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Editorial 11

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Exploring Theosophy.

 

The tree of Theosophy has many branches, twigs and leaves. The nut from which the tree grew is universal wisdom. There are numerous organization, lodges, branches; shelves full of books have been written – and this is as nothing compared to the piled up Theosophical Magazines published world-wide since the founding of the modern Theosophical movement in 1875. Scores of biographies and criticisms have been publicized. There is probably not even a minute section in any world-wide human society nowadays which has not in someway, mostly indirectly, profited from the Theosophical effort. All this is no doubt too much for any human brain to contain – perhaps a large enough hard disc would do.

In the last decades numerous Theosophical websites have popped up, and if you want to know which they are you have better visit Google.

Daily Theosophy will occasionally highlight one of these websites, especially those thought (by us) to be of outstanding quality or helpfulness.

Today we talk about Exploring Theosophy[1]

Exploring Theosophy is one of the least outstanding websites as far as design gadgets are concerned, but no doubt one of the most interesting as to contents. It is a private website, run by David Pratt in The Netherlands. It already running for some two decades, and continues with undaunted energy today.

Pratt is, besides a staunch Puruckerian[2] Theosophist a scholarly, largely autodidactive, student of sciences and a serious active practitioner of what he has learned from Theosophical literature.

The character of this website is to bring fundamental Theosophical ideas and teaching to the intelligent public way that are of of scientific and social interest before and after the recent fin-de-siècle, without embellishments and in an orderly fashion, and in a very correct way. Pratt however does not shun to criticize wide-spread and well-established scientific and social ideas – often in a humorous but always expert way. He also does not shy away from taking up subjects which the public might at first find ‘ridiculous’, even perhaps other Theosophists.

Though articles are sometimes difficult to follow at first because of the sheer scope of knowledge intertwined in them, the language is always such that everyone who really wants can do so and understand them. There is no barrier of unnecessary ‘expert-only’ language that characterizes so many articles published within the scientific or applied-scientific world.

The website stays away from tendencies to sectarianism within the Theosophical movement, or from biased ‘historical’ conclusions. The theosophical authors quoted are selected on their merit, not on their sectarian connections.

The website is divided in a number of sections, each of which contain a number of articles. Each of the articles – without exception – is characterized by deep antecedent study and knowledge, supported by lists of references from scientific and quality ‘alternative’ literature. In this way each article on the site provides an easy entrance for those who are seriously interested beyond school knowledge and for those who want to continue their inquiry into the particular subject. The articles never annoy the reader with overdoses of links and side-issues, however where necessary and truly informative the text is lavishly larded with photo’s, drawings and scientific diagrams. Thus the website now covers a wide scope of subjects which are often discussed among Theosophists, ‘new-agers’ and science students who are interested in more than what universities and high schools teach them. But where many such discussions end in vagueness, this website gives the result of thorough study, and many of the articles could be used as hand-outs for discussions among students.

In the first section, What is Theosophy? consists of but three articles and exposes the essence, in the language of the author, of what Theosophy is.

(All sections and articles are listed at the bottom of this Editorial.)

The first section is followed by the second called Theosophical Quotations. Most essential quotations, some short, some longer, reflecting the core of the Theosophical body of teaching – a true store house of wisdom – have been selected on a wide variety of subjects, for example about ‘after death,’ about sex and about health and disease.

Personally I would find it a good idea to select a (large) number of them and let them appear on the screen as ‘daily quotations’ as a beginning thought in the morning or when opening the computer. Some are really good to be sent around to open-minded friends. Studying them at large provides a wide understanding of Theosophy related social topics of interest, and they provide persons who are lecturing or organizing discussion or teaching groups on wisdom with a wealth of material.

Deep Theosophical doctrines and subjects are discussed in the third section called Studies in theosophy with 19 articles on subjects such as The monad: one and many,

Origin of mind, and, recently posted Geochronology: theosophy and science (March 2013).

Next there is a section on History, containing biographies of De St Germain (mainly based on Overton-Fuller), a biography of T. Subba Row by the late Henk J. Spierenburg of The Netherlands, and a biography of one of Blavatsky’s truest friends and servants, Damodar K. Mavalanker, who left as a chela to Tibet.

There is far too much on the E Th website to discuss it all. So we’ll mention only a few points on which our eye fell. The amount of information is too big to be even mentioned here. For details we refer to the table of contents below copied from the E Th website itself (April 2013).

One section, Occult fiction is of a fantastic and literary nature, and contains so far but one, long, story ‘Warrior of the Soul,’ in which Pratt’s soundly based fantasy leads us to the inner circle of people, including many children living inside the Earth (which is hollow) who are at least one Race ahead of mainstream humanity, and about their interaction with ‘us,’ the ‘outer circle,’ living on the surface of the Earth. It is a fantasy of chelaship (= discipleship), its ethical requirements and occult accomplishments. It too is full of humor.

There is a limited section on religion, with emphasis on some Christian topics concerning ‘God.’ Jesus, and the Origin of Christianity – all from a theosophical point of view.

Then there is a section on Society & spirituality, in which the first article ‘The energy future’ is a thorough all-scientific analysis of the merits of alternative energy as compared with the predominant fossil energy and with nuclear energy. ‘Theosophy’ is never mentioned in this article, but it is theosophical enough in that it exposes the sound use of mind in contrast with much prejudice and the shouting around of politicians, environmentalists and the general public which brings no good to humankind or nature.

The next section is called Death & rebirth, containing six articles about life after death and about reincarnation. The Theosophical teachings about ‘the here-after’ give much more details than religions have given in earlier times, and it is greatly due to Theosophical writers that the idea of reincarnation and continued existence of our reincarnating ego has become widely accepted in the western world. But few people know the details and have vague and mixed ideas about it. This section then can be of great help to clarify one’s mind.

The practical side of the author shows himself perhaps most in its element when the he deals with ‘mysteries’ and with the sciences. In the section on Earth mysteries & the paranormal controversial subjects are not shunned, but whatever is written there makes good sense, waves away established misunderstandings and is very well documented. We find articles on crop circles, aliens, UFO’s, and stone showers, etc.

Then there is a section on Ancient civilizations, dealing with Atlantic, Andean and Ancient Egyptian culture, Easter Island and other mysterious high civilizations of the past.

Science actually comprises the largest sector of the website and covers various sections, namely Life science, Health & medicine, Earth science, Astronomy & cosmology and General science & philosophy. Science is the main topic of specialization of the composer of the website. Most articles demand at least high school education to follow them. Many articles are very long and go into much detail. Extensive lists of references are at the disposal of the student.

Blavatsky in her days said in a discussion with scientists[3]: “I want men with something like brains, but not men with brains only on the physical plane that they cannot see beyond”; and a few minutes later (p. 122) she added: Physical science is – “Nothing but conceit” Nowadays, in 2013, the situation seems worse rather than better than in 1889, despite the enormous technological progress and wide-spread education since her days, while philosophy is perhaps on its worst ever. But there are scientists who are more truth-loving and less arrogant than the main-stream, and slowly our hope that saneness will return gains momentum.

The author is very critical about many phantasmagorical developments in modern science, even though they are adhered to by the largest scientific brains moving on two legs (or otherwise) of our time, and he often cynically criticizes and tears down many ‘absurd beliefs’ of modern science, including (aspects of) Big Bang theory, Darwinism, Wegener’s theory on continental shift, Relativity theory, Quantum physics and many more recent explanations of the processes taken place in the cosmos and life on Earth. Somewhere he quotes Blavatsky, who wrote in 1888 that if science would reject the idea of Aether, it was digging her own grave; because for Theosophy, ‘aether’ is ‘field’ of primordial consciousness. i.e. through which primordial consciousness works upon the visible world. And this is just what happened in the late 1890’s and on which presumption Einstein build his theories in the early 20th century. Since then, science has become more mathematical (in the sense of ‘abstract,’ moving apart from physical and occultly possible reality) and ever more fantastic, moving haughtily further and further away from the wisdom of the ages of many cultures. Despite the spiritual influx of the last centuries, much of established science is still fully ‘old-age.’

 

Pratt shows himself, not as a ‘holy man’ or an ‘initiate’ or whatever hotchpotch, but as a critical, well-informed and intelligent thinker like each of us could be.

 

David Pratt about himself

 

An exchange of letters:

Who am I?;  ; Date: 21 Nov 2007
To Pratt:

Subject: Do you have any credentials?

Dear Mr. Pratt,; Having explored your site and found some potentially valuable information, I find myself at a loss to explain who exactly you are. You see, as a philosopher (I’m at […] in Canada) I am always looking for good reference material and your site certainly appears to bring together some important issues in disparate fields which quite elegantly dovetail together, i.e. science, religion, and philosophy. However, I am unable to find *any* credentials at all, any institutional affiliation, anything at all which allows me to verify you as a reliable source. Anyone can synthesize from a layman’s perspective and the results of such speculations are totally uninteresting. As of yet, since you don’t even post your own CV on your website, I am left to assume that you are nothing more than a moderately convincing pundit/charlatan, devoid of any robust theoretical education in any of the fields you mean to unite. Can you at least tell me that you attended university? I’d like to reference one of your articles in my own work, but unless you can give me some reason to treat your work seriously, I will have to ignore it.; Yours,
[…];

Date: 24 Nov 2007.

From Pratt:

Dear […],; You’re saying that the “potentially valuable information” on my website will become “totally uninteresting” and the work of a “charlatan” unless I’ve been to a university? I like your sense of humour. I have university qualifications in modern languages, translation, and technical sciences. But I regard this as irrelevant, because I think that what anybody says or writes should be judged on its intrinsic merits. Many of my articles are about fundamental differences of opinion between scientists with equally excellent credentials in a particular field. So a university education does not preclude serious errors, even in one’s own specialism. I’m also a great believer in self-education.; Regards, David Pratt.

In Links, he mentions a number of books on alternative and paranormal sciences, as well as his Theosophical sources.

 

– Daily Theosophy, April 10, 2013.

List of contents of Exploring Theosophy

What is theosophy?H.P. Blavatsky and theosophy: ‘there is no religion higher than truth’; Key concepts of theosophy; The nature of reality

Theosophical quotationsTheosophy and the Theosophical Society; Studying theosophy; The spiritual path; God and religion; The mahatmas; Karma; Reincarnation; Sevenfold constitution of nature and man; Health and disease (Mar 2008); Our after-death journey; Sex; Cyclic evolution; Hierarchies; Physical vs. occult science (Sep 2010); Spirit and matter; Life on other worlds

Studies in theosophyThe mahatmas on spirit, matter, God (Feb 2012); The monad: one and many; Origin of mind; Shishtas: seeds of life; Evolution in the fourth round (Jul 2012) ; Inner and outer rounds (Mar 2011) ; Rounds and manvantaras: an outline; Root-race chronology; Geochronology: theosophy and science (Mar 2013); Secret cycles (Aug 2012) ; The twelve sacred planets; Mars: our sleeping neighbour (Aug 2008); The theosophical ether; Theosophy and the seven continents (Sep 2012) ; Theosophy and shifting continents (Mar 2009); Theosophy and the hollow earth ; Earth’s meteoric veil ; Theosophy and magnetism ; The Book of Dzyan

Theosophical historyThe Count of Saint-Germain (Sep 2012) ; The Theosophical Mahatmas: a critique of Paul Johnson’s new myth; Damodar K. Mavalankar – theosophical pioneer ; T. Subba Row (1856-1890)

Occult fictionWarrior of the Soul

Society & spiritualityThe energy future (Jan 2012); 2012 and the Mayan calendar: facts and fantasies (Jan 2011); Religious lies and gnostic wisdom (Jul 2007); Changing the world; Yoga and enlightenment; Fate or free will?; Sex and sexuality (Jan 2008); The spiritual path

Death & rebirthLife beyond death: evidence for survival (Aug 2010) ; Where reincarnation and biology intersect ; Heaven and hell; Reincarnation ; Reincarnation and population growth ; Our after-death journey

ReligionReligious lies and gnostic wisdom; Secret wisdom (Nov 2008); The origins of Christianity; Who was the real Jesus?; God and religion

Earth mysteries & the paranormal –; Life beyond death: evidence for survival (Aug 2010) ; Crop circles and their message (Apr 2010) ; Vampires and the living dead (Sep 2009); Visitors from the twilight zone (Jun 2009) ; Stone-showers; UFOs: the psychic dimension; Psychic powers ; Fate or free will?; Alien-human perversions

Ancient civilizations; Lost civilizations of the Andes (Aug 2011); The ancient Americas: migrations, contacts, and Atlantis (Aug 2011); Easter Island: land of mystery (Jan 2009); The Great Pyramid

Life scienceEvolution and design; Human origins: the ape-ancestry myth; The biology of belief; Genetic engineering: dream or nightmare?; The rhythms of life; John Eccles on mind and brain; Rupert Sheldrake: a theosophical appraisal; The great dinosaur extinction controversy; Theosophy and the systems view of life; Cyclic evolution

Health & medicineFear of the invisible: an investigation of viruses and vaccines, HIV and AIDS (Nov 2010); Vaccination and homeopathy (Sep 2010); HIV=AIDS=Death: a killer myth (Sep 2010); Malignant medical myths; Health and disease: theosophical quotations (Mar 2008); The biology of belief

Earth sciencePalaeomagnetism, plate motion and polar wander (Mar 2013); Climategate and the corruption of climate science (Mar 2010); Sunken continents versus continental drift (Mar 2011); Climate change controversies (Nov 2008); Plate tectonics: a paradigm under threat ; Problems with plate tectonics; Mysteries of the inner earth; The age of earth; Poleshifts: theosophy and science contrasted; The global warming scare; Plate tectonics subducted; Organized opposition to plate tectonics

Astronomy & cosmologyTrends in cosmology (May 2012); Life on Mars: from microbes to monuments (Dec 2011); Mars: our sleeping neighbour (Oct 2011); Black holes, redshifts, and bad science ; Black holes: fact or fiction? ; Big bang, black holes, and common sense; Exploding the big bang; Life on other worlds

General science & philosophyThe farce of modern physics (Sep 2012); Space, time, and relativity (Feb 2008); Patterns in nature; Gravity and antigravity; Aetherometry and gravity: an introduction ; The nature of reality ; Worlds within worlds ; Consciousness, causality, and quantum physics; J.P. Vigier and the causal interpretation of quantum physics; David Bohm and the implicate order; The infinite divisibility of matter; Consciousness and modern science; The monistic idealism of A. Goswami: a theosophical appraisal ; Beyond materialism

Links

  1. Links at the bottom of the article. [<<]
  2. Gottfried De Purucker was (though little known outside the TS) one of the most prolific and influential teachers and writers within the Theosophical Movement. From 1929 to 1942 he headed The Theosophical Society in Point Loma (near San Diego in California) and later Covina in the State. [<<]
  3. Secret Doctrine Commentaries; The Unpublished 1889 Instructions, I.S.I.S., The Hague, Netherlands, 2010, p. 121. [<<]