Old Theosophists and New Theosophists

The Theosophical Society - The society was founded by Helena Blavatsky (together with H.S. Olcott) in 1875 in New York. In 1879, they moved the society to India and in 1882, they established the Society's International Headquarters in Adyar, near Chennai, where it has since remained. The word Theosophy is derived from theos (divine) and sophia (wisdom). The motto they gave the society - There is No Religion Higher than Truth. Blavatsky based her philosophy and knowledge on the teachings of the 'Masters' under whom she trained in the Himalayas.

The objectives of the society are

The basis of their beliefs were put forth in the following books by Blavatsky (with material provide by Master M and Master K.H.):

The basic tenets or beliefs of Theosophy are:

These beliefs encompass what is often called the Ageless Wisdom teachings. They parallel to a large degree Hindu or Buddhist philosophies from the east.

However, the society claimed to impose no belief on its members, no fundamental dogma - except the desire to search for the truth and to learn the meaning and purpose of existence.

After the death of Blavatsky the society split into two organization one with head quarters in India led by (Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater) and one in the US by Willam Q Judge. In later years, the US version of the society split even further. Alice Bailey, though she was initially a member of the society, founded her own organization - the Arcane School. Bailey wrote many books with teachings apparently from another Master (Master DK). Helena Roerich also wrote books with teachings from the Masters (Master M., Master KH. and even Maitreya himself) and formed the Agni Yoga Society. Other theosophists have written books containing original information - Mabel Collins inspired by Master Hilarion, Leadbeater and Besant using their own clairvoyance and psychic investigation much of which has been confirmed by others. Recently Benjamin Creme has been writing books with teachings from a Master (as yet unknown). He has formed the Share International organization (less well know is the World Teacher Trust founded by Dr. Ekkirala Krishnamacharya with material from Master CVV).

I personally don't find any contradiction in the various teachings of the Masters given in the books by those mentioned above. Each teaching is an expansion on the previous ones, the seeming contradictions are minor ones, and may not be contradictions at all, but further revelations or explanation.

However, in current Theosophical circles (among whom I include all the above organizations) there is much disagreement about which are authentic teachings from the Masters (apart from works of Blavatsky) and which teachings are the writers own delusions or channelings from self-appointed astral teachers. Actually, there are many others (besides those mentioned above - the couple from 'the Summit Lighthouse' for instance) who claim to have received messages or teachings from the Masters, the ones listed above are the only ones I believe to be authentic.

Here, I would like to examine the different theosophical factions and reasons or motives of the theosophists who belong to them.

In conclusion, we can all agree that one needs to be skeptical when someone claims to be in touch with the 'Masters'. But when your own intuition and common sense tells you that the teaching has the 'ring of truth', then you should not hesitate to accept it.

The three things that usually stand in the way of accepting new messengers

  1. Fanaticism in current beliefs/dogma
  2. Lack of humility (Why don't the Masters just talk directly to me, when I am so spiritual as well as brilliant?)
  3. Fear of being wrong or misled or losing the respect of ones friends and peers. (As an aside, this is the same reason that many do not want to investigate UFOs or crop circles or even how the Bush administration stole the 2004 elections).

The Point in Evolution of some of the persons mentioned on this page (this information is from Creme's Master. All Master's are themselves at 5.0 and above. Note: The scale is not linear. 5.0 maybe considered to be 10 or more times higher than 4.0 - at 4.0 you would be an Arhat, at 5.0 you become a Master):

Between the first and the second initiation - around 1.6 degrees, a person starts to become mentally polarized (before that he/she is astrally polarized and subject to the illusions of the astral plane). This process of mental polarization is completed at the third initiation. The Masters can not communicate with anyone below the 1.6 level, since they always do so on the mental plane. The communication is of course the clearest for disciples who are third degree initiates and above.
A Note: Towards the end of her life and career as the President of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Annie Besant went a little soft in the head. Under the influence of one George Arundell, she declared that all her close associates and friends at the society had become Arhats (4th degree initiates) and had been designated to take important positions in the new world and the new race under the Lord Maitreya. This lapse does not diminish her scholarship or life long tireless work as a social reformer, theosophist as well as a freedom fighter for India. She came to believe this nonsense in her old age mainly because of George (who went on to become the President after her death and really drove the society into the ground until 1945. It has recovered since then). Old-style Theosophists would have you believe that this distribution of Arhathood was Leadbeater's idea (he is the one they want to get). Leadbeater had nothing to do with it and did not believe it himself.

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