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RE: Theos-World: SD original versus Boris de Zirkoff edition of THE SECRET DOCTRINE

May 21, 2001 09:08 AM
by Peter Merriott


I think the ideation within the SD is far too important for us, as students
of Theosophy, to quarrel too much about the words and spelling. I believe
this is also your own view. But just out of curiosity, with regards Tony's
other examples, do you think de Zirkoff was doing the reader a service in
the Proem when he changed the 3 separate spellings of "disc", "disk" and
"Disk", to one unitary form. Or by placing a central point in the five
pointed star on page 5 (Proem) when there is none in the original?

Speaking for myself, I would rather have HPB' writings as they were
completed and published by her. I don't want somebody in-between correcting
the text according to his own ideas of what HPB *might* have put if she had
reflected upon it later.

While HPB's says all her works contain mistakes I would not want to be the
one who decides what they are and corrects them on her behalf, nor would I
want to decide for others what is a service to them by changes I might make
to the SD. Even with the mistakes, my many years of studying her works has
left me feeling confident in them as they are. That is not a feeling of
confidence I would be willing to place in Boris de Zirkoff, though I admire
the work he has done collating the material for the Collected Writings.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eldon B Tucker []
> Sent: 21 May 2001 14:59
> To:
> Subject: RE: Theos-World: SD original versus Boris de Zirkoff edition of
> Yes, it looks like a correction to the text, rather than
> a spelling correction or a correction of inaccurate quotes.
> We see "subhava" defined as being composed of two words,
> "su" and "bhava". The extra third word, "sva," is not part
> of that definition.
> In this passage, there is no second guessing of some
> deeply esoteric truth, with the potential loss of actual
> meaning if the guess is incorrect. The meaning is fairly
> plain and obvious. The change seems of benefit to the
> reader, since it represents one less bit of extraneous
> noise to deal with.
> The purpose of the book is to facilitate the transfer
> of knowledge, and on a deeper level to put the student
> in touch with teachings that are not subject to being
> captured in specific, concrete words.
> It's important to keep the best interests of the
> theosophical student in mind when presenting these
> materials.
> In balance, I still the many improvements -- including
> spelling corrections, corrections to quotations,
> typographical changes making quotes stand apart from
> the body text, etc. -- make the book much more suitable
> for study by all but the most exacting scholar, more
> interested in the history of the book than what is
> being said in it.
> If a careful review of changes reveals an error, it
> would be the same as if other errors are found in the
> text. They can be corrected in a future edition of
> the book, which makes it still better than earlier
> editions.
> The real issue, as I see it, with the Boris edition
> of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, concerns its copyright.
> The original edition of the book is in the public
> domain, and can be freely distributed in print
> and electronic form. The de Zirkoff edition is
> copyrighted by the Theosophical Publishing House,
> and permission needs to be obtained, and possible
> royalties paid, for reprinting passages from it.
> Although it may be the best edition for theosophical
> students, because it cannot be freely distributed,
> it's still preferable to cite the original edition.
> This will remain so until or unless the Theosophical
> Publishing House might chose to put the book in
> the public domain.
> -- Eldon
> At 12:21 PM 5/21/01 +0100, you wrote:
> >Dear Dallas
> >
> >A friend was having a look at the de Zirkoff edition, and the
> book fell open
> >at page 61 (vol. I):
> >
> >Original edition:
> >"Subhava, from which Svabhavat, is composed of two words: Su "fair,"
> >"handsome," good;" Sva, "self;" and bhava, "being" or "states of being."
> >
> >Boris de Zirkoff's edition:
> >Subhava, from which Svabhavat, is composed of two words: Su "fair,"
> >"handsome," "good;" and bhava, "being" or "states of being."
> >
> >It is not a spelling or quote change: '"Sva, "self;"' is simply
> eliminated
> >in the de Zirkoff edition.
> >
> >Tony
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: []
> >Sent: 20 May 2001 9:41 am
> >To:
> >Subject: RE: Theos-World: SD original versus Boris de Zirkoff edition of
> >
> >
> >Sunday, May 20, 2001
> >
> >Dear Tony:
> >
> >I did not realize there were all those changes. Thanks for
> >letting us know.
> >
> >If you find more will you share ?
> >
> >
> >Dallas
> >
> >===============================
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

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