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Re: Ad Hominem

Sep 22, 1996 06:03 PM
by Bee Brown

At 02:49 AM 22/09/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Alan Bain writes>
>>IMO the validity or otherwise of anyone's esoteric *ideas* is something
>>that can only be tested by considering the ideas on their own merit.
>>Now esoteric *claims* - that's another matter.
>Richard Ihle writes>
>I don't think we necessarily disagree in general.  However, in my previous
>post I tried to narrow it a little by saying, "and here I am especially
>thinking of those subjects like "magic" which have an application to or
>association with personal adeptship."  It would seem to me that the "merit"
>of at least some of the ideas--certain meditative, breathing, or
>visualization techniques, for example--would show up in the life, character,
>or abilities of the person who is passing them along.

I read that once an adept, then the motto is 'Do, Dare & be Silent' so there
comes a time, perhaps when they are silent until they cross paths with
someone who may benefit from their sharing.
>I have heard of some approaches which require a decade or more of practice
>before results show themselves.  At the minimum, I would like to see that at
>least one person has been able to get the promised results before I started.
> I have more than once run into younger people who--simply because they have
>read an Eastern book or two--are persuaded that they are on a path which will
>eventually enable them to read minds, walk through walls, fly unaided by
>aircraft to distant places etc.  Maybe so.  However, I am more the type of
>person who would want ~someone else~ to fly in from somewhere, walk through
>my walls, and present himself or herself as a living example of someone with
>these attainments because they had read my mind and learned that I needed a
>living example.

If you keep an open mind on the subject then it may manifest when you least
expect it. That seems to be the way of the Universe, to catch us napping and
the good stuff passes by unnoticed.
>>Concerning your "test" question [". . . if a person intimates that they have
>>preternatural powers, I start the questioning by asking them how much they
>can bench >press. . ."], I cannot bench press at all - arthritis prevents
>these days, but I was lousy at >it before.  This is a disposition and an
>ability or faculty which I possess in small >measure.
>Sorry about the arthritis.  The bench-pressing, of course, was just a
>stand-in for the general category of developed abilities which could easily
>be shown to someone else.  Asking a person how good a psychic he or she would
>usually be the type of question which represents the opposite category--i.e.,
>who can really judge this ability in others, especially when they are
>unwilling to tell you exactly where the S&P 500 will be tomorrow?

Will you still believe then? HPB showed endless abilities of an other
worldly nature but noone really believed that it occurred the way she
claimed. Had she not done so, life may have been much simpler for her and
her books may have been more accepted as an intellectual production rather
that a supernatural revelation. We will never know. It has been my
experience that people hanker for extra-ordinary experiences but they will
only accept if it happens to them. Other peoples account of their own
experiences fall on deaf ears unless the listener has had a somewhat similar
experience or is by nature a follower who thinks the same thing may come to
them if they associate with experiencer long enough.
>Your illustration about learning astrology even from someone with a
>questionable life style was a good one.  I agree with it.  I certainly
>couldn't level any "ad hominem" against astrology in general because of such
>a person; rather, I might be merely tempted to taint
>astrology-in-the-way-he-knows-it-and/or-doesn't-use-it-transformatively a
>little.  In other words, I would still want to learn astrology, but just not
>in exactly the same way which produced him.  Similarly I still want to learn
>magic, but just not in exactly the same way which produced Aleister Crowley.

Knowledge and abilities are not the same as the outer expression of them by
the people who hold them. The same spiritual path can branch into black or
white depending on the intention of the person involved and how they apply
the knowledge. It may not be the way they look but the intended results
produced that gives us an idea where they are coming from. There are people
I meet that I would rather distance myself from, yet not really knowing why
and that person would, to me, have nothing I wanted to share.
>Thanks and Godspeed,
>Richard Ihle
Hope your walls are thin. :-)

Bee Brown
Member Theosophy NZ, TI.

A meeting is an event at which
the minutes are kept and the hours lost.

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