "Lord of the World" of both the Liberal Catholic Church and the "World-Mother." The October, 1929, issue of The Theosophist was published as a "Jubilee number," as the magazine had been founded by H.P.B. in 1879. It contains the text of a "White Lotus Day" address given by Mrs. Besant the preceding May 8 in London.
Nowhere is the moral and logical chaos of Mrs. Besant's course more shown than by her continually trading on the name of H.P.B., while dragging in the mire of her revelations all that H.P.B. held dear. In the course of this address Mrs. Besant threw out a hint in advance, of what later proved to be perhaps the most extraordinary of all the megalomanias with which her career was strewn. She said:"H.P.B. was chosen to come out into the world in the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, and chosen in that great Council of the Hierarchy who are the real rulers of our world. Before the choice was made there was discussion among them.... She was chosen, after discussion, on very definite grounds."In the next, the November, 1929, number, Mrs. Besant takes occasion to remark:"I add, for what it is worth, that in what I say of the Inner Government of the world, I speak from personal knowledge, for I have studied and practiced Raja Yoga steadily during the last forty years."In the January, 1930, number of the "Adyar Theosophist," then, Mrs. Besant proceeds to tender the faithful the most stupendous of all her "delusions of grandeur." It is at the same time, the saddest of all the many efforts made by her to clothe herself in "peacock's feathers." She says:"The following account has been sent to me, and I think others will be interested in reading it."The "account" purports to relate what took place in "the great Council of the Hierarchy who are the real rulers of the world" and the "discussion" on the choice of a Messenger. It runs, in part:"The question seems to have been as to whether use should be made of H.P.B. or of Annie Besant.... The use of H.P.B. would involve the accentuation of the occult side, and a sharp conflict with Materialism. The use of Annie Besant would involve the accentuation of the Brotherhood side generally, with little conflict, at that time, with the materialistic attitude. H.P.B. was immediately available. Annie Besant would not be available so early. Hence the Society, if she were to be the principal medium, could only be founded many years later, instead of in 1875. Some of the Elder Brethren were frankly anxious about the stressing of the occult side....For a fitting anti-climax to this "inspired" account of Mrs. Besant's standing with "the Hierarchy which is the Inner Government of the world," one needs but to turn to Mrs. Besant's "Address to the Members" at the annual Convention of the Theosophical Society in England in July following. There, in dissertating on the common life as the basis of universal brotherhood in all forms, and her own realization of it, she enlightened her audience as follows:
"H.P.B. was ... no less heroic than the one who would be her great successor.... She was an admirable channel for the Masters, and entirely selfless -- utterly their servant, no less than Annie Besant....
"In any case, the need of the world was urgent. Would it be safe to wait until 1891, with the advent of a world-castatrophe (1914-1918) in prospect? On the other hand, would it be wise to wait in view of the urgent need for the preparation of the world to receive its Lord in the first half of the twentieth century? ... Herein lay a risk, a risk that would not have been taken ... but for the guarantee offered by our great Masters.... These two Great Ones offered to make Themselves personally responsible for an experiment both dangerous and desirable. They would watch over it with the utmost care and guard by all means in Their power against the development of the occult side into those terrible exaggerations which in the past had led to such great disasters.""When I realized that there was only One Life, many, many years ago, I used as I went about my ordinary work to try to identify myself not only with the people, but with the animals, the vegetables and the minerals around me, and after a time I began to make an effort to share their consciousness as I gained more control over the manifestations of my own."Arhat" Jinarajadasa, from whose article on "Revelations and Psychism" we have quoted, appears to have regarded the episode of the "little gentleman of the tree at Adyar" with due gravity, for in The Theosophist for October, 1932, he favors its readers with a twelve-page account of "The Purification of a Tree at Adyar" -- though he fails to say whether it is the same tree. Omitting his account of his own modest part in the several steps of the "purification," his recital of "arhat" Leadbeater's share in the performance runs as follows:
"We had a very curious illustration at Adyar that at least trees have a fairly active consciousness, because the little gentleman who lived in a certain tree, and regarded it as his particular manifestation, one day showed himself to some children and said to them, 'I don't at all mind your playing about in the shade, but I don't like you to climb the tree.' I don't know why he did not like it; I suppose it made him uncomfortable in some sort of way; probably he was not sufficiently developed to realize that he might gain more from sharing in the life of the children than he did by not letting them climb the tree. But whatever the reason was we thought it only right to respect his desire, and since then we have not allowed children to climb up it.
"I mention that as showing how there may be a manifestation of the Life occasionally taking place which most of us ordinarily do not recognize, and I believe the more we can include in that the better for us.""In the afternoon a Christian ceremony took place, with the similar purpose of removing whatever evil influences still persisted in connection with the Tree. Bishop Leadbeater ... went in full vestments, with mitre and crozier, to the Tree. There, according to the Christian ritual, he magnetized salt and water, and then asperged the Tree, circumambulating it. The residents present sang as the opening hymn, 'All people that on earth do dwell.' After the Asperges, the Bishop exorcised and drove away all evil influences, and prevented the spot ever again being used by the invisible entity of the dark cult. The Tree was already protected in a semicircle to the eastward by the Ganesha Temple, and the elemental could not approach from that side. Bishop Leadbeater therefore barred the way from the westward, and placed the Tree under the guardianship of a minor Deva. The members ended the brief ceremony with 'O God, our help in ages past.'...This allegedly "occult" imitation of the mediaeval Roman Catholic "excommunication by Bell, Book, and Candle" produced neither revulsion nor awakening among the members of the Adyar society throughout the world, while in India it was regarded as of such importance that Theosophy in India made special mention of the event.
"To conclude: when each year henceforth in August the tom-toms beat, I shall not need to send my thought to protect my friend the Tree. We have also added one more beautiful spot to Adyar. And if other villages want a similar purification, we will assist them to get rid of this frightful incubus of an evil cult in their midst."
It is difficult for Theosophists outside the various societies to realize the depths of degradation to which the Adyar organization has sunk, or the far-reaching Karmic consequences which must accrue to those who do not use their utmost efforts to oppose and expose such flaunting frauds upon the ignorant multitude as upon the Theosophical Movement. As we shall see, the other societies have made similar mock and abuse of all that should be associated with the holiest of names and missions. "Give not that which is holy to the dogs" has as profound a lesson to-day as ever it had in the time of Christ -- and now, as then, it is precisely those who pose as Successors and Initiates, speaking in the Name of the Master, who are the offenders. Who can blame the intelligent and thoughtful, unacquainted with Theosophy and Theosophical history, for their contempt of everything connected with the name, when Theosophists themselves in so many cases remain supine while such travesties are broadcasted?
Traced to their origins all these pseudo-teachings, all these bogus occultists, all these counterfeit societies, represent the repetition, in our own times, of the Dark side of Karma -- the recrudescence of Atlantean sins of omission as well as of commission. Essentially, the course of the Adyar society has been the "lunar path" taken by Mrs. Besant -- the "current of efflux" which "the wheel of the Good Law" opens for the "failures of nature."
[Note: You will find just below a copy of the article from THEOSOPHY magazine entitled "Prevailing Tendencies" -- which is related and meant to be read along with the article in this link, by HPB, entitled "Is Theosophy A Religion?". Both were spoken of and pointed to in the above article by the Editors. --Compiler.]
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 11, No. 2, December, 1922
THE MASTERS have written that this is an "age of transition," when established embodiments, religious, social, ethical, political, scientific, are approaching dissolution. Disintegration in all of them is going on before our eyes. Hence the chaos, the bewilderment, the running to and fro on every hand, the seeking remedies to cure "existing evils" in the body politic of humanity, by those who still believe such evils to be merely transitory or, at worst, something chronic which can somehow be made tolerable. Those whose voyage on the sea of knowledge has left them without leeway in the doldrums of pessimism rock back and forth on the waves of depression, fast fixed in the delusion that the disease of our modern civilization is stronger than the patient, and prophesy gloomily "the end of the world."
Theosophy was brought into the world for the very reason that the Masters of Wisdom knew that the time was ripe for the New Order of the Ages to begin, and They sent the materials for the structure of a change in the motives, the ideals, the thought and application of the energies of mankind. Ours the task, as students of Their philosophy of life and action, to make those materials accessible and workable by the Race Mind. Being ourselves human, having in ourselves all the characteristics of our fellows, it follows that Theosophists but too often are deceived internally and externally in their vision of things, and are thus drawn, all unknowing to themselves, into the currents of one and another of the prevailing tendencies. Many of them are as unable as the rest of mankind to distinguish between disintegrating and formative processes. This is because they have studied the phenomena of life, objective and subjective, as manifested in others, instead of observing with utmost care those phenomena as manifested at first hand in themselves, in the workings of their own consciousness. It is because they have studied and applied Theosophy in the light of their own prevailing tendencies, instead of checking, guiding, controlling those tendencies in the light of the teachings of the Wisdom-Religion. Let us endeavor to illustrate the two processes, the one destructive, the other regenerative, which are going on side by side in every Theosophist, even far more intensively than in the world at large; for the Theosophist, of all men, is the one in whom this process of transition is most fiercely active, and upon his individual clear-seeing depends whether the disintegrative or the formative forces shall prevail.
The Third Object of the Parent theosophical society has ever been the most popular with students: Point One; the prevailing race tendency to "seek a sign" instead of an explanation has dominated all such students as actually as it has the "spiritualists" and the "psychic researchers." That Third Object, as definitely worded was: "The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man." Almost without exception students have laid their stress upon the phenomena to which those laws and latent powers give rise, not upon the investigation and understanding of those laws and powers. Hence they have been sucked into innumerable astral tangents, and have become so enamored, not to say intoxicated, with the phenomena witnessed and experienced, that they are totally unaware, as insane persons are unaware, of the true nature of their delusions, and as impossible to restore to balanced reason as any insane person. Point Two: all such are in the process of mental and moral disintegration, not regeneration. This natural mistake and misdirection was and is due to the neglect of fundamental philosophical and moral principles from which to conduct the experiment of living. Every religious sect, off-shoot, and bizarre cult of every kind has its origin in some misunderstood phenomenon, "some personal experience in psychology," which compelled the deluded victim henceforth to view Nature in the light of his "experience." Already this tendency has produced a score of sects and cults calling themselves theosophical, a hundred corruptions of teachings presented as Theosophy.
The Second Object of the original theosophical association was the study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and systems of thought, in order to detect the common vital principles underlying them all; not to resurrect or revivify those moribund and decayed faiths, but to hasten the dissolution and final disintegration of them all. Theosophy, being the veritable elixir vitae of the spiritual man, but slight contact with its principles, but a modicum of study of comparative religion, would rouse to a factitious warmth the old religious tendencies, whatever they might be, in the student and, unless he were well upon his guard, would infallibly drift him back once more into the vicious circle of the hereditary faith. The new wine of life would be turned back into the old sectarian bottles. Hence we have Christian Theosophists, Brahmin Theosophists, Buddhist Theosophists, and so on. Point Three: this is spiritual Atavism, recurrence to type; disintegration, not progression.
Thus we have two great classes of theosophical students: those swept away by the lure of phenomena and those carried into the eddies of sectarianism, no matter how named. Pseudo-Science and pseudo-Religion, two of the most powerful prevailing race tendencies, have turned them backward upon the descending arc. Empirical philosophy, empirical - religion, have replaced THEOSOPHY with them, though they know it not. Anyone can see the inherent grotesque paradox of the very phrases, Experimental Philosophy, Experimental religion, for the terms Religion, Philosophy, Science, imply that which is not phenomenal, but that which is by its very nature stable and unchanging. To go further: Not only Theosophists, but religious devotees of all persuasions, spiritualists, psychical researchers, numberless scientific students, now all admit and allege the reality of a vast range of natural phenomena hitherto denied or looked upon with doubt and suspicion. So far, there is genuine fraternity, because genuine unity; the fraternity of a common knowledge. But this is as to the "facts," i.e., perceived phenomena.
But the moment one essays to step from the field of fact to the area of causation -- behold the discords! Why is this? Is it not because there is as yet among them all no real knowledge of Law -- of Philosophy, Science, Religion, Ethics? Yet the same process that produced unity and fraternity of knowledge in regard to the facts must infallibly yield the same common knowledge of their Causes. Sensible men do not form parties over facts:-- they investigate, experiment, confer, compare the results obtained and are thus able, each and all, to separate the wheat from the chaff, the spurious from the genuine in phenomena. Would not the same Method, the same assiduity in the field of Causes, yield a unitary philosophy, a solid ethic, a religion undefiled?
H.P.B. knew our prevailing tendencies. Hence her article, "Is Theosophy a Religion," which we reprint herewith. Its practical value in personal application has yet to be realized by students of Theosophy. The article was first published in Lucifer for November, 1888. [Reminder: The link to it has been placed above this article. --Compiler.]
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