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Re to Peter on the Atman

Nov 10, 2001 06:36 PM
by Gerald Schueler

You offered a single sentence qoute from the SD and one from "The Inner Group Teachings" to support the view that ATMA was a maya and therefore there was no immortal self and enduring Self. I wonder if you have done what you complain about to others - ie picked a couple of qoutes that support your view but not checked to see if the overall context of HPB
writings supports that particular intepretation?>>>

JERRY: Thats cruel Peter. You scoff at me because I say things without quotes to "back it up" and then when I do, you turn around and scoff that I am doing what I charge others of doing. You obviously want to have it both ways. Personally, I don't think you or Dallas were aware that such quotes were available and now that I have shown you that they are, you want to shoot the messenger.

<<<I agree with your last remark about the one-to-one correspondence. I have trouble with that too.>>>

JERRY: Drat! I was hoping that it was just me.

<<< However, in the sentence you qoute HPB is not
comparing the seven principles with the seven plane solar system. She is referring to the symbol of the triangle as the upper triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas. >>>

JERRY: Yeah, and this is exactly why spouting off quotes to support an interpretation is silly.

<<< She states: "Each principle is on a different plane. The Chela must rise to one after
another assimilating each until the three are one...">>>

JERRY: I don't know how much of Magic you know, Peter, but the technique mentioned here concerns what is called Rising on the Planes, an astral traveling technique that is well known in magic circles, and was taught in the Golden Dawn (Westcott was not only a member of Blavatsky's inner group, but one of the chief founders of the Golden Dawn).

<<<That the three can become one, means we need to be cautious about viewing the planes as ultimately separate.>>>

JERRY: No, it could refer to many threes, such as body, speech, and mind, or body, soul, and spirit, but I would interpret it as atma-buddhi-manas becoming one in an Adept (in an Adept, these three tend to merge). It does not refer to three planes (which three?) becoming one.

<<<< We also know HPB says of Atman that in
truth it is no human principle at all but should be considered a Universal principle - it is one with Parabrahm. >>>

JERRY: I am already on record as saying that atman is a universal principle - the principle of a subjective self, and the glue that holds maya together. No, it is not one with Parabrahm, but rather a ray or radiation of Parabrahm, and thus a mayavic expression.

<<< We have to include it as a principle
because being universal it is 'in' everything. So we need to be careful not to *limit* Atma to "within the seven plane solar system.">>>

JERRY: No, we must very much limit it to our mayavic 7-plane solar system because such a principle, that of subjectivity or subjective consciousness, is pure maya. Even paramatman is mayavic (depending on how one translates it). The word "everything" that you use here is itself limited to duality, because such a thing does not exist in non-duality. Non-duality is far beyond the duality of everything and nothing.

<<<Your other qoute.
QUOTE 2: "Spirit is matter on the seventh plane; matter is Spirit - on the lowest point of its cyclic activity; and both - are MAYA" (SD Vol 1 p 633)>>>

JERRY: Yes indeed. This is one of the very best statements Blavatsky ever made, and should be engraved on the heart of every Theosophist. It proves that she was aware of an important Dzogchen teaching, and must have actually gone to Tibet. This statement says that all 7 planes are maya. Tzongkapa would fully agree with this one.

<<<HPB uses the term "Spirit" in many different ways in her writings, sometimes to refer to Atma, or Cosmic Ideation, or the collective host of Dhyanis, the demiurge, the Manasic entity, consciousness & so on. So I think we need to understand what HPB is refering to by "Spirit" and "matter" in the sentence
you qoute above. What is the context of her statement? >>>

JERRY: Peter, here you seem to be arguing in favor of making interpretations. I hope so. However, one way that we can ALWAYS look at matter and spirit, without fail (I think, gulp...), is that matter is the (objective) substance of the lower four planes and spirit is the (objective) substance of the upper three planes. Context be damned, you can take any quote from the core teachings you want, and this amazing fact (interpretation?) will remain true.

<<<If it were ATMAN that HPB was referring to and calling a Maya, we would expect to find further support for this in other places in her writings.
Yet, over and over again shes says the opposite. (see below) If Atman is ultimately one with Parabrahm, (or as the Vedantins say "One with Brahman") it must in essense be beyond the duality of spirit and matter.>>>

JERRY: I think that she deliberately did this, for fear of giving out too much of the esoteric teaching, and probably also because few would understand her, and most, like yourself, would be opposed to the idea. Again, Peter, Atman is not equal to Parabrahm so much as it is a ray or radiation (ie a mayavic expression) of it.

<<<<She qoutes Shankara as stating this very thing:
"'Oh, wise man, remove the conception that not-Spirit is Spirit,' says Sankaracharya. Atma is not-Spirit ..."(SD I 573) hence she also states:
"ATMAN [is] the one reality on the plane of Cosmic illusion" (SD I 181)>>>

JERRY: Peter, the statement in SD I 181 quoted above, is totally illogical if taken literally. How can "reality" be on a plane of "illusion" except in a relative sense? She is making some beautiful poetry here, not facts to be taken literally. What she means here (ie my own interpretation) is that of all 7 principles, atman is the most real, or the less mayavic. As to the Shankara quote, you didn't include the most important part "in its final Parabrahmic state" which is a poetic way of saying that the essence of atman, that which atman is a faint and mayavic expression, is beyond the matter-spirit duality.

<<<"As well expressed by the translater of the Crest Jewel of Wisdom 'though ISWARA is God.. unchanged in the profoundest depths of pralayas and in the
intensist acivities of the manvantaras... beyond (him) is ATMA round whose pavilions is the darkness of eternal MAYA." (SD I 574)>>>

JERRY: As for the translator of the Crest Jewel of Wisdom, please see the latest Fohat (Fall 01) for a good article on this. Using Hindu or Vedantist quotes don't help much, because they both do view atman as an eternal Self. Theosophy is no more Hindu than it is Buddhist, is it? Were Blavatsky and Olcott both Buddhists or were they Vedantists?

<<<Atman… the emanation of the Absolute (CW III 414)>>>

JERRY: This kind of statement looks great on the surface, but means nothing without an understanding of what absolute is. Also, an emanation of something is not that something itself, is it? Here I would interpret Absolute as that which is beyond time, and thus the Divine Monad (the monad that is truly indivisible), and atman is its mayavic expression in time and space.

<<<The seventh Principle… in essence is merely a beam of the infinite Ocean of Light. . . an emanation from the Absolute, and indivisible in reality from it. (CW XIV 49)>>>

JERRY: Again, she is not referring here to atman itself, but to its "essence." Atman is "an emanation." The essence of atman lies beyond time, but atman itself is within time and must be located on one of the planes.

Jerry S.


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