The Complex Nature of Manas.    

ENQUIRER. But you wanted to tell me something of the essential nature of Manas, and of the relation in which the Skandhas of physical man stand to it?

THEOSOPHIST. It is this nature, mysterious, Protean, beyond any grasp, and almost shadowy in its correlations with the other principles, that is most difficult to realise, and still more so to explain. Manas is a “principle,” and yet it is an “Entity” and individuality or Ego. He is a “God,” and yet he is doomed to an endless cycle of incarnations, for each of which he is made responsible, and for each of which he has to suffer. All this seems as contradictory as it is puzzling; nevertheless, there are hundreds of people, even in Europe, who realise all this perfectly, for they comprehend the Ego not only in its integrity but in its many aspects. Finally, if I would make myself comprehensible, I must begin by the beginning and give you the genealogy of this Ego in a few lines.

ENQUIRER. Say on.

THEOSOPHIST. Try to imagine a “Spirit,” a celestial Being, whether we call it by one name or another, divine in its essential nature, yet not pure enough to be one with the ALL, and having, in order to achieve this, to so purify its nature as to finally gain that goal. It can do so only by passing individually and personally, i.e., spiritually and physically, through every experience and feeling that exists in the manifold or differentiated Universe. It has, therefore, after having gained such experience in the lower kingdoms, and having ascended higher and still higher with every rung on the ladder of being, to pass through every experience on the human planes. In its very essence it is THOUGHT, and is, therefore, called in its plurality Manasa putra, “the Sons of the (Universal) mind.” This individualised “Thought” is what we Theosophists call the real EGO, the thinking Entity imprisoned in a case of flesh and bones. This is surely a Spiritual Entity, not Matter, and such Entities are the incarnating EGOS that inform the bundle of animal matter called mankind, and whose names are Manasa or “Minds.” But once imprisoned, or incarnate, their essence becomes dual: that is to say, the rays of the eternal divine Mind, considered as individual entities, assume a two-fold attribute which is (a) their essential inherent characteristic, heaven-aspiring mind (higher Manas), and (b) the human quality of thinking, or animal cogitation, rationalised owing to the superiority of the human brain, the Kama-tending or lower Manas. One gravitates toward Buddhi, the other, tending downward, to the seat of passions and animal desires. The latter have no room in Devachan, nor can they associate with the divine triad which ascends as ONE into mental bliss. Yet it is the Ego, the Manasic Entity, which is held responsible for all the sins of the lower attributes, just as a parent is answerable for the transgressions of his child, so long as the latter remains irresponsible.

ENQUIRER. Is this "child" the "personality"?

THEOSOPHIST. It is. When, therefore, it is stated that the “personality” dies with the body it does not state all. The body, which was only the objective symbol of Mr. A. or Mrs. B., fades away with all its material Skandhas, which are the visible expressions thereof. But all that which constituted during life the spiritualbundle of experiences, the noblest aspirations, undying affections, and unselfish nature of Mr. A. or Mrs. B. clings for the time of the Devachanic period to the EGO, which is identified with the spiritual portion of that terrestrial Entity, now passed away out of sight. The ACTOR is so imbued with the role just played by him that he dreams of it during the whole Devachanic night, which vision continues till the hour strikes for him to return to the stage of life to enact another part.

The Key to Theosophy pp183-185, original edition.

The complete section may be read on line at: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/key/key-10.htm

Comments and questions welcome.

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What does it mean that the nature of Manas is, "mysterious, Protean, beyond any grasp, and almost shadowy in its correlations with the other principles"?

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What does it mean that the nature of Manas is, "mysterious, Protean, beyond any grasp, and almost shadowy in its correlations with the other principles"?

This section on Manas is very deep and abstruse.  To say that Manas is both a principle and an entity seems like a contradiction but, since its nature is mysterious and protean, then anything is possible.  Maybe, a way to view it is that an entity is a composite of circumscribed principles.  At the end the entity will dissolve back to the principles once the confinement is released.   The entity is temporary while the principles are eternal. 

"Try to imagine a “Spirit,” a celestial Being, whether we call it by one name or another, divine in its essential nature, yet not pure enough to be one with the ALL, and having, in order to achieve this, to so purify its nature as to finally gain that goal. It can do so only by passing individually and personally, i.e., spiritually and physically, through every experience and feeling that exists in the manifold or differentiated Universe."

This involutionary / evolutionary process never made much sense to me. 

"In its very essence it is THOUGHT, and is, therefore, called in its plurality Manasa putra, “the Sons of the (Universal) mind.”

This is very profound because we are, in essence, the thoughts of the divine.  Looking at our lives on a deeper level, everything we perceive and experience are essentially concretized "thoughts".  In other words, we live in the world of Minds.

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Perfectly true, we live in our minds, all of our lives are our mind creations. This is true of individuals as well as mankind collectively.

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You could also say it is protean and mysterious because it is causal to all the planes below it and all the vestures underneath it.

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Hi Barbara,

I agree with you - these parts are very deep and abstruse.  

Yes, I’m not quite sure what HPB is getting at when she says that Manas is both a principle and an entity.  In many places in THE KEY she reminds us that Manas is dual - higher and lower.  This appears to relate to the nature of Manas as an Entity.  In one place in the SD HPB says Manas is triple:

“Atma-Buddhi is dual and Manas is triple; inasmuch as the former has two aspects, and the latter three, i.e., as a principle per se, which gravitates, in its higher aspect, to Atma-Buddhi, and follows, in its lower nature, Kama, the seat of terrestrial and animal desires and passions.”  (SD II 254)

That Manas is capable of following either Atma-Buddhi (the spiritual Monad) on the one hand and/or Kama (terrestrial desire and passion) on the other seems to show us something of its Protean nature, perhaps.

“We are in essence, the thoughts of the divine.”  Plato would have said the same.

I was thinking about what we’ve looked at some time ago in Gerry’s Secret Doctrine study group about Parabrahm and its two aspects - Pre-cosmic Ideation and Pre-cosmic Substance.  We looked at how, during the Manvantara (manifestation), these became Cosmic Ideation / Cosmic Substance  (spirit-matter), which later ‘differentiates’ (as spirit and matter) resulting in the different layers of space, in which Cosmic Substance acts as the upadhi, or base, through which Cosmic Ideation operates.  Perhaps there’s a clue in this as to the nature of Manas, for elsewhere in the SD were find it stated:

“Cosmic Ideation focussed in a principle or upadhi (basis) results as the consciousness of the individual Ego. Its manifestation varies with the degree of upadhi, e.g., through that known as Manas it wells up as Mind-Consciousness; through the more finely differentiated fabric (sixth state of matter) of the Buddhi resting on the experience of Manas as its basis-as a stream of spiritual INTUITION.”   (SD I 329)

Could it be that in one sense Manas is a principle because it is one of the layers of space, i.e. one aspect of Cosmic Substance (as is Buddhi), while at the same time it’s an Entity, or becomes one, when Cosmic Ideation is focused in it - resulting in the consciousness of the individual Ego?"

Just a thought.

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Might it be that manas is both a principle and an entity because manas is that principle that is necessary to establish the whole process of identification?

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Barbara, when you say "This involutionary / evolutionary process never made much sense to me. "  Do you mean it doesn't resonate with your understanding or something else?

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It seems to be a lot of work and sufferings for the monads to travel through the involution to evolution arc just to gain experiences and consciousness.  If I look at it from the cost and benefit analysis, I am not sure it pays off.  (Speaking as an asinine human steeped in illusions).   

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Does the Monad feel all the trials, tribulations and sufferings involved in the cycles of almost interminable rebirths it undergoes ? It is a highly metaphysical tenet that it is changeless, it is not of this world, eternal, and yet said to evolve and progress.

It is the Ego, radiation of Atma-Buddhi,  which evolves through its terrestrial shadows which it projects in each rebirth. Strictly speaking, even the Ego remains changeless throughout whole cycle of the 14 Manvantaras. It is the essence of experiences which the Ego gathers from each life on earth which become assimilated to Atma-Buddhi. The latter is unconscious on our plane, and the experiences of the Ego, which are assimilated to Atma-Buddhi, constitute the focus or upadhi by which Atma-Buddhi becomes conscious.

In other words, in One Life (Atma-Buddhi) whiich is Absolute consciousness, arises conscious Divinity.

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Not if the final result is self-conscious godhood!

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If we can relate Manas as a principle to the “Plane of Mentality” (or vice versa) then the passage below from the Secret Doctrine may offer us another view of the Protean nature of Manas.  It also picks up on the theme of involution evolution in relation to the Monad which has reached the human phase of development..

   ‘Now the evolution of the external form or body round the astral is produced by the terrestrial forces, just as in the case of the lower kingdoms; but the evolution of the internal or real MAN is purely spiritual. It is now no more a passage of the impersonal Monad through many and various forms of matter – endowed at best with instinct and consciousness on quite a different plane – as in the case of external evolution, but a journey of the“ pilgrim-soul” through various states of not only matter but Self-consciousness and self-perception, or of perception from apperception. (See“ Gods, Monads and Atoms.”)

    ‘The MONAD emerges from its state of spiritual and intellectual unconsciousness; and, skipping the first two  planes – too near the ABSOLUTE to permit of any correlation with anything on a lower plane – it gets direct into the plane of Mentality. But there is no plane in the whole universe with a wider margin, or a wider field of action in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every “ form” from the “mineral” monad up to the time when that monad blossoms forth by evolution into the DIVINE MONAD. But all the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, throughout its ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of spirit, or the partial or total obscuration of matter – two polar antitheses – as it ascends into the realms of mental spirituality, or descends into the depths of materiality.’

(SD I 175)

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Peter, I have not quite got the difference between perception and apperception. Can you explain ?

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Permalink Reply by Peter on June 4, 2014 at 12:46pm
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Hi Ramprakash,

Apperception means 'something added to perception' ( a-perception). Hopefully, that will make sense by the end of the message below.

HPB’s description of Monads in that passage having perception and apperception may well be a reference to Leibnitz’ view of Monads.  Leibnitz argued that everything (i.e all substances or monads) have perception - from rocks, trees, animals to humans.  But not all substances (monads) have apperception i.e. conscious perception.  Remember, Leibnitz believed that each monad mirrors the universe around it.  Perception, for Leibnitz, is the internal state of each monad resulting from mirroring what is external to it.  

Leibnitz used the term apperception to mean the monad’s conscious awareness, or reflective knowledge of it’s internal state.  Human monads have both perception and apperception.  Apperception also involves both self awareness and knowledge of the object as ‘not-self’

Obviously the term perception is used in many other ways than Leibnitz used it above.  Apperception is also used in different ways, too.  Sometimes it used to mean the process of adding our current perceptions to the store of conceptions we have formed from our earlier perceptions.  In other words, it is the systemisation of our ongoing perceptions into an ongoing ‘whole’.  Apperception, then, is an important part of our sense and experience of continuity as an individual.  

Here is the first part of HPB’s passage from the SD, again:

‘Now the evolution of the external form or body round the astral is produced by the terrestrial forces, just as in the case of the lower kingdoms; but the evolution of the internal or real MAN is purely spiritual. It is now no more a passage of the impersonal Monad through many and various forms of matter – endowed at best with instinct and consciousness on quite a different plane – as in the case of external evolution, but a journey of the“ pilgrim-soul” through various states of not only matter but Self-consciousness and self-perception, or of perception from apperception. (See“ Gods, Monads and Atoms.”) 

SD I 175

Of course, it depends on what HPB means by perception in the last sentence of that passage, but is it possible that that the correct rendering would be,  ‘through various states of not only matter but Self-consciousness and self-perception, or of apperception from perception.’    Just a thought, but this would also fit with HPB’s article “Consciousness and Self-Consciousness” where she sets out a sevenfold scale of sense impressions from the external world impinging on consciousness.  These are:

1. Sense-perception;

2. Self-perception (or apperception)

3. Psychic apperception—which carries it to

4. Vital perception.

These are the four lower scales and belong to the psychophysical man. The[n] come

5 Manasic discernments;

6. Will perception and

7. Spiritual conscious apperception.

CW XIII  288

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 5, 2014 at 9:55am
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Thanks Peter. It helped me. Have saved it for later reference.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 6, 2014 at 2:17pm
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Hi Peter:

These are great passages you posted on the sevenfold of sense impressions and apperceptions, pregnant with deep occult mysteries.  There is much to ponder.  Before I go further, I wonder what is your understanding of the relationship between Manas and Self-consciousness? 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 7, 2014 at 2:39am
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Well, I hope my thoughts don't put you off going further, Barbara!

I wish I had one simple answer to your question. This is as I understand it at present:

In one sense, self-consciousness is one of the chief characteristics of Manas. In another sense self-consciousness is Manas. In yet another sense, Manas is an aspect of universal self-consciousness.  

As kama-manas it assumes the form of personal self-consciousness.

As buddhi-manas it assumes the form of spiritual self-consciousness

We tend to look at the principles one by one to understand the chief characteristics of each, but I would think that Manas, as 'self-consciousness' is essentially an expression of the potentiality latent in the Monad (Atma-Buddhi). So, perhaps when that potentiality is fully developed as Atma-Buddhi-Manas, this takes the 'form' of Divine Consciousness, or SELF-Consciousness.

Anyone is welcome to correct or improve on these thoughts.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 7, 2014 at 3:25pm
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Just a thought, but this would also fit with HPB’s article “Consciousness and Self-Consciousness” where she sets out a sevenfold scale of sense impressions from the external world impinging on consciousness.  These are:

1. Sense-perception;

2. Self-perception (or apperception)

3. Psychic apperception—which carries it to

4. Vital perception.

These are the four lower scales and belong to the psychophysical man. The[n] come

5 Manasic discernments;

6. Will perception and

7. Spiritual conscious apperception.

CW XIII  288

Hi Peter:

The subject Manas / perception is so deep and vast.  Maybe, we can start by establishing a fundamental observation based on our everyday experiences.  

There are basically two parts to our ordinary awareness - 1.  the world of appearances on the outside and 2.  the world of consciousness on the inside.  All I know with the certainty and directly is that of the latter- the continuous everflowing states of consciousness.   When I say I know something, what I am really saying is that I know a state of consciousness in myself that corresponds in some ways to the object on the outside.  If anything particular in the objective universe does not impinge my awareness, then, it does not exist for me because I am not conscious of its existence.  When I think back of my life, all I know is a continuation of different states of consciousness.  We always live and move and have our being in this subjective mental existence.  We are essentially Minds with a spiritual core using the lower vehicles for experience and expression.

I think just seeing and realizing this, something so basic, in its full significance will alter the way we view our lives and reality.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 8, 2014 at 7:55am
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Barbara writes, 'There are basically two parts to our ordinary awareness - 1.  the world of appearances on the outside and 2.  the world of consciousness on the inside.' 

Hi Barbara, I really appreciate and enjoy the thoughtfulness underlying what you share and the questions you raise for us to think about. 

Do you think there might be a third aspect of our awareness i.e. awareness of our own existence?  This is something that persists despite the changing world of appearances and the changing states of consciousness.  It seems to me that this awareness of our own existence (i.e. “I AM”) is really fundamental to everything else.  What is the nature of this ‘self-awareness’ or ‘I AM”.  What is its source? 

“Know Thyself’ was written at the entrance to the Temple of Appollo at Delphi. This seems to be the most basic of maxims for us to follow and also the most profound, to my mind.   You may have included this aspect of awareness as part of what your referred to as "consciousness", of course, and  I'm just wanting to add to what you've shared, not contradict it.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 8, 2014 at 6:45pm
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Hi Peter:

I always appreciate any comments and disagreements because my understanding is very limited.  Chances are I usually overlook many valid and essential points on any subjects, so criticisms are always welcome.  

Thinking about this "I-am" self-awareness you brought up, two points readily come to mind, one is that this sense of "I am" is blended often times with the subjective psychological awareness, so our ordinary state is one of duality - the observer and the observed, the inner and the outer.   I will need to think more deeply about what happens when our consciousness ceases to identify with the everflowing changing inner psychological states before I can discuss further. 

The second point I want to mention, which is related to my previous thoughts, is that our sense of "self" changes when we move more into the impersonal or universal range.  This was an insight that came to me a few months ago.

I will be able to write more in a few days. 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 10, 2014 at 12:26pm
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I am with Peter.  I don't think you need a apologize about anything.  Unless we are enlightened our understanding is limited.  So we can all learn from each other. Usually the questions and concerns one person has are shared by many others who are silent.  Your insights and questions are both equally appreciated.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 13, 2014 at 8:16pm
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"What is the nature of this ‘self-awareness’ or ‘I AM”.  What is its source?"

Hi Peter:

This is probably the most important question we have to ask ourselves.  And, to be truthful, I do not know the answer.  I can quote you what different teachings say about it but it is not the same as directly knowing it. 

I believe if we know what we are not,  we can come closer to know who we are.  There is a sense of release every time when an illusion is dispelled, that we are closer to Reality but, until our consciousness transcends the confines of illusion,  it is difficult, to know the nature and source of self-awareness. 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 14, 2014 at 11:58am
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Do you think it is possible to be content in the unknowing?  In other words to be in awe of the mystery and magnitude of SELFHOOD. In this regard we are unwilling to accept cheap answers and short cuts.  The Self wants the Truth unsullied.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 14, 2014 at 4:41pm
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I agree with you, Barbara - it is the most important question we have to ask of ourselves.  I also think you're right about 'not knowing' the answer and not wanting to come up with an easy quote.  For that isn't the kind of discussion we've been having.  We've been talking about the nature of awareness itself and what it is we can really know directly.

I do think it's a question we need to keep asking, and one to hold in the heart.  The question itself, if asked sincerely, has its own potency.  We don't need to answer it. To do so is counter productive.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 14, 2014 at 11:22pm
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Very true. Until we arrive at Impersonality--which is, entire freedom from the illusions of separate personal self and its biases and prejudices, we cannot come to true self-awareness.

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Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 15, 2014 at 7:59pm
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Gerry wrote: Do you think it is possible to be content in the unknowing?  In other words to be in awe of the mystery and magnitude of SELFHOOD. In this regard we are unwilling to accept cheap answers and short cuts.  The Self wants the Truth unsullied."

My reply : To turn the question around, could any student of Wisdom be content with not knowing?  It seems like an oxymoron.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 16, 2014 at 10:44am
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OK Barbaram  you got me there.  Good point.  I guess I did not make my point clear enough.  I was just wondering that for a student of wisdom there reaches a point when it  becomes more "comfortable" with not knowing the Full nature of the SELF. The desire for a quick answer goes away because the Soul does not want to settle  for half truths. The lower mind wants quick answers.   The lower mind wants certainty.  But the path of self-discovery is a dynamic dialetic.

The quest to Self-Conscious Godhood is a long one.  Why not enjoy the ride?

Permalink Reply by Don Petros on June 4, 2014 at 2:02pm
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"..Manas is, "mysterious, Protean, beyond any grasp, and almost shadowy in its correlations with the other principles"?

Sometimes, these kinds of questions are so interesting, vexing, and complex that one has to stand back for a moment..

I think that the passage is trying to at least convey that any understanding of the Manasic principle will involve approaching it in a way that isn't ordinary in terms of investigation!  Perhaps it means that, not unlike trying to look at one's eyeball, one cannot even adequately understand Manas through Manas. 

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 5, 2014 at 10:18am
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That is perfectly right. Manas cannot grasp Manas itself. But Manas can be understood by something higher than it, which is Buddhi-Manas.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on June 9, 2014 at 11:21pm
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Can Mahat grasp manas?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 10, 2014 at 12:56am
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That is a good question : Can Mahat grasp Manas ?

What is Mahat ? It is the source and root of Manas. HPB cites Vedantasara  in the Key to explain the difference : Mahat or Iswara is like the Forest, Manas (or Pragna) is like an individual tree in it ; Iswara is like the lake, and Manas a drop among millions of drops in it ; Mahat is the Sun, and Manas a ray of light issuing from it.

Mahat is Maha-Buddhi = Wisdom = "first born of Gnana (or Gnosis),"  Logos = "a phantasm reflected from the Absolute NIRGUNA (Parabrahm, the one reality, 'devoid of attributes and qualities. ")  - SD i. 62

So, Mahat is manifested Universal Consciousness, a synthesis / aggregate  of the seven primordial formless Hierarchies or Rays, who have no Individuality of their own.

Mahat is equivalent to Buddhi in the scale of human principles. Mahat itself is universal sixth principle, analogous to Buddhi as sixth principle in Man, the microcosm.

Therefore, Buddhi or Mahat can have no such perception as knowing this or that particular thing, but is abstract universal Wisdom.

But Buddhi attains to Individual consciousness by means of assimilation of quintessential experiences of Manas-Individuality garnered via innumerable reincarnations of the latter. Hence as Buddhi-Manas (Buddhi assimilated to Manas) Buddhi knows Manas. But Buddhi or Mahat as such is unconscious--meaning, it has universal consciousness, not individual consciousness. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 10, 2014 at 2:21am
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This is a really helpful description, Ramprakash, and good to bring out the relationship between Mahat with both buddhi and manas.  How would you describe the relationship between Mahat and Atma?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 10, 2014 at 11:36pm
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I suppose, Peter, Mahat is universal 6th principle, and Atma is Universal 7th Principle.

What is the universal 7th principle ?

It is symbolized by the central point in the double interlaced triangle : the 6 angles and 6 sides of which are the 6 principles, the central point is the indivisible One without a second, the synthesis of the six--which six are the six manifesting aspect of the Unmanifest synthetical 7th.

The 7th is the Ideal Cause. The 6th (Mahat) is the Creative Cause, the Demi-urgos of Plato, Jupiter of the Latins, Zeus of the Greeks, etc. They all begin their cosmogony with the latter and keep silence as to the former. 

In Hindu symbolism, Mahat is 4 faced Brahma born of the Lotus, which issues from the navel of Mahavishnu reclining on the coils of the celestial serpent, Anata-shesha, (Serpent of Eternity, formless serpent of Absolute Wisdom) floating on the Waters of Space.

Everything must be related to that Ideal Cause, in order to arrive at true knowledge of things as they are, as distinguished from things as they seem (from the perspective of any of the manifested six), just as the practitioner of Yoga sacrifices the personal to the Self Impersonal, the mutable to the Immutable--"the six are slain and at the Mater's feet are laid).  

How beautifully the 7th principle (Vishnu) is spoken of in Vishnu Purana in mythical language, quoted in SD, i. 349 :

"He is only the Ideal  Cause of the Potencies to be created in the work of creation; and from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they have become the real cause. Save that ideal cause, there is no other to which the world can be referred....Through the potency of that cause, every created thing comes by its proper nature."

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 12, 2014 at 12:27pm
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Thank you, Ramprakash.  I appreciate the clarity with which you bring these different aspects of the teaching together.  

There's a beautiful passage from HPB in the Collected Writings which resonates with what you've said above:

"The occultist, when he has identified himself thoroughly with his Atma, acts upon the Buddhi, for, according to the laws of Cosmic Evolution, the Purusha – the universal seventh principle – is perpetually acting upon and manifesting itself throughPrakriti — the universal sixth principle. Thus the MAHATMA, who has become one with his seventh principle—which is identical with Purusha, since there is no isolation in the spiritual monad—is practically a creator, for he has identified himself with the evoluting and the manifesting energy of nature. It was in this sense that the Rishis are said to have married. And the union of Śiva and Śakti represents the same allegory."

CW VI  261 (“The Future Occultist”)

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 13, 2014 at 3:24am
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Excellent correlation from CW. Thanks Peter. Anything said on any theme instantly brings to mind many cognate ideas and correlations.

Becoming one with the seventh principle is, as said in the CW cited, symbolized as marriage of Rishis. A few thoughts cross the mind. 

HPB did much to disabuse superstitious notions of Hindus. One such wrong idea was their belief that their revered ancient Rishis married. This they supported with citations from Puranas and Epics. HPB pointed out to them that it is a wrong belief, and that the such exoteric accounts are all allegorical.

What HPB said was perfectly right. For instance, in the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna is shown to have forty thousands wives, besides marrying some well known females. These are certainly allegorical. Orthodox Hindus take these literally. Only one Krishna confabulating with numerous Gopikas (shepherdesses), dancing with a number of them in a circle dance, known as Raasa, is beautiful, and very suggestive allegory which depicts relation between Jiva and Paramatma.

Rishis marrying, as I understand from SD, is Marriage of Heaven and Earth. Also well known to, and taught by, Jewish Kabalists. Eg. Marriage of Malkuth, the inferior mother (Earth) with Tetragammaton, the Heavenly Man (SD i. p. 240) :

"When free from all impurity,she [bride of the Heavenly Man, earth] will become united with the spiritual Logos, i.e., in the 7th Race of the 7th Round--after the regeneration, on the day of 'SABBATH.' For the 'seventh day has again an occult significance undreamt of by our theologians."(ibiden)

The whole end and purpose of all universal evolution is consummation of Heavenly wedding : 

"It is only by the attractive force of the contrasts that the two opposites--Spirit and Matter--can be cemented on Earth, and smelted in the fire of self-conscious experience and suffering, find themselves wedded in Eternity." (ii, 103)

In exoteric Hindu temple religious ritualistic ceremonies, very popular with devotees, marriage of gods and goddesses are celebrated with great devotion and fanfare , variously called Girija Kalayana, Sita Kalyana etc. It is doubtful if priests ever know the philosophical significance of it. But priests and laity alike take it literally. 

Permalink Reply by Grace Cunningham on June 15, 2014 at 1:59pm
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So I gather from these comments that the Hindu concept of a "consort" is purely allegorical from a Theosophical standpoint?

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on June 25, 2014 at 5:37pm
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Is a Mahatma, by definition, one who has no attachment to the idea of a separate sense of "I".  Hence one with the Atman.

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Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 12, 2014 at 9:31pm
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H  Ramprakash

Would it be correct to term Atma  as the  ‘Divine Ideation’  which emanates from the original cause, the Monad or Divine spark in humanity’s case

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 13, 2014 at 4:12am
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Hello James. I think the question is involved, because we will have to ask what is divine ideation.

The best approach to the question, I feel, is to go to the three fundamental propositions. Crosbies stressed much on this point, and rightly so, that every question, as also every problem, has to be referred to the Basic Universal Axioms. In that case, our premises being right, our reasoning and conclusions cannot go wrong.

Going then to the First fundamental proposition : 

Ultimate Reality is Absolute Abstract Motion or the Great Breath (other two aspects being Absolute Abstract Space and Duration, the three in one and one in three)

Now THAT  is nether Spirit nor matter, but Unknown Rootless Root of these two ever-conjoined manifesting opposites--spirit and Matter-- acting in two contrary directions, causing manifestation.

"Considering the metaphysical triad as the the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the Great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. It is the fons et erigo of force and all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On the other hand, pre-cosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of Absolute which underlies all objective planes of Nature." (SD, i. 15)

Pre-cosmic Ideation or Divine Thought is indeed Atma or Purusha.

Purusha being an aspect of the Absolute Abstract Motion, Atma or Purusha too is ultimate Motion which is the cause of all and every motion in the universe.  

Please refer, in this connection, to HPB's comment in that illuminating article of hers " Psychic and Noetic Action." (HPB Articles vol. ii, p.11)

 In it HPB shows that Atma is also referred to as SWARA. 

"All the world is in Swara Swara is Spirit itself"--the ONE LIFE or Motion, say the old books of Hindu Occult philosophy. The proper translation of the swara is the current of the life wave,' says the author of 'Nature's Finer Forces....." (p. 11) And he goes on to show the word Atma itself signifies Motion--eternal motion, the ultimate basis and cause of all other infinite varieties of cosmic motions. 

Atma indeed is Divine Ideation. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 13, 2014 at 3:14pm
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Just to add something further to Ramprakash’s good thoughts.  HPB tells us that Universal Mind ever IS and exists outside of time and space.  Mahat is an aspect of Universal Mind projected into time and space during the Manvantara.  Here’s what she writes in ‘Transactions’:

Cosmic Mind is Mahat, or divine ideation in active (creative) operation, and thus only the periodical manifestation in time and in actu of the Eternal Universal Mind—in potentia. In strict truth, Universal Mind, being only another Name for the Absolute, out of time and Space, this Cosmic Ideation, or Mind, is not an evolution at all (least of all a “creation”), but simply one of the aspects of the former, which knows no change, which ever was, which is, and will be.

From Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge, meeting 2.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 10, 2014 at 12:16pm
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I get the impression that Tamiko's question is a little bit like asking "Can the Forest know the trees?"   One is the collective whole the other individual parts.  So like our friend Pierre likes to say to many theosophical questions "The answer is both yes and no!"

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 6, 2014 at 2:00pm
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I understand your sentiment.  In order to have a grasp of Manas, we need to stand back and look at ourselves.  The mind seems to have the ability to look at itself, like I could think about what I thought, the different types of thoughts I engage in,  and sometimes even watch how my mind works.  This may be another example of the protean nature of Manas.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 8, 2014 at 11:10pm
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It might be good to remember that much of what we think we know about manas is entirely from the perspective of personal conditioned consciousness.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 1, 2014 at 2:42pm
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"That Manas is capable of following either Atma-Buddhi (the spiritual Monad) on the one hand and/or Kama (terrestrial desire and passion) on the other seems to show us something of its Protean nature, perhaps."

Regarding the protean nature of Manas, in addition to the dual aspects with the higher and lower mind,  we can recognize this characteristic in our everyday experience.   Our mind get assimilated whenever we are engaged in any activity, for example, something as mundane as cooking, our mind becomes absorbed in the act of preparing a meal.    

"Could it be that in one sense Manas is a principle because it is one of the layers of space, i.e. one aspect of Cosmic Substance (as is Buddhi), while at the same time it’s an Entity, or becomes one, when Cosmic Ideation is focused in it - resulting in the consciousness of the individual Ego?"

It is definitely possible.  The question that emerges is why and how since no other principle plays this double role.  I am certain there is something much more mysterious and profound than I can comprehend. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 5, 2014 at 9:34am
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Here is the next passage in our study:

Part 2: 

ENQUIRER. But how is it that this doctrine, which you say is as old as thinking men, has found no room, say, in Christian theology?

THEOSOPHIST. You are mistaken, it has; only theology has disfigured it out of all recognition, as it has many other doctrines. Theology calls the EGO the Angel that God gives us at the moment of our birth, to take care of our Soul. Instead of holding that “Angel” responsible for the transgressions of the poor helpless “Soul,” it is the latter which, according to theological logic, is punished for all the sins of both flesh and mind! It is the Soul, the immaterial breath of God and his alleged creation, which, by some most amazing intellectual jugglery, is doomed to burn in a material hell without ever being consumed* while the “Angel” escapes scot free, after folding his white pinions and wetting them with a few tears. Aye, these are our “ministering Spirits,” the “messengers of mercy” who are sent, Bishop Mant tells us―

     ". . . . . . . . . to fulfil

    Good for Salvation's heirs, for us they still

    Grieve when we sin, rejoice when we repent;"

Yet it becomes evident that if all the Bishops the world over were asked to define once for all what they mean by Soul and its functions, they would be as unable to do so as to show us any shadow of logic in the orthodox belief!

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 5, 2014 at 9:39am
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What's wrong with the "Angel" escaping scot free, in the above passage.  What's HPB getting at?

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 14, 2014 at 11:18pm
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Peter's comment below, and my response below his comment follow:

Permalink Reply by Peter yesterday

Just to add something further to Ramprakash’s good thoughts.  HPB tells us that Universal Mind ever IS and exists outside of time and space.  Mahat is an aspect of Universal Mind projected into time and space during the Manvantara.  Here’s what she writes in ‘Transactions’:

Cosmic Mind is Mahat, or divine ideation in active (creative) operation, and thus only the periodical manifestation in timeand in actu of the Eternal Universal Mind—in potentia. In strict truth, Universal Mind, being only another Name for the Absolute, out of time and Space, this Cosmic Ideation, or Mind, is not an evolution at all (least of all a “creation”), but simply one of the aspects of the former, which knows no change, which ever was, which is, and will be.

From Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge, meeting 2.

My comment :

Thanks Peter. That is a very important difference we must bear in mind : Universal MInd out of time and space Ever IS; Cosmic Mind, Its reflection in time and space, is periodical, the latter ever manifesting and disappearing, like the ebb and flow of the tide, and evolving on higher plane each time, a progress towards greater and greater perfection, which has no finality. One more citation from SD makes it still more clear : 

"Intra-cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless ; cosmic motion (the visible, or that which is subject to perception) is finite and periodical. As an eternal abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT ; as a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and the opposite, the two being the alpha and omega of successive reconstructions. Kosmos--the NOUMENON--has nought to do with the causal relations of the phenomenal World. It is only with reference to the intra-cosmic soul, the Ideal Kosmos in the immutable Divine Thought, that we may say : ' It never had a beginning nor will it have an end." With regard to its body or Cosmic organization, though it cannot be said that it had a first, or will ever have a last construction, yet at each Manvantara, its organization may be regarded as the first and the last of its kind, as it evolutes every time on a higher plane." (SD, i. 3)

By analogy, the same may be said of relation between Higher Ego and its reflection, personality. The laws of birth, growth, decay, death, post-mortem states  and rebirth are universal and uniform, which can be applied to every thing, from an atom to sun, to man and cosmos.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on June 25, 2014 at 5:47pm
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Might there be analogies about the relationship between Universal Mind, outside of time and space, and Cosmic Mind, inside time and space at the human level?  What is that consciousness that can remain awake through the cycle of sleeping and waking?

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 26, 2014 at 5:15am
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Tamiko - yes, there would seem to be a correspondence between Universal Mind and Manas:  the Higher Manas being that which remains outside of phenomenal time and space, while lower manas is it's projection 'inside' time and space, for the period of the incarnation.   Perhaps we could say that when Manas in humanity has become fully developed in the far distant future, then the lower manas would be a proper reflection of its Higher counterpart.  At the moment the Higher is not able to manifest its powers and ideation fully, hence our ignorance and struggles.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 15, 2014 at 11:17pm
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Reply by Grace Cunningham 8 hours ago

So I gather from these comments that the Hindu concept of a "consort" is purely allegorical from a Theosophical standpoint ?

Yes, they are allegorical. Siva - Sakti , Brahma Viradj - Brahma Vach ; earth as the bride of Tetragrammaton (Heavenly Man) in Jewish Kabala ; all the pairs of gods and goddesses in mythology, are all personifications and euhemerizations of cosmic powers polarized into pairs of positive and negative energies, ying and yang, spirit and matter, Purusha and Prakriti -- directing force is male and directed force is female. Higher Self in us is male and personal self, the reflection of the former, is female. Force acting is male, that which is acted upon is female; and the latter, in its turn, becomes polarized into male-female power, and acts upon and directs the latter. It is endless cosmic correlation of forces.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 16, 2014 at 3:21am
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Hi Barbaram, Gerry,    

Gerry wrote: Do you think it is possible to be content in the unknowing?  In other words to be in awe of the mystery and magnitude of SELFHOOD. In this regard we are unwilling to accept cheap answers and short cuts.  The Self wants the Truth unsullied."

Barbaram replied: To turn the question around, could any student of Wisdom be content with not knowing?  It seems like an oxymoron.

Agree with you Barbaram,  we cannot go from ‘ignorance to enlightenment’ in one step. There is a lot of mind training in between.

Reason is we can only grasp small truths in the beginning which slowly expands our mind ready for a bigger truth and so on up until we are capable of grasping the Truth unsullied as Gerry puts it, always remembering we are limited by the physical body. The discriminative mind is the highest sense capable of being developed by the lower mind. It is what is used to move from truth to higher truth, from the unreal to the real.

Discrimination is the most valued faculty of the Yogi, and when there is nothing more to discriminate between, enlightenment follows.

I have been watching for a while and manas or mind, its arrival, purpose, workings and evolution has not been adequately described in my view, others may not agree. HPB quotes are hard going for most, it needs to be put in simple English for most to grasp.

I also think manas can be understood by the mind of longer term students, as it has to be fully developed and understood before one can safely go beyond. An example is a lot of what people call Intuition is incorrect because of lack of knowledge of the thinking principle.

 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 19, 2014 at 6:02am
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Hi James,

Good point - understanding and development appear to be incremental rather than 'everything all of a sudden.' 

That's an interesting point you make about the discriminative mind' being the highest sense capable of being developed by the lower mind' - can you say a bit more about that.  How would that fit in with Intuition, for example, which you mention later in your post?

It sounds like you feel we haven't really covered Manas properly or fully in our study so far.  We (or at least myself) have tended to leave the evolutionary side of Manas aside as something more suited to the SD study, but that could have been a mistake to do so.  I wonder what kind of things you would have liked to see us add to our study of Manas so far.  You, or anyone else, are very welcome to fill in any gaps or shortfalls in our responses or to suggest ways we can make the subject easier to understand.  There are no teachers here - just students collaborating in the study.

I agree with you that manas can be understood by manas.  It seems to me that this is the only principle that is capable - potentially - of understanding itself.  I'm not quite sure what you mean by reference to Intuition in your last sentence.  Could you say a bit more?

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 20, 2014 at 1:33am
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Hi Peter,

Just a quick note as I am tied up till after Tuesday then I will attempt to expand on the discrimination and intuition references.

With regards to my mention of expanding on Manas was Barbaram appeared to open the door for ideas on what Manas was, then several others seemed to want it put in the too hard basket by their comments.  I thought of writing a brief coverage of how I understand it but wondered if it would require a new thread. HPB has some valuable comments on Manas but it is my view, which may well be incorrect, that most would need a simple explanation first before taking her comments onboard and finding where they fit, as they are scattered right throughout her work. For instance the entities’ that gave us the spark of the mind are returning Nirvanis from a preceding Mahamanvantara who had gained all knowledge.

James

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 20, 2014 at 2:36am
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That's fine, James.  Just start a new thread in the group when you have time to share your thoughts.  I look forward to your input.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 25, 2014 at 11:18pm
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A Note:

James;  If this Ning site seems to run out of reply connections don't despair.  You can add your thought at the top of the discussion and it will be placed at the end.  You are point to which post you are responding to.  Most of us are getting email notices of people's contributions and read them away from the site anyhow.  So all I am saying is don't let the limitations of the web site stop you.  If you get lost, we will find you.

gk

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 22, 2014 at 10:54pm
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Hi Peter,   just a few lines from some of my notes on discrimination, more later in the week

Viveka. The Sanskrit "discrimination." The very first step in the path of occultism......is the discrimination between the real and the unreal, between substance and phenomenon, between the Self and the Not-self, between spirit and matter.

Belongs to the highest sub-plane of the Lower mental plane, consequently until we have developed the mind by studying the tried and true Wisdom Teachings and learnt to discriminate between spirit and matter, we will continue being drawn back to the same old beliefs and the wheel of rebirth.

                  --------------------------------

Discrimination is the first of the 3 D’s, the three essential requirements and developments a student needs if he is ever to find freedom from the hold of the material World

DISCRIMINATION--seeing the difference between Spirit and Matter----Soul and Personality,  higher and lower actions or desires

DISPASSION--freeing oneself (mind emotions) from the pull of Matter -- of Personality desires – of Lower actions

DETACHMENT--     remaining above, -- not being drawn back to the lower Personality desires, and actions

               ---------------------------

Discrimination– and its problems  - From a TS Roga Yoga Weekend with Yvonne Malykke

Love without Discrimination leads to Sentimentality

Usually seen in the Mystic, or those regarded as heart people----When a problem arises that they label as un-just, it means they haven’t engaged the discriminative mind, which is needed to see the cause behind, or the reason that produced,  the so-called un-just problem

Discrimination without Love leads to Spiritual Pride 

Normally found in the mental type, often seen in the Jnana Yogi’s and early Raja Yogi’s types, when knowledge is regarded as making one superior to his less Mental Brothers and Sisters

A blending of both “Heart and Mind” is needed,  and when present produces  “Love – Wisdom” which is the “Ray” of this, the “Second Solar System”  and what we are all here to Develop, what HPB calls the synthesis of the Seven Rays

 Yvonne Malykke, in her book describes discrimination as an expression of the spiritual consciousness hidden behind the mind.  She goes on to say ‘to be always alert and discriminating is the greatest and most difficult of all spiritual austerities.

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 24, 2014 at 3:52am
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Some interesting thoughts, James.  What does discrimination tell us about the Complex Nature of Manas and why should we think of it as belonging to a sub plane of lower manas?  

Another view might be that spiritual discrimination is normally related to Buddhi (i.e. in conjunction with Manas) - this being also the source from which the voice of conscience wells up.

Would true discrimination between the real and the unreal have to come from that which has its source and perspective in the Real, or Divine Wisdom?

Perhaps there are different levels and even types of discrimination which vary dependent on the prominent principle in a person or entity?  For example, HPB writes:

"Every cell in the human body (as in every animal) is endowed with its own peculiar discrimination, instinct, and, speaking relatively, with intelligence."

from Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge, meeting 2.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 26, 2014 at 1:06am
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Hi Peter
Some interesting thoughts, James.  What does discrimination tell us about the Complex Nature of Manas and why should we think of it as belonging to a sub plane of lower manas?

Discrimination is an attitude of mind and has to be cultivated in order to develop and grow. It is the mental ability to distinguish between two polarities, and is what allows us to see what needs changing. In man this starts small and man regards himself as a physical body and develops a crude discrimination between right and wrong which is succeeded by finer distinction between this right and that right. As a result of pain and the process of analysis plus memory we learn what to avoid and what to cultivate.  I like – I don’t like.  By discriminating between these various ideas we learn what to base our activities on until finally we begin to discriminate between Self and Notself in all affairs of our life. From this brief evolution description it should become apparent that ‘True’ discrimination is the last of the lower senses developed to the fullest. It is the foundation on which the spiritual life is built and without true discrimination we become spiritually lost on the occult path.

A great example of this is Fragment 1 of V.O.S. verse1; These instructions are for those ignorant of the dangers of the lower iddhi, (psychic powers)  Although the word discrimination is not mentioned, that is exactly what it is about and without being able to discriminate between these two powers one will be like the ‘moth attracted to the lamp,’ and keep returning to earth the slave of illusion, or spiritually lost.

 On the occult path most will start to develop some of these powers so discrimination becomes of paramount significance and why HPB wrote V. O. S.

Can anyone correctly discriminate between these two powers without resorting to copy and pasting HPB, or looking up her works.  

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 26, 2014 at 3:25am
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James, thanks for sharing more of your views on discrimination.  Good contribution.

You ask, in relation to the Voice of the Silence,  “Can anyone correctly discriminate between these two powers without resorting to copy and pasting HPB, or looking up her works.” 

We’re not here to test each others ability to “correctly discriminate” without aids, James.  :-)  

The primary aim of this group is to help people become familiar with what actually are the teachings presented by HPB in her work, ‘The Key to Theosophy.’    Members should feel free to quote passages from HPB whenever they believe that adds to, enriches or clarifies the teachings as presented by her.  To share our own understanding, views and opinions is great if between us that helps the group better understand the passages that we are studying.  Likewise, questions as to the meaning of our study passages are also very welcome, even the most basic, as they generally help us all.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 26, 2014 at 10:26am
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As James says it is the best if we are able to present Theosophy in our own words according to our own understanding. Since we are mere tyros and learners in elementary stages, we are more than likely to present incorrect ideas. Hence resorting to quotations becomes necessary, but shd be kept minimal, 

Reg. discrimination between Lower and Higher Iddhis : we, who are turning to Occultism, this is the first thing for us to learn--theoretically, of course. 

Theoretically, development of psychic powers and capacities and exercising them--as do natural born mediums, psychics, clairvoyants, by the force of the efforts made in that direction in past lives, are in great danger. 

One golden rule which we must keep in mind : One who develops the abnormal powers by whatever means outside of regular Initiation in the school of White Adepts is almost certain to fall into Black Magic or irresponsible mediumship

A careful, thoughtful  study of the four unwritten rules and the first 21 rules of the Light on the Path should give us a fairly good idea of the difference between the two.

Grow as the flower grows, says one passage, unconsciously, eagerly anxious to open its soul to the air. "So must you press forward to open your soul the eternal. But it must be the eternal that draws forth your strength and beauty, and not desire of growth. For in the one  case you develop in the luxuriance of purity, in the other you harden by the forcible passion for personal stature." 


This seems to tell the difference.

Even a slightest trace of selfish intent, motive or a thought or a vice or a defect of character, the spiritual and the divine will be transformed into the psychic  and he will fall from Akasa to Astral Light. 

We are fortunate to have come in touch with Masters' Theosophy. Study and work for Theosophy itself is the first Initiation we have received. Fidelity to the Great Teachers, loyalty to  Their Cause,  work on the lines traced out by them, and assimilation of Their Teaching : these are the safest and truest path--the path of regular, time honoured Initiation into Sacred Mysteries. Any other path or approach is fraught with disaster.

So it seems.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on June 26, 2014 at 11:09am
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Your comments remind us of the admonition of the Masters: "If you would know us, study our philosophy, if you would serve us, serve our humanity."

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Permalink Reply by Peter on June 26, 2014 at 12:20pm
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To form our own understanding and be able to express it is ideal, Ramprakash.  I agree.

That said, I don’t want members to feel that there are correct or incorrect ways to contribute.  There are no restrictions, as such, on how members should contribute to the study provided it is both courteous and largely on topic .  Members are free to share passages from HPB, their own understanding, or ask questions - or any combination of these.  Each person can take responsibility for their own understanding and what they contribute, leaving others to do the same. 

My main reason for starting this group was to give people an opportunity to come into contact with the teachings as presented by HPB.  That’s what matters most to me.  What people make of that opportunity is up to them.  All contributions from members that help us familiarise ourselves with the teachings and understand them better are very welcome and gratefully received.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 27, 2014 at 9:06am
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I agree

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on July 7, 2014 at 10:34pm
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Agreed, all contributions are welcome.  If people find related passages from HPB and want to post them that is wonderful and indeed helpful.  Putting the teachings into our own words is a good test of our understanding. It will also play a role in helping us put the teaching into use.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 26, 2014 at 5:22pm
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Hi Ramprakash,

 I would like to share this quote from a R.Y. book I have since lost. It is very appropriate and the magic show explains it well.

 Psychic experiences like clairvoyance and clairaudience, though true in them­selves, can produce a false sense of self‑realisation thus blocking further progress.

This is akin to the foolishness of the man who missed the train by whiling away his time on the roadside magic show!

It needs great strength and wisdom to transcend the temptations of such psychic powers as they often develop as a matter of course in spiritual aspirants.

Patafljali himself warns the aspirants. against this danger in sütra. 3.51:

'When supernatural beings occupying celestial spheres invite the yogi (to their worlds) he should neither be tempted nor be puffed up with pride, since there is every possibility of a fall into sathsãra.'

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 27, 2014 at 9:12am
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Thanks James. Development of such a degree of discrimination and dispassion, as we all have learnt, is a work of ages. The most difficult thing to accomplish in the world is self-conquest--entire overcoming of personal idea, the great deluder.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on July 7, 2014 at 10:45pm
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This is why Gandhi said the secret of life is selfless service.

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 26, 2014 at 5:02pm
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Hi Peter,

Sorry if anyone took offence to my last sentence, it was perhaps worded hastily and incorrectly.

It had a dual purpose, firstly showing us that at some point in the future, most likely a future life, it will become necessary to be able to discriminate between these two in daily life without referring to the SD or similar.

And secondly by attempting to put a reply into our own words we learn far quicker than just a direct copy and paste. Now if we take a quote, ponder on its meaning and at the same time think, ‘how could I word this to make it easier to understand for someone else’. If successful this would also be a good service to our fellow students. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 27, 2014 at 9:21am
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Understood, James.  These are two valuable points to make - thanks.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 27, 2014 at 9:22am
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Judge cautioned against the common error : Much reading and little thought. Reflection and application of what we learn gradually seeps into our being, becomes a part of our consciousness. This process, I think, which  James also seems to say the same, is hastened if we attempt to articulate our responses to questions / queries / comments in our own words. Not that we are not doing it, as is pretty evident in the TN discussions. 

Permalink Reply by Peter on June 27, 2014 at 9:58am
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Yes, Christmas Humphries, the English Theosophist and Buddhist used to say, 'Few people actually think, but most people think they do.'  

There is another aspect to our study.  We have to work on the teachings, as Judge and others here have rightly suggested.  We also need to let the teachings work on us. For the source of the teachings is no different to the source of our own 'being' and hence they capable of touching us in a very deep way even when the analytical mind doesn't quite understand or can't quite put what stirs within us into words.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 27, 2014 at 7:58am
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"Can anyone correctly discriminate between these two powers without resorting to copy and pasting HPB, or looking up her works."

Hi James:

Sorry I do not get which two powers are you referring to?

Thank you.

barbara

 

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 27, 2014 at 6:05pm
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Hi Barbaram

I was referring to the two types of Siddhis or psychic powers mentioned in the Voice of the Silence. One group which embraces the lower, coarse, psychic and mental energies; the other is one which exacts the highest training of Spiritual powers.

Hope this is enough

James 

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by james E Orchard on June 28, 2014 at 12:22am
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To add a little to Nicholas’s explanation

Psychic powers are all part of the One soul, but in time and space (when in incarnation) one relates to the Animal Soul, one to the Human Soul, and one to the Spiritual/Divine Soul.

Meaning they are directly related to our consciousness level. As a Master has full control of the five planes of human existence all powers are available to him if needed.

They, or at least most of them, are a higher version of our five physical senses on each of the higher planes. Sight and hearing on the astral plane is clairvoyance and clairaudience, but as these pertain to the personality they are both a lower siddhis.

Sight and hearing on Buddhic and Atmic levels may well be different to what we imagine, possibly like a comprehensive knowing (seeing) of the Divine Plan or similar. Yoga Sutras Book three explains them more fully but still maybe hard to comprehend at times unless you are familiar them. For instance the ability to become smaller than the smallest may pertain to projecting one’s consciousness into another object like a diamond, not the actual physical body.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on June 28, 2014 at 4:59pm
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Uddhava-Gita is a very important teaching. Thanks.

We can see in the citation of Nicholas an illustration of the Third Object of the TM ; To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the psychic and Spiritual powers latent in man.

One may acquire these powers but not without danger. Danger comes from selfishness, the sense of separateness. This line of acquisition is the path of Lower Iddhis warned against in the first page of the Voice.

But the right Royal Road is Renunciation and resignation to the Supreme Spirit - Krishna, the Higher Self:

"He who is engaged in the performance of Yoga, who has subdued his senses and who has concentrated his mind in me (Krishna) such Yogis all the Siddhis stand ready to serve."

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 28, 2014 at 12:32pm
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To learn to distinguish between the lower siddhis and the higher spiritual powers, I would say it requires experiences coupled with objective observation, like with any scientific studies.  There are some basic differences that come to mind and they are: 1. the quality of the experience,  2. the energy centers that are activated, and 3. the effects of the experience.

The lower energy centers (or chakras) are activated with the lower siddhis.  It is difficult to describe the qualities of the astral energies awakened in a psychic atmosphere other than there is a thickness and sensationalism becomes more intense and vivid.  On the other hand, with spiritual glimmers that come to one on very rare occasions various parts of the head centers are activated.  One  senses the boundary of one's ego becomes porous, allowing one to see and identify with the bigger picture, so to speak.   The underlying quality of these moments are accompanied with a sharp clarity and refinement.

To be detached to any these experiences is one of the prerequisites because most of them still belong to world of illusion or phenomena.  To see through and know it is emptiness as in "the voidness of the seeming full and fullness of the seeming Void" is true spiritual progress.

Just my humble opinion.

 

Permalink Reply by barbaram on June 19, 2014 at 9:45pm