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dead-letter versus inspired writings

Apr 07, 2002 06:17 PM
by Eldon B Tucker


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

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

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

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