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to Thoa re what should we teach

May 21, 1997 01:02 PM
by liesel f. deutsch

Hi, Thoa,

Sorry I'm taking so long to answer. During the last few days, several
doctor's appointments took up most of my spare time.

I think this discussion is really an interesting one, and I thought a lot
about what you wrote. What you write about how to teach the various age
groups is really valuable. It sounds like you've had a lot of experience.

Don't know whether you read John Algeo's "Theosophical Views of War &
Pacifism". I did, and it caused me to discover an entirely different slant
of what Theosophy tries to teach. I hadn't thought of it in just that way,
but I think he's right. Theosophy doesn't solve problems for you, doesn't
give you pat answers, - there is no dogma - but rather tries to give you the
wherewithall to solve a problem you might stumble across, so that you are
able to resolve it according to your circumstances at the time.

He says it a lot more gracefully and to the point than I can. "... Theosophy
does not tell us what the answers should be, perharps because there are no
universally valid answers or perhaps because it is necessary that we arrive
at our own answers.  Theosophy holds that nothing is good or evil in itself,
but is so only because it is in or out of place,  harmmonious or
disharmonious with its surroundings and with the flow of life. Harmony and
disharmony are not things, but relationships. Answers can only apply to
specific situations, and we have the responsiblity and the opportunity of
finding the answers for each situation we are in. 'When you come to a fork
in the road, take it!'"

That gives further stimulus to the idea we both had of having hands on
workshops. I'll go back to the karma problem I suggested talking about.
John's message means to me that it's much more subtle and sophistcated than
just coming up with "well, this is what you should do, and period." We
should say something like "that and that is the problem". But well, now its
causes might be a or b or a and b in combination, and the person having the
problem might be heading for c or for d. and then you would consider all
probablilities and possibilities, and various participants would come up
with various ways of handling it. There would be lots of interaction, I'd
hope, and people being tolerant of the diverse solutions of others, and
having fun imagining all the different possibilities, and outcomes.

You say that Theosophy is supposed to replace the superstition,
emotionalism, and factionalism of religions. That's a wonderful objective, I
find. I think if we went along the lines John Algeos describes that'd help.
Religion is the opiate of the masses. I see it around me every day. People
behave just so, and are kept in place because their religion tells them to
"be good". I agree that factionlism should have no place in Theosophy. We
should create a feeling of human beings bonding, and our actions should
follow those feelings. I think a rapprochement is slowly coming about, very
slowly. We had a conference in New York City once, all of us together, about
10, 15 years ago, and it was quite nice. Things were going on here and
there, I think, but what I know is that the major factions again combined
their activities for the Parliament of Religions, several years go. (I saw a
video of some of this, it was quite good) Sometimes I think that the
internet is also a way of reducing the barriers, but that isn't always so.
Every once in a while, a group of people on the internet pounces down on one
of the theosopohical leaders or the other, those belonging to a different
faction than they do. I think that's disgusting. I also think that we ought
to practice what we preach a little better, as you say.

I wonder about the internet as a first time experience for somebody. It's
sometimes hard to follow, and sometimes there's misinformation. We started
up once putting on lessons for beginners, but it petered out very quickly.
Somebody has to take a lot of time, or else have a scanner, to put some of
our literature on the internet, and then be ready to answer questions.

I like the idea you've worked out for a week-end intensive experience. I
like the idea of combining such things as nature walk or drumming etc . with
discussion groups, and then a service activity. It's a very nicely diverse mix.

I hope Wheaton picks up on your idea of having someone available to reply to
gripes. That would, I think, often clear the air. They sometimes read what's
on theos-l. Like this time John Algeo (again) writes, in response to
people's complaint, that he spends too much money traveling, that he always
pays his own way and Adele's. I wish they'd answer some of the other money
matter questions we've asked them.

About everyone chipping in a little, it never seems to work that way. There
are always a few who do the work, and the rest watch.

Let's start with the comedy course.


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