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Re: Winning and losing

Jul 13, 1996 05:58 AM
by m.k. ramadoss


Your observations are timely.

I hope we continue to be open minded and keep discussions on the topic 
and always remembering no one could be sure their understanding of the topic 
is the only correct one. All of us can continue to discuss without fear of 
being ridiculed so each one of us in her/his way can learn.

When discussions lead to personal attacks, ultimately it is likely that 
the attacker end up talking to himself/herself.

MK Ramdoss

On Fri, 12 Jul 1996, K. Paul Johnson wrote:

> Now seems to be a time of opportunity to reflect on what
> changes in theos-xxx discussions might make them more truly
> theosophical in spirit and tone.  I that Theosophical
> discussions are all too often quite untheosophical.  Meaning
> that people who study Theosophy often fail to demonstrate that
> their communications are illuminated by mystical insight, and
> rise above the combative, possessive kama-manas.
> The worst thing for me about this list has been the occasional
> prevalence of aggressive win/lose confrontations of different
> viewpoints.  The best thing has been the occasional confluence
> of mutually enlightening information and perspectives among
> people with... different viewpoints.  The crucial factor that
> determines which way we go is the win/lose approach as opposed
> to a win/win approach.
> Lately, the lists have been a constant battlefield in which
> disagreement on issues has evoked harshly negative personal
> attacks.  There have certainly been rounds of this in the past,
> and no one seems to have figured out how to nip these things in
> the bud.  Now, while there's a lull in the fighting, I think it
> might help us to ask ourselves what we have just been through
> and how to avoid it in the future.
> My chief observation here is that a minority of Theosophists
> feel that they MUST WIN in all encounters with variant ways of
> thinking about HPBTheosophy or theosophy.  How people choose to
> fight varies widely; one by endless nitpicking, another by
> no-holds-barred aggression, another by patronizing and
> condescending, and so on.  But the bottom line is "Your
> [understanding of] Theosophy/theosophy is a threat to mine,
> which cannot be allowed to coexist with it, and must be
> (emphatically or subtly) refuted in public by me."  What happens when
> someone with this outlook "wins"?  Meaning, feels that they
> have effectively silenced someone by aggressive communication?
> In reality, they have LOST, lost all opportunity of a mutually
> enlightening and helpful discussion.  All the people who left
> this list in the last few months due to the win/lose dynamics
> would probably agree on this.  And what happens when someone
> "loses"-- by saying in effect, "OK, whatever you say is fine, I
> give up, arguing with you is hopeless, you `win' and I'll
> devote no more effort to trying to communicate?"  In some sense
> they "win" by doing so-- in terms of freeing them from a
> negative emotional state.
> To be continued? (Interrupted)

    Peace to all living beings.

    M K Ramadoss

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