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Feb 08, 2006 10:29 AM
by robert_b_macd


I am Bruce MacDonald, editor of the theosophical publication, Fohat. 
By way of helping everyone to get to know me I offer the following.

I have read over some of the recent posts and am amazed and delighted
about all the potential avenues of discussion that present themselves.
 The students so often seem to be scratching at the surface of a topic
before moving on, or they say things that on the surface look true
without exploring deeper.  Let's look at a few examples.

Bart wrote: 
    carlosaveline cardoso aveline wrote:
>As to me, he is welcome to do so. I would be proud to be          
>attacked instead of her.   To be critized for defending HPB is good
>karma,  not only to me, but to all those who have the  opportunity
>and the priviledge to do this.  I also happen to be among those
>students who have a heartfelt commitment with their souls not to be
>silent while utter lies and libels are publicized against their
>sacred Teacher.

"Neither our philosophy nor ourselves believe in a God, least of all
in one whose pronoun necessitates a capital H."

          	 - Koot Hoomi.

Now one may ask what is happening here?  I can't know for sure what
Bart is alluding to, but here is how I understand it (and please
correct me if I'm wrong).  Carlos comes close to sounding like he has
put HPB on some sort of pedestal and commenced worshiping her.
However, to read it that way would be uncharitable.  Bart then teases
Carlos with the kind of reply that the enemies of Truth so often trot
out in these types of instances giving us the KH quote (a quote
referring to the capitalized pronoun "Him" that Christians are so fond
of) out of context.  At this point bells should be going off in the
head of every theosophist who reads this and we should be asking
ourselves how to understand the principles of this passage from Carlos
so that when fellow theosophists are attacked for allegedly worshiping
anyone, we know how to defend them.

Christina helps us out here by writing:
>By the way true occult students don't need lectures or letters from
>anybody, for their knowledge, intelligence and contemplative overlook
>is an inside developement.
Christina seems to be pointing out that it is life experience coupled
with our own inner light that leads to understanding and progress
along the Path and the role of teachers is beside the point.  It is
true that it is experience coupled with our own flashes of intuition
that lead to understanding, but there is still a role for teachers. 
Teachers provide us with the map that allows us to progress more
quickly along the Path.  Dharma Yoga is the slowest way to move along
the Path while Jnana Yoga is quicker and safer.  The spiritual teacher
gives what he knows to the student motivated only by love.  If the
student does not feel moved to show the teacher great respect for this
act of love, then it is likely that the student will make limited
progress along the Path.

When Carlos chooses to defend his Teacher of the sacred or "sacred
Teacher" it is only because he understands this fact.   Blavatsky died
a poor woman writing to the very end trying to promote the spirit of
the movement that she helped initiate.  She did not profit materially
from founding the Theosophical Society.  In fact most of the little
income she made was used to help further the cause.  If she didn't
profit then why did she do it?  As I understand it, it was done out of
love for humanity and this makes her a Great Soul (excuse the
capitals) and therefore deserving of respect.

In as much as we are all trying to help others along this same Path
and don't do it for money but rather for love of humanity, we all
deserve to be shown this same respect.  For example, if Bart were to
accuse Daniel of being a CIA disinformation artist specializing in HPB
and Theosophical matters who is trying to plant divisive ideas within
the body of theosophical knowledge, we should all have to defend
Daniel from Bart and I am sure that we all would.  Daniel has put in
thousands of unpaid hours helping theosophists and if he has made any
errors, then it must be assumed that the errors were out of ignorance
(a defect that we should all have the humility to acknowledge having).

Frank brings up an interesting point in defense of Daniel.  When
writing on what we should do with literature from people that attack
theosophy and HPB, Frank writes:
>I think to silence criticism (as it is customs among the
>theosophical" groups in Germany f.e.) is always a position of fear
>and frustration.
>    According a movement can only win its struggle when it includes
>its opposition.
It seems to me that Carlos is accusing Daniel of a lack of
discrimination.  Frank points out that we cannot hide or ignore
disparaging material and he is correct.  However, I don't think Frank
goes far enough.  As I understand it, there are at least three levels
of thought in the presentation of material.  First, there is archival
material which is of interest to the historian-researcher.  These
are experts in a given field and can read the various materials and
understand them in the context of history.  The researcher uses the
archival material to argue theoretical positions.  These positions are
vetted by his peers and accepted or rejected.  The accepted positions
become a kind of secondary material vetted by a group of experts.  The
popular historian use these vetted positions to present material in a
popular way to the untutored public.  The public are not experts
and therefore lack the means to discriminate between truth and lie,
accepted theory and rejected theory, etc.  They are just looking to
understand the subject at a superficial level and are not willing to
invest the time needed to discriminate between the true and the false.
 There is a responsibility that the popular historian assumes to his
readers only to provide vetted material. Carlos sees Daniel's book as
the work of the popular historian. Daniel mixes unproven allegations
(lies and hence disgusting) with uncontroversial accounts. The
untutored masses have no way to judge this material and so are left
confused.  For theosophists, Daniel's work is not overly problematic
because theosophists should make an effort to know their own history
and perhaps Daniel's book will prompt them to do so.  For those
outside the movement, the argument is that it is not appropriate.

This is already too long.  I have some further comments that I will
save for a future post.

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