Re: Story of Deconversion: Confession from the Snake Pit
Sep 02, 1995 08:12 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker
> [Comments to Art]
>Herewith some of the Theosophical versions of fundamentalism as
>you have portrayed it:
>> exclusivity and moral superiority.
>HPB is better than any modern spiritual teacher and we're
>better than you. Our movement (society) is the chosen
>instrument of THE Masters-- yours is some distant relation at
The Theosophical Movement is but a single project of a few of the
Masters, and was considered doubtful to succeed. The work of the Masters
goes on, through whomever is capable of carring it forward, regardless
of what groups that person belongs to, and regardless of what belief
that person professes.
The aspect of Theosophy intended for public assimilation can change in
whatever way is suitable to the highest good of society. The other
aspect, that of a junior college to the Mysteries, is never claimed to
be exclusive. There are many ways to approach the Mysteries, many possible
doors to knock on, and that offered through Theosophy as we know it is
but one such door.
>> It is paradoxical that humility is one of the greatest virtues in this
>> system and yet epistemological humility is completely lacking. What an
>We KNOW that HPB (or whoever) always tells the truth and her writings are
We're always required to use our better judgement to sort out the real from
the unreal. We can never take the literal words of some book given us as
holy and spiritually inspired, and take it on face value. And there is much
to the writings that is either hidden behind blinds or veils, or requires
the student to "go beyond the words" to get to the real meanings.
>> Jung speaks of this as the inflation of the mana personality. Your own ego
>> is so underdeveloped that you get merged with an archetype and feel its
>> power and wisdom and identify that with your ego. I would even go as far as
>> to say that many people do link up with the Spirit (Self Archetype) but
>> when they translate that back to historic reality, they use the power and
>> insights gained there to bolster a low self esteem. They appear arrogant
>> but in reality are very insecure and need the strong positions to keep from
>> disolving. I say this not in superiority for I lived like that for years. I
Inflation is a psychological term that is an abnormal condition. It's quite
possible, though, for psychologists that have based their theories upon the
psyche of a typical western person to misread things when we deal with the
Path. The psychology of the common man does not particularly apply to those
who would go beyond the current evolution of humanity, and seek to hasten
their spiritual evolution.
>This is pretty much what fervent belief in/attachment to the
>Masters and HPB does to people; I know from experience as well
>as observation. Not everyone, but many are thus
Some people may have a shrine and picture of the Masters to worship. They
may rely on the idea of the Masters for guidance and authority in the same
manner as a Fundamentalist Christian may rely on an image of Chirst or God.
It is definitely a problem for them. That is why, perhaps, the Masters have
said that false but sincerely held beliefs is the biggest barrier to someone
coming to them, a barrier bigger than physical "sin" like the drinking of
alcohol or smoking.
>> There is a theory in evangelical circles, I call it the domino effect, that
>> once you let one of the fundamentals loose, you will eventually have your
>> whole faith castle collape.
>Once you start applying objective historical criteria to HPB's
>claims about her sources, you lose your right to be considered
>a real Theosophist.
I think that this is too extreme a statement. Some people may be judgemental
and blast you when your statements are threatening, regardless of any serious
consideration of the facts. But this is true of any strong position that we
may publically make; we will have those that disagree in disagreeable ways!
>> objectivity based on logical rationality 3. The full plenary verbal
>> inspiration of an infallible and inerrant revelation in the Holy Scriptures
>> (no extra canonical revelation)
>ABSOLUTELY-- and if you dare question the literal inspiration of
>HPB's writings, you'll be treated as a heretic-- even if you
>are Olcott, who was obliged to publish Old Diary Leaves outside
>the TS because it was insufficiently respectful.
> 4. the ontological (not merely functional
The other consideration though is that for those of us that do consider the
Masters as both real and as much more advanced than the people that you
depict in your books, there's a sense of dignified respect for the lives of
sacrifice that they have undertaken for the benefit of the world, for which
we are grateful.
>> oneness but oneness of essence) divinity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
>The ontological status of the Masters is not to be undermined
>by thinking of them as "normal" human beings-- They have to
>have capitalized pronouns referring to Them to show this.
>I used to be a Theosophical fundamentalist, but got deconverted
>once I started to investigate history, and your description
The capitalization is one of respect, and not to confer any sense of
divinity. It also comes from a writing style that carries over from the
time when the early theosophical literature was written, when much more
was capitalized. We're used to reading of them as "Masters" with a capital
letter and likely are biased to write the word that way.
>> God, why not give also my intellect. It was the scariest step I have ever
>> taken. I determined to study seriously and as much as possible without
>> ideological lens what I encountered. That is chapter one abbreviated.
>> The idea that revelation is found exclusively in Holy Scripture is the
>> bulwark of the evangelical faith position. There is a claim that Jesus is
>That the truth about the Masters can only be known through
>Theosophical scriptures is the bulwark of Theosophical
The "scriptures" are only a beginner's training manual. The self-genesis,
partly through a Gnostic knowing of spiritual truths and realities, and
partly through a strong emphasis upon making a creative contribution to
the world, is where the Heart of Theosophy is to be found.
>> history and the Christ of faith are significantly while not entirely
>> different from each other. I can hear the floor boards of faith rumbling at
>> that point.
>People may pull them up and start beating you over the head
Let's treat each other with respect! Remind me if I forget, and speak
with less respect than I should.
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