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CWL - two sides

Jan 22, 1995 06:05 PM
by Murray Stentiford, Scientific Software and Systems Ltd

Quoting Alan Bain but addressing all:

> (Jerry) Please keep the issues you raise in front of theos-l
> folk.  the important issue, as you say, is the deceit and
> selective editing of material that has taken place over the
> years.  One wonders how many "cover-ups" we *do not* now about
> there are.

Yes, we must try to face issues like this, painful as it might be
for some at times.

The 1900 Letter comes to mind.  Not a major issue, but it *was*
edited in an "interesting" way for public consumption.  It was
discussed on this list about 3 months ago.

> I share with all known scholars in these areas the view that his
> _Science of the Scaraments_ is no more than one man's peculiarly
> psychic point of view - using the word peculiar in all its
> senses.

Whenever I encounter phrases like "is no more than", "is nothing
but", "it's just a" etc, my reductionism detectors start giving
warning signals.

> There is absolutely *no* evidence anywhere in the history of the
> entire Christian church that supports the fantasies contained in
> this book

Is the history of the Christian church the best place to look? Re
"fantasies" - granted this is your opinion, but how do you
support it?

Geoffrey Hodson investigated the origins of Christianity and the
super- physical effects of some church rituals.  Some of this
work is reported in his little book "Clairvoyant Investigations
into the Origins of Christianity" or a similar title.  Without
having the book to hand, I recall that some features of the inner
"scene" were in common with CWL's, and some were different.

By the way, Hodson has showed in other clairvoyant work that he
was no CWL clone.

> this book, but like you, i have come across people who would
> defend it to the death *simply because it was written by CWL.*

I'm not one of them.  I'm not defending it's detailed contents,
either.  I do support superphysical investigation into ritual,
amongst other areas of life, and wish there more of it.

Let's accept CWL's work as one point on the graph, and add others
as they come.

> if we *truly* believe that there is no religion higher than
> truth, then we should be prepared to examine serious claims based
> on original research which will help us towards the realization
> of this lofty goal.

I totally agree.

> As you rightly suggest, the editing of texts for more up to date
> editions is usually accompanied by information stating why and
> how the text has been re-presented in its edited form.  Even some
> of the most odd organizations do this.  (But rarely the TS).

The TS is shooting itself in the foot, by doing this, especially
when it is trying to gain academic support, let alone "attract
the highest minds".

> The same may be said of much of Ledbeater's work.  I regard him
> on the whole as something of a loveable old fraud.

I'm glad you've used the word "loveable".  Let's accept the best
of what he has to offer and accept that people can make mistakes.
Whether - and why - CWL did these things we'll know better when
we can read the akashic record.

The inner light of every one of us short of adeptship is filtered
through a turbulent, limited personality on its way to the world.

> Much of what he wrote merely re-hashed standard theosophical
> "dogma" - a contradition there I think - and was not original
> work in any case.

Re "merely", see remarks on reductionism above.

I see an important place for writing and re-writing the ancient
wisdom to keep up with language developments, and cater for
people with different approaches.

> "This is the teaching as I have received it.  Don't believe a
> damn word of it.  *Check it out!*"


Murray Stentiford

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