Jan 05, 1994 11:45 AM
by Arvind Kumar
Please see my responses to your comments. I also want to let you
and Eldon know that I have received a letter from Mr. Nicholas
Weeks regrarding this subject. I hope to respond to him in
a few days, and perhaps will post my response on theos-l. I am
also reminded of a quote that I just read yesterday attributed
to Sree Narayana Guru:
"WHICHEVER THE RELIGION, IT SUFFICES IF IT MAKES A BETTER MAN".
So let us try to get on with the task at hand, in a spirit of
> The pamphlet THE PSEUDO OCCULTISM OF ALICE BAILEY came up
> some time ago. I think Dan Caldwell mentioned it. I had read
> the pamphlet years ago and its conclusions are as the title
> suggests. As the authors mentioned, the study was not very
> extensive, so I didn't feel it to be very productive to bring in
> the pamphlet for discussion, but did offer to send Arvind a copy
> if he wanted to read it. He never responded to the offer, so
> that was the end of it.
I'd like to get a copy of this pamphlet, please do send it to me.
I had asked for a copy of it from both Daniel (he did not have it)
and Nancy (she never replied), but I donot remember you offering
to send it to me before!
> Per your message of 12/27/93: You need to keep in mind that
> the word "psychology" has been around for about 400 years-- at
> least according to the OED. "Psychology" has always been
> understood as a study of the "mind" or of the "soul." Descartes
> sort of lumped the soul and brain together, and later
> positivistic science (which HPB also calls "materialistic."
> science) identified the mind as a emanation of the physical
> brain. Therefore HPB in the footnote on page 620 was trying to
> direct the reader back to the older, pre-modern-scientific
> understanding of psychology as a study of the mind or soul, and
> *not* as it came to mean by 1879, as a branch of the biological
> sciences. Therefore, HPB's statement shows her awareness of the
> older understanding of the term. Rather than hinting at some
> esoteric meaning of psychology, as you suggest, she was simply
> trying to be consistent with her overall statements made
> elsewhere that consciousness is not a product of the physical
> brain. Go back and re-read the material in context, and it
> should be clearer as to where she is coming form.
I was only responding to your question about the 'psychological'
interpretation of SD. Bailey defines psychology as the 'science of
the soul'. You questioned whether HPB's use of the term 'psychology'
as found in the quotation that Brenda had cited meant the same as
Bailey has intended. You suggested that HPB uses 'psychology' as
the 'modern day psychologists' use, namely devoid of the idea of soul.
In the meantime, I have finished reading SD and started reading Isis
Unveiled (Adyar Edition edited by Boris de Zirkoff). And what do I
find on p.xxvii of the Introductory material...a definition of
Anthropology, as embracing among other things, psychology, with
psychology, defined as "the science of soul, both as an entity
distinct from the spirit and in its relations with the spirit and
body". It proves to me that HPB's use of the term psychology is
in the same exact sense as AAB's (see more references below as well).
> Per your message of 12/28/93: Re questions: Yes, I have
> read quite a lot of Robert Browning. I liked him enough to go
> out and buy a collection of his works. Where do you find a
> reference of him as a Master of Wisdom?
There is an English esotericist by the name of Dr. Douglas Baker,
who apparently used to visit the US once a year during the 1970's.
One of the local theosophists in the Dallas area has his books
and tapes, which I managed to get hold of some time back. He is
the one who claims that Robert Browning is none other than the
'English Master' about whom AAB has written. I have with me only
one of Douglas Baker's books, called 'Esoteric Psychology--the 7
Rays' Volume 5 Part 1 - copyright 1975 by Douglas Baker, 'Little
Elephant' Essendon, Herts, England. This is a beautiful book,
dedicated to 'the Master Balavatsky'.
In the Bailey books, references to Robert Browning can be found
as follows: SIM 91, 152-153 (on man), quotations : CA 82,91,
93-94, 103, ITI 82-83, TWM 619, BC 39-40, 42, 146, Work: EH 667.
References to the English master are: EXH 665-666, 682, 504, 507,
644, 646-647, 664-667, 668, IHS 59-60.
> Per your message of 12/29/93: I just got back tonight, and
> haven't been to the post office, but should pick up your order
> tomorrow, and will fill it then. I will send Vol. 1 only of
> Purucker. If you want the rest after looking at vol. 1, let me
> I don't carry Paul's book, because I haven't had any calls
> for it, but I do feel that it is very worth while to read. You
> can get it from him, or I will order it for you, which ever you
That will be great, pl do send a copy of Paul's book also.
> Send me your new references, and I will look at them--
> However, I'm beginning to get the impression that you are reading
> the SD for the purpose of finding references to confirm what you
> have read in AAB's writings. If this is so, I'm afraid that it
> will work against your understanding the S.D. as a book in its
> own right. Every book has to be approached upon its own merits--
> not with the assumption that it does or does not say the same
> thing as another book. Anytime one reads a book with
> assumptions, those assumptions become a filter through which the
> book is understood. I had this problem when I first tried to
> read the S.D., because I expected it to echo Leadbeater's
> writings. Once I abandoned that assumption, I began for the
> first time to really understand what I was reading.
No, really, I am not reading HPB's books to confirm what AAB has
written, but you can bet that whatever of HPB I am reading, I am
reviewing it from the standpoint of any comparison with AAB's
writings. I have finished reading SD (a sigh of relief!) and have
just started with Isis Unveiled (and at bedtime, I am reading 'Tales
from the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan' in a family setting).
It is my opinion that HPB and AAB teachings follow a common thread,
and there is no incomptability between the two. I love the 'mystery'
aspect of HPB's books (there is a lot of 'new' revelation for me in
them), but I also love the same aspect in AAB's books. IMHO (in my
humble opinion), both of these teachers have sacrificed themselves
in the service of humanity and deserve nothing but praise for their
efforts. But more on that later...
Now, for the additional references in SD to the term 'psychology',
look at p. 626 Vol I Part III in the chapter on 'Gods, Monads and
Atoms' towards the last 2/5th of the chapter I think..."But it is
time to leave modern physical science and turn to the psychological
and metaphysical side of the question..." this quote starts about
2-3 pages of discourse wherein it is quite clear that HPB's use
of the term 'psychology' is in the sense of metaphysics and
soul, rather than the normal use of the term (and there are no
Also, p. 636 in the middle of a paragraph, HPB talks about
psychology referring to the inner man, not to the 'modern sense
of the term..'
I have no means of conducting a 'global' search for all the
places where HPB has used the term 'psychology' but you can see
from her definition in UI (quoted previously above) that she was
using it in the sense of the 'science of the soul' most, if not
all the time.
That is all for now, look forward to hearing from you soon/Arvind
"The network of souls underlies all phenomena. This must be known,
not conjectured. Thus brotherhood will be established and
the forces of the form negated."
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application