H.P.B. and THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY
Feb 08, 1994 07:50 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
Is it possible that the "Center for Academic Publications"
could be another organization with the same name? Did you cross
check the ISBN coding for a match? Or did this Stanford
organization confirm that this CUT study is their own creation?
> While Terry's historical perspective is helpful in placing
> post-HPB developments in context, why stop there? Putting HPB
> in context of the sources from whom she learned takes us back a
> step further. Why accept hers as the final word on Kabbalah,
> Masonry, Vedanta, etc. when each of those traditions supplies
> us with voluminous sources which existed long prior to her? I
> suggest that going back to the Source be understood as a
> direction, not a goal. We never get all the way back (unless
> the Radhasoami folks really do know how) but we can always
> understand each phenomenon in terms of the preexisting context
> from which it arose.
My understanding is that this is precisely what H.P.B. was
trying to get students of Theosophy to do. She didn't want her
writings to become holy script, but to be studied so that they
would become a springboard for further research. I'm glad you
brought this out.
Yes I carry THE LETTERS FROM THE MASTERS OF WISDOM. Let me
know if you want me to send you a set.
Regarding your quote from TH; I think that a little back
ground on this Journal is in order. The Journal is published
independently of any Theosophical Organization. It is an
academic Journal. That means that articles, before they are
accepted, are refereed by several readers for, among other
things, their standard of scholarship. By standard of
scholarship, I mean that the information presented by writers is
backed up by proper documentation. That does not necessarily
mean that opinions offered by these writers are correct.
Different scholars can draw different conclusions from the same
evidence. Occasionally this Journal publishes scholarly articles
that are directly hostile to one or another brand of Theosophy.
We also have scholars debating with other scholars. In the case
of Dr. Godwin, whom you quoted, you must keep in mind that he is
one of those scholars who, rightly or wrongly, has always
displayed a hostile attitude towards H.P.B.. It helps to keep
these things in mind when quoting from TH. As far as H.P.B.,
making mistakes, however, she said this herself on many
occasions. Can you quote any student of H.P.B. who has ever said
If you want an example where H.P.B. is considered wrong--her
definition of Devachan (which she repeated many times) is wrong
according to every major scholar in the field of Buddhism. By the
way, does AAB define Devachan the same way as H.P.B.?
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