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Re: Eldon on Politics in the AT

Sep 07, 1995 06:27 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>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".

Actually, it was first posted on 'theos-l', and John Alego asked me if I'd
mind if it was used in the American Theosophist. It was written with the
Oklahoma bombing event in mind, and other discussion on political activism
and Theosophy that also was happening on the list at the time.

>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.

Yes. We're not given a religious creed or code of conduct or set of
rules to live our lives by. There is not a church to join. This is the
polar opposite of an approach like the orthodox Jewish, where they are
even required to silly things like keep separate pans and kitchen setups
for meat and dairy products.

>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.

It's not a comfort, since people *want to be told what to do.* It rather
leads many people to quit, when they found they've not been given a replacement
for some dogmatic religion which they may have recently rejected.

>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).

The state of readiness or hunger for something else to open up in life
never goes away. What happens, though, is that a sense of creative
also arises, and far out-shadows any sense of personal suffering also going on.

>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
>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

There are many "brands" of spiritual training offered us. None can give us
spirituality. Regardless of approach, we still end up doing the work ourselves,
using one technique or another, but doing the work on our own initiative.

>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).

One can allow anything *to others,* while being quite discriminating when
dealing with one's own beliefs and life. It is a different matter when one
chooses to open his mouth and share what he has learned. Then a combination
of tact, diplomacy, and knowing when to speak and when to keep the mouth
shut is highly important.

>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
>(or seemingly some imply).

If one ripens inwardly, the other life will tend to rearrange itself
accordingly, and one remains rooted in the spiritual. If one merely rearranges
external things in his life, the inner center remains untouched, and life is
not truly changed.

>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?

We have to make hard decisiions in our external lifes. But we cannot use
politics or social programs to awaken people. The awakening is self-initiated,
when the appropriate state of ripening has arrived.

>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
>to creed, relgion, politics etc.)

Sometimes things are easy to decide. Othertimes, there are boarderline
where the decision is easy. Disruptive and hostile people may be thrown out of
groups if it is necessary, but each decision is individually made.

>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?

Each person is the ultimate judge of their own path, the ultimate judge as to
if theya re following the proper course, or deluding themselves. We cannot
decide this for them without an intervention in their lives and karma, which
is not generally a good thing to do.

It is a different question when we attempt to teach Theosophy. We have a
responsibility to distinguish the good from the bad for others -- in a general
sense, since we cannot personally take charge of their lives. In this case,
we are also responsible to pass on the Teachings, from the Mahatmas, in a
pure, unaltered form.

>I was
>suprised at the number of people who answered the question with a definite
>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
>action, of course.

When we get judgemental, we start calling others that get in our way in life to
be "evil", and those that are in accord with us as "good". It's not objective,
but is a psychological maya that we sometimes give in to.

>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?

Agreed that there's a lot that we could do better in both awakening people
to the spiritual and in passing on the Teachings intact to others, to share
the Treasury of wisdom that we have been fortunate enough in life to have
been put in touch with.

-- Eldon

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