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RE: Trans-Persnal Psychology -- its coverage

Jan 31, 1999 01:55 PM
by Peter Merriott

Dear Dallas,

Your wrote in relation to Karma, reincarnation & so on.

> Setting these ideas aside leads one too lop-sided conclusions -
> which  are certainly not Theosophical.  I keep on saying that the
> whole of the Theosophical doctrine has to be grasped and applied.
> If we try to select and use what we 0lease we get insecure and
> fragmentary results that are not true.  Hence frustration.
> The philosophy of current materialism in science and thought and
> psychology is so frustrating because no one is able to put their
> finger on the CAUSES.  They all record effects.  Theosophy aims
> at the causes

I entirely agree with you that we mustn't 'pick and  choose' what we please
from the Theosophical Doctrine.  I don't think anyone has suggested that we
should.  I think it would be marvellous if every one in the world was
familiar with the Fundamentals of Theosophy as found in the SD & so on.
Unfortunately, I have to accept that this isn't the world we live in at the
moment.  It seems to be difficult enough for members of the Theosophical
Society to study HPB let alone those outside of it.

I certainly have no wish to become a defender of the omissions and
misconceptions of Transpersonal Psychology.   However, to be fair to that
movement I would point out that it doesn't profess to be a study of
Theosophy from which it selects and leaves what it pleases.

Yet there are a number of important ideas that it proposes.  One of these is
that the spiritual nature of humanity is fundamental to understanding the
current condition and future development of humanity.  Another is that the
study of the ancient spiritual and mystical traditions will greatly aid our
understanding of human nature, along with understanding the causes and
removal of suffering.   Yet another is the view that the individual is a
complex being made up of spiritual, mental, psychic aspects - the core of
which is the spiritual.  I think these are, in essence, theosophical views
though they are not put forward as theosophy, or in theosophical

As Theosophists we can respond in a number of ways to this relatively new
development in psychology (and similar developments in other fields when
they occur).   We can criticise and lecture on the omissions and steps that
it hasn't yet taken.  We can dismiss it because they are not yet studying
Theosophy as found in the works of HPB and the Masters.  We can welcome
these very positive *first steps* and offer encouragement and support for
further steps to be taken.

Perhaps it was a mistake to mention Transpersonal Psychology on this list?
My only intention was to point to some relatively new and hopeful
developments in psychology in response to your earlier comments, namely:

>  I do not think that modern psychology considers
>  the immortality of the Spirit/Soul, and therefore
>  the states that Theosophy describes are unknown,
>  though possibly suspected by some psychologists.

Best wishes,


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