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Re: Theos-World Introduction

Nov 28, 2004 09:36 AM
by Tom Robertson

>Dear Tom,

Thanks, Leon.

>I'd be most interested (as I'm sure would be most theosophical philosophers) 
>in hearing about "your philosophy" and how it relates to both professional 
>gambling and theosophy... Although my reasons could be different.  

A little pamphlet that the Theosophical Society had in the Seattle
lodge expressed very well the way spirit and matter always mix and are
never pure, always and only existing in union with each other. I see
everything that way. That the ideal is always a matter of a balance
between opposites forms the backbone of my philosophy. I see evil
always as imbalance.

Ethically, I've always questioned professional gambling. Isn't it
selfish, or at least too competitive, to make a living by taking
advantage of the mistakes of other gamblers? I haven't come up with
any easy answers, but my recent forays into "legitimate" business have
at least helped me realize that competition and selfishness are hardly
exclusive to professional gambling. I like what Michael says in "The
Godfather, part 3" about the higher he goes up in the legitimate
world, the more corrupt it gets. I've come to completely disagree
with the idea (that I once held as gospel) that evil is selfishness
and that good is unselfishness. A certain balance between the two is
the ideal.

>One of my closest friends and business partner (since our meeting in grammar 
>school) was also a professional gambler in Las Vegas since the early 1970s. He 
>was not a studied theosophist but was sympathetic to its premises and 
>conclusions (which we discussed at length). He practiced altruism by writing 
>newspaper articles and publishing pamphlets that would help novice gamblers avoid 
>being cheated by teaching them all about the ways the different games theymight 
>play manipulate the odds to assure house profits, and how to avoid the 
>pitfalls and gamble intelligently. He also wrote some instructional pieces about 
>methods that professional gamblers use and what games they play to assure their 
>own income. It seems that an intuitive understanding of karma and its 
>relationship to cycles and periodicity might be useful in our practical lives no 
>matter what profession we may be in. :-) 

Actually, although it's often the first thing that people think I
regard, cycles are something I completely ignore as a professional
gambler. I don't try to predict when anything will happen based on
what has just happened. I play with the odds in my favor and assume
that, after weathering all the ups and downs, I'm the favorite to come
out ahead in the long run.

Professional gambling has taught me many lessons about life in
general. It has shaped my view of karma, for example. Similarly to
how I don't see gambling results as having anything to do with
previous gambling results, I don't see karma as a tit-for-tat system
of justice for particular rights and wrongs. Justice is served less
directly than that. Treating one person poorly won't necessarily
directly cause that person to return the favor, but it will encourage
a habit of treating people poorly that will eventually come back to
the one who did it, just as gambling with the odds against one won't
necessarily make one lose in any given short run, but will in the long
run. "There is no justice" only in the short run.

>Look forward to your comments.
>Best wishes,  
>Leon Maurer
>In a message dated 11/27/04 9:54:19 PM, writes:
>>I am a life member of the Theosophical Society. I was active in the
>>Seattle lodge from 1994 through 1998. I also participated in the
>>theos-l email list in some of those years. I live in Las Vegas, where
>>I've lived as a professional gambler most of my adult life. Much of
>>my philosophy is based on what I've read and discussed of Theosophy.  
>Yahoo! Groups Links

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