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Mr. Johnson's Quote in BA Goswami's Post

Nov 26, 2002 01:15 AM
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami

Dear Mr. Johnson and other Group Members, 

A volunteer kindly formatted my post part III-IV for me, and in so 
doing, put Paul Johnson's quote in italics. When I pasted this post 
in on the site here, for some reason the italics disappeared, which I 
did not see at the time. Even though I identify Mr Johnson as the 
statement's author in my text both above and below the quote, It may 
stll be confusing to readers. Since I don't know how or if I can now 
correct this, I am posting this to inform everyone about the 
mistake. Below is the section of my post in question. I have 
placed >>> <<<<< around Mr. Johnson's passage, which I have quoted 
from a previous posting on this site. 

My apologies to you Mr Johnson. 

Bhakti Ananda Goswami

Nevertheless, the esoteric or occult traditions have real-world 
history too, and with 
some additional effort, much can be learned about these as well. Paul 
Johnson has noted the sui generis problem (see below). 

>>> "Where authenticity comes in, IMO, is in the frank acknowledgment 
the synthetic nature of the teaching. Cayceites who insist that the 
Readings are direct transcriptions of the Akashic Record; Baha'is who 
insist that Baha'u'llah's writings are direct words of God; 
Christians who insist that Jesus is the one and only Son of God whose 
words are the absolute and ultimate truth; Theosophists who insist 
that HPB's Theosophy is the ancient wisdom tradition from which 
everything else devolved; ad nauseum are engaged in what David Lane 
calls genealogical dissociation. That is, denying the actual, always-
complex genealogy of the belief system and pretending that it is sui 
generis, direct truth straight from The Source. I don't think 
Hinduism or Buddhism are exempt from this behavior pattern, although 
they do tend to a bit more self-honesty about the history of 
ideas. "<<<<

The historical and scientific approach to the study of a religion 
(or `spirituality,' I might add) is often experienced as threatening 
by the faithful, which is another problem encountered when 
researchists attempt to objectively trace-out the genealogy, 
innovation and diffusion of thought systems. Thus the resistance of 
the faithful to those attempting to objectively study their tradition 
may result in purposeful non-cooperation in such endeavors, and maybe 
even in the denial of, hiding, distortion, or other obscuration of 
evidence. In even worse cases, the investigators work may be 
suppressed or censured, the investigators personally vilified or 
threatened, their writings and even their careers or lives destroyed 
for daring to attempt to part the veil, and behold the real-world 
genealogy of a 'spirituality' or religion. This ongoing attempt in a 
tradition, to deny the genealogy of its teachings, may create a body 
of apologetic and polemical literatures designed to defend the faith 
from its own origins, and anyone attempting to discover them. Thus 
a considerable barrier may be constructed over time, to the 
understanding of the history of certain ideas. 

Above Paul Johnson used the phrase "...self-honesty about the history 
of ideas." This immediately caught my attention, because as a 
spiritual director, I use the term "self-honesty" on a daily basis 
with those I counsel. I use this term because I define HUMILITY as 
self-honesty or honesty about, and with one's self. This humility is 
the basis of all other virtues and necessary for self-
'realization'. In fact, such humility is in a sense self-
realization. Truth and Honesty are inseparable, and must be held-to 
by persons of integrity, as the foundation of everything knowable and 
worth knowing. Theosophists like to talk about recognizing what is 
mayavic / illusory, but their entire mystical Theosophical Society 
history has apparently been fabricated by persons with no apparent 
self-honesty, who purposely obscured the true sources of their 
information. Thus the faithful of the Theosophical Society bear a 
great burden in having to defend against all evidence and reason, the 
claims of the Society Founders to " truth straight from the 
source" as Mr. Johnson has said. Mr. Johnson also raises the 
question of "self-honesty" in Hinduism and Buddhism. 

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