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The Third Eye
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Book Chat > Lobsang Rampa

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message 1: by Aaron, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments I was just wondering what everyone's opinion was of Tuesday Lobsang Rampa. I wasn't a major fan or anything, but the Tibet society refuted his works and said he was a total fraud, but I noticed a lot of what they addressed about his books was somewhat vague.

The first thing I would have addressed in their position would have been the details he related about life in Tibet. Were these things genuine or not? Do Tibetans name their Children after the days of the week? I live quite close to Tibet and I don't even know. Are the families run by the oldest female relative? Do they use paper on the windows instead of glass?

The Tibet society had a lot of issues with his overall philosophy, but he lived in a time before google, so I think it would have been somewhat pertinent if the details of his books checked out, considering he was claiming to be an incarnation.


message 2: by Nell (last edited Nov 03, 2012 07:26AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I haven't read it, Aaron. The GR reviews are pretty mixed, and apparently he was plumber from the UK...


message 3: by Aaron, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments Yes, he claimed to be possessed by a boy lama who was killed and came to him in a dream with unfinished business in the world, and he agreed to host the boy's spirit, while he wrote his books. The only thing I can't figure out was why the Tibet Society didn't point to the rituals and customs described in his work. If they'd stated they were fabrications, it would have been the quickest way to refute his claim, but they just kept wrangling about philosophy, which is something they probably do with other lamas anyway.


message 4: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Ah, I see. Maybe it depends on the era in which the boy lama was claimed to have lived. If it was very many hundreds of years ago they may have felt that times had possibly changed since then and that challenging the rituals and customs wouldn't be effective. Could you write to the Tibet Society and ask them? You've got me wondering now.


message 5: by Nell (last edited Nov 03, 2012 10:15AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I just read the preview - he mentions historical happenings as recently as 1911, so it's the modern era. I guess the author could have read up on travel tales about Tibet - explorers did get around in those days and write books about their adventures. I'd have thought that as the events in the book are within the last 100 years that the names would be checkable, but maybe not.

One thing that makes me slightly suspicious is that in the introduction he says, 'Then read my other books - all of them!'!


message 6: by Aaron, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments I'd even just be curious for my own my own sake, whether some of these things are really practiced in Gompa's. The practice of using an insense stick to burn a third eye through the forehead sounds more like Bonpo than Buddhism to me, but none of the dissenters ever mentioned whether this was true or imaginary.

I've had confirmation from some of my friends about the tendency towards matriarchy.

One of my friends is from Nepal, which is more like India in terms of religion. He married a Ladakhi girl which is more like Tibet.

He said it totally blew his mind, because his bride expected her mother to move in with them, she cried constantly, didn't do a stitch of work, and basically expected to be treated like a princess.

Meanwhile the mother in law moved in, and started up her business which was black magic for hire. My friend told me he saw her sticking a blade in the fire and then licking it, during one of her rituals.


message 7: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 252 comments I read these when I was a kid, beneath the age of discrimination. Ever since I've wondered what's behind them, so I'll follow this thread.


message 8: by Aaron, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments I'm constantly trying to revive that age.


message 9: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 252 comments Hah hah. Great answer.


message 10: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments Aaron, you're a treasury of delicious stories :) and I might even have to read The Third Eye now.

I'm not saying this is one, but there's something amazingly seductive about the novel packaged as memoir. I read Marla Morgan's Mutant Message Down Under believing it to be true. It caused a bit of a sensation at the time, as I believe she persuaded (or tricked) a Native Australian Elder into corroborating it, but it was later proved to be complete fiction. Read as truth it was powerful stuff, but most of that power fled when it was found to be untrue.


message 11: by Aaron, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments Well this is a very interesting point. I've come to the conclusion that the power of my imagination, (or anyone else's), is as valid as any "factual" finding. It's important to remember which is which, (and which one society considers valid,) but not so important to rank them in one's own mind.

I've experimented with spells I learned directly from fantasy novels, which had no pretensions of being autobiographical, or even "well researched", but were simply a flight of fancy, and they've worked.

You can tell from this paragraph that I have Sun in Pisces in the first house, and Neptune square sun. But I also have Cap rising, and like to be clear in my own head about what is what, as well as Moon in Virgo in the eighth. I love categories for magical things, and I love to obsess over them. which is why these discussions are so much fun for me.

I'm going to try to do some field research here in the Himalayas, and try to use that to cross check my own question here. I could probably find out more than google can just because of where I am. It was actually very frustrating for me when I read "The Third Eye" and realised I had no idea if his claims were true or not in spite of the fact that I live an hour away from a Tibetan colony and go there regularly to buy insense, statues, and consult the Tibetan Witch Doctor.


message 12: by Aaron, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments By the way Nell, I did write to the Tibet Society, but never received an answer.

Their main issue was with the fact that he'd used the term "God" in his works. They said that Tibetan Buddhists don't believe in God but only the Self or the Void. I think they weren't taking into account that the British part of him was still writing for western audiences and was probably trying to make the terminology accessible.

I personally don't find there's a huge difference between God, Void, and Self, for the practical intents and purposes of spirituality. Being a moon in Virgo in the eighth sort of person, I was more curious about the paper windows.


message 13: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gael Aaron wrote: "I've experimented with spells I learned directly from fantasy novels, which had no pretensions of being autobiographical, or even "well researched", but were simply a flight of fancy, and they've worked. "

There are many people who use effective magic inspired by fiction. There is a whole movement that goes along with it. I thought it was chaos, but I could be wrong.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Aaron wrote: "I'd even just be curious for my own my own sake, whether some of these things are really practiced in Gompa's. The practice of using an insense stick to burn a third eye through the forehead sounds..."

Wow, formidable mother-in-law. Wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of her.

I've had quite a few people recommend Lobsang Rampa. Never actually read any of his work yet--I think his sixties vagueness makes me hesitant (although I've read other spiritual books written then). Every opp shop I've ever been inside has had several copies of his books. Not sure what that says about his work...

Re fact and fiction, and effective magic inspired by fiction, I think the ritual is there to focus the mind and channel the energy, so anything can be made into ritual. I find this an interesting subject. The addict's ritual invokes a strange magic too, that adds to or exacerbates (depending on who you are talking to) the state entered when the substance is taken. The priest or religion's rituals help worshippers enter a mediative state. (Am I comparing religion and substance dependence? Perhaps.) If wearing a robe and chanting in Enochian aids you, fine. So too, if wearing a hat with blue flowers and holding a sacred jar of vegemite, works, then go for it.


message 15: by Catherine (last edited Apr 02, 2013 09:49AM) (new)

Catherine Veritas | 12 comments I second this thought. We are influencing the web of life all the time anyway—the ritual integrates our bodies (subtle and physical) and focuses that influence. Wisdom, gleaned from fiction, experience (experiment) or direct teaching, helps us direct our influence for the greatest benefit.


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