Re:HPB on Reincarnation
Apr 27, 1998 11:24 AM
by Brenda S Tucker
>I've only scratched the surface on this subject.
>There is much, much more to be said on this subject.
>I know of no published book or article that has dealt
>*comprehensively* with the subject matter of this
I've never read Isis Unveiled and I'm not too familiar with this
discussion, but I think that both sides of this discussion make mistakes.
It doesn't really matter to me that there are errors, because nobody is all
knowing, and we can benefit from each one's individual knowledge and
specialized field of study by pointing out the errors as we find them.
I don't understand K. Paul Johnson's post on "Defending Oneself, "or the
Cause?"" because we should look at theosophy as a school sometimes where
the students major in different subjects. One purpose that we have in doing
this is so that we know something well, thoroughly, and can bring laurels
to the other students from this endeavor.
I can not pinpoint what "subject" Daniel is referring to above. I do accept
that HPB's writings can attack "current views" while supporting and
teaching an "archaic view." This is fine with me because she attempted to
straighten out some of the "less educated" in the populace. Right beliefs
can help considerably in living better lives.
I appreciate the work of both of these scholars and think it is fine that
they try to point out the other's errors, but I don't consider myself a
very "fine scholar" myself and would prefer reading with a "fine tooth" not
to find the errors, but to find the High Points that instruct me and
illumine me about theosophy. Usually when I read their works, there is some
fine "unveiling" which they do and I wish more people would just thank them
sincerely because they are fun to know, instead of too much criticism.
I would like to comment on the idea of defending and it not being an egoic
mallady. I would prefer to defend for other reasons than K. Paul Johnson
mentioned. I think it is a noble endeavor. I think it is almost too good
for me to do without assistance from ascended masters, and would prefer to
think that they are defending "truth" through me. Right belief was somewhat
forthcoming from my study of your books, but I don't think you have "Right
Belief" even if you have given it to others.
You simply dismiss the way HPB writes about the master's roles in her
education by showing she had ordinary contact with them as mortals. I might
discover in what you have written that the masters were present on earth in
MANY, MANY, ways which were undiscoverable in the theosophical writings.
The masters to me are great beings who have done MUCH, MUCH more than found
the T.S. and help HPB write. They have had many chelas and are active in
diverse cultures, governments, and lives.
I don't believe that you can conclude honestly that because the masters
were ONE PLACE where you have found them, that they couldn't be present (in
another person's mind) honestly the way that they (meaning HPB) presented
them. When two people are sought after to present their viewpoints on life
or wisdom, it is too disrespectful to allow one viewpoint to be the only
one possible and therefore correct. HPB's viewpoint can still remain valid
even though Paul's has not coincided with hers.
When HPB became a "public personality" in the founding of the TS, I am
amazed that this would mean (to Paul) that she didn't have to endeavor to
continue her education to better equip herself for this role. Anybody with
any sense would do this. Wouldn't you continue to study?
Why do you define "theosophical dogma" to mean that she had ways of knowing
and didn't have to study? Perhaps you have encountered this, but I don't
accept that you need to expose those who think this to ridicule and
condemnation when you could just politely instruct them. We are all
uneducated and may have mistakes in our thinking, but we have good points,
So, in summary, I think we can all find enjoyable methods of study and
fields of study, and present our findings as if we are in different
disciplines. Certainly at universities, current opinions in one field
reflect upon those in another field and it is wise to read and study from
many points of view. Too bad I'm not as sharp and literate and prose-worthy
as some of the others, but there are still lots of years left for which us
to make attainments in these directions, if we choose.
>K. Paul Johnson wrote:
>> Frank asks "what evidence?" in respopnse to my assertion that the
>> evidence argues against the Theosophical dogma that HPB knew
>> everything significant that appears in her writings before she
>> started to write in 1874. That could generate a voluminous
>> answer, but the simple answer is "Check out The Theosophical
>> Enlightenment by Joscelyn Godwin" since this book goes into great
>> length on the matter. I will mention a couple of pieces of
>> evidence reported in my own books that are relevant, though.
>> According to Dayananda's letters, HPB was an avid student of
>> Sanskrit under him and was making tremendous progress as of the
>> early 1880s. How can it be merely coincidental that her writings
>> after that period are far more detailed and accurate about
>> Hinduism than was Isis Unveiled? (Again, don't demand proof of
>> this, but look to the sources and you will see it; she relies on
>> dubious secondary sources in Isis, and cites far more reliable
>> primary sources in the SD.) Another example of her learning is
>> that the material on Tibetan Buddhism found in her very late
>> writings is far more consistent with available source material on
>> the subject than the things she earlier presented as emanating
>> from Tibetan sources. As for conflicts indicating that she had
>> no profound understanding of things Tibetan during her public
>> career, I would refer you to an article by Ian Brown, a Gelugpa
>> initiate, that was originally presented as a paper at a
>> Theosophical History Conference in the 1980s. His article was in
>> TH but I don't know the date.
>> You may be right that she privately taught reincarnation from the
>> beginning, but it appears that Judge's testimony conflicts with
>> Olcott's on this, and I would favor the latter as having much
>> more contact with her. I originally read the Collected Writings
>> through the lens of Theosophical dogma, i.e. that she knew it all
>> at the start and unveiled her knowledge gradually according to
>> circumstances and orders. But rereading them in light of
>> historical information about her associations during her public
>> career shows influences constantly coming in that coincide with
>> changes of emphasis and new kinds of information appearing.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application