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Alexis D.'s comments on the List of Suggested Reading on HPB and Theosophy

Jul 04, 1996 02:23 PM
by Blavatsky Foundation

> From: (Blavatsky Foundation)
> Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 14:13:44 LOCAL
> Subject: RE:  Mr. Dolgorukii's comments on THE LIST OF SUGGESTED READING ON HPB & THEOSOPHY

Alexis Dolgorukii wrote (on alt.theosophy):

> Date: Thu, 04 Jul 1996 00:14:31 -0700

> The reading list suggested by "The Blavatsky Foundation", is strictly "party
> line". It's all right as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far. It's an
> entirely propagandistic list, and worse still it is entirely hagiographic
> and pushes theosophy as "Theosophical Core Doctrines" or  "received truth"
> (I.e. "revelation"). Many of the books are valuable, and some of them
> aren't. but the best way to find out is read them and make up your own minds.

Daniel Caldwell replies:  

We have tried to give in the List of Suggested Reading titles that would help
interested inquirers and seekers discover more about what Madame Blavatsky
wrote and taught. We are glad that Mr. Dolgorukii has written:  "Many of the 
books are valuable, and some of them aren't but the best way to find out is 
read them and make up your own minds...."  Yes we totally agree at least with 
the latter part of Mr. Dolgorukii's statement and urge interested individuals 

Mr. D. writes: 
> BUT, it's very important that one take an "antidote" to all this propaganda,
> and besides books that are "official", one should read books that were and
> are written outside of the parameters of the society. And in Histories of
> the society  not written as the Society's behest.
> There's a book out today called "Madame Blavatsky's Baboon" which is not
> hagiography, in fact it's the reverse. There's a book called "Theosophy, the
> history of a pseudo-religion" by Rene Geuenon, there's a book called "madame
> Blavatsky High Priestess of The Occult", there's a really good, but
> disturbing book called "Elder Brother" by Gregory Tillett. I know where to
> get this one, if any one wants it because it's out of print, but there's a
> book seller in California that has a box of them. I bought one from him.
> I hope you all see what I mean, you can't really learn anything about the
> theosophical movement unless you get opinions from all sides. I am a
> "process theosophist" and we think that the theosophical movement gives one
> a way to learn and grow. The "other guys" are the "Core Doctrine
> Theosophists" they all are absolutely sure they already know everything!

Daniel replies:

Mr. D does list a number of good works on Theosophical history but 
unfortunately many of these are out of print.  The Tillett book is still 
available from a Theosophical publisher.  Mr. D speaks of "propaganda" but
almost 30 of the titles listed out of 70 titles are written by H.P. Blavatsky
herself!  Mr. D. also writes:  " The 'other guys' are the 'Core Doctrine
Theosophists' they all are absolutely sure they already know everything!"
Is this overexageration or what by Mr. D?  Who are "the other guys"?  I wish 
I knew everything!!  Unfortunately, I do not.  The Blavatsky Foundation is 
only concerned with letting interested individuals know about the writings of 
H.P. Blavatsky and her Adept-Teachers.  We certainly would encourage such
interested people to read  HPB's writings.  But each person will have to
do their own thinking and decide what to believe or what not to believe.     
Mr. D. also writes:

The best of the Theosophical Books, in my opinion, is "Isis Unveiled", it's> 
the only book that one can buy (in facsimile of the first edition ONLY) and> 
be certain that it's the way Blavatsky wrote it. All else is more than just> 
suspect of revisionism, and the things without her name on it are for the> 
most part, or at least as I view them, nonsense. There's a lot of good in> 
theosophy, but the Theosophical society is just another religion, and> 
therefore a source of all the problems that come out of religion.> 
> alexis dolgorukii

Daniel replies:

Mr. D. writes that Isis in facsimile of the first edition is the ONLY book 
Is this statement by Mr. D. a factual and truthful statement?  In our 
bibliography we list "The Secret Doctrine" (1888), "The Key to Theosophy" 
(1889) and "The Voice of the Silence" (1889) in either "facsimile" or in a 
"verbatim reproduction" of the original editions published DURING HPB's 
lifetime.  Mr. D. says "all else is more than just suspect of revisionism."  
Should we suspect these facsimiles and verbatim reproductions of what was 
published during HPB's lifetime?  Or should we suspect the factuality of Mr. 
D.'s statements?  Mr. D goes on to say...." and the things without her name on 
it are for the most part, or at least as I view them, nonsense..."  Well, this 
is certainly Mr. D.'s  own opinion or view, isn't it?  All we suggest to an 
interested inquirer and student is to read the books and decide for yourself 
whether these books are nonsense or not.  Mr. D. is entitled to his opinion, 
but without knowing more of the details behind his supposed "allegations" one 
is left in the dark as to his evidence and reasoning on these matters.

All the writings offered in our list of suggested reading is offered as food 
for thought.  Each student must decide what is what.

We close with the following quote from Koot Hoomi, one of HPB's 
Mahatmic co-workers:  "Everyone is master of his own wisdom---says a Tibetan 
proverb and he is at liberty either to honour or degrade his slave...."

I also append BELOW the list of suggested reading to which Mr. D. made his 

Daniel Caldwell

The Blavatsky Foundation
P.O. Box 1844
Tucson, AZ 85702 

>A Core Library

>(All books are currently in print as of 6/96.
>Please e-mail or write to us for price and 
>ordering information.  We will gladly suggest
>a course of reading.)


>Compiled by Daniel H. Caldwell
>Issued by The Blavatsky Foundation
>P.O. Box 1844, Tucson, AZ 85702, U.S.A.


>"Helena Petrovna Blavatsky...[is]...the most insightful
>and comprehensive teacher of esoteric philosophy in
>modern times...."   Shirley Nicholson.  Ancient Wisdom,
>Modern Insight.  1985.

>"...Madame Blavatsky...stands out as the fountainhead
>of modern occult thought...."  J. Gordon Melton, Jerome
>Clark and Aidan A. Kelly.  New Age Almanac.  1991.

>"Helena Petrovna surely among the most
>original and perceptive minds of her time....[In her two
>major books]....lies...the first philosophy of psychic and
>spiritual evolution to appear in the modern West...."
>Theodore Roszak.  The Unfinished Animal.  1975.

>"H.P. regarded by all modern theosophical
>movements as the most important theosophical writer
>and teacher of the modern era."  Robert Ellwood, author
>of Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America,
>Alternative Altars and other works.

>Bookshelf 1:  An Introduction to the Life and Influence of Madame

>(1)     When Daylight Comes:  Biography of Helena Petrovna 
>Blavatsky.  By Howard Murphet.  

>(2)     The Occult World of Madame Blavatsky:  Reminiscences 
>And Impressions by Those Who Knew Her.  Compiled and edited
>by Daniel H. Caldwell

>(3)     H.P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine":  Commentaries on 
>Her Contributions to World Thought.  Edited by Virginia Hanson.

>(4)     HPB:  The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena 
>Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement.  
>By Sylvia Cranston.

>(5)     The Real H.P. Blavatsky:  A Study of Theosophy, and a 
>Memoir of a Great Soul.  By William Kingsland.

>Bookshelf 2:  An Introduction to Theosophy

>(6)     An Introduction to Esoteric Principles:  A Study Guide.  By
>William Doss McDavid.

>(7)     Deity, Cosmos and Man:  An Outline of Esoteric Science.  By 
>Geoffrey A. Farthing.

>(8)     Ancient Wisdom---Modern Insight.  By Shirley Nicholson.

>(9)     The Divine Plan:  Written in the Form of a Commentary on 
>H.P. Blavatsky's  "Secret Doctrine."  By Geoffrey A. Barborka.

>Bookshelf 3:  An Classical Introduction to Theosophy

>(10)    An Invitation to "The Secret Doctrine."  By H.P. Blavatsky.

>(11)    The Occult World.  By A.P. Sinnett.  TPH edition.

>(12)    Esoteric Buddhism.  By A.P. Sinnett. Wizards Bookshelf 

>(13)    The Key to Theosophy.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  With Glossary.  
>TPH edition.

>(14)    Spiritual Evolution:  Articles by H.P. Blavatsky.  TC

>(15)    Teachers and Disciples:  Articles by H.P. Blavatsky.  TC

>(16)    The Voice of The Silence:  Being Chosen Fragments from the 
>"Book of The Golden Precepts"  for the Daily Use of Lanoos 
>(Disciples).  Translated  and Annotated by "H.P.B."  TUP edition.

>(17)    Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine."
>By Countess Constance Wachtmeister and others.

>(18)    An Abridgement of "The Secret Doctrine." By H.P. Blavatsky.  
>Edited by Elizabeth Preston and Christmas Humphreys.

>(19)    H.P. Blavatsky Teaches:  An Anthology.  Compiled by Michael 

>Bookshelf 4:  Others Studies on Theosophy

>(20)     An Inquiry into the Nature of Mind.  By Adam Warcup.

>(21)    Exploring the Great Beyond:  A Survey of the Field of the 
>Extraordinary. By Geoffrey A. Farthing.

>(22)    When We Die:  A Description of the After-Death States and 
>Processes. By Geoffrey A. Farthing.  PLP.

>(23)    Reincarnation:  A New Horizon in Science, Religion and
>Society.  By Sylvia  Cranston and Carey Williams.  TUP.

>(24)    Reincarnation, the Phoenix Fire Mystery:  An East-West
>Dialogue on Death, and Rebirth from the Worlds of Religion, Science,
>Psychology, Philosophy, Art, and Literature, and from Great Thinkers
>of the Past and Present. Compiled and Edited by Joseph Head and 
>S.L. Cranston.  TUP.

>(25)    Concentration and Meditation:  A Manual of Mind Development.  
>By Christmas Humphreys.

>(26)    Esoteric Keys to the Christian Scriptures & Universal Mystery 
>Language of Myth and Symbol.  By Henry Travers Edge.  PLP.

>(27)    The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures.  By
>William Kingsland.

>(28)    The Cosmic Womb:  An Interpretation of Man's Relationship to 
>the Infinite.  By Arthur W. Osborn.

>(29)    The Divine Plan by Geoffrey A. Barborka.

>(30)    Man, The Measure of All Things:  In the Stanzas of Dzyan.  By 
>Sri Krishna Prem and Sri Madhava Ashish.

>(31)     Man, God and the Universe.  By I.K. Taimni.

>(32)    The Mathematics of the Cosmic Mind:  A Study in Mathematical 
>Symbolism.  by L. Gordon Plummer.

>(33)    Cyclic Evolution:  A Theosophical View.  By Adam Warcup.

>(34)    Archaic History of the Human Race:  As Recorded in "The 
>Secret Doctrine" By H.P. Blavatsky.  By Gertrude W. van Pelt.

>(35)    The Peopling of the Earth.  By Geoffrey A. Barborka.

>(36)    The Story of Human Evolution.  By Geoffrey A. Barborka.

>(37)    The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement.  By Michael 

>(38)    H.P. Blavatsky, Tibet and Tulku.  By Geoffrey A. Barborka.

>(39)    The Hall of Magic Mirrors.  By Victor A. Endersby.

>(40)    Obituary:  The "Hodgson Report " on Madame Blavatsky:  
>Re-Examination Discredits the Major Charges Against H.P. 
>Blavatsky.  By Adlai W. Waterman.  BF.

>(41)    Theosophy:  A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom.  By Alvin 
>Boyd Kuhn.

>(42)    Masters and Men:  The Human Story in The Mahatma Letters.
>By Virginia Hanson.

>(43)    The Mahatmas and Their Letters.  By Geoffrey A. Barborka.

>(44)    The Readers Guide to "The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett."  
>Compiled and Edited by George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson.  
>Second edition.

>Bookshelf 5:  A Selection of Writings by H.P. Blavatsky and the

>(45)    Isis Unveiled.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  TC Facsimile of the 
>Original Edition.  2 volumes bound in one volume.

>(46)    Isis Unveiled.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  Edited by Boris de 
>Zirkoff.  TPH edition.  2 volumes.

>(47)    The Secret Doctrine.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  TUP Facsimile 
>of the Original Edition.  2 volumes.

>(48)    Index to "The Secret Doctrine."  TC.

>(49)    The Secret Doctrine.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  Edited by Boris de
>Zirkoff.  TPH edition.  3 volumes.  Volume 3 is an index volume.  

>(50)    The Key to Theosophy.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  With Glossary.  
>TUP edition.

>(51)    The Voice of the Silence.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  TUP edition.
>Also available as a cassette.

>(52)    The Voice of the Silence.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  With
>Historical Introduction and Index by Boris de Zirkoff.  TPH edition.

>(53)    Secret Doctrine Commentary, Stanzas I-IV:  Transactions 
>of the Blavatsky Lodge.  By  H.P. Blavatsky.  TUP edition.

>(54)    The Theosophical Glossary.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  TC edition.

>(55)    "The Esoteric Instructions."  By H.P. Blavatsky. TPH, 
>Collected Writings, Vol. 12

>(56)    The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky.  Second edition.  

>(57)    Theosophical Articles.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  3 volumes.  TC. 

>(58)    A Modern Panarion:  A Collection of Fugitive Fragments from 
>the Pen of H.P. Blavatsky.  TC

>(59)    The Collected Writings.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  Compiled and 
>Edited by By Boris de Zirkoff.  15 volumes.  Vol. 15 is an index
>volume.  TPH.

>(60)    The New Testament Commentaries of H.P. Blavatsky.  
>Compiled and Annotated by H.J. Spierenburg.  PLP

>(61)    The Vedanta Commentaries of H.P. Blavatsky.  Compiled 
>and Annotated by H.J. Spierenburg.  PLP

>(62)    H.P. Blavatsky on the Gnostics.  Compiled and Annotated 
>by H.J. Spierenburg. PLP

>(63)    The Buddhism of H.P. Blavatsky.  Compiled and annotated 
>by H.J. Spierenburg.  PLP

>(64)    Glyphs and Symbols.  By H.P. Blavatsky.  CGP

>(65)    The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett.  
>Compiled by A. Trevor Barker.  TUP

>(66)    H.P.B. Speaks.  2 volumes.  TPH.

>(67)    From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan.  By H.P. 
>Blavatsky.  TPH

>(68)    The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett.  [In 
>Chronological Sequence].  Arranged and edited by Vicente Hao
>Chin, Jr.  [Fourth edition.]  TPH Philippines.

>(69)    The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett.  Facsimile of 2nd 
>Edition.  Paparback.  TUP.

>(70)    Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom.  2 volumes.  
>Transcribed and edited  by C. Jinarajadasa.  TPH.

>Compiled 6/96

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