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Re: Theosophy, 10-30 interchange between Jerry H-E & Art

Oct 31, 1994 05:23 AM
by Arthur Patterson

On Sun, 30 Oct 1994, Liesel F. Deutsch wrote:

> Hope you don't mind if I put in a few phrases here & there.  If
> you 2 guys would rather talk to each other, please inform, & I'll
> butt outsky.

Of course your more than welcome.  I need all the insight I can
get when it comes to understanding this new and intricate path.

> Art "Their emphasis on discipleship and suffering got them into a
> denial of the world situation".
> Jerry "....  insulated theosophists...  are also into
> discipleship..." Seems to me, you're talking about the old
> conflict between spirit & matter.

The problem that the Protestant sectarian groups, at least, had
was that the spirit was so important to them that the body and
its embodiment were denied in the name of mortification of the
flesh.  This is the putting to death of the flesh.  This concept
however does seem to come up in some of the material in the
Voice.  I will be writing about that later but for now I see that
in Blavatsky there appears to be a rejection of the life of the
senses in preference to a life of the spirit.  I understand the
value of this since embodiment can and has lead to a sort of
entombment- ie prison house of the soul idea.  But there is
something about this emphasis, where found in the East or in
Gnoticism, that refuses to honor actual existence and see nature
as sacramental.  Like I said I will try to spell this out later.

> As you have, Jerry, I've also come across far out Theosophists;
> but I thought that actually our belief is that in all
> manifestation spirit & matter exist together, not always in the
> same proportions, but together; that they work with each other,
> in tandem.

That sounds right to me.

> Also, one tries to achieve a more spiritual path not only for a
> beautiful hereafter, but also to achieve a more fulfilling life
> in this body, for oneself & for others.  Speaking of suffering,
> it took me a very long time to find out that meditating was
> suppposed to be a joyful experience.  I was so tangled up in
> German ideas that I thought all religious quests were realized
> through suffering.

You brought up something very interesting and controversial in
relating your spirituality to your cultural group.  Perhaps it is
part of the collective unconscious of the German people to stress
sacrifice.  The Mennonites and many Anabaptist groups come from
German, Dutch and Russian Stock so perhaps there is a link.  I
say this with due regard for German people but I wonder if the
imposition of Christianity upon them in their early history
resulted in a collective repression of their Wotan roots which
emerges in the sacrificial ideas, of discipline, warriorship and
"self-reliance".  This would account in part for some of the
embodiment of the sort of spirituality that I see in Germanic
Groups.  This is not intended as racist or prejudice just an
observation so I do mean no offense.

> Jerry "Even when we escape the ideologies, we can still get
> caught up in the one we create for ourselves".  Yeah.  It's very
> hard to see that your truth may not fit somebody else, especially
> if yours really works for you, & you believe it wholeheartedly,
> and you think it'll be just as good for the other person.  (I
> hope no one objects to my saying that either.)

You display to me a sort of convictional relativity that I really
appreciate.  It is hard not to take our convictions and subtly
impose them on other.  I don't believe it is good to soft peddle
what has brought spiritual life to us but it may not be what
others need or gravitate to.  I experience this because I am a
sort of "out there " kind of person.  It is a challenging balance
to keep, conviction and relativity.

> Art ""I understand from what you say ..  that Theosophy has to do
> with the roots of human spirituality....  I have deep doubts that
> it is because I have heard claims to ultimacy before ..."
> Our proofs of that this is so is that one can find ancient
> traditions all over the world which agree with our belief system.

There are many ways of accounting for the spread of a
spirituality.  Joseph Campbell boils them down to dispersion or
migration or the collective unconsciousness that links all people
right now, at least today, I favor the fact that we as human
beings have the same archetypal structure built into the
physiciality of our psyche and that we fill those potentiality
creating patterns with cultural artifacts.  If this theory is so
then it is not surprizing that Blavatsky found a common thread.
C.  G.  Jung has been the most helpful to me in understanding
this.  Perhaps Blavatsky is looking at the same phenomonen with a
different set of metaphors.  Perhaps this is too psychologizing
or reductionistic, I would like to hear what others think about

I mentioned a few

> to you in my first reply.  There are also the Native Americans &
> some of the ancient South Americans.  When I read about these
> things, I was amazed that this could be so.  There were not
> communication satellites, no e-mail then.

> But...  no doubt, you will finally choose the belief system which
> fits in with your personality & your experience.  If it turns out
> not to be theosophy, I think knowing about theosophy will at
> least be a big help to you in finding which way you'd like to go.

Undoutably even in these fresh beginning days of reading and
struggling with BHP I have been challenge to rethink or
reconfigure my beliefs.  Thank you for your input in doing this.

I myself have been studying theosophical

> books & teachings for a good 30 years now.  I was very much at
> sea before.  The more I studied, the more I found an anchor.  It
> works for me.  It hasn't failed me yet.  But that's me.  That's
> Jerry...  everyone on Theos-l.  You have to test theosophical
> principles for yourself, & adopt whatever makes sense to you and
> works for you, in whatever form it does.  It is there in
> Christian form, or translatable into Christian concepts, which is
> probably what's best suited to you.

I'm sure going to try to experiential test Theosophical thought
and its relevance to me, Liesel.

> Art "Creation In 7 Days" - I think either Geoffrey Hodson or
> Lawrence Bendit wrote a symbolical interpretation of Adam & Eve.
> Blavatsky, I think did as well.  If you care to look around,
> there are other creation myths available.

I have studied many creation myths, the point I was making is
that Creation is not really about Creation but about explaining
the way things are cosmologically.

> Are we going on with "The Voice...."?

You bet but I have another letter to answer from you I think.

Just some more personal data to put into your equation of who
this Arthur guy is.  I am fourty-two years old.  I have two sons
one natural his name is Sean and is twelve, the other is a three
year old my wife's child who lives with us.  He's excited about
going out as a cow for halloween.  Sean on the other hand is an
avid reader of fantasy and is interested in druidism and celtic
culture.  Next week I am teaching a course in symbolism using the
Western Esoteric Tradition as a base through astrology and tarot.
Wierd but interesting.  Thanks for your letter, Liesel and it is
good getting to know the people on Theo-l.

Under the Mercy,

Arthur Paul Patterson

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