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Gossip and authority

Jul 26, 2006 01:07 PM
by robert_b_macd

It seems to me that gossip is the repitition of what one has heard
without attempt at verification.  It may be that what one has heard is
wrong, and it may also be that one misunderstood the context and repeats
in a misleading way.  Context can refer to the rest of the letter or
work from which something is derived and if we are talking about a
letter or article that is not current, then in addition an historical
context for the letter or article would be important.

Even the devil can quote scripture in order to lend legitimacy to an
evil act.  He simply takes a passage out of context.  This is not
something of which most people are unaware, yet it is something to which
we all at one time or another fall prey or practice, unconsiously or
otherwise.  The repetition of a series of quotes across time, whether
verified or not, can be terribly misleading without an analysis of the
historical context.  Without an analysis of context, one could arrive at
thousands of possible meanings.  Often, if not always, the most obvious
implications of a series of quotes are in no way an accurate reflection
of the intent of the writer.

Gossip can be no verification of source, or it can refer to no context
or improper context - you can't deny the accuracy of the words, but
there is no way that they were delivered in order to present the implied

Again, personal attacks should not be tolerated in the Thesophical
Movement.  It is because they were tolerated and perpetrated by Olcott
and Besant against Blavatsky and Judge that we continue to mimic such
behavior even today.  This is what undermines each of our own
Self-Authority and gives rise to external authorities who can judge the
worth of others as I previously argued:
This was a deliberate act by the enemies of the Theosophical Society. 
When theosophists accepted this, they allowed the enemies of theosophy
to grab hold of the tail of the dog, and we have been wagged ever since.
The attacks on Judge and Blavatsky are historical issues, but much more
importantly they are philosophical issues.

The result of this undermining of theosophical principles is that
theosophical leaders can have conversations like the interesting example
given to us by Carlos:
The crux of the conversation seems to be how can we clean up
theosophical books so that we can attract new members without upsetting
the Besant & Leadbeater members that we already have?  On what authority
do these leaders think they can start editing the works of theosophical
writers?  Have they not missed the whole point of theosophy?  They have
that authority because we gave it to them when we refused to protect the
reputations of Blavatsky and Judge.  That is why it is so important that
we re-open the Judge case and start " using one's time and energy on
events long past" as Radha puts it.  It is not important as a historical
issue, it is important as a fundamental principle of theosophy.

Perhaps this is why members of the Movement are beginning to turn away
from the repetition of gossip, such as Carlos has pointed out by drawing
our attention to the recent commentary from England:
Books such as this are simply disquised emotional blackmail designed to
give authority to  self-proclaimed experts who humbly submit that they
are simply interested in allowing everyone arrive at their own truth on
this matter.  That the matter is a personal matter and NOT a
theosophical matter seems to escape everyone.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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