Re: Karma and the Victorian Mind
Sep 24, 1997 10:01 AM
by Bart Lidofsky
A. Safron wrote:
> As far as I can see, the Victorianism still is a apart of TSA. It certainly is
> in the acceptance of CWL and other writers, who are out of tune with
> the times. People are give books that seem to be from 1890 and asked
> to study them. The TSA has had a hard task in updating this material, if it
> ever can.
What is needed in the TSA is the encouragement of discrimination. I
have caused waves by recommending looking into the literature of the
major skeptics' organizations (SKEPTIC magazine is far superior to THE
SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, btw), and seeing how they separate the wheat from
the chaff (and also, how they frequently throw away what might be wheat
because they refuse to look at it carefully). Also, literature is one of
the places where postmodernist thought has demonstrable validity. When
one reads Leadbeater, Besant, and even Blavatsky (here, btw, is one
place where Paul Johnson's book becomes quite useful), one needs to know
about their language, their attitudes, their prejudices, etc., and that
gives the reader the ability to read beyond the problems that creep in,
and look at what the writer is REALLY trying to say, and evaluate THAT.
For example, I am preparing a public talk on AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER.
Largely (probably) because of Besant's influence, this otherwise
wonderful little book is marred to the modern reader by the high level
of devotional language (the devotional ray being out of favor these
days), which gets in the way of those readers who find such an attitude
to be sickening (OK, I'm showing MY prejudices here!). But, by removing
the language, there is an excellent summary of how to live one's life
based on the knowledge towards which we are striving (there is, however,
some resistance for my working title for the talk: DO-IT-YOURSELF
ENLIGHTENMENT WITH ONLY 40 CENTS WORTH OF EQUIPMENT).
> What really gets me, is when the TS keeps yelling it has nothing to do with
> the "New Age", as if this sanitizes them from the crazies of today. What
> about the crazies of yesterday that were quite evident in TS?
The problem with the "New Age", at least as currently practiced has to
do with what happened largely in the 60's. There was a growing interest
in esotericism among the youth, combined with a growing interest in
Communism. Communism, however, had a postmodernist view towards reality
itself; the belief was that because it is impossible to look at reality
with 100% objectivity, then all views of reality are equally subjective.
This simplified into a belief that the ego is all, and that belief
became combined with the New Age beliefs to make the New Age movement
highly egocentric. THAT is why the TS (and just about any group that has
reached any level of advancement in their esoteric studies) tries to
distance itself from it.
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