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Re: Sexism etc

Dec 15, 1996 11:16 AM
by Tom Robertson

At 07:51 PM 12/14/96 +0000, Murray Stentiford <> wrote:

>it's worth
>considering words as having a body or presence on each plane, rather as a
>human being does, so the physical plane is the sound or the print, then
>there's an emotional or affective level, a logical or conceptual level, and
>in some cases, higher. All this in an energy field of associations and
>resonances branching out from the central word. So when you deliver the
>word, you deliver the whole package with its connections, and those with the
>relevant antennae can pick it all up. Hmmmm. Points to a need for
>Mindfulness - something we can all do with more of.

That words have mental and emotional content, at the very least, is
primarily what makes communication so complicated and, as you say,
necessitates caution in jumping to conclusions about what the speaker meant.
In more artistic areas such as poetry, the more emotional content that words
have, the better, but in discussing more scientific subjects such as
philosophy and mathematics, precision is crucial, so that words should be
meant as literally as possible.  It astounds me how frowned upon the words
"superior" and 'inferior" are.  As K. Paul Johnson pointed out, these words
have emotional content all out of proportion to their literal meanings.  It
is as if the word "inherent" was generally understood to be attached to
them, unless strenuously denied, so that, if one rather meant to attach the
word "acquired" before them, one has a difficult uphill climb.  To believe
in inherent differences between people, as Nazism does, would contradict the
Theosophical idea of the common root and the identical potential of all
human beings, but the only alternative to believing in acquired, actual
differences between people is to regard them all as being identical in their
actual development.  Prejudice is wrong only if the idea of inherent
differences between people is wrong, which raises the question of to what
extent and about what should Theosophy be dogmatic.  Should Theosophists
have an open mind, for example, to the possibility that there are inherent
differences between people or should we take a dogmatic stand against such
an idea?

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