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Re: On Criticism

Mar 06, 2007 08:30 PM
by plcoles1

Hello Anton, 
This is interesting especially when taken in context of the time 
(1933) which was not long after the disbanding of the Order of the 



--- In, "Anton Rozman" <anton_rozman@...> 
> On Criticism 
> I can recall no criticism of myself which, even though 
> true, took into account those extenuating circumstances ever 
> following in the wake of all mistakes, those saving graces bearing 
> witness to the sunshine however thickly enveloped by the darkness 
> intervening clouds. I can recall no criticism of myself which, even 
> though in a measure erring on the side of leniency, envisaged the 
> whole of the cause as it sought to demonstrate the effect. I can 
> recall no criticism of myself, in other words, which was not 
> I am no less sure that any criticism I may make of others must 
> equally be no less partial, no less oblivious of extenuating 
> circumstances. No less unmindful of the sunshine while intent upon 
> the clouds. I am not saying that criticism is never expedient, 
> justifiable. I do not say that criticism may not be on occasion a 
> matter of duty. But I do say that criticism is a dangerous 
> occupation, for almost without exception it is composed of untruth 
> well as of truth. I also say that ninety-nine criticisms out of a 
> hundred are both unnecessary and inexpedient, and that in the 
> majority of the ninety-nine there is more of untruth than of truth. 
> I therefore say that we should all be infinitely chary of 
> infinitely chary, holding ourselves back from criticism at all 
> save most emergently, and then observing two rules of criticism: 
> making the criticism to the individual who is the subject of the 
> criticism, (2) making the criticism to the individual whose duty we 
> conceive it to be to know it for the sake of the work. 
> Casual criticism is intolerable. Criticism which is not certain to 
> reach the individual criticized is intolerable. Complaint against 
> individual which we have no intention of making to his face is 
> intolerable. 
> Can we not minimize criticism (1) by indulging in it most sparingly 
> ourselves, and not communicating it to a third party save as we 
> communicate it to the party himself, (2) by refusing to listen to 
> from others, save as a matter of urgent duty? And in all cases 
> we not, as a matter of noblesse oblige, always declare with our 
> criticism that we are well aware, and would wish taken into 
> consideration, that our criticism must at the most be partial and 
> neglectful of circumstances which may go far to justify the matter 
> the criticism, or at least to make it intelligible and not 
> We know this is true in our own case. We know we are so often the 
> subject of misunderstanding. Let us have the grace to recognize 
> in our own criticisms of others this ingredient of misunderstanding 
> is likely to be present to no small degree. 
> All this means a minimum of criticism, practically none at all; a 
> maximum of understanding and appreciation; understanding in place 
> misunderstanding. It also means that most criticism is 
> misunderstanding in greater or in smaller measure; that when on the 
> verge of criticism we stop, we look, we listen, and then refrain. 
> Who is there strong enough to remember to stop when on the verge, 
> when on the edge, or the precipice of criticism? The tongue is a 
> rebellious member of the body, and so often runs away with all 
> members. Who will keep a rein on the tongue at all times, maintain 
> in servitude and restrain it from its habitual tyranny? Who will 
> attention to the sunshine instead of to the clouds? Who will 
> the ear, another unruly member of the body, from hearing that which 
> it is hurtful to others to utter? Who has the courage and the 
> brotherhood for this? 
> G. S. Arundale
> Condensed from The Theosophist, April 1933.
> I will not judge my brother until I have walked two weeks in his 
> moccasins.
> Sioux Indian Saying 
> Scanned from the Theosophical Digest, 1st Quarter, 1992.

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