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Dec 14, 1999 05:30 AM
by Bart Lidofsky

ambain wrote:
> The logic of the classical theosophical argument as summarized in your
> post is that after a great many sequential lives on earth (acceptng
> linear time as a fact) everyone "evolves" and becomes a "better person."
> The human race has been around long enough now for us to take a
> reasonably objective look at this idea, and it doesn't figure.  In the
> main, human beings are much the same as they have ever been; only the
> technology has changed.  From the Israelite invasion of Canaan through
> the various genocides in history such as the holocaust, and more
> recently the Kosovars, the Kurds, and now the Chechens, human brutality
> is, if anything, worse.

	Except that the situation among the Kosovars, the Kurds, etc. are
currently exceptions rather than the rule, and what used to be the rule
makes the rest look tame by comparison. What has changed is our attitude
of what is acceptable, and, with the technology you mention, a greater
awareness of when something unacceptable is happening.

> And note - all this brutality, wherever it occurs, derives for the most
> part - if not all - from "religion" or "religious principles."  The TS
> motto, "There is no religion higher than Truth" doesn't really mean
> anything if we examine it seriously, for no one can define "Truth" as
> any kind of absolute.  One up for Pontius Pilate.

	But we can get closer and closer to the Truth. Tony Lysy showed a
wonderful quote from Isaac Asimov. I don't have it handy, but it says
essentially that a student went up to Asimov, and said that the people
who said the world was flat were wrong, and the people who said the
earth was a sphere were wrong, and, in the future, people will find out
that we were wrong, too. Asimov replied something on the close order of,
"Those who thought the world was flat were indeed wrong, as were those
who thought the world to be a sphere. But if you think those who thought
the world to be a sphere were as wrong as those who thought the world to
be flat, you are wronger than either of them."

> Theosophy regularly tells people, "Theosophy is not a religion."  Then
> it goes on to say, "Theosophy IS religion."

	The key question there is, "What is religion?" I have, in the past, and
over-simplistically, defined science as the study of how things work,
philosophy as the study of how things should work, and religion as the
study of why things work. Within that point of view, it could be stated
that individual religions are applied theosophy, and the various TS's
are attempting to discover theosophy.

> TS societies should maybe issue a health warning.  Let us hope, and in
> extremis, pray, that the conversion of the world to theosophy *as taught
> by the TS organisations* never comes about.

	The Maha Chohan's (sp?) letter says something similar.

> The "karma" would be too
> horrible to behold.  "Esoteric Sections" in touch with "Masters" would
> be de facto dictatorships, and to question the words of the "Master"
> would be regarded not just as a heresy, but as insanity.

	Many people in my Lodge avoid the term "Master". Numerous mistakes on
their part can be shown, and even if they can be explained, they are
still mistakes (such as their ridiculous analysis of potential energy,
which clearly shows that they were given an incorrect definition of
potential energy).

> sent to psychiatric institutions "for the sake of their health."  Or
> sent to labour camps in inhospitable parts of the world, there to work
> out their "bad karma."

	That is essentially the major fear; that the TS becomes a religion.
According to the primary literature, of course, there is no good karma
or bad karma. And it is not yet time for "One World". And, of course, we
must always be mindful of the line between "doctrine" and "dogma".

	Bart Lidofsky

	Bart Lidofsky

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