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Re: Toward an Inclusive Dialogue

Sep 07, 1995 00:23 AM
by Brenda S. Tucker

 Grace, love and forgiveness are central to the Christian message and
>to encourage him in his misguided understandings of how to express that
>message to others is to go amiss.

I don't understand the difference between complimenting his finding of the
spiritual and attempt at sharing it, but at the same time reserving another
method for discussion here rather than lecture AND the tactics which we use
with the other people who differ in opinion with us. Say we have a friend
who we can discuss theosophy because this is the only tradition they have
developed well. We disagree with that friend and slowly attempt over a
period of time to make points hoping that they will add up to a new, more
"theosophical" way of looking at life for both parties. Both the evangel
and theosophical methods require patience. Both methods require listening.
To be too offended at what someone is saying when you are able to view their
"righteous living" and general success at finding their "essential self" is
denying yourself the opportunity to put up a shield, hide a little bit of
your true position in order to encourage someone.

 If you look at the
>texts Jesus attacked religious hypocrites more than fallen people like the
>adulterer or misguided people, or broken people. The humble or weak are not
>condemned by Christ only the arrogant and self assured.

That is why I suggest that Daniel stop judging the outsider, if
>that is what he considers Theosophists, and move to take stock of the
>situation closer to home, starting with himself and his attitudes.

I think Daniel does view us as insiders because we are serious about
believing in our own abilities to teach a "way of seeking truth" or at least
to study one.

>I however to not find an intrinsic contradiction between the teachings of
>Theosophy and the normative teachings of the Biblical Tradition. There are
>differences and there are ways of interpreting that are unfamiliar to each
>other but a respectful dialogue is entirely possible. The central word
>here is "repectful".

I don't feel that other people here are any more "respectful," and instead
take great pleasure in shouting each other down. Polemical is a procedure
common to both methods.

>I would like to hear from other theosophists a brief understanding of how
>Theosophy has been approached and reacted to by other faiths including
>Christianity. I recall reading that in the early years HPB and others in
>the movement encountered Christian intolerance. How did they handle it

I'll repost this from Paul's "original programme" by H.P.B.:

>(1) The Founders had to exercise all their influence *to oppose
>selfishness of every kind*, by insisting upon sincere,
>fraternal feelings among the Members-- at least outwardly;
>working for it to bring about a spirit of unity and harmony,
>the great diversity of creeds notwithstanding; expectying and
>demanding from the Fellows, a great mutual toleration and
>charity for each other's shortcomings; mutual help in the
>research of truths in every domain-- moral or physical-- and
>even, in daily life.
>(2) They had to oppose in the strongest manner possible
>anything approaching *dogmatic faith and fanaticism*-- beleief
>in the *infallibility* of the Masters, or even in the very
>existence of our invisible Teachers, having to be checked from
>the first. On the other hand, as a great respect for the
>private views and creeds of every member was demanded, any
>Fellow criticising the faith or belief of another Fellow,
>hurting his feelings, or showing a reprehensible
>self-assertion, unasked (mutual friendly advices were a duty
>unless declined)-- such a member incurred expulsion. The
>greatest spirit of free research untrammeled by anyone or
>anything, had to be encouraged.

. So search the writing of Theosophy, not for what is wrong
>with them according to your perspective but for what they have in common.
>Perhaps the Theosophist who is totally turned off of the evangelical
>intolerance perspective might want to see if that attitude is normative in
>the biblical text itself, or at least the spirit and evolution of the text
>itself. Otherwise we are talking past each other.

This man is my research. This is a great opportunity for me to understand
how to appreciate and live alongside of his approach. It's possible that you
don't ever attempt it yourself, but what do you expect me to do in order to
gain this understanding? Go out and join a church again?!

You don't view this man as attempting to join us. Is he a card-carrying
member? Would it make a difference to you if he was?

One of his points which I can appreciate is this idea of "objective" living.
Theosophists rattle off their theories of Non-objectivity. All he's hoping
for is a discussion of what we are doing in our daily lives to influence
"the masses." What powers have we gained in our seeking for knowledge and
wisdom and how can we interest others in our movement inward?

His display of "telepathic" knowledge on the airplane may have been
astounding to someone young and inexperienced. Do we do these things, too?
Can we speak about it? No. Instead we try to criticize his method of
looking into our souls.

Paul said, " Church organizations, Christian and Spiritual sects
were shown as the future contrasts to our Society." Just because we allow
one interested party with energy and love to occasionally write and suggest
(or largely manufacture) critical issues doesn't mean he's taking over the
Society. He might be asking for membership. I don't think he's asking for

If Arthur is able to study the theosophical writings and find "truth and
goodness" and promote this understanding rather than the opposite of
"opposing misconceptions," why isn't he able to do this with Daniel? Read
Daniel's posts to find something you are akin to. Answer only these areas.
Ignore or refuse comment on things which seem inflammatory. We don't know
where Daniel is going with his posts. Could there be a lead in to the
scientific area? He is a scientist as engineers go.

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