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Re: 1900 Letter

Oct 06, 1994 11:54 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Michael W. Grenier:
> It is difficult for me to understand how one group first
> discerns what the collective higher thoughts are and then
> use them to guide all action with it developing into a creed.
As I read it, KH isn't advising coming up with some static view
of what the members' thoughts are and then devising a master
plan based upon that.  Rather, at any given point in time, the
action chosen should be based on the members' higher thoughts. (How
many members would have voted to expel the Canadian Section?) In
other words, maximize democracy in the TS and regularly solicit
member opinion on initiatives taken.  To some extent the Adyar
TS is pseudo-democratic (not the American Section insofar as I
have observed it but the international organization); other
Theosophical bodies don't even pretend to value democratic
methods.  The general Theosophical approach is trickle-down
rather than grassroots in terms of how members relate to
leadership.  The author of the letter was saying it was time to
change that 94 years ago.

> How do you collect the higher thoughts of the members without
> asking for their beliefs? (assuming one believes in one's
> thoughts)
Ask him not what he believes was in reference to entry into the
TS or ES.  I don't think the writer means that members
shouldn't be asked what they believe about TS policies and
procedures or plans-- but rather that they should.
> Still - is not the Secret Doctrine a document which discribes
> a set of beliefs? Or is it the Society's position that the Secret
> Doctrine represents the view of only one member? - yet I doubt that
> it would publish much in the way of opposing viewpoints.
Actually, Annie Besant and A.  P.  Sinnett published
contradictions of the SD in the early 20th century regarding the
Mars/Mercury controversy.  I don't regard the SD as a document
promoting beliefs (although it clearly has this effect on some)
but one promoting inquiry.  Certainly TPH doesn't seem to impose
any doctrinal litmus test on its authors as far as I can see.
The diversity of their list is one thing that makes me proud to
be a member of the TS-- it shows a commitment to publishing
alternative (if not opposing) viewpoints.

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