RE: Theos-World relative freedoms and mutual love
Nov 02, 2001 12:59 PM
by Eldon B Tucker
At 04:53 AM 11/3/01 +1030, you wrote:
I think though that if we talk about quality of life - in the sense you
have above - then are we not talking about a relative level of material
I don't mind having a home to live in, a television,
car, washer & dryer, home computer, etc. Life would
be less comfortable without them. But I would make
a distinction between having and using material
things and being owned by them. If they dominate your
life, if there's a constant craving for more, if
having them makes you feel better than others --
It's ok to have and use a car. It's materialism to
think of oneself as better than people without cars,
and to dream and long for bigger, better, more expensive
vehicles to drive. Having a car is fine if it's in a
supporting role in one's life. It's not good if there
is anything compulsive with it.
A subtle point I've been slowly trying to make over the years
is that those brought up in this materialism - even though the encounter
theosophy and the doctrines of anti-materialism - really don't do
anything about it.
In western countries, our lifestyles are based upon
having and using certain things. We depend upon homes,
cars, telephones, televisions, computers and the
Internet, books and publishing houses, grocery stores
and the mass marketing of food, large-scale agribusiness
producing low-cost food, etc.
All this dependency on the goods and services of
others allows us to live a higher style of life
than otherwise. It's not just higher in creature
comforts, but also higher in opportunities to
learn, travel, and experience things.
Look I'm just as Hypocritical. I didn't come to
theosophy until after I married and had my first child so for me the
responsibility of raising a family outweighed what I knew was the
ultiimately right thing to do if one is honest in persuing the spiritual
path - that is sell all worldy possesions and become a roving ascetic -
meditating and helping others as I can. So I sponsor a child in africa -
Most of us are in a similar situation, where family
and friends depend upon us and we're not free to
go our own way. But I think we can progress as
rapidly where we are as we could if we were hiking
the mountains of Tibet, in search of the perfect Guru.
I never try to make money from other people (ie a profit over costs) - I
give away my artistic works at no charge - and I try to give a voice to
those who are otherwise silent. The masses who don't have internet
access and cannot influence opinion.
The Internet is becoming more democratic. It's available
for a time in many schools and libraries, and there's an
effort to make it more and more open to everyone.
We all make a gift of our time and creative energies for
the benefit of others. If you're doing art, have you
photographed any of it and put in on the Internet for
viewing by others?
My point I suppose is this : You can take the theosophist out of America
, but you can't take America out of the theosophist.
And the same is true of the Britain, the Frenchman, the
Australian, the Tibetan, etc. We all are rooted in
the culture we find ourselves. It's always a challenge
to think beyond what's commonly accepted. We face it
everyday as we study Theosophy.
Virtually all yank
theosophists have had the same response to the WTC911 - when the correct
response would be like Richard Gere's or the Dalai Llamas - these are
the voices of compassion. All I hear is 'revenge' and so-called
'justice'. Is that really theosophy? Go on justify your 'correct
I've already said what I think. The problem is not
justice or revenge, but the safety of the western
world from religious fanatics that want to use
weapons of mass destruction to kill large civilian
populations. Those specific individuals need to be
stopped before they become more successful in their
Apart from that, peaceful coexistence with peoples
of all races, faiths, and cultures is a noble
objective we can all work towards. Peace and
compassion is the general rule.
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