Title: How to study the Secret Doctrine?
Description: Learning methods
bdb - June 1, 2010 01:01 AM (GMT)
I just got a great copy of The Secret Doctrine - I've heard it said that even Ms. Blavatsky suggested that reading the work passively in order was likely to be more misleading than helpful. Is this true? How would one recommend studying The Secret Doctrine? Another common theory is to read the Proem, Summing Up, Conclusions etc in that way. How do the forum users recommend approaching The Secret Docctrine?
Nicholas - June 1, 2010 04:22 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (bdb @ May 31 2010, 06:01 PM)|
| I just got a great copy of The Secret Doctrine - I've heard it said that even Ms. Blavatsky suggested that reading the work passively in order was likely to be more misleading than helpful. Is this true? How would one recommend studying The Secret Doctrine? Another common theory is to read the Proem, Summing Up, Conclusions etc in that way. How do the forum users recommend approaching The Secret Docctrine? |
HPB's suggested approach is given in the first part of this booklet. Robert Bowen took notes on how to study the SD
just before her death. The rest of the booklet gives the SD
content in the sequence HPB suggested.http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/invit-sd/invsd-hp.htm
Nick the Pilot - June 1, 2010 05:00 AM (GMT)
Nicholas has given you some great advice. However, I take a slightly different approach to studying The Secret Doctrine
. First, I recommend you read the book O Lanoo!
This book gives an excellent overview of the themes in The Secret Doctrine
. Here is a thread on the book. http://theosophy-forum.com/index.php?showtopic=679
Here is the book's webpage.http://www.olanoo.com
Second, I have put together my own study guide for studying The Secret Doctrine
Please take a look at it and tell me what you think.
bdb - June 2, 2010 10:17 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the advice. I've made a little headway in the SD, but it's been a crazy week, so I think I'll get farther along this weekend and the next. I will check out the links Nicholas and your approach, Nick, and let you all know what I think.
Nick the Pilot - June 2, 2010 11:13 PM (GMT)
Take your time. When you get a chance, let us know what you think of what you have read in the SD so far. (Several people on this Forum are quite knowledgeable about the SD, and can give you a lot of feedback on what you are picking up from the SD.)
Nick the Pilot - June 3, 2010 03:50 PM (GMT)
By the way, how far have you gotten through the SD so far? What interesting ideas have you come across?
bdb - June 6, 2010 06:27 PM (GMT)
Have been reading the Proem, especially the three fundamental propositions. I paraphrased them both to reflect my understanding and to spur me to elucidate some unknown terms with research, really grasp it, etc.
1. open space, restlessness
2. cyclically makes all
3. all minds are one.
Nick the Pilot - June 6, 2010 10:28 PM (GMT)
Yes, the Three Fundamental Propositions are, well, fundamental to the study of Theosophy. Here is how I see them.
1. First, there is the Absolute. We do not know much about the Absolute, but we know it 'exists.' There is not a lot more that we can say about the Absolute. (But what little we know about the Absolute is a fascinating study.)
2. Everything in the universe appears in cycles. Universes themselves appear in cycles. Theosophy is really the study of cycles.
3. We are taking one little slice of one relatively small cycle (this experience known as earth) and taking a very detailed look at it.
What do you think of my ideas?
Nicholas - June 7, 2010 01:36 AM (GMT)
Here is part of what the SD says about the 1st Prop.:
|An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought — in the words of Mandukya [Upanishad], "unthinkable and unspeakable."|
To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause... is the rootless root of "all that was, is, or ever shall be." It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is "Be-ness" (in Sanskrit, Sat) rather than Being and is beyond all thought or speculation.
I do not see "restlessness" here bdb?
Nor is there "existence" Nick; but you do have "exists" in quotes?
Here, from vol. 2 of the SD, a little on Sat or THAT (Tat in Skt):
|the Logos sleepeth in the bosom of THAT which "sleepeth not," nor is it ever awake — for it is SAT or Be-ness, not a Being. It is from IT that issues the great unseen Logos, who evolves all the other logoi,|
Nick the Pilot - June 7, 2010 02:22 AM (GMT)
Yes, I put the word 'exists' in quotes, because 'exist' refers to things which 'exist' within our manifested universe, which does not include the Absolute (and many readers of this Forum are probably unfamiliar with such an idea). As you have mentioned, we do not use the word to refer to the Absolute, instead we use the word 'be-ness.' And, if I remember correctly, the word 'suchness' is also used to refer to the Absolute, is that right?
This also gets into idea that the Third Logo is manifest but the First Logo is unmanifest (a difficult concept to understand). If I remember correctly, both the First Logo and the Third Logo are said to have differentiated from the Second Logo, but only the Third Logo is said to have manifested into true existence.
I am reminded what Joy Mills said about HPB's discussion of the Absolute. Joy said that HPB said that we know practically nothing about the Absolute -- and then HPB goes on to describe several aspects of the Absolute!