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Mar 12, 1999 01:58 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Dear Jerry and Frank:
I have been reading your postings, and somehow Jerry, I did not get that out of Frank's posting.
Agreed that the T S is a free forum and has no dogmas. Therefore anyone's ideas or questions can be asked. But: Why should anyone then call another to question for those? They are either answered or not.
I could observe that we all have strong opinions. If we are going to try to learn from each other then we ought to ask such questions as "draws the other fellow out, so that the real meaning is made clear." We would not be involved in Theosophy if we did not have great independence.
We also have the ability to think and seek to understand each other.
As to one thing that is quite clear to me: THEOSOPHY is quite different from the work and organization of any T S.
The various "theosophical bodies" only exist for the convenience of those who are seeking to find more of the truths and facts of our World and Universe. They are not sectarian, nor can they exercise any persuasive force on their members. If their by-laws seem to say this, then the members still do as they please and to please their own conscience first of all. There can be no compulsion in a philosophical system that posits the independence and freedom of Mind in every Human. And then logically demonstrates that this has to be so.
It is also quite true that we have various ways of asking or doing this. But the questions ought to be considered. If there are obviously several ways to go, then, does it not help to show the probable results of adopting one or another, or all ? I think that is helpful, and also would be "theosophical." No one ought to "demand" anything. Asking is quite different from attributing motives to another, and leaves the respondent free to answer or remain quiet for whatever reason.
How can any one of us presume to interpret the "policy" of either the Adepts or of HPB ?
We can study their recorded writings (avoiding the commentaries and qualifications of interpreters) so that we can make up our own minds. And I think that is self-growth.
I find many instances in HPB's articles and her writings and those of the Adepts which are available for us to read, that their policies are clear, and they welcome any sincere and honest approach or question. In a way we can say that all of us, whatever we may think or are, are their pupils at some level or another of progress. And the level of that "progress" is always self-determined, each by and for themselves.
So let us leave the way open to the Adepts to do what they do best -- a quiet and strong influence that pervades all sincere students and inquirers wherever they may be. I would not presume to tell another how to think or act, nor would I give an exclusive opinion. HPB time and again, offers principles and recommends that we investigate them and adopt them if they suit us.
Any conclusion we may arrive at depends on the history and nature of the inquiry and the enquirer.
I would hold that to be important for all of us.
If the TSs "fall apart" it is due to the waywardness of the "members," not to the PHILOSOPHY which remains undisturbed. But, by impairing the work of other "members" may we not be transferring our attention from the ACTUAL STUDY OF THE PHILOSOPHY to side-issues of personalities and an attempt to assign to them motives and purposes which we are not directly concerned with.
How does any body of students work? Are there not always the "few enthusiasts" who shoulder much of the organizational work -- which others are glad to be relieved of ? In so doing, do not the members (who do little or nothing) either accept the limits or the broad frontiers of the mental capacity of those "doers." If the "do-nothings" launch protests one might legitimately ask why have they waited so long to pay strict attention to the business of being a member? I say this not to daunt any such inquiry, but rather to observe that: "The price of Freedom, is Eternal Vigilance."
If one looks around at the course of various "religions" (the 'joiner-together' groups-- as "re-ligiere" in Latin means to "bind" or "tie together") as the years roll by, one can see this unfolding as the do-nothings are usually made the eventual victims of the personal schemes of the "doers." Occasionally a rebellion starts, around some valiant figure who demands that the ancient and universal principles of truth and equity be freely applied. Jesus, who came to "minister to the lost sheep of the tribe of Israel" was one such. Paul then took those treasured ethical injunctions and showed how even the Gentiles could apply and use them. Later it took Bishops such as Eusebius, and Tertullian to make the free churches into a dogmatic group and of the freedom to think into the rigidity of a credo -- a faith, the transgression of which brought torture, repression, compulsion, coercion an death.
What is past is past. We cannot undo that. If documents exist, then their reading gives an inkling of the decision that a person has reached. It says little about the debates that may have preceded that. What subsequent actions may have been taken are the responsibility of the recipient of such decisions, and so on and on.
In my opinion the T Ses do themselves no good in focusing on pleasing personalities. If you are able to compare the contents of the early magazines like LUCIFER, THEOSOPHIST, PATH for the period between 1879 and 1895 -- compare those writings with the quality of current contributions to the currently published magazines such as the THEOSOPHIST, Adyar; QUEST, Wheaton; CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST, Toronto; ENGLISH THEOSOPHIST, London; INDIAN THEOSOPHIST, Benares; NEW ZEALAND THEOSOPHIST, New Zealand; AUSTRALIAN THEOSOPHIST, Australia; THEOSOPHY magazine, Los Angeles; FOHAT, Edmonton; THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT monthly, Bombay; the HIGH-COUNTRY THEOSOPHIST, Boulder; PRTOGONUS, THEOSOPHY WORLD, Los Angeles, SUNRISE, Pasadena, DE THEOSOOF, The Hague; LA THEOSOPHIE, Paris, etc., -- the comparison is interesting and each shows where the present focus is and where the current general interest of students and members lies.
Add to this set of comparisons the quality and nature of the INTERNET postings in which many practice their editorship by sending observations, questions, criticism and answers -- which all can see, almost daily, at "theos-talk;" Theos-World, theos-l; blavatsky.net SD Study Group, etc. -- the comparisons are very interesting to study.
It is also clear that everyone is quite free to join/not join, contribute/remain silent, question/answer, criticize, encourage, and, sometimes protest.
In any case we all are living and growing together and the eventual minor discordance smoothed out and we all profit.
I am venting some of my own views and really have no one in particular in mind. I did think, Jerry, that you were a little too strong in characterizing Frank. But I am also sticking my "oar" into your waters and perhaps I should now "shut up."
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Jerry Schueler
Sent: Friday, March 12, 1999 4:57 AM
To: Theos World
Subject: Theos-World Why the TSs are Falling Apart
>>No, I am in the contrary of the opinion that it is not only the right, but
it is the duty for every true Theosophist, for every student of the pukka
Theosophy of which HPB was the direct agent, to speak out - the more when
there are sideways and traps or even lies which are smuggled into the
Theosophical Movement to destroy the work of HPB and her teachers. No one is
free of the risk to get criticized, if it seems he/she is wrong doing, no
matter if he/she is alive or dead, except he/she is claims to be an
incarnated god beyond any criticism. >>
Frank, your rationale here is exactly why the TS are fragmented
today, and will probably die out in the future. While you certainly
have the right to think this way, it is completely against the
turn-the-other-cheek policy of real Adepts and of what HPB herself
tried to inspire in her followers. You are, like so many others,
projecting your own narrow sense of truth and "lies" onto others.