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going beyond the dead letter

Apr 07, 2002 05:37 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

Mkr [writing to Sufilight]:

Your observation is correct. Unless one goes beyond the dead letter reading
and putting some of the ideas/principles in everyday practice, it is no
better than what all other religious followers do.

When one is engrossed in traditional theosophical activities organized
around organizations, it is extremely difficult to get out and
independently explore what is behind all the writings. May be for many it
is very easy to blindly believe and follow.

>My view is:
>They keep continue their silly act of putting the books of Theosophy
>forward as a kind of 'bible-collection' - and avoid adressing the crucial
>issues of dead-letter reading and the importance of the "7 keys" - where
>one of the is about the to Blavatsky very important allegories.
>Such a behavoir I consider to be against the idea of Theosophy as
>Blavatsky was putting it forward.
You're right that an intellectual study is only the first
step, and incomplete in itself. If we stop at that, and
take what we read literally, we've become just followers
of another faith. It doesn't matter if we're reading
Blavatsky, Plato, the Buddha, or some other great thinker.

First we learn and study. Then we make the ideas a part of
our lives, where they become individually ours with close
ties to our personal experience of life. No matter how
deep the materials we are pondering, we're only believers
and not people of understanding until the ideas are
incorporated into our lives. And that means that the ideas
can be expressed freely in our own words and find some
concrete expression in some form of sharing in the world.

Any organization has its limitations. At times, new ones
need to arise. Sometimes there are just temporary associations
of spiritually questing individuals. Organizations that stay
healthy may last for centuries or millennia, acting as a
training ground for people to be lights unto the world.
They may transmit a spiritual Dharma of value to millions.
Organizations that lose their health can shrivel up and
die in decades, years, or even months, making room for
new growth.

It itself, there's nothing wrong in quoting theosophical
passages. It provides us something to read and think about.
However, we already have some choice book on our bookshelves
at home with that prized designation: "the book that I'm
now reading." Quotes on a mailing list, however numerous,
cannot take its place.

Material, in order to be understood, needs to be
reflected upon, digested, then expressed or lived out.
When a quote is first gazed upon, we've done none of
this. If we're not going to do any, because the subject
isn't interesting or we don't have the time, the message
goes into instant oblivion with the <DELETE> key.

How many times have any of us merely reposted things we've
found interesting without taking the time to add our own
thoughts and reflections?

I'd suggest that it may be more helpful to give good
examples of "living-word Theosophy" rather than just
point out where we see examples of "dead-letter Theosophy"
that we don't like. It might be best if we practice
shining with more light, rather than grumble when we think
things are darker that we'd like.

-- Eldon

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