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Liberating Theosophy From Jesuitism

 
A Few Reasons to Be Confident About the Future
 
 
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
 
 
 
 
 
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The following text reproduces Chapter Five of the book
The Fire and Light of Theosophical  Literature”, by Carlos
Cardoso Aveline, The Aquarian Theosophist, Portugal, 255 pp., 2013. 
 
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“... All efforts of the greatest craft are
doomed to failure on the day they are discovered.”
 
(Helena P. Blavatsky)
 
 
 
One can see three main periods in the history of modern theosophical movement, of which the third is still waiting to be awakened into proper action.
 
The first period took place between 1875 and 1891. During it, the seeds of future universal brotherhood were planted in the good soil of an ailing civilization. That initial moment was blessed with the direct assistance given by a number of high Initiates from around the world - some of them living in mountains and caves of the Himalayas, others linked to the Greek-Egyptian traditions or to ancient schools of esoteric wisdom in South and North America.
 
The second period is probationary. It brought about the “dying” of the planted seeds during the silent and invisible process of germination. It corresponds to the difficult period during which the weeds of pseudo-theosophy and jesuitic ritualism dominated most of the theosophical topsoil. It is not over yet.
 
The third phase corresponds to the healthy growth of the seedlings of universal brotherhood in direct contact with the sunlight, and it can fully develop only after the uprooting from the theosophical ground of the top-down priestly structures based on blind belief. 
 
In the first part of the 21st century, the movement seems to be somewhere in the transition between phase two and phase three. An understanding of theosophical philosophy is enough for the student to see that he can rely on the success of the present transition.
 
Adepts have a long-term view of life. They give time for seedlings to evolve at their own rhythm. The theosophical effort was inaugurated under the direct supervision of someone “to whose insight the future lies like an open page”. There is no reason to doubt that the third period of the movement’s evolution was already safely contained in the two previous phases of its history.
 
During the first period of the theosophical endeavour, HPB and her colleagues directly confronted and denounced the mechanisms of human organized ignorance. As we know, to each action corresponds a variety of reactions. It was but logical that in the second period of history Law of Karma should operate according to Nature. The inner vitality of the theosophical movement had to be then at a low ebb.  As a result, the inevitable probation started, and those challenged structures of collective ignorance did “invade and control” most of the movement, bringing into it a progeny of false initiates, jesuitic rituals, personal ambitions and blind belief.  
 
After thesis and anti-thesis, a synthesis must finally come out. 
 
As a consequence of the two initial steps, the autonomous seedlings must emerge as a new tidal wave from the inner world so as to win the day at the right time and pace. It is not difficult to see that the entrance hall leading to the third phase of history includes an active work for mankind, a thorough study of real theosophy, and the fraternal confrontation and defeat of pseudo-theosophy. Yet before we investigate how best to liberate the movement from the now lifeless shells of jesuitical structures, one might start by examining what we really mean by the word “jesuitic”.
 
The classical global project of the Jesuits was described by H.P. Blavatsky in a January 1887 letter marked with the words “private and confidential”.
 
Addressed to Alfred Sinnett, the letter says:
 
“It would be well perhaps, if the Jesuits contented themselves with making dupes of Freemasons and opposing the Theosophists and Occultists using for it the Protestant clergy as ‘cat’s paw’. But their plottings have a much wider scope, and embrace a minuteness of detail and care of which the world in general has no idea. Everything is done by them to bring the mass of mankind again to the state of passive ignorance which they well know is the only one which can help them to the consummation of their purpose of Universal Despotism.” [1]
 
The Company or Society of Jesus was founded around the year 1541 as part of the Counter-Reformation, an authoritarian reaction from the Vatican against the challenging birth of Lutheranism some twenty years earlier. Jesuitism was created as a secret society with several degrees - and as a secret service. It gave itself a license to kill and to lie as it pleased, for the sake of the popes’ centralizing policy of ecclesiastical power. Since the mid-1500s, whenever and wherever they can, Jesuits have misled movements and countries through the domination of their highest leaders.
 
Historians tell us that in the second half of 16th century they were already conspiring to overthrow Elizabeth I in England and to deceive or control the Lutheran king John in Sweden, while promoting similar actions in other countries. The goal was to undermine both national governments and Protestantism and to replace them by the pope’s black militia, id est, themselves, in their quest for a global theocratic dictatorship, or empire.
 
After a couple of centuries, their killings and conspiracies got out of control. In the second half of 18th century their order had to be closed. Portugal prohibited their activities in 1759, after Jesuits promoted the assassination of the Portuguese king. France expelled them in 1764, Spain in 1767, and the Vatican itself officially closed down the Society of Jesus in 1773. The Jesuits secretly resisted underground, and in 1814 they were able to surface again, being restored by the Pope. By then the Vatican was in bad need of the black militia and its brutal methods. 
 
It was only after the Second World War that the Opus Dei - a jesuitic-styled secret society founded by Spanish fascists during the first half of the 20th century - seems to have taken over in a great extent the secret role traditionally played by the Jesuitic black militia.
 
In the 19th century, protestant England gave a remarkable example of high-level Jesuitic conspiracies. In a March 1886 letter, H.P. Blavatsky warned Alfred Sinnett that the British prime-minister, William Ewart Gladstone, was a secret convert to the Roman Church. [2] In another letter, HPB added that Mr. Gladstone was actively working with the Jesuits in politics. He had been “privately” received by the Pope himself. HPB then foretold the end of the British Empire as it existed:
 
Old  England is dying and her moments are counted.”
 
HPB explained:
 
“In former times, at least, no country has better and more successfully withstood the encroachments and treacherous designs of Popery than England. Consequently, there is no country the Jesuits would so much like to dismember and destroy. (...) They have openly avowed they will put an end, at any rate, a stop to the wheels of the English political machine by making converts of her chief men.” [3]
 
At this point, we must turn our focus away from the macrocosm of Jesuitic action and into the microcosm of the theosophical movement, and ask ourselves:
 
“Does the general principle of the Vatican-Jesuitical action - infiltrating everywhere through top leaders - apply to the theosophical movement as well? In such a case, would Jesuits like to see the main leaders of a theosophical society acting under the inspiration of their own methods and piously cheating the public in the name of sacred Masters?”
 
The answer to both questions can only be yes
 
Rarely had a movement so clearly challenged the designs of Popery and Jesuitism, and this made the Theosophical Society highly eligible for Jesuitic infiltration. HPB acknowledged:
 
“There never was an Occult Society, however open and sincere, that has not felt the hand of the Jesuit trying to pull it down by every secret means.” [4]
 
She had reasons to say that. The events leading to the second phase of the movement - the phase of pseudo-theosophy and Jesuitism - actually started early in the last cycle of seven years in HPB’s life (1884-1891).
 
In the mid-1880s, the Coulombs conspiracy and the attacks coming from Vsevolod Soloviov were but the first attempts to infiltrate the movement. From the Jesuitic viewpoint, those attacks were not only valid in themselves. They were also preparatory for other and more subtle actions in the future.
 
During the 1880s, the failure of H.S. Olcott to defend the essence of the movement and the work of its main founder was premonitory.
 
HPB’s open letter “Why I Do Not Return to India” gives the details about that. HPB had then to be especially fierce in defending truth from sophistry among theosophists, for the movement was under a subtle but intense pressure coming from several layers of collective ignorance. In many of her articles in her last years, she also seemed to be consciously planting seed-ideas for the use of future generations in battles to come. She taught, for instance, why truth-seekers must reject the naive delusion according to which “brothers should never criticize one another”. There is something profoundly false, according to her, in the tactics of “not criticizing in order not to get criticized”; for mistakes will never be corrected, unless honest criticism is allowed to identify them.
 
HPB wrote:
 
“Theosophists (...) are constantly warned, by the prudent and the faint-hearted, to beware of giving offence to ‘authorities’, whether scientific or social. Public Opinion, they urge, is the most dangerous of all foes. Criticism of it is fatal, we are told. Criticism can hardly hope to make the person or subject so discussed amend or become amended. Yet it gives offence to the many, and makes Theosophists hateful. ‘Judge not, if thou wilt not be judged’, is the habitual warning. It is precisely because Theosophists would themselves be judged and court impartial criticism, that they begin by rendering that service to their fellow-men. Mutual criticism is a most healthy policy, and helps to establish final and definite rules in life - practical, not merely theoretical.”
 
And she added a few lines later:
 
“Criticism is the sole salvation from intellectual stagnation. It is the beneficent goad which stimulates to life and action - hence to healthy changes - the heavy ruminants called Routine and Prejudice, in private as in social life.” [5]
 
Of course honesty is not always the quickest way to make many friends. HPB had to admit:
 
“Sincerity is true wisdom, it appears, only to the mind of the moral philosopher. It is rudeness and insult to him who regards dissimulation and deceit as culture and politeness, and holds that the shortest, easiest, and safest way to success is to let sleeping dogs and old customs alone. But, if the dogs are obstructing the highway to progress and truth, and Society will, as a rule, reject the wise words of (St.) Augustine, who recommends that ‘no man should prefer custom before reason and truth,’ is it sufficient cause for the philanthropist to walk out of, or even deviate from, the track of truth, because the selfish egoist chooses to do so?” [6]
 
Pseudo-theosophists must be honestly confronted, lest theosophy and the substance of universal brotherhood should abandon the movement, as she wrote in an article published in 1889:
 
“If the ‘false prophets of Theosophy’ are to be left untouched, the true prophets will be very soon - as they have already been - confused with the false. It is nigh time to winnow our corn and cast away the chaff. The T.S. is becoming enormous in its numbers, and if the false prophets, the pretenders (...), or even the weak-minded dupes, are left alone, then the Society threatens to become very soon a fanatical body split into three hundred sects - like Protestantism - each hating the other...” [7]
 
The “false prophets” did win the day some time after H.P.B. died - thus ushering the movement into the probationary period of its history. During it, many seeds are already dead, while their successful seedlings are yet not visible. Robert Crosbie, who in 1909 founded the United Lodge of Theosophists, saw a similarity in the strategies with which Jesuitism succeeded in infiltrating Masonry and the Adyar Society. Personalism is an important part of their method; and a “sweet, well-meaning falsehood” is another one. In a letter to a friend, Crosbie discussed a certain text published by the Adyar Society:
 
“I was looking over the magazine article you mentioned. It is interesting, instructive in places, intelligent and bountifully interspersed with diagrams. It gives the impression of great learning on the subject. But it speaks here and there of the Logos and His care of His children. Too much of the personal God under another name, thus leaving ‘His’ poor, ignorant, sinful children none the wiser as to their godlike nature! The article made me think of the way the Jesuits side-tracked Masonry. They entered it, obtained its secrets, invented ‘higher degrees’ to draw attention from what lay hidden in the original ones, and gradually made it innocuous, and incapable of leading to the knowledge that they feared.”
 
Crosbie was right. The ideas and practices of Jesuitism infiltrated the theosophical movement much in the same way. Besides trans-forming the Adyar Society and its Esoteric School into an Esoteric Popery, Adyar leaders also created new organizations, with their own versions of Masonry and the Catholic Church. They made spectacular announcements of every kind. All these “new things” were but psychological fireworks used to draw the attention of students away from the theosophical teachings.
 
Robert Crosbie said in the same text:
 
“Much that is going on and has gone on in the .... society has the appearance of leading into innocuous desuetude. This is the mode of working of Brahmano-Jesuitical forces, and the ordinary thinker is unable either to perceive, or credit it if warned. It is not believed that there are Dark Forces and their agents in the world, and that they war within that which they would destroy; that they dress themselves up in ‘sheep’s clothing’ so as to be unsuspected. But it is too true. Every failure to establish the Wisdom-Religion is to be traced to the work of the Dark ones among the unsuspecting stupid ‘sheep’, who are appealed to through their weakness and led astray. There is no panacea for stupidity and ignorance but self-knowledge, discrimination; anything that leads away from them leads to desolation. Would that there might be some way by which eyes could be opened to a wise and proper consideration of all things. Yet, if one should publicly point out these things, ‘untheosophical’ would be the least charge laid at his door. All that we can do is to accentuate the difference between the Eye Doctrine and the Doctrine of the Heart with full exemplification.” [8]
 
In order to understand the prudence shown in the above passage, one must remember that Robert Crosbie wrote these words between 1909 and 1919, when the work for real theosophy within the movement had to face tremendous obstacles: it was the hey-day of pseudo-theosophy. But his words above have been public since 1934.
 
Why has the progress of the real movement been so slow during the second period of its history? “Jesuitism” - or the “active side of spiritual ignorance” - is subtle and rather difficult to identify. It is not a personality, an individual or a society. It is a set of vibrational patterns often unconscious, which live around habits and procedures based on personalities and personal interest. No individual and no section of the movement is ever entirely safe from it, and as a consequence of this the practice of individual and collective self-examination is highly commendable. “Where have we succeeded? Where have we failed? How can we do better next time?” These ancient Pythagorean questions are always useful.
 
The occult situation rightly described by Robert Crosbie had been somewhat foreseen by HPB, who, like Crosbie, left writings and conceptual instruments to help future generations solve the problem. She not only wrote that the Jesuitic hand had been felt in every occult society, since the foundation of Jesuitism. She also added in the same text a central idea for the theosophical work to inaugurate its third phase during the 21st century: “But all efforts of the greatest craft are doomed to failure on the day they are discovered.” [9]
 
From this single and self-evident statement, one can get at least to one clear and practical conclusion. In the long run, it does not matter too much if the greater part of the theosophical movement has been infiltrated and dominated by false teachings and ritualisms. It also does not matter if some of its leaders have adopted Jesuitic aims and methods. All that the real theosophists have to do is to identify and reveal this whole mayavic process as clearly as possible. And this is slowly taking place already. Every day the true teachings of Theosophy are adopted by a growing number of students worldwide. No outer structure can be eternal, and pseudo-theosophical mechanisms now seem to have but the routine life of empty shells. The real theosophical movement is independent from any of its visible structures, and its future is as bright as the future of mankind. Once spiritual discernment is used to destroy the old cognitive delusions, the jesuitic trap built during the Besant period will be fraternally demolished.
 
It was certainly to the living theosophical movement and not to any outer corporation that a Mahatma wanted to refer, as he wrote, in his well-known report on the views expressed by his “chief”, the Chohan:
 
“The Theosophical Society was chosen as the corner stone, the foundation of the future religion of humanity.” [10]
 
There is also another, less famous report on the Chohan’s views about the movement, and in it the Masters say:
 
“We can direct and guide (...) the movement, in general. Tho’ separated from your world of action we are not yet entirely severed from it so long as the Theosophical Society exists.” [11]
 
Theosophists have never been “abandoned”. They were but given time, so that their seedlings of universal brotherhood could make a certain degree of progress by their own merit. As a result, it will be possible for the movement to grow in independence and better fulfill its role in human evolution.
 
As to the brightness of the movement’s future, one should also not forget this prophecy made by HPB:
 
“…Whether by phenomenon or miracle, by spirit-hook or bishop’s crook, Occultism must win the day (…) before the end of the twenty-first century ‘A.D.’.” [12]
 
Hence, the victory of real theosophy and universal brotherhood must happen at some time between the present moment and 2099, probably in a gradual way.
 
Each theosophist is part and parcel of the process leading to the next phase in history. Every honest Adyar member and each student belonging to any group or to none, can always adopt as his own motto the guiding principle that There is nothing higher than Truth, and thus make an effort to get his soul in line with the spirit of the authentic teachings.
 
What about humanity as a whole?
 
We might adapt the famous sentence with which HPB closes her book The Key to Theosophy and re-phrase it thus, including the word “when”, instead of “if”:
 
“When in the twentieth-first century the theosophical movement lives true to its mission, to its original impulses - earth will be a heaven, in comparison with what it is now.”
 
But the mystery of Maya, or Illusion, must be examined and at least partially understood, for the movement to correctly fulfill its mission. [13]
 
NOTES:
 
[1] “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett”, T.U.P., Pasadena, CA, 1973, 404 pp., see Letter CVI, p. 230. The same passage appears in almost the same words at another context in “Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky”, TPH, USA, volume XIV, 1985, 734 pp., see p. 266.
 
[2] See this letter from HPB at the Appendix to “Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett”, T.U.P., Pasadena, CA, Letter CXLI, p. 482.
 
[3] “The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett”, T.U.P., Letter CVI, p. 231.
 
[4] “Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky”, TPH, USA, vol. XIV, 1985, 734 pp., see p. 267.
 
[5] See the text “Literary Jottings on Criticism, Authorities and Other Matters”, in “Theosophical Articles”, H.P.B., Theosophy Co., vol. II, pp. 389 and 390.
 
[6] “To The Readers of Lucifer”, in “Theosophical Articles”, H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophy Co., vol. I, p. 279. It must be noted that the word “Lucifer” means “light-bearer” and refers to the planet Venus, “the star that brings the new day”. This ancient term has been distorted by misinformed Christians.
 
[7] “On Pseudo-Theosophy”, in “Theosophical Articles”, Helena P. Blavatsky, Theosophy Co., vol. I, p. 163.
 
[8] “The Friendly Philosopher”, Robert Crosbie, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles,  416 pp., 1945, pp. 161-162.
 
[9] “Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky”, TPH, USA, vol. XIV, 1985, 734 pp., see p. 267.
 
[10] See “View of the Chohan on  the T.S., in  Combined Chronology for Use With The Mahatma Letters and The Letters of HPB to A.P. Sinnett ”, T.U.P., Pasadena, 48 pp., 1973, see p. 44. Another version of the same text, almost identical, can be found in “Theosophical Articles and Notes”, Theosophy Co., 314 pp., 1985, at pp. 189-193.
 
[11] “The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, T.U.P., Pasadena, CA, see Letter LXXVIII, page 378. Letter 99 in the Chronological Edition, TPH, Philippines.
 
[12] “Collected Writings of H.P.B.”, TPH, USA, volume XIV, p. 27.
 
[13] An initial version of the above Chapter was published as an article at “Fohat” magazine, Canada, vol. XII, Number 1, Spring 2008, pp. 6-9 and 23.
 
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See here the 1m30s video “The Healing Chain Reaction”, with a fragment from “The Fire and Light”:
 


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Liberating Theosophy From Jesuitism




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