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Re: On Criticism

Mar 06, 2007 11:36 PM
by Anton Rozman

Hi Perry,

I am aware that putting the message in historical context you mention 
it can mean: Let's not talk about the problems, let's sweep them 
under the carpet. But nevertheless there are in my opinion some good 
points in it, especially those two enumerated.

So, in my view the question is, how to use the positive charge of 
critical perspective for the betterment of work.

Best regards,

--- In, "plcoles1" <plcoles1@...> wrote:
> 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 
> Star. 
> Cheers
> Perry
> --- In, "Anton Rozman" <anton_rozman@> 
> wrote:
> >
> > On Criticism 
> > 
> > I can recall no criticism of myself which, even though 
> substantially 
> > true, took into account those extenuating circumstances ever 
> > following in the wake of all mistakes, those saving graces 
> > witness to the sunshine however thickly enveloped by the darkness 
> of 
> > intervening clouds. I can recall no criticism of myself which, 
> > 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 
> partial. 
> > 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 
> > the clouds. I am not saying that criticism is never expedient, 
> never 
> > 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 
> as 
> > 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 
> > 
> > I therefore say that we should all be infinitely chary of 
> criticism, 
> > infinitely chary, holding ourselves back from criticism at all 
> times, 
> > save most emergently, and then observing two rules of criticism: 
> (1) 
> > making the criticism to the individual who is the subject of the 
> > criticism, (2) making the criticism to the individual whose duty 
> > conceive it to be to know it for the sake of the work. 
> > 
> > Casual criticism is intolerable. Criticism which is not certain 
> > reach the individual criticized is intolerable. Complaint against 
> an 
> > individual which we have no intention of making to his face is 
> > intolerable. 
> > 
> > Can we not minimize criticism (1) by indulging in it most 
> > ourselves, and not communicating it to a third party save as we 
> also 
> > communicate it to the party himself, (2) by refusing to listen to 
> it 
> > from others, save as a matter of urgent duty? And in all cases 
> might 
> > 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 
> of 
> > the criticism, or at least to make it intelligible and not 
> unnatural? 
> > 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 
> that 
> > in our own criticisms of others this ingredient of 
> > 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 
> of 
> > misunderstanding. It also means that most criticism is 
> > misunderstanding in greater or in smaller measure; that when on 
> > 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 
> other 
> > members. Who will keep a rein on the tongue at all times, 
> it 
> > in servitude and restrain it from its habitual tyranny? Who will 
> call 
> > attention to the sunshine instead of to the clouds? Who will 
> restrain 
> > the ear, another unruly member of the body, from hearing that 
> > 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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