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Re: Theos-World History vs. Moral Injustice

Aug 01, 2006 11:59 AM
by robert_b_macd


Why would I see this as a personal attack?  Your points are well taken
and actually move the discussion forward.  Thank you.  My responses
are as follows.

--- In, Bill Meredith <meredith_bill@...>
> <Dear Friends,
> War seems to be the passtime of our Age. Battles are being fought on
> every front. The battles on the pages of Theos-Talk are a microcosm to
> the battles being fought with bullets and bombs elsewhere in the world
> today. Perhaps if we could find a way of establishing a Peace within
> our own Society, we might see how such a methodology might be esablished
> elsewhere.
> It is always good to begin with what you can agree on. The following
> are a set of axioms that I hope that all members of the Theosophical
> Movement might agree on:
> 1. The truth that the Theosophical Movement (tTM) has no dogmas.>
> I would say that if one is not very careful and does not remain 
> constantly vigilant about one's own thought processes that this idea of 
> being above dogma can easily become a dogma itself.
> Instead I would say that tTM is constantly vigilant against the 
> insidious creeping of dogmatic thinking.

Your point takes on a more active sense than mine and perhaps
describes better what is happening on the pages of Theos-Talk.  Not
only do theosophists have no dogmas, but many members are vigilant
against allowing authorities to create themselves as such.
> <2. The truth that tTM puts truth above all.>
> A better version of this might be to say that tTM puts it's truth above 
> any other.  Truth is relative in this world of ours.  To the extent
> the TM is a worldly movement made of flesh and blood human beings, its 
> truth is relative as well.

I must disagree with you on this point.  The TM has no truth to put
above other truths.  This axiom is meant to describe the principle
that there is an ever evolving set of truths and we pass from one to
another, as opposed to: we live in a relativistic world where people
believe whatever they think with no hope of moving onto anything more
spiritual.  It describes an ever receding highest truth which all
sentient beings are moving towards.  It allows us to speak with logic
and reason with one another with no referrence to some authority that
trumps all.

> <3. The truth that tTM ecourages Universal Brotherhood as a means to
> growth.>
> So long as one does not mean that tTM encourages a universal
> of only those individuals who all accept and agree with the fundamental 
> tenets of tTM as outlined in these 7 "truths," then I tend to agree.

Obviously there can be other theosophical movements who center around
someone other than Blavatsky and her particular Masters and have a
brotherhood.  However, this list is inclusive of the Movement that she
founded and does not apply to those others.  The point is that within
this particular Movement, learning to treat one another in a brotherly
fashion makes for a better humanity.  It would be expected that
members would by Nature treat those outside the Movement in the same
Brotherly fashion.

> Self growth must remain Self directed.
> <4. The truth that tTM encourages the study of Comparative Religion,
> Science, and Philosophy as well as the study of the Laws of Nature and
> Powers latent in Man as a means to self growth.>
> It would be important to add that the tTM supports and defends the 
> diversity of opinion and contrary conclusions that are the natural 
> result of each individual's self directed study of comparative
> science, philosophy and the laws of nature and latent powers in man. 
I think this point could be argued quite readily using axioms 1 & 4. 
I have no problems with such a conclusion.
> <5. The truth that HPB, WQJ, and the Masters produced a body of work
> provides a particular vocabulary for use in the Movement.>
> Yes, a particular vocabulary for the movement is fine, but when this 
> vocabulary is demanded as the only particular vocabulary for theosophy 
> in general, then I think this "truth" falls on its own sword.
Again, this is meant for the Movement so that all members of the
Movement can carry on a dialogue with one another.  It is only a
beginning point, certainly not an end point.  It is my experience that
people coming from different traditions can argue endlessly over
meaningless points where if they both had the same vocabulary the
misunderstanding could be resolved very quickly.  Peoiple who follow
Besant or de Purucker or Patanjali or whatever could easily converse
with one another and move towards deeper understandings rather than
trying to discover what each other is talking about if they possessed
a common vocabulary.  HPB et al provided the Movement with its vocabulary.
> <6. The truth that the Movement's only reason for being is for its own
> propogation with the understanding that a search for truth and a
> practice of Universal Brotherhood as advanced by the Movement will make
> Humanity nobler.>
> Personally, I see this "truth" as self-serving propaganda for
> The only valid reason for the Movement that I can see is to promote 
> theosophical awareness wherever and however it is expressed in the

I do not see why a Movement could not support other like minded
Movements seeking truth.  In fact given the axioms above I would think
that it would be natural for the Movement to support every other truth
seeking individual or Society.  It would be hypocritical not to.

> <7. The truth that all members of the Movement are beholden to protect
> the Movement and further its interests to the best of their abilities.>
> Again, I see this as a "Movementist truth" not a theosophical truth.
All I mean here is that any body has a duty to protect itself.  This
is simply the doctrine of Self-Preservation.  To create a Movement and
then sit idly by and let it die would be a waste of resources for all
concerned.  The body is the means by which we grow and evolve.  In
this case it is the means by which those individuals who are so
inclined can begin to understand Universal Brotherhood as it provides
the framework for a body of people to work together.  If there are
persons interested in the doctrines of theosophy but not in
Brotherhood, they need not get involved.  It is my personal
understanding, however, that you cannot have a true theosophy without
understanding brotherhood and learning to work for others.  That of
course is my humble understanding of the doctrine as I know it and all
are free to believe as they choose.

> <The Movement must be distinquished from theosophy in general. There can
> be theosophists who practice theosophy in its general sense who have
> never heard of the Movement or its founders.>
> Exactly my point.  This list is a theosophy list.  Perhaps many of the 
> arguments that are currently underway would be better served on a 
> "Movement" list.  I am tired of seeing people with different
> of theosophy in their heart being railed against by Movementist who 
> apparently  do not distinguish their Movement from theosophy and in
> seem to put their Movement ahead and to the right of theosophy.
> <Just because the writings of HPB, WQJ and the Masters provide the
> foundation for discussion within the Movement does not mean there are
> not other or even theosophically nobler writers. All that is meant here
> is that we have to have a common foundation for discussion and because
> of the axioms of the Society that foundation must be the founders for
> nobody has the authority to provide any better. This is due to axiom 1.>
> I would say that if we broaden our perspective to include the
> language and foundation for discussion of others, that we are being 
> theosophical.  When we restrict our perspective to exclude the 
> particular vocabulary of others and demand that everyone participating 
> here in theosophy world use the foundation provided only by HPB and 
> Judge, we are being Movementist.

Your arguments above I have little to say.  Perhaps this list is about
theosophy in general and does not cater to the Theosophical Movement
as founded by HPB et al. I guess that is for Eldon to decide. To that
I would ask why does the list tolerate any discusion on history of the
Movement at all?  Why not stick to religion, science and philosophy
and rule the rest out of order? I still think people coming from
different traditions would be unable to talk to one another except at
the most superficial of levels, but perhaps that is all that can be
expected by such a list or perhaps that is all that is wanted.  From
my study of theosophy, it is helpful for people to exchange ideas, the
Movement says study this preliminary material, understand it as best
you can and debate it with your brother.  How does material from other
 traditions help in our understanding?  This is why we make
commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, etc., we take the Gita's
terminology and comment on it so that we understand that terminology
with respect to our own.  We expand into other traditions and deepen
our understanding of our own.  If we cannot debate one another because
each is learning a different language, then why have a Movement at
all?  This seems to be your preference and you can follow that path if
you like and I would be happy to do what I can to help you out. 
However, in the end we probably are not going to be debating any deep
philosophical concepts unless one of us wants to learn a new language.
> <Here then is the argument that flows from the above axioms. When Olcott
> accused HPB of using the authority of the Masters to lend credence to
> her opinions as found in the "Prayag Letter", Olcott should have been
> ruled out of order according to Axiom 1. His allegation was not
> provable so the only reason the members had for agreeing with him at
> that time is because they viewed him as an authority on HPB and her
> writings. This was in direct oposition to Axiom 1 and consequently
> Axiom 7 (through their ignorance). Besant committed the same error
> when she accused Judge. Even, if as she says, the Masters put her up to
> it, this would be a case of making the Masters the Authority, and
> thereby introducing dogma into the Movement. True Masters would have
> realised this and not have done it, and if they did it was Besant's duty
> to argue against such a course as she had no way of independantly
> proving it. What if in either case the Masters had provided testimony
> by letter. Such testimony would be believed by some, regarded as fraud
> by others. In other words it would have been evidence but not proof as
> there would be no way to ultimately verify the letters. The only
> verification for each theosophist is his own conscience.
> If you believed Besant and or Olcott, you could be accused of creating
> authorities and destroying the Movement as founded by HPB and the
> Masters. If you tried to argue that HPB and Judge must be put above all
> else, again you are creating authorites. Members of the Theosophical
> Society should have ruled Besant and Olcott out of order not because
> they were right or wrong, that is irrelevant. They should have been
> ruled out of order because they undermined the Axioms of the Society
> that they were supposed to uphold, thereby paving the way for dogmas to
> be introduced into the Movement. The members who did not understand
> this are the ones who destroyed the Society by splitting one way or the
> other. The battles being fought on the pages of Theos-Talk are not
> historical battles, they are moral battles. THERE ARE NO GOOD REASONS
> There is nothing to be won as there are no dogmas at stake, only the
> axioms that the Movement was founded upon.
> This is a logical analysis of the splitting of the Movement. Most of
> the axioms did not have to be used in this analysis althought they might
> be valuable in determining where to go from here. Any comments on the
> analysis itself or on the axioms are welcome. Any personal attacks will
> be viewed as coming from the typical type of agitators that infiltrate
> all groups for the purpose of destruction. When you can't argue
> logically, smear your opponents (something the Movement was created to
> prevent).>
> My response is not intended as a personal attack, but you will receive 
> my response in the manner that pleases you most.
> --bill

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