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The Challenge of the Skandhas

Understanding, and Neutralizing, the Karmic
Patterns of Treason in the Theosophical Movement
 
 
Jerome Wheeler
 
 
 
 
Disciples may be likened to the strings of the Vina (photo)
 
 
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A 2012 Editorial Note:
 
Jerome Wheeler founded the journal
The Aquarian Theosophist” in November
2000, and was its Editor up to July 2006.  
 
The following article was first published at
Fohat magazine, Canada, in the Winter
2004 edition, p. 86 (its conclusion being at p.
95). Jerome himself added the footnotes. The
original title was: “The Curse of the Skandhas”.
 
In the first and second paragraphs, Jerome   
uses the word “ego”  in the sense of “higher self”. 
 
By the end of the article, he refers to a fraudulent
edition of “The Secret Doctrine”. This is a reference
to the edition adulterated by Annie Besant in the 1890s.
It was abandoned by the Adyar Society in 1979, when the
TPH adopted an authentic edition prepared by Boris de Zirkof.
In other languages, however, Besant’s fraud still circulates.
 
 (Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
 
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We humans, by our choices weave a cobweb that determines our destiny for any given incarnation, as also coloring the future ones. This is also true of any band of Occult students, for they are welded together by the double chord of sympathy to one another in aim, purpose and teaching as well as psychic currents between them and their Teacher. The teacher forms the ego of the body of students as well as being a conscious servant to a still higher Universality - the WORLD SOUL.
 
To deny and go against the ego in the body is a very serious matter. In the individual we view it as a disease - a temporary revolt if you will from the obedience required of a symphony orchestra. This same principle holds true with a group of Occult students. One can strike a discordant note through the power of one’s karmic heirloom or through atavism. The first is lack of karmic stamina, sometimes called Pledge Fever. All of those aligned to a Teacher suffer the last because of ignorance and inexperience. Atavism, or the mirroring or shadowing of a past effort, a past cycle - a delving into the kama-rupic remains of a past religion or philosophy.
 
A moralistic paintbrush, a kind of “good guys versus bad guys” approach is not needed to study history. However, one does need the wisdom of the farmer, for it is a kind of “Nabathean Agriculture” we are undertaking. Our paradigm is the “seed,” our borrowed light from the World Soul is the Trunk Doctrine. With those two ideas the events of Theosophical History - both past and present, become a panorama to learn from rather than an exercise in finger-pointing. The “curse of the Skhandas” is real but not unchangeable, and any one lifetime is only a temporary dip into a lower plane for the Higher EGO.
 
The first fatal turning point [1] for the Theosophical Society came when Col. Olcott had his confrontation with Helena Blavatsky, and refused to take the Coulombs to Court. In addition to this he enlisted the aid of T.S. Council to make his decision paramount. He succeeded and Helena Blavatsky was asked to leave India. She was also asked to sign papers relinquishing all title or control to either property or magazine in India. Unfortunately she represented the Brotherhood of Adepts and therefore it was the equivalent of Occult Death - not social death, not publishing death, not lecturing death, etc., etc., but the death of any direct connection to the World Soul.
 
“The Voice of the Silence” delineates the problem in unmistakable terms - both as regards individual students and a group, or school of students:
 
“Disciples may be likened to the strings of the soul-echoing Vina; mankind, unto its sounding board; the hand that sweeps it to the tuneful breath of the GREAT WORLD-SOUL. The string that fails to answer ’neath the Master’s touch in dulcet harmony with all the others, breaks - and is cast away. So the collective minds of Lanoo-Sravakas. They have to be attuned to the Upadya’s mind - one with the Over-Soul - or, break away.”  (“The Voice of the Silence”, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, p. 56)
 
The second fatal “turning-point” occurred at the secret meeting with Col. Olcott, Annie Besant, Walter Old, and several others, to coordinate efforts to destroy William Q. Judge’s reputation. They thought he was a fraud just as Col. Olcott considered Helena Blavatsky a “medium.”
 
It is OK to discover fraud where there is fraud, but to discover fraud where there is truth is to fall victim to one’s inexperience and ignorance. Whenever you find an effort to belittle and make murky the history of Helena Blavatsky or William Judge, you find that odd pantomime of the “branches” parading in stolen clothes - the dharma of the trunk.
 
These events were fatal for the Occult life of the T.S. as a body [2]. They had departed from the TRUNK DOCTRINE of the World Soul. The NEW CYCLE then being planted was represented in essence by the Brotherhood of Advanced Humans, and in ACTIVITY on the lower plane by H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge.
 
Was all this fated? Yes, but the persons acting it out did it by their CHOICE. All of us Choose the part we are to play in the drama.
 
A new cycle, like any seed has its black side in the underworld along with the above ground movement. They are both necessary mirrors to one another. It is a dual field of experience and pilgrims choose their lot.
 
One might ask, “Is the Theosophical Society a metaphorical Black Sheep?”
 
No! Is the tree limb a black magician to the tree? Tree limbs are critical adumbrations to continuing growth, they are a Platform of experience, but the limb is not the TRUNK.
 
Therefore, those who assimilate the stream of ideation given through Helena Blavatsky and William Q. Judge will not be found imitating or upholding Col. Olcott’s and Annie Besant’s choice.
 
The latest effort to belittle Helena Blavatsky’s work is the publication of a spurious volume of Collected Letters [3]. It has within it fraudulent material mixed in with the genuine so that the unwary student is led astray.
 
It will not bury truth anymore than the publication of a fraudulent edition of “The Secret Doctrine” did.
 
NOTES:
 
[1] And what is a “turning point” but the culmination of an attitude that had been simmering for some time.
 
[2] Not so with individuals, they can rise above the body to which they belong.
 
[3] “The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky”, edited by John Algeo, Vol. I, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, USA.
 
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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  
 
 
 
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.
 
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The Challenge of the Skandhas




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