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Esotericism and elitism (to Daniel and Bill)

Sep 02, 2004 01:51 PM
by kpauljohnson


Bill's post was perhaps too eloquent to need commentary, or too
persuasive to leave any room for defense of the Mahatmas' attitude. 
But I'll comment on it because it relates to the attitude about
archives that you and I both deplore as librarians, and which Anton
comments on. Any organization based on esotericism is going to have
elitism as a feature, not just a bug. The notion of secrets reserved
for the special few runs totally against the grain of a public
librarian's ethos of maximum information access for ALL. But the
attitude of those holding the Theosophical archives is that these
resources must be protected from anyone who might approach them with
the "wrong" motives or intentions. By contrast, the ARE putting all
the Cayce readings *along with related correspondence* on a CD-ROM is
a shining example of making primary source material widely available.

Bill wrote (excerpted):

What does "our sacred philosophy" mean? Do we accept as our Master a
voice that seems to lash out:

" In such a case the less such idiots hear of our doctrines the better
for both. If they do not want the whole truth and nothing but the
truth, they are welcome. But never will they find us - - (at any rate)
- -compromising with and pandering to public prejudices."

Is this the basis for the brotherhood of ALL?
Did the theosophical masters favor some humans over others with first
hand direct experience of their existence and powers? May I demand the
same proof for myself?

If we wake up to ourselves tomorrow with the power to materialize a
tea cup will we write letters to a select few calling our less capable
brethren "idiots" or will we feed a multitude with a few pieces of
fish and some bread?


These questions echo the concerns and objections of A.O. Hume, who
unlike Sinnett was disturbed and offended by the secrecy and elitism
of the Mahatma letters. I've said before that Hume looks heroic and
Sinnett villainous when one examines their life trajectories after the
Mahatma letters period. Sinnett, so thrilled with his special access
to secrets that made him an Important Theosophist, ended up the dupe
of mediums feeding him whatever he wanted to hear. Hume actually
accomplished something meaningful and memorable for India.



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