RE: Why would de Zirkoff or anyone else presume to alter the SD ? I don't get it.
Sep 08, 1998 04:19 PM
by Dallas TenBroeck
Sept 8th 1998
Why would one desire to alter the Secret Doctrine ? Is there a
secret desire to prove that in some respect the alterer is
superior to HPB or to the Masters ?
HPB showed herself a true teacher when she wrote:: Do not follow
me or my path; follow the Path I show, the Masters who are
We can see the wisdom in this advice when we consider the course
of history - of those who judged the "teaching" by what they
could see of the "teacher." They judged her by their standards.
Not by her adhesion to the Theosophy she taught.
W. q. Judge had the same judgment passed on him, historically
because he upheld HPB first, last, and all the time. Why is that
so ? Is it not because there were those who were fearful of
"authority ?" So fearful that they tried to convey the
impression that they knew better than she, and could "explain her
The results of this are plain today a 100 years later, as many
who claim to be "Theosophists," or "students of theosophy," have
scanty concepts as to what Theosophy (as a body of knowledge)
says or teaches.
That it offers the freedom from creedal restraints and is
eclectic, everyone applauds. That its societies and other
student-bodies offer forums for mutual study and debate is
recognized as a plus. But THEOSOPHY ?
How many know it chapter and verse so as to be able to explain
it to new-comers as well as to themselves. Why is it that
Theosophical doctrines cover: --
1. the 3 Fundamentals (Universality, Law, Evolution and
perfection for all),
2. the 7 Principles (Spirit, Wisdom, Mind, Emotions, Life, Model
body, physical Body),
3. the 3-fold Evolutionary scheme (Spirit, Mind, Form) -
4. the Immortality of the MONAD, and its interminable gyrations
through evolution from High to low and from low to high -
5. the development of CONSCIOUSNESS and Intelligence,
6. Reincarnation, Karma, Causality, Responsibility,
7. and Potential PERFECTION for all.
Some of HPB's critics looked actively for "mistakes." - and found
some minor ones - as to whether they were hers or those of
proof-readers is not known.
In any case those critics made claims overt or subtle to an
"authority" which she never claimed
They endeavored to minimize the only SOURCE on which reliance
could be placed, while those who were truly wise invariably
pointed to her as the Teacher to whom all alike should look.
This was Mr. Judge's attitude then and others, who have followed
that have found, and will find, where she pointed. Both can be
considered as true collaborators.
What is our present work ? Are we not striving to learn what
Theosophy can teach ? Are we not looking to be united in that
understanding ? If we try to assimilate the teachings of
Theosophy we will soon find that proofs are everywhere. Then,
differences of opinion are seen for what they are and gradually
This is not to say that some new creed should arise, or that any
dogmatism should flourish. But if a goodly number of us find
that Theosophy is accurate, should we not speak of it as such and
encourage each other to review individual findings and assure
ourselves of that universality and exactitude ? The Path is open
to all, but each has to tread it by his own will and self-choice.
Those who can read have the opportunity to look at all the
several editions that have been published, and decide for
themselves which will be the most valuable and trustworthy. The
"Kali-Yuga" moves swiftly and in 125 years we have seen unroll
many of the conditions and trials that it took Christianity over
a thousand years to witness unrolling.
A wise man once wrote: " The path of true Occultism and that of
immorality do not coincide. The Masters do not judge anyone, nor
can They "forgive" anyone for sins of omission and commission.
Masters have to use such material as exists. If anyone has
lapses, so much the worse for him and for the work. It should
also be remembered that so long as one is willing to stay in the
world for the work, he can. Each stays, or goes out in
accordance with the own desire. The door is never shut on him by
> From: Eldon B Tucker
> Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 1998 7:28 AM
> Subject: de Zirkoff edition of the SD
[speaking of the Boris de Zirkoff edition of THE SECRET DOCTRINE,
writing to Tony]
>Why change/alter the original SD in the first place? What
>logical/rational/reasonable sense does it make for anyone to
>do this? Some might describe changing/altering an author's
>work after they are 'dead and buried', without their permission,
There are a few reasons why I prefer to use Boris' edition of
THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
First is the readability of the text. The lengthy quotes in the
SD are typographically set apart from the body text, making it
much easier to tell when HPB is writing and when it's someone
she's quoting. This is not altering the author's words, but
just a typographical facelift.
Second is the accuracy in citations and in cited materials. It's
a matter of scholarship, not one of altering an author's words,
to go back to source materials, completing citations and
quotes. There's a degree of human error in setting up a book, and
this helps eliminate the part than we can check up on.
There are other minor changes. In about a year of attending
the Mailbu ULT SD class, taking my Boris edition SD, there's
only one change I've encountered that I recall. There was a
place where in the original SD it mentions the number "40"
in connection with Egyptian mythology; Boris changed it to
"42", which is what I've heard it should be. I'm not making
a case that these changes are good or bad ...
It is nice to have a portion of the original SD mss as an
appendix. It shows an earlier draft of the Stanzas of Dyzan.
The final form of "mind was naught, for there were no Ah-Hi
to contain it," originally read "mind was naught, for there
where no Dhyani-Chohans to contain it," for instance. Having
the two drafts for comparison provides, I think, additional
light on the Stanzas.
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