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Re: message of theosophy -- using English terms

Oct 25, 1996 08:25 AM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>, "Eldon
B. Tucker" <> writes
>I'd tend to disagree that we can simply adopt English terms. Using
>Sanskrit terms allows us an excellent opportunity to present the
>basic doctrines in words that aren't buried in negative connotations
>in English.

I left the theosophical classics alone for many years in my youth
precisely *because* the Sanskrit terms were too many, too often used,
and very difficult to follow in their explanation.  With Kabbalah, which
I found more congenial to western thought, a maximum of (say) 20 Hebrew
words which could be seen as the "labels" for thought which words
represent more than sufficed.  And even those, I later discovered, could
be rendered into meningful and accurate Englsih equivalents *by those
who knew what they were talking about.*
>Terms like "demon" in Greek mean one's Higher Self or Guardian Angel, but
>Christianity has twisted the term into meaning "devil", and so people
>automatically associate devil worship with the word.

Scholars usually render this as *daemon* and italicise it, and in
popular works will add a footnote explaing what you have pointed out.
Modern bible translators are likely to translate it into its modern
equivalent, usually "spirit" with a small "s."


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