23 September 2016

THE AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST, September 2016

 

This is the opening thought of the September edition:      

The deeper the silence one is capable of, the more perceptive one’s view of reality.

On pages one and two, the article “A Research Project Unfolds” looks at the theosophical movement as a community of independent students, with no attachment to the dead letter, but loyal to the spirit of the original theosophical teachings. 

On pages three and four, “Effective Study in Philosophy: The Nature of an Independent Lodge”. Then the fragment “Movement Was Founded in September”. On page five, “Neptune and Saturn: Lessons from a Tempest”  is an exercise in learning from the astrological sky these days.  

Dwight Eisenhower On Peace” is at page six. Page seven presents “On the Roots of Spiritual Life”, by Ivan A. Il’in.  On page eight, very brief remarks on “How Freud Helps Theosophists”. “The Mystery of Right Action” is on page nine.

These are other topics examined in the September 2016 edition of the “Aquarian”:

* Living the Search for Truth;

* Feeling Respect for the Future; 

* The Light of Goodness;

* Naive Views Dating From 1789;

* Independent Lodge: the Influence of Numbers;

* The Invisible Power of Good Will; 

* Five Fragments from the ‘Wen-Tzu’;

* Thoughts Along the Road;

* A Message to the ULT in Los Angeles; and

* Man is a Copy of the Universe;

The 20 pp. edition includes the List of New Texts in our associated websites.



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You can find the entire collection of The Aquarian”  at our associated websites.

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  

  
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

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21 September 2016

INDEPENDENT LODGE AND THE MOVEMENT

Part of the Theosophical Community
Remains Free from Bureaucratic Illusions

Carlos Cardoso Aveline
  


Theosophy teaches a global vision of life, free from any attachment, and impersonal



Small events may have great consequences, and the creation of the United Lodge of Theosophists, in 1909, is a clear example of that. One hundred and seven years after 1909, the founding of the Independent Lodge in 2016 potentially expresses the same aspect of the Karmic Law, in a different cycle of History.

The ULT was founded by a few students in Los Angeles on 18 February, 1909.  

By that time, the theosophical movement had lost contact with its guiding lights. There were two rival Theosophical Societies, both walking away from the original teachings of Theosophy, built by H. P. Blavatsky between 1875 and 1891. Besides, their leaders had no common sense.  

The Adyar Society saw scarce value in the teachings of HPB. It was fascinated by the use of lower psychic powers and imaginary talks with Masters. In the two first decades of 20th century, the leaders of the Adyar TS repeatedly declared to the wide public, with ill-disguised pride, that soon the world would see the Return of the Christ.

The new Messiah was Jiddu Krishnamurti, a young disciple of Annie Besant. Thousands of sincere idealists were deceived during decades by spectacular statements coming from one or another “clairvoyant disciple”, even after Krishnamurti himself, personally disappointed, denounced the whole farce and abandoned the Adyar Society.

Those frauds and illusions have not been accepted as such yet, and they continue to form the foundation of the bureaucratic structures of Adyar. As we will see in the present article, the struggle to attain common sense and to preserve it continues to be a historical necessity, not only to the Society which  produced the false Messiah of the 20th century, but also for the theosophists of the other lines of thought, with no exception.

Progress and Mistakes in Adyar

The worship of fake masters and ritualistic ceremonies still make it very hard to search for truth in the Besantian Society.

Since the second half of the 1930s, however, there was real progress in the long march back to common sense. Time does not pass in vain, and Karma ripens through actual facts.

In spite of partial steps taken in the right direction, the ethical dilemma remains unsolved since the abandonment of the authentic Theosophy, a few years after Helena Blavatsky’s death in 1891. 

Ms. Radha Burnier served as the international president of the Adyar TS during some 33 years, starting in 1980 and up to her death in October 2013. Radha was an honest and thoughtful person, an idealist, and her world vision has essential points in common with Theosophy. This must not be forgotten.  

Radha was also the heir and manager of the pseudo-theosophical structures fabricated during the first half of 20th century. She did not want to make Adyar recover from such delusions, or she was not capable of doing that. However, as she saw that her incarnation was nearing its end, she refused to nominate any “successor” as the Outer Head of the fake Esoteric School created by Annie Besant.

Radha also did not accept the idea of indicating a successor for the direction of the “Egyptian Rite”, the elite “occult” body secretly placed above the Adyar Esoteric School.[1] And she did not name anyone to succeed herself as president of the Society.  

Thus Radha interrupted the “line of succession” of the fraud inaugurated by Mrs. Besant in the beginning of 20th century, and closed her incarnation by ushering the Adyar Society into a quicker transitional period whose result can be either a rebirth, or destruction.   

The step taken by Mrs. Burnier in refusing to nominate successors was useful. It was also timid. The Adyar Society looks like a church today.  However noble the intentions of its members, they still have to use their best discernment and choose between two alternatives. The first one is to promote a sense of respect for the facts and to stimulate the return to common sense by adopting once more the original teachings.

The second possibility is to go on with the present process of decay.

The question that remains unanswered is: how long will it take for the first option to be chosen, which is necessary for the Adyar Society to start experiencing a rebirth? The same issue is valid to the United Lodge, for, in its own way, the ULT also got out of tune regarding its original impulse.

The Dilemma of the United Lodge

Since it was founded in 1909, the United Lodge of Theosophists started to change in the movement as a whole the dynamics of departure from the original theosophy.

The ULT emerged under the leadership of Robert Crosbie and John Garrigues, with the aim of restoring the common sense and the authentic teachings. Approximately two decades after the foundation of the ULT, the Societies of Adyar and Point Loma (Pasadena) had their fancies and “innovations” caught in blind alleys. Then both started to gradually see once more the value of the philosophy taught by Helena Blavatsky. In the Point Loma-Pasadena Society, the process was stronger. In Adyar, the march back to common sense was interrupted during the 1990s. 

How did the United Lodge work as long as John Garrigues lived?

The ULT ignored political and organizational divisions of the movement. It looked to the movement as a living process, a dynamics transcending external forms. It believed that the sincere search for truth is the common ground where all theosophists can come together. It proposed the original teachings of the founders as the unassailable basis of unity among theosophists.

However, the ULT is far from perfection. A significant part of its lodges, especially in the Western countries, is rather limited to the mere repetition of the writings of Helena Blavatsky and William Judge, and refuses to look at the challenges faced today by mankind.

Other groups of the ULT cannot see the need to actively unmask pseudo-theosophy. Yet there are sections of the ULT and independent truth-seekers scattered in various countries that are open to a renewal and potentially apt to a new cycle. In India, where the influence of Mr. B. P. Wadia’s life and writings is strongly felt, the ULT seems to remain strong. The insightful international magazine “The Theosophical Movement” is an indication of that. [2]

An Independent Lodge Emerges

In 2016, the Brazilian-Portuguese lodge of the ULT declared its independence. It respectfully disaffiliated itself from the Office of the ULT in Los Angeles and adopted the name of Independent Lodge of Theosophists.

Active in various ways in English language, the small association considers that it is not the material dimension or number of followers that gives legitimacy to a school of thought. The opposite frequently takes place: only those who do not wish to be the biggest can concentrate on substance and quality.

The successful experience of the ULT in the first decades of its existence constitutes a guiding light for the Independent Lodge. One of the key factors in such a success is in the fact that it was wise enough to remain small, acting with creativity and independence. Theosophy teaches a global vision of life, free from any attachment, and impersonal.

In the first decades after 1909, the ULT avoided both artificial growth and attachment to routine. Its priority was the criterion of affinity. In general terms, it avoided the mistake of subconsciously considering the search for universal truth less important than the search for “believers”, followers and material possessions. In spite of that, it gradually lost vitality after the death of John Garrigues in 1944.

The Independent Lodge is a complex proposal, such as the United Lodge was for most of its trajectory. A part of the Lodge flows above the denser aspects of the physical plane movement. 

It is not an institution. It is not a legal entity.  From a formal point of view, it has no leaders.

According to Robert Crosbie, a theosophical lodge must be a set of ethical and universal principles. It is also a community of people who learn and teach. It does not sell its knowledge, for it considers that the eternal wisdom is like the air one breathes. It belongs to all beings: how could one try to sell it?

The associates of the Independent Lodge do not have to pay fees of any kind. The donations which sustain the works are freely given. It sells books, but works in papers are but the material tools of the teaching. The courses and studies it offers are free. [3]

In various aspects the method of the Independent Lodge is similar to that of the ULT, and some students may see it as mysterious and hard to understand.  

It does not work as a conventional institution.  It must be understood in a gradual way. The rule of the Universal Brotherhood is to live and work in internal communion, without unnecessary noise, and preserving external diversity.

In order to make it easier to understand at least in part the Independent Lodge, it is useful to remember the authentic schools of philosophy in the past - in the West and the East alike - did not charge for their teachings, and did not demand money at all. They were not legal entities, and their teachers and students led simple, austere lives.

Only the Sophists, denounced by Plato in his Dialogues, got payment from their students and adapted their commercialized “verities” according to the interest of each client and circumstance.

Time is cyclic.

The philosophical schools of the future will do the same as those of antiquity.  

From this point of view, the modern theosophical movement can be seen as a timeless and multidimensional school of wisdom.

The Independent Lodge thinks that the modern theosophical effort is not attached to a dead letter view of the original teachings, nor to organizational structures that easily get old and dysfunctional.  The movement is classic, Platonic and Neoplatonic. It should try to express the original teachings in a loyal, ethical and creative way, with no distortions. It is Eastern. It is an Eclectic School like the one in ancient Alexandria. It is a school of Jnana Yoga, a science older than our mankind. It also belongs to the future; and, being less than 200 years old, it is young.

NOTES:

[1] See the article “The Fraud in Adyar Esoteric School”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline. The text is available in our associated websites.  

[2] The Theosophical Society of Pasadena, which is present in some ten countries, has more than one aspect (both positive and negative) in common with the United Lodge. The “Point Loma” Theosophical Societies are active in a few countries. These seem to have a top-down political structure and apparently constitute the school of thought with less points in common regarding the vision of movement largely shared by the ULT and the Independent Lodge.

[3] See the article “O Dinheiro Segundo a Filosofia” (“Money According to Philosophy”), by Carlos Cardoso Aveline, which is available in our associated websites. 

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.


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20 September 2016

THE VITALITY OF THE EFFORT

Why Theosophical Lodges Must
Be Born Again From Time to Time  


Carlos Cardoso Aveline




Constant change and adaptation in form is a
law of life, and a law in the theosophical endeavor  




Everything that lives must obey the law of cycles.

Starting in 1931 and during 80 years, every 25th of June the United Lodge of Theosophists sent a message to its associates and friends around the world. [1]

John Garrigues was the main editor of these ULT Day letters, up to his death in 1944. After him, the letters went on. They ceased to circulate in 2011, due to circumstances related to the law of cycles. The international magazine “Theosophy”, founded by Robert Crosbie and John Garrigues in 1912 and published in Los Angeles, had ceased to circulate in 2008-2009.

The causes of such facts deserve examination.

In the ULT letter for June 2001 one can read a subtle invitation to observe the changing vitality of the theosophical movement during its cycles. The Letter says: 

“The United Lodge of Theosophists began as a radical idea. It sought to provide a basis for students and inquirers to gather together to study and promulgate Theosophy, without having to worry about organization and structure, or elections and officers - the ‘personality’ of the world. It was an idea both simple and profound, as it left the initiative for work squarely in the hands of the students themselves. The term ‘member’ was dropped, and ‘associate’ substituted to indicate those who shared the vision of what this kind of relationship could mean. The ULT idea had merit, and the number of associates and Lodges gradually grew, several magazines were started and the original Theosophical literature brought back into print. Supplements are issued on an occasional basis when the formal issue exceeds its size limit, and/or some special need arises.”

The document continues: 

“However, the natural growth of ULT slowed at about the mid-point of the Twentieth Century, and while the work and magazines were continued by capable and devoted people, fewer new associates became involved. This pattern was not unique to ULT, and has been reflected in the experience of other Theosophical groups; recognition of it provides an opportunity to re-examine methods of work useful at this time.” [2]

Such an honest evaluation is helpful in the 21st century process of building a better future for the theosophical movement. 

The ULT is the least bureaucratic among the larger schools of theosophical thought.  It is a natural source of seeds for renewal. Its 1909 Declaration expresses a clear commitment to the free flow of life, once it is safe to think that one’s goal is noble and there is discernment and common sense:

“The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. (….) It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is ‘similarity of aim, purpose and teaching’, and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.” [3]

The common ground among theosophists is the original teaching, and no bureaucratic sense of membership to this or that association can replace it. Associations come and go: the teaching remains.

The Independent Lodge 

Following the steps of its founders, the theosophical movement must constantly renew itself. Change and adaptation in form is a law of life, and a law in the theosophical endeavor.

Attachment to routine, on the other hand, is the mother of inactivity and constitutes an impediment to the flow of theosophical consciousness. Rigidity of form and of habit creates blackouts of discernment. It produces ethical implosions, usually followed by political breakdowns and gradual paralysis. It is not enough to be a sincere idealist, which almost every member of the esoteric movement is. The effort to help mankind has to be reborn every day while theosophists keep an enduring loyalty to both the spirit and the writings of classical teachings.

Blind faith must be avoided, and everyone’s independence has to be preserved.  

It was in this spirit that the associates of the Brazilian-Portuguese lodge of the ULT decided in 2016 to emerge from that larger Lodge and form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists.

The independent association thus got free to conduct active researches regarding the present and future of mankind, the search for lay discipleship and how best to conduct a theosophical life in the 21st century. There is no need for its associates to adhere to the dead letter of the original teachings: they are invited to follow the spirit of the teachings instead. Helena Blavatsky wrote that the theosophical movement, as a body -

“Has no creed, as creeds are but the shells around spiritual knowledge; and Theosophy in its fruition is spiritual knowledge itself - the very essence of philosophical and theistic enquiry.”

Referring to the movement, she said:

“Visible representative of Universal Theosophy, it can be no more sectarian than a Geographical Society, which represents universal geographical exploration without caring whether the explorers be of one creed or another. The religion of the Society [or Movement] is an algebraical equation, in which so long as the sign = of equality is not omitted, each member is allowed to substitute quantities of his own, which better accord with climatic and other exigencies of his native land, with the idiosyncrasies of his people, or even with his own.”

The Pedagogy of the true movement is clear, and HPB clarified:

“Having no accepted creed, our Society is very ready to give and take, to learn and teach, by practical experimentation, as opposed to mere passive and credulous acceptance of enforced dogma. It is willing to accept every result claimed by any of the foregoing schools or systems, that can be logically and experimentally demonstrated. Conversely, it can take nothing on mere faith, no matter by whom the demand may be made.” [4]

According to the Independent Lodge, research is more important than belief. Honest doubt leads to study and deserves respect.

From the point of view of the self-responsible student, the theosophical movement is not a federation of believers. It is a community of truth-seekers who share the on-going results of their search, as they learn to improve themselves and understand the universe.   

NOTES:

[1] See in our associated websites the 30-year facsimile compilation “The ULT Day Letters, 1931-1960”.

[2]The U.L.T. Letter - 2001” is available at our associated websites. 

[3] The full text of “The ULT Declaration” can be found in our associated websites.   

[4]What are the Theosophists?”, an article published in volume II of the “Collected Writings” of Helena Blavatsky, TPH, USA, pp. 100-101.

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An initial version of the above article was first published with no indication as to the name of the author at the August 2014 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. Its title was “On the Vitality of the ULT and the Theosophical Movement”. The text was updated in September 2016.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.


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