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Eldon on Politics in the AT

Sep 05, 1995 09:36 AM
by Keith Price

A conversation overheard on this list is cut and pasted below. I think the first
is K. Paul and the second is Eldon discussing Paul's books:

Or combine the two in a way that is not clearly apparent to
themselves or others.
> They are responsible for their reactions. The other
> side of the coin is your reaction to people. For an intellectual discussion
> of the content of your books, if you respond in kind, both you and the other
> people can learn and grow, and your can improve your knowledge and theories
> for future books.

And misunderstandings can be reduced.
 For dealing with an awful personal attack, you are in the
> same situation as any of the rest of us. We all may get blasted by people
> at unexpected times, and sometimes for unexpected reasons. And we have the
> choice: respond in kind or respond in kindness. We can mirror the anger and
> hostility or respond with how we *want to feel*.

Would that there were just two possibilities. I'm usually
somewhere between mirroring the negativity and feeling how I
want to-- more like a steady struggle NOT to reciprocate the
hostility, combined with bad feelings of a different by
related sort: discouragement, isolation, humiliation.
But the road is leading upward, come what may.

End of quotation

Keith Price: After reading Eldon's article on politics in the American
Theosophist, I was struck more with what was unsaid than said. In my humble
opinion it was written very well if the object was to offend no one and keep
everybody happy and "in the fold". Like many articles and "exoteric" messages
from the TSA, it gives the impression that theosophy offers an opporunity for
personal growth, spritual seeking and light on the path and all that, but never
any "stated" agenda or forced direction or guidance.

THIS IS TRUE AND ALL TO THE GOOD. I am not really complaining but this seems to
be a comfort for those new to the path, that is, that one can come in to the TS
without there a being a cult like expectation of conforming to a dogma etc.
One is always left slightly uplifted and slightly empty by this kind of thing.
It isn't so much that conflict is resolved, but it is just left unspoken,
hidden, concealed, "esoteric".
I guess I am on a critical point in the path where anything DOESN'T go, and I am
tired of trying one thing and dropping it (so easy in our fast food, drive
through, buffet-style spiritual options culture). I mean we are blessed or
cursed to live in a time when we can try a little Zen, a little speaking in
tounges, a little Mother Teresa, a little Krishnamurti, a little David Koresh
(not really) and for me not really have the satisfaction of the "true believer".
Theosophy is so open it almost presumes a previous religious training(IMHO), I
mean one
can not go beyond language (religion) if one does not have a mother tongue
(Church). This is another topic really but theosophy seems not to be only the
root, but probably more the fruit of each religion (the esoteric core, no pun

If one allows anything, one stands for nothing. It seems like a kind of
anarchism, but with the unstated assumption that if you are really spiritual
(whatever that is) you will get with the program and become a vegetarian, a
believer in the Masters, and hold what are today the "proper" ideals (whatever
they are).
If one meditates, one will eventually come round to something that approximates
a good guy or girl without any clear examination of issues on the physical level
(or seemingly some imply).

It is not so much that one has politics or real problems in hand, but that one
somehow transcends them with a kind of easy spirituality and a "don't make a
fuss" attitiude. "Why can't we all just get along?" is a good question but
when has it ever worked?

To show the problem, I heard a tape once by Shirley Nicholson and John Algeo
(?). It asked really difficult questions to reveal what people really think in
practical terms about the theosophical objects, principles and ideals. For
instance: "Would you let a known and self-professing Nazi or KKK member be a
member of the lodge? What about president?" (I mean brotherhood without regard
to creed, relgion, politics etc.)

If you aren't forced to deal with these problems, it is easy to just say
everybody has their own path and one path is as good as the other? I was
suprised at the number of people who answered the question with a definite "no".
I felt that if one was assured on one's own path, one would not be tainted by a
little opposition. In fact both sides might gain and claify and even change (be
transformed). It seems that this is possibly the reason for "evil". There is a
quote by Malthus that the reason for evil is to drive one to action. Karma means
action, of course.

P.S> - this is not a criticism of Eldon's article, but just an examination of
the everything is OK where it is today, but will improve (evolve) type of
message the TSA gives out. Hey if it works, don't fix it! But does it work?

Keith Price

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