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An idea or oops

Feb 20, 1998 11:23 AM
by Thoa Tran

Hi Pam,

You've been attending TS meetings for a year!  Well, then, you have more
fortitude than I have.  We attended one meeting in San Francisco, and I
felt like I was back in the Victorian era.  This is not to do a disservice
to the people.  The people at the meeting were very nice.  I try to not
judge people by their age, but I did notice that there is only one other
young person at the meeting.

The meeting was supposed to be about relation to the X-Files.  I thought,
hey, a fail-safe and fun topic for a first meeting!  But, nooooo.  What I
had a problem with was the rigid quality of the meeting.  A bell was rung
to start the meeting, one person read passages from various books (nothing
related to the X-Files), we had a discussion, a bell was rung to start
meditation, and then a bell was rung to stop the meditation.  I felt like
Pavlov's dog, having to respond to bells.  And who can meditate during that
time frame?  The meeting was so rigid, no proper words could come naturally
out of my mouth.  I couldn't even ask, "Uh, what about the X-Files?"
Lastly, someone ought to have sent in Gianni Versace to do the decor!  With
the environment and pictures of 19th century people, I was expecting an
organ mysteriously playing in the corner.  I did like their Buddha room,
and the tons of theosophical books in their library.

I agree with you regarding the weird contrast of the lodge and the
metropolitan environment.  San Francisco is a place of coffee houses and
the birthplace of the Beatniks.  We hang out with trendy artists and
designers, some who are also musicians.  We are easy with our speech and
attitude.  I can make crass jokes, and others will just flow with it.

Some of the attitudes I've seen, that I don't like, on the theosophical
lists are those of the generation of the stern parent:  shame, shame, do as
I say and not as I do, children should be seen and not heard, and
institutional dogmatism.

I have a good idea why most theosophists seem white and older.  The
attitude is rigid Victorian.  People with a lively cultural heritage, e.g.
African-Americans, Hispanics, would not be interested in such an
environment.  Maya Angelou would do a massive house redecorating if she was
President of a lodge.  I already mentioned several reasons why the young
would not be interested.

If it wasn't for my interest in theosophy and my appreciation of the fine
minds of theosophists, I would have disassociate myself from t/Theosophy a
long time ago.

As always, have fun, Pam!

Thoa :o)

>I enjoyed your perspective on this issue and I think many of your comments
>are right on target.  I've only been a member of TS for a year.  My
>physical world contact with TS has been through the Wheaton group and
>frankly, if it wasn't for other TS contacts via this email list, I'd be
>dropping my membership at next renewal.  My experience of TS via Wheaton is
>that of a stagnant organization stuck in the 19th century.  I've attended a
>number of events there where I'm amoung the youngest participant --I'm 41.
>Most events are geared to older participants who are content with the
>passive lecturer-audience style of communication.  Most attendees are
>white, over 60, or generally lacking any broad-based grounding in occult,
>metaphysics, or cross-religious study. All this from a group that is
>centrally located
>in the high-tech Silicon Prairie of the Chicago metropolitan community --an
>area rich in cross-cultural diversity and sprouting many Hindu and Buddhist
>I hesitated to respond before because I've only been a member a short time.
> Also, there's been a fair amont of flaming lately and I don't like
>providing energy to such embers.  From conversations on this list I've
>become aware that there are active TS groups that are running rivers and
>not stagnant ponds.  This list has helped me see a broader view of TS than
>the local center provides and I am thankful for that.  Granted I usually
>just read,  but take it as a compliment --some of you are just so clever
>and eloquent
>-- THEOSOPHY WORLD -- Theosophical Talk --
>Letters to the Editors, and discussion of theosophical ideas and
>teachings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message consisting of
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