Re:Disdain for personality
Apr 24, 1998 12:47 PM
by Mark Kusek
> K. Paul Johnson wrote:
> Mark's comments about the unfortunate prevalence of an internal
> "holier than thou" split in Theosophical consciousnesses strike
> me as right on the mark. I won't argue that a contemptuous
> attitude toward the "lower personality" can be found in the
> source literature, since I know that it can. But a more nuanced
> approach can also be found, e.g. in the second fragment of the
> Voice of the Silence.
Thanks, K.P. I appreciate your support and agree. It's subtle and IMO,
needs to be acknowledged in the interests of continued health.
> The bottom line, for me, is the evident results of disdain for
> personality. It can manifest as monasticism, actual or virtual,
> a rejection of all pleasures of the flesh, a stern
> otherworldliness. We see this in various ES restrictions that
> are imposed on TS membership when on the grounds of TS
> facilities: no smoking, no drinking, no sharing of rooms by
> unmarried couples, no meat/chicken/fish, etc. We see it in
> language that is violent in tone: references to
> "annihilation" of the personality or to "warfare" between the
> lower and higher principles. ("If thine eye offend thee pluck it
> out" is a prototype of this sentiment.)
> I've definitely "been there, done that" having started my
> theosophical career with a fairly strong commitment to celibacy,
> teetotaling, vegetarianism. And have eventually abandoned those
> things because I concluded that the results were unhealthy-- a
> sense of isolation from the rest of humanity rather than
> engagement, a spiritual elitism that looks down on "average
> people," a reduced effectiveness in connecting with the people
> around me. No regrets at having reverted to all the ES no-nos,
> sex, alcohol, non-veggie diet, etc., since despite or because of
> all that my life is filled with spiritual joy that was not so
> intense or constant when I was mortifying the personality.
Yep.Totally agree. I think what most students miss in their zeal to
abandon material values for "spiritual" ones is a proportional sense of
the actual relationship between the two. We really need to develop an
honest acknowledgement of the necessity to have a healthy personality as
a prerequisite for "the path." We simply cannot safely transfer the
psychological posit of our consciousness to deeper levels if we have a
fucked up persoanl life. If we have some mystical experience that shows
us our true nature as revelation, we still need to balance that with the
dictates of personal life in the body.
Disdain for the personality, or psychic abhorrance towards (any part of)
the "ego" is, IMO, a dangerous proposition, before we have healthfully
integrated the lower bodies into a cohesive inbstrument under the ray of
personality. It's OK to be "human." Let's concentrate on being "good men
and women" before we hastilly abandon this for a desparately desired
transcendant glory. It is disrespectful to the innate wisdom of nature
to criticize her swabhavic pattern. If we can't hack it as men and women
in the world, we are simply not yet ready for anything else. Step
down from your overarching aspirations and first learn the requisite lesson
of the Kingdom of Man and Woman. Spirituality is intended to be the
natural flowering of humanity, not an escape from it, and it shows up in
hmanity as compassion and loving kindness. You don't hold minerals or
plants in the same contempt. The lotus grows, and eventually blooms in
the light, from having it's roots nurtured in dark and naturally
supportive muddy waters. Accept. Fall back into your Humanity. Be
relieved. Mother Nature will surely catch you in her cradling bosom. Be
kind to yourself. Billions of years of evolution have brought you to
this point, not to disdain, but to understand yourself. Love is the key.
> Seems to me that most people who disdain the personality have
> personality disorders that they had better work on, and fix the
> problem rather than trying to "rise above it." There's something
> really creepy-feeling about most of those "above it all" types
> I've met, whether they're Theosophists or Baha'is or whatever.
> It's as if the stronger they deny the personality the more
> evident it is that they are totally in the grips of a personality
> with definite blind spots, complexes, avoidances, etc.
as a leaf.
> I'll conclude by saying that one time when I felt that I was really
> mistreateed by an eminent Theosophist, and complained to him about all the
> ways in which he'd violated my trust and common ethical
> principles, he loftily replied that these matters were all
> "personality issues." Meaning, to me, that those who disdain the
> personality can treat you like merde and deny personal
> responsibility for it, since they are "above the personality"
> and make their decisions based on "higher factors" that allow
> them an ends-justifies-the-means "out" to justify any
> mistreatment of individuals they may commit.
By their fruits you shall know them.
> In People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck defines human evil as the
> pattern of destructive, scapegoating behavior with total denial
> of personal responsibility for one's actions. I've seen a lot
> more such evil among "true believers" in various cults that
> disdain the personality than among average folks who have no such
> inclinations. One of the most valuable and distinctive elements
> of the Cayce readings is how much they emphasize balance and
> integration of physical, mental and spiritual rather than warfare
> and annihilation internally.
The elephant wanders.
this way ...
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