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Re: Theos-World what did Richard Taylor said?

Feb 17, 2002 05:30 PM
by Steve Stubbs


I agree with almost everything you say. However. the
sensible and reasonable tone of your post is radically
different from the loony tunes posting of certain
individuals on a certain list a couple of years ago
directed against Rich.

No, I don't think that sort of evident craziness can
be excused on the grounds that some people are
"conservative". I think my own phrase, "stupidity,
ignorance, and obscurantism" more accurately describes
what happened. Just my opinion.

I was unaware he had moved to another list. I wish I
had moved as well so I could read what he had to say.

Thanks for sharing your insights. If he surfaces
again, please let me know.


--- Eldon B Tucker <> wrote:
> At 07:23 PM 2/10/02 -0800, you wrote:
> >Eldon:
> >
> >If you have Rich's current e-mail address, may I
> >suggest writing him and inviting him to join our
> list?
> >He is far and away the most intelligent and learned
> >of all the Theosophists, and to my mind also the
> most
> >interesting.
> Steve:
> I also enjoyed his contributions. I haven't heard
> from him in a while, but my last impression was that
> he was far too busy to get involved in the
> discussions
> on a mailing list.
> >He dropped off one of the other lists
> >some time ago because the Fundamentalists accused
> him
> >of leading a conspiracy to destroy Theosophy, of
> being
> >"a sexually perverted black magician," and all
> sorts
> >of truly hilarious "charges." Some
> Fundamentalists,
> >noticing correctly that he was not as ignorant as
> they
> >were (or they as learned as he) called him
> "arrogant."
> >I thought it was hysterically funny, but Rich
> became
> >highly peeved and left, much to the detriment of
> all
> >future discussions.
> When he had more time, he was active on various
> lists,
> including theos-l and arcana-l. Later, when
> theos-talk
> was started because, in part, to avoid the high
> quantity
> of personal attacks on theos-l at the time, he also
> participated on this list. He also had his own ULT
> magazine
> for a while, called Ergates.
> I think the term "Fundamentalist" is too narrow to
> accurate describe the spectrum of beliefs and
> reactions
> that people have shown.
> In any discipline, there are those who choose to be
> the conservative supporters of the orthodox status
> quo.
> These are the guardians. There are also those who
> function
> as gatekeepers, seeking to bar passage to outsiders
> or
> those of unapproved views.
> These functions are necessary to preserve the purity
> and accuracy of a body of thought. Science has its
> barriers to new thought, designed to keep out
> quackery.
> Medicine has similar barriers to claims by would-be
> medical practitioners outside the fold of accepted
> belief.
> The same is true of any orthodoxy, any body of
> established
> truth or knowledge.
> When there is an attempt to preserve that knowledge
> against degradation, sometimes errors are made.
> These
> are "type one" and "type two" errors. Sometimes
> garbage
> is accepted into science. (Consider the paper
> written a
> few years ago as a mockery of the "Politically
> Correct"
> outlook that was taken seriously and published in an
> academic journal.) Also, at times valid truth is
> excluded
> as garbage, when it should have been embraced with
> open
> arms. We hear of this years later, when the scorned
> truth
> is finally accepted as brilliant and the fools who
> resisted it are held to ridicule.
> The same is true of any system of thought, including
> the modern day theosophical philosophy. There are
> people
> seeking to teach it as a distinct body of thought,
> others seeking to protect it against the
> introduction
> of alien ideas that they consider quackery, and yet
> others as gatekeepers seeking to hold the barbarians
> at bay.
> All this means that there are limits to how quickly
> the ideas may change, grow, or evolve over time.
> Anything
> considered a new insight would need to be validated
> as
> internally consistent with the philosophy and
> externally
> consistent with the world (as theosophists see it).
> If one is seen as presenting ideas that are too
> radically
> different, and not providing any philosophical
> justification
> as to how they might fit in with established though,
> they'd
> be seen as "barbarians at the gate" and turned
> aside.
> But this is not unique to a theosophical
> organization, but
> is true of any established system of thought.
> Rich's contributions are useful because of his
> established
> theosophical learning, combined with his knowledge
> of
> languages and advanced religious studies. It is also
> of
> further value because of his personal contacts with
> people
> in the theosophical movement, and his understanding
> of
> how theosophical organizations work.
> >Incidentally, in response to your post about
> >"absolutism," I remain stubbornly convinced that it
> >was the Fundamentalists who drove him away who were
> >wrong, and not Rich. Call me an "absolutist" if
> you
> >will, but I value learning and intelligence over
> >ignorance, stupidity, and obscurantism any day.
> He was working to introduce certain new ideas. To do
> so, he needed to make a philosophical argument as to
> how they fit in with other theosophical ideas. What
> he was doing was a combination of presenting new
> ideas
> and educating or training people to appreciate them.
> The struggle, as I see it, wasn't between ignorance,
> stupidity, and obscurantism and learning and
> intelligence.
> It was between the orthodoxy of the status quo and a
> challenge to innovate and see things differently.
> >Rich has a great deal to contribute. But then
> values
> >cannot be defended rationally, being as they are
> >formed prior to the development of rational
> thought.
> >If he ever decides to rejoin us, we will all
> benefit
> >from his knowledge. If he shows up again on some
> >other list, pls let me know so I can lurk there.
> Writing on the lists is "play time" or recess
> between
> doing substantial things like writing books or
> earning
> advanced degrees in challenging academic programs.
> What I'm looking forward to is seeing books that he
> may someday write.
> -- Eldon
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to

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