Re: Core Teachings
Jul 16, 1996 09:20 PM
by Bee Brown
Kim Poulsen wrote:
> >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.
> Dear Bee,
> you may appreciate to know that this very concept of common "core
> teachings" is something of a blow in the face to some of us. "The problem
> of core versus others" is inherent in the idea itself - the idea is
> positively dangerous. Its expounders seems to add various favorite writers
> according to personal whim to this grouping but still fails to see the
> self-contradictiory in this barrier-building work.
> Every day the idea seems to be catching on, probably because it is not
> refuted - except by the heroic last stand of Richard. Even KPJ seems to
> have caught on to this idea of a core framework where authors can be inside
> or outside according to the spiritual insight of the listmaker.
I understand that the Theosophy 'Society' may feel it necessary to deem
certain literature as 'core' as a way of preserving it because that is its
rationale for being in existence. A 100 years is not so long, in the scheme
of things. Some people are interested in this literature and some not and
that is the way of the world. We all tend to get enthusiastic about our own
ideas and concepts and perhaps give the impression of exclusivity when it is
only enthusiasm running away with our thoughts. I hide my head in shame when
I think of the times I have been holding forth and suddenly realised the
glazed look in the eyes opposite and then I know it is time to shut up. To
that person I am probably such a bore when really I am not, when I am off my
> As a thought experiment along this line let us pronounce the SD the only
> acceptable "core teaching" for true Theosophists. Then we will have as our
> biblical main-source a work which try to synthesize the maximum amount of
> other works. Can you see the irony in it? Or perhaps these thousands of
> works would be "core works" as well? Then I would have to state my opinion
> that the real essential works - the works containing the ideas translated
> and adressed in the SD - remain largely unquoted. Before attempting to
> demonstrate such an proposition I would probably have removed myself from
> the very small core theosophistical enclosure, and there would be no need
> for me to continue.
Sorry but to me books are books. Either of interest or not. Either useful to
me on my quest or not. There is a Theosophical essence, for want of a better
word, and there is theosophy as a stream of knowledge that gets dammed up
periodically and turned into a definite teaching by someone who seems to
catch the essence of some part of the stream. History seems to say that this
teaching rather quickly gets turned into dogma and the essence is lost. That
still hasn't stopped 'keen' inquirers from working their way through the
dogma in the attempt to find what gave rise to the dogma in the first place.
Perhaps future Theosophists will burrow through to the SD just to see how the
Theosophical idea started. Our librarian feels that TS will become a
custodian of the literature and a reference point only, in the future. I am
not sure how I feel about that.
> PS. Just to clarify, Bee, the core idea itself is far older in theosophy
> than our discussions here - and in fact is common to all religions. Even
> the original arhats themselves sat down themselves after the death of the
> Buddha to renumerate essential ideas. Very interestingly they started with
> something they called "the immutable"...
> BTW, I do not think there is an "easy-to-read" short-cut to spiritual
> knowledge.I don't either but I learned that from experience. The easy to read
interpretations of the deeper spiritual knowledge is less off-putting at the
beginning stage but become unsatisfying after a while.
> In friendship,
> KimNice to talk to you again.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application