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respecting the right of others to decide for themselves

Feb 17, 2002 11:16 AM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 07:43 AM 2/17/02 +0000, you wrote:
Brigitte wrote:

> And those on the theos talk list who really want to know who the
> Theosophical Masters are should read Paul Johnson's two University
> New York books on the subject expecially TMR.

Readers should certainly read these two books by Johnson. But before
one naively accepts many of Johnson's statements especially
concerning Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi, one should ALSO read and
compare what is said in the following critiques ...

Read both sides of the argument instead of only one side as Brigitte
is suggesting.

Sounds like a fair suggestion to me. Read both sides.
Why would someone only mention one side of an argument?

If the goal is to fully inform others, and give them the
opportunity to think and make up their own minds, one
would provide access to all information and arguments.
That's what one does when the goal is the search for
Truth, and the rights of others to think for themselves
is respected.

If the goal is to lead others to accept a particular
belief, like politicians, religionists, and lawyers
seek, then only the evidence, materials, and arguments
supporting that view are presented. That's what one does
when the goal is to make someone accept a predetermined
belief, and their right to think for themselves is
not respected.

I have to wonder when I see Brigitte repeatedly saying
something like "read Paul's books if you want to know
the truth" rather than "read Paul's and Daniel's books
and decide for yourselves." It does look a bit one-sided.

A fair and balanced approach would mention both sides of
an argument, with an explanation following that said why
one takes a particular side to an issue. An unfair and
unbalanced approach would only mention a single side of
an argument, with those of opposing views ignored or
belittled as not worth serious consideration.

Without engaging in particular discussions, most of us
on the list can observe the dynamics of what's going on,
and learn some first hand lessons in human psychology.

Apart from the content of the discussion -- we could be
talking about the comparative merits of apple juice
versus tomato juice -- the way that people respond and
treat each other is equally important. We have both an
intellectual exchange and interpersonal dialog.

How do people learn new things? How do they consider
new ideas and beliefs? Are they open to change, or only
"crusaders" seeking to imprint a particular belief on
willing "converts"? Do we take into account the
emotional and psychological impact of what we do and
say, or just respond out of pure logic, like "Mr. Spock"
on the Star Trek series?

These are all things for all of us to consider, be we
lurkers or frequent posters. Is the effect of our
interaction kindly and saintly or cruel and hateful?
Are we quick to judge others, or forgiving of their

There's an interesting saying that I heard on the
radio a few years ago. It seems psychologically apt.
It goes: We judge ourselves by our highest ideals,
regardless of the mistakes we've made, but we judge
others by the last, worst thing they've done, regardless
of the ideals they profess. This tendency, of course,
needs to be reversed.

These issues are of theosophical concern, and not
merely to do with historic discussions. They concern
how our psyche works, and deal with the path of
self-improvement (leading to unselfishness and being
a light unto the world).

There are interplays of evil and good, hate and
love, propaganda and truth, inertia and spiritual
questing. They happen all about us. They happen in
all of us as well. How do we sort them out and
reestablish our bearings? ... That's what we here for.

-- Eldon

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