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Re: Re: Standard of Truth?

Jan 18, 2003 03:56 AM
by Zack Lansdowne


I like what you have written in your various recent messages, including the

>At the root of it, I think, is the love of form at the expense of

>"Men are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or
>throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will, and
>if you don't make it of wood, you must make it of words."
>(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

>"We cannot let our angels go. We do not see that they only go out
>that archangels may come in. We are idolaters of the old."

My sense is that progress on the spiritual journey occurs as we
progressively relinquish what we had once relied on. So, for instance, if
we are relying on a spiritual teacher to tell us what to do, sooner or later
we will have to leave that teacher; if we are relying on a set of books
(whether the Bible, HPB's books, or AAB's books) to tell us what to think,
sooner or later we will have to find our answers through our own inquiry
rather than simply quote what someone else has written.

Krishnamurti (in "Freedom from the Known") points out that we will even have
to give up the authority of our own past experiences: "Having realised that
we can depend on no outside authority in bringing about a total revolution
within the structure of our own psyche, there is the immensely greater
difficulty of rejecting our own inward authority, the authority of our own
particular little experiences and accumulated opinions, knowledge, ideas and

What I do not understand in this ongoing verbal war between some followers
of HPB and some followers of AAB is why there is a war at all. In both
HPB's and AAB's writings, I have personally found some words to be
inspiring, other words that I have disagreed with, other words that I have
not understood, and still other words that I have found, for me, to be
unimportant and a waste of my time. I am sure that there are areas of
disagreement between HPB and AAB, but I have found many areas of agreement.
I am grateful that I have had access to both sets of writings. I agree with
both HPB and AAB when they say that truth (or Theosophy) is ineffable, that
all words are at best symbols of truth, but not the truth itself. So, why
are we so fanatical about sets of words that, sooner or later, we will
outgrow and relinquish?

Zack Lansdowne

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