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Oy vey

Jan 30, 1999 09:59 PM
by Richard Taylor

In a message dated 1/30/99 02:50:50 PM, Tony wrote:

<<If memory serves correctly "distraction" was used in relation to philology.
Others put views forward about this. >>

I can see that a focus solely on philology would be terribly distracting.  I
wrote my reasons for choosing Devachan as an example of obstructionism -- I
did not wish to spend days discussing its philology.

<<You saw what happened when we were going into "Devachan" philologically. It
was never resolved. >>

This is simply a falsedhood.  It was proved that the word is a Tibetan word,
not a Sanskrit word.  (Yah-hoo.)  Dallas himself wrote that he did not dispute
the "FACTS" I put forward -- he simply wrote that he wasn't interested in
discussing them.  Which strikes me as perfectly legitimate, so I asked to
close the discussion after that.

<<To some of us the philological side wasn't what was important.  It can
distract, as it did,  from what Devachan is (from the Theosophical point of
view).  Surely
it is this which is important?   >>

No, to me that is not *solely* what's important.  You will recall the my
original purpose wasn't to examine philology, but to look at how obvious
errors are ignored by Theosophists; how this discredits us to the academic
world; and how knowing the "original" (Buddhist in this case) origin of a word
or concept may help us to understand what HPB is doing with it.

I was at a meeting today in San Diego with a wonderful group of Theosophists.
They appreciated learning that "bDe-wa-can" was a Tibetan word, and is what
the Japanese Buddhists call "The Pure Land."  Knowing this, they could grasp
how HPB was challenging that Buddhist perception, and how she was proposing a
more occult study.  Knowing that "bDe-wa-chan" means "Pure Land" for Buddhists
also helps explain the modern degradation, popular in Japan today, called
"Pure Land Buddhism" (Jodo Shinshu) where one is told merely to chant for what
they want and get reborn in this wonderful paradise.  I feel empowered knowing

I always feel a lack when I do not know the original meaning of a concept
before HPB had her way with it.  I want the truth and the whole truth.  If
others don't care to know the original meanings of concepts in their original
languages, and they wish to focus solely on HPB's presentation, so be it.

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