Nov 16, 1995 05:06 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
> Now let's keep this entire discussion in perspective. You
> earlier stated that the quote could be talking about Sengchen
> Tulku his successor or a friend of the TS. Do I need to
> retrieve the quotes where you stated this? If there are three
You are misconstruing the reference to a "friend of the TS." I
did not mean this as a third possibility but was simply saying
that if Olcott was not talking about the martyred Sengchen but
about his successor in the role and that this person was one
of "our Mahatmas" THEN the implication is that one friend of
the TS-- who became the "Master of Ceremonies"-- survived the
executions of the Sengchen whose given name was Losang Palden
and his associates who were also blamed for helping Das.
You abridged my quote before you got to the point. One
can't say Manny Moe and Jack are really Charley. Manny might be
Charley or Moe might be Charlie or.... Whether you are working
from three possibilites or two possibilities doesn't really
matter. Actually I suspect that with a little digging you
might end up with more than three possibilities. But that hanges
on what HSO means by "Master of Ceremonies" as I mentioned
> First of all it is clear that HPB has a formal definition
> of Mahatma that is very different from what you are proposing.
But not inconsistent with it! Is a carrot a plant with a long
cylindrical orange root or a green leafy top? But the root is
not observable to someone walking in the garden. Similarly
HPB's definition of Mahatma relies on inner nonobservable
traits. If one is limited as I am to working on the basis of
observables perforce the operational definition has to be
Once again you abridged the point from my quote. If HPB
says "iced tea" one must begin with the assumption that she
means "iced tea" until you have consistent evidence that she
As to your point. After discarding the "nonobservable
traits" of her definition I would question whether your
"operational definition" can still be consistent with hers.
> When HPB uses the word Mahatma she expects her reader to
> understand the meaning of that word to be consistent with her
> definition not yours. Second of all the "imponderables" do
> not render historical identification impossible. Anna
> Kingsford was specifically identified by HPB and in the Mahatma
> Letters as a "fifth rounder." There is no question that Anna
> Kingsford was an historical person regardless of her
> "imponderable" title. Oh and by the way being a "fifth
> rounder" does not necessarily identify a person as being a
> Mahatma. Though Kingsford was called a fifth rounder she was
> never called a Mahatma.
What criteria would you find sufficient to declare any person
in history a Theosophical Mahatma? If no criteria suffice
then such identification is a priori impossible. If you
approach my works with the a priori assumption that what they
set out to do is impossible-- on semantic grounds-- then your
negative conclusions are foregone.
Once again your answer is not responsive to the point. But
at least it wasn't abridged this time. I was demonstrating that
an "imponderable" such as "fifth rounder" which is the example
you gave can be identified with an historical person.
To answer your question. I take HPB pretty much at face
value. I use her criteria. Her criteria would point to several
historical people as being Mahatmas. Most notably Siddartha
Gautama being the greatest of them.
If you want to go from your "operational definition" and
build your case that is fine too. But it is obvious that your
"operational definition" is not HPB's which is as you say full
of "inponderables." So I see it as a misreading construe HPB's
definition as yours and then reread her statements to fit your
hypothesis. It is something like accusing a woman of being a
Witch and then taking her denial as proof of her guilt because
a guilty witch will always lie to avoid the flames.
> Once again under your definition any authority from whom
> HPB gained information you make a Mahatma. Since HPB has an
> entirely different definition what is a Mahatma to you may
> not be a Mahatma to her.
In the Key she says "we call them the Masters because they are
our teachers." Finding her spiritual teachers is what my book
is about. Meeting some a priori impossible criterion of
identifying people's level of spiritual evolution is not.
That is a very selective definition. Everyone I meet in
life is my teacher because there is something I can learn from
them. So under this definition everyone is a Mahatma. Instead
of selecting one definition out of context I would look at all
of them in their proper contexts and see what comes out of it. I
think you will discover that her concept of a Mahatma is more
comprehensive than then one you selected.
> Mahachohan on the other hand according to HPB is the
> Chief of a spiritual Hierarchy or of a school of occultism or
> the head of the "trans-Himalayan Mystics" she means Masters
> here. Purucker comments somewhere that the Mahachohan is not
> even a physical being.
Consider that she talks about a Mahachohan who traveled from
Egypt to Tibet around the same time the Founders went to
India. How would a non-physical being do this?
Once again you ignored the point by abridging the quote. A
Mahachohan is the "Chief" of a Spiritual Hierarchy etc. Thus
"Chohan" in this case has to do with Masters but in other cases
like "Chohan Lama" i.e. Chief Lama it doesn't.
As for the Mahachohan's physicality or lack of it you will
have to take that up with a Purucker student. That remark was
just something that I threw out for fun. I already have enough
people mad at me because I have points of disagreement with
Purucker. Perhaps Eldon can answer your question.
p.s. I will be out of state for a week beginning friday and will
be out of touch with theos-l.
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