I have woken with thoughts of the Hamilton TS meeting social and spiritual dynamics of Sunday night. From my diary:
Pragmatism vs class-consciousness: Covert lingering attitudes from 19th century in 21st century NZ Theosophy.
Attitude 1 exposed yet covertly expressed in regarding a spirit come present: “If you are not from a higher class (level) I won't bother with you!!
Attitude 2 expressed in traditional TS literature: “Bless me with your presence O Thou Saviour!!”
Consequence and reaction: “Where have all the Spirits gone?!!”
^The covert class consciousness expressed in prior decades and over much of the prior century is partly responsible for the rejection from Theosophy of the category of interaction with the spiritual domain normally describable as contact with spirit. It has come to our attention that the opportunity now exists to address this poorly recognised issue as a contributing factor, not the only one but one of several, that has 'dried out', if one may use that phrase, theosophy as experienced within its lower ranks in particular and led to the paucity of contemporary spiritual communication.
Theosophy was promulgated within the higher social classes. Within those higher social classes there was inevitable class consciousness. The rejection of individuals based on class was therefore unconsciously applied to interaction with spiritual identity. This trend led to a reduction of spiritual contact. The manifestation of spiritual contact by many ordinary people not of the higher class, therefore contributed to the perception by many ordinary people who might otherwise have been well-informed by the quality of information contained within Theosophy as a direct consequence of its transfer from the realm of spiritual existence into human and social existence, thereby leading to a perception that ordinary persons could not or even should not manifest their spiritual capacities to their limits.
This unfortunate separation of in many cases daily experiences by some gifted practitioners, and the impolite rejection of opportunity that that comprised, is significantly responsible for both the contemporary lack of ordinary contact with ordinary spiritual identity by ordinary NZers. This comprises a contamination of Theosophical thinking by class consciousness. If it is to be addressed so that the ordinary person who has some contact with those brought to them for their capacity to interact and attend to and ameliorate such distress as may be present within the spiritual identity, can only be responded to politely by acceptance. If that acceptance is genuine and if the test and challenge of loving goodwill implicit in the contact is honoured correctly, then many individuals will become able to be welcomed to NZ Theosophy in a way not evident for 50 years.
This is a test of humanity of practitioners by practitioners. In this sense, the spiritual practitioners who seek the support of those in body to attend to, generously and graciously and lovingly, to the needs of those in spirit who are brought present with them.
The capacity of an individual who has spiritual sensitivity is attended to by those in spirit who seek such individuals in order to provide opportunity for the expression of love of those sensed, who happen to be disembodied. Where there is a rejection of those in spirit brought present, based on preconceptions and class attitudes, then that unwelcoming is responded to and a more receptive person is chosen to work with.
The subtle cues of class consciousness are known everywhere in human society. Class consciousness itself is a phenomenon of the human animal. It is not a parameter of life in spirit.
The pragmatics of willingness to work with the sensitivity that one has, lovingly receptive to all levels of input whereby one may meet and greet and tenderly enquire as to how one may serve those brought present in spirit, contains implicit polite recognition of an unknown other. This is in significant contrast to the attitude just mentioned, whereby in the typical human manner, the class of individual is assessed and the reaction given is based on that class assessment, ranging from fawning obeisance to savage rejection.
We do not mince words here precisely because the subtlety of class consciousness, yet its stinging reality in spiritual impact, is a factor to be directly addressed in contemporary NZ Theosophy.
And so we take this moment to identify these lingering attitudes in supposedly classless NZ culture. Egalitarianism is a product of reaction against the kind of class consciousness carried to this country from far distant cultures and predominantly now distant in time. It is never appropriate to bring that set of attitudes to the work of respectful cooperation between equals, which is the condition of embodied spirit interacting with disembodied spirit.
This contamination of spiritual work by class consciousness is one of the primary factors responsible for the reduction in significance of spiritual attendances to Theosophical meetings. At this time of opportunity, fresh opportunity conditioned by the reduction of popularity of Theosophy to an all-time low point, a nadir of the organisation's existence, that we seek to engage again on new terms. To the extent that this understanding is successfully communicated throughout members of the organisation, this fresh initiative will comprise a new beginning whereby Theosophy can once again function as spiritual receptor.
The arrogance of intellect has preceded far enough to have snuffed out the candle of light and love and the organisation has nearly died as a consequence. Who will light it again?
Peter Calvert - AgapeSchoolinz