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57404RE: theos-talk About Emma Britten and the torch-bearer of truth

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  • Govert Schuller
    Jan 28, 2012
      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: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:theos-talk@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of paulobaptista_v
      Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:35 PM
      To: theos-talk@yahoogroups.com
      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

      (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

      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

      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 alpheus.org
      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:


      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.


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