[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Theos-World Nirvana and appropriation

Mar 16, 1999 10:49 AM
by Richtay

In a message dated 3/16/99 3:00:08 PM, Peter wrote:

<<Would it be 'better' to say that we need to merge this faculty of

'SELF-awareness' (Manas united to Atma-Buddhi) into Nirvana?  And that this

is what we need to achieve as a "universal brotherhood" in this Manvatara?>>

One certainly might say that.  I have suggested it is misleading and damaging
to the philosophy to do so.  Nirvana has become a casual term in the West,
relating to happiness, a rock band, etc. etc.  Once again, a grant term (not
unlike "spirit" and other lofty symbols) has been dragged down, ever so
slightly, with each passing generation.

Nirvana is not something one "merges into" because it is already there.  When
one is swimming, one doesn't *then* prepare to merge into the water.  The
Absolute is not approached, encompassed, touched, visited, etc. etc.  This is
the meaning of the concept "Absolute," it bears *no* relationship to the
finite except that IT IS.

Rather than try to raise some lower, transient vehicle up to the level of the
Absolute, which is utterly impossible even in thought, we should try to see
through the lower vehicles to the transcendent Absolute which is ALREADY

Another reason why Theosophists need to study Buddhism, even briefly, is
because we borrow terms from Buddhism like "Nirvana," misuse them, and then
defend that misuse as if the terms were our own.  The same thing has happened
with devachan, kama-loka, karma, fohat, chohan, etc.  Theosophists appear to
believe that HPB made up, or invented, or appropriated these words for her own
use.  If so, they why are they consistently terms of Mahayana Buddhism?  And
why does she use them accurately, when one traces them back to original
Buddhist sources?

If we learn what the original meaning of the terms were, I promise that *EVERY
TIME* we will then go back to HPB's text and understand it better.


-- THEOSOPHY WORLD -- Theosophical Talk --

Letters to the Editor, and discussion of theosophical ideas and
teachings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message consisting of
"subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application