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Movements and members

Jun 17, 1998 09:16 AM
by K Paul Johnson

Hi Jake,

Thanks for your comments.  The remark about the orientation of
the "movement" wasn't in anger but in sorrow, so my teeth weren't
showing.  But I do stand corrected, as it's an unsupported
generalization.  I continue to be perplexed at how most
individual Theosophists I've known are open, flexible, supportive
of a wide variety of approaches-- and yet the movement itself
seems to be the opposite of all those things.  By which I mean
that those in power or positions of influence in the various
organizations seem far more dogmatic and narrowminded and focused
on a specific belief system centered on HPB than the general run
of members.  And what gets published or scheduled in conferences
is determined by that subset of members.  Guess it's mostly a matter of
which people are motivated to seek such power and influence-- the truest
believers, in general.  Anyhow, I was vague and thus unfair in my
remarks about the "movement" and should have been more specific.

Something weird about ARE, though, is that the higher ups seem
generally more open to skeptical views, less dogmatic than the
average active member.  I think that's the influence of the Cayce
family which has fought against making Edgar into an infallible
authority figure, despite that being what many people want.

Yes, I think there's a definite parallel between ego defense and
physical self-defense mechanisms, and all the same physiological
reactions occur in either one.  Maybe part of the value of the
Internet is to help us disentangle those reactions.  If you've
been ferociously attacked by some stranger on the other side of
the country or the globe over a religious or political argument a thousand
times (as I reckon I have) that fight-or-flight stress reaction starts
to fade, out of simple familiarity with the phenomenon.  You
learn to shrug where you once would have hit the ceiling.
I've suggested before that all the hate spewed on the Net is a kind of
end-of-millennium Armageddon, a war of all against all, but it's
thereby a kind of purging process preparing us to communicate
more harmoniously and effectively in the future.


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