Re: Theos-World practicing universal brotherhood rather than merely mouthing the concept
Sep 14, 2004 01:30 AM
In a message dated 09/11/04 9:14:23 AM, global-theosophy@a... writes:
>I think that my view is a bit different.
>I think most of what is going on both here at this forum and at other places
>has to do with conditioning and the use of safeguards.
>Her is a little text on higher learning...
>--- It is not an easy text to most people. ---
>Read it carefully if you are interested...
[LM] Could the above be taken as a perfect example of (pre-) "conditioning"
used as a "safeguard" to assure that any disagreement of "most people" with
the writers views could be attributed to either misunderstanding, lack of
careful reading, or disinterest?
Does it also serve an attempt to condition the few people, who might be
interested and normally careful readers, into assuming that every conclusion or
statement made is true or meaningful no matter how difficult it is to follow the
logic leading to them?
As for the content and the purpose of the below essay... It seems to be that
there is a confusion between Teaching and Learning as well as between the
different ways that theosophy can be taught or learned -- besides organized
schools, gurus and group meetings, or online forums.
It seems to me that, for most of us desiring to follow the steep and narrow
path toward self knowledge -- rather than talking about the problems of such
group teaching and conditioned learning (without offering solutions useful to
theosophical students) -- the best and most direct way of learning and
absorbing the theosophical truths thoroughly (in conjunction with correct meditative
practices so as to ultimately reach self realization and emancipation or
enlightenment) is; Through independent search based on one's own self devised and
self determined efforts, along with an open mind that studies ALL the great
teachers through their direct interpreters (need we name them?)... And, by
comparison and synthesis of their teachings, along with self knowledge through
direct experience -- by looking within and observing ones own body, mind and self,
as well as their analogous and corresponding relationship to the entire
universe (as above, so below) -- to pull oneself up by ones own bootstraps and
ultimately arrive at a correct understanding of the true nature of reality and the
conscious beings that guide it, along with a full understanding of their
powers of creation and destruction, the karmic laws that govern them, and the
responsibilities such knowledge and wisdom implies.
So, what need then for schools, teachers, gurus, authorities, and other forms
of indirect and non self verified teaching? Besides simply pointing to the
way that they obtained enlightenment, how can any teacher, no matter how
steeped in knowledge and wisdom, teach us the true nature of transcendentalreality,
or how to overcome the obstacles on our own individual paths? (Not to say
that group discussions, along with questions and answers in open forum, between
students of different degrees of knowledge -- such as the methods used by ULT,
that has no "teachers" or organized teaching curricula -- is not of value to
serious seekers starting out on their path in this life. )
Is not that what theosophical learning is all about? Could it be that this
was what Krishnamurti meant when he spoke of the search for truth and the means
for attaining one's own enlightenment being a "pathless path"?
Is not that the same as the advice and instructions given to her students by
HPB (as well, I assume, by the Masters to her)? Did she not refer us to ALL
the wise men of antiquity in all her writings?
<<TEACHING METHODS AND PREREQUISITES
Q: According to the Theosophists, is there any knowledge of the difference
between teaching and conditioning; and do people know what
they want when they set out to learn?
A: People are conditioned not only by deliberate indoctrination,
but also by systems whose proponents themselves are ignorant of
the need for safeguards to prevent conditioning. People are also
conditioned by a constellation of experiences. In most human
societies, unanimity of thought has been arrived at by an unrecognised
conditioning process in which virtually all the society's
institutions may be branches of the conditioning process.
This information is neither new nor necessarily exciting. But it
is essential. What is new about it is that it has been concisely and
ëffectively revealed in studies made in the West, notably since the
end of the Korean war. If you do not know or believe the foregoing,
you will either have to accept it as a worling hypothesis, or else
leave the attempts at studying other matters aside until you
have caught up with this information in the generally available
sources on the subject. In such a case as your basic information is
incomplete, and your prospects of progress are limited in a higher
sense as if you were trying to become an academic but
were not yet a literate.
Certain traditional teaching-systems have continously maintained
the knowledge of this 'conditioning by environment' factor.
The essence of their system has been twofold: (1) to stress the
fact of conditioning, in order to redress the imbalance produced
by it; and (2) to provide study-formats and human groupings in
which the conditioning cannot easily operate.
No such systems deny the value of conditioning for certain
purposes:but they themselves do not use it. They are not trying to
destroy the conditioning mechanism, upon which, indeed, so much
This is the first lesson: People who are shown for the first time
how their views are the product of conditioning tend to assume, in
the crudest possible manner, that whoever told them this is himself
or herself opposed to conditioning, or proposes to do something about it.
What any legitimate system will do, however, is to point out that
conditioning is a part of the social scene and is confused with
'higher' things only at the point when a teaching has become
deteriorated and has to 'train' its members.
The second lesson is that the majority of any group of people
can be conditioned, if the group is in effect a random one:
non-conditioning-prone groups can only be developed be selecting
people who marmonise in such a manner as to help defeat this
People who hear this may tend automatically to assume that this
is a doctrine of the elite. But this assumption is only accepted
by them because they are ignorant of the process and the
bases. The primary object is to associate people together who
can avoid conditioning, so that a development can take place
among these people which in turn can be passed on to larger
numbers. It can never be applied to large numbers of people
Many people who hear for the first time that conditioning is
a powerful, unrecognised and spiritually ineffective development
react in another manner which is equally useless. They assume
that since conditioning is present in all the institutions known to
them (including any which they themselves esteem highly) that it
must always be essential. This is only due to the fact that they are
not willing to face the fact that any institution may become invaded
by a tendency which is dangerous to it. This is not the same
as saying that the institution is based upon it.
When people are collected togehter to be exposed to materials
which will defy or avoid conditioning, they will always tend to
become uncomfortable. This discomfort is due to the fact that they
are not receiving from these materials the stimuli to which they
have become accustomed as conditioned people. But, since they
generally lack the full percerception of what IS in the materials, (and
since it is characteristic of conditioning materials that they may
masquerade as independently arrived-at facts), such people do not
know what to do. The solution to this problem which they will
tend to adopt is some kind of rationalisation. If they receive no
accustomed stimulus of an emotional sort, they will regard the
new or carefully selected materials as 'insipid'.
This is a further lesson. everyone should realise that the vicious
circle must be broken somewhere and somehow. To substitute
one conditioning for another is sometimes ridiculous. To provide
people with a stimulus of a kind to which they have become
accustomed may be a public or social service: it is not teaching
activity of a higher sort.
Unfortunately people have been so trained as to imagine that
something which is hard to understand or hard to do, in a crude
sense, is a true exercise. Hence, people are often willing to sacrifice
money, physical effort, time, comfort. But, if they are asked (say)
not to meet, or to sacrifice the attention of a teacher, this they find
nearly impossible to bear, simply because their training to believe is such
they are behaving as addicts. They may want sacrifice or effort,
but only the kind which they have been trained to believe is sacrifice
or effort. 'Stylised effort', though, is no effort at all.
Most unfortunately, they do not know that the system to which
they have been trained has always (if they have developed such a
taste for it as we have just described) fulfilled its optimum possible
developmental function at a point long before we are likely to have
encountered them. It has now become a vice, ritual or habit which
they are unable to recognise as such.
The prerequisite of an advanced form of teaching is that the
participants shall be prepared to expose themselves to it, and not
only to some travesty which gives them a lower nutrition to which
they have become accustomed.
This is in itself a higher stage than any repetition or drilling or
rehasning of words or exercises or theories. And, in its way, it is a
challenge. Can the participants, or can they not, really enter an
area where their effectively cruder desires and automatic responses
are not pandered to?
If they cannot, they have excluded themselves from the Taching.
In order to become eligible, it is the would-be students who have
to 'sort themselves out'. They have to examine themselves and see
whether they have merely been using their studies to fulfill social
desires, or personal psychological aims, or to condition themselves.
They should also be told the simple fact that, for instance, if you
shout 'I must wake up!' often enough, it will put you to sleep. If
their sense of power, for instance, is being fed by means of the
suggestion that they are studying something that others do not
know, they will get no further. If they are deriving any personal
pleasure or other benefit from 'teaching' others, they will not learn
any more. If they depend upon their study-community alone or
mainly for friends or somewhere to go once or twice a week or
month, they will get no further.
There has been a confusion between teaching and the social or
human function. To help or to entertain someone else is a social,
not an esoteric, duty. As a human being you always have the
social and humanitarian duty. But you do not necessarily have the
therapeutic duty; indeed, you may be much less well qualified for it
than almost any conventional therapist.
It is impossible to spend time with virtually any religious,
philosophical and esotericist group, or even to read its literature,
without seeing that a large number of people involved, perhaps
through no fault of their own, and because of ignorance of the
problems, are using these formats for sociological or psychological
purposes of a narrow kind. It is not that their spiritual life is right
in these groups. It is that their life is inadequate.
'As above, so below'. Just as in ordinary wordly considerations
there can be inefficiency or confusion as to aims, so there may be
in approaching higher knowledge. You may be able, initially, to
prusue higher aims through lower mechanisms and theories, but
you cannot pursue them by indulging short-term personal interests.
You must follow your personality interests somewhere else. In an
advanced society there are more institutions catering for such
outlets than anyone could possibly need. Make sure that your professional,
commercial, social, psychological and family needs are fulfilled
in the society to which you belong. The rest of you is the
part which can be communicated with by means of specialised
techniques available to those who have a comprehensive and
legitimate traditional learning: and who have the means of
This is what you have to study first of all. Most people are
trying to effect something else, no matter what they imagine that
they are doing. Fortunately, it is not hard to recognise this if
enough sincere effort is expended.
In ordinary life, if you think that your family is largely a
commercial proposition, people will point out that you are misguided.
If you thought that your profession was mainly for social
purposes, people would soon put you right. It is time, that you
were correctly informed in this field as well. You must know, or
find out, the difference between meeting to learn and experience
something, and meeting in order to be emotionally stimulated or
intellectually tested or socially reassured.
There is no harm at all in a social ingredient in a human
relationship: far from it. But when this gets out of balance, and a
human contact becomes an excuse for a social contact, you are
not going to learn, no matter what materials you are working with.
'Due proportion' is a secret skill of the teacher.
The repeted upsurge of appearntly different schools of higher
study in various epochs and cultures is due in large part to the
need to rescue genuine traditional teachings from the automatism
and social-psychological-entertainment functions which regularly
and deeply invade and, for most part, eventually possess them.
Certain physical and mental exercises, as an example, are of
extremely significant importance for the furthering of higher
human functions. If these are practised by people who use things
for emotional, social or callisthenic purposes, they will not operate
on a higher level with such people. They become merely a means
of getting rid of surplus energy, or of assuageing a sense of
frustration. The practitioners, however, regularly and almost invariably
mistake their subjective experiences of them for 'something higher'.
It is for this reason that legitimate traditional higher teachings
are parsimonious with their materials and exercises. Nobody with
a task to perform can possibly (if he knows about this task) do so in
a manner which is not benefiting people on the required level.
The foregoing information should be read and studied and
understood as widelyt as possible. Without it there is little possiblity
of serving any group of people, anywhere, otherwise than
socially or with shallow psychology, no matter what theories,
systems or exercises are employed.
Where there is ideology, conditioning and indoctrination, a
mechanical element is introduced which drives out the factor of
extradimensional reality perception which connects the higher
functions of the mind with the higher reality.
Theosophical experiences are designed to maintain a harmony with and
nearness to this Reality, while mechanical systems effectively distance
people from it.
Now my view is, that many different Theosophical groups do not relate to
about conditioning and safeguards. Maybe it is because no wellknown
writers - coming from the Theosophical stock
so to speak - has really touched upon it before.
When the various theosophical groups are ready
to do something effectively about this "mechanical element"... related to
conditioning ..."which drives out the factor of
extradimensional reality perception which connects the higher functions of
the mind with the higher reality"
THEN I think we will experience some progress at forums like this or similar
A few words about creating a new forum - a phpBB forum:
The benefit with having a phpBB forum is that it will cover many small
discussion groups, which will be seperated from each other.
This effectively creates easier access to topic debates. And then the
possibility to deal with conditioning factors becomes
easier as well.
Well that is just my view.
The local villain do not scare so easy when he meets
the leader from his own tribe.
But when he meets the leader from another foreign tribe
he usually gets a bit nervous.
M. Sufilight with peace and love...>>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Eldon B Tucker" <eldon@t...>
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 5:44 AM
Subject: Theos-World practicing universal brotherhood rather than merely
mouthing the concept
> 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 may have
> started with books by Leadbeater and Besant, others with books by Barkorka
> and Purucker, others with Judge and Blavatsky books. I would expect that
> they can engage each other in friendly discussion, they can broaden their
> knowledge and grow to greater insight.
> I don't think it's necessary to tell people to only read certain authors
> and avoid others as being tainted. I will say what I prefer, but leave it
> to other people to decide what appeals to them best. In a free exchange of
> ideas over an extended period of time, I think people will gravitate to
> highest approach they are ready for. Each person sets their own limit and
> 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, often
> with wherever they are at being highest, for now, in their estimation. And
> it does not serve a useful purpose to rank and order different approaches,
> with one's own on top, of course, in order to add to one's self-importance
> and putting others in their place.
> If someone wants to study Leadbeater's life from a historic standpoint --
> or Blavatsky's, Judge's, or Krishnamurti's -- that's fine as long as they
> don't use their appraisal as a hammer to hit people on the head when they
> 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 any
> historic one, and everyone should be free to share their ideas, regardless
> of the author or any historic threads of discussion going on at the same
> Regardless of what we might discuss, it's important that we respect the
> others among us of different backgrounds and beliefs, and not put things
> a way that sounds like a personal insult, like "You like that idea from a
> Crowley book? You must be an evil dugpa!" Or "You say you like that idea
> from a Bailey book, yet we have just proven in our historic discussions
> that Bailey was a fraud. Only an idiot would believe something she wrote.
> 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 and
> profess a belief in the One True God, or do you admit to being a devil
> worshiper destined to burn it hell?" -- Note that there are all leading
> questions that require people to either submit to one's belief or confess
> their stupidity.
> It's possible from any particular slant of discussion to find ways to put
> people down, even if one is not doing so intentionally. A discussion of
> actual history and spiritual credentials of someone's favorite
> figure could have a chilling effect upon people reading his or her books
> and wanting to discuss the ideas presented. Yet were they free to discuss
> the ideas, perhaps we'd learn something from them and they're be exposed
> better ideas from us as well.
> A discussion of metaphysics might lead to suggestions that people not
> versed in that particular set of philosophical ideas is "not ready yet"
> should simply be dismissed as spiritual wannabes. That, of course, has a
> chilling effect on the skeptic or believer in something different, making
> him or her to want to brand people a bunch of religious kooks and leave
> 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 personal
> viewpoint isn't the prime perspective of the universe. Everything only
> seems that way *to our eyes*. If we can believe what we will and yet
> happily allow others to coexist with different beliefs and assumptions,
> respecting their individual and likely different seeking of truth, we are
> actually practicing universal brotherhood rather than merely mouthing the
> -- Eldon
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