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Nov 13, 2006 00:04 AM
by Cass Silva

Yes, it is all very well and good. But if we admit it, it is not the way the world works.  Perhaps I am still a sinner?

----- Original Message ----
From: Shel Steijl <>
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 5:05:51 PM
Subject: Re: Theos-World ON OTHER PEOPLE'S MOTIVES


            Dear Bruce... well done!  You have hit the nail on the head, so to speak.


----- Original Message ----- 

From: "Robert Bruce MacDonald" <robert.b.macdonald@>

To: <theos-talk@yahoogro>

Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 7:26 AM

Subject: Re: Theos-World ON OTHER PEOPLE'S MOTIVES

> &#65279;Dear Bill, Adelaise, and other interested parties,


> Bill has presented an interesting question that I would like to address.

> Basically Bill asks

> whether it might be argued that there is no difference in the type of 

> debate

> that goes on in the

> larger society between various religious groups and holders of scientific

> positions, and what goes

> on within the borders of the Theosophical Movement.  Are devout 

> Theosophists

> any different

> than devout Christians in their desire to make everyone else believe as 

> they

> do, while at the same

> time unable to accept evidence contrary to their positions.  On the 

> surface

> there appears to be no

> difference.


> A contrary argument may go something like this.  The Theosophical Movement

> was established

> to provide a forum where men and women could come together and argue on

> various subjects

> without appeal to outside authorities.  As there is no appeal to outside

> authorities, theosophists

> are forced to develop their own minds and reasoning skills in order to put

> forward the best

> arguments on various subjects.  This description of the Movement can be

> derived from its 3

> Objects.  The First Object, Universal Brotherhood, means we have an equal

> playing field where

> no one theosophist' s argument is better than another's in virtue of any 

> rank

> or authority.  This

> means that the lowliest theosophist can argue against the arguments of HPB

> or one of the

> Masters.  The Second and Third Objects point to the field of debate.

> Theosophy is a Movement

> whose prime purpose is to develop minds capable of thinking for 

> themselves.


> As there can be no appeal to authority, theosophists have no reason to

> attack the good name of

> other theosophists.  There is nothing to be gained.  Whether another

> theosophist is a sinner or a

> saint, what matters are the ideas that he or she puts forth.  As the 

> history

> of human thought can be

> described as an appeal to authority, this is not an intuitive process.

> People do not normally think

> complex subjects through, they rather listen to what the authorities say 

> on

> the subject and then

> decide which authority they "trust" more.  Theosophists are in the process

> of learning how to do

> this, and as such they make many mistakes.


> For example, Olcott using his authority as president to claim that HPB

> enacted a fraud with

> respect to the writing of the "Prayag Letter", undermined the spirit of 

> the

> Society.  His belief that

> the content of the letter was not true and his existing doubts about HPB's

> integrity caused him to

> write something that was untheosophical.  He put himself forward as HPB's

> judge and jury.  This

> was a mistake.  Besant's claim that Judge forged missives on the border of

> letters in order to

> accrue political power was a similar instance.  She had no right to make

> that judgment, as she did

> not have the proof.  It was simply a supposition based on her own doubts.

> She presented herself

> as an authority on human behaviour in general, and on Judge's behavior in

> particular.  She did

> not possess that authority.  She made a mistake.  Today many write about

> Judge seeking

> guidance from mediums as if it were a fact.  It is not a fact.  The 

> evidence

> they provide can be

> used to create uncountably many stories, all equally credible.  Such a 

> claim

> is a supposition, and

> as such, has no place within the Theosophical Movement.  It seeks to 

> remove

> any moral authority

> that Judge may have developed through his work and his writings by 

> throwing

> dirt on his

> reputation.  It is a lazy man's way of undermining his betters.


> It can be read in the posts of theosophy talk on numerous occasions, "You

> can never judge

> another persons motives", or "you are trying to put forward X, Y, or Z as 

> an

> authority, what

> about the argument?"  Theosophists are alive to what is at stake even if

> they continue to make

> mistakes and have not made the rules of theosophy a part of their own

> overall approach to life.


> Another example might be Charles Leadbeater, does he deserve to have every

> charge of

> pedophilia and sex magic trotted out before the public again and again by

> theosophists?  Has it

> been proved beyond any doubt that he engaged in such practices?  A good 

> rule

> for all

> theosophists to keep in mind is that if you do not know an allegation

> concerning a man's

> reputation to be a fact, it is a probably a good idea to keep your mouth

> shut.  Leadbeater is not a

> threat to the Movement.  Most people acknowledge that Leadbeater promoted

> many false ideas.

> It follows from this quite reasonably that EVERY idea presented by

> Leadbeater should be studied

> carefully before being accepted.  If a theosophist wants to study 

> Leadbeater

> looking through his

> writing for a few gems among the dross, then so what?  If another

> theosophists feels that he can

> spend his time more profitably elsewhere, then so much the better.   If

> Leadbeater established

> groups within or without the Movement that practice sex magic or worse, 

> this

> can be nullified by

> producing powerful arguments against such practices in general so that any

> practitioners will

> have to contend with these arguments within their own minds when they get

> ready for their

> rituals and/or debauchery.  This way we can avoid tainting Leadbeater's

> reputation unfairly in

> case all of this unfounded rumour is untrue.


> In addition to unfairly blackening each other's names, we can also prevent

> ourselves from getting

> into the habit of repeating unfounded allegations.  The mind does not make

> any distinction

> between the dead and the living.  Therefore, when we repeat unfounded

> allegations about

> another, we are hurting ourselves most of all.  We are giving credence and

> power to the

> allegations and credence and power to their importance.  Almost every 

> human

> being who has

> made any effort to become a spiritual human being has skeletons in their

> closet.  If we are going

> to dismiss what people have to say based on past mistakes, then we will 

> end

> up listening to no

> one.  Logically, dealing in reputations is self defeating and it 

> undermines

> the Principle of

> Universal Brotherhood.  Leave such stuff to the academics.


> Academics and the priest-cast are in the business of appealing to 

> authority.

>  The priest-cast has

> its holy books which only they have the authority to interpret properly, 

> and

> academics have the

> respected names of their own particular discipline.  The High-Priest of a

> particular religion or

> academic discipline becomes the authority.  Their word becomes more

> important than reason or

> any other criteria.  This is how knowledge is controlled and the search 

> for

> truth perverted.  This is

> why theosophy was needed.


> If it is not theosophical to judge individuals, then what about groups? 

> Is

> it okay to question the

> gay community, or the Jewish community, or Catholics, etc.?   While the

> motives of individuals

> are unclear, it is not so with groups.  They organize under charters or

> constitutions or dogmas

> that are explicit as to what they are about.  As with any idea it can be

> interpreted according to its

> broader spirit or according to a more narrow dead-letter materialism.

> During this age, where

> materialism rules, power is held by the most material and their ideas gain

> ascendency.  Politics is

> not the field of spiritual men and women.  Consequently the spokesmen of

> identifiable groups

> often represent the worst tendencies of that group.  If we cannot 

> criticize

> the group and judge its

> behavior then its worst tendencies are bound to become the norm.  What 

> makes

> matters worse is

> that today's societies look upon it as hateful to criticize minorities. 

> An

> unreasoning sympathy

> seeks to protect these groups by leaving them to their excesses.  Even

> members of their own

> group are accused of self-hatred if they do not go along with the nonsense

> espoused by the

> political masters.  It is not hatred from without that is the threat, but

> rather the immoral excesses

> from within.


> Consequently, we have to be able to be critical of the various 

> Theosophical

> Societies of which

> many of us belong.  This is the only way to prevent them from falling into

> dogma and political

> irrelevancy.  There must be debate from within and without theosophical

> organizations if they are

> to remain relevant.  It is not the constitution that makes a group good or

> bad, but rather how it

> gets interpreted.  For various reasons things are made political.


> The shame that society made homosexuals feel for ages has been reacted

> against through a

> political movement called gay pride.  Now we have hedonistic parades being

> conducted all

> around the world in the name of gay pride.  Where is this going to lead?

> What is gay pride?

> Does it make any sense?  Should heterosexuals feel proud about being a 

> good

> heterosexual?

> Whether one is heterosexual or homosexual seems dependent on one's karma.

> Should we be

> proud about our karma?  Is our sexuality essential to who we are or is it 

> an

> accident of the phase

> that humanity is now going through?  My sexuality has nothing to do with 

> the

> core of who I am.

> Rather I would argue my capacity to love, platonic love, is essential, not

> love mixed up with

> personal emotions and sex.  Regardless, if we are not able to debate about

> homosexuality, we are

> not going to understand and accept it in any meaningful way.  If the very

> discussion becomes a

> threat, especially to theosophists - gay or otherwise -  then we still

> haven't progressed very far

> down the theosophical path and it may be important to figure out why. 

> Trust

> is essential in any

> brotherhood.  Calling one another homophobes or anti-semites or nazis has 

> no

> place in

> theosophical discourse.  These are merely personal attacks where the

> attacker pretends to have

> the authority to judge others.  We cannot make pariahs out of the 

> ignorant.

> If they don't

> question, they will not learn nor come to finally understand.  Perhaps 

> their

> questions will force us

> to go deeper and force us to see things in a different way and bring about

> new understandings.  In

> any event stifling discourse through such appeals is not theosophical.


> Practicing theosophy is not an easy road and we are all making mistakes.

> However, we can point

> out the mistakes and move on without having to impugn base motive.  It can

> be argued that

> theosophists are trying and despite the mistakes they are learning, and

> learning at a faster rate

> than the society at large.  They at least understand to some extent what 

> the

> principles are, and are

> trying to reflect those principles as best they can.  This leads to an

> accelerated learning full of

> many mistakes.  The primary virtue that we have to cultivate right now is

> tolerance, until these

> theosophical rules become the natural expression of all theosophists.


> Bruce


>>--- In theos-talk@yahoogro, Bill Meredith meredith_bill@


>> >

>> > Dear Adelasie,

>> > If you have time, I would like to get your views on this article:

>> >

> http://www.apuritan ChristianWalk/ McMahonTreeAndIt sFruit.htm

>> > If you recall, you and I have had similar discussions in the distant

>> > past on BN-Study. My thoughts over the intervening years have come

> to

>> > be more in line with yours as I continue to seek for understanding.


>> > seems, however, that theosophy, when defined as a collection of

> people

>> > with various ideas, has accumulated its fair share of puritan minds.

>> >

>> > It has often been my observation that devout Theosophists are not


>> > that different from devout Christians in behavior. Both groups are

>> > intellectually inclined to harsh judgments and intolerance. It has

>> > become clear to me in discussions with such people, no matter their

>> > particular creed, that they relish perceiving themeselves as the


>> > and Defenders of Truth. Hence all evidence that supports their


>> > is evidence of Truth and all evidence that represents the antithesis


>> > their Beliefs is slander and lies used as food to sustain their

>> > Beliefs. This usually takes the form of expressing pride and


>> > in being "attacked" and "challenged" because being opposed in one's

>> > beliefs is further evidence that one's Beliefs are the Truth.

>> >

>> > peace within,

>> >

>> > --bill

>> >

>> > adelasie wrote:

>> > >

>> > > Carlos,

>> > >

>> > > You are free to make however many judgements you wish to make. But

>> > > nowhere does thesosophy support making judgements about our

> brothers

>> > > and sisters based on our opinion of their motives. As students,

> far

>> > > better we err on the side of tolerance than that we made

> judgements

>> > > of our fellow human beings, no matter what evidence can be

> produced.

>> > > Exoteric history does not tell the whole story. Many are the


>> > > of history who are someone else's hero.

>> > >


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