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Apr 07, 2002 06:17 PM
by Eldon B Tucker
Sufilight: At 07:34 PM 4/7/02 +0200, you wrote:
Hi all of you,
Just a view:
I think that the below are important lines of thoughts.
I would like to add, that I think, that Theosophical groups or organizations should put much more emphasis on the issue - dead-letter reading (especially when we talk about - debates like this - with emails etc.) The same goes for the very important and (according to little me) overlooked "7 keys" mentioned more than one time by Blavatsky.
Yes, there's more than deal-letter reading, and there are different keys or manners of reading the wisdom behind inspired materials.
If done, it could help - putting down the tendencies of biblical behavoir , - in and at certain Theosophical groups and organizations and their manner of presenting themselves.
The tendency to treat things as biblical truth can be found everywhere. And it's not particular to books. People can be dogmatic about their beliefs, regardless of background. What do we do to give up dogmatism? First, we don't claim to have the exclusive truth. Second, we don't claim to have the only proper interpretation of special works. Third, we remain aware of our basic assumptions. Fourth, we freshly rethink ideas on a regular basis, rather that build up our supply of canned answers that we might repeat like a broken record. Finally, we laugh, not taking life so seriously, since the basis of life is joy, and suffering only comes when we fail to accept the impermanence of things.
It often seems to be so, that a number of theosophists think, that the books written by Blavatsky should be treated like a sort of 'Bible-collection' - i.e. giving the answer to - every and each - spiritual question.
If not so - then it is the top 20 or top 50 ..etc. most interesting theosophically written books (written by the proper theosophists) which - apparently - is being given that view.
Well it just seems so to me.
And I have to say I disagree, with such an attitude. And I disagree a lot.
The books aren't exactly Bibles, although people can treat them as such. And likewise there aren't evil things of the devil that must be burned at all costs either! Even the anti-book anarchists have their canned speeches about life that are as dead-letter as anything to be found on a printed page! The books are a particular treasury, a place where one can feed a hungry soul. They're not in themselves the answers to all of life's questions. Rather, they train us in thinking for ourselves and give us materials from which we learn to arrive at our own answers. When people want to read and study them, it's appropriate to have classes and discussions that review the basic materials. More experienced students can help newer ones get started in the process. But no one that help another think for themselves, and the experienced students hinder rather than help when they only want to show off how much more they know that is known by others. The best help is one that encourages another to continue growing, planting the seed of a great thought. It's not as helpful when someone with a question is buried in a pile of totally-new ideas that are so numerous and weighty that the person is left discouraged and feeling that it's just too hard to continue in their exploration.
If just one - theosophist would try read the books on The Learning Organization - which is containing a new (and interesting) trend in international business, - then I think, that they will agree om, that Blavatskys' teaching and theosophy as such are missing important teachings - on leadership and organizational work - AND information and teaching on that issue. (Try for instance the book by Mike Pedler: "The Learning Organization").
Some Theosophists are giving expert training on organizational theory. One is an university Professor. With her husband, she has given seminars to local Theosophists on organizational dynamics and psychology. One seminar was given in her hometown of Turlock. Another was given to interested students at a meeting room at the ULT in downtown Los Angeles. This was a few years ago, and more seminars are past due!
Let us try to avoid dead-letter reading - AND teach people to avoid it.
Dead-letter reading is bad. But reading itself is fine, as long as the words remain alive to us. It's that fire of life, that flow of inspiration that rushes at and engulfs us, that is to be prized. The words become dead-letter when that life has departed. We, though, are living writers. As our written words may someday become dead-letter to someone, we are growing and changing. We can write afresh, with better, brighter, clearer words that illumine the room much better than our words of yesterday could do. -- Eldon