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Re: How vs. Why

May 12, 1997 03:43 PM
by M K Ramadoss

At 03:10 PM 5/12/97 -0400, K. Paul Johnson wrote:
>Dear Titus and all,
>I agree completely with the observation that Theosophy is
>sparse indeed in giving practical guidance to members, and
>rests on a plane of abstractions that isn't very nurturing to
>many people.  But this is a problem only if one tries to make a
>complete diet of Theosophy, when it is nutritionally inadequate
>in itself.  One needs to supplement it with commitments
>elsewhere to more practical paths.  HPB and Olcott chose
>Buddhism; later Adyar leaders chose Liberal Catholicism; I
>choose the very pragmatic Cayce material.
>Some Theosophists (more in the Judge branch of the movement and
>among ES members) regard Theosophy alone as a completely
>fulfilling source of spiritual nourishment.  But the majority
>don't, in my observation, combining it with other paths that
>are less topheavy with intellectualism.
>While the sparseness of the daily-useful aspects of Theosophy
>is not a problem for the individual members, who can get those
>needs met elsewhere, it *is* IMO a real problem for the organizations,
>which tend to an ivory-tower attitude.  One finds it easier to
>care about and get involved in a group that is doing practical
>good works than a group that is entirely theoretical in focus.

I believe there are a couple of points that need to be considered.

1. The needs of the members who join and continue in TS vary considerably.

2. When the TS was started, while much of the philosophy was being written
up, we see that not much emphasis was placed on such practices as
meditation, concentration etc. On the other hand we see both HPB and HSO
getting involved in some practical social issues which affect men and women.
The first Sanskrit schools in Madras and also the school for Panchama
(depressed classes) School was started. In addition, work was done in
reviving Buddhism.

3. Though ES was later started due to requests from selected individuals for
practical instructions for self-improvement, and interest grew up later,
during the time of Annie Besant, she was intensely involved in the various
movements in  India which affected the masses. They are Indian Independence,
national system of schools, and various other endeavors.

4. Even during later years, Rukmini Devi Arundale was actively involved in
animal welfare in India.

5. If we look at TS, the members have to be self-starters so that they can
embark on a plan which is practical application of the three objects of

6. The elitist and ivory tower attitude generally comes from certain
inferiority complex in the minds of some who may be thinking that they have
evolved further than the rest. What I have seen is that some of the very
experienced members who are humble and realize that whatever they may know
is so insignificant compared to those who have first hand knowledge, do act
in a non elitist/ivory manner. Also some times when anyone gets elected or
appointed to an organizational position, that gets to their head and you may
see some demonstration of the elitist attitude -- which is just normal human
reaction, because everyone wants to feel important and associated with
something important or big.

7. Generally what I find is that anyone who is service oriented will find TS
environment a comfortable one in spite of all the short comings. After all,
as the Real Founders wanted to help Humanity and all the rest were secondary.

8. If someone is interested practical instructions in such practical matters
as astral projection, astral, mental, etc travel etc. etc. they may have to
look elsewhere for instruction.

Just my rambling thoughts. Your mileage and direction may vary.


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