RE: [bn-study] Re: Food for Thought - the heart of Zen
Nov 15, 2004 05:21 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Nov 15 2004
Dear M. and G.
Thanks for the interesting notes.
Here are some comments made on "consciousness." Some use technical
THEOSOPHY which presupposes a familiarity with the "7 Principles" in man.
Pass those over for the moment and look at the others.
Questions and ideas on CONSCIOUSNESS
Can we not say that "consciousness" means awareness ?
A chemical element is guided by properties innate to it, and
those are regulated by its electro-magnetic composition --
so that certain chemicals react and others do not.
In deep sleep we still have consciousness, but there is no
awareness. The survival of then individual and his/her return to the same
body is important to notice.
Consciousness is an attribute of a manifest universal field, while
awareness is a characteristic of the laya ( a null point) point out of
which both consciousness and matter arise.
I thought that consciousness was "awareness." I do not
follow the distinction that you make.
For "consciousness" to operate the "Cognizer" is immutable
relative to the sensations cognized -- It is on "another
plane" and the sensations are then perceived as changes,
laws, rules of procedure, effects, etc...
In what way is a "laya point" involved? Transition from
what to where ?
I can understand that Laya is in occultism "that point where
substance becomes homogeneous and is unable to act or
differentiate. [ Glos. p. 187 ] "a "neutral axis" -- "the
limiting point of any given set of senses," [SD I 148 ] It
would seem to be both a point of balance between two opposites, and
simultaneously their meeting point, a neutral point or
"center," where two consecutive planes of matter already
formed" meet -- "an incessant circulation takes place
between these." [ SD I 148 ]
Apparently the ATMA [ our Higher Self ] is the Witness,
immovable. Consciousness is one and not many.
As I understand it, "consciousness," "perception,"
"awareness" are synonyms.
It takes a Mind (on any plane of matter, or substance, to "sense" phenomena
and also serve as a scribe to record observations.
If the "Consciousness" is ONE and not several, it is the internal and basic
MONAD (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) of each human being, which is the eternal Witness
and it records (on the akasa) its experiences.
Buddhi (accumulated wisdom, or the "voice of truth and conscience") is also
called "root matter," and serves as that imperishable eternal "record."
Hence when there is "manifestation, Atma-Buddhi to become
conscious in that condition requires Manas the mind as an intermediate point
It is the three-fold MONAD (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) which is the
differentiated "spark" from the "parent" FIRE -- the
ABSOLUTENESS (into which all ultimately all are resolved), but
such a "resolution" is NOT an abolishment or annihilation in
any way. If that were a fact the terms "immortal," and
"imperishable" could not apply.
Would it be correct to say:
The source of Atma is the ABSOLUTENESS ?
The source of Buddhi is Maha-Buddhi or Mulaprakriti
(Root matter) ?
The source of Manas is MAHAT or the Universal Mind ?
The "cause" of evolution and differentiation is the effort of the MONAD to
undergo and comprehend all experience, and learn how to resolve complexity
back into simplicity, WHILE RETAINING THE EXPERIENCES that it undergoes.
Logically such a process is unending. "As we advance the Goal ever
"Manifestation," "non-manifestation," ABSOLUTENESS,
differentiation, are all terms that our embodied mind employs in an attempt
to resolve the paradox of its eternal and unchangeable presence.
Whatever we may think we are (as some set of limits), we ARE
HERE. We exist.
We are surrounded by other beings of similar constitution to
This makes BROTHERHOOD a reasonable fact which we need to
use here and now. It is the only basis for universal ethics - or morals
that are honest and trustworthy.
It also explains the reason that theosophy emphasizes the moral nature of
motive as the basis for all individual and collective KARMA. The
Ethical/moral, causative choices that we make all the time actuate personal
If that were all, it would be quite mechanical. However it
is observed in chemical engineering that not all chemicals
react entirely, or that the results are absolutely pure
and free of their original combining constituents. So an
equation for a chemical reaction reads with a double
arrow, one side pointing forward to the compound and the other
pointing back from the compound to the elements that were
supposed to combine 100%, and, are found in practice, not
to do that at all.
Is this randomness or indeterminacy possibly an example of
independent consciousness at the atomic or molecular stage?
Possibly--by a long stretch of the imagination, perhaps...
But, what does the manifest aspects of material nature have to do with
consciousness as a universal attribute of spirit? Randomness and
indeterminacy only apply to the illusory physical aspects of matter.
Consciousness, as the immutable attribute of spirit cannot be subject to
changes, whether random or not-that are limited solely to the mutable
material plane of existence.
I do understand that "consciousness" is unchangeable, immutable. All else
is phenomena and is constantly changing. Because of the immutability of
CONSCIOUSNESS, we (as the PERCEIVER) are able to witness and record change.
Then when we relate the changes observed, we attempt to derive an expression
of the "laws" involved.
We take it for granted that Nature is always honest and true, and provides a
trustworthy base for us to use.
Yet, Theosophy states that the nature (and phenomena) of "matter" change, as
the Sun and our EARTH in attendance, sweep through areas of Space where
quite different laws and conditions prevail.
It also draws our attention to the fact that OUTSIDE of our
system the conditions of matter may be quite different from
the way in which matter behaves here and around us, but,
there is a boundary, a transfer surface (?) where the
phenomena of matter and forces in "outer-Space" are
translated into the phenomena we are familiar with here and
now. [ SD I 142 ]
I used the ideas of randomness and indeterminacy to
illustrate the difficulties that Science has encountered in
explaining phenomena of difference observed in certain areas
of their work.
I do not believe that Nature is either random or indeterminate. "There is
no "chance" in Nature, wherein everything is mathematically co-ordinate and
mutually related in its units." [ SD I 653 ]
There appear to be other levels of "consciousness" --- as
in the "sensitivity of plants" Jagdish Chandra Bose
demonstrated this as far back as the 1880s and 1900s and
more recently I have read that there appears to be a
mysterious and instantaneous communication of sensitivity
between a "mother plant" and a "daughter plant" made by
rooting one of the "mother's" branches and then
transporting it hundred, even thousands of miles away from the
Experiments have shown that the reaction of the "mother"
to a stimulus is transmitted to the "daughter" over great
distances. Why ? How ?
Since everything in the universe (empowered by Fohat)
stems from cosmic "electricity," there is a connection between each and all
of the seven fold aspects of nature. If each aspect is an electric field
functioning at a different phase level or order of vibration, then all
fields are linked by harmonics, resonance and inductive processes. This
accounts for the actions on the physical plane being continuously recorded
on the akashic (permanent Etheric) plane.
Since awareness in any field is an attribute of the zero-point alone (around
which each field vibrates) and since all zero-points existing in the
"vacuum" of space are contiguous with each other, and since the
mother and daughter tree have the same astral body--they are linked together
through their common zero (laya) point of awareness within that astral field
(which is the active root of all sensory perception).
Thus, what is experienced by the Mother plant can also be experienced by the
daughter--no matter how far apart they are...
Also, since the Astral field vibrates in a higher frequency phase order than
the material fields, and its cycle time constant very short, an
astral wave form can travel much faster than light (C).
Agreed. I am still puzzled about the using of a "laya point" as a focus. I
seems to me that it is a transition point, and that a "higher consciousness"
would pass through it to observe or act on a plane of "lower" material
existence -- and to my mind comes the concept of the "7 - Principles." They
abut as well as interpenetrate each
other, and everyone of the primary SEVEN shares aspects of
itself with all the others -- hence the "49 fires" .
Additionally, all the lower beings exist as a sort of
group "kingdom consciousness" rather than as the fully individualized
conscious awareness experienced by the Human Kingdom (due to our "awakened"
This makes it much more likely that the lower Kingdoms are more
sensitive to the higher planes of consciousness than are ordinary
(non-awakened) humans. Even animals, like cats, are much more sensitive to
the astral vibrations than we humans with our noisy, interfering minds.:-)
This sounds to me as though we were talking of the "Monadic
essence" -- On p. 632 Vol. 1 SD, HPB lists 4 conditions of
the Monads: "gods," "elementals," and "atoms." The 4th
division seem to be the "countless spiritual Forces--Monadic
less, for they are pure incorporealities, except under certain
laws when the assume a form--not necessarily human."
SD I 619 we read: "Every atom becomes a viable complex unit
(a molecule), and once attracted into the sphere of terrestrial activity,
the Monadic Essence, passing through ... becomes man. In their septenary
aggregation they are the "Heavenly Man"..."The Monads (Jivas) are the 'soul
of the Atoms, both are the fabric in which the Chohans (Dhyanis, gods) cloth
themselves when a form is needed."
And so on, other instances are in the animal and human bodies where the
cells, molecules, etc... show great wisdom in their process of renovation
and maintenance in the host bodies. Every body or being is made up of
countless atoms, molecules, cells, and other structures -- all are ruled by
intelligence -- but in each case there is evidence of a
central guidance system and one wonders how that is done and
why the least of things is so well organized and adjusted to the rest of
its environment. What CONSCIOUSNESS rules all this vast Universe and each
smaller universe ? Our human bodies are said to consist on the average of
30 to 40 quadrillion atoms ! We certainly do not rule and adjust all that,
so some Intelligence helps to do that for us - we are tenants in a
self-conscious dwelling house, and only regulate what we do and how we
behave when we are awake, aware, attentive, thinking doing and acting --
and we do not do that yet, very well ! When the body sleeps who keeps the
home-fires burning ?
All is cooperative in nature, So why not Consciousness?
It might be looked at this way. In the awakened universe, Spirit or
consciousness is the first aspect to manifest and therefore contains all
wisdom and intelligence (accumulated from the experience of all previous
"lives" of the Divine "light"). This intelligence is in the form of
vibratory energy patterns contained within the consciousness "field"...
(Somewhat like the interference patterns of light that contain all the
information necessary to recreate a holographic image.)
DALLAS I think that is an excellent image.
Since consciousness rules over Mahat and, subsequently, on
the lower planes, over Manas, and since Manas rules over the lower nature
and is all knowing on the physical plane--it, therefore, by replicating the
holistic patterns of higher wisdom and knowledge (through its resonance with
the higher fields of Atma-Buddhi), can guide all the "lives" in our bodies
direct both Prana and the Astral to, in turn, energize and guide the forms
in their cooperative activities, as well as in their generation and
regeneration (or repair when damaged). This transfer of information through
application of Will, empowered by Kama (desire) , is what keeps the
activities of "life" rolling along in perfect correspondence and compliance
with the universal order. This, incidentally, is the idea behind the old
Testament statement that "God creates man in His (Its) own image."
Would it not be better to say that "Consciousness" focuses
itself in that aspect of ITSELF (in manifestation) that we
call Mahat (universal mind) and Manas (individual mind)
I do like the concept of its ability to instantly contact
all aspects using a "holistic" faculty and thus actuate the
"lower principles" as needed.
Is not WILL -- Fohat ? It is the "bridge" of electric power that links
Mind-decision with the nerves that cause guided material "action"
In ancient Hindu philosophy the human was considered to be a spiritual Being
living in a limited physical body.
Everything, Theosophy teaches, is, in the Universe, 7-fold:
The gradations are explained in both The SECRET DOCTRINE
( I 157, II 596 ) and in the KEY TO THEOSOPHY (HPB), pp. 91-2,
135-6, 175-6. It takes a bit of study to secure an understanding
of them, as our early education rarely gives us these gradations
as material for our thinking and consideration.
I think it would be a good idea to look these up and
assure yourself of the reason for their existence. They have
already been detailed a number of times These can be accessed
in the actual books or, "on-line" at BLAVATSKY NET.
Present: timelessly, universally, is the always awake. It is: THE ONE
CONSCIOUSNESS -- the ABSOLUTE (it cannot be defined by any
finite mind) [ S D I 27 ] It IS and serves as the SOURCE of
EVERYTHING.. Time, Space, Motion, Law and Cause are all emanations
from it, but it cannot be penetrated or described. IT IS.
NOTE: IT IS positively NOT a limited, formed or form-bound
"PERSONAL GOD." On might hazard a guess that it is the CAUSELESS
CAUSE, UNITY, ACTIVITY, PURPOSE and WISDOM emanate or radiate from IT.
But that is about as far as a logical matter-encrusted Mind can
guess. Of it, it has been said: " Man can approach the LIGHT, but
can never touch the FLAME."
Under universal KARMA, Manifestation begins again. [Karma is the
summation, in this case, of the "unfinished business" of all
manifested beings when the last Pralaya (Night-time) set in and
all "went to sleep." Now, they all wake up together at the point
where they had dropped off to Pralaya-sleep.
These emanate (wake-up) from the Pralayic sleep: This
"wake-up" is universally a change of state, from SLEEP and
unconsciousness, to: "awake" and the instantaneous and complete
restoration of individualized consciousness on the many planes of
substance, of a vast host of sleeping Units. Science visualizes
this as the "BIG BANG." Theosophy states that it is a universal and
simultaneous process. [ Example: If one switches on a light in a
dark room, all gets simultaneously illuminated. ]
At first, in order of "descent" we have: The 3 foci of the SPIRITUAL WORLD
[ S D I 200 ] Atma -- Buddhi -- Manas, or Universal Purity SATTVA --
universal Law and harmonious activity RAJAS -- universal Intelligence that
animates all forms MANAS. In the BHAGAVAD GITA, Sri Krishna refers to
Himself as the "Resident" [the EGO] seated in the "heart" of "all beings."
"I established this whole Universe with a portion of Myself, and remain
separate." "The manifested Universe is composed of the 3 Gunas (qualities)
-- they are in Me, but I am not in them."
Next, In the planes of denser material substance we find the 7-fold
characteristics of material Evolution:
1 ATMA -- SPIRIT : -- immortal, universal, pure, source of all
2 BUDDHI -- WISDOM Accumulated wisdom of experience
over aeons. source of Everything, Theosophy teaches is, in the Universe,
The gradations are explained in both The SECRET DOCTRINE ( I 157, II 596 )
and in the KEY TO THEOSOPHY (HPB), pp. 91-2, 135-6, 175-6. It takes a
strong desire to learn to enforce the discipline of study, and thus to
secure an understanding of them, as our early education rarely gives us
these gradations as material for our thinking and consideration.
I think it would be a good idea to look these up, each of us for ourselves,
and secure independent assurance of the reason for their existence. They
have already been detailed a number of times These can be accessed in the
actual books and articles of the "original teachings of Theosophy" or,
"on-line" at BLAVATSKY NET.
Our "Present": timelessly, universally, is the always awakened
CONSCIOUSNESS -- the ABSOLUTE (it cannot be defined by any finite mind) [
S D I 27 ] It IS, and IT serves as the SOURCE of EVERYTHING.. Time,
Space, Motion Law and Cause are all emanations from it, but it cannot be
penetrated or described. IT IS the eternal and unchangeable, unmodifiable
BACKGROUND. It is a "logical necessity." It is in continual contrast to
everything that "changes." It is UNIVERSAL as each being (monad) in
manifestation has its own individual consciousness derived from it and that
individual consciousness linked to the ONE CONSCIOUSNESS affords the
individual its INDEPENDENCE. This gives each human mind the power to choose
independently at all times.
NOTE: IT IS positively NOT a limited, formed or form-bound "PERSONAL GOD."
On might hazard a guess that it is the CAUSELESS CAUSE, UNITY, ACTIVITY and
WISDOM emanate or radiate from IT.
But that is about as far as a logical matter-encrusted Mind can guess. Of
it, it has been said: " Man can enter the LIGHT, but can never touch the
Under universal KARMA, Manifestation begins again (wakes up). [Karma is the
summation, in this case of the unfinished business of all manifested beings
when the last Pralaya (Night-time) set in and all "went to sleep." It is
the law of eternity, that a cause once set into motion will continue until
the original force is exhausted.]
These emanate (wake-up) from the Pralayic sleep: [ This "wake-up" is
universally a change of state, from SLEEP and unconsciousness, to: "awake"
and the instantaneous and complete restoration of individualized
consciousness on the many planes of substance, of a vast host of sleeping
Units. Science visualizes
this as the "BIG BANG." ] Actually it is the change from "One pointedness"
( or no-contrast, and introspection ) to "Duality" or the field of all
contrasts, to external sensations, and all gradations of contrast and
At first, in order of "descent" we have: The 3 foci of the SPIRITUAL WORLD
[ S D I 200 ]
The Jain philosophy expresses it as the ATMA and the many kind of Karmas --
all attached to their respective samskaras. In Theosophy it is expressed as
the "Dual Monad" or ATMA-BUDDHI, as the basic UNIT (monad) building blocks
of Nature. It is a studying contrasts -- the contrasts of "the pairs of
opposites" as Sri Krishna calls it in the BHAGAVAD GITA.
Vedic philosophy expressed the CAUSE ( better still, the "causeless cause")
in this way: (in translation):
"Desire first arose in IT which was the primal germ of Mind, and which
Sages seeking with their Intellect, discovered in their hearts to be the
bond between BEING and non-being." [ S D II 176 top ] It must be made
clear that "desire" here, is KAMADEVA and not the ordinary desires of
Next, In the planes of substance, we find the 7-fold characteristics of
Evolutionary experience: (see S D I 200-2)
1 ATMA -- SPIRIT immortal, universal, pure, source of all
2 BUDDHI -- WISDOM Accumulated wisdom of experience
over aeons. source of Intuition and of the Voice of Conscience. It is also,
Universal Brotherhood idealism. Altruism, nobility, impartiality,
unselfishness, charity, concern for others, generosity, (also called the
HEART-DOCTRINE). IT recognizes its Immortality and seeks to employ its
knowledge to assist others. Storage place through Akasic records of all
memories. Is in constant contact with all other BUDDHIS everywhere. [see:
"Suddha Sattva" T. Glos, 311] It is also called Mulaprakriti
(root-matter), and Maha-Buddhi or universal experience accumulated through
eternity and therefore infallible WISDOM.
NOTE: (ATMA-BUDDHI when conjoined in manifestation, are called the MONAD,
the Eternal Pilgrim.) In periods of Pralaya (or non-manifestation they are
in a laya (resting) condition, awaiting the cycle of the re-birth of the
period of manifestation called Manvantara.)
3 MANAS -- MIND Thinking principle, Free, independent,
able to act and choose, and to look into both the "spiritual" and the
"Physical or material." Seeks causes, motives, seeks to know and understand
LAWS and their operation. Reason, Intellectual, dispassionate, or
passionate. Stores Memory and also "forgets."
It (manas) is therefore divided into 3:
1. Spiritual-Mind (Buddhi-Manas) -- source of "virtue" and
seeks WISDOM (commonly called the (INDIVIDUALITY)
2. pure Mental action ( as in Mathematics or logical pursuit of
LAWS ) Intellectual, "cold" and passionless.
3. Desire-Mind or (passional / desire-mind) -- source of all
"vices." seeks to justify its selfish existence, even though short-lived.
Commonly called the "PERSONALITY" (or the "mask").
4 KAMA -- Passions and Desires -- the source of wild follies
and personal selfishness, isolationist and ignorant -- unable to think and
reason. It is the field in which "Tanha" the "thirst for life" is to be
seen; it seeks to bind Mind to it, and thus plan its follies regardless of
their final outcome. Known of as "Kama-Manas" or "Lower Manas." With our
"detached, and impartial" mental faculty, we can observe how our "embodied
mind" is wrapped in "desires, vices, passions, etc. " And it is again our
detached and altruistic mind that can see these are follies and selfishness
and if pursued, lead only to disappointment, disease and ultimately to the
death of the form.
5. PRANA (Breath of life) -- a principle that is closely related to
the physical longevity of any personality. Prana may be said to be an
aspect of Atma as well as of Buddhi. It responds to the Karmic burden and
the "balance-sheet" of a life's activities of feelings, thoughts, words and
6. ASTRAL BODY (or LINGA-SARIRA) The electro-magnetic lattice,
defined by the force of the "Prana" of one life-time. It is the work of
forces that bind the physical atoms and molecules into
place to form the physical structures of our bodies, and, finally:
7. PHYSICAL BODY -- as said above, it consists of living atoms, --
of "monads" -- or, elemental beings on the astral plane who form the
necessary foci for the laying down of the opaque (yet constantly changing)
physical structure we all know of as "my body." Every particle of food, of
water, of air we use has a living vital counterpart and it is the affinity
between us and those which enables them to find a place in our bodies, or
causes them to be rejected and expelled.
The physical body is the starting point for all independent "material"
individual development Yes, the Buddha Gautama is the latest of a long line
of Buddhas. But there have been others before him, and he refers to that.
It has been called the Guruparampara chain. Its beginnings are lost in the
"night of time." It was instituted ever since "Man" became a thinker. And
that commencement cannot be traced to this Manvantara only, but is a
continuing of the process foe many earlier Manvantaras.
The NIRMANAKAYA and the MAHATMA are "bodies" used by Great SOULS to manifest
and support the WISDOM of Nature. It is acquired by Those who master all
their principles and center their consciousness in the 7th. ATMAN. As a
Nirmanakaya they are living consciously a we are told in all the 6
principles except the physical body. When a Nirmanakaya incarnates then the
7-bodied DHYANI (or Mahatma) is manifest.
If one lays these out on a square with 7 spaces going horizontally and
vertically (total 49) one can see how the various qualities associated with
those "principles" also form a part of every other main category of
principles. This is left to each student to do, since in each case the mix
is determined by the equation
of mind and desire in him/her.
Much more is to be said about this, but each student has to seek and verify
the accuracy of thee propositions for themselves.
I hope this will help,
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2004 7:26 AM
Subject: [bn-study] Re: Food for Thought
Good morning Michael,
Yes...I agree with your statement. I have found that not up-dating the terms
that a person uses in general is a resistance to evolution that can keep a
person in duality. Perhaps this is caused by a lack consciousness? Gilbert
Michael Basso wrote:
I was once enamored by the ancient Eastern terms for the mind, but have
found that modern psychology, neuroscience, neurology is way far ahead in
many ways, in my opinion...so I am no longer impressed with the desire to
keep the old names...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Etzion Becker"
Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2004 11:49 PM
Subject: Re: Food for Thought -
This sounds like a clever advice.
When we see a person, due to our ingrained habits, we judge him/her, good
or bad. You can see, when you view this from the side, this automatic
process, due to eons of ignorance, the person is analyzing if the person in
of him is friendly/ non friendly, nice not nice, in order to see which
protective m! euphemism has to be implemented. There is always suspicion and
fear lurking behind meeting new people.
Ask yourself, this person, whom I see, where is he? You'll say, he is
sitting on a chair, two meters from me.
How do you know? Your senses translate light and sound and some *programme*
in your brain decides that there is a person *over there*.
But truly, if you'll meditate on this issue properly, the *other person* is
yourself, he is part and parcel of what you are. It is due to imagination
being developed by your so called physical senses, that this division
Now then, how can you judge yourself?
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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