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Re to Brigitte

Feb 03, 2002 07:31 AM
by Gerald Schueler

<<<However typical of the development of esoteric religiosity is its eclecticism. For example since numerous systems exist that that are build on the number seven, they are understood to be freely interchangeable. As there are seven metals and seven planets in Renaissance alchemy, it is concluded that "in reality" the alchemists worked with the chakra system or they where at least Buddhists and so on. Or as I pointed out before on the cover of Leadbeater‘s book "The Chakras" one finds one of J.G. Gichtel‘s illustrations, originally published in 1696, in which circles and astrological signs have been placed on a male figure. Gichtel‘s main source of inspiration, Jacob Boehme tried to construct a traditional, hermetic system of correspondences between man, the microcosmos, and the planetary system, and did so from a heliocentric point of view and so on.>>>

JERRY: "Esoteric religiosity" is an oxymoron, but does seem to fit Theosophical fundamentalism. I have studied a lot of Tibetan Buddhism, and have yet to come across sevens except in passing. Buddhism is not especially fond of sevens as is Theosophy. I have never, for example, come across any Buddhist text describing seven chakras. Blavatsky responded to this by saying that the written texts are all exoteric, and that the highest and lowest chakras weren't discussed openly, which I suppose is a possibility. 


<<<Blavatsky imported standard motifs of Western esotericism into India and speedily arrayed them in local forms, thus fashioning an Indicised
esotericism. For example her Globes and Planes Model is her own twist on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, which is distinctly Western at first.>>>

JERRY: Agreed, except that she also was able to show direct correspondences with the lokas and talas of Hinduism (except I haven't found her circular chain idea anywhere in Hindu or Buddhist texts).


<<<Also there are conflicts in Blavatsky's teachings some of wich you have pointed out including that some of her sources were erroneous, referring to books written by Westerners.>>>

JERRY: True, and this one can't really be denied, only ignored. In fairness though, I have previously pointed out that her "errors" are in the minority.


<<<But if she knew better she wouldn't even have needed to copy from these western orientalist books of that time at ale ,and bother about copying those particular parts that where wrong to begin with.>>>

JERRY: When I first came into Theosophy, I noticed a gap in spiritual depth between Isis and the SD (IMO obviously). The idea that she learned over time is certainly a plausible explanation.


<<<<Only later did Blavatsky started to understand more of genuine orientalism, not yet in the SD which Subba Row in spite of having been influenced by westernized theosophical notions (see my previous posting) was still upset about.>>>

JERRY: Arguments with Row were almost surely over his strong Hindu perspective (ie reifications and projections of creative deities) as opposed to the more Buddhist perspective of Blavatsky. He also would have differed over definitions, and Blavatsky may have accepted his definition of atma as an appeasment, because it is not a Buddhist definition.


<<<My suspicion is that this started to happen with the Voice of the Silence (where remarkebale little is mentioned of "Masters") did Blavatsky started to understand more of it all, and if in good health and living another 20-30 years (David-Neel who did "really" climb up the Himalaya's lived almost another 40) she might have re-written the SD (wich was intended as a re-write of Isis) a 3e time.>>>

JERRY: Interesting idea, and as I read her, I see a person who is honestly seeking for the truth and willing to ditch old ideas for new ones, much like HH the Dali Lama is wlling to do today.


<<<Also, the word "bodhism" is an invention of Blavatsky, and simply does not exist outside of Theosophy.>>>

JERRY: Agreed. And the continual using of it by my fellow Theosophists is not helping our cause.


If Isis really was inspired by "Masters who had been observing mankind from its beginning" as Blavatsky and current day Theosophists still claim, why did 10 years later she already felt the need to "re-write" it, and why the idea would be to far fetched that 10-20 years later she would have re-written the SD to the same degree as she did with Isis, expecially if we see the trend of the Voice of Silence just 2 years after the SD.>>>

JERRY: Interesting word "inspired." A book can inspire, or be inspired, and still be rewritten to be even more inspirational, I suppose.


<<<And the usefulness for us as "seeking" westerners is to look at the true biography of Blavatsky and Olcott without the theosophical propaganda and cover ups, reveals an odysee that to some degree we all are going trough ourselves. Studying history therefore can be a path of freeing ourselves of the schakles of self delusion.>>>

JERRY: My assessment of history is not that grandious, I guess. I have other ways of removing schakles. Blavatsky herself says that there are golden chains and iron chains, and that both need to come off. Freedom or liberation is a nobel goal, and we all take our own paths.

Jerry S.


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