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Re: Past lives, reincarnation, and so on.

Sep 01, 1994 11:30 AM
by bill

Hi Jerry H-E, Eldon, Paul, and all:

        Recently, Jerry H-E wrote:

> Monday, Eldon wrote to Paul:
> ET>  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.
>       One would think that discussions on the Theosophical
> philosophy would be the prime topic on a theosophical net.  Yet,
> I must agree with Eldon, I have also seen very little of this.
> Yes, I see lots of little essays of digested ideas of Jung,
> Gurdjieff, Rudhyar, etc., more often than not, with no particular
> reference to the core theosophical teachings (whether they be
> theosophical or neo-theosophical).  These essays, are very nice
> also, and I am not putting them down.  They also have a place
> here.  But, they are not the same as solid discussions of core
> Theosophical teachings.
>       But I wonder how much real interest there is in Theosophical
> teachings among the users of this net ...

Well, I cannot speak for all of the readers and posters in this
very tiny segment of the net -- I can only speak for myself.  But
personally, I *do* have a real interest in theosophical

I believe I have already described how I was drawn into join- ing
the TS -- no need to recall it here.  But I cannot believe that
it was just a matter of chance.  Jung would have called it (Oops,
theres one of those "digested ideas of Jung." ;-) ) syn-
chronicity, others might have said I was just using my intuition
-- I don't know what to call it! All I can say is that "I'm here
and I want to learn all that I can." I have a *very* strong
feeling (or intuition) that I was drawn to the TS for a purpose.
I just have to find out what it is.

>       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.

Well, as to not being well read, I guess I plead "guilty!"
However, in my own defense, I'd also like to say it's not all my
fault.  A while back, I developed an interest in the psychology
of C.  G.  Jung (and I believe that there are some tie-ins to
theo- sophy there somewhere) and I started by trying to read him
directly.  Big mistake! I became quickly overwhelmed and resort-
ed to reading "translations" of his ideas by other authors.  I
had a similar experience with Einstein recently as well.

With regard to theosophy, until recently, whenever I asked a
question of someone on some theosophical topic, I was almost al-
ways replied to with "You need to read the _Secret_Doctrine_."
Un- fortunately, reading Blavatsky directly, like Jung, is almost
im- possible (for me).  I don't want to get into the terminology
is- sue again in all of the detail that I have previously, but
(to me) this is one of the most frustrating of all issues.

As a related side note (I believe I have already mentioned this
possibility in a previous post), some of the people that en-
counter theosophy do so from some type of "new-age" angle.  I
have some direct experience with this from my brief association
with the now defunct Cincinnati Study Center.  Some of these
"new-agers" hear about the occult phenomena produced by Blavatsky
and others and equate it with channeling, crystal-power, angels,
shamanism and other things that they are familiar with.  When
they find out that theosophy is more than occult phenomena and
that no theosophist currently in incarnation is producing these
phenomena, (IMO) they lose interest.  I don't know if this fits
anyone that reads this list but I have seen it in action else-

>       If there is a genuine interest in Theosophical teachings,
> then why don't we have more posts concerning them?  Those
> familiar with the literature can be resources to direct others
> who are less familiar to sources where they can find more
> information.

Again for me, personally, I find the things that you, Jerry H-E,
Eldon, Brenda, and others post simply fascinating.  I've really
enjoyed recent posts about karma.  And those posts about mans
constitution -- this is my absolutely most favorite topic -- were
absolutely wonderful.  The arguments and disagreements I've seen
here are certainly not supportive of the concept of the universal
brotherhood of man, but isn't that one of the reasons for the
list? ...  to discuss and share opinions?

With respect to my lack of posts to the list I can only say that
with all of the obvious history and theosophical knowledge being
posted I feel (as my favorite work of fiction would put it) that
"I am only an egg" in these matters.  It sometimes feels like I
am out of my league.

>       I would think that posts directly concerning theosophical
> teachings would be of prime interest to students of theosophy.

This is *absolutely* true for me.  That is why I was happy when I
heard about this list.  I want to learn about as much of the
theosophical teachings as I can digest.  And, since I am in front
of a computer or terminal about 75% of my waking life, this forum
seemed like the perfect opportunity.

However, it sometimes feels like I am reading the _Secret_-
Doctrine_ when I am reading posts from this list.  I don't want
to criticize -- I don't like doing that and it is not my intent
here at all.  But my one disappointment with the list is that I
don't always understand everything that is being written.  I
somehow had this idea that, since I was going to be using the
computer to discuss theosophy, I would be discussing it with oth-
er people who use computers day-in and day-out like I do.  And if
they used computers that much then I would be able to communi-
cate with them better than I could with non-computer theoso-

It seems to me, as an instructor of computer-related topics, that
what is needed is an new educational initiative for theoso- phy.
This initiative should start from the bottom and put to- gether a
brand new set of educational materials, using modern educational
techniques and methods, to help educate adults (primary- and
secondary-based theosophical education is a com- pletely
different matter and has at least started to be discussed here)
in the fundamentals of theosophy.

I have been in correspondence with John Algeo.  He agrees that a
theosophical glossary/dictionary is needed.  I have been in-
volved with training adults now for 10 years and I know the value
of good educational materials -- materials that give information,
provide the theory, and defines its terminology.  And, because
adults are the hardest learners to motivate, their educational
materials have to be pretty -- containing charts, graphs, pic-
tures, and the like -- and even somewhat entertaining.

> 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.

Wow! Did I miss something, or what? I can see where this would be
a possibility -- based on what I said about "new-agers"
previously, but it is something that I have *never* sensed myself
here on this list.  The only thing that I can add to this is that
I have a *belief system* that says the occult phenomena, the Mas-
ters, the bodies of man, and the like are real.  But, as I have
posted previously, these are currently only beliefs -- "ideas,"
to quote a previous post -- that I cannot turn into knowns until
I have personal experience.

Any student of any subject has one or more belief systems in
place about the subject they are studying.  The instructor can
talk all day and all night about the subject and do nothing to
change the beliefs that the student has.  In most adults, it
isn't until the student has actual personal experience in the
subject matter -- things that they can verify with their senses
(physical, astral, or others :-) ) -- that they can turn their
belief-system into a knowing-system.

Well, I've ranted way too long again.  I hope my comments make
some sense to someone.  But no matter what, please don't get
discouraged here.  All conflicts aside, this is a wonderful forum
for sharing ideas and *learning* about theosophy.  May you all
grok in fullness ...

|William A. (Bill) Parrette|4000 Executive Pk. Dr., #310
|bill@[Zeus.]      |Cincinnati, OH 45241-4007
|** I do not speak for ITDC--all opinions are my own **

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