Here are the original rules of the ES as laid down by H.P.B. I d like to compare these with the rewrite by Dr. Steiner later. Things haven t changed much- noteMessage 1 of 3 , Jul 13, 1999View SourceHere are the original rules of the ES as laid down by H.P.B. I'd like to
compare these with the rewrite by Dr. Steiner later. Things
haven't changed much- note the first three rules.
In the following the masculine includes the feminine; the singular, the
plural; and vice versa.
1. Groundless condemnation on hearsay of others, theosophists or not,
must be refrained from, and charity to each other's faults widely
practiced within, as well as without, the theosophical area.
2. Repetition of statements or gossip derogatory of others must be
avoided. But condemnation of crime, of social evils and systems of every
description, in the abstract, is a duty of every member. Above all, the
duty of every member is to fight against cant, hypocrisy, and injustice
in every shape.
3. A derogatory or slanderous statement made against a fellow
theosophist in the presence of a member, shall not be permitted by him
to pass without protest, unless he knows it is true, in which case he
should remain silent.
4. No member shall boast of being in this Section.
5. No member shall pry into the standing in this Section of a Brother,
nor shall he uninvited seek to know if another theosophist is a member
of it. Members may use the password of the Section for the purpose of
recognition, but never from curiosity, nor a desire to discover if the
person addressed is a member of the Section.
6. Any member may, if he chooses, remain unknown as such, and that
desire, if suspected by others, must not be talked about nor referred
7. If a member, whether falsely or truly, asserts that he has received
letters or communications from Masters, unless directed to divulge the
same, he will ipso facto cease to derive any benefit from the teachings,
whether the fact be known or unknown to himself or to others. A
repetition of such offense gives the Head of the Section the right to
expel the offender in discretion. In every case where a member shall
receive a letter or communication purporting to come from Master or
Masters, and which directs the divulgation of its contents or a part
thereof, the same before being divulged shall be communicated to H.P.B.
directly, if the recipient is in Europe, and to William Q. Judge, if in
America, for transmission to said H.P.B. For deception is easy, and,
without great experience, members are not able to decide whether such a
communication is genuine or not.
8. No member shall, under any circumstances, bring any charge of
whatever nature against another member, whether to H.P.B., William Q.
Judge, or any other member of the Section. This rule does not imply that
the Masters condone, excuse, or tolerate any fault or crime. But no
member is the judge of the acts of another member or theosophist, in
this Section less than in any other. For, while in every Exoteric
Branch, its President and Council decide upon any charges against their
Fellows, in this Section each member is to be judged by his Karma and
the Masters alone.
9. No member shall pretend to the possession of psychic powers that he
has not, nor boast of those which he may have developed. Envy, jealousy,
and vanity are insidious and powerful foes to progress, and it is known
from long experience that, among beginners especially, the boasting of,
or calling attention to, their psychic powers almost invariably causes
the development of these faults and increases them when present. Hence
10 No member shall tell to another, especially to a fellow-member, how
much he has progressed or what recognition he has received, nor shall he
by hints cause such to be known. Where students of similar tastes and
dispositions desire to form a group or groups for mutual help in
training, application must be made to H.P.B. for permission and advice
as to the same. But hasty judgment as to the advisability of forming
such groups must be avoided. For it may so happen, that two or more
members united by a real friendship, may yet be so contrary in their
magnetic idiosyncrasies and conditions that their friendship may be
changed into hatred on the occult plane, if they form groups without
11. No member shall ask for any orders or instructions as to the conduct
of his business affairs or the management of his social relations, or
the ordinary affairs of life, nor as to the cure of diseases, whether in
himself or in any other person. Questions relative to the instructions
given will alone be accepted and attended to.
12. It is required of a member that when a question arises it shall be
deeply thought over from all its aspects, to the end that he may find
the answer himself; and in no case shall questions be asked out of
curiosity, nor until the person has exhausted every ordinary means of
solving the doubt or of acquiring himself the information sought.
Otherwise his intuition will never be developed. He will not learn
self-reliance; and two of the main objects of the Section will be
defeated. For an adept becomes such by his own exertions, by the
self-develop. merit of his own power; and no one but himself can effect
this work. "An adept becomes, he is not made." The office of Guru or
Guide is to adjust the disciple in his progress, and not to drag or push
Here is the continuation of the rules- I won t go on. It was a common idea in the early days that fish eating was close enough to vegetarian. In Japan,Message 1 of 3 , Jul 15, 1999View SourceHere is the continuation of the rules- I won't go on.
It was a common idea in the early days that fish eating was close enough
to vegetarian. In Japan, vegetarian Buddhists were allowed to eat fish,
hence today it is still a largely fish eating nation with red meat only
recently making its way in. Deer was also eaten in Japan because it was
deemed to be a "land whale"- don't ask for an explanation.
You'll see later how Dr. Steiner altered these rules, while he was the
leader of his own Esoteric Section.
"13. The use of wine, spirits, liquors of any kind, or any narcotic or
intoxicating drug, is strictly prohibited. If indulged in, all progress
is hindered, and the efforts of teacher and pupil alike are rendered
useless. All such substances have a directly pernicious action upon the
brain, and especially upon the "third eye," or pineal gland (vide
"Secret Doctrine," Vol.11, p.288 et seq.). They prevent absolutely
the development of the third eye, called in the East "the Eye of Siva."
14. The moderate use of tobacco is not prohibited, for it is not an
intoxicant; but its abuse, like that of everything else-even pure water
or bread-is prejudicial.
15. As to diet: The eating of meat is not prohibited, but if the student
can maintain health on vegetables or fish, such diet is recommended. The
eating of meat strengthens the passional nature, and the desire to
acquire possessions, and therefore increases the difficulty of the
struggle with the lower nature.
16. Each member is expected to set apart a certain time of the day or
night, of not less than half an hour's duration, for meditation upon the
instructions received, for self-examination and self-study. If possible,
the place selected for this should be used by no other person, nor for
any other purpose; but the providing of such a special place, if
inconvenient, is not insisted upon.
17. Harbouring doubt as to the existence of Masters in general is no
crime, since it is often but the effect of ignorance, and comes
involuntarily. But it will inevitably prevent the pupil in attracting
the attention of the Master; and he will fail to draw to himself His
influence. Suspicions as to the character of the members of the Section
are also prejudicial to advancement. In short, any malevolent feeling,
especially nialice, envy or revenge toward any person high or low,
creates peculiarly obstructive conditions in the student's path, and
will absolutely prevent progress of every sort. The elimination of the
desire for reward aids the student in his development.
18. No member of this Section shall belong to any other body,
association, or organization for the purpose of mystic study or occult
training, except Masonry and the Odd Fellows, if they so desire. But
they must be as careful to guard the secrecy of this Section from Masons
as they are to preserve the secrets of Masonry from Theosophists. The
reason for this rule is so self-evident as to need no explanation.
19. It is expected that all members of this Section shall have the
following hooks and magazines where they can be referred to, as constant
reference to them will be made in the course of the instruction, and no
extended extracts will be furnished. Works on metaphysics and articles
expounding the teachings of our Special School should be pro. cured. The
following hooks and theosophical magazines should be especially attended
to:-"The Secret Doctrine."
"The Bhagavad-Gita." "Light on the Path."
"Patanjali's Yoga Philosophy:" "The Theosophist." "Lucifer."
This rule is not intended to force members into the purchase of these
books and magazines, but the undersigned has no time to copy extracts,
giving explanations that have already appeared in print. Much has been
already published, and it will be necessary to refer very often to such
matter, and if a member is actually unable to procure the publications
referred to, it is expected that others who are able will, upon request,
furnish the desired hook or a copy of the matter referred to. And herein
the plea of poverty-if a pretence-will he as prejudicial to the student
as any other vice."
Since Sarah brought up the question of diet on the other list, I ll continue with this thread. As I said, we can see how Dr.Steiner softened the rules asMessage 1 of 3 , Aug 27, 1999View SourceSince Sarah brought up the question of diet on the other list, I'll
continue with this thread.
As I said, we can see how Dr.Steiner "softened" the rules as time went
on. You will have noted that meat eating was not forbidden, even from
the early days- HPB loved her meat! Smoking wasn't even mentioned- HPB a
chain smoker, who was known to have indulged in hashish. And there were
advanced pupils of Rudolf's that loved a drag on a fag- Albert Steffen
Alcohol was another matter, as those who've read the original rules
So here we go:
First Rules given by Rudolf Steiner in 1904
"6. The partaking of any kind of alcoholic drink is forbidden to the
Shravakas [members of the school], because this would be harmful to the
brain, especially the organ connected with spiritual insight. The
contravention of this rule would render all the efforts of both teacher
and pupil ineffective. The only exception to this rule is when the
taking of alcohol is prescribed by a doctor.
7. Abstention from the eating of meat is not compulsory, but it is
pointed out that a vegetarian diet will help in the struggle against
one's lower nature. Changes of diet must be undertaken with the greatest
Now notice how these rules, 1905, (June 5), become very unrule-like:
"6. The partaking of alcohol is incompatible with the aims of
7. The abstention from eating meat is not statutory but is recommended,
because it works beneficially toward furthering the aims of the Esoteric
The full list of rules is in "From the History and Contents of the
On another occasion RS stated that alcohol was to be avoided even in
Milk was recommended as a transition food for those giving up meat.