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Re: Theos-World Teaching Methods and Prerequisites (2nd edition)

Sep 14, 2004 01:39 AM
by Morten N. Olesen

Hallo Perry and all,

My views are:

Thank you very much.
I also do like to motivate self learning and critical evaluation.

Perry wrote:
"Most people are used to passive listening that is why I think group
discussion is far more empowering than passive listening to lectures.imo"

But Perry, that was not - quite - what the email (3rd edition) I wrote just
like that agreed upon.
But I think you understand.
The text talked about the necessity of a Teacher, a spiritual Guide and of
minor groups, and especially non-random ones. But groups with members that
in a very special sense harmonise within certain somewhat predefined
And what does this view or the text I offered tell us about this place
called Theos-Talk ?

A few comments are inserted in the below using ***.

M. Sufilight with peace and love...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Perry Coles" <perrycoles@y...>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 4:03 AM
Subject: Re: Theos-World Teaching Methods and Prerequisites (2nd edition)

> Hi Morten thanks for these posts.
> I think that it is an essential part of group work and especially
> where there is a teaching involved to help empower the participants
> into self learning and critical evaluation of what is being said.
> In the reading groups I've facilitated I've always emphasise the need
> to keep in the back of our minds that this information should never be
> believed and infact may be incorrect.
> You can even make strong statements like `this information could be a
> clever hoax' and I say it genuinely,it may shock people but it keeps
> the mind open and guards against blind belief.
> This keeps us on our toes and encouraged to look at conflicting views
> as well as views that may support the information.
> An open mind is not an easily led mind.
> As individuals only we know within ourselves if this information has
> voracity for us it may not for others.
I agree.

> Most people are used to passive listening that is why I think group
> discussion is far more empowering than passive listening to lectures.imo
> A facilitator can only encourage and hope people will NEVER blindly
> follow but rather investigate with a genuinely open and critical mind.
> Blavatsky's writings imo encourage and develop open minds rather than
> close them.
Some writings are best to read alone.
Others will be best to read in groups - and maybe even out loud.
And yet Others are not primarily to be read, but are coded messages.
And other issues...
Sometimes it even depends on the situation (ie. time, place and people...)
what is the best solution.
Here is a text about these issues...

> The simplistic and pat answers found in Leadbeaters and Besants
> writings in my opinion tend to close the mind and develop a devotional
> / follower type of mindset.
It often creates a Mind which to a certain degree are conditioned.
If such a mind not are being helped to recognise and do something about this
fact - it will not develop further spiritually.
Mere repetition will not help.
Even repetition of emails will not help. >:-)

On the other hand it is maybe so, that these beginner manoeuvres are
necessary to
at least some of the new Seekers.
The problem seems however to be, that so very little is done to break their
cricles of repetition.

> If big words are a problem there are glossaries and dictionaries to
> look up.
> As HPB said in the Key
> "To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must remain a riddle; for
> in the world mental as in the world spiritual each man must progress
> by his own efforts. The writer cannot do the reader's thinking for
> him, nor would the latter be any the better off if such vicarious
> thought were possible"
Yes. Agreed.


> Many people underestimate their own intelligence and think they can't
> explore these ideas, getting people out of this low self esteem helps
> them come into their own power and to become more self actuated and
> self directed.
> In my opinion the writings of HPB give power back to the individual
> rather than take it away.
I think this to be a Very thoughtful and good remark.

That is also why I like the "Teaching Stories" written by Idries Shah.
They follow Blavatsky's view that allegories are part of the main path to
spiritual development.

"The stage described in Stanza II. is, to a western mind, so nearly
identical with that mentioned in the first Stanza, that to express the idea
of its difference would require a treatise in itself. Hence it must be left
to the intuition and the higher faculties of the reader to grasp, as far as
he can, the meaning of the allegorical phrases used. Indeed it must be
remembered that all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties rather than
to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain.
And that is why the old scriptures are filled with allegories."
(Vol. 1, Page 21 PROEM.)

Let us just read what is said about Idries Shah and "Teaching Stories" in
the Free Dictionary, which is online:

" Teaching stories is a term introduced by Idries Shah Idries Shah (born
1924 died 1996) was an author and lyricist in the sufist tradition.
This article is a controversial issue. Arguments pro et con with regard to
actual Idries Shah stature can be seen at the

Idries Shah greatly extended the western knowledge of the sufi teachings. He
had profound influence on several intellectuals, notably Doris Lessing. His
definition of Sufism
..... Click the link for more information.

to describe stories and anecdotes that have been deliberately created as
vehicles for the transmission of wisdom.
"On the surface teaching stories often appear to be little more than
fairy or folk tales. But they are designed to embody - in their characters,
plots and imagery - patterns and relationships that nurture a part of the
mind that is unreachable in more direct ways, thus increasing our
understanding and breadth of vision, in addition to fostering our ability to
think critically." - Robert Ornstein "

A critical stance towards Idries Shah is written here by a Gurdjieff
(Gurdjieff supporters often don't like Rafael Lefort's book "The Teachers of
Gurdjieff", which Idries Shah's almost certainly wrote using the

M. Sufilight

> Perry
> --- In, "Morten N. Olesen"
> <global-theosophy@a...> wrote:
> >
> > The text (the 3rd edition) are from a source.
> > I find the text to be useful when we talk about Theosophical groups
> and when
> > we talk about how many physical forums are operating.
> >
> > Why are you interested in the source?
> > What do you think about the content of the 3rd edition ?
> >
> >
> >
> > M. Sufilight
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: <samblo@c...>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 10:25 PM
> > Subject: Re: Theos-World Teaching Methods and Prerequisites (2nd
> edition)
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Morten,
> > > Are these your personal statements or are these an excerpt from some
> > source?
> > >
> > > John
> > >
> > >
> > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Yahoo! Groups Links
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> Yahoo! Groups Links

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