Re: School and Schools
Sep 19, 1995 10:41 PM
by K. Paul Johnson
According to Richtay@aol.com:
> Paul wrote:
> > But there is also, above the specific schools, the idea of The
> > School. Here is where I think Rich and I part company on the
> > issue of literalism. It is historically false to assert that
> > the various "schools" frequented by HPB are "branches" of "One
> > School" that exists as an organization on planet earth run by
> > embodied human beings. The "One School" is an abstraction, not
> > an entity on this plane.
> How in the world can ANYONE who is not a top initiate in one of those Schools
> know this? If there are in fact, as Paul says, many such esoteric schools,
> how are we to know that at the top level they are not all aware of each other
> and co-operating?
If your sole argument for a proposition is that "you can't
prove it's false," that's pretty weak, especially for something
fundamental to your worldview. What do you mean "at the top
level"? If you mean in their buddhi-manases, you're right, we
can't know. But if you mean "aware of each other and
cooperating" at the level of anything historically verifiable--
the burden of proof is on him who makes an extraordinary
claim. As to the question, how can I know that you are making
a category mistake and treating a spiritual reality as a
physical one-- all I can tell you is, intuitively. When I read
what you write about Masters and Theosophy, I perceive
literalism galore. Which is not to say that SOME brotherhoods
aren't aware of and cooperating with others-- they are. But to
leap from that fact to the presumption that somehow they're all
part of the same organization, and that Theosophy is in some
privileged position in the eyes of this global organization of
secret adepts-- that's mythological thinking worthy of an Eckist or follower
of E.C. Prophet.
> Putting the Masters and the Brotherhood in the Platonic realm is quaint and
> safe, but yet another unprovable assertion from Paul.
> Likewise, HPB's assertion that there IS a single esoteric network is
> unprovable, but SHE DOES ASSERT IT, and that is SOURCE THEOSOPHY. We are
> free to agree or disagree, but Paul cannot convince me that Theosophy does
> not teach Masters and this Brotherhood as a FACT in nature.
Nor would I ever dream of so doing. What I am trying to
convince you of is that your understanding of this FACT of
nature is distorted by literalism, fundamentalism,
> I don't see the reason we should attack this "myth" as Paul calls it of the
> esoteric brotherhood. What damage is done?
Rich, no one on this list has complained longer and louder than
you about the damage it has done in the Adyar TS. If you look
within yourself as a ULT person or examine the average Pasadena
TS member's view of the Masters, the same thing is present.
People's heads are in the clouds. Instead of being alive in
the present moment to the reality of adepts in myriad
traditions carrying on the Work in many ways, Theosophists tend
to live in an imaginary timeless realm where adepts are
perceived as some great Cosmic Board of Directors. It gets
crazier and more distorted the further you get from HPB in
time-- Bailey, Prophet, etc.-- as people are less and less
interested in human members of adept brotherhoods and more and
more interested in cosmic supermen. That devalues and
desacralizes human life on earth while exalting some imaginary
realm of Mahatmic hegemony.
Until any one of us can know for
> sure, it seems like a useful devotional belief, and not dangerous to the
> world at large. So Paul, why do you really care if people like me and Art
are "living the myth"? What's it to you?>
Live whatever myth you like, but when you start to assert it as
historical fact, expect a challenge. People who believe in
that myth as historical fact have been attacking my work for
two years now. From my POV this is prima facie evidence that
it motivates people to oppose free and fearless investigation
of history. That's harmful, I've felt it keenly, and that's
"what's it to me."
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