[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re:Terminology and What Should be Taught

Dec 26, 1996 11:59 AM
by Maxim Osinovsky

On Thu, 26 Dec 1996 Eldon Tucker wrote:

> The doctines are based on truth, on how the world really works,
> but their expression by Blavatsky is imperfect.  There is a
> degree of restrain as to what was given out.  There were blinds
> and veils over certain truths.  The terminology was inaccurate
> and being coined on-the-fly as Blavatsky wrote.  And the
> materials were written in response to the needs of Western
> thinkers of the late 1800's.

Very good! Completely agree.

> One issue on which I've seen different stands taken concerns what
> we should teach others, especially the general public.  There is
> a basic theosophical model taught by HPB.  She also taught some
> additional materials that would alter that model.  (See "The
> Inner Group Teachings of HPB".)

I believe the phrase "a basic theosophical model taught by HPB"
is incorrect.  I feel what she knew might be called a model--or
rather a vision, but not what she taught.  The latter is bits and
pieces she was allowed to give out, and make together an
incomplete mosaic.

A.  Besant (AB) and C.W.Leadbeater (CWL) enriched (in some
respects), expanded, and organized the HPB material, often in a
textbook manner, and what emerges from their writings may be
called a convenient model--much more systematic, but poorer in
content and leaving very little to exercise intuition (unlike HPB
whose writings offer puzzles and problems on every page).

A.A.Bailey (AAB) and the Tibetan again expanded theosophical
teaching.  and presented it in a very systematic, extremely well
organized manner.  One of their major contributions was to extend
the scope of theosophical teaching beyond our planet (HPB wrote
somewhere that her teachings apply to this planet only) and well
into the larger universe.  Another was to consistently emphasize
necessity of thinking in terms of energy and flows of energy
rather than in terms of substances and objects (as AB and CWL so
often did), in terms of consciousness and life; in short, keeping
fluid and non-rigid thinking.

Henry Laurency's esoteric system (his followers relate it was
approved by Master Hilarion and the Tibetan) is exceptionally
well organized, although again at the cost of richness of

> Apart from the question of how to treat enhancements to the basic
> theosophical model, there's one more idea that I'd like to
> comment on.
> Our terms are often used in more than one sense.  This may be
> partly due to an inadequate, unrefined terminology.  It also may
> be due to the multiple use of terms as an esoteric blind,
> allowing deeper truths to be hidden behind simpler ones or behind
> apparent gibberish.
> The term "Monad" is an example of a term with multiple meanings.
> Consider three ways in which it could be considered.
> Our terminology has been inprecise, and at times terms have been
> used in more than one manner.  This has been due to the lack of
> time in refining the terminology.  And due to the use of exoteric
> blinds.  But yet another use is as a deliberate teaching
> technique.  The intent may well be to keep throwing us off a bit,
> to keep us from getting too smug in thinking that we've finally
> got "the complete picture", to keep us rethinking our ideas from
> scratch and maintaining a healthy fluidity in our thoughts.

I vote for a healthy fluidity of thought.  I believe it should be
taken very seriously.  It should be based (1) on an ability to
think about things on several levels simultaneously, and (2) on
another ability to think about things without assigning to them
solid or sharp forms, outlines, and boundaries.  It is difficult
but not impossible.

Let me share my experience.

I developed a habit to think on several levels simultaneously due
to my cabbalistic studies; the version of cabbala I studied
encouraged to interpret all statements (e.g., 3 + 6 = 9, or the
names of the God) on three levels: those of the archetype,
nature, and man (microcosm).  Gurdjieff's system was to me a good
supplement to my cabbalistic studies.

As to the second ability, I greatly benefited from philosophy of
Hegel, especially his "Science of Logic." This is the best text
on dialectical thinking known to me.


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application