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Re: Closeness of Gupta Vida to Ordinary Life

Aug 24, 1994 07:27 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Eldon B. Tucker:

>     We have some more agreement, like on the importance of
> that aspect of mind that goes beyond appearances to the Real
> behind outer things. And we agree that there is an ancient,
> timeless wisdom.
>     Our disagreement again comes back to having two different
> worldviews. I do not agree that the way the world is, the way
> that life works, the way that the universe is setup, is as you
> see it. (I hold a different worldview.)

No comprendo.  What have I conveyed about a belief on "the way the
world works..the universe is set up"? It seems you're
drawing inferences from specific comments I make on particular
subjects, and deducing some overall worldview.  This is hazardous
when a person with a propensity to interpret the world in terms of
a single elaborately organized system communicates with someone who
doesn't, or not to the same degree.  I try not to be attached to
any beliefs about such things, and keep learning new ways of
approaching these questions.  But for the record, my fundamental
worldview integrates astrology, Theosophy, and bits and pieces of
many other systems.  Just because I throw in Jung or Gurdjieff to
illustrate a point here and there doesn't mean that I am attached
to their systems of thought in the way that you are (seem to be)
attached to the Blavatskian system.  It may be that our worldviews
are not different so much as that we differ on the value and
reliability of ANY worldview.  IMHO they're all fingers pointing at
the moon.  In other words, given a list of 100 doctrinal statements
taken from HPB's teachings, in a true/false test we might agree on
the majority of items.  But if the choices were 1) absolutely true
2) probably true 3) possibly true 4) probably not true and 5)
absolutely not true, I bet I'd come out with a whole lot more
2s,3s,and 4s than you would.

>     In talking about the deeper side of the Theosophical
> Philosophy, the part that goes beyond the spoken word and is
> behind our books, I see something closer to life, easier to
> attain, simpler and more reachable.
>     You seem to believe in a vast gap between the ordinary
> knowable and the esoteric.

?? I don't.  Belief in such a gap seems more characteristic of
those who view the Masters in highly idealized ways than those who
regard them as in most ways ordinary human beings who communicated
with the Founders mainly in ordinary ways.  I guess maybe the gap
that I believe in more than you is summed up by Lao-Tzu-- "He who
says, does not know.  He who knows, does not say." Thus, a gap
between what can be taught and what can be known.

>     The discussion of higher grades of knowledge is not a
> personal formulation of supreme Truth, and should not be
> condemned as a sham. The denial that such knowledge is readily
> available to those who would live the life is the true sham.

I get the feeling that you are projecting issues from some other
conversation with someone else, or extrapolating from views I've
expressed to views I have never expressed or held.  I don't regard
as sham the discussion of higher degrees of knowledge or their
availability.  All I said or implied (or meant to) was that taking
someone else's formulation of such higher degrees of knowledge as
gospel exposes one to the danger of being taken in by shams.

>     Regardless of the type of writing that we may attempt,
> there are certain shortcomings. For writing about history, one
> must take care to portray the real drama, the real inner life
> behind what was happening, and not to give a dead husk that is
> only true in a literal sense.

Agreed.  While adhering to the necessary scholarly conventions, I
strove to accomplish just what you are describing.  How
successfully is for others to judge.

 In writing about matters of

> religious philosophy, one must take care to not sound like
> preaching, like pontificating, like sermonizing. I think,
> though, that with continued practice that we get better at the
> writing, and our communications improve. Let's keep up the
> good work.

Agreed again.


The most difficult thing for me in conversation with you (and in
his latest post Jerry H-E) on these issues is the sense that one
little thing I say can push buttons that unleash resentment that is
felt at a wide range of people and issues.  Made harder by the fact
that your statements combine generalities about "those who don't
understand...." with clues that make it sound like I'm your prime
example.  Having once been a true believer, I can reach into my own
memory for a sense of the collective grievances that are felt by a
segment of the theosophical world.  First, resentment at
Theosophists in general for not knowing the teachings of HPB well
enough.  Second, resentment at many people in the course of
Theosophical history for distracting attention from those source
teachings.  Third, resentment specifically at the Adyar TS for
"going astray" and worshipping other gods.  Fourth, resentment at
the world in general for not properly appreciating HPB and her
teachings.  I know those themes, I've felt those feelings, and
therefore I have some experiential basis for suspecting what is
happening.  When I am irreverent to one small piece of Theosophical
orthodoxy, it provokes this whole complex of resentment.  But hey--
we're on the same side, trying to carry over HPB's effort into the
next century and to be true to her inspiration.  No spiritual
teacher in history has been clearer about the need to remain free
from orthodoxy and preserve a spiritual nucleus based on diversity
of views and affiliations.  So let's keep trying to understand one


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