I feel blessed to already have so many readers and comments that I have to explain my basic attitude to blogging and spirituality not just to theosophists, but to (Western) Buddhists as well.
First off: my basic concern is the pursuit of wisdom, not knowledge. This is what I also tried to say in my post about jnana yoga, but I’m not sure that came across.
Wisdom is for me not just the understanding of the difference and sameness of samsara with nirvana or sunyata. Though I have no doubt the ultimate insight is to that effect. In that sentence I’m keeping the ambivalence there for a reason (I’ll explain in more detail in a future post).
I’m of western upbringing. I was raised by a mathematician turned IT theoretician and a psychotherapist. My background is one with full grounding in Western style wisdom and insight. I feel I know the limitations of Western psychology as well as its blessings. The same goes for the type of knowledge western science can produce.
As a Book Buddhist I still practice the five precepts. Unlike H.P. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott I haven’t ritually taken them on (yet), but that doesn’t change the fact that I do live by them. I’ve taken and passed all the classes on Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy that Leiden University offers. I’ve learned from them, but since they were of limited number – I’ve also learned how much there is yet to know.
Many Buddhist observers have concluded that Blavatsky’s Voice of the Silence is actually a deep expression of Mahayana Buddhism. It has the stamp of approval from D.T. Suzuki the famous Zen master himself (when writing to his future wife and one time theosophist Beatrice Lane.) Theosophists reading this are welcome to note other famous Buddhists who noted the same (there are a few but this one is the one I trust best). I’ve read and reread that booklet very often.
The main teaching of the Voice of the Silence is that of the Bodhisattva Vow. This is an ideal I aspire to.
Those are my credentials as a book Buddhist. I’ll leave it to a future post (perhaps tomorrow?) to explain my understanding of wisdom in this context.