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Re to Eldon

Oct 26, 2001 05:39 PM
by Jerry S

<<<With a preliminary presentation of Theosophy,
it may be best to keep things simple. To avoid
contention, we might stick to the writings of
Blavatsky and the Mahatma Letters.>>>

I can't agree with this, Eldon, for anyone, including newbies or for those
"Standing at the base of the mountain." Blavatsky is too difficult reading
for most newbies, and will mainly attract intellectuals. I had a BS and had
already studied and practiced Hindu and Buddhist yoga prior to reading her,
and so I had no trouble. The MLs contain outdated (or at least difficult
terminology) Buddhism and Hinduism, and contain lots and lots of historical
unrelated material to make them interesting or useful to newbies. I would
strongly recommend Judge for newbies, and I think that Judge is now accepted
by all TSs so he shouldn't be a problem. I consider Judge to be an easy read
for the exoteric "core teachings."

<<<There's a certain point after which a student
will say, "there's got to be something more than
this." The student can look for additional
authors to further deepen the studies.>>>

I reached this point fairly early on, and James Long provided me, on loan,
with Purucker's 2-vol set of The Estoeric Tradition which was out of print
and unavailable at that time. I have been hooked ever since.

<<<Apart from seeking bigger and better ideas, there
comes the point where one seeks ideas that are
dynamic, rather than fixed. A fixed idea is
something that does not change, but also is
dead, frozen in time, and a burden. A dynamic
idea is fluidic, live-giving, a living symbol
that gives something new every time we visit it.>>>

Can you give me an example of such a dynamic idea (other than the need for
love and compassion)? The "core teachings" are as dead-letter as they come.
I have made them alive in myself through countless hours of meditation, in
spite of the TSs rather than because of them. When I try to put some life
into the "core teachings" the response is usually (but not always) a
presentation of those very "core teachings" as if I hadn't bothered to read
them, from otherwise good-hearted and well-meaning fellow Theosophists who
are still in the "fixed idea" mode. I feel sure that you know what I mean,
as you yourself were the brunt of the same thing some years ago.

<<<The movement from fixed book learning into a
dynamic spiritual practice is self-initiated,
and comes at the appropriate stage of readiness.>>>

But as Bruce kindly pointed out, there are some folks who oppose such
self-initiation for themselves and distain (ridicule?) the thought of it for
others. I think the psychology at work here is "If I can't do, it can't be
done" although, in fairness, it may also be out of genuine (but misguided)
concern for safety. There is obviously a big problem with newbies maturing
into long-term Theosophical students and teachers - a high turn-over rate in
virtually all of the TSs. Why? Could it not possibly be BECAUSE they are not
encouraged to experiment, to meditate, to climb the lower slopes of the
mountain and especially to scale its more rugged obstacles? I was not
encouraged, and in point of fact I was highly discouraged - but I did it

<<<No one is holding one back. The only impediment
is oneself, one's unwillingness to take the next

Not true. Newbie Theosophists are flat out discouraged by older members and
even Leaders to refrain from any self-initiation. ULT and Pasadena both
highly discourage such practices, but I think Adyar may be a bit more open
to it (and unfortunately this would seem to be one of the beefs that the
other TSs have with Adyar). There are a few on these lists who would
encourage such investigation, but many more who would oppose it. The TSs
give lip service to the 3rd Objective, and discourage any actual
investigation (ALL Theosophical occultists, who I am aware of, are, or have
been, from Adyar).

<<<<I was talking about what that next step might
be. -- Eldon>>>

I agree, Eldon, that after reading and digesting the "core teachings" the
next step is understanding their inner spirit - what they actually mean.
This means going from manas to atma-buddhi, and only meditation will get us

Hope things are well with you. I haven't heard from your wife in years (she
left theos-l over the relentless CWL bashing) - hope she is OK.

Jerry S.

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