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RE: Atma - to Bruce

Oct 23, 2001 06:39 AM
by Jerry S

You say, "When we compare HPB's 7-plane model with Buddhism we can easily
see that the lower 4 planes are samsara and the upper 3 are nirvana.

Bruce: I would question this one. "Nirvana" is "blown out" or the desire
for independent or even belief in independent existence blown
out. >>>>>>

This idea has been presented by several Buddhist writers (can't find a quote
right now), and by CWL, and is the only way I have found to relate much of
Theosophy and Buddhism - and it does a great job of relating them by making
this comparison. Nirvana is described in Buddhist literature in both
subjective and objective terms, and can refer to the three upper planes as
well as one's subjective atate while in those planes. Now, some folks just
don't like the planes model at all, but for those who do such a comparision
is a nice fit.

<<<<I would question whether Atma/Buddhi are nirvana either, since nirvana
is not a "plane" but an awareness, as I understand it. One can enter
Nirvana while alive, one can be a Jivanmukta (to use another tradition), and
still be embodied on all seven planes.>>>>>

Again, it all depends on how we define "nirvana" and "plane." What is a
"plane" after all except a state of experiential consciousness? My work with
magic has given me a deep appreciation for the concept of planes and
subplanes. Most Theosophists do not practice magic or astral projection and
as a result have little or no appreciation for (or understanding of) planes.
Yes, one can enter nirvana while alive, and one can also enter all three
upper planes while alive. Your phrase "embodied on all seven planes" is
confusing to me, although I have said several times that we do have a body
on each plane - a body and a principle each corresponding to the "matter" of
that plane.

<<<<<<Bruce: Does he teach that they ARE maya, or that one cannot determine
its existence cannot be profitably determined because we are not of the
nature of the Absolute and cannot know whether it is or is not?>>>>>>

Middle Way Buddhists take a dim view of "absolute" and those who profess
such a thing as labeled as "absolutists" (as opposed to the nihilists who
profess nothingness). There is no absolute nor is there nothingness, but
there is non-duality which transcends both.

<<<< If one can attain nirvana, then there must be something to attain.>>>

Only in the sense that we can "attain" a cosmic plane.

<<<<<Bruce: Perhaps the difficulty is in the word "permanency" of
atma/buddhi, since nothing is "permanent" in the sense of beyond change, as
I understand HPB, since all is change, Motion, Space, and what is permanent
is dead.
Peace, Bruce>>>>>>

Exactly my point. When someone says that atma-buddhi is permanent, then
atma-buddhi, by definition, cannot change. When that same person then says
that atma-buddhi evolves through the manvantara, then that person has a
terrible logic problem, is confused, and will confuse others.

Jerry S.

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