On the Need to Face Uncompleted
Actions and Unlearned Lessons of the Past
A 2011 Editorial Note
Before closing his incarnation, theosophist Dallas
TenBroeck (1922-2006) distributed as a gift a number of
files to some of his friends around the world. These contained
fruits of his lifelong study of Theosophy. Valuable in many
ways, the Dallas Files also contain two letters written by Mr.
John Garrigues (1868-1944) to his companions in the
theosophical movement. One of these letters is reproduced below.
John Garrigues was among the founders of the United Lodge
of Theosophists, ULT, in February 1909. In spite of the fact
that he worked anonymously, he is seen by some researchers as
one of the most influential theosophists since the foundation of the
theosophical movement in 1875. He certainly played a key role in the
preservation of the original theosophy. In the following letter, we have
suppressed the first name of the person to whom the message was sent.
We leave but the initial. At the first sentence of the second paragraph,
we added one letter, “w”, in brackets, so as to complete the word “was”.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
You may be sure I was mighty glad to have your letter of the 26th with its news in regard to your own well-being, but sorry to learn that the Oceanside people are having both outer and inner difficulties.
I have always felt that Max Heindel [w]as a sincere and earnest student. However he may have been mistaken in some respects, under Karma, at least he was a worker along those lines which to him seemed major duties. And again, I have felt a respect for the devotion of Mrs. Heindel, who has “carried on” despite all obstacles and limitations.
As I study and endeavor to apply the great teachings of Theosophy it is more and more brought home to me that difficult as it is to burst the bonds of one’s embodied Skandhas, otherwise called the personality, it is a thousandfold greater task to try to rise above the Skandhas of the race. The whole western world is almost overpoweringly affected by those collective Skandhas that we call religion, science and philosophy. The moment any man endeavors, after his first awakening, to follow and hold fast to the “small old Path,” he begins to face on another plane the Skandhas of the class of reincarnating Egos to which he belongs. It is here that all too many sincere Souls are led into side paths. The Skandhas really represent the “unfinished business,” so to say, that is, the uncompleted actions and unlearned lessons of the past.
With so many Theosophists the remnants of the personal god idea, and one or another form of “healing” practices, carry them off on the reverse arc. H.P.B., Mr. Judge and Mr. Crosbie well recognized these dangers, and so had every charity and sympathy for their fellow men in whom the psychic nature was misunderstood and, therefore, misdirected.
I do not quite understand how anything at U.L.T. should cause, or promote, internal dissensions amongst the Oceanside Rosicrucians. Certainly they have both the right and the duty to follow Truth as they may perceive it. Our only desire is to serve, whenever and wherever possible, all those interested in any way in the Three Objects of the Theosophical Movement. I wish that more of the earnest ones there could come in contact with The Friendly Philosopher. You have a copy, haven’t you? Anyway, you should be able to be of good and ameliorating influence because of your own nature and understanding.
My best wishes to you,
John Garrigues. (December 30, 1941)
 “The Friendly Philosopher”, a book by Robert Crosbie, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles. (CCA)