Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Thesis Update or the removal of the enlarged growth

I realized that I hadn’t posted much publicly about my thesis issues and their resolution. I blogged recently about issues around my thesis running long and the fifth chapter that I had spent a month and a half, off and on, working on.

My thesis is on the nature, structure, and role of the soul within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The fifth chapter was dealing with the soul is precursor traditions, namely all of Western religion and philosophy (by “Western” meaning derived from the Greco-Roman milieu through the Renaissance with a bit of Jewish Cabala thrown in…). This chapter was shaping up to be around 35 pages or more, which was excessive.

My thesis mentor read through my draft of the first four chapters plus this partially completed fifth chapter. He commented that the soul in the West, as a topic, could be a thesis unto itself. His advice was to do away with the chapter or make it an appendix to the work. He also told me that he’d have no problem signing off on the content of my thesis otherwise so that the work that I have been doing since the early part of the year is acceptable. This is a relief since he hadn’t read any of my drafts up until this point.

So I am going to remove the fifth chapter and dive straight into the nitty gritty of what the Golden Dawn has to say about the soul in its papers, lectures, and rituals at this point. I wish, in a way, that I hadn’t spent all of this time on the fifth chapter but at least I have a pretty fair idea concerning the nature of the soul in Western thought, which seems to be mostly derived from Aristotle for much of its history.

I’m hoping to get some time tomorrow and this weekend to work on this a bit more. Between going on the short retreat two weeks ago and being in Southern California last weekend, I haven’t had a chance to do much of anything recently. Right now I’m mostly deciphering J.F.C. Fuller’s handwriting since his copy of Bennett’s Golden Dawn material is the earliest unedited sources that I have access to (unedited except by Bennett and he was an adept in the original Golden Dawn).