Re: No Dichotomy
Jan 19, 1995 02:01 PM
N> I was fostering Tradition because those gents *seemed* to have
cut off all input from that area of thought and become too
N> My critical remarks were based only on what was written. I
don't have the printouts in front of me, but Mssrs Mead & JRC
were quite clear in their indifference, perhaps hostility, to
whatever Tradition means to them. Nothing they have written
since says anything positive about Tradition. When I wrote
"self-focussed" I meant only that their apparent rejection of
ancient lineages left no option but self for guidance. If I
should be foolish enough to call a stranger, based only on
written words, *selfish*, then perhaps Sir Arthur could ride to
the rescue. I am almost never offended, hopefully you are not,
by these words.
JRC> I rarely respond to a response in NET discussions, because
usually if people write well-considered words, the main points
are made with the first exchange and future exchanges too often
start the spiral descent into the Theosophical circle of Dante's
hell (which does not mean I think forward moving discussions
should be avoided, only that I won't respond if I am only going
to state the same points in different words). In this case,
however, I must make a wee bit of an exception, because I have
apparently been badly misinterpreted...and I accept
responsibility for not expressing myself with more precision.
I *never* meant to imply that I am indifferent to tradition, and
I most certainly am not hostile to it...and if my words delivered
that impression (I don't think they did, but perhaps I was just
too vague...) then I erred.
In fact the case I was making had nothing to do with the value of
tradition, but rather with the *imposition* of some *particular*
tradition on everyone....including those who found no resonance
with it, or found resonance with another one. My criticism was
of a letter that seemed to be asserting that there is some
universally agreed upon tradition that had already been accepted
beyond question, and that what was necessary to solve the
abortion issue...as well as other issues...was for everyone to
sort of grow up and simply obey these universal truths.
I believe that I was further attempting (perhaps in an earlier
letter) to say that the thing that disturbed me about a
political/legislative (i.e., collective) solution to the abortion
debate is that one's fundamental point of view about what the
spiritual nature of the world is has a lot to do with where one
will reside on the spectrum of reponses to abortion....and for a
nation to definitively legislate based on a particular point of
view also implies that the nation has tacitly decided...that
there is an agreed upon truth of the spiritual realm. I was
simply asserting that I do *not* think the US Congress is exactly
(IMO) qualified to determine for me *which* spiritual perspective
is the *correct* one. I do not recognize the Pope in Rome, or in
fact any temporal leader of any sect, creed or religion as having
*any* authority over me save that which I grant them voluntarily.
Yet, many of these people *do* claim power over me by virtue of
the "righteousness" (or something) of their cause...or by virtue
of the power they believe their *tradition* gives them.
Further, as several others have pointed out, there are multiple
spiritual traditions spanning the globe, and many of this are, in
practice, mutually exclusive (e.g., I have Native American
friends here in Montana that have remarkable rituals surrounding
the butchering and eating of Bison...and Hindu friends that
literally involuntarily shudder at the very thought of such
things....and BOTH of these perspectives are "traditional", and
rooted in profound spiritual paradigms).
Even further, I would hold that there is a false division between
following "tradition" and following "self". If there are such
things as universal truths, then those great leaders of the past
did not *create* them, but rather *discovered* them. When I talk
about deciding for myself what to believe...it does not mean (and
I never said it meant) that I do not look to many of the world's
great thinkers and traditions for insight (and most of those
thinkers, by the way, began their quests by either powerfully
reforming, or completely tossing out "established traditions").
In fact, even those who follow a "tradition" completely are
following *their personal interpretation* of that tradition.
When I look to "self" for answers, that does not mean that I
simply query my personality structure and take its temporary
predilections to be some sort of universal truths...rather, I
attempt to question that within myself that has access to the
layers of wisdom from whence those leaders of the past drew. Do
you, then, call me "selfish" for desiring to attempt to go
directly to the Well instead of drinking out of buckets...whose
water may be nowhere near as pure as it was before it was carried
around for centuries?
I guess I believe, in fact, that it is the purification,
clarification, and reformation of the *personal energy-system*
that is required to even be able to understand and make use of a
If TRUTH has become a core vibration throughout a person's energy
field, they will not need tradition...or rather, every tradition
will reveal truth to them,in fact everyone person they talk to
will.....if that core vibration is *not* there, however, the
Buddha himself go talk for hours on end in the person's living
room and the person would be little changed for the experience.
Does any of this sound like "indifference", or "hostility"
towards tradition? It is not. There may, however, be a bit of
defensiveness towards *people* who feel tradition gives them the
right to *impose upon me their own interpretation of a particular
There is NO religion higher than TRUTH, and IMO, no tradition
large enough to encompass the totality of TRUTH.
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