Re: What I most admire
Mar 11, 2006 07:55 AM
Paul -- Thank you for clarifying your admiration for HPB. Is it
fair to say that HPB lived the first object as a condition of her
life and worked ceaselessly to accomplish this among the many races,
creeds, religions and genders with whom she associated?
That's more living than the majority of people on this planet can
imagine, even today. She did this in an era when "nice" women were
generally expected to travel with a male relative.
Our study group once discussed Blavatsky's work in terms of shifting
the assemblage point, the perspective from which the world is
viewed. HPB said that "The Secret Doctrine," was written as a form
of jnana yoga for Westerners. The Bowen Notes: "As one progresses
in Jnana Yoga one finds conceptions arising which though one is
conscious of them, one cannot express nor yet formulate into any
sort of mental picture. As time goes on these conceptions will form
into mental pictures. This is a time to be on guard and refuse to be
deluded with the idea that the new found and wonderful picture must
represent reality. It does not. As one works on one finds the once
admired picture growing dull and unsatisfying, and finally fading
out or being thrown away."
I don't think any view expressed on this list represents an ultimate
reality, including my own. My own notions of the ideal image have
grown dull and unsatisfying over the course of experience to believe
that any mental picture must represent reality.
The main difference between age 20 and age 57 is that I know this is
the process of growth, that those who become fixed in dull and
unsatisfying images are not progressing at a personal level. At age
20 I thought I knew it all, but at age 57 I HOPE I don't know it
all. It would be really disappointing to think that what I know is
all there is.
Knowing it all is a terminal condition that defies the
transformative nature of jnana yoga.
I appreciate this list, theos-talk, for the opportunity it gives
factions to do battle in a relatively harmless way. The Bowen Notes
point out the process: "This is a time to be on guard and refuse to
be deluded with the idea that the new found and wonderful picture
must represent reality. It does not."
Scholarship and scholarly debate of Hindu literature is probably
what kept its knowledge and traditions alive through millennia.
This invoked the tremendous diversity that enabled it to grow to
meet changing needs of evolving people. Hindus know that the
interpretations of a period were simply those extrapolated for
In order for Theosophy to develop as HPB envisioned it, it must
develop many genres of scholarship that will extrapolate its objects
into many venues. There's not one fixed image that will prevail
over all others as reality.
If this list is not of value to you at this time, then it might be a
good idea for you to leave it. I do not say this with any rancor,
but with an eye for what is best for you at this time. I believe
there's a vital place for intellect and intellectual questioning.
We live in a time when psychism has blossomed exponentially to
become the topic of hit television series with new episodes each
week. At the same time American literacy continues to decline and
critical thinking is increasingly lost in schools.
My hope for you is that you grow in the context of jnana yoga that
HPB envisioned with "The Secret Doctrine," as expressed in the Bowen
Notes: "... The process goes on, until at last the mind and its
pictures are transcended and the learner enters and dwells in the
world of NO FORM, but of which all forms are narrowed reflections."
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "kpauljohnson" <kpauljohnson@...>
> Dear Krsanna,
> Perhaps the most honest answer to your question is right off the
> of my head: her internationalism.
> I came to HPB as a follower in my late 20s. Dived into her books,
> the SD especially, and led a Pasadena TS branch in the 1980s for
> years. Through all that time her writings were at the spiritual
> heart of my worldview and books like the SD and Voice were most
> important to defining it. But gradually by the late 1980s I
> more interested in books like Caves and Jungles and Old Diary
> and a more biographical narrative approach. Cayce became more
> central to my spiritual worldview once the Theosophical caca
> to hit the fan in the mid-90s, but I was already shifting into ex-
> Theosophist consciousness by that point. What I most admire now,
> an ex-Theosophist in a related organization, is not at all what I
> most admired as a follower twenty years ago. (The spiritual
> authority of her writings.)
> It's her mind-boggling, unprecedented straddling of an amazing
> number of different cultures. Not just knowing people all over
> world, starting with Kalmuck Buddhists and Russian Rosicrucians in
> her childhood and ending with British intellectuals in her old
> but actually *affecting* different cultures. HPB is a significant
> figure in American religious history. In Indian cultural and
> political history. (Break that down into Bengali-- Punjabi-- etc.
> for the full impact.) In English literary history. In Russian
> and musical history. On and on. I can think of no one else of
> era, and certainly no woman, who managed to influence so many
> aspects of so many cultures.
> Does that help?
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