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Re: Theos-World New articles on Alpheus

Jul 18, 2010 02:48 PM
by Govert Schuller

The URLs did not transfer. Here they are:

"Jean Overton Fuller, Master Narayan, and the Krishnamurti-Scott-Anrias Issue"

âAcademe and Esotericism: The Problem of Authority.â

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Govert Schuller 
  Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 4:38 PM
  Subject: Theos-World New articles on Alpheus

  Dear all,

  As of today the article "Jean Overton Fuller, Master Narayan, and the Krishnamurti-Scott-Anrias Issue" will be available on the Alpheus web site. 


  The focus is on a relatively unknown Theosophical master who was known to H.P. Blavatsky and H.S. Olcott under the name of Narayan. Around 1910 some Theosophists in Adyar thought they had met this master in the person of a blind yogi named Nagaratnaswami in the little village of Tiruvallam about 70 miles west from Madras. Almost a 100 years later Jean Overton Fuller in her biography on Krishnamurti revived this claim in the context of an extended and open discussion she and I conducted about the Theosophical writers Cyril Scott and David Anrias, who both provided very critical Theosophical assessments of Krishnamurti. 

  The case is that David Anrias claimed to have been in contact with Narayan and to have received these criticisms of Krishnamurti from him and, through him, from other masters as well. Jean Overton Fuller thought that Narayan was just too old to have been alive in the early 1930s to be able to give Anrias the communications in question and therefore Anrias' claim can be dismissed as either fabricated or erroneously projected, which also would provide the grounds to dismiss Cyril Scott, because Fuller thought that Scott received his Krishnamurti criticisms from Anrias. Her reasoning was based on the Narayan-Nagaratnaswami identification by deducing the age of Narayan from primarily what was known about the blind and quite old Nagaratnaswami and secondarily from another blind yogi by the name of Tiravala, who Fuller also identified with Narayan. 

  My counter-argument, as developed in this paper, is to show that the identification does not hold for several reasons and to make my case I collected as many reports and claims by Theosophists about Narayan that I could find. In the abstract I formulated the conclusion of the paper as follows: "As a result it became clear that the identification of Narayan with Nagaratnaswami did not hold and it therefore invalidates Fuller's attempt to derive the age of Narayan from Nagaratnaswami, which would also invalidate her skepticism about a possible Narayan-Anrias connection." Even though the conclusion might sound slim and maybe only relevant in the context of the conversation Fuller and I conducted, most of the interesting parts of the paper came up during the discovery process and are hopefully intrinsically intriguing regardless of the conclusions.

  âAcademe and Esotericism: The Problem of Authorityâ

  An important part of the above article addresses methodological issues involved in the academic investigation of esotericism. This was primarily done with the help of the philosophical tools developed within the phenomenological movement. Another author addressing these issues, but from a more experiential point of view, is Richard Smoley. Iâm pleased to release here his talk presented at the Association for the Study of Esotericism at Davis, California in June 2006 titled âAcademe and Esotericism: The Problem of Authority.â The author makes the case that academicians are unnecessarily reticent in partaking of experiences enabled by the esoteric tradition. It is as if, he states, academia is collecting and classifying all printed works about wine, but never venturing into tasting it and have a first-hand experience of its many facets.

  I also made this announcement on the web sites of The Theosophical Community and The Theosophical Network, where the articles can be discussed.

  Govert Schuller
  July 18, 2010

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