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Re: Theos-World: R. Taylor on a very disturbing issue .... (continued)

Nov 18, 1999 07:28 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

Nov 19th 1999

		RE: Mine of Nov 13th on R. Taylor 2nd Chapter (draft) Thesis on

Dear Daniel:

An additional thought has occurred to me in regard to what I
wrote there.

It has to do with the method of drawing together the material on
which the Adepts and HPB made comments, or on which they desire
to present important views.  And, the method used for putting
those views and ideas together for us to read and think about.

Mahatma ..... wrote:  "You have seen by the Kiddle
incident...that even an "adept" when acting in his body is not
beyond mistakes due to human carelessness...all thro' lack of
simple caution.  There is always that danger if one has neglected
to ascertain whether the words or sentences rushing into the
mind have come all from 'within' or whether some may have been
impressed from 'without.'  ...I had no time to verify their
contents--nor do I now.  I have a habit of often quoting, 'minus'
quotation marks--from the maze of what I get in the countless
folios of our Akasic libraries, so to say--with eyes shut.
Sometimes I may give out thoughts that will see light years
later;  at other times what an orator, a Cicero may have
pronounced ages earlier, and at others, what was only pronounced
by modern lips but already either written or printed--as in the
Kiddle case.  All this I do (not being a trained writer for the
Press) without the smallest concern as to where the sentences and
strings of words may have come from, so long as the serve to
express, and fit in with my own thoughts."  [ML 324]

The "Kiddle" incident concerned a man with that name who, after
the book was published, claimed that some of the passages that
Mr. Sinnett quoted from the Mahatma's letters and used in his
book:  THE OCCULT WORLD were his originally.

Writing again to his correspondent on some of the pearls of
wisdom that might occasionally be discovered by readers despite
the unshaped and unpolished style and appearance of the early
issues of the THEOSOPHIST, He comments (in part) :  "But let your
attention be rather drawn to the few pearls of wisdom and 'occult
truths' to be occasionally discovered...And who knows, how many
of those, who, undismayed by its unprepossessing appearance...may
find themselves rewarded some day for their perseverance !
Illuminated sentences may gleam out upon them, at some time or
other, shedding a bright light upon some old puzzling
problems...yourself you may, perchance, perceive in them the
unexpected solution of an old, blurred "dream" of yours, which
once 'recalled' will impress itself in an indelible image upon
your 'outer' from your inner memory, to never fade out from it
again.  all this is possible, and may happen..." [ ML 278 ]  Is
this not a broad hint as to the value of the "Heart" doctrine?
and its relation to the literal dry word-transmission -- the
"Eye" doctrine ?  What patience and perseverance may be needed by
the disciple to uncover from such texts these keys to soul memory

The matter of picking up words and ideas was asked about by Mr.
Sinnett, and evoked this response at one time:  "Quotation from
Tennyson?  Really cannot say. Some stray lines picked up in the
astral light or in somebody's brain and remembered, I never
forget what I once see or read.  A bad habit.  So much so, that
often and unconsciously to myself I string together sentences of
stray words and phrases, before my eyes and which may have been
used hundred years ago, or will be hundred years hence, in
relation to quite a different subject.  Laziness and real lack of
time." [ML 286]

Reviewing, and criticizing some of the writing in ISIS UNVEILED,
he wrote: "If M. told you to beware trusting ISIS too implicitly,
it was because he was 'teaching you truth and fact'--and that at
the time the passage was written we had not yet decided upon
teaching the public indiscriminately...Many are the subjects
treated upon in ISIS that even HPB was not allowed to become
thoroughly acquainted with;  yet they are not contradictory
if--"misleading."  To make her say--that the passage criticized
was "incomplete, chaotic, vague. . .clumsy as many more passages
in that work" was a sufficiently "frank admission" I should
think, to satisfy the most crotchety critic.  To admit "that the
passage was wrong," on the other hand, would have amounted to a
useless falsehood, for I 'maintain' that it is 'not' wrong;
since it conceals the 'whole' truth, it does not distort it in
the fragments of that truth as given in ISIS."  ML 182

Reverting to the subject of plagiarism, we can find Him saying in
some detail:  "I am accused of "plagiarism.".  We of Tibet and
China know not what you mean by the word,  I do, but this is no
reason, perhaps, why I should accept your literary laws.  Any
writer has the privilege of taking out whole sentences from the
dictionary of "PAI-WOUEN-YEN-FU" the greatest in the world, full
of quotations from every known writer, and containing all the
phrases ever used--and to frame them to express his thought.
This does not apply to the Kiddle case which happened just as I
told you.
But you may find, perchance throughout my letters twenty detached
sentences which may have been already used in books or MSS.  When
you write upon some subject you surround yourself with books of
references etc.:  when  we write upon something the Western
opinion about which is unknown to us, we surround ourselves with
hundred of paras:  upon this particular topic from dozens of
different works--impressed upon the Akasa.  What wonder then,
that...even myself--should use occasionally a whole sentence
already existent, applying it to another--our own idea?  I have
told you of this before and it is no fault of mine if your
friends and enemies will not remain satisfied with the
explanation...For the 'Kiddle' business it is you own fault.  why
have you printed the OCCULT WORLD before sending it to me for
revision?  I would have never allowed the passage to pass...'We
are not infallible, all-foreseeing "Mahatmas" at every hour of
the day,' good friend...."  ]ML 364]

We are thus given an idea and an explanation concerning the
possibility of copying stray phrases and words from various
authors.  Obviously the intention has never been to steal those
or use them for any other purpose than accuracy of expression.

In mine of Nov. 13th to you, I said (in part):

"She (HPB) states in many places that she was writing on behalf
of (or even under the dictation of) the Masters of Wisdom,
whether one "believes" in them or not -- Olcott and Wachmeister
(among others) make corroborating reports of this, and she says
so repeatedly.  [ They (the Masters) have also authenticated this
fact to Dr. Hubbe-Schleiden --- see PATH magazine, April 1892,
Vol. 8, pp. 1-3 ].  She also says that much if not all she wrote,
was supervised or reviewed by them.  She does say in regard to
ISIS that the proof-readers made errors...Her writing might be
criticized, as she did herself, and her own critique ought to be
offered for the consideration of the reader.  [In regard to Mr.
R. Taylor's draft ]  I would also add that if he had first
consulted you, you could have pointed this out to him...."

I bring this forward as otherwise it might leave the impression
that the Mahatmas connived or were also guilty of "plagiarism" or
of "stealing" another's words, or of condoning such a practice
habitually.  They speak for themselves.

With best wishes,


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