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Re: Letter from AB

Sep 17, 1995 05:20 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


Following are some comments on Annie Besant's letter.

> In the Gazette, as in the Club itself, the note of full liberty of
>opinion and of research in all directions will be sounded, I am sure. That
>unfettered liberty of thought and speech seems to me to be as necessary to
>progress in psychical science as in all other branches of human knowledge.

That freedom of thought and speech should be encouraged, both on 'theos-l'
and within the Theosophical Societies. We don't want to force anyone to
pay unwilling lipservice to ideas that they either don't understand or
disagree with.

Each of us should be free to say "this is my experience" or "this is what
I've come up with in my thinking" and not be condemned. An open exploration
of the merits of the ideas should be approached in a friendly, open, non-
judgemental manner.

>The petrifying of knowledge already obtained, and then the building up of newly
>made stones as a barrier against further advance, has been a consistantly
>recurring phenomenon in the history of thought: then comes the necessity for
>iconoclasts to shiver the obstacles to pieces, and re-open the road.

The problem happens when we think that we've arrived at the final word on
a subject, and close it to further discussion. When we get theories or models
or ideas that are too smug, too complete, too closed to further refinement,
our thinking becomes brittle, and has to be smashed into pieces. If we can
keep it fluid, open, flexible, it will remain plastic enought to change as
necessary, and no smashing is necessary.

>If new knowledge were plant as a seed instead of being fossilized, then
>each such fragment of knowledge would grow into a tree on the side of the road
>which leads to Truth, and that road would remain an ever-open avenue, with
>unlimited prospects in front and fair vistas behind.

Do we nurture our new seeds, or only work with already-established
saplings? We have to look at the particular person, and what phase of life
he is in, in order to say what is right. There is a time for sowing of seeds,
a time for nurturing and growth, and a time for harvest. Working to give
tangible expression to what we've learned from Theosophy comes under "harvest".

>If we make no barriers out of what we have learned, the younger
>generation will be able to walk on unhindered, and "what our fathers and
>mothers believed" will no longer be a barrier across the way, but an
>interesting milestone on the road of infinite progress.

Speaking of different generations, we have two forces in play here. There is
the seeking and search for self-identity of a person in the 20's that is
based upon a certain stage of life. This is something that particular age
group always experiences, and it not unique to any one generation. And there
is also the something new that each generation brings to the world. Each
generation is like another iteration of a great Fractal, and things are
forever changed.

>For myself, the eager
>welcome of new truth is as joyous at nearly sixty-five as it was at
>twenty-five; nay, far more joyous, for then the new truth was was an
>earthquake, shattering old beliefs, whereas now I know that Truth's earthquakes
>can only shatter error, and lay bare virgin soil which shall repay human

At each stage of life, we have wonderful experiences, that would be of
considerable value if we were able to retain them into our older years.
The utter amazement at life of a infant, the eagerness to learn of a
young child, the undaunted idealism of a teenager, the open search for
meaning in life of a young adult in the 20's, the committment to building
structure in life of the 30's, ... and it goes on through one stage to
the next. Can we return with innocence to these earlier qualities that
we found so important in our earlier years?

>Let the young ones, then, march forward fearlessly, and let us cheer
>them on; they will win new countries for us to live in when we return.

Yes. Let's openly encourage the courage and initiative *of all generations*.
Even our older folk have wonders they could do in the world, if only a
certain fire could be lit anew in their hearts and the spirit of creativity
reawakened in their lives!

-- Eldon

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