Re: : HPB ==A Protest by Dallas -- Some further thoughts
Jun 03, 1998 05:51 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck
June 3rd 1998
"I think he doth protest too much !" -- Shakespeare.
Apparently we are as friends agreeing to disagree in opinion,
interpretation, etc. regarding HPB as a person. and also as an
"individuality". Looking through Cranston's Biography of HPB
would help. I think, as it draws together all the information
that has been written on -- about her and her work.
Hero-worship ! Why not ? To me she is one of the Great Heroes
of the world. Both her writings and work show that.
I am not going to debate on the latitudes that historians or
biographers allow themselves in the world of "book-writing," and
"book-selling." The "lower-mind" is a very clever lawyer and we
all have one. I am trying to write and think from the basis of
that morality which tries to look into the Karma of any motive,
action, thought, etc. that anyone of us can generate. Of course
if one does not think that the Universe is based on justice and
fairness, and that one's integrity vanishes at the death of the
mere physical body, then there is no use in further speech. But
I do not credit you with that.
Of course HPB is alive and awake on the "inner planes" that are
so far inaccessible to us, but for which we have ample evidence
of their presence. I have no doubt she sees all this quite well.
But there must be some law of nature that prevents Her from
taking tangible action. I suspect that the law is one that tests
the integrity of the followers and disciples of every great
teacher. Having learned, are they able to dare to apply ? -- I
also suspect that everyone who assumes the position of a "priest"
of whatever denomination, takes to some extent advantage of this
law. That they will not be contravened or contradicted by the
Originator and the Reformer -- the Prophet, the Reformer.
Hence, they begin to distort (either in ignorance, or
deliberately) the doctrines and ideas that the said Prophet came
to deliver, so that the masses could benefit from them. Look at
what we have left of "The Sermon on the Mount." Could modern
Christianity in all its many sects and variations thereof, exist
for a day under the application of the laws of benevolence,
non-violence charity and tolerance suggested there ? Nations,
legislatures, businesses, etc... would crumble -- and that is the
kind of change that as a mass, we cannot envisage or tolerate.
Individually we can do it, and it has to be done individually and
little by little. Who, today has the force of character of a
Jesus, or a Gandhi, or a "Mother Theresa," or an
And to some extent the fate of the honest "follower," or
"disciple" is analogous to that of the prophet whose teachings he
continues to proclaim. No. We find all kinds of "reasons" why
it would be better not to adopt for personal (and especially not
for public) use the "Sermon of the Mount." But, we also do not
want to abandon the idea that we can be "personally saved" if we
loudly claim we "believe in Jesus, the Christ, the Redeemer"
while we deny and repudiate Him at every step of our daily lives.
If there is any dichotomy present in life it is right there --
and as a result hypocrisy flourishes. None of us is entirely
free of that.
I say anyone, using the Theosophical seven-fold definition of the
"principles" that are innate to any human being, has at one end a
link to the Absolute--the DIVINITY, and at the other a link to
the physical personal. In the center are the "growing" and
"changing" active principles of the mind and the emotions (Manas
I do not think that anyone of us can deny that the struggle for
self-knowledge goes on intensely right there, within the two
poles of our own consciousness. In fact much of the KEY TO
THEOSOPHY that HPB wrote deals with this. I think it is quite
crucial to our "progress."
And perhaps it is a kind of "self-initiation" that goes on all
the time. It does help if we know better what Theosophy actually
teaches. But perhaps many feel that it is benevolent and that we
can guess at it, and get away with the warm feeling that we are
"theosophists." But what have we really gained ? We may be
sympathetic to the ideals and objectives of Theosophy as framed.
But, here we have a detailed and explicit set of propositions.
They draw together the wisdom of the world and its past
experiences. Are we to remain ignorant of them? Is
entertainment more important that acquiring wisdom ? Each alone
can answer that to themselves.
In an article "Leo Tolstoy and Christianity" [ Lucifer, September
1890; ULT Edition of HPB Articles, Vol. 3, p. 114 ] HPB wrote:
"The personal life, that which recognizes and wills only one's
own "I," is the animal life; the life of reason is the human,
the existence proper to man according to his nature as man...from
the remotest times onwards, Humanity has ever been conscious of
the torturing inner contradiction, wherein all who seek after
personal well-being find themselves. As, unfortunately, there is
no other solution of this contradiction except to transfer the
center of attraction of one's existence from the personality,
which can never be saved from destruction, to the everlasting
All, it is intelligible that all the sages of the past, and with
them also the greatest thinkers of later centuries, have
established doctrines and moral laws identical in their general
meaning because they saw more or less clearly than other men both
the contradiction and its solution." [ The article continues in
this general vein. ]
"With the awakening of the reasoning consciousness, which must
occur sooner or later in every man, he becomes conscious of the
gulf between the animal and the human life; he realizes this
more and more fully, till at last--on the highest plane of
consciousness--the fundamental contradiction of life is
recognized as only an 'apparent' contradiction pertaining solely
to the sphere of animal existence, and the meaning of life, after
which the personal man seeks in vain, is at last discovered . It
is not discovered by logical deduction, but intuitively. The
spiritually regenerate man suddenly finds himself transported
into the eternal, timeless condition of the life of pure
"Reason," (Meaning Plato's "Noetic Life.") in which can be no
more illusions, contradictions, riddles, ... The life of reason
is, as the original and only true life, also the 'normal' life of
man: and man as such can only be called "living" is so far as he
subdues the animal in him, under the law of organic life ...
there is nothing super-human in following the 'natural' law of
human life and both regarding and using as a 'tool' what is a
mere tool, of the true life--the personality ... to 'use' a tool
as a tool is not to 'deny' it, but simply to make it serve its
proper purpose, i.e., Reason. -- This is Tolstoy's philosophy of
life, identical in its basis with that of Theosophy."
I have quoted this at length because it seems to me to be the
crux of our divergence of views, as Tolstoy (quoted by HPB)
applied to this.
Yes, unequivocally, I would demand for anyone who is considered
retrospectively in biography or in history the same equity of
regard as one would accord in the present: a balance between
that which can be looked at in their natures and work.
An unguarded writer (out on a slender branch) makes declarations
that, on contradiction, leaves him no support but the empty air
and gravitation -- he falls. A guarded writer clothes his
opinions and identifies them with the "escape words" "seems,
perhaps, appears, etc... indicating that there may be a lack of
evidence -- which, should it emerge, would change the opinion
currently being offered. And that is all I am after. But such a
"guard" does little to bolster the "authority" idea that many
think is valuable to their self-esteem, especially, if "They"
Although we are agreed that Hitler served as a focus for a
monstrous force, he was not alone as those who supported and
carried out his decrees are culpable of connivance. But taking
the case of HPB, who did she subvert ? Take any of her writings,
does she not inevitably respect the individual liberty of those
to whom she offers her wisdom to ?
There is a vast difference between compulsion and acceptance, and
service, and adoption of views, as a fresh basis for
consideration. The first closes doors to charity, freedom and to
tolerance, the latter opens those and adopts them as primaries.
Is that so wrong ?
Should nobility of purpose and execution be derided ? And what
is it in anyone that does the deriding ? What aspect of the
personal nature feels offended at the teachings (however
perverted by interested translators) of a Jesus, a Krishna, a
Buddha, or a Lao Tse?
That is a question which self-inventory alone allows us to answer
to ourselves. Refusing to compare the ideas of these four, is
evidence of some degree of self-imposed limits. Why ?
Enough along these lines.
I think best left alone at this point.
Best wishes, Dallas.
> Date: Tuesday, June 02, 1998 7:26 PM
> From: "Dr A M Bain" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: : HPB ==A Protest by Dallas TenBroeck
>W. Dallas TenBroeck <email@example.com> writes
>>June 1st 1998
>>I am apparently violating some tacit basis for the handling of
>>It seems immunity is granted to those who dare or desire to
>>ventilate their opinions. So I make mine known.
>>How can you or I "debate" HPB ?" We can not.
>Clearly (to most of us I think) the concept of "debating HPB" or
>anyone else is the colloquial use of a person's name as a means
>defining them as a historical figure complete with character,
>soul, etc., so that when we "debate" a "person" we are actually
>discussing their nature and character as it appears to us on the
>the evidence available to us.
>>She is herself, as you are, or I am--each one an individual
>>We are not subject to being debated. Someone may say they
>>like something about us, what we wear, what we eat, how we
>>what we do, etc.
>>Yes, HPB is a historical figure. If she is to be described,
>>let it be an honest description. I do not care to hear (and I
>>said this it plainly) about her, or anyone else, evil inferred.
>How are we to define an honest description? Sometimes, with
>historical, or even living people, evil may be infered because
>perceived to be apparent.
>>I have always thought when I hear or read things of that nature
>>that somehow the author, or the person repeating something that
>>cannot be gainsaid by the person concerned is taking advantage
>>their absence and of the public's avidity for slander, and ill
>>speaking -- always the attempt to reduce a person to a lower
>>level, morally. No thank you. Not for me.
>Is there no room in your world then for Biography? Many TS fans
>applaud the Sylvia Cranston biography, others regard it with
>esteem. Personally I have not read it. Your post suggests that
>in some way "absent" simply because she has passed from this
>Have you looked at the next plane and observed she is not there?
>Perhaps (even quite likely) she is more than aware that attacks
>integrity take place now, *just as they did when she was here*.
>>None of us is fit to do that in my esteem, whether it is HPB or
>How are you qualified to make such a statement?
>> When we have written a Secret Doctrine and secured
>>the backing of the Mahatmas, we may be able to debate WITH her.
>>But in her absence, no.
>As the existence of the Mahatmas and their precise identities
>been a matter of dispute in itself, I am quite sure that if HPB
>something to say to us *today* in real earth time, she will get
>message through somehow. You cannot prove her absence except in
>visual terms relating to the body she occupied until the time of
>"death" - but there is no death, so because you cannot see her,
>doesn't mean she isn't there.
>> As I said before, everyone of us who
>>use, or work with Theosophy, are her pupils and owe her a debt
>> I do not consider it honorable or respectful to try
>>to demean her.
>It is neither of these things to try to demean anyone with
>intent, but criticism of a person's character or work is always
>- and HPB was very good at it herself. She did so with regard
>the living and the dead!
>>I would say about Jesus the same thing.
>Jesus said some pretty cruel and unfriendly things. To these I
>supposing him to have been correctly quoted. There are plenty
>people who would seek to "demean" myself because I have
>that the evidence I have had available to me concerning him -
which is a
>great deal more than a great deal! - shows quite cearly that the
>Jesus = God is false.
>>About C W L -- well there are court judgments. If we are going
>>to debate his character, we will have to give both sides. He
>>done some good, and he had great potential, as one of the
>>Masters' early letters of encouragement to him reveals. That
>>would have to be mentioned. Same would be for anyone whose past
>>is under review or characterization.
>>To speak ill of the dead is cowardly I would say. If HPB were
>>here she could handle the matter herself. As she is not, I
>>up the cudgels ! Is that so strange ?
>Hitler is dead. Hitler was evil. His deeds demonstrate the
fact. I am
>cowardly to say this?
>>Somewhere I must be missing a clue.
>I fear you are correct here.
>>That in my seem is an example of why history is not a science.
>>It does not deal in facts anymore, but in selected opinions.
>>it is a matter of opinions then I voice mine. And I have done
>"History" has never dealt in facts alone, and historians are
>the facts they use. What we call "history" is indeed the
>contemporary writers (of whatever era) regarding the
>the facts. None of us is obliged to accept any particular
>History may, for example, repeat the writings of a person, but
>records how many drinks thay had when writing it, nor how many
>they farted. We all fart.
>>I hope this helps explain my position. Dallas
>To a degree, but I suspect that to many of us it comes across as
>heroine-worship, and that you *might* have elevated HPB to the
>of a deity. Sorry to say this, but much of what you write gives
>of impression - not least including your present post.
>In sincerity and fellowship,
>THEOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL: Working for a New Age:
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