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AAB and HPB Writing Styles

Jan 10, 1994 04:12 PM
by Arvind Kumar

>      Bailey's writings, on the other hand, appear to be either
> drawn from Blavatsky's writings, or from DK.--or at least, these
> seem to be the only two sources that she acknowledges, therefore
> they cannot be verified, only taken on faith

AAB wrote two categories of books : those that she authored
(there are half a dozen or so of this type incl. her autobiography,
'From Intellect to Intuition', 'Soul, and its Mechanism',
'Consciousness of the Atom') , and those she wrote in collaboration
with DK. The first type is full of references, just like HPB's
works are, to various and sundry authors. The second type
has very few references (and I really appreciate that because it
makes the reading much easier). There is also a third type of book,
the 'Light of the Soul' (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) which has
commentaries by AAB and English translation of the Sutras by DK. This
one also has a bunch of references as well.

You can see a change in the language and scholastic content between
the two (or three) types  of books. For me, I love the books for
the language. Even if it was proved that the contents were not
100% accurate, I'd still be reading them, just for the conciseness
of language. I know this comes as a surprise to several on this
network who claim that AAB's literary style is verbose and difficult to
understand; incidentally, how many there are who think the same
of SD?  I know of several persons who claim that SD is too
difficult to read (staunch 'theosophists' among them!)

> If we are to believe Wachtmeister's account, the S.D.
> mss was full of corrections in red and blue ink, which the
> Countess believes were in the handwritings of M. and K.H., then
> this is further evidence that H.P.B. wrote from her own
> knowledge, which was checked and corrected by her teachers.

I do not know whether AAB's manuscripts are available for public
viewing but I know she claims that DK corrected each one of the
articles/books that he wrote with her (AAB).

>      This raises further questions that you already alluded to:
> Why did H.P.B., under the influence of her teachers, go through
> all of the trouble to cite references to source philosophical,
> religious and scientific writings of her time, where A.A.B.'s
> writings seem to be based upon her own, H.P.B.'s or DK's
> authority?  If both sets of writings are from the same source,
> why the change of method?
>      I have only one guess as to why, and this one is rather
> unsatisfactory in my mind: The Blavatsky material as most
> students will say, was written for the purpose of "arresting the
> attention of great minds" as the Mahatma Letters puts it, in
> order to counter the wave of materialism of the time etc.
> Bailey's material, on the other hand, was written for the use of
> a faithful few, whom through some esoteric processes are to bring
> about a spiritual change.
>      In my mind, the goals between the two writers are
> essentially the same--to bring about spiritual change--but that
> begs my original question: why the change of method?  A.A.B.'s
> credibility is ultimately based upon faith, because D.K.'s
> authority cannot be verified. H.P.B.'s authority is based upon
> religious, philosophical and scientific writings, not her
> teachers. Therefore H.P.B., has the potential of influencing the
> intelligencia who actually bring changes in this world, where
> A.A.B. is only influencing those who are willing to operate on
> the very kind of faith H.P.B. warns against.

I think Eldon has done a pretty good job in his message of this
afternoon on this. DK through AAB has only asked the readers to
accept the writing as a sort of working HYPOTHESIS (you can get the
exact quote from 'An Extract from a Statement by the Tibetan',
which appears in front of every book on which DK colloborated
with AAB). Also, what of the works like the Bible, or so many
religious books that have no references? It is not necessary to
include references to make a work a genuine piece of teaching.


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