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Re: Theos-World Re: To Anand: Concerning Blavatsky on "God"

Jul 31, 2008 05:43 PM
by Cass Silva

Mr. Burnet shows how difficult it is to separate the "real" Socrates from the Platonic account. Xenophon, he points out, is far from trustworthy, and quite inadequate. Following is the view of this authority, after a quarter of a century devoted to the study of this and similar problems: practice every writer fills in the outline with as much of the Platonic Socrates as happens to suit his preconceived ideas of the man. Such a procedure is hopelessly arbitrary, and can only land us in unverifiable speculations. It would be far better to say at once that we cannot know anything about Socrates, and that for us he must remain a mere x. Even so, however, the Platonic Socrates is actual enough, and he is the only Socrates we can hope to know well. If he is a fictitious character, he is nevertheless more important than most men of flesh and blood (pp. 127-8).The outline of the life and thought of Socrates here presented is therefore of Platonic origin. This is the Socrates who has had such enormous influence on all subsequent philosophy, which was what Plato intended, and it would be fruitless to attempt to "improve" on Plato. 
Socrates is frequently described as a "mystic," the meaning of this term varying with the biographer. It is well known that he was subject to ecstatic trances, that for hours he would stand still in some subjective state, his friends knowing better than to disturb him. During the military operations of the Athenians at Potidæa, when Socrates was not quite forty years old, he remained standing motionless in one place from early morning of one day until sunrise on the next, unaffected by a hard frost during the night. He had an inner "voice," or daemon, whose injunctions he followed. According to Plato, the daemon gave only negative admonitions, which may account for the theory of some writers that the "voice" was merely that of conscience. H. P. Blavatsky wrote that "the Daimonion of Socrates is the god or Divine Entity which inspired him all his life." Nevertheless, because of the passive nature of this relationship, Socrates is chosen by her to
 illustrate the danger of untrained mediumship. "The old Grecian philosopher," she says, "was a 'medium'; hence he had never been initiated into the Mysteries; for such was the rigorous law." (Isis Unveiled I, xx; II, 117.) This pure and unselfish psychic, then, was idealized by Plato, who thus showed reverence and love for the teacher of his early years by making him appear as the channel through which the ancient wisdom was revealed to the western world. 
Socrates started his life-work by carefully investigating the various scientific and philosophical systems of the day, finding in Anaxagoras the nearest approach to his own concepts. As he was reaching maturity, the Sophists came into power. Their leader, Protagoras, denied the existence of the human soul, declaring that "the soul is nothing more than the sum of the different moments of thinking." Gorgias derided morality and tried to prove by metaphysical deduction that nothing really exists. Socrates, opposing these materialistic thinkers, became the leader of a new movement in which the existence of real knowledge and the inherent dignity of the human soul were the leading ideas. 
True wisdom, Socrates said, consists in the knowledge of the essence of things. This form of knowledge cannot be acquired from without, but must be sought within the soul itself. His first aim, therefore, was to train men to think, and by thinking to reach the source of knowledge within themselves. 
Socrates taught the existence of a real world above the world of sense -- a world subject neither to generation nor to decay. This real world he considered as the underlying Unity behind all diversity. But he also believed that, in order to know the Truth about all things, man must start by knowing himself. He taught that self-knowledge is based upon the conviction that man is an immortal entity, a soul which is a spark of the Universal World-Soul. This soul, he said, is entombed in a body, and evolves through the process of reincarnation. Taking his clue from Anaxagoras, he taught that the nous in man is able to penetrate into the region of noumena, the true source of wisdom. 
It must not be concluded, however, that Socrates, and not Plato, was the author of the "Theory of Ideas." Strictly speaking, of course, Plato was the author of none of his doctrines, which are identical with the wisdom revealed by the ancient Hindu sages. The Platonic forms or archetypes were representations of the world as it existed in Universal Mind, as pointed out in The Secret Doctrine I, 200. Mr. Burnet's fidelity to the Platonic account of Socrates makes him suppose that the Theory of Forms or Ideas was an invention of Plato's teacher, because the doctrine is enunciated by Socrates in the dialogues. It seems probable, however, that this highly metaphysical explanation of the nature of things originated with Plato and merely was represented by him as being taught by Socrates. Aristotle, who had no reason to conceal the truth of this matter, says in his Metaphysics that Socrates occupied himself only with questions of moral philosophy, and that
 Plato introduced both the name and the conception of the "Ideas." We repeat, the Socrates here pictured, insofar as philosophical teaching is concerned, is Socrates as he appears in Plato's writings, and not Socrates the historical character. 
Socrates considered the moral and intellectual worlds as inseparable. He could not conceive of true knowledge existing apart from virtue, or of virtue without knowledge. He who knows himself, Socrates said, will of necessity perform right actions. Conversely, he who is unacquainted with his own spiritual nature will, without fail, perform wrong actions. With Socrates, as with Kant, the development of morality was the aim and end of philosophy. 

----- Original Message ----
From: Anand <>
Sent: Friday, 1 August, 2008 5:35:16 AM
Subject: Theos-World Re: To Anand: Concerning Blavatsky on "God"

Hello Daniel,
I read your message 45420. I wanted to reply but I was busy and will
perhaps write more on that topic when I get time.
I asked your conclusions about two questions 
1) Does God exist according to Blavatsky ?
2) If yes, what is his nature according to Blavatsky ?
Instead of giving answers, you simply pasted some paragraphs from
Mahatma Letters. I asked you what you concluded from the study of
Mahatma Letters and Blavatsky's writing. 
I will appreciate your answer to above two questions, without copying
paragraphs from ML or SD.

Anand Gholap

--- In theos-talk@yahoogro, "danielhcaldwell"
<danielhcaldwell@ ...> wrote:
> Hello Anand,
> Thank you for your most recent response at:
> http://groups. group/theos- talk/message/ 45458
> But did you read my previous posting to you at:
> http://groups. group/theos- talk/message/ 45420
> In this posting I attempted to grapple with some of the issues
> involved concerning "God" starting with what you had written
> about Jnaneshwar's teaching on "God".
> I call SPECIAL ATTENTION to what I quoted in the above
> posting from Mahatma Letter #10 online:
> ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
> "….Pantheistic we may be called -- agnostic NEVER. If people are
> willing to accept and to regard as God our ONE LIFE immutable and
> unconscious in its eternity they may do so and thus keep to one more
> gigantic misnomer. But then they will have to say with Spinoza that
> there is not and that we cannot conceive any other substance than
> God; or as that famous and unfortunate philosopher says in his
> fourteenth proposition, "praeter Deum nulla dari neque concepi potest
> substantia" -- and thus become Pantheists.. .."
> ". . We are not Adwaitees, but our teaching respecting the one life
> is identical with that of the Adwaitee with regard to Parabrahm. And
> no true philosophically trained Adwaitee will ever call himself an
> agnostic, for he knows that he is Parabrahm and identical in every
> respect with the universal life and soul -- the macrocosm is the
> microcosm and he knows that there is no God apart from himself, no
> creator as no being...."
> ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
> How do these quotes from Master KH RELATE to what you said was 
> Jnaneshwar's teaching on "God"?
> And keep in mind also what H.P. Blavatsky writes in THE SECRET 
> DOCTRINE about the Absolute. She writes that the Absolute is:
> ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --
> ... [an] Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on 
> which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of 
> human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or 
> similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought -- in the 
> words of Mandukya, "unthinkable and unspeakable. " 
> To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out 
> with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes 
> all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause --
> dimly formulated in the "Unconscious" and "Unknowable" of current 
> European philosophy -- is the rootless root of "all that was, is, or 
> ever shall be." It is of course devoid of all attributes and is 
> essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It 
> is "Be-ness" rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all 
> thought or speculation. 
> This "Be-ness" is symbolised in the Secret Doctrine under two 
> aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare 
> subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude 
> from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute 
> Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness. Even our 
> Western thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to us 
> apart from change, and motion best symbolises change, its essential 
> characteristic. This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also 
> symbolised by the term "The Great Breath," a symbol sufficiently 
> graphic to need no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first 
> fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical ONE 
> ABSOLUTE -- BE-NESS -- symbolised by finite intelligence as the 
> theological Trinity....
> Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute 
> Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to 
> conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a 
> conditioned symbol. But once that we pass in thought from this (to 
> us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit 
> (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object...
> ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
> I will NOT at this juncture quote more from THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
> But as you reread my posting to which I refer ABOVE, I would ask you 
> to focus on the words of Master Koot Hoomi quoted ABOVE and also try 
> to relate that to what is said about the ABSOLUTE in THE SECRET 
> I hope that you will maybe reread this posting and kindly
> respond to the issues I raised.
> Again the posting I previously did can be read at:
> http://groups. group/theos- talk/message/ 45420
> And I also did another posting which I think brings up
> again some of the issues that need to be dealt with as
> one tries to understand the teachings on "God" as given
> by H.P. Blavatsky and by Master Koot Hoomi in his letters.
> This posting can be read at:
> http://groups. group/theos- talk/message/ 45421
> Once again thanks for your response and hoping that we 
> can have a very productive discussion about this subject.
> Daniel
> Blavatsky Study Center / Blavatsky Archives
> http://blavatskystu dycenter. net
> http://blavatskyarc
> http://blavatsky. info
> http://theosophy. info


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