Re: Theos-World Being put in "one's place"
Jan 02, 2003 01:51 AM
I'm sure you didn't address your letter specifically to me. But, I'm
answering it anyway, since you did mention my name (with a sidewise innuendo)
by association with others whom, I take it, don't entirely agree with you.
Before this, it didn't even occur to me why not. But after reading your last
several posts, and digging into what you have to say about theosophy and its
teachers, I realize now why some new comers might have confused you with
So, please notice that my recent letter which I assume you referred to --
while written for the purposes of offering a few tips for theosophical
students, as well as clearing up matters (for everyone) about HPB and her
teachings (that you, apparently, along with some other unnamed theosophy
bashers have indirectly damned by attacking her and other theosophical
leaders' personal faults or personal agendas) -- was, intentionally, not
addressed to you. (Who am I to teach you anything about theosophical
metaphysics?) Although, I did, in fact, quote, and spoke directly to the
"scornful" letter you wrote in response to Terrie. So, I don't suppose from
your point of view that there could be any question about who, among other
HPB bashers, I might have been referring to. But, how can writing such a
letter be "behind (someone's) back" -- when "everyone" referred to, either
directly or indirectly, is a signed on member of this group of
I could just as well say, if I only read letters addressed to me, that you
mentioned my name in a "scornful" light "behind my back." But, then, I have
nothing to defend. And, this is a public forum, isn't it? You should also
know that if one takes an abstract nameless inference personally, and over
reactively counterattacks on a personal level, in the same manner that one is
complaining about, it could make others think that where there's smoke
there's fire. Also, sometimes, implication without naming names is useful in
drawing out those who have a basic antagonism to a group or a subject of s
tudy, giving them an opportunity to show their true colors. That was not my
conscious intention (this time :-) -- but if my generalized hypothetical
question was taken as referring to you personally, and is what ticked you off
into this self defensive diatribe, all well and good.
If this reaction is typical of the way you conduct and form conclusions about
theosophy and its teachers based on your historical research, it could be
that the opposition you find in these online forums is your own doing. I'm
sure the people who surround you in your home town and seem to love you so
much do not have to face the same sort of abuse you have been slinging toward
some of us and the studies we are here to talk about. I'm sure if you so
carefully ripped apart, publically, the phoniness and frauds of the Christian
religious belief system and its promoters, as well as implying the
foolishness of "believers" whom you know in "real life," as thoroughly as you
tackled theosophy, you wouldn't find such a "loving" atmosphere around you in
SC or VA. While I cannot say, based on any objective evidence, whether your
judgments about the theosophical Masters and teachers (and as indirectly
implied, the invalidity of their teachings) are right or wrong, you certainly
should understand that such response to your conclusions and opinions that
you continue to provoke here, goes with the territory. If one can't take
personal criticism or judgments, they had better avoid personally criticizing
BTW, if you hadn't called my attention to your disagreements with and
slandered some of my theosophy student/teacher friends "in public," along
with your all-in-a-bucket psychologizing of theosophists in general (which
might refer to me :-) -- I wouldn't ever bother to argue with you about your
beliefs, or even think of checking out your position with regard to
theosophy, HPB and the Masters. As a fairly well informed occultist whose
interest is only in clarifying the theosophical metaphysics and fulfilling
the "objects of the Theosophical Movement," I have very little interest in
the history of any religious or philosophical organizations, nor the personal
activities of their teachers or leaders. But, now, at least, thanks to your
reactive "public" responses, we all know a bit more about where you are
coming from. :-)
In a message dated 01/01/03 8:35:59 PMand Tony, email@example.com writes:
>And particularly Wry, what I've been making of your comment is this-- correct
>me if I misunderstand. It is extremely common in ordinary life for people
>to speak disrespectfully and scornfully of others, "putting them in their
>place" *behind their backs*. But much less common for this to be done
>to people's faces. In Internet fora, the propensity of people to diss
>others behind their backs (that is referring to them disdainfully while
>avoiding address them personally) is expressed just as often as in "real
>life." With the crucial difference that the person being backbitten becomes
>an unwilling eavesdropper, since the third person remarks are made publicly,
>even though they are addressed to someone else.
>Therefore, people like Tony and Dallas (and today Leon) talking about me
>in the third person while rejecting personal communication really have
>no interest whatsoever in communicating with me. There's no intended message
>for me in what they say. Putting "Paul Johnson" in "his" place has
>nothing to do with me. And everything to do with *their* place in the
>cosmic or Theosophical pecking order.
>To be more explicit about what mystifies me: why does everyone I know in
>real life appear to like me, but devote little to no thought to what my
>"place" is in any overall scheme or feel any need to define that "place"
>and put me in it? Whereas quite a few strangers met on the Internet
>dislike me to a degree totally unknown in my reai life, and more perplexingly
>seem to have a keen interest in defining what my "place" is and publicly
>putting me in it? (And this is just as true of Baha'is or Cayceites or
>Fourth Way folks as for Theosophists.)
>My hypothesis: in "real life" people are quite secure in their "place"
>and interactions are rooted in mutual understanding of where others are
>"placed." Whereas in Internet fora, people are existentially insecure
>about their own "place" in the world, and therefore pathologically obsessed
>with putting strangers in "their place" so as to maintain some kind of
>internally imagined pecking order. (E.g. BAG has *got* to be defined as
>a dugpa to maintain some kind of stability in our Danish member's mental
>A rather creepy vision of why people behave so much more obnoxiously online
>than in real life, but more sensible than thinking that folks around here
>in NC and VA are nice whereas those in most of the rest of the world are
>always trying to put everybody down. Which does occur to me in my
In a message dated 01/01/03 12:00:26 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
I wonder why -- in these self defensive arguments by those who are more
or less opponents of theosophy, and who read any vague comment about "bias"
as a personal attack -- that the ensuing commentary almost invariably reverts
to stressing the nature of the organizations and the personalities of its
leaders, rather than focussing on the fundamental teachings of theosophy
As for the original teachers alleged biases... Didn't HPB say that all she
was doing was passing on the ancient metaphysical teachings in the language
of this age, acting solely as an amanuensis, and that she was not an
authority and not personally responsible for any inadvertent errors in her
writings? From my point of view, whatever errors there may be, e.g., in the
Secret Doctrine, is either typographical or made by its readers in trying to
interpret the incomplete and faulty material science of that åday (she
quoted) as possible confirmation or as refutation of the metaphysical
teachings -- even though HPB warned us of the limitations of such
comparisons. However, it is a fact that she did predict that science would
soon begin catching up with theosophy -- as Einstein did when he was able to
mathematically prove E=mc^2, or that, "mass or substance is equivalent to
energy and that time and space are integral parts of the substance-energy
continuum" -- as well as clarifying the concept of "relativity"... All of
which was (as any "intuitive student" of reasonable intelligence could
readily determine) thoroughly explained in the SD -- even deeper than
Einstein could interpret scientifically, limited as he was by the
restrictions of the then current material science and mathematics he had to
work with. (Multidimensional Superstring/M-brane theories as a synthesis of
both relativity and quantum physics that Einstien is credited with birthing,
along with fractal and multidimensional topological geometry, had not yet
been discovered or fully worked out.)
However, judging by the great pains HPB took to explain every metaphysical
concept from every conceivable angle or point of view -- while being limited
to using a narrowly focused and materialistically oriented linear English
language that required much multidimensional and non-linearly encoded syntax,
along with subtle typographical and punctuation artifacts, which forced its
readers to use their deepest intuition to comprehend its more or less hidden,
although unambiguous meanings -- it is quite evident (to this serious student
of occult metaphysical science and philosophy, at least) that she tried her
best to objectively present the "Secret Doctrine of the East" without any
Remember, it is extremely difficult to "picture in words" what is essentially
a multidimensional and metaphysical hyperspace geometry -- especially, using
a language that can't describe anything deeper than a 3-dimensional physical
reality. The problem with most critics of theosophy, is that they could never
envision these subtleties -- since they are limited to the literal
interpretation of everything they read or write. Of course, this is
understandable for historians and other linear thinkers, or opinionated
materialists who, without comprehensive study, can only judge the teachings
by the recorded actions of the historical personages and organizations that
surround it -- which, essentially, have nothing whatsoever to do with
theosophy per se.
As an example of this inability for some to see the forest for the trees...
One only has to study HPB's explanations of the nature of metaphysical and,
sometimes religious symbols, which, while they can only be drawn two
dimensionally, are actually, all of them, reflections or suprpositions of
2-dimensional shapes within the inner and on the outer surfaces of one
transparent 3-dimensional object when viewed from the inside out and the
outside in at different rotational angles. This object can be either
expressed as a multidimensional straight linear (regular) geometrical form,
or inflated to an analogous curvilinear multidimensional spherical form.
And, both their fundamental shapes can be infinitely divided, enfolded, or
multiplied numerically, geometrically, and cyclically -- both internally
toward their gravitational centers, and externally from their outer
circumferences -- without changing their fundamental form or internal
dynamics. To visualize this fundamental geometry of the universe -- with the
understanding that all action and effects can only take place on their linear
internal or external surfaces -- is to fully comprehend the meaning of the
term "As above so below" or "the microcosm is the mirror of the macrocosm"...
Not to mention, the understanding (by direct experience) of how the universe
can be both one thing and also an infinite multitude of things expanding and
contracting both outward and inward from "no thing." (Since, this, more or
less cryptic description stems from a conundrum or koan -- as HPB
intentionally left it for "the intuitive reader" to decipher -- I'll leave it
to the serious students of theosophy to figure the actual structure of the
"one thing" for themselves and, hopefully, integrate it with the rest of the
jigsaw puzzle of the theosophical teachings HPB was so kind as to disassemble
and then reassemble for us to ponder over.)
It seems to me that the dialogue below which is being objected to (along with
the usual negative innuendoes about theosophy) concerned only the teachings
of theosophy itself, rather than the political "agenda" of its proponents in
setting up, and determining the nature of the organization that would promote
its practical applications in our modern age -- which, unfortunately, became
a political tool of its physical "management" while HPB was distracted by her
concentration on the metaphysical teachings themselves. It's interesting,
that many of these managers distorted or twisted the theosophical teachings
to suit their own political and religious purposes... Some of which were,
after HPB died, in direct opposition to her own teachings and personal
beliefs. Therefore, the use of such personality or organizationally oriented
arguments to fortify one's objections to theosophy, is like comparing apples
Consequently, in any discussion about theosophy on this forum, wouldn't it be
wise to separate the teachings of theosophy from the theosophical
organizations that grew around it and from the "leaders" who were attracted
to it for their own political and/or self serving reasons?
In a message dated 12/31/02 10:02:52 AM, email@example.com writes:
>--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Tony"
>The post quoted below uses some tactics that I've seen repeatedly on various
>fora, used by Baha'is, Cayceites, Theosophists, Fourth Way disciples.
>Sometimes I've been the target, more often the observer of its use on others.
>In every case the dynamic is this: one person is a true believer, the other
>a dissident or skeptic. The former expresses disdain for the latter, not
>by saying outright "you, X, are beneath me so I look down on you and denounce
>you" but rather by making sneering, dismissive comments to others *about*
>the skeptic or dissident without naming him or her. Such comments offer
>a tiny fig leaf of plausible deniability-- if the target objects, their
>authors can turn around and say "I wasn't referring to you and the fact
>that you imagine I was just proves you're paranoid." I will never forget
>one Baha'i who made a point by point attack on a post I made and then
>furiously insisted that he had never read it or anything else I ever wrote!
>(And never would lower himself to do so.)
>Having seen "the treatment" from several folks here, I would guess that
>the message is "I'm so disdainful of you that I refuse to address you or
>refer to you by name, yet my disdain requires expression via indirect
>sneering comments." But hereby welcome and invite explanations from
>anyone about why people do that. Seems like passive aggressive stuff
>to me; throw a rock, hide your hand.
>Tony (whom I know only from this post) wrote:
>> Hi Terrie
>> Your e-mails! Rather like the sun peeping out from behind they dark
> black clouds.
>What dark clouds?
>> You initially wrote:
>> <<<I think/feel that HPB's materials are
>> a worldly, enlightening and unbias resourse AND that what she has
>> written is in fact a tremendous accumulation of reason and wisdom AND
>> quite a respectable gift to have accomplished/offered on up - it's an
>> inspiration, even today.>>>
>> Alas, what seemed a reasonable statement,
>> has turned into a rather tacky conversation about bias.
>"Seemed" is not absolute but relative. So it seemed to *you*, Tony, but
>not to me.
>Tacky meaning in poor taste? Why is it tacky to discuss bias? Rather
>than sneering at the conversation, perhaps you might enlighten us with
>non-tacky comments about bias?
> Like you, biased is not something I would use about or attribute to H.P.B.
>Why not? She was a vigorous polemicist with a very definite agenda. Not
>that there is anything wrong with that, but let's not pretend it's not
>> We do know she had tremendous powers of discrimination:), and
>> where you might well use discrimination, another might use bias.
>> The books you read may be to do with your discriminatory powers,
>> rather than with bias. The sun view is different to the black clouds
>That sort of comment is summarized by a very simple phrase, "holier than
>thou." Why not get down off your high horse and engage the topic as an
>equal among equals? The Theosophical movement is very poorly served
>IMO by the tactics its adherents use, congratulating one another with their
>superiority to benighted skeptics. I'd advise saving that for private
>email because it makes a bad appearance for your "side."
>> Bias is below the belt, discrimination above the head. Roget is not law.
>Descriptive, not prescriptive. Terrie doesn't have to use the word the
>way it is generally used, but will be better understood if she does so.
>> I have read some Olcott, and been to several talks given by Krishnamurti.
>> It is nice to dip into lots of different things, but there is no particular
>> reason why anyone should feel the need to read Krishnamurti from the
>> Theosophical point of view.
>No particular reason? That's rather sweeping. How about the fact that
>the maximum membership of the TS was during its promotion of him as the
>World Teacher? And that his profile is now much higher than the Society
>that nurtured him and which he then rejected?
>> Olcott did a wonderful job as an
>> administrator, and also did mesmeric healing and other great things.
>> But H.P.B. was the Occultist, was of the inner side, so to put it. Herein
>> London it is warm, and the happy waitress serving the coffees to us outside
>> in Soho was from Mauritius, and was demanding to see some snow. It is
>> always supposed to snow at Christmas here, but rarely does. There is
>> something magical about snow. Is it something to do with the fact that
>> snowflake is a geometrical shape. It is very like H.P.B's writings. They
>> are full of symbols and geometrical shapes, sounds and colours, pictures,
>> and so on. As snow flakes are so beautiful, think by how much more so are
>> the thought flakes in "The Secret Doctrine" and "The Voice of the Silence,"
>> and All works of That occult or hidden Nature.
>> Keep shining
>Shiny New Year to you!
>Paul, no dark cloud
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: thalprin <thalprin@y...> [mailto:thalprin@y...]
>> Sent: 30 December 2002 11:13 pm
>> To: email@example.com
>> Subject: Theos-World Re: Unbiased
>> Hi again
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