RE: Some Thoughts on Confused Terminology
Mar 19, 2002 06:19 AM
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
Subba Row, early in the magazine THEOSOPHIST published the Hindu
version of the 7-principled world and man's constitution. He
used the Hindu terms that are far more ancient than any presently
used in psychology or our "Western" type of investigation. Of
course we now see after 120 years of Theosophy being in the world
that our investigative work could have been accelerated had
Theosophy been credited more widely with some sense and veracity
early on. It (our Orientalism and science) is now playing
catch-up. But a few who are at the cutting edge of thought are
making use of its ideas and statements.
Similarly the 7-fold divisions as given in SECRET DOCTRINE I p.
157 and also II 596 were first offered many years earlier in
the THEOSOPHIST. Also see FIVE YEARS OF THEOSOPHY pp. 92, 123.
THEOSOPHIST Vol. 9, p 417-9; Vol. 5, pp 225.
The KEY TO THEOSOPHY (HPB) also gives over 100 pages to tracing
the 7-fold constitution though antiquity and placing a reasoned
system in front of us for our use.
I can say from personal experience, that in India there are
hundreds and thousands of ancient MSS which are unknown to
Orientalists and guarded by the Brahmins who have no desire
whatsoever to have them desecrated by the "white barbarians."
They know that there is skepticism and incredulity, so why add to
it ? They do not need (or want) our Academic recognition. Why
should they ?
The few ancient texts (as H P B plainly states in the
Introductory pages to both her books ISIS UNVEILED and The SECRET
DOCTRINE ) we have in translation, represent only a very few
selections from the actual literature available. She indicates
that even those have been edited carefully for our consumption
since the days of the emperor Akbar.
Our current crop of "Orientalists" seem to be as
self-opinionated, and vain of their little erudition, as ever,
and, apparently do not recognize the fact that Western science
and investigation is still an infant compared with the thousands
of years that India has been the repository for the wisdom of the
world. How can a mere 350 years of discovery equal a million
years of study and recording of nature's cycle, laws, ways of
action? We are so blinded by the ephemeral light of our present
existence we fail to see the light emanates from a vast
succession of earlier works and lights.
How old are, for instance the Pyramids scattered around the world
How old is Ankor Wat? How old are the vast hydraulic works and
canals that irrigate China, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and India from
the foothills of the great mountain ranges? When was the great
city of water-ways and agriculture first built in Peru, or the
more recently one discovered in the Amazon savannah and jungles ?
and what about the under-water cities off Cuba and the Bay of
Cambay in India ? There are literally thousands of things
undiscovered and still to be found. So we can be but humble
witnesses to the vastness and wisdom that is implied in the few
relics and shards of antiquity.
No, Theosophy is not a myth but only a survey, a skeleton key to
the mysteries of the past.
That which is tremendously important is the concept that our
Earth is but a School for a band of Immortals who return to it
ever and again (under the law of Karma and Reincarnation) for
their lessons in an evolutionary class. And, these classes and
School are continuous. They only end in the final perfection of
that knowledge and wisdom -- so that every man and woman can
aspire to it.
The concept of brotherhood shatters any idea of special
achievements, since those will be available to all. This frames
a base of ethics and morality which only immortals share. It
likewise indicates that intelligence is always developing and is
not the ephemera of a single life-time -- leaving very little
trace of its passage after the present body dies.
As I look at current postings I also witness prejudice: Is the
Astral realm, plane and body to be laughed at, or is the
information to be researched tested and used? To start with
doubt and skepticism and without testing is no basis for
discussion. But that is another story.
From: Gerald Schueler Sent: Monday, March 18, 2002 6:19 AM
To: Theosophy Study List
Subject: Some Thoughts on Confused Terminology
<<<<[Dallas:] When H P B first wrote about the subtle bodies
there was confusion as there were many designations used. In
ISIS UNVEILED she offered the information both from ancient
literature and from
contemporary research. and to codify matters offered the
outlines of the Theosophical 7-fold "Principles" as found in
Nature and in man ...>>>
The confusion is even worst today. Witness the following as
<<<<[a typical Dallas quote:] "Astral Body, or Astral "Double."
The ethereal counterpart or shadow of man or animal. The Linga
Sharira, the "Doppelganger." The reader must not confuse it with
the Astral Soul, another name for the lower Manas, or Kama-Manas
so-called, the reflection of the Higher Ego." GLOS p. 37>>>
I do not know a single magician or occultist who uses, or even
likes, the 7-fold scheme of Theosophy. I know not one who uses,
or even likes, the needlessly confusing Sanskrit terminology used
in Theosophy. I have had Theosophists themselves tell me that
they prefer the Qabalistic Tree of Life to Blavatsky's Globes,
which alone tells me a lot. To suggest that there was confusion
over terminology and that Blavatsky somehow changed all that is
There are (at least) two ways looking at the magical universe:
1. 7 principles and 7 bodies and 7 Globes and 7 Planes.
2. 3 bodies (1 physical body, 1 subtle body, 1 spiritual body),
and 3 states (1 physical plane, 1 astral light, 1 spiritual
Most all magicians and occultists prefer version 2 or some close
alternate. Only Theosophists prefer 1, and they do not practice
astral traveling or OBE and so have no direct experience.
However, some do, like Dora Kunz for example. And I personally
prefer the Theosophical model myself because the 7 planes etc
fits my own experiences. But in general, confusion reigns over
terminology and Theosophy has made it worse, not better.
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