Simon E. wrote:
Your reference to the Triratna org surprises me K.V.
I am not in touch with their current thinking but the various works of Madame Blavatsky which initially attracted the young Sangharakshita eventually became one of the main points of contention between him and Christmas Humphreys, who remained a Theosophist, albeit with a thin Buddhist veneer, all his life.
Mr Humphreys thought she was a great Bodhisattva.
At the risk of going far afield from the topic, and of relying on my increasingly poor memory, aren't Sangharakshita's famous comments on gender and homosexuality predicated in a kind of theosophic logic re: angels and spiritual perfection?
I'm asking because I don't know--that's not a rhetorical question.
I think Sangharakshita's split with Humphries was a sign that the Theosophical flavour of early British Buddhism was being replaced by something better informed than what was coming out of the Buddhist Society. There was also some bust up over Sanghrakshita's homosexuality and what was perceived as his rather lax attitude to vows but that is all ancient history now.
The FWBO/TBC is an interesting organization in that Sanghrakshita had - at the time - more knowledge about authentic Buddhist practice than nearly any other British person. Even so, the - I can only say - colonialist attitude of his early writings marks the movement out, in my mind, as a kind of half-way house between the Buddhist Society and the development of bases like Amaravati, Samye Ling, Throssel Hole belonging to authentic Asian lineages.
I think the TBC has progressed from that - the recent name change I think shows an awareness of some of the unconscious colonial attitudes that are built into amost any concept of "Western Buddhism". However to my mind it remains a strange mix of traditions and English romantic/aesthetic thought.
Sangharakshita and his second-in-command Subhuti have written on spiritual hierarchies - I think there was a quote along the lines of "men are to women as angels are to men" in one of the latters books. And they did come under fire for a kind of misogyny and vaunting of male homosexuality at one time.