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Re: VOICE OF THE SILENCE---The Theosophy Company edition compared with the ORIGINAL

Sep 18, 1998 11:53 AM
by Graye/Caldwell

Re: VOICE OF THE SILENCE---The Theosophy Company edition compared with

(Continuing the theme that "what is good for the goose is also good for
the gander".)

Dallas  wrote:

> Upon receiving your note of the 16th I pulled out my 2nd Edn ( or
> printing ?) 1892 done by the TPH in London.  My 1st printing
>  1889 Edn. ?) is with a friend and not handy for the moment. So I
> venture to give a tentative answer to the observations made based
> on this 2nd printing (1892)..

To my understanding, the 2nd printing was actually in 1890.

In 1892 The Theosophical Publishing Company, London published a new
"edition" of the VOICE.  My notes indicate it had 75 pp. which is not
the original pagination.  Is this the edition you are using?  If so, how
do you know this 1892 edition is verbatim with the 1889 edition?

Dallas wrote:

> I looked up in Webster's dictionary the meaning of "Verbatim."
> It says :  "word for word, in the same words."
> I have in the past checked the T. Co. edition with the original
> 1889 VOICE, of which I have a copy autographed by HPB, (that I
> purchased in 1964 from John Watkins in London) and found it to be
> indeed "word by word, in the same words."

Daniel replies:

Dallas, this is how I would define verbatim reproduction:

The Theosophical University Press (Pasadena, CA) has currently in print
"A Verbatim Reproduction of the original edition of 1889."  The
pagination is the same as the 1889 edition.  As far as I can tell, there
are NO changes between this TUP edition and the original.  ZERO CHANGES

On the other hand, Dr. Stokes counted 665 "changes in punctuation,
italics, quotation marks, capitals, spelling of Sanskrit words, omission
of the important diacritical marks over the vowels, and others" in the
current edition of the Voice issued by The Theosophy Company.

Dallas, that is 0 versus 665 changes.

THEREFORE, I consider the TUP edition verbatim, not the TC edition.

With 665 changes, I would not consider the TC edition a verbatim
one---it has been . . . . EDITED.

Now recently in response to my email on "Facsimile editions of
Blavatsky's Writings", you wrote:

>I prefer a facsimile edition - no question of authenticity. Comments and changes can be put in an ADDENDUM for students to consult.

>Verbatim editions are acceptable, if truly and accurately VERBATIM - no changes or emendations or interpolations.  Any such can be handled through an ADDENDUM.

Dallas, if you prefer a facsimile edition, why do you use/recommend the
Theosophy Company's edition?

Again, you say that "verbatim editions are acceptable. . . [if they
have] no changes or emendations or interpolations. . . ."

Well, the Theosophy Company's edition has 665 changes and emendations. 
Why do you prefer this "edited" edition rather than the Theosophical
University Press's truly "verbatim edition"?

Dallas, numerous times on theos-talk you have criticized the 1893
edition of THE SECRET DOCTRINE.  Just recently on Sept. 13,
you wrote:

>Back in the 1920's/30's several students who desired to study the original writings of HPB compared the 1888 Edition of S D with the 1893 "Third and Revised Edition". . . .

>Those early students who made their comparisons, reported in over  40,000 changes made in the text. --- some major and some minor. I  compared the first page of the SD using both editions for myself, and  found over 30 changes.  That was enough use of my time - I was 18 then. . . . .

Now you say that there are over 40,000 changes made in the 1893 edition
of the SD.  But you do not tell us what KIND of changes you are talking

Now Dr. Stokes says that the TC edition of the VOICE has 665 "changes in
punctuation, italics, quotation marks, capitals, spelling of Sanskrit
words, omission of the important diacritical marks over the vowels, and

Dallas, what percentage of the 40,000 changes in the 1893 SD fall under
the "list of changes" given by Dr. Stokes?  I ask you to think about
this because, your latest reply conveys the message that those 665
changes in the VOICE are NOT really "significant."

Would you therefore admit that possibly the majority of those 40,000
changes in the SD are also insignificant?  

Dallas, you write:

> I found no difference in wording in the text or the footnotes of
> any significance --other than:  in the reset type used by T. Co.;
> accented types were not used, and the paragraphs of the GLOSSARY
> have been placed as FOOTNOTES at the bottom of the relevant
> pages, the sequential numbered "bullets" which indicated those
> paragraphs in the GLOSSARY of the "original" had been eliminated
> and normal footnote signs had been substituted for them.

Are you trying to tell us that you did NOT find the 665 differences and
changes Dr. Stokes found?

Concerning the 1893 SECRET DOCTRINE, you wrote:

>I compared the first page of the SD using both editions for myself, and >found over 30 changes.  That was enough use of my time - I was 18 >then.

Compare this statement of yours with Dr. Stokes' statement that 
the Theosophy Company's edition has 34 changes in HPB's Preface to the
VOICE.  (This preface consists of only 7 small pages.)  Doesn't this
statement by Dr. Stokes concern you?  

Furthermore, are you telling us that you have not found those 34 changes
in HPB's Preface?  And if there are 34 changes in the Preface, why are
they there?  Who authorized them?  Not HPB, right?  

Let us do an experiment or two:

Below are two paragraphs from HPB's Preface as transcribed from the
original 1889 edition.  1st one is the 4th paragraph from the end of
HPB's Preface.  The 2nd one is the 2nd paragraph from the end of the


And yet such ethics fill volumes upon volumes in Eastern literature,
especially in the Upanishads. "Kill out all desire of life," says
Krishna to Arjuna. That desire lingers only in the body, the vehicle of
the embodied Self, not in the SELF which is "eternal, indestructible,
which kills not nor is it killed" (Katha Upanishad). "Kill out
sensation," teaches Sutta Nipata; "look alike on pleasure and pain, gain
and loss, victory and defeat." Again, "Seek shelter in the eternal
alone" (ibid). "Destroy the sense of separateness," repeats Krishna
under every form. "The Mind (Manas) which follows the rambling senses,
makes the Soul (Buddhi) as helpless as the boat which the wind leads
astray upon the waters" (Bhagavatgita II. 70). 

[Italics are not shown in the above.]


"Sages do not grieve for the living nor the dead. Never did I not exist,
nor you, nor these rulers of men; nor will any one of us ever hereafter
cease to be." (Bhagavatgita II. 27). 

[Italics are not shown in the above.]

Dallas, please compare these 2 paragraphs with the same ones in your
copy of the Theosophy Company's current edition.  Dallas, will you
please tell us what changes occur in the TC edition?

For readers of this email who have WWW access, you can read the complete
preface to the VOICE as given in the 1889 edition at this URL address:

This Web version will also show the italics.

Dallas, if you have access to this Web page, compare for yourself the
1889 preface with the preface in the Theosophy Company's edition?
Are there changes?  And why did the Theosophy Company see fit to make
these changes?  Were they REALLY needed?

ANOTHER EXPERIMENT.  In Fragment III of the Voice, the very first
paragraph (verse) of that section reads in the 1889 edition:

"UPADYA (1), the choice is made, I thirst for Wisdom. Now hast thou rent
the veil before the secret Path and taught the greater Yana (2). Thy
servant here is ready for thy guidance." 

Dallas, I'm curious, how does the Theosophy Company edition give this
paragraph or verse?  Are there changes between the 2 editions?

Dallas, in light of the fact that there are some 665 changes in the
Theosophy Company's edition of the VOICE (which edition you recommend),
how do YOU RECONCILE your recommendation of an edition with 665 changes
with what you said earlier about THE SECRET DOCTRINE and your views
about the STANDARDS by which reprints of HPB's works should be judged???
I quote below what you had written sometime ago:

>I do not have the time to re-do all that work.  I am satisfied that >there are changes and whether they are good or bad, whether they >amplify or detract, is not the problem, PROVIDING THEY ARE IDENTIFIED, >so that trusting student can know whether that was what HPB wrote OR >NOT.

>Let me go back to my suggestion (though probably not original at all) : >that all reprints in which students who followed HPB isolated and >decided on what they thought was the kind of accuracy needed to improve >that book, LEAVE THE ORIGINAL TEXT UNCHANGED, but place "Bullets" or >some other markers in the margins, and in an ADDENDUM, page by page, >add their comments and proposed changes.  That would be fair to future >students, and also raise their personal integrity higher - but what has >happened, although irreversible, need not be perpetuated hereafter.

I would be most happy to also hear the views of Paul Bazzer, Tony
Maddock and Nicholas Weeks on this subject of the VOICE.

Daniel Caldwell

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