whose seven principles
Oct 23, 2001 01:09 PM
by Eldon B Tucker
At 03:08 PM 10/23/01 -0400, you wrote:
OK, forget Buddhism altogether, and just look at Blavatsky's two quotes for
a moment. The one tells us that all 7 principles are within the 7-plane
solar system that she carefully describes in the SD.
One important thing to consider, which may not be apparent
to new students, is that the discussions in theosophical
literature refer to the coming into existence of a particular
scheme. It may be a solar system, a planetary chain, or by
analogy a human coming into birth.
Within this particular scheme, there are its seven principles,
its planes of existence, its aspects of consciousness. Within
its context, there's a notion of space, a sense of time, a
"flavor to existence."
Speaking of the example of a planetary chain, it has its
seven principles. Coming into being therein, one first has
the atmic consciousness. Before that, as far as one was
concerned, the chain simply did not exist. With Atman comes
a generalized awareness of the chain, nirvanic-like, without
any particular localization of consciousness or self to
interact with others. An impersonal Self, with personal
attributes, karmic relations with others, but no sense of
separate identity, comes with Buddhi. Then with Manas comes
the perception of "I am me," the awareness of being an
individual apart from others. The remaining principles
relate to the remaining stages of coming into fully-embodied
Any particular scheme has its components, its parts. When
you transcend its highest plane, its highest principle, its
finest duration of time, you do not fall into nothingness.
Each scheme exists in the context of a greater scheme.
No matter how big a scheme of things you picture, it's still
finite, with limits, having a beginning and end in both space
and time. No matter how big it is, it's simply the manifestation
of a single being within a yet greater universal scheme.
We study a particular scheme of things. It is within the
context of a bigger scheme. It never refers to all things,
everywhere, in a traditional sense of the term "infinite."
When we confuse the two -- a particular finite universe
within the matrix of something bigger versus the ultimate
infinite all -- we face a logical roadblock and end up with
all sorts of paradoxes that can confuse the unwary.
Coming back to the idea of the seven principles, we'd
ask, whose principles? With relation to what incarnate
being, of some vast scale, do we talk? If we think we're
talking about some universal pattern above and beyond all
things, we're making too rigid a definition.
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