Re: Re to Bill - Blinds
Jan 26, 2003 08:09 PM
by Bill Meredith
Thanks Jerry. I appreciate you taking the time to help me. I hope you don't
mind that I forward this post to a couple of other theosophy lists. I think
that what you say here needs the widest broadcast possible.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Schueler" <email@example.com>
To: "Theosophy Study List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 7:23 PM
Subject: Re to Bill - Blinds
> <<<Hi Jerry, may I ask some questions below?>>>
> Hi Bill. Sure. I will give it my best.
> <<<<<I suspect that BAG is referring to me here since I have recently been
trying to point out some of the blinds that Blavatsky used. Occult blinds
are NOT deceptions or lies.
> Bill: So they are the honest truth? Or somewhere between? If one argues
that the only truth is that every other "truth" is dualistic maya,
then....well where does that leave the self who would hold some truths to be
> JERRY: You know, right after I sent that post, I realized that I should
have added the word "deliberate" after the "NOT." TRUTH is ineffable, and
cannot be put into words without distortion, and technically any kind of
distortion is a lie. When Buddha was asked, "What is Truth?" his response
was a smile. When Pilot put the same question to Jesus, his response was
silence. Blavatsky's response was Isis, SD, and vols of other material, none
of which is TRUTH per se, and technically all of which are lies because
words inherently distort TRUTH.
> I agree that some truths are self-evident. Which ones? Those that we can
demonstrate by direct experience. But as our experiences change, so our
understanding of Truth, and especially self-evident Truth, changes as well.
> <<<<<<They are esoteric wisdom when it is put into exoteric language in
order for others with no experiential knowledge to understand at least
> Bill: Jerry, what is experiential knowledge? exoteric or esoteric?
How much intellectual understanding is enough? My experience is that some
of the most spiritually enlightened people are that way without or in spite
of intellectual "understanding." What is the opposite dual pole of
> intellectual? Where is the intuition and how much intellect is needed to
> JERRY: I would define all experiential knowledge as being esoteric and
intellectual knowledge as being exoteric. I think that this is the true
definitions of these two terms as used traditionally in occultism. The
generally accepted definition of esoteric makes all occult schools elitist.
The taste of an apple is esoteric, while putting the flavor into words is
exoteric. In the same way, spiritual experience such as samadhi is esoteric,
while definitions and descriptions of it are exoteric.
> Your understanding is correct. Manas development is not necessary in order
to experience atma-buddhi and can often be a hinderance. The intellect is
manas and the intuition is buddhi, and these two principles function on
different planes. Manas need not be very active to activate buddhi, nor does
> need to be active in order to activate manas. A highly developed manas, or
great intellect, will not help activate buddhi. In order to consciously
activate buddhi, manas must be transcended.
> <<<Bill: Is this the same as: "those who have intellect, let them
> JERRY: If the subject under discussion is an intellectual one, then yes.
But if it is a spiritual or intuitive one, then no. Those who have
experienced spirituality will understand its verbal description upon hearing
it. Those who have not experienced it will not understand the verbal
> this can be said for all esoteric or direct experiences. Intellectual
knowledge does not lead to experiential knowledge, but experiential
knowledge does lead to intellectual knowledge when verbalized. I think that
this is true on all the planes.
> <<<<Humility is the opposite dualistic pole from conceit, and one must
believe in an ego to have either. And who even begins to know what TRUTH is?
As far as I am concerned, "SELF-TRUTH" is that there is no self separate
from a not-self.
> Bill: Lately I have been wondering about the concept of dividing
something into a higher and lower grouping. Maybe such a division may be
our first intellectual mistake in trying to understand our self. I am
losing faith in the rational solution that reasonable men may be expected to
> One writer here often quotes the HPB mantra about a judge needing to see
both sides before a correct decision can be arrived at. I wonder is this an
intellectual correctness. The same process gives us murderers walking free
and non-murderers on death-row. Is it not our hope and perhaps even prayer
> to free ourselves from the errors of such a system? How? By collecting
more "sides" to compare and contrast?>>>>
> JERRY: There is nothing wrong with dividing things into groupings as long
as you are aware of what you are doing. If you want to know what the self
is, then look for it. Is it the physical body? Is it the mind? Is it the
spirit? Our body, mind, and spirit are all components or aggregates, and
even the skandhas are divided into 5 groupings that are usually referred to
as the five aggregates. Nowhere within any of these things is one single
thing we can point to as constituting a separate self. And nowhere outside
of these components is any separate self either. Yet the illusion persists
that we have one, somewhere. The reality is that we do and we don't; but
there is no individual self in the sense that we think there is. So,
everytime we use the word "self" it is a blind. It can't be helped.
> If you want to know who is a murderer and who isn't, then you can't use
manas. As you say, manas cannot tell the difference. But buddhi can.
Training in atma-buddhi gives us the ability to look into another person's
aura and see exactly what is going on. Only by doing this can we know what
kind of help a person really needs, and helping others is what life is all
> <<<Bill: Well its good to see that you find each of us ready to hear
these teachings. :)>>>
> JERRY: When Blavatsky said that giving out dangerous occult information to
the public was a lot like giving matches to children, she wasn't kidding. My
hope is that today's Theosophists are grown up enough to handle it. When I
wrote my first book on magic, Barbara Hand Clow (another occult writer)
asked me if I realized the karma that I was creating by giving out this kind
of information to the general public. I assured her that I was ready to
receive it. And I have, and am still doing so. I am certain that I will have
karmic repercussions from some of my Theosophical postings too, but I see
this as part of life and will accept my karmic burdens. And actually, we all
are doing this kind of thing anyway (ie all interrelationships are karmic),
but I may be more conscious of it than you, I don't know (?).
> <<<<< The unitiated will misunderstand such teachings and take them in the
wrong way, which will result in lots of bad karma for them. But these kind
of teachings are not lies or deceptions, they are true but only when
> Bill: Who knows what the unitiated will misunderstand? Who is
responsible for the unitiated? Who is responsible for the bad karma of
others? What about the karma of one who could help the developing intuition
of another, yet fails to offer helpful teachings because they might be
misunderstood and taken the wrong way by the intellect?>>>>
> JERRY: Agreed. Bill, what you say here is exactly why I went ahead and
published book on magic, and why I am speaking honestly and freely here.
> <<<There is hiding, and there is hiding. Esoteric teachings are ineffable,
and cannot be put into words without distortion. So anything said of them at
all is automatically a lie, a maya. "I am God" is a baldface lie if "I"
applies to the personality but is somewhat true if "I" applies to the
nondual Monad (of course, we have to define "God" here first). In short,
"blinds" are inherent in language itself and cannot be avoided.
> Bill: Jerry, Is this word-games 101? First you argue that blinds are a
choice made by the initiated to protect the unitiated, then just to be safe
you conclude that blinds are inherent and unavoidable anyway. How does your
cake taste? :) >>>>
> Pretty good, actually. And you are right, there are two kinds of blinds,
the one being deliberate and the other inherent. But the first, the
deliberate blind is NOT used to distort or confuse, but simply to hold back
from the uninitiated. This is the popular meaning of the word esoteric, and
it does connote elistism. Blavatsky did say that she holding back, that
there was information she was not allowed to give out at that time. So maybe
she was an elitist of sorts. But I think she tried to be honest and sincere.
This holding back dangerous information is a form of blind. But the main
blind that Blavatsky and others in occult circles use is the inherent blind
of words, of names, and of concepts.
> <<<<We are all deluded by our own languages. Thoughts themselves are
distortions of ideas, which are distortions of archetypal images, which are
distortions of ... etc. etc. In short, it is manas itself that distorts
Truth, that causes blinds, that requires grades, that demands secrecy, and
so on. Blavatsky sets up an entire evolutionary scheme or model of
manvantaric functioning, and if her readers believe this all to be "truth"
than this perception lies within them, not within Blavatsky, who knew very
well that all manifestation is mayavic illusion. She clearly tells us that a
monad is an indivisible unit (which is totally ineffable), and then uses the
> if compounds were monads, but such "as ifs" are inherent in language, and
not done to deceive, which would make no sense and serve no purpose.
> Bill: You just made a good deal of sense without resorting to blinds.
Could not HPB have done the same? On second thought, maybe you threw in a
couple of blinds and I am just not "initiated" enough to see past them. :)
Woe is me. How will I ever know? hehehe
> JERRY: For some reason, she felt it necessary to give out hints rather
than to just come out and say it plainly like I am trying to do. For one
thing, she was trying to appeal to a broad public, and I am not so
> I do use blinds sometimes due to the English language itself. Blavatsky
used monad as a blind. If a Theosophist thinks that the atma-buddhi monad is
an eternal pilgrim, a real objective thing, for example, then that
Theosophist is the victim of a blind. Buddhism uses mind-stream or
mental-continuum instead of monad. If you read Buddhist texts and come away
with the idea that we each have an eternal individual mental continuum, then
you have also been the victim of a blind. When we hear or encounter a mental
concept and superimpose a reality onto it that is not there, then we are
victims of a blind. And as human beings we are all such victims. The
important thing is to be aware of it.
> Good questions, Bill. Hope I helped a little.
> Jerry S.
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