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encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other sources

Sep 20, 2001 07:15 AM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 12:45 PM 9/20/01 +0930, you wrote:

>If you got to the Oxford Companion to Philosophy it paints Theosophy
>and HPB as crazy and doesn't even treat it with any credibility - 
>so I'd trust any type of reference book as far as I could throw
>it.... How many encyclopaedias have Atlantis in the fact section
>and how many in the fables and myths section?


This points out the importance of remembering sources.
One definition of a gullable person is someone whom
does not discriminate between ideas based upon their

One idea may come from a popular magazine on science,
like DISCOVER. Another idea may come from a comment
heard in a class. A third idea may come from something
heard on radio or TV. A fourth may come from a philosophical
giant like Plato. Yet another may come from original
theosophical writers like H.P. Blavatsky. And still more
may have been heard from Swami Fake-Ananda, channel for
the seventh soul of Mars.

In thinking about something, I might say to myself,
this idea comes from source Theosophy. This other
idea comes from the Besant/Leadbeater literature. This
third idea is from popularized modern science, or
perhaps a book on mathematics and chaos.

We pick up ideas from many sources, keeping those we
find appealing, hopefully labelling them as "tentative"
if we question the source. The overall collection of
ideas forms our worldview. This is how we see life.

If we practice flexibility of mind, we are open to
change our standpoint and move our thinking in new
directions. Then we're moving in the direction of
new ideas rather than rejecting ideas that don't
easily fit in with our current views.

There are several goals. One is to broaden our thinking
in the direction of that elusive ideal: Reality. Another
is to fashion for ourselves a world that matches the
experience we want out of life. How we think of things
projects outwards onto the universe an image that we
see reflected back to ourselves. That image is the
way the world works -- as we see it. A pious Christian
has a different world than a atheistic scientist, a
practicing Buddhist, or a society-focused Marxist.

One goal of spiritual training is to stop the action
of mind that creates this artificial external reality.
We learn to look upon things with original eyes,
untainted by expectation, unbiased by political and
social theory and conditioning.

In a theosophical discussion, people take different
approaches. One identifies Theosophy with their personal
metaphysics, and says "Theosophy says" when they 
should say "I think". A second is afraid to have a
personal opinion, and always stays very close to
quotes of some basic theosophical authority like Blavatsky
or her Teachers. I'd suggest a middle ground, where
we keep aware of the basic concepts, but use them as
a starting point to our explorations, rather than as
the final goal.

Seeking a growing understanding of Reality, we have to
consider all sources. We need to sort things out and
keep track of them. We should be open to growth, change,
and personal transformation. And we should treat as
brothers our fellow seekers, people whom may be struggling
with understanding different aspects of Reality that we
have taken on in this lifetime.

-- Eldon

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