Re: The Masters and Science
Jul 26, 1996 06:20 AM
by K. Paul Johnson
Although I fear that responding to your questions and comments may lead me
into a flame zone, they are irresistible:
[citing Chuck and me]
> that the scientific discrepancies in the ML can be explained because the
> Masters are neither physical scientists nor omniscient. I agree with that
> statement. However -- it raises even more disturbing questions.
> BUT - that was not the answer. The writer instead has the air of someone who
> claims to know these things and claims to know the answers to Sinnett's
> questions. Thus I find the the following to be likely scenarios:
> I. The letters were written by HPB. Like the ML writer, she made similar
> pronouncements on science - claiming often to know better than the
> scientists of the day.
"Written by" seems to me to cut the Gordian knot. Despite
instances of "precipitation," apparent or real, most of the
letters were written by the hand of HPB, according to Sinnett's
own conclusions. But in what state of consciousness, conveying
a body of information that was to what extent her own creation
and to what extent something she was accessing from others? So
even if she wrote them physically, the possible intervention
or at least advice of Masters is still an unknown.
> II. The ML writer was deliberately setting him/her self up as an authority
> on science in order to somehow further Sinnett's spiritual growth.
> III. The ML writer was part of a "conspiracy" on the part of the Masters
> carried out for the benefit of our planet to combat materialism (or to some
> other mysterious end) that involved disemenating a false science called
"False science" makes it seem like they knew it was false and
wanted to disseminate it anyway. Seems more likely to me that
HPB was sincere as were her teachers, about the doctrines at
> I find scenario II unlikely, as I cannot comprehend what spiritual benefit
> Sinnett could derive from the elliptic answers that he got to his questions.
> Unless it was, so that he should quit bugging the Masters and rely on his
> own horse sense, because they are only feeding him nonsense.
Following Sinnett's life story through his own words leads me
to the definite conclusion that receiving Mahatma letters was
not a good thing for him. He went from being a responsible,
sane person to being a self-deluded crank, and stayed that way
(as HPB certainly seemed to feel) thereafter.
> If scenario (I) is excluded because the physical evidence (which I haven't
> studied) is against it, we're left with scenario (III).
> Actually I find no difficulty with scenario III and in the possibility that
> theosophy is an elaborate hoax perpetrated by certain individuals for the
> good of humanity
Again, "hoax" implies deliberately false information, and I
don't see where you are getting that or what evidence would
- and that HPB could have been an unsuspecting victim in
> this scheme.
That seems highly implausible in the sense that she believed in
doctrines that were given her by people who knew them to be
But in that case, I wouldn't bother studying the material at
> least not the 19th century stuff, unless it can be independently verified.
> Never mind the scientific pronouncements, even the occult teaching would be
Of course it is "suspect"-- meaning you should not accept it at
face value. Somewhere HPB said that all religions are false on
the surface but true in their depths. That applies to her own
teachings as well.
> I suspect that somewhere in Tibet, some individuals are right now having
> quite a good laugh.
> Any thoughts?
The doctrines in the Mahatma letters on rounds and races, 7
levels of everything, etc. are clearly not Tibetan in origin
(flames coming on that) but rather Kabbalistic-Sufic-Isma`ili
in lineage, with a mixture of 19th century science. All that
business about consciousness evolving through different planes,
humans never being reborn as animals, everything evolving
toward a great reunion with the source-- is Western in nature.
If we were to look for an extant group of people who really
believe something similar in essence to the ML cosmology, I
think we should best look in the Pamirs where there is a
surviving Isma`ili presence in an area with some interaction
with Tibetan Buddhism. The latitude of HPB's definition of
"Tibet" allowed her to refer to Leh, Ladakh as in "central
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