RE: LETS RECONSIDER some of the information from -- the theosophical movement - the books
Jan 21, 2001 06:02 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2001
Again thanks for the answers May I insert some replies below?
From: Gerald Schueler [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2001 2:23 PM
To: Theosophy Study List
Subject: RE: the theosophical movement - the book
>>I do not hold entirely to the concept that the Mahatmas
need PHYSICAL BODIES in order to exist and work.<<
I agree. Teachers can be embodied or disembodied, and
the latter can be living or deceased.
>>Nor is it possible to attain to Mahatmaship in a single
incarnation. It tales many lives of effort to purify eventually
material side of our nature ...<<
This idea can be found throughout virtually all spiritual
schools that subscribe to reincarnation, else what is
reincarnation all about? However, this teaching is
problematic. It perniciously suggests to us that we
have to wait for some future life, which is self-
defeating. There is no need to wait for a future life
in order to reach some degree of enlightenment. How
do we know how many past lifetimes we have had? How
can we know if this very life is the one in which we
can bloom into a Mahatma? How we answer this question
will suggest how we progress. If we intuitively
belive that enlightenment is possible, then it will
be so for us. If we intuitively believe that we need
more lifetimes, then that will be so for us. Essentially,
we make our own destinies, and we reach whatever
goals that we think we can reach, and no more.
DTB PERFECTLY RIGHT. There must be some final
incarnation in which the threshold is crossed (see VICE p. 78 -
end of Fragment 3) In the meantime each incarnation is a
learning class and an advancing, if we decide to do that, I
>>The accounts of their being able to travel to the ends of the
earth in a
moment, result from an understanding of the laws of Nature
relative to one
of the aspects of the "Astral body" which they mastered when they
Initiates into true occultism and esotericism.>>
Adepts don't master the "astral body" so much as they
take on a subtle body above the astral plane. Tibetan
Bons call it a rainbow body. Tibetan Buddhists call it
the illusory body. Taoists call it a body of light,
HPB called it the mayavirupa, and so on. Its called
astral travel, but the Golden Dawn
calls it "traveling in the spirit vision." It forms
a basic part of magic, and so most Theosophists are
afraid to even talk about it let alone try it.
DTB Whether students of Theosophy are rash enough to
travel (for what reason?) in their "mayavi-rupa" -- if they have
developed one -- is a matter for their own decision -- as it is
for anyone. I imagine that if it is needed, then it is done, but
not for frivolous amusement, surely ? Even experiments in this
kind of travel, to my mind, would require extensive knowledge of
the adjacent planes: astral,-and its 7 component sub-divisions of
planes which relate to the other principles of a human being.
Theosophy says that each principle is 7-fold and ism in each of
those divisions related to the other principles. As I read it
this is the meaning of the 49 "fires" which would be 7 x 7 on a
PLANE surface, and if we look at the human as a "volume/space,
then it is 49 x 7 = 343. But so far I have found no description
of such a multitude.
It must be my speculation that any mode of "magical" practice has
to pass beyond the merely superficial ( a view of the surface
only), which I see to be offered as an approach to the grasp of
possible laws and obstacles to our physical matter bound
consciousness, which being largely material based, has not yet
MASTERED even this (the causal base of) our physical environment.
This, to me opens a view of the potentials which a little
knowledge of other planes begins to give us to consider. It
gives rise (in me) to a careful consideration of the surrounding
volume/space of our environment, and the (generally unknown)
entities that live in those adjacent planes and conditions -- of
which, on the whole very little is given. [ see H.P.B.'s article:
ELEMENTALS Lucifer , Aug. 1893 [ ULT, H.P.B. Articles II 127]
THOUGHTS ON THE ELEMENTALS Lucifer , May 1890 [ ditto p. 164]
ELEMENTARIES MODERN PANARION, p. 146, 152,
I found the information given there to be very valuable. ISIS
UNVEILED also includes far more.
<<If you think of the scientific view of our bodies, as well as
those of all
other beings we know of -- there is constant
exchange of atoms. ...>>
You are describing only the physical body here. The
latest magical teachings suggest that thought effects
the subatomic particles of the body at the quantum
level. In my Enochian Physics, I suggested that this
kind of interaction could explain levitation and other
DTB again you are right. I was NOT confining such
exchanges to the physical body, and in any case the "atoms" that
science speaks of are already beyond, or outside the physical
world. A knowledge of the laws that pertain to those other
"worlds," or "planes" would include may things that physical and
empirical knowledge of the physical world has no explanation for
yet. I think ISIS UNVEILED speaks to this effect as also some of
the sections of the S.D. But neither of them give practical
instruction in "magic." Again, motive comes into play. What is
the purpose of acquiring extraordinary skills? This is of
course, for anyone, to answer to themselves.
<<The Theosophical concept of an electro-magnetic pattern body
"ASTRAL BODY") gives the clue...>>
I rather believe that we have a body with corresponding
senses on each of the seven cosmic planes, and that
consciousness shifts from the one to the other either
consciously or unconsciously. This is one teaching
of CWL that I do find acceptable, because it seems
to explain my own experiences. Purucker also suggests
this. HPB only hints at it. But anything electro-
magnetic will have a rough time on the mental or
spiritual planes and such would be hard to rationally
justify. You seem to be simply making a statement here,
based on your reading of HPB and are offering no
real justification or explanation (which I do not
think is possible insomuch as only something mental
can logically see the mental and only something spiritual
can logically see the spiritual and so on).
DTB I DON'T SEE THE PROBLEM. If one acquires the
ability to practice some aspects of "magic" in the 7 x 7 field of
the principles, one has some knowledge of the universally basic
spiritual purposes and the laws of the Universe, where all Monads
participate in the same opportunities. I do think that the
matter of motive overrides all else, as the problem of right
living here and now with our fellows overpasses any personal
consideration of the powers we may have mastered, and which are
not displayed before the crowd to attract attention, so to say.
Theosophy does state that if one desires to surpass (pierce
through) the veil that KAMA --the plane of passions and desires--
throws as a kind of envelope over the SPIRITUAL and CAUSAL planes
of Nature and ourselves, we have to become master of our desire
nature and impersonalize it. So long as a personal or selfish
desire remains, we cannot penetrate to the spiritual plane where
the "causal" determinants are to be found. To me, if one looks
at the basis of the many kinds of "yogic," and "spiritual"
courses (and books) offered , one is able to detect self-interest
in them -- and that closes the "door" to approach the SPIRITUAL,
impersonal and causal side that we may DESIRE to find. That is
my own view.
In Theosophy a number of cautions have been raised by H.P.B.
right from the beginning, on the matter of making essays in
psychism and trying to deal with its phenomena. Again the
question of motive enters.
When all is said and done each one has to make their own
decisions, and take what precautions they can. We really do not
know very much abut our natures, its capacities, powers, etc...So
why take chances in regard to the laws and powers operating in
planes of great Nature where we have to strain to just secure
Many years ago Bulwer Lytton wrote ZANONI and later A STRANGE
STORY. These novels illustrate some of the problems and dangers
that accompany a DESIRE to penetrate into the occult regions of
KAMA and BUDDHI-MANAS.
>> Science has so far advanced as to say that all matter is not
solid at all
but is essentially in its minutest aspect electro-magnetic. >>
Science claims that matter is 99.99% empty space, and
the rest is energy (called quantum foam). Electrical and
magnetic refer to forces, of which physics recognizes four,
not to matter. The idea that matter is electro-magnetic
is Theosophical, and is not accepted by modern science
that I am aware of.
DTB I can't help what Science thinks. As one who
has dealt with scientific material as an editor for many years, I
can say that the idea is not foreign to those scientists who are
at the growing tip of experiment and discovery. Why do we build
these enormous cyclotrons, bevatrons, accelerators, etc unless
the impact of high speed electro-magnetic components of the
molecules and atoms are not themselves electro-magnetic entities?
It also demonstrates the tremendous power which we are willing to
spend in discovering the most illusive of facts -- and even then
we can only secure random results and interpret them with our
gross instrumental measurements -- which are more guesstimates
than a true view of the facts. Our experiments are largely
DESTRUCTIVE. How do we go about CONSTRUCTING or becoming a
BUILDER in Nature's vast work, of which we see only a thin slice?
<<The Atom is like a very small solar system and the electrons
constantly spin and whirl around the NUCLEUS are like our planets
around our SUN. >>
Dallas, Dallas, where have you been? The comparison
between atoms and solar systems was made by Neils
Bohr many years ago. I was a teenager when this
simplistic model was abandoned. Electrons are energy
fields that completely surround the atomic nucleus in
the form of shells - they are not the tiny particles
that we think they are. Remember the Uncertainty
Principle? All subatomic particles behave as either
particles or as waves depending on how they are
observed/measured. Maybe they partake of both? Maybe
neither? No one really knows, but electrons don't
spin around the nucleus like planets around the sun.
DTB The wave/particle concept is understood by many
but not all have abandoned the "simplistic" idea as those
"shells" within (or forming) the pathways of electron and
sub-electron action, take place, or, are defined as far as we
know (by allegorical substitution in regard to the gross
phenomena of matter we deal with daily) by the electro-magnetic
tensions that make for the ultimate definition we can make with
the instrumentation so far developed, and this also includes all
aspects of electro-magnetic propagation which can be affected by
changes in the magnetic environment. At lease that is how I would
express it, and really, It is not terribly important to use one
kind of expression or another so long as the idea gets across. I
am not trying to write for scientists but for the average person
to understand. I do that whether it is science or Theosophy, I
>>so even "Matter" is to be viewed
at that level as mostly SPACE.<<
Correct. Einstein went so far as to equate matter
with energy. So when I read articles such as that
in a recent Fohat magazine saying that the Masters
taught the permanence and eternity of matter, I
can only shake my head in wonder.
>>Theosophy goes further and asks what holds the ASTRAL BODY
together? It advances the planes of bodily assistance in the
PRANA or vitality which is either life-giving or death-giving.
between those two make us well or ill.>>
Whoa! Perhaps you are talking off the cuff to fast.
What you say here is not only incorrect but kind of
silly (I am sure that it just didn't come out right).
"The planes of bodily assistance" is a new phrase
to me, and I have no idea what you mean. Prana (now
translated as "wind") is an etheric or astral phenomenon
that is used in meditation - especially in kundalini
yoga. Are you saying that prana can be used to assist
the body? If so, where do the "planes" come in? BTW,
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) teaches that there is a
course wind and several subtle winds, and that mind
requires such a wind as its body or vehicle (upaya).
In short, prana serves as subtle bodies. Is this
what you mean here?
DTB Prana, Theosophically and in Sanskrit is
literally :breath" or "wind." In the definition of the 7
principles in Man (see KEY TO THEOSOPHY) it is used to mean the
vitality (JIVA) of the Universe (and it is positive, negative and
neutral). That portion of which is used by every being, and in
"man" it has been called PRANA or breath. The SECRET DOCTRINE
also gives further definitions. To make it easier, the INDEX is
the tool I use in research..
Chinese and Indian medicine use the "meridians" and these are the
links in the "various" bodies which are enlivened by vitality (or
PRANA) As to whether meditation or "Kundalini yoga" have any
direct effect on PRANA/JIVA I could not say, but I would hazard a
logical guess and say they would. Again it all depends on the
operator's motive. His choices and will. Again we are dealing
with the KAMA principle as motive or reason why we do something.
<<Our KARMA the effect or choices we have generated in the past
remote) guides the currents of PRANA as they flow through us. >>
This is karmic unconsciously. However, we can take
conscious control of them in meditation.
DTB I am not clear about understanding this, as in meditation to
me there is an attempt to draw together the information we have
secured and an attempt to harmonize it with data earlier
received. As to constructive use of this information for
self-guidance, again I would say that "motive rules. The
dividing edge is either assistance of Nature or the isolation of
the person who desires to experiment -- and the decision is
always a matter of individual determination..
>> It is either in harmony with the Laws of our World
and Universe or it is disharmonious and creates strife, pain,
first for others and then finally for ourselves.<<
Although this sounds good, since no one knows what
these "laws" are nor how they work, it really doesn't
help much. According to one such "law" the honest
vow to awaken from samsara will bring about the need
to confront and work through all our past karma.
The confrontation with one's karmic burden often means
illness and suffering - so sometimes we suffer even
while in perfect balance with such laws.
DTB Agreed. In general, thought I would say that the
S.D. and Theosophical literature clearly indicate that 1. the
Universe is run under immutable and consistent LAWS, and 2. that
human beings can so raise their consciousness as to embrace (and
be embraced by) that UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS (Mind) which is
responsible for the coordination and cooperation of every plane
and entity in the world/universe -- and therefore of ourselves.
If one tries to say that this is not so, I would observe that the
basis for such an observation is quite limited and not easily
demonstrable to others. But then, each holds to his own
<<KAMA, or passions and desires, have a distinct electro-magnetic
the currents of PRANA and on the Real Human the "I:, or the
is actually a trinity composed of ATMA (A "Ray" of the UNIVERSAL
BUDDHI, (or the accumulated experience of the REAL "I" over
billions of years. This is also called the "Higher Trinity"
(ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS) and is held to be eternal, and immortal. It
the "Eternal Pilgrim.">>
Here you go again with this talk of an eternal pilgrim.
I like to point this out, because it is truly misleading
to newbies who may read it. I know that you are familiar
with HPB's proem, in which we find "'The Eternity of the
Pilgrim' is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence."
HPB fully realized that her "eternal pilgrim" was not
really eternal at all, lasting but a wink of an eye. The
notion of a permanent Self is not only against Buddhist
teaching, but is also against HPB when we read her
DTB I disagree with this as what I find in
Theosophical literature, first defines what ETERNITY and a MONAD
is, along with the concept of the undying and impartite SPIRIT
that encompasses the entire Universe.
The MONAD is said to be an indissoluble linkage of SPIRIT/matter.
The INDIVIDUALITY that is the REAL HUMAN BEING behind the façade
of the physical, astral, Pranic, Kamic, etc.. bodies. There
resides the source of our CONSCIOUSNESS and INTELLIGENCE: the
imperishable ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS. Now if that is difficult to
swallow, what can I say?
As far as I can see and reason, there are very sound bases for
this to be conceived of and used as a basis for philosophical and
logical thought. The alternative, if pushed to an ultimate
conclusion results in What ?
<<The REAL "I" uses the mind and it directs mind-thought>>
This is not much different, really, from the Christian
notion of an eternal soul made by God. I have a very
hard time with this kind of exoteric stuff. I think that
it is an insidious attempt to make Theosophy a religion,
and for that reason alone I like to speak out against it.
DTB It is Esoteric I believe, and certainly not
limited to or generated by church-Christian exotericism which has
very little logic in it, and a lot of hard headed and hard-fisted
dogma behind it as I read it. Might and fear-inspiring
fulminations and directives do not make things RIGHT. But they
may prevent those who are ignorant and passive from INVESTIGATING
and discovering the truth FOR THEMSELVES. There is no logical
reason why a "God" should spend time "making" "souls," is there ?
There is no reason to confine our research and living to one
life, is there? Once one secures a view of continuous learning
in a truly wonderfully supportive world and universe a great
release of tension seems to be generated. From an isolation, one
secures assistance and eventually a completion without any
obliteration of one's SELF-INDIVIDUALITY as a SPIRITUAL and
IMMORTAL BEING -- one with the WHOLE OF NATURE.
No this is not an insidious attempt to make of Theosophy a
religion at all, Theosophy has always existed as a historical
record of research, and constantly invites the deepest probing of
<<It is free-willed and its choices are said to be between
harmonizing with the universal law of KARMA that guides the whole
cooperative we call our Universe and world, or deciding to so
is solely for its own benefit and that is selfish and may cause
I think that you are confusing karma with the need for
compassion. The fact is, we cannot do anything *against*
karma, period. It can't be done. The game of life must
be played out with the rules that we agreed to when
we joined in. To live a selfish life is within the
guidelines of karma, and the karmic consequence of a
spiritual selfish life is the Arhat or pratyekha buddha.
We have free will only up to a point - willing something
that is against the rules of the game of life is
DTB Why consider Life merely a game? I see purposiveness in it,
all around us.
<<I say this because that is the "Path" you will find described
in THE TWO
PATHS, which is the 2nd Fragment in the VOICE OF THE SILENCE. It
Path which the Masters have followed to the end and which brings
You are speaking here of the path of the Mahayana as
opposed to that of the Theravadin (Hinayana is today
considered a perjorative term and not politically
correct). It is not "the" path so much as it is "a"
path. Other valid paths exist (to deny this would smack
of fundamentalism, Dallas).
DTB I am little concerned with the labeling of my trend of
thinking and logic. My reasoning starts with the TOTAL
INTELLIGENCE of the UNIVERSE that periodically manifests in
It produces in its components a corresponding intelligence, vast
and free and able to embrace all it is and offers.
It provides for endless time and space in which each component
may grow in its individual intelligence in a way and method that
includes all methods of self-induced application. The only
restriction is that when its fundamental laws (equally applicable
to all others) are infringed on and the rights, liberties and
development of others are impugned, then it impersonally and
impartially applies the only corrective necessary-- and that is
that the distorted entities (monads of lesser experience) which a
person may have impressed with the atmosphere of his selfishness
and viciousness (anti-law) return, and attaching themselves to
the original offender, color his views of the world, and this
state (induced by him alone) may lead him to either rectify his
earlier error or he/she may decide to increase the problem (and
add to his/her "bad" karma)..This is then the story of all
<<In other words the physical body is not an essential for
existence and living.>>
Maybe so, but Blavatsky did clearly state that her
Mahatmas were living men. She never admitted (that I
recall) having been taught by a nirmanakaya (which is
not the Buddhist interpretation of that term).
DTB Theosophical philosophy in several places indicates that the
task of the Nirmanakayas in the World is to guide and assist all
movements (and individuals) which assist and improve living
conditions in the Earth.
> The Higher Self in all of us, is ATMA -- and as the MONAD or
ATMA-BUDDHI in full power you have a BUDDHA. >>
Is this from HPB? Atma-buddhi is still within our 7-plane
solar system. Atma is on the third plane down and buddhi,
its vehicle, is on the 4th down (the causal plane). Tibetan
Buddhism would never acknowledge that a Buddha is still
within our solar system, but is quite beyond it (i.e.,
in maha-nirvana). A bodhisattva could be such, but only
a low to middling one such as a Superior. In short,
atma-buddhi is not all that spiritual (it would certainly
qualify as an Adept or Mahatma though).
DTB As I see it, this labeling and placing here and there is not
particularly useful in trying by the average individual to
improve themselves spiritually. Theosophy is not aimed at
deciding who is located where, Suffice it to say (I observe)
that all true Sages and Teachers of Humanity, wherever they may
be, and however any system may regard them, or try to "locate"
THEM, exist in the world in either physical or metaphysical
bodies (say, Nirmanakayas) AND LIVE TO BENEFIT MANKIND. Their
motive is SERVICE (In S.D. see S.D. I 207-210)
<<Now the question to ask is: Why are not Buddhas now? >>
What makes you think that they are not right here now?
Would you recognize one if you saw one? I doubt it.
The Teaching is that we are never without qualified
spiritual leaders, persons of great spiritual insight.
The real question to ask is "Why do we not recognize
them now?" For example, there are nirmanakayas waiting
in the subtle realms all around us, teaching us right
now this very second. Do we hear them or do we ignore
them? Sometimes I can hear them, but then I have
learned to listen.
<<How then do we go about and find how a Buddha develops?>>
The development of a Buddha has been nit-pickingly
detailed in the writings of Mahayana and Vajrayana
Buddhism. It is very clear in the works of Tzongkapa
and others, from the writings of Nagarjuna on down.
<<I suggested a study of KARMA as the Laws of the Universe and
and also Virtue. >>
Cultivation of virtue is certainly one of the first
steps and a continuing one throughout the process.
But a "study of KARMA" would be a fruitless exercise
in mental gymnastics because no one knows what karma
really is, or how it really works, or what other
so-called universal laws are. One begins to see karma
and to understand it only as one treads along the path,
and it is difficult to teach to others who already
have their own viewpoints and wish not to be disturbed.
DTB Well I would disagree that KARMA is undefinable.
That is certainly a difficulty, because the whole of the evidence
that I see, points to its continuous, uniform and universal
action -- we could not be here unless we received its support and
continued cooperative support.
However, Dallas, if you would like to post a short
thesis on what you think karma is, for everyone on this
list to take pot shots at, feel free. Maybe we could
slowly reach agreement, but I doubt it (call me a
sceptic). To say that karma is the law of causation
tells us what everyone already knows. So, your thesis
would best jump off from that point.
DTB If you grant to Karma causation and repeated causation, you
have described its action for everyone -- it is the CONTINUATION
of each and every act, and therefore it is the protection of the
smallest as well as the largest of beings in or out of
manifestation. In a way it is one of the ineradicable components
of NATURE (UNIVERSE). It is action (Rajas as one of the gunas)
and the other two are SATTVA (SPIRITUAL EXCELLENCE AND UNITY) and
Tamas (Inertia) which is the tendency to remain in status quo.
If all three are balanced by the EGO WHICH IS SEATED IN THE
HEARTS OF ALL BEINGS. We have progress and wisdom developed in
those "Eternal Pilgrims (the Monads) which compose the whole of
the Universe, including ourselves (all humanity), who have
progressed to the Mind-stage and are therefore able to perceive
these things as IDEAS and metaphysical verities.
>>Please don't confuse what I write on my knowledge of Theosophy
others, I try to stick close to what H.P.B. wrote -- after all
Theosophy to us. She was the messenger of the Lodge of Adepts
and of the
There is nothing wrong with this per se. But because
I too stick close to her writings, we are obviously
making different interpretations at times.
<<As you see, the whole philosophy begins to be needed to grasp
ideas -- it is a further example of how cohesive
Theosophical philosophy is.>>
The problem is, its also subject to exoteric interpretation
which is where I have most of my hickups. I see exotericism
as eventually giving Theosophy a death-blow, and unless
someone instills a spark of living esotericism into
the teachings, the future looks bleak. Shoreline
Theosophy is useful to get newbies into the movement,
but spells death if that is all Theosophists have to
look forward to. If Theosophy is going to insist that
we all *must* reincarnate for countless more eons or
Rounds, then I'm out of here.
DTB As I see it, we cannot get rid of "exotericism." The mind
in its present embodiment in matter is inclined that way. We
have to use the highest aspect of our endeavor -- spiritual ways
of thinking ? -- and try to get ourselves out of the morass of
limited, personal and selfish, "earth-bound" thinking -- I see no
other way. I think the view of Theosophy on this subject is
unique and valuable as a took for us to use.
We constructed our own eventual freedom, and patience with
ourselves is needed. We have created (over how much time ?) the
conditions we are in. Understandably we desire to change. So we
may be faced with what appears to be a long involvement. As I
recall the Buddha said succinctly: "Cease from Evil. Do good.
That is the Way." What an enormous amount of work does this
bring t mind? So the sooner we do it, the better.
As I see it, if Theosophy is merely an account of the history of
such efforts, it has included in it a survey of our past, and
opens to our gaze the fan of opportunities, from which we can
choose for developing, each of us, our own future. I don't think
that Theosophy is going to change one way or the other depending
on our adoption or rejection of what it offers. It does not
desire to secure a following -- how could it? It tries to offer
the facts culled by thousands of observers, participants and
students of Life -- in general -- and their own in particular.
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