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Re: obsolete words

Oct 31, 1995 11:57 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>(1) NO MATTER WHAT we should keep track of original manuscripts and first
>editions and keep them in good condition and ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC. Then
>anyone can check our work.

Yes. We should have an original-text computerized edition of each
classic work.

>(2) We should also begin considering works like Jerry H-E is suggesting,
>"edited" versions meaning that we will add a gloassary in the back, or
>footnotes, or whatever, as long as it is CLEARLY INDICATED that these are
>editorial changes, not part of the original work, and leave the main text
>itself exactly as it was.

This can be done via software. We can eventually have books where the
mode in which we're reading them determines how they are displayed.
A "Key to Theosophy" could have updated words appear (a) as regular
words, (b) as words highlighted or in another color, with the original
word showing up if it is double-clicked, (c) as editorial additions in
square brackets, and (d) in their original form with the suggested
words hidden. The user could select the desired "flavor" of the book
and the scholar does not have to worry about the past being "lost".

For the printed book, wich is preferable for extended periods of
study and reflection, we'd need either multiple printings of the
different flavors or another manner of notation that would easily
show the updated words but not interfere with the flow of reading.
Perhaps updated words could appear in the text and the original
terms would be in a special form of footnotes. [Also added would
be useful annotation from later theosophical works, like HPB's
comments on "Esoteric Buddhism" could be added to the pages that
they commented on, also possible as footnotes or body text
specially set apart by some typographical technique.]

>(3) We should begin preparing sophisticated introductory courses that will
>take people from the street, as it were, assuming NO BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE,
>and get them into the original texts with the aid of overviews of the
>teachings, examples of Theosophical works through history (Plato's Allegory
>of the Cave in the REPUBLIC, Gnostic works, Buddhist and Vedanta works),
>current works by Theosophical thinkers, etc. All with the aim of getting new
>students to the original stuff as quickly and thoroughly as possible. I
>believe this is exactly the kind of course Jerry and April H-E are preparing
>for public use. I look forward to it expectantly, hoping it will truly
>improve the (generally fair to poor) level of Theosophical education which as
>a rule ignores HPB and Mr. Judge's original stuff altogether.

Yes. Some digested background materials would be helpful. Not just
a compilation of HPB's writings on a specific topic, nor Richard
Robb's Secret Doctrine Reference series, but new introductory
materials. Perhaps with your background you would be suitable to
write such a work?

-- Eldon

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