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Tom Robertson, Theosophist

Dec 12, 1996 08:55 PM
by RIhle

Bart Lidofsky writes-->
Tom is my brother. I do not, however, believe that the Theosophical Society
is the right place for him at this time.

Richard Ihle writes-->
Well, I'm not sure I agree with you here, Bart.

I think it may have something to do with a possible difference in how we
regard the ~Theosophical~ in the ~Theosophical Society~.  Some people insist
that it refers to SPECIFIC DOCTRINE (usually HPB's writings); other people
think it properly refers to an EPISTEMOLOGY which gives potential validity to
"knowledge which has its base in, or at least originally derives from,
transcendental, mystical, or intuitive insight or higher perception."

Now, let's take Tom's most provocative statement:  "Most women want to be
dominated by men."  You may have looked at it and concluded that it was not
"Theosophical" because it didn't seem consistent with the "brotherhood
(inclusive) doctrine" which has long been associated with the TS.  I, on the
other hand, immediately thought, "Well, this idea doesn't seem to be based on
any scientific evidence that I am aware of; therefore, there is a good chance
that it may be theosophical."

You may have looked at Tom's words as the product of an inductive process
drawing upon initial misperception or an insufficient data base; I, on the
other hand, looked at it as the same sort of particular-to-universal
reasoning--but only possibly informed by "Buddhic Apprehension" (perhaps a
true Master need only look at a single person in order to derive all the
correct generalizations applying to humanity).

You might have been in concert with JRC's disapproval when he recently told
Tom:  "You want to just state 'unpopular' ideas that have huge emotional
charges behind them, make the statements in the form of sweeping, generalized
assertions, with no definition of terms, no evidence to back the claims, and
no response to requests for such evidence [. . . ].

I, on the other hand, thought that JRC's charges might pretty well
characterize a lot of the theosophical writings I am aware of and respect.

In other words, even though my own theosophical development has not yet
assisted me in ~seeing~ anything similar about women, I am willing to grant
the possiblity that Tom may be a ~seer~ in this regard.

However, there is a better chance that Tom is just plain mistaken, isn't
there?  So what?  At least nine-tenths of all the "theosophically based"
things I have said in my life have later either turned out dead wrong or
required drastic revision, so I am hardly the one to take another theosophist
to task for being mistaken.  Nine-tenths of HPB I am still suspicious about,
so why should I be harder on Tom than I am on her?  Real theosophy--that is,
in my opinion, theosophy corroberated by one's own transcendental
resources--seems to me most often a matter of seeing which pin is left
standing after the nine have been knocked down.

The pin that has little or no conventional evidence to support it but remains
standing nonetheless--ah, that is the Interesting One. . . .

Unfortunately, Tom's "women-wanting-domination" pin didn't stay up for me
very long; it may right itself someday, in some differently explained form
perhaps, but for now it is horizontal.  It just didn't start any theosophical
chime in me sympathetically vibrating; however, neither did HPB's point of
view on Australian aborigines being the remnants of the Fourth Root Race.  (I
will have to do the careful re-reading on the latter that you recommended,
since I certainly have never been under the impression that the basic subject
matter of Anthropogenesis was the progressive development of "CIVILIZATIONS"
as you suggested in the aborigine instance.)

The long and the short of it:  I believe the Theosophical Society ~is~ the
right place for Tom, HPB, you, and me at this time.

--But not Chuck, of course. . . .


Richard Ihle

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