Re: practicing universal brotherhood rather than merely mouthing the concept
Sep 09, 2004 02:05 AM
by Perry Coles
Hello Eldon and everyone
What is Brotherhood?
Perhaps a theosophical definition could be the recognition of the
ONENESS of the ALL.
Certain questions I think need to be asked in terms of theosophical
discussion and scholarship.
Do we not examine and discuss uncomfortable but valid points of
difference and contradiction because doing this is somehow seen as
not allowing others their right to belief and opinion?
If you examine this rational to me there is an inherent contradiction.
For if we try and suppress and squash legitimate debate because it
raises uncomfortable and unpopular points to be openly discussed, are
we not excluding the rights of someone to freely and openly explore
new evidence and information as it come to hand and also empower
members with that new information when that comes to light.
Are we so attached to our beliefs that the thought of challenging
them is out of the pale because it may upset us or others after such
an examination is carried out?
Perhaps reputations are at stake maybe we will need to admit that our
past position was in fact incorrect.
What's at stake in making such an admission especially for an
organization which has build a certain amount of `credibility' on
this or that being a certain way and then it is then proven not to be
These are difficult questions and I don't claim to know easy
solutions to them.
Is ignorance and denial bliss and adding to the sum total
of "Brotherhood" or it a veneer of "Brotherhood" cloaking deceit in
an extreme example, is that Brotherhood?
The inability to handle legitimate discussion and debate to me is a
sign of a dysfunctional personality type.
Maintaining the cosy but perhaps illusionary world we are familiar
and comfortable with.
Maybe we need to look outside of the square as to what might be meant
by the concept of Brotherhood.
Can the inability to handle debate be out of a need for security and
Is it possible to be mature enough to discuss both historical and
philosophical positions in a way that lays things on the table and
allows each as an individual to look at the various perspectives and
draw our own inferences from them.
Can this be done without being nasty or vindictive but rather kept
within due bounds of valid, decent and honest intellectual debate?
These are just the questions I've asked myself.
--- In email@example.com, Eldon B Tucker <eldon@t...> wrote:
> At 07:18 PM 9/1/2004, you wrote:
> >... newcomers may join the list in
> >the hope of sharing, for example, their understanding of the
> >writings of Besant and Leadbeater, among other authors. The
> >statistics from amazon.com posted by Daniel recently clearly
> >indicate that both Besant and Leabeater continue to be identified,
> >in the public mind, as belonguing to the field of Theosophy (or
> People may come to Theosophy from many different approaches. Some
> started with books by Leadbeater and Besant, others with books by
> and Purucker, others with Judge and Blavatsky books. I would expect
> they can engage each other in friendly discussion, they can broaden
> knowledge and grow to greater insight.
> I don't think it's necessary to tell people to only read certain
> and avoid others as being tainted. I will say what I prefer, but
> to other people to decide what appeals to them best. In a free
> ideas over an extended period of time, I think people will
gravitate to the
> highest approach they are ready for. Each person sets their own
> is better able to seek it out when exposed to a friendly, diverse
> environment that encourages thoughtful study.
> Although I'd consider my studies as being advanced, I recognize
that it is
> just from my point of view and others would see things differently,
> with wherever they are at being highest, for now, in their
> it does not serve a useful purpose to rank and order different
> with one's own on top, of course, in order to add to one's self-
> and putting others in their place.
> If someone wants to study Leadbeater's life from a historic
> or Blavatsky's, Judge's, or Krishnamurti's -- that's fine as long
> don't use their appraisal as a hammer to hit people on the head
> say that they read and like the books any of these people may have
> A metaphysical and spiritual thread of discussion is as valid as
> historic one, and everyone should be free to share their ideas,
> of the author or any historic threads of discussion going on at the
> Regardless of what we might discuss, it's important that we respect
> others among us of different backgrounds and beliefs, and not put
> a way that sounds like a personal insult, like "You like that idea
> Crowley book? You must be an evil dugpa!" Or "You say you like that
> from a Bailey book, yet we have just proven in our historic
> that Bailey was a fraud. Only an idiot would believe something she
> Do you recant any belief in her works or do you confess to being an
> Or "Do you profess a belief in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior
> profess a belief in the One True God, or do you admit to being a
> worshiper destined to burn it hell?" -- Note that there are all
> questions that require people to either submit to one's belief or
> their stupidity.
> It's possible from any particular slant of discussion to find ways
> people down, even if one is not doing so intentionally. A
discussion of the
> actual history and spiritual credentials of someone's favorite
> figure could have a chilling effect upon people reading his or her
> and wanting to discuss the ideas presented. Yet were they free to
> the ideas, perhaps we'd learn something from them and they're be
> better ideas from us as well.
> A discussion of metaphysics might lead to suggestions that people
> versed in that particular set of philosophical ideas is "not ready
> should simply be dismissed as spiritual wannabes. That, of course,
> chilling effect on the skeptic or believer in something different,
> him or her to want to brand people a bunch of religious kooks and
> a better group of people.
> It all comes down to a matter of respect. We can explore new ideas,
> challenge existing assumptions, and seek a greater understanding of
> But we should maintain sufficient objectivity to know that our
> viewpoint isn't the prime perspective of the universe. Everything
> seems that way *to our eyes*. If we can believe what we will and
> happily allow others to coexist with different beliefs and
> respecting their individual and likely different seeking of truth,
> actually practicing universal brotherhood rather than merely
> -- Eldon
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