Mar 19, 1994 11:55 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
My apologies for not getting back to you. I have been
completely buried in work. My class alone was demanding 40 hours
just planning the lessons and going through my student's reading
guides, essays and journals. On top of that, I have been taking
three seminar classes, each requiring a research paper by the end
of the semester. Needless to say, I'm in trouble. Being a
student and a teacher at the same time is almost an impossible
task when taking a full load of classes. So as I warned you
before, my visits with you and Internet will have to be much less
frequent until summer.
To pick up from your post of March 10th:
JHE>> Aside from a speculative passing mention of AAB at the end
>> of his book, Tillett does not deal with AAB at all. So there
>> are no "links" here. I am only trying to clarify your
>> position on CWL's believability. AAB had to make treatment of
>> CWL either directly or indirectly, because they were
>> contemporary, and he dominated the ES at the time. There is
>> no way for her to avoid doing so, if she did not want a
>> confused mulligan stew of theosophy and neo-theosophy.
>> Therefore it is important to be clear on Leadbeater before we
>> get into any of these direct or indirect treatments. You say
>> that you know of only one reference to Leadbeater in AAB's
>> writings. If there is truly only one reference (direct or
>> indirect) to Leadbeater, then he is probably of no importance,
>> and we can drop the whole thing right here. But if
>> Leadbeater's teachings are part of AAB's (acknowledged or
>> not), then we have a problem. Do you follow my reasoning? It
>> is very important that you do.
AK> I follow your reasoning; let drop the discussion regarding
> CWL right here.
Then I am to understand that you don't believe that
Leadbeater's teachings are used anywhere in AAB's writings. Our
investigations over the last six months did show evidence that
Leadbeater's teachings were combined with AAB's. However, if
this was a misreading, and Leadbeater's teachings are not part of
AAB's, then I agree that there is no reason to scrutinize
Leadbeater. However, if it turns out that AAB did incorporate
CWL's teachings, then we will have to bring him up again.
JHE>> Since, I didn't mention G. de P., I'm at a loss to know
>> what you are responding to, or correcting me on here. That
>> you distinguish AAB from GdeP by saying that one is an
>> "extension" and the other an "expansion" is an interesting
>> distinction, but you would also have to give an example of how
>> GdeP's "expansion" is different from AAB's "extension" for me
>> to follow your point.
AK> Let me explain my position by reference to what is called
> 'theorems' in math. Each theorem is a 'fundamental truth'.
> Some theorems can be extended further and the related extension
> may be called a 'Lemma' in case of a minor extension and a new
> theorem in case of a major extension of the original theorem.
> My impression is that if HPB gave out, let us say the
> equivalent of 100 'theorems',then AAB gave out an additional
> 100 or more theorems. This is what I mean by AAB extending
> theosophical teaching given by HPB. GdeP did an excellent job
> of explaining further HPB's 100 theorems (so to speak) and
> perhaps adding a few Lemmas here and there but it is my
> impression that he did not give out the equivalent of any new
> 'theorems'.This is what I meant by expansion. You can see why
> it is not possible to take AAB teaching and see how it is
> derived from HPB teaching. There is no incompatibility that we
> have found so far between the two sets of teachings but they
> are independent of each other.
I would have to see specific examples of the new
"fundamental truths" that you believe AAB gave out in order for
me to follow and make an evaluation of your statement. A
specific example of AAB's teaching that is an "extension" and a
specific example of G.deP.'s teaching that is an "expansion,"
showing how each differs from HPB's teaching on the same subject
would help me a lot.
AK> (a)What do you mean that 'this is an investigation'? In many
> investigations that I have undertaken, there is
> a 'hypothesis' to be tested. What is your hypothesis for
> the investigation?
I don't have one. In the scientific method, a hypothesis
is a "guess" that is put forth to explain a particular phenomena.
A hypothesis is made *after* the data is collected. Since we are
still collecting data, a hypothesis is inappropriate. Therefore
any "hypothesis" at this point of our investigation is really
just a mis-named presumption. As we look at the "phenomena"
(i.e. HPB's and AAB's writings) and make note of consistencies
and/or inconsistencies, then we can formulate hypothesis to
explain them. In other words, as far as I'm concerned, we
haven't collected the evidence yet upon which to form a
hypothesis--therefore, I don't have one.
AK> What result do you hope to achieve by this
> investigation? Please foregive me for being very dumb, but you
> need to clearly lay down your ideas about what you hope to
> accomplish in this 'investigation' and how you hope it will
> be carried. Every now and then you make a statement like '..
> this will come in handy down the road in our investigation..'
> which I donot quite understand. We seem to be working on two
> different sets of objectives; what you are calling a challenge
> from me is really what my hypothesis for this investigation
> is. Do you follow me, brother?
Yes I follow you. You are saying that what I call your
challenge, i.e. that there is no conflict between the teachings
of AAB and HPB, is really your "hypothesis." From the stand
point of scientific methodology, it follows then that you are
pursuing this investigation to prove your "hypothesis." The
reason why I didn't follow you before is because in the beginning
of this enquiry, I pains takingly laid down what I hoped we would
accomplish and stressed that we put aside any preconceptions.
Obviously, your hypothesis (since we haven't collected any
meaningful amount of data) is by definition a preconception. The
problem is that your preconception makes this investigation
problematical. While I'm exploring the subject with you, based
upon the question: how do HPB and AAB compare?; your
preconception obligates you to concentrate your energy towards
defending against any data that may contradict your so called
"hypothesis." Thank you for clarifying this, because it explains
your constant declarations, and your almost sacerdotal tone of
defense against anything that has come up that may have been
evidence showing any possible incongruencies between AAB and
Yes, early in our correspondence, I often made that
statement ("this will come in handy down the road in our
investigation"), but this had nothing to do with hypothesis. I
think you may be confusing "hypothesis" with "methodology." In
the beginning we had agreed to begin our investigation by
comparing HPB and AAB's use of occult terms. Whenever you or I
mentioned something that was not immediately germane to the task
at hand, but yet referred to the investigation in general, I
would say something to the effect that this information or idea
`will come in handy down the road.'
But we quickly found problems in our comparisons when we
looked at AAB's seven principles. I raised some issues, which
you promised to respond to but never did. Shortly after that,
you suggested that we change our methodology and read one of
AAB's books. I agreed, and you suggested TCF. We got about 80
pages into the book, I raised some issues, many of which you
responded to, some you let drop. We also got tied up with the
SD/TSD issue, which you never saw the point of.
More recently (March 1st), the term "stupendous being" came
up, and I suggested that we compare HPB and AAB's usage. In
other words, I suggested that we go back to the more straight
forward task of comparing terms. You agreed (Message of March
10th), and said that you would collect material on the "planetary
logos." So we are back to comparing terms again. I would rather
if we started with the more elementary terms, as we tried in the
beginning, but I think we can do it this way too.
What worries me, however, is your "hypothesis." As long as
you hold to it, I see little hope of us accomplishing anything.
I suppose I could adopt the opposite "hypothesis," and we can
debate, but I see nothing positive coming out of this approach
either. I can come up with convincing arguments to prove either
hypothesis. It doesn't matter to me. Debates just prove who is
better at logic. I'm interested in something more meaningful.
AK> (b)If it turns out that AAB is inconsistent with HPB with
> regard to some specific teaching, I'll have to see which one
> appeals to me more. I am not afraid that we may find
> inconsistencies between the two sets of teachings. Discovery
> of inconsistencies will give legitimacy to the opinions of
> many theosophists that 'they donot care for AAB teachings' (I
> am willing to accept that as a reason for not reading AAB). Do
> you follow where I am coming from?
Yes, I follow you. If the teachings conflict, you will
choose the teaching that is most appealing to you. This is a
very different approach than the one I would take if I were in
your position. If I discovered that they were incongruent, I
would ask myself which system, (if either one) is correct; i.e.
which system is most consistent with what I know and able to
discover about the real world. I would hope that the "appeal" of
the system would not determine my choice. This is because I
learned from experience that the "appeal" of a system tell me
more about my personal needs, than it does about Truth. But,
being different people, we approach life differently.
JHE>> This is not a productive question, nor does it exhibit an
>> understanding of what is meant by "levels of meaning." The SD
>> has seven keys (levels of meaning if you like), but TSD is an
>> outline of the SD. TSD is written in English. It is not some
>> coded hieroglyphic with seven simultaneous interpretations.
>> One doesn't have to know every last thing about the seven keys
>> in order to understand TSD. I have repeated this many times,
>> but it appears that you still don't understand what I'm trying
>> to get across.
AK> OK, may be I did not quite word my initial comment exactly.
> There are the seven keys, and then there are the different
> levels at which the teaching itself can be interpreted i.e. TSD
> and each of the AAB/DK books have multiple meanings. I thought
> I read somewhere that (at least for AAB/DK books) there are
> seven ways to interpret the text of the teaching itself. Many
> people who have read these books repeatedly several times claim
> that every time they read them, they get a different meaning...
Yes there are countless meanings that can be found in any
complex piece of literature. Any attentive reader will get
different meanings from any literary work, every time he reads
it. It doesn't have to be an occult work either. There are
whole journals and books devoted to interpreting the meaning of
works of literature, and whole books anthologizing different
interpretations of a single work. This is precisely the type of
thing a literature student studies. There is nothing esoteric
about any book having multiple meanings.
Perhaps the AAB books do say that their texts have seven
keys. It would be an interesting statement. Please send the quote
when you find it. As for TSD, I can say with reasonable
certainty that HPB did not claim seven keys to its interpretation
--the seven keys are applied to the SD, not TSD. But of course,
like every other complex work, there are countless levels of
interpretation to TSD. Every person who reads it will get a
different experience out of it, and that experience will be
different with every re-reading. There is nothing esoteric about
this. It is true with all good novels, philosophical works,
poems, and short stories.
JHE>> For the sake of argument, I will answer you and say that I
>> understand the SD on seven levels. This is a true and
>> accurate statement. When you understand my above explanation,
>> you will understand my answer.
AK> You claim to understand SD (not TSD) on seven levels. Well,
> I see that makes you at least a Mahatma, because even HPB did
> not claim to understand SD fully...
As I anticipated, you did not understand my answer. As
for H.P.B.'s statement, I'm of course will aware of what she says
on this subject. Since you had discussed the issue of HPB's
understanding in an earlier posting, I had guessed that if you
misunderstood me, you would raise it again in answer to my
statement. HPB's statement is also true and accurate, and yet is
not contradictory to mine. Obviously, you neither understand my
statement nor hers. I suggest that you carefully read the Bowen
article (also published as a pamphlet) usually entitled: "H.P.
Blavatsky on How to Study The Secret Doctrine" In this
pamphlet, HPB discusses in some detail the nature of "truth" and
about her "understanding" of TSD and the SD. I also suggest that
while reading it, you keep in the back of your mind the concept
of there being an infinitely gradated spectrum between the
extremes of "truth" and "TRUTH." If you are able to grasp the
meaning of what HPB is trying to say in this pamphlet, the above
apparent contradiction will make sense, and no longer be
contradictory. I would try to explain it myself, but past efforts
have shown that I don't do very well in communicating subtle
ideas to you.
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