Obstructionism and BUDHISM (one D).
Jan 17, 1999 04:24 PM
by Richard Taylor
<<As to the defense of HPB. I am of the vigorous opinion that we,
her few friends, and scattered students, ought to feel stung
every time some ill-advised and inadequate criticism is publicly
leveled at her(and Karmically it comes to our personal
attention). I consider it a pressing duty for all who have benefited from HPB
to challenge anyone who dares criticize or condemn her in any way.>>
Are we so foolish as to be unable to distinguish between criticism of a PERSON
and criticism of a STATEMENT or an ASSERTION? On many occasions -- and Dallas
will be forced to validate this statement -- I have personally organized
letter-writing campaigns to magazines and other institutions which have
insulted HPB, misrepresented her, ridiculed Theosophy, or attacked the
But Dallas, you can't tell when someone is criticizing a fact or a point, and
when a person is attacking the entire basis of Theosophy? Any discussion
which even hints at discussing some incidental word or statement by HPB, and
which "dares" to question it, is immediately met with a chorus of voices
saying "Stop! Halt! How dare you question the Holy Writ?" This mistakes
comparative study with assault.
Is this what HPB would have wanted?
We see HPB herself question the greatest Masters, and yet we know she adhered
to them with her life. How about an example or two? From the S.D.,
Introductory, p. xxi:
"Unable to teach ALL that had been imparted to him--owing to his pledges ...
the Buddha gave to the world only its OUTWARD material body and kept its SOUL
for his Elect. Many Chinese scholars among Orientalists have heard of the
"Soul Doctrine." None seem to have understood its real meaning and
importance. That doctrine was preserved secretly -- too secretly, perhaps --
within the sanctuary."
This is either a criticism of the Buddha, or his immediate disciples, for
being "too secret" and making HPB's job harder now. Nevertheless, we know
elsewhere HPB holds the Buddha in the very highest regard. For instance, on
p. xix of the Introductory,
"Aeons of untold duration must have elapsed, before the epithet of Buddha was
so humanized, so to speak, as to allow of the term being applied to mortals
and finally appropriated to one whose unparalleled virtues and knowledge
caused him to receive the title of the 'Buddha of Wisdom unmoved'."
"Unparalleled" certainly puts the Lord Buddha in a unique position, according
to HPB. But apparently even the highest Being can be criticized, without
undermining the entire platform of work. Theosophy is the better for
scrutiny. The philosophy will stand up to a few minor corrections of FACTS
which HPB used to prove its existence.
As for those on the list clamoring for a huge distinction between "exoteric
Buddhism" and the eternal "Budhism," HPB has some choice words on that as
well. Again, time is short, so one quote will have to suffice, from the same
"Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important difference
between ORTHODOX Buddhism--i.e., the public teachings of Gautama the Buddha,
and his esoteric BUDHISM."
How very interesting that HPB identifies BUDHISM (the esoteric wisdom
religion) with the pronoun "his." Perhaps we should say, along with HPB, that
Buddha was the founder of a new exoteric religion, AND the revealer of a very
ancient "BUDHISM," and that BOTH have been preserved by his Initiates beyond
the Himalayas. And how interesting that so many of the secret books of Tibet
are now coming to light, from the very same "Books of Kiu-Ti" that the S.D. is
drawn from (see SD xliii, SD vol. 3 pp. 405 ff). And how strange that none of
the self-appointed defenders of HPB have seen fit to comment on the
significance of this FACT.
<<They ought to be asked for sources and proofs - point-blanc. And
so far, there have been none that are substantiated. I have
consistently done this for years a few answers and those who did
were only able to offer secondary or tertiary "sources.">>
Dallas, I have offered time and time again "sources" and "proofs." When asked
for errors in the Glossary, I provided 8 or 10. When asked to show the
esotericism of the Tibetans, and the identity of HPB's use of Buddhist terms
with Buddhist usages, I have provided. When asked to explain how HPB has
mistakenly used the term "Red Hats" I gave pages of proofs. If the readers on
the list can't UNDERSTAND such things, and can't be bothered reading the
PRIMARY SOURCES referred to, then it would be better to keep silent, than to
continually disrupt the flow of exchanges with protests that our poor Teacher
is being insulted and "condemned." Nothing could be further from the truth.
I should think that mature Theosophists have better things to do with their
time than to defend HPB from imaginary attacks from her own supporters. I am
spending nearly every waking moment preparing documents to defend HPB to the
world -- a world which still very much disbelieves in the existence of a
Wisdom Tradition. Wouldn't communication with such "non-believers" be a
better use of time than daily criticisms of the work of list members?
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