Comments on Gerald'
Nov 18, 2001 10:00 AM
by Steve Stubbs
Many thanks for all the interesting comments, which
are the most interesting posted to this list in my
judgement. Pls keep 'em coming. Some insipid
comments par moi below:
Gerald: "This sense of duality is called maya because
it doesn't really exist, or more to the point, it only
exists within this manvantaric expression and so its
reality is relative or conditional.
I won't say that you are wrong, but let me offer an
alternative explanation of maya for your
HPB uses Kant's noumenon-phenomenon dualism and
terminology. The phenomenon is our internal
representation of reality, which includes mental
creations such as color, sound, etc., which do not
exist outside our own consciousness. The noumenon is
what Kant called the "ding an sich," the
"thing-in-itself" which is represented in
consciousness by the phenomenon. The phenomenon
therefore represents the ding an sich but is not the
same as it. Phenomenon is therefore illusory, and so
are concepts, such as the ahamkara (I-sense),
dualisms, etc., all of which are phenomenal at the
level of the "mental plane". It is a difficult
concept, but accepted by all philosophers, including
Theosophy uses the noumenon-phenomenon concept in a
way slightly different from that of Kant, inasmuch as
T accepts the idea of modifying consciousness so that
noumenal realities come into view. This one cannot
see forces, but can mentally infer that they exist
from their effects. The intuitions are intuitions of
noumena, which by definition can be thought but not
directly perceived. Blavatsky claims that behind the
forces are the elementals, which are therefore
noumenal to the forces. Some claim to be able to
clairvoyantly perceive these elementals, but in doing
so they create a new noumenon-phenomenon duality,
since the perceptions they have of elementals are
representations of a reality which remains unknown.
Blavatsky says that noumenal to the elementals are the
dhyani Buddhas. Some chelas are said to perceive them
clairvoyantly, but then again a new
noumenon-phenomenon duality arises. This is the
origin of the concept of "planes". Each higher plane
is noumenal to the ones below it, and the idea of
"planes" becomes meaningful because we have available
different sorts of consciousness, some of them
clairvoyant. Thoughts and emotions are objects of
consciousness, even though they are not physical, so
we say there are "thought planes" and "emotional
Thus when you say:
Gerald: "Atma self-expresses also (as above so below
holds throughout this manvantara) and forms principles
on the four lower planes, which attract the
appropriate matter on each plane to form bodies.
I would say there is only one matter, and that the
"planes" have to do with different forms of
Also when you say:
Gerald: "Atma is "spirit," the subjective side, matter
is the objective side of the same thing.
I would agree that atma is subjective in the sense
that it is noumenal and not accessible to our senses,
and yet more objective than matter in the sense that
the noumena is more "real" than the phenomenon.
Again, I am just offering ideas for consideration to
stimulate thinking. Agree or disagree as you wish.
These ideas are not well explained in theosophical
literature (probably because the people who write all
these books do not understand them), and one has to
study philosophy to get at the real sense of them,
Gerald: "Evolution into matter is largely unconscious.
Involution back into spirit is conscious
The terms are bass ackward. Evolution is to spirit,
and involution is into matter. This is one of the
mistakes in Brendan French's dissertation if memory
serves me correctly.
Gerald: "The goal is to combine buddhi and manas into
Buddhi-manas already exists and does not need to be
created. The task is to get at it consciously.
Consider this: the seven principles are all said to be
divisible in thought into seven sub-principles. Thus
there are seven forces, seven senses, seven states of
matter, etc., none of which would be explicable
without this concept.
That means manas can be subdivided into seven
sub-principles as well. The seventh and highest of
these blends with the first and lowest sub-principle
of Buddhi, which is the next higher major principle.
The first and lowest sub-principle of manas blends
imperceptibly into the seventh and highest
sub-principle of kama, which is the next lower major
Because of this blending, we refer to the seventh and
highest sub-principle of manas as Buddhi-manas, and
the first and lowest sub-principle of manas as
Kama-manas. Sometimes the hyphen is left off, but it
is properly spelled with a hyphen, and is in some
That means sub-principles 2 through 6 of manas are a
sort of connecting bridge between kama-manas and
buddhi-manas. HPB calls this the antahkarana, and
says it is also seven-fold, meaning she is including
kama-manas and buddhi-manas in the antahkarana. The
trick is to use this bridge successfully to put
kama-manas in conscious contact with buddhi-manas.
Enter the Upanishads. The theory in the U is that
there are four states of consciousness. The waking
state (jagrata) corresponds to theosophy's kama-manas.
The fourth state, called literally "the fourth" or
Turiya, corresponds to the theosophical buddhi-manas.
In theory everyone goes to turiya every night in
sleep, but retains no conscious memory of it because
to get there we have to go through Oblivion and back.
This Oblivion consists of the two intermediate states,
dreaming and dreamless sleep. In yoga one learns to
consciously access deeper and deeper states without
losing consciousness. Ultimate the yogi can go to
sleep and remain mentally awake all night, a state
mentioned in theosophical literature. Supposedly HPB,
Judge, and Damodar were all able to do this.
Blavatsky says only "adepts" can do this, but that is
nonsense because I have done it myself and I am no
"adept." The TM people have noticed this phenomenon
and called it "witnessing sleep." The founder of the
Hare Krishna movement supposedly remains mentally
awake during bodily sleep and chants his mantras then.
Anyone who doubts this is possible is merely showing
The TM people use a metaphor of a lake, which is
actually an ancient metaphor. We live on the surface,
but during meditation experience deeper levels of the
lake, until we finally arrive at the bottom, which
they call "pure consciousness." This is clearly a
poetic description of the sub-principles of manas, the
surface of the lake representing kama-manas and the
bottom representing buddhi-manas. It is also evident
that the second through seventh sub-principles of
manas are the "unconscious mind" or the "subconscious"
mind of science. It is at these levels that we
experience dreaming and dreamless sleep. Blavatsky
says there are seven of these states, as required by
her theory, but does not state what the other three
are. That there are at least four is evident from the
fact that people experience jagrata, swapna, susupti,
and tiriya differently. These are all manas
subdivisions. If I remember correctly Blavatsky
divides dreams into seven categories as well.
This model explains why many people experience
communication with their Hirer Ego, or buddhi-manas
during sleep. The model makes perfect sense of this,
since the susupti and swapna states are more
accessible than the jagrata state.
Some people who have learned astral projection believe
they travel to Tibet or elsewhere during sleep to get
initiations and instruction. This is what Damodar is
reported to have done, but he is not the only one. No
comment on whether they are right or wrong, but I do
believe in the mahatmas.
The Huna people claim much the same thing, namely,
that the Higher Self (which is what they call
buddhi-manas) can only be accessed via the low self
(the unconscious mind.) The "low self" in Huna is
actually the theosophical antahkarana. They claim
that the key to accessing the Higher Self is to
resolve negative emotions, especially guilt, which
will cause the low self to shut down the channel.
This guilt can be rational or irrational, justified or
not. Forgiveness and adherence to whatever ethical
code resonates with you is necessary to avoid guilt
and keep the channel open. The East claims
conscience, which is the origin of guilt, comes from
the Buddhi principle, whereas the Hawaiians claim the
higher principles are above judgement and that guilt
is learned, as is the system of kapus which give rise
to it. There are therefore some differences of
opinion and much agreement between systems. The way
to resolve this is by direct experience and experiment
and not by reading books and piling up quotes.
That is also the best way to understand the model,
i.e., in terms of the psychological and psychical and
mystical phenomena it was intended to explain. If
your understanding does not explain these phenomena
well, then you probably need to reconsider the way you
are interpreting the model. Or change the model,
whichever works best.
One last comment: the Huna people think you have two
Higher Selves, one male and one female, which
dovetails interestingly with the theosophical idea
that the manas is androgynous, both male and female,
and represents in man the androgynous Adam Kadmon.
Jung said something similar, namely that if the
conscious mind is male, the unconscious will be
female, and v.v.
Did one Russian drifter come up with this ingenious
model all by herself, without the assistance of
others? I don't think so.
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