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Brigitte Mühlegger and William Emmette Coleman

Feb 10, 2002 11:25 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Brigitte Mühlegger has repeatedly posted portions of Coleman's 
article (see below) on this forum. Readers who would like to read 
the entire article by Coleman can find it at BLAVATSKY ARCHIVES.  
Click on the link below:

"The Sources of Madame Blavatsky's Writings."
By William Emmette Coleman
[First published in A MODERN PRIESTESS OF ISIS by Vsevolod 
Sergyeevich Solovyoff, London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1895, 
Appendix C, pp. 353-366.]

Although Mühlegger may have done readers a service by bringing up
issues addrressed by Coleman, I wonder if Mühlegger herself has 
actually COMPARED Blavatsky's texts with the texts in the books 
listed by Coleman. I would hope that Mühlegger as a "neutral" 
scholar is not depending on Coleman's assessment without 
investigating firsthand the issues Coleman has brought up.

For example, Coleman wrote:

"The Voice of the Silence, published in 1889, purports to be a 
translation by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from a Thibetan work. It is 
said to belong to the same series as the Book of Dzyan, which is 
true; as, like that work, it is a compilation of ideas and 
terminology from various nineteenth-century books, the diction and 
phraseology being those of Madame Blavatsky. I have traced the 
sources whence it was taken, and it is a hotch-potch from Brahmanical 
books on Yoga and other Hindu writings; Southern Buddhistic books, 
from the Pali and Sinhalese; and Northern Buddhistic writings, from 
the Chinese and Thibetan, - THE WHOLE having been taken by Helena 
Petrovna Blavatsky from translations by, and the writings of, 
European and other Orientalists of to-day. In this work are 
intermingled Sanskrit, Pali, Thibetan, Chinese, and Sinhalese terms, -
a manifest absurdity in a Thibetan work. I have traced the books from 
which each of these terms was taken. I find embedded in the text of 
this alleged ancient Thibetan work quotations, phrases, and terms 
copied from current Oriental literature. The books MOST UTILISED in 
its compilation are these: Schlagintweit's Buddhism in Thibet, 
Edkins's's Chinese Buddhism, Hardy's Eastern Monachism, Rhys
Buddhism, Dvivedi's Raja Yoga, and Raja Yoga Philosophy (1888);
an article, "The Dream of Ravan," published in the Dublin University 
Magazine, January, 1854, extracts from which appeared in the 
Theosophist of January, 1880. Passages from this article, and from 
the books named above, are scattered about in the text of the Voice 
of the Silence, as well as in the annotations thereon, which latter 
are admitted to be the work of Blavatsky." Caps added

Did Mühlegger herself actually COMPARE Schlagintweit's
Buddhism in Thibet, Edkins' Chinese Buddhism, Hardy's Eastern 
Monachism, Rhys Davids's Buddhism, Dvivedi's Raja Yoga, and
Raja Yoga
Philosophy, for example, with the text of the VOICE OF THE SILENCE? 
First class scholarship demands not relying on the article by Coleman 
but actually do the laborious work of comparison to verify Coleman's 
general statements.

I have done this laborious task and may present some of my findings 
in the near future.

Daniel H. Caldwell

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