Theosophist

“Truth is a Pathless Land”

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This is one of Krishnamurti’s statements purported to be against Theosophy, because the Theosophical literature frequently speaks about “the Path”. But the seemingly clash between concepts, I believe, is due to an imperfect understanding of both Krishnamurti’s and Theosophical teachings.
What Krishnamurti means with the concept of a “path” is a method, a technique, a series of predetermined actions to be followed. You can follow a path, a method, to learn most things, but not to find Truth.
Now, is that one the meaning of the word “Path” when used in Theosophy? This is not a place to analyze this, therefore I will only produce a couple of quotes that may be useful. In H. P. Blavatsky’s The Voice of the Silence, Fragment I, v. 58 it is said:

Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself.

And in a footnote to this verse:

This “Path” is mentioned in all the Mystic Works. As Krishna says in the Dhyaneswari: “. . . without moving is the travelling in this road. In this path, to whatever place one would go, that place one’s own self becomes.” “Thou art the Path” is said to the adept guru and by the latter to the disciple, after initiation.

It is obvious that “Path” here is not referring to any external method, to any action, since its traveling is “without moving”. The “Path”, in fact has probably to do with the antahkarana. But let us come back to Krishnamurti’s statement.
In his teaching he emphasizes that, ultimately, Truth cannot be reached through any direct action of our personality (repression, practices, study, etc.). That is, there are no (personal) means to realize Truth, because all personal resources are based on memory, the past, the conditioned; in one word, the illusory. The only thing that will bring Truth is the fresh, uncaused, perception of the false as false. This is a key vedantic concept based on “Viveka” (spiritual perception), one of the more highly regarded virtues in Theosophy. Nisargadatta Maharaj (like any Jnani), holds the same view. In a conversation published in I Am That, Talk 88, he was asked:

Questioner: I can make out that the source of anxiety and fear is memory. What are the means for putting an end to memory?
Maharaj: Don’t talk of means, there are no means. What you see as false, dissolves. It is the very nature of illusion to dissolve on investigation. Investigate — that is all. You cannot destroy the false, for you are creating it all the time…

And in the Christian mystic classic The Cloud of Unknowing we find the title-description of Chapter XXXIV being: “God gives this grace freely without any preceding cause; it cannot be achieved by any particular means.”
Thus, “there are no means”, there is no “path”. If the obstruction is an illusion produced by our (kama-manasic) mind, then no action of that mind will dispel it. Only the (intuitive) perception (Viveka) of the false as false will dispel the illusion.
That concept is not at all foreign to the Theosophical literature. In Mabel Collins Comments on Light on The Path , Part II, for example, we find:

But intuitive knowledge is an entirely different thing. It is not acquired in any way, but is, so to speak, a faculty of the soul.

Finally, there is a very interesting excerpt from an article published in the theosophical journal The Path, quoted by H.P. Blavatsky in her article Some Practical Suggestions for Daily Life, Part V. It says:

This life is not brought into existence by any act of ours, it is a reality, “the truth,” and is altogether independent of us. The realisation of the non-existence of all that seems opposed to this truth is a new consciousness and not an act. Man’s liberation is in no way related to his acts. In so far as acts promote the realisation of our utter inability to emancipate ourselves from conditioned existence, they are of use; after this stage is realised acts become obstacles rather than helps. Those who work in obedience to Divine commands, knowing that the power thus to work is a gift of God, and no part of man’s self-conscious nature, attain to freedom from the need of action. Then the pure heart is filled by the truth, and identity with the Deity is perceived. A man must first get rid of the idea that he himself really does anything, knowing that all actions take place in the “three natural qualities,” [i.e., the three gunas] and not in the soul at all (…) Therefore he must be devoted inwardly to the All; knowing that he is not the doer of the actions, but the mere witness of them (…) All doubt comes from the lower nature, and never in any case from the higher nature. Therefore as he becomes more and more devoted he is able to know more and more clearly the knowledge residing in his Sattva (goodness) nature. For it says: “A man who is perfected in devotion (or who persists in its cultivation) finds spiritual knowledge spontaneously in himself in progress of time.”

All these concepts are very common in Jnana Yoga as well as in Mysticism (which was used in the West as a synonym to the term “theosophy” since the Neo-Platonists).
Now, how that intuitive knowledge takes place, being uncaused, and what is the place for the “spiritual practices” recommended in all spiritual traditions, is another topic.

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