Why Stick To The Original?

For those Theosophists around the world – whether associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists or anyone else – who study and promote only the original Theosophical teachings and who give no credence to the later versions of “Theosophy” from after the time of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, this is not a matter of personal preference or likes and dislikes, as some may think, nor is it an example of a sort of religious fundamentalism or closed-minded orthodoxy.

Students of original Theosophy are such because of five main things derived from sincere and heartfelt respect, trust, and appreciation, for HPB, WQJ, and the Mahatmas, and what They have repeatedly made clear:

(1) They know that the Masters and HPB emphasised that Theosophy – the Esoteric Philosophy – is a very definite Body of Knowledge, a specific System of Teaching, and that contradictions, dilutions, and alterations are not part of it and cannot be accepted as legitimate Theosophical teaching. According to HPB, there is such a thing as “Pure Theosophy” and such a thing as “Pseudo-Theosophy.”

* “Well; if in the different spheres contradictory doctrines are propounded, these doctrines cannot contain the Truth, for Truth is One, and cannot admit of diametrically opposite views.” (Master K.H.)

* “Our doctrine knows no compromises.” (Master K.H.)

* “We have no two beliefs or hypotheses on the same subject.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Key to Theosophy” p. 87)

* “Occult Science has its changeless traditions from prehistoric times.” (HPB, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 516)

(2) They also know that it was the Masters and HPB themselves who repeatedly emphasised the importance for Theosophists and the Theosophical Movement of staying faithful and true to what They variously called the “original lines,” “original programme,” “original impulse,” “original system,” and “original teachings.”

“There are not many left true to the “original program”!” (Master M.)

* “Ready to lay down our life any day for THEOSOPHY – that great cause of the Universal Brotherhood for which we live and breathe – and willing to shield, if need be, every true theosophist with our own body, we yet denounce as openly and as virulently the distortion of the original lines upon which the Theosophical Society was primarily built, and the gradual loosening and undermining of the original system by the sophistry of many of its highest officers. . . . The wise horticulturist uproots the parasitic herbs, and will hardly lose time in using his garden shears to cut off the heads of poisonous weeds.” (HPB, “Is Denunciation a Duty?” article)

* “Consider all this, and then tell me whether I am too sanguine when I say that if the Theosophical Society survives and lives true to its mission, to its original impulses through the next hundred years – tell me, I say, if I go too far in asserting that earth will be a heaven in the twenty-first century in comparison with what it is now!” (HPB, “The Key to Theosophy” p. 307)

* “It is pure nonsense to say that “H.P.B. . . . is loyal to the Theosophical Society and to Adyar” (?). H.P.B. is loyal to death to the Theosophical CAUSE, and those great Teachers whose philosophy alone can bind the whole of Humanity into one Brotherhood. . . . The degree of her sympathies with the “Theosophical Society and Adyar” depends upon the degree of the loyalty of that Society to the CAUSE. Let it break away from the original lines and show disloyalty in its policy to the CAUSE and the original programme of the Society, and H.P.B. calling the T.S. disloyal, will shake it off like dust from her feet.” (HPB, Supplement to “The Theosophist,” July 1889)

* “Let it be clearly understood that the rest of my life is devoted only to those who believe in the Masters, and are willing to work for Theosophy as They understand it, and for the T.S. on the lines upon which They originally established it.” (HPB, “Why I Do Not Return to India” article)

* “We welcome a witty satire always, and defy ridicule or any efforts in this direction to kill the Theosophical Society, so long as it, as a body, remains true to its original principles.” (HPB, “On Pseudo-Theosophy” article)

* “I have sent Vol. I of the S.D. to Adyar and am now on Vol. II – the Archaic. This alone with the new information in it will be more than you will be able to digest in 25 years with the explanations promised – if you succeed in forming a Society of your own, faithful to the original programme and doctrine and the Masters, or their teaching.” (HPB, “The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett” #C, p. 222)

(3) Thirdly, having acquainted themselves with the work, words, and writings of HPB, WQJ, and certain statements written by the Mahatmas Themselves, they are aware that under the Law of Cycles the Masters were only able and permitted to give out new teachings to the world between 1875-1900 and that no further or deeper information would or could be made available from the Esoteric Doctrine until the closing quarter of the following century – i.e. 1975-2000 – and that even this would be provisional.

* “Nothing is more plain than that H. P. Blavatsky said, on the direct authority of the Masters, that in the last twenty-five years of each century an effort is made by the Lodge and its agents with the West, and that it ceases in its direct and public form and influence with the twenty-fifth year. Those who believe her will believe this; those who think they know more about it than she did will invent other ideas suited to their fancies.

“She explained, as will all those who are taught (as are many) by the same Masters, that were the public effort to go on any longer than that, a reaction would set in very similar to indigestion. Time must be given for assimilation, or the “dark shadow which follows all innovations” would crush the soul of man. The great public, the mass, must have time and also material. Time is ever. The matter has been furnished by the Masters in the work done by H. P. Blavatsky in her books, and what has grown out of those. She has said, the Masters have said, and I again assert it for the benefit of those who have any faith in me, that the Masters have told me that they helped her write The Secret Doctrine so that the future seventy-five and more years should have some material to work on, and that in the coming years that book and its theories would be widely studied. The material given has then to be worked over, to be assimilated for the welfare of all.” (William Q. Judge, “The Closing Cycle” article)

* “At the close of each century a spiritual movement is made in the world by the Mahatmas, which begins with the last twenty-five years of the century and does not in that form begin again after the close of twenty-five years until the last quarter of the following period. . . . The Masters are governed by the law of action and reaction, and are wise enough always not to do that which might result in undoing all their prior work. The law of reaction applies as much to the mind of man as to physical things and forces. By going too far at any one time with the throwing-out of great force in the mental plane, the consequence would be that a reaction of superstition and evil of all sort would undo everything. . . .

“At the end of the twenty-five years the Masters will not send out in such a wide and sweeping volume the force they send during the twenty-five years. But that does not mean they will withdraw. They will leave the ideas to germinate in the minds of the people at large, but never will they take away from those who deserve it the help that is due and given to all.” (WQJ, “Will Masters’ Help Be Withdrawn in 1898 until 1975?” article)

* “I must tell you that during the last quarter of every hundred years an attempt is made by those “Masters,” of whom I have spoken, to help on the spiritual progress of Humanity in a marked and definite way. Towards the close of each century you will invariably find that an outpouring or upheaval of spirituality – or call it mysticism if you prefer – has taken place. Some one or more persons have appeared in the world as their agents, and a greater or less amount of occult knowledge and teaching has been given out. If you care to do so, you can trace these movements back, century by century, as far as our detailed historical records extend. . . . If the present attempt, in the form of our Society, succeeds better than its predecessors have done, then it will be in existence as an organized, living and healthy body when the time comes for the effort of the 20th century.” (HPB, “The Key to Theosophy” p. 306-307)

* “Every century an attempt is being made to show the world that Occultism is no vain superstition. Once the door permitted to be kept a little ajar, it will be opened wider with every new century. The times are ripe for a more serious knowledge than hitherto permitted, though still very limited, so far.” (HPB, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. xxxvii-xxxviii, Introductory)

“Among the commandments of Tsong-Kha-pa there is one that enjoins the Rahats (Arhats) to make an attempt to enlighten the world, including the “white barbarians,” every century, at a certain specified period of the cycle. Up to the present day none of these attempts has been very successful. Failure has followed failure. Have we to explain the fact by the light of a certain prophecy? It is said that up to the time when Pban-chhen-rin-po-chhe (the Great Jewel of Wisdom) [i.e. Panchen Rinpoche, the Panchen Lama of Tibet] condescends to be reborn in the land of the P’helings (Westerners), and appearing as the Spiritual Conqueror (Chom-den-da), destroys the errors and ignorance of the ages, it will be of little use to try to uproot the misconceptions of P’heling-pa (Europe); her sons will listen to no one.” (HPB, “Tsong-Kha-pa – Lohans in China” and “Tibetan Teachings” articles)

* “If, for generations we have “shut out the world from the Knowledge of our Knowledge,” it is on account of its absolute unfitness; and if, notwithstanding proofs given, it still refuses yielding to evidence, then will we at the End of this cycle retire into solitude and our kingdom of silence once more. . . . It is our mission to plunge and bring the pearls of Truth to the surface; theirs – to clean and set them into scientific jewels. And, if they refuse to touch the ill-shapen, oyster-shell, insisting that there is, nor cannot be any precious pearl inside it, then shall we once more wash our hands of any responsibility before human-kind. For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable rocks, a giant’s Tower of INFINITE THOUGHT, wherein the Titan dwelt, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to co-operate with him and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodical work of ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow will be found to prevail.

“But until that day of final triumph someone has to be sacrificed – though we accept but voluntary victims. The ungrateful task did lay her [i.e. HPB] low and desolate in the ruins of misery, misapprehension, and isolation: but she will have her reward in the hereafter for we never were ungrateful.” (Letter from the Master K.H. regarding what the Master had in other letters called “the centennial attempt”)

“The other, about the Tree etc was a vision – or dream – given you to show you the Path. The old tree is HPB and the short cut lies through her. And it will remain open only 10 years or so [i.e. to the end of 1899].” (WQJ, 3rd September 1889 letter to a Theosophist)

* “We will not get a single word of real aid from HPB till all this [strife and contention] stops in every direction. And we have only 8 or 9 years left.” (WQJ, 26th December 1890 letter to a Theosophist)

(4) They recognise that whereas HPB’s major books contain literally thousands of supporting references and quotations from the realms of religion, philosophy, classical literature, ancient and modern history, and science – thus demonstrating her teachings to be at the very least seriously plausible and worthy of consideration by intelligent minds – the writings of her many self-proclaimed “Successors” contain nothing of the sort. The latter are content to simply present their manifold claims and statements on what have been described as “lines of pure assertion with implied authority in the background” and tend to present their respective versions of “Theosophy” primarily or solely from a religious and devotional perspective, ignoring the philosophical and the scientific. This is not good enough for a true philosopher, metaphysician, or esotericist.

* “It was at the very beginning of a new cycle, in days when neither Christians nor Spiritualists ever thought of, let alone mentioned, more than two principles in man – body and Soul, which they called Spirit. If you had time to refer to the spiritualistic literature of that day, you would find that with the phenomenalists as with the Christians, Soul and Spirit were synonymous. It was H.P.B., who, acting under the orders of Atrya (one whom you do not know) was the first to explain in the Spiritualist the difference there was between psyche and nousnefesh and ruach – Soul and Spirit. She had to bring the whole arsenal of proofs with her, quotations from Paul and Plato, from Plutarch and James, etc. before the Spiritualists admitted that the theosophists were right.” (Master K.H.)

* “Such a work as this [i.e. “The Secret Doctrine”] has to be introduced with no simple Preface, but with a volume rather; one that would give facts, not mere disquisitions, since the SECRET DOCTRINE is not a treatise, or a series of vague theories, but contains all that can be given out to the world in this century.

“It would be worse than useless to publish in these pages even those portions of the esoteric teachings that have now escaped from confinement, unless the genuineness and authenticity – at any rate, the probability – of the existence of such teachings was first established. Such statements as will now be made, have to be shown warranted by various authorities: those of ancient philosophers, classics and even certain learned Church Fathers, . . . The writer will have to give historical and trustworthy names, and to cite well-known authors, ancient and modern, of recognized ability, good judgment, and truthfulness, as also to name some of the famous proficients in the secret arts and science, along with the mysteries of the latter, as they are divulged, or, rather, partially presented before the public in their strange archaic form. . . .

“This accounts for the necessity under which the writer has laboured to be ever explaining the facts given from the hoariest Past [i.e. those given throughout the pages of “The Secret Doctrine”] by evidence gathered from the historical period. No other means was at hand, at the risk even of being once more charged with a lack of method and system. The public must be made acquainted with the efforts of many World-adepts, of initiated poets, writers, and classics of every age, to preserve in the records of Humanity the Knowledge of the existence, at least, of such a philosophy, if not actually of its tenets. The Initiates of 1888 would indeed remain incomprehensible and ever a seemingly impossible myth, were not like Initiates shown to have lived in every other age of history. This could be done only by naming Chapter and Verse where may be found mention of these great characters, who were preceded and followed by a long and interminable line of other famous Antediluvian and Postdiluvian Masters in the arts. Thus only could be shown, on semi-traditional and semi-historical authority, that knowledge of the Occult and the powers it confers on man, are not altogether fictions, but that they are as old as the world itself.” (HPB,“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. xxxviii-xxxix, xlv, Introductory)

* “Natural sciences, archaeology, theology, philosophy, all have been forced in The Secret Doctrine to give their evidence in support of the teachings herein again propounded. . . . Published admissions cannot be made away with – even by an opponent: they have been made good use of. Had I acted otherwise, The Secret Doctrine, from the first chapter to the last, would have amounted to uncorroborated personal affirmations. Scholars and some of the latest discoveries in various departments of science being brought to testify to what might have otherwise appeared to the average reader as the most preposterous hypotheses based upon unverified assertions, the rationality of these will be made clearer. Occult teaching will at last be examined in the light of science, physical as well as spiritual.” (HPB, “Buddhism, Christianity, and Phallicism” article)

(5) They know from their own direct study and exploration that the original Theosophical teachings do not have an “expiration date” stamped on them and have not ceased to be valid, relevant, worthwhile, or applicable, but on the contrary have many depths and contemporary practical applications still unexplored, besides which They are essentially the words of some of the Masters Themselves.

* “I have also noted your thoughts about the ‘Secret Doctrine’. Be assured that what she has not annotated from scientific and other works, we have given or suggested to her. Every mistake or erroneous notion, corrected and explained by her from the works of other theosophists was corrected by me, or under my instruction. It is a more valuable work than its predecessor, an epitome of occult truths that will make it a source of information and instruction for the earnest student for long years to come.” (Master K.H.)

* “The Secret Archaic Doctrine . . . it will take centuries before much more is given from it.” (HPB, “The Secret Doctrine Vol. 1, p. xxxviii, Introductory)

* “The Secret Doctrine when ready, will be the triple production of M, Upasika [i.e. HPB] and the Doctor’s most humble servant – K.H.”

“If this can be of any use or help to Dr. Hubbe Schleiden – though I doubt it – I, the humble undersigned Fakir certify that the “Secret Doctrine” is dictated to Upasika partly by myself and partly by my Brother K.H. – M.” (Master K.H. and Master M., joint letter to Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden)

* “The certificate given last year saying that the Secret Doctrine would be when finished the triple production of Upasika, M and myself was and is correct, . . . And it may then be well to indicate to those wishing to know what portions in the Secret Doctrine have been copied by the pen of Upasika into its pages, though without quotation marks, from my own manuscript and perhaps from M, although the last is more difficult from the rarity of his known writing and greater ignorance of his style.” (Master K.H., letter to WQJ, “Authorship of Secret Doctrine” article)

* “As said by me in S.D. . . .” (Master M.)

* “Every word of information found in this work [i.e. referring to “Isis Unveiled”] or in my later writings, comes from the teachings of our Eastern Masters; and . . . many a passage in these works has been written by me under their dictation. In saying this no supernatural claim is urged, for no miracle is performed by such a dictation.” (HPB, “My Books” article)

* “H. P. Blavatsky . . . has said, the Masters have said, and I again assert it for the benefit of those who have any faith in me, that the Masters have told me that they helped her write The Secret Doctrine so that the future seventy-five and more years should have some material to work on, and that in the coming years that book and its theories would be widely studied. The material given has then to be worked over, to be assimilated for the welfare of all.” (WQJ, “The Closing Cycle” article)

* “Speaking to those who know and believe that HPB was all the time in communication with the Masters in their retreats somewhere on the globe, I can say that a series of consultations was held among them as to what should go into The Secret Doctrine, and that it was plainly said that the book was to be done in such a manner as to compel the earnest student to dig out many profound truths which in a modern book would be announced specifically, and included in the regular course. It was also said, from the same source, that this age, being a transition one in all respects, that full revelations were not for this generation. But enough was to be given out in the manner described, and plainly, to make it substantially a revelation. All students, then, who are in earnest will do well not to pass carelessly over the pages of any part of the book.” (WQJ, “About The Secret Doctrine” article)

~ * ~

Awareness and attention to these points, combined with Robert Crosbie’s recommended impersonal and often anonymous manner of working – speakers, presenters, writers, and associates holding their personality in the background so that Theosophy alone can remain in the foreground, for the greater benefit of the many – provides the basis adopted by the United Lodge of Theosophists since its initial formation in 1909, although there are also many Theosophical students unaffiliated with any Theosophical association or in some cases even members of Theosophical Society organisations who choose to abide by these principles.

As clearly and undeniably shown above, they are sound, solid, definite, principles for all Theosophists with the exception of those who imagine in their conceit that they somehow know better than HPB herself and the Masters too.

~ BlavatskyTheosophy.com ~

VISIT THE ARTICLES PAGE FOR THE COMPLETE LIST OF OVER 300 ARTICLES ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF THEOSOPHY AND THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT. AFTER READING THE ABOVE, YOU MAY FIND WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 1975-2000 CYCLE? OF PARTICULAR INTEREST.

“The recognition of H. P. B. as the accredited Agent and Messenger of Masters, carries with it her estimation of William Q. Judge, her colleague from first to last. A study of the writings of both will show their full accord and complementary nature. H. P. B. presented the philosophy as a whole; William Q. Judge exemplified its practical use in daily life; his writings for the most part are devoted to that purpose, hence their incalculable value. Therefore we have taken upon ourselves the task of rescuing from the obscurity with which theosophical schisms have covered them, his name, nature, mission, work and intimate relation with the founding and progress of the Theosophical Movement.”
(Robert Crosbie, “Theosophy” Magazine Vol. IV, p. 98-99)

2 thoughts on “Why Stick To The Original?

  1. Everything evolves and must evolve. While I am against altering original works i.e. the ‘fill’ ‘kill’ debacle with LibervAl…. the spirit of life mandates regular commentary, reflection and new inspired expressions of the transcendent truth.

    1. Hello Ryhan, we agree in principle with the point you have made here. That is one of the reasons for this website, i.e. to provide fresh, newly written, and aesthetically modern, articles and explanations regarding those Theosophical teachings that were given to the world at the close of the 19th century. It is undoubtedly important and essential that Theosophists do this, whilst not altering or distorting what those teachings actually say.

      But as for the Theosophical Philosophy itself, famed Indian Theosophist B. P. Wadia writes:

      “. . . ‘The Secret Doctrine’ and other writings of H.P.B. are portions of the immemorial and imperishable Record of Knowledge. Theosophy as presented by her and her Predecessors is a system of thought neither progressive nor evolving. When they study Theosophy men learn today what always has been known. All that we can gain of instruction in this age has been suitably epitomized for us in the works of H.P.B.” (from the chapter “The Right Approach” in “Studies in The Secret Doctrine” p. 111)

      One could perhaps conclude from that that Theosophy is therefore something stagnant and outdated, seeing as it is “neither progressive nor evolving”…but that’s not the point he is making. His point is that Truth doesn’t change (and HPB says in “The Key to Theosophy” that Theosophy “is everlasting Truth” although of course one doesn’t have to accept that as being so) and that it therefore does not need to progress or evolve; it is WE human beings who need to progress and evolve in order to more clearly and fully perceive, comprehend, and make right use of Timeless Truth.

      And in that respect, the ways in which it is presented to the world must also progress and evolve, to suit the times. If Theosophists and Theosophical groups try to do things in 2019 the way they did them in 1919 they cannot reasonably expect much success.

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