Forwarding attached reply of Johnson to CAldwell's Part II
Oct 16, 1995 04:02 AM
> From: "K. Paul Johnson" <email@example.com>
According to MGRAYE@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU:
> Johnson has said on several previous occasions that he does *not* believe
> that this "gentleman" waiting in HPB's bungalow to see Olcott was Ranbir
> Singh who had travelled all the way from Kashmir to Bombay to see Olcott
> and HPB.
"Does not believe" can mean several things. I don't regard it
as impossible, but implausible. Could not find evidence as to
Ranbir's whereabouts at the time, but at any rate he was
unlikely to travel alone.
> One of Johnson's comments in response to my above stated objections was that
> unless one could somehow identified the person who appeared on horseback
> at Bombay this Bombay account or similar accounts do not help one to identify
> who the Master was or was not. Johnson said that unless one could find
> some document, etc. which would disclose that a certain identifed historical
> person had been in Bombay at this particular time, etc., Olcott's account is
> of little use.
Of little use in providing a historical identification, that's
all. If you want to use it as weight against another
identification, which you do, fine. But it lacks much weight
when there is no confirmation of the account.
> Johnson has also stated that the only kind of valid criticism of his
> identifications of the Masters (in this case Morya) would involve naming
> a different historical person and identifying that known person as the basis
> (or whatever) of the Morya persona.
No, never. What I said was that my procedure was to comb
through the Theosophical literature looking for clues that are
specific enough to point to specific prototypes or
identifications for the Masters. Passages such as the one you
cite are not useful in that way. I have said that passages
such as the one you cite could be used as "disproof" of ANY
identification one could make, and therefore that their
evidentiary value is weak.
> And finally, why does Johnson insist that the only valid criticism of his
> hypotheses concerning Morya and Koot Hoomi would be to show an alternate
> hypothesis pointing to the "real" identities of K.H and M? Yes, I agree
I do not and never have insisted that. It's not just a matter
of criticism of my hypotheses, but of the conflicting and
limited evidence available for ANY hypothesis. I'm not saying
your approach is invalid, just that I'm more interested in
evidence that would actually point to someone as opposed to
evidence that can only be used negatively.
> In discussing Johnson's remarks on this last subject with a friend, the friend
> say that it seemed to him that Johnson was in effect saying: "Well, a bad
> identification is better than no identification!"
What I am saying is that you, Dan, are using your intellectual
faculties in a negative manner, trying to undermine the
legitimacy of my work without offering anything in the way of
alternatives. If I am wrong in any particular case, e.g.
Morya, WHO WAS HE? If you claim to have 90-95% of the evidence
in that case and it undermines my hypotheses, isn't that enough
evidence for you to contruct one of your own? The general
Theosophical attack against my work has seemed opposed not just
to my particular hypotheses, but to the entire enterprise of
identifying the Masters. The relentless negativity of your
reaction to my work, with no sign of positive or creative
effort to find the truth, suggests that you are defending
something rather than seeking a better explanation.
You also assume the accuracy of accounts by the Founders
even when there is no evidence to confirm them. This will only
fly with a Theosophical audience.
> I will close for now and let Johnson review my parphrasing of his private
> responses to my criticisms. If I have misunderstood or misstated his
> arguments, he can state them and add details so that I and other interested
> readers on Theos-Roots will have a better understanding of his viewpoint.
I am no longer on Theos-roots but you may forward this.
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