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Re: Atlantis et al.

Jul 29, 1996 07:31 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Paul M.M. Kieniewicz:
> >
> you've no way of telling if it's all BS. But the stuff that can be checked
> should be checked.

And the consequences of the checking should be publicized in TS
journals and their implications discussed openly.  Dream on!
> To me, it all smacks of a coverup of sorts. Theosophists have a tendency
> when faced with such a discrepancy  either to edit  the discrepancy  out of
> future editions, or explain them away with statements such as: "Atlantis is
> only a myth", "The Masters weren't being literal", "This is an occult truth
> and not a physical one." Or "You, Paul K., have the wrong background and
> can't be a useful judge of these weighty matters..."

Gee, that last one sounds familar except for the placement of
the K.!  There appears to be a total lack of interest in any
real, open engagement with the teachings as a body of doctrine
subject to analysis, comparison, etc.  This movement is
intellectually dying if not dead.  
>  These are to my mind all attempts to evade the fact that we are unwilling
> to put Theosophy to the test, and  when  we are faced with discrepancies -
> we are unwilling to admit that these exist. Because IF - Atlantis  never had
> any physical (not to mention etheric or other) existence, the basic
> teachings DO fall down like a house of cards.

That depends on what you mean by "basic teachings."  Neither
the three objects, nor the three fundamental propositions of
the SD, nor the mystical insights of the Voice, nor anything
else that attracted me to Theosophy in the first place, is
falling down like a house of cards because of the
misinformation about history and science in the literature.
If one were to search for a spiritual movement with teachings
that were not contradicted by contemporary science, I don't
think it could be found.  What's crucial is the willingness to
engage in dialogue with new discoveries, synthesize them,
modify our flawed beliefs accordingly.  That's precisely what
HPB wanted the TS to exemplify.  But it turned out considerably
worse in that regard, more inflexible in its "scriptural"
literalism, than the mainstream Christians HPB criticized so

 If the few statements that can
> be checked in the teaching turn out to be wrong, then the ones that can't be
> checked are probably just as wrong.

Non sequitur.
> How about "There is no religion higher than truth"?

"Theosophy is not a religion, it is truth itself.  So this is
about those *other* people who don't have truth but only
religion, and has no application at all to *us* who are privy
to direct messages from Those Who Know."  That's basically the
mindset, I'm afraid.

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