Last night's episode of World Wide Wisdom radio was what we would call edifying (my favorite word here).
All too often we experience disconnects between our studies and how things get put into action. As Peter pointed out, one of the major issues is that of a "customer culture" where everyone demands rights without the corresponding aspect of responsibility and obligation. The phenomenon was known in the Roman Empire as "bread and circuses".
How does a tradition such as ours speak to issues like this? Within each of us is a part of the divine, under whatever name. All of the various efforts to classify our make up into the aspects of physical, astral, spiritual, etc. are all ways of describing our place in the scheme of things. This relationship means that we are part of everything that takes place, and the good or bad that takes place in one place is ours, too...like it or not. If it is ours then we have some obligation as responsible beings, endowed with intelligence and wisdom to do something about the issues at hand.
The major task at hand for us, as theosophers, seekers, whatever label you use is to bring wisdom into living.
Here's to Peter for his excellent work in laying that out so beautifully.
Peter's take on the education, and his conduct of the show in the easy, affable and charming manner is without parallel. To talk about the complex ideas in a simple manner is for me what theosophy should be. Rights and duties are the two sides of the same coin, we all have studied, but hardly ever practice. And, primarily that is the reason for disconnect. I may narrate two personal examples here.
Many years back my elder daughter called child helpline to complain that I would not give her the money to buy the new Harry Potter book due that day. I had tried to reason with her that we could use that money to help a cancer patient or to buy few books for other needy child, but she remained adamant claiming that it was her right to buy the book that day and read it. Eventually I relented because she was nagging her extremely ill mother too much.
Few years later my younger daughter won an essay competition in school on the topic of benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. I was surprised because she would not eat any of these at home and remain addicted to junk food. Upon enquiring she admitted that the teacher teachning this topic herself is addicted to junk food and eats chips and chocolates all the time, in full view of the students. So she thought that the benefits of fruits and vegetables is only for the text books and not real life.
From these two instances, one can seek the source of the disconnect. Primarily it is our own conduct that is responsible. And, therefore we must begin to live whatever we believe in.
Dear Capt. Anand;
I feel compelled to respond. You shared a most special story that has me chuckling in empathy:
"Many years back my elder daughter called child helpline to complain that I would not give her the money to buy the new Harry Potter book..."
This reminds me of a story about Gandhi. It seems a Woman brought her 9 years old daughter to see the great man. When she got in front of him, she asked, "Mr. Gandhi, could you please tell my daughter to stop eating candy that that's it's bad for her."
Gandhi said, "Bring her back next week."
So, the woman brought her daughter back the following week and Gandhi said, " Little girl, stop eating candy, it's bad for you."
"Why didn't you just tell her that last week, Mr. Gandhi?" The woman asked.
"Because a week ago I was still eating candy and it took a week for me to quit." Gandhi answered.
That's not my main point, though. Peter, you're an excellent teacher, well prepared and a top notch grasp of your subject. But, it seems to me that since you're going to start with the Greeks, you're going over pretty well known fare here. This is the standard brand Greek philosophy to be easily had by anyone at their local library or an Intro course on an educational channel. That's all fine and good for a general populace.
I would suggest that the real "meat" of the Greeks, in so far as esoteric wisdom is concerned(and I thought this site was dedicated to the esoteric mysteries West and East) lies in the Eleusian Mysteries. Their influence down through the ages on Western Mystery Schools is far and deep. Much great material here.
And what of neo-platonism? It's influence on the Gnostics and Hermes Trismegistus. And on the Kabballah, both the Jewish and Hermetic strains. Also, great esoteric treasures here, and how it all can be applied today.
Frankly, I don't think Theosophy or any other esoteric schools will not be taught in the forseeable future in public schools, even at the university or college level, except as a historical footnote. The materialist paradigm is too entrenched.
Just a few thoughts I'll throw out for now.
Thank you Peter and Heidi.
The reason I was motivated to post this story was to highlight how much effect the marketing has on the children's mind. A topic which came up during Peter's talk. At that point in time I was quite disappointed that in spite of my efforts to instill some good values, the concepts promoted by TV and other media captured the child's imagination. But as she grew up, the latent good nature manifested. In her school, she created a text to speech software for a visually challenged person who is still using it and has built up his business around it. For the last three years she has been teaching at an orphanage every sunday. I had no role in any of this.