RE: Blavatsky's "The Mote and the Beam"
Nov 15, 2002 02:56 AM
by Wes Amerman
Dear Mr. Goswami,
As I understand from Brian/Brigitte's recent post that you are not well,
please be sure the following is not directed personally toward you, nor was
my last note sent to this list. However, as you make many bold assertions
as facts about Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy, I think it only fair that you
allow me to respond.
In your letter to Brian/Brigitte, posted yesterday to this list, you first
make five points of which I will let the first four pass. Then you write,
5, SHE CONSIDERED THE CRUEL, OPPRESSIVE SO-CALLED 'CHRISTIAN' ENGLISH LESS
NOBLE OF CHARACTER THAN THE HARD WORKING LESS-EVOLVED OTHER RACES. Stop.
Where in this article does Blavatsky use the phrase "less-evolved" when
referring to less "civilized" cultures? Her reference in the article to
"inferior races" is in direct reference to a contemporary source, Lumholtz,
whom she then quotes.
You then follow with this astounding statement: NO WHERE IS THERE ANY
EVIDENCE IN THIS LETTER THAT SHE WASN'T A RACIST. Then you go on about your
Caribbean ancestors and the issues surrounding the terrible plight of slaves
in that region. I don't dispute your facts, but I ask you: What does this
have to do with Blavatsky and Theosophy? Aside from the logically
thankless task of proving a negative, your statement is backwards. YOU are
making the assertion that Blavatsky was a racist. I say, "PROVE IT." Set
any standard you like, Modern or Nineteenth Century, and show by Blavatsky's
words or deeds that she was anything but a selfless altruist with a love for
Then you write: SHE CLEARLY CONSIDERED OTHER RACES INFERIOR TO HER IMAGINED
'ARYANS', WITH THE NEGROES AND VEDDA OR AUSTRALOIDS ON THE LOWEST RUNG OF
HER IMAGINED EVOLUTIONARY LADDER.
SHE WAS THE AUTHOR OF A PROFOUNDLY DANGEROUS, RACIST THOUGHT SYSTEM, WHICH
HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY RACISTS WORLD-WIDE, AND HAS CAUSED AND IS CAUSING UNTOLD
Mr. Goswami, just how do you come to these conclusions, either from this
article or elsewhere? To what statements in "The Secret Doctrine" do you
Have you not realized that something besides the ordinary usage of the term
"race" is meant by the time one gets to the latter part of Volume Two? It
might be helpful to consider that Blavatsky seems to use the word in at
least three ways: 1. To refer to the concept of the stream of Monads, as
they pass through various states of substance called Globes, or Rounds,
which are analogous to the "principles" of the planet earth. This
establishes the concept of humanity as a "wave," or "river" of
consciousness, not the form. 2. To refer to the Continents which the
Monads inhabit, identified either by time period or location. Thus, the
First root race was the Imperishable Sacred Land, the Second was Hyperborea,
the Third Lemuria, the Fourth Atlantis and the Fifth the (current) Aryan.
You can regard this as "mythical," if you like, but it affirms the common
humanity of all of us as we share the human form throughout vast ages of the
history of the earth. 3. To refer to the condition of the Monads as they
awaken to Self-Consciousness toward the latter part of the Third Root Race,
when the general term "human race" begins to have meaning in a sense we can
comprehend. And, for all intents and purposes, the entire human family
today IS the "Fifth Root Race" because the fifth principle, Manas, or mind,
the thinking principle, is foremost.
However, the problem with most of us humans is that we confuse the substance
with the form. We think the "Man" is the "Human Form," when it is the
indwelling "Thinker." There are better and more refined human forms, as well
as poorly developed ones, to be sure, but we are all spiritual beings within
that use them; more than that, Blavatsky taught that we are all brothers and
sisters, regardless of outer distinctions (minor variances of form). There
are groups of humans that use one or another of the human faculties better
than others -- spiritual perception, astral sensitivities and abilities, men
tal faculties, etc. Those with acute rational minds have sometimes
erroneously been called "advanced;" those with lesser brain-minds
"less-evolved." These are misleading conventions, perhaps, and the 21st
Century will hopefully do a better job than the 19th and 20th in using them.
But to argue, as you do, that Blavatsky, either intentionally or
unintentionally promoted "a profoundly dangerous, racist thought system" is
to promote the most vicious untruth. If people have taken her ideas and
twisted them to their own evil ends, you might as well lay the same charge
against Jesus, Krishna or the Buddha! Any partial truth can be turned, and
when misused, has more power than a blatant lie.
Blavatsky herself put to rest any Westerner's delusions about the
superiority of his/her "race:"
"If to-morrow the continent of Europe were to disappear and other lands to
re-emerge instead; and if the African tribes were to separate and scatter on
the face of the earth, it is they who, in about a hundred thousand years
hence, would form the bulk of the civilized nations. And it is the
descendants of those of our highly cultured nations, who might have survived
on some one island, without any means of crossing the new seas, that would
fall back into a state of relative savagery. Thus the reason given for
dividing humanity into superior and inferior races falls to the ground and
becomes a fallacy." "The Secret Doctrine" Volume 2, page 425 FN
Your last comments are gratuitous baloney at best, backhanded compliments if
I ever heard them. There are several, but one will suffice:
IN FAIRNESS HOWEVER, WE MUST BE CAREFUL NOT TO ASCRIBE ATTITUDES AND CRIMES
TO HER, FOR WHICH SHE WAS NOT GUILTY.
Why bother to try to be "fair?" You apparently know nothing about either
Blavatsky or her writings, and choose first to deprecate, then damn them
with the faint and false praise of her alleged ignorance of what she said.
Again, I challenge you to prove your thus-far unsubstantiated allegations.
They are untrue and unfair.
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