Paradoxes of the Highest Science (book)

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Paradoxes of the Highest Science contains a collection of previously unpublished manuscripts by French occultist Éliphas Lévi, translated from the French by A. O. Hume and annotated by Mahatma K.H.

History

In Mahatma Letter #70-C, Master K.H. promises A. P. Sinnett to send a number of Éliphas Lévi's manuscripts "that have never been published, in a large, clear, beautiful handwriting with my comments all through."[1] This material, with the Master's comments to various portions of the manuscript appended, was eventually sent to A. O. Hume, who translated the original French into English, wrote a Preface to it, and added some notes of his own, signed "Translator." The Master's comments are signed "E.O.," which stands for "Eminent Occultist," according to Hume's statement in the Preface.[2]

Editions

  • 1883 - The first edition was published under the title Paradoxes of the Highest Science (Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press Co., Ltd., 5 Council House St.) as the second of a planned series of Theosophical Miscellanies.
  • 1922 - The second edition was published by C. Jinarajadasa (Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House), adding on the title page, "With Foot-notes by a Master of the Wisdom." Online copy

Notes by H. P. Blavatsky

Boris de Zirkoff reports that there exists in the Archives of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) a worn out copy of the Paradoxes of the Highest Science (1883), containing some marginal notes of H. P. Blavatsky's, although probably in Miss Francesca Arundale's handwriting, presumably copied by her from HPB's own notes in some other copy of the same booklet.

Below, are Blavatsky's notations.[3] The double page references are to the original Calcutta edition of 1883, and the second edition published by C. Jinarajadasa in 1922, the latter between parentheses.


Page 1(v). Immediately after the words "(By the Translator)," H. P. B. wrote:

A. O. Hume.


Page 2(vii). To the right of the letters "E. O.," she placed the mark #, and at the bottom of the page wrote:

# K.H.


Page 21(31). To the Translator's note—in which he objects to the fact that Master K. H. condemns suicide as well as homicide unconditionally, even in self-defence, and says, ". . . to allow a man to kill you, when you can prevent this by killing him, is, it seems to me, suicide to all intents and purposes." H. P. B. remarks:

A far subtler sophistry—this. H.P.B.


Page 22(32). In E.O.'s note she crossed out the word "inconnues," in his French expression: "'Pas de demi-inconnues'," and wrote on the margin:

mesures.


Page 32(46). To the Translator's note—in which he again questions the Master's better judgment, when the latter considers the Western or Christian conception of God as "a ridiculous supernumerary." H.P.B. added the remarks:

Hit number 2 and the translator giving himself out as an Adwaitee too. H. P. B.

Notes

  1. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 70c (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 215.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1989), 258, footnote.
  3. Reproduced from a long footnote in Collected Writings vol. VI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1989), pp. 258-259.