RE: re to Bruce -- Who is responsible for what ?
Apr 03, 2002 05:52 AM
04/03/2002 2:49 AM
Dear Bruce and Mauri:
The posting by Bruce (below) I find most instructive and
valuable. Also very reasoned and it is one that allows freedom
to the correspondent. It encourages the exchange of thoughts.
But it also allows for us to think -- shall we include
"speculation?" shall we say that some developments of thought
are more in line with experience (LAW ?) than others ? Can we
accept the idea that there are some "laws" which can be derived
from a series of isolated experiences?
What are we looking for?
What insights can we share?
How do we select items to consider?
To me it is amazing that so crude an instrument (and so variable
a one) as our physical body, is able to perform the quest for
self-analysis and self-identification.
Central to it is th sense of SELF. But thereafter the various
cloaks and memories it has seem to compel it to look at things in
various ways. Of these, one may select three broad divisions.
1. Memories that identify the existence of a central SELF -- a
consciousness that persists and bridges the gaps of
unconsciousness (sleep, trance or anesthesia) , this would be the
millions of memories in store as past experience.
2. Incoming sensations as vibratory stimuli from our senses --
new situational data.
3. Our imaging faculty, whereby we can create pictures of future
possibles, probables or entire fantasies -- with almost no
relation to the "realities of the world of waking experience."
Behind this "mask" of the "personality" (which is in constant
change and motion) I conclude there is a solidarity or a unity.
Shall we speak of it as the "esoteric SELF ?"
In our physical bodies WE seem to end up with the brain as the
area in which the most complicated (as well as the most simple)
ideas are considered and then modified. [ "WE" in this case I
assume to be the executive faculty generally called the MIND.]
To me this implies a condition and/or a location of
"stability" -- something which does not alter and change,
regardless of the various "filters" WE use to mentally "look" at
concepts or our fund of memories.
Ancient Hindu sages (from their writings) seem to have speculated
about this WE -- and they called it the "stable SELF." [ Aham --
"I"] They are of the opinion that IT uses the brain as a medium
through which IT brings current experience, sensation and thought
into juxtaposition with older ideas and memories that IT stored.
This "SELF" they concluded, is the permanent (though
unsubstantial and unlocatable) link between "my personality now,"
and MY memories of what I did as a child, a pupil, a young
person, and then in retrospect all the way up to the immediate
present moment, which, as soon as named "present," becomes the
PAST and is a "memory. This SELF, the "I" the "W" is enduring.
They then pressed this as a concept to include the gaps of sleep
and death -- saying that logically, the SELF was an IMMORTAL
BEING. And th body only nits temporary and evanescent illusory
vehicle, sheath, "kosha" [see S D I 157, II 596]
Would it not be useful to say that this SELF is constantly
advancing ? Is it an entity made up of focused energy -- and
therefore, can we say with justification that it can only be
assumed to be a "UNIT?" Is this the "esoteric" SELF ? Is this
the "REAL SELF" of the old philosophers? Is this the "REAL ME ?"
If possibly true, then, since it is currently using this body and
physical form, can we say that those are ITS current vehicles?
The Brain receives sensations (5 varieties are usually
catalogued: sound, sight, smell, taste, touch. Broadly we can
say they are all "vibrations." And it is the sense of "touch"
which registers all "changes" through the more specialized organs
of perception we give names to, such as "ear," "eye," "nose,"
"tongue," and "skin."
The waves of sensation then pass from those receptors (it is
assumed along the pathways of the nerves) to a screen (having
multiple functions) assumed to be in the Brain, and there, are
viewed as imaged by the SELF, which as "MIND" integrates the
incoming, the memories of similar events, and finally, as an
"executive," orders a response to travel from the brain to those
muscles that cause our bodies to react to those perceptions of so
many kinds. In actual function, this "executive function" seems
to reject action on many accounts. It selects those it considers
to be of primary importance, and focuses responses to those.
This "selective" ability is significant.
We then react, or express ourselves, ask questions, seek greater
precision in understanding, or we may decide (motive, being an
'emotional' attitude is added to the decision-making action) the
whole affair is below our notice and wipe it from active
response -- so at best, it becomes a memory. As such, all
memories are consigned to an internal filing system where they
are placed on an active status, or relegated to the "archives."
[ Apparently the phenomena of minute memory which in some kinds
of hypnosis experiments is known to be evoked on demand,
illustrates the fact that our "consciousness" as a "recorder"
never forgets. ]
All our actions go through some similar process before they
emerge as our feelings, our words, and our acts. They are
composites of IDEALS, pragmatism, emotion -- and thought rules
them, and WE the inner SELF rules all of these -- in making final
decisions to ACT. The act then emerges on to the plane of
visibility and thus incurs the "Karma" of its motivation -- when
associated with, or confronted by, the open and visible world of
acts and counter-actions. This, is then the plane of balance and
But naturally, before these emerge into objectivity there is this
whole subjective process of memory, feeling, thought and
decision-making. This is internal to each of us, and others may
surmise its existence and the nature of our "character' because
previous acts and words contribute to the chain of visible living
that represents each of us in their memories. And even if we can
grasp this concept, we cannot alter their concepts of ourselves.
We can only hope that our existence and past meets the positive
criterion of norms that indicate a virtuous character. [The
interplay of virtue and vice, and their definition, and relation
to Nature's Laws would form a whole new study in itself. It is a
study of the interplay of TRUTH and appearance. Of the
"esoteric" and the "exoteric" Of the REAL SELF and its many
"personas -- masks."]
The BHAGAVAD GITA is an ancient book, in which full play is given
to this kind of discussion between the sage Krishna and his pupil
Arjuna. There, the constitution of the "inner" the "esoteric
'man' is defined and contrasted with his habitat -- our world in
conflict -- which is the "exoteric." Correspondences are
established that show how and why humans are able to communicate
and understand each other. The purpose of living in our world is
[BHAGAVAD GITA is available through BLAVATSKY.NET.]
What this the gap played (in retrospect as a gap of active
memory) by the unconscious periods known to us in retrospect as
"sleep?" Then, the body being quiescent and non-receptive to
certain levels of incoming vibration, permits (how and for how
long?) the living receptors of our foci of sensation to rest from
their constant recording and reporting.
There are of course a number of details relative to "sleep" as a
function, and our "perception" when awake, that need to be
further analyzed -- books could be written on observations in
When we enter the area of consciousness gap, named and concerning
"death," and the possible continuity of our "unitary
consciousness" -- through the process which ancient Sages call
"reincarnation," we enter an area to which Theosophy has provided
a number of correlated doctrines and observations. Those ought
to be examined for logic and potential -- but that is another
study in itself. Information concerning this can be provided.
Suffice it at the moment to say, that the unconsciousness of
sleep is a common occurrence. Conclusion: something we may call
the SELF, survives and continues living in a body which has been
previously used by it. We are then said to reawaken.
We awake, we resume the cloak of memories, and the onus of
duties, in continuity with the entity-self that was awake and
active "yesterday" and far back in all our "yesterdays."
It is always presumed that this series of interrupted memories
indicate a responsible SELF, and further, this "SELF" exists as a
PERMANENCE, and can be held responsible (in law and in fact) for
acts done by it in the past.
This is the presumption that leads to all applications of
responsibility, as an item of "character" (such a vague term) --
the current WE, now living in a physical body, that may have been
successively replaced by a whole new generation of cells,
molecules and atoms, (assembled in the 'privative' limits of our
physical structures and 'body') is held successor and responsible
for our past acts, thoughts, feelings, memories -- and this is
employed as a basis for interaction with others, who are in the
same situation with regard to themselves as we are. [ Can we
say this illustrates the Biblical statement that the sins of the
"fathers" are the burdens of their 'children?' ] The "children"
in this case being the tremendous aggregation of atoms,
molecules, cells and other structures that we call our bodies?
And if so what holds them together and gives them shape? How are
they affected by our desires and emotions? what part does
thought and duty play in determining the nature of our bodies?
There is a great deal more that could be added to these word, but
the main thing, is -- do they make sense ? Do "WE" exist. Are
we something more than just a reactive and registering body? WHO
ARE WE ?
From: Bruce F. MacDonald [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 7:25 AM
Subject: re to Bruce
Bruce to Mauri
I notice that you leave everything open for speculation
last email. So I will speculate a lot here, since I don't have
answers. The last few exchanges have been very mysterious.
>Bruce, here's a "what if" for your consideration. Mind you I'm
>saying what KIND of consideration, exactly, or from what kind
>angle, or "what for," exactly, all of which, obviously, makes
for . . .
>well, for "more consideration," at any rate. And not just
>this is April Fool's Day, I'm hoping.
Bruce: So, what for, what if, more consideration. I'll see
>Have you considered stepping back, "objectively," from some of
>"apparent" explanations that might come to mind about, say,
>"apparent" behaviour as displayed in her posts? (Didn't I
>something about "overviewing" in my previous post?)
Bruce: I have been "stepping back" from these apparent
for some time now. I have been wondering what the motives are
she writes, what points she is trying to make, etc. And for a
while I was
actually angry with her (as I said in one of my recent emails,
because I saw in her something of what I was a number of years
skeptical and belligerent). So in that self-examination (trying
to be more
"subjective" rather than "objective") I realized I was in part
an aspect of my self. That is esoteric. :-)
Then I realized that at that time of skepticism in my
life, what I
needed was to have someone explain some things to me clearly. So
off the emails explaining some of the things she seemed to be
about. I think it is important, esoterically, to note that what
we do on
these lists is usually to respond to something which arises
ourselves, and what I have been doing is just that.
I don't know B-----, so I cannot respond to her
directly, but I
can sense that everything is in some sense connected, and if I
is a need, even if it appears to be a projection from my own
now or in the past, then I react to that perceived need. There
the possibility that I might be dead wrong in my response, of
that is the way we perceive, I believe. And often our response
appropriate, if not now, then maybe years from now.
But the response may be appropriate in other ways as
list I have received a couple of emails which told me that what I
extremely appropriate, and I don't know what the response of
others on the
list is. But here is where it becomes very esoteric and I will
up in reply to something else you wrote about Karma further on,
an exchange like that over the last few weeks there seems to be
Karma at work:
>Anyway, I don't want to labor my specualative trend, here. But
>inter-reactions between B-------, Gerald, you (Bruce), Leon,
>are beginning to seem more and more interesting to me (and to
>others?) in the sense that, the more I think about the various
>points of view, the more I seem to understand about the
>between esoteric and exoteric.
Bruce: What do you understand about the differences? I would be
interested to know.
>B------- recently wrote (as per Gerald's Apr 1 post):
><<<<<Blavatsky, is emphatic that Karma does not only "adjust all
>our relationships," but also "keeps the stars on their courses
>every atom in being " as Dallas ten Broek recently posted. All
>claims are open to the criticism that, if they are interpreted
>straightforward way, they are simply absurd and, if they are
>interpreted in such a way as to avoid absurdity, they say
>B------- (to who's posts I haven't paid enough attention) in
>paragraph SEEMS to be saying (at least seems, to me, that she
>MIGHT be saying) that she is "not just dealing with exoteric
>Theosophic issues." (At one point I thought that she she might
Bruce: You see, I don't see her response as trying to be
esoteric. I see
it as a logical fallacy. She points out what HPB says as quoted
then says, essentially, that there are only two ways to interpret
idea, both of which are "simply absurd" or "absolutely nothing."
are always other ways to look at things, but this setting up of
alternatives is merely a way of dismissing the idea which Dallas
presenting without allowing that there might be a third or forth
interpreting it which would make sense of it.
Essentially, that is what I did with the emails about
bodies: I did not accept her assertions that there were only one
options, which led to absurdity, and instead expanded the
suggesting that there were other ways of looking at the whole
astral bodies, drawing on HPB's ideas all the while.
>And if she's "a professor at the University of Vienna," as you
>Bruce, in your post, then surely she knows about basic, normal
>about plagiarism, etc. And IF she knows, but STILL goes on as
>(apparently) she doesn't "care enough" (eg), then what might be
>motive for such interesting behaviour that (at least from my
>view) seems to occasionally swing somewhat confusingly or
>between apparent exoteric and apparent esoteric implied meaning,
Bruce: This is really a mystery to me. On several occasions
pointed out that things she signs her name to are plagiarized.
As you say,
she should know better. What her motive is, I have no idea, but
I should make it clear what the usual rules of plagiarism are,
case. I notice Jerry picked up on that in his reply to your
request to use
his material in a discussion group and put a smile after it :-)
>At any rate, the various "arguments" I've come across lately on
>lists cerainly have been attention getting for me. And I
suspect that I
>have learned a few things.
Bruce: This is where these things begin to become more esoteric.
surface there appears to be a conflict, but under the surface
thought processes are being given a chance to manifest for others
consider. So doubts and negatives and feelings and the working
feelings and ideas manifest and we all participate and see our
reactions to things. And we learn. In one of those things which
recently sent out, HPB says that when the opposing forces in the
finally form a complete equilibrium, then death ensues. Well, we
had equilibrium, so maybe some new insights have arisen from the
and we certainly haven't been dead.
>On the other hand, what the various participants on these lists
>been doing on more-conscious levels . . . well, that's all, of
>beyond me, basically, since I'm not a mind reader.
Bruce: I would like to know what some of the other members have
feeling or thinking. I am not a mind reader either.
>Nevertheless, I can't imagine (well, almost "can't imagine," in
>sense) a better environment for learning about some "Theosophic
>things." Actually, I wonder if maybe I should just admit to
>that I can't think of a better learning environment . . . Not
>"SURE," of course. But, then, if I were "sure," I don't see how
>"speculate well enough." And if I felt hampered in my
>speculating, well, gee, for me that would be like deadsville, or
>Theosophy without it's "esoteric aspects."
Bruce: Exactly. As a biologist friend of mine says, in a living
if there is no perturbation, there is no adaptation and no
change, but when
biological systems are perturbed, then they have to adapt and
change (and learn?).
>As for role playing . . . Figure it out, if you like, Bruce.
Or go on
>playing roles, or at least "your role." Whatever. It's all
>me, so far, I tend to think. Of course we all play "roles,"
>(or "pay attention," or "study," or "discuss," or whatever) but,
>we're all (or most of us?), say, "interested in Theosophic
>would've thought that we might have some interest in
>between "apparent" and "real" roles and meanings: ie,
>differentiating between, say, "esoteric aspects " and "exoteric
Bruce: I am not sure when we get to the stage of not playing
roles -- when
we reach enlightenment in this life (eh Jerry?) or in some other.
personality is a "persona", a mask, then we are always playing
we realize that we are and are able to get rid of the roles.
But there is a more esoteric aspect to this as well. In
interplay of Karma, we play roles in relationship to each other,
which change from lifetime to lifetime or even hour to hour.
are the "bewildered one" who is struggling to bring something to
maybe Brigitte is the midwife who helps bring that to birth.
Then at other
times someone is the midwife and someone else is trying to bring
to birth. I am sure we have all shared our relationships in the
this forum gives us a chance to come together again and try to
out and rise to a different sense of understanding.
Not all opposition is from an "enemy." In fact our
"enemies" are often our best friends, because they cause us to
there is conflict and to learn something else from them. They
perturbations in the biological, philosophical, spiritual system
causes it to change and grow.
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