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Re: Theosophical History

Feb 22, 2002 10:35 PM
by leonmaurer

Hello all. Just a note to correct a misunderstanding. 

The motto "There is no religion higher than truth" refers solely to the 
metaphysical and spiritual truths of the "philosophy of theosophy" -- that 
are immutable and eternal... And, not to the so called "truths" of 
historical reporting -- which can be as variable as the personal opinions, 
inherent biases, and misconceptions of the individual reporters -- as well as 
dependent on their political "motives and intents." (Whatever they are?). 
Remember, history can be easily doctored for political or other propaganda 
purposes. Consequently, ALL such "history" -- especially on forums not 
specifically devoted to such study -- should be taken with a grain of salt.

If such motives and intents of some historians are for the purpose of 
undermining the particular philosophic, metaphysical or religious study, by 
innuendo or otherwise, then such diatribes do not belong on lists devoted to 
such study. If, on the other hand, the list is open enough to welcome such a
ttacks, then it should also allow those that oppose them equal access, tit 
for tat -- with no (intellectual) holds barred, as is common in private 
debate between disagreeing researchers, or those with political axes to grind 
-- with the "vigor" of the arguments depending upon the disparity between the 
opposing views, and the cleverness of the debaters to recognize and expose 
false arguments or false data when they see it -- without resort to ad 
homonyms or dependence on authoritative "experts."

In my opinion, however, historical analysis of the personalities and 
internecine rivalries of the theosophical movement, or any religious or 
philosophical movement for that matter, is not necessary to be debated in 
public on these forums -- since such information, true or false, does not 
have anything to do with the searching for spiritual knowledge and wisdom by 
the bulk of "seekers" who subscribe to them. 

For those who do wish to obtain such historical information, they should 
study the published books and articles, subject to public scrutiny, written 
by the individual historians -- as well as the reviews and counter arguments 
in similar books or articles written by other historians or critics... And, 
then, after suitable consideration of the arguments and counter arguments, 
form their own opinions. 

If they wish to question, disagree or agree with any such historical 
findings, they should write the author privately. What reason to burden the 
heads and clutter the mailboxes of those in these forums who have no interest 
in history, but are searching for knowledge of the higher principles and 
wisdom, as well as "self realization" or "enlightenment" for their personal 
well being, or for the purpose of being better able to help and teach others? 
In my case, besides the above reasons, I do not relish receiving unsolicited 
long and rambling historical essays with (or without) political propaganda 
implications, gratuitously shoved in my face.

My suggestion, is that if historians are serious about their researches and h
ave no interest or intent in undermining the teachings or interfering in the 
discussions or discourses of any spiritual study group, they should form 
their own list devoted solely to the debates over religious or secular 
history. Those interest in following such debates, like people interested in 
watching court trials or listening to public debates, can be invited to 
subscribe to such lists as "lurkers"... And we, who are interested in 
spiritual, philosophical and scientific truths could get back to the business 
at hand.

Respectfully, Leon Maurer

On Tue, 19 Feb 2002 22:10:34 -0600 Jim Rodak" < wrote:

<<Greetings ~ I continue to be intrigued by the dialogue that evolves when 
the subject of "Theosophical History" arises. I speak personally when I 
confess that I believe that examining and re-examining &etc. theosophy's 
historical record - at least from Blavatsky forward - is a worthy, if not 
essential, undertaking by anyone who is seriously interested in understanding 
the motives and intents of its founders and subsequent adherents re: the 
movement. In this regard, I feel safe to say that there are many, if not 
most, among this list who have the academic wherewithal to sift through the 
information presented and come to objective conclusions regarding the who, 
what, where, when, and why of their particular interests in the movement. 
Further, I dare say that most on the list have heretofore been involved in 
doing academic research and know authoritative sources when they see them and 
can discriminate between apparent fact and mere opinion, although, I confess, 
the waters do become somewhat muddled at times. Whether this be intentional 
or inadvertent by the muddlers seems to surface over time. But that only 
adds to the intrigue, in my opinion. 
What bothers me, however, is when the dialogue participants start taking 
potshots at one another, taking the dialogue to the level of personal attacks 
on each other. There are, in my opinion, ways to disagree without becoming 
contentious. When the discussion deteriorates to personal attacks, then it's 
no longer dialogue, by definition, and becomes a verbal free-for-all and the 
moderator should, again in my opinion, terminate participation in the 
discussion by the parties involved in the fray. Should this happen, I'd 
strongly recommend that the offenders be notified by the moderator via a 
personal email rather than announcing the action to the discussion group. 
Perhaps the dictum: "Praise in public. Admonish in private." would be 
apropos for these situations.
So, by all means, continue re-examining the theosophical historical record. 
My heartfelt thanks and congratulations to K. Paul, Daniel, Brigitte, et al. 
for their courage and fortitude in opening the sealed records, allowing 
sunlight in to burn off the fog that has too long surrounded the hoary 
historical past of the theosophical movement. As the Society proclaims in 
its motto: "There is no religion higher than truth." So mote it be.
Respectfully, Jim Rodak>>

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