AAB & HPB
Nov 10, 1993 07:25 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
The following message is a continuation of an ongoing discussion
comparing the teachings of Alice Bailey and H.P. Blavatsky. This
message is in reply to Arvind Kumar's remarks of Nov. 8th.
I like your idea of putting an information header at the
beginning of these discussions responses, as it identifies the
nature of the discussion, so that others can decide whether they
want to join, or to read. Perhaps we can adopt some wording like
O.K., to sum up some important points in your last message:
You *do not* believe that Alice Bailey's teachings are based upon
Besant and Leadbeater. You paraphrase Bailey to say that "much of
what his been believed and/or published by `theosophists' is
wrong or misleading . . . " (please give a reference). I take
it that this is to be understood that much of what was published
by Besant and Leadbeater (among others) is wrong or misleading.
Does this statement also include the writings of Blavatsky?
You further say that: "I do believe that the AAB teachings
build upon whatever had been given out along `theosophical' lines
by the Hierarchy till 1920, so to that extent there is value in
reading all `generally accepted' theosophical literature up to
1920 (to get familiar with terminology and basic concepts
perhaps)." In light of the above, are you saying that much of
what was published between 1875 and 1920 is "wrong or misleading?
Assuming that what was "given out by the hierarchy" are the
correct teachings, how are we to know what was "given out by the
Hierarchy," and which are the incorrect teachings given out
during that period? Were the E.S. teachings, that Bailey
received, in error? Were some of Leadbeater's writings correct?
Which? How can we tell?
Regarding the purposes of the Lucis Trust, I understand why
you "think that she (AAB) was only continuing the work of serving
humanity that HPB started." Though the altruistic motivations of
the Trust are evident, that does not convince me that the Lucis
Trust is a continuation of H.P.B.'s work, as intended by her
teachers. To convince me of that will require a comparison of
Blavatsky's goals with those of the Lucis Trust, and an extensive
investigation of the implied teachings and assumptions the lie
behind those goals. But I hope the purpose of this discussion is
to compare the teachings of these two writers, rather than to
convince anyone of anything.
Jerry Schuler wrote a while back that "there are several
differences in teachings and in emphasis. Which one is right?"
His statement typifies students who have done close comparative
readings among different authors, and did not begin with the
assumption that all of the writers were saying the same thing. I
hope that Jerry will someday expand upon his statement and show
us his findings.
In exploring this question, there are several possible
conclusions, but we must first be aware of our assumptions,
before we evaluate these possibilities. First, we are both
working under the assumption that H.P.B. gave out spiritual
teachings of extraordinary worth, and that these teachings came
from her teachers. This assumption is worthy of questioning, but
I suggest that we wait until everything else is resolved first.
I believe that you hold the assumption that A.A.B. is sort of a
spiritual successor to H.P.B., that is she gave out further
teachings. Is this a fair statement? I don't hold this
assumption. (By the way, you suggested that A.A.B. was predicted
in a passage in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, but you haven't yet come up
with the reference. I'm still waiting on that.) I may be holding
other relevant assumptions that you don't, but if so, they don't
come to mind.
Now, the possible answers fall between two extremes: One
possibility is that there are no significant disagreements
between Blavatsky and Bailey. Such a conclusion will require a
close comparison of the two authors. But if it is found to be
so, it would be a compelling reason to adopt your assumption that
A.A.B. is H.P.B.'s spiritual successor.
Another possibility is that the disagreements are extensive
and significant. If this is found to be the case, then an
investigation into the reason for the disagreements is warranted.
Here is why: Many studies were done over the years comparing the
teachings of Blavatsky, Besant and Leadbeater. Early studies
were dismissed as biased, or ill motivated etc. As more studies
appeared, many people in the Theosophical Society finally
acknowledged that the discrepancies existed, and took the
position that Besant and Leadbeater's teachings prevailed over
Blavatsky's because they were giving out deeper teachings.
Others insisted that the differences were illusionary, and will
be resolved through a deeper understanding of the subject. Both
reasons were really rationalizations. These rationales begin
with the very assumptions that they were trying to prove. They
are very much like Saint Anselm's argument for the existence of
God, which begins with the assumption of the existence of God.
By the way, the study that Dan Caldwell recently mentioned,
is one of those later studies. It is well done, and worth
That's it for now.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application