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Theosophy Without the Masters

Apr 19, 1998 11:10 AM
by Richard Ihle

All the foregoing is "in my opinion," of course--which, when one thinks of it,
is fairly sure to be regarded as second- or third-class knowledge in the
present Theosophical (organizational) world. First-class knowledge for many
individuals is only that which comes from a Master--a "real" Master,
naturally, and this, alas, is usually defined as someone other than oneself. .
. .

My view of the reason why it is so difficult for some to conceive that any
theosophy is possible without Masters leading the way is pretty harsh: not
enough time spent in meditation, or at least not enough meditational time
spent in getting personally acquainted with the "I Am" which remains when ego-
formations at the animating, physical, desire-feeling, desire-mental, and
Spirit-mental levels fall away. The first requisite for any legitimate
theosophy at all, at least it seems to me, is to experience this very real
"meta-psychological" phenomena. "First Contact" is not something difficult;
it does not take years. The difficult part is perfecting the ability to hold
on to what one has found in oneself--in particular, keeping Self-aware in
evermore subtle psychological ("semi-Self," egoic) environments.

So anyway, first one must have an inkling of a higher, more permanent Identity
residing behind all the ever-changing, ego-deluded states of consciousness
that one experiences every day. Second, One just starts watching "the-many-

It probably does not take a Master at the wonder-working level to make some
simple observations like this: I wake up in the morning. I begin life anew.
I find myself with certain attributes, inclinations, and general
circumstances. Some of my general circumstances are either improved or
worsened because of what I have done the day before, or the days before that.
Many of these results can be traced back to the indulgence or non-indulgence
of my special set of inclination-spawned desires. I have learned some lessons
but not others. Hopefully, today I am a little better in terms of awareness
and the ability to protect myself. I set out on another day. Things happen.
I react. I initiate. I get some consequences, but not all. By the end of
the day I have become completely embrangled. I go to sleep. I wake up in the
morning. I begin life anew.

Is this theosophy? Well, perhaps not yet. Theosophy usually comes into being
after ANALOGIZING takes place. KARMA AND REINCARNATION: would it really take
an "ascended Master" to turn the preceding micro daily observations into a
grand, ultra-elaborate philosophical system which explained everything macro?
I don't think so. Waking up each new day: "reincarnating." Remaining
tendencies etc. brought over from the previous day: "Samskaras." Etc. etc.
(If I had the space and inclination, I would also show how the doctrines of
Rounds and Root-Races can be analogized from definite psychomaturational

And what should be another individual's posture regarding such "macro-
knowledge" arrived at in this analogical way? Believe? Not believe? Well,
maybe that's where theosophy begins. A theosophist, in my opinion, is someone
who generally takes the same approach as Bjorn: "The only way I can evaluate
a 'Teaching,' messenger etc. is by vibration."

"Vibration," Direct Perception, Seeing, Mystical Apprehension--these things
all refer to what I call THEOSOPHICAL EPISTEMOLOGY. One is either compelled
or not compelled. Theosophy, in its non-sectarian form, is simply a way of
going after knowledge not (yet) available in any other way: no OUTSIDE,
"first-class" Master really needed. . . .


Richard Ihle

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