Doubt and new beliefs, Daniel Caldwell, David Green, etc.
Feb 13, 2006 12:11 PM
by Robert Bruce MacDonald
I am kicking myself for getting drawn back into this, but I think it's
important. I want to introduce the topic of doubt into this discussion and
how it might play a role. To begin with HPB makes the following comment on
doubt in "From Keshub to Maestro Wagner":
"If we are answered—as many a time we have been answered—that
notwithstanding all, the Salvationists as well as the New Dispensationists
are doing good, since they help to kindle the fast extinguishing fires of
spirituality in man’s heart, we shall answer that it is not by fencing and
dancing in grotesque attire, that this spirituality can ever be preserved;
nor is it by thrusting one’s own special belief down a neighbour’s throat
that he can ever be convinced of its truth. Smoke also can dim the solar
rays, and it is well known that the most worthless materials, boldly kindled
and energetically stirred, often throw out the densest masses of murky
vapour. Doubt is inseparable from the constitution of man’s reasoning
powers, and few are the men who have never doubted, whatever their sectarian
belief; a good proof that few are quite satisfied—say what they may to the
contrary—that it is their creed and not that of their brother which has got
the whole truth. "
Doubt is the natural ally of reason. The inadequacy of a position will in
time be understood by reason and this will lead to doubt. The secret is to
foster that doubt so that the doubter will seek for new answers. HPB points
out that you do not change people's minds by ramming your own beliefs down
their throats. Does Daniel realize that his style of flooding leads to a
polarization of positions in his various antagonists over-riding any
feelings of doubt they might have? This stops the natural progression of
growth that was initiated by them bringing the topic up in the first place.
Interfering in people's growth and understanding is what the priest-caste
do. HPB writes further on in the paragraph:
"Men have done their best to veil every beam and to replace it with the
false glare of error and fiction; none more so than bigoted, narrow-minded
theologians and priests of every faith, casuists and perverters through
selfishness. It is against them, never against any religion, or the sincere
belief of any man in whatsoever he chooses, that we have and do protest."
By cornering opponents and throwing everything he has at them, Daniel
polarizes his opponents into a particular position thereby making them
unwilling to consider other points. This clouding of the air is exactly
what the priest-cast do with the dogmas they dress their respective
religions in. Instead of being able to progress to loftier and more
universal beliefs within his own religion, he is forced to leave that
community altogether if he has the courage to do so.
The Mahatmas also write on doubt. In ML 129 we read:
'﻿My good friend — Shakespeare said truly that “our doubts are
traitors.” Why should you
doubt or create in your mind ever growing monsters?'
Sometimes doubt betrays us. This type of doubt is usually a trust issue.
Universal Brotherhood is very difficult to practice, it is easy to doubt the
sincerity of others. This was the problem between Judge and Besant. Besant
began to doubt Judge, no doubt with the help of Olcott, and the rest as they
say is history. Regrettably, Besant was in a position of Occult
responsibility, so her fall was particularly hard. Again, Daniel's style is
one where the lack of trust between the various Societies is preyed upon in
order to ensure that there never is established a foundation of trust upon
which to build consensus. At the risk of sounding extreme, does Daniel
realize this is a Jesuitical tactic, keep the various groups separate and
fighting among themselves?
When writing to Sinnett about his upcoming book and its effects on the
Spiritualists, the Master writes (ML 17):
﻿"They will begin by rejecting — nay — vilifying it; but, it will
find its faithful twelve and — the seed thrown by your hand into the soil of
speculation will not grow up as a weed. So far may be promised. You are oft
too cautious. You remind too often the reader of your ignorance; and
presenting but as a modest theory that which at the bottom of your heart you
know and feel to be an axiom, a primary truth — instead of helping, you but
perplex him and — create doubt."
Now this is a very telling statement. Sinnett is being counselled that in
presenting his arguments in his book, that he should be forceful like he has
full confidence in what he is saying. The doubting Spiritualist who picks
up the book and finds what appears to be some doubt in the writer, will
naturally be unpersuaded ultimately by the argument. Why should he move
from one doubtful position to another. Does Daniel realize that this is the
effect his books and his website have on the seeker? Remember, people
seeking have to wade through a lot of different systems of thought. If they
stop at Theosophy and read a book of letters that councils people it is okay
to torture cats to death in the name of occult science, what are they to
think? Or if they read a book on a grand occultist whose author is so
unsure of her that he has to insert a few caveats where people argue for a
completely different picture of HPB then it is likely they will move on.
That is not to say that Daniel shouldn't deal with the allegations against
HPB, but there is a place for that. He can present papers at Theosophical
History conferences, etc. that prove the allegations to be false, which
seems to be what he believes.
Again we read ML 117:
﻿"I highly approve of his coming to India, but disapprove as highly
his fancy of bringing Mr.
C.C. Massey here. The result of the latter would be to injure the cause
Distrust and prejudice are contagious."
Does Daniel realize that distrust is contagious? Who do you trust on this
site? If you say anything controversial, you are crucified. I don't think
anyone is here to be attacked, they are here to find a secure environment of
like minded individuals where they can discuss things openly and honestly.
If you are afraid to bring up certain topics, then already we've lost. We
should not doubt and distrust the other members of this site, especially if
we want it to work. Make a place where people want to come and comment.
If I wanted to create an agent provocateur against theosophy, I would create
someone who fostered distrust among current members and who had a weak
enough position to foster doubt in new members. This would effectively
freeze any further progress along the lines of brotherhood.
Perhaps such an agent would create cynical aliases to further stir things
up. Is this what is happening here? I hope not, but if it walks like a
duck . . . , what are we to think?
Daniel, perhaps it is time to tell us what you know about Green and Hobbes?
I am sure that you would not be betraying any trust in simply providing
evidence of their existence?
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