Martin vs. Process Theosophists
Jun 29, 1996 07:17 AM
Paul: First of all, let me thank you for this fine posting of yours.
There is, however, a lot of history, both long-term (regarding TSs)
as short-term (regarding disturbing events on theos-l) that plays a role in
my complaint on this list.
Let me deal with your post:
Paul>Martin, you seem angry at "a lot of other `process' theosophists
who have not presented *arguments* against the Theosophical
Well, I'm especially disturbed about the dichotomy that
has been set up by Alexis (supported by Chuck and not reacted to
by an indifferent majority) regarding 'process' theosophists and
'core' theosophists on this list.
The 'core' theosophists are of course, 'religiously adherents'
to the ideas of HPB, Leadbeater, GdP,etc, etc. , and, thus, looked
upon as pathetic creatures by people like Alexis who thinks himself
excepted from such an attitude. Look at the postings from the last
two months and you will get a rough idea about this point.
This is my impression, of course, and I believe much has changed
already for the better (although one can never be sure of these
I think that there has been a kind of projection of frustrations
about what happens and has happened in the TSs by some listmembers
(like Alexis) on other listmembers as a result of this dichotomy
of 'process' vs. 'core' theosophists.
Now, the fact is, I'm very sensitive to this kind of things and I
don't like what I've seen happening on this list.
Although I believe that Alexis is a sincere human being, doing what
he thinks must be done, I don't think it fair that he labels people
like he is doing. It leads us nowhere but in further division.
It is clear to all theosophists on this list that we must do our
thinking for ourselves and not rigidly cling to theosophical teachings.
It is also clear however, that we have to have to offer something
to the public, I mean to those who are seekers and aspirants on the
spiritual path. There's a delicate balance here which may not have been
found on this list (how to present T/theosophy to the inquiring public).
It's an excellent topic of discussion, I'd suggest.
Paul> Alexis and Jerry S. are exempt, you say. But since process
Theosophist is AFAIK Alexis's term, and no one else has
explicitly claimed it, I don't understand who these miscreants
are who ought to have presented arguments against the
Theosophical teachings. They are the people who are "too smart
to believe any of this core theosophy nonsense," but who are
Paul: if you read the postings of the last two months carefully
you may see the confusion that has been on this list regarding 'core'
Theosophy, 'core'-Theosophists, labeling, classifying people into
parties where IMO it was really unnecessary to do so.
My point was to clear up some of this confusion. Maybe your posting
serves this purpose far better. Let's hope it clears this point.
Paul> You yourself say that you regard such a division as very
simplistic and "this labeling as a kind of *insult*" yet you
seem to be lashing out at some unnamed people you are dividing
off and labeling. I just don't get it.
Again, my point is not to state a list of names, but
to get some clear idea as how people see these things.
If someone says: I reject most of the Theosophical teachings,
let him or her give arguments against these and present some
viable alternatives. Let s/he *show* that s/he has done some
fine thinking for him/herself, so that we can discuss it.
IOW, i'm trying to get these things explicit.
Another thing is that I regard indifference in attitude regarding
this matter of labeling as a very serious flaw.
We must clear up these things.
Paul>On the chance that for some reason I may be one of the people
targeted by your complaint, let me state that I have absolutely
no inclination to present arguments against the Theosophical teachings
as such. I have presented arguments about the literalistic, fundamentalistic
way some Theosophists approach them. And the stultifying effect this has had
on the movement as a whole.
That's a completely different thing, but I'm glad you mention it.
We have to seperate between fundamentalistic ways of approaching teachings
and the teachings themselves. Paul, that's exactly what it is all about!
Paul>I agree with Alexis about `process theosophy' to the extent
that theosophy is primarily a *way of knowing* and not an *object of
knowledge*. What is there to be mad at in that? Those who obsess over
theosophy as a body of doctrines are IMO mistaking the pointing finger
for the moon.
I agree with that. It would be nice if there were more discussions
about that, I mean how we see T/theosophy as helpful in our life.
There remains this question of the delicate balance ,however, when we
want to 'promulgate the teachings'.
Paul>I am tremendously appreciative to HPB, G de P et al for
formulating that body of doctrines, and feel that I have gained
a lot from their study. But I also feel that I wasted a chunk
of my life mistaking the finger for the moon, imagining that I
knew something when all I did was parrot others. Ultimately the whole point
is to become a theosopher, one who theosophizes-- rather than a
Theosophist, one who believes what someone else says about
Don't you agree?
Yes, I agree with the added note that 'promulgating the teachings'
is an inherently difficult thing to do when one takes group dynamics
into account. A body of people may want to do this promulgation and someone
may differ in opinion as how and what to do it. It requires a very great
tolerance and real 'brotherhood' to let each one do it their way
within such an organization. Next to impossible.. :)
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