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57402RE: theos-talk to Govert: How I Have Grappled with the Claims of Blavatsky, etc.

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  • Govert Schuller
    Jan 28, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Daniel,



      Maybe a more pragmatic word should have been used by me instead of
      'decisive,' which might imply a demand of 100% assuredness. Indeed, nothing
      like that happens, not even in the natural sciences, or even mathematics for
      that matter.



      So, what I'm working with is just this comparative 'method' of switching
      gestalts between a Theosophical view of Theosophy and HPB and a skeptical
      view. I have lived with and explored the Theosophical view, but now I am
      exploring and deepening the other side by taking the issues presented by the
      Coulombs, Hodgson, Meade and Williams serious, not decidedly so, but as a
      hypothesis ranging between the possible and the plausible. And, of course,
      from their perspective Theosophy and HPB all look pretty bad.



      Govert



      From: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:theos-talk@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Daniel
      Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 9:27 PM
      To: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: theos-talk to Govert: How I Have Grappled with the Claims of
      Blavatsky, etc.





      Govert,

      Thanks for your comments below.

      It would be interesting to know exactly what "decisive" means to you.

      I have a friend who always tells me that we can never know anything with a
      100 percent therefore how can we ever really know anything and I always
      respond that I don't even know what 100 percent is and how would we ever
      know we had a 100 percent accuracy. Granting the force of all of what i just
      wrote about, we still do not let any of that paralyze us from having to make
      more or less working hypotheses or decisions and constantly acting upon
      them. A method that we constantly use in one form or another is what I call
      the 4 step method of discovery. This method I contend is constantly used by
      us in everyday life, in police work, courts of law, in research on
      historical subjects, scientific research, etc. THis method does not gurantee
      100 percent anything but it is the best method that I can find. If I as a
      historian reconstruct a series of historical events of a very prosaic
      nature, does that mean that my reconstruction of what happened is
      "decisive"? I guess it depends on what you mean by decisive. Certainly I
      would not say that my reconstruction is the "absolute" truth if by absolute
      you mean 100 percent guaranteed. Or if I am on a jury and I must determine
      if a person is guility beyond a "reasonable" doubt for a terrible crime, is
      my conclusion "decisive"? Yet my decision may determine the fate of this
      individual for the rest of his life!!!!!!!

      But what is the practical alternative to the above 2 scenarios and similar
      ones?

      How decisive can anything be if by that we mean decisive beyond the
      possibility of any error or any doubt......?

      For more details on what. i am getting at, see:
      How the Mind Seeks Truth: The 4-Step Process of Discovery
      http://blavatskyarchives.com/4stepprocess.htm

      Possibility versus Probability
      http://blavatskyarchives.com/possibleversusprobable.htm

      see also:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theos-talk/message/4423
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theos-talk/message/6173

      --- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com> ,
      "Govert Schuller" <schuller@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Daniel,
      >
      > As you well know there is no decisive methodology to establish the truth
      or
      > falsity of Theosophy. If one is a believer one will find enough anecdotes,
      > circumstantial evidence or personal experiences to validate one's belief.
      If
      > one is a skeptic one will find enough holes and alternate explanations to
      > come to a contrary conclusion. If there were an acceptable methodology we
      > would not have this discussion.
      >
      >
      >
      > I used to be a believer and thought there was enough convincing evidence
      to
      > support it and that in cases where genuine doubts could be raised, there
      > would be in the end innocent, exculpatory explanations. This changed with
      > sharpening my critical faculties and at a certain moment I had to admit
      that
      > it was well possible that the whole edifice was based on delusion and/or
      > outright fraud. It was a matter of gestalt-switch with the ability to
      > actually change back and forth.
      >
      >
      >
      > Because there doesn't seem to be any deciding methodology I decided to
      > suspend indefinitely the Theosophical assumptions upon which both my
      > worldview and website were based. For now I'm exploring the idea that
      > Theosophy is like other religions and spiritual movements, i.e. an
      intricate
      > give-and-take between myth-making leaders and myth-believing followers
      > satisfying a still not very well understood socio-psychological need
      shaped
      > by evolutionary pressures.
      >
      >
      >
      > From: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      [mailto:theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com> ]
      On
      > Behalf Of Daniel
      > Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:39 PM
      > To: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: theos-talk to Govert: How I Have Grappled with the Claims of
      > Blavatsky, etc.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Govert, you write:
      >
      > "It looks like that your position on HPB is a black and white one. Either
      > HPB
      > is a fraud or you have to accept her as valid and true. Nothing in the
      > middle where she might be seen as offering a mixed bag of truths and
      > falsehoods."
      >
      > My position is not black and white. A middle position is "possible." but
      > then again the black position is also possible as well as the white. but
      > regardless of what possibility you might entertain, what is the evidence
      to
      > support your contention. Plus one has to ask what is the reasoning that
      lead
      > you to interpret the evidence the way you did, etc. etc.
      >
      > IF you are convinced that HPB was in contact with adepts of a brotherhood,
      > what is the specific evidence that leads you to that conclusion?
      >
      > So tell us what is in your bag...start with the "truths" and tell us what
      > evidence, etc. leads you to these "truths".
      >
      > I have no idea what specific evidence you would deem credible and would
      > accept as validating some "truth" about HPB and her claims.
      >
      > Do you accept the testimonies of HPB and other persons during her lifetime
      > as to the existence of the masters morya and koot hoomi.
      >
      > i have compiled much of the material at:
      >
      > http://blavatskyarchives.com/chelas_on_the_mahatmas.htm
      >
      > tell us what you conclude from this testimony and evidence. what you
      accept
      > or reject and why?
      >
      > only by grappling with SPECIFICS can we get to the heart of the matter....
      >
      > i have no idea how you would grapple and interpret this material.
      >
      > daniel
      >
      > From: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      > [mailto:theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com> ]
      > On
      >
      > --- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com> ,
      > "Govert Schuller" <schuller@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear Daniel,
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > It is possible to reconcile, in theory, HPB with any post-HPB claimant
      by
      > > arguing that where they differ they would split the difference by
      > admitting
      > > that both had some untruths and/or mistakes.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > For example, if the Krishnamurti-saga was genuine in the sense that it
      was
      > > backed by the brotherhood, then any statement by HPB in contradiction
      with
      > > that idea would have to be dropped or at least shelved.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > It looks like that your position on HPB is a black and white one. Either
      > HPB
      > > is a fraud or you have to accept her as valid and true. Nothing in the
      > > middle where she might be seen as offering a mixed bag of truths and
      > > falsehoods.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > From: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      > [mailto:theos-talk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com>
      <mailto:theos-talk%40yahoogroups.com> ]
      > On
      > > Behalf Of Daniel H. Caldwell
      > > Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2012 10:10 PM
      > > To: theos talk
      > > Cc: danielhcaldwell@
      > > Subject: theos-talk How I Have Grappled with the Claims of Blavatsky,
      etc.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Pablo's article on the Masters versus the Ascended Masters and
      > > Govert's reply, etc. have made me think back to how I first came to
      > > Theosophy and my subsequent study and research.
      > >
      > > I first read about Theosophy through reading books by Annie Besant and
      > C.W.
      > > Leadbeater. It was only later that I came across THE MAHATMA LETTERS and
      > THE
      > > SECRET DOCTRINE.
      > >
      > > And then upon reading the latter 2 works, I started being quite puzzled
      by
      > > what seemed like all sorts of differences between Besant/Leadbeater and
      > The
      > > Mahatma Letters/Secret Doctrine. I remember I was quite confused by all
      of
      > > that. At that point in time I didn't have a clue as to what was what
      > or
      > > as to what was going on. I had not heard at that stage that there was a
      > > "Theosophy" that was supposedly different from "Neo-Theosophy."
      > >
      > > Without going into alot of other interesting detail, etc, as time went
      on
      > I
      > > found out that there were other people claiming also to be in contact
      with
      > > the Theosophical Masters other than HPB, CWL and AB and that most of
      these
      > > claims were made after HPB's death.
      > >
      > > Bailey, Prophet, Purucker, Judge, Tingley, Ballard, Chaney, etc. were
      some
      > > of these names I first ran across. I learned about more from time to
      > > time!!!!
      > >
      > > And after reading some of the material and books by and about these
      latter
      > > named individuals, I was even more confused! Again there seemed to be a
      > > hodgepodge of claims and teachings. What should I make of it all?
      > >
      > > I was at the point of not only being confused but also being somewhat
      > > skeptical as a result of all the multitude of contradictiory and
      > conflicting
      > > claims and counterclaims.
      > >
      > > Then I noticed that all or almost all of the later claimants were basing
      > > their claims on what Blavatsky had first claimed. That is, that she was
      in
      > > contact with Master KH and M of the Occult Brotherhood.
      > >
      > > And many of these claimants more or less said they were following in
      > > HPB's footsteps or that they were the newest messenger of the same
      > > Theosophical Masters, however they might phrase it.
      > >
      > > So I wanted to know more about the "fountain source", that is HPB, her
      > life,
      > > her claims, her work, her writings and her teachings, and also about her
      > > Teachers.
      > >
      > > If she was the one to start the ball rolling, so to speak, then it
      seemed
      > > important to go back to the beginning.....what were the original claims,
      > > teachings, etc. of H.P.B.?
      > >
      > > So over many years I took it upon myself to find out more about HPB, her
      > > life, her claims, her work, her writings, her teachings.
      > >
      > > Did her Masters really exist? Or did she just make them up as Richard
      > > Hodgson's report asserted. What was the evidence from HPB's life
      > > that would help one to decide whether what she claimed was true and that
      > she
      > > was really in contact with these Masters or whether she was just a
      > charlatan
      > > or maybe some self-hallucinating psychic or victim of her own
      subconscious
      > > mind or a tool of Satan and his demons, etc.
      > >
      > > I am by nature a very skeptical person but also I try to be open minded
      > and
      > > I also try to challenge my own assumptions and thinking.
      > >
      > > So I started collecting everything I could on Blavatsky. Writing to this
      > > scholar or Theosophical writer, this Theosophical Society or that
      > > Theosophical group, to this library or special collection, etc. etc.
      > >
      > > While I was doing all of that, I was also independently trying to
      educate
      > > myself on world religions, mythologies, philosophies, modern day "cults"
      > and
      > > minority spiritual movements, spiritualism, parapsychology,
      transpersonal
      > > pschology, mysticism, magic, ancient civilizations and a whole host of
      > other
      > > subjects since HPB of course was dealing with all these subjects
      directly
      > or
      > > indirectly in all of her writings. How could I understand what she was
      > > writing about without having more background on the subjects she was
      > dealing
      > > with, quoting from, etc.?
      > >
      > > Moving on....
      > >
      > > Could HPB perform psychic phenomena? There was alot of seemingly
      > conflicting
      > > evidence. What was what? So I studied all of that.
      > >
      > > What evidence was there that her Masters existed? I ignored her own
      > > testimony and looked for the testimony of people who meet her and knew
      her
      > > and claimed they had encountered/met her Teachers. And what did the
      > skeptic
      > > say about these Masters? etc. etc.
      > >
      > > Plus at the same time, by studying all of this testimony about
      encounters
      > > with Masters, by also looking at what HPB wrote about her Masters, who
      > they
      > > were, their nature, etc., one could start to construct from all of this
      a
      > > better picture of who these Masters were suppose to be. Plus of course
      > since
      > > we had at
      > > least 3 volumes of letters from the Masters KH and M and a few other
      > adepts,
      > > then what would these letters reveal about the supposed adepts, about
      what
      > a
      > > Master is or isn't, about the Occult Brotherhood supposedly in the
      > > background, etc.
      > >
      > > The same with all of HPB's writings. What is this Theosophy that she
      > is
      > > writing about? From a careful reading and studying of all her writings,
      > > could I come to an understanding and comprehension of this thing called
      > > Theosophy?
      > >
      > > So this is where I have devoted a great deal of my time for many, many
      > > years.
      > >
      > > In summary, I went back to Blavatsky and tried to see what were her
      > claims,
      > > her teachings, first of all simply to KNOW what they were!
      > >
      > > But of course I also wanted to know if what she claimed and taught was
      > true,
      > > valid etc. etc. or just the result of fraudulent activity, ravings of
      some
      > > sincere but deluded kook, etc.
      > >
      > > And in my mind at least was the thought that with this foundation, then
      > > maybe one might be in a somewhat better position to assess and evaluate
      > the
      > > claims made LATER by Judge, Besant, Leadbeater, Tingley, Purucker,
      Bailey,
      > > etc.
      > >
      > > It was obvious at least to me at some point that if HPB was just a fraud
      > and
      > > her Masters really didn't exist, then obviously LATER claims were
      also
      > > fraudulent and illusionary.
      > >
      > > But even if HPB's claims, etc. were valid and true, then what would
      or
      > > should one make of all these later claimants?
      > >
      > > Daniel
      > > http://hpb.cc
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
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