We would appreciate your feedback on our change of direction. While we are firmly set in our determination to steer the course outlined in our statement, specifically to engage with the "Traditional Theosophies" and moving away from the Blavatsky tradition, we want to get your thoughts and suggestions for how we can make this a successful endeavor.
We ask that your input be honest, and if you don't like what we're doing please be civil in your comments.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Since the first point states that it is all about personal experience, may I ask whether the endeavor is to encourage all of us to develop our own personal theosophy? Should that be so, it may be quite a departure from the past where we are told of one way or the other being the right path. Are we ready for it? Are we capable of it?
If I might venture a thought here. When I first read the "Change of Direction" the one word I paused on was "personal." The reason I paused relates to the question you pose above. But I believe, what we are speaking about in the phrase "personal experience" is not the diverse and chaotic personal experience of typical outwardly focused humans, but actually "personal spiritual experience" which is to say, trans-personal experience. That, said, it is all one continuity.
I think the higher we rise in our personal spiritual experiences, then paradoxically, they are--in one sense--less personal or no longer just personal. They become, in part, group consciousness and we have spiritual consensus building. We all move toward the same rainbow of reality, and that is what makes science, in the true and deep sense, possible. In the future what we now call "Theosophy" is just science without boundaries.
First I may say I wholeheartedly support the ideas expressed here. Also I must say I’m not familiar with the discussions here regarding “Traditional Theosophy”. As a result of not knowing what was been discussed, my first impression is to wonder if that's really the best tag available. While “the tradition” as described would certainly be a truly living vibrant tradition, it seems, not necessarily, the first idea aroused by those two words; "Traditional Theosophy". For some that may spark curiosity, while for others it might spark doubts.
In any case, irrespective of the words, I fully embrace “the way” described as “the essence” in the intro. Living theosophy grounded in our being must truly blossom in the heart as a transformation of seeing & knowing. This knowing does not come by the intellectual study of any subject, unless that subject is able to become a part of us, and act upon us as a healing balm; a solvent and transformative agent, which opens our eyes to our true nature; reflecting a living theosophy.
I find the overall tone and content of the 'change of direction' to be healthy. I appreciate what appears to be a more open approach. On the other hand, personally, I'm not sure about "moving away from the Blavatsky tradition". . . at least not entirely. What little I've found here about it has been of some interest; however, yes, I admit that a wider and more open approach ('Traditional Theosophies') ? is more attractive than a narrow and limited focus on HPB, associated hermeneutics and history alone.
I will think longer on your query because somehow compartmentalizing different traditions, while practical, may result in less flow of information....at least I have some questions about this intuitively.
Sorry, Joe, but the guerrilla mood is still on me, I don't feel "civil" at all, and civil wars are the worst ones.... I can't help this kind of thoughts comin'... anyway, my opinion is that HPB belongs to "traditional theosophy", that there's no real "Blavatsky tradition", exclusive of her and her adherents or followers. Organizations and traditions are not at all the same: traditions are alive and organizations are vampires, everywhere. Sorry, I see it like this. If this site belonged to any organization I'd not be writing here.
... anyway, I don't really care if we call it "traditional" or however, every word carries its own problems, any use of language is open to misunderstanding. Telepathy will not be implemented as the common form of communication until some centuries from now, so we have a lot of time to engage in dialogue hehehehe... and time spent in dialogue is a well spent time, dialogue is the direct mean to broaden the mind.
I say that true theosophy can be found in this site because this site is sustained by friendship.... true friendship comes from the soul (not at all my idea, Plato said so) and the true friendship of those who learn together is the key of inner (esoterical, initiatical, spiritual, call it as it pleases you) advance now, in XXIth century, or Age of Aquarius (again, choose any) ... a vision of what's often called the "Hierarchy" came to me some time ago... its meaning may be brought writing that: there were two kind of stars dancing, one of them the family of conscious brothers; the other, the school of free friends. Conscious brothers (I don't mean they're male, of course) are often called Mahatmas, Masters, Higher degree initiates, etc... those on the school of friendship and freedom are called low degree initiates, disciples, aspirants... friendship is the school of brotherhood when seen like this.
There's more but there's not time to write anymore now, no, no more visions but questions from the dangerous side of the mind ;-)
Have a good day today, friends!!!
Theosophy has never been defined. Why? Because it is a different thing for each one of us. It is something we all perceive internally. While going over some of the early material I found the following statement by HPB.
Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge.
How can anyone define 'the living and breathing spirit of Truth.?'
Each one of us have come to theosophy through one or more of the various schools of thought. It it time to explore if we can intuitionally sense the living and breathing spirit of Truth - not simply repeat by rote any printed word.
Dear Joe (Fulton):
I have several questions for you.
Could you provide a more detailed explanation of what 'traditional theosophies' are? The historical definition you gave ("They have evolved from NeoPlatonic times," etc.) is a step in the right direction, but it is somewhat vague (have evolved directly from Neoplatonism or from some other teachings that existed in the Neoplatonic times?) and incomplete (what are other systems of thought in the same tradition?).
I don't see how the Trans-Himalayan tradition (THT), incliding Blavatsky, fits into your definition. It is unlikely that the THT has "evolved from NeoPlatonic times"; does it mean that the THT is out of scope?
This website offers Sanskrit lessons, Buddhist materials, and more in the same spirit. Are all these things out of scope too? Shouldn't we take lessons in classic Greek and mediaeval Latin rather than Sanskrit lessons?
You raise several good questions.
First, we are moving away from a Blavatsky-centric view of the world. To get a better grasp of the direction we are going take a look at John Mead's articles "Future Theosophies - A Vision" and "Traditional Theosophy and Practices".
The vast majority of the materials here are from a more HPB centered theosophy.net. What we would contend is that "traditional theosophy" methods can be applied to HPB's work, too. Whether or not worshipers of Blavatsky would attempt such an exercise is an unknown. What drove us to changing our emphasis was the realization that the vast majority of those calling themselves "theosophist" were more interested in parroting Blavatsky and her commentators vs. having a true exploration. Many of us here still love the old lady but we have no use for what has become of her tradition, so we seek elsewhere.
Thanks Max. Your question that,
does it mean that the THT is out of scope?
The answer would be a clear no. However, THT's having evolved over several thousands of years and at different locations do have a problem in falling within scope of the Traditional Theosophy. Though, one common thread that appears is the need for proof of what is being said. The THT's applied a strict regime for testing the validity of a proposition, called Pramana. The Traditional Theosophies do the same, evaluating a concept within the framework of spatial and temporal dimensions as well as evaluation within the framework of "That which is above is like to that which is below".
Joe fulton wrote: "First, we are moving away from a Blavatsky-centric view of the world... What drove us to changing our emphasis was the realization that the vast majority of those calling themselves "theosophist" were more interested in parroting Blavatsky and her commentators vs. having a true exploration. Many of us here still love the old lady but we have no use for what has become of her tradition, so we seek elsewhere."
I would like to make several points.
1. It may (or may not) be true that most theosophists are "more interested in parroting Blavatsky and her commentators vs. having a true exploration." So what? Why should it trouble anyone? It's normal. People often appropriate a teaching, twist it and turn into a dogma; it happens all the time. Tell me something new. But when it happens the problem obviously is with people doing so, not with the original teaching. HPB should not be held accountable for what people did with her teachings.
2. Joe: "we have no use for what has become of her tradition, so we seek elsewhere." I underlined "has become" because of its importance. It suggests that the problem is with the present-day presentations of HPB's teachings, right? If so, why not return back to the original HPB?
3. Joe: "we are moving away from a Blavatsky-centric view of the world." I am not happy about this whole idea of moving from a world view centered on something (e.g., theosophy) to another world view centered on something else (e.g., Neoplatonism, or Antoine Faivre's framework, or hermetic keys mentioned by John Mead). Such a move would essentially mean replacing one dogma with another, with all of the ensuing costs and blights. A radical change would be to follow truth wherever it may lead, even if it turns out to be old good HPB's theosophy.
4. John Mead discussed "solid definition of the term “theosophy”." This may be a misguided concern because having a definition what theosophy is would allow one to tell what is NOT theosophy, again with all of the ensuing consequences (e.g., derogatory terms hardly consistent with the brotherhood of humanity). We've already been through it: some orthodox theosophists say that Besant's and Leadbeater's ideas are 'neo-theosophy' rather than genuine theosophy, Alice Bailey's teaching are pseudo-theosophy, R. Steiner's anthroposophy is a hopeless distortion of the truth, and so on.
By the way, both HPB and Koot Humi displayed a remarkable degree of openness and tolerance by freely borrowing from many traditions and easily switching from one presentation of truth to another (Vedanta, Raja Yoga, Buddhism, Neoplatonism, Kabbalah, science, etc.). It would be a good idea to emulate them in this respect if we want to focus on what really is rather than on traditional theosophies.
Do not mistake the pointing finger for the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger.
We are a theosophy site that studies all theosophies regardless of culture, religion, east, west and era...
"Do not mistake the pointing finger for the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger."
Max, this site will be free of dogmatism as long as crazy fellows like me are tolerated here. The nice thing here is that people with different ideas, backgrounds, mindsets, etc. have room to dialogue ;-)
I understand "traditional" as an including qualifying, not as an exclusive one. All traditions belong to human tradition, and tradition is that which passes from one generation to next one.
I'd like some clarification on what's included in this Transhimalayan Tradition you've refered to.
Yes, if we have the definition of a triangle we can check what is and what is not a triangle... but the definition of Theosophy is not so clear.
Can Theosophy be defined? This is still an open question, and we have a diversity of opinions. And this is good. Dialogue enrichs us.