Oct 03, 1995 10:59 AM
by John R Crocker
On Tue, 3 Oct 1995, Eldon B. Tucker wrote:
> Since I see my name a number of times in this posting, I think that
> I'd like to make a comment or two.
> We should be able to allow differing views to be discussed and to coexist
> without having to silence any of them. That doesn't mean that we agree with
> something, once we've heard it, just that we give everyone's ideas a place
> in the sun. We can comment on the other ideas from our standpoint, or from
> the standpoint of the source teachings, without attempting to silence anyone.
Yes we can, except that the tone we use, and some of those
opinions we speak can serve to effectively silence numbers of people from
speaking of a whole range of experiences that to them are as much a part
of Theosophy as the "source" teachings are. Clearly you do not wish to
even slightly mitigate your attitudes about "psychic" abilities, and
clearly you will forward them as often as you like. This does not please
me, but I have no standing or ability to cause you to re-think anything you
say, or your manner of saying it. Neither, however, can you cause me to
cease responding when you do this, and to respond with my own perception
- which is that some of the ideas you speak do serve to supress the
pursuit of the Third Object. While you may not evaluate the Objects
highly in your own understanding of Theosophy, this list, while
inviting contributions from members of all three Theosophical
organizations, was nonetheless begun as a discussion list for the TS -
to whom the Objects are publically stated goals.
> >Gee, perhaps I need to say it *again*: It was not just to be able
> >to talk about my own experiences that I was arguing ... and not just
> >against Eldon as an individual. It was on behalf of a growing number of
> We both agree that we're speaking for different classes of people, a
> group of people with similar beliefs, and not simply the two of us as
> individuals. How well we can understand each other and coexist as
> individuals may show on a small scale what the groups may or may not
> be able to do in a larger scale.
Yes, and we are doing about as well as the groups on that larger
scale are. (-:)
> >who are using various inner abilities ... dismissed in condescending
> >tones as "psychic"
> It's not really condenscending until you start using "higher than" or
> "lower than". We could say that the physical is "lower than" the feelings,
> but that doesn't mean we will always refuse to go jogging, and instead
> spend our time writing love poems.
> The difference is that we are offered a spiritual path that involves a
> different part of our nature than the psychic.
You seem to have primarily an intellectual basis - and one of its
most dominant characteristics is differentiation ... in making
distinctions, drawing maps. The words "psychic" and "spiritual" have so
many different meanings as to almost be meaningless here. We are offered
not one, but many paths - some of them that may involve what you refer to
as "psychic" abilities, and others that focus purely on what you call
"spiritual/intellectual". The notion that there is some single approved
method of travelling the path is not one that I agree with, and smacks
(to me) of the uniquely modern, western predilection to universalize
every personal perspective into a general principle. There may be many
humans whose underlying orientations towards life are so different than
yours that for them the path you say "we" are offered will make little
sense - and may not even be an appropriate one for them to try to follow.
When, however, this particular perspective of yours is spoken of in
universal, general terms as "the" path "we" are offered, you may be
telling these people that Theosophy is not a place for them.
You may claim that your ideas are based upon
Theosophical "sources" - but so are mine. You can point to a number texts
that back up your ideas ... but I may point to the people that *wrote*
them, many of whom most definately did pursue the development of inner
> >... and against a large thoughtform that Eldon does articulate quite clearly
> I'd call it a body of thought or belief system, and say that it is based
> upon the source teachings of Theosophy, althought I might not be able to
> do a point-for-point justification of it using HPB quotes.
Yes, and mine is based upon the *behaviour* of the "source"
Theosophists. and upon other writings that indicate awareness of the fact
that abilities were going to start arising spontaneously in many people
in this century - which they are. This "body of thought" or belief system
is based upon a particular perspective on Theosophical sources - but it
is not necessarily the only valid perspective.
> >... the ideas Eldon voices (which are held by
> >far more people than Eldon) create an environment *hostile* to those
> >many who have a whole range of inner experiences they might begin to
> >share were there a more open environment.
> That sense of hostility is something we should work on removing, to the
> extent that it is present. Certainly differing beliefs about what is happening
> during a paranormal experience should not per se require hostility.
> I've sensed a similar argument with Daniel H., where my different ideas
> that would describe his subjective experiences, where I don't use the Bible
> and Jesus and God in my descriptions, may be seen as hostile. With him too,
> I accept the experience but may not accept the explanation offered. Is that
> hostile? Only to the fixed ideas.
With respect, this seems to imply my ideas and Daniel's are "fixed",
while yours are fluid? Your ideas seem every bit as fixed as you seem to
be saying mine are.
But you do bring up a very important point here: Upon what
foundation do you claim the wisdom to evaluate and hold opinions about
someone else's inner experiences? This, perhaps, is the source of much of
what may seem to be my anger - I do not think I have ever placed your
inner experiences into my paradigm (save to say that what you call
"higher wisdom" is just as subjective as what you call "psychic"
experiences and label as unreliable) - in fact I do not know what you
mean subjectively when you talk about this "inner knowing" ... and would
not think myself in any way capable of placing it into *my* map of the
inner worlds (which, by the way, has come from a lot of reading, of
Theosophy as well as a number of other systems and philosophers, seasoned
with as much empirical testing as abilities have allowed me to do). The
trouble your posts give me is that they seem all too easily to place the
inner experiences of others into your own map of the inner worlds - but
this evaluation is then described with impersonal pronouns, as though
this evaluation is *the* "Theosophical" evaluation. This, to me, seems
incredibly arrogant (and this is not an accusation ... I'm not saying
"Eldon, you are arrogant" ... only that what I have described feels, to
me, to be terribly judgemental ... and seems to imply that not only do
you have the standing to evaluate someone else's inner experiences, but
your evaluations might well be "higher" or *more* "correct" than the
person's own evaluations - I believe you would be not at all pleased if I
began continually labelling what you call "inner wisdom" to be merely the
delusions of the mental plane, starting quoting all sorts of Theosophical
writings (and there *are* a lot of them) "warning" against the delusions
of the mental plane, and using language that suggests that this
evaluation of your experience is more Theosophical than your own.)
> > ... you and Eldon both seem to be interceding for one another, and
> >because many of his "labels" are in agreement with your labels.
> We use labels when we want a pat answer, when we want to say that "you're
> just one of *those* people," and want to end any discussion and dialog.
> We're labelling you when we dismiss things as "merely psychic" without giving
> them a second though. You're labelling us when you dismiss us as "hostile
> critics" and not give our viewpoint a second thought.
Seems to me we've both given one another's viewpoints equal
> >You want the path, or do you want a nice, uncomplicated purely
> >abstract discussion of "occultism".
> The Path is when we get practical with our lives. Getting practical involves
> opening ourselves up in unexpected ways. It's not obivious until such an
> opening happens in what direction it will come. We cannot make a
> generalization for everyone.
Yes, Yes! The point I've being trying to make all along! (And
there is a wonderful paradox in that last sentence of yours, is there
not? (-:) - it reminded me of those paradoxes in classical logic ...
"This statement is a lie" & etc.). Have you not, all along, been speaking
of a generalized idea of what the "path" is? And even using this idea to
say some activities are related to that path, while other behaviour is
(I really am not trying to bicker or be divisive here, by the way,
and please do not take this as a personal attack - it is not meant as
such, but...) can you see how I might be a bit upset at many of your
posts? This is the first time I have spoken, just briefly, of some of
what I believe comprises the "path" - and it is a notion that both fits
my personal experience and can be supported by much Theosophical "source"
literature - but it does not fully agree with your ideas ... and hence
the first reaction from you is "We must not generalize" - but Eldon, with
all due respect, you generalize almost continually.
> >As *HPB* mentioned in her Esoteric
> >Writings, the *first* thing that happens when people actually step onto
> >the path is that *everything buried is thrown to the surface*
> This is why we're warned to ripen ourselves, and consider gravely any
> pledges we might take, for we don't want to open ourselves to more than
> we can handle. But the appearance of paranormal powers is more akin to
> the ability to run a six-minute mile than it is to the ability to write
> a book or compose a concert. Their presence does not indicate that one
> is closer to (or farther from) the Path than another person.
That depends greatly on what you mean by "paranormal" powers. In
some people, some abilities may be almost meaningless. In other people,
other abilities may be an aspect of the final fruition of the spiritual
entity that we may all someday become. And my personal feeling is that
one would have to be fairly close to being a "Master" before they could
claim they had the wisdom to make such an evaluation of either the
abilities in another, or where they fit in that person's overall
> >tremendous psychological energies are unleashed ... and in general people
> >become an *enormous* pain in the ass.
> They don't *have to be*. That's like driving too fast, and being unable
> to stay in your own lane on the freeway.
Well, both some Theosophical writing as well as some evidence
from the founders might seem to dispute this.
> The energies can channel into great creative works, or a profound sensitivity
> to and empathy with others. How the energies channel in your life, or in my
> life, depend upon the structure of our respective personalities. Are we really
> ready to "let 'em rip"?
"We are taught" that the personality undergoes periods in which
it is exceedingly difficult to control itself, and that those very
structures that normally channel our energies begin to be dissolved (and
in fact will unltimately need to be shattered completely).
> >You think *I'm* nasty? Christ, I thought you knew something about HPB ...
> >you would have kicked *her* off the list months ago.
> HPB had her particular style. She often would go for shock value in her
> communications. That was to make an emotional impact on people. When writing
> (with the assistance of her Masters) "The Secret Doctrine", we see more of an
> attempt at communication of grand ideas.
> You can also use words for their emotional impact, and grab our attention.
> But you'll also need some philosophy to go along with your words, or you'll
> sound like Daniel H. promising us hellfire if we don't convert.
Again, with all due respect, I haven't been the one warning of
the "dangers" of your perspective - and you have been warning people of
the dangers of mine, no? And I also believe the "we" is a bit misplaced.
I have been arguing from a very distinct philosophical position - a
position that not only do others on the list apparently see, but even to
varying degrees agree with. And if I have had to crank up the emotional
currents a wee bit, it is because we did not start on even footing - your
perspective is by far the (currently) dominant one in the Theosophical
current. One always raises more dust and makes more noise building a road
than one does doing maintenance.
> >Have you read the Mahatma Letters? Those guys were
> >often *scathing*, and had no problem getting personal.
> They had little patience at times with those untrained in their methods.
> They also had a fairly low view of Spiritualism and spirit guides.
As do I - and had you been not quite as quick to catagorize my
experiences, we might have had a different discussion. I realized
yestarday, when reading the post in which you described what you believed
"angels" to be, that these being haven't the faintest thing to do with
what I refer to when I use that word. I am aware of the things you speak
of, but I never bother with them at all and would probably consult the
cat in my office before I would consult any of them for advice. (And its
not even that smart of a cat, as cats go (-:).
> >We are all adults here, and many of those here are in the middle
> >of withstanding the periodic internal pressures that are the first steps
> >of the actual path
> True. And it happens in our lives in quite individual ways.
> > - which has very little to do with abstract philosophy, and quite a
> >bit to do with the transformation of the whole human energy system.
> Which has very much to do with our deep studies, leading to awakening a
> budding sense of direct knowing of things, an opening of higher faculties
> of mind, quite apart from any sense of sence perception. This opening is
> metaphorically spoken of as our "inner teacher", which is not a voice of
> some external being, but rather a power of mind.
Two different approaches, both perhaps overly universalized, yes?
> The whole human energy system is in flux, and in transformation, but
> the Path involves hastened evolution for the purpose of participating in
> the work of the Hierarchy of Compassion. And the Path does not involve
> riding the crestwave of modern thought -- or "post-modern" if that term
> is preferred -- but rather evolving in ways that are unrelated to any
> particular culture or society. The training is in Fifth-Round consciousness,
> not in the advances of the current Fourth-Round subrace.
But involves *serving*, with every ability one has, in current
Fourth-Round subrace civilization.
> >The road to harmony is *not* through avoidance of conflict,
> >but through entering fully into it - in staying engaged - and having the
> >emotional courage to remain engaged until some final point of view, perhaps
> >much much larger than both individual points of view emerges out of the
> A certain degree of change may be possible in both of our views, but I
> see that we'll come to a point where we understand and can describe the
> other's views, but cannot come any closer to agreement on it.
I couldn't say how any discussion, genuinely engaged in, might
> >there is as of yet only the barest beginnings of anything that
> >might be called resolution ... but there may *be* some much
> >larger picture *neither* ofus as of yet grasp
> It's always possible for us to change over time. Or for others to read
> our discussions and benefit by seeing the different sides presented.
I really do hope at least a few people have gotten something out
of this discussion - as I have gotten so much out of threads I haven't
had time to participate in.
> >... but I believe
> >in staying engaged with one another we are delivering to one another
> >gifts that little else could ... can you perhaps grasp that possibly a
> >decade from now we will each consider one another to have been teachers
> Rich is responding from a different standpoint, I think. We're taught
> to not defend ourselves when slighted, but to quickly rise to the
> defense of others. Rich is rising to defend me, and the defense is
Possibly ... though I s'pect its possible Rich is also defending
his own ideas - many of which he shares with you - more than he is rising
to your defense based based on a totally impersonal ideal of "defending
others but remaining silent when attacked" ... as not only has he not
defended, but has helped to attack those those he does not agree with. And I
fear lectures coming from him about my tone at this point only make me
giggle a bit.
> >.. that precisely *because* of the intensity of our disputes a spiritual
> >bond of great beauty may be being forged? Can you grasp that what you are
> >objecting to is but a superficial, and almost epiphenomenal aspect of the
> >real debate - which is one in which both of our root paradigms are
> >withstanding pressure ... being pushed to expand beyond their current
> >limits ... and that far from being a "distraction", such stuff is at the
> >very core of what the actual travelling of the path *is*?
> It's possible that we'll grow from the dialog, but we also need to be
> cautious about thinking about ourselves in terms that are too grand.
> It's easy to find something that one is doing in life, and to tell oneself
> that one is therefore on the "fast track" and stops the hard work of
> questioning life, and looking in unexpected places for spiritual treasures.
Again I fear your pronouns confuse me. Are you talking in general
principles and applying them to everyone equally (in which case you are
not answering me, but using my post to make a different point), or are
you saying that *I* am thinking of myself in terms too grand, believing
myself to be on the "fast track" (which by the way, I don't), that I have
stopped the hard work of questioning life, and am missing some unexpected
This is not to be nasty ... I *really* do not know which of those
you intend. It *seems* to be a *personal* comment directed at me - and
perhaps the personal attacks Rich accuses me of making against you come
from this misunderstanding ... as it is quite possible for people to
attack others without every using their names - but still make it
completely clear that it is an individual they are talking about ... and
it seems to me you are doing this here - and what you are saying (if it
is personal) is in the tone of a master addressing a pupil ... and when
that is done, I do not reply with impersonal pronouns, but rather make it
personal ... because I think this is both more truthful and leads to
greater clarity - if we are to talk personally, I prefer to use personal
pronouns and names, and if we are to talk of general principles, then
impersonal pronouns are suitable. I do not like confusing the two however.
If *you* think that *I* have too grand of an idea of myself, or
have focussed on one thing and because of that *I* believe that *I* am on
the "fast track", then you are holding a personal and very judgemental
attitude towards me ... and I will respond to you personally - and simply
because I use your name but you don't use mine does not mean I am
attacking personally but you are not. Before responding this time,
however, I will ask, what *did* you mean? And if you were speaking purely
impersonally about general principles that you are applying equally to
yourself, can you understand how this might be misunderstood as being
personal when it is in response to something I wrote, and seems to relate
to the topic I was writing on? When someone is responding directly to a
paragraph in a post, is it not quite natural to assume it is a comment
about that paragraph, regardless of the lack of personal pronouns?
> >... and if
> >you can't even stand the discomfort of minor and fleeting personal squabbles
> >on the list ... then you're *really* gonna be upset when the first few
> >demons of your buried anger, your sublimated sexuality, or carefully hidden
> >judgements come raging out of your basement with fangs bared.
> Why do I think of a dragon breathing fire at this point? A bit of a flame?
> On the Arcana list I was critiqued for not speaking with enough passion in
> my writings. My response was that it was possible to speak with passion,
> but that passion did not need to be fueled by anger. Passion comes from
> really caring about something, and that caring can come out in many different
> kinds of feelings. Perhaps we can keep the passion but find more useful
> feelings to convey it?
It seems clear you have no intention of altering the way you
communicate, regardless of anything I've said. And I wasn't flaming Rich.
both you and Rich seem to be continually commenting on how I communicate.
Neither of you likes it. Fine. There are also others that seem to
actually appreciate it. Again, when you say "Perhaps *we* can keep the
passion but find more useful ways to convey it" - don't you mean *me*? -
as the rest of that paragraph seems to imply yourself to be demonstrating
the "correct" way to convey passion.
I have gotten used to the fact that you will never communicate in
a way that is comfortable to me ... but likewise you and Rich will have
accept that I am not very disposed to alter my conversation so as to
better fit your pictures of a Theosophical discussion list.
I will, however, say that I will not initiate any further of what
might be perceived as personal attacks (though in my own view, I have
never initiated them ... but have rather responed in a personal fashion
when the person seemed to be refering personally to me) - and I will stop
and consider carefully what you are saying before assuming that you are
responding to me personally when you are responding to one of my posts
(though I believe some of this burden of solving possible confusion is in
your hands ... it *is* natural to believe the response is personal when
it is a specific paragraph being addressed).
And I will not say anything further about your style of
conversation, if you agree to cease continual "suggestions" to me about
mine. I may well sometimes seem like a Baptist preacher to you ... but
you and Rich often seem to me to be Catholic Bishops speaking down to the
masses with the tone of authority. I suppose we must learn to live with
this (and to me, it actually isn't that important) ... and perhaps try to
mitigate the sparks for the sake of the larger list.
With respect, -JRC
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application