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Re: Core teachings

Jul 15, 1996 05:38 PM
by Bee Brown

K. Paul Johnson wrote:
> Thanks to Daniel C. for forwarding discussions from
> alt.theosophy so that theos-l can continue to reverberate with
> pro- and anti- Alexis controversy :)  Just when we thought it
> was safe to go back in the water!
> But since the subject is on the table, here's a comment.  I
> have read, on theos-talk, comments from Eldon and Dara that
> frankly disparage Theosophists (not by name, but as a group)
> who do not adhere to the "core teachings" to their
> satisfaction.  The gist of the messages was "unfortunately,
> some Theosophists have different approaches than ours."  That
> almost provokes a "back-at-ya" response from me that *I* think
> it's unfortunate that some Theosophists have different
> approaches than *ours*-- meaning the liberals.  But in fact, I
> *don't* consider it unfortunate that there are Theosophists who
> are theologically conservative, focused on preserving
> tradition, suspicious of new ideas.  There's a bell curve in
> almost any movement from liberal to conservative, and I don't
> mind being far out on the liberal end of the Theosophical
> spectrum.  (Meaning those who are eclectic in orientation,
> value relevance and applicability more than tradition, and hope for
> a more open-minded approach in the movement at large.)  What I
> *do* find *most unfortunate* is having the conservatives constantly insinuating
> that my (meaning anyone with progressive views) being a Theosophist
> at all is "unfortunate."  What kind of dialogue is possible
> with someone who says "I find it unfortunate that someone like
> you is in the Theosophical movement?"

I must have missed something as I cannot remember getting such a message. I 
can understand why theos-talk was started after the repeated put-downs on 
discussions by some who were annoyed by the deeper discussions on the core 
taeaching that cropped up at times. I thought it was possible to have more 
than one thread running side by side and the boring ones will get ignored by 
anyone not interested in them. We don't all have to be involved in every 
discussion going on on theos-l. Theos-talk has made no secret that it is for 
discussing the core teachings and related matters. Even a recent brief chat 
by myself and two others on 'sishtas' got a BORING response by other 
participants. What can be discussed then? We are all so different that surely 
several discussions can run at the same time without some listers getting 

> So this business about core doctrines is being misused and
> misunderstood, IMO.  Of course there are "core doctrines" in
> the sense that HPB's teachings have a certain integrity and
> internal consistency, that Purucker for example tends to stay
> within that framework while Bailey or Leadbeater go outside
> it.  "Core teachings" are simply a matter of fact.  But the
> argument does not seem to be over the "is" but rather the
> "ought."  Meaning, do we as contemporary Theosophists privilege
> certain texts over others, and if so which ones and how much?
> It shouldn't matter who likes which writings better. They all have something 
for somebody. We can't all have the same way of thinking so that only certain 
books can be called 'true'. What has significance for me does not necessarily 
do the same for someone else but I respect their right to get their 
enlightenment from what ever suits them. Yet I understand that HPB was the 
disseminater of the age old wisdom into this era, restating what has always 
been known from time immemorial. It seems sensible to some to get their facts 
from the horse's mouth, so to speak rather than someone elses' interpretation 
of HPB.
I wandered into the TS around 6 years ago and a flick through the SD was 
enough to turn to Annie Besant and other easier to read stuff. But they 
referred back to the SD on many occasions and I really didn't know if what 
they said was so and I like to know for myself what, to my mind, is so and 
what isn't. Three of us started a study group n SD and at least got to grips 
with some of the Sanskrit words. I had been pointed in the direction of 
dePurucker by our librarian but those large books looked like the SD so I 
looked the other way. About a year ago I got tired of having to accept other 
people's evaluation of the core teachings and so got into GdeP in the hope 
that after reading him I might tackle the SD and get somewhere. I am enjoying 
GdeP ver much and my view of my world and the universe has expanded and range 
over millions of years. The impact on my own life has been to give the ego a 
shake up and to see that my little self is very necessary yet not a big deal 
in the scheme of things. I have learned the reasons for the moral and ethical 
teachings in the various systems that before seemed a good way to regulate 
social relations but now I can see deeper into the whys of some of these 
things. To practice them in my life is easier once I see the rationale for 
doing so and not just because everyone recommends such behaviour for 
spiritual growth. I have developed a fascination for the anthropogenesis of 
the SD through GdeP and so I am reading him, Barborka and the SD. 
Now where, oh where is there a place where I might discuss these ideas and so 
understand them better? By the looks of it, nowhere.
Once I have grasped a asprct to my satisfaction I move my enthusiasm to 
another so I have no idea where my quest will go next. It seems that neither 
of the lists want to discuss the deeper aspects of the core teachings. I know 
that is not all there is to 'theosophy' but it happens that some people get 
into some parts of it. I got into 'sishtas' because I saw the myth of the 
Garden of Eden and the concept of a Golden Age maybe stemmed from there.When 
my speculations made the connection, it was exciting and it was nice to have 
even a brief discussion on theos-talk to see if my ideas gelled with someone 
else or was that line of thinking was off the wall. There is noone to discuss 
these matters with in Wanganui so I figured that I am connected to the world 
and surely there must be others interested in these areas of thought. I want 
to know for myself what the core teachings 'teach' and I am prepared to do 
the study to find out so SD here I come. 
I don't see the problem as core versus others. When I first got on to the 
list I too was guilty of crying BORING when Eldon and some others discussed 
hard things but after a bit I realised that there should be a place for 
everyone here without getting hassled for 'wrong thinking'. That is why I got 
into strife with Alexis because I think we should at least respect each other 
and each others views. Over time many views change and what we think today 
may not be what we think next year.
That's about it from me this time.

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