Theosophy

Experiencing the Teachings

Pablo Sender – USA

PabloSender

Photo of Pablo taken while he was working at the International Headquarters in Adyar, India

The practice of meditative study and self-exploration, as well as the application of Theosophical teachings in daily life, are of utmost importance. Only in this way can we begin to experience something of what we learn in our studies. This is vital because by intellectual study we may know and understand many relevant teachings, but without some level of personal experience these teachings will fail to produce a change in us. Then, Theosophy becomes a mere system of thought, with very little relevance in how we live. Annie Besant expressed this as follows:

Concrete thought finds its natural realization in action, and if you do not act out a thought, then by reaction you weaken the thought. Strenuous action along the line of the thinking must follow the thought, otherwise progress will be slow. (A Study in Karma)

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Freedom of Choice

Theosophy FOC 2 

[This article appeared in the September 2022 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link:  https://www.ultindia.org/current_issues.html]

Freedom of choice in ordinary everyday life we are obliged by the compulsion of human nature to choose between various options that open before us in everything we have to do, be it the food we eat or the clothes we wear or the articles we want to buy, and so on. The criterion for exercising choice for the most part of our lives is personal preference and satisfaction. What seems to us to fulfil our personal desire and preference is considered as good, and the contrary as bad. This is on the material plane in material concerns. Even in such solely material concerns of our lives ethical considerations do figure in the choices we have to make with varying degrees of importance. The choices we thus make in our lives, whether based on purely personal considerations or impersonal ones, are not confined to our individual lives but have a ripple effect causing far-reaching consequences by their impact on society and also on our character and destiny.

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How to study Theosophy – 2

Kenneth Small – USA

Theosophy KS 2

Insights and Cautionary Guidance from the Theosophical Teachings of Gottfried de Purucker

  1. Organic Living Theosophy versus Book Worship, Bibliolatry and Creeds

De Purucker clearly critiqued[i] a tendency among some students of theosophy[ii] who followed a literalist understanding of theosophy. He used a specific term for those students of theosophy who had become, what he termed ‘bibliolaters’ or ‘worshippers of the book’ or ‘true believers’. This tendency, rather surprisingly, fairly often occurred in some students studying the teachings and writings of Helena Blavatsky, in spite of Blavatsky’s cautions against this kind of literal surface level approach. Here, we will outline his ideas about literalism, spiritual authority and freedom of thought in theosophy. The context of Purucker’s more process oriented view of the ‘approach to truth’ in Theosophy is that all words are limited when attempting to describe metaphysical and ineffable realities. He makes clear that within each person’s spiritual journey, one needs to strive to understand these essential ideas based on their own inner experience. Purucker viewed the Masters, Blavatsky and his predecessors with great devotion and reverence, yet he simultaneously cautioned that a genuine understanding of Theosophy as an ‘inner reality’ goes beyond memorizing diagrams, quoting from a book, repeating the words of a great past Master or Teacher or mere belief in an idea, merely because of who authored it.[iii] De Purucker when understood correctly makes this pitfall on the path of inner awakening very clear and enunciates its solution. It is through awakening our inner capacity for direct intuition and cultivating wisdom and compassion that the teachings and practice of theosophy become alive. He further invites us to see the Theosophical Society (s) as living, organic, evolving entity and not a static mere organization.

Read more: How to study Theosophy – 2

Can Karma Be Eliminated?

Pablo Sender – USA

Theosophy PS 2 Karma

In the religious world, there are basically two models to explain our actions and their effects. One is that of a God who judges our deeds. Good actions are rewarded, while bad ones (sins) entail a punishment. This God that judges and administers punishments and rewards, however, can pardon sins if there is repentance in the doer or for other more inscrutable reasons.

H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), however, argued that the teaching of remission of sins takes away the idea of personal responsibility:

We believe neither in vicarious atonement, nor in the possibility of the remission of the smallest sin by any god, not even by a “personal Absolute” or “Infinite”, if such a thing could have any existence. What we believe in, is strict and impartial justice. (The Key to Theosophy, Sec. 11, “Periodical Rebirths”)

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The Three Objects as a Guide to the Spiritual Path 

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy BH 2 Three

Radha Burnier opens chapter three of her book Human Regeneration with the following statement:

Although the Theosophical Society has three objects, it surely has only a single purpose, which is to uplift humanity from the moral and spiritual point of view.

This work, the upliftment of humanity, is the spiritual path which we are hoping/working to tread. Many have written or discussed the meaning of walking the spiritual path from a theosophical perspective. Summing up many of those writings, it becomes clear that walking this path leads us to an inner awareness–not just a theory, but a real Knowing–of the Oneness of all life. This then leads us to the further realization that we must live in such a way that we are serving all Life. 

Read more: The Three Objects as a Guide to the Spiritual Path 

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