Oct 31 2000 HIGHER AND LOWER MIND
Oct 31, 2000 05:25 PM
by Dallas Tenbroeck
Oct 31 2000
Let me try and answer with notes below.
My health is not steady and my left hand is still semi-paralyzed
but I am able to give brief answers
D. T. B.
From: Peter Bernin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 8:36 AM
To: W. Dallas TenBroeck
Subject: Theosophical questions
I hope everything is fine with you now and that you have more
time to write letters now...all the best to you
I write mainly to you for two reasons...
First have you heard anything from Careen about her trip here...I
asked her specifically to rapport to you...has she done that?
SHE HAS HOT ANSWERED TO ME, OR I WOULD HAVE SENT IT ON. YOU
WRITE HER AND REMIND HER.
A friend writes
1)....we had our SD-study this afternoon, mainly with regard to
what actually reincarnates, a topic that received some attention
at our Lodge....we are pretty sure that it is actually the
Manasic aspect of the moon-monads that reincarnates as opposed to
the popular belief among some that it is the Ego that
reincarnates - which is true in so far that the Ego's presence
within the personality constitutes our selfconscious awareness,
the l am l - but we will not experience the actual incarnation of
the Manasa-Putra until we have reached the 5th Round (if all goes
well!). We keep an open mind as always.
Read HPB's statements in KEY. The MONAD is the IMMORTAL -- it
NEVER DIES. The PERSONALITY consists of the SKANDHAS of our past
decisions which accumulate every life-time. Reincarnation, as
popularly described covers all the many aspects of our Individual
Monad (Atma-Buddhi) in its continuing efforts to adjust, life
after life, day after day the problems we created by immoral
choices and through selfishness and vice in our past. It is we
who are the POTENT CHOOSER (Manas) which has to grasp and force
the Lower elements (Lower Manas, Kama, Prana, Astral and Physical
skandhas) back into a devoted harmony with the DIVINE Monad
within each of us.
[ The word "Manasa-Putra" means the son of Mind -- it is the
incarnated mind, the Lower-Manas (or Manas enveloped in the folds
of delusion created by Kama (THE GREAT ILLUSION). The VOICE OF
THE SILENCE ought to be able to give much help in understanding
this. It deserves to be studied and mediated on, with a view to
securing the meanings there. [ "The (lower) Mind is the great
slayer of the Real (the Buddhi-Manas on this plane). Let the
Disciple (whose Buddhi-Manas is awakened) slay the slayer." The
"Disciple" is us. We through Theosophy become aware of the
unsolved problems that surround us, and now actually (as
skandhas) form a vital part of our "vehicles".]
Our problem is we have devoted so much time to the PERSONALITY
(Kama-Manas) that we have allowed it to RULE while we are/were in
incarnation. It has become strong -- and like a devilishly
inclined entity, it serves as a "DWELLER on the THRESHOLD." If
allowed to become firmly established in our lower consciousness,
it is that which denies easy access by our embodied consciousness
to penetrate at will to the Divine CONSCIOUSNESS of the Monad
(Atma-Buddhi-Manas) -- or what we would call BUDDHI-MANAS (the
If you read the speculations of modern psychology you will be
confused. Make sure that you read and grasp in NOTES ON THE
BHAGAVAD GITA what is written between pp. 98 to 100 on the ONE
CONSCIOUSNESS. That ONE CONSCIOUSNESS is always present even at
the time of greatest confusion, or deepest fear. It is the
MONAD, it is the "Disciple."
It is the LOWER MIND that forms a filter, or a distorted lens to
the ONE CONSCIOUSNESS when it attempts to operate on this plane.
For this reason the occultists call this Earth "HELL" -- it is
the region of vicious selfish and destructive thinking, moved by
the false concept of isolation and selfishness that comes only
from the inability of the LOWER MIND to perceive that at death it
CEASES TO BE (as an organized entity), and only the pure
efflorescence of the virtuous impulses and thoughts of this life
pass on to Devachan. All the rest is dispersed to the elements
and forms the Skandhas.
HPB says this plainly in the KEY in dealing with the after-death
consciousness of a "Materialist." We, almost all of us are such
"materialists" at present. A few dimly perceive that there is
something superior, better and stable, because it is based on the
PURE SPIRIT (that is Universal) only. Theosophy tries to arouse
this perception in us and prove the logic and the examples that
support such logic, so we through meditation may proceed to
develop a CERTAINTY in its propositions.
These Skandhas (which are really developing, incipient Monads
themselves) are NOT lost or destroyed, but, are merely scattered
at the time of physical death; and then, at the karmic time of
rebirth, the ONE CONSCIOUSNESS again attempts to heal by drawing
those disfigured and distorted elements of living matter
(Skandhas) together again, so as to help them to purify
themselves, IT HAS TO BE DONE VOLUNTARILY, BY GREAT MORAL and
If you review the teachings of the priests in Christianity, you
will what harm is done to people from an early age in concealing
this truth from them, so that they do not realise that here in
our Earth, RIGID JUSTICE RULES everything. KARMA cannot be bent,
nor can our evil choices ever be totally concealed, or the
consequences thereof avoided. The problem that priests in any
religion create is the false idea that by prayer, penitence,
regret, (and paying them fees) our FALSE and FAULTY actions of
the past can be mitigated, erased, avoided. This is entirely
false and so it is that they hold out a totally unprovable hope
that "God will forgive and forget."
What about the victims? Who helps and redresses their pain and
suffering? In Justice, we are forced by KARMA to do this and
also heal the causes interior to us in our own vehicles that
allow us to do vicious things.
It takes a very strong moral nature to agree to the verities that
Theosophy exposes to us. Many like Theosophy, feel attracted to
it, even know it is true, but the fact is that they fear
discipline and when they know they cannot escape, they seek by
going elsewhere (not inside themselves) for some kind of solace
2) ....our second problem concerns the idea whether the second
fundamental [UNIVERSAL LAW -- KARMA] applies really to the whole
of the unmanifested Universe (notwithstanding the "Universe in
toto" definition by HPB!). There are other passages within the
theosophical doctrines that tend to go the other way, i.e. that
there is no such thing as a longest cycle but an incessant coming
and going eternally.
I would like to be shown any such statements of indefiniteness by
HPB. In studying her writings one really has to take the WHOLE
PHILOSOPHY into account. It is important to realise that
Theosophy is not invented nor is a creed set up to please some
sages or scientists.
It is a statement of facts in Nature. It is a record of all the
events of the past (by accessing the Akasic Records) It is also
experimental to the extent that each of its many students have to
prove to themselves and within their own CONSCIOUSNESS the
accuracy and veracity of those statements. So there is an
inter-relatedness and a consecutiveness to be found in
Theosophy -- a coherence and a cohesion which no other system
presents in such fullness.
But this is not given free to us to believe in. No! We have to
search, study and work, and then prove it to ourselves. Most
fall away from that effort, or go only part way. And as a result
they remain unsure, uncertain as to whether Theosophy sets out to
"fool" them as other faiths, beliefs and religions have done in
the past. So many want to have the results guaranteed to them,
without them having to do the work of guaranteeing those to
themselves by proving and testing them.
FOR PEOPLE WHO THINK A YEAR OR A CENTURY IS A L O N G TIME,
they look for the comfort of limitations. But think for a
moment: When was the first moment? What is the CAUSE ? Behind
the LOGOS is the proto-Logos -- the glimmering of ideas and
thoughts to be framed according to time and law. And before that
there is a blank as we cannot with our finite minds perceive
anything -- it is in fact unlimited, it is the ABSOLUTE
ABSOLUTENESS. IT IS.
Our finite minds (Kama-Manas) limit themselves in terms of both
past and future. This has to be dropped. It is of course futile
to get to any one finite CAUSELESS CAUSE, because, by definition,
this can never be discovered. Once we realise this, the question
of an infinity in time, either past or future, becomes
irrelevant. It does up no useful or practical good to spend time
in trying to define the indefinable.
Deep thought will lead you to perceive that there are only 3
things in our material Universe that cannot be eliminated from
any concept. These are (for me):
1. I EXIST - as a center of consciousness and I cannot trace
either beginning or ending to my CONSCIOUSNESS. I AM. You may
eliminate everything else, but I AM THERE.
2. THE UNIVERSE EXISTS -- in all its complexity around me. It
cannot be eliminated, IT IS THERE, in al its many parts and
entities, in terms of the past, present, and potential future --
and I AM ALSO THERE. This leads logically to the 3rd statement:
3. THERE IS AN ON-GOING RELATIONSHIP between ME and this
UNIVERSE. It is inter-active, and follows definite LAWS. Those
laws cannot be neither bent or broken, even if we do not know
them thoroughly. The relationships extend in all directions,
from the most tenuous of thought-concepts to the grossest tools
and instruments that I can use to shape matter.
Now please consider what I say only as the result of my old
study -- it is entirely my own view. See if you find that
Theosophy also agrees with that.
Please let me have your reaction.
Well I would like to hear your comments and thoughts on these
topics...as I do not understand the concept "moon monad" for
example and much more in the letter...which, by the
way,....sounds to me that basic theosophy is lacking...what do
you make of it?
The term MOON-MONAD might be only a term used to indicate the
time (we -- Monads, as individuals and as a race) spent in
distant times in incarnation when the "Moon" was a living and
That was an earlier evolutionary period and the only evidence of
it is our dead planetary "moon" -- a kind of physical residue.
That time spent in evolving there, HPB says, was in developing
some of the mental and emotional tools needed in working in
matter and which we might call the lower aspects of our personal
consciousness (they may have been psychic, astral, lower-manasic,
etc...). So today that which we call our "Moon" is only the
corpse of our earlier habitat -- when as Monads we lived and
worked on it. It is very ancient. Take for example what HPB
teaches (SD Vol I 180 - 250) (The whole of SD Vol. 2), also, in
the INDEX look up what is offered on MONAD and the MOON.
We are today concerned with the opportunity of development that
our Earth, and our current incarnation, presents: We now have
under current development the identification of MANAS (thinking),
as separate and different from "FEELING (passion and desire)."
It is important to realise that we are neither the mind nor the
feeling nature. They are tools that are subordinate to our ONE
CONSCIOUSNESS. We perceive through them, and in turn they
reflect or alter what is perceived depending on the old impresses
that we have already placed in and on them (the Skandhas). If we
are able to maintain our integrity (AS THE ONE CONSCIOUSNESS) and
keep their influence separate, our perception becomes much
clearer. If we identify with them, then our perception is
colored by their impurities. The real problem for all disciples
is to learn how to maintain INTEGRITY, and become an OBSERVER,
instead of a slave-participant.
They two are entirely different. For one, you and I already know
(and others are beginning to also see it): the FEELINGS alone
cannot anticipate the results of their actions. You see this is
taken as true in the pure SCIENCE of psychology all the time and
in jurisprudence, the concept universally accepted is that man
has to "CONTROL HIMSELF, and his FEELINGS, PASSIONS,
EMOTIONS," -- How does he do this? [ We are confronted by some
schools of Psychology which teach that we ought not to resist our
emotions, nor control them. How far can such an attitude be a
true one? Why does the practical world reject such a view?
Is it not with the MIND and with the power of THOUGHT -- that is
superior to the realm of emotion and feeling? Are we not able to
anticipate the FUTURE in terms of experiences (memories and
analogies) of the PAST? (Anticipation and memory are both
aspects of our Mind-faculty and not resident or dependent on the
So this is why in these days we find that THOUGHT (Mind) and
FEELING (Kama) work so intimately together. It is a troublesome
and most difficult situation to be in, but an essential one, if
we are to learn how to control these tools and grow out of a
false perception of our condition -- in which we allow the
feelings, emotions and passions to guide and rule our lives. But
apparently we have to learn that it is the ONE CONSCIOUSNESS
which controls the Mind, just as we say: "The Higher-Manas
controls the Lower-Manas." (Or it ought to.) So the warriors (or
foes) are in our own Mind. They are that which is wise and
universal vs. that which is isolationist and selfish. You will
find that Krishna teaches this secret to Arjuna in the BHAGAVAD
GITA as you go through it carefully. The HIGHER SELF (Monad -
Atma-Buddhi) is KRISHNA and He is seated in "the heart of all
beings." No exception, from the Atom to the Universe the
ABSOLUTE includes them all and gives them the freedom to grow and
to know each other fully. Have we understood this?
But look around you. One fact is inescapably clear: The whole
Universe, AND EVERY LIVING BEING IN IT, from ATOM to GALAXY, is
CO-OPERATIVE. Each offers the rest, those qualities that are
purely their own development, and it is those gifts that enable
others, and in fact the whole collection of living beings, to
proceed, to grow and to become self-consciously wise in the great
LAWS we call universal and individual KARMA.
When you eat food, or breathe you take in innumerable living
beings (dust, microbes, germs, etc...), and in turn, those give
up their independence to become a part of your physical life
nature and being and become impressed with your thoughts and
feelings while they are a part of you. We might say that the
transformation "kills" them, or that they achieve a wider
knowledge through the experiences we impress on them while they
are resident with us. In any case this is a matter of Karma, of
duty and of responsibility. For a time we become their "Father."
We are wiser, more experienced, and this we share with them, for
good or evil.
This is the era of MORAL development, and we are able to learn
the depths and importance of our motives through a deeper
perception of the EFFECTS of our choices. This seems to be the
mission of Theosophy for this period of its re-presentation.
We do however have a basis from which to evaluate Theosophy, its
psychological, ethical, and scientific impact on our world in the
space of the past 100 years, and especially in terms of time.
Theosophical literature has served to draw together into a
relatively few pages the essential, the "root" and
"foundational," the "key" records of the past:
1. PSYCHOLOGY, abnormal events (astral, elementals, elementaries,
etc...) The mysterious power of the human desire and will, which
some individuals exhibit.
2. HISTORY: Of ancient Races prior to the "flood" -- It traces
the coming and going of great invasions and movements of people,
some impelled by cataclysms of floods and volcanism, or other
causes. But all under KARMA, (Individual and collective).
3. RELIGION. It has shown that every ancient religion or
philosophy and also the esoteric mysteries and creeds belong (in
spite of change of language and nomenclature) to a single system
which derives from METAPHYSICAL beginnings and the pathways of
evolution of MIND, FEELING, VITALITY, ASTRAL and PHYSICAL FORMS
are all interdependent. Man is in one way a three-fold being:
SPIRIT, MIND, and PHYSICAL BODY. In their inter-action these
three give rise to all the many phenomena of human life and
4. SCIENCE: It has shown that the FACTS of SCIENCE are to be
trusted, [ BUT NOT THEIR SPECULATIVE THEORIES OR HYPOTHESES,
because those are found to be changed as time passes and fresh
evidence emerges]. In this regard Theosophy holds that the whole
Universe is pervaded by immortal beings (gods, monads, atoms,
molecules, "little-lives," angels, "skandhas." etc...) who
together, under immutable and never-changing laws work to produce
all the phenomena we see, sense and study. Every Human being is
a living single CONSCIOUSNESS, and it is immortal and cannot be
Consider in history that our MONADS (Egos) in an earlier
incarnation might have used bodies which in history we call the
Romans, or the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Franks,
Teutons, Goths, Vandals, Barbarians, Tatars, Kazaks, Persians,
Hindus, Egyptians, Incas, Aztecs, Polynesians, Tibetans, Chinese,
5. MORAL RESPONSIBILITY and a knowledge of universally active
Karma is part of our present development.
6. IMMORTAL and "MORTAL" We are able now to perceive the unitary
and persistent aspect of SPIRITUAL existence vs. the composite
one of many lower aspects of selfishness that are joined together
by karma to form our "vehicles" or "sheaths." We chose them, we
designed them, and now we are dependent on them for our existence
in this aspect of the "lower living." It is part of our
RESPONSIBILITY and DUTY to set these things into harmony again.
7. SPIRITUAL SELF -- as the ABSOLUTENESS which is everywhere, and
which we cannot escape. This will be the most useful concept to
hold in mind as a principle which cannot be neglected when we
make our future decisions. Once this touches the Lower Mind it
begins to improve. Thus we begin to make a "Heaven" out of our
present "Hell." One of our problems is that we fancy this
hellish situation we live in to be a heaven -- or at least we try
to make it so, by elbowing others out of the area we desire to
call our own territory. Selfish? Isolationist? Of what value
to others and to the world is such an attitude?
We have to learn to see the difference between the ONE
CONSCIOUSNESS that is the IMMORTAL (timeless) ROOT of each one of
us (the EGO - ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS) and the various Personalities
(which live for a brief time in the personalities of tribes and
races known to history) and, to which give today ethnic
derivations in terms of ancient names known to history of a
period from 1,000 to 10,000 years ago.
I hope this is of help.
Do let me know if there is anything you would like opened up
further so that I may try to do that. Most of the answers lie in
a correct assignment of meaning to the terms used. We have to
master the meanings of the 7 Principles and what their function
actually is. Both OCEAN and KEY are helpful in this.
D T B
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