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Re: "She does rave betimes"

Jul 13, 1997 07:16 AM
by ramadoss

At 03:25 AM 7/13/97 -0400, wrote:
>Well, far be it for me to nit-pick! but, in the recent issue of "Quest" (the
>teeny one), John Algeo addressed a reader who wrote about desiring an
>article which would discuss how the "Heaven's Gate tragedy" could never
>happen in Theosophy.  Algeo answered that the TS has "certain inherent
>protections against the sort of cult behavior. . .associated with groups
>like the Heaven's Gate organization.  Chief among those is the emphasis in
>Theosophy on personal responsibility and freedom from authoritarian
>dictation."  He went on to say:
>     "It is ironic that modern Theosophy is the primary source of talk in
>our time about 'Masters.'  H.P. Blavatsky's teachers were the models for
>practically all contemporary ideas about such persons.  But her teachers
>differed from the ersatz wanna-bes that followed them in two ways.  On the
>one hand, HPB's teachers were flesh and blood human beings, not spirits or
>disembodied spooks.  On the other hand, they did not tell people what to do
>or how to do it.  They made suggestions, but respected the freedom of
>conscience and right of free action of others and declined to take on
>themselves the karma of the choice of others or to deprive others of the
>opportunity to learn by choosing."
>"Ersatz wanna-bes?"  Ersatz means a copy, but of inferior quality.
>Normally, I would hold in high esteem someone who could sling such a subtle,
>but lethal literary arrow.  However, I was perplexed in this case, since in
>the very same magazine John-john wrote that declaring "other belief systems.
>. .worthless, ridiculous, or currupting" is "pernicious."  Hmmmm, does
>John-john read his own writings?

    Thanks for translating "Ersatz wanna-bes?" for many of us non scholarly
unlettered novices.  Wonder why it is so difficult to use simple words to
express simple ideas?

>Also, I was unaware it had been proved that the "Masters" were "flesh and
>blood human beings, not spirits or disembodied spooks" (although K. Paul
>Johnson makes a good case for it).  And, is John-john saying that the
>"ersatz wanna-bes" were NOT human beings, but spirits or disemodied spooks?
>He kinda lost me on this particular comparison.  
>Oh, and just one more little thing - Algeo wrote "they did not tell people
>what to do or how to do it."  Eh?  In the "Mahatma Letters to J. P.
>Sinnett," the "Masters" make it clear that if you don't believe and heed
>them, you just may be, well, rather primitive.  There are many examples of
>the "Masters" being just plain bossy and insulting.  And one "Master" wrote
>(in letter 41) that he would "force her to stop" - this is not, to me,
>necessarily honoring the "right of free action."
>Could such a thing like "Heaven's Gate" occur within a group of
>Theosophists?  I doubt it. . .but never say never.  I just wish Algeo had
>put forth a better case.
     One thing that I noticed in Heaven's Gate is the blind followers of a
charismatic leader. Committing physical suicide is just one simple aspect of
what Heaven's Gate followers did. Blind belief and blind following of a
leader is equally or even more devastating to the person in the long run
(from a multi life perspective) and this can happen in the the future in the
TS if it has not happened before or is not happening now. Just my 2 cents.



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