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Two Types of Approach

Sep 23, 1994 11:26 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Eldon Tucker

---- Two Types of Approach

     I have a few more comments to J.T. Coker, and will reply to
the more recent postings tomorrow.

     I agree that art, psychology, meditation, death and dying, and
other such topics are important and deserve serious consideration.
We all have our personal approach to the spiritual. A wide variety
of interests and activities enrich and fulfill our lives.
     We both call Theosophy a spiritual path. I would say that the
Teachings themselves are the Key and the approach to the Mysteries,
the heart of the Path. You might talk of doctrinal skills that one
hones then uses in the give and take, the messy processes of life
itself. We differ in the importance we attach to thought itself,
apart from interpersonal interactions.
     When the Philosophy is continually looked at with fresh eyes,
we find something more each time. It is not an intellectual fetish,
nor silly and spiritually counter-productive. To review,
reconsider, and re-express the Teachings is not an empty exercise.
We can learn something more each time. When we start viewing them
as "the same old stuff" and get bored, it is because we've reached
a plateau in our thinking, where we can go no further without
breaking the old molds of mind and move on.
     I certainly don't want to be considered a theosophical pope,
nor the sole holder of real truth. And I don't think that I could
pull it off however hard I might try, were I so inclined. We all
have the right, though, to firmly believe in what we say, and not
hesitate to say "this is true" about things we believe in.
     We agree that individual differences should be accepted. Can
you accept a style of communication that has religious overtones,
and may therefore at times *sound like* preaching? If I want to
consider Theosophy as a religious philosophy, that is my way.
     Intolerance of other approaches is to be avoided. But
intolerance is to suppress, restrict, banish, and condemn those
approaches. It is agreed that there is no one true way, and that
different opinions on doctrines should be handled in openness.
Someone with a more conservative view should not be described as an
uptight spinster--not any more than some with a more liberal view
being described as a rebellious, destructive, reckless teenager.
Characterizations of others that magnify their supposed weaknesses
are harmful and only bring more evil into the world.
Characterizations that magnify the good qualities of others
encourage them to be even better.
     Some of the Teachings are nearly-impossible to convey merely
by written or spoken word. They must be self-originated, and an
element of personal experience necessary as well. I would say it is
possible to know them in a special way, by personal experience, and
that doing so is much easier than you might think. Saying that one
does so is not a great claim, but is easier to do than, say, for a
smoker to give up smoking.
     Someone else may believe this is not so, and that I have
mislead myself to think so. They have a right to say that I'm
wrong. I have an equal right to say that my views are simply the
truth, and not a mere opinion, if that's how I see it. Who is
     When you say that I seek to impose my personal approach on
others, and don't allow them any slack, you're not accepting an
important distinction that I make. There is the approach that each
of us takes in fashioning our personal spiritual lives. That is one
type of approach. With it, I agree in the need for accepting
differences. But also there is the approach to *something more,* to
the Mysteries. For this approach, I'd consider the theosophical
Teachings playing an important role.
     We can talk about the common good, and accept others on an
equal basis. Their self-chosen paths can be respected. But this
does not mean that what is good for Masters, Chelas, and people at
various pre-Chela stages are the same as what is good for the
general populace. It is not arrogant and judgmental to see a scale
of evolution with one step leading to the next, a natural
progression, and to look up to future steps before us. It is not
right to say that we may only talk about what is for the common
good, and that we must keep as esoteric anything not meant for all.
There is more to Theosophy than a common religion or school of
psychology for the masses.
     I do not wanting to impose any personal preference regarding
art, music, science, psychology, nor lifestyle. Talking about the
way to the Mysteries does not belittle some people and flatter
others. We can study and discuss this way without having to make
personal claims to spiritual greatness. We can talk about the way
to the Olympics without judging anyone's personal fitness plan.
     Our agreement is on the unique nature of our individual
searching for the spiritual. We part company, perhaps, when I go on
to express the view that there is also a special path for the few,
a path that is awakened through our spiritual-intellectual natures,
Buddhi-Manas, and go on to say what I think that path consists of.
You're free to say that there is no such special path, or differ in
your depiction of it.

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