One of the first posts I did for this blog was about how I intend to have a very personal voice on this blog. I will be going against the grain of theosophical tradition by not being impersonal.
I want to devote a few posts to the opposite issue: What kernels of truth are hidden in the admonition to avoid the personal in theosophical or spiritual work?
First of all there’s the danger of pride. I’ve collected a few quotes about this danger from my own website and elsewhere online.
Blavatsky puts it like this in The Voice of the Silence:
Self-gratulation, O Disciple, is like unto a lofty tower, up which a haughty fool has climbed. Thereon he sits in prideful solitude and unperceived by any but himself.
Hold back your mind from pride, for pride comes only from ignorance. The man who does not know thinks that he is great, that he has done this or that great thing; the wise man knows that only God is great, that all good work is done by God alone.
And from an esoteric Christian perspective:
Esoteric Christianity is not exclusive of truth in other cultures and religions. The Truth, (Christ) exists universally within all things. The Life, (Christ) conquers death and dispels the darkness of ignorance, partiality, vanity, and pride. The Way, (Christ) is transformation from a low state of being to what one is in truth.
Last but not least, from the Buddhist tradition (and not on my own website) [*]:
The type of pride that is characterized by a haughty attitude or a feeling of superiority, while devaluing others is the type of pride considered problematic by Buddhism and other religions. This type of pride is really a type of arrogance whereby the person unjustifiably feels they are better than others. From the Buddhist perspective this not only reinforces the wrong view that we are separate and distinct from others, but that we are somehow also superior.
I do risk pride – especially if this blog becomes popular, people keep commenting as actively as they have so far, I get more fellow bloggers to link to me etc. One reason to stay out of the public eye is to avoid pride. Unfortunately I don’t think it works that well. People can have pride in what they accomplish, and think themselves better than others, even if their name isn’t attached to their work. The feedback will still be there. The public stir up will still be there.
So – while I see the danger of pride, I don’t think keeping myself out of the equation is going to help prevent it.
[*] Used to be present at: http://www.rimecenter.org/dharma.cfm?dharmaID=18