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re: lemniscate

Oct 25, 1995 04:34 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

Jerry HE:

>Words do change meaning from time to time. ... For instance,
>we understand the word "atom" very differently today than we
>would have in HPB's time. ... Therefore, with the study of the
>SD, it is helpful to keep the above in mind.

This is why, upon republication of ancient works, that the
obsolete words may need replacement. The English language
continues to move forward, and books get out-of-date.

Also, the actual words of the books may "go stale" on the
reader, after being read too many times. An "Secret Doctrine"
quote may be old hat to you, and not have the same impact
as it may on a new reader. The same idea, clothed in fresh
words by another writer, may grip your attention with
renewed vigor. It's the same as with music, where a melody
that once was gripping simply does not carry the same power
to touch the listener, if heard too many times.

I've heard the argument that every word, and even the typos
and misspellings in Blavatsky's books should be left untouched,
being sacrosanct. How dare we presume to know what she really
meant by a term? <grin> Someone might say that the material is so
esoteric that we'd destroy the meaning if we dare make the
slightest touch to the materials. <frown>

When we look up a term that Blavatsky used in a dictionary
of her era in order to know what she meant, we're saying
that we know the meaning of the term. If we can know the
meaning, we also could put the term in 20th (soon to be 21st)
century English.

An example of a term that would be misleading (at least in
the U.S.) is "milliard" in "Esoteric Buddhism". It means
"billion", but that is not obvious to many without a

I'm not talking here about rewriting her books, but picking
the few, rare terms that are really misleading. The intent
of the books is to convey the materials written about, not
to be a jigsaw puzzle for macho scholars to idle their time
away with!. <another grin>

-- Eldon

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