Re: Rounding off of discussions; Alexis; Jerry S.;JRC
Jun 30, 1996 01:27 PM
by alexis dolgorukii
At 07:40 AM 6/30/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Alexis: I saw your posting this morning and was amazed about your anger.
>Apparently there's something not going well in our communication.
That is certainly true!
>That's a pity, because I was (and am) very interested in your view
>of things. That does not mean that I have to accept your complete
>view as valid of course, it could be however that certain points you make
>make me consider some Theosophical teachings more carefully.
>As an example I'll give the theory of races/rootraces. Up to some weeks
>ago I would not be too critical of G de P's theory of races, I considered
>it as a theory of consciousness which he also applied on the black race,
>Chinese people, etc. The point you raised about it made me think about
>it again and I see how that inevitably leads to racistic attitudes, if one
>blindly equates rootraces with the current races. So, in this respect
>I've actually learnt something from you. I have always carefully avoided,
>however, to promulgate any teachings on races/rootraces because it is
>explosive stuff anyway. You acted as a catalyst, so to speak, to review
>this matter in a more critical way.
>Your views on karma and justice interest me strongly, because it's not
>always easy to understand how these things work and any elaboration
>upon the theme is worthwile to ponder about.
If, perhaps, you had ever expressed such feeling before Martin, I would
probably not felt so totally frustrated, by what I perceived as absolutely
no results from hours of typing and thinking. I felt that I had run up
against a stone wall and that what I was saying was being totally rejected
if not ignored completely.
>I realize now, however, that I may have asked too much from you.
I think you did, we are discussing intangibles, a subject to which only
opinion and perception is applicable and yet you seemed to be insisting I
give pragmatic, non-theoretical "proofs" of my statements. This was clearly
impossible to do, and I was becoming more and more frustrated as each day
passed. I view theosophy as speculative hypothesis and as you must know it
is impossible to provide proof of such things. Now ask me about Theosophy
and the Nazis and I'll give you all the pragmatic proofs you want. Ask me
about the history of World War II and you'll get all the factual material
that exists, but when it comes to speculations that is impossible to do.
>It is not possible I think to either prove or refute the teachings about
>karma. That is something we can only do in our own daily life experience.
>It is plausible to me that 'we reap what we sow', but 100% proof cannot
>be given by way of argument. Neither can you refute it by way of logic.
>Only experience can do that (and I think only if one has developed
>the budhic faculty to a large degree).
And fundamentalist christians claim that their life experience proves to
them that Jesus's "hand is on them", life experience can be made to prove
whatever we are predisposed to make it prove. That doesn't make the "proof"
valid. If one want's to believe that "we reap what we sow" then one can find
ample proof of it in daily life. Now, I do believe we actually do "reap what
we so" but it is, as far as I see it, only in our present life. Being born
blind of otherwise disabled may have many causes, medical, genetic, and
perhaps environmental, but it certainly cannot be as a result of what
someone else did. That to me, would be mindlessly unjust. It would make the
"Divine mind" far less just than the Human Mind. This is especially true if
one has my own view of what I think is wrongly called "reincarnation" but
which is better described as "metempsychosis" and which has nothing to do
with specific personalities. As to the "Buddhic Faculty" that too is
entirely speculative hypothesis and it's only pragmatic result is to send
people off on vast ego trips.
>Where does this leave us? Basically we are left to our own experience
>and understanding of life's intricate processes. Theosophical teachings
>can be helpful for us and others as a framework, a set of hypotheses
>and consequent teachings or maybe sometimes non-consequent teachings,
>as the case may be, to ponder about and apply in daily life.
>Well, many people have benefitted from this exercise and I see no problem
>at all in that.
Nor do I, it's when they STOP being hypothesis and are presented as
"received truth" that I call halt. That is the major disagreement between
us. I strongly believe that this has now occurred within the Theosophical
Society in which people like John Algeo are presenting theosophical
hypotheses as "received truth", true, they may only call it "Core
Doctrines"but their true attitude is clearly displayed in the current issue
of "The American Theosophist" where in an article by Bill Delahunt we are
asked if "you are not open to a study or consideration of Theosophical
Teachings why do you want to be part of a Society whose mission is to teach
and promote such ideas". It sounds reasonable, but is not reasonable to
those of us who believe the society has no teachings but only speculative
hypotheses and theories which it makes available for reasoned
considerations. When we begin to use phrases like "a Society whose MISSION
is to teach and promote" well frankly we have gone from hypothesis to
religion. In the same issue , a man named Fred Ayers writes an article in
which he exchanges the "Three Objects" for "three Fundamental Propositions"
his entire approach is religious, and at last he makes the statement: "As
long as there are individuals unprepared to move on to maturity
(completeness, perfection) there will be individuals seeking to disprove the
Universal Laws" This too is a religious approach. Without those
adventuresome individuals who seek to disprove "Universal Laws" there would
be no human progress.
>My disturbance has been mainly with the division 'core'-theosophists
>vs. 'process'-theosophists because you have at least implicitly equated
>'core'-theosophists with dogmatic believers and the other category
>as 'experientalists'. You said to Eldon that he was 'preaching the
>party-line', implying that you didn't take his point of view seriously.
Wrong, I take "The Party Line" very seriously indeed, I think it harmful. I
think it dead wrong, and lastly; I am certain it will destroy
theosophy! I think "The Party Line" is both religious-devotional and so
terribly "Ivory Tower Intellectual" that it renders theosophy totally
inaccessible to intelligent people.
>You have *your* experiences and view of things, Eldon has other ones, I may
>have yet another view, and so may others. That's nothing to be mad about.
Of course that's NOT what I am "mad" about, and I think you are well aware
that it isn't, and that's what I AM "mad" about.
>It would be nice if we could discuss that peacefully on this list, however
>you have to realize that I or any other one may plainly disagree with you
>and dismiss your notions as irrelevant in our perception of things.
>It's not different from what you do regarding Theosophical teachings.
I never get angry a people who disagree with me, but I do get angry when I
spend hours of time and energy responding to questions and am greeted with a
complaint that "Alexis has given not response". That means to me that not
only are you dismissing my presentations as irrelevant, which is fine by me,
but that you are dismissing them as non-existent which is NOT "fine by be".
Can you see the difference. It's perfectly all right to say "I read Alexis's
response and it's pure bull-shit"...O.K. I can live with that, and even try
to explain why I think it isn't. But when you say "Alexis hasn't responded"
that is either disingenuous or flat out untruth, and THAT makes me mad.
>IOW I think you carried this division too far in equating people who
>think or believe that core-teachings contain a lot of truth with
>dogmatists. This is too simplistic. It doesn't work that way and, yes,
>I call this: labeling people in too divisive a way. You actually offend
>people by calling them dogmatists and you don't care about that.
Maybe things are different in Europe, but in the america of John Algeo's
theosophy it is not stretching the point to cause his Jesuitical approach to
theosophy dogmatical. Why don't you write to Olcott (th Hq of the TSA) and
buy a subscription to the American Theosophist, and you'll see why my
"division" is accurate. The 200 members of the Esoteric Section have assumed
full control over the fate and future of the American society and they ARE
dogmatists. Martin, most of my complaints deal with the Adyar based Society,
which of course includes the TSA. You are a Point Loma Theosophist, it's not
the same thing at all.....the remnants of the Point Loma Society are, in my
view, the best of the contemporary theosophical groups. BUT, they are far
too few to be really an important force for anything. I also happen to
believe that Gottfried de Peruker was, in spite of his very much more
sophisticated presentation, a dogmatist. In fact I feel it appropriate to
call anyone a "dogmatist" who says (of anything) THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!
In metaphysical philosophy we deal ONLY in hypotheses and speculation. To
call it more than that is sheer hubris.
>My conclusion has to be that you don't care to really listen to people
>who strongly disagree with you, while those people may be just the ones
>from whom you can actually learn some new perspective on the old teachings.
>The evidence is clear: I strongly disagree with you implying people to be
>dogmatists and see what happens: you get angered instead of asking me
>what's the matter. You could have been friendly and empathic, but no
>you are wildly slapping around you. That proves my conclusion sufficiently.
Martin, what you just said is, in my view, entirely untrue. I am perfectly
capable of dealing with those who disagree with me strongly. I am utterly
incapable of dealing with people who say I haven't said anything. You are
also telling an untruth when you say I don't listen to what you say. What
you don't like is that I disagree with what you say, and how you say it, so
very adamantly! I am not wildly "slapping about me" I am very carefully
"slapping about me" and the slaps have obviously fallen as intended. you did
not "disagree with me" for my suggestion that there are "Process
theosophists" and "Doctrinaire Theosophists", no not at all, you criticized
me very strongly for that belief. Haven't you learned the difference yet? It
is my strong feeling that you are disingenuous and dissembling, that is
based upon my experiences with you. You apparently feel that I am unfriendly
and over-angry for no reason. Well, I disagree, and believe me Martin,
saying: "That proves my point sufficiently" doesn't accomplish that feat at
all, it's just a sophistical debating technique.
>You belittled Daniel and now you start accusing me of all kinds of things.
>I have no need of self-defense. The above is only an explanation
>and description of how I see the whole communicative process between
>you and me and some other listmembers.
My relationship with Daniel is "old hat" and is actually none of your business.
>There's only one thing which I may have carried to the extreme and that
>is consistently asking for strong arguments, while I now realize that
>it may not be possible at all to do so. Giving one's point of view, however,
>does not count as an argument. It's just a point of view. That's all,
>unless you can show that it far better explains natural processes,
>human interactions, etc. That would be a matter of serious scrutiny
>and analysis indeed. Maybe you have to offer such a view, that's entirely
>possible, but as yet I've not seen such a convincing explanation of things
>which is consistent with my experiences and/or satisfies my sense of logic,
>etc,etc. The deep-rooted motive in my case is to offer something helpful
>and valuable to people who may need it sorely. So, I cannot just
>accept the dismissal of theosophical teachings as irrelevant without
>being offered a very good alternative. Discussion and analysis would
>be still necessary of course. I would not throw the baby out with the bath
>water. Do you see now where I stand. It has nothing to do with you
>personally but everything with my perceived duty to the public.
People who have "perceived DUTIES" make me really nervous Martin, for so too
did Torquemada! Now, all any argument is, is a presentation of points of
view UNLESS one is dealing with a "hard science" or with historical facts,
there are only points-of-view and opinions. You say that Core Theosophy
agrees with your "sense of logic" well, sorry , but it offends my sense of
logic. Essentially I see absolutely no difference between what you call
"Core Doctrines" and Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, and that's definitely a
religion and so my description of it as a religion is hardly far-fetched. It
is my feeling however, that if I spent a year writing an exposition of my
beliefs and the ground for those beliefs, and sent it to you, you would
reject it out of hand. When someone says "my duty to the public" there's
just too great a probability that they're on an ego trip, and that makes
rational communication with them almost impossible. As regards twentieth
century theosophy, it might be the best possible option to "throw the baby
out with the bath water!" You will permit me the right to think so, won't
you? And on that point i'll end this.
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