Re: Theos-World Genuine or invented Orient, part II.
Feb 02, 2002 10:29 AM
by Steve Stubbs
Brigitte: "Many people for example have not educated
themselves to distinquish between 19th century
psuedo?Sanskrit and Blavatskyan pseudo?Buddhism
(touted by many as "hidden" teaching from Tibet).
What is "19th century psuedo?Sanskrit"?
Brigitte: "At Tingley's urging, he enrolled at
Stanford, where he studied with William James and
William Butler Yeats. (Yeats had joined the Esoteric
Section of the Theosophical Society in 1888 only to be
expelled by Madame Blavatsky two years later.)
Are you sure this is right? William James was at
Harvard and I have never read that Yeats taught in
Brigitte: "Evans?Wentz begins the introduction by
claiming a "relationship between the Bardo Thodel and
the Egyptian book of the dead. A referrence to this
becomes clear if one considers one of the Mahatma
letters published by Blavatsky in "Lucifer" 1894 an no
Tibetan scolar of the 19th century or thereafter would
have written: "The Egyptian enchorial or hieratic
system is child's play to the deschipering of our
sacred puzzles. Even in those volumes to wich the
masses have accesss, every sentence has a dual
That is probably true, but who could have called
himself a "Tibetan scolar of the 19th century"?
Surely not Blavatsky or her mahatmas. Were there any
such people before the Younghusband expedition? Any
mystagogue could have written like this.
The similarity between the Bardo Thodol and the Book
of the Dead is obvious, evem if it is irrelevant to
Brigitte: "Rebirth as a god or human in the realm of
desire is the result of a virtuous deed
A "god" in Buddhism is merely someone who has
temporarily been reborn in one of the heaven worlds.
If your deceased Aunt Greta is in "heaven", then she
would be spoken of as a "goddess." Earthly beings are
not considered "gods".
Brigitte: "the vast majority of beings in the universe
are said to inhabit the three unfortunate realms of
animals, ghosts, and the hells.
This simply acknowledges the fact, recognized by
science, that there are many times more insects and
other creatures than there are humans. Humans are
rare. Whether there is rebirth or not, there is
birth, and from an anthropocentric viewpoint, the very
few humans in the world won the lottery of life.
Brigitte: "One is said to be reborn as a god in the
realm of desire as a result of an act of charity
Actually, "gods" by definition do not live in "the
realm of desire."
Brigitte: "The greater part of Buddhist practice
throughout Asia and throughout history has been
directed toward securing rebirth as a human or
(preferably) a god in the next lifetime
I don't think this is quite right. In the DHAMMAPADA
it is made quite clear that the aim is to get off the
Wheel of Rebirth altogether and not to be reborn as
anything. This is the aim of the Sravakas and
Pratyeka Buddhas. In the northern schools (such as
Zen) the aim is to be reborn a human, on the theory
that the heavens are too pleasant, and the hells too
painful, for one to use them as venues for the pursuit
Brigitte: "a Psychical science far in advance of that,
still in its infancy, which forms the study of the
Society for Psychical Research [which had condemned
Madame Blavatsky as a fraud].
Actually, it was Richard Hodgson who did that, and not
the SPR, which as a corporate body has no official
position. Hodgson was speaking for himself when he
wrote the Report.
--- bri_mue <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Steve: "It should also be said that nothing that
> happened post
> 1891 can reasonably be blamed on Blavatsky,
> the unseemly power struggles and phony mahatma
> that came from Judge and his two spirit mediums."
> Brigitte: No, it has to do with a particular
> mindset , there is a
> tendency to take any particular system, project it
> on the outside
> world (like looking through glasses in a particular
> color), and next
> in the desire for it to be everything, try to blend,
> talk away (or in
> the worst case scenario condemn) the things that now
> suddenly don't
> fit anymore.
> Many people for example have not educated themselves
> to distinquish
> between 19th century psuedo-Sanskrit and Blavatskyan
> (touted by many as "hidden" teaching from Tibet).
> I will as an example have a look at the influence
> of Blavatskyan
> Theosophy on hand of a student of Theosophy,
> At the turn of the century Walter Wentz moved to
> California, where in
> 1901 he joined the American Section of the
> Theosophical Society.
> Headquartered in Point Loma, it was headed by
> Katherine Tingley,
> known as the "Purple Mother." At Tingley's urging,
> he enrolled at
> Stanford, where he studied with William James and
> William Butler
> Yeats. (Yeats had joined the Esoteric Section of the
> Society in 1888 only to be expelled by Madame
> Blavatsky two years
> later.) After graduating from Stanford, Wentz went
> to Jesus College
> Oxford to study Celtic folklore. It was there that
> he added a family
> name from his mother's side to his surname and
> became Walter Evans-
> Wentz. After completing his thesis, later published
> as The Fairy
> Faith in Celtic Countries (1911).
> The most famous book of Evans-Wentz however was
> going to
> become "TheTibetan Book of the Dead" 1927.
> Though a student of several prominent neo-Vedantin
> including Sri Yuketswar and Ramana Maharshi,
> Evans-Wentz never seems
> to have been a devotee of Tibetan Buddhism. Of his
> relationship with
> Kazi Dawa-Samdup, Evans-Wentzs biographer writes:
> "The few letters
> that have survived that they exchanged show a
> surprisingly distant
> and formal tone. Even in Dawa-Samdup's diaries there
> is no word to
> suggest other wise. There is nothing at all
> foreshadowing the later
> declarations that the Lama was the guru of Walter
> nothing about the "teachings" the American was
> supposed to have
> received. His book "The Tibetan Book of the Dead"
> therefore must be
> read with his commitment to Theosophy in mind.
> It is of significance that Evans-Wentz begins the
> introduction by
> claiming a "relationship between the Bardo Thodel
> and the Egyptian
> book of the dead. A referrence to this becomes clear
> if one
> considers one of the Mahatma letters published by
> in "Lucifer" 1894 an no Tibetan scolar of the 19th
> century or
> thereafter would have written: "The Egyptian
> enchorial or hieratic
> system is child's play to the deschipering of our
> sacred puzzles.
> Even in those volumes to wich the masses have
> accesss, every
> sentence has a dual meaning."
> It is indeed true that one quarter of the 1fifteen
> hunderd pages of
> the 1888 "The Secret Doctrine" is concerned with
> symbolism, but wich
> doesn't necessary help clarify the true meaning of
> vrious religions
> as we shall see in case of Evans-Wentz and the "The
> Tibetan Book of
> the Dead"
> Part of Blavatsky's legitimacy as an Esoteric
> spokesperson lies in
> autobiographical sections of her writings, notably a
> story told in
> Isis according to which she visited Tibet and
> witnessed a variety of
> miraculous events. (IU II:598 ff.) S.B. Liljegren ,
> mentions that
> Blavatsky's story was plagiarized from Evariste
> Huc's account. In
> 1844, two French priests, Evariste Huc and Father
> Gabet, entered
> Tibet. They were the first to write a detailed
> account of the
> country, published in 1850. Translated into English
> as "Recollections
> of Travel in Tartary, Tibet and China", and trough
> appropriation of part of their narrative, claiming
> it to be her own
> travels, they would come to influence the modern
> Esoteric Trations.
> If Blavatsky had really travelled to Tibet or any
> part near to it,
> she could have written her own travel account and
> didn't need to copy
> that of someone else.
> However this shows a general tendency in occult
> historiography, each country referred to seems to
> have its own role
> in esoteric historiography. Egypt is the land of
> initiation, of great
> mysteries; India is the source of concepts such as
> karma and the subtle bodies; Tibet plays the role of
> the homeland of
> sages and the repository of ancient scriptures.
> However the
> distincrion between an Egyptian tradition and one
> based on a
> generalized india, is a scolarly construction.
> The Enlightenment philosophes already had rejected
> the old order,
> wether Christian or Hermeticist. It was part of the
> project of a
> revived esotericism of the end of the 18th century
> to attempt to
> support the pre-Enlightenment claim to Egypt as a
> fountainhaed of
> wisdom as part of a historical misconception. In the
> Mahatma Letters
> Egypt is seen as one of a series of historic
> cultures to have
> transmitted elements of this "primeval" wisdom
> But Blavatsky had already begun to orient her
> religious creativity
> further east, towards the Indian subcontinent. The
> shift is
> underpinned mythologically by the assumption that
> the Egyptians were
> actually descendants of the aryans, whose spiritual
> traditions should
> thus represent a purer form of the ancient wisdom
> Blavatsky there however rather then by Tibetan
> "Masters" was inspired
> by among others Jacolliot's presentation of India
> as the crucible
> of "Aryan" civilisation and religion ,placed in
> India as the first
> Brahmins, influenced Blavatsky. It is known she
> possessed his books,
> and that she quoted liberally - often without
> acknowledgment - from
> his Indophile fancyings. Olcott noted that
> Jacolliot's "twenty-seven
> volumes" were among those works of which Blavatsky
> "made great use"
> while writing Isis Unveiled: Olcott, Old Diary
> Leaves,p. 207.
> James Webb noted that "Jacolliot's works furnished
> H. P. Blavatsky
> with no less than fifty-nine plagiarized passages:"
> Webb, The Occult
> Establishment,p. 306.
> One of Evans-Wentz's creative contributions and the
> point least
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