Re: To Pedro - Biggest Contradiction in Theosophy
Nov 20, 2004 02:40 AM
--- In email@example.com, "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.
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