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Re: Theos-World RE: theos-l digest: November 14, 1999

Dec 09, 1999 08:30 PM

Exchange between Dallas & Kym on Kant:

Kym said:  "I always viewed the core of Kant as being basically 

Please note Secret Doctrine, (first page of) Section 13 of Part 3, Addenda to 
Volume 1, where HPB says of "the theory of Kant" that "if not in its general 
aspect, at any rate in some of its features, reminds one strongly of certain 
Esoteric Teachings."  (p. 325, vol. 2 of 6-vol. Adyar 1971 edition). But 
here, of course, the authors of the SD were speaking only of Kant's physical 
theories regarding the creation of the solar system & other celestial 

Yet, if I read him right, the aspect of his work you were discussing, his 
epistemology, goes to the very heart of what theosophy is -- and of what it 
cannot be.  What I mean is that he showed in the Critique of Pure Reason that 
the mind is intrinsically incapable of doing what metaphysics demands and 
assumes:  That the mind is ever in a position to TRULY understand how the 
world is put together, and how it all makes sense AS IT IS IN ITSELF.  But 
the mind, according to Kant (and according to HPB and her teachers, if I read 
THEM right) is in absolutely no position to do any such thing.  The mind can 
only play with itself.  According to the septenary constitution of humans, 
the mind is part and parcel of the "lower quaternary" that must be 
transcended.  So anything that comes from the mind, including all its 
theories, concepts, and "understandings" -- its METAPHYSICS -- MUST be 
transcended.  Theories can be helpful only up to a limited extent, if and to 
the point one does not commit the foolishness of believing in their absolute 
efficacy.  Like a raft one uses to get across a ford, they can SOMETIMES be 
useful for the purpose of getting to a certain spot.  But once there, it's 
silly to insist on carrying the raft on one's shoulders.  All metaphysics is 
to be left behind, if there is to be theosophy.  Theosophy consists of the 
act of transformation, or "initiation," as HPB & her teachers called it.  If 
that is not taking place, no amount of theorizing can help in doing the work 
that needs to be done:  That of transcending the wordly world, of which the 
mind, with its theories and metaphysics, is such a central aspect.

In that sense, I humbly submit, the fundamental point made by Kant "reminds 
one strongly" (to put it in the SD's terms) of the essence of theosophy.

With affection to all,


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