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Re: Thought for Food

May 18, 1997 11:27 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>There is no price too high to pay for Awareness and Understanding. If
>it means studying Buddhism to understand the Buddhist information,
>then do it. ...  We should not expect that because we can not understand
>something that the writer should rewrite it to accommodate our laziness.
>How would you get Plato or Moses or the Bible authors to rewrite the
>material?  IT IS UP TO THE SEEKER.   We save ourselves, remember.

When *we* are writing, we do have to deal with the backgrounds of the
"target audience" for our writings. Someone may find us using a term
they deem sexist and get so angry that they completely miss what we
were saying. If we choose different words, they'd not have the reaction
and there might be communication. The same might be true if we said
something about someone's favorite politics, their favorite theosophical
authors, or their religious icons. Blasting the Bible might not be a
good approach to talk of the esoteric philosophy with a Born-Again
Fundamentalist Christian. Defenses would go up, listening would stop,
and offense, anger, and rage would be evoked. This is the opposite of
the desired effect.

That's speaking of *us*, though, as living writers. Dead authors don't
change their words and have to be respected for the different cultural
context in which they lived. If someone were unable to read Mark
Twain because he used "the 'N' word", they have problems of their own
that they will have to deal with in due time. If someone were to
unintentionally say something that angers me, it's not their fault
that I got mad. The anger is my reaction, my responsibility, and I
can't simply tell the person "What you said makes me mad; it's your
fault that I'm mad; stop being bad and shut up!" We all have cultural
baggage and conditioning. It's important to lighten up, keep it from
controlling our lives, and to learn to see things from different

We can't (or perhaps I'd say shouldn't) try to change Blavatsky's
words. But we can write about Theosophy with our own slants,
writing in a way that appeals to a particular "market segment" of
spiritual questers.

I agree with what you say about our spiritual needs overcoming any
barriers in our way, including those of awkward language.

I'd see the hunger as part of a series of stages in approaching the
Path. First is a "divine discontent", an uneasieness about life,
that works its way up in intensity to being like the desire for air
of someone whose head is held under water. The second stage is like
a "fire" is lit within. There's a spiritual dynamic now at work in
our lives and no matter what society, tribe, policical party, or
religious group we belong to -- we're basically "saved". That is,
the inner process that will one day lead to our perfection has
been started and there is no turning back. The third stage would
be where our experiences become something too much to keep to
ourselves. They sour for the lack of sharing. Now we go from
having found an inner light to becoming a *source* of light. We
find that *seekingness* has been replaced with *expressiveness*.
Now our joy of discovery has been replaced with a joy of giving
tangible expression in the world of unseen wisdom and beauty.

-- Eldon

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