RE: theos-l digest: December 29, 1998
Dec 30, 1999 03:01 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Dec 30th 1998
Your thoughtful questions made me review again the basis from
which I philosophize -
What do we see around us most of the time ? To me it seems to be
a mixture of order and chaos.
I see everywhere except in our human relationships pretty much a
great deal of order. I would say that things that are basic like
physics, chemistry, measurement, mathematics, biochemistry,
astronomy, etc... all seem to fun pretty much by laws. Science
which has investigated these extensively seems to affirm this as
fact. But they also take note of many exceptions to the "norms."
And in many cases they try to find out why there are those
When we come to human relations we find on examination confusion.
There are some established norms in psychology, sociology,
government, "the law of the land," etc...
But when we come to individual relations everything becomes
colored by at least two confusing factors: 1) what we "think,"
and 2) what we "feel" about things. Who, or what to trust ?
Where are accuracy, continuity, stability, truth, reliability ?
Various theologies have posited a "god." Evidence as to his/her
powers and office are confusing. His/her existence is challenged
by some thinkers. If there is a "god" then is the rule
benevolent or tyrannical ?
If you ask me as a student of Theosophy, then my view is that the
UNIVERSE is a lawful place.
One of the many aspects of development and progress is what we
call the "human mind."
On what basis is it to be studied ? What relation have hopes and
aspirations to our future - and, do they direct our choices ?
If we can choose, then how, and why ?
If we convince ourselves that we are ephemeral - live only
briefly and for the span of a handful of years, then the
consideration of most efforts leads to futility - as we may never
profit from our exertions.
The "virtues," altruism, compassion, love, affection,
self-sacrifice are considered to be "noble" because they seem to
be examples of impersonal action, choice or life - and are quite
opposed and unusual to our very usual self-centered attitudes and
How is this to be resolved ?
I look at many theologies, many philosophies, many opinions - how
to sift out of these that which is valuable ? What should we
select as a kind of "raft" so as to float on an ocean of
Are we to trust or mistrust our minds and our thinking ? to what
extent should we trust our "feelings" about things ? have we
kept a record of our thoughts and feelings, so as to ascertain
whether they form a continuity, a logic ?
I have found that Theosophy, without being "pushy" tends to ask
this type of questions and offers some conclusions for us to
consider. Are they valid ?
Frankly, a whimsical "God" who may or may not respond to "prayer"
or "praise" sounds like something that is dangerous to consider
as actually wielding power over persons and nations. To me the
concept makes no sense.
The operation of Karma is not invariably punitive. It provides
pleasant surprises as well since it operates all the time and
always in the direction of education and assistance. Sometimes
one does not believe that benevolence is superior to selfish
force and power acquisition. But this difference ought to be one
which we can all agree on, rather than something that is enforced
As I see it, it ought to be clear that the rules of order and
community life are laid out clearly - I do not mean "customary
morality" but, I mean the rules of co-existence which apply all
over the earth, and at all times past as well as present, and on
into the future.
Theosophy endeavors to present concepts regarding the unity of
all life - so that a harmony rather than a complete discord is
I don't know if this says all, but I think it is a beginning.
What do you think ?
> -----Original Message-----
> Subject: RE: theos-l digest: December 17, 1998
> From: "W. Dallas TenBroeck" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 02:26:04 -0800
> X-Message-Number: 2
> Dec 18TH 1998
> Dear Kym:
> Excellent thinking and I enjoyed what you wrote. Only one thing
> I would say is that the "aphorisms on Karma" describe its
> operation as an impersonal Law which works all through the
> If, for instance we know that 2 + 2 = 4 everywhere and at all
> time (barring some mathematicians who try to find reasons why it
> doesn't) then we would not take time out to argue that point and
> we would all use the same idea.
> If one does good out of fear of reprisals, that is one way of
> looking at a reason for good choices. But as you say, it is far
> better to do "good" because one desires to be of assistance to
> others. The motive is quite different, and as I understand it,
> it is the motive that counts for progress.
> Biggest problem, as we both seem to agree is that we don't always
> know what is the best choice to make.
> Such being the case, I think if we impersonalize it, and think of
> what some other person might do if faced with our problem and the
> choices to be made, we might arrive at some ideal way of handling
> the situation. In most cases that takes a lot of courage. As
> 'FEAR OF REPRISALS" seems to lurk around the edges.
> Theosophy Study List Digest for Thursday, December 17, 1998.
> 1. Re: Does KARMA play favorites?
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application