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re: "What's missing from our Talk"

Aug 24, 1994 07:42 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Jerry Hejka-Ekins:

>       But I wonder how much real interest there is in Theosophical
> teachings among the users of this net.  Eldon is the only one who
> has consistently written essays on this subject, and they are
> usually met with criticism--not criticism of his grasp of the
> teachings (which is a very good one), but criticism of the fact
> that he has beliefs concerning this subject in the first place.

This generalization doesn't ring true to me.  I don't recall anyone
criticizing on this basis.  Any criticism I have expressed (and
it's only been once or twice) has been at the "I'm enlightened,
you're benighted" attitude conveyed toward those who don't share
the beliefs.

>       It is not only Eldon's expositions that are ignored or
> criticized for being written, but other's also, including several
> of my own on this subject.


>       I wonder, if the reluctance to discuss theosophical
> teachings is because most people in the Theosophical Society are
> not really that well read in the theosophical writings, and
> really have deeper interests elsewhere.

Maybe because Theosophists in general are drawn to novelty, and
therefore less likely to discuss familiar teachings than
unfamiliar.  Or at least unfamiliar angles on the familiar.

> ET> 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.
>       I also sense this same doubt.  What is even more disturbing,
> is that when it is directly expressed, it is usually done by
> those who have demonstrated very little in depth knowledge of
> what those teaching are that they doubt.

This accusation seems very unfair.  You are smearing a lot of
people with this wide brush, and we don't even know who we are.
Somewhere out here are a bunch of ignorant infidel Theosophists.
Since you don't name names, I'll be their self-appointed spokesman.
Let's ask folks: anyone out there who doubts and distrusts
Theosophy, regards it cynically as a sham, a work of imagination, a
fairy tale, please raise your hand.  (By posting) If, as I suspect,
there is ABSOLUTELY NO ONE who has this attitude, what does this
say about y'all's propensity toward doctrinal witch-hunting?

I want to ask a favor.  In future, when condemning PEOPLE will you
please not treat them as ABSTRACTIONS? It isn't some vague
metaphysical entity that's under attack in your comments; it's
people, and they have the right to be challenged directly and
individually rather than left wondering "do they mean me? What are
they referring to exactly?"

In short, I think it's passive-aggressive to attack people this
way, and it pisses me off.  A lot.  It evades responsibility for
the attack, and leaves room for plausible deniability when anyone
in particular says "are you talking about me?"

This orthodox vs.  heterodox argument can be fruitful to both sides
if we approach it properly.  Generalizing about the villains is not
a fruitful approach.

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