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Metamessages from HPB and Cayce

Feb 08, 2002 07:58 AM
by kpauljohnson

Hey Jerry,

I didn't mean to convey being offended at being lumped together; 
since I have constantly defended Steve and Brigitte, and attacked 
their attackers, it's understandable that we'd be seen as a united 
force. But on something like this, my view may be closer to yours 
than theirs; since I've spent years of my life seeing the 
Theosophical literature as my primary spiritual reference point (and 
most of the rest of it seeing the theosophically inspired Cayce 
readings in the same light) we have a lot in common. What we do with 
them in our personal belief system probably isn't that different 
either, except in details. And despite how personally unfriendly 
Bruce has been to me in print, I don't see his approach as being all 
that different either from his recent posts on theos-l.

The common ground as I see it: early Theosophical literature, more 
specifically the writings of HPB, contains a vast amount of material 
on a huge range of subjects with a wide range of 
reliability/unreliability, coming from a lifetime's exposure to a 
formidable variety of sources (living and literary.) Within that 
range of material there are tremendous spiritual treasures along with 
a lot of stuff that is very dated and reflects the scientific and 
historical inaccuracies of extant sources available to her. The 
fundamentalist says it's all literally true and we shouldn't look to 
make any distinctions between parts that are historically accurate or 
not, practically applicable or not, wise or foolish, sincere or 
blinds, etc. The radical skeptic says it's all foolishness, 
inaccuracy, unreliability, practically worthless. In between those 
camps stand those of us who see the wide range of value and relevancy 
in the large body of material.

What's intriguing in the case of those who see the material this way 
is that we can find metamessages galore. At one level there is a lot 
of exposition of religious and scientific doctrines that say "this is 
how reality is, and this is how I (and the Masters) know it." But at 
a metalevel there is a lot of higher order commentary that tells us 
what to make of all that expository material, what our approach to 
truth ought to be, how to distinguish what is important and what is 
ephemeral in the material, which aspects might be distorted 
deliberately or accidentally and why, how seriously to take certain 
alleged paranormal phenomena, and so on. That has lasting value IMO 
and applies beyond the range of Theosophy per se. Brigitte has done 
a great job of finding HPB quotes in which she vigorously explodes 
her own self-created myths. I don't see this as accidental or self-
defeating; I think HPB deliberately planted all these little 
metamessages that tell us not to take the lower order expository 
stuff at face value and literally. As for historical perspective, 
all of HPB's writings for Katkov, especially The Durbar in Lahore but 
also Caves and Jungles of Hindustan, are a metamessage about her role 
in India compared to the version presented to the English via 
Sinnett, the Mahatma letters to him, and HPB's writings in English. 
HPB's letters to Hartmann give us metamessages about how we should 
take the whole Masters story. HPB's "confessions" to Conway and 
Solovyoff are metamessages about how we should take her phenomena. 
Her confession about her own lack of knowledge of the Tibetan source 
material she was writing about is a metamessage about the claims to 
years of study in Tibet. (Will dig this quote up, don't have it to 

Cayce does the same thing-- goes on and on in thousands of readings 
about people's past lives in Atlantis, exposition of its alleged 
history, etc.-- and suddenly, boom! undermines it all by saying 
something like "Atlantis as a continent is a legendary tale. Whether 
or not that which has been received through psychic true 
or not, depends upon the credence individuals give to this class of 
information." Huh?

The search for metamessages is a dangerous one to the fundamentalist 
mind, because it allows one to work entirely within the canon, and 
yet come up with new discoveries that overturn received 
interpretations. It lends itself to abuses, as when Barbara Thiering 
imagines that the Dead Sea Scrolls are really about Jesus. But in 
the case of conscious esotericists, we can only assume that 
metamessages are present and that the obvious level of interpretation 
is often literally false. 

And if you say otherwise you're contradicting HPB and will go to hell!



> contagious. Brigitte, Steve, and I are interested in many of the 
> Hopefully they will. I think that Bruce has agreed to this as well. 
Either Theosophy, and thus the TM, is a closed system of core 
teachings, or it is an open system of living ideas that grows by 
accepting new thoughts. Some seem to want the former while giving lip 
service to the latter, while I am clearly arguing for the latter. 
Anyway, for some people this is a new concept, and it may take a 
while to sink in.
> Jerry S.
> --

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