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28879Various Theosophical Traditions and Inquirers/New Students of Theosophy

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  • danielhcaldwell
    Dec 10, 2005
      Various Theosophical Traditions
      and Inquirers/New Students of Theosophy

      There are probably at least ten different
      Theosophical traditions based on the CLAIMS
      of the various individuals listed at:


      Speaking of claims, we have the ORIGINAL CLAIM
      of Madame Blavatsky to be in contact with
      certain Adepts and to have transmitted in her
      writings the teachings of these adepts.

      After HPB's death in 1891 we have the various
      ADDITIONAL claims of the numerous persons listed
      at the above link.

      It seems to me that these additional claims are
      all DEPENDENT on Mme. Blavatsky's initial claim.

      For example, IF she was a fraud and all her teachings
      were false or simply made up or borrowed from genuine
      religious and esoteric traditions, then all the LATER
      claims based on hers would be false also.

      But IF her claims and teachings are true and
      genuine, that is no guarantee that any of
      the later claims are therefore true and genuine also.

      Some of the later claims might be true but others might
      also be false.

      Of course, there may be other alternatives besides these.

      Relevant to this are the words of HPB and
      her Masters about the existence of pseudo-Theosophy
      and of false claims of being in contact with her
      Masters. I would think that serious students of her
      life and teachings would seriously consider the IMPLICATIONS
      of what she and her Masters write about these false
      claims and distorted teachings.

      In the 1890s both W.Q. Judge and Annie Besant claimed
      to be in contact with HPB's Master Morya. They gave completely
      opposite statements as coming from Master M. Obviously
      something was wrong!

      Some Theosophists sided with Judge; others with Besant and this
      lead to the breakup of the Theosophical Society into 2 competing

      This apparently was the beginning of the lineage claims.

      In the Adyar Society we have the following lineage:

      Blavatsky -> Besant & Leadbeater -> ????

      In the Point Loma Theosophical Society the following lineage:

      Blavatsky -> Judge -> Tingley -> de Purucker -> ????

      In the ULT:

      Blavatsky -> Judge -> Crosbie -> ????

      In the Arcane School:

      Blavatsky -> Bailey -> ????

      etc. etc.

      The result is I suggest a confusing morass of claims and counter-

      On the Theos-Talk forum we see present day "representatives"
      of some of these traditions. And all of them are convinced that
      their own lineage is the true, genuine one.

      Anand Gholap is a strong advocate of the Besant & Leadbeater
      lineage. But he seems hardly even aware of the other lineages,
      claims and societies.

      Frank Reitemeyer is an extremely strong and vocal
      advocate that promotes the Blavatsky-Judge-Tingley-dePurucker line
      of succession. He has no doubt whatsoever that this lineage is the
      true and genuine one. He is equally convinced that Leadbeater was
      nothing but a "swindler", etc. etc.

      Dallas TenBroeck is an advocate of the ULT lineage which seemingly
      views Blavatsky and Judge almost as co-equals followed by Crosbie.

      The important question I want to ask and bring to the discussion is:

      What should inquirers and new students to Theosophy "believe" about
      all these claims? And remember there are OTHER claims (e.g. those
      of Helen Roerich, Elizabeth Prophet, etc.).

      And what theosophical literature should these new people to
      Theosophy read and study?

      Furthermore, who has the time, energy and inclination to wade
      through all the various claims, all the historical material pro and
      con, as well as through the hundreds of books on Theosophical
      teachings written by all these claimants and to try to determine
      what is what, whose claim or teaching is true or false or whatever??

      Of course, some students say that they don't need to do such a
      laborious task as outlined in the last paragraph. They say they have
      intuitions and those intuitions are all they need to find the truth
      in these matters. Others apparently don't even care what is true or
      false or may even question the labels "true" and "false". Such
      people may simply pick and choose what they "feel" is appropriate
      for them. A cafeteria type approach, I guess. Etc.

      In light of the above, I have for a number of years recommended to
      inquirers and new students to concentrate on what was given in the
      ORIGINAL claim (that is, by Madame Blavatsky in her 10,000 + pages
      of writings as well as in the letters of the Masters also received
      during HPB's lifetime). This is a vast amount of material in itself
      especially if one also includes all the historical material relating
      to HPB's life, the Masters and the early Theosophical Movment
      covering the years 1874 through 1891.

      Blavatsky Study Center
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