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Jun 22, 1996 11:33 PM
by alexis dolgorukii

At 05:04 PM 6/22/96 -0400, you wrote:
>I didn't mean to imply any religious connotations to that statement.  I was
>just stating that the founders laid various pieces of information out in
>front of the viewer that weren't clearly seen before.  My personal opinion
>is that most people look at absolute truth through a religious (or agnostic,
>or scientific, etc) eyepiece.  Theosophy is a way of stepping back and
>seeing both the eyepiece of religion and the abosolute truth together and

I am afraid I must agree with the Vedas and also with the early words of
Gautama. Absolute Truth is absolutely unknowable. Even that which is much
less sententiously called "abstract truth" is not easy to know, and, IMO
religion is the worst of all ways to approach it.

>I never got the impression from any of Leadbeaters books that he worshipped
>the masters.  As far as the prostration of people before Annie Besant, I
>explain it with one word- craziness :-)  That is sad, I hope Theosophists
>have evolved since then and don't do that anymore ;-)

He (CWL) didn't? His language throughout his writings is redolent of
worship. It's not just Edwardian hyperbole. In "The Masters and The Path" he
speaks of "prostrating" himself at the feet of the Master "M". Now when an
Englishman(even a lower middle class one such as CWL) prostrates  himself
before some Human Being (and the English don't even prostrate themselves in
front of their Monarch) then that Englishman is clearly "worshipping" the
person. All of his (CWL's) terminology is evocative of worship. Oh yes I
agree with you that the only explanation of Europeans prostrating themselves
before Annie Besant is "craziness" but it was CWL who created that state.
>>"signed on to things CWL wrote for her) and only 5% H.P.B. It is my belief
>>that if one wishes to really study "Core Theosophy" one should concentrate
>>not simply on Blavatsky herself, but upon such of her work that could not
>>have been subject to severe revisionism in the years after Besant and
>>Leadbeater assumed absolute control over the Society after Olcott's passing.
>That's all I was trying to get across in my original message- that there is
>a set of writings that could be considered to be "Core Theosophy".

But which set?
>>I really do think it would. "Basic theories", or "basic writings" do not
>>carry the philological and semantic freight that the word "Doctrines" does.
>>"Doctrines" is nearly synonymous with "Dogma" and they both have overtones
>I've noticed that semantics are looked at very carefully on this thread.
>They almost tend to overshadow the writer's original meaning at times.  I'll
>try to be more selective with my words.  :-)

I am a long time student of both semantics and philology and I have a really
heartfelt devotion to the importance of precision in language. The problem
with language usage is that careless usage can totally confuse the meaning
of what the writer (or speaker) intended.
>>It seems to me that "the way one looks at life" IS the process through which
>>one lives it. If in fact "Religion" dictates how one lives one life...what
>>then of those of us who are Agnostic (as I am) or Atheist?
>Some form of the scientific process I would assume...or at least objectively
>and openly (well, maybe not the atheist).
>>If the entire Human Race sat around on their bottoms 24 hours a day and
>>"meditated" the world would be an island of quiet and passivity, simply
>>because no one was doing anything at all, but there would be no real harmony
>>or peace. Real harmony an peace require active and intelligent participation
>>and dedication and personal sacrifice. I adamantly believe that "good works"
>>are infinitely more valuable than
>>"Good Thoughts".
>I agree.  I never said that everyone should sit around meditating for 24
>hours a day.  But keep in mind, in order to get to a "good work" there first
>has to be that "good thought."

Ah, but what is meant by the term "good thought"? How many definitions of
that term are there?
>>Chris: I am a theosophical historian and if you've been reading some of my
>>other messages, and tuning into the thread on theos-list regarding CWL
>>you'll find that some of the "theosophists who came before us" were insane,
>>and some of them were terribly bad people.
>I've been following the thread.  I've seen some of the key Theosophists
>linked to various people who could be considered  bad.  But I haven't seen
>any examples of any of these people doing anything "bad" other than being
>associated with "bad" people.  Even if one considers them to be bad, that
>still doesn't negate the importance of their work.

Chris: It not only "negates the importance of their work" it negates
everything about their work. Do you know anyone who considers the sexual
molestation of pre-pubertal boys anything other than an extremely "bad
thing"? If a person can't be trusted in one thing, is it wise to trust them
in any thing? Is a man who abuses children a man who can be trusted as a
spiritual guide? Is a woman who is (as you put it) "crazy" enough to
encourage people to prostrate themselves to her, to be considered a reliable
guide. Is a person whose sense of values is so skewed as to allow them to
closely associate themselves with people like the Nazis, to be trusted as a
teacher or guide? What all this does is throw into question not only the
validity of their work but the veracity of their work. I am somewhat
flabbergasted at your comment "linked to various people who could be
considered bad". Is that all you have to say about Adolf Hitler and company?
That they "could be considered bad"? These people, and all their allies and
associates are guilty of some of the most heinous acts of all times. They
are a quantum or exponential "jump" on just "bad". There isn't really a word
to describe how terrible these people were. And it "rubs off", indeed it does.
>>>Exactly.  Another good point.  Many of the core writings delve into such
>>>aspects of physical reality.  Occult Chemistry is a very interesting one if
>>>I may say so :-)
>>It's clearly your absolute right to say so, it is also my absolute right to
>>say that, in my opinion, it is absolute nonsense.
>Yes, I thought you might think as much.  It helps me to understand where
>you're coming from.

I think you will find that most people with legitimate scientific
credentials consider it nonsense too. I am not a scientist in any way, but
the scientists whom I do know, all agree with me.
>>Chris, it is "revolutionary" to the Big "T" Theosophist because it is
>>entirely catalytic, and if followed to it's logical end, it will completely
>>overturn (that after all is the goal of revolution) their entire view of
>>theosophy and themselves. That I think qualifies as "revolutionary". Don't
>I don't equate the process of self-transformation with revolution.  I think
>that as a Theosophist starts to transform themself into something new, that
>their viewpoint of Theosophy will change, but I wouldn't call it
>revolutionary.  I am curious though, since you don't seem to place great
>value on meditation, what tool would one use to help with this

Each person must find his own "tool" to use in the process of
transformation. I don't place any real value on "formal meditation" as too
much of it, in my 30 years experience, is simply rote-ritual. For some
people "drumming" takes it's place, for others some other thing they find
personally useful, too many people by far are into "militant meditation".
>>Chris: When you (or anyone) uses a phrase like: "underlying truth given out"
>>as opposed to say, "concepts presented", they are "muddying the waters, as
>>it were. We are discussing speculative philosophy of speculative
>Again, a semantics issue.

May I have your help in comprehending what you just said? Are you saying
that because it is a "semantics issue" it's irrelevant?
>I am curious though, because I didn't completely understand your original
>message, how is Theosophy a process?

I'll insert my response before the commercial. < big grin>

Let me put this as simply and clearly as I can. Theosophy is a process
because it is an intellectual catalyst which motivates a person to seek an
understanding of abstractions concerning reality (truth), through study and
experimentation by way of the "Three Objects". It is a process because it is
an activity which a person must perform by and for themselves. It is a
process because another person's understanding is not your own. It is a
process because it's something which a person must DO, not learn about. Core
Theosophy  is, as I see it, a total avoidance of the process. As I see it,
"Core Theosophy" is a way people who don't want to go through the process
themselves, try to get someone else to do it for them. But, unfortunately
for them, that's not at all possible. It's a thing one must do totally on
one's own.

alexis dolgorukii
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