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RE: RE: DEFENSE OF HPB and moving on.

Jan 21, 1999 05:22 AM
by Peter Merriott

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions which in turn raise
questions for me that go beyond what happens in this list, so I will answer
them in that spirit.

[Paul writes:]
> It is possible that some on the list may have little or no interest in the
> personalities involved in the discussions/questions.  Maybe this comes
> across as animosity etc.?  Maybe there is actual animosity?  We
> each need to the ask the question to ourselves.

Yes Paul, of course that is possible.  And yes, all we can do is look to our
own motives as to how we respond to others.

> There are times when we agree/disagree; quietly or outspokenly;
> with fervour or with gentleness.  Does it mean we are any
> the less Brothers?

I guess that depends more on what we feel in our hearts and whether our
responses are offered in a "brotherly" way rather than on whether we agree
or disagree with another.

> It could be said that HPB used quips on ocassion (depending on
> what we mean by the term).  Where necessary she would meet
> oposition head on, with little or no deference to western etiquet
> (sometimes a subtle form of dishonesty)or custom and practice.

You are quite right about that also.  However, I don't feel I can speak with
the same authority and penetrating insight as HPB, so I do my best to
respect the other person and treat them seriously.

> Are there not some things that it is impossible to
> take seriously?

Well that depends on what you mean by "some things."  I try to take the
person who is talking seriously even if I am having trouble with what they
are saying.  Are you suggesting, Paul, from your first reply above, that you
do not take into account the people who are posting but just respond to the
statements and ideas presented as if they are disconnected from the person
writing?   Could you say something about what lies behind that approach for

> We are all learners and individual comments/statements are open
> to question. Is this not a valuable learning tool?; to have the
> personality-ego shaken *and* stirred, thus revealing its own
> ignorance? "Nature spews out the lukewarm" (HPB).

Yes, I agree with you, we are all learners and everything we say is open to
question.  The longer I study the more I feel like a complete beginner with
less and less of value to say.  However, my question is... do we question
others to show up the igonorance of the personality or do we question to
enable the 'light of understanding that resides within'.  I don't see it as
my job to shake up and stir "the personality-ego" of others.  I do see it as
important to recognise that behind the words and ideas of the person talking
is a soul (a budding understanding), like myself, struggling along the path.
It is that dimesion of the person I primarily wish to respond to.

So I ask myself, how can I respond in such a way as to help that inner
understanding, that inner light be more present in this persons life?  If I
attack that persons ideas, motives and character this seems to me to have
the result of aggravating and strenthening that very part of the person that
I would like to see beyond.  The whole interaction becomes more personality
centred than soul-full.  I have noticed that when I try to go beyond the
words, to the understanding that this person is trying to articulate then
there is more of a chance of that soul-full note coming through.  Then
people are more likely to recognise and let go of their own ignorance in
thier own time.

[Peter wrote:]
> > To question Theosophy and HPB doesn't necessarily make some one
> > an enemy of Theosophy and HPB.  In fact, I would argue
> > that the fiercist enemies of Theosophy, the Dugpas, are those
> > that know the Theosophical teachings and Laws of Occultism
> > are real and not those who doubt them.

[Paul replied:]
> Likewise, questioning/knowledge may not *necessarily* be of theosophical
> motive.  We all know of entrenched personalities who will question,
> question, question until the cows come home, not in an endeavour to
> learn/discover/understand but simply as a means of attention seeking.

Once again, there is truth in your observations Paul.  Some of us *are*
stuck in our ways and go round in circles.  We each have our stuck areas and
I feel I am just as likely to get caught up in mine as  anybody else is in
theirs.  The question is how do we respond.  Do we dismiss or condemn or can
we try and look behind that "attention seeking" (if that's what it is) to
help the other to be free enough from the 'stuckness' to move on in a more
soul-full way?

[Paul added:]
> Could anyone who *knew* the Theosophical teaching become a D****?  Or does
> such a one only seek sufficient (hence impartial) knowledge to indulge
> selfish desires?

That's a good question.  My sense is that they could.  I would say that
those at the top of the heirarchy of that particular path know a great deal
of the Laws of Occultism and Theosophy.  I think at that stage it is not
about Knowledge but about *choice* of which path to follow.  I'm also not
sure that such 'individuals', at that level, are interested in the everyday
selfish desires of the average man/woman.  I'd be interested to know your
views on this, Paul.

[Peter  wrote:]

> > So, is it possible to acknowledge that there are differences of
> > views and yet to *actively* draw upon the things we have in common?
> > Is it possible to develop a mutual respect and support for each
> > other, even when views differ from our own, in our endeavour
> > to better understand and live the life of Theosophy?

[Paul replied:]

> Question: what common ground is there between Truth and Error?

My view is that you and I are the common ground, Paul.  You, me, others on
this list; all those seekers after truth throughout the world; all those who
are lost upon the way.  The common ground is that seed of Wisdom that
resides in each of us; that bud of understanding (albeit misplaced and
distorted in expression at times) behind our words and actions that needs
encouragement to come forth... to make mistakes, to get it right, to stumble
between Truth and Error along the steep, steep path.

Best wishes,


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