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  1. Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev

    Pavel Axentiev

    I agree with your observations regarding the page headings. I have also wondered at their usefulness.

    A couple of things I would like to see in the analysis (or, possibly, contribute) are: 1) critical analysis of the logic behind some statements. In some places HPB uses mental devices that are at least a bit irrelevant – from the modern point of view – and could be described as logical errors; they are few and relatively insignificant; however, I find that a similar mode of thinking keeps procreating itself in modern theosophists, including those even on this forum.

    2) somewhat related to the previous point, a critique of the scientific arguments she presents. I find some of HPB’s ideas incredibly prophetic, while others, in my opinion, could and should be commented upon. I remember some concepts from embryology introduced in the first few chapters. Purely from the historical perspective, the notions have been greatly advanced in the 1.5 centuries since the writing of ‘Isis,’ and it would be a disservice to the theosophical ideas she presents not to update her arguments with the more modern discoveries.

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  2. Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev

    Pavel Axentiev

    From Col. Olcott’s Old Diary Leaves (vol. I, ch. XIII):

    She [H.P.B.] said she was writing about things she had never studied and making quotations from books she had never read in all her life: that, to test her accuracy, Prof. Corson had compared her quotations with classical works in the University Library, and had found her to be right. [. . .] In her whole life she had not done a tithe of such literary labour, yet I never knew even a managing daily journalist who could be compared with her for dogged endurance or tireless working capacity. From morning till night she would be at her desk, and it was seldom that either of us got to bed before 2 o’clock A.M. During the daytime I had my professional duties to attend to, but always, after an early dinner we would settle down together to our big writing-table and work, as if for dear life, until bodily fatigue would compel us to stop. What an experience! The education of an ordinary life-time of reading and thinking was, for me, crowded and compressed into this period of less than two years. I did not merely serve her as an amanuensis or a proof-reader, but she made me a collaborator; she caused me to utilize — it almost seemed — everything I had ever read or thought, and stimulated my brain to think out new problems that she put me in respect to occultism and metaphysics, which my education had not led me up to, and which I only came to grasp as my intuition developed under this forcing process. She worked on no fixed plan, but ideas came streaming through her mind like a perennial spring which is ever overflowing its brim. Now she would be writing upon Brahma, anon upon Babinet’s electrical “meteor-cat”; one moment she would be reverentially quoting from Porphyrious, the next from a daily newspaper or some modern pamphlet that I had just brought home; she would be adoring the perfections of the ideal Adept, but diverge for an instant to thwack Professor Tyndall or some other pet aversion of hers, in a ceaseless rivulet, each paragraph complete in itself and capable of being excised without harm to its predecessor or successor.

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