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Old Books, and Healing the TS

Jan 23, 1995 08:38 PM
by Murray Stentiford, Scientific Software and Systems Ltd

Jerry H-E wrote:

>          So, let's write those modern books and let them stand or
> fall on the merits of their own authors.  But please, let's leave
> the old books unaltered so that they can also undergo the test of
> time.  If these old theosophical classics are truly great, then
> they will be around in 500 years.  If not--then let them rest in
> peace.

I like that thought, yet there's an issue to do with the "old"
books that I haven't heard mentioned in the TS yet.  I suspect
that what younger people find off-putting about the old books is
not just the language.

I actually find much of HPB's language more accessible and modern
than that of some of her successors.  No, it is the unexpressed
values, bogies, taboos, hot buttons, joke points etc etc that are
part of the collective subconscious realm, varying slowly with
the passage of time, and differing more widely across different

Not only do these hot topics vary with time, but I think that our
generation is more self-aware in general than people of over 100
years ago, and we can sense in-built negativity better, and have
outgrown some of it.  This applies particularly to sex and
religion - both of them areas where there has been a strong
tendency to repression and self-flagellation in the Western
world, and both of which have been on THEOS-L a lot recently!

People today therefore react sometimes with caution or even
aversion, to having recently or partially-outgrown negatives
brought into their field of consciousness, even if only by
implication or distant association.

This is probably a factor in why some of the organisations
younger than the TS appeal more widely than the TS; they are
relatively free of some of the unstated negativity.  People call
this being "up-to-date" without necessarily being aware of why it
is so.

Which brings me to another point, an even more subjective
personal opinion than the last.  I think the TS, in a sense, has
been scarred at birth, because of the intense opposition that
forced it into defensive modes in its early days, as well as the
collective negativity I described above.  A defensiveness that to
this day darkens its collective aura, and cramps its intellectual
scope.  Look at the amount of space HPB devoted to refuting the
science of her day, in the SD etc.  She had to, of course, to
gain the foothold, but there is a price to being a pioneer.

So, we could give a thought or two to the collective healing of
the TS, and be prepared to shake off any bits and pieces of murky
stuff whenever we detect them hanging on to the collective energy

Just as long as we don't shake each other off!!

With love.

Murray Stentiford

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