RE: theos-l digest: November 10, 1998
Nov 11, 1998 08:42 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Nov. 11th 1998
As I see it the difference between my approach to Theosophy and
that of Kym is that I have many years of familiarity with
theosophical texts and use the wording and expressions that I
have learned to trust after much testing and thought.
As I surmise from what Kym posts there seems to be very little
familiarity with Theosophical texts and expressions. In this I
may be wrong, but when I have attempted to convey ideas that to
me are valid I have been met with contumely - which is hardly
constructive. Imagine trying to discuss Goethe, Plato or Kant or
the Bible without using the written material as a common base.
Theosophy has certain texts that are useful for all of us to be
familiar with if we are going to discuss it. Whatever we may
feel about this or that, or someone, is irrelevant.
If we can set differences aside we develop a more impersonal
approach - one which could be described as more "universal and
inclusive." As far as I am concerned, I am looking for truth and
suppose that others who discuss are also in search of that. And
truth has no barriers or definition other than its universality
and impersonality. Does this mean that "emotion" and "feelings"
are to be abandoned ? No - we all enjoy various mixes of these,
but in my esteem they need to be understood, and the mixes in
other people need to be understood also.
It is important that there should be goodwill on both sides.
Without that everything degenerates into a shouting match, which
might be emotionally relieving, physically draining and an entire
waste of time in the long run, because no concession or
compromise is sought.
If, for instance we were discussing mathematics or some aspect of
physics, we would start out from the common basis of arithmetic
or what science teaches on the selected subject - and the rest,
however complex, follows in "logical" sequence.
If we discuss "philosophy" [ or the "philosophy of Theosophy" ]
we find ourselves in a bog, usually. That is because there seem
at present to be no clear-cut basis to start from and everyone
begins with some propositions in common, and others which are
hand-me-downs from religious training, tradition, our own
so-far-developed concepts, or hear-say. When I engage in
answering or writing I am trying to get at some common "norms."
A basis from which we can both work, and understand. Is this a
useless expectation ? I believe that it is largely our own
so-far-developed concepts that are abraded by others, and we rise
to defend those cherished concepts and ideas.
If there is ever to be dialog of a constructive type then there
has to be a readiness to share ideas. To share ideas there has
to be a common base and a willingness to consider propositions
that are similar in thinking or talking or writing about similar
If I recommend books (or offer sources to be checked) it is to
short-cut long explanations and to give my interlocutor an
opportunity of reading what I have read, and which seems to me to
be valuable, and asking in effect: "Does that help ?." No more.
It is very probable that even if those references are used we may
see things differently.
I try to not allow myself to characterize another - seeing that I
consider as important the fact that at our essential base we are
indeed all of us ONE. Only superficially do we appear to be
"different." And even those "differences" can be characterized
within a uniform framework of basic qualities and capacities
relating to consciousness, intelligence and emotion.
It is quite true that I favor the rational approach as it
organizes (to me) any attempt at exchange. It is not controversy
that I am interested in. That gets no one anywhere. As to one's
particular set of emotions, I favor the concept of control and
management. I rule them. They do not rule "me" - and there is a
constant internal war in this regard, of course, as everyone who
has tried to deal with their own "nature" knows. I hold that
the "mind" is superior to the "emotional nature" which is also "m
ine." And I have noticed that emotions usually have no concept
of the future and the damage which they can cause when allowed an
exaggerated lead and control. Only the mental faculty provides
them with a glimpse into the future and therefore a consideration
of potential results. Without the mind they are illusions and
And that's about all I can think of saying on this subject
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