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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 among Englishmen.
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?

Sincerely, Bruce

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