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how do you draw a line between what's theosophical and non-theosophical?

Nov 01, 2001 09:23 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 03:08 PM 11/2/01 +1030, you wrote:
As I've stated to those who have contacted me privately - Where do you
draw a line between theosophy and non-theosophy?

Everyone has different expectations of a theosophical
list, and depending upon the person, something you
say might be ok or be way off in left field.

A tight definition might say only talk about quotations
from a narrowly-selected collection of classic books.

A looser definition would be to talk about the
philosophy and general religious and metaphysical themes,
putting ideas in your own words.

A still looser definition would be to talk about
politics, world events, recent discoveries in
science, historic items, and other materials that
might have deeper meanings that we could explore.

The broadest definition would be to include any item
of interest, but I'd hope there would be some connection
made between the materials and some deeper understanding
of life. An example here would be to take the Bin Laden
terrorism and relate it to a general threat of
fundamentalism and how it can affect people including
us, if unaware.

People may find it hard to extract a deeper meaning
from arguments for and against various political
conflicts in the world, like the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict. It may be possible to give all the arguments
for either side of the situation, but the situation
isn't getting solved here, and no deeper understanding
may come from rehashing the various political theories.

Another important thing is to be clear when we're
joking. We can even say, "<GRIN>" or "I'm kidding!"
prominently in the message. This is so people won't
misunderstand and think there's any ill-will or
hatefulness involved.

Coming back to your basic question, I'd say that we'd
each need to draw our own line regarding how loose
a definition of Theosophy we'd use. Even so, we need
to consider who we're writing to, and make our
writing appropriate to the people on the list. The
same is true with public speaking. If you start a talk
and see the audience falling asleep or reacting the
wrong way, you've got to consider how they're responding
and change your approach, or the talk will end up
as a dud, and people won't come back to hear you again.

If the subject line is clearly labelled, people
can pick and choose messages they're interested in,
and not feel bad when opening a message that isn't
what they'd expected.

-- Eldon

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