RE: [bn-basic] complexity of theosophic "basics"
Jan 25, 2001 05:39 PM
January 25, 2002
If you will look at the Secret Doctrine Vol. I pp 1 to 19 you
will find the BASICS laid out for you:
0 THE ETERNAL INDEFINABLE BACKGROUND -- ABSOLUTENESS
1 SPIRIT or THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IN MANIFESTATION IN ALL DEGREES
Call IT the MANIFESTING LOGOS / VERBUM / WORD.
2 MATTER CONSISTING OF "Monads" WHICH SERVE IN nature to form the
limits or basis of all physical or intermediate constructs --
which lie between the SPIRIT and MATTER (density and illusion).
Call these the indefinable units of SPIRIT/MATTER which are
indestructible and eternal and which are the foundation
building blocks of all things in evolution. We are MONADS
with considerable experience and are endowed with MINDS..
3 MIND -- or INTELLIGENCE or CONSCIOUSNESS -- awareness of SELF
and OTHER SELVES. [ In THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, please read
Chapter IV VII ]
4. KAMA -- Passion, emotion, desire, yearning, etc... a plane of
confusion and illusion -- of constant change -- chaos, but yet,
intelligent. The highest aspect of it may be the INSTINCT of the
animals and it has its presence in Man also where it is allied to
the Mind -- this constitutes KAMA-MANAS or the Lower, or
Embodied brain-mind. We all use this constantly, whenever our
thinking is ruled by desire. [ In the OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY please
read Chapter VI VII ]
5 KARMA -- THE LAW That rules all relationships in NATURE (the
Universe) Its expression is HARMONY, or balance. Its operation
is on all beings, because their independence or free-will allows
them to make mistakes -- when unbridled Kama runs away with
Manas. Karma is both general and individual [ If you have THE
OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, please read Chapter XI, XIV ]
6 EVOLUTION is a continuous pattern of growth in knowledge and
wisdom through experience for ALL BEINGS, from the Lowest Atom
(Monad) to the highest DHYANI BUDDHA. None is exempt from this
pattern, nor from KARMA, nor from the obligation to be of service
to others. [ In the OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, see Chapters II III
IV XV ]
7 The contribution that all must pay to the UNIVERSE of HONEST
PERFECT LAW is to be cooperative. This demands of each of us
generosity and assiduity in study, so that, we may become
individually WISE and HARMLESS. The PERFECTED MAN is illustrated
in the nature and life of great men, such as Jesus, Pythagoras,
Plato, Buddha, Zoroaster, Krishna, Lao Tze, Confucius, Gandhi,
Tsonkhapa, and thousands of great men and women who have lived
and practiced a life that was lived for the service of others.
What would you have more basic than that ?
From: Mauri [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 8:41 PM
Subject: [bn-basic] complexity of theosophic "basics"
[bn-basic] RE: attempting to simplify "permutations of
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 04:57:25 -0800
In Response to:
[bn-basic] attempting to simplify "permutations of self"
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 04:57:24 -0800
DTB WHEN I ASK ABOUT THE real "I" or "WE" I am
asking about the ineffaceable SPIRITUAL SELF -- the
MONAD within, which remains unchanged by all experiences,
or changes, -- that in you and me
which is the basis of our SELFHOOD.
DTB Try saying the ONE, IMMORTAL, PERMANENT
SELF -- THE INDIVIDUALITY, OR IN TERMS OF
THEOSOPHICAL PRINCIPLES it is
ATMA-BUDDHI-HIGHER-MANAS , the
THREE-IN-ONE or the HIGHER SELF (MONAD) which
never ceases to be.
DTB TO SIMPLIFY WE CAN SAY THERE IS ONE
SELF -- ITS FUNCTION IS TO PERCEIVE, OBSERVE,
WITNESS. To this is added the highest aspect of MATTER
(Akasa) the function of which is to RECORD
everything without exception that occurs (computer programs
now do this automatically (and recommend SAVING
frequently) so that any interruption does not turn into a
disaster. So the UNIVERSE HAS ITS SCRIBES (Lipika)
and its record AKASA. It is also called MAHA-BUDDHI
and MULA-PRAKRITI (Root matter). It is the highest
aspect of spiritualized matter. This 2nd principle is also named
BUDDHI (Wisdom) since it is the accumulated record of the
ages -- true history of every benign an
every event as also of thoughts and feelings connected with all
acts The 3rd principle is MANAS (Mind) which is 3-fold and
this is determined by our MOTIVE :
1. Buddhi-Manas --( the Higher Mind )
2. pure Manas as reason and logic with no base motives.
3. Lower Manas ( or Kama-Manas) the Mind when
entangled in desires, passions, vices, etc.. m This is the basis
of the Personality.
DTB MOTIVE is the dividing line between progress to
spiritual purity of existence or remaining chained t the
temporary illusions of material living. These last for a
The spiritual Self (INDIVIDUALITY) is immortal and its
struggles to help the Lower Self to rise to its conditions make
living a torture for it as it is entirely virtuous and feels
selfish or vicious feeling or thought with a very great
IT has been called the "victim" of the Lower Self. H.P.B.
wrote THEVOICE OF THE SILENCE to serve the Lower
Self as inspiration to be compassionate. Do you have a copy?
Your expression of those "basics" seemed helpful. Thanks.
But how does one define "Theosophic basics", anyway?
Having read your post, I wondered if a longer,
more-comprehensive attempt at explaining about Karma,
Atma, Buddhi, Manas, etc., etc., in "basic terms," can be done
without, to some extent, getting involved in complex
inter-related issues of those concepts. It would seem that at
some point "basics" become inadequate.
Thinking of W.Q. Judge's and HPB's commentary about
Karma, for example . . . I wonder if that is the extent of the
sort of thing that anyone can offer in reasonably
understandable "basic terms"--- in that case about the ways in
which Karma functions on its various complex inter-related
levels. I tend to assume that HPB's and WQJ.'s words were
offered as a sort of generalized theosophic starting point, the
particulars to be worked out individually.
Could the more-comprehensive explanations, (such as WQJ
and HPB could have offered on more advanced levels?), tend
to appear somewhat diffuse to less-advanced students? And
aside from individual interpretations of the "basics" and
generalized Theosophic explanations, and aside from the use
of symbols and metaphors, is there such a thing, anywhere, as
a generally available, DIRECTLY-worded,
more-comprehensive explanation about the ways in which
Theosophic/Universal meaning, as it's expressed by
Theosophic terminology, applies on various
INTER-RELATED levels, (aside from Leon's ABC and
Unless I'm wrong, it would seem that Karma, Atma, Buddhi,
Kama, Manas, etc., are MEANINGFULLY inter-related
and, if so, cannot be meaningfully explained about in terms
other than within the specific/pertinent context of that
inter-relationship. My point here being that, while "basic"
Theosophic literature offers overviews of the inter-relatedness
of theosophic concepts in "basic" terms, there would seem to
be an inevitable point in the studies when the "basics" tend to
become somewhat frustratingly simplistic and in need of some
sort of substantiating.
I suspect that, for example, the meaning of "Karma", in terms
of its complex inter-relatedness with numerous other
considerations and theosophic and individual aspects, is
HIGHLY involved. I fail to convincingly begin to
comprehend key theosophic concepts (about Karma, Atma,
Buddhi, Manas, Kama, etc.) if they are time after time
represented, in introductory theosophic literature, as if they
can be applicably reduced to rather simplistic linear logic: as
they can be substantially explained without meaningful
qualifiers as to LEVELS of comprehension (or did I miss
That is, if, for example, an attempt is made to
more-substantially address those levels of comnprehension
along with references to various forms of diffculties involved in
acquiring somewhat more-comprehensive notions about
certain theosophic key concepts . . . OR, IF those perceived
difficulties are addressed, (and which kinds of difficulties are
addressed on "basic levels"?), by a liberal use of symbols . . .
Then, what might such efforts accomplish in "basic" terms and
in "more-advanced" terms? What might be the more-specific
relevance/importance of symbols, for example, in theosophic
explanations, that more-DIRECT wording can't replace, I
wonder? (Seems as if those frequent symbols are the
short-cuts of those who, for whatever reason, have opted out
of direct wording.) Apparently, some anwers might be found
in Isis Unveiled:
A quote from:
[bn-sd] Oral teachings - SD I 272-273
Wed, 24 Jan 2001 04:39:48 -0800 (PST)
Odin Townley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
who posted, in part:
In "Isis Unveiled" HPB refers often to the power and tradition
of orally communicated teachings especially at initiations:
"Close thy mouth, lest thou shouldst speak of this (the
mystery), and thy heart, lest thou shouldst think aloud; and if
thy heart has escaped thee, bring it back to its place, for such
is the object of our alliance" (Sepher Jezireh, Book of
"This is a secret which gives death: close thy mouth lest thou
shouldst reveal to the vulgar; compress thy brain lest
something should escape from it and fall outside"
(Agrouchada-Parikshai). Isis 2, 40
So I suppose symbols and "basics" might be seen in a certain
strategic light---or whatever Occult light some might perceive.
(Being a fairly new student of Theosophy, I can only guess
and read, and guess some more.) Still, what with apparent
"modern" trends toward (as I see it) DIRECT WORDING,
where might be the harm in explaining ABOUT (i.e., at least
"about"), theosophic this and that in modernistic and specific
directly-relevant words? Or, could it be that symbols are a
way of not being too . . . what exactly, aside from the subject
of big secrets?
So while your explanations, Dallas, have helped me get
somewhat straightened out about some theosophic "basics"
(and I admire your talent for expressing yourself so
straightforwardly, instead of getting side-tracked in "diffuse"
tangents, like me), my predominant reaction seems to be that:
NEXT, somebody ought to hurriedly point out (at least
POINT OUT!) that even current REALITY (and surely
Theosophic Reality) is far more involved and complex than
those "basics" might suggest to many of us. Even though most
of us might probably admit to knowing about that complexity,
all along, I can't help thinking that, possibly, there hasn't
enough specific-enough and emphatic-enough comment about
that aspect of Theosophy.
So I wonder what kinds of REALITY-related notions I might
be inclined to assume from "Theosophic basics" that might be
expressed along the lines of, for example, your above
statements, Dallas (especially if those basics aren't expressed
realistically-enough, for my taste, in terms of specific content
as to highly-relevant/complex inter-related CURRENT-real
aspects)? For example, on the subject of evaluating
comparitive relevance-value as to perceived "REALISTIC"
forms of wisdomic thought and activity, I happen to know of
a person who feels that Theosophy doesn't realistically-enough
address real-world issues, that it's mostly just "talk and no
action." I TEND to agree. (As well, I tend to agree, in some
respects, about your recent statement to the effect that
Theosophy is not a Church in search of a flock.) But, then, in
my case, I wonder if my problem is that I try to combine too
many things into one pot . . . or something like that. The
might come out looking . . . too diffuse?
Dallas wrote: "MOTIVE is the dividing line between progress
to spiritual purity of existence or remaining chained to the
temporary illusions of material living."
Which kind of excellent statement tends to arouse my curiosity
about what sort of MOTIVE might produce theosophic
SYMBOLS in favor of more-direct wording.
Aside from forms of over-influencial group trends/influences
having a role in promoting some ready platitudes in response
to the above, I wonder what a more-specific/objective answer
might be. Whatever that answer might be, (and wherever it
may it currently exist), it would seem to me that, sooner or
later, one obviously has to address the matter of how many
and what kinds of ingredients one can handle, in one's pot.
Still, it would seem that theosophic "basics" can be interpreted
in direct proportion to current levels of "basic understanding" .
. . . And my concerns about lack of more-directly worded
more-specific theosophic "basics" about inter-related aspects
could be, for all I really know, rather irrelevant from
Concerns about whether some theosophic basics are too basic
would seem to bring up the subject of individual initiatives as
those can be applied toward more-comprehensive
interpretations of the "basics", leading to more-advanced
something . . . More-advanced "basics"? So, which came
first? The chicken? Or, the egg? And how many
Manvantaras back do we go?
And did anybody mention what the number of the current
Manvantara might be, counting from the . . . beginning?
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