[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: Western Style of the Mahatmas

Feb 03, 1997 09:28 AM
by Tim Maroney

>In Indian
>ashrams salvation through knowledge would have sounded equally ridiculous.

While most of your points were well taken, I would have to argue with
this one. Jnana-Yoga is a well-established and longstanding limb of the
yogic path, and it essentially consists of enlightenment through

For me, the main factor demonstrating the Western origin of the
Theosophical teachings is the casual ease with which Western allusions
are scattered through the works of supposedly Eastern writers. While the
(Indian or) Tibetan Koot Hoomi, for instance, has no difficulty dropping
casual references to the Greek myth of Echo and St. Paul's vision on the
road, as well as to contemporary Western writers in great profusion and
to European idioms everywhere, his references to actual Eastern words and
doctrines are self-conscious, plodding, and relatively rare in comparison
to the casual Western allusions; a very small set of ideas is presented
over and over, and in a presentational mode rather than the
conversational mode in which the Western ideas are often expressed.

Here we have a writer who seems much more comfortable in one world than
the other -- which world, then, should we think the writer came from?

Or should we assume that Spencer's pamphlets on evolutionary philosophy
were common reading in the ashrams and lamaseries of the time?

Tim Maroney

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application