Re: More thoughts on abortion
Sep 29, 1995 01:47 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker
>> Do you study
>> with deferred judgement the writings of authorities on a subject, until
>> you know about it sufficiently?
>Certainly ... but even my economic professors introduced not just
>one point of view, but many.
If that was appropriate to the subject matter being taught, it would be a
fine teaching technique. With Theosophy we're often taught the same things
from a number of different angles, so there's a similarity here. It would
depend upon if the teacher was speaking from knowledge and training, and
had a degree of certainity about what he knew. When you make a comparison
to Theosophy, you're also making a statement about what *you think*
Theosophy is about. I may consider it differently.
>> We're not asked to "believe in" what Blavatsky wrote ...
> It is often spoken of as "the" system - which is fine, so long
>as this attitude does not become domineering - as I've most definitly
>seen it do.
I'd agree that it is not *the* system, but it is a genuine system, and not
the speculative philosophy of a 19th century woman. And even though it is
not an exclusive system, a comparison with other systems can be made, and
we can judge them in terms of consistency with the Teachings, to arrive at
our own conclusions about those systems. We cannot tell the followers of
those other systems what to believe, but we can arrive at our own evaluation
of the value of those systems for ourselves.
>> The materials often go beyond the power of the written word to convey
>> their meanings.
>Yes. But I was responding to a post in which the written word was
>being used to support a person's viewpoint on a current issue.
If the point in discussion is not deeply esoteric, it should be possible
to use authoritative writings in support of (but not final proof of) one's
>Yes, ... ... have been enriched by HPB, but
>also by many, *many* others - I don't put her writings on a pedestal
>above all other writings
To the extent that we can make an intellectual study of various writings,
I'd consider a comparison to be of value. I'd use a comparison to Blavatsky's
writings as one manner of seeing if that other person spoke from the same
wisdom, or was making up stuff, and not a representative of the Masters.
>> [I'm writing about the need for teachers.]
>You seem to be making a point that simply doesn't apply to myself
>or what I wrote. It is not that I somehow refuse to learn from HPB, it is
>that I've learned from many more as well, and actually have the gall to
>try to formulate my own ideas on things ...
Anything that we understand is our own formulation of ideas. I would also
have ideas of my own, that I haven't necessarily read in theosophical books.
> - and while I will often see what
>HPB had to say, I'll also survey what dozens of others have to say, and
>will not simply choose which one of them I accept, but may even come to a
>conclusion different than all of them.
That's fine. It really depends upon the subject we're studying how much we
do so. Our ideas of the principles of chemistry should stay fairly close to
what we're taught, so we don't end up with an explosion in the lab! But our
ideas about "god" or the purpose of existence are certainly open to far greater
>I don't need Theosophy 101
>lectures on why we should read someone else before thinking about something.
It's one way of making a point, by illustration or metaphor, rather than
by simply assertion. Sometimes if we've heard the same illustration too many
times it gets boring. That's why we all challenged to continually find
fresh words to clothe the higher truths in.
>> The idea of the Path and the Masters is that there is a tremendous amount
>> of learning and wisdom that we can take advantage of
>Yes. And I don't think current Theosophy holds more than one
>piece, one angle, on that wisdom.
Agreed. But the piece is true, real, and worthy of our respect as far as
>> When writing on behalf of the theosophical philosophy, Rich can agree
>> with you at times, and say you're wrong at other times.
>Rich can do whatever he wants. When he speaks to me, however,
>with the attitude of the Christian ("HPB is quite clear, Or did you miss
>that"), I'll respond to him as I respond to the Christian.
We could all refine our communication skills so that our defenses go up
and we prepare for battle. This is a matter of attitude, something we can be
aware of when we write, or something that we can ignore. When we write with
something like the Dalai Lama's "kindness and compassion" in mind, our words
come out with much better affect.
>When I was his
>age, I was also deeply emeshed in the SD, and thought I had found the
>truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I have grown since then.
A number of people have brought this up. My experience was similar and yet
different. From a teenager through my mid-20's, I was like Rich, then I got
involved in work, Jungian psychology, and Zen Buddhism, but then had a
renaissance in my spiritual life, and "came back" to a closer approach to
Theosophy. My interest is not as literal and rigid as before, but it's quite
real, and has more of a spontaneous nature to it.
In the Fall of 1993, on 'theos-l', Paul Johnson and I had a discussion where
he mentioned that he was like me at a earlier age (like some of us are doing
with Rich now), and I replied true, but I had been like him, and also "fallen
away", but then came back again. And so which was the higher state? He then
discussed the idea of a "spiral" where neither point is the "higher". I think
that it's really an individual thing what a particular phase of life means.
>> This is something that we all try to do in our own ways. The problem is
>> that personal opinion can be as misleading as psychic vision, in clouding
>> and biasing and distorting what we perceive.
>And precisely what do you mean by this? That either I accept the
>Theosophical canon, or anything else is "personal opinion"?
No, that our process of forming opinons is on a par with our process of
sensory input from this or other planes. Either can mislead. I'm not
particularly picking on the "psychic" for criticism in this regard, but
also hold "false but sincere beliefs" an equal barrier to the perception
>Seems to me
>that the way to remain as unclouded and unbiased as possible is to survey
>the widest possible range of ideas of others, and then to draw them into
>one's own system, evaluate them, and reach conclusions (where it is
>The mind of one that believes one point of view is higher than
>all others, and whose sole method of comparative evaluation lies in
>comparing everything to that one system is in far more danger of bias and
>distortion, are they not?
Holding a particular point of view or opinion does not make one higher than
others. This is the argument that Daniel H. might make to us, but hopefully
we don't fall into this error. It doesn't matter what words we speak, if
we're just parroting them, and they don't come from a genuine integration
with our lives.
>> I would not accord special status to what any particualar person or being
>> tells me, be it physical or non-physical.
>Was there a request that this be accorded special status?
No, and it's fine that you mention your experiences and the sources of
your views. The status I accord for purposes of my studies is with regard
to my personal studies, and not something I need impose upon you.
>I will not try to demonstrate their [the angels] nature and status in an arena
>where people have already reached conclusions prior to evidence even
My views are based upon what I know through study and experience. We all
should be open to new things. You're assuming that I'm fixed in my views
because I've said things that disagree with your interpretation of them.
Regardless of how we describe your angels, and how I may or may not
describe them after learning more about them, I cannot discount the reality
of the experience. You have an experience and describe it in our own way.
I'm entitled to my understanding of the experience, which shouldn't
discount you as an individual nor try to take away from you your beliefs
Daniel H. might have experiences of Jesus that are as real to him as
yours of angels are to you. I'd let him talk of them, listen to his
explanations, and offer my own. There's no attempt to tear him away
from his beliefs nor discredit his perceptions. I shouldn't have to
give up my alternate views on what happens with him, because he has
had that particular kind of experience, and I have not.
>There are too many other places containing a spirit of
>genuinely open-minded inquiry.
There will also be rigid thinkers in every group. You're more likely
to find some flexibility of thought on 'theos-l' than elsewhere, as
can be seen by the wildly differing views and fiery passions that are
aroused -- and yet people somehow stick it out and learn from each other!
>And, by the way, you seem to often
>make rather large, universal statements about what is true without
>identifying your source(s) of knowledge, do you not? If you wish to
>continually hint that I need to name and justify my sources, I would
>request that you first do so yourself.
True. My preference is in putting what I understand and believe in my
own words, rather than adding a bit of glue to "bible quotes". It's
fine that you do so also. I don't want to be put back into the position
of having to look up a quote for every little thing that I say.
>> The current presentation of Theosophy in the world is losing energy, in its
>> role working to "spice up" western thought life. For this role, it could use
>> a workover. The other aspect to it, as Mystery Teachings, does not age, and
>> refers to aspects of life that were as true millions of years ago as in
>> millions of years to come.
>A nice belief system.
Even nicer if you think it is true.
>And how do you know this? You do not think the Masters alter
>college curriculum and methods of teaching to take into account the
>changing nature of both the inner worlds and the nature of the pupils?
The manner of presentation of ideas to the general public must take
on a culture-specific mask, much like the major religions. Human nature
and the workings of the psyche bas become well-known over the ages, and
specific traning methods were found to work and adopted by the Masters.
These methods don't change every few years, as different ideas and
psychological trends emerge, then dissappear from popularity.
>You, Rich, and others seem to see the ancient wisdom in state space - as
>containing the final words on reality, and pupils as people who simply
>must fit themselves to gain access to that wisdom, integrate it, and so
>alter themselves that they finish the evolutionary cycle ahead of the
I see it as a higher form of knoweledge that we have access to. This
is *relatively* higher, one step or grade higher than what is available
to us as Fourth Round humanity. We can go with the general tide of
evolution or take a steeper path up the hillside, and work on hastening
>I see the ancient wisdom in phase space, as an evolving, dynamic
>system whose expression, and even essence alters and refines over time -
Yes, there is refinement over time. We are dealing with dynamic truths.
The whole universe evolves, including its so-called laws. But the
deeper side of life, which corresponds to the "hour hand", evolves over
millions or billions of years, whereas the side we see is the "second
hand", continually changing, yet dealing with things that are more
>*we are told* that even the Masters, even those in "charge" of the
>ancient wisdom have not "finished" evolution, but are on a higher cycle
>of it - you don't think *they*, as *they* grow and evolve, don't alter
>what they do as they gain fuller understandings of the "Plan"
They change too. And the term "plan" is bad, because it implies that
someone has sat down and devised a certain sequence of lessons for us
to learn. The world we live in is subject to the natural processes of
life, and follows them according to a certain pattern, just as the
life courses through our blood veins according to the structure of our
body and the pattern that our body is fashioned after. There's a structure
to life, including our "evolution", and it is a pattern of life rather
than a lesson plan devised by any particular individual.
> - don't
>*themselves* frame it to themselves in fuller terms (which from our point
>of view would mean that the ancient wisdom has *changed*) - don't change
>the ways they work with students to fit the changing nature of the
>students (which they are said to know better than anyone else)
Agreed that what we would be taught and our training might change as we
became junior chelas, then change again as we became advanced chelas, and
furthered our training. The training is appropriate to the faculties of
consciousness being nurtured, and would be different depending upon both
the individual temperament of the person and upon the person's state of
> - think
>you that the "junior colleges" in Atlantis were the *same* as they are now?
Maybe. It's hard to say, since I don't remember. <grin>
>You may see the process of learning in the junior college as one
>of integrating knowledge into your being, and altering your energy-system
>so as to gain access to the full university. I see it as generating
>currents from within myself that are of a nature and refinement required
>to blend into the larger currents of wisdom flowing on the planet - as
>bending my tributary to enter the larger river.
There are different conceptual models to describe the process. They
address different aspects of what is going on. Either talks about opening
up to greater wisdom. One emphasized knowledge, learning, and training.
The other emphasizes opening up to the life forces about one.
>You may not agree with my perspective, but I don't think your
>assumptions about the nature of the ancient wisdom and the methods of
>teaching it are more "correct" than mine ... which come from not just
>reading the SD & other works, but thinking through the ramifications of
>what is written there.
My approach also includings thinking through the ramifications of what
is written, and is not exclusively HPB-only. I include, for instance,
Purucker, someone that is not a "source writer" by some standards.
There's a give-and-take in the interaction between our thinking and what
we are studying, and I'd give great weight to the value of the materials
we have available to us.
>> The articulations are not the truths themselves.
>Tell this to Rich, who seemed to be using them as such. I've
>never made this mistake, in fact most of the "wisdom" I believe I've
>touched can not even be vaugely hinted at in words.
With practice, there's a lot that we *can* put in words, although there
are definite limits. One value to the study of Theosophy is that it gives
us words and ideas to describe our insights, insights that might otherwise
I don't think that Rich, though, is saying that you're missing the mark
by not following the *words* that he would quote to you. He's using the
quotes to refer to ideas which he feels that you do not understand or
appreciate. Perhaps with practice he could also express the same ideas in
his own words. Some of our differences may be due to differences in
expression, so when we talk we can see that we are using different words
to describe the same thing. Othertimes, we may find actual differences in
ideas. You're free to disagree with any particular theosophical idea, as
are Rich and I, but we all need to mention these disagreements as personal
views, so that others aren't confused by what we say, and think we're
refering to the source Teachings when we're giving our personal views.
When you disagree, if you want others of us to give a fair consideration
to your differences, you need to present your ideas as clearly, lucidly,
and persuasively as possible. In dialogue, we can exchange views, and
even if we don't change our basic opinions, we may have grown from the
experience, and become more sensitive to our differences.
>Wisdom, in my
>subjective world, only *begins* at the "arupa" level - the formless- it
>is a *flow* composed of multiple currents, not a *thing* ... and that
>flow will take on very different forms depending upon the prism through
>which it refracts (the personality layers of a particular generation).
At different levels it is seen differently. We understand it in our
minds, and in higher parts of ourselves. It transcends mind, yet it
can also, to an extent, be articulated. It is a challenge to give expression
to the inexpressible in words, just as it is to capture Truth and Beauty in
music and art, but that doesn't mean we don't try.
>There is in Complexity Theory. And looking at some of the SD
>through its eyes is a very interesting exercise. And in fact in a number
>of different areas it is (IMO) clear that the Masters saw things from the
>Complexity point of view, but lacked the vocabulary currently being
>developed in the sciences.
We're guessing at their vocabulary. We do have more words, concepts, and
ideas to capture life in words now than we did in the 1800's. Some come
from complexity theory. It is useful for Theosophists to be exposed to these
new symbols and metaphors.
>A lot of the cutting edge of modern science is
>*remarkably* occult knowledge.
In a way, yes. But there's a lot that it misses. And it limits itself
to a subset of life, unlike metaphysics and the occult, which attempts
to deal with all the processes of life on all the planes.
For *us*, modern science is one of many sources of study and we can benefit
from it along with the mahatmic literature and whatever spiritual training
or schools that we are called to undertake.
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