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

Re: deva-chan and theosophical terms

May 13, 1998 05:27 AM
by Jerry Schueler

>You are right that many terms have a specialized meaning
>within theosophical ranks. This is true of any specialized
>area of thought: a specialized terminology arises to
>describe the advances in thought found there. There are
>specialized terms in mathematics, computer work, linguistics,
>Buddhist studies, etc. Many of the terms are borrowed from
>other areas, and not always keeping the same meanings.
>This is not because they are inaccurate references to
>other religions and philosophies, just that the developing
>theosophical terminology borrowed heavily, adopting terms
>with similar, but not always exactly the same meanings.
>-- Eldon

Thanks for your thoughts, Eldon. The flip side of having a
special language (and science is often accused of this) is
elitism and the desire to demonstrate a mystique to others.
In some cases, I agree, such a language is necessary.
Samadhi is being used in transpersonal psychology as a
transpersonal mental state because there is no English
equivalent. I am also not happy with the recent English-ization
of Sanskrit terms in Buddhist books (prana is wind, bindu
or bodicitta is drop, karmamudra is action-seal, and so on)
because I think they obscure rather than enhance the
meaning. But whenever modern English can be substituted
without degradation or obscurity, I prefer to use it.

Jerry S.

[Back to Top]

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