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Re: Theos-World P. Johnson, Greenpeace & Freud

Mar 09, 2006 08:07 PM
by Bill Meredith

Bruce, Thanks for your thoughtful and respectful response.

I hope that you recognize that the positions I attributed to Carlos in my post below were intended as a parody of converse equivalents in strength and character to the positions that Carlos ascribes to Paul Johnson. In writing this post, I made unsubstantiated charges, judgments about motive, and one-sided claims about Carlos in direct proportion to the unsubstantiated charges, judgments about motive, and one-sided claims made by Carlos about Paul. Keeping that as a backdrop, I will address some of your comments below.

robert_b_macd wrote:
Hi Bill,

Just a few thoughts to help things along.
--- In, Bill Meredith <meredith_bill@...>


Dear friends,

Carlos has been trying to explain HPB as a perfect person and to describe the Masters as Perfect Men. To his mind there are no metaphysical or spiritual mysteries left to be solved since HPB and the Masters have already solved them each and every one.

&#65279;Bill, it seems to me Carlos used the metaphor of Jacob's Ladder where
there is a living chain between our divine source and us mundane
mortals below. I suspect that HPB would be quite far down that chain
in an absolute sense, the Maters a little higher and so on. That HPB,
and the Masters certainly, are relatively perfect compared to humanity
in general is just to say that they have completed (or Mastered) the
particular grade through which most of humanity is now evolving. That
they have their own level of principles to master is not at question.
I understand what you are saying, although I tend to find the expression "relatively perfect" somewhat ambiguous.

It is a question then of who we will worship. Carlos promotes the fundamentalist view of theosophy that all but claims perfection for its founder and her muses. He does not recognize any facts except those that will support his final resting place in the arms of HPB. Oh Rock of Ages, Cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee!
&#65279;This is an unfortunate response that many theosophists use when
certain of their beliefs are challenged. It is so pervasive that I
suspect it is the Movement's own personal thought-form-deity produced
through countless usages. Behind it hide all manner of ills. What
you are saying, Bill, is that all creeds are WELCOME under the banner
of theosophy, and yet the Theosophical Movement rejects the PROTECTION
of any creed.
What I am saying is do not make of theosophy or the theosophical movement a religion. I agree that the TM rejects the protection of any creed and I stress that it most certainly rejects the formation of a worshipful creed around HPB or the Masters. Where are they found in the 3 objects?

What HPB did was council theosophists to reject outside
authority and rely on themselves. She looked at all the creeds of the
past and demonstrated through research and argument how they pointed
to one root doctrine. Others came afterwards and apparently through
their own psychic gifts tried to tell the world what Mars was like,
who the new World Teacher would be, etc. How do I judge this? It
came out of the man's own mind. Why should I give him any authority
to tell me what to believe? And Why should I sit by while others offer
him as some sort of authority? The very idea undermines theosophy! HPB presented an argued system of thought based on research from the
past. Any psychic gifts she had were used simply to grab the
attention of the public, once she had their attention she used facts
and reason to persuade them. I can judge her works, Leadbeater is
beyond all but himself, unless of course you trust him like you might
trust a god.
I don't trust Leadbeater any more than I trust you or Carlos or HPB for that matter. My comments to Carlos about Leadbeater were in response to his comments to Paul to the effect that if Paul looked sincerely at Leadbeater he would find fraud. If Carlos looked sincerely at Leadbeater he would find, perhaps in addition to fraud, a man trying to express the inexpressible and if he looked sincerely at the life and times of HPB he would find, in addition to some wonderful writings, perhaps fraud. We each are multi-faceted jewels. In my opinion, it is as unfair to focus only on Leadbeater's shortcomings as it is to focus on only the supernatural side of HPB. Nothing is gained by a self-hypnosis that prevents us from seeing HPB or CWL as they truly were.

He does not perceive that a discussion and even an investigation of HPB as a person with a history has any use within his theosophical movement. In fact, if one were to look closely at Carlos's perception of the theosophical movement one would see a stagnant cesspool of century old ideas being guarded by a brigade of loyal and devoted worshippers. The truth is that there is no movement in Carlos's theosophy. It stands in its own stench and its modern day supporters pretend they don't smell anything.

&#65279;There is a certain amount of truth to what you say, at least
regarding the Movement. However, as long as people are fighting to
resurrect the first object of Universal Brotherhood, then I think the
movement still lives. Until HPB and Judge are vindicated we are at a
relative standstill. That does not mean that individual theosophists
cannot study the literature and learn from it, but let's face it,
there is something selfish about that when abstracted away from the
heart of the movement, Universal Brotherhood. If theosophists
attacking HPB and Judge could be described as a successful attack on
the First Object, then until that attack is repelled and tolerance for
attacks is negated, then there can be no Movement. The Movement is
the First Object. Without the First Object different creeds are
moving in under the banner of theosophy.

I understand what you are saying, but I tend to think that the movement is all three objects and the first object is less significant without the other two. A nucleus of universal brotherhood is a recipe for a private club that never intends to get beyond the establishment of the nucleus. I don't see how an investigation, historical or otherwise, into the life of HPB or Judge can be viewed as an attack upon them. Is this how you folks see Paul Johnson's books? It seems to me that some theosophists have formed an attachment to a certain image of HPB and Judge that borders on an addiction. I tend to try for the larger view that puts HPB and Judge in their proper historical perspective and leaves me solely responsible for my own understandings gained through my own direct experiences.
without motion is itself a subject for some self-examination.

&#65279;Only if he sees the Movement as dead.

For me, and I do not presume to speak for thousands of others,
is not limited to that which is taught by HPB and her Masters. In
theosophy is something which is alive. And because it is alive, it
is in
motion. It is experiential. It is of the timeless and can not be limited to one person's expositions no matter how time appropriate
expositions were. HPB is dead. The sooner we take our eyes off her decaying corpse and put our focus back on the Divine Wisdom that precedes and succeeds her, the quicker we will put motion back into
movement. It is true that while there are some like Carlos, who
running around in circles screaming, "the sky is falling" with meaningful movement, there are some of us who know that such activity has stalled the movement in its tracks and many are the seekers who
abandoned the TS for this reason: It is not moving anywhere.

&#65279;Theosophy reaches beyond HPB and the Masters, but the Theosophical
Movement certainly does include them. While no one need believe in
either of them, it cannot be expected that aggression towards them
will not be met with an equal force. If theosophists cannot
demonstrate respect for one another then there is no Movement.
I agree. When I sense that a self-proclaimed theosophist is not demonstrating respect for another human being, but instead is belittling and aggressive, I tend to respond with equal force. It makes Carlos feel good to think that he has pigeon-holed me as a reactive automatic body guard for Paul Johnson. It is a shame that Carlos cannot see that because he is my brother, it is Carlos himself that I am trying to protect.

And just because Carlos cannot "see" that Divine Wisdom swallows HPB
all her writings like a whale swallows water, he has to say that HPB's theosophy is true and divine alone and in and of itself. And other dogmatic, arm-chair reposing, book reading theosophists find his ideas comforting, possibly because these ideas offer them an escape from the challenge of living theosophy as motion in their own daily lives.

&#65279;This very exercise is the living of Theosophy, trying to arrive at
the truth in a brotherly fashion. When we start challenging one
another's motives we begin to go wrong. Such a challenge politicizes
a debate. This has been tolerated ever since HPB and Judge were
besmirched. If the leaders of the Movement are allowed to do it, then
so must the rest of us.
I agree. My challenging of Carlos' motives reflected his challenging of Paul Johnson's motives. Carlos does not know why Paul wrote his books, nor does Carlos know the final impact of those books upon theosophy. Carlos thinks he knows a lot. Perhaps he hears voices that tell him what is right and what is wrong, who is friend and who is enemy. I don't know how he arrives at his conclusions but my intuition is a highly developed sense that I have experienced for years. I trust it far more than I trust Carlos.

If Carlos would investigate Leadbeater in the light of Divine Wisdom he would see that there is no fraud, only a different man's attempt to express the inexpressible motion. Yet, Carlos who once followed Leadbeater, has quit him for what he now thinks is a better leader. Like a cigarette smoker who has finally quit, Carlos finds great substitute pleasure in hating and bashing those whom he now finds disgusting because they did not change their filthy habits at the very moment he did.
&#65279;I still think Carlos' only crime is that he is trying to stand up for
the First Object. Leadbeater is a figure whose teachings rely on
authority. This is counter to the First Object. It seems that we
have to chose one or the other.

I see this as an artificial choice imposed by a narrow view of what divine wisdom really is. I think that, for the most part, HPB and the TM have been overcome by events and they are no longer as time appropriate as they once were. The realization of Divine Wisdom has continued without the Movement. This is as it should be on the Arc of the Ascent. The time for revelation through secret societies and inner circles has passed. Each of us will eventually realize within ourselves that sense of Ultimate Reality that will put the relative world of HPB into a proper perspective. This is just my personal sense of things and of course, I am no authority for anyone but myself.

The notion of a steep and narrow path will lead you straight to hell Carlos. There is nothing special about you, or your theosophical friends, or HPB, or any of the Masters to whom you are devoted. All is as it should be. You are a small bug splattered on the windshield of the universe and God will not notice you no matter how much you flap your broken wings and yawp about the importance of you and your thousands of friends around the world.

&#65279;In an absolute sense, nothing special at all, and yet they all
deserve respect as they are all reflections of the divine as we all are.
Yes, including Paul Johnson.

Carlos is like the Roman Catholic Clergy who try to keep themselves firmly in control of the flock.
For such people there are no real people, nothing internal, subjective, human. It's only the worship of the Pope that matters and the issue
real people with real names and real thoughts is dismissed as scholarship and heresy to the movement.

&#65279;The Movement's Pope is the First Object. By adopting that Pope we
ensure that our Inner God is the only guide by which we lay any stock.
OK. But until we realize and experience that we are all the same One in essence, we will continue to explore the illusion of our multiplicity. This will cause us to see enemies external to us that really only exist as illusions within us.

There are great souls all around us. Many will not see them because their focus is on the dead carcass of HPB. She will not rise again. Get over it. To worship her is to take theosophy down the same road as those who worship the Pope today.
&#65279;There are great souls and HPB is one of them. They all deserve our
All expression of the Monad deserves our respect.

The problem, Carlos, is that you lack an understanding of what constitutes sincerity. You have convinced yourself that any debating point that is not in accordance with your understanding is,of course, not sincere and can therefore be dismissed out of hand. You just keep telling yourself that if the other person were really sincere they
have already quit smoking too.

&#65279;The point is that we really have to understand the First Object. Our
Movement was founded on it. To use it as an umbrella under which any
set of beliefs can find a home is a misunderstanding of that Object,
especially if those beliefs undermine the Object itself.

Bill, I really think the First Object is the key. When I read what
Carlos is saying, I read it in the light of that Obejct. Whether he
is arguing well or not might be debatable, but if the arguments are
poor then show where they are poor. To jump to the defence that
Carlos and others are simply Blavatsky worshippers is bad for all
theosophists. It cheapens what we do. If you have problems with an
institution like Rome or Adyar, then we can talk about motive, as the
behavior of the officers of each will be affected by their respect
politics. But to attack the motivations of an individual theosophist
is to at the same time attack our First Object. We should not be
expected to tolerate that.


Bruce, I appreciate your comments and will give them some more thought over the next few days and weeks. I will leave you with a question. Do you folks consider anyone who has a different view than you as a theosophist? Above you say that to attack the motives of an individual theosophists is to at the same time attack our First Object, so when some of your brothers attack CWL or Krishnamurti or hell, even Daniel Caldwell, you can do this without attacking the first object because in your eyes these people are not theosophists or at least not sincere theosophists? Just wondering how that works for you.



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