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re to Gerald, Leon, and . . .

Nov 09, 2002 04:39 PM
by Mauri

Gerald wrote: << Duality is relatively easy to understand 
with polar opposites like up and down, and beauty and 
ugliness. Also, we all understand left and right, and male 
and female. We pretty much take these dualities for 
granted. But manas has a much harder time with some 
other dualities like existence and nonexistence for 
example, or self and not-self. The basic polar opposites 
of Space and Motion are also not clearly understood by 
manas, and usually require experiential knowledge.>>

And, while we're on that subject, what about those 
people and Theosophists who . . . (how should one put 
it?) occasionally tend to give the impression (to some of 
us?) that they can't see the forest for the trees . . . That is, 
as I see it, (or tend to see it), the study of Theosophy, in 
particular, might be somewhat better accomplished or 
entered into with a kind of two-tiered approach:

1. as per one's realization of the dualistic, literalistic (or 
"exoteric") aspects of one's study, and, 2. while keeping 
in mind that the dualistic aspects of one's studies can only 
be, at best, the dualistic or exoteric "aspects or versions" 
that were created as per one's notions about "relevance 
re the underlying esoteric/experiential reality" (not that 
that "relevance" can ever have a "direct enough" 
relationship with what is categorically at least far less 
dualistic, apparently?)

For example, why is it that when I read many of Leon's 
posts, I tend to feel that his scientizing comes across to 
me as if he doesn't realize that, while modeling might be a 
nice hobby, that's not, after all, what Theosophy is more 
realistically about. I see Theosophy as a medium by 
which one might in some way transcend dualistic notions 
not by creating more of dualistic/exoteric modeling, but 
by reading between the lines of one's world, as opposed 
to getting trapped by them . . .

Or do some of us (Leon, Gerald?) create more lines and 
models with the objective of then having more of them to 
read between . . . ^:-) Well, whatever turns one on, I 
suppose . . . Not that I see anything wrong with being 
creative. And I tend to think one can, optionally, read 
between the lines of a vast array of creative efforts, some 
of which may appear ("on the surface") to have no 
particularly "direct" relationship with Theosophy (but 
may be, in some sense, even more intimately related?).

But I suspect that as long as Theosophists confine their 
studies and attitudes within certain literalistic guidelines 
(which approach may, of course, be perfectly 
appropritate for some Theosophists, in consideration of 
where they're at, "on their Path" . . .), then such literalism 
will confine their studies, might even tend to keep them 
from as much speculating about whatever transcendent 
aspects/relevance they might be inclined to at least 
speculate about if they were less hampered, 
brainwashed, hypnotized by their current worldview.

<<Some folks might consider the opposite of sin to be 
purification. I think that your definition of sin as "doing 
wrong as judged by ones conscience" is good. Sin is also 
closely connected to ignorance. We usually do wrong out 
of ignorance of the consequences. In Christianity, we 
alleviate sin through atonement. On a Path, we alleviate 
sin through purification. Tantric Buddhism, for example, 
is considered a "fast track" Path, and if you look closely 
most of its rituals involve purifications. The thrust of 
purification rituals or yogic exercises is to raise our 
self-image from a human "sinner" to a "spark of the 
divine flame;" to raise our sense of identity from human 
to divine, from mortal to immortal. >>

"Sin?" Something to do with "wrongdoing"? If 
Theosophy is seen in terms of reasoning that unifies 
"self" and "other people," then (obviously?) one can only 
do wrong to oneself . . . So here's a little experiment:

1. get a friend to place their thumb on a sturdy stake.

2. hit frinds thumb with hammer.

3. ouch (says friend, not you).

4. wait for the karmic repercussions of said ouch
from friend.

5. keep waiting.

6. don't forget what you're waiting for even after many 

7. If you forget what you're waiting for (as in many 
cases, apparently?) don't assume that you're not waiting 
for anything.

8. Eventually, when you finally get around to, say, 
karmically hitting yourself, or being hit (eg, on your "own 
thumb," with a hammer, say), don't assume . . .

9. don't assume what . . . ? (not for me to say)

10. in any case, this experiment, when carried out as 
described, ought to demonstrate something about the 
difference between karma and self . . . (maybe?):

11. this experiment demonstrated (didn't it?) that by 
studying Theosophy and karmaself (and "related 
subjects" as per "esoteric/exoteric" and "Theosophy" . . 
.), one ought to come to the realization that, though there 
is an apparent, or creative, connection between "karma" 
and "self," (the quotes as per allowance toward that 
creative/interpretive component) they are, nevertheless, 
two different things in terms of dualistic and 
non-dualistic, in the sense that, of the two, only the "self" 
is generally seen (I think?) as associated with the 
potential to transcend "itself" on a Path toward Beness. 

12. that kind of realization might help in setting one on a 
path that might be less bound by dualistic principles. 

13. finished with hitting one's thumb, etc, and after 
realizing that karmaself is mayavic, one becomes 

14. That's it. And . . . 

<<Yes, as seekers after truth we are like Jesus when he 
was tempted by the Devil. He had enough experiential 
knowledge so that if he wanted to use it for personal 
gain, he could. This is a temptation that we must all face. 
In order to be a bodhisattva, we each have to deny the 
Devil's temptation for personal rewards. Becoming a 
bodhisvattva is not easy, and it requires a commitment of
time and effort. But it is the right thing to do, and 
speaking in an evolutionary sense it is the ultimate goal 
that we are all striving toward, and have been for 
countless lifetimes. >>

Or, optionally (?), we might try on the view that 
"advancement," (as per whatever shape, form, 
terminology), is closely enough allied with a certain 
innate wisdom to not hit oneself in the thumb, or any 
other place . . . That way, how can one not fail to make 
some kind of meaningful progress . . . well, at least in 
"exoteric terms," for a start . . . Of course (?), on the 
other hand (or same hand?), one might discover that 
there are so many different ways that one can, in effect, 
hammer one's thumb or whatever . . .

<<Yes, a Path requires a great deal of effort at the 
outset, but you gain back in proportion to what you 
expend. And after treading a Path for awhile, you
will find that the effort required becomes less and less, 
and that eventually it becomes effortless.>>

Right, sems it's been a while since I last hammered my 
thumb . . . Hmm. ^:-) Actually, seeing as there might be 
so many different ways that one can hammer oneself, 
well . . . ^:-) . . . That's my symbol for a stumped guy 
scratching his head (not that I regard myself as "TOO 
stumped," "really," but/"but" . . . "well")

<<A true Path will eventually be effortless. A 
bodhisattva, for example, expends no effort doing what 
she does. The actions of a bodhisattva are spontaneous 
and pure and effortless much like the sun shines light in 
all directions because it can do nothing less. The first 
stage or ground of the bodhisattva is called "joyful" or 
"perfect joy" because of the joy in life that is experienced 
at that stage.>>

I suppose those bodhisattvas know about the various 
ways that one can hammer oneself, so . . . easy for them 
to say, apparently . . .

<<Chandrakirti says of the first stage (in Introduction to 
the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with 
Commentary by Jamgon Mipham, trans
Padmakara Trans Group, Shambala, 2002):

"For they are born the offspring of the Tathagatas.
Three fetters they have utterly forsworn.
Fulfilled in supreme joy, these Bodhisattvas have
The power to shake a hundred worlds." (p 60)

To which Mipham, a Ningma Dzogchen Master, 

"(1) The first bodhisattva ground transcends the levels of 
ordinary beings, Shravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas. The 
Bodhisattvas who enter this ground become members of 
the family of Tathagatas; they will never more stray to 
other paths, for their lineage is now irreversible. (2) The 
Bodhisattvas on this ground have a direct realization of 
the nonexistence of the self. This enables them to 
abandon the three fetters: the view of the transitory 
composite, the belief in the superiority of their ethical 
discipline, and doubt--together with all the obscurtaions 
eliminated on the path of seeing. (3) Because they
have attained the sublime qualities of realization and 
have eliminated all defects, the Bodhisattvas experience 
an extraordinary happiness, which is why this ground is 
called Perfect Joy. (4) At the same time, the Bodhisattvas
acquire one hundred and twelve powers, such as the 
miraculous ability to cause a hundred different worlds to 
tremble. These are the qualities of their extraordinary, 
indeed sublime, attainment." (p 149)>>>>>

And all it took was the wisdom to keep oneself from 
hammering oneself . . . ? 

<<OK, good luck, and we will be thinking of you.>>

I was going to say "whoever you are," but, then . . . well, 
if we're all aspects of One, that "whoever" might seem 
kind of offish, so . . . ^:-) . . . Anyway, don't forget: My 
thumb's been hit often enough already, eh! 


PS Not that I'm speculating so much about the 
hammerings I have had, as . . . Well, not being 
enlightened, I feel "speculating" might be somewhat 
more sensible, or safer, than "stating facts." Although . . 
. Hmm. I wonder if my "althoughs" (or "some of them" . 
. . ) might be so much self hammering, in some way . . . 
Tricky stuff. 

PPS Gerald here was uncrossedly responding (with the
use of "<<>>") on Theos-1 to a private post, apparently.
But I his persmission to quote him . . . or had, not too
long ago.

PPPS Since Leon is mentioned in this post, and since
don't know if Leon subscribes to Theos-1, I thought it 
might be somewhat relevant to send this post to this list,
maybe . . .

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