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Generations of seers

May 12, 1998 07:29 AM
by K Paul Johnson

It should come as no surprise that I find Mark persuasive in his
replies to Tony about "verified by generations of seers" as well
as "dugpas" trying to mislead us with our "evil genius."  Some
comments about what is myth and what is history in the former
case:  Sure, it's true that from the dawn of humanity people have
been experiencing inner planes, psychic phenomena, what have you,
and recording their experiences, and comparing notes, and trying
to come to some consensus about it.  Also true that some people
have stood out for the relative mastery of these realms and been
recognized for this in a wide variety of cultures. And it's also true that HPB
presents a truly global picture of the collective wisdom of
humanity, probably the first person to really synthesize a
planetary spirituality.  And it is also true that in tracing
parallel doctrines and symbols, she makes a strong case for
viewing occultism from a global perspective and seeing some
overall continuity in it, and some evolutionary progress.

Where the myth comes in is with the confusion of different levels
of meaning.  To think that the specific doctrines of the SD or
the Mahatma letters *are* what has been "verified by generations
of seers"; that there really is an ancient language called
Senzar in which the Stanzas of Dzyan are written; that there are
libraries buried in caves which contain records many thousands of
years old all of which precisely confirm HPB's version of
cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis-- all this is to think
mythically rather than historically.

Commenting on the dugpa issue, here is one real lollapalooza of a
mistaken interpretation of Tibetan religion.  Ask the DL or any
Tibetan or any scholar of Tibetan religion if there's any basis
for regarding the red hat sects, the Nyingmapa, the Kargyutpa, as
a band of evil black magicians out to mislead and destroy.  Ask
if there's the slightest historical basis for the Gelugpa having
such a view, and they will tell you absolutely not.

If one wishes for whatever reason to accept the fear messages
about a band of evil black magicians (which are to me a big blot on HPB's
record and a terrible legacy that has wrought havoc in the
Theosophical movement) then one can do so.  But to tie this in to
the venerable lineages of the pre-reformation Tibetan Buddhism is


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