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Various and Sundry

Jun 21, 1996 01:27 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

Comments on today's digest and recent posts:

Re: subscribing to alt.theosophy.  Someone, maybe Martin,
posted a website address through which one could get to the
newsgroup even if one's server didn't carry it.  I feel
unwilling to request anything of the State Library in this
regard, since time on the newsgroup could be considered goofing

Re: Krishnamurti's fame.  I checked WorldCat, the biggest
bibliographic database (OCLC) in catalog format, and found 297
books under the subject J. Krishnamurti.  This includes
multiple editions or translations of the same title.  PB had
341, Edgar Cayce 724, Jesus Christ more than 77,000.  Cayce is
well ahead of major founders of American religious groups like
Mary Baker Eddy and Ellen G. White, but behind Joseph Smith.
In India, I saw K.'s books in every bookstore, and everyone
seemed to know who he was, more so by far than in the West.  So
he did have a big impact, but whether or not it is a lasting
one remains to be seen.

Re: Theosophy as process.  HPB put it this way (pardon my
paraphrase); "Theosophy is the philosophy of rational
explanation of things, not the specific tenets."  And
"Theosophist is as Theosophy does" NOT "Theosophist is as
Theosophy *believes*"-- which I take to mean both attaining
some level of gnosis and transforming your life accordingly.

Re: the individuals being better than the organization.  Isn't
this true everywhere?  In the TSA, it seems particularly so,
but what does this mean?  My guess is that for every step up
the ladder toward becoming an "important Theosophist" one has
to jettison certain values.  Like openness and honesty and
responsiveness to perceived needs.  Those values get supplanted
by values like solidarity with the in-group, secrecy,
manipulativeness, ambition.  It is the way organized Theosophy
has been permeated by secret societies which has brought this
about.  Perhaps one could go so far as to say that the very
qualities of which the movement is most in need are the
qualities most likely to cause a person to be ostracized or at
least marginalized.

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