Upasika Blavatsky

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Buddhism elitist?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:01 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:It's also funny you mention that considering how the early 19th century English Mason Godfrey Higgins (quoted in my signature) referred to the very ancient 'Gymnosophists' as Æthiopian, and also as followers of the Buddha. It's very interesting, being that the Gymnosophists, Sadhus, Ngakpas, and Rastafarians all have dreadlocks.
Yes, well... except that gymno (naked) sophists (philosophers) refers to the fact that their asceticism is so extreme as to take them to the point of forsaking clothing. So Higgins is clearly refering to sadhus. His characterisation of them as Ethiopians may be due to the fact that his white colonial upbringing has lead him to label anything darker than a lily-white Englander as an "Ethiopian". ie he had personal contact with Ethiopians and thus used them as a point of reference. Like later it became fashionable to label anybody darker than an Englander and lighter than a central-southern African an "Indian".
Colonial mentality!
phpBB [video]

:namaste:
PS Fela Kuti was Nigerian. I recommend you track down his biography, fascinating!
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Lhug-Pa
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Re: Is Buddhism elitist?

Post by Lhug-Pa » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:56 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Yes, well... except that gymno (naked) sophists (philosophers) refers to the fact that their asceticism is so extreme as to take them to the point of forsaking clothing. So Higgins is clearly refering to sadhus.


Yes, Sadhus, or also 'Sky-Clad' Jains, or perhaps even some schools of Buddhists. The Gymnosophists could also refer to some Sramana style schools, pre-Shakyamuni Buddhists, or even very ancient (Dravidian or even Khemetian/Nubian) Tantrikas who lived in parts of Africa, India, and other 'near-East' places. This is a deep topic that would require a lot of time and further research to delve into right now though.

gregkavarnos wrote:Colonial mentality!
I'd say the following statement is quite the opposite of the colonial mentality:

Druid and Master Mason Godfrey Higgins wrote:1. In taking a survey of the human inhabitants of the world, we find two classes, distinguished from each other by a clear and definite line of demarkation, the black and white colours of their skins. This distinguishing mark we discover to have existed in ages the most remote. If we suppose them all to have descended from one pair, the question arises, Was that pair black or white? If I were at present to say that I thought them black, I should be accused of a fondness for paradox, and I should find as few persons to agree with me, as the African negroes do when they tell Europeans that the Devil is white. (And yet no one, except a West-India planter, will deny that the poor Africans have reason on their side.) However, I say not that they were black, but I shall, in the course of this work, produce a number of extraordinary facts, which will be quite sufficient to prove, that a black race, in very early times, had more influence over the affairs of the world than has been lately suspected; and I think I shall shew, by some very striking circumstances yet existing, that the effects of this influence have not entirely passed away.
gregkavarnos wrote:His characterisation of them as Ethiopians may be due to the fact that his white colonial upbringing has lead him to label anything darker than a lily-white Englander as an "Ethiopian". ie he had personal contact with Ethiopians and thus used them as a point of reference. Like later it became fashionable to label anybody darker than an Englander and lighter than a central-southern African an "Indian".
Nah, he wasn't that naive (and even though I don't think he used the terms, I think that Godfrey Higgins was aware of the difference between Merotic and Nilotic Black people) cf:

In [i]Anacalypsis[/i], Druid and Master Mason Godfrey Higgins wrote:
BOOK I - CHAPTER IV

TWO ANCIENT ETHIOPIAS—GREAT BLACK NATION IN ASIA—THE BUDDHA OF INDIA A NEGRO—THE ARABIANS WERE CUSHITES—SHEPHERD KINGS—HINDOOS AND EGYPTIANS SIMILAR—SYRIA PEOPLED FROM INDIA
gregkavarnos wrote:
phpBB [video]

:namaste:
PS Fela Kuti was Nigerian. I recommend you track down his biography, fascinating!
I'm somewhat familiar with the music and history of Fela Kuti. Just glanced at his biography again per your suggestion too.

Black President? Considering the brutal Zionist-controlled U.S. foreign policy—which is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths of dark-skin or melanated people all around the world—which Barack Obama doesn't seem to be opposing very much if at all, Barack Obama should be listening to more Fela Kuti.

Speaking of the warmonger Barmitt Obomney, it's "Election Day"; so I'm off to—even though he isn't even a write-in at this point—go write in Ron Paul on the ballots, considering that he was perhaps the ONLY anti-war/pro-peace presidential candidate this election (I say "perhaps", because John Huntsman ran and I think that he might have been anti-war/pro-peace as well). Now even though I think that the said elections are rigged anyway, it will only take a minute to go write in Ron Paul, so that I can tell people that I wrote him in if they ask "Did you vote?" or if they say "You don't have a say if you don't vote", etc. etc. etc.


phpBB [video]



:anjali:
Last edited by Grigoris on Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited out off topic quote and added link instead.

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Grigoris
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Re: Is Buddhism elitist?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:11 pm

Druid and Master Mason Godfrey Higgins wrote:1. In taking a survey of the human inhabitants of the world, we find two classes, distinguished from each other by a clear and definite line of demarkation, the black and white colours of their skins.
Yes, well, what can one say...? Black, white, "melenated" :shrug: , all useless and irrelevant categories really.
:namaste:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is Buddhism elitist?

Post by Lhug-Pa » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:49 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Yes, well, what can one say...? Black, white, "melenated" :shrug: , all useless and irrelevant categories really.
:namaste:
Well, there are many melanated people in this world who are still affected by the greed, conquest, imperialism, colonialism, etc. of non-melanated people. Look for example at what Monsanto is trying to do to their food-supplies (of course non-melanated people are affected by this too), what the Caucasus-asian Ashkenazi/Khazars are doing to the Palestinians, what the U.S. government is doing to other non-European countries with their bombing-drones, what the Marxist-influenced (Marx was a Caucas-asian Zionist Ashkenazi) Chinese are doing to Tibet, etc. etc. etc. (I've nothing against Socialism, it's just that Marxism is a negative model because it is so materialist).

So the point that Godfrey Higgins is making, is that melanated people once had grand civilizations in ancient times, and that they weren't all illiterate and didn't all live in mud huts, etc. In fact his writings show that we owe just about everything—or at least much of what—we have to them in terms of civilization (it's easier for people to justify colonialism/imperialism to themselves when the ones who are getting invaded are seen as "sub-human", "savage", "uncivilized", "superstitious", etc.).

Anyway, this thread started to go off-topic when Tomamundsen and I started discussing the particulars of the Longchenpa quote; so if anyone wants to start a new thread, it would be a good idea to reference the quotes posted in this post (Upasika Blavatsky, Manly P. Hall, etc.) as well (or even continue this conversation in this thread.

(P.S. the quote from Upasika Blavatsky from Isis Unveiled in the here(above)-linked-thread could have something to do with the possible influence of melanin on the pineal gland that non-melanated people lack; and, regarding that: Lhug-Pa: "I'm hoping that one doesn't have to literally fit the above criteria to be a Dzogchenpa." Tomamundsen: "Doesn't seem like it. Just seems that if you don't fit the criteria there might be more difficulty.").

:anjali:

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by DGA » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:34 pm

Will wrote:
Jikan: Blavatsky's reliance on grand narratives of great races...
Not true, regarding "reliance".

Only those nowadays who are fixated on 'race', project onto Blavatsky their hobby. Spiritual evolution of groups was only a small part of Theosophy.
Race is the basis of her interpretation of history. It's not marginal to her thought, it's the logic behind her thought and its presentation.

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Lhug-Pa » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:05 pm

Jikan, I think that the influence of race on H.P. Blavatsky's writings is actually somewhere between what Will posted here and what you've posted here.

And as we can see here, H.P. Blavatsky—and one of the greatest Theosophists of all time Manly P. Hall 33º—was obviously very against the European's of her time's racial prejudices.

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:08 pm

Theosophy teaches, as foremost of all virtues, altruism and self-sacrifice, brotherhood and compassion for every living creature, without, for all that, worshipping Man or Humanity.
Blavatsky
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Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:10 am

A new topical compilation of some of Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, put together by Fiona Odgren. Have not read it yet, but it will have an appeal to those who wish not to read the entire 1400 pages of the original.

http://www.powells.com/book/timeless-tr ... 82263/61-0

Also in hardcover...
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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed May 09, 2018 11:15 pm

One of the best biographies of Blavatsky is now in pdf format:

https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/cr ... _ebook.pdf

She died 8 May, 1891.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu May 10, 2018 8:56 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:59 pm
The Gymnosophists could also refer to some Sramana style schools, pre-Shakyamuni Buddhists, or even very ancient (Dravidian or even Khemetian/Nubian) Tantrikas who lived in parts of Africa, India, and other 'near-East' places. This is a deep topic that would require a lot of time and further research to delve into right now though.
!!!?
Tantra in Africa???

Also I'm.not sure how much anyonea really knows about the religion of dravidian india.

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:47 pm

In 1887 Blavatsky was interviewed by her friend Charles Johnston, a Sanskrit scholar:

http://www.philaletheians.co.uk/study-n ... hnston.pdf
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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:47 pm

Deeply sensible of the Titanic struggle that is now in progress between materialism and the spiritual aspirations of mankind, our constant endeavor has been to gather into our several chapters, like weapons into armories, every fact and argument that can be used to aid the latter in defeating the former. Sickly and deformed child as it now is, the materialism of To-Day is born of the brutal Yesterday. Unless its growth is arrested, it may become our master. It is the bastard progeny of the French Revolution and its reaction against ages of religious bigotry and repression. To prevent the crushing of these spiritual aspirations, the blighting of these hopes, and the deadening of that intuition which teaches us of a God and a hereafter, we must show our false theologies in their naked deformity, and distinguish between divine religion and human dogmas. Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny, whether of SCIENCE or THEOLOGY.
From Blavatsky's first book of 1877, Isis Unveiled.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:20 am

No religion can prove by practical, scientific demonstration that there is such a thing as
one personal God; while the esoteric philosophy, or rather theosophy of
Gautama Buddha and Sankaracharya prove and give means to every man
to ascertain the undeniable presence of a living God in man himself,—
whether one believes in or calls his divine indweller Avalokiteswara,
Buddha, Brahma, Krishna, Jehovah, Bhagawan, Ahura-mazda, Christ, or
by whatever name—there is no such God outside of himself. The former
—the one ideal outsider—can never be demonstrated—the latter, under
whatever appellation, may always be found present if a man does not
extinguish within himself the capacity to perceive this Divine presence,
and hear the “voice” of that only manifested deity, the murmurings of the
Eternal Vach, called by the Northern and Chinese Buddhist
Avalokiteswara and Kwan-Shai-yin, and by the Christians—Logos.
Blavatsky from vol. V of her Collected Writings
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:58 am

DGA wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:34 pm
Will wrote:
Jikan: Blavatsky's reliance on grand narratives of great races...
Not true, regarding "reliance".

Only those nowadays who are fixated on 'race', project onto Blavatsky their hobby. Spiritual evolution of groups was only a small part of Theosophy.
Race is the basis of her interpretation of history. It's not marginal to her thought, it's the logic behind her thought and its presentation.
Bump.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:46 pm

Although Blavatsky's name is attached to The Secret Doctrine and many articles, she wrote little of those many pages.

One can find online articles like this one - "Leaflets From Esoteric History" - which was written by an Adept Brother, not Blavatsky.

Since rebirth is a key to the history & destiny of the human race HPB's Gurus taught her that no individual is confined to a single ethnic group or nation or race. Every individual is reborn in differing groups. Even ethnic groups or people are not eternal, their forms also die and the minds within are reborn in another group.
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:49 pm

Here is the first year of The Theosophist, a monthly that many wrote for other than Blavatsky. It was and still is published in India:

https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/th ... eos-hp.htm
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by tobes » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:27 am

I lived for a while with a group of neo-Theosophists, principally following AA Bailey.

First time in my life I've encountered proper, old school, visceral antisemitism (although unfortunately now this is everywhere). I did some research: it's there in the texts. If anyone wants to know what prapanca is, you won't find a more fitting answer.

I think racism of that kind is harder to impute in Blavatsky. I think her views are deeply untenable given how much more we now know about Indian philosophy, history etc.....but, she played an important role in treating the Indian civilisation per se with a respect largely missing from 19th century colonialist Europe. I think contemporary western Buddhists have some kind of debt to her, even if we must bear her ridiculous assertion (among others) that the Buddha reincarnated as Shankara to correct his error in 'going to far with anatman.'

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:32 am

tobes wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:27 am
thers) that the Buddha reincarnated as Shankara to correct his error in 'going to far with anatman.'
Lol, I did not know this. Thanks.

Some of my first exposure to Dharma was as a teenager through those old Theosophical society texts that would have a sutra, snippets of sutras and other writings. I feel sentimental towards them but I also have to say that some of the "commentary" veered pretty far off the path of anything related to Buddhadharma, which became pretty obvious once I studied outside of just reading this and that.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Simon E. » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:46 am

The London Buddhist Society, which had been for decades a lighthouse of pan Buddhist orthodoxy, started out a the Buddhist Lodge of the Theosophical Society. It took several decades after its foundation to shake off early distortions of Buddhadharma particularly those promulgated by the wretched Blavatsky and Olcott. Christmas Humphries never quite did, although by the end of his life he had moved a long way from the Theosophists. This gave Sangharakshita lots of material in the feud between him and Humphries. He was scholar enough to be able to drive a horse and cart through the Thesophical take on Buddhism both on doctrinal and historical grounds.

I can’t believe we are giving this stuff column inches in 2019.. Whats next? A impassioned defence of Lobsang Rampa? :lol:
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HH Tai Situ.

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Grigoris
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Re: Upasika Blavatsky

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:54 am

It never ceases to amaze me when people prefer brass to gold, zirconium to diamond.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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