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Re: Theos-World History vs. Moral Injustice

Aug 01, 2006 01:27 PM
by Bill Meredith

Thanks for the follow-up, Bruce. I have included a few more comments below. I silently deleted some portions of the original post to for brevity, but interest readers can look in the message archives to see your complete message. :)



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.

//Thanks for the additional insight. I agree with what you are saying and would add to my comments that sentient human beings are flesh and blood and thus given to the possibility of error in all things. Skepticism can embody a healthy respect for the relative position of oneself in relation to the ever receding horizon of a perceived highest truth. In other words, unless you are willing to walk a complete mile directly in my shoes, our perception of the ever receding truth will be relative to where you are walking in comparison to where I am walking.//

> 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.

//People within the same traditions can argue endlessly over meaningless points as well. These arguments can cause rifts and divisions in the original traditions. I would say that it is the willingness and the follow-on action of "trying to discover what each other is talking about" that moves people towards deeper understandings. In my opinion, sentient human beings are able to share with and understand each other and other sentient beings at a level that transcends the requirement for specific vocabularies and such. Communing at the level of the spirit is theosophical, whereas the specific communications of a particular movement is bounded by its traditions.

<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.

//Do you see a sense in which the doctrine of self-preservation is the root cause of the present global warfare and is counter-intuitive to true universal brotherhood? With respect to the self-preservation of the Movement that I see here on theos-talk, I am reminded of the old saying that one may be cutting off one's nose just to spite one's face.

> 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?

//One reason may be that when something is brought forward here that has a religious or scientific or philosophical basis for it, one is often bombarded with quotes from the founders of the Movement that give the Movement's position on these topics. Here I am think of tantra as just one example. Buddhism is another. It seems as though people in the Movement do not want other's to think outside of the Movement, but instead want to keep everything as it was in the time of HPB.//

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.

//When I was young Marine stationed in Japan, I went into a Japanese laundry to turn some uniforms in for cleaning. The mama-san saw me come through the door and sang out cheerfully, "Goord Marning!" To which I responded in my best Japanese, "Ohio Gus-I-mus." This may have been a superficial level to you, but to me, the effort we had each made to communicate in the other's language signified that we had mutual respect for each other and it made us immediate friends at a level that transcended our language barrier.//

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.

//In one sense, "Man, Know thyself," is the path of theosophy whereas "Here, study these books, understand the material as best you can, and then debate the material with your brother," appears to be the path of the Movement. //

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

//The Movement does seem to revolve around debating each other. I would say that it would be a better Movement that focused on understanding each other. Yes, this would require the willingness to learn a different language, but the energy spent walking a complete mile in someone else's shoes is well spent for the future of universal brotherhood. So long as we stand aloof and demand that other's learn the language of the Movement, we are being unnecessarily self-centered.//

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.

//I am happy to learn as many diverse languages as I possibly can (including Movementese). I want to be in harmony with the theosophical rhythms wherever I sense them. One never knows what language the receding highest truth will be expressing itself in tomorrow.//

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