Don to Eldon and all
Sep 16, 1993 08:34 AM
by Donald J. Degracia
This is a responce from Don to the questions Eldon raised.
First, i'd like to say that these were very penetrating questions,
and that I agree with Eldon that it would be valuable to discuss
<Are the differences between the teachings of the different groups
merely a manner of emphasis and expression, or are some right and
I am only slightly familiar with the actual teachings of these various
shades of theosophical teachings, mostly knowing of them only on a
historical basis. I've read a lot of Blavatsky, but I am personally
disposed to the Besant/Leadbeater teachings, of which the Help file
in THEO.EXE reflects.
In terms of the validity of the variety of schools of thought that
fall under the heading of theosophy, I think, first, its important to
keep in mind one of the stated objects or declarations of the TS
itself, and that is the fact that each member is free to believe
whatever she wants. However, in and of itself, this ideal doesn't
mean a lot. It is not right for a person to believe they have the
right to kill other people for example. Or a better example can be
found in the very nature of science. Scientists are not free to
believe whatever they want. Their beliefs are constained by theories
and experiements. In science, the ideal is to build a *consensus*. If
indivdual scientists went about believing whatever they wanted then
science would be intellectual chaos. In other words, some limitation
or criteria is necessary to achieve coherence and consensus.
Thus, the idea of absolute freedom of belief is not really very
productive. I think the very nature of the social and historical
reality of theosophy reflects what happens when there is no basis
for consensus; you get fragmentation and the forming of a myriad
schools of thought.
So, IMO, to fall back on the idea that all are free to believe what
they want as a justification for the different schools of thought in
theosophy is somewhat weak.
A much stronger justification for the relative validity of the various
theosophical teachings can be found in the realization that people at
different stages of their emotional, mental and spiritual development
have different requirements and needs. This is how Hindu teachings are
structured. There are different teachings aimed at indivduals who are at
different stages of life development.
Likewise, I suspect this is the basis of the variety of schools of
thought in theosophy. Each school of thought will appeal to individuals
at different stages of their development. Thus, the issue is not whether
one school is right and another wrong. The issue is pinpointing just how
a specific shool of thought appeals to indivduals at a particular stage
<(We read of the considerable value of the study of the theosophical
philosophy, yet Krishnamurti would be against such an effort.)>
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