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Re: Uncola - and the Undeep

Jul 30, 1996 02:36 PM
by Murray Stentiford

Frank wrote:

>There are certainly many other New Age type
>activities that those who are not presently ready can engage in so that at
>some point in the future they will be able to differentiate between
>spiritual pabulum and teachings that have real substance.
>I feel that the TS should sharply distinguish itself from other groups
>or systems that stress crystals, tarot, magickal rituals, and similar
>practices. Notice that I do not condemn such activities; they can be
>valuable in imparting a curiosity about higher forms of esotericism.
> .... Theosophy is not a cola! It appeals to
>people who have an interest in psychology or philosophy and are generally
>more educated than crystal wearing wiccans. It should not try to be all
>things to all seekers. This should not be left unspoken, IMAO.

[Then, in a later post]

>If someone interested in tarot, channeling, etc. asks us about Theosophy
>or the TS, I would certainly not advocate telling that person that their
>present interests are inappropriate. But I would clearly state that
>Theosophy requires effort, persistence, and some background if the seeker
>is to get anything out of it. I would add that the effort is very amply
>rewarded, although the process is not an easy one. I think that it would
>be less than compassionate to give a sincere seeker the impression that
>the more pop culture, mechanical methods purporting to further development
>can be equated with Theosophy. 
>If we want to attract to the movement persons who are capable of
>assimilating these teachings, then we should not shy away from
>characterizing them accurately. What we now have in effect is the
>operation of Gresham's Law: debased coinage drives good coinage out of
>circulation. There is so much junk out there claiming the attention of
>seekers that the good stuff is gettng drowned out. OTOH, not everybody can
>appreciate the good stuff; so let's gear our efforts to those who can. 

It is good to see discrimination being applied and its results clearly
expressed, but on reading these posts, I think something else needs to be
added to what has already been said.

Jerry has pointed out that many of these interests are techniques, and I
believe that we should face techniques squarely and use the ones that are
right for us, in balance with insight, knowledge and a good heart. The fact
that many have a superficial interest in these techniques does not
necessarily mean the techniques are superficial.

One of the most able, enthusiastic and deeply-studied members of the TS I
know, told me that one of the things he was first interested in theosophy
for, was black magic! Not that he wanted to do it, but he wanted to know
more about how it worked. Plus a group of other "undeep" subjects.

Many people may appear to be superficial in their interests, but I think it
is important for TS members to see these as stepping stones in a totally
non-condescending way. We have all probably had relatively superficial
interests in the past, that we have moved on from. Do we intend to stop
moving, ourselves, now that we have a few riches of insight and
understanding within our reach?

No, of course not, so let's make a point of being able to meet people where
they are right now, with true warmth and interest. Then perhaps we stand a
chance of being able to show them the next step along their way and, if
we're lucky, be witness to their own delighted discovery that there are
depths to their chosen subject they didn't dream about. That it can be a
part of their pathway to the one Centre.

Member TI and the TS in NZ

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