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Jupiter/Saturn and weeding

Jun 03, 1998 08:53 AM
by K Paul Johnson

Eldon, your comments tie into a current task of mine.  We're on a
computer circulation system, and at five year intervals I've gone
through the collection (the whole staff has, I do adult
nonfiction) with a list of books no one has checked out in five
years.  Most of these get "weeded" and end up in the book sale.

The Jupiterian, expansive energy is the new books (and ideas in
them) that continually come into the library.  But if there's no
complementary removal of outdated material, we would quickly
reach the limits of our shelving capacity.  So Saturn requires
the process of judgment, contraction, removal of what's no longer
relevant to people's interests.  We withdraw about 5% of the
collection every five years, averaging thus 1% per year.
Addition of new materials is commensurate.

Now, looking at Theosophy or any body of teachings as analogous
to a library, there are some aspects that are fresh, new currents
flowing in.  There are other aspects that are stale, worn,
unwanted, which should be flowing out.  And of course there are
"classics" that will remain permanently.  A healthy spiritual
organization will be cognizant of the ever-changing needs and
interests of its "readers," and will ensure a supply of fresh new
perspectives.  It will also recognize the outdated elements and
remove them to make space for newer ideas.  But a cult says "this
library as it was constituted at its founding contains all the
information anyone could possibly want or need.  Anything new is
superfluous if not downright wicked, and nothing old is
outdated.  All change is wrong."


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