Jan 18, 1994 10:27 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
TRANSACTIONS OF THE BLAVATSKY LODGE is available both as a
separate volume and included in the COLLECTED WRITINGS, Vol. X.
If you are interested in eventually getting all of the collected
writings, I recommend that you get Volume X. Then you will have
the TRANSACTIONS and a lot of her other writings with it. Let me
Frankly, I do not know much about Leadbeater's Etheric
double, so my answer is based on what I know of Bailey's
use of the term 'etheric' body. And I have not had the
time to research fully (in fact there is a blue book on
'Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle' which I have not
referenced so far which may shed some more light on the
etheric body). Your quote that HPB's "Astral Body" or
Linga Sharira is "...the inert vehicle or form on which the
body is moulded; the vehicle of Life. It is dissipated very
shortly after the disintegration of the body." (S.D.
This is exactly the definition of the etheric in the Bailey
books that I have read. Moreover, your definition of HPB's
"Kama-Rupa" as "...the principle of animal desire, which
burns fiercely during life in matter, resulting in satiety;
it is inseparable from animal existence." (S.D. II:593).
This is exactly the definition of the Astral body in Bailey
books! I agree with you that there is a lot of difficulty
involved in establishing a correlation between the various
terminologies for the vehicles, but I feel quite
comfortable with Bailey's terminology (but am afraid have
not gotten used to HPB's terms; in fact I am quite confused
after Brenda's extensive quotes).
If AAB's definitions are exactly the same as H.P.B.'s, then
why do you want to match the Astral Body with the Etheric?
Please give me the references to AAB's definitions so that I may
also make a comparison. I don't understand your last statement.
If AAB's definitions are "exactly" the same as HPB's, and you are
"comfortable" with AAB's terminology, then why are you having
trouble getting "used" to HPB's terminology? This doesn't make
sense. If they are the same, then you should be able to go from
one to the other without any confusion.
And this brings me to another important point in our
discussion on AAB-HPB comparison, which I'll try to document
The Bailey/Blavatsky teachings can be grouped into two
classes: (a) those that pertain to spiritual practice, and
(b)those that pertain to areas of the invisible universe
that we as human beings know very little about in our
everyday waking life. In reading these books, I look
primarily for (a), and I venture to say that there is no
disagreement as regards (a) between HPB and AAB. Regarding
(b), these must be regarded as 'speculations' by most of us
until we also become adepts and are able to verify these for
ourselves. As far as I am concerned, the discussion of the
various vehicles or bodies falls into the (b) category, and
I'd like to suggest that we not get hung up on it. Let us
concentrate on (a) although I have definite interest in
seeking your clarifications/ comments on teachings of the
type (b) also.
In the (a) category Blavatsky's teachings are the same as
those ethical teachings found in every major religion. On the
subject of spiritual practice, She gives little elaboration other
than what I had outlined earlier, because spiritual instruction
can be found anywhere. If anything, she gives warnings about
certain practices that people mistake to be spiritual. If there
is no disagreement between HPB and AAB concerning spiritual
practice, then AAB is saying nothing new, but is repeating easily
available information. If AAB has created a particular program
of spiritual practice, and is advocating adhesion to it, then she
is doing something that HPB did not do, and was not in favor of
doing. The closest thing that HPB came to teaching a program
spiritual practices was to give individual advice, or in the case
of the Inner group, she had house rules, that one might want to
classify as "spiritual practices." But even in this case, they
were only intended for the members of the household. THE VOICE
OF THE SILENCE, though a translation of moral and ethical
precepts, is not really a program of spiritual practices.
Regarding your (b) category as only being speculations--I
must disagree. HPB went through a great deal of trouble
outlining, documenting, arguing and clarifying these teachings.
If AAB offered her writings to " be regarded as 'speculations'
by most of us until we also become adepts and are able to verify
these for ourselves." Then so be it for her. H.P.B., on the
other hand did not do so. HPB explained in the preface of THE
KEY TO THEOSOPHY, that the book:
Is not a complete or exhaustive textbook of Theosophy, but
only a key to unlock the door that leads to deeper study.
It traces the broad outlines of the Wisdom Religion, and
explains its fundamental principles; meeting at the same
time, the various objections raised by the average Western
enquirer, and endeavoring to present unfamiliar concepts in
a form as simple and in language as clear as possible. That
it should succeed in making Theosophy intelligible without
mental effort on the part of the reader, would be too much
to expect; but it is the hoped that the obscurity still left
is of the thought not of the language, is due to depth not
to confusion. To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy
must remain a riddle; for in the world mental as in the
world spiritual each man must progress by his own efforts.
The writer cannot do the reader's thinking for him, nor
would the latter be any better off if such vicarious thought
were possible. (Key p. xi)
Therefore, it is clear that HPB not only thought that
Theosophy was understandable to the average reader, but she did
everything in her power to make it so. In another article she
mentions that *anyone* of average intelligence can understand the
theosophical teachings. The whole question of whether they are
understood or not depends upon whether the reader is willing to
make the necessary mental effort to understand them. My
experience is that the vast majority of people whom I have met
who have studied theosophy, were either unwilling to make the
mental effort, or had become confused by other theosophical
writers, whom they had read first in the hopes of understanding
Blavatsky without reading her. In the latter case, they usually
read the other writers first, because they believed they were
easier to read.
Among the subjects that HPB covers in the KEY (and therefore
believes them to be understandable to the average person) are,
the seven principles, reincarnation, after death states, and lots
of material pertaining to cosmology. The KEY is also one of her
richest sources for commentary on morals and ethicals.
In summary then, I am not in favor of your proposal that "we
not get hung up on" the teachings and terminology. Blavatsky's
theosophical schema is precisely what made her writing unique in
the Western World. If AAB's terminology is "exactly" the same as
HBP's, as you write; and AAB's writings depend upon the validity
of Blavatsky's, as you wrote earlier, then it is of prime
importance that this congruency be verified. In fact, it is the
one thing that we can most easily verify.
Thanks for the clarification. Were you a member of ES
(otherwise how do you know that there is a close
resemblance between ES materials and Bailey books?)
Incidentally, I think that Bailey wrote a lot more than is
possibly covered by ES, so it must be a small subset of
perhaps early Bailey books that may contain info originally
made available thru ES. Have you yourself been in any
'esoteric school' at all; are you aware of any other
esoteric schools other than Arcane School and ES?
If I were a pledged member of the E.S., I would not have
been permitted to say as much as I have already. I'm not a
member of any E.S., and have avoided doing so for my entire
thirty years in Theosophy. I know what is in the E.S. materials
because I have read them, therefore, that part of my statement
was based upon knowledge, not speculation. Yes, I am aware of
all of the "esoteric schools" in the theosophical movement.
For your next long paragraph--I will quote and answer in
I have a couple of points in this regard: (i) I do not think
that HPB has spoken explicitly about the seven keys
anywhere; has she?
Yes she speaks explicitly about the seven keys in the S.D.
In fact, it is one of the major themes in the book. An extensive
discussion on the seven keys and their relation to the mystery
language can be found in vol. I, pp. 310-25. I don't know how she
could be more explicit on this subject.
It is my opinion that the seven keys just refer to the
seven levels of meaning attached to SD.
The seven keys refers to the mystery language found in the
major religious systems and their mythologies. These seven keys
are used to "unlock" the layers of meanings in these systems.
The S.D. is not a religious tradition, but an outline of the
teachings that underlay these traditions. Therefore the S.D. is
in another sense "the *key*" itself, not the mystery. The S.D.
is an occult work, so it does have levels of meaning, but not in
the same sense as what HPB refers to as the seven levels of
meaning in the mystery language of the major religions. In other
words, no. The seven keys *do not* refer to any levels of
meaning attached to the SD.
It is said that all of the Bailey books can also be
interpreted at seven levels. So by 'psychological key'
Bailey means the interpretation of the SD in the context of
In light of my above statement, I will have to reject this,
unless you are now suggesting that the "psychological key" is
*not* one of the seven keys; and that TCF is an interpretation of
the SD in a psychological ~context.~ In this case, the term
"psychological key" was a very ill chosen term because it invites
a great deal of confusion with HPBP's use of the term "key." If
"context" rather than "key" was meant, then a better phrase would
have been that the TCF is a ~psychological interpretation~ of the
SD. This would be clearer, but also a much less profound
statement. The lost reference to HPB's prediction would probably
give clarification to this.
But the point is that there are seven ways in which the
archaic SD can be interpreted, Bailey has shown one of
those ways, at least that is what I understand from Foster's
HPB gives seven keys. I have already demonstrated that
"psychological key" is not among them, but it is an important
references to psychology in ISIS. If Bailey has a system of
"seven ways" that are different from the seven keys--then that is
fine with me, but it should be distinguished from HPB's system.
I asked Sarah McKechnie of Lucis for this, but then
backed away from asking her to 'research' it for me when she
made it clear that she did not know where the reference may
be, if it exists in written format at all. Sarah and her
colleagues at Lucis Trust are in my opinion modern day
saints. They get paid paltry salaries but have more than
enough work cut out for them in terms of publishing Beacon,
replying AS/Triangles/World Goodwill correspondence etc.
etc. So that is where that stands! Perhaps you can send a
query to the BBS that Jerome runs for 7 Ray U and ask him
for it (otherwise I might give it a shot one day).
I'm sorry that Sarah McKechnie and her colleagues are so
busy and are paid so little. But if one of their jobs is to
furnish information, then I would expect them to do that--
regardless of their pay. Since you are already known in this
organization, I prefer that you make the contacts. For
theosophical information, I'll be happy to make contacts for you.
Foster Bailey's statement is basic for the purpose of TCF,
therefore the reference should be basic information to anyone
making a genuine inquiry into TCF. What other format would HPB's
prediction be in, if not written?
Below I have quoted my comments and your responses, to which
I have made further responses.
> p xii: Says that the book was written to be employed for
> generation. That means until 1935. The S.D. was written to
> employed until 2000.
I do not know how you arrived at 1935. What is the number of
years for a generation? Most of the Bailey material is written
as a 'second instalment' of esoteric teaching, which is meant
the period from the time the books were written, up until early
The quote I'm referring to on p xii is:
This "Treatise on Cosmic Fire" has a fivefold purpose in
view: First, to provide a compact and skeleton outline of a
scheme of cosmology, philosophy, and psychology which may
perhaps be employed for a generation as a reference and a
textbook, and may serve as a scaffolding upon which more
detailed instruction may later be built, as the great tide
of evolutionary teaching flows in.
Generation, depending upon context is 10, 20 or 30 years. I
was counting form the publication date of 1925, added ten years
and got 1935. Even going for the more accepted definition of 30
years, the quote still suggests that TCF was to be "employed"
until 1955. Presumably, according to my reading of this quote,
"more detailed instruction" would appear, built upon the
foregoing book. Anyway, this quote appears to contradict the
idea that TCF was intended for the 21st century.
> 2nd para etc.: The five purposes of the book show that it
> deals primarily with consciousness, but is also a cosmology
> xiii: Fourth purpose is curious: "to give practical
> information anent those focal points of energy which are found
> the etheric bodies of the solar Logos..." Her definition of
> "solar Logos" should be interesting.
AAB's use of 'Solar Logos' refers to the stupendous Being
in whom all that 'lives and moves and has its being in our
Solar System' resides, so the body of the Solar Logos contains
the Planetary Logos in it; in fact the seven 'sacred planets' I
believe are the Seven Chakras in the body of this great Being.
References please. What does the earth represent? As it is
not one of the "seven sacred planets."
> xiv: Under things that should be kept in mind: b.: the
> slippage of words in conveying ideas is true in all
> communication. Is this to suggest that she is shrugging her
> responsibility to communicate? In other words, if something
> mis-understood, the reader alone is responsible?
You are playing on her words my friend! AAB has indicated again
and again that it is extremely difficult to put into the English
language (in any language but esp. the English language) that
which can only be seen or experienced on other planes.
I believe that I am the best judge of the intent and meaning
of what I write. I was not "playing with words," and I noted
AAB's indication of her difficulty in putting her teachings into
English. Reading "b" in context with "a" and "c" suggests in my
mind that she is leaving it to the reader to ascertain her
meaning even though the language in inadequate to communicate it.
I bring this up, because of HPB's contrasting statement in the
KEY (quoted above), suggesting that the English language (with
the borrowing and translating certain foreign terms) was adequate
for HPB to get across her meaning.
> xv: "No book gains anything from the dogmatic claims or
> declarations as the authoritative value of its source of
> inspiration." They why have the Tibetan write a statement in
> this book? Why credit it to the Tibetan at all?
Credit had to be given to the Tibetan because there is no way
that AAB herself could have known the material covered in this
book. The whole book is based on Tibetan's teaching; the
extract just sets the stage and is very relevant in my opinion.
This may be just so, but don't you also see that the
Tibetan's statement also endorses the claim that the book comes
from an authoritative source? Thus, the acceptance of the
Tibetan as being behind the book, gives it special authority.
Who is Francis LaDue? It is true that the stanzas are difficult
to understand at first glance. Will you not say the same of the
stanzas in HPB's SD, were it not for the commentary? All I know
is that persons who meditate on these stanzas seem to find
meaning in them (in a manner similar to what is in Mr.
Lansdowne's book mentioned before).
Francia LaDue was the head of the Temple of the People. The
Stanzas were also "dictated" to her.
I have studied the S.D. for so many years that I'm able to
interpret and discuss the stanzas without referring to the
commentaries. This means that I have internalized the usages and
meaning of the terms and the style in which they are written.
Therefore, theoretically, I should be able to read any new
stanzas, provided that are translated in the same way, and
recognize a consistency of usage and style, and should also be
able to deduce a great deal of meaning without reference to any
commentaries. I'm saying that based upon my first reading, and
upon my experience, I don't get the impression that stanzas ring
true. Perhaps, on a closer reading, I may change my mind.
That's it for now
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