Human Regeneration – part eighteen
Published: Monday, 02 April 2018 15:49
Radha Burnier – India
A unique photo of Radha Burnier, never previously published. It was taken in Naarden the Netherlands in 1977. From the private collection of Ananya Sri Ram Rajan. After some research the baby’s name could be determined: it is Reynoud Engelse
[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter (discussions) is here slightly revised.]
There are other groups – Alice Bailey, Rosicrucians, Anthroposophists, Sai Baba, etc. – working along spiritual lines parallel to the Theosophical Society. Our second object aims at comparative studies. The study of what the Masters have given through HPB and Sinnett is a lifetime study, but as Annie Besant, CVVL, Hodson, Mead and others have also studied deeply the hidden side of things, so have De Purucker, Alice Bailey, Steiner and others. How can we work with their ideas without losing our own method of working? What is our own, real theosophical method of study? What is the essential distinction between the T.S. (Adyar) and other groups?
IH: The difference is in the first object. Only our Society is committed to the principle of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color. As far as I know, no other organization has that object, and that is the only condition of membership in the Society. That makes all the difference between organizations. There may be similarities in the teaching but that is in one sense secondary. Our work is the first object.
RB: What about the other angles to the question?
IH: Well, this answers them all.
RB: It doesn't. How can we work with ideas in their literature without losing our own method of working? What is the real theosophical method of study?
IH: I don't think there is a method of studying. I have my method of studying, and it is not the same as that of other people. I think the difference is not in the method of studying, it is in the first object. That is all I am prepared to say.
RH: When we speak of a study of comparative religions, philosophies and science, the word 'religions' refers to the very wide and deep teachings which were given in the past and which influence a large part of humanity, and where there is hidden wisdom to discover. The word 'philosophies' means the wisdom of great philosophers and scientists. However, we are not necessarily supposed to study the ideas of any special person like Sai Baba. Before knowing whether the teachings given by a new movement are authentic, we will have to spend time in studying them and maybe discovering that they are spurious. Then we will have wasted our time. If we want to know whether the books of Alice Bailey are worthwhile, we should for instance try looking into a book the subject of which we know very well. If I look at the book: Esoteric Medicine, or Esoteric Healing, then as a doctor I can easily see whether the contents are worthwhile and when I look at the introduction, I can easily see if the one who is called the Tibetan, is an adept. If we take the time, we can find out whether any particular movement is disseminating worthwhile teaching.
Read more: Human Regeneration – part eighteen