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Re: Theos-World HPB and Kant

Jun 01, 2009 10:56 PM
by Augoeides-222

Just as a contrast and also because I think Blavatsky was given exposure and training from the Eastern School of thought, I want to offer the following: 

Shentong By Taranatha 


Fazangs treatise in the Golden Lion (Fazang's Treatise reiterates the frame of Shentong system 


Grey Lodge: Zhine: Tibetan Dream Yoga (Blavatsky was alledged to have been trained on another plane for more than a month) 


PS: in these there are "three Nature's" not the two only of the western Philosophers 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Govert Schuller" <> 
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2009 7:55:23 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific 
Subject: Re: Theos-World HPB and Kant 

Sorry, send the 'map' as an attachment, but that didn't work. 

Find it here: 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Govert Schuller 
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 7:03 PM 
Subject: Re: Theos-World HPB and Kant 

The following 'map' might also come in handy to explicate the diffeence between Kant and HPB and see them in historical perspective. 

This is certainly not authorative. Corrections are welcome. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Govert Schuller 
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 5:45 PM 
Subject: Re: Theos-World HPB and Kant 

Dear Frank, 

Ok, I'll try, but short and technical. 

"Sensations are blind without concepts, concepts empty without sensations" Kant 

HPB said somewhere that she got some higher insights through what Kant called Pure Reason as if that were a separate faculty different from empirical reason or another supposedly 'impure' reason used in the processing of worldly phenomena. For Kant the Pure Reason is the categorical structure and 'general possibility condition' of any reasoning or concept-formation whatsoever and only operational as far as it is fed phenomena through the senses or tries to deduce its own possibility conditions. There is nothing special or occult about the faculty of Pure Reason and it certainly cannot have access to noumena or a supposed meta-empirical realm, at least not according to Kant. 

And here is another confusion. HPB's use of the terms phenomenon and noumenon is quite different as Kant coined them. For HPB noumena have causal efficacy on phenomena and even have their own deeper or higher noumenon, basically replicating the idea of Neo-platonic emanations. For Kant phenomena are the partial perspectives of experienced things through our senses, and that's the only way we can experience anything at all. Reason can posit the existence of a thing-in-itself, the noumenon, as it might be independent of our experience, but (big but), being independent of our experience, we have no access whatsoever to that as there is no complete, non-perspectival experience possible of things that are transcendent (beyond) relative to our consciousness. 

And even if one could have access to a meta-empirical realm (which most of us would belief possible, or even have experienced as verified), the experiences there would still be as perspectival and partial as our earthly experiences and the same Kantian logic would apply. We'll only end up with different categories of phenomena and the ways they might be spatially, temporally and causally connected. 

And even if HPB claims non-partial, non-perspectival experiences, she cannot legitimately fall back on Kant to give a philosophical accounting of such. For that you have to move into post-Kantian German Idealism, especially Hegel, which fits Theosophy well as he was rooted in the Hermetic tradition. And though German Idealism had to incorporate one way or the other the genius of Kant, they did so by transforming Kant's philosophy to such an extent that later there was a reaction to that from the Neo-Kantian school. 

In short, it does not look like HPB understood the basics of Kant's philosophy. If she did understand and experience extraordinary things the faculty of Pure Reason was indeed involved, but not as a special faculty enabling those special experiences as she thought was the case, but merely as the faculty that endows intelligibility to any and all experience whatsoever, including any and all of hers. And the way she did appropriate the phenomenon-noumenon terminology was along neoplatonic lines, which works quite well to explain that philosophy, but has no foundation or equivalent in Kant's philosophy. 

As a last point: Kant's philosophy was partially inspired by his investigation of the possibility of Swedenborg's extraordinary experiences and teachings. Kant in the end undermined and did away with those as principally impossible and he would have done likewise with HPB's Theosophy. 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Frank Reitemeyer 
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 4:02 PM 
Subject: Theos-World HPB and Kant 

Dear Govert, 

I find your remark about HPB's reception of Kant most interesting. 

So far I have only compared HPB and Hegel and found her reception of Hegel brillant. 

I would be glad to hear from you more details about possibly misunderstandings/contradiction to Kant. 



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