We can miss all fundamentalisms like a bad toothache. So, we need some good dentists over here..
Joe Fulton said:
The ancient traditions don't go. It is the mindless worship of some crazy HPB / masters mythology that drives away all but a few fanatically minded individuals from this flavor of theosophy.
Reverence for that which is true, good and edifying is always in. Theosophical fundamentalism will not find a friendly voice from my pen. It drives away all rational, reasoned thought and is not part of an examined life. It is just another fundamentalism.
So, with that in mind, the topic of the discussion was "Why Theosophy Has to Change".
Sheepish following has been the downfall of the movement, since many are deluded that is the way to Adepthood. When theosophy was launched, the Founders were looking for pioneers who work for a cause, not just blind obedient following.
That spirit of pioneers is what is needed to revive the growth of the movement.
Each smallest time instant, everyone on this earth (and maybe somewhere else) is born, is breathing, eating, sleeping, loving, dying, and ... thinking. That's where everything get screwed-up. Mental activity (which is part of individuality) is always, consciously or unconsciously, trying to grasp any idea which will give a feeling of security in this moving environment (the world). So many ..ism's have been and will be created by human mind, to provide with this feeling of safe haven. Theosophism (which has so many different faces) is one of them which has also tried to give answers to all our questions, and many people have been delighted by the answers...until they where awaken by real life (illness, age, death). We probably still can argue forever on the subject. It will not provide any more help to the seekers. Let's use all our senses (inner and outer) to experiment and feel deeply the LIFE. It may gives us the flavor of all these nice concepts which are lying inside the multitude of mind-books, instead of perpetuating the pro & con's mental argumentations which are leading nowhere.
Let's explore all the tracks that our ancestors have captured from their true life experience.
Michael A. Williams said:
"This doesn't mean the modern spiritual/metaphysical movement is dead. On the contrary, it's thriving more than ever, if not in a majority position, at least in a position of influence from many organizations and individuals."
Yes, a lot is happening all over the place. There is a large diversity of organizations and individuals, varying from New Age in its diverse forms, often including eco-spiritual notions (also with the pagan movement), scientists like Laszlo and his Budapest forum. Even some circles in churches seem to get the eco-spirituality idea. These movements get a hearing and attract followers because they are socially, spiritually and ecologically relevant today!
Joe, as for your suggestion to form new groups, I'd say there are enough branches of Theosophy now to suit most people's needs. In regards to your analogy of "talk doesn't cook the rice," I'd add, "too many cooks can ruin the rice."
If you're referring to some members here getting together and "taking action," I might remind you it's already happening. Awhile back, several of the more scholarly types formed a group to modernize and update "The Secret Doctrine." I think a progress report is long overdue on that endeavor.
Then over at the "Tradition and Science" forum, those fine folks are in the midst of putting together a book and/or jounal comparing ancient wisdom traditions and modern science.
Plus, there's Peter's new World Wide Wisdom blogradio show just now launching.
And, finally, the special project that has now gone "top secret."
That's plenty it would seem, for now, as most of us most likely have commitments and projects going outside of Theosophy.net.
The reframing and recontextualizing is now taking place.
This network is now, by its intrinsically motivated people, starting to do the following:
This is all in its beginning phase, of course, but who would have thought, only one year ago, that such a thing would be possible? Thanks to all the participants over here. We can make a difference!
Joe Fulton said:
The Theosophical Network represents those who boldly pursue the ideals and strive for truth alone, regardless of form. We are those who seek new understandings and modes of expression while remaining true to all of those traditions known as theosophies.
Greetings, Roy, and good wishes. I think you asked some important questions. At the end of your last post, however, you said this: "Personally I will take the testimony of Geoffrey Hodson and other great clairvoyants that the Masters exist as sufficient proof that they do."
Now, here is a quote from Geoffrey Hodson [MAN: THE TRIUNE GOD]: "The angelic hosts are countless in their numbers and various in their orders and degrees. Certain orders are definitely associated with man, and it is a member of one such order who some years ago began to teach the author [Hodson, referring to himself] certain spiritual truths and to explain the place and function of his brethren in Nature."
In your view would this testimony also be sufficient proof that even angels exist?
One is surprised to taste the uncharacteristically harsh words for you, Joe. Something seems to have changed.
Roy is entitled to ask the question and all of us here need to reply to the best of one's ability.
I would refer Roy to the blog by K Paul Johnson titled "The Claims of Theosophy" in this forum, where he quotes Sri Aurobindo's views on the Mahatmas and the TS. The views of Joe Fulton, Martin Euser, Richard Ihle etc. on that blog are worthy of consideration too.
My personal view being that the concept of Masters did add to increase popularity of the TS at that time, as it pointed towards a certain "Phenomena". How real are they, is anyone's guess. Irrespective of that, following a phenomena is expeced to take a learner farther from the TRUTH and that would be the basis for me to not take the concept of Mahatmas seriously.
We all got introduced to theosophy because we all felt that the three object, especially the first one attracted our attention and in our heart of hearts we felt it to be true. This is independent on the belief in the nature of Adepts or God. The three objects are the broadest umbrella that can help a lot of people coming with different life experiences.
When the beliefs are concerned, I tell an interesting real life account. Several years ago, in my city, a family - man, his wife and two kids were walking the sidewalk of a major street. The unusual thing was, all of them were naked. A cop stopped them and asked the man very respectfully, what is going one. The man told the cop that God asked him to go out and keep walking on the sidewalk after taking off all the clothes. The man was serious and he very sincerely believed that God talked to him and told him to go out and walk with his family. The cop did not argue with him and just told in nice terms to get into his patrol car and took him to the police station. I do not know what happened next. So there are so many beliefs, each of them very strongly held by really good people.
Abstractions such a "theosophical orthodoxy" have no value when testimony of meeting or seeing the Brothers exists. Study Caldwell's compilation:
The 1900 letter was a warning to Besant and her friends not to continue the worship of Masters in her ES. Reverence & respect for Them has nothing to do with ritualized worship.
I disagree with the narrow scope of interpretation. I take the 1900 letter as a generalized statement to shut up about masters. The talk of them gets in the way of any real work that needs done. The devotion should be to that supreme spirit alone of which we all are a part.