To the Outer Head of the Adyar Esoteric Section.

Written November 1976, to Dr. I. K. Taimni, Regarding the Future of Theosophical Society (Adyar) Esoteric School

G.A. Farthing

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Dr. I.K. Taimni was then the Director or “Outer Head” of the Esoteric School (E.S.) of the (Adyar) Theosophical Society.

The letter was part of a continuing controversy about the future of The Theosophical Society. For a summary of the debate and further articles; go to article


 

Geoffrey Farthing 2004
 

Dr. I. K. Taimni
 

I. K. Taimni (1898-1978) was for many years Professor of Chemistry at the Allahabad University in India. He guided research and contributed many research papers to technical journals of several countries.

Taimni was also a respected scholar in the fields of Yoga and Indian Philosophy. He taught and practiced yoga most of his life. Independently, he made a deep study of Kashmir Shaivism and this, combined with his profound knowledge of Theosophy, influenced his writings. He was awarded the T. Subba Row Gold Medal for his contributions to Theosophical literature.

 

Geoffrey's letter was first published in 2011 on the website www.theosophyonline.com The reasons for its publication were given in an Editorial Note written by Carlos Cardoso Aveline, which is reproduced below:

A 2011 Editorial Note:

"Geoffrey Farthing (1909-2004) was a leading member of the Adyar Theosophical Society in the 20th century and author of several books. In 1976, he wrote a classified letter to Dr. I.K. Taimni (see left), then the Director or Outer Head of the Esoteric School (E.S.) of the Adyar Society.

Farthing sent copies of his letter to “sundry individual members of the E.S.”  It was his first written document to Adyar leaders suggesting they should take courageous steps in the direction of real theosophy.  

Twenty years later, Farthing would issue two public texts in which he defended the same general ideas, while avoiding a direct discussion of the Esoteric School. In November 1996 he distributed his 15 pp. text “A Manifesto” (go to text), with the subtitle “Action to launch the Theosophical Society effectively and healthily into the twenty-first century, and even the next millennium”. In July 1997, his 9 pp. “Supplement 1997 to Manifesto 1996 Concerning the Future of the Theosophical Society” was published (go to text).

Although the 1996 and 1997 texts have played an important role in the movement and will do so in the future, the 1976 letter is different for it deals with that which has been called “the heart of the theosophical movement”.

The decision to make the document public is taken after careful consideration of the challenges and perspectives of the Adyar section of the movement, especially since the institutional crisis in 2007-2010. The structural paralysis of Adyar Society remains chronic. Its effects are transmitted to the theosophical movement as a whole. Its origin is in the problems described by Farthing in his 1976 letter.

Truth liberates from ignorance. Truthfulness is the key to the future, and time never passes in vain. At the occult level, there are no separations in the theosophical movement, and the action of karma heals every wound. 

Farthing left physical life seven years ago, in 2004.  Thirty-five years have elapsed since the 1976 letter was written.  It is time for it to be available to all theosophists, because it is more than just a historical document. It can inspire action in the present. It may offer a partial view of the future. Its power to change and to help is easier to perceive in the 21st century than it was in the 20th.  

It clearly announces:

“Are the Masters likely to use again the T.S., a vehicle which has not availed itself of what they gave out before and has not propagated it, for the next outpouring?”  And also: “This must be corrected before the Society can make significant progress…” "

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

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NB Underlined words below, are as they appear in the typewritten copy sent by Geoffrey Farthing in January 2000 to Carlos Cardoso Aveline. Some book titles, otherwise abbreviated, have been restated in full. Explanatory notes are added, courtesy of Carlos Cardoso Aveline. Content in square brackets is a typo correction or addition to Geoffrey's original text. - Ed.

To the Outer Head of the Adyar E.S. ;

All recipients of this letter are asked to read it as objectively as possible and to think long and carefully over what has been proposed and the justifications for the proposals. Nothing less than the whole effective future of the Theosophical Society is at stake, maybe its very life, and that at a time when the next ‘outpouring’ is due. Please make your views positively and quickly known to your local Secretary of the E.S. and ask him or her to pass them on quickly to Mr. Taimni.   Geoffrey A. Farthing

OPEN LETTER TO THE OUTER HEAD OF THE
ESOTERIC SCHOOL OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.

Dear Mr. Taimni,

You may know that over the years I have had communication with your predecessor [1] and other Heads of the Esoteric School concerning its relationship with and influence on the Theosophical Society.

You will know that I am not a member of the E.S. However, I have been acquainted with the main aspects of the School’s teachings and practices. Because of my non-membership of the school these are, in themselves, of no direct concern to me. I am nevertheless very concerned for the Theosophical Society, for its image in the public mind, for its proper function in the world, and for its future.

I have been at considerable pains to read the history of the Theosophical movement in all its branches. I have read a number of books beginning with the factual histories of the Society, like that of Mrs. Ransom.[2] I read a number of books on the life of H.P.B. [H.P. Blavatsky - Ed.], some of which in many respects, being grossly inadequate and slanderous. I have also read the modern descriptions of the activities of the Society, written by single individuals from their own experiences, such as those of Mary Neff, Alice Cleather, Emily and Mary Lutyens. From this reading and widespread travelling I have some knowledge of how the Society is regarded in the outside world. It is generally not well known at all, [except] possibly in India. Where it is known of, it is regarded as a small sectarian body.

I came into the Society after the War after having read fairly widely in philosophical and spiritualistic literature and spent a number of years reading mostly the Besant/Leadbeater type literature. This formed my first views as to what Theosophy was. In the light of pronouncements of Mr. Jinarajadasa and later by Mr. Sri Ram, I formed the view that Theosophy was at best ill-defined and even that it was not susceptible of definition. This led to the view that it was largely, if not entirely, a matter of opinion and this in fact seemed, and even still seems, to be the common view of the leaders and members of the Society. It did not then occur to me that they were confusing two things; (a) Theosophy and what they think it is, and (b) the Objects of the Society which allow freedom of opinion and belief to all its members.

In later years, however, beginning with the study of the “The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett” and graduating to “The Key to Theosophy”, “The Secret Doctrine”, “Isis Unveiled” and “The Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky”, I have had radically to alter my views as to what Theosophy is, particularly having regard to the quite positive statements made in this respect by H.P.B. and the Masters themselves. They can in no sense be regarded as allowing the view that Theosophy is a matter of opinion. To them, Theosophy is exact science, as susceptible of verification in all its various aspects, as are the tenets of any other science, provided the right approach is made to it and the right methods used and persevered with. On the other hand one discovers that views of it put out after H.P.B.’s death are in many respects quite contradictory to what the Masters said. For example much of the descriptions of the astral plane, our activities during sleep, the after-death states and the nature of spiritualistic phenomena, the personalisation of Manu, Christ, Maitreya etc., cannot in any sense be reconciled with that the Masters taught on these subjects. Similarly, many religiously inclined members have come to regard their religious theologies if they include, or had added to them, the teachings of Karma and Reincarnation, as being Theosophy whereas this is far from the truth. These ideas however do justify, for example, Hindu students feeling that in their wonderful religious literature they are already possessed of Theosophy, without having to study it as something distinct. The Buddhists likewise, because they teach the Karma and because much of their philosophical and canonical views can be reconciled with the teachings of Occultism or Theosophy, feel that they too are possessed of it.

The point, however, is that in both these cases the scriptural teachings that are now available to the adherents of these religions were available hundreds or even thousands of years ago and they are the exoteric teachings of those religions. In neither case are the esoteric teachings made available in any extant literature nor are they propounded outside of certain closed schools, which may or may not still exist. H.P.B. said of the massive Indian religious literature that the six great schools of Indian philosophy represented “the six principles of that unit body of WISDOM of which the “gnosis”, the hidden knowledge is the seventh…” (The Secret Doctrine Vol. I p278). She follows this by saying that she hopes “enough has been given out in the cosmogonic portion of the work to show Archaic teachings to be more scientific (in the modern sense of the word) on their very face, than any other ancient scriptures left to be regarded and judged on their exoteric aspect.”

The Masters, who instituted The Theosophical Society, intended it to be an instrument for conveying some up-till-then occult, esoteric, information to the general public. This information was only then made publicly available for the first time. This does not mean to say that if one had the keys to the symbolism, the allegories, parables and other allusions in ancient religious writings that it is not referred to or, at least, hinted at in them but it is not stated in plain language. For example, the Masters’ teachings on the seven-fold constitution of man as a reflection of that of Cosmos, the teachings on the vast cyclic evolutionary process involving chains of globes etc.., the theory (to put it no higher) of rounds and races with corresponding development of faculties, the true nature of space and of original spirit-substance and its differentiation into matter, the origin of forms in the kingdoms of Nature, the states of consciousness corresponding to Cosmic principles, the mechanics of astral travel, the working of miracles with the agency of the elementals etc., explanations of fore-knowledge and ‘omniscience’ (in their sense of the term), the plain language explanations of the spiritual development processes in man leading up to the expansion of the consciousness and the unfolding of his powers, culminating eventually in the super-human states and much more; all this they gave out and explained to us and for the most part it is not so stated or explained anywhere else. Further they related what they taught to the old religious systems and teachings and to the teachings and practices of the schools of magic and mystery, to the western Kabalistic tradition and so on, giving us valuable explanations of ancient theologies and interpretations of myths. In doing all this they not only gave us a mine of information which is not in any exoteric religious writings, but they showed how it extended into and was relevant to, the fields of the study and speculation of the philosophers of ancient and modern times. To quote H.P.B. again, “Our chief care it to elucidate that which has already been given out, and, to our regret, very incorrectly at times; to supplement the knowledge hinted at - whenever and wherever possible  - by additional matter.”

Theosophy is therefore unique in giving us this additional explanatory knowledge. It is true that the immediate appeal of this aspect of it must be to the intellect but I suggest that in the case of fifth race man and, in particular, the fifth sub-race, it is to the intellect that the appeal must be made now. I believe that this is the relevance of H.P.B.’s statements that Theosophy is “for those who can think or for those who can drive themselves to think, not mental sluggards,” and that “the true student of the Secret Doctrine is a Jnana Yogi, and this path of yoga is the true path for the Western student. It is to provide him with sign posts on that path that The Secret Doctrine has been written.” [3] In this context it should be borne in mind that the teaching was given out in English, to the Western World. I submit that since the death of H.P.B. these clear indicators of the  …………. [4] real nature and message of Theosophy, and their implications have been very largely, if not completely, ignored in the Society. More importantly they have been largely omitted for a very long time from the instruction given to members of the Esoteric School. This instruction has been based commonly on the ancient Eastern tradition, mostly Hindu. [5]

The results of this on The Theosophical Society as an institution for the promotion of the special Theosophical ideas and therefore on the image the Society has created on the outside world, has been very serious. In my view the failure of the Society to make its proper impact has been entirely due to this omission, and this serious omission must be laid at the door of the successive ‘Outer Heads’ [6] and other leaders of the Esoteric School. The justification for this charge against the E.S. is that people are attracted into the School by reason of the claims made for it. As I understand these claims they are so to train candidates that they will (a) become more effective members of The Theosophical Society and (b) be brought, at least, to the notice of, if not into contact with, the Masters. The way to achieve both of these is by way of the School’s personal disciplines, its recommended material for study and its meditational practices.

These objects have attracted the most sincere of the Society’s members who from among their number, have provided most of its leaders and workers in its various activities throughout its life so far. They have become the writers and lecturers. They have become its administrators. They have been the members of its Councils and Executive Committees. They have acted as an example to younger members and, generally as a body, they have been the biggest single formative influence within the Society. Included in their number has always been the President of the Society with his or her special influence by reason of his office. These members have been conditioned by their training in the Esoteric School. This means to say that through them as the Society’s workers, the Esoteric School has itself been the most influential single factor in the life of The Theosophical Society, apart from its original founding and objects. Note especially what H.P.B. herself said in her Esoteric Papers (Preliminary Explanations to Esoteric Instruction III): “The reputation of the T.S. is in the keeping of each one of you, (i.e. members of the E.S.) and as you regard or neglect it, so will it prosper. But you have to remember that the life of the E.S. too, depends on that of the Body. The moment the T.S. falls in America (it cannot die in India, or even Europe, so long as the Colonel or I are alive) through your apathy or carelessness, every member of the E.S. who has not done his duty will go down with it. From that day there will be no hope of acquiring true Eastern secret knowledge to the end of the 20th Century.”

(It should be noted that when H.P.B. died most of the known chelas of the Masters were heard of no more in the Society except for a few like the Countess Wachmeister and W.Q. Judge.)

My contention is that the conditioning of members of the School has been such that they have been actually drawn away from the original teachings of Theosophy. In so far as this has been the case, then this has been the root cause of the public’s wrong image of the Society and of what the outside world now thinks of it. It also accounts for the disrepute into which the Society has fallen in that it accounts for the extraordinary things that happened, for example, during the Krishnamurti era when, for example, some members of the E.S. were said to have achieved a number of initiations in a few weeks etc., and all members were required to believe that he was to be the World Teacher. Members of the E.S. joining such organizations as the Co-Masonry, the Liberal Catholic Church and others, the attitudes generated towards Krishnamurti, all these could not have possibly taken place had those leaders and members been only reasonably well-acquainted with, and mindful of the Masters’ and H.P.B.’ teachings. These teachings are specific about the times when attempts are made to enlighten men and they make quite clear the occult standing of Masonry, of popular religious ceremonial, of Western magic etc. Except for possibly some of the Western magical groups, the real occult significance of religious and Masonic ceremonial is not known to those organisations. It is known only to the occult (or Theosophical) student. He has to explain their practices to them. It is not the other way round. We are told they (except in so far as any secret organisations survive) are occultly dead.

One has only to read of the effect on the public mind of much that the Society and its leaders did in the second and third decades of this century to realise how public opinion was hardened against both the Society and the word ‘Theosophy’. Krishnamurti himself repudiated the claims made for him and abandoned what he had thought was Theosophy. He, consequently, did incalculable harm to the ‘cause’. It is quite apparent that he was really never instructed in Theosophy proper and therefore did not know what he has abandoning. It is obvious that he still does not. [7]

Great discredit, and even ridicule, was reflected on the movement when public pronouncements were made that not only had certain individuals suddenly achieved high initiation but that, in good time, of course, they were to be members of the world government. This brought the whole movement, and Theosophy, into ridiculous disrepute. From a proper Theosophical point of view such initiations were quite impossible. It is also quite obvious now that the prominent members of the Society involved at that time had no knowledge of what they were doing and of what real initiation meant. They were however senior members of the E.S. and should have known. This is more important than might be immediately obvious. If they did not know these things what qualifications had they for leading an Esoteric School and preparing its instructions etc. Is not their influence still imprinted in the E.S. teachings and practices? Can these not now be called into question?

My conclusions from all this and my contentions are that, through the influence of its members, the E.S. affects the image created in the public mind of Theosophy and the Society. The disastrously erroneous impressions of four or five decades ago still persist in the public mind, at least in the West, to which the message was primarily addressed. This must be corrected before the Society can make significant progress and before Theosophy can attain to the recognition it should have. At present virtually no notice is being taken in the E.S. of the great out-pouring of occult knowledge then made at the instigation of the Masters and through the terrible sacrifices of Mme. Blavatsky. Why did the Masters demand this sacrifice if what they were then giving out could be ignored within the inmost section of the very Society which they had founded specifically to bring to the notice of mankind that such a thing as Theosophy (in their terms) existed?

Another important point is that whereas the Society allows complete freedom of thought and expression to its members, within very wide limits, and does not interfere with their religious or philosophical beliefs, it nevertheless does have this very specific teaching to put out to the world. In itself this teaching can form a framework for all knowledge and experience. It also gives to modern thinking man explanations as to his origins and spiritual nature, of which his traditional religions, particularly in the West, have so sadly deprived him. At this time in history there is no other such system of knowledge available. Members of the Society are not required, as a condition of membership, to acquaint themselves with these teachings but they are sooner or later exposed to them. They can make their choice to study Theosophy or not. This is no reason, however, for its not being studied at all, as in my experience very largely is the case, in large areas throughout the world. The E.S. through its prescribed reading could correct this position very quickly and to judge from their talks and writings, there are a few members of the E.S. with a sufficient knowledge of Theosophy to devise papers and instructions based on the doctrines given by the Masters. Even if it were thought that the original teachings as a whole are too difficult for some or even most of the members of the E.S., they could be used as a background to the E.S. instructions, and the more gifted members could be encouraged actively to study them. For this to happen the Outer Head and the leaders of the E.S. generally must, themselves, be well versed in the teachings. The writings and lectures that have emanated from them for many years and still do, do not indicate that this is the case. This is not to suggest that what is being taught is not otherwise time honoured and admirable. It is however not particularly Theosophical. It could be given against a background knowledge of, for example, the extant Hindu scriptures which have been available for centuries, or against much of what Krishnamurti has to say. None of this reflects the special information given us by the Masters at the end of the last century and surely this is what we members of the Theosophical Society should primarily be concerned with. This special knowledge is what distinguishes Theosophy from everything else and the Theosophical Society from all others in a like category, in that it was set up to promote a knowledge of Theosophy. To quote “The Key to Theosophy” p. 39, the Society “was formed to assist in showing to men that such a thing as Theosophy exists, and to help them to ascend towards it by study and assimilating its eternal verities”[8]. This quotation indicates not only the intention for the Theosophical Society but that Theosophy is something specific in its own right.

There are many members in the Society who rather derisively use the expression “Back to Blavatsky” as if this were both a backward step and limiting one. Only those quite ignorant of the teachings could think so. First Blavatsky was the amanuensis of the Masters. Any derision is therefore, maybe indirectly, aimed at them. The tacit refusal is to go “Back to the Masters”. Secondly, the teachings are an extension of all other extant, true, knowledge. They do not ignore all that as gone before. Nor do they, by implication or otherwise, suggest there will not be any more teaching after them. Rather do they emphasise that there will be. But what was given out was limited to what was thought wise and what could be assimilated by man at present; it was an extension of what was already known. It was in addition to it, and what is much more important, Initiate inspired. It is therefore those who refuse to study original Theosophy who are imposing limitations on their Theosophy, not those who go back to Blavatsky and study her writings. The latter have access to all that was given out both old and new. The others content themselves only with what was there before. They will also not be aware of the great discrepancies that exist between what they regard as Theosophy and that given us in the original literature. Further it is important to realise that any occult knowledge additional to what was given out at the end of the last century will, in the nature of things, have to come from Initiates. It cannot come, as some seem to think possible, from modern research because such research necessarily deals with the objective manifest world. Even psychology and drug induced mystical experience can only touch the fringe of the occult proper.

An important point arises here; if there is to be another outpouring, in the same or another idiom, in this latter quarter of the century by what standard will it to be judged? If it is, again, to be Initiate inspired it will accord with what was given out before. How will we know if this is so if we are not familiar with the teaching we already have? With what will we compare it? Are the Masters likely to use again the T.S., a vehicle which has not availed itself of what they gave out before and has not propagated it, for the next outpouring?

The foregoing is criticism of the E.S. as it has existed and as it seems it exists at the present. If these comments are well based and the evidence is that they are, what can be done to correct the situation?

May I suggest for your consideration and appropriate action the following alternative to the present E.S. arrangement. That the existing E.S., in its present form, be wound up or allowed to die off for as long as there are existing members who want to stay in it. No new members would be recruited. This recommendation is justified because the present School has no initiate teachers and is therefore not a truly esoteric School. It is at least misnamed. Further there is no need for its secrecy or even confidentiality. There is nothing it produces or practices that is not to be found in ordinary published literature. The use of the two founder Masters’ portraits should be suspended as a school activity. People might use these privately on their own initiative and responsibility.

The private nature of the present E.S. in that it forms a brotherhood within the general brotherhood of the Society, makes it separatist, even divisive, and facilitates its abuse as a political influence in the T.S. Obviously this does not necessarily occur generally but it is claimed that it has done in the past, and may still do so in places. In any case the members of the E.S. being known as such to each other and being the influential members of the T.S. tend to form a hierarchical ‘government’ within it, even though this may not be deliberate. This position is reinforced if the E.S. members are also members of Co-Masonry.

Mr. Sri Ram, with whom I discussed these matters, agreed with me on many of my points. He said however that he felt he could not close the E.S. or 4,000 Indian members who looked to him (as Outer Head of the E.S.) as their guru would leave the Society. This could be the case in other countries.

The closing of the present E.S., which as said is not an occult school in the proper sense, would not, in itself, prejudice the possibility of the Society being used by any Initiate who may come in connection with the next outpouring. If we are again to have initiate teachers, they will if they think fit form around themselves a new genuine esoteric school.

What to do? Is something equivalent to the E.S. desirable? Many members of the T.S. would say definitely that it was. There is a place for such a school, but one to which the above objections do not apply.

It is proposed that, in place of the existing E.S., a Theosophical Training School be established. There are obviously some requirements to be met and considerations to be taken into account. The requirements would include:

1) The Training School should be one for Theosophical instruction and practical guidance in the spiritual life on Theosophical lines.

2) The School should be part of the T.S., not separate or distinct, from it. Its members would be members of the T.S. and it would be open to all who wanted to join.

3) The Training School would not interfere with the objects and activities of the T.S.

4) The School, as such, would own no property. It could share meeting accommodation and office space and equipment with the T.S., use T.S. registers, duplicating and postal facilities etc.

5) The School would have no fees. Its instructions would have to be quite free, but members might be called on to meet the special expenses of the school, in addition to their subscriptions to the T.S., so that in no way would the School be a charge on the T.S.

6) The Officers (if any) of the School would most likely be existing officers of the T.S. but not necessarily. This rule would obviate any feelings of separation.

7) The School would make no claim to be esoteric beyond the teachings given us by H.P.B. and the Masters. Any purported new teachers, posing as such, who may come would have to justify themselves against the previous teachings.

8) The School would claim no special relationship with the Masters and make no claims that scholars on joining would enjoy any special privileges or attention from the Masters, or even be in the way of so doing simply by reason of their joining and being members of the School. As there would be no “Inner Head” of the School; there would be no “Outer Head”. There would need to be a Principal in charge.

9) Membership of the School would, in itself, confer no rights or status with the T.S.

10) There would be no degrees or initiations. The ability to lead the good life in all respects, scholarship and service would be the only qualifications for respect from other students, and members of the T.S.

11) Scholars writing or lecturing, while as members of the T.S. would be free to utter what they liked, would undertake not to put out their private views and opinions as Theosophy. What is taught as Theosophy must accord with the Masters’ teachings. (The question of dogmatism might arise here but anyone at all familiar with the teachings would realise the impossibility of making a dogma of them. Dogma can only be based on belief or opinion, not on fact.)

12) Scholars could be expelled from the School on well-substantiated grounds of dishonesty, immorality, malicious gossip, slander, or for not doing reasonably within his or her power to further the interests of the T.S.

13) Scholars would be in three groups:

i) Beginners. These could stay in this grade for say two years only. They must then move up or resign.
ii) Ordinary. These scholars would be free in that they would not have taken any vows but have expressed the earnest intention, possibly in writing, to study and be willing to work for the T.S. in any capacity their circumstances allowed.
iii) Committed. By a vow to their Higher Self (but only to that Self) to work for and further the interests of the T.S., the Theosophical movement generally, and thereby all humanity.

14) The curriculum of the school would include the study of prescribed books and papers, graded according to the group and seniority of the scholar. Papers would be circulated to scholars privately: they would not be secret nor be returnable. Initially all instruction would be based on H.P.B. and Master teaching. They left us plenty of chela instruction up to, and beyond, training scholar standard.

15) The school regime would include meditation periods, on recommended material and outline methods would be taught. Meditation practices would be on classical lines, using initially at any rate, the H.P.B. guides. Minimum periods of study would be obligatory. Alcohol forbidden. Vegetarian diet recommended. Smoking at discretion of scholars, not recommended. The highest codes of ethics and morals would be the aim of all students.

There is an important point which arises because of the world wide nature of the Society and the different national and religious backgrounds of members. The E.S. instruction has been based so far – except for the brief initial period – almost exclusively on traditional Hindu lines. It appears quite obviously however that this was not intended. It is also obvious that either (1) existing religious views of scholar must be regarded, in which case we should need instruction in the Buddhist, Christian, Moslem, Jewish etc., idioms; or (2) existing religious backgrounds be transcended. This latter would seem to have been the intention of the Masters. If denominational and sectarian differences are to be regarded in the Schools instruction, they can only be so, having regard to the extant exoteric literature of the religion or sect because any esoteric teachings there may be behind the outer teaching of any particular religion is still not available publicly. Anything of their secret teachings that is available has been divulged in the theosophical original basic literature, including the five E.S. papers published in the third (fifth, Adyar Ed.) volume of “The Secret Doctrine”.[9] This latter must then surely be the base for the Theosophical Training School’s instruction. If this were adopted then we would get, at least as far as the Training School members were concerned, a unified teaching stemming from a common source, transcending that of any individual religion. In view of the immense amount of material in the early literature descriptive and explanatory of the particular doctrines, Deities, traditions and practices of all the major religions, including the old classical ones, this, transcending of limited individual religions, seems to have been the intention.

Such a transcendence of these religious differences could have far reaching, and deep global repercussions to the inestimable long term benefit of humanity. Please note that nothing in this letter is meant to reflect against the great public work that Annie Besant and others in the E.S. have done in their time.

In the sincere hope that you will see the vital importance of what is written here, having full regard to the great influence – and it is right that it should have: - that the E.S. has on all phases of work in the T.S. all over the world, and in the further hope that you will, as a matter of urgency, take the necessary action that it calls for, I sign myself,

Yours affectionately and truly,

Geoffrey A. Farthing

 

Circulation:

1) Mrs. Radha Burnier
2) The President and Vice-President of the T.S.
3) All Corresponding and local Secretaries of the E.S.T. or The General Secretaries of the T.S.
4) Sundry Individual Members of the E.S.

P.S. Since this letter was drafted I have (by chance?) become possessed of a copy of E.S.T. paper, 3 Nov.1894 by W.Q. Judge which corroborates the views as to the standing of the E.S. which I have made in the letter. I had, however, arrived at my views quite independently from my reading and thinking about what has happened in the past, leading into the present situation.

You will remember that Mr. Judge was a direct chela of the Masters, that he wrote the rules for the E.S. in 1888 in London, that he was manager and teacher for it, especially in America. Please see the paper referred to.

November 1976,
G.A. Farthing.   (sent from his home address - at the time - in Yorkshire, England.)

 

NOTES: (written by Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

^[1] Dr. Taimni’s predecessor was Mr. N. Sri Ram (1889-1973), the fifth president of the Adyar Society and father of the seventh president, Ms. Radha Burnier.

^[2] “A Short History of the Theosophical Society”, compiled by Josephine Ranson, TPH, Adyar, Chennai (Madras), India, 1938, 1989, 591 pp.

^[3] “The Secret Doctrine and Its Study”, a text by P. G. Bowen transcribing H.P.B. statements, Theosophy Company, Los Angeles. 6 pp., see p. 6. The text is available on this website. go to text

^[4] The text is so in Farthing’s typewritten document. 

^[5] This applies to the E.S. during Dr. I.K. Taimni’s direction (1973-1978). Dr. Taimni was a student of Hindu tradition. Since 1978, the E.S. gradually took distance from I.K.T.’s line of work, while still ignoring the original teachings of Theosophy.  

^[6] N. Sri Ram took the position of Outer Head from C. Jinarajadasa in 1953.

^[7] Indeed, Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) never went beyond the limits of a vague new age thinking. He did not include in his view of life fundamental concepts in modern theosophy like Karma, Dharma, Reincarnation, Higher Self, Adeptship and Discipleship. He ignored the concept of Theosophy, and in his lectures and writings never manifested sympathy for the theosophical movement or its objects.  

^[8] “The Key to Theosophy”, H.P. Blavatsky, Section 4. The passage is at p. 57 in both Theosophy Company editions of 1987; the one made in Los Angeles, USA, and the one published in Mumbai, India.

^[9] These materials are now included in the “Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky”. The adulterated version of “The Secret Doctrine”, prepared in six volumes by Annie Besant, was abandoned by the Adyar Publishing House (TPH) in 1979, when it published the original text of the work, edited by Boris de Zirkoff.

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