Dec 17, 2001 02:54 PM
by Peter Merriott
JERRY: Here is the PROBLEM in a nutshell: If Atma cannot be transcended, why
do we need Paramatman and the Monad? And why should enlightenment and the
Path itself be limited to Atma? If it can be transcended, then how can it be
permanent? This is the illogical box in which I find this situation. I can
get out of this box by defining atma as impermanent and mayavic. How would
you get out of it?
I'm afraid you are in a box of your own making here. I don't feel I share
your predicament. If what HPB says is true ie in reality Atman is the ONE
LIFE, at one with Parabrahm, why then do you feel the need to transcend it
and in what sense is the Path limited to Atman if it is one with Parabrahm,
the Absolute? But let me also ask you - who is it that transcends ATMAN?
What is it you believe you are doing when you "transcend" Atman?
JERRY: I have no argument with your right to believe what you will. And for
all I know, atma is smeared over all three upper planes. All I have asked is
that you try to form an overview of Blavatsky's evolutionary scheme that can
somehow logically include a permanent atma within an impermanent manifested
manvantara, and then present that overview in your own words on this list.
So far you have not done so. You have not even been able to explain how we
can transcend a permanent component of our constitution.<<<
I tend to write in whatever way suits my purpose and the time I have
available. I don't feel any need to meet your demands nor anyone elses on
these lists. I also don't feel the need to have an answer to every question
about Theosophy, nor be able to explain everything found in HPB's works,
before I can question the viewpoint of another member of these lists. Much
of what I say here is in my own words and when I am looking at what HPB
wrote I also give what she writes so people have a chance to see for
themselves. If you look back on our earlier posts you will see I have
answered your question about Atma and the evolutionary scheme. Let me
recap, and I make no pretence to be perfect or watertight in what I say
below. These are just some ideas.
In brief, if we accept HPB's statement that ATMAN is the GREAT BREATH then
everything in the Universe, all Universes, is permeated by ATMAN, the ONE
LIFE. It is that within every living thing from Atom to Logos which
connects us all to the Great Unknown. It is OMNIPRESENT during Manvanatara,
which may be why HPB says it is "of all the planes". We might then
speculate that what distinguishes an atom from an animal, a human being, a
Dhyani Buddha or even Logos, is not its ATMAN but the vehicles of
manifestation in which ATMAN is 'reflected', so to speak. Hence all the
Mystic statements that Atman and Paramatman, Atman and Brahman, Atman and
Parabrahm are ONE.
It is Buddhi, the DIVINE SOUL, the Pilgrim, (the Vehicle of ATMAN) which is
said to pass through all the kingdoms of Nature. This is what the 3rd
Fundamental Proposition states (SD I 17). It, Buddhi, first begins to
differentiate in the vegetable kingdom (see 5 Years of Theosophy, The
Mineral Monad) becoming more and more 'individualised' as it progesses and
so on up to Dhyani Buddha in this manvantara.
To use an analogy, ATMA is said to be like the sunlight that shines on all.
Under its light the potentialities locked up in Pradhana, Prakriti, begin to
manifest and evolve. Thus it is not ATMA but 'substance' which evolves.
Like the sunlight ATMAN simply shines on all, it is completely impersonal
and is unchanged whether or not the plant grows under its influence, dies in
the shadow, or whether that plant grows into the most perfect tree on the
planet. This is consistent with HPB statments that it is wrong to believe
that Atman changes, progresses or remembers.
The tree does not need to transcend the sunlight in order to grow. Nor more
does the human being nor any being need to transcend ATMA in order to grow.
But it/they do need to bring themselves under the influence of its rays.
Which is no less than saying each being needs to find a way to rest in its
own essence, its own nature. The Atman reflected in the 'perfect' being
will shine out with a splendour not found in any of the lesser forms and may
thus be called the "Supreme" of that particular hieararchy.
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