Re: "Spiritual culture" answering some inquiries
Oct 02, 1998 04:27 PM
by Dallas TenBroeck
Oct 2nd 1998
Thanks for your comments.
I believe that "crossing the Abyss" has a special meaning for
some students. But I have not met it as an expression in the
writings of HPB. The abyss needs definition.
Do you mean perhaps the passage from
1. the realm of forms and personality - of selfishness and the
desire for personal gains during this one life we are familiar
2. the realm of impersonality, idealism, virtue, generosity,
assistance, universality and permanence, etc ?
The only way that I can see this is by using the Theosophical
division of the
7-fold Man in 7-fold Nature.
1. The immortal, monadic and "higher" Nature is said to be a
triune UNITY consisting of : ATMA, BUDDHI, MANAS (or
SPIRIT-Wisdom-Mind conjoined) and is often spoken of as the
Note, however that Atma-Buddhi is said to be the Monad in
manifestation [ SD II 24 ]. The Monad is technically only ATMA,
and it is not correct to say "your Atma," or "my Atma" since Atma
is universal. The term "the HIGHER SELF" has been used by HPB
("Transactions," pp. 66-76) and by Mr. Judge to indicate the
conjoint nature of the Monad in each human being. It is said to
be the "parent" of the embodied mind, which for us is "Ahankara"
the sense of "I-ness" and of separateness.
HPB uses the concept of "rays" emanating from the ONE PARAMATMA
to convey the fact that in manifestation each least particle of
"matter" has a resident "ray" of the ONE SPIRIT in, behind and
around it. I admit that this is a statement that is difficult to
understand, as it is metaphysical. [ see SD I 570-573 ] Out of
manifestation it is the ever unknown, boundless, infinite, the
ABSOLUTE [ SD I 58-9 347 480 613 II 42-3 239 353 545 ]
As I said in my posting, yesterday, HPB also states that the
Monad (Atma-Buddhi) is not non-essed or annihilated by its
reabsorption into the ONE ALL at the end of a period of
manifestation when Pralaya or Nirvana set in. The Law of Karmic
continuity demands that all the effort already made by individual
Monads in their working through the many "personalities" be
retained, and that when the new manifestation begins the
awakening of all the beings necessary to the continuation of
evolution be done in a systematic way. HPB explains this in
detail [ see SD I 152 to 205 ] and elsewhere as in the several
numbered points beginning SD I 272 onwards to p. 300.
2. The evanescent, "lower" personality [ in which we all live
now] is said to be
4-fold and consists of 1. the Kama (desire and passions), 2.
Jiva (or life-principle everywhere in Nature and often referred
as "the breath of Life", 3. the Astral Body (electro-magnetic
pattern body upon which all the atoms, molecules, cells and other
structures of the Physical body (4th) are arranged in the order
that Karma designs for them.
If you look at the entire process of evolution, it is the
evolution of self-consciousness out of Intelligence that is
general and untutored. From the very outset of a new
evolutionary period HPB sketches for us the successive stages of
the gradual immaterialization that occurs - from the outskirts of
tenuous "spiritualized" matter down to our gross stage in which
We see then that in the "beginning" (or rather the reawakening
of the Kosmos out of its Pralayic 'sleep') the 'monadic
essence,' unformed and chaotic, differentiation has, each
particle of it, the assignment of a core (or Monad) of
intelligent Spirit-Wisdom to assist in its self-development. It
is there that each Monad newly constituted, begins its long and
This is most carefully explained in SD II 167 - see also SD II
79-80. 93-4, 103, 241, 246; and I 207-210, 288fn.
This HIGHER SELF - an already perfected Monad oversees but does
not interfere, ever, in the free choice of the developing Monad
under its tutelage. We are all in such a situation. But I also
agree that it is difficult to understand this. Puzzling in fact.
Why are we discontented ? Why do we not know more ? What should
we be doing ? Are we "giving up our freedom" by putting our
personalities under some restraints ? If so, what restraints are
reasonable to adopt ?
What about the "pretender with a Messianic complex ?" How is
that to be answered ? I would say that if we can conceive of
such a concept or suggestion we ought to first determine what
"we" are. Next what do "Messiahs" do ? Is that state or
responsibility repugnant ? If so, why ? Do we doubt that we
could achieve that if we set our will to it ? If so why ?
I ask these questions sincerely because I think if we sit down
and answer them honestly to ourselves we will get to know a lot
about our own talents and disabilities. But we have to be both
sincere and honest in such a self-analysis.
I think it is easy to fool ourselves and to shy away from
disciplines that we at present think are restrictive to the
"freedoms" that we like so much.
It would be interesting however to take a look at a theoretical
person who either does or does not adopt the answers that we may
derive from such an analysis.
And that will also tell us a lot about ourselves. Do we dare ?
What is it that we fear, if we fear at all ?
You mention the Buddha's 8-fold Path - is open to all who TRY.
The VOICE OF THE SILENCE is full of valuable challenges and
injunctions that make us realize that we can achieve if we
persist and dare. What is it in us that is the Hero ? And what
in us is the sybarite that revels in luxury and careless
disregard of other's trials and woes - which he or she could heal
These are some of the ideas that your questions have evoked.
Perhaps they help to express my reasons more clearly - at least
> From: Mark Kusek
> Sent: Thursday, October 01, 1998 5:02 PM
> Subject: Re: "Spiritual culture" answering some inquiries
Jerry & Dallas wrote:
> >All selfishness must be eliminated from the lower nature
> >[personal mind] before its divine state of contemplation and
> >impartiality can be reached. So long as the smallest selfish
> >personal desire - even for spiritual attainment for one's own
> >sake -- remains, so long will the desired result elude and be
> >put off.
> This sounds like the requirements for Crossing the Abyss.
I submit further that it simply can't be done. Selfishness is the
defining characteristic of the personal nature. To be conscious
personal vehicles necessitates experiencing the mayavic illusion
separate individuality, the human experience of emotion, passion,
thought and identification as "one (multiple) among many".
that and the personal individual is no more than a pretender with
messiah complex. Buddha taught that "Right Desire" was part of
Eightfold Path and that desire for enlightenment was just such a
Desire." It's a double bind. If you try to be spiritual for the
others, but don't include yourself, you are subtly proud. If on
other hand you try to be spiritual for "All Mankind's benefit,"
imagine that to exclude your own self, you're delusional.
The true union is something else.
> >The process of evolution up to a conscious and voluntary
> >with the Divine [ in understanding and thought - which does
> >erase the individual in any way ] includes a successive
> >from rank to rank of power and usefulness.
> Why do you think that the individual is not erased in any way?
> What about the dew drop sinking into the sea? What about
> Buddhist anatma? I think our individuality is purely mayavic.
The "spiritual" union that preserves individuality happens at the
of the Causal Body. The higher initiations eventuate in the
of the Causal vehicle.
Well it is a good idea to see how this is defined. On p. 74 of
the THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY, HPB defines it as, in part :
"This "body" which is no body either subjective or objective, but
BUDDHI, the Spiritual Soul...is the direct cause of Sushupti
condition leading to the Turya state, the highest state of
Samadhi. It is called KARANOPADHI [ see SD I 157, KEY 121-2,
136 ] "the basis of the Cause," by the Taraka Raj Yogis...Buddhi
alone could not be called a "Causal Body," but becomes so in
conjunction with Manas, the incarnating Entity or EGO." T. Glos,
I do not see, logically, how "higher initiations ( Of what kind,
where ? ) would cause the dissolution of the "Causal body." If
anything they would tend to spiritualize and reinforce it in the
scheme that HPB describes.
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