[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re to Peter

May 10, 2001 11:58 AM
by Gerald Schueler

I will try to give a quick response to Peter on his three "key ideas." I
find it interesting that Peter feels the need to invoke the SD and the MLs
in order to refute Buddhism, but I guess thats life. Anyway, my responses
are from the perspective of a Buddhist who is also a Theosophist:

[Peter's Key 1]: * acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and
then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma)

Acquiring individuality is exactly like acquiring ignorance of the Truth,
and in fact the one naturally follows from the other. The central message of
Buddhism is that our sense of being a separate individual person is an
illusion brought about by ignorance, hatred, and desire (the three roots of
the Wheel of Life). If Peter, or any other Theosophist wants to rah rah at
attaining a sense of individuality, then fine, but PLEASE don't call it
Buddhism. According to the Buddha's teaching, first we aquired ignorance and
desire, this led us to falsely generate an illusionary individual Self,
which in turn led us to our personal loves and hates and grasping after that
Self as if it really existed, and all of this is exactly what brings about
karma in the first place, and what maintains it over countless lifetimes.

[Peter's Key 2]: * The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy admits
no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through
personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and

The "special gift" that is each and every one of us is our essential
spiritual nature or Buddha-nature. This nature is not subject to karma, and
we don't have to "attain" it because it is already right here. All we need
do is see it and then act accordingly. Such action is called the Path, and
through its efforts we gain merit and insight that allows us to see our
Original Face that has been right there all the time. Buddhism likens this
process to polishing a dusty mirror - the dust is ignorance and the mirror
is our true Buddha-nature as a reflector of divinity. We do NOT have to go
through lifetimes in order to clear the dust off our mirror, we can do so
right now and the only thing stopping us is our own ignorance.

[Peter's Key 2]: * the Egos purified of their dross are enabled to resume
their progress once more onward. It is here, [during our present 4th Round]
then, that the laggard Egos perish by the millions. It is the solemn moment
of the "survival of the fittest," the annihilation of those unfit. The
'winner' progresses onwards to higher cycles of development.

According to Buddhism, both Ego and its "dross" are illusions that we simply
have to see through. Progress is yet another illusion, one that is time
dependent. The Avichi-hell is yet another illusion. All of this is like a
big shared dream that we are going through, and we can wake up to it at any
time. But as long as we maintain the ignorance of having a separate self we
will keep on reincarnating. How can egos perish when they have no real
existence in the first place? Zen answers the question of where do we go
when we die, by asking where does your fist go when you open your hand? Does
the fist die? Materialists believe that the personality perishes with the
body at death, but there is no real inherent personality to die, is there?
Peter, your desire to be a "winner" is a clear indication of the grasping
onto a self that Buddha warns us about. If you think you are a
loser, then you will be bound to karma by iron chains. If you think that you
are a winner, then you will be bound to karma by golden chains. Break the
illusion of a personal self and you break the chains of karma and are

Jerry S.

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application