RE: Theosophy & Buddhism
May 31, 2001 05:24 PM
Thursday, May 31, 2001
Our English translations are not necessarily accurate even
literally -- so I put in a word of caution. Beware of all
translations and of all personal views (and I include my own in
this package). No one except an Adept can write something which
is so clear and exact that there are no personal views and
Hence do not follow any one advocate or teacher. Try and follow
all. Give your own best effort to garner what they offer.
Remember that at our own HEART of HEARTS we are one with the
UNIVERSAL SPIRIT, the BUDDHA -- which is potential in each of us.
The VOICE OF THE SILENCE does provide a basis for the independent
consideration of the application of the practical ethics in daily
life which a devoted student to the Eternal Wisdom can derive
from the metaphysics and doctrinal expositions.
Literalism ties one down to words, and we are not sure how exact
they are. Ideas may be far more of the Intuition (Buddhi-Manas)
and more trustworthy than the "eye" doctrinal records.
At least that has been my experience.
If one has a grasp of the METAPHYSICS embodied in the first vol.
of the S.D. one has a chance to make them both observational and
From: Gerald Schueler
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 9:25 AM
Subject: Theosophy & Buddhism
I am of the opinion that we will find it very difficult to
compare THEOSOPHY with BUDDHISM unless we can access the original
Pali texts (as we can THEOSOPHY in English, where it was
written) and compare them IDEA to IDEA.>>>
JERRY: Dallas, I apologise for jumping into your response to
forgive me. But I fail to understand your position here on an
point. Why the "original" Pali texts? In fact, why the Pali texts
These are considered to be the "First Turning of the Wheel" and
fact, the teachings accepted by the Hinayana/Theravadin schools,
Mahayana, or the Vajrayana, which include the 2nd and 3rd
Turnings (it is
these later texts that teach the doctrine of emptiness, the
Bodhisattva Paths & Grounds, and so on). The Mahayana schools all
interpretation with the original Pali texts, and to make
those with Theosophy is likely to be pretty much a waste of time.
DTB I would not consider verification of fundamental ideas and a
perception of the basis of all wisdom is a waste -- and I would
not discourage anyone from seeking to learn for themselves. How
else has anyone ever advanced?
If one knocks out SPACE as infinity; and, LAW as cyclic
regularity, in which all beings subsist, and living, they
interact intelligently; then, at EVOLUTION as a common process
that links the atom to the STAR.
If we eliminate SPIRIT and MATTER (as polar opposites) which are
ever-inter-acting cooperatively; if we deny them the
potentiality and the actuality of eternity as the basis for their
existence, if we throw out the concept of the ABSOLUTE, and its
periodical manifestations in which all beings are; and then,
eliminate the 7 great principles and the 7 DHYAN CHOHANS -- the
PRIMORDIAL BUDDHAS in the Universe; if we limit our perceptions
to this earth of gross matter and fail to seek CAUSES; if we
think we live a SINGLE LIFE and all our efforts are then
collapsed at physical death -- what is left, except despair and
frustration for the thinking man ?
The Buddha no more than Theosophy taught nihilism , fatalism or
purposelessness. So they reflect each other. And, I read in the
MAHATMA LETTERS that They treated Buddha with the highest
Who are we? Are we not to take the more humble approach and
consider ourselves to be actually at this stage, and using the
physical instruments we all have, infants, in learning and though
to debate that ?
<<<Unless I am much mistaken the fundamental concept that we are
brothers in Spirit and experience as MONADS directly
emanated from the ONE ABSOLUTE.>>>
JERRY: I think that this is pretty much true, after we cut
through all the
verbage and terminology on both sides.
<<<Added to this I find that we are all beset by a kind of
"hope." The hope
is that someone has the secret and all we need to have is the
And I find that this is also expressed as a hope that someone
else found a
short-cut we can use. >>>
JERRY: Dallas, I do know of some magic people who have such hopes
search for such short cuts, but I have never met even ONE
did so. I think your accusations and innuendos are unnecessary on
(or am I just too naive?). The "hope" that I have discussed is
possibility of liberation from suffering and the possibility of
Gnosis in this lifetime. Without promoting this kind of hope,
Theosophy is doomed.
DTB Not intended as innuendos or accusations. When I have
something to say in that are I do so directly. But so far quite
unnecessary. It was the Buddha who said : "when in doubt expound
(repeat) the doctrine -- and let those who listen make what they
will of it, I suppose his intention was to make us all think.
<<<In any case, H.P.B. in ISIS UNVEILED spoke of pre-vedic
Buddhism and explains this means WISDOMISM and no religion. The
not come to establish a religion, but his follower later on set
one up based
on brotherhood and compassion -- and even that did not totally
stick if we
read the history of those areas in So-East Asia which had been
JERRY: Since there is NO longer any such "BODHISM" known to us,
we will have
to do with modern Buddhism as it is taught today and as it is
us by the Tibetans themselves. The idea of an ancient BODHISM
Blavatsky gave to the world taking precedence over Buddhism is an
faith that I simply don't have within me.
DTB As you please. I do not have those restrictions in my mind.
Why should wisdom be being but eternal and impartial, and being
ONE, it is the THOUGHT of the BUDDHAS.
FACT: Modern Buddhism and modern Theosophy contain several key
OUR RESPONSE: As Theosophists we can do one of two things,
(1) We can go with a literal Blavatsky as we interpret her, and
that she speaks of an ancient BODHISM that has been corrupted
years, that all modern Buddhism is just such a corruption, and
scholarly translators are ALL wrong and misguided in their
DTB I never meant to imply that HPB ought to be blindly used and
read literally, nor did she. Her mission was to open men's minds
to truths other than those shielded or obliterated by the Church,
or ignorant invaders of ancient days who destroyed everything
they did not understand. [ SEE sd ii 763fn, 692, 529, FIVE YEARS
OF THEOSOPHY p. 170 ] Where there is no fanaticism or arrogance,
and if freedom of thought there is allowed, there is a chance
that anyone's innate power to think expands. No barriers or
limits need be applied in those areas. Wherever we see those
established we see there dogmatism and religion and authority
raising their proud but ignorant heads.
No. I do not "hint," as I fear to be misunderstood, but when I
make statements I try to make them broad, general, and call upon
universal facts and impartial history. And further, invite
everyone who might read them, to participate in a continuing
effort which we may jointly participate in: in establishing if
there is any truth in them.
As far as the presentation by H.P.B. and the Masters of
THEOSOPHY, for us to consider and study, the only contribution I
can make, is to offer (very cautiously) what I have learned of
that, and also a modicum of my knowledge of Buddhism, Hinduism.
Jainism and the Mahayana speak of. I would hesitate to say at
any time that the teachings of the Buddha are in conflict with
theosophy as I have reason to believe He oversaw this more modern
effort to keep the WISDOM OF THE AGES alive. If the wisdom is
there the current labels do not matter much -- but, as you se,
they tend to confuse.
(2) We can rationalize that perhaps we shouldn't be taking her
literally and that perhaps when we look at the hints she gives
and modern Buddhism are not so far apart after all.
DTB That is plain.
I don't see any other choices here, Dallas. The recent refugee
Tibetans into the West is making choice #1 very hard to swallow
#1 myself until I kept reading book after book after book by
Tibetans all saying the same things). I have to go for #2 and
that is the
thrust of many of my recent postings.
DTB SO I notice. I do not know these Tibetans, and they may be
learned and true or anything else, If they are loyal to the
BUDDHA, then no harm will come to anyone. All efforts to let the
"masses" HEAR THE LAW " will ultimately produce good results.
I don't see any conflict there at all.
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