RE: God as "A Being" versus God as "No-Being"
Nov 24, 2002 03:32 AM
Nov 23 2002
Re: Creation, Progression or Infinite Evolution.
Dear Friends and Steve:
The problems with creationism and positing a God that makes something
out of nothing hardly solves the fact that we are here along with a
lot of other entities. Some think, some are less informed, and some
know a lot more than we do.
The main thing is we are here.
How did we, and all around us, begin?
How is any Human Being born? As for the body, we know the parameters.
As for the Mind, we do not, but there is much speculation. As to the
"character, desires, urges, motivations, etc," we also speculate. And
as for the Spirit, some question its very existence.
In this case why not turn to The SECRET DOCTRINE and see what it has
to say? Then we will know what is taught there, and perhaps with the
urging of H P B and our own common sense we will arrive at some
"Infinite regression," far from being "absurd" merely indicates there
is a series of Universal activity periods -- presumably, followed by
appropriate rest periods (as in "sleep"). But at no point is it
suggested that CONSCIOUSNESS and MEMORY are obliterated. There is no
logic for that.
The Manvantaras are each and all followed by an equally long period of
"rest" (Pralaya). [ This is indicated in the First Stanzas from the
BOOK OF DZYAN in The SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I p. 27-8. ]
What the early Gnostics ( Basilides, Valentinus, Marcion, Simon Magus,
etc...) taught we have only fragments as the early Church Fathers, in
their desire to establish dogma and orthodoxy, in the Church,
systematically destroyed many important Gnostic documents in Western
Europe (the Eastern Church in Eastern Europe preserved them) -- but
that seems to be the fate of many ancient systems. Later the Library
at Alexandria, (like that at Eleusis and Pergamon) thrice rebuilt, was
finally sacked and burnt by Caliph Osman in the 7th century, when the
Arabs overran Egypt and Assyria, and despoiled both countries.
As I understand it, Theosophy presents a review of all that was
thought of and known, and tried to show the unity of ancient wisdom
through references to the available past in ISIS UNVEILED and The
SECRET DOCTRINE, as well as in a number of articles, such as ANCIENT
PHILOSOPHERS AND MODERN CRITICS [ H P B Articles: LUCIFER, July /
August 1892; reprinted in Vol. I, p. 14 of H. P. B. Articles, (U L T
edn.) ] where our Greek roots in philosophy (as reposed in the
"Mysteries" and early Masonry ) are discussed. And those all pointed
back to their antecedent roots further East. [ Ex oriente lux.]
There the philosophical and informational links in the period of
Pythagoras and Plato are shown to extend to Egypt and to India.
One thing we do learn and that is the world of Knowledge and of Wisdom
are universal and timeless. Our modern advances and discoveries are
shown to have been known in antiquity.
Briefly, Theosophy holds that our present Universe, our present solar
system, our Earth and our own SPIRITUAL SELVES are all reincarnations
of a serial spiritual quality; and their beginning cannot be traced
in a past that has any meaning for us. To our mental gaze it appears
infinitely to recede. So be it.
Our presence here is evidence of that continuity, not of form or body,
but of SPIRIT.
And, as far as I know, the SPIRIT IS. It is not made.
In Theosophy, the spiritual focus of every level or type, as the force
or power of incarnation, resides in the remote and indescribable
ABSOLUTENESS, which, like SPACE always IS, whether there is
manifestation and incarnation or not. We all bathe in IT.
To secure an idea of the periods of time we could consider, we might
turn to The SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol. II, pp. 68 to 70, where the vast
time cycles are disclosed and discussed, and with this before us, try
to relate them to our own rather brief existence in our present
"personality" -- the "here and now." I do not see how we can arrive
at any final determination.
Also one thing I am quite sure of: I would prefer an impersonal,
universal, just, honest and sincere LAW operating in harmonizing and
supporting the UNIVERSE and its vast diversity of beings than some
petty, poorly constructed, whimsical, and angry or inept "God."
There is every evidence that is not the case, so let us act within the
parameters of that which is reasonable, and let common sense be our
guide in all relations.
If we are all fellow immortals we have lived together before, and will
again. I would rather have friends than enemies any time.
From: Steve Stubbs
Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: God as "A Being" versus God as "No-being"
--- In theos-talk@y..., "Daniel H. C" <comments @ b...> wrote:
> K H wrote to A.P. Sinnett:
"A Being however gigantic, occupying space and having length
breadth and thickness is most certainly the Mosaic deity; 'No-being'
mere principle lands you directly in the Buddhistic atheism, or the
Vedantic primitive Acosmism."
It might be worthwhile to mention the ideas of Basilides in this
regard. For the benefit of Larry and others who might find it
relevant, he claimed to have inherited the esoteric teaching of
Matthias and Peter.
Theists (Christians,usually, in this country) argue that there must
be a God (i.e., theirs) because the world must have come from
somewhere. As John Stuart Mill pointed out, the argument is
basically flawed because we then have the right to ask where God came
from. If we posit a super God which was the origin of God, we still
have the same problem. This is known in philiosophy as the "infinite
regress" and is considered absurd.
In abstract the argument is that being can only originate with Being;
therefore if there is being (the Creation) there must have been a
Being which preceded it (the Creator.)
Basilides solved the problem by positing that being could be preceded
either by Being or by Non-Being. He therefore does not dispute the
argument that the Creation implies a Creator, and he allows that the
Creator had a Creator, and so forth, but that ultimately one of these
series of Creators was preceded by Non-Being and there the regress
ends. The solution is ingenious, but if you look at it carefuilly,
it does away with the need for a Creator, since the Creation could
have proceeded directly from Non-Being. This is how I interpret a
statement Feuerstein made to me in a letter, and which I have always
considered a truly awesome thought:
"In Buddhism, there is no Creator, which is why the Creation remains
the mystery that it is."
The ideas Basilides and Valentinus wrote about were supposed to be
sequestered from the vulgar masses, and with the rise of the catholic
church they came to be completely ignored. Somehow I think the wrong
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