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Re to Steve

Nov 19, 2001 11:53 AM
by Jerry S

<<<<<<<<<OLD 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.

[Steve:]I won't say that you are wrong, but let me offer an
alternative explanation of maya for your consideration.
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
modern scientists.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

JERRY: I am not so sure that Blavatsky uses "maya" in those (Kantian) terms.
This teaching suggests that archetypal ideas/images are "real" and all else
is their illusive manifestations. The Buddhist view (and I can't help but
remember here that Blavatsky and Olcott were both Buddhists, and not
Kantians) is that there simply is no thing-it-itself anywhere. On the
surface, this Buddhist view always sounds like nilhilism, but it is not
because something indeed does exist, but due to its non-dualistic ineffable
nature, we can't really talk much about it (although Blavatsky does so, and
thereby misleads her readers, I think, into personifications and
reifications that simply do not exist).

The Path, together with any logical/rational interpretation of reality, has
traditionally been given out in stages to those who can understand it. As
the student/chela understands a stage, he/she is gradually led by the Guru
to the next stage or level. This process usually takes many many years until
finally the "ultimate" view of that particular school is given out to that
particular student. This way of doing things doesn't work in the West, nor
will it. So, when many different levels of teachings are given out all at
once to the public, it is up to each reader to digest as much of it as they
can. And we wind up with a large group of "core teachings" some of which are
preliminary, and meant for all, and others are advanced, and meant only for
a few.

The teaching that phenonmena are illusive expressions of a noumenal reality
is one level, and the teaching that the noumenal reality is itself illusive
relative to a still higher reality is another level.


<<<<<<[Steve:] 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 planes," etc.

JERRY: I agree that Theosophy allows for raising consciousness into the
noumenal, so that one can actually have direct awareness of the illusive
nature of phenomena. One can also perceive elementals, deities, and so -
these are all the inhabitants of the inner invisible worlds (subplanes of
Globe D as well as other Globes, and presumably even other planetary chains
within our solar system of worlds). What I am saying is this: there are even
more noumenal existences and realities behind what we think of as noumenal
reality. There are beings/intelligences behind the dhyani-chohans, for
example, and our seven planes lead gradually up to non-duality, which is
outside the seven. But as to maya, it has to include all seven planes - all
seven planes are based on Space and Motion, and this original/fundamental
duality constitutes the origin of maya for our planetary chain.


<<<<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.

{Steve:] I would say there is only one matter, and that the "planes" have to
do with different forms of consciousness.>>>>>

JERRY: If we want to think of "one matter" than solids, liquids,, gases,
and so on would be different states for the same thing - and I agree that we
can think this way within the subplanes of any one plane. But it is a
stretch to say that thoughts, for example, are composed of the same matter
as rocks (although in a sense, I agree that they are). If matter and spirit
are two aspects of the same thing, then the whole seven planes are composed
of one substance which we, as subjective observers, see differently.
However, we always have to remember that there is theory and there is
experiential practice, and the two are seldom equal. In theory, there is one
substance (a matter-spirit duality) that we perceive differently, but in
practice we have a separate body on each plane (in dreams for example, we
experience a dream body, and the dreamer doesn't care much what it is made

As long as we are here, I would like to point out that maya, as I understand
it, is essentially the split or bifurcation of the monad into an I-Not-I
duad, and this occurs from the very topmost subplane of the first and
highest plane, and continues all the way down to the "solid" matter on the
lowest subplane of the lowest (the physical) plane.


<<<<<<<Also when you say:
Gerald: "Atma is "spirit," the subjective side, matter is the objective side
of the same thing.

[Steve:] 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

JERRY: The terms objective and subjective, by themselves, are somewhat
arbitrary. For example, in which category do we place our body? I use the
terms I and Not-I to avoid this problem. However we want to define our self,
or our I, is subjective, and everything else is the objective Not-I.
Although our definitions of I and Not-I will change over time throughout the
manvantaric evolutionary process, our fundamental sense of I and Not-I
remains, and this is maya. This fundamental sense of I and Not-I disappears
in non-duality.


<<<<<<<[Steve:] 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, IMHO.>>>>

JERRY: Me too. No, they are not well explained, and are given out only in
hints here and there. I honestly think that Blavatsky understood what is
really going on, but she had a hard time putting words to it, and also she
didn't want to throw readers/students off by giving out too much advanced
material. Today's Tibetan Buddhists are facing this exact same dilemma -
give out publically the deeper teachings which probably will be
misunderstood, or let them die out from the world. Any way you look at it, a
tough choice.


<<<<<<Gerald: "Evolution into matter is largely unconscious. Involution back
into spirit is conscious

[Steve:] 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.>>>>>>>

JERRY: This is how G de Purucker explains/describes it. He says that spirit
evolves into matter and then involves back into spirit. I personally don't
much care one way or the other, and often use "evolution" in the
back-to-spirit route.


<<<<<Gerald: "The goal is to combine buddhi and manas into buddhi-manas.

[Steve:} Buddhi-manas already exists and does not need to be created. The
task is to get at it consciously.>>>>>

JERRY: Sorry for the confusion. I did not mean in the sense of creating
principles, but rather of creating its union within a person. Atma and
buddhi and manas already exist, yes, but they do so rather independently,
and they function separately. Buddhi functioning is usually unconscious.
(manas may get an intuitive flash from buddhi once in a while, but it is
usually sporadic and uncontrolled) So, let me rephrase: The goal is to unify
buddhi and manas so that one can consciously experience thoughts and
intuitions simultaneously.


<<<<<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>

JERRY: I would consider this to be a manas game. It may or may not be true.
However, I tend to like manas games, so long as we remember what they are.


<<<[Steve:] 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 principle.>>>>>

JERRY: OK, but I don't find this experientially. Actually, I don't even find
seven subplanes per plane experientially. CWL very nicely divided up the
astral plane into 7 subplanes, with a great deal of detail and commentary,
and I can agree with this scheme, but when on the astral plane one simply
has experiences, and such divisions and categorizations are not experienced
as such. Theosophy likes sevens. Other groups/organizations like other
numerical divisions. Who knows?

The desire for such subplanes and divisions seems to me to rest on the
inherent desire for a gradual progression from one plane to the next. But I
don't see why this is necessary. Each plane is experienced as if it were a
quantum jump, a totally disconnected and different "world." (objects are
experienced different from emotions which are different from thoughts, etc)
Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't, I don't know. I do know with some degree of
certainty, however, that the upper three planes are disconnected from the
lower four by the Great Outer Abyss or whatever one wants to call it - it is
a Ring-Pass-Not for the human mind including buddhi-manas.


<<<<<[Steve:] 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
theosophical writings.>>>>>

JERRY: This could be. All I can tell you, is that buddhi-manas and
kama-manas can both be experienced as types of observations. If manas is
considered as thinking, then kama-manas is a combination of thoughts and
emotions with colors and forms, and buddhi-manas is a combination of
thoughts and intuitions that are relatively formless. All seven principles
can be observed/examined/experienced by consciousness within oneself, and
various combinations are possible. Also, one can look at or observe these
principles in two ways: (1) through manas, which is relatively easy to do
but tends to distort them, or (2) by raising or lowering consciousness and
so observing them directly which tends to have less distortion but is harder
to do.


<<<<[Steve:] 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

JERRY: OK, but remember that she calls it "that imaginary bridge" (CW Vol
XII p 631). I don't recall if HPB says this or not, but before such
conscious contact can occur, the kama principle pretty much need to be


<<<<<[Steve:] 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. >>>>>

JERRY: OK, but there are other possible interpretations. Kama-manas, for
example, can be used to focus on the astral and mental planes and the waking
state is only when kama-manas is focusing on the physical plane. Most
dreams, for example, are of the kama-manas type.


<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>

JERRY: Agreed. This is also my take on Turiya (waking=physical,
dreaming=astral and mental, dreamless sleep=causal). Some try to equate
Turiya with spirituality, but I think all four states relate to our normal
human consciousness. Remaining aware in dreamless sleep is not so hard - I
have done so on occassion. One yogic goal is to remain in samadhi during the
night, and this is a lot harder.


<<<<[Steve:] 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 his ignorance.>>>>>

JERRY: Agreed. I think what she meant was that only Adepts can do it
regularly every night or consciously whenever they want to.


<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>>>>>>

JERRY: I have to disagree, in general. "Pure consciousness" goes beyond
manas altogether. If the experience contains images or sounds of any kind,
then one is still in manas, possibly buddhi-manas, and even possibly
atma-buddhi-manad. But atma-buddhi, for example, is without
conceptualization of any kind in that the manas is dropped off (silenced). I
would say that your "unconscious mind" as used above is Jung's personal
unconscious, and that above it is the collective unconscious.


<<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>>>

JERRY: OK, although I would call atma-buddhi our "higher Ego" rather than
buddhi-manas. Buddhi-manas is not a "monad" per se without atma.


<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>

JERRY: I personally do astral travel, but I use buddhi-manas rather than
kama-manas, and so I receive intitiations without the dubious "benefit" of
Tibet and all the fancy trimings. Everyone astral travels every day, its
only a question of doing it consciously.


<<<<[Steve:] 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. >>>>>

JERRY: OK. Purification, as a technique to use on the Path, is not about
some kind of magical ritual to make something dirty to be more clean. It is,
rather, a psychological process of removing guilt and doubt and remorse and
regret - all of those things that connect us with our past karma, and hold
us back. This is a valid technique in the process of becoming karmaless.


<<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>>

JERRY: Agreed.


<<<<<[Steve:] 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.>>>>>>

JERRY: Right. And the two sexes blend together as consciousness goes higher.


<<<<<[Steve:] Did one Russian drifter come up with this ingenious
model all by herself, without the assistance of others? I don't think so.

JERRY: Agreed. She had a lot of help.

Jerry S.

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