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24/09/2018 To the Outer Head of the Adyar ES

To the Outer Head of the Adyar ES

The 1976 Letter to Dr. I. K. Taimni,

Regarding the Future of Adyar Esoteric School

Geoffrey A. Farthing

G. A. Farthing (1909-2004)

“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? (…..) This must be corrected
before the Society can make significant progress…”

(Geoffrey A. Farthing, in his 1976 Letter to I. K. Taimni) 1/20
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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, 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”, 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.
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”.

It is now published for the first time.

The decision to make the document public was 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. 2/20
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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…”

Dr. I.K. Taimni (1898-1978), to whom the letter is addressed, was

the author of various books, especially on the Hindu tradition.

We add explanatory notes at the end of the text. Underlined words

are thus in the typewritten copy we received from Mr. Farthing in
January 2000.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)


To the Outer Head of the Adyar E.S.

Geoffrey A. Farthing

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 3/20
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‘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.




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., 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
[3] possibly in India. Where it is known of, it is regarded as a
small sectarian body. 4/20
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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 “Mahatma

Letters to A.P. Sinnett” and graduating to “The Key to
Theosophy”, “Secret Doctrine”, “Isis” and “The Collected
Writings of H.P.B.”, 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 5/20
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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…”
(S.D.,Vol I, p.278). 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

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 6/20
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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.” [4] 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 …………. [5] 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. [6]

The results of this on The Theosophical Society as an institution

for the promotion of the special Theosophical ideas and therefore 7/20
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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’ [7] 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 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.” 8/20
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(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 Wachtmeister 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. [8] 9/20
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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 10/20
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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”.[9] This quotation
indicates not only the intention for the Theosophical Society but
that Theosophy is something specific in its own right. 11/20
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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? 12/20
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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

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 13/20
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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. 14/20
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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 15/20
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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”.[10] 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 16/20
24/09/2018 To the Outer Head of the Adyar ES

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

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. 17/20
24/09/2018 To the Outer Head of the Adyar ES

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.
Lake Farm, Eavestone,
Ripon HG4 3HD, N. Yorkshire


[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] Except – the original has “expect”, an obvious typing mistake.

[4] “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.

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

[6] 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.

[7] N. Sri Ram took the position of Outer Head from C.

Jinarajadasa in 1953.

[8] 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 18/20
24/09/2018 To the Outer Head of the Adyar ES

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.

[9] “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.

[10] 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.


See also the text “Life And Work of Geoffrey Farthing – The
Autobiographic Testimony Of a Leading Theosophist”. It is
available at our associated websites.


In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the

esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to
form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities
include the building of a better future in the different dimensions
of life.


E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic,

intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo). 19/20
24/09/2018 To the Outer Head of the Adyar ES

Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups

can do that by visiting

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