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1880Re: Theos-World ULT Mysteries

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  • Compiler
    Jul 12, 2001
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      Dr. Tillett,

      Not being in any way a scholar, I only have these few things to offer as
      food for thought to the reader:

      Below your comments, I've posted a complete copy of the first of the 34
      articles in "THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT" series (that preceded the first
      book). Of course they may be found elsewhere, but in that 1st article, which
      is a "Prefatory Note" to all that will follow, I do not find the
      "documentary history" words that you use, but found these: "authoritative
      history". Either way, it is my opinion that in setting the stage for the
      reader, the authors were quite up front to the fact that not everything of
      the history can be supplied, not all the documents, and so on -- and they
      offered reasons why.

      On another note, do you know if this series was the first attempt, by any of
      the organizations, or anyone within it, to lay out a history of the
      Theosophical Movement? I only ask because it seems to me that since each
      group, in the end, probably had someone, or some group of people, present
      their own particular version, as you mentioned a couple, being the first to
      attempt it and offer it to humanity and students seems, to me at least, to
      be somewhat important and significant.

      As far as the presentation of "documents", and the quoting of many people,
      which I assumed, as a reader, they could back up with documents and proof, I
      found in the 34 articles to the series, a lot of it.

      The few excerpts from the "Preface" of the later book, entitled "The
      Theosophical Movement, 1875-1950", that I quoted in my introduction in this
      Index page link, seem quite confident, for whatever that may be worth to any
      reader, and even to historical truth and reality, to the ideas of
      "evidence", "facts", etc.:

      Maybe you and others who are much more knowledgeable than me, can comment a
      bit on these few things.


      John DeSantis

      gregory@... wrote:

      > THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, as interesting as it is (in both significantly
      > different editions), cannot be described as a "documentary history".
      > There is no documentation of most of the sources, for example. It is
      > written entirely on the basis of the ULT position: nothing wrong with
      > that so long as it's clear that this is the perspective of the author,
      > but it hardly equates with "documentary history" (any more than, say,
      > Josephine Ransom's history does, or Joy Mill's recent history of
      > (essentially the Adyar) Theosophical movement in America, which manages
      > to omit substantial amounts of history, presumably because Adyar would
      > prefer not to recall them). It is difficult to know how any work without
      > a named author or authors can expect to be taken seriously, although in
      > the case of THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, the publisher's identity discloses
      > its perspective. One might wonder, of course, why there is no reference
      > in that work to the DES.
      > Dr Gregory Tillett


      THEOSOPHY, Vol. 8, No. 3, January, 1920
      (Pages 65-67; Size: 8K)
      (Number 1 of a 34-part series)


      (Prefatory Note)

      IN the February, 1920, number of the Magazine THEOSOPHY there will be
      commenced the publication of an authoritative history of the Theosophical
      Movement of the Nineteenth century, and thereafter instalments will be
      published each month until the conclusion of the work.

      There exists nowhere such a collected and authentic recital. Yet, although a
      scant half century has elapsed since the foundation of The Theosophical
      Society at New York City, the work there begun has spread into all portions
      of the civilized world, until the word Theosophy is a familiar term to every
      educated mind. The teachings known under that name have been more or less
      investigated and adopted by millions, while its more earnest students who
      have accepted it as a complete and satisfactory explanation of all the
      problems of life, here and hereafter, are numbered by thousands in every
      country and of every race.

      In an indirect but none the less powerful manner the teachings of Theosophy
      have profoundly affected the ideas and ideals of the race on the great
      questions of ethics, of morality, of religion, philosophy and science, so
      that today it may be truly said that there is nothing worthy of the
      consideration of the human mind that has not been leavened by the injection
      of Theosophical leaven. It is not too much, therefore, to affirm that the
      direct and indirect influence of Theosophy upon humanity in the course of a
      single generation has been greater than that of any other system ever
      promulgated, during as many centuries as the Theosophical Movement numbers
      decades. And the Movement can as yet scarcely be said to have passed the
      stage of its germinal impulsion.

      The record of the Theosophical Movement is scattered through thousands upon
      thousands of pages of books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and other
      documents. Many of these are extremely controversial in character, many
      inaccurate, many contradictory and confusing. The attempt to study, digest,
      collate and compare the immense literature of the subject is a monumental
      undertaking. The writers have spent more than thirty years in connection
      with the work of the Theosophical Movement, and their opportunities and
      facilities have been greater than most. Yet they know only too well the
      impossibility of doing anything like justice to the subject, or of affording
      satisfactory replies to all questions of the sincere student of its
      complexities. The very nature of the subject forbids. For Theosophy, the
      Theosophical Movement, and the real and true Theosophical Society have, each
      of them, an esoteric as well as an exoteric side, and the latter can never
      be fully grasped and understood but through the former.

      Some of this hidden side can be touched upon, some documents referred to,
      some indications submitted, some deductions offered for the consideration of
      the reflective mind, but for by far the most important portion of the
      esoteric aspect the student must rely upon his own intuition: for the hidden
      side of Theosophy can only be arrived at through the hidden nature of the
      student himself.

      Still another difficulty that confronts alike the writers and the sincere
      student is the fact that many of those who were active in the life-time of
      the original Theosophical Society are still living and now prominent, both
      in the public eye, and as leaders and exponents of the many existing and
      conflicting theosophical and occult societies that have sprung up in the
      past twenty-five years, since the disruption of the Parent society. All
      these antagonistic organizations have their devoted adherents, their own
      particular tenets and claims of pre-eminence and successorship. The
      situation exactly parallels that of the early centuries of Christianity.
      Rival pretensions to apostolic succession, to knowledge, to authority, and
      to the possession of the keys to the teachings of the Founders confront the
      inquirer. The danger is imminent that if a better knowledge and
      understanding of the real teachings of Theosophy, the real mission of the
      Theosophical Movement, and the real facts in connection with the history of
      the Parent Theosophical Society, are not made available for any one who may
      become interested, the fate that has long since overtaken Brahmanism,
      Buddhism and Christianity, will inevitably befall the great Message of H. P.

      For all the reasons expressed and implied, an accessible record of the
      facts, as accurate a survey of their significance and bearing on the present
      and on the future as possible, is of the utmost moment to all sincere
      students and to all earnest inquirers. Themselves members of none of the
      existing organizations, but profoundly convinced of the surpassing value of
      the noble philosophy of Theosophy, the writers are moved to this attempt to
      aid the unimpeded flow of the great stream of the Theosophical Movement, not
      so much by any belief in their own especial ability as by the conviction
      that that flow is being impeded and corrupted by the sectarian partisanship
      and pretensions of the leading exponents of the existing societies. It is
      therefore addressed, not to any society or societies, but to all true
      Theosophists, whether members of any of the existing organizations or of
      none, and to all true inquirers everywhere, who may be willing to accept
      truth wherever it may be found, and to defend it, even looking popular
      prejudice and their own straight in the face.

      Readers of this magazine are advised that we cannot guarantee to supply back
      numbers of the series, and it is therefore suggested that subscribers and
      others interested should not depend upon our being able to fill later
      requests for the full series. Only the regular editions of the magazine will
      be printed, plus any additional requirements from month to month. The series
      will run during the greater part of the ensuing two years. We respectfully
      invite our readers to call the attention of their friends and
      fellow-students of their acquaintance to this Notice.


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