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re: "To Gaze on the Truly Grand"

Aug 22, 1994 06:58 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

In response to Jerry H-E:

I didn't see anything in your comments about Judge that
remotely requires an apology.  But accept it in the spirit
given, and thank you.

In response to Eldon:

It's hard to know how to respond when one doesn't know how
personally to take a commentary.  Is it paranoid of me to think
that you are warning people against taking my work seriously
because (without having seen the new book) you conclude that it
lacks all appreciation of the spiritual dimension of Theosophy?

There's an either/or ultimatum implied in your post that I
don't accept.  Your dichotomy is basically between the good old
Jungian poles of thinking and feeling, sensation and intuition.
To recap these.  Sensation and intuition are modes of
perception, alternate ways of taking in information.  Thinking
and feeling are modes of judgment, alternate ways of evaluating
the information we take in.  Sensation is all the information
taken in through the five senses; intuition is perception
without the senses.  That doesn't make intuition eerie or
otherworldly; any understanding of a mathematical concept is
intuitive, ditto any scientific concept, philosophical,
religious, whatever.  Sensation is concrete, intuition is
abstract.  Good historical work has to draw equally on both,
neither presenting undigested, unexplained "facts"
indiscriminately nor applying a priori concepts to the facts
with such force as to overwhelm the evidence with biased

Thinking evaluates information on the basis of objective
analysis; feeling evaluates information on the basis of
subjective appreciation.  Again, both are necessary.  Without
feeling, a historical writer can convey no reason for being
interested in the topic in the first place; without thinking,
the writer cannot provide analysis that is equally useful to
all readers regardless of their feelings on the matter at hand.

Basically what I get from your post is an assertion that
subjective appreciation of Theosophy (or feeling about it) is
somehow higher, nobler, more valuable than objective analysis
of it (thinking about it.)  But IMHO thinking and feeling,
intuition and sensation are like wings of a bird, that ideally
are equally balanced.  Before getting too involved in your
feelings about my book before reading it, I'd ask you to read
it with an open mind (not full of assumptions about the
spiritual inferiority of the author), absorb it at a thinking
level, THEN run all the new information against your feeling
function and express the results.

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