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what others are saying and what we should say

Feb 15, 2003 10:37 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

On Paul Johnson's mailing list, Bhakti Ananda Goswami mentioned that he
won't be writing for a while, and posted what he says is his final
theos-talk related piece. He gives the following link:
Anyone following his series of highly-critical essays might want to read
what he says. It's useful to know what arguments that critics use, because
there's always the change that someone might pose a similar question to any
of us and it would be good if we've thought about the issues beforehand, so
that we can give a thoughtful reply.

I also went to the home page of the site created by Brigitte/Brian, and
notice the following:

>If you see any historical information on this website that is in 
>error, pls. provide evidence and we will change it immediately. 
>So far, as of Feb. 15, 2003 nobody ever has sent such, which 
>might be due to the fact that we do double check all incoming 
>information and use only the best available sources. 
>-- Eric Wynants

I think that someone there has a sense of humor.

Following are some ideas presented by BAG in that piece.

(1) Theosophists secretly teach atheism while pretending not to. BAG is a
noble monotheist thereby drawing fire from their leaders, bringing them into
the open and exposing them. Daniel Caldwell has been exposed as such a
(2) HPB "corrupted, reinterpreted, and misrepresented ancient Sanskrit
sources." She "merged elements of identifiable thought systems, resulting in
non-sense gibberish," and "added white racist Aryan ideas."

I would say that in Theosophy there are a number of key philosophical points
that challenge conventional theism. For someone to fully give themselves to
a theistic practice, though, they cannot allow themselves to contemplate and
understand these key insights into reality and the nature of life. The ideas
may interfere with the Bhakti practice, so such a practitioner has to
maintain a self-imposed blindness to certain areas of thought, ignoring or
dismissing them in order to allow for a stable woldview upon which a
self-created image of Deity can be imposed and worshiped. 

It is understandable for someone wholly devoted to that type of Path to
naturally reject, oppose, and dismiss as valueless any approach that appears
to contradict their own, since the moment there is doubt, the superstructure
of faith in one's self-made Image starts to crumble. Theosophical ideas are
challenging to the limitations of conventional theism.

It is also interesting that Plato was rejected, and his sayings dismissed at
one time as "mere platitudes." Gibber was an alchemist whose words were
called "gibberish," meaning nonsensical, by critics. Hippocrates was mocked
by the coining of the term "hypocrite." Perhaps Blavatsky will one day face
the same fate by some hostile to her message.

When we deal with the basic ideas, it is quite clear when someone talking
about the theosophical doctrines has comprehended them, or has only just
skimmed the surface. Sometimes we see arguments over subtle points. (And
there are some extremely subtle understandings that I've found there that I
haven't seen elsewhere, although they seem so obvious at times that I can't
help but expect to come across them everywhere, being originally thought out
by many people that seek a clear understanding of the workings of life.)

There will always be critics of anything new, anything that challenges the
status quo of established philosophical and religious thought. Theosophy
offers key ideas that presage the future evolution of thought. These ideas
are a threat to established figures in traditional religious hierarchies.
First, the authority of a priestcraft and the necessity of a Priest standing
between someone and their spiritual salvation is challenged. Then,
incomplete, inferior, cruder ideas about nature and life are challenged by
subtler, innovative thinking.

Hundreds of years from now, the historians and their conflicting views of
what happened with key figures will be long gone. Attempts to dismiss new
waves of innovative thought by attacking the good name of those figures will
not matter. One way or another, however public opinion is swayed by people
with competing vested interests in certain "histories," nothing of what any
of them have said will matter.

What will matter is the evolution of human thought and the deepening of
insight into Reality and the way that life works. The theosophical doctrines
contain much to offer in this regard, although it may not be apparent to
someone skimming over the books with too-little time devoted to reflection
on what is contained or suggested therein. It doesn't really matter who said
an idea, nor whether credit is given to this book, that author, or even some
priest preaching from his pulpit. The important thing is that certain ideas
are truer, closer to the real, superior to what has gone before. These ideas
will eventually win out as more and more people come to understand.
Established institutions dedicated to preserving the past will fall by the
wayside and we all move forward.

Keeping this in mind, I think that it's most important to study and share
the deeper insights that we've come across in our theosophical studies, and
let others share what they find of value in what we say. Even so, only
certain things can be said, or we can only speak of the unspeakable (that
beyond words) to a degree, where we can go no further, and must limit
ourselves to one-on-one discussions or even staying silent, knowing but
holding back saying something, knowing it can only be misunderstood.

-- Eldon

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