"My way or else..."
Jul 10, 1998 00:35 AM
by Mark Kusek
This is Thoa. Maybe this was designed to torture my active Leo nature,
but I still receive the Theos-talk digests, even after I was told I was
logged off. Since I can't respond to it via my e-mail, it was like
being tied to a chair, witnessing awful stuff, and being unable to do
anything about it. However, my active Leo nature circumvented that.
Your quotes which I did not see coming from anyone else, "My way or
else...," and "you're an evil, uncharitable, heartless hypocrite,"
suggests that is how you feel about the judgment of Alan and his
supporters. Let me reiterate the situation.
This all started on an awful day for Alan. His mentally ill friend's
beloved cat has just died and they had just returned from saying
good-bye to the cat. Also, that day, Alan (forgive me, Alan) just found
out from the doctors that he had Parkinsons' disease, the disease that
killed his father. That on top of the fact that he has osteo-arthritis,
a debilitating disease. How debilitating? Alan could barely move
without enormous pain. On days that he could move (never without pain),
then he feels he is doing good. Through all of his own personal
problems, his first and foremost thought was of his mentally ill friend,
who he has a long connection and loyalty to, and who has stood by Alan
when he was not so mentally ill. His friend is usually a very
sweet-natured guy who is incapable of ulterior motives. His feelings of
frustration and suicide were pure honest feelings, not designed to
manipulate anyone. On that day, they received notification from his
landlord that there is a strong possibility that they will be evicted.
The landlord was not being evil or heartless, but is also in dire
straits himself. His mentally ill friend, already upset at the loss of
his beloved cat, told Alan that he could not stand it any longer, and
might take his own life and someone else's.
Alan, after exhausting possibilities from local help, lastly made a plea
to the list. When he did not get a response, with the exception of a
few friends, he sent a post that resulted from his desperation. He
received private help. But what did he publicly receive on the list?
He received some true sympathy, but he also received arrogant analysis
of his situation, telling him what he should do with his friend Bob. In
effect, basically to toss Bob away, which is unconscionable to him. The
posts basically belittled Alan's assessment of his own situation, and
his need to ask for help. It was to that that I was offended and sent
my general post. I basically stated that Alan needs help, not a bunch
of analysis. I did not say that if you do not want to help, or if you
can't help, that you are evil. My reaction was to the verbal analysis
that clearly was unsympathetic to Alan's plight. Kym responded in like.
Eldon sent in a post insinuating that Alan's supporters were probably
hypocrites, who do not do as they say. On top of that, he tossed salt
on the wound by calling Alan's situation a "drama" and proceeded to
arrogantly tell Alan the various way he could handle his friend "Bob".
Along with that, Paul sent in a post with woes about his own feelings.
To Paul, although I was annoyed at his selfish involvement with his own
feelings when someone else is in deep pain, I responded with as much
kindness as I could because I could sense that he is afraid. To Eldon,
I was rougher because I sensed a lot of arrogance. Who is Eldon to tell
Alan what to do with "Bob"?
The last thing I wanted to do was to turn Alan's plight into a debate.
However, I could not stand by while awful things are posted that
belittled Alan's plight and assessment of his own situation. To let
those posts stand unchallenged is to express my acquiescence.
What I want to say to Paul, Brenda and Eldon is this. Alan is obviously
in deep pain. Can you spare for one moment your need to focus on
yourself or your need for analysis, which when publicly posted only
throws salt to the wound. If you feel offended or put upon, can you at
least, for Alan's sake, give Alan the grace of not publicly putting him
down. Paul, if you did not want to help Alan, why did you have to post
such an awful letter insinuating that Alan is an unemployed freeloader?
Nobody would have known that you did not help. Alan is not going to
post a list of who helped him or not. In my private conversations with
Alan, he only said in general of the possibilities of help. No names or
dollar amounts were said. Yes, your feelings are valid. But I will say
that you are being selfish when you feel you have to post about your
woeful feelings, and how Alan is the cause of them. Again, if you do
not want to help him, can't you even give Alan that grace? Or as Doss
said, if you can't help, then get the hell out of the way!
Some of the responses I privately received for my two posts? One was
from a friend of Paul chastising me for publicly responding to Paul.
His friend did not consider the fact that Paul publicly posted his
comments in the first place! Another response was from Eldon who took
his response privately to me because I was being too "emotional." I did
not respond to Eldon because one, I really have no interest in debating
over Alan's plight, and two, my only interest was to respond to the
public harm and belittlement of Alan's plight. To privately debate with
Eldon does not fit my aim. And please, I'm really tired of theosophists
chastising people for being emotional. Emotion is what makes us respond
and have heart for a situation. It helps to light the fire under me to
take action. Since I figured I did my best in my posts, and nothing
else will move anyone in their particular leanings, I had no further
interest to stay in an atmosphere which is out of touch with reality.
Having said my piece, I'd like to respond to your post.
What is IMO absolutely intolerable is that those who support the
plan present it as the universal duty of everyone on the list to
do so, and demonize anyone who resists this claim. (If one is
"too poor" to contribute one is off the hook, but if one has
money that could be sent, and chooses not to do so for whatever
reason, one becomes the epitome of hypocrisy, lack of compassion,
untheosophical behavior, unbrotherliness, you name it.)
Besides possible insinuation by Alan in his desperation, I don't think
anyone ever said that if you did not want to contribute, then you are a
demon. The only referral to hypocrisy and lack of compassion is to the
verbal treatment of Alan. I already explained my reasons.
Whenever any appeal is made to one's conscience, there are a
number of factors that come into play:
1. Is this a good cause, e.g. will my help do any good? Here,
for example, it is easy to place contributing to disaster relief
Whatever your reasons for helping or not, the only thing I ask is you
get out of the way. There's no need to kick an animal when he's already
injured. Analysis, justification, all frilly words. You either help or
don't, but please get the hell out of the way.
Now, in response to the raising of $130,000 for Alan and Bob to
purchase a house, in order to prevent Bob from doing violence to
himself or others which would occur should he be obliged to move,
I start out with a definite no to #1. I don't believe that the
stated plan will achieve the stated objective in any way that
seems secure. Moreover, I don't think the requisite amount can
You can analyze all you want about what Alan should do. But you're
basically saying that Alan is incapable of assesing his own situation.
This is not helping at all.
reservations. To equate someone who wishes to avoid the kind of
discussions that are now going on about this
particular scheme to solve this particular problem with the
Germans who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust is symptomatic of
what Jung called "inflation."
This is not "inflation." I was only explaining the mechanics of
indifference. Alan's situation and the Holocaust, there is a
difference. However, how do you think the Holocaust became a
Holocaust? Do you think it happened overnight? It started with regular
people going their daily lives, worrying about themselves, not being
aware of what's going on in the government, what's going on in the
world, or what's going on with their neighbors. Then it escalated to
news of some awful doings. The regular guys brush it off, saying it's
isolated, and that they're too worried about their own affairs to
bother, and that it's not as bad as it sounds. Before they know it,
it's grown into something enormous and horrendous, and the regular guys
are now worried about their own asses and justify that it's too big for
them to deal with it. In all instances, from small to large situations,
the human mechanics is still the same. In all of it, justification to
not notice and do anything.
Perceiving this cause to be good,
Thoa perceives opposition or indifference to it as evil, and
then elevates herself and those who share her perspective as "THE
GOOD GUYS" and those who do not become "THE EVIL ONES." Not in
so many words but implicitly.
Oh? Reread those passages. The mechanics are true, are they not? You
don't think that is what happens in society? Why do you think people
like George Soros spent money to set up foundations in order to educate
people to cherish their freedom? If you're not conscious of where you
are and cherish it, you can lose it in the blink of an eye.
Similarly, Alan equates being a
sincere Theosophist with sending him money for this cause, and
regards anyone who can but won't as a hypocrite and bad
I already told you that Alan was yelping in pain. You still cannot find
it in your heart to understand that and forgive him.
Doss identifies supporting this particular plan
with "help" and any questioning or criticism of it as "getting in
the way." I would reply that some of us don't see the house
buying scheme as helpful, and think that orienting Alan to other
approaches *is* helpful and the best way to a positive solution.
You're healthy and not about to be evicted. Can you find the grace to
get out of the way? I'm sure that Alan already thought of other
approaches, but he wants to try it this way. Telling him what he
already knows is not helping anything. Again, you don't have to help,
but I wish you would get out of the way.
That's quite evidently true of Eldon's long and carefully thought
Really! Eldon's post was carefully thought out? Carefully thought out
connected to his compassion or his need for arrogant analysis? All I
saw was the insinuation that Alan's supporters were hypocrites, a
downplaying of Alan's situation as a drama, and an arrogant assumption
that he can tell Alan what to do with "Bob."
Finally, Thoa perceives my reaction to this situation as
symptomatic of an effort to avoid guilt feelings. In fact, it
has inspired very deep guilt feelings, but not about Alan.
And in typical Scorpio fashion, I'm not avoiding them but rather
brooding for days. This has made me think about family, friends,
community, coworkers, all the people to whom I clearly owe support in
the form of time, energy and money. And given the limitations on all
those commodities for almost everyone, most of us can probably
share that kind of guilt feeling that we just don't do enough
for others. It's having that underlying sense of responsibility
and guilt evoked, and then manipulated toward support of a
particular scheme to solve a particular problem-- a scheme that
meets none of the criteria I outline above-- that really disgusts
and angers me about the tactics of Alan's "supporters."
You can try to water down Alan's plight as much as you like by throwing
in your friends, community, and worldly plights. What have they got to
do with Alan's plight? You either help or you don't. That's it.
I do hope and pray for a positive outcome for Alan and Bob.
At this point, doing that would be a whole lot more help than your last
couple awful posts.
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