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Re: Theos-World practicing universal brotherhood rather than merely mouthing the concept

Sep 14, 2004 01:30 AM
by leonmaurer

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?


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

life depends.


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

safeguaring it.

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

this view

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...>

To: <>

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 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

> >theosophy).


> 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

> concept.


> -- Eldon

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