Jews as Chosen People: A Theosophical Perspective

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Nick the Pilot, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Dauer,

    You said,

    "I never stated Jews aren't God's chosen people."

    --> I am glad to hear that my understanding of Jews as considering themselves to be God's chosen people has been correct all these years.

    "The issue is the concept of chosenness that such a statement refers to."

    --> Fortunately, we are all free to make an interpretation as to what it means for a group of people to consider themselves to be God's chosen people. However, I am surprised to hear that some Jews have an interpretation that is different than what many non-Jewish people (myself included) have. I am glad that we have this opportunity to share our differing opinions on the subject.

    "The nature of a covenant is that it binds both members of an agreement to keep to their part of a deal."

    --> It sounds like the Jewish covenant provides Jews with opportunities that non-Jews will never be able to benefit from. What is the "better" pay-off Jews receive for keeping their part of the covenant? Heaven? Is such a pay-off considered by Jews to be different or better than a Christian or Muslim Heaven, or a Buddhist Pureland?
     
  2. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Brian,

    I wanted to add one more thing. Blavatsky condemns dogmatic thinking, and she condemns what she characterizes as an intentional and blasphemous rewriting of Genesis, but this is not specifically directed at Jews.
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I'm afraid I'm a little short on sources at present, but I seem to recall many years ago reading on the evolution of the Nazi Party's occult influences.

    I seem to recall one inspiration was a repudiation of the Jews by Blavatsky as not fitting into her scheme of races, and that the Jewish race was therefore something of an aberration - or abomination.

    I might be able to find something in one of my Demonology books if I look, but online this is about the closest I get, which appears to mirror what I'd already read:
    Root Race Theory: Bavatsky's and other theosophy adherents theory about the 'root races' of evolving mankind, and their influence on the Nazis and Nazi Philosophy

     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Brian,

    We have heard the accusation that Jews are an inferior race. We have heard the accusation that Jews are an abomination. This is the very basis of Nazi theory that you are now sharing with us. It is unfortunate that Nazis took Theosophical theory, misrepresented it, and turned it into Nazi theory. It is also unfortunate that websites such as the one you have quoted seem to be perpetuating Nazi theory, and continuing to misrepresent it as Theosophical theory.

    It would be good to mention why such anti-Theosophical smear campaigns are occurring. Theosophy takes credit for defeating Christian missionary activity in Sri Lanka. One of the founders of Theosophy, Col. Olcott, is even considered a national hero in Sri Lanka for his efforts.

    Henry Steel Olcott and the Sinhalese Buddhist Revival

    The Christian were incensed, and went out of their way to discredit Theosophy in every way possible. There have been numerous smear campaigns against Theosophy over the years as a result, and I cannot help but wonder if you have accessed some of the anti-Theosophical propaganda which abounds on the Internet.

    It is true that Theosophy teaches that we are the fifth root-race, of what will be a total of seven root-races. But all of present-day humanity is part of the fifth root-race. The Atlanteans were the fourth root-race. The one feature of the Atlanteans is that they were giants, anywhere from 20 feet tall to 60 feet tall -- it is said they were large enough and strong enough to build Stonehenge by hand, which makes sense to me. These giants are even mentioned in the Bible, in a most undesireable way, in accordance with Theosophical teachings. Theosophy describes the Atlanteans as having started out as a good race, but that they eventually descended into debauchery. It was the Atlantean giants which were wiped out in Noah’s flood. Noah, a member of the fifth root-race, was party to the elimination of the Atlantean fourth root-race, and can be said to be part of a race that claimed to be superior to the Atlantean race, if that is the type of terminology that you wish to use.

    “…an evolved, genetically superior persons descended from the Atlanteans would take hold, displacing a people they identified as the Jews and other inferior races.”

    --> I am surprised that you are willing to post anti-Jewish and anti-Theosophical hysteria that describes Jews as being an inferior race.
     
  5. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Nick, I should have mentioned, the type of pantheism which I am referring to is what would be called Natural Pantheism. This is the type of pantheism which is described by Spinoza:

    Naturalistic pantheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It seems that your perspective is more of a classicial panthesim, but please correct me if I am wrong here. This wiki article compares a range of panthesitic views:

    Pantheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also, I note that this thread has taken a very interesting turn with the posts of Brian and Dauer. Rather than respond to them quickly, I am reviewing some of the referenced links.
     
  6. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Nick, before going into the references, I am struck by this quote. Do you believe this notion of Atlanteans being "20-60 feet tall" ? Wouldn't we find fossiles of these species ? Aren't some of the dinosaur fossiles that we have found very old, so if such as species existed we would expect to find them as well ?

    Also you say "they were large enough and strong enough to build Stonehenge by hand, which makes sense to me". Why does this make sense to you ? It makes little sense to me. It seems more likely that Stonehenge was built by a society that learned how to move heavy boulders using the princple of the level which gave them the mechanical advantage needed to move them.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    It's simply something I've seen come up a few times over the years, though it's always in reference to Nazi interpretations. However, it would be interesting to see what root - if any - there is in Blavatsky's teachings themselves.

    I wouldn't call it hysteria, as much as trying to understand the foundations of a topic in question (after all, this is a thread about the Theosophical view of the Jews!).

    Therefore because I've read something claiming association to the topic, I thought I'd raise it.
     
  8. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    The earlier quote that I posted on wiki about chosenness was attributed to R. M. Kaplan. In order to further validate this position I am searching the Reconstructionist website and I have found this one, which supports the earlier, wiki post:

     
  9. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    You're welcome to your opinion about what the Jewish concept of chosenness means but if it's not in agreement with Jewish views about chosenness then it's wrong, plain and simple, as it doesn't describe the actual Jewish concept.

    Not only some. Gentile opinions about the Jewish notion of chosenness are largely at odds with the Jewish concept. It's more unusual to find a gentile who understands and acknowledges what it's actually referring to -- chosen to receive the Torah and all of the obligations entailed by that. And that by no means excludes other people from having other types of relationships with God that are defined differently.

    That's the point. The main thing is additional responsibility. This is the reason midrash speaks of God holding a mountain over the heads of the Israelites to get them to accept and elsewhere we find the difference between a Jew and a gentile compared to that of a kohein and israelite (a kohein has greater purity laws but, as it says, that doesn't make him any better, even if he fulfills them, because God doesn't care about what a person is born as, rather his actions are what matters.) When we talk about the actual rewards mentioned in relationship to the covenant it's things like, if you keep your half then you'll have lots of children, such-and-such land and things will be good for you, and if you don't keep to it then you're gonna have a lot of bad stuff happen to you. That's not exactly a very privileged relationship. If anything non-Jews are more privileged in having to do less to be in good with God. The Jewish afterlife doesn't exclude non-Jews and the focus of Judaism isn't on the world to come. It's on this life right now.

    -- Dauer
     
  10. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Moving this post to new thread in Judaism.
     
  11. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    That is helpful and I read about that because of your comment. What I read suggested that Mr. Alcot was instrumental in the anti-mission action by bringing western propaganda methods into the fray and helping to start schools. I read that he sort of mixed Protestantism with Buddhism, though I am not sure what that could mean. It could be seen as a sort of chemical warfare against Christianity to start up an altered version of it.

    It helps explain to you how I became interested in a certain rumor about Theosophy in that other thread. I started to think that maybe the rumors about Theosophists having a hand in founding Pentecostalism might be true, but I could not find any plain information about it. It turned out to be groundless as far as I looked into it, just a rumor. Rumors are a waste of time.
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Avi,

    You asked,

    "Do you believe this notion of Atlanteans being "20-60 feet tall"?"

    --> Yes. Even the Bible says there were giants.

    “There were giants in the earth in those days....” (Genesis 6:4)

    “And there we saw the giants....” (Numbers 13:33)

    “Which also were accounted giants....” (Deuteronomy 2:11)

    “For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants....” (Deuteronomy 3:11)

    "Wouldn't we find fossiles of these species?"

    --> According to Theosophy, we have. It has been said that bones of these giants have been found, and they have been passed off as dinosaur bones and animal bones.

    "Aren't some of the dinosaur fossiles that we have found very old, so if such as species existed we would expect to find them as well?"

    --> Dinosaur fossils have also been found.

    Evidence exists today of these prehistoric giants.
    “...we may turn to the scientific journals of 1858, which spoke of a sarcophagus of giants found that year on the site of that same city. As to the ancient pagan writers — we have the evidence of Philostratus, who speaks of a giant skeleton twenty-two cubits long, as well as of another of twelve cubits ... nevertheless, it was that of a giant, as well as that other one discovered by Messecrates of Stire, at Lemnos — ‘horrible to behold,’ according to Philostratus....” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 278)

    “... the Abbe Pegues (cited in de Mirville's Pneumatologie) affirms in his curious work on ‘The Volcanoes of Greece’ that ‘in the neighbourhood of the volcanoes of the isle of Thera, giants with enormous skulls were found laid out under colossal stones....’ ” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 278)

    “Certain excavations in America in mounds and in caves, have already yielded in isolated cases groups of skeletons of nine and twelve feet high. These belong to tribes of the early Fifth Race, now degenerated to an average size of between five and six feet. But we can easily believe that the Titans and Cyclopes of old really belonged to the Fourth (Atlantean) Race, and that all the subsequent legends and allegories found in the Hindu Puranas and the Greek Hesiod and Homer, were based on the hazy reminiscences of real Titans — men of a superhuman tremendous physical power....” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 293)

    “It is at the entrance of some of these [viharas in Bamian] that five enormous statues, of what is regarded as Buddha, have been discovered or rather rediscovered in our century, as the famous Chinese traveller, Hiouen-Thsang, speaks of, and saw them, when he visited Bamian in the VIIth century.... The Buddhist Arhats and Ascetics found the five statues, and many more, now crumbled down to dust.... The largest is made to represent the First Race of mankind, its ethereal body being commemorated in hard, everlasting stone, for the instruction of future generations, as its remembrance would otherwise never have survived the Atlantean Deluge. The second — 120 feet high — represents the sweat-born; and the third — measuring 60 feet — immortalizes the race that fell, and thereby inaugurated the first physical race, born of father and mother, the last descendants of which are represented in the Statues found on Easter Isle; but they were only from 20 to 25 feet in stature at the epoch when Lemuria was submerged, after it had been nearly destroyed by volcanic fires. The Fourth Race was still smaller, though gigantic in comparison with our present Fifth Race, and the series culminated finally in the latter.... These are, then, the ‘Giants’ of antiquity, the ante- and post-diluvian Gibborim of the Bible. They lived and flourished one million rather than between three and four thousand years ago.” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 pp. 338-340)
    The Bamian statues are the Afgan statues that were blown up by the Taliban. (The Taliban, along with everyone else, mistook these as statues of Buddhist origin.) They are lifesize statues of the giants of that day.

    Bamian Statues and Theosophy

    Bamian

    "The Bamian Statues: Their Mysterious Origin" by H. P. Blavatsky

    The statues on Easter Island give a clue.
    “The Easter Island relics are, for instance, the most astounding and eloquent memorials of the primeval giants. They are as grand as they are mysterious; and one has but to examine the heads of the colossal statues, that have remained unbroken on that island, to recognize in them at a glance the features of the type and character attributed to the Fourth Race giants.” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 224)

    “Easter Island was ... taken possession of ... by some Atlanteans; who, having escaped from the cataclysm which befell their own land, settled on that remnant of Lemuria only to perish thereon, when destroyed in one day by its volcanic fires and lava.” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 326)

    “...most of the gigantic statues discovered on Easter Island, a portion of an undeniably submerged continent — as also those found on the outskirts of Gobi, a region which had been submerged for untold ages — are all between 20 and 30 feet high. The statues found by Cook on Easter Island measured almost all twenty-seven feet in height, and eight feet across the shoulders.” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 331)

    “The Easter Isles in ‘mid Pacific’ present the feature of the remaining peaks of the mountains of a submerged continent, for the reason that these peaks are thickly studded with Cyclopean statues, remnants of the civilization of a dense and cultivated people, who must have of necessity occupied a widely extended area.” (Secret Doctrine vol 1 p 322)

    “ ‘Even at the date of Cook’s visit, some of the [Easter Island] statues, measuring 27 feet in height and eight across the shoulders were lying overthrown, while others still standing appeared much larger. One of the latter was so lofty that the shade was sufficient to shelter a party of thirty persons from the heat of the sun. The platforms on which these colossal images stood averaged from thirty to forty feet in length, twelve to sixteen broad. . . . all built of hewn stone in the Cyclopean style, very much like the walls of the Temple of Pachacamac, or the ruins of Tia-Huanuco in Peru.... THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT ANY OF THE STATUES HAVE BEEN BUILT UP, BIT BY BIT, BY SCAFFOLDING ERECTED AROUND THEM’ — adds the journal very suggestively — without explaining how they could be built otherwise, unless made by giants of the same size as the statues themselves.” (Secret Doctrine vol 2 p 337)
    "Also you say "they were large enough and strong enough to build Stonehenge by hand, which makes sense to me". Why does this make sense to you ?"

    --> Because it does.

    "Why does this make sense to you ?"

    --> Because I think it is entirely possible that Stonehenge was built by hand by giants. I see no reason to automatically reject such an idea.
     
  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Dauer,

    You said,

    "You're welcome to your opinion about what the Jewish concept of chosenness means but if it's not in agreement with Jewish views about chosenness then it's wrong, plain and simple, as it doesn't describe the actual Jewish concept."

    --> My opinions come from the Bible: Deuteronomy 7:6 "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth."

    Regarding the "Jewish concept," since it differs from the concept that is described in the Bible, I feel free to choose whichever version suits me, which is the biblical version. Clearly, the biblical version characterizes God as choosing the Jewish people. I am not responsible for the fact that today's Jewish people wish to advance a version that is in contrast to what the Bible says.

    "Gentile opinions about the Jewish notion of chosenness are largely at odds with the Jewish concept."

    --> That is because Gentile opinion comes from the Bible. Jews are free to disagree with the Bible, and Gentiles are free to disagree with Jews.

    "It's more unusual to find a gentile who understands and acknowledges what it's actually referring to..."

    --> What it "actually" refers to is a matter of opinion. It would help our inter-religious discussion if you would say that your opinion is your opinion, instead of you saying that you are right and I (and other readers of the Bible) am wrong. Such declarations of "I am right, you are wrong, end of discussion" tend to put a stop to inter-religious discussions such as this one.
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Dream,

    You said,

    "...I read about [anti-Theosophical smear campaigns] because of your comment."

    --> The story in Sri Lanka is a fascinating one. The Christian missionaries had spent a lot of time and money in Sri Lanka, and were within inches of totally wiping out Buddhism in the country. In came Col. Olcott, and Buddhism was strongly reestablished in the country. The Christian missionaries were outraged. All that time, effort, and money had been for naught. It was at that moment that the missionaries set out to smear Theosophy as much as possible. There is a great deal of anti-Theosophical literature in the world – especially on the Internet – and much of it originated from this resulting smear campaign.
     
  15. earl

    earl ?

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    Nick, do you have any non-Theosophical paleontological sources to back up your Theosophical claims about fossil evidence? earl
     
  16. dauer

    dauer New Member

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    How is that at all at odds with the Jewish concept? I've never stated that Jews weren't chosen. The question is chosen for what and the answer is the covenant, as described throughout the Tanach. You're taking the verse out of context by not understanding it Jewishly. That would be like me taking theosophical writing out of context to imply that theosophy is antisemitic, something that you have protested against in this very thread.
    There is no implication of superiority or privilege here, nor does it say that the Jewish people were God's first choice. Not everything is stated in the Tanach. Some is found elsewhere. The hebrew root Q.D.Sh from which we get the word "holy" implies separation first and foremost which is very much in line with the other sources that I quoted for you. Check Amos 3:2 where being chosen is associated with punishment, not privilege. This is the nature of covenant that you don't seem to be getting. It's a two-way street that implies greater responsibility, not greater reward.



    No, gentile opinions don't come from the bible. Nowhere is there mention of superiority or privilege, only separation. Need I remind you that this is very much in the way that the kohanim are made separate by their more restrictive purity laws? That's why we have the Jewish people referred to as a nation of priests. They have more restrictive purity laws. The gentile perspective is at odds with the Tana"kh.

    You went out of your way to invite me to this thread and now I see you don't care much for understanding what the Jewish concept of chosenness actually is, that is, how a people understand their own text.



    I say it because I am right and your are wrong regarding the Jewish concept of chosenness. You are not speaking to a Jewish concept. You are speaking to an outsider understanding that's not based in the Jewish sources. This I'm willing to bet is also true in regard to other's opinions vs. yours about the antisemitism of theosophy. It is not merely my opinion that the Jewish concept isn't about superiority and privilege in the same way that it wouldn't be merely my opinion if I stated that the sukkah is associated with the festival of sukkot. It's a fact. You may have your own interpretation of what chosen means, but it's not the Jewish concept of chosenness. It's the views of an outsider taking a Jewish source out of context.

    -- Dauer
     
  17. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Nick, I have been studying this paragraph that you posted. If I understand your words correctly, Theosophy is a philosophy or religion which has a strong emphasis on "racial superiority". It seems like this emphasis on racial superiority could be used by an unscrupulous political leader to foment genocide. Can you envision how this might happen ?
     
  18. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Nick, very interesting source citations.

    I was able to find a copy of the Theosophical "Secret Doctrine" on-line. As I read it, I noticed that few references were to scientific sources. Do you agree that is the case ?

    Ref: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd-hp.htm
     
  19. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Also, I would say it is a book of mysticism and occult, do you agree with that characterization ?
     
  20. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Earl,

    You asked,

    "Nick, do you have any non-Theosophical paleontological sources to back up your Theosophical claims about fossil evidence?"

    --> No I do not. Unfortunately, I have very little free time to do such research.
     

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