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Re: doctrinal and historical approaches

Oct 21, 1995 09:52 AM
by Richtay

Alan writes,

> I am a *Kabbalist* theosophist - HPB quotes Kabala for a number
> of *her* source arguments. So where do I fit in your schema?

MY scheme?!?!? That's the point -- it's not about my scheme or your scheme,
but understanding the scheme that was delivered (which we all know was but
fragments of a hidden whole). I have my "take" on Theosophy, you have your
Kabbalistic "take" and that is probably exactly what HPB hoped for -- we
would take the philosophy and USE it. But we cannot say that our
understanding and our devices and models and uses are THEOSOPHY ITSELF.

So when we teach Theosophy, as Eldon keeps suggesting, I agree that it is so
important to say "this is what the TEACHINGS say, and this is what I
personally think."

HPB was sympathetic to the Kabbala (within certain limits) but Theosophy is
not Kabbala. HPB and I are both very sympathetic to Buddhism and have taken
pansil and vows -- but Theosophy is not bound by or equal to Buddhism either.

Theosophy is simply that modern body of teachings that was presented by the
Masters through their agents in the world as "Theosophy," and I am very
committed to preserving and teaching it AS IT WAS GIVEN, even though I am
free personally to take what I like, leave what I like, supplement with what
I like.

In Tibetan Buddhism (and probably in other branches of Buddhism with which I
am not so familiar) Buddhist masters hold very often several "lineages" and
"cycles" of texts and teachings and practices. They don't mix them up. When
they teach Dzogchen ("Great Perfection"), they teach Dzogchen, but when they
teach Perfection of Wisdom ("Prajna-Paramita") they teach that, likewise with
Vipassana and Shamatha meditations, Mahamudra and various other Tantras, etc.

Of course these Buddhist Masters would not hold separate lineages at the same
time if they didn't think them compatible and mutually helpful. Still, they
are SCRUPULOUS about keeping the link unbroken, keeping the teachings pure
from egoism (meaning personal interpretation) and from mixed traditions.

And so the teachings last for thousands of years. Will we be so fortunate?


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