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theos-talk Re: Reply to Govert and questions about Emma Britten and Aïvanhov

Feb 04, 2012 11:50 AM
by paulobaptista_v

Dear Govert,

As I said before, I am satisfied with my present opinion about HPB. Currently, I am more concerned with grasping theosophical concepts, not so much with the evaluation of personalities.

Besides, it is hard to spend money in a book with factual errors. I stumbled across the following excerpt just now, while trying to find a bit more about Meade's book.

"In all, about nine or ten persons testified to having seen the Mahatmas: Annie Besant, Henry Olcott, Damodar Mavalankar, Isabel Cooper-Oakley, William Brown, Nadyezhda Fadeyev, S.R. Ramaswamier, Justine Glinka and Vsevolod Solovyov. Franz Hartmann said that while he never actually saw them, he felt their presence." Marion Meade in her biography Madame Blavatsky, The Woman Behind The Myth, 1980, p. 497.

I remember reading this statement by Meade some fifteen years ago and exclaiming to myself, "Oh Marion Meade, you haven't done your homework!" Off the top of my head, I could count at least twenty-five people who testified to having seen the Mahatmas during H.P.B.'s lifetime. And despite Meade's statement to the contrary, Hartmann had testified that he had actually seen one of the Mahatmas. Apparently Meade had never carefully read two of the titles listed in her own bibliography: Geoffrey Barborka's The Mahatmas And Their Letters (1973) and Franz Hartmann's Report Of Observations, etc. (1884); both titles prove Meade didn't know what she was writing about concerning Hartmann."

D. Caldwell


--- In, "Govert Schuller" <schuller@...> wrote:
> Dear Paulo,
> I think you might be too negatively influenced by Carrither's rhetoric. He
> makes good points, but also less good points, and gives the impression that
> the books in question are worthless and that therefore HPB stands
> vindicated. I do not agree. Meade and Williams also make good points, and
> lesser points, and are indeed quite straightforward in their disbelief of
> HPB. Meade does not proceed from an axiomatically held materialist position.
> She acknowledges that there were psychic phenomena connected with HPB but
> also thinks there was enough trickery by HPB to conclude that she was a
> fraud.  I think every Theosophist should read the Meade book (and then the
> Carrithers review) to make up their own mind.  
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of paulobaptista_v
> Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 3:06 PM
> To:
> Subject: theos-talk Re: Reply to Govert and questions about Emma Britten and
> Aïvanhov
> Dear Govert,
> I understand your approach and I would have liked that Meade, Peter
> Washington and others, who have portrayed a negative image of HPB, had done
> just that, a comparison of the favorable and the unfavorable views, but
> without preconceptions. I have never read Meade, Williams or Washington's
> biographies of Blavatsky, but I am familiar with the replies written by some
> theosophists. It still surprises me how difficult it seems to be (even for
> some who are scholars) to analyze a certain subject without some
> preconceptions like "Psychic phenomena does not exist so HPB was a fraud" or
> "The existence of Mahatmas with strange powers is something that cannot be
> real, so they are a product of her imagination". That's not a very
> scientific approach and even for a journalist those assumptions are
> incorrect starting points. The number of inaccuracies in the unfavorable HPB
> biographies is very high (dates, places, etc?) and this only happens because
> some of those authors were not primarily concerned in producing a rigorous
> work. They prefer to simply give their personal views, based on
> interpretations (sometimes distorted) of pre-selected events that can
> suggest that their preconceived ideas are correct.
> In the links below you can see examples of the kind of mistakes that these
> authors have in their books:
> I am not interested in wasting my time reading books that follow this line
> of thought, that's why I made that remark about Meade's book.
> I read some biographic accounts concerning HPB (Cranston, Overton Fuller,
> Olcott, Cleather, Goodrick-Clarke, Neff, Wachtmeister, Kingsland) and I'm
> satisfied with my current perspective of who she was. HPB was not perfect of
> course, but people seem to prefer focusing on her faults instead of trying
> to understand some of her actions and the conditions she had to face to
> achieve her goal. Most important of all, they forget about the message and
> teachings that she brought to the world.
> I think that a definitive biography has not been made yet, and if someone
> wants to take that enterprise, of course he/she has to take in account those
> who were against her. All possibilities must be considered, but lies must be
> discarded.
> I think that I got no answer to my questions about Emma Britten, so I will
> try again.
> Blavatsky and Emma became enemies right after the release of Art Magic? When
> did Emma leave the TS?
> I would also like to get some opinions from the members of theos-talk
> concerning Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov. He is rather popular here in Portugal in
> some circles (for example amongst some of the teachers of Lisbon's biggest
> astrology school) and it seems that the same happens in France. Don´t know
> if the same applies to the English-speaking world. Is he in some way
> connected to theosophy? His master, Peter Deunov used a lexicon that seems
> to have something in common with theosophy. Deunov also had some sort of
> connection with K, after the end of Order of the Star of the East. What is
> your opinion about Aïvanhov?
> PB
> --- In <> ,
> "Govert Schuller" <schuller@> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Paulo,
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > You bring up a lot of interesting issues. Though I can't deal with them
> all,
> > I only like to suggest that two negatives don't make a positive in this
> > investigation of HPB. The criticisms by HPB apologists of the works by HPB
> > skeptics do not amount automatically to a vindication of HPB. Though their
> > methodologies might be faulty, they still might be right. Besides that,
> even
> > Daniel admits that one can learn a lot, though with caution, from the HPB
> > biographies by Meade and Williams. As a Theosophist one might not find
> them
> > palatable, they're still important to read, even if only to get familiar
> > with what's out there fundamentally critiquing HPB.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > From: <>
> [ <> ]
> On
> > Behalf Of paulobaptista_v
> > Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:35 PM
> > To: <> 
> > Subject: theos-talk About Emma Britten and the torch-bearer of truth
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Thank you Govert for all you wrote about K. 
> > 
> > I do not agree with your perspective on Blavatsky. My ideas about her are
> > closer to Daniel's.
> > I was appalled to see Marion Meade's biography about Blavatsky mentioned
> as
> > a good book, when her statements on this video
> > 
> >
> > <
> <>
> &feature=related>
> > &feature=related
> > (check also parts 1, 3 and 4)
> > 
> > confirm the warnings made by Carrithers 
> >
> > 
> > I see no use in reading a book based on older books that are known to
> depict
> > lies. 
> > 
> > For me, the most interesting biography about Blavatsky is "Blavatsky and
> her
> > teachers", by Jean Overton Fuller. Although not a biography in a strict
> way,
> > Daniel's "The Esoteric World of Mme Blavatsky" is also extremely helpful
> if
> > you want to know the arguments of those who were for and against the Old
> > Lady.
> > 
> > I don´t have a good impression about Elizabeth Claire Prophet, although I
> > admit I do not have enough information on her. I know that in
> > there are some articles about Prophet, and I intend to read them. She won
> > the Ig Nobel prize in 2011 for predicting the end of world in the year of
> > 1990 and some of her sons have strongly criticized her. Check what one of
> > them had to say in 2006:
> > 
> >
> > m_2006.html
> > 
> > In a previous post someone mentioned Emma Hardinge Britten. As far as I am
> > aware, Emma Britten was one of the first members of the TS. In 1876 she
> > published "Art Magic", a book which was recently re-edited by Marc
> Demarest.
> > Yesterday I was searching for that passage about the "torch-bearer of
> truth"
> > in the Portuguese version of the "Key to Theosophy" and in the previous
> page
> > I found strong criticism by Blavatsky about "Art Magic".
> > 
> > She wrote: "The cycle of "Adepts," used as sledge-hammers to break the
> > theosophical heads with, began twelve years ago, with Mrs. Emma Hardinge
> > Britten's "Louis" of Art Magic and Ghost-Land, and now ends with the
> "Adept"
> > and "Author" of The Light of Egypt, a work written by Spiritualists
> against
> > Theosophy and its teachings."
> > 
> > "The spiritualistic author of Art Magic, etc., may or may not have been
> > acquainted with such an Adept [Louis, who according to Emma Britten, gave
> > much of the information contained in the book]? and saying this, I say far
> > less than what that lady has said and written about us and Theosophy for
> the
> > last several years ? that is her own business."
> > 
> > Blavatsky and Emma became enemies right after the release of Art Magic?
> When
> > did Emma leave the TS? 
> > 
> > About the 20th century "torch bearer of truth", I found these two articles
> > written by Carrithers:
> > 
> >
> > 
> >
> > 
> > and also this one published in the Winter of 2008 in Fohat
> > 
> >
> > 
> > which are of some interest, concerning this subject.
> > 
> > When we look to the last quarter of the 20th century we see a
> popularization
> > of the concepts of karma and reincarnation, mainly through the hands of
> men
> > of science. We have Raymond Moody Jr's "Life after Life" released in 1975
> > about NDEs. In 1977, the first academic article by prof. Ian Stevenson
> about
> > reincarnation was accepted by a medical journal (his work gave strong
> > support to the advocates of reincarnation). We could even add Brian Weiss'
> > books about past lives, the first being published in 1988. Buddhist
> > teachings spread widely in the West during the 1975-2000 period.
> > 
> > In astrology, we had the resurge of ancient techniques, with the
> translation
> > of valuable old books by astrologers like Robert Hand, Robert Zoller and
> > Robert Schmidt, all of them with an extensive knowledge of Greek or/and
> > Latin. This had a tremendous impact in the Art.
> > 
> > It is quite clear for me that the common man of our Western societies has
> > heard a lot about karma and reincarnation in the last 35 years. Movies
> (and
> > even soap operas) used them as plot devices. Despite of all that happened
> in
> > the 60's I guess that those concepts were not that popular in 1975 as they
> > are now.
> > There was not an intervention of a "torch- bearer of truth", nor did the
> TS
> > had an important role in the 1975-2000 period. Taking HPB words literally,
> > we can hypothesize that the course of events led to a change of strategy,
> > and the option was to popularize two core concepts, benefiting from the
> > visibility and credibility that men of science have. Of course we could
> > discuss some of their methods, especially in the case of Brian Weiss. 
> > 
> > I am sure that all that happened in the TS after Blavatsky's death surely
> > impeded the TS of being the body that could continue the work of its
> > Founders. I certainly agree with Carrithers and Redfern on this.
> > 
> > Blavatsky's words were:
> > "Towards the close of each century you will invariably find that an
> > outpouring or upheaval of spirituality ? or call it mysticism if you
> prefer
> > ? has taken place. "
> > 
> > And the question that has to be asked is if this happened in the last
> > quarter of the 20th century or not. In my opinion, yes, it has.
> > 
> > PB
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > No virus found in this message.
> > Checked by AVG -
> > Version: 2012.0.1901 / Virus Database: 2109/4757 - Release Date: 01/21/12
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >
> No virus found in this message.
> Checked by AVG -
> Version: 2012.0.1913 / Virus Database: 2112/4781 - Release Date: 02/02/12
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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