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RE: Theos-World Responses to Peter

Mar 19, 1999 04:50 AM
by Peter Merriott

Dear Jerry,

I have inserted my comments below, between your replies.

with regards,


Jerry writes:
> Perhaps "helps" dissolve would be better phrasology?
> What I really meant to say is that our personal karma
> can be consumed in a single lifetime, and that in order
> to do this one must first forgive others and then oneself.
> Obviously forgiveness alone is not enough.

Thanks, I now have a clearer understanding of what you were saying.

> >>With  regards to single lifetime enlightenment.  ...Given HPB's and
> the Masters' concern for the suffering of humanity, would they not have
> spent at least some time encouraging us to eliminate our Karma and
> become 'enlightened' in this single lifetime if that were possible?>>
> It is not probable for 99.9% of us. My point is simply that
> it is possible.

Indeed Jerry, as HPB says in the qoute I offered you  - it is a possibility
as a rare exception.  But what those exceptions are we have yet to discover.

> I keep hearing Theosophists talk about
> 7 more lifetimes, and countless lifetimes, and so on,
> and I know that this attitude is self-defeating, and that
> therefore a rebirth would be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Perhaps one reason you keep hearing about countless lifetimes is because HPB
and the Masters mention it throughout all of their teachings.  This long
term view of spiritual, mental and physical evolution, along with the
doctrine of Cycles, is the Second and Third Fundamental Propositions of the
Secret Doctrine.   Take another look in the Secret Doctrine where HPB, KH &
M give a very definite outline of the magnificent scope of evolution over
millions of years, root races, rounds and so on.  Theosophy teaches that we
have only just passed the midway point in this 4th Round.  All this involves
many, many, lifetimes - behind us and ahead of us.

Do you therefore believe that HPB and her Teachers had a "self defeating"

> and I know that this attitude is self-defeating, and that
> therefore a rebirth would be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Are you also really saying that we continue to be reborn just because we
think we will?   How would that account for the majority of people in the
world, in their hundred of millions, who do not believe in rebirth?  Where
is the self-fulfilling prophecy there?

> I am actually not championing escape from birth-death.
> I rather see the goal as rebirth with full conscious
> awareness and memory. But this can only come about
> when the Wheel of Life is able to be broken because
> of eliminating personal karma.

Is it possible that there is much much more to "liberation" than eliminating
personal Karma?  What does that last phrase mean?  As we 'know', Karma is an
impersonal Law. With regards to humanity, there is Individual and Collective
Karma.  It is the reincarnating Ego, not the personality,  that is held
accountable for the actions of the different personalities in each life.  It
also has to take collective responsibility for the Karma generated by the
group, the Nation, into which it incarnates.  If it is reborn, even with
full conscious awareness, will it not continue to generate either 'good' or
'bad' Karma?  Will it not continue to share resposibility for the collective

> >>The single lifetime approach may be the view of some religions, and we
> are each entitled to whatever views we hold.  But as far as I can see it
> is not the view of Theosophy.>>

> It is the view of Great Perfection, which HPB claimed to
> know and respect. There is nothing at all in her teachings
> that would suggest it is not possible.

HPB and her Teachers respected the esoteric truths of many Religions but
clearly did not endorse every view that each one held.  What HPB and the
Masters *did* believe and taught can be found in their own Teachings, for
all to see. (see above)

> Another point that I keep trying to make
> is that maybe this life IS our 7th.
> How do we know that it is not?

Jerry, if we have to ask, we don't know.  This idea reminds me of certain
well known people in the early days of the TS (after HPB died) who needed
other people to tell them what spiritual stage they had reached.  I'll avoid
real names, but the following is the kind of thing these people reported
about themselves.  Gill wakes up after a nights sleep to be told by someone
else that she (Gill) had taken her 3rd, 4th or even 5th Initiation while she
was asleep.  Gill has no memory of this, of course, but still acccepts the
relevent degree of Arhat / Bodhisattva bestowed upon her.  Some even ended
up with higher degrees than the Masters which they professed to be pupils!

If we want to get some small idea of what it means to "enter the stream" and
have seven more remaining incarantions, then we can look in the Collected
Writings where HPB offers a small ideas as to what it means to be a Chela
and a Mahatma.  Or look in the Mahatma Letters where KH and M speak of what
it means to be an Adept.  Aside from developing the moral character, it
requires an intense level of training and development of the spiritual
principles over a number of incarnations, and through a series of 'trials'.
Even KH, who when acting as an adept is infallible, says he is not yet a
'full Adept'.  Do you think HPB, KH or M would not know if they were on
their 'seventh life' - even if this whole notion was valid and not an
esoteric blind?

> Theosophists seem to ignore
> the TRY and DARE commands of occultism on this one.

This is a sweeping generalisation based on assumption.  Who are we to assume
what occult commands other people choose to live their lives by.  For as HPB

"The motto of the true Occultist [is]: To know, to dare, and to KEEP
SILENT."  (Her emphasis.)

> <<...if we take into account what HPB and the Masters had to say about
> Chelas, then this 'beginning stage' alone seems lifetimes away for the
> vast majority of us.>>
> This is an understandable, yet self-defeating attitude.
> With this attitude, we will never even TRY.

Come now, Jerry, this repeated attribution of negative attitudes to other
theosophists in this group adds nothing to the validity to your arguments,
nor does it lessen the validity of views different to your own.   If my
memory serves me right, is it not you who maintains that when people ascribe
negative attitudes to others in this group they are projecting?

> >>Theosophy would say that what is gained in this life for that
> individual is the result of many, many, lifetimes of effort. >>
> I would say that eveyone on this list has already had
> millions of lifetimes or they wouldn't be interested in this
> stuff.

Possibly, but that has little to do with the example I was offering. Nor
does it account for those other people with "millions of lifetimes" who
aren't interested "in this stuff", as you put it.  To repeat: a great soul
who appears to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime, may 'appear' to have
achieved it in one life only, but Theosophy would state that it is actually
the result of many lives *of spiritual effort*.

> >> Even then that individual consciousness is not entirely 'free' of
> Karma.  What is the Karma for one who enters Nirvana and leaves the rest
> of Humanity to suffer?  >>
> The goal here is liberation, not entering nirvana, which
> is another thing altogether. Our goal is the bodhisattva.
> Our goal is to come back with full memory intact, for
> the purpose of helping others lessen their karmic burdens.

That's a very noble and worthy aspiration.   What I was hoping to
communicate was that we are never 'free' of Karma, even if we enter Nirvana.



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