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From Jim Anderson

Sep 23, 1994 00:15 AM
by Arnold Stoper

To Everybody

Virtually all this year, I haven't been communicating.  The
reasons are complex, not readily explainable, and I can't see a
basic change in the situation, though one may come.  Not
communicating and not monitoring.  At the present moment,
however, I'm in a concentrated push to try to catch up at least
for the present moment.  Catch up and do a bit of talking.

To Arvind

I was touched by your February 2, '94 message to me, paying me a
compliment on my contributions and wanting more.  In belated
response, I ask that you contact John Mead and see if my paper,
SEX AND SPIRITUALITY is in the theos-l archive.  It was sent last
Christmas Eve but something was bungled somewhere and John said
he didn't get it until about a month later.  Even then, there
appears to have been some transmission problem at one or the
other end - something about having to break the paper up into
arbitrary parts or something like that as I recall.  I'd like to
know what you think of that paper.  (If anyone else on the net is
interested, fine.) You will find in that writing my views on a
number of subjects - not just on sex and spirituality - and as
the paper unfolds, you will also get what I think is an
interesting portrait of the members of the Oakland TS in action,
struggling with the subject and with various tributaries and
tangents.  With an eye to the aforesaid transmission problems,
note this: The paper is preceded by a one-page message to John
which contains an abstract or short summary of the writing.  Be
sure you get that, which is page one.  The paper then runs from
page two through page fifty-eight.  Page two through page
thirty-two consists of the long Preface to the paper proper; page
thirty-three through page fifty-eight is the paper proper.  That
is the form in which that writing should be transmitted and read.
If a transmission in that form is not possible, please ask John
to hold off, contact me, and do nothing until he hears from me.

To Jerry Hejka-Ekins; and secondarily to Arvind

In my push to catch up, as in earlier days, I'm fascinated by the
dialogue between you and AK.  Many, many times I have been
confronted with the basic problem you face in Arvind - namely,
someone who enthusiastically lands in theosophy via
post-Blavatsky theosophy, and thereby necessarily gets things
backwards in crucial ways.  As I write, I've recently reached the
heartening place where Arvind says he thinks the best way to go
is to get thoroughly grounded in HPB first, then look at who came
after.  Your mostly patient persistence and largely admirable
clarity of expression are to be awarded palms with respect to the
prospective turnaround.

On the other hand, though I am more inclined toward your
perspective on things than toward Arvind's, I find that you are
too often argumentative and unwarrantedly condescending.  You
appreciate your abilities a bit too much, and thereby do Arvind
wrong.  For example, after lecturing AK at length on his
misreading your feelings when he says you are irritated, you say
in the very next paragraph or so that you are indeed irritated by
the very things he cites as causing you irritation.  This is not
good, not right.  Arvind's humble apologies for misreading you
are misplaced, for he didn't misread you, as your own words
quickly reveal.  Your intimidating him into admitting that he
misread you is, on his side, an example of politeness doing
injustice to right, and on your side, ego successfully clothing
with right that which is wrong.  Both of you should be on guard
against letting this dynamic continue in any form.

Now a few brief comments on what I've so far found in catching up
on the dialogue (I'm still back in May somewhere.) (1) As for HPB
not understanding what her teachers taught her and what she
taught the public by way of her teachers, there is a sizeable
correct middle ground between your two technically correct but
misleading extremes.  You say she understood everything (one
extreme) except for an occasional mathematical this or phrase
that (the other extreme.) Not so.  She remarks on this matter
many times.  I think one instance is found in Letter CXXXIV of
The Mahatma Letters where, in the midst of relaying to APS a
communication from M via herself, she says, "Explain this to Mr.
Sinnett ( I CAN'T) ..." Your good comments on the temporary
nature of some of her knowledge (e.g.  with foreign languages)
apply in middle-ground part to a good deal of what her teachers
taught her.  Yes, generally, she understood everything, so to
speak, but her specific lack of understanding of particular
things she spoke and wrote occupied a position intermediate
between everything and the occasional minor detail.  (2 - maybe
applying not to anything you said but to someone else - can't
recall) Amusing (also not amusing) this self-righteous orthodoxy
stating that anyone who claims occult status shows thereby the
lack of that status.  Take note, Jesus, M, KH, others - your
saying who and what you are condemns you.  Take note,
theosophists - discrimination is the thing, not the big blanket.
(3) Tillett's discrepancies re CWL are CWL lies? You assert
specific discrepancies (birth certificate, siblings, etc.) but
don't show how those discrepancies become lies.  My perspective
on Leadbeater is closely akin to yours, but so far in my catching
up, your assertion that the man was a liar is by no means
established by the discrepancies you indicate.  A number of
things besides lies can account for discrepancies.  Maybe CWL was
indeed a pathological liar - I don't know - but your charge is
much too strong for the weak support you offer for it.  (4) Why
that casual, parenthetical throwing out that the letters from KH
to CWL are thought by many to be forgeries? Many think that The
Mahatma Letters are forgeries.  (5) Where do Krishnamurti, Van
Hook, and the other two you name accuse Leadbeater of ruining
their lives? (6) Argumentative, posturing nonsense saying you
don't care what AK believes so long as what he believes is
harmless.  What belief (belief system) is harmless? What's fun
for the boys is death for the frogs, goes the wise saying.  And
so it goes in the spiritual realm also.  Granted, you have a lot
of age-old company in the nonsense - a natural magnet, a
sweet-sounding trap.  Discrimination is the thing, not the false

To "K.  Paul Johnson"

Let's call this a preliminary assessment of you and your work.
Firstly, we think alike in being more interested in personal
histories than in abstractions.  For my part, the heart of this
preference is the realization that specific personal and
historical details about the life of a great spiritual figure
will demonstrate the "abstract" glory of that life more than
anything else.  You seem to have a different basis for the
preference.  I would call your basis a certain historiolatry plus
a certain aggressive use of the notion of "warts and all" to
disguise a leaning toward "warts above all." Regarding that
unfavorable review of one of your books which you showed us and
trashed, Brenda Tucker's remarks were generous and on the right
track.  In my opinion, the review was also on the right track.

Theosophists who know me will not assign me a back seat when it
comes to airing personal and historical details not liked by
theosophical orthodoxy.  But I sense a very great difference
between the animating spirit of my doings and the animating
spirit of yours.  When it comes to an historical approach to
theosophy, you strike me as a wide-eyed convert full of the
distorting excesses of overly-enthusiastic conversion.  Your
effort to fit HPB and her teachers into "known history" is, to
say the least, procrustean.

You and I are alike in deploring the muscular aversion of
theosophical orthodoxy to less-than-lovely personal and
historical details about great theosophical figures, but I think
it is fair to say that, unlike myself, you use the knowledge of
that aversion as a weapon.  You use the knowledge as a shield to
insulate yourself from criticism not proceeding along lines you
dictate.  You wielded the weapon - recklessly - against the book
reviewer, and Brenda was right to point out the recklessness.  (I
think it was Brenda who remarked on the silly attack on the
reviewer's spelling.) The excesses of your attitude are no better
illustrated than in the fact of your showing us the book review
on your own initiative while calling it the worst review ever of
your work and attacking it recklessly.  You seem to be on a
mission, and it doesn't appear to be a good one.

As I said, let's call this a preliminary assessment of you and
your work.  I'm always interested when I see that a transmission
from you is coming.  As I said, you and I have some important
foundational stuff in common.  Let's see where all this leads.

To Jerry Hejka-Ekins and Brenda Tucker

Some twenty-three years ago, I read two books on Jewish
mysticism.  One man, a rabbi, wrote both of them.  The reading
was a deep and delightful learning experience.  As the years
passed, the special place in my heart for those books increased
in richness.  Some thirteen years ago, I was dramatically
reunited with a dear college friend.  She is a brilliant and very
trustworthy person.  I visited her at her home.  There, she told
me a terrible story about a mutual friend of ours from our
university days.  This mutual friend had had a very great,
creative, turning-some-corners influence upon my life.  She (the
mutual friend) had her own very special place in my heart.  The
terrible story was that she had had an affair with a man who had
cruelly abused her.  The abuse was psychological, sexual, and I
think I was told it was physical in ways other than sexual.  My
memory is hazy about the details, but my memory is all too good
about the nature of the details.  The terrible experience drove
my dear friend who had nourished me so quite literally out of her
mind.  The man was the author of those two books on Jewish

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