Re: "Theosophist"-- a fighting word
Aug 13, 1996 05:09 PM
At 05:10 PM 8/13/96 -0400, Bee wrote:
>At 10:41 AM 13/08/96 -0400, you wrote:
>>The recent dustup between James and Alan illustrates again
>>a problem that has been recurrent on the list. Due to all
>>their ambiguities and complexities, the words "Theosophy" and
>>"Theosophist" lend themselves to use as weapons in debate.
>>It all starts with HPB, who is so inconsistent on the subject
>>that she lends ammunition to anyone who wants to use these
>>words as weapons. The inclusive HPB recognizes theosophy as a
>>long-standing presence in Western thought, and accords the name
>>Theosophist to anyone who has an inspiration of his/her own
>>that leads toward the divine. One could find many, many
>>passages that would seem to refute once and for all any
>>limited, exclusive usages of the terms. But on the other hand,
>>the exclusive HPB says things like "the only real Theosophists
>>in the TS are in the ES" that give support to those who want to
>>use the word as a weapon to exclude others.
In addition to the
>I have recently started thinking about 'words' as we all take for granted
>that the words we use to talk to each other stand for real 'things',
>'meanings' etc. It seems to me that we accept or reject 'meanings' according
>to our own understanding and in many cases, our own pet ideas. What a
>Theosophist means to me is probably different to what it means to someone
>else no matter what each has read on the subject.
>I took a member of our Lodge to the last Theosophy Convention and she was
>most upset at what she percieved as un-theosophical behaviour by a number of
>people and it seemed she had Theosophy on some sort of pedestal and it got
>knocked off and now she is slowly withdrawing from the Lodge as she no
>longer finds us quite what she thought.
>We all live in our own 'private world' and somehow seem to expect others to
>live in a similar 'private world' but this is not so. With a little careful
>observation and attention to what others say and do, it becomes quite
>obvious that their 'world' operates in a different way to our own. Unless we
>make allowances for this fact, and there are many others, we will have this
>discord that arises due to expectations of others that are only in our own
>minds. The little word 'is' causes a lot of mental blockages as it is such a
>definite expression. 'He is not a Theosophist,' she is a troublemaker' etc.
Sometimes, instead of using explicit statements like the above,
there are other "code" words used by members of TS.
One that can be seen in the USA, is the statement "unbrotherly". Other
countries have other code words. What is unfortunate is that these
statements are made on the basis of personal judgemental framework. Age or
length of membership or erudition or leadership position has no effect on
this kind of categorization using code words.
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