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What's Missing from Our Talk

Aug 22, 1994 08:50 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is from Eldon Tucker.


Paul Johnson:

    I should first mention that when I was writing regarding
history, I did not particularly have your book in mind. My
intent in writing was not to challenge a book which I haven't
    It's easy to forget at times that we're "talking apples
and oranges." There's more than one worldview being discussed,
and I don't see us engaging each other in battle to tear to
shreds all opposing views and have ours stand alone, a lonely
victor in some bitter battle of words.
    On the other hand, I have observed an important worldview
not being properly voiced on "theos-l". For me, it is an
sincerely-held view, one I consider truth. I feel responsible
to give voice to that view, to see that it also is heard.
    I also believe in proper courtesy and respect in the free
exchange of ideas. Character attacks are wrong, as would be
the heartless mockery of someone else's beliefs. I can co-
exist with others expressing their beliefs, even if I cannot
agree with them.
    Following, I will revisit some of the points that I made
in my note on history, in slightly-different language.


    Theosophy is a well-defined system of thought, a partial
expression of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. It is
relatively timeless, as contrasted with the popular thought of
any particular nation.
    It can only be communicated to the student when the
student has reached the appropriate state of readiness,
through the necessary spiritual, intellectual, and moral
development. There is much to it that is very real, much that
goes beyond what can be read in the literature solely through
intellectual study.
    Use of reason and the mind are important, but
insufficient by themselves. In addition, the spiritual faculty
of buddhi is needed. The mind is directed towards a higher
appreciation of life, rather than on intellectual puzzles,
devoid of spiritual content. Problems of philosophy are taken
on, life is studied and understood, the inner nature of things
is contemplated.
    This higher faculty of understanding is unprovable except
by personal experience. The necessary development must be
attained before the experience can be had. For someone lacking
this experience, there is but the assertion, however humble,
by others talking of this faculty. A good deal of what we read
about in Theosophy is the same: only provable by the necessary
personal experience.
    Some early theosophical writers had a strong preference
for Christianity, and slanted the Teachings in that direction.
This went so far that some became Priests or Bishops and they
became heavily involved in church activities. Some critics
called their writings Neo-Theosophy, because there was such a
slant put on the Teachings.
    I find the same true with Jungian Psychology and Tibetan
Buddhism, where people with strong interests in these subjects
put a slant on the Teachings in yet another direction. If the
subjects are drawn upon for illustration, for analogy, for
amplification of the Philosophy, it's fine. But when the other
systems of thought are accepted prima facia as true, and
uncritically incorporated alongside the tenants of Theosophy,
I'm concerned that we end up with yet another brand of Neo-
    I do not agree with the Jungian typology, with his four
psychological types, nor the psychological model woven about
them. They represent one of many ways to classify individual
temperaments, including the astrological signs, the seven
rays, etc. Jung's psycho-cosmology goes too far in translating
everything into terms of the human personality and its
particular point of view. That's all I want to say of it for
now, because I don't want to get into an extensive critique.
    What I miss, or feel is under represented in our
discussion group, is clear, lucid essays on the theosophical
philosophy. I miss writings that clearly state the concepts of
Theosophy in its own terms, writings that come from a belief
that Theosophy is literally, actually, really true.
    I sense doubt in Theosophy, distrust of it, a cynical
attitude that it's a sham, that it's a work of imagination,
that it's just a fairy tale.
    My concern, and this is for Theosophy in western society,
is that it is well on the way to becoming an exoteric
philosophy, an empty wine bottle that has lost its valuable
contents. There is something very real, and it is behind the
words that we read. It is a legitimate gateway to the
Mysteries of old. And soon, perhaps in a few decades, it may
be lost to the world. When that happens, the value to the
words will have changed. The thought-current behind them will
no longer run as strong. The power of the words as an
invocation to our Higher Natures will have faded.

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