Re: RE: Response to Rich
Jan 17, 1999 01:41 AM
by Leon Maurer
In a message dated 1/15/99 11:08:21 AM, Richtay@aol.com writes:
><<Would you not agree that that which is public knowledge is, by default,
>Yes, Paul, all printed knowledge commonly available cannot be truly said to
>"esoteric." Therefore, all HPB wrote is now "exoteric," even if we
>her source, with the complete teachings of the Wisdom Tradition, remains
Not necessarily. . . The difference between exoteric teaching and esoteric
teaching does not depend on whether the ideas presented are published or not.
It's the *ideas* themselves that are either esoteric or exoteric. In the case
of esoteric ideas, such as those directly presented in the Book of Dzyan,
their understanding and application depends on whether the student is advanced
enough on the path toward self realization. . . Or, as in the case of
"religious canons", whether that knowledge is a second hand interpretation,
into a metaphoric representation so that those of lesser understanding can
comprehend and apply them.--sometimes, by (exoteric) compulsion impelled by
group emulation, or blind faith--rather than by individual (esoteric) self
conviction based on individually self devised and self determined study and
In the case of the Modern religion of Buddhism of which there are many
interpretations of the esoteric teaching that have taken on the forms of
dogma, or of ritualized practices (guided or controlled by personal
vows)--there is no comparison between the original teachings as esoterically
presented to "initiates" by the truly *ancient* religions (which, being
closer to the source, had a clearer, esoteric understanding of the nature of
reality and the hierarchy of forces and powers)--and their anthropomorphized
or physicalized symbolization and ritualization as presented by the later
religions, such as so called esoteric (but really exoteric) Tibetan Buddhism,
Hinduism, Christianism, Muslimism, Bahaiaism, Scientism, Materialism, etc.
The Tibetan iconography and personifications, therefore, are certainly no more
esoteric than all the other religious disciplines, no matter whether given out
to the common monks or reserved for the initiated lamas, who, as HPB said,
were "mostly ignorant fools". (And, if so, then, many of their students would
be equally so, or even more so. Especially, if they had to depend on
seconhand and even third hand *interpreted* versions of the original "canons"
made by linguists, philologists, or "orientalists".;~).
This does not, of course, place any aspersion on the true follower of the
Buddha, who through his own efforts (as Gautama did himself) attains Bodhi, or
Sophia, or true esoteric knowledge with the wisdom to apply it.) Certainly,
Vajrayana may be more or less exoteric than Mahayana or Hinayana. . . But such
differences are purely relative, and have little relationship to the really
esoteric teaching of Cosmogenesis and Anthropogenesis based on fundamental
principles as presented in the "Secret Doctrine". . . That, until understood
in all its ramifications by the Adept, remains esoterically secret to the
spiritually unawakened Sanghas or Chelas--who can only understand and follow,
symbolically or metaphorically, the secondhand exoteric interpretations made
by their gurus or teachers.
>I would point out that the texts of Tibetan Buddhism, with rare exceptions,
>were until 20 years ago, completely non-available to anyone in any Western
>language. To this day, copies of the Tibetan canon, even in Tibetan, are
>EXTREMELY RARE and 99% untranslated. I guess that makes them esoteric.
> More esoteric than HPB's Theosophy, at present. And so what?
As said above (and I hope, understood) their publication or not hasn't
anything to do with the esotericism or exotericism of the ideas presented.
The Tibetan Canon is still a relatively modern teaching as compared to the
Book of Dzyan with it's *fundamental* theosophical teachings, or, even as
compared to any of the ancient religions represented by the Hebrew's,
Egyptian's, Brahman's, Mazdaian's, Mayan's, *cabbalas* or "esoteric
teachings". e.g.; The Hebrew Kabbala has been "published" for hundreds, if
not thousands, of years based on the original oral teachings of
*Cosmogenesis*--with all its numbers and geometrics consistent with the Book
of Dzyan and, yet, remains to this day entirely esoteric--while the Bible's
Old Testament *Genesis* based on much later interpretations of the teachings
of Moses, is entirely exoteric (even in its original written language of
Hebrew)--although still earlier than the earliest Buddhistic scriptures which
were first written in their native language, Sanskrit, let alone later
translated into modern Tibetan and then into even more modern, English. The
same can be said of the Brahmanic Vedas, as well as the Bhagavad Gita--as
compared to the later Puranas and Upanishads, and all their Pali, Tibetan and
English (second and third hand) translations. (Or, could we say, progressive
Therefore, publication cannot be a condition of exotericism, nor can it be any
assurance of former esotericism--and, especially so, in the case of
"translations" from the original language. So, the entire Indian or Tibetan
Buddhist Canon, from Hinayana to Vajrayana, can bever be considered "more
esoteric" than the Secret Doctrine.
>I strongly doubt that simply being "esoteric" makes something "true."
>So let's lay off the one-upmanship and claims to esoteric authority, and
>what source is more esoteric, and therefore more important. What would that
>prove? HPB stands head and shoulders above every spiritual writer this
>or last. We needn't trip over ourselves in our rush to unsully her
>She and her teachings are beyond our puny attempts to attack or defend.
I agree about HPB. But, I beg to differ about esoteric teachings which, as
referring to fundamental *ideas*, are always far closer to *Truth* than any
later "exoteric" interpretation or translation of those ideas. The only
"esoteric authority", after all, is the "correct view" of the truly
enlightened being at each stage of his understanding and conviction (of the
true nature of "reality")--as his conscious-awareness progresses up the 7 step
ladder from matter to spirit. How many later interpretations or translations
are made by such highly advanced beings?
We might add that HPB (along with her co-writers, M and KH) also stands head
and shoulders above every writer of "Religious Canons" used in any exoteric
"religion" for at least the past 24 centuries. The only comparable source of
esoteric knowledge prior to that time would be the Bhagavad Gita written by
Vyasa as part of the ancient Mahabharata which preceded or was contemporary
with the Vedas. (We might also include the I-Ching, and the Book of Enoch in
this "ancient" catagory). The Book of Dzyan, however, is said to be much
earlier than all of these writings and, thereby, much closer to the "primal
beginning" or the "lighting up of Manas", as well as to the "time" of the
Dhyan Chohan or Adhi Buddha "reflections" (Avatars), or primary "incarnations"
on this plane of existence (or in this manifestation of Manu). Therefore, it
has far greater "credentials" as being much closer to fundamental truths in
its "first hand" presentation in Senzar, as well as its "second hand"
translations into Tibetan, Sanskrit and English. Incidentally, when I asked
my former initiated Nyingmapa Lama friend (linguist, physicist, esoteric
science teacher, and later theosophist) who had access to the books of
Vajrayana and Tantric scriptures in the personal collection of the late
Panchan Lama, if they contained any reference to the teachings of the
fundamental principles and "formulas" of cosmo- and anthropo-genesis as laid
out in the Secret Doctrine--he said, "none whatsoever"--although, he did add
that they implied these truths to a certain degree in their exoteric
symbolizations and allegorizations underlying their ritualizations.
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