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Re: Bailey, Faith, Medicine.

Jan 12, 1994 07:08 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

About terminology-- maybe we could agree on `gnosis' for the
universal theosophy?  Whatever the convention to adopt, the
goal would be the same-- to prevent what analytic philosophers
call `category mistakes.'  The superiority of theosophy/gnosis
gupta vidya/etc. to any specific historical tradition is a
priori and a matter of definition. To slide from that into an
attitude of "mine's better than yours" in comparing Theosophy
to other traditions is unjustified and wouldn't be so easy to
do if we weren't using the same word. It's going from a
deductive statement based on definitions to an inductive
statement without any empirical basis. If we want to assert
that HPB's teachings are more complete and authoritative than
some particular alternative tradition, that requires careful
definitions of terms and evidence for the assertion. To say
that Blavatskian Theosophy is somehow on a higher plane than
Vedanta, Kabbalah, Sufism, Masonry, and all the other
traditions whose adepts taught HPB-- may be justifiable on the
basis of its being more synthetic. But to say that it is a
closer approximation to gnosis/gupta vidya than anything else
would go way beyond what I think any of us is qualified to

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