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Jan 10, 2006 04:51 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck








[xvii] Old truisms are often the wisest. The human mind can hardly
remain entirely free from bias, and decisive opinions are often formed
before a thorough examination of a subject from all its aspects has been
made. …


… Sinnett’s work, had ceased to be esoteric from the moment they were made
public; nor did it contain the religion of Buddha, but simply a few tenets
from a hitherto hidden teaching which are now supplemented by many more,
enlarged and explained in the present volumes. 


But even the latter, though giving out many fundamental tenets from the
SECRET DOCTRINE of the East, raise but a small corner of the dark veil. 


For no one, not even the greatest living adept, would be permitted to, or
could—even if he would—give out promiscuously, to a mocking, unbelieving
world, that which has been so effectually concealed from it for long æons
and ages. …


[xviii] The “Wisdom Religion” is the inheritance of all the nations,the
world over, … the present writer knew all that which is “divulged” in
“Esoteric Buddhism”— and much more — many years before it became her duty
(in 1880) to impart a small portion of the Secret Doctrine to two European
gentlemen, one of whom was the author of “Esoteric Buddhism”; and surely the
present writer has the undoubted, though to her, rather equivocal, privilege
of being a European, by birth and education. 


Moreover, a considerable part of the philosophy expounded by Mr. Sinnett was
taught in America, even before Isis Unveiled was published, to two Europeans
and to my colleague, Colonel H. S. Olcott. Of the three teachers the latter
gentleman has had, the first was a Hungarian Initiate, the second an
Egyptian, the third a Hindu. As permitted, Colonel Olcott has given out some
of this teaching in various ways; if the other two have not, it has been
simply because they were not allowed: their time for public work having not
yet come. …It is above everything important to keep in mind that no
theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended

In etymology Adi, and Adhi Budha, the one (or the First) and “Supreme
Wisdom” is a term used by Aryasanga in his Secret treatises, and now by all
the mystic Northern Buddhists…. It means the absolute Wisdom, and
“Adi-bhuta” is translated “the primeval uncreated cause of all” by
Fitzedward Hall. …


“Buddha,” the acquirement of it by personal efforts and merit; while Buddhi
is the faculty of cognizing the channel through which divine knowledge
reaches the “Ego,” the discernment of good and evil, “divine conscience”
also; and “Spiritual Soul,” which is the vehicle of Atma… 

For the Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to withstand, in this
age of crass and illogical materialism, the repeated attacks on all and
everything man holds most dear and sacred, in his inner spiritual life. 


The true philosopher, the student of the Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses
sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Moreover,
Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its
outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with
that of every other great religion. 


It proves the necessity of an absolute Divine Principle in nature. It denies
Deity no more than it does the Sun. Esoteric philosophy has never rejected
God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and abstract Ens. 


It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic
religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous
and sorry caricature of the Ever Unknowable. 


Furthermore, the records we mean to place before the reader embrace the
esoteric tenets of the whole world since the beginning of our humanity, and
Buddhistic occultism occupies therein only its legitimate place, and no
more. Indeed, the secret portions of the “Dan” or “Jan-na”* (“Dhyan”) of
Gautama’s metaphysics—grand as they appear to one unacquainted with the
tenets of the Wisdom Religion of antiquity—are but a very small portion of
the whole. …


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. 


His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the initiated
Brahmins of his day. The Buddha was a child of the Aryan soil; a born Hindu,
a Kshatrya and a disciple of the “twice born” (the initiated Brahmins) or


His teachings, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for
the whole Buddhist reform merely consisted in giving out a portion of that
which had been kept secret from every man outside of the “enchanted” circle
of Temple-Initiates and ascetics. 


Unable to teach all that had been imparted to him—owing to his
pledges—though he taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of the true
esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only its outward material
body and kept its soul for his Elect…. 

That doctrine was preserved secretly—too secretly, perhaps—within the
sanctuary. The mystery that shrouded its chief dogma and
aspirations—Nirvana—has so tried and irritated the curiosity of those
scholars who have studied it, that, unable to solve it logically and
satisfactorily by untying the Gordian knot, they cut it through, by
declaring that Nirvana meant absolute annihilation…
This is the true reason, perhaps, why the outline of a few fundamental
truths from the Secret Doctrine of the Archaic ages is now permitted to see
the light, after long millenniums of the most profound silence and secrecy.
I say “a few truths,” advisedly, because that which must remain unsaid could
not be contained in a hundred such volumes, nor could it be imparted to the
present generation of Sadducees. But, even the little that is now given is
better than complete silence upon those vital truths. 


The world of to-day, in its mad career towards the unknown—which it is too
ready to confound with the unknowable, whenever the problem eludes the grasp
of the physicist—is rapidly progressing on the reverse, material plane of
spirituality. It has now become a vast arena—a true valley of discord andof
eternal strife—a necropolis, wherein lie buried the highest and the most
holy aspirations of our Spirit-Soul. That soul becomes with every new
generation more paralyzed and atrophied. … but there is a fair minority of
earnest students who are entitled to learn the few truths that may be given
to them now; and now much more than ten years ago, when “Isis Unveiled,” or
even the later attempts to explain the mysteries of esoteric science, were
One of the greatest, and, withal, the most serious objection to the
correctness and reliability of the whole work will be the preliminary
STANZAS: “How can the statements contained in them be verified?” True, if a
great portion of the Sanskrit, Chinese, and Mongolian works quoted in the
present volumes are known to some Orientalists, the chief work—that one from
which the Stanzas are given—is not in the possession of European Libraries.
The Book of Dzyan (or “Dzan”) is utterly unknown to our Philologists, or at
any rate was never heard of by them under its present name… but to the
students of Occultism, and to every genuine Occultist, this will be of
little moment. 


The main body of the Doctrines given is found scattered throughout hundreds
and thousands of Sanskrit MSS., some already translated—disfigured in their
interpretations, as usual,—others still awaiting their turn. Every scholar,
therefore, has an opportunity of verifying the statements herein made, and
of checking most of the quotations. A few new facts (new to the profane
Orientalist, only) and passages quoted from the Commentaries will be found
difficult to trace. Several of the teachings, also, have hitherto been
transmitted orally: yet even those are in every instance hinted at in the
almost countless volumes of Brahminical, Chinese and Tibetan
temple-literature.” S D I xviii – xxii ]









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