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Jul 12, 2006 12:51 PM
by carlosaveline

Jake, Friends, 

This, below,  is a important contribution. 

I saw that Daniel book was disastrous. But I could not compare it with his former book and did not think the difference was so great. Thanks for the clarification.  

The fact that the difference between the two books is for the worse shows in which direction Daniel Caldwell has evolved  in the years between 1991 and 2000. 

As to his making lots of changes and not anouncing them,  this is but one more example of that which Ernest Pelletier, the Canadian author, has correctly called "silent editting", started in Adyar TS after HPB's death. 

The same "process"  happened with Annie Besant's "third volume" of "The Secret Doctrine".  

Several books by C. W. Leadbeater which are still for sale have been suffering this process of Silent Editing over the decades -- one major example being "The Inner Life" (the book which originally described the  imaginary visits of CWL to Mercury and Mars). 

There is much more. The Adyar edition of  a small volume under the general title of "Practical Occultism", by H. P. Blavatsky, includes several texts which were never written by HPB. 

Not to mention the inclusion of various well-known false "testimonies" in Caldwell's book on HPB. These texts also happen to be tremendously offensive to the truth, to HPB, to the movement, and to the Mahatmas. 

Of course the Masters do not care about that, but their 19th century names and images should deserve  respect,  as HPB explained most clearly in "The Key to Theosophy". We ourselves, as humans, are only benefitted by having respect for the idea of Mahatmas -- an idea which,  taken in abstract,   corresponds  to the ideas of  "Immortals" in Taoism,  "Buddhas"  and "Arhats" in Buddhism, "Rishis" of Hinduism, etc.   

Classical Buddhism (and specifically Shin Buddhism) teaches that slandering masters is a grave mistake;  and it certainly is, since true masters are involved with the growth of our souls.

So Daniel Caldwell's editorial inaccuracy is not an isolated fact. 

There has been a whole editorial policy based in manipulation and distortion of  facts, perhaps with good intentions in some cases. A  policy  which has nothing in common with real scholarship  and which, I suspect,  would not be acceptable in any University or University Press. 

Best regards,   Carlos Cardoso Aveline.


Data:Wed, 12 Jul 2006 08:42:57 -0700 (PDT)

Assunto:Theos-World Deceptive Publishing

> In the front of Caldwell's "The 
> Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky," 
> "TPH/Quest Edition," 2000 it says on 
> the title page: "Originally published 
> as 'The Occult World of Madame Blavatsky.'" 
> (Impossible Dream Publications, 1991, 
> Tucson, and was presumably privately 
> published.) This is not true, they are 
> different books, "The Esoteric World of 
> Mme B." having maybe a third or quarter 
> more material than "The Occult World 
> of Mme. B." 
> This first book, I liked. It was a 
> great compilation of personal accounts 
> related to Blavatsky which were mostly 
> all sympathetic. The second book has 
> much new editorical material, new 
> antipathetic accounts which reflected 
> the authors new "scholarly" approach and 
> new publisher, TPH at Wheaton. In other 
> words, in order to be acceptable by academic 
> types, you have to have negative biographical 
> material as well as positive - even though at 
> least some of the negative material is known 
> to be untrue. (Otherwise you have the 
> accursed "hagiography.")
> Well, why does this matter? - all of 
> "Occult World" is in the latter "Esoteric 
> World," even though its about a third 
> longer. The title page is not truthful for 
> one thing. The second book is editorially 
> changed and marks Caldwell's transition 
> from unrespectable "HPB student" to 
> respectable "HPB scholar," and thus money 
> from a publisher. Also, I (and probably 
> many others) didn't buy the second book 
> because I saw it referred to as a reprint 
> of the same book (not!). The results of this 
> is that probably many serious Blavatsky 
> students bought the first book, but did not 
> buy the second book - thus "Esoteric World 
> of Mme. Blavatsky" did not engender much of 
> the criticism it would have from the new 
> "neutral-towards-Blavatsky" editorial stance. 
> Was the misleading title page for purposes 
> of hiding the book from criticism, or just 
> "unscholarly" and careless and misleading? 
> If such is acceptable practice, it 
> shouldn't be. 
> - jake j
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