Undoubtedly, each one of us brings to our study of Theosophy our own unique viewpoints, and our own particular emphases. To ask several different people what drew them into the study is to hear several different answers. One person may be particularly interested in studying the common, esoteric threads uniting the multiplicity of world religions. Another may devote the vast majority of their study to The Secret Doctrine, coming to the fullest possible understanding of the Three Fundamental Propositions. Still others are drawn more to texts such as The Voice of the Silence or At the Feet of the Master, small but powerfully transformative tomes that illustrate the practical application of high Theosophical ideals to one’s own life. Some find expositions of psychic phenomena fascinating, opening one as they do to a world entirely beyond our everyday sense perceptions.
The Secret Doctrine teaches us that everything in existence stems ultimately from the ineffable, incomprehensible ground of being described as the Absolute. Anything below this level of being is “maya,” illusion. The Society’s motto, “There is no religion higher than truth,” points to the over-arching search that brings most of us to the study of Theosophy: The search for truth. From this it follows that to be bogged down in the illusory nature of anything less than Truth itself is to lose sight of the Path. If the highest Truth is to be found beyond all form, in this boundless Absolute, then anything containing the characteristics of form, limitation and definition falls short of Truth in some way. The logic in this line of thought is sound, but can lead to the development of a value system that looks down upon an interest in phenomena. How often is this word, “phenomena,” used in a condescending manner to describe interests deemed by the speaker to be inferior? What effect does this have?
Which aspect of Theosophical study is most suitable? Most advisable? Most fruitful? What is the yardstick by which we measure the relevance of a given set of Theosophical ideas? Whose is the task of deciding which texts are more or less relevant? What memes are propagated throughout the Society as a result of the exercising of discrimination to this end?