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Re: Various comments

Sep 04, 1995 01:09 AM
by Arthur Paul Patterson

At 1:01 AM 9/4/95, Jerry Schueler wrote:

> This is exactly what I said in an earlier posting,
>Art. We can all sit back and say that there is no dogma or
>doctrine, no "core teachings" per se, but it simply is not
>so. Without some kind of core teachings, we would have
>chaos. We wouldn't be able to discuss theosophy, because
>we have to define something before we can discuss it

Yes,I agree with you entirely, Jerry S. Sometimes in spiritual groups there
is a inclination to say that their is no dogma, no creed implicit of
explicit. This is due to avoidance of sounding dogmatic or narrow minded.
If no "core teachings" can be depicted there can be no dialogue.
Unforturnately the process at arriving at what is "core" results in
anathematizing and excluding. Another problem that arises is the tendency
to reinterpret what the core means by the individual who still wants to say
within the group. Elasticity of belief is admirable but the elastic snaps
at certain points. I remember when I asked if I was orthodox enough to stay
within my denomination as minister. I asked one of the leaders who said
there was lots of room in the denomination for difference but when I asked
what it would take to not be a part of this particular group he wouldn't
tell me. I found out later that my views on universalism and my reluctance
to agree with Inspired and revealed sources put me outside . I wish he
could have been honest enough to tell me what in and out meant. There is
always an in and an out and it not an insult to be excluded if you
honestly do not affirm the group's views. I think in our modern society we
have a problem with always wanting, or demanding to be included.

 If nothing else, the core teachings are
>those that we each believe to be true, and thus they can
>vary with each member, but again this will lead to a great
>deal of confusion. There is nothing at all wrong with
>divided things up into exoteric (in words - the mind or
>head) and esoteric (without words - the heart, or gnosis
>directly perceived), and I like the idea of requiring only
>a belief in universal brotherhood for TS membership, but I
>simply have to belive that core teachings such as karma,
>reincarnation, and cycles, are what theosophy is all about
>and what separates theosophy from everything else

That's ok but then you end up with a two tiered membership.Those who
believe in universal brother and the "real" theosophists who hold also
reincarnation, cycles etc. Ninty percent of the human population could
affirm brotherhood. I don't think that is defining enough.

 Perhaps there is another way to define the core and that is in a process
or attitude way rather than in a belief way. What about a covenant or
commitment to explore spirituality (the esoteric life) with authenticity,
tolerance and historical integrity? I have seen many on this group who do
this consistently and believe them to be theosophists through they disagree
on various topics.

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