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Oct 17, 2001 09:03 AM
by Jerry S
<<<<If I show you a diamond under strong light, and with instruments, you will see its facets and part way into the stone. It is then your memory and opinion concerning it that you will store and may transmit to me or to others. For the physical plane we have a group of converging similarities Is this not similar to your "tree" analogy ?>>>> Does the "diamond" or "tree" exist as an external real thing independent of our observations? That is the key question to these analogies. I would answer that something does, in fact, exist, but not a single entity or thing, but rather a collection that we lable diamond or tree and impute a reality onto it that doesn't really exist. This is what maya (illusion) is all about. <<<<<But if we get into the study of mans psychology, his feelings, desires, ambitions, defenses, thoughts, aspirations, we seem to flounder in a welter of opinions concerning which there is inadequate information until we come to use the 7-fold division into "principles" of Man and Nature. Then things get related and seem to make better sense.>>>> I have no idea what you mean here. I have studied Jungian psychology, and am not familiar with the "welter of opinions" that you mention, nor have I encountered anyone who is "floundering." Personally, I honestly believe that most Theosophists confound the principles so badly that they remain, for them, merely words and concepts. Blavatsky doesn't help much. In INNER GROUP TEACHINGS she tells us that there is a correspondence of one principle for each plane. Seven principles, seven planes. Sounds pretty straightforward until we learn that the physical body is not really a principle, and then she sometimes uses the auric egg as a principle and sometimes not, and if manas is on the mental plane (which would certainly make sense) and kama on the astral plane (which also makes sense), then we are stuck with extra lower priciples without planes to put them on, and two upper planes with no principles for them. So, I have concluded from all of this that one cannot take this teaching too literally and I would suspect that your "better sense" is your own subjective take on things that are actually every bit as complicated and confusing as modern psychology. <<<<I would call the inner (invisible and intangible planes) concepts, ideas, and would give them the dubious value of my personal opinion. Now, if I can link my opinion with many similar opinions and if I can determine that the basis for those views is similar, then perhaps, I have a chance of saying: "There appears to be a Law operating.":>>>> First of all, the planes are not concepts, unless you mean the concept of the planes. In any case, there are two alternative conclusions that one can draw from such consensual observations: (1) that such agreed-upon things actually do exist independent of observers or (2) that our human minds interpret sensory data in ways that can be shared to some extent by others. If we go with 1 then we look for (with expectation to find) external laws of nature, and perhaps even for a mathematical language in which to express those laws. Of course, mathematics is itself a made-made langage, and only expresses relationships taken from consensual observations. If we instead go with 2 then we look for (with expectation to find) internal laws of nature. These internal laws suggest that external objects do not exist independently from observers. They suggest that while collections or aggregates of parts exist, entities do not. They further suggest that the mistaken perception of entities comes from mentally imputing entitive existence onto aggregates that are arranged in certain recognizable ways and given labels/names so that after awhile one thinks that such labels/names exist as such. The processes of imputation and naming are conducted under very specific rules or laws. So, in either case, yes, "there appears to be a Law operating." <<<I am of the opinion that Theosophy comes under the second heading. It is well out of the realm of personal opinion.>>> Since a Theosophist cannot "prove" one single "core teaching" (if they could, the whole world would be Theosophists by now) I find your above statement to be a giant leap of faith. It sounds just like materialists who say that sensory data is beyond the realm of personal opinion. I would say that you are both wrong. Nothing at all about reality can ever be "proved" to anyone's satisfaction other than our own. We each form our own worldview as we go along, and that worldview is all we can ever hope to know about reality - for all intents and purposes, OUR WORLDVIEW IS OUR REALITY. <<<Theosophy does claim to be an expression recorded since the beginning of manifestation of the processes used in Nature for that development. >>>> I think you are going too far when you make assertions like this. As far as I know, it only claims to be the oral/written record of certain linages of observers. It is, in fact, a certain worldview, one that has been substantiated by observers who claim to have been Adepts. I like it, not because it is "truth," but because its worldview is close to my own. <<<<In my analogy: The Diamond remains unaffected and can be viewed by others.>>>> Here you seem to be choosing alternative 1, the belief that the diamond has an external reality independent of observers. This is also the viewpoint/belief of materialism. I do not subscribe to this view, preferring alternative 2. The diamond, in fact, cannot be observed by a blind person, and will not be seen the same way by a color-blind person, looks different in different light, will be admired by some and distained by others, is just a name that we give to a certain mineral aggregate, and so forth and so on. <<<<Theosophy as you will have noticed presents a coherency. By all means challenge it.>>>>>> Dallas, I am not challenging Theosophy. Rather, I am challenging your interpretation of Theosophy. In doing this, I am NOT saying that you are "wrong." I am, rather, trying to show you that there is a deeper way of looking at things, that the "core teachings" do not have to be taken literally, and that Blavatsky's writings should be viewed in context with her overall view of things. I may be doing a poor job here, but at least this is my intent. I am not trying to start arguments, but am trying to open minds. No one has to accept anything I say. <<<<Theosophy does not expect to make converts. The students and exponents of theosophy (like myself) offer its tents and doctrines for study and critical review (as you so kindly provide).>>>>> Dallas, please don't take my responses as "critical review" because I am not trying to criticize, so much as to broaden. I am offering other ways to look at the "core teachings" and have been trying to give logical reasons. When Blavatsky writes that the atma-buddhi monad is eternal, she does not mean that it exists forever, but only so long as this manvantara lasts, which is a long time but not forever. The fact is, the atma-buddhi is NOT eternal, although we can say that it is relatively eternal - eternal relative to one single lifetime. But it changes, and so when you call it eternal you are being illogical. If we ignore her definition of eternity, and just throw out quotes that the monad is eternal, it misleads other Theosophists or potential Theosophists into wrong views. It may seem technical or picky to you, but getting the correct wording to an idea is important to me. (When I read statements that are technically inaccurate I don't know if its sloppy wording or if the writer doesn't know what they are writing about) Enough for now. Peace, Jerry S.