understanding or attacking Theosophy?
Mar 03, 2002 11:55 AM
by Eldon B Tucker
At 04:43 PM 3/3/02 +0000, you wrote:
My aim is however to understand Theosophy, the way it is "currently"
believed, by members of the TS and also to one degree or another by
certain of its sub-groups.
Also the Flat Earth Society however will not consider its ideas as having
much to do with "history" in the sense that they really believe that it
is "current" scientific "reality."
For members of the Flat Earth Society that the earth is flat as "current"
reality, and not just ideas from books of the 15th and 16th century.
At different times, many people have shared their understanding
of Theosophy. We don't all see it quite the same way, although
the basic ideas or core concepts would be generally agreed upon.
Different second-generation writers have taken things in
their own directions, and the biggest area of disagreement may
be over which of those directions is the most true to Theosophy.
From what you say above, your aim is more than simply understand
something of what Theosophists may think. Your immediate comparison
of theosophical groups to the Flat Earth Society shows your hostility.
It's funny that you would mention the Flat Earth Society, since it
continues to promote what was a Catholic dogma until science forced
the Catholics to accept a bit more reality into their mythology.
Imagine someone speaking at your university. The person says that
they want to understand how Catholics think about the world. This
comes after the person has denounced most of the Catholic dogma as
pseudo-science and called anyone defending it apologists and
fundamentalists. The person then immediately compares the Catholic
Church, in promoting this dogma, to the Flat Earth Society.
Do you think that person would be favorably received? How would
people at your university respond? They'd probably say that if you
were to stick to your research, presenting it in a factual,
descriptive manner, without the snide remarks and continual insulting
of people and of the church, people would listen to you with an open mind.
My comparison above is only to show another example of how people
might reach when their system of thought (beliefs, training, understanding
of life) is not just challenged by other ideas, but also subject to
hateful and abusive tactics. I'm not comparing Theosophy to orthodox
Catholic belief. They're really quite opposite one another. The Catholic
belief is fixed, rigid, orthodox, unyielding to reason, and the enemy
of science (even though there may be some individuals within its ranks
who are able to think for themselves, but careful how they voice their
thoughts lest they be expelled). The Theosophical belief is fluidic,
flexible, unorthodox, yielding to reason, and the friend of science
(even though there may be some individuals within its ranks who prefer
My comparison is also not to pick on one particular example of
orthodox, exoteric, institutional religion -- the Catholic church.
The problem is with organized religion in general, when beliefs
become institutionalized and a mythology develops which takes the
place of a dynamic and ever-changing understanding of life. This
is where Theosophy offers a solution.
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