the work is more important than the tools
Feb 20, 2002 06:57 PM
by Eldon B Tucker
If the System of Theosophical philosophy is correct, it
encompasses the world, and is not limited to those who think of
themselves as "Theosophists." Then, if correct, the kind of
organization you seem to think of already exists. It is made up
of many individuals who may or may not be affiliated with other
There are many levels to Truth. The highest is archetypal,
unchanging, beyond any particular place or time. Then there
are various levels of understanding it, and classes of
beings that embody that understanding, from Gods to Demigods
to Heroes to Men.
To this point in time, humanity has pioneered its understanding
of the universe. Certain higher knowledge is preserved by the
spiritual elect of humanity. Portions of that knowledge exist
in various commonly-held systems of thought. One such system
of thought is the Theosophy as presented by Blavatsky.
It is the affiliation of many free-choosing individuals that
builds an organization, and not the "organization" that molds the
individual. Each human being is a "king" unto themselves. Ideas
may come from anywhere, but ultimately every "idea" has to be
mulled over, considered and accepted, modified, or rejected by
the free INDIVIDUAL -- the SPIRITUAL EGO -- who is the Real
Person within each of us.
Understanding the ideas and making them a part of one's
life is important. But the Teachings go beyond brain-mind
ideas. They involve the intuition, living symbols, inner
processes that we can interact with and continue to learn
from. It's not so much that we acquire static, fixed ideas
as we open up channels of thought and understanding. The
things we understand are closer to alchemical symbols or
zen koans than they are to facts that a grade school
student might memorize.
... I would ask if the decline of
individual affiliations is not a sign that either some aspect of
the work we ought to be doing is left undone by us, or that the
cycle at present, is one in which few who have a vital and a
continuing (self generated) interest in the depths and the
applications, practically, of Theosophical philosophy, are
The inner truths are there to be realized and shared. The
theosophical philosophy as presented by HPB is one form of
sharing them. Preserving and passing on that theosophical
dharma is one way to continue the work. But there are many
other ways, and the truths can be expressed in a multiple
As I see it Theosophy, as a philosophy and as a record of the
history that relates to the periodical reformation of Universe,
Earth and man -- and, of every other being (since all are
included in its evolutionary march) -- is something that an
individual, as a free mind, a free intelligence has to want to
look into and learn about.
When referring to the underlying wisdom behind human thought,
appearing everywhere to the extent that people are able to
express it, Theosophy shows this in many different ways. The
particular way that Blavatsky put it to paper was one of
perhaps many attempts to brighten the world.
In the recently posted article of H P B OCCULTISM vs THE OCCULT
ARTS one finds that a clear distinction between the motive for
acquiring knowledge, wisdom and "powers" is made.
If so, then the urge to do this has to arise within individuals
and can not be imposed or instilled. It is something that is
spontaneous and arises from an intuition of the Higher Self, the
SPIRITUAL RAY, within each individual.
Every approach to express art, wisdom, love, truth, beauty,
and the other higher attributes -- all come from within.
The urge comes from within and has to find expression in the
world. Even if one's initial motives seem selfish, that cannot
stand in the way of the power seeking expression. If one
cultivates the "heart of gold," he or she will produce treasures
in the world, even if starting out with dirty hands.
As I think of it the effort we could all put forth is to make the
statements and presentations of universal Verities -- as H P B
did for the Masters of Wisdom, our Elder Brothers -- more easily
available to those who might want to read them and use them.
One thing we can to in honor of what has been given us is
to share it and pass it on. But that's not the only thing we
can do, and more people have their own unique contributions to
make in the world than being promoters of the Wisdom Tradition.
One may be a great writer, another an artist, a third a helper
of handicapped children. The important thing is to find a
mission in life that lets one's inner light shine forth in the
world. How and what one does is completely individual.
In view of the discussions and various other matters of the last
several weeks of a polemical nature, one need only contrast the
writing found there with the power of what H P B presented as
THEOSOPHY for us to consider. The nature, capacity and power of
those words and ideas tell their own story and offer the "proof"
asked for. It is internal to them. It is innate in them. and
does not depend solely on the words used. That is of course my
opinion. But I am sure others have noticed that.
If we are continuing the theosophical dharma, there needs to
be some sense of a spiritual radiance in what we write and
share. Otherwise, there will only be the books left, with people
on their own to use the materials as a tool to their inner awakening.
So, if we cannot yet generate the kind of presentation that H P B
was able to do, then it is my belief that we can help the great
THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT by presenting again some of the key works
and ideas H P B was responsible for bringing to our attention.
We might not necessarily have the same background and
training, so our technical knowledge and experience would
not compare to what she might have had. But if we benefit
at all from what she's given out, we're responsible to share
what we've gotten.
Many have not had the opportunity of contacting "original
Theosophy" -- by this method they may do so. Let those splendid
words work their magic on other readers, as they have on us.
None of us can say in advance what words or methods will prove
best, but we can all do something that we feel is of assistance.
The original Theosophy, as I view it, is both an intellectual
tradition and an spiritual lineage. There's an element of
dharma transmission to it. There's a certain fire of the spirit
that's passed down over the generations. An important aspect
of passing on Theosophy is passing on that fire, which is something
intangible yet considerably more real than any particular
And you, Eldon, in my esteem, have been of such help to us all by
maintaining this exchange list. I for one deeply appreciate it,
and appreciate knowing you.
I'm glad that you appreciate it. Such a discussion list is
for those with the time and energy to engage in discussions
with people of a wide spectrum of beliefs and temperaments.
Percentage wise, less that 13 percent of the people that
get THEOSOPHY WORLD subscribe to the mailing list. The vast
majority want some interesting materials to read every month,
things they might not otherwise come across, but don't want
to wade through huge volumes of mixed and sometimes angry
materials. They don't have time for a mailing list. The list
gives us an opportunity to practice writing, self-expression,
testing out of trial ideas to see what people think, and
other qualities like patience, tolerance, and forgiveness.
Some have raised the question of idiom -- the language of the
late 19th century and that of the early 21st century now differs.
Agreed that it does. But can you imagine the average man of
woman of the late 19th century trying to read what H P B wrote?
The so-called language barriers and difficulties of today and
those of "then" are roughly the same. I might also say that it
seems to me that present methods of education have had the effect
of restricting a knowledge of and usage of the English language.
There has been an effort made which has been characterized as
"dumbing us down."
There was an interesting article in DISCOVER MAGAZINE, where
a scientist was mentioning how scientific journals would not
publish his materials unless he wrote them using scientific
jargon. His writing was too direct and clear, and needed to
follow the academic writing style. (This would be increasing
the "fog factor," as Gerald may remind us.) He mentioned how
scientific writings had to be "dumbed down" for popular
journals so that the layman could read them. He then coined
the term "dumbed up" to refer to the rewriting of clear
materials so that the academically inclined would appreciate them.
There are different approaches to presenting materials,
and the different theosophical organizations may take
their own positions as to how to best carry on the work.
As far as I'm concerned, the typesetting and spelling and
other minor details of a work are far less important than
simple clarity. The reader is paramount, since the intent
is to facilitate the sharing of the materials.
It is very difficult in my esteem to try to speak or write so
that everyone will understand. But a few important ideas and key
words have the power to resonate and evoke search. Each
individual has to provide their own fire of enthusiasm. We need
only provide the fuel to be used, or at least a "spark" that they
can seize upon. In my esteem there is plenty of work for us to
do. And another "organization" will essentially do what ?
We each find our own way. Some may find a place to
work in an existing organization. Others may work
outside the groups, or may form groups of their own.
It's a creative endeavor and it's up to each of us
to find our place in the work.
I do not mean in any way to be discouraging, but suggest we all
use the "organizations" available, and our own innate "fire" to
spread information about the basics and the tenets of Theosophy
for as many as possible to contact.
We do use the tools at hand, but also craft new
tools when we find none suitable to what we may
need to do. The work is the most important thing,
not the particular tool chosen to accomplish it.
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