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Same Objects but.....

May 08, 1998 12:06 PM
by Thoa Thi-Kim Tran

Dear Dallas:

>To insist on one's own, is of course a sign of being flawed.  If
>the Truth is ONE, and we approach it by our particular "path" or
>"choose our way of thinking," I agree, we will only see it
>However, when one starts out to study maths, or logic, or
>geography, or painting -- there is a base of proved and reproved
>data to go on -- perhaps not all the details, but in general
>there is a consensus.  WE can of course hew out our own ways and
>methods, but perhaps some of the ground work can be saved, by
>adapting and viewing the work already done by our predecessors.
>and for me, that seems to be one of the safest ways.  I still
>have to decide what to "accept," or what to "questions," or what
>to "eject."  I cannot shirk my responsibility for that.

I agree with you that there is a basis for everything that was made new.
For example, Pablo Picasso's work was influenced by the primitive African
art work, the artwork of his predecessor Paul Cezanne, and the traditional
training he received from the Western school.  He used those influences to
create a new style called Cubism.  The resistance he received was from
people who had no idea of his influences, or who had no understanding of
his motives.  Those people would dismiss his work as trash and infantile.

You see, Dallas, the problem is not whether people have a foundation in
which to build their theories, but whether people understand each other,
and each other's motives.  I would guess that if someone spent most of
their time on an endeavor, then they would have to be passionate about that
endeavor.  Passion equates to research and time spent on an endeavor.  If
someone's result is not to my agreement, my question would be, "S/he spent
a lot of time thinking about this, researching this, but I don't agree with
it.  What is the reason?  How is that person possibly deluded?  How am I
possibly deluded?"  If my reasoning is that it does not agree with the
doctrine that I know, then I would like to investigate why, and that maybe
the problem is with the doctrine.

>In all I write, I am appealing to that consensus.  If you read
>the second page of HPB's SECRET DOCTRINE -- I mean her PREFACE
>(p. viii ) in the original edition she says, speaking of the work
>she is presenting to the reader to examine :
>"That it has many shortcomings she is fully aware;  all that she
>claims for it is that, romantic as it may seem to many, its
>logical coherence and consistency entitle this new Genesis to
>rank, at any rate, on a level with the "working hypotheses" so
>freely accepted by modern science."
>"The aim of this work may be stated thus:  to show that Nature is
>not "a fortuitous concurrence of atoms,"  and to assign to man
>his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe;  to rescue from
>degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all
>religions;  and to uncover...the fundamental unity from which
>they all spring;  finally, to show that the occult side of Nature
>has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization..
>If this is any degree accomplished, the writer is content.  It is
>written in the service of humanity..."            SD  I  viii

I think the last thing she would want is for theosophists to be dogmatic
and narrowly focused, even on her own writing.  That will make the attitude
toward her own writing no different than a Christian Fundamentalist
thumping the Bible.  At least, that should be her hope.  Otherwise, what is
theosophy for?  That was one of the reason for the birth of theosophy, to
break away from the dogmatism of religion.  I think a theosophist would be
doing her a disservice if s/he quote from any writings, HPB, Masters, etc.,
without considering whether it is true or not, in the context of other
knowledge, in the context of the world.

>How much trust would you give to a religion, or a science, or to
>a system of education that desires to possess you body and soul,
>and make you a "true believer" with no lee-way of your own --
>merely a puppet to repeat without thinking the "party line."  Or,
>toe a pre-set line ?

I would not trust any system that desires to own me, or that would not be
secure enough to calmly face any dissenting opinion.  We've all been in
organizations that desire to own us, whether it's parental, corporate,
religious, educational, or martial arts.  I've never been in one that did
not try to squash my God-given free thought.  This is basically because of
selfishness and narrow thinking, even when the idea is concern for my
welfare. Just as it is almost impossible for an individual to be free of
selfishness, it is almost impossible for the body of an organization to be
free of selfishness.  That is a necessary function of survival.  As an
individual within an organization, I have to be constantly vigilant to
realize the difference between working in harmony for the sake of an
organization, and blindly following institutional doctrine.

>Or would you feel more comfortable and at
>peace with  such systems as say in effect:   "Be free, think,
>seek, work as you devise.  The world is wide.  You are an
>immortal pupil.  Graduation depends on your decisions as to when,
>by what road, and how fast you will proceed.  Here are some
>fundamental concepts that you ought to consider.  Here they are
>for you to work on. "   And that is all.  That, in effect, is

Yes, this sounds good.  However, the problem comes when the focus of the
"fundamental concepts" is broadened, changed and made dogmatic by
individuals intent on controlling others.

And so the world goes on...

Thoa :o)

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