THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 8, June, 1931
(Pages 360-361; Size: 7K)
[Article number (8) in this Q&A Department]
WOULD you explain how a Theosophist can belong "to no cult or sect, yet belong to each and all?"
The meaning of this assertion is clear if you remember that Theosophy is not a revelation, or a man-made dogma, theory, or belief. It is a knowledge of the laws that govern the evolution of the physical, astral, psychical, and intellectual constituents of nature and of man -- the basis of all religions, and of all science. But all great religions in time degenerate into cults and 'isms. One knowing the fundamental tenets of the wisdom-religion would of necessity recognize the truths evident in every cult or sect, and while not affiliating himself with any particular sect, would yet be in a position to see the partial truths in them all. Thus he would belong "to each and all," having the fundamental criterion of them all, Theosophy.
What is meant by "side issues" in the U.L.T. Declaration? [Note: "U.L.T." means "The United Lodge of Theosophists".--Compiler]
The purpose of Theosophy is to lead men on to a consideration of the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul. It is to teach them responsibility, to show them what causes the sorrow and suffering in the world. Political reforms and anti-vivisection efforts, for instance, although humanitarian, would be side-issues from the promulgation of the teachings of Theosophy for the Lodge. Individuals are, of course, at liberty to undertake any or all such activities, but if everyone did so, there would be very little chance in the world to know what Theosophy is.
Mr. Crosbie once wrote that he did not believe in "diluted Theosophy." What is meant by "diluted Theosophy"?
Given a straight line, a divergence from it begins at a barely perceptible point, but, once well started, goes far afield. Either Theosophy is so, or it is not. A half truth is worse than none at all. If we try to soften Theosophy to agree with the prejudices of non-Theosophists, we -- as in the old fable of the man, his son, and the donkey -- end by pleasing none. The Hindu belief that men's souls enter into animal bodies after death is a perversion of the doctrine of reincarnation, but is it reincarnation as taught by H.P.B.? We have the writing of H.P.B. -- pure Theosophy in the words of one who brought it. If the pure source is available, why pander to weak stomachs with diluted interpretations in the sacred name of Theosophy?
The U.L.T. Declaration "regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of humanity." Some of these believe in a personal God and do not accept the teachings either of Karma or Reincarnation. In what sense, then, can they be regarded as Theosophists?
Theosophy states that man is a soul, a divine being, a god in his real nature. Right thinking and living will bring us again to the knowledge that was ours in former births, and the first step is to live to benefit mankind. There are many sincere Christians who live entirely for their fellow human beings, and if, due to their own past, they are hampered by narrow, false ideas of a personal and avenging God, outside themselves, they are living better than they believe. The real in them does know, no matter how clouded the vision is in daily life. It is really their sense of Brotherhood which directs their lives, not their wrong ideas and dogmatic shackles. Living a life of service will in time clear their vision, for they who live the life shall know the doctrine, if not during this incarnation, then in some other.
What are the chief differences between any Theosophical Organization and the U.L.T. association of students?
Here are three differences which may help:
(a) "Similarity of aim, purpose, and teaching," versus the idea of "follow the leader." In the U.L.T. leading personalities are not held up for the wonder and adulation of the populace. Theosophy is not promulgated according to the interpretations of Mr. So-and-so, direct descendant of So-and-so, but is promulgated according to the teachings of H.P.B. and W.Q.J. as expressed in their writings.
(b) U.L.T. is a "voluntary" association of students in opposition to the idea of soliciting membership. There is no campaigning to enlist unwilling members to swell the ranks of so-called Theosophists. Membership is an individual matter, a self-assumed responsibility.
(c) A natural Karmic organism versus the deadly efficient tendency of modern churches, and sects, to organize to the nth degree, with great buzz of official business. The U.L.T. has no officers, nor by-laws, no fees or dues, the only bond between students being similarity of aim, purpose and teaching.
[Article number (9) in this Q&A Department]
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