Oct 29, 1995 03:21 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
>I honestly don't recall seeing any "obsolete words" in the SD. Can
>you think of any?
When I was computerizing "Esoteric Buddhism", "The Key to Theosophy",
and other theosophical books, I came across a list of terms that
seemed obsolete. I don't recall most of the words on the list at the
moment. (The list is at home, and I'm writing from work.)
I'd expect, though, that as time passes, more and more words get
obsolete, so we could have a growing list. Your familiarity with "The
Secret Doctrine" and your having looked up all the unfamiliar words
in it during you studies would make it harder for you to distinguish
obsolete words from those in common usage, since you know what the
terms mean. For a new Secret Doctrine student, aren't there English
terms that a new student has to unnecessarily look up, terms that
are no longer in common usage and easily replaced by some contemporary
>As for the obvious typos--i.e. "het" when obviously "the" was
>meant is an editorial change that I can live with. But I find a
>difference between an editorial policy that changes "het" to
>"the" and one that changes "higher Self" to "higher Ego".
There's no disagreement on this. The grey area is found in between
the two extremes. Replacing an obsolete English word with one in
common usage is different than substituting technical theosophical
terms for other terms.
>So far, I have not found a single instance where a word has changed
>so as to cause any confusion in reading the SD. Have you? Examples
>please. Can you give me some examples of misleading words in the SD,
>and how they are misleading?
This is a different situation now. I'm talking about where an *English*
word has dropped out of usage and can be readily replaced with a newer
word. I'm not talking about an English word that has had its meaning
changed since the late 1800's, so that the modern meaning is different
than in Blavatsky's day and her use of the word is therefore misleading.
This has happened too, and would be another area to consider changing
or annotating future editions of books. An example would be with the
term "atom", if it means something different now than in Blavatsky's days.
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