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Non-theosophist academic study of theosophy

Dec 21, 1994 07:00 AM

Paul Johnson in his AAR piece wrote:

> It would be interesting to know
> what theos-l folks think about the advantages and disadvantages
> of the fact that academic study of Theosophy is/will be
> overwhelmingly dominated by non-Theosophists.  It doesn't
> bother me at all, since I'm more used to being attacked from my
> "right" (believers) than from my "left" (nonbelievers).

I see mostly advantages in this.  The academics will serve as a
bridge to a wider audience, far more than the efforts of members
alone could achieve.  They will also have resources for research
and publication.

It is, after all, free publicity.  It won't all be good, of
course, since the TS as a group of human beings has its own share
of failings and weirdnesses but, in the end, people have to see
that the value of our offering far outweighs the newsworthiness
of our human failings.

There's a tendency to dismiss or devalue things said by members
of any organisation as being biased pro, and to be more open to
things said by non-members as being objective.  This works
against TS members when trying to spread theosophy or even just
achieve name recognition.

People remember Beethoven mostly for his music, not for the fact
that he lied and cheated sometimes.  That may yet happen to
Blavatsky, especially in view of the amount of false accusation
against her.

Murray Stentiford

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