[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

note from Emmett Small re Purucker

Feb 03, 1994 01:50 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This message is by W. Emmett Small, in response to the comments of
mine and of Jerry Hejka-Ekins regarding the writings of G. de

The material was entered by me from two type-written pages that I
received, and has been reformatted for the ascii style of "theos-l".

     -- Eldon B. Tucker (

Following are some thoughts that I've just dashed off, as other things
are pressing. My observations come from personal experience. I knew
GdeP and worked under his auspices directly for 13 years.

First of all, I can well understand both Jerry's and Eldon's stand in
the whole matter. In certain ways they are both right--Jerry from the
academic viewpoint, Eldon from his knowledge of Theosophy and
especially of the work of GdeP. (Of course in WRITING a book and
quoting other authors one should give correct references.In a college
thesis footnotes are almost more important than text!) But in
SPEAKING, as Jerry says, except in rare instances, it would greatly
weaken the presentation. The SPEAKING voice is far more important to
the assembled students than an instructor merely READING what he has
to present on the subject. And, correctly, most of GdeP's book are
the PRINTING of the SPOKEN word, and rarely are there given footnoted
references for any quote he may make or refer to. In other words when
reading it today do so with the spoken voice in mind.

Now a bit of history, as I was at Point Loma at the time. GdeP gave a
series of lectures in the Temple to public audiences in 1927 and 1928.
(These were later published in THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, but not until
1930.) The title of these lectures was THEOSOPHY, THE MOTHER OF
RELIGIONS, PHILOSOPHIES, AND SCIENCES, about 40 of them given on a
Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock. They were given over radio KFSD San
Diego from Point Loma.

These were followed by a series (later published in BOOK form) titled
THEOSOPHY AND MODERN SCIENCE, 29 lectures in all, but six of them
under the title of THEOSOPHY AND MODERN HYPNOTISM (Those six lectures
being delivered during the spring of 1927, the other 23 in June to
December 1927. They were, as said, published in book form, some 614
pages--and also given over KFSD radio.) Of them, GdeP in the book

>  [The lectures] are here published VERBATIM from stenographic
>  record when delivered, but with the lecturer's final review and
>  corrections. They were also published in THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH,
>  Point Loma, California, during 1928- 1929.

The quotes from scientists of the time and references for them are
just about zero. There is one on page 506 which refers to an article
by Professor G.T.W. Patrick, University of Iowa in THE SCIENTIFIC
MONTHLY, July 1926,

>  significant of the marvelous changes in scientific views
>  regarding evolution and their truly outstanding approach to what
>  we Theosophists teach.

(and GdeP quotes a whole page of what Patrick writes). In fact, that

Now when we come to THE ESOTERIC TRADITION we have a different story,
and Eldon is quite right about it. This was written, as many
professorial academic books have been and still are today, from Notes
and lectures given before, but with the help of a secretary to whom
the professor can dictate material to be added, to make changes in the
early notes, etc. GdeP at the time was in England, at Oakley House,
in 1932. Elsie Benjamin was his private secretary, but for the
literary work needed for THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, he had Elsie's sister
Helen Savage (later Helen Todd). GdeP was in great demand during
those months, dashing around lecturing to lodges in England, Wales,
and Holland mainly; so Helen, who did not usually accompany him on
these, was able to concentrate on the editing end of things, and GdeP
wanted the books out in a hurry (two volumes). Turn the pages and
note the over 450 FOOTNOTES with references given.

Now read GdeP's "Introduction", and you get the background: there is
no egotistic boasting; it is left to the reader to come to his own

>  ... all proof lies ultimately in the man himself; the ancients
>  knew that judgement and cognition of truth lie within him and not
>  without; and for these reasons they were more largely
>  introspective than we are, who pride ourselves upon, yes,
>  actually boast of, the modern idea that extrospection, or looking
>  without, is the sole highway to truth. The attaining of truth by
>  the individual runs in both directions, in the sense that while
>  we should cultivate the faculty of looking outward in order to
>  discern the facts of Nature, we can only understand these facts
>  by using the power of understanding, of discrimination, of
>  judgement, of intellectual analysis; and that power of
>  understanding and comprehension is not outside of but within us,
>  as seems obvious enough. (page 12).

And again:

>  THE SECRET DOCTRINE alone contains an almost untouched mine of
>  esoteric wisdom and teaching, untouched because its most devoted
>  students apparently have done little more than scratch the
>  surface of this genuine treasury of the Ancient Wisdom-Teaching
>  ... (page 26)

>  The purpose of this present book is to aid in the research for a
>  greater truth for men; and however small this contribution may be
>  to that really sublime objective, the reader is asked to remember
>  the will while he is studying the deed.

See also page viii, where GdeP writes:

>  What is good in them will endure; if there is anything that is
>  not good, let it perish and perish rapidly.

Isn't that the RIGHT and HIGHER attitude!

And finally, the dedication at the beginning of Volume I reads:


    -- W. Emmett Small, Point Loma, California
       February 1, 1994

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application