[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: To Pedro - Biggest Contradiction in Theosophy

Nov 20, 2004 02:40 AM
by prmoliveira

--- In, "Anand Gholap" <AnandGholap@A...> 

> Perhaps there is 
> fundamental difference between idea of God in Hinduism and Buddhism.
> How would you explain the statement "there is no God personal or 
> impersonal" My life is happy because I don't read much what was 
> written before 1880. That always presents big contradictions. 


Every student of Theosophy, imo, is bound to meet contradictions, 
antinomies and paradoxes along the way. Perhaps some of us would like 
a particular expression of the teaching to be the definitive one, but 
because the theosophical teaching is a *living* teaching it may not 
fit into our expectations or notions about it. The teaching, it would 
seem, keeps pointing to something deeper, noetic, even mystical. 
Consider the following passage from the Mahatma Letters (ML 20, 

"The Occult Science is not one in which secrets can be communicated 
of a sudden, by a written or even verbal communication. If so, all 
the "Brothers" would have to do, would be to publish a Hand-book of 
the art which might be taught in schools as grammar is. It is the 
common mistake of people that we willingly wrap ourselves and our 
powers in mystery — that we wish to keep our knowledge to ourselves, 
and of our own will refuse — "wantonly and deliberately" to 
communicate it. The truth is that till the neophyte attains to the 
condition necessary for that degree of Illumination to which, and for 
which, he is entitled and fitted, most if not all of the Secrets are 
incommunicable. The receptivity must be equal to the desire to 
instruct. The illumination must come from within."

This seems to indicate that the essential teaching of the Occult 
Science is not completely present in any book. 

If we keep this in mind, the "God question" in theosophical 
literature can be seen in a broader perspective. From a Buddhist 
point of view, Mahatma K.H.'s statement in Letter 88 is quite clear 
and understandable. My difficulty, expressed earlier this year on 
theos-talk, is to understand how a Buddhist teacher uses concepts 
like "Atma" and "Soul" while explaining the human constitution to 
Sinnett. I am still trying to work on this one.

In his pamphlet "The Story of the Mahatma Letters", Jinarajadasa 
rightly says that not all Mahatmas are Buddhists, and he points out 
to the example of Serapis who wrote a number of letters to Olcott 
during the early days of the TS in New York, invariably invoking 
God's blessing on the Colonel.

Perhaps the criticism of the concept of God in Letter 88 is primarily 
directed to the Aristotelian-Tomist theological view of God, which is 
dualistic, mechanistic and fear-producing (K.H. called it a "loup 
garou", werewolf), and which has dominated the western psyche for 
twenty centuries. No wonder the forcefulness in which the Mahatma 
expressed his views.

I wrote an article on this subject ("God: A Theosophical View", March 
2004 issue of "Theosophy in Australia"). As it is too long to be 
posted here I can send you a copy if you want.

I think it is important to consider the different views on "God" but, 
more importantly, to realise that no view is absolute and final. For 
example, both M. and K.H. regarded the Maha-Chohan as their teacher 
and chief. It is interesting to note his view on God:

"Mystical Christianity, that is to say that Christianity which 
teaches self-redemption through our own seventh principle—this 
liberated Para-Atma (Augoeides) called by some Christ, by others 
Buddha, and equivalent to regeneration or rebirth in spirit—will be 
found just the same truth as the Nirvana of Buddhism. All of us have 
to get rid of our own Ego, the illusory apparent self, to recognize 
our true self in a transcendental divine life. But if we would not be 
selfish, we must strive to make other people see that truth, to 
recognize the reality of that transcendental self, the Buddha, the 
Christ or God of every preacher. This is why even exoteric Buddhism 
is the surest path to lead men towards the one esoteric truth."

Although the Aristotelian view of God prevailed in the western 
culture, the great mystics held to a completely different 
understanding, which was based on their own experience. One of them 
was Eckhart (from the translation by M. O'C. Walshe). Talking about 
the deeper aspect of the soul, he said:

"Now pay attention! So one and simple is this citadel in the soul, 
elevated above all modes, of which I speak and which I mean, that the 
noble power I mentioned is not worthy even for an instant to cast a 
single glance into this citadel; nor is that other power I spoke of, 
in which God burns and glows with all His riches and all His joy, 
able to cast a single glance inside; so truly one and simple is this 
citadel, so mode- and power-transcending is this solitary One, that 
neither power nor mode can gaze into it, nor even God Himself! In 
very truth and as God lives! God Himself never looks in there for one 
instant, in so far as he exists in modes and in the properties of His 
persons. This should be well noted: this One Alone lacks all mode and 
property. And therefore, for God to see inside it would cost Him all 
His divine names and personal properties: all these He must leave 
outside, should He ever look in there. But only in so far as He is 
one and indivisible, without mode or properties (can He do this): in 
that sense He is neither Father, Son nor Holy Ghost, and yet is a 
Something which neither this nor that."

For many mystics, "God" is the experience of the Gound of Being. For 
them, it is not a notion, a concept, a construct, an idea: it is the 
very core of their lives.




[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application