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RE quotes by Bee B. and Liesel D.

Oct 23, 1995 06:20 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Daniel:<My major criticism of Paul Johnson's books on the Theosophical Masters
that Johnson leaves out 95 % of the historical information on the Masters
and ends up painting a caricature of the Theosophical adepts. Those who
read his books with little knowledge and understanding of the true nature
of the Masters will come away with all sorts of misconceptions, etc. I have
already run across newcomers that have been totally misled by Johnson's

I suspect that your 95% is a bit high as well as a subjective
opinion. I also suspect that you arrive at your opinion because Paul
paints them as rather ordinary human beings rather than saints. As
an "oldtimer" I can really only speak for myself, and I rather liked
Paul's books. I liked the 2nd one best, actually; the first being a bit
dry for me. I don't feel like I was given any "misconceptions" at
all. In fact, my own feeling is that making saints and water-walkers
of them is a worse misconception.

Daniel:<These misconceptions can warp one's understanding of the teachings
and give sincere, new students and even some older students all sorts of mayavic
readings of the teachings. >

I think you are over-reacting, Dan. What you are saying here
is very similar to why Catholics and fundamentalists put out banned book lists.

When I was in Christian Science, many years ago, I was told not to read books
on yoga or Zen because they would "confuse" me and give me misconceptions.
Well, I guess they were right, because I became so confused, I left Christianity
altogether and haven't been back.

Dan:<A focus on history can also help us to understand various Theosophical


Dan:<HPB and the Masters warn Theosophical students of practicing pranayamas
these practices can make one "mediumistic". >

Such practices will put one into a mode of mental acceptance.
If one is unprepared, ideas may come via kama-manas, which is the reason
for the warning. However, in fairness to pranayama practices, if one is
prepared or properly "initiated" then such techniques can open one up to
buddhi-manas and spirituality. Pranayama, like all forms of yoga, is a double-
edged sword, and must be used carefully. But please, lets don't throw out the
baby with the bathwater.

Jerry S.

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