A fellow theosophist once told me that he declined an offer to write a commentary on The Secret Doctrine. He turned down the offer because he realized that, with each re-reading of The Secret Doctrine, its "meaning" changed in our minds. But it is precisely this changing and evolving meaning that I have tried to chart. There is complexity because the stream of life is reflecting different images at the various observational points in its flow.
For example, H.P. Blavatsky on the seven rays of Mahat: 1) Mahat as the 3rd Logos can be spoken of as having seven rays in the lower seven-fold universe 2) Mahat as the 5th cosmic principle merged in the 7th cosmic principle can be spoken of as having seven rays 3) Mahat as the 5th cosmic principle can be spoken of as having seven rays in the solar suns.
For example, H.P. Blavatsky on the Brahmans: 1) the Brahmans can be spoken of as the Third Root-Race, 7th Sub-Race 2) the Brahmans can be spoken of as the Fifth Root-Race, 3rd Sub-Race 3) the Brahmans can be spoken of as the Fifth Root-Race, 4th Sub-Race, 3rd Family Race.
As William Q. Judge said, theosophy is a stream of consciousness philosophy. This sense of changing and evolving is simply a matter of "when" and "where" we are looking into the stream.
I don't know that the "complexity" is able to spring forth when we need it. I have heard it said many times, but I am not convinced. Many years ago, a friend told me that he couldn't "get" what H.P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker were saying because in one book they would make one statement (which seemed to make sense) and then in another book they would make an opposite statement (which also seemed to make sense). And so nowhere could he obtain a clear sense of the actual theosphical teaching. This was done on purpose to protect the teachings but, in protecting them, they prevented anyone from having available at his fingertips the "complexity" when we need it.
In a way, the inability for anyone to grasp the "complexity" has forced theosophists to remain on the barre. No one dares leave it for fear of making an incorrect statement. H.P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker both built this into the system. And yet to grasp the "complexity" is to have to leave the barre and completely rewrite how one thinks about theosophy. One has to play fast and loose, or one cannot dance. I think Natalie Portman's 2010 film, The Black Swan, makes my point. To play the White Swan, she also has to play the Black Swan. This is why I wrote in Letter 3, Waters of Life, that "there is something nourishing in the darkness. We are vilified for experimenting with what is at the center of our lives."
Whatever I have gotten right and whatever I have gotten wrong, I recognize that the "when" and "where" of myself is no more than one moment at a certain point in the stream of life reflecting an image back to others. And when I go down someday for the long dive into those waters, my image may remain with a few for a short while, and then it will disappear.
As always, D.
(Photo by Danica Tanjutco on Unsplash)