28879Various Theosophical Traditions and Inquirers/New Students of Theosophy
- Dec 10, 2005Various 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 -> ????
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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