Re: Fw: RE: DEFENSE OF HPB and moving on.
Jan 21, 1999 06:34 AM
by Jerry Schueler
>>In that time there has been a great deal of animosity and
personal insults expressed between some members. Sarcasm and clever
quips lace a number of responses...>>
While it may appear this way, I don't think that this is really what is
going on. We are, I hope, criticising viewpoints and opinions and
possibly conclusions reached by fellow students. We are not, I would
hope, insulting each other personally. When I have written that Dallas
and Leon, for example, sound very much like fundamentalists, then it
should be clear to everyone that this is how their words come across to
me as I read them--I have never met face to face with either. They can
take my perception, and either agree or disagree, but if they disagree
then I would hope that they change somewhat their writing style which
strongly suggests a "blinders on" fundamentalist viewpoint that they may
in fact have or not have. On the other hand, I have been accused of
being a black magician as well as a Blavatsky hater and critic. I have
defended my position by admitting that while I do find some errors in
her writings, and that I disagree on one or two of her points, on the
whole I agree with her. Actually, the very notion that someone like
myself who has been studying Theosophy for over 30 years can have
disagreements should be of interest to everyone on the list. I found it
interesting, for example, that Alan Bain does not believe in
reincarnation and yet is a good Theosophist. The Theosophical umbrella
is broad, and if this broadness bothers anyone, then perhaps that person
should look within to see why?
>>Individual views and personal positions appear to becoming more and
more polarised around the above subject-topic. Fewer people are posting
to the List. These are my observations, which may of course be
Of course they are. They have to. As I have pointed out time and again,
the Theosophical writings are like a Bible and have to be interpreted.
Different people read the same words and come away with different
conclusions. Thus we should expect different opinions on this list. Its
actually pretty healthy. It is regretable that this should scare folks
away from contributing because just the reverse is true--everyone's
opinion is as good as any other's opinion and it is by sharing opinions
that we learn.
>>My sense of the different contributors to this emotive debate is that
each has a wealth of experience and knowledge that is worthy of sharing
and listening to on this List. >>
<<I also have a sense of how frustrating it must be for members on both
sides of the conflict not to be understood and/or to have their motives,
intelligence and integrity impuned.... or indeed, to
feel that HPB is being devalued.>>
This too is inevitable at first. Eldon and I argued for years on many
subjects until we gradually learned respect not only for our opposing
viewpoints but also for our different writing styles, which themselves
sometimes caused unnecessary emotional repsonses.
<<The repeated pointing to perceived omissions or mistakes on HPB's part
may simply lead us away from the actual teachings of Theosophy >>
It shouldn't. The message here is that no human being is perfect.
Neither HPB nor her Masters were perfect and even they made an
occassional error. This is the message, and if this offends anyone then
it seems to me that this is their problem and that they need to work
this out for themselves.
<<and appear, even when not intended, as criticism of HPB's standing and
integrity in the Occult World.>>
I don't think that anyone on this list has come close to this. We are,
as far as I know, all Theosophists here.
<< The unwillingness to acknowledge that HPB may have made
mistakes or omissions in her presentation of the Teachings, and that
these may be worth pondering, is likely to appear as intransigence, even
when it not intended as such and where such a defence of HPB arises
mainly out of a sense of loyalty to a great soul and teacher of
There is nothing wrong with loyalty. The problem may be the erroneous
assumption that although she was human, she never made any mistakes.
<<It seems to me that one of the central difficulties in discussing what
HPB may or may not have left out in her teachings, or mistakes she may
or may not have made is that we cannot ask her, or her Teachers, to
clarify these points.
Well, it most cases it is obvious and questions to her ar not necesary.
In the case of Tibetan Buddhism, our most recent topic of discussion, we
have available today the works of many great Tibetan Masters in English
that HPB did not have, and so we can now say with authority that she
did, in fact, make a few errors on this topic. But if you look at her
times and what she had to work with, she did a remarkable job because
most of what she gave out is correct.
> Are they errors, deliberate omissions, deliberate inclusions,
>esoteric blinds, or attempts on HPB's part to draw something to our
I suspect all of the above.
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