From page XXviii from the first volume

   A “scientific treatment” of a subject is no guarantee for its “historical basis”; and with such scarcity of data on hand, no philologist, even among the most eminent, is justified in giving out his own conclusions for historical facts. No doubt, the eminent Orientalist has proved thoroughly to the world’s satisfaction, that according to Grimm’s law of phonetic rules, Odin and Buddha are two different personages, quite distinct from each other, and he has shown it scientifically. When, however he takes the opportunity of saying in the same breath that Odin “was worshipped as the supreme deity during a period long anterior to the age of the Veda and of Homer” (Compar. Theol., p. 318), he has not the slightest “historical basis” for it. He makes history and fact subservient to his own conclusions, which may be very “scientific,” in the sight of Oriental scholars, but yet very wide of the mark of actual truth. The conflicting views on the subject of chronology, in the case of the Vedas, of the various eminent philologists and Orientalists, from Martin Haug down to Mr. Max Müller himself, are an evident proof that the statement has no historical basis to stand upon, “internal evidence” being very often a Jack-o’-lantern, instead of a safe beacon to follow. Nor has the Science of modern Comparative Mythology any better proof to show, that those learned writers, who have insisted for the last century or so that there must have been “fragments of a primeval revelation, granted to the ancestors of the whole race of mankind. . . preserved in the temples of Greece and Italy,” were entirely wrong. For this is what all the Eastern Initiates and Pundits have been proclaiming to the world from time to time. While a prominent Cinghalese priest assured the writer that it was well known that the most important Buddhist tracts belonging to the sacred canon were stored away in countries and places inaccessible to the European pundits, the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, the greatest Sanskritist of his day in India, assured some members of the Theosophical Society of the same fact with regard to ancient Brahmanical works. When told that Professor Max Müller had declared to the audiences of his “Lectures” that the theory . . .“that there was a primeval preternatural revelation granted to the fathers of the human race, finds but few supporters at present,”—the holy and learned man laughed. His answer was suggestive. “If Mr. Moksh Mooller, as he pronounced the name, were a Brahmin, and came with me, I might take him to a gupta cave (a secret crypt) near Okhee Math, in the Himalayas, where he would soon find out that what crossed the Kalapani (the black waters of the ocean) from India to Europe were only the bits of rejected copies of some passages from our sacred books. There was a “primeval revelation,” and it still exists; nor will it ever be lost to the world, but will reappear; though the Mlechchhas will of course have to wait.”

Your Thoughts and Comments please.

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Have European and Western Scholars over the past 125 years by in large  been a help or a hindrance in getting the teachings of the Secret Doctrine taken seriously in the West?


I'm optimistic - there has been a lot of good work done in that direction, but I think one has to dig around for it - some more recent textbooks on mythology look quite good in terms of open-minded, comparative, spiritual outlooks - there's Thomas McEvilley -2002,The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophieswhich boldly takes up the ancient notion of the oriential origin of Greek wisdon theory again.

I think post-modernism has helped to get away from the rigid materialistic modernist outlook, so people are willing to look at ancient sources with a more open mind. So there's a lot of good things being done out there... although is some respects, the comparative approach is not as good as it was back then...


What encouraging words.  You obviously know how to find silver linings.  Thank you for this.

In The Mahatma Letters To A. P. Sinnett on the bottom of page 40 and the top of 41, K. H. provides some Philosophical and Theoretical teachings to Sinnett which appear to be closely aligned with Blavatsky's quoted statements in this paragraph.

She speaks about those learned writers who have revealed to the world, from time to time, that there must have been;

Fragments of a primeval revelation, granted to the ancestors of the whole race of mankind....

She also provides a response to Max Muller's declaration that there were few supporters in their time for the theory,

That there was a primeval preternatural revelation granted to the fathers of the human race.

Finally Blavatsky reiterates there was a "primeval revelation", and it still exists nor will it ever be lost to the world, but will reappear......

K. H. explains in Letter no. Nine,

the highest Planetary Spirits, [are] those, who can no longer err. But these appear on Earth but at the origin of every NEW human kind; at the junction of, land close of the two ends of the great cycle. And they remain with man no longer than the time required for the eternal truths they teach to impress themselves so forcibly upon the plastic minds of the new races as to warrant them from being lost or entirely forgotten in ages hereafter, by the forthcoming generations. The mission of the planetary Spirit is but to strike the KEYNOTE OF TRUTH. Once he has directed the vibration of the latter to run its course uninterruptedly along the catenation of that race and to the end of the cycle-the denizen of the highest inhabited sphere disappears from the surface of our planet- till the following "resurrection of flesh." The vibrations of the Primitive Truth are what your philosophers name "innate ideas."

Here's an interesting book:

Science of the cosmos, science of the soul : the pertinence of Islamic cosmology in the modern world - William C Chittick - Oxford : Oneworld, 2007. Here's what the intro states:

Islamic Intellectualism is dead: or so argues William Chittick in this new book. Whilst many may say that Islamic studies thrives as a subject, Chittick points to the words of one of his former Professors when describing young colleagues: they know everything one can possibly know about a text, except what it says. Indeed, Chittick states that it is impossible to understand ancient Islamic texts without the years of contemplative study that are anathema to the modern education system. While modern intellectuals with faith often treat their studies and faith in two separate spheres, Chittick argues that it is essential to return to the ways of the ancient Sufis, who viewed knowledge of the soul, the world, and God as an extension of the same thing.