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idea on becoming organizational

Sep 23, 1995 07:36 AM
by Brenda S. Tucker

Art writes:
1a> The explanation will be oh, he's new and
>doesn't know any better, poor sot. Indulge him.

1b> On the other hand as the
>Theosophical movement takes up a deeper residence in my heart and mind then
>more will be expected of me. Like a family I will be expected to reflect
>group values and not to miss the family gatherings and not to dishonour the
>family by being different. Interesting, that this is precisely what Van Der
>Leeuw is getting at in the third and fourth definitions of Theosophy.

At times, our leadership will present the view that they are not always
right, that there are other viewpoints than theirs, and that each person
within the society is important in their own unique way. They do not pretend
to be all-knowing. They do LISTEN to our opinions, INVITE our participation,
and do not try to monopolize our individual learning experiences. They
encourage us to form our own opinion because they (in my experience) are
always asking us to bring in material which we find relevant or particularly
meaningful (in any one instance) and to share it with the group. They might
even encourage our presentation of material. At Olcott, we used to take
turns speaking or giving our view on different subjects. Everyone could be
included and you didn't have to conform, only be bold enough to "form" an

2a>A concept of siblinghood that is not broad enough to include all genuine
>spiritual seekers is too small for Theosophy - it would eventually lead to
>an us/them dichotomy of exclusivity.

Boy, we still have this and it's approached as a "fact of life." No other
organization's tenets are welcome, because we are not a "part" of any
organization. In order for our life to continue as an organization, we have
to repel the idea of "joining" with any and all other organizations.

2b>On the other hand what happens when
>there are no levels of commitment or deepening - there is something
>extremely insipid about collective democracy where every one regardless of
>skill, dedication, or commitment has the same input in decision making

Who knows what might be needed down the road? As "unqualified" as you may
think yourself at any one time, there may come those times when you are the
"most qualified" among the group you are with. This puts you in the spot of
leadership "theosophically," and we are individually viewed as leaders as
soon as the "real leaders" sense the commitment within us. This is because
everyone who receives training is made to feel needed in order for the
organization to continue. By each individual member here going out and
forming a group, we grow. What could be better than honest growth? It may be
hard work and occasionally mistakes may be made, but theosophists are
problem-solvers and try to make themselves available for consulting on
difficulties when they arise. I've seen enough "teacher training" and
"leadership training" seminars to see this attitude firmly engrained.

> This is why right now I prefer to stay deeply committed to definition
>number one [REALIZATION] and avoid the historical local relationship to
theosophy. Any
>ideas how to over come that dilemma? Or is it something that ought not to
>be overcome.

My idea on how to overcome this dilemma would be to make you feel quilty by
telling you how much you are worth to us. To tell you that leniency is the
rule with "new leaders" as well and that we never know "into whose hands the
cards may fall." Life is a bit of a mystery. Maybe, though, there's even a
clairvoyant who can convince you that you do have a future role of some
importance. Just by treating you with respect for no apparent reason, one
might discern this.

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