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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 read. 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- Theosophy. 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.