Re: [bn-basic] complexity of theosophic "basics"
Jan 28, 2001 03:07 AM
You take such an awful lot of words to express your thoughts, which are not
only "diffuse" but sometimes so contradictory that one finds it difficult
figuring out how to respond. (Although lately, I notice it's improved
somewhat.:-) But you certainly can ask the right question -- which, in this
case I boil down to; Why can't theosophy be expressed in other terms or other
symbols that can make it's inner complexity more evident to those that do not
wish to search for the answers within themselves by their own "self defined
and self determined efforts"?
Of course, aside from the indictment that you would like to have the inner
teaching handed to you on a silver platter -- actually, in one respect, you
have already answered your question.
The reason that you have to use roundabout, long drawn out, wordy and diffuse
methods to express your own theosophical ideas -- which (with no intent to
denigrate what you are attempting to say) generally results in vague
indecision, inconclusiveness and, sometimes, confusion for the readers -- is
that the English language, with it's paucity of esoteric meaning related to
any of its words (that can only deal in limited, linear, sequential, and
concrete logical mechanical, or architectural terms) will never be able to
fully express the subtle intuitive ideas and that can lead to a true
understanding of theosophy's basic "simplexity" (to use a word coined by a
scientist trying to explain how ultimate simplicity can lead to infinite
Isn't that why HPB had to write the Secret Doctrine using 1500 or more fine
print pages and innumerable foreign words and inflectional tricks (to
indicate words that could be intuitively "seen" with the inner eye as
nonlinear symbols), along with a great deal of redundancy to explain even the
basic fundamentals of theosophy? Or, why she and WQJ had to write thousands
of more pages of articles further explaining those explanations, as well as a
comprehensive glossary clarifying the meanings of the foreign words?
Therefore, what need is there for any more words? Isn't it already obvious
that theosophy's inner, esoteric meaning, which is non-linearly, non locally,
and non-temporally (non-sequentially) multidimensional in nature, can never
be entirely expressed in linear words and sentences? For the purpose of
learning whatever one needs to know intellectually (before one can correlate
that knowledge with what remains to be learned intuitively) I don't think
that anyone could do any better than what HPB and WQJ have already done in
almost infinite detail and multiple repetition\.
So, what's the point in trying to repeat all this in e-mail correspondence
(other than trying to restate particular teachings in our own words in order
to clarify our own minds as well as answer the queries of others)... Since,
any serious student who really want's to know can make the effort by studying
deeply in the SD and other writings of HPB and WQJ in combination with the
meditative practices necessary to awaken one's own direct intuition? On top
of that, there are many advanced students in these forums who can easily
answer (or at least further clarify) any direct questions that any student on
a lower rung of the ladder might have.
Besides, to further answer your questions; It's obvious that in any public
(exoteric) teaching, much has to be left out or inserted in the form of
"blinds"... Since, any written teaching that can lead one toward a thorough
understanding of the "magical powers" or the nature of controlling the Will
could be quite dangerous in the hands of those of a greedy or self serving
nature who have not yet understood the essential unity and compassion that is
necessary to maintain the harmonious progress of evolution for the benefit of
Thus, trying to expand the teachings in writing further than what has been
already done could be a manifest waste of time and effort (if not unwise).
Such effort might be better applied to individual study of a private nature
in the books that are given to us by Masters and transmitted by Adepts (e.g.,
HPB and WQJ) in quite adequate "language of the age" (provided one
assiduously refers to the theosophical glossaries to explain the meaning of
foreign words the teachers were obligated to add to the basic English).
So, who are we to compete with them -- other than to attempt to further
clarify their teachings when direct questions are asked by beginning students
who have already done their homework? And, usually, the best way to do this
is to refer to the original teachings, stressing the moral-ethical
implications, and let the student use his own intuition to comprehend the
occult metaphysical meanings. (This is not to say that further
clarifications in the form of scientific and logical analysis and synthesis
using geometric and other mathematical symbolism, is not also appropriate.)
This need for "blinds" and secrecy, of course, gives us a lead as to why the
Ancient Masters had to use "oral" ("mouth to ear") teachings along with
"secret" symbolical drawings and paintings to transmit the esoteric ideas to
their "avowed" disciples. (Avowed -- referring to those students whom the
teachers trusted would not, for selfish motives, improperly or harmfully use
the deeper teachings that lead to applications of tthe so called "magical"
processes.) For one thing, the language that was (and still is) used for such
oral teachings was always the sacred languages of Sanskrit, or Hebrew, both
of which, in their esoteric or cabalistic aspects, uses inflectional, and
variable tonal (musical) chanting to give single words many different subtle
meanings. Also, sound, being in itself a nonlinear radiative wave form, much
like the original etheric "light" of primal emanation, reaches much deeper
into the higher transcendental intuitive (Buddh-Manas) "field" nature of the
listener than any written words can... This is in contrast to the written
words which, when taken literally, can be interpreted only through limited
linear, one, two and three dimensional conceptualizations... And which, by
themselves, can sometimes retard us from arriving at an unlimited intuitive,
nonlinear, coadunate, inner enfolded, multidimensional understanding.
In addition, the Ancient symbology, some of it in the form of mandala
paintings, for example -- complexly combine color (having 3 aspects of hue,
chroma and shade) with organically, numerically and geometrically related
forms and figures -- which together with the oral teachings, are capable of
reaching deeply into our inner intuitive knowledge (e.g., Jung's "archetypal
memories" which are basically stored in the Akasha) to express highly subtle
esoteric and occult meanings.
Therefore, even if we were given all this superficial knowledge in any
language, we would still have to subjectively interpret the esoteric meaning
for ourselves. That's why, it been said, that unless one can awaken the
Master within (by, perhaps, recall of one's previous life's training as an
occultist, or through a transcendental experience triggered by meditation, or
an understanding practice of Raja Yoga such as Patanjali, both during and
after thorough preliminary study of the written teachings) -- to arrive at
the complete understanding of the hidden depths of the "secret" wisdom -- one
must have a "living Master" teacher or "Guru" to GUIDE one's way through the
labyrinth and side tracks in order to ultimately untie the "Gordian knot"...
But, not, I presume, to TELL us the true nature of those truths themselves.
For how can anyone describe to us the color and smell of a rose -- let alone
the feeling of the "correlation of one's inner forces," or the "realization"
of being one with the higher Self -- all of which has to be directly
(subjectively) experienced for oneself? This also applies to the
understanding of the psychical powers latent in man (which, those of us who
chose to be occultists, were enjoined to investigate in the third object of
As I see it, the theosophical teachings were given out on two levels... The
primary one being more or less exoterically religiously oriented, and des
igned to instill a conviction in a student's mind of the fundamental truths
of theosophy as a rationale for the moral-ethical precepts along with the
incentive to practice altruism, so as to be "better able to help and teach
others." And the other, the esoteric teachings directed toward those who are
ready to be initiated in the occult "mysteries" so as to be able to work on
the higher planes in conjunction with the Masters. Of course, these occult
teachings could never be disclosed in any public forums -- even if we had the
language to do so.
So, my suggestion for any new students is to stop guessing and trying to
formulate or interpret theosophy further than the Masters, HPB and WQJ have
already taken it, or trying to use linear language (that can only go off on
tangents, lead nowhere, and add more to everyone's confusion) to speculate on
nonlinear concepts that are best grasped intuitively. Such students might
also be far better off, and learn much more by asking direct questions based
on their study of the original teachings, or on their basic interpretations
give by those advanced student/teachers (such as Dallas, Peter, Adelesie,
etc.) who reference their comments directly with the SD or other writings of
the Masters and Adepts.
Further, my advice for all new students, for what it may be worth, is to
follow the path laid down by the Masters and focus on self devised and self
determined study -- along with deep meditation -- with the purpose of
awakening the higher intuition (or Atma-Buddhi-Manas nature) to the deepest
nonlinear, multidimensional teachings of theosophy -- that cannot be fully
expressed in any linear language, symbolic drawing, or numerological
sequence. Remember, that Theosophy, no matter how expressed in linear
linguistic terms, always ends up in paradoxical uncertainties -- which can
only be resolved by awakening one's inner, non linear, multidimensional,
intuitive knowledge that emanates directly from the original source (located
within every coadunate "zero-point" in the "auric space" of our own
seven-fold nature). This can only come about by searching within by means of
deep meditation practice (following the paths laid down in HPB's Voice of the
Silence and Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms) in order to attain the realization of
ultimate occult theosophical truths that must forever remain purely
subjective in impression and totally "Silent" in expression.
I hope this gives some further food for thought -- (as well as for "silent"
meditation in our own "private chambers":-)
Incidentally, my personal attempt to exoterically explain (with a minimum of
theosophical terminology) the esoteric meaning of theosophy was designed to
specifically bring modern science and theosophy into a closer conformance...
Not, primarily to teach theosophists per se (although the symbolical aspects
could be helpful in meditative visualization of primal energy flows,
correlation of forces, and the coenergetic field interactions) -- but to
directly influence scientists to accept transcendental ideas and, through t
hem, reach all other people for whom they are the current "gurus." This was
guided by HPB's message to "write (our) own 'Secret Doctrines' in the
'language of this age.'"
The aim, also, was to give us the tools to directly reach the minds and
intuitions of those already caught up in the materialistic scientific
viewpoint, and bring them closer to an understanding that science itself, as
HPB predicted, is now on the verge of accepting the transcendental field
theories of theosophy, which can eventually lead to a final Grand Unified
Field Theory of Everything -- encompassing both metaphysical and physical
science in perfect synthesis. This is evidenced by the slowly growing
acceptance of superstring/M-brane theories that are getting closer and closer
to acknowledging the theosophical concepts of coadunate, transcendental,
multidimensional fields within fields within fields, etc., (1) and is, at the
same time, coordinating relativity and quantum physics with each other --
which have long been contradictory... (As Einstein said, referring to the
indeterminacy theories of quantum physics, "God does not throw dice.").
This is the revolution in thought, that HPB enjoined us (as "theosophical
companions" working conjointly) to try to engender into the group mind of
humanity during this new (and last) cycle of the "Theosophical Movement." It
is my hope that many others among us might also join in this effort to bring
scientific theosophy -- not as a religion, not as a new science, or new
philosophy, but as a synthesis of them all -- into the mainstream of current
thought on both secular and religious levels. This means, for those of us
who are journalists, writers, directors, producers, etc. -- trying to bring
these ideas into popular mainstream publications and other mass media. This
could be one of the most effective ways that we can ultimately defeat and
reverse the growing trend toward an increasingly materialistic and selfishly
oriented world -- that could only lead to an ultimate worldwide catastrophic
collapse... Which, judging by the rapid asymptotic acceleration of change in
this minor Kali Yuga age, is becoming more and more imminent every day. This,
however, is not to be taken as a "prophesy of doom"... But, as HPB said, if
we do not succeed in at least tempering this trend -- Humanity could be set
back "another million years of evolution" before the end of this century.
In a message dated 01/25/01 10:07:12 AM, email@example.com writes:
> [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 life-time
>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 every
>selfish or vicious feeling or thought with a very great intensity.
>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 if
>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 been
>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 result
>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?
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application