Yes,we can do anything except escape Karma...
Nov 28, 2001 09:18 AM
Good overview , Eldon.
>The conclusion Brendan comes to
>The evidence for the above can be seen in following links. But Daniel
>Caldwell hass never as much as with one word commented on these:
I took a quick look at the links, and note that four of
the five are signed by Brendan French. Did he give
permission for his materials to be published on that site?
With history, it's possible to make an assertion (or have
an theory) about what happened with a particular key
individual, someone in the public eye. Materials can be
gathered together that make a case for the claim. This is
more like an attorney building a case in a courtroom, where
the desired outcome is paramount, rather than the exacting,
impersonal scientist, constantly testing theory against
further observations, experimenting and adjusting theory
to external reality on an ongoing basis.
The way that a history is written is heavily biased
upon the culture and expectations of the historian.
An American historian, for instance, would write an
entirely different story of the American Revolutionary
War than a British historian. And a historian in Pakistan
might write a different story of what happened that someone
in today's America.
There's the idea of Ocam's razor. It implies that the
simplest explanation of something is usually the true
one. This approach has been abused out of mental laziness.
People will explain things in the simplest way *in terms
of their preconceived beliefs*. If someone has a paranoid
belief in conspiracies, the simplest explanation of some
crime might be "evil government agents." It's simplest
because it fits most easily into their preconceptions.
Or if someone has a heavy fundamentalist Christian bias,
they may find "the devil" as the simplest explanation of
of unexplained phenomena or events in life. Yet another
may explain things in terms of "sexism," "racism," or
"economic exploitation and class struggle."
History is not an exact science, not like physics with
clearcut experiments and results. It's more like
politics and religion, weaving tales of why things happened
and are the way that they are. Historians are story
tellers, not scientists, and write those tales fashionable
with their own culture and time. What they say may seem
accurate at the time, because it is in accord with
popular belief, and seems to explain those facts thought
important. Later generations, though, may discount their
writings as showing the biases of that particular time.
It is possible for someone to be a good Christian even
admitting the questionable accuracy of the Bible and
whether Jesus was a historic figure or lived when and
where it is popularly thought. One can be a good
Christian based upon one's character, inner live,
spiritual connectedness to the divine within, and inner
purpose in life. This does not come from Bible quotes
nor the quarreling of historians for or against things
like there being a historic Jesus.
The same is true of Theosophy. Historians can quarrel
over whatever theories strike their fancy. They can
mock, belittle, distort, misrepresent, or characterize
people of former generations. They can basically refashion
whatever happened to be what they like, much as a clever
politician can manipulate the masses. This can be done
by "true believers" in something. It can be done by
antagonistic "debunkers" of the same thing. Or it can
be done by supporters of some other belief, "the true one,"
seeking converts by disillusioning followers of a rival
belief. Everyone is capable of doing this manipulation
of the past -- and we must all watch out for it in
ourselves and in others, in order to keep our minds clear
of delusion and self-delusion.
I'd say to take what we hear with a healthy dose of
questioning, examination, and reflection, and not
automatically accept something on claimed authority.
This could be something from a politician, religionist,
and historian of whatever school.
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