Should We Continue the Thread?
Dec 30, 1996 07:19 AM
by Eldon B Tucker
I agree with John that the thread regarding the Theosophy of
Blavatsky as contrasted with that of Alice Bailey should be
continued. You've indicated that you have more useful materials
to offer, and many of us would like to see what you have to say.
Maxim has indicated that he finds finds value in the Bailey texts
as seed ideas for his philosophical contemplations. He doesn't
want to be put, though, into the position of her defender, and
spend the necessary time and energy.
I don't think that we're putting Bailey on trial, but rather
contrasting the basic, fundamental, building-block teachings of
Blavatsky with Bailey and other later writers. This contrast is
to see how the materials differ.
Using Blavatsky as a known point of reference, we'd be comparing
other ideas and ways of presenting Theosophy in order to see what
is consistent, supportive, and in accord, and to see what is
divergent, contradictory, and misleading. We'd examine various
points and recouncil them. With one point, we might say, "This
is really the same idea, just put in these differing terms." With
another, we might say, "This is clearly wrong, and the later
writer misunderstood this fundamental point."
(This would be done, of course, after taking into account the
noise factor, the amount of information lost due to the media.
Blavatsky was limited by the inexpressiveness of the English
language, the lack of terminology, and even possible errors in
proof-reading and typesetting. It's hard to capture divine
truths on a piece of paper.)
Examples of differences that could be discussed include group
souls, monads versus principles, principles versus planes, adepts
and graduation from the human kingdom, devas and elementals, etc.
I can understand why Bailey might attribute her stanzas to the
same source as Blavatsky did. It would be the same for any of us
as for her. For any student of Theosophy, anyone that believes
that Theosophy is true and tries to think and understand things
in accord with it -- one would consider their new, original ideas
as theosophical, even if they hadn't read them in an
authoritative theosophical book. This points to the importance
of an on-going study and review of the original literature, to
provide something to check one's ever-growing ideas against.
I would not consider this thread, if followed, to be "Bailey
bashing", but rather an effort to define and describe key ideas
about Theosophy by trying to draw a fuzzy boundary between
"source teachings" and "other stuff". (Note that I'm not drawing
this line based upon whether the idea is mentioned by Bailey or
not, but am hoping that key ideas can be brought up that, as they
are clarified, can themselves make clear what Blavatsky was
trying to say.) The effort would be helpful in outlining
materials that could be incorporated into what-is-Theosophy
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