Answers all around
May 28, 1998 12:09 PM
by K Paul Johnson
According to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Jerry S. wrote:
> Dallas, I think you're missing the whole point that Johnson and
> I have been trying to make. We are trying to point out that
> Blavatsky was human and that she was not infallible and that
> she did, on occasion, make mistakes. That all that I was
> out to "prove." I have never tried to "assail" her (this is your
> own over-reaction, I think).
Well, I would go further than that and say that she wasn't just
mistaken sometimes, but also willfully deceptive sometimes.
I would also add that in most cases there were perfectly
understandable reasons for her not to want to reveal the truth.
> From: "Marshall Hemingway III" <email@example.com>
> I get the impression that P. Johnson feels that the Masters are mythological
> characters and not the 'highest product in evolution" as stated by WQJ in The
> Ocean of Theosophy.
Wrong impression. Of course you could mean three different
things by "the Masters" here and seem to be conflating them all.
First, you could mean that it appears to you that I "feel"
(think, actually) that HPB had no genuine adept teachers or
sponsors and everything she said about them was "myth" in the
sense of total imagination. But since the book consists
primarily of profiles of 32 historical figures I propose as being
her adept teachers and sponsors, obviously I cannot regard them
as "mythological characters." But maybe you don't mean HPB's
specific teachers/sponsors, but rather the whole category of
adepts/bodhisattvas, etc.? No, I don't regard them as
"mythological characters" at all. Finally, you could mean by
"the Masters" the specific figures named and described by HPB in
her writings: Morya, Gulba-Singh, Koot Hoomi, Ram-Ranjit-Das,
Hilarion, Lama Ugyen, Serapis, Djual Kul, etc. In which case I
*still* don't regard them as "mythological characters" but rather
as fictionalizations of real people-- with varying degrees of
Hope that clears things up.
> From: "Jerry Hejka-Ekins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Paul, my issue concerned fairness, not authenticity. Dan raised the
> issue concerning authenticity of that particular letter, and I never
> disputed it. I can send you the discussion string if you still don't
> have it.
But Jerry, as you say below, your issue was that I was being
*unfair* to use evidence the *authenticity* of which was "in
dispute." Dan didn't *raise* the authenticity issue, you did. Dan
instead pointed out the irrelevancy of the fairness issue by
showing that the authenticity issue was not in fact an issue at
all. Thus, he *settled* it.
> Sorry Paul, but this is not the case with me, nor do I think it fair to
> assume that it is generally true either.
Generally true of whom? Total silence greeted my posting of
several relevant quotes, after I'd been more or less challenged
to provide evidence on the issue. Dallas at least was making
some very accusing statements, but then seems to have ignored the
evidence he challenged me to post.
Further, the supposed
> unwillingness of those who disagree with you to go "outside of the
> conceptual universe which these folks live" may be more or less true,
> however, I suspect that the same problem may also apply to the accuser.
I went completely outside my own conceptual universe re: HPB while
writing those books, and then again in the wake of their
reception. There are surely areas on which I do have a fixed
belief system, but HPB and Theosophy are obviously not among
> Dan, the issue I raised concerned *fairness,* not forgery. To repeat may
> self again: if disputed evidence is being offered, then it is a manner of
> fairness that the fact of its disputation be acknowledged. Since, as you
> ably pointed out, the authenticity of this particular letter is not in
> dispute, then obviously my *issue of fairness* does not apply to this
Thus, as you say here, your issue of fairness was entirely
dependent on the issue of authenticity, right?
> of semantics, so I generally find it more productive just to listen. Rather
> than asking Paul for a clarification concerning his premises regarding this
> letter, I instead raised a far more basic question: exactly what is an
> "untruth?" If untruth means not telling the truth at all times, then HPB
> lied by omission the day she failed to speak up when someone walked into her
> home wearing an ugly hat. As I commented earlier (and I believe Paul
> expressed agreement), I'm far more interested in HPB's reasons for what she
> says and doesn't say, than whether or not her words or writings meet
> someone's standard of truth or "untruth" (whatever that is). When the
> discussion gets around to addressing this question, then let me know and
> I'll join in.
Well, that was the gist of all those quotes I posted that no one
chose to respond to. 1) HPB tells Sinnett she lied in denying
sympathy for the idea of Russian invasion of India. 2) HPB
expresses great sympathy for the idea to Charles Johnston (or in
his presence, at least.) 3) Master M. in a letter says that HPB
is obliged to mislead people, due to the fact that the
international activities of her Masters are highly sensitive.
All of these go to show, not that I'm making mere "allegations"
about her untruthfulness, but that she and M. are making frank
admissions about same, and suggesting that the motives involved
political allegiances in the Anglo-Russian Great Game.
I agree with you 100% that the fact of less-than-total
truthfulness should be assumed, and the real question is why HPB
would shade things different ways with different audiences.
There are many levels at which this could be explored.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application