Re: THEOSOPHY AS A PROCESS
Jun 23, 1996 08:48 AM
by Christopher Allen
At 02:31 AM 6/23/96 -0400, alexis dolgorukii wrote:
>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 suppose I'd have to say it depends on what truth your actually talking
about. If it's regarding the All, then I suppose I'd have to say that the
only way to know it is to absolutely not know it. But there are smaller
truths to know and talk about. The astral body for instance, I believe this
to be an absolute truth- it is there.
Personally, as far as religion goes, I think it's there to just keep people
on track (or at least try).
>>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
As stated earlier, "prostrating" oneself at the feet of a master is not
worship, it's a show of respect. The Japanese have quite a few customs
which westerners don't even consider. Though when in a business (or
personal for that matter) situation with these people, their customs are
respected. It's simply a show of respect.
>>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?
Personally, my core set consists of the works of AE Powell and The Secret
Doctrine. If someone were to ask me about Theosophy, I'd tell them to look
at The Key to Theosophy. If someone wanted to know the mechanics of
Theosophy's views of reality, I'd tell them to look at either AE Powell's
works, or The Secret Doctrine (or abridgement if just curious). Those are
the ones I started on, and I greatly respect them. They've helped me fill
in the gaps on various other studies I've done over the years.
>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.
Your correct, and I admit, I slack off on it at times. <makes a note to be
>>>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
>>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?
Whatever it was you meant by the term "good action" ;-)
>>>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
If that were so we might not place much weight on Einstien's theory- he had
trouble simply opening a door by himself. But we didn't say, "Gee, look how
dumb he is. He can't even open a door, the rest of his stuff must be dumb too."
>spiritual guide? Is a woman who is (as you put it) "crazy" enough to
I never said that. I said that the people who prostrated themselves
demonstrated "crazy" behavior. If your going to be so picky on what words I
use and how I use them, then take them for how I use them. Don't start
assuming I meant more than I said :-)
>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
Actually I usually don't tend to research the history of the writers of the
books I read before (or even after, usually) I read them. I read them and
take them for what they are, or at least how I interpret them. I don't try
to put them in their historical context to understand what the writer was
talking about at that time. I try to make sense of it for my time. I do
this at least for occult books anyway.
>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?
I consider them to be bad people. I'm sure the Nazi's didn't consider
themselves to be bad. How can I say that they were "absolutely" bad when
it's impossible, as you say, to know the "absolute" truth one way or the
other? But, to be honest, isn't everything part of the All or the One?
Isn't everything supposed to be both good and bad? Two parts of a spiral,
transforming good into bad and bad into good, yin and yang? What we
consider good now, could be considered bad later, and vice versa. Maybe the
act itself was bad, but what we learned from it good.
>>>>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.
I'm sure I would find that to be the case. That's how most scientists view
the paranormal. How do they feel about the soul or spirit? The same way?
Or do they give that the "exception"?
>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".
I agree. Quite a few different methods may be used to reach the
"meditative" state. I never implied I was talking about "militant"
meditation or "formal" 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>
<grins> I'm gonna disable that darn signature file.
>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
When someone asks you what Theosophy is...what do you tell them? Why are
there all these "Theosophical" books that talk about the "Astral" body or
the "Solar Logos"? Are they not part of Theosophy?
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