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To Peter - on the Atman

Nov 16, 2001 08:40 AM
by Gerald Schueler

<<<< JERRY: If the quote, to the effect that matter and spirt are both maya,was meant to be literal, then Blavatsky was aware of, and she accepted, one of the "secret" Dzogchen teachings. <<
[Peter:] She may or may not have been. The one does not follow on from the other. This is poor logical reasoning - the very thing you keep complaining about in others, is it not?>>>

Peter, you are saying that I am illogical to reach the conclusion that she knew Dzogchen teaching. Now, given that she was a Buddhist and that she entered Tibet itself in order to gain initiation into its higher teachings, why is my conclusion so illogical? 

<<<In the passage you qoute HPB is talking about the DUAL aspect of the Higher Powers (collectively ISWARA). Thus the questionable link you make is to say "so therefore Atma is a Maya". As was pointed out to you before she states that in truth ATMA is 'not-spirit', ISWARA is 'spirit' and "beyond Iswara is ATMA". (SD I 573)>>>

Peter, please look again at your mis-quote above. Why did you leave off the most important part (which is exactly what I meant when I talked about taking things out of context)? The exact wording is "Atma is not-Spirit in its final Parambrahmic state." You conveniently left off the fact that it is only non-Spirt AFTER its manvantaric evolutionary development. Right now it is indeed spirit, and maya as well.

<<<This fits in with what Steve rightly wrote in his reply to you ie "in the ES papers, we are told that the true seventh principle is not Atma at all, but the Auric Egg, or AE. Atma, we are told, is no principle, which makes more sense to me.">>>

This statement of HPB's is correct. Why? Because principles per se are individual and relate to each of us as separate beings (just like "bodies" do). The auric egg is personal - I have one, and you have one, and mine is not yours. But atman, as HPB defines it (but this is not how Buddhism uses the term), is universal, and so is rightly not a principle at all. There is no "my atman" as separate and distinct from "your atman" as HPB defines atman (her atman is, I think, equivalent to how alaya is defined in the Lankavatara Sutra).

<<<I don't believe Atma does change over time. Apparently HPB does not believe that either. >>>

You are certainly entitled to your beliefs and to your interpretations. I am not trying to convince anyone, so much as to show that a much more logical interpretation exists. To say that "Atma" does not change over time is illogical in the evolutionary scheme described by Blavatsky, where it is part of the Reincarnating Ego. And tell me, what does this Ego do with the "aromas" of all of its lifetime-expressions? For what purpose does it grow? We human beings experience and learn, and that learning goes to our Reincarnating Ego after our death. This allows the Reincarnating Ego to grow, doesn't it? How can something grow and yet not change? A paradox? I think not - its simply an illogical interpretation. I have yet to hear how you would logically place your statement about atman into Blavatsky's evolutionary scheme (I don't believe that you can. I have tried, and I can't). I have concluded that the atman is maya, and that it is impermanent because it is growing - and as it grows, so develops our collective humanity.

Jerry S.


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