how, why, older generation
May 18, 1997 01:19 AM
This is going to be my fourth time trying to send this friggin' thing. I
would have given up on it except that I wouldn't want you to think I'm
avoiding your questions. I'm going to send my e-mails one at a time and see
whether it would go through that way. Goddess knows my blabbing is capable
of clogging up a system.
Take care, Liesel
>2. if the younger generation is more attracted to experience, the older
>generation, believes in hands on learning, if they got any sense. Theory
>without practice is like 19th century gynecology - they learned how to
>deliver babies in medical school from textbooks with charts.
>3. what suggestions do you have for activties, Thoa? I know workshops. Would
>you have people get up and say "I have this & this problem" and then
>everyone in the group gets together and tries to suggest different ways to
>change their Karma? What other ways do you know?
To get some answers, let's look at some observations, besides what I stated
about the younger generation:
In my experience with 5-8 years old, the children require strong guidance,
simplicity, and freedom of expression (Basically, someone strictly telling
them to adhere to doing certain things, and yet within that confine, with
very little expectation of the result). Materials taught should be in a
simple, experiential manner, e.g. lots of colors, shapes, using simple
motor skills. The teacher should also act in a parental manner.
With young college age students (around 18 years old), a very relaxed
friendly setting is required. The students abhor authoritarian figures.
However, strong rules have to be laid out with clear consequences stated,
or else the students will lose interest, skip classes, etc. At that age,
who wants to be in a classroom? Materials taught should be challenging
with the teacher expecting certain results, and should be full of
experiences beyond the classroom. The expectations should be clear as far
as certain aesthetic quality (as in art), and yet very open to allow for
unique visions. The teacher, in critiquing, basically, has to do mental
gymnastics, seeing results in different point of views. That is, in
critiquing, the teacher should note the effort put in, the critical
thinking, and the creative effort. Basic environment is challenging and
With older folks who are pretty much set in their ways, the teaching is
more geared toward what they are used to, and yet somehow diplomatically
try to make them add different perspectives to their repertoire. They are
usually more self-driven about what they need to do, do it with great
effort, and yet those qualities are also responsible for them to be less
receptive about trying different things. It's hard to try to get them to
paint abstract art when they're used to flowers, and vice versa. In this
case, the teacher should not shock the student too much by trying to change
the student, but rather just find strengths in what the student already
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THESOPHIST EXPECTATIONS:
I don't know much about politics, etc., but here are some things I've noted.
The basic goals are search for truth, siblinghood and service to humanity.
One of the intention was to replace what was lacking in religions, perhaps
correcting reliance on superstition, emotionalism, and factionalism.
There is a lot of factionalism among theosophists.
Theosophists are superstitious and emotional despite themselves. Helena
Blavatsky was quite superstitious herself and obviously emotional (why
would she swear so much?).
This conflict between what is ideal and what is natural have made the T.S.
create its own archetype. By not compromising with the natural, conflicts
arose, membership dwindled, and factionalism resulted. Instead of finding
strength in its archetype, apply acceptance and forgiveness, the T.S. have
chosen to shut out those members. Vice versa for the rejected members in
which T.S. rules have become the archetype.
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE INTERNET:
The internet is great for bringing in those who may not converse with
theosophists any other way. There are several groups who would be
interested: people who heavily rely on the computer for occupation,
information, and communication; retired people; and young people who have
always known the computer. Because of the internet, people are more likely
to do a web search on theosophy due to their encounter with it through
readings, friends, etc.
The internet fails when it comes to human contact, experiences, and
guidance. The virtual is not as powerful as the actual. On the other
hand, sometimes actual contact may not be that great. Someone may have a
hard time listening to what you have to say because of your nervous tics.
Again, the internet is often the first time someone has an experience with
REAL theosophists. There are certain expectations after reading those
wonderful books, and these expectations may either be let down or met
through the internet. Since postings are information sources, there is a
conflict between giving out information, and giving out wrong impressions.
For example, it may be good for newbees to learn about all the grievances
among theosophists, but it may also turn off newbees to theosophy.
...with those observations....
Some activities could be workshops and more permanent classes. The permanent
classes can be classical and new theosophical studies, martial arts which
also focuses on mind/body/spirituality discipline, visual/spiritual arts,
written arts (writing as opposed to just reading), psychology/karma (what
drives one to commit certain acts/karmic results/analysis of solutions), and
whatever else anybody can think of.
The workshops could be weekend intense experiences, such as journey into
nature (including rituals from tribal cultures with history of intense nature
experiences), dancing/drumming, meditation, psionic bombing effects :o), etc.
The two cores would be meetings to discuss general topics and concerns (a way
for theosophists to get and give feedbacks to each other, this is critical),
and volunteerism (preferably in an organized and group manner so that there
would be more group dynamics).
Thus, we can have classes as ongoing lessons, workshops as lightning bolts
of experiences, and cores as a way of unification and direction toward the
main purpose, which is to do good.
Also, there should be a way for members to air grievances with a commitment
to solution, forgiveness, and unification. For example, if one member is
griping behind another's back to others, that member should be confronted in
a group so that the griping would be out in the open and solved, keeping in
mind that there will be forgiveness and no stigma attached.
HOW DO THESE THINGS START?:
Feedback, feedback! If everyone takes responsibility for giving feedback,
things could develop toward more than just talking. With only a couple
people giving feedback here and there in a long while, pretty soon the
energy will peter out. As I said and as Liesel said, I can always go
somewhere else that suits me.
Feedback turning into clear plans, plans turn into concrete projects,
projects start small and grow bigger. We all have our personal
responsibility and jobs. If everyone chips in a little here and there,
something could happen. The problem with the internet community is that
everyone is dispersed internationally, and it is all virtual. The momentum
may be great on the internet, but at the local level, the theosophist may
find the task daunting.
People start workshops all the time. Theosophists living in the same area
can band together to form workshops as a beginning. Workshops can later
turn into classes, etc. Help, financial or otherwise, can be requested
through the internet. Of course, theosophists are no fools, thus requests
from a long time internet contributor would probably be more effective, and
plenty of clear information should be provided.
And a million and one more ways that I can't think of right now. Whatever
it is, the main thing is group contribution. If everybody cares, things
will come to fruition. If few cares, nothing will come to fruition.
SOME HEALING SUGGESTIONS:
Prominent theosophists should be more willing to mingle with the rest of the
chaps, be willing to listen to ideas, and give strong feedback.
Whatever's instituted, one of the goals should be a reunification of all
theosophists. Steps should be clearly taken toward that. How can
theosophists expect war to stop in the world if they can't forgive, forget,
and compromise among themselves. Don't think in terms of "I'm going to go
out and form my own group that will meet my goals." or "Let those
dissenting theosophists go where they may.", instead, constantly think in
terms of all your sibling theosophists, wherever they are. I appreciate
the fact that Einar is doing that. Reset those electrical circuits!
All theosophists should go through a mandatory comedy course.
...anyhow, blah, blah, blah, I'm out of steam. Any ideas?
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