Feb 04, 1994 10:32 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
>> So I would ask: Why does Foster Bailey lie to me
>> referring to TSD, so I should believe he is referring to the
>> SD, when in reality he is referring to TSD? Perhaps FB would
>> have shown me some "reference or papers where HPB wrote this"
>> but we don't know if he would have, and we don't know if such
>> "reference or papers" exists. We can however check his
>> statement against what is available in print, and here we find
>> him in contradiction to what evidence we have.
> If you want to conclude that FB is lying, that is upto you.
> In fact there is nothing that I can do that will change your
> mind about anything, howsoever erroneous it may be. Only
> you can change your mind in the light of your experience or
> intuition. The way I look at what Foster has written, he
> is expressing his views about TCF and 'paraphrasing' what he
> knows about the background to the writing of TCF. Many times
> during the writing of these messages, you ask me, 'where did
> I read this or that', and I have a hard time remembering where
> I read that material. I have been unable to give you
> references because when I was reading the original material,
> I was only interested in the material. and not the page number
> or the title of the chapter. My opinion is that Foster Bailey
> wrote this as part of the 'introduction' to TCF in 1950,
> perhaps thirty years or more after he had read Blavatsky's
> papers. He is not quoting from one of HPB's writings but
> rather paraphrasing what he learnt while reading HPB's
> papers (just like what I do when I am writing a message to you
> about what I learn from AAB or HPB or other writings).
> You can say that perhaps FB has not been precise in what he
> has stated as far as whether TCF is the key to SD or TSD, but
> it is ludicrous on your part to accuse him of lying to you.
Wow! Obviously, my message to you concerning FB was
entirely mis-understood. What distresses me the most is that I'm
not sure why. May I ask if English is your second language? If
so, this may explain a lot. I know from personal experience that
when reading in French, I often completely miss the point because
of not being familiar with a word, or not familiar with a
particular meaning of a word in a certain context. Sometimes I
will miss the point of a whole article because of unfamiliarity
with an underlying meaning, that would have been obvious if I had
grown up in the French culture.
In the case of the FB joke, it had to have been read in
context with the quotation and explanation of Freud's joke in
order to have been understood. Since you had not reproduced this
critical part of the message when answering it, I might surmise
that you didn't understand the relationship between the two parts
of the message. Below, I will reproduce the two parts, and try
to explain it to you. But please understand, that the joke isn't
funny once it is explained--because it loses in the translation.
But believe me, it is a very old classical joke that has been
around for a century and it is still funny:
> There is a Jewish joke once told by Sigmund Freud
> demonstrating that when the relation of the signifier (word) is
> deprived of its relationship to the signified (what the word
> refers to), the dialogue comes to a close:
> "Yes, why are you lying to me?" one character shouts
> breathlessly. "Yes, why do you lie to me saying you're
> going to Cracow so I should believe you're going to
> Lemberg, when in reality you are going to Cracow?"
> So I would ask: Why does Foster Bailey lie to me referring
> to TSD, so I should believe he is referring to the SD, when in
> reality he is referring to TSD? Perhaps FB would have shown
> me some "reference or papers where HPB wrote this" but we
> don't know if he would have, and we don't know if such
> "reference or papers" exists. We can however check his
> statement against what is available in print, and here we find
> him in contradiction to what evidence we have.
Now the humor of this joke has nothing to do with lying, nor
does my rephrasing of the joke to FB have anything to do with
lying. The idea has to do with the using of one word to mean
another. For instance, about thirty years ago it was popular
among people of my generation in Los Angeles to name their dogs
"cat" and their cats "dog." This is another variation of the
same humor, and believe it or not, we thought it was funny. We
were not lying by naming a dog "cat." By doing so, we were
pointing to the problem that we are in a sense prisoners of
language. When we start breaking the rules of language by
calling a dog "cat," we create confusion. If I were to call my
dog to me by saying: "here kitty kitty kitty," anyone hearing me
would expect a cat to come running. When they see a dog running
to me instead, they would become confused. So to explain the
joke (which I realize will no longer make it funny): The
exasperated man who is shouting "breathlessly" understands by the
city of Cracow to mean the city of Lemberg, but the other man
understands Cracow to mean Cracow and Lemberg to mean Lemberg.
So the first man is exasperated when the second announces he is
going to Lemberg, because the first understands that to mean
Cracow. But he also knows in fact that the second man is going
to Cracow, which the first man understands to be Lemberg. So in
the same manner, I was making the same joke. What FB understands
to the TSD is what I understand to be the SD etc.
The point of my making the joke was to point out that when
we write "cat" when we really mean "dog," the reader will
understand "cat" and often not be able to guess that "dog" was
really meant. Now if you will translate "dog" and "cat" to "TSD"
and "the SD" you will get my point. I hope this clarifies
I also understand why you are not able to give references,
and we talked about this early in this exchange, where I had
recommended that you try to get in the habit of taking notes so
that you will be able to find things again. If I recall, you had
replied favorably to this suggestion and had started do so.
> Now, regarding what is available in print. I ask you, have
> you made an effort to search EVERYTHING that HPB has written?
> Exhaustively?? I donot believe that anybody in his right
> mind can make that statement! If you make that statement, it
> will be truly imprecise (much more so than FB may be guilty
> of wrt TSD). Do you remember that I had asked you whether you
> were aware of HPB's desire to rename ES as AS, as a follow-up
> to another statement from AAB's biography? You did not, at
> least you had not seen anything in print to that effect, right?
> I have news for you: read BCW XI p. 342 and look for the
> following letter from HPB to HSO: "...the term "Esoteric" and
> "Esotericism" having been so desecrated ... [that] our Esoteric
> Section had better drop its name. The Council in England has
> decided to call it 'Arcane' instead of the 'Esoteric'
> Section.." etc. etc. BTW, I found this on p. 203 of JH Vol 3
> No. 7-8 (the one you sent me).
Thank you for the citation concerning Blavatsky's
indorsement of the London Lodge's recommendation to change the
name to the Arcane School. Now to be fair, you know that I never
said that I have exhaustively searched *everything* HPB had ever
written. Also your original question to me was whether I have
ever seen anything to this effect in her *private papers.* I
answered that I have not, and I stand by that answer. If you
recall, you were going to inquire whether Lucis Trust had such a
notice of HPB's in their collection of her private papers. The
citation you give above is reprinted from a notice in ~Lucifer~
therefore is not from her private papers. Nevertheless, I freely
admit to you, that I don't recall seeing this public notice
before either. But the way you framed your original question was
that this citation is to be found in her private papers. So that
is where I looked, and came up empty handed.
Now whether or not this letter reflects a genuine desire for
HPB to change the name of the ES, or if it is just her indorsing
a motion made by the Council in England in reaction to the short
lived problems caused by the "Boston Butlerites" is another
question. My recollection of this incident with the Boston
Gnostic Society was a short lived tempest in a tea pot, that blew
over in a very short time, which would very well explain why HPB
nor anyone else never followed through with the name change. You
need to read the whole letter in context, because the citation in
TH is a very short quote trying to prove the authority of Olcott
concerning the ES. Spierenburg's reason for reproducing that
quote has nothing to do with showing that HPB desired to change
the name of the ES. Once you read the whole letter in context,
(as it appears in volume XI) it becomes very questionable whether
changing the name of the ES to the AS was really her desire to do
so, because the letter indicates that, she was only going along
with and endorsing a movement started by the Council in England
in reaction to the Boston Gnostic Society, and was *not*
initiated by herself. You might note that the letter was dated
July 7, 1889--almost two years before she died. If changing the
name of the ES was truly her desire, and not just her going along
with the hysteria of the moment, we would expect to find other
letters pushing this through. Remember, that HPB did change the
name of the ES once, so I see no reason why she could not have
done it a second time if she wanted to.
>> It appears that students in the AS are so used to this kind of
>> slippage between the word and its meaning that these kind of
>> statements go un-noticed.
> I object to your last sentence. You know that I hold AS in the
> highest esteem (much like perhaps you hold HPB, WQJ or
> Parucker). Yes, I have faults and I may not be precise in
> writing or not 'sharp' enough in understanding esotericism the
> way that you understand it, but what basis do you have to drag
> AS into this fault-finding? This reminds me of HPB's lament in
> her letter to HSO about desecration of esotericism. Can I
> expect you to be more careful in the future? If I have been
> insensitive to you or your beliefs, let me know and I will try
> to improve myself.
This was not intended to be an insult to you, and I
apologize for doing so. My criticism was not personal, rather a
frank assessment of something that I have noticed concerning
every AS student I have met over the years. It is harsh
criticism, I admit, but in my experience, it is justified. My I
direct you to p. 171 in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY (original edition
that I'm sending you, because most of this was deleted in Codd's
edition, and what is left and completely out of context and no
longer conveys what HPB was trying to say). On this page you will
find the sub-heading "Definite Words For Definite Things". Here
she (with a greater diplomacy than I have) tries to handle the
confusion caused by Sinnett's insistence upon giving the occult
terminology different meanings than she gives them. The term in
question in this section is the difference between "self" and
"soul," where Sinnett had used "soul" to mean "self" with
disastrous results that plagues Theosophical students even today.
Some may ask "what is the big deal if I use `soul' to mean
`self'"? But there is a big difference when one is trying to
teach theosophical concepts. These teachings are difficult
enough as they are. So why create more confusion by substituting
one term for another, or by changing the meaning of terms
whenever the spire moves one to do so? We need "definite words
for definite things", as HPB says, or we get confusion.
>>> Psychology in the human context is in fact the same
>>> as psychology in the cosmological context. This is the true
>>> basis of brotherhood, everything is interrelated! There is
>>> but ONE SOUL!! See for example, p. 233 of TCF "The
>>> manifesting Units of Consciousness".
>> This as apparently being so in AAB's teachings, considering
>> her dual meaning of the word "psychology." In HPB's
>> teachings, to say that "psychology in the human context is in
>> fact the same as psychology in the cosmological context"
>> would be a nonsense statement, because she doesn't use the
>> word "psychology" in a cosmological context.
> Again I ask you not to make a blanket statement. Donot be
> surprised if we find something in HPB's writings that
> contradicts what you are saying, as we continue this
If I find something in HPB's writings that contradicts this,
I will change my position. If my "blanket statement" is
incorrect, it will not be the first time in my life that I have
erred--but I think I can handle it. However, keep in mind that
my thirty years in studying and teaching Theosophy has given me a
certain amount of confidence and certitude that I understand what
HPB is conveying. There are only so many esoteric terms, so she
uses them over and over again, and is quite consistent in her
usage of these terms. Since I have found through these thirty
years experience that HPB is consistent in her usage of
terminology, I think I can say with a reasonable amount of
certitude that she is also consistent in her usage of the term
"psychology." If there are any HPB students who have found her
to be inconsistent in the way that she defines terms, I would be
very anxious to hear from them. So far I have never met one.
>> Since the "materialistic definition" is not in question
>> here, but the substitution of the word "psychological" for
>> "theogonic", I still don't follow your point.
> Keeping in mind the way AAB talked about HPB's desire to rename
> ES as AS (it was not a direct quote of HPB but rather a
> 'paraphrase' of what HPB had implied in her letter to HSO, if
> indeed this was the letter that was the basis of AAB's
> statement), it is possible to imagine that AAB took the meaning
> of 'theogonic' instead of using that term; we have not seen
> what papers AAB had access to and it may be that even HPB had
> used the term psychological instead of theogonic to refer to
> this key to SD in those papers.
If AAB was basing her decision to name her ES the AS upon
the letter you cited that was published in ~Lucifer~ (which was
not written to Olcott, but was a public notice, directed to
pledged members) then I would have to say that she mis-understood
HPB's intent. If it is based upon some private paper that no one
seems to have seen other than her, then we will just have to wait
and see whether Lucis Trust will be willing to make it public--at
which time we will be able to evaluate it. The same thing goes
for the "psychological key." So far we have found the term was
not used by HPB in any of her writings. Or at least no one has
come up with an instance--not even in Eldon's and Brenda's
computer search. But anything is possible. By the way, how are
we coming on your request. Any response yet?
I heard from raj and will send a message tonight and ask for
an acknowledgement to assure that he gets it. Does he check his
I'm about 1/3 of the way through writing a 15 page paper, so
I have to get back to work.
Best to you
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