Talk:The Secret Doctrine
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I'm not wild about the inclusion of the Einstein link. It's possible that Einstein did keep a copy on his desk, but to me it looks like there's a good chance it's just an urban legend. I know the links should not be held to the same standards as the text, but I worry about posting links to such dubious information.
From my understanding the secret doctrine was brought up in the conversation of hitler and his mentor Dietrich Eckart and i believed he stated that he had said "follow hitler!he will dance, but it is i who have called the tune!'i have intiated him into the secret doctrine open his centres in vision and givehim the means to communicate with the Powers. So what does the phrase 'Secret Doctrine' really mean?"
Paul, I think details about RR would better belong to the RR article itself. There the topic could be explained in detail, with the necessary information about the seven chains, globes,... instead of giving here some select citations confusing and bewildering the reader. I'm not against criticism, and I think that parts of the SD deserve to be criticized, but this topic should be treated in one single article. This is standard wikipedia practice: The Qu'uran article has no citations about Jihad or Slavery, because they are treated in separate articles (theoretically). --Loa 16:23, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
- The article should be about the content of the book. In its previous form it consisted of nothing but unexplained gushing endorsements. There was virtually no account of the book's content at all. I think that was far more 'confusing and bewildering to the reader.' Certainly more material should be added, especially about the first half of the book, but the racial aspect is quite important to the book's content, since HPB is consistently engaging with the scientific topics of her day - the age of the earth, evolution etc. This engagement is aligned to other attacks on Judeo-Christian traditions from this period. I don't quite follow the analogy with the Qur'an. Slavery is not central to the Qur'an, jihad is marginal. Root races are central to the SD. Paul B 08:00, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The article states:
"Blavatsky attempted to demonstrate that the discoveries of "materialist" science had been anticipated in the writings of ancient sages, and that materialism would soon be proven wrong." Is it me, or aren't these two things contradictory, or at least, it would take some fleshing out to explain this in context. Did she think the ancients were wrong in the things they anticipated, or does it mean that *some* aspects of "materialism" will be proven wrong, I suspect excepting the parts the ancients supposedly anticipated? It seems to suggest 1) the ancients were right about . . . something and 2) modern materialists are wrong about . . . something, but not the same things? DianaW (talk) 14:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
It is completely lopsided too use half the article on The Secret Doctrine for quotations about the "aryan race", a subject which takes up just a few lines in the work as a whole. --Vindheim (talk) 17:53, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
- Well she talks about Aryans repeatedly. However, expand the rest if you think there's too much on race. Paul B (talk) 23:06, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Too little of her writings on other 'races'?
Actually, as far as I remember from my childhood's misspent hours reading a family copy of The Secret Doctrine (actually in Swedish translation), she wrote quite a lot about the living representatives of the third an fourth root races. HPB went into details; according to her, each root race (seen over the whole time of its existence) is divided into seven 'subraces' (Swedish translation: underras), and each subrace into seven 'family races' (Swedish translation: Familjeras); she spent some effort in identifying them among the extinct, recent and future groups of humans she claimed existed/exists/will exist. My memories are very much in contradiction with the following claim in our Wikipedia article:
- "The designation aryans appears as a subgroup of the fifth rootrace, which comprises the vast majority of present humanity."
Of course HPB may have contradicted herself in this point (too), and so she may have written something like this somewhere else; but I do not remember anything of the sort. What I do remember is that she claimed that the seventh (and last) subrace of the fourth root race mainly developped and contributed to the progress of Mankind after the sinking of Atlantis, and comprises that rather large part of the Asian population which then often was called "the mongolian race". The sixth family race of this seventh subrace consists of the Chinese, she wrote; and the seventh and last family race of the seventh subrace consists of the Japanese. Since she also roughly identified the living representatives of the third root race with the high skin pigmentation level people, whether originating from Africa south of Sahara, Australia (aborigins), or elsewhere, she was very far from neglecting the number of individuals she considered to be of lower root races.
I'll put on a fact template on the sentence. When you consider the sources, please see of you didn't mix this up with two or three other things:
- HPB wrote something about the Japanese (as being the last one of the forty-nine family races of the fourth root race) still havintg history to contribute to Mankind. (I think she meant that China, recently beaten and humbled in the Opium war just had ceased its contribution.) Apart from that, only the fifth root race (and far off in the future the sixth and seventh ones) has this role. Thus, in HPB's opinion, not the vast number of individuals, but the lion's share of the contributions to the evolution of Mankind as a whole is almost reserved for the fifth root race.
- HPB indeed considered humanity as one, in the sense that a person incarnated in one race and sex in the present life might have changed that in the next incarnation. However, this does not imply that she considered all races equal. From her point of view, a lower race individual normally would mature, and thus often would reincarnate in a somewhat higher race (taking subraces and family races into account). In this view, all humans are equal, in the same sense that all children in a primary school are equal and have the same value; but that does not mean that they all are equally mature. HPB exhibits an "Onkel tom" kind of benevelonce towards the "lower races"; and more than that, since like the eight year old child later grows into a hopefully more mature young adult, the "onkel Toms" are expected to achieve the mature fifth (or higher!) root race status is some future incarnation. (She always made reservations for exceptions. If you behave really stupid in this incarnation, she thought you might be reborn in a lower race; however, this would be a temporary draw-back and run against the trend.)
- Finally, on the one hand, theosophists in general greatly rever HPB's texts in general and the Secret Doctrine in particular. On the other hand, the rasism that appears in these parts of her work are absolutely and impossibly horrible, seen from a modern perspective. It definitely is not the opinion of modern theosophists (at least none of those I met); it is quite contrary to e.g. the work in favour of idependence for India that important theosophists like Annie Besant engaged in; and I think that it also contrasts with Blavatsky's own attitudes and practice, at least as theosophists describe this. Besant definitely seemed to have a much less rasistic attitude, possibly formed in more radical circles she joined earlier, like the Fabian Society. This may be true or not; the important thing is that a lot of theosophists to-day identify both themselves and the TS as anti-rasistic, but at the same hand have a great respect for (read: strongly believe in) HPB's writings. This is a contradiction, where there in their opinion could not exist one. Therefore, they might tend to read Blavatsky in the light of what she should have written more than what she actually wrote. Many theosophists really believe that HPB wrote her texts, not quite by divine inspiration, but by help of the Masters, and sometimes in a trance; and for them it is no easy matter to accept that she simply was utterly wrong about "races". Therefore, the "solution" instead must be that she didn't really write what she seems to have written. The acceptance of this "solution" may be even easier for those who do not read HPB much directly, but rather read compilations and explanations of her ideas, by other authors. Possibly, our present article might have been slightly influenced by such interpretations.
If my last suspicion is correct, then I think that we should reconsider a clearly visible split of the stuff, in analogy with the treatment of Jesus. In the latter case, we try to cover both what scientists think of the historical person behind the legends (including the minority that does not think there was one); and the christian's view of Jesus; how this has evolved, and what it is to-day. Similarly, IMHO there is a clear encyclopædic interest in what Blavatsky actually wrote and what scolars on religion and others think were the reasons and background for this; but if we may pinpoint a different interpretation both of what she said and what she meant in theosophical circles, then this also could be of encyclopædic interest, as a separate item. JoergenB (talk) 18:02, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Because of "racism" please note this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Helena_Blavatsky#racial_theories ! Thanks --Mr flapdoodle (talk) 10:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Hypatia of Alexandria
I really do not understand what is supposed to be meant by claiming that Blavatskys work was "borrowed from Hypatia". If the intention is to claim that Blavatsky was influenced by Hypatia, it may be true, but still needs documentation (as well as rephrasing).--Vindheim (talk) 16:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
- I don't understand. Where does it say that? As far as I know none of Hypatia's writings actually survive. Paul B (talk) 16:10, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
- an anonymous editor had inserted the following (which i subsequently removed): "The work was borrowed from Hypatia of Alexandria, founder of universities in ancient Rome. Hypatia was raped and killed by Christian fanatics. Her work burned down 400 years after Caligula's reign." --Vindheim (talk) 16:51, 7 June 2008 (UTC)