Re: theosophical transformations from HPB to Shirley Maclaine
Sep 02, 1995 03:25 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker
> The distillation of
>theosophical ideas from one writer to another, each adding a
>twist, changing meanings and contexts so that the ideas
>eventually look more like confused parodies of the originals has
>been much more than a passing interest with me, and I have been
>quietly trying to follow the trail for some years.
The dillution of the ideas, and their change is apparent. I would
suggest, though, that what Blavatsky wrote does not represent the
outer bounds on what we may know, or arrive at by personal insight
in our own studies. We can go beyond what she said, and still be
theosophical and consistent with the Mystery Teachings which her
writings perhaps came from. The problem comes when we try to share
with others our insights, because there's no external, objective
measure to put to our expressions, apart from a search for supporting
quotes from authoritative literature.
>Tillett in his biography of CWL pointed out, for instance, that
>theosophical terminology that has entered public consciousness is
>understood in the same way that CWL understood the terms, not how
>HPB used them. For instance "Masters" are publicly understood
>according to CWL's descriptions, not HPB's. "Astral" is used the
>way CWL used the term, not how HPB used it and so on. I think
>the reason for this is because CWL is so much easier to read than
The terms have changed, and it is confusing to those who have
studied Leadbeater first to then study "The Secret Doctrine,"
until they are taught the differences. I haven't noticed differences
from what Purucker wrote, but would appreciate it if there are
any to be pointed out for me, to assist in my studies of HPB.
>After teaching SD classes for over twenty years in both ULT
>and Adyar groups, I've observed that much of HPB's rhetoric is
>really too sophisticated for most readers. I'm not talking about
>too many "big words", but her organization of thought, her
>subtleties and her flow of logic is above the level that the
>average person is able to read anymore. Thus, since early in
>this century, CWL and AB's books were promoted as
>"clarifications" of HPB's ideas.
Perhaps they thought they were clarifying the writings. Since we
see that the terminology is different, and a comparative study
shows a number of differences on key ideas, we would consider their
statement to be sincere, perhaps, but mistaken.
>Most of those early members
>never thought of the possibility that some of these
>"clarifications" might be misreadings. And so it goes all the
>way down to Shirley Maclaine who's writings are also full of
>"theosophical" ideas. If the Theosophical Society is to be the
>corner stone for future new religions, it would make sense that
>these new religions would be based upon distillations and
>misreadings of the original material. Is that not what the
>various sects of Christianity are about--misreadings of Jesus'
>message, now lost in theology?
We'll never know for sure until we take the additional step, and
go beyond an intellectual brain-mind study of the printed page,
until we awaken insides ourselves a second form of knowing. Until
then, it's all a game of historic research, logic, and detective
work to see if an idea is correct or not. I'd suggest that this
second form of knowing things is not difficult, not far removed
from our experience, and is open to any of us who would try it.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application