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from Jim Anderson (part 2)

Sep 23, 1994 00:36 AM
by Arnold Stoper

To Paul

I stand foursquare with you in your replies to the hankerings of
Eldon and Jerry after party-line theosophical expatiation on the
net.  As it is, the net is a great, freewheeling free-for-all;
theosophy on one of its highest mountaintops if you ask me.  The
party line - various party lines - get their proverbial two
pennies in with marked frequency, and the whole mix of elements,
if you ask me, is just right.  (Don't get me wrong - by "party
line" I mean both the real thing and caricatures of the real
thing.) Yes, yes, I give you a high-five re the not-naming-names
witch-hunting tendency mainly in Eldon and Brenda but also
(surprisingly) to some extent in Jerry.  Jerry - your defense
here is well-taken.

Paul, you say, "To me, a contemporary account of any place
important in HPB's life helps me ground her teachings and
theosophical history in a sense of a flow of life and makes it
all more immediate." For the moment, I'll consider my long and
memorable months at Adyar and at Simla in 1965 and 1966 as not
very "contemporary", but let me know.  Also, the way things move
these days, 1985 is probably old hat too.  Anyhow, I travelled
all over Tibet in the spring and summer of 1985, completely on my
own, without guides.  Several stays in the "big cities" of Lhasa,
Shigatse, and Gyantse, but mostly I was out on that different
planet which is the Tibetan wilds.  I assume you know about
Sakkya-Jong in The Mahatma Letters.  It's in the Index, and if
you go where the Index indicates, you find KH thusly: "I now come
from<Sakkya-Jong>.  To you the name will remain meaningless.
Repeat it before the 'Old Lady' and - observe the result." I
lived four days in the village of Sakya.  (I'll use just one k,
as seems usual.  Tibetans pronounce it Sadj - ya.) The excellent
New York Times Atlas map of Tibet names a Sakya-Jong as a
mountain pass near Sakya.  (I think "jong" means mountain pass or
something like that.) From the Sakya guest house where I stayed,
you can see a path going between two rounded, modest-sized
mountains.  Maybe that is the Sakya-Jong of the New York Times
map; maybe it is KH's and HPB's Sakkya-Jong.  The Sakya guest
house is directly across the street from Sakya Monastery.  As you
may know, Sakya Monastery is the place where, in 1275, religious
and civil functions were first fused in Tibet, by the then
emperor of China, the Mongol, Kublai Khan, as a way of
solidifying Chinese control over Tibet.  My experience was that
Tibetans regard Sakya Monastery, not one or another of the more
famous ones near Lhasa, as THE monastery.  They let you know that
as if letting you in on an inside thing.  In March 1985 I spent a
day travelling across Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
The train stopped a half-hour in Ulaan Bataar, so I had thirty
minutes to walk around that place.  Curious that ASTREA says he
(she?) spent a month in "Ulan Bataar and environs" but "didn't
get as far as the Gobi desert." Suggests that ASTREA got to the
capital by air and not overland.  Overland via Siberia, one finds
Ulaan Bataar plopped down in the middle of the Gobi Desert.  Ages
since I read Isis; must follow up your note that an HPB trip to
Mongolia can be found therein.  I think it's in the HPB Letters
to APS where HPB says that most of the members of the
trans-Himalayan Brotherhood are (as I recall the description)
pure-blooded Mongolian Buddhists.

Immensely enjoyed your comparison of theosophy and Baha'i.  I've
visited both W Chicago suburb headquarters, and have spent much
time with Baha'is across the country.  (As you may know, Wheaton
is also a great hotbed of evangelical Protestantism.) I suggest
another comparison: Maybe Baha'i stands to Babism as Something To
Succeed Theosophy stands to theosophy.  In both cases, a
short-term forerunner complete in itself followed by the big
enchilada.  If my memory serves, Olcott had this idea about
theosophy.  I'll tie my suggested comparison to another suggested
comparison: 19th-century spiritualism stands to theosophy as
20th-century UFOs stand to UFOs Identified.

Interesting, your spiralling cycles talk to Eldon.  I demur.((
"...  it really doesn't seem to me that we go forward in a
straight line, but rather around and around in a spiral, during
which at any given time we are going 'in the opposite direction'
from where we were a half-cycle ago (viewed two-dimensionally)
and yet going in the same direction in terms of the third
dimension of height.  (plane to plane if you will).  ...  Maybe
we can agree to look at our divergences, not in the light of
'he's headed in the wrong direction' but rather 'what I perceive
may counterbalance what he perceives' and 'what I do to act on my
perceptions may seem opposed to what he does to act on his, but
both may advance the movement.'")) Since my "preliminary
assessment of you and your work", I've been quite moved and
charmed by you, as is probably evident in my remarks since the
preliminary assessment.  Now that assessment returns, modified,
but basically unchanged.  Your spiralling cycles finesse good and
bad directions the way Brenda finesses ethics.  Her move makes
room for her, let us say "bad" acceptance of "bad" CWL; your move
connects with what my preliminary assessment called the mission
you seem to be on which doesn't appear to be a good one.  You
eviscerate and dress up the important realization that everything
has its place.  Yes, everything has its place, including wrong
directions and other bad stuff.  I'll conclude this paragraph
with HPB talking to APS in The Mahatma Letters, p.463 of the 1975
TUP Facsimile Edition: "M.  means here that they have no right or
even power to go against the natural or that work which is
prescribed to each class of beings or existing things by the law
of nature.  The Brothers, for instance could <prolong> life but
they could not <destroy> death, not even for themselves.  They
can to a degree palliate evil and relieve suffering; they could
not destroy evil.  No more can the Dhyan Chohans impede the work
of the Mamo Chohans, for <their> Law is <darkness>, <ignorance>,
<destruction> etc., as that of the former is Light, knowledge and
creation.  The Dhyan Chohans answer to <Buddh>, Divine Wisdom and
Life in blissful knowledge, and the Ma-mos are the
personification in nature of <Shiva>, Jehovah and other invented
monsters with Ignorance at their tail)."

(continued in part 3)

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