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Re: Johnson agrees with Caldwell(!)

Sep 18, 1995 11:08 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Jerry Hejka-Ekins:
> Paul Johnson writes:
> >On the question of W. Q. Judge as an author of source
> >material. There is no justification I can think of for
> >claiming Judge to be more "source" than Besant, except for his
> >status as a founder. But that criterion would make Emma
> >Hardinge Britten source material, so it doesn't suffice.
> I think I covered this in my last post. If Mrs. Britten
> contributed to the body of theosophical teachings then why
> shouldn't it suffice? But her writings are concerned with
> spiritualism rather than theosophy aren't they?
I wrote before yours came through. Hardinge-Britten's version
of spiritualism owes something to the occult synthesis of the
late 19th century, but not directly to HPB, its primary
writer. Joscelyn Godwin's excellent The Theosophical
Enlightenment gives more detail about her and her adepts
(Chevalier Louis, most importantly) than we have had before.
Her claims of association with living adepts able to
communicate at a distance clairvoyantly are closer to Theosophy
than Spiritualism-- but her adepts deny reincarnation.
"Source" material is not so much an either/or category as
rather a series of degrees of distance from the main source--
which we'd agree is HPB and her teachers.
> I included Olcott in my last post. His ~Old Diary Leaves~,
> however are memoirs, not teachings. I would call them source
> writings for theosophical history, but not much use for
> teachings. For source writings on theosophical teachings, one
> would have to explore his lectures and articles and make a
> determination as to what degree he had contributed to the
> theosophical teachings.
Not much, but his historical contributions are like our four
gospels, in that although they give a narrative of events
rather than a formal doctrinal presentation, they also contain,
interwoven in the narrative, elements crucial to the
contemporary Theosophical worldview-- even in the ULT.

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