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Re: Bitter/Sweet

Sep 07, 1995 06:03 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

 >> Rich:
& > Paul:

>> The greatest protection, perhaps, which works well for many, is to receive
>> praise and blame indifferently and impersonally, and to concentrate on ideas.
>> If people feel the need to attack YOU rather than your ideas and work, that
>> is their delusion.

>This is hard for people to separate, especially when they're
>emotionally invested in a subject. I suspect that even the
>most virulent personal attacks I've received have been from
>people in denial about what they're doing. Sort of a "I have
>no choice but to react this way because what you did was so
>awful" kind of justification.

There's always a difference between theory and practice. We have an ideal
that a discussion deals with ideas, philosophy, and logic. But feelings
are involved, and people can feel hurt. Should people feel hurt when their
ideas are attached? No. Can they help it? Can they avoid letting themselves
feel hurt? Sometimes.

We have two goals to achieve, and have to do a balancing act. We cannot
be hurtfully cold with "the truth" without regard for how it affects others.
But on the other hand, we cannot allow allow someone's feelings to muzzle
the truth.

>> If you feel the need to perceive attacks on your works and IDEAS as attacks
>> on you, that is YOUR delusion, and the only one you can do something about.

>No need to interpret as personal that which is not. Sometimes
>people ask me "didn't you realize that you were asking for trouble in
>discussing this topic?" Somehow, I realized that the title was
>controversial, the subject was controversial-- yet was
>oblivious of the fact that the author was bound to become
>controversial too. If anything, I started out foolishly naive
>about the impersonality and openmindedness of Theosophists--
>perhaps setting me up to become embittered.

We have to be careful about what we say. Sometimes we are required to
step on a few toes. We shouldn't therefore harden our hearts and always
step on toes, though, without considering each situation on a case-by-case

There are a number of issues that have surfaced from time to time on
'theos-l' that get some of us seeing red. I just, a few moments ago,
started to write a list, and I erased the words. I could tell, from
looking at it, that I would engender severe anger by even mentioning
certain subjects. To not bring up the subjects, though, is a form of
censorship, and is saying, in a say, that certain topics need to be
kept esoteric or hidden from the public eye. It is a sign, in one sense,
of disrespect to people in general, in saying that they are not ready
to hear of certain things, and so the things will be kept from them.
Perhaps this is necessary? It's a hard call at times, to speak up
or keep silent.

-- Eldon

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