Re: Theos-World What was in the 3rd Volume that HPB was working on just before her death?
May 01, 2006 11:07 PM
by Cass Silva
To me Daniel, this is all caca, Volumes 1 and 2 were already published weren't they?
danielhcaldwell <email@example.com> wrote: What material/articles were in the 3rd Volume that HPB was working
on just before she died?
It should be carefully noted that the original Volume I SD of 1886-
1887 became later by mid-1887 volume three.
Bertram Keightley tells us about this development.
A report of Bertram Keightley's lecture "Theosophy in the West" to
the annual December 1890 T.S. convention at Adyar, Madras, India,
contained the following:
H.P.B. handed over to him [B. Keightley] the manuscript of
the "Secret Doctrine," with a request that he should read it
through. He read through the substance of the two volumes published
[in 1888], and the third still unpublished [as of Dec. 1890]....
What would now be the 3rd volume of the history of Occultism was to
have been the first volume, while the treatises on Cosmogony and the
Genesis of Man were to form a later series....
He then drafted a scheme with the natural and obvious order, namely.
the Evolution of the Universe and the Evolution of man, &c. &c.
The next thing...was to REARRANGE...the manuscript according to the
[new] scheme. . . . [Quoted from "The Theosophist," July 1891, 586-
7.] Caps added.
Later in 1893, Bertram Keightley gave another account about this
rearrangement. Keightley tells us that upon her arrival in London
in May, 1887:
...[Madame Blavatsky] placed the whole of the so far completed MSS.
[of The Secret Doctrine] in the hands of Dr. [Archibald] Keightley
We both read the whole mass of MSS.-- a pile over three feet high --
most carefully through....
It should be noted that Bertram's above reference to "the whole of
the so-far completed MSS." is, of course, to the original Secret
Doctrine manuscript, written over a period of time up through April,
1887. Of course this manuscript was in HPB's own handwriting.
Bertram goes on to say that this original manuscript was divided
into three parts or volumes:
Volume I: History of some great Occultists
Volume II: Evolution of Cosmos
Volume III: Evolution of Man
Bertram Keightley's account continues telling us that after they
read the manuscript, the two Keightleys had a prolonged consultation
and then they faced HPB:
...with the solemn opinion that the whole of the matter must be
REARRANGED on some definite plan....
Finally we laid before her a plan, suggested by the character of the
matter itself, viz., to make the work consist of four volumes....
Further, instead of making the first volume to consist, as she had
intended, of the history of some great Occultists, we advised her to
follow the natural order of exposition, and begin with the Evolution
of Cosmos, to pass from that to the Evolution of Man, then to deal
with the historical part in a third volume treating of the lives of
some great Occultists; and finally, to speak of Practical Occultism
in a fourth volume should she ever be able to write it.
This plan was laid before H.P.B., and it was duly sanctioned by
her. . . .
[Quoted from "Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and The Secret
Doctrine," by Countess Constance Wachtmeister et al., Quest edition,
1976, pp. 78-9; also quoted in de Zirkoff, SD Intro., 41] caps added
So as Bertram Keightley tells us, the order or the sequence of the
volumes of The Secret Doctrine was changed and rearranged.
The Volume I manuscript BECAME the Volume III manuscript.
So the new arrangement of the manuscript volumes was as follows:
Volume I: Evolution of Cosmos [Cosmogenesis]
Volume II: Evolution of Man [Anthropogenesis]
Volume III: History of some great Occultists
So what was THE CONTENTS of this third volume?
Well, since the third volume in the new 1887 arrangement had been
originally volume one, we can go back to the primary source material
of 1886 and early 1887 (which INCLUDES the Wurzburg manuscript of
the SD as well as the 1886-1887 letters of HPB) and determine much
of the CONTENT of this volume one (which by the middle of 1887 had
then become volume three).
For more on this, see:
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