Theosophy

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Santi253
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:29 pm

Will wrote:Not too much is known about Blavatsky's Hindu (not Tibetan) guru...
As has repeatedly been demonstrated in this thread, Madame Blavatsky claimed to be in contact with a Tibetan guru. The Mahatma Letters also claimed to be from a Tibetan guru.

There is no evidence, as far as I've seen, to support Madame Blavatsky's and Theosophy's claim to have somehow been connected to Tibetan gurus. Ignoring a false or unsubstantiated claim doesn't make it go away.
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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:39 pm

Count on Kim to find someone hostile to HPB and theosophy and someone who never met her gurus or Blavatsky (I think).

There are plenty more out there from her day, usually churchy folk or secularists.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:47 pm

Santi253 wrote:
Will wrote:Not too much is known about Blavatsky's Hindu (not Tibetan) guru...
As has repeatedly been demonstrated in this thread, Madame Blavatsky claimed to be in contact with a Tibetan guru. The Mahatma Letters also claimed to be from a Tibetan guru.
Pardon my frankness Santi, but you have presented only assertions regarding Blavatsky.

The Mahatma Letters were from the two HINDU gurus I mentioned earlier.

HPB knew many adepts in a bodhisattva brotherhood and some were Tibetans (along with other nationalities), but her primary sources of teachings were from the two Indian gurus.
Last edited by retrofuturist on Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Frankness which violated TOS has been edited out.
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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:03 pm

Part of the reason for Olcott & Blavatsky going to Ceylon - under the Gunananda entry:
The Pānaduravādaya, [the record of the debate] was published in English in the book Buddhism and Christianity Face to Face in 1878. This book inspired Colonel HENRY STEEL OLCOTT and Madame HELENA PETROVNA BLAVATSKY, founders of the Theosophical Society, to travel to Ceylon, where they played active roles in the revival of Buddhism.
Excerpt From: Lopez, Donald S., Jr., Buswell, Robert E., Jr. Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Kim OHara
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:11 pm

Will wrote:Count on Kim to find someone hostile to HPB and theosophy and someone who never met her gurus or Blavatsky (I think).

There are plenty more out there from her day, usually churchy folk or secularists.
I'm just looking for a bit of balance, Nicholas, since you provide none at all: all of your sources in this thread are from within Theosophy, just as all of your sources in the Euthanasia thread are implacably opposed to euthanasia. If we are to have a useful discussion - which is the purpose of the board - we need both sides and (IMO) you need to argue your side rather than just plonk links and quotes in front of us.

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Santi253
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:32 pm

Kim OHara wrote: I'm just looking for a bit of balance, Nicholas, since you provide none at all: all of your sources in this thread are from within Theosophy
I've been citing sources from Theosophists as well, including Madame Blavatsky. I am not here to flip crap at people's sincerely held religious beliefs. Whether Theosophy has any helpful connection to Buddhism is a different matter.
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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:44 pm

Kim OHara wrote: I'm just looking for a bit of balance, Nicholas, since you provide none at all: all of your sources in this thread are from within Theosophy... If we are to have a useful discussion - which is the purpose of the board - we need both sides and (IMO) you need to argue your side rather than just plonk links and quotes in front of us.
Kim
Of course they are from within, just like the heart of Dhamma Wheel is the Dhamma. This thread is not for argument or advocacy, it is just showing a small movement (now) that helped support the Dhamma when it needed such a century plus ago. A helpful connection that is all.

Dharmapala Anagarika was another connection. He wanted to follow Blavatsky and her Mahatmas, but she said No, you would help humanity better by learning Pali and the Dhamma. So he took her advice.

If you crave 'discussion' or argument, then study up a little more on Theosophy (using my links & quotes, perhaps) and go ahead.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Kim OHara
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:50 am

Will wrote:
Kim OHara wrote: I'm just looking for a bit of balance, Nicholas, since you provide none at all: all of your sources in this thread are from within Theosophy... If we are to have a useful discussion - which is the purpose of the board - we need both sides and (IMO) you need to argue your side rather than just plonk links and quotes in front of us.
Kim
Of course they are from within, just like the heart of Dhamma Wheel is the Dhamma. This thread is not for argument or advocacy, it is just showing a small movement (now) that helped support the Dhamma when it needed such a century plus ago. A helpful connection that is all. ...

If you crave 'discussion' or argument, then study up a little more on Theosophy (using my links & quotes, perhaps) and go ahead.
As you say, Nicholas, "the heart of Dhamma Wheel is the Dhamma." Any discussion here is therefore in the context of the Dharma but you, who are probably the member best qualified to make connections, choose not to do so.
That's one thing. The other is that I find it very difficult to let factual errors go unchallenged, and Theosophy's own narrative about itself is riddled with them. Until you acknowledge and (if you can) explain them, I will keep on presenting other viewpoints.

Incidentally, do you know how and why wikipedia's article on K.H. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koot_Hoomi matches the Theosophy Wiki's article http://theosophy.wiki/en/Koot_Hoomi so closely?

:namaste:
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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:02 am

Kim OHara wrote: As you say, Nicholas, "the heart of Dhamma Wheel is the Dhamma." Any discussion here is therefore in the context of the Dharma but you, who are probably the member best qualified to make connections, choose not to do so.
That's one thing. The other is that I find it very difficult to let factual errors go unchallenged, and Theosophy's own narrative about itself is riddled with them. Until you acknowledge and (if you can) explain them, I will keep on presenting other viewpoints.

Incidentally, do you know how and why wikipedia's article on K.H. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koot_Hoomi matches the Theosophy Wiki's article http://theosophy.wiki/en/Koot_Hoomi so closely?
Kim
Nope, do not know why the KH articles match closely.

Although I do not like to argue (especially about doctrinal differences, which are normal), be specific and I will respond. I cannot respond to the errors you see until you cite them. One at a time please, recall my dotage!

Also if you use a secondary source, they are often just repeating slander from before, so try to not just quote 'other viewpoints' without thorough research.

Evidently you did not find the visit to Ceylon and help from Olcott & Blavatsky, nor their influence on Dharmapala 'connections' worthy of comment.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Kim OHara
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:11 am

Will wrote:
Kim OHara wrote: As you say, Nicholas, "the heart of Dhamma Wheel is the Dhamma." Any discussion here is therefore in the context of the Dharma but you, who are probably the member best qualified to make connections, choose not to do so.
That's one thing. The other is that I find it very difficult to let factual errors go unchallenged, and Theosophy's own narrative about itself is riddled with them. Until you acknowledge and (if you can) explain them, I will keep on presenting other viewpoints.

Incidentally, do you know how and why wikipedia's article on K.H. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koot_Hoomi matches the Theosophy Wiki's article http://theosophy.wiki/en/Koot_Hoomi so closely?
Kim
Nope, do not know why the KH articles match closely.

Although I do not like to argue (especially about doctrinal differences, which are normal), be specific and I will respond. I cannot respond to the errors you see until you cite them. One at a time please, recall my dotage!
Thanks - maybe later.
Also if you use a secondary source, they are often just repeating slander from before, so try to not just quote 'other viewpoints' without thorough research.
I'm quite familiar with the subject so, in a sense, I did that 'thorough research' decades ago. If I turn up anything that surprises me, I will naturally cross-check it.
Evidently you did not find the visit to Ceylon and help from Olcott & Blavatsky, nor their influence on Dharmapala 'connections' worthy of comment.
I said as much as I thought it needed - https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 60#p433440.

:namaste:
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Re: Theosophy

Post by form » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:56 pm

Theosophy is strong in their presentation of the occult anatomy and chakras meditation. Is these what the Buddha considered as unimportant or was what were presented erroneous?

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Javi
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Javi » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:42 pm

Ultimately the main problem with Theosophy is its teaching of an eternal Self, like with Hinduism.

But the contributions of Theosophists like Olcott to the spreading of the dhamma should be respected and lauded.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

Santi253
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Santi253 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:03 pm

Javi wrote: But the contributions of Theosophists like Olcott to the spreading of the dhamma should be respected and lauded.
Not everyone who's promoted the spread of Buddhism should be respected and lauded, especially if ulterior motives were involved.

Like the Theosophists, the Nazis also promoted Buddhism, in their own distorted way, to bolster their racial and occultist beliefs:
https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... -and-tibet
Last edited by Santi253 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:04 pm

Javi wrote:Ultimately the main problem with Theosophy is its teaching of an eternal Self, like with Hinduism.
Doctrine is less important, (even if 'ultimate') than the motive & effects of our thoughts, words and deeds.

Here is the ethical keynote of Theosophy as taught by Blavatsky:
Many who have never heard of the Society are Theosophists without knowing it themselves; for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations, and their sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him. Kindness, absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity, goodwill to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to oneself, are its chief features. He who teaches Theosophy preaches the gospel of goodwill; and the converse of this is true also — he who preaches the gospel of goodwill, teaches Theosophy.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Re: Theosophy

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:42 pm

Santi253 wrote:
Javi wrote: But the contributions of Theosophists like Olcott to the spreading of the dhamma should be respected and lauded.
Not everyone who's promoted the spread of Buddhism should be respected and lauded, especially if ulterior motives were involved.

Like the Theosophists, the Nazis also promoted Buddhism, in their own distorted way, to bolster their racial and occultist beliefs:
https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... -and-tibet
The Nazis thought Shambala was Thule. Cults are wont to believe all manner of delusion.

Even if theosophy promoted what has come to be understood as misunderstandings of Buddhism, some early members did indeed do a great service to the Dhamma, regardless of their other few, or many, perceived, rightly or wrongly, defects and shortfalls. I am sure they reaped the rewards of that. Whether or not that "counteracted" or "counterbalanced" X or Y action(s), true or alleged, I (and, IMO, "we") cannot say.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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