Some Thoughts - Shoreline Evolution and LaPlace
Mar 01, 2002 07:12 AM
by Gerald Schueler
JERRY: I would like to offer some thoughts on Theosophy. I don't mean to pick on Dallas, and am simply using his recent post as a typical example.
<<<<To begin with, it ought to be made clear that Theosophy is that ocean of knowledge which spreads from shore to shore of the evolution of sentient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts,
it gives the greatest minds their fullest scope, yet, shallow enough at its shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child.>>>
JERRY: This quote from Dallas is exactly why I coined the term "Shoreline Theosophy" and why it is, I feel, so very applicable in most Theosophical literature. The "shallow enough at its shores" business is pure exotericism; not wrong so much as it is misleading. Why? Becuse it refies things that are not "things" at all. Exotericism builds pictures or models in our mind, and then influences or misleads us into thinking of those pictures/models as being real in themselves.
One short example:
Shoreline Theosophy from Dallas: "Evolution is the development of consciousness ever forward, ever expanding to the infinite."
Deeper Theosophy from G de Purucker: "A globe is therefore seen to be evolving by a dual process of involution and evolution. They work together and at the same time, every step in evolution being likewise a step in involution. The elemental powers forming the energies of a planetary chain as they descend into physical substance, are at once an involution of spirit and an evolution of matter proceeding concurrently and continuously. On the ascending arc, it is an involution or disappearance of matter and an evolution of spirit, the opposite of the same thing. You cannot discover evolution working apart from involution ..." (FS of O, p 360)
JERRY: The idea of evolution presented by Dallas, and others, is a linear progression into infinity, which sounds nice to our human ears, but is simply not what is really going on. It is a misleading picture. Evolution and involution always work together - they are two sides of a duality, which G de Purucker was sharp enough to know and kind enough to tell us so that we would know too.
Secondly, we have discussed some, on these lists, about what I referred to as Laplacian thinking in Theosophy. Leon and others have denied this, so let me present a good example of it. The following is from Dallas:
"It is therefore complete in itself and sees no unsolvable mystery anywhere. It throws the word coincidence out of its vocabulary. It hails the reign of law in everything and every circumstance."
The above statements are Laplacean thinking. The idea that everything is knowable is totally out of line of modern science and modern psychology, as well as esotericism. The above, from Dallas, is totally discarding chaos not to mention acausality alias synchronicities. But the Esoteric Tradition tells us that there are Ring Pass-nots set up to bind or limit us within this universe, and so we (or Theosophy) cannot ever hope to know "everything and every circumstance." Laplacean thinking denies (ignores) chaos, uncertainty, unpredictability, and probability, and so an outsider reading the above statement by Dallas would easily jump to the conclusion that we Theosophists are like the proverbial ostrich with their head stuck in the sand. And that is the main reason why I feel the need to protest and to interject another view here.
My Point: Shoreline Theosophy is knowable. It is composed of pictures, ideas, words, and models. It can be communicated and understood. Depth Theosophy is ineffable, nonconceptual, and non-dual. Shoreline Theosophy is not what is really going on. Depth Theosophy is. So, I am not arguing against Shoreline Theosophy, not am I saying it is wrong etc. I am, however, saying that most posts are actually addressing Shoreline Theosophy, and readers should remember the difference when they read anyone's posts on these lists.
Just something to think about.
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