Feb 13, 1995 04:17 PM
Comments -- Eldon Tucker
Notes to Ann Bermingham & Kent Livingston, Dr. Bain, Murray
Stentiford, Nancy Coker, and Keith Price.
Ann Bermingham & Kent Livingston:
Vic Hao Chin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is working on the CD Rom
of theosophical books. He has "The Secret Doctrine," "Isis
Unveiled," and "The Key to Theosophy" done. He's at work on
the Collected Writings. The CD Rom may also include
"Esoteric Buddhism" by A.P. Sinnett. The type of software
that the etexts will be distributed on, and the required
viewer, is still being investigated. I've recommended to Vic
that he use Adobe Acrobat, but he needs to look into it.
One FTP site is at vnet.net, where John Mead has the
archives for 'theos-l' and other theosophical files. I also
have some under /ftp/public/e/eldon/theos-l (just unix
compress'ed files for each month of discussion on 'theos-l'
since July 1993).
I'm also working on electronic books, and may have some on
the internet in the next few months. Some are old books;
others are a few from Point Loma Publications.
Regarding our becoming a lodge, my suggestion is still good:
let's self-confer the honorary title of lodge upon
ourselves. There's no rules, no moderator, no membership in
any theosophical organization. Are we a lodge? There's the
saying: "If it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck,
etc., then it must be one." It would be easy for John Mead
at any time to make our lists into moderated lists, where he
has the power to approve/reject any submissions before they
go out. I'm glad that he has had the foresight to keep
things complete open.
As to teaching reincarnation and karma to children, I think
it depends on the interest and responsiveness of the
particular child. If the parent is uncertain about the truth
of the ideas, it would be best to keep silent until the
child is old enough to sort out religion and philosophy on
its own. If the parent is convinced and comfortable with the
ideas, it's proper, I'd say, to teach the child when
interest is shown. I would teach geography, mathematics, and
psychology to my children when they are ready to learn,
because I consider them "true" subjects and valuable to
know. I'd put the doctrines of Theosophy in the same class.
I don't think there are any dogmas in Theosophy, no required
beliefs that must be accepted in order to be a Theosophist.
Reincarnation and karma are best presented as *doctrines,*
not dogmas; they should be presented as core concepts to be
studied, to be given deep contemplation, rather than as
formulas of words to be memorized and repeated upon demand.
It's good to see you back among us again. I'd agree that the
early theosophical literature shows a strong Victorian bias.
Sex was not well-known, nor well-thought-of in those days.
It was not discussed in public, so there were likely many
misunderstandings about it.
(Things were rather extreme then. The sight of a woman's leg
was considered obscene. I seem to recall that there was even
a time when the legs to tables were covered, because they
would remind the onlooker of women's legs!)
A full discussion of what it is, how it works, and when it
is good or bad in our lives probably could not be openly
written about in the last century, without offending people
and causing them to turn away from one's theosophical books.
At that time, it was likely safest to simply say to avoid
it, outside of marriage, perhaps just for having babies,
etc. where the most conservative stage is expressed.
When we get to someone who would be a practical occultist,
there'd better be a Teacher watching over the student! With
a Teacher, there'll be advise on sexual and other matters
appropriate to his station in life. Without a Teacher,
there's the risk of serious harm, regardless of celibacy.
We shouldn't picture the universe as having started with an
initial impulse, and that energy being lost to entropy,
winding down to a random nothingness. It's true that any
system can lose energy through dissipation.
A rocking-horse, given a push, will rock for a while, then
stop. It's energy was dissipated due to friction. But the
universe, and life itself, is not the result of a single
impulse of energy. It is something that is self-sustained.
There is an endless sequence of impulses, keeping it going,
adding new energy to it, driving it through cyclic
evolution. It undergoes an never-ending sequence of
iterations, and is always different, more individualized,
more expressive of the streams of life energies expressed in
the world. If the outflow of energy from the divine stopped,
even for but an instance, all existence would cease; nothing
can independently sustain itself for even the most fleeting
The universe and life is self-created *from with* in and
during every moment of time, and entropy or physical death
only happens when a life moves on to other worlds, like we
do, in our after-death states, before seeking rebirth on
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