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The Universe and Us

Feb 11, 2006 04:20 PM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline

Dear Paul and Bruce,

(see below)

If we take HPB's philosophy seriously and at heart, then we have to work
ourselves into something constantly better than we were.

It is a steep, narrow and dangerous, but true, path to inner peace.

But we can also keep looking at see HPB in her shortcomings only, and forget she was an old woman under pressure, alone in the world, having difficulties of all sorts, challenging as a single woman in that authoritarian 19th century world all the religious and "scientific" dogmas of the day, surrounded by open enemies and false friends, attacked by people in Spíritualism and in the most different religions, because she showed falsehoods in all of them.

This second choice, seeing and perhaps imagining faults in her, might be a cozy, comfortable excuse for us not to try to walk along the steep and narrow path to self-knowledge which is indicated by her.

On the other hand, studying and living esoteric philosophy leads us into an interesting vibration rate which shows us the real HPB, someone who can never he known by mere three-dimensional, personalistic speculations...

Now, as a matter of fact, from the viewpoint of any reasonable Historian, Mr. Vsevolod Solovyof, Mrs. Eleanor Sidgwick and the Coulombs have, let's admit, about the same legitimacy as our more modern "David Green", that close friend of Daniel's... if "David" is not a product of Daniel's own fertile imagination. Something which Paul has brilliantly suggested, or shown. Time will clarify.

This is a fact, then: Solovyov, the Coulombs, Eleanor are NO SOURCES with regard to HPB. No decent journalist, no reasonable editor, would publish their "materials" about HPB.

And, friends, take away their lies, and there is nothing against her. She was morally crucified because she challenged the roots of our colective ignorance.

Now, I am not saying that she was, in her lower self, better than any sincere and honest average citizen. Yes, she did many mistakes and in the Mahatma Letters we see the Masters defending her from her own errors. BUT -- no ill will. She was a Leo. Ascendant Cancer. Moon, Libra. Who could say these characteristics can be those of a dishonest woman? Leo??? No, she was too brave for that. Ascendant Cancer? No, she was too afectionate and loving for that. Moon in Libra ? No, she was to fair and transparent for that.

Our main focus in approaching her, though, can also be established in her SOUL, and in her Philosophy, and in her invitation for us to open our minds to a broader picture of the universe and of ourselves...

And that is question of locating in ourselves the place of our infinite potentiality.

Best regards,


From: "robert_b_macd" <>
Subject: Theos-World Re: History classroom vs. courtroom (to Bruce)
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 03:33:09 -0000

Thank-you Paul,

I am not sure that I claimed "unfit to be a Theosophist," but if I
did, and I think I said something similar when writing to Bart, let me
clarify that point.  If we use the term "Ideal Theosophist" then none
of us need feel slighted if we don't measure up.  I don't claim to be
an ideal Theosophist, I am a student of the subject trying to learn
like the rest of us.  Also, I don't think it is a theosophical crime
to entertain the possibility that Blavatsky may have been guilty of
something.  I would say for those that go down this road "after a
certain point in their development", the doubt is not going to do them
any good in their development as a Theosophist.  This I understand to
be an Occult Law which again I am not insisting or counciling anyone
to believe, certainly not on my authority.

Life seems unfair and many evil people get away with crimes because
there is not enough evidence to convict them.  We are not the Lords of
Karma and this simple fact should not be troubling to us.  Sometimes
people have to be quiet and sit still if they want to accumulate
enough evidence to convict someone of a crime.  To bring the charges
before the evidence is amassed serves no one.  Everyone loses, the
accused, the accuser, friends and family, etc.

If someone can prove one or several charges brought against H.P.B.
then how could I object to this.  This would be an established Truth
and I would have to live with it.  In fact if Theosophists were to
turn around and attack someone bringing forward such proof, I would be
forced to defend them against such an attack.  This is how I
understand H.P.B.'s teachings and it makes intuitive sense to me.
This is what I did in the Hollocaust example, I defended two very
unpopular people bringing forward evidence that upset a very popular
notion.  This made me unpopular but it also made me consistent.
Again, if experts in the field want to discuss among themselves
possible ways of establishing guilt or exonerating H.P.B. then I have
no problem with that, that is their profession.  If someone wants to
put before me unproven allegations, then again their is an Occult Law
that compels me to defend the unfortunate victim.

As for the Coulombs and the rest, silence is their due.  Their
material will continue to exist in the archives, and if someone can
put a case together in their favor at some point then so much the
better for the Coulombs of this world.  At this point all I can say is
 that they brought their cases before the public too early (if indeed
there is any basis for their allegations) and that is their fault and
not anyone elses.  Even if I were to believe that they haven't been
shown to contradict themselves in instances, it would not matter.  It
is not up to Blavatsky to prove her innocense, it is up to the others
to prove her guilt.  All the rest is opinion and idle gossip that
serves noone any good.  In fact the names of Coulomb and Solovyoff
would have long been forgotten had the enemies of Blavatsky not kept
them current.  I would argue that it is Blavatsky's detractors that
prevent her enemies from finding a fitful sleep in the hereafter.

As for the argument that this is an historical figure, that is just a
smokescreen.  This is an ethical question not an historical one and
certainly not a practical one.  Ethics transcend time and space, they
are derived from abstract principles.  The same respect that we would
accord a person in the here and now should be used in our treatment of
people from the past.  The ethical treatment is not about the
historical person, it is about us.  How do we treat others.

Finally, the bar is not being set very high, just prove one accusation
against H.P.B. to be true that we know her to have denied.  There are
so many hundreds that this shouldn't be difficult.  Do the hard work
first, then perhaps we will cut you a little slack when you want to
discuss a fresh version of H.P.B. (that is "you" in general, not
referring to anyone in particular).  That something is common practice
is no excuse for unethical behavior.  If Historians practice unethical
treatment of their subject matter, and I don't believe they all do,
then they should modify their practice because the ethics are not
going to change.

If I didn't address some part of your argument please draw it to my

Thank you for allowing me to explain myself,

--- In, "kpauljohnson" <kpauljohnson@...>
> Dear Bruce,
> I wrote this offline to post later, so am paraphrasing your remarks
> from memory rather than quoting, hoping to get the gist.  You wrote
> about HPB that she is innocent until proven guilty and that anyone
> who believes (or even entertains the possibility?) that she is guilty
> of anything is unfit to be called a Theosophist.  This
> guilt/innocence approach frames historical discussion as if it were
> identical to criminal trials, which I suggest leads in unfortunate
> directions.
> One problem with this approach is that it is logically self-
> defeating.  In a courtroom, only one person is on trial,  to be
> judged either guilty or not guilty of a particular offence in
> isolation from any other individuals.  In a courtroom there's no such
> thing as a little bit guilty; you either are or aren't.  In
> historical interpretation or reconstruction, anyone being appraised
> is studied in a network of other persons whose points of view are
> considered equally relevant.  Testimonies always conflict and
> evidence has to be weighed.  Everyone is a mixture of light and
> shadow, and no one is exempt from scrutiny based on supposed
> spiritual status.
> In the case of HPB you would have to rely on special pleading saying
> she and only she is to be handled with kid gloves like this.  Because
> the same courtesy is not extended to all the people whose testimony
> conflicts with hers, it is clearly not a workable *general* principle
> you are advocating, but rather a special exemption from normal
> historical scrutiny.  Religions frequently promote such special
> exemptions for their founders, but Theosophy was not intended to be
> another religion or to promote the kind of special pleading religion
> encourages.  The list of people who accused HPB of deception in one
> situation or another during her life is quite long.  Not just the
> Coulombs and Hodgson, but (to name a few) Emma Hardinge-Britten,
> C.C. Massey, Swami Dayananda, Mabel Collins, A.P. Sinnett, A.O. Hume,
> Solovyoff, many of the SPR founders, Babaji Nath,  on and on.  In
> every case where someone else's testimony conflicts with hers, your
> position implies HPB is entitled to the presumption not only that she
> is innocent until proven guilty, but the other person is guilty until
> proven innocent.   What about their rights to a fair hearing?  What
> we owe these people, IMO, is not any a priori presumption of guilt or
> innocence but rather the attempt to understand their relationships
> with one another in all their complexity, ambiguity, and subtlety.
> No easy task!  (I note that you and Carlos assert that certain things
> are "proven lies" but that sounds like wishful thinking to me-- few
> historical questions are resolved with absolute finality and
> certainly not about HPB.)
> The second problem with the frame of guilt/innocence as applied to
> history is that it makes every biographer or historian a sinner or
> criminal, unless s/he writes totally fawning hagiography.  There is
> almost always reasonable doubt about any historical question.  Should
> that silence authors and prevent them from presenting their best
> guess as to the answer?  To say "my reading of the evidence is that
> Jefferson fathered Sally Hemings's children" becomes, in your frame,
> a terrible crime against his memory.  The DNA evidence only shows
> that *some* Jefferson was the father, and it *might* have been one
> other than Thomas—although circumstantial evidence makes it clear who
> is the most likely candidate.  (Some of the outraged white Jefferson
> hagiographers treated Barbara Chase-Riboud like a heretic and
> criminal when she first proposed the Hemings theory years ago.  TJ
> couldn't *possibly* have done such a thing.)  This makes a courtroom-
> like two dimensional dichotomy out of the multidimensional continua
> of real life.
> I certainly would't want to belong to any movement in which daring to
> doubt or criticize the founder is a one-way ticket to permanent
> exile.  Your suggestion that anyone who doesn't give HPB the benefit
> of every doubt can't be a Theosophist implies that attitude.  It
> really doesn't seem to fit the values suggsted in the three objects
> or much of HPB's writings.  I think an educational model, rather than
> a legal one, fits the Theosophical movement better.  And in an
> educational setting there is nothing wrong with entertaining many
> different POVs about historical figures, without regarding criticism
> as sacrilege.
> Glad to see you here,
> Paul

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