Theos-L subjects plus Misc.
Nov 12, 1993 11:33 AM
by Arvind Kumar
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 Jerry Hejka-Ekins' previous messages on this
topic (his previous comments are shown indented in this message).
But before I get into AAB/HPB related discussion, let me share a few
other thoughts that come to my mind as I write this.
The great advantage of this media is the capability to interact and put
forth questions, howsoever stupid they may appear to the questioner!
I have enjoyed reading several pieces written by various persons on
Theos-L but I can always read in the privacy of my home or office
excellent books and periodicals. What this network enables me to do
(which reading a book or an article by myself does not enable me to
do) is to ask questions and get their replies, if the authors of the
releavnt message are willing or able to do so. I'd like to continue
to see the excellent pieces appearing on Theos-L but I'd like to make
a suggestion to everyone to
(a) please try to respond to all questions asked, as far as possible!
(b) ask questions; let us make this a truly group effort. I certainly
hope that nobody feels intimidated by any preconceived notions of
'scholarship' or other requirements in order to write a question or an
information piece on the network.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have
participated in any discussion on Theos-L (I feel wiser because of
their efforts) and pledge that if anything is directed especially
towards me, I'll do my best to respond to it within a week or so. We
all have our individual 'busy' lives to lead (and it is said that the
reward for 'work well done' is more work, so we as disciples have to
learn to live the 'busy' life while continuing to meet all spiritually
So much for 'my two cents worth' of thoughts for the day! Let me try
to respond to at least a few of Jerry's recent comments.
One general comment on AAB and HPB comparison from my standpoint: I
have read both Bailey and Blavatsky from the standpoint of imbibing
the wisdom teaching as far as possible, without references to which
para or which page or indeed which book contains a particular teaching.
This is proving to be a short-term hindrance in this comparison as
Jerry'd like to have a reference for everything (which I agree is the
hallmark of any 'scintific' work). I do make notes for myself within
the pages of a book but they are (or at least they were) never made
from the standpoint of undertaking a comparative study later! I plan
on providing quotations, but as time goes on hopefully I'll be
providing more and more references as well for these quotations!
Another comment on my last message. I had indicated that I was not
aware of any reference to Leadbeater in DK's (the Tibetan teacher who
appears to have worked together with AAB in giving out the teachings)
work. I checked yesterday in the Master index to AAB books published
by Torkom Saryadarian (one of the 'direct disciples' of DK as I
understand; he was one of the disciples in the book 'Discipleship in
the New Age' by AAB) and found that there is, after all, one reference
to Leadbeater and that one appears on P.303 of Esoteric Psychology
Vol.II. DK says there that (I am paraphrasing here) '...it is a
common mistake to confuse the raising of the Kundalini experience with
the raising of the energies from the solar plexus to above the
diaphragm, and many disciple make this mistake. Leadbeater was one of
these, his relatively high discipleship status notwithstanding...'.
In addition, there are a number of rather unflattering references to
Leadbeater in AAB's own book "The Unfinished Autobiography" (for
example see 170-171), where AAB has given an unequivocal thumbs down
to at least 'Man: Whence, How and Whither" indicating her belief that
this book carried '..a strong note of Astralism,... proving to me the
untrustworthiness of what he wrote..'. AAB has also spoken in
somewhat harsh tones about the role of Annie Besant in '..promoting
personality cults, preoccupation with persoanlity affairs/attacks as
opposed to wisdom teaching, psychism...'(my words paraphrase what is
written on pp 170-171).
The rest of my comments appear alongside Jerry's comments below,
> 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?
The statement about 'misleading or wrong information' definitely does
NOT apply to HPB; we know from my comments above that at least some of
what Leadbeater and Besant have given out is untrue. See also p. 255
of the Unfinished Autobigraphy for comments regarding the misleading
picture of the Masters '... painted by the Theosophical Society..'.
> 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?
It is difficult for the average aspirant to verify the truth of much
of the true wisdom teaching, and there is always a danger of falling
into a trap in the form of wrong or harmful teaching. How can that be
prevented? I believe that you have as good an answer to this age old
question as I do. My position is to take what is given as a working
hypothesis and assume it to be correct (until proven wrong) ONLY if it
agrees with my intuitive thinking. But we all need to improve our
discriminatory faculty, and intensify the inner link through "study,
meditation and service". That is why I had asked Eldon recently to
comment on meditation, for it is said that that is the technique par
excellence '...to know th truth, to verify for oneself as to what is
real..'. My assumption is that all that HPB has given out and ALL
that DK has given out through AAB is real.
> 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.
Again, I'll refer you to p.255 of the Unfinished Autobiography, where
the Tibetan has referred to HPB as "AAB's predicessor". To date I
have NOT seen even a single instance of any divergence in the
teachings of AAB and HPB, even though you and I have repeatedly asked
people to come forward and let us know where the difference of
> 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.
I have not been able to give you the relevant page of SD where HPB
prophesied that a discple will come in the 20th century to expand on
what she (HPB) has given out on the three types of fire (Electric,
Solar, and fire by friction), and also a second key to the Secret
Doctrine. The reasons for this are many, including the fact that I
own a copy of SD which has different page numbers than the references
in AAB's work, and the fact that I donot have a comprehensive index to
SD. But I can refer you to the Introduction in 'A Treatise on Cosmic
Fire' and also p. 236 of the Unfinished Autobiography, where AAB has
written "..HPB stated that in the 20th century a disciple would come
who would give information concerning the three fires with which the
Secret Doctrine deals...'.
> 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
I has sent a message to Don to let me know if he (Blavatsky Center)
also carries other books etc. but there has been no response; anyways
I have mailed $10 to him asking for a copy of both the articles he had
mentioned in his message. You have not told me how to order the books
available through you, either.
> That's it for now.
> Jerry Hejka-Ekins
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