[Note on the Sufficiency of the Arhat Doctrine]
Theosophist, September, 1882
Article Selections from the Authors of “The Perfect Way” | Note by H.P.B.
“The Perfect Way”
To the Editor of The Theosophist.
For the frank recognition accorded in The Theosophist . . . to the above-named book, we—its writers—cordially thank you. There are, however, in your notice of it, certain strictures at once so injurious and so unwarranted, that we are constrained to request your insertion of the following vindication of our statements. . . .
. . . proof of your reviewer’s lack of the perceptive faculty so necessary to all students of the occult, is founded in the contempt with which he speaks of woman and the feminine in general. . . . if it, indeed, be true that it [Buddhism] is a “stern, uncompromising system of reason and logic,” as he asserts, then, in describing Christianity as “sentimental and fitted for women,” he does but confirm and justify our statements as to the need of such a development as Christianity to complete Buddhism, and to satisfy the whole humanity of both men and women, by adding Heart to Head, Conscience to Mind, and man feminine to woman masculine. Thus only can we have a perfect system of religion . . .
. . . may it not well be that the issue of the work of the Theosophical Society of India may prove not only that which its respected Founders contemplated, but more,—the sending forth of “Eirenecon” to the religious world; and that by the union of the Eastern and Western minds effected through them, may be brought to birth a new and nobler Church than any before it,—a Church having, indeed, “Buddha” and Buddhist philosophy for its circumference, but “Jesus” and Christian aspiration for its central point,—the two essential to each other, and interpreting the whole nature of Man?1
1. We must be permitted respectfully to suggest to the esteemed authors of The Perfect Way that the philosophy and the Arhat doctrine left to us by the Lord Tathagata Buddha is quite broad enough to cover both the circumference and the Central Point of whatever Church. The rays of light radiating from that Central Point stretch far enough to cover and illuminate the whole area of the inhabitable worlds. Such is the opinion of Buddhists, at least.—Ed. [H.P.B.]