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Dec 16, 1994 10:20 AM
by Doreen Domb

To Arthur Patterson and Any Concerned:

I can partially echo Murray Stentiford's reply to you, Arthur,
regarding the freedom to think for oneself, which true Theosophy
- I feel - supports, rather than getting bogged down in what
others think we ought to think and do.  Let's be realistic,
however, in recognizing that theosophists are no more exempt from
fundamentalism than any other human being who supports a
particular belief system.  We acknowledge time and again how
wonderful it is that (original source) Theosophy is ensconced in
no dogma or rules to follow.  The embracing of brotherhood and
the basic understanding of the three fundamental principles are
sufficient as a springboard to go on with one's own individual
quest.  And it is one's choice to further explore and implement
the aforementioned.

Therefore, I guess I was a little distressed to hear a
theosophist expressing fears about being at the mercy of Masters,
or the like, telling us how to be "good" theosophists.  We are
under no obligation to accept everything we come across
"theosophically" (there are many times when we have to decide,
each of us, what is "theosophical" and what is not), and
reasonably intelligent and ethical human beings - I believe -
have the capacity to utilize their COMMON SENSE (remember that
HPB stressed the use of common sense [I believe that's out of THE
KEY, if my memory's working).  It's remembering that we possess
common sense that seems to be a problem! Why do the seemingly
simple things give us so much trouble?

Certainly, there are some aspects of the teachings that I don't
accept - because they don't ring true with me.  There are other
aspects that I don't understand and am still working on.  The
bottom line - I believe - is a relative and subjective one: To
try and trust your intelligence and your intuition to see the
whole picture.  Goodness knows it's far from easy.  We think that
we crave freedom, yet we get in our own way when the opportunity
arises.  I know I do that to myself one too many times!

There seems to be various controversies as to whether the
Mahatmas really existed, etc.  I probably believe that they
did/do, but that's not the important thing.  The principles and
teachings are what matter most, in addition to how we understand
them, and how effectively we can work them into our daily lives.
It is a wonderful freedom to be able to carry on - for example -
one's original or basic belief (e.g., Jewish, Buddhist,
Christian, etc.), while integrating a theosophical worldview
within it.  There is nothing one needs to give up or compromise,
but one certainly can refine, enhance and/or broaden one's
worldview.  And occasionally, we will have to deal with
individuals and/or organizations that tell us what's what and
what's not, an activity that is as far removed from Theosophy as
one can get.

I am no lofty being who knows it all - I've got such a long, long
way to go.  Earthly life can be a bummer sometimes, but isn't it
so marvelous that we have the timeless Ancient Wisdom to
strengthen our foundation and keep us going! I would like to
compassionately suggest that you try to follow your own heart and
intuition, with some intelligence thrown in for good measure. From
time to time, there will be entities out there who continue
to trash each other and give each other a hard time because they
may feel thay have the one true answer.  It's hard to get past
our own individual garbage sometimes, but acknowledging that is
an important first step.  It seems to be the human condition til
we really can begin to raise our consciousness out of our
personalities and center it with greater and greater frequency
within our divine selves, and most important, operate
increasingly from that higher self in our daily lives.  I don't
understand why we human beings produce or allow this kind of fear
to be injected into our theosophical (and other portions of)
life.  We have enough to deal with, just getting through each day
on earth.

Here's to onward and upward ETHICAL evolution.  Merry Solstice to
all!! - Doreen Domb

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