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re: Question to Jerry HE

Oct 08, 1995 03:06 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Dan Writes:

>Jerry in your messae of Oct 4 in reply to Paul Johnson, you
>"I also have some problems with HPB and the Mahatma letters too,
>but that is another issue....."
>I and probably others on the theos network would be interested
>in you
>elucidating what you mean by "some problems." Please explain
>Daniel Caldwell

 Ok. First, let's put this statement back into the context
from which I wrote it. My overall point was that I don't see the
historical characters of the Modern Theosophical movement in
black and white terms. Judge was not the paragon of good and
Besant the paragon of evil. I don't look at theosophical history
as grand struggles against the "dark forces," nor do I see one
character as honest and wonderful, whom I can take every word as
true and accurate, and another person as a liar and/or deceiver.
Thus, I don't see Besant as more or less capable of telling the
truth than Judge; or Olcott's version of what happened as
necessarily more or less accurate than Blavatsky's. I try to put
them on a level playing field and let them all tell their
stories. I see them all as human beings with strong and weak
 With the above in mind, let's look at HPB and also the
Mahatmas from the point of view of doctrine and regarding their
character, based upon what we can determine about them from their
writings. After years of attentively reading these writings, I
don't find any justification in the attitude that so many
students have of trusting and hanging on to every word issued
from them as divine revelation. For instance, HPB's definition
of Devachan as being "the abode of the gods" appears to be
unacceptable to every living Buddhist scholar. Why? Perhaps she
did know something that the modern scholars don't; but on the
other hand, she just might have made a mistake. Look at ~Isis
Unveiled~ and her lengthy discussion of fetuses taking on
grotesque forms because of the thoughts of the mother--or her
discussion on false pregnancies. Obviously (to me), we have an
HPB who not only drew from some rather outstanding sources of
inspiration and made some very distinctive contributions to our
body of knowledge, but the same HPB also can make some rather
silly statements that apparently came from her own ill informed
personal beliefs. A reader has to beware as to when HPB is
relating knowledge from her learned teachers; when she is
speaking from personal experience; when she is inserting her own
sometimes ill informed or sometimes deeply insightful opinions;
when she is not stating an opinion, but just quoting someone
elses; and when she is being her own ill tempered Helena
Blavatsky arguing with reporters or critics. After reading HPB
for many years, it became rather easy for me to tell the
difference--but try teaching her to new students.
 As for the Mahatmas, they also have to be humanized. The
students we've had the biggest problem with, are those who have
made up their minds that the Mahatmas are some kind of demi-gods
running around on the astral currents doing their bureaucratic
thing as part of an inner government. These students are the
ones who fall into a state of big time cognitive dissonance when
KH writes about his pipe, or of his annoyance with Hume, or his
chauvinistic comments like: "A woman is like an echo, she always
must have the last word." To me, it is obvious that these
Mahatmas have personalities, preferences and viewpoints just like
every other human being. They are not omniscient, nor did they
ever claim to be.
 So, for the present context, my original statement might be
clearer if I reword it. It isn't that I have a problem with HPB
and the Mahatmas themselves, but that they are often
problematical like every other human being. I guess my biggest
problem is with trying to communicate with others who refuse to
see the humanness in our past leaders.

Does this help Dan?

Jerry Hejka-Ekins
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