Birthday of H.P.B.: A Way into the Secret Doctrine
12 August is the 181st birthday of Helena P. Blavatsky and a good occasion to write some lines, especially about my experiences with her opus magnum.
It took a long time for the Secret Doctrine to get into my life. It must have been around the end of 1973 that for the first time I saw the volumes on the bookshelf of an acquaintance who for two decades played a strange role in my life. He told me that they contain very profound wisdom, but it is difficult to unlock. With a frisson of awe and at the same time a sceptical distance I looked at the books. Over the years I saw them again each time I met this peculiar friend. In 1982 he tried to “initiate” me into secrets of the teachings, but I refused – the time wasn’t ripe yet.
In 1986 I started teaching languages in a Rudolf Steiner school, and there were annual Christmas bazaars. At the bazaar there was an antiquarian bookshop, and there I saw again the black volumes – 6 big books including the index. I wanted to buy them, but didn’t dare – I didn’t want that the other teachers in the school knew about my interest. Next year, the books were still there, and again I didn’t dare. The same the following year.
In 1989 my mother-in-law was also at the bazaar, and I asked her if she could buy the books for me, which she did. So I got “my” volumes, put them on the bookshelf – but still couldn’t start reading. I had read about the importance of these teachings in the books of Alice Bailey – but they kept closed. I read great amounts of other books, I felt the thrill of these black volumes which I sometimes opened, but still I couldn’t start reading them.
In the beginning of the 90ies finally the time approached. I set up a daily discipline of reading 2 pages and making synopses which I later typed down. In about 2.5 years I had finished reading them, had tried to understand what I had read, but many things I didn’t get. I read my abstracts, got a vague idea of the topics. In the later 90ies I set out for a second march through the books, with the same method – and a little more understanding grew.
Around 1994 I read a number of biographies about H.P.B. and thought, some movie director should make a film about this extraordinary women. I wrote an article about her life and send it to two film makers, but without any reply. Later, in 2005, I made a little booklet from this script – “H.P.B. – Trailblazer for the Aquarian Age” and put it online. In 1995 I was at a spiritual conference in Santa Fe and saw there the biography of H.P.B. by Sylvia Cranston, which just had appeared, and “devoured” it. With the time I discovered there were more and more materials online. But at the same time a lot of “dust” and delusion.
On June 27th, 2004, at a meeting of the Executive Board of WTT-Global (at that time WTT-Europe), Sri Kumar gave us some hints how to study Secret Doctrine in a group. He recommended:
– Start studying the “Laws” given in Secret Doctrine, the law of alternation, periodicity, time cycles….
– Then study the Races / Root Races
– Then the Manus
– Then the Globe Chains
– Then read “Anthropogenesis”, till the end of the book
– Then “Cosmogenesis”
Thus you will have a sound foundation of the Secret Doctrine.
In our local group we started reading like this, everything about the laws, the races, and then decided to go through “Anthropogenesis” – where we still are. We meet every Sunday and read, after morning meditation and a short fire ritual, just for 30-40 minutes. Slowly a deeper understanding dawns. I read the books in English, the others in German – and sometimes we see that the translation was unclear or even irritating. Though it seems to be “a long march” the three of us who come together want to stick to it. And I read some pages every Saturday morning in the 3rd volume published by A. Besant, which isn’t counted among the “orthodox” 2 volumes.
It was fascinating for me when in January 2005 Sri Kumar gave a 2 weeks’ seminar about the Secret Doctrine, and I often came back to my notes. It was a grand panorama and a deep explanation of the interrelations.
I have gone through so many books in my life, studied so many eastern and western philosophies, but there isn’t any book which has left such a lasting imprint, though I don’t dare to say that I have fathomed the depths of the teachings.
The black (German) and white (English) books in the bookshelf
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