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Re: Theos-World Taking offense, seeking revenge

Jan 08, 2009 02:52 PM
by Drpsionic

Respect is not in the Theosophical dictionary, though on the aberrant  
occasion certain individuals may accidentally manifest it.  One the  characteristics 
of Theosophists that I have always found most appealing is that  we honestly 
don't give a hoot in hell what the rest of the world thinks of  us.  We're a 
bunch of bull-headed old, and getting older, buzzards.
But what else would a society of professional heretics and spiritual  
anarchists be?
Chuck the Heretic
In a message dated 1/8/2009 4:23:57 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:


During the runup to the November election, an article  appeared in 
Slate that made me think of Theosophists:
_http://www.slate.http://www.slat_ ( 

Not  just the regular dustups here at theos-talk, but also the latest  
organizational brouhaha in Adyar and Wheston, reminds me that  
Theosophists are extraordinarily disrespectful to one another. Not  
just those in one organization attacking those in another, but within  
the Adyar TS even more so. I wonder if people realize just what kind  
of impression of the entire movement is created when people snark one  
another in a public forum like this. Bad enough when mere members do  
so; far worse when an elected national leader makes a big display of  
arrogance and aggression.

Yet at the local level over two decades I  never noticed any 
difficulty whatsoever for Theosophists agreeing to  disagree. There 
was always a great diversity of views in any group I ever  attended, 
in several states. And no one to my recollection got all  offended 
that someone else had a different estimation of various authors.  But 
at the national and international levels there seems to be far less  
of that live-and-let-of that live-and-let-<WBR>live attitude. I rene
after a ten-year lapse in 2008, but was hugely relieved to see it  
expire last week. 

The conclusion of the linked article is worth  considering here. 
The "empty boats" notion would be well applied to most  of the 
disputes here. Simply to express one's opinion is to risk  personally 
offending someone else, even if there was no such intention.  And the 
person thus unintentionally offended will often deliberately  
retaliate with a personal attack, as if the other person's opinion  
somehow invades their personal space.

Like any body of literature,  the Theosophical writings contain mixed 
messages. You can use HPB the same  way Christians use the Bible, to 
justify both sides of every dispute.  Pedro's quote indicates that it 
is untheosophical to take offense at  differing views and seek revenge 
on those who express them. Morten's quote  indicates that it is a 
theosophical duty to do so. HPB said both; you  choose which HPB to 



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