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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

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    Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Theme for Contemplation: Civilization —Death and Regeneration

    “True civilization aids self-realization and nurtures universal brotherhood.”

    — Aquarian Almanac

    From the HPB article: Civilization: The Death of Art and Beauty

    “Owing to the triumphant march and the invasion of civilization, Nature, as well as man and ethics, is sacrificed, and is fast becoming artificial. Climates are changing, and the face of the whole world will soon be altered. Under the murderous hand of the pioneers of civilization, the destruction of whole primeval forests is leading to the drying up of rivers, and the opening of the Canal of Suez has changed the climate of Egypt as that of Panama will divert the course of the Gulf Stream. Almost tropical countries are now becoming cold and rainy, and fertile lands threaten to be soon transformed into sandy deserts. A few years more and there will not remain within a radius of fifty miles around our large cities one single rural spot inviolate-from vulgar speculation. In scenery, the picturesque and the natural is daily replaced by the grotesque and the artificial.”

    From Robert Crosbie’s “Our God and Other Gods”

    “Every civilization that has been, and the one in which we now are living, is due to a true or false perception of what our real nature is. If we would ever know and understand our natures, we must first understand that there is in us That which never changes at all, whatever changes are brought about by it. We never are the things we see, or feel, or hear, or know, or experience. No matter how many the experiences may be, we are still unchanged with the possibility of infinite other experiences. That the Self in us is changeless may seem difficult for the Western mind to grasp, thinking that without change there is no progress; but it may be perceived by the fact of our identity remaining ever the same in a child’s body and through all the changes of body that have occurred since childhood. If the identity ever changed, it could never observe change. Only that which is permanent and stable can see change, can know it, can make it.”

     

     

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Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 7, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: The Pledge of Kwan Yin
    “What’s past is prologue.”
    — William Shakespeare

    “To shape the whole future is not our problem; but only to shape faithfully a small part of it, according to rules already known.”
    — Thomas Carlyle

  • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
    Kirk Marzulo
    Participant
    Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

    “The great and peaceful ones live regenerating the world like the coming of spring; having crossed the ocean of embodied existence themselves, they freely aid all others who seek to cross it. The very essence and inherent will of Mahatmas is to remove the suffering of others,just as the ambrosia-rayed moon of itself cools the earth heated by the intense rays of the sun.” -Shankaracharya

    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      This is one of the great expressions in World Literature about the Mahatmas. Thanks for sharing.

  • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
    Kirk Marzulo
    Participant
    Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

    “The “Being” just referred to, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane — the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. It is he who changes form, yet remains ever the same. And it is he again who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the “Nameless One” who has so many names, and yet whose names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the “Initiator,” called the “great sacrifice.” For, sitting at the threshold of light, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know — aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion. Because, in short, he has sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, though but a few Elect may profit by the great sacrifice.

    It is under the direct, silent guidance of this Maha — (great) — Guru that all the other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind became, from the first awakening of human consciousness, the guides of early Humanity. It is through these “Sons of God” that infant humanity got its first notions of all the arts and sciences, as well as of spiritual knowledge; and it is they who have laid the first foundation-stone of those ancient civilizations that puzzle so sorely our modern generation of students and scholars.”
    -S.D., Vol 1, pgs 207-8

    • Profile photo of tjinners
      tjinners
      Participant
      Profile photo of tjinnerstjinners

      I was thinking the other day about what science fiction writer Philip K. Dick wrote in his Exegesis regarding VALIS or “living information” which he called the Logos (the Word). I had discussed before what other’s thoughts were on the concept of resurrection from a TS perspective (instead of reincarnation, is it possible for a kind of instantaneous return, like with Christ?). We talked about how, since the events in the Gospels happened so long ago, we don’t know what the exact time frame was. So it’s possible that, rather than the 3rd day when Christ returned after his execution, that maybe it was a few years later, when his reincarnated self appeared on the scene.

      That makes sense, but something stood out to me here’s the thing, though–since all of the Gospels seem to agree that the events all happened in a relatively short period of time and were so profound that they had significant impact on the course of Western civilization, I feel like Christianity would not have taken off like that if so much time passed between when Christ died and Christ returned. So maybe, rather than Jesus the person, we’re looking at CHRIST the Logos, the Word, the living information that had the impact. And upon the death of Jesus the man, Christ the Logos moved onto another individual (which would explain why the disciples didn’t recognize him when he initially reappeared). Christ the Logos could also be viewed as one of the higher, more advanced beings written about in Theosophical texts.

      And the message was so important that instantaneous return was necessary rather than waiting for a reincarnated soul to re-emerge to deliver the message.

      Does this make sense to anyone else?

      • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
        Ramprakash ML
        Participant
        Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

        Tjinners wrote (#4414) :

        ” And upon the death of Jesus the man, Christ the Logos moved onto another individual (which would explain why the disciples didn’t recognize him when he initially reappeared). Christ the Logos could also be viewed as one of the higher, more advanced beings written about in Theosophical texts.”

        That seems to be an intuitional interpretation. If the teaching about the mystery of Avatars is carefully read in SD, II, p. 358,359 the sense of what Tjinners is saying becomes clearer.

        It speaks of the descent and ascent of the gods – mystically; and of the signs of the Zodiac – astronomically.

        Mystically, the all Avatars are a direct emanation of the Logos, under whatever name. They are essential incarnation of one of the Seven, of the Divine Spirit who is seven-fold. They all came, and come again and again, as instructors and guides of mankind. They appear and reappear at the conjunctions of major and minor cycles — “Until in their last incarnation they had become truly only ‘the parts of a part’ [amshaamsha] on earth, though de facto the One Supreme in Nature.”

      • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
        Gerry Kiffe
        Moderator
        Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

        The resurrection story of Jesus is indeed confusing and how it is explained in myth and symbol and metaphor is worthy of serious consideration. First of all in Theosophy there is no miracle. Theosophy states that many things that pass for miracle are really explainable by the management of invisible forces yet not understood by modern man. Organized religion, both in Christianity and in other traditions, create superstitious explanations to serve the purpose of controlling and manipulating human beings. I know that sounds harsh but there is much evidence, whether we are talking about the old Jesuits or the Brahmans of India, to back up this claim.

        I think you are onto something important in your comments. The Idea of the Logos is a metaphysical and impersonal conception of the Christos Principle, the Divine Nature, to which all men equally belong. Realization of this Divine Nature, or enlightenment if you will, establishes the level of consciousness we might call Christ-like or Buddha-like. But it does not belong exclusively to some historical personage alone.

        When a human being rediscovers and manifests their own Higher Nature, Divine Nature, Logos within if you will, you might say that a resurrection of sorts has taken place. So from this point of view the Christian story of Jesus’s resurrection is really yet another telling of the Initiation story of a human being attaining Cosmic Consciousness, or Enlightenment. Jesus came to bear witness to this Path and knew that the real regeneration of civilization had to do with human beings advancing spiritually. That is to say living a human life with the awareness and understanding that every man, woman and child is part of One Family.

  • Profile photo of Grace Cunningham
    Grace Cunningham
    Participant
    Profile photo of Grace CunninghamGrace Cunningham

    It is interesting to think of civilization as being the cultivation of soul-wisdom rather than the accumulation of desires. We have in Patanjali:

    21. For the sake of the soul alone, the Universe exists.

    • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
      Ramprakash ML
      Participant
      Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

      That is the purpose of civilization. HPB says that a civilization must produce spiritual fruit. Otherwise it is a dead civilization, like the many “living dead” among the masses.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 8, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

    The right eye looketh forward in thee into eternity.
    The left looketh in thee into time.

    — Jacob Boehme

    Woman and man, in confidence and love,
    Equal and free and pure together trod
    The mountain-paths of virture, which no more
    Were stained with blood from many a pilgrim’s feet.
    — Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 9, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

    Recognize the marks of the friend of humanity. — COUNT CAGLIOSTRO
    If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows
    he is a citizen of the world. — FRANCIS BACON

  • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
    Ramprakash ML
    Participant
    Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

    HPB’s prophecy way back in 1888 about climate change has come so true !

    Human action has significant effect on the biosphere and climate.

    Our civilization has been blind and reckless. Never in the known history, the world has witnessed such environmental and ecological devastation and social injustice.

    All this is due to that one single reason : ignorance of the nature of Self.

    There is a verse in the Sanatsujatiya episode of the Mahabharata in which Sanatsujata says to the effect that :

    He who regards self, which is other than all this, to be what it is not, what sin will he not commit, he, the self-deluded thief!

    Thief indeed is the creature of the modern exploitative, competitive civilization.

    All monstrosities proceed from this one single cause : Ignorance of the true nature of Self – Avidya.

    How desperately Theosophy pure and simple is needed in this world of sorrow is felt with a keenness proportional to the depth of our understanding of Theosophy, and view of our world in that higher light.

    Theosophy alone, and nothing else, can save it.

    • Profile photo of Laura
      Laura
      Participant
      Profile photo of LauraLaura

      We can acknowledge theat only an understanding of Theosophy will work. Libraries and book stores are full of solutions to our problems but the key of Theosophy is missing. People must act from the Heart, the Higher Self in order for change to occur. I think HPB also indicated that Citizens would rise up against their leaders at this time as well.

      Tolstoy in his book The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You, indicated that all governments will eventually fail . Each being must take responsibility. It is difficult but necessary to let go by degrees our false ideas. Can we let go of the life we are living and live a life in harmony with nature? We find ourselves with duties to perform that violate our obligation to the environment and to our heart. How do we begin?

      • Profile photo of Grace Cunningham
        Grace Cunningham
        Participant
        Profile photo of Grace CunninghamGrace Cunningham

        It is interesting to contemplate a civilization constructed around the development of heart values, prizing fellowship and good will between people as the highest value rather than military might or economic power. What would such a society look like?

        • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
          Ramprakash ML
          Participant
          Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

          Why Grace, don’t we have a contemporary living model civilization in the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan whose national goal is GENERAL NATIONAL HAPPINESS (GNH), based on the practical ideal of happiness of all, including birds and animals of the wilds, as opposed to the all-materialistic Western economic development model based on GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT (GNP),through industrialization, which, we have seen in action all over the globe, ever since it was formulated in the late 18th century by Adam Smith, the father of modern political economy. The propelling force of the latter is GREED–unlimited, insatiable Greed for profit and self-aggrandizement, which we have seen has brought about social, ecological and environmental disasters. Whereas the former, GNH model, is based on the Buddhist ideal of limiting one’s wants, simple living, compassion and concern for the less fortunate fellowmen, and for all sentient beings.

          Bhutan model of progress has for its basis Buddhist philosophy. No reckless industrialization is allowed, pristine forests, mountains, rivers and streams that constitute diverse ecosystems are preserved, and not sacrificed for so-called development and commercial speculation. 80 % of the population have electricity, food, shelter and a widespread contentment and happiness.

      • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
        Ramprakash ML
        Participant
        Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

        Laura’s post 4408 – very pertinent question is raised, and very practical :

        “Tolstoy in his book The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You, indicated that all governments will eventually fail . Each being must take responsibility. It is difficult but necessary to let go by degrees our false ideas. Can we let go of the life we are living and live a life in harmony with nature? We find ourselves with duties to perform that violate our obligation to the environment and to our heart. How do we begin?”

        Tolstoy uttered a truism. It is an echo of the truth uttered in the devotional book, THROUGH THE GATES OF GOLD : It speaks of the Gates of Gold beyond the climax of a civilization. Our civilization has certainly seem to have reached in its perfection of mechanical arts, technological innovations, material wealth and luxury. What next ?

        Is that the end and aim of life, of a civilization ? If it does not meet the ends of the purpose of the Soul, glimpse the glory of the higher life and endeavour to enter it, it will just putrefy and gradually sink into oblivion like its predecessors have done–equivalent of spiritual death.

        HPB says of true culture and civilization : Human life devoid of its world-ideals and beliefs, “in which the whole philosophical antiquity, headed in historical times by Socrates and Plato, by Pythagoras and Alexandrian Neo-platonists, believed–becomes deprived of its higher sense and meaning.” (HPB Article vol. I, p. 357)

        That higher sense and meaning Theosophy gives. Wide dissemination of Theosophical truths of Universal Brotherhood, human solidarity, universal causation and Karma and Reincarnation so as to affect the race mind and fertilize it with these seminal ideas through simultaneous efforts of Theosophical students is the only way. ULT Declaration points the way :

        “That work and that end is the dissemination of the fundamental principles of the philosophy of Theosophy and EXEMPLIFICATION in practice of those principles through a truer realization of the SELF, and a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.”

        We ourselves have to realize more and more the true nature of the Self–which is ALL SELF–and universal brotherhood, think and act on that basis in the performance of every duty that we have to perform, every obligation that we have to fulfill, as sacrifice to Humanity.

  • Profile photo of Kate Blalack
    Kate Blalack
    Participant
    Profile photo of Kate BlalackKate Blalack

    Tim, This makes sense to me 🙂
    Would this then mean that the Christ did not have a soul in the same sense as others? Or is it just perhaps an allegory of reincarnation that was woven in and ignored by mainstream Christianity?

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of Kate Blalack Kate Blalack.
  • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
    Pavel Axentiev
    Participant
    Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

    One thing I don’t agree with in Robert Crosbie’s opening quote: “the Self in us is changeless.” I don’t know, perhaps it was taken from the Masters or some other (more authoritative, compared to Robert Crosbie) source, in that case I will definitely reconsider. However, if nearly the only descriptive of Parabrahman HPB ventured was “the Great Breath,” ever-moving, ever-changing, why would we expect that the Self is changeless? Perhaps, it is changeless in some degree in some of its qualities, compared to what we now experience as selves. But I like the view of Paramahansa Yogananda, describing the Divine as Eternally New. The civilization we currently live in shows us one or a few aspects of our nature(s). It’s not all bad. It seems to me, that’s the point of view implied in the week’s topic.

    In HPB’s quote, some of the elements, perhaps, refer to the esthetics of the 20th century, with its artificial forms (think: cubism). She is, indeed, prophetic. In “In Search of the Miraculous” PD Ouspensky complains to Gurdjieff about the world being dominated by machines. To that Gurdjieff replies that human beings are themselves machines, i.e. unless they know themselves. And the goal is not so much to change the external world around us but to change our inner workings. Then, perhaps, we can do something on the larger scale.

    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      Pavel, when Robert Crosbie says the Self in us is changeless he is echoing the teachings of Krishna who says:

      “The weapon divideth it not, the fire burneth it not, the water corrupteth it not, the wind drieth it not away; (23) for it is indivisible, inconsumable, incorruptible, and is not to be dried away: it is eternal, universal, permanent, immovable; (24) it is invisible, inconceivable, and unalterable; therefore, knowing it to be thus, thou shouldst not grieve.” Chapter 2

      Bhagavad Gita (W.Q. Judge Rendition)

      Essentially the Highest Self is beyond Space and Time and Motion as we know it. It is the ultimate Witness and really undescribable, at least this is what we are told to contemplate. So to state that the Self is unchanging is really not a deviation in any way from the testimony of Great Teachers.

    • Profile photo of Pierre Wouters
      Pierre Wouters
      Moderator
      Profile photo of Pierre WoutersPierre Wouters

      Hi Pavel,

      it is a good thing that you do not agree with Mr. Crosbie, as he wouldn’t want you to either, instead he’d like us to investigate what is meant by “the Self in us is changeless” and come to our own conclusions. This is also the advice of HPB in The Secret Doctrine:

      “These truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation; nor does the author claim the position of a revealer of mystic lore…” SD I,vii

      “But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialised.” SD I:viii

      “I believe in the ancients and therefore I love them.” (Quoted in “Science of Religions” by Max Müller.) The writer [HPB] loves them too, and therefore believes in the ancients, and the modern heirs to their Wisdom. And believing in both, she now transmits that which she has received and learnt herself to all those who will accept it. As to those who may reject her testimony,—i.e., the great majority—she will bear them no malice, for they will be as right in their way in denying, as she is right in hers in affirming, since they look at TRUTH from two entirely different stand-points.” SD I:xxxvii

      As to the word “self”, we will find in perusing the vast literature produced by HPB and William Q. Judge, that this word (as many other terminologies) is variously written down as “SELF”, “Self”, “self”, and “Self” (with Capital first letter and the rest in small caps.

      All of these variously written forms of “self” have to be interpreted within the context of what is being discussed, as virtually all of them have been used in a variety of ways, and it is not because it means something “here” that the same meaning applies somewhere “there”.

      “SELF”, usually written in all caps refers to that One SELF that is beyond human thought and conceptualization, sometimes used on a par with the Absolute. Nevertheless you may find it written as Self in some places.

      On the other hand Self (with capital first letter), usually refers to man’s seventh principle also called the Higher Self, sometimes the Monad per se, or the Ego, but I have also seen it referred to as any of the three higher principles in man and sometimes to combinations of them or to the word “Individuality” as distinct from “personality”, and even as “self” as well, all lower case, especially in translations of Eastern literature.

      “self” is usually used in the sense of either lower manas, kama-manas, the animal man, the personality or different combinations of the lower principles in man.

      Any of the terminology used in the above paragraphs will also be found variously written, with or without capitals, such as ego or Ego, Manas and manas, Buddhi and buddhi, personality and Personality, etc., etc., and not always used in a congruous manner.

      The main reason for this is, that it prevents the student from falling into a track of thought (a trap in fact) that will eventually lead deeper and deeper into dogmatizing what has been learned, and to think that because we know a name, that we also know the truth. In that sense both HPB and Judge were wise teachers not to indulge in this kind of approach. It “forces” the students to investigate and remain flexible in their approach.

      Generally speaking we could say that theosophy is a contextual philosophy in that the student is not so much to depend on memorizing a terminology (thinking that he/she then understands the meaning) which nevertheless has its merits of course, but rather to look at the process or concept that is hiding behind the term(s) used. In a manner of speech, HPB may use one name for 10 different processes and may use 10 different names for one and the same process depending on the context and the “angle” or “level” or “plane” from which the concept is approached. And, by the way, let’s not forget that everything that we can cook up with our human mind that is dependent on a brain (physical or astral) as a vehicle, is by definition conceptual. Once I’ve heard someone complaining that theosophists only deal with concepts, whereas he claimed not to believe in concepts, not realizing that not believing in a concept is in itself conceptual!

      So as to Mr. Crosbie’s statement that “the Self in us is changeless”, he is referring to the highest principle in man (in Sanskrit Atma), that represents the “power to change”, or the “power to move”, or the “power to think”, etc. Any power you can think of is incorporated as infinite potential within this highest principle. To this “power to…” or this infinite “capacity”, nothing whatsoever can be added to or subtracted from, as it is changeless. You can’t add more or subtract less potential to or from something that is essentially infinite and already contains ALL, as it is itself a ray from that which is incomprehensible to our human mind as expressed in the “First Fundamental” of the Secret Doctrine.

      What can be added to, or subtracted from, is the “ability” that results from this potential. Every human being in the world has the potential or “capacity” to play the violin, become an astronaut, a doctor, a scientist, an artist or a Master of Wisdom, etc., etc. If however, we do not make the effort to apply this “capacity” through either willpower or desire in any of these directions, we will not develop the “ability” to become this or that.

      • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
        Ramprakash ML
        Participant
        Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

        Excellent, most cogent comments, Pierre. Thanks.

        To people who find fault with theosophical students that they deal only with concepts, I would like to ask them to show one who has made a quantum leap to the formless Reality without first having to deal with concepts representing the former. The Buddha, like his predecessors, begins with right philosophy (Samyak Darshana). First the student has to free his mind from wrong conceptions regarding life and nature, and acquire the right knowledge of Reality conceptually as taught to him by the Teacher who has mastered Absolute Truth, and learn to think and reason correctly. That is the first step.

        Mere thinking will not do. Samyak Darshana is accompanied by two other practices : Samyak Vacha – Right Speech ; and Samyak Charitra – right livelihood or right conduct based on truth that he has been able to perceive.

        In Vedantic system it is the same approach : Shravana (hearing, ie. study), Manana (reflection and meditation on axioms), Nidhidhyasana (putting into practice what one has studied and understood)

        Continuation of this practice leads gradually from conceptual knowledge to actual experience of the formless Self as the Self of All, through a series of progressive awakening of the Ego

        Those who seem to have apparently made the quantum leap to the formless, as is seen in the lives of some extraordinary persons, it is evident that they have in the past lives made this progress to a consummate end, and it required just a touch by the Master to bring the past efforts of the disciple to fruition.

  • Profile photo of tjinners
    tjinners
    Participant
    Profile photo of tjinnerstjinners

    I think Jesus had a soul, but I think you’re right, perhaps it was different because he recognized there was a difference within himself. He was perhaps contacted/merged with one of these plasmate energy beings and knew what he had to do based on Hebrew prophecies. Which would make his ministry his Exegesis.

    Furthermore, he was taught probably from the beginning that he was different. His human parents were told by angels (once again, these higher order beings) thst he was different. I think that, once you’re exposed to the idea that the world is not what it seems to be, the more you see it.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Profile photo of tjinners tjinners.
    • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
      Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

      Jesus did not have a soul, theosophically speaking, Jesus is a Soul, an immortal soul to be precise. Jesus is a name of a personality in the world, like Siddartha who became a Buddha. The idea that Jesus is different than others must be understood, if you want to look at it through the lens of Divine Wisdom Traditions, as a difference of degree and not of kind. Siddartha and Jesus were different from you and I only because they achieved much higher levels of consciousness than the rest of us not because they were a different kind of being. This is one of the great fallacies of Organized Religion. By making Jesus special and different they essentially robbed mankind of the notion of Self-Reliance and the direct connection each human being has with the Divine. They essentially set up the pattern of creating false intermediaries between God and Man, the Divine and Man. At first they insert an historical personage, like Jesus, and then those who speak for Jesus like a Pope or Priest. The next thing you know the path of spiritual regeneration goes straight through a man made institution and not through the crucible of one’s own consciousness.

      • Profile photo of tjinners
        tjinners
        Participant
        Profile photo of tjinnerstjinners

        Gerry–I think you and I are trying to say the same thing, only in different ways. My use of the word Christ rather than Jesus is my attempt to separate Jesus (the man) from Christ (the Logos, the higher consciousness/being). A lot has been made of Jesus the man (“he died for us, and that’s the only reason why he’s important”) and Christ the Logos, the consciousness, the higher level thst Jesus was able to attain in order to show us how to live (following his example rather than worshipping him). And In the same vein, I made the distinction between Jesus the man (who had a soul) and Christ the Logos (who IS a soul).

        Does that make sense?

        • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
          Gerry Kiffe
          Moderator
          Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

          Tim, yes I think we are saying very similar things. The distinction I am trying to make is both subtle and fundamental I think. Jesus, Tim and Gerry do not have souls from a theosophical perspective because we are souls. I know I am restating the point but think of it this way. There is an immortal ray of consciousness that is the source of Jesus, Tim and Gerry. That immortal ray of consciousness is a ‘reflection’ of the Logos a mirroring of it if you will. Both the Logos and its reflected ray (individualized soul) has no name and has no body. Why? Because that ray of immortal consciousness lives over and over again in myriad different bodies under many names. So the analogy we are given is an Actor and Roles in a play. Robert De Niro is not Jake La Motta in Raging Bull. He is playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull. He has played many roles in the Godfather, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, The Deer Hunter etc.. The Actor himself stands apart from the roles but is also the player of the role. Similarly Jesus, Gerry and Tim (feels odd to put us all together this way but works for the demonstration) are roles in the play of life. We don’t have an Actor, we are the Actor. But to identify with the role is a great mistake philosophically. It is the identification with a persona (greek=mask) which leads to the separateness and selfishness that so plagues mankind. The metaphysics of all this is very complex and I don’t claim to understand it all that well. But it is the best I can do at this time. The more we see ourselves and others as immortal souls, free of any distinction of race, color, sex etc. to that same degree, you might say, we regenerate civilization and begin to practice real human fellowship because, as you say, we all come from the Logos!

          • Profile photo of Kate Blalack
            Kate Blalack
            Participant
            Profile photo of Kate BlalackKate Blalack

            p.s. While we are talking about it, the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a wonderful representation of the concept.
            If anyone hasn’t seen it, they should. I would love to hear about. Gerry, we should start a movie discussion!

          • Profile photo of tjinners
            tjinners
            Participant
            Profile photo of tjinnerstjinners

            Okay, I think I follow you now. Thanks, Gerry! And Kate, I think that’s a great idea! 🙂

          • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
            Pavel Axentiev
            Participant
            Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

            It’s interesting how the subjects of different weeks seem to intertwine.

            I do not know whether we can say that “Tim and Gerry are souls” (as per Gerry’s post above). Would it be assigning to the lower (the manas, the sthula-sharira aka physical body) properties of the higher? Is a soul truly individual? Or does it merge, sooner rather than later, with the collective consciousness, so to speak, and our individual lives are just ripples on the waves of the vast ocean?

            • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
              Gerry Kiffe
              Moderator
              Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

              It is true what you say all these topics are intertwined. Additionally in theosophy everything is connected to everything else so with a little effort and thought we can discern underlying unity to ideas.

              Let me restate this in a new way to make it clearer. The personality does not have a Soul. The personality is only a mask. It is not real. It does not last. It is constantly changing. In truth it has possession of nothing. Everything that the personality calims to possesses is merely borrowed and will return to its source. The Soul, call it Consciousness Itself if you will, uses a personalit as a vehicle on this physical plane of existence and can only manifest a portion of itself due to the limitations of karma and the porosity of the vehicles it uses.

              The concept of Soul has lost its ancient antecedents when it was corrupted by modern religions which persist on talking about the Soul as if it were luggage that comes along on a flight. The modern theosophical movement has been using the term “Self” as a way to try and get back to the ancient conception.

              The idea of Soul or Self is understandably foreign to us when we so intensely identify with a name and a form. Because the Soul or Self, in its essential nature has neither a name or a form.

              Emerson reminds us that the concept of “soul” has to do with the whole, the all. In other words the Soul represents the Universal aspect of consciousness. And that is why the word “individual” is so misunderstood. From the latin IN=NOt and DIVIDUS=Divided together meaning Not Divided or Whole. For Plato, for example to individuate had to do with recovering an internal universal perspective which ironically manifests as uniqueness on this plane. Most of the time we mimic and copy things from the outside. To become a true individual means to live from within. Very very difficult. This is why Thoreau said that only one in 100.000 is a real individual.

              If we perpetually think think of consciousness in physical terms then it is impossible to understand the metaphor of a ray of universal consciousness being individual. But like another symbol like fire there is a formless metaphysical component to consciousness which defies notions like merging of a drop with the ocean. This phrase is not to be taken literally. It is an analogy of something that occurs on a formless plane. It is suggestive of the idea that ever deeper within is grander and grander vista, greater and greater universality.

            • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
              Gerry Kiffe
              Moderator
              Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

              Emerson on the concept of soul:

              The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man’s particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty. We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul.

              The Secret Doctrine: 3rd Fundamental Proposition

              (c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul—a spark of the former—through the Cycle of Incarnation

              Food for thought.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 10, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

    If only once any considerable number of persons could take the true position and
    act from the true nature, right ideas would soon spread all over the earth.
    — ROBERT CROSBIE

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 11, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

    The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. — BLAISE PASCAL.
    All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They present
    themselves far less in the guise of effects of past experience than in that of probable
    causes of future experience. — WILLIAM JAMES

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
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    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 12, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

    Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not
    atheism, is the true remedy for superstition. — EDMUND BURKE
    Descend, prophetic Spirit! that inspir’st
    The human Soul of universal earth,
    Dreaming on things to come.
    — WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

    • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
      Pavel Axentiev
      Participant
      Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

      Is religion a remedy for superstition? Is it, really?

      That’s my major issue with modern theosophy: that it is turning into Dogma. True Theosophy was not dogmatic.

      The only use for religion as I see it now is overcoming the fear of death. Even then, one can learn working with religion as with a set of hypotheses. The same applies to the ideas of karma, reincarnation, etc. You will not be able to confirm that you, you personally will reincarnate until you die. Even then, you may not be able to remember that you actually wanted to confirm this.

      • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
        Ramprakash ML
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        Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

        Please tell us Pavel how modern Theosophy is turning into dogma ? Give us some illustrations.

        • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
          Pavel Axentiev
          Participant
          Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

          Dear Ramprakash, perhaps my language was too harsh. I guess Theosophy has become dogmatic long ago (right after HPB’s death), and now we are seeing it coming out of the dogma. Please accept my deep respect for your work and knowledge. I highly appreciate the existence of this forum and especially the tireless labor of the moderator.

          That said, having recently watched the public lecture given by Vicente Hao Chin Jr. at the International Theosophical Convention at the Adyar Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, I was amazed by both his initial eloquence and by the way his thinking seemed to me to deteriorate towards the end of the lecture. He also insisted on, essentially, a religious standpoint.

          Perhaps, it is due to the great complexity of the material presented by HPB that Theosophists seem to either get lost in thought or oversimplify the ideas. I guess it’s natural for our mind to seek to rely on certain fundamental ideas, even though they are not absolutely proven or even provable. But original Theosophy was not for the faint of mind. The original goals of the Society (and, I presume, of the Movement) were exploration and accumulation of knowledge of ancient teachings. That doesn’t, however, include taking everything at face value.

          Perhaps, we shouldn’t present Theosophy as a teaching based on taking for granted certain metaphysical ideas, such as Karma, reincarnation, etc. Perhaps, we should welcome the exploration of these ideas but not insist on their acceptance.

          • Profile photo of Jon Fergus
            Jon Fergus
            Moderator
            Profile photo of Jon FergusJon Fergus

            Pavel, I think your last sentence here hits the nail on the head. Given the prevalence of lower mind thinking among humanity in this age (including ourselves) I think we run the risk of sliding into dogma any time we begin to say “theosophy is this” or “theosophy is that”. Many of our attempts to formulate core principles or concepts of theosophy, to focus in on certain ideas (like karma and reincarnation etc.) we run the risk of setting these up as the dogmas of theosophy. And I would agree that, yes, indeed the “theosophy” of many branches of the modern movement have become a bit too crystalized, our attempts to bring theosophy to the masses has often ended up with dogmatic presentations of what does or doesn’t fit with the “wisdom of the ages”, and so on. I would also suspect that the ripple effect of HPB’s mission will indeed lead to another dogmatic religion in this world (the seeds for such are being sown as we speak, I believe), and this is likely somewhat unavoidable at this stage of our collective evolution.

            Perhaps the best we can do is to continue engaging in these types of discussions, where we may take an idea or two as “working hypotheses” and collectively explore them from as many angles as we can, with a willingness to question our every assumption, all preconceived ideas, and to help each other check that lower mind tendency towards dogmatism. I think that like the Gnostics, for instance, we theosophists may witness the dogmatization of theosophy all around us, but hopefully, if we stay vigilant with ourselves, we can maintain a nucleus of students where the sincere exploration and questioning that belongs to the spirit of theos-sophia can continue to flourish.

          • Profile photo of barbara
            barbara
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            Profile photo of barbarabarbara

            Hi Pavel:

            If we want to learn about Theosophy, we have to familiarize ourselves, as with any school of thought, with its basic tenets. Theosophy teaches that we start from cosmogenesis to anthropogensis, from the macro to micro, from the whole to its parts. At this stage, none of us can validate some its basic doctrines, like reincarnation, as you aptly point out. So, we have to either accept it as a working hypothesis or remain skeptical. There is always room for other points of view or to agree to disagree. If we put aside the concept of reincarnation, then we have to also put aside the after-death states taught by HPB and maybe even the law of karma and the constitution of a human being. Still, I think it is important for the student to follow their heart and intuition because this is the way to discover truth. If we only repeat the teachings without the depth of understanding, then we can easily become dogmatic. As Gurdjieff would say, we need to understand not just with our mind, but with our being.

            • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
              Pavel Axentiev
              Participant
              Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

              Hi Barbara,
              I think you are correct.

              The first thing one should consider in studying any spiritual tradition, including Theosophy, is that our life is separated into physical and psychological. This is an observation that is intuitively correct for many individuals. This is the point from which studies of Theosophy, as well as other spiritual traditions may begin. Nothing else (or rather, nothing at all) should be taken for granted.

              The study of one’s inner world may be approached by different paths. It CAN occur scientifically – i.e. on the principle of verification. Verification can occur either by self-observation or by logical thinking. One should learn how to proper use one’s rational mind: Although in many respects it is given to us from birth, one may benefit from learning from the amazing tradition that exists in the same way as humans benefit from learning to use their bodies – without which, arguably, we could be crawling.
              This broad understanding of scientific approach is the only alternative to dogma. The latter includes all religions, and all other approaches based on belief.

              • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
                Irfan Rouhani
                Blocked
                Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

                Totally correct, factual and logical … which is to say … ipso facto … it will not be computed by a large body of individualities.

              • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
                Gerry Kiffe
                Moderator
                Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

                What we learn from the Secret Doctrine is that Theosophy is not a particular religion or a particular philosophy. Instead it is the very idea of religion and the very idea of philosophy. It is the underlying principles from which all the traditions sprung. And in that sense it is sui generis. It is original without a second. The expression of it that we get from HPB in the late 1800s is just that it is an expression. It is not the whole of it,but a reflection of it. And because of the mighty wisdom of this Sage, hidden in the persona of HPB, the expression is true to form. That is why the expressions of timeless wisdom made by the uninitiated is either parroting others or whole cloth conjecture. When wise beings speak they point us in the right direction of truth. They never pretend to communicate the whole truth. It cannot be expressed by definition. Any attempt to do so limits it. Hence why we call it a Esoteric Tradition. It is hidden primarily. And what is both wonderful and mysterious is that everyone must discover it for themselves. It cannot be done from the outside. We get help but we must do the discovery.

            • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
              Gerry Kiffe
              Moderator
              Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

              Right on sister! Well said.

      • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
        Kirk Marzulo
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        Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

        Plotinus encouraged the search for truth to encompass three modes: “Reason, Experience and Intuition.”
        Reason: There are many “reasonable” and logical arguments for reincarnation. W. Q. Judge gives several in the Ocean of Theosophy (Chapters 8 – 13). How else shall we answer the apparent injustices of life, the immense differences in capacity and opportunity of children born into this world and the well-known occurrences of child prodigies? If we assert or affirm that this is a universe of law and not of random chaos, then every cause must have it’s effect and every effect it’s prior cause. Where else–except on this earth in another body–could we have sown the diverse experiences we are having now? Where else would we experience the appropriate effects (if they are not felt in this life), than in another body also on this earth? Since in relation to the vast scope of knowledge possible for man and the fact that so little learning can be accomplished in a single life, how else Judge asks, besides reincarnation, could the grand opportunities of evolution be accomplished?
        Experience: Judge and Crosbie both give a direction for thought: Our daily experience of sleeping and waking offers a very potent analogy for life and death. Despite the fluctuations and the passage through unknown and unremembered experiences during the sleep states and despite the countless changes of body and mind that occur from infancy to old age, we have a sense of continuity, a continuous sense or awareness that “I” am myself and no other. We also know from sacred texts and modern accounts in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions that spiritually advanced beings DO have detailed recollections of past lives. See the 3rd stage of enlightenment as described by Sir Edwin Arnold in “The Light of Asia” p 166. Another very moving account is given in “My Land, My People” by Tenzin Gyatso, where a description is given of the manner in which the 14th Dalai Lama was discovered or recognized. We may also know from personal experience and the studies of Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia, that many children have credible recollections of specific experiences, relationships and other knowledge from past lives.
        Intuition: “Experience” can be both existential (objective) and internal (subjective). Is an internal experience less “real” because it is attained through meditative states of consciousness? Patanjali, Shankaracharya, the Buddha, Shantideva and many others in a long line affirm that if the proper mental and moral conditions are present, that a direct and unmediated knowledge or perception of the “deathless” state and of the specific experiences of past lives can be attained. In terms of the Bodhisattvic path, however, such depth-perceptions, direct experiences or knowledge may come about simply as a by-product of the aim to realize the truth of boundless unity and to serve and benefit mankind. “Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds, the child.”

        • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
          Ramprakash ML
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          Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

          To add to what Kirk has said, it is shown why we do not retain the memory of last lives, and how it can be gained.

          Memory as we know it pertains to the body and the brain we are now using in this life, and it is limited to incidents of this present personal life. How then can this body of the present life retain the memory of the past life in which it had not taken part ?

          An example is given : Is it reasonable to look for evidence in the new clothes a man is wearing for theft he had committed days back wearing old clothes which he has discarded ?

          But the man himself knows, and from him must be obtained information about what he did, and not the clothes he is wearing.

          The essential memory of past lives is retained in the Reincarnating Ego–the Individuity–which is without birth or death, and not in the personality which changes entirely in each rebirth, with a new body, new brain and memory pertaining to that specific perishable personal self.

          Three kinds of memory are spoken of : Remembrance, Recollection and Reminiscence.

          The first two Pertain to the personality, which lasts as long as it lives and perishes entirely when the person dies.

          But Reminiscence is the memory of the Soul – of the Reincarnating Ego – who is the Real Man, “the Man that was, that is and ever will be, for whom the hour shall never strike,” as the Vioce of the Silemce says. The Ego retains the memory of all its immense number of past lives it had lived on earth. Moreover, it being shining beam of the Universal Mind, is godly with godly knowledge. It is not of fleeting life. That “we” are, not this passing shadow, an illusion.

          To remember past lives, Teachers say, the shadow, terrestrial man, must bring his whole lower nature to accord with his divine Self, spirituaiize it and make it porous to the Light of the Higher Self. Then only memory of past lives can trickle into the brain-mind.

          Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali delineates the scientific process by which this may be accomplished.

          One who successfully accomplishes this difficult feat, will also bring back spiritual knowledge of the deep sleep state into the waking life, which with us, who are not regenerated, is a blank.

          This is said only to underscore reasonableness of Theosophical teachings, absence of any dogmatic assertions in it nor any element of blind faith nor priestly authority.

        • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
          Ramprakash ML
          Participant
          Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

          To add to what Kirk has said, it is shown why we do not retain the memory of last lives, and how it can be gained.

          Memory as we know it pertains to the body and the brain we are now using in this life, and it is limited to incidents of this present personal life. How then can this body of the present life retain the memory of the past life in which it had not taken part ?

          An example is given : Is it reasonable to look for evidence in the new clothes a man is wearing for theft he had committed days back wearing old clothes which he has discarded ?

          But the man himself knows, and from him must be obtained information about what he did, and not the clothes he is wearing.

          The essential memory of past lives is retained in the Reincarnating Ego–the Individuity–which is without birth or death, and not in the personality which changes entirely in each rebirth, with a new body, new brain and memory pertaining to that specific perishable personal self.

          Three kinds of memory are spoken of : Remembrance, Recollection and Reminiscence.

          The first two Pertain to the personality, which lasts as long as it lives and perishes entirely when the person dies.

          But Reminiscence is the memory of the Soul – of the Reincarnating Ego – who is the Real Man, “the Man that was, that is and ever will be, for whom the hour shall never strike,” as the Vioce of the Silemce says. The Ego retains the memory of all its immense number of past lives it had lived on earth. Moreover, it being shining beam of the Universal Mind, is godly with godly knowledge. It is not of fleeting life. That “we” are, not this passing shadow, an illusion.

          To remember past lives, Teachers say, the shadow, terrestrial man, must bring his whole lower nature to accord with his divine Self, spirituaiize it and make it porous to the Light of the Higher Self. Then only memory of past lives can trickle into the brain-mind.

          Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali delineates the scientific process by which this may be accomplished.

          One who successfully accomplishes this difficult feat, will also bring back spiritual knowledge of the deep sleep state into the waking life, which with us, who are not regenerated, is a blank.

          This is said only to underscore reasonableness of Theosophical teachings, absence of any dogmatic assertions in it nor any element of blind faith nor priestly authority.

          • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
            Pavel Axentiev
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            Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

            These are wonderful and highly interesting teachings, but the closest I have come in contact with reincarnation is the Dalai Lama, whose teachings and personality I greatly cherish, and he has said that he remembered more of his past lives in his childhood, and now he only gets a few glimpses sometimes when he sleeps.

            I am majorly attached to Hinduism but recently started studying Buddhism more closely, and the doctrine of Non-Self (An-Atman), which is central to Buddhism, seems to me to indicate that whatever the Real Personality we may have it may be much further from us than we think. And the teachings of Karma and reincarnation, or perhaps their more diluted versions, as we know them in Theosophy may give us an opportunity for more wishful thinking, where we actually experience the attachment (klesha) to our current personality but tend to interpret it in the terms of Real Self.

            • Profile photo of Kirk Marzulo
              Kirk Marzulo
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              Profile photo of Kirk MarzuloKirk Marzulo

              The point of bringing in the teaching of Plotinus is this: “You yourself must strive. Buddhas are but sign-posts.”(Dhammapada, 20,276) Words on a page…or whispered from sage to disciple, no matter how profound, no matter how much they may resonate with what we believe to be true–must be tested, thought-through (dianoia), tried in our own experience and discovered in the heart and mind by awakening our own higher faculties. One of the great strengths of Theosophy, says Judge is that it is “not to be defined.” It is wisdom itself, not your book or mine. And one of the central aims of the Theosophical movement (in whatever form it may take), we are told, is “to keep alive man’s spiritual intuitions.” How else shall we imagine or hope to participate in a civilization of the future where justice reigns for all and each is welcomed, cherished and embraced within the “Beloved Community” of which Martin Luther King spoke? Without this progressive awakening towards higher truths (as Gerry says), we continue to wander, not only “mouthing empty words” (dogmatism, blind belief, half-learned principles, undigested ideas and maybe even fanaticism and persecution of others who “believe” differently), but very likely leading others astray.

              “He who quotes the Sacred texts but is lazy and will not apply, he is like a cowherd counting the cows of others. He shares not the blessings of the Good Life.” -Dhammapada 1,19

              On the other hand, H. P. B. counsels that we cannot dismiss the philosophy without studying it thoroughly. Some of the most brilliant, tenured professors of philosophy as well as some of the kindest and most compassionate persons I have met in this life continued to read, study and teach from the literature of the modern Theosophical movement up until their dying days. Einstein kept a copy of the S.D. by his bedside. Why? Perhaps they, like myself and many of my dear friends have found it to be exceedingly rich and deep, instructive, morally and mentally challenging and spiritually evocative…not at all shallow or “watered down.”

              “Our fervant wish has been to show true souls how they may lift aside the curtain, and, in the brightness of that Night made Day, look with undazzled gaze upon the UNVEILED TRUTH.” -H.P.B., Isis, p 640.

              • Profile photo of tjinners
                tjinners
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                Profile photo of tjinnerstjinners

                #4510–Interesting. This is getting close to the idea of “living information” that I embrace, which I guess could also be called Wisdom. It is information that is not merely words on a page, but are digesting, considered, contemplated, and ultimately, applied to our lives. We are fundamentally different after being exposed to it. And it will not affect everyone the same way. That, I think, is its most esoteric nature. Because so much of the iceberg is hidden under the water, different people will see different parts of the underside.

              • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
                Gerry Kiffe
                Moderator
                Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

                I have been told there is a photograph somewhere showing the SD on Einstein’s desk rather than near his bedside. But who really knows. It is clear he had a copy and his works suggests he read it and took it to heart. AND he was a humanitarian through and through.

            • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
              Ramprakash ML
              Participant
              Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

              Pavel, you said :

              “And the teachings of Karma and reincarnation, or perhaps their more diluted versions, as we know them in Theosophy may give us an opportunity for more wishful thinking, where we actually experience the attachment (klesha) to our current personality but tend to interpret it in the terms of Real Self.”

              If I have understood you aright, you seem to say that our true self is far removed from our present existential consciousness, and that whatever is said of the former in various philosophies, like Hinduism, Buddhism, we try to understand them but end up interpreting them, and presenting them to others what we have understood in terms of Real Self, though we have not known and experienced it.

              Am I right ?

              Do I also understand you to have said that Theosophy presents diluted version of the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation ?

              It is important that we understand each other well for conversation to be truly useful.

              • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
                Pavel Axentiev
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                Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

                Ramprakash, you have understood me correctly for the most part, except that I didn’t mean that the teachings are diluted in Theosophy per se (as given by HPB in The Secret Doctrine and elsewhere), but may be diluted in later interpretations of Theosophy and our own limited attempts to understand the ideas, as they were presented, in full.

                • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
                  Ramprakash ML
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                  Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

                  Pavel, thanks for the clarification. It is of course undeniable that we, the learners, who are trying to understand the philosophy, to live up to its precepts as best as we can (failing more often than not), and to disseminate the ideas to the best of their understanding and ability, cannot do any thing more than their limited capacity.

                  Each earnest student is a learner and a worker for the Theosophical Cause. As one learns, applies and works on, his understanding and intuitive grasp of the philosophy improves, and correspondingly his ability to disseminate also gets better. Learners who have long years of experience in Theosophical study and work naturally help and teach new comers and new inquirers. But none can claim to be teacher. HPB says in her 5 Messages that students at best can only be Student-teachers.

                  History of the TS shows that the original teachings were indeed not only diluted but distorted, and even supplanted with uncalled for interpretations.

                  This was the reason why Robert Crosbie revived the Movement by founding ULT, brought back into circulation original unadulterated Message of the true Founders, and their Teachings, and original lines of work they had laid down.

                  As long as students remain loyal to the original program and lines of work–all of which have unambiguously delineated in the writings of HPB abd WQJ–there is little chance of the original teaching getting lost.

                  • Profile photo of Pavel Axentiev
                    Pavel Axentiev
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                    Profile photo of Pavel AxentievPavel Axentiev

                    Dear Ramprakash, please dont take my criticism as directed at you or anybody else in this group. I am hoping to provide some constructive viewpoints that would help move the whole field of Theosophy along the way consistent with HPB’s vision.

                    If you are familiar with the movie ‘Holy Mountain’ by Alejandro Jodorowski (based on the book ‘Mount Analog’ by Rene Daumal), you may understand the following analogy: Theosophy is like a mountain with its top reaching the sky. However, the majority of students reach its bottom and remain there for unnecessary long periods of time. One usually undergoes arduous journey just to reach it, but the body of the work lies in ascending the mountain and not in remaining at its footsteps, even though it may be helpful for some novices.

                    I don’t really have anything against Robert Crosbie, but I just hope that we won’t stay at the foot of the mountain, to which he was pointing.

                    • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
                      Irfan Rouhani
                      Blocked
                      Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

                      There is no mountain but the human soul.
                      The mountain is illusory.
                      In that final hour:
                      The heavens which enfolded it all along alone endure imperishably.

                    • Profile photo of Alex Papandakis
                      Alex Papandakis
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                      Profile photo of Alex PapandakisAlex Papandakis

                      One of the principles of mountain climbing in Daumal’s story “Mount Analog” was that you could not ascend to the next level of the mountain unless you descended to the previous level to help another climber reach the level you were on. Then and only then could you proceed.

                      All sincere disciples and certainly great teachers point beyond themselves, cherish their own teachers and encourage the young. Most do not know there is a mountain. And yes many are content merely to study maps of the mountain. But as the Voice of the Silence alludes to , a preparation is in order for the climb. And no one can climb for us, we must do it ourselves. For those of us who cherish the work of Mr. Crosbie this is his message to us.

                    • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
                      Ramprakash ML
                      Participant
                      Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

                      Oh, no, Pavel, I know you do not mean to criticize anyone in this group. But critical comments are indeed welcome. They help us to get out of the rut of particular thought pattern we may have fallen into, and learn to think in other ways, and see from the eyes of others. It is a good exercise, a good practice in cultivating universal brotherhood.

      • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
        Irfan Rouhani
        Blocked
        Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

        Problem is, no one is except from dogma and dogmatism, unless they are true agnostic.

        When groups are created, they tend to foster conformity and dogmatism, there’s no way around this because people are conformists by nature and come ot groups out of insecurity, for groups give power.

        • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
          Irfan Rouhani
          Blocked
          Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

          Wish there was an edit button.

          So yes, all people seek out groups that reinforce their dogmatic preconceptions and prejudices … and out of insecurity and weakness seek group-support …

          In reality, who is right and who really knows?

          • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
            Gerry Kiffe
            Moderator
            Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

            Well there is Life out there. There is Reality. It is logical to assume that there is not numerous Realities. That is a philosophical impossibility we could assume. What we must appreciate is the fact that there are many ways to view Reality. And that is the basis of tolerance. There are many perspectives. The view from atop the mountain is wholistic and complete. But for all the climbers moving up the mountain from different sides their perspectives all have a certain validity to them. And also those perspectives are limited.

            Dogmatism (the word dogma was originally not intended to stand for blind and stubborn belief in something, it simply meant “tenet” or “doctrine”) has had its day and now is intellectually bankrupt. It cannot explain anything, it cannot solve anything. So although it still holds sway over masses of people, amongst the educated it is passe’. The new philosophical mistake is the notion that every opinion is equal. All ideas, all conceptions, all postulants are equal. Not true. There is a dramatic difference between Newtonian physics and Eisteinen physics. One explains much more than another. There is a massive difference between the notions of Aristotle and Plato. They are not “equal”. But students of comparative religions and comparative philosophies have fallen into this trap of false equivalency.

            Discrimination is necessary if in the end we grow through a process of “progressive awakenings”. Let us emphasize PROGRESSIVE. There is a difference between what a high school tennis player, college tennis player and professional tennis player can do. Why would this be any different in the realm of the spiritual?

            • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
              Irfan Rouhani
              Blocked
              Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

              Life and reality “out there”, not so sure, I think “out there” is ultimately and essentially imagination, and imagination is at root soul, and soul is at root and very mysteriously, one with the infinite spirit which is beyond description.

              • Profile photo of Gerry Kiffe
                Gerry Kiffe
                Moderator
                Profile photo of Gerry KiffeGerry Kiffe

                It was really just a figure of speech not to be taken literally. Thinking of that you really can’t say Ulitmate Reality “exists” either. It neither exists or is non-existent. It just “is” I suppose. But you get the idea.

                Have you seen this?: http://www.universaltheosophy.com/jewels-lotus/non-being/

                • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
                  Irfan Rouhani
                  Blocked
                  Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

                  Very nice, true Islam, in one of the higher understandings of the many layered understanding of that word … aka … the Eternal Religion … Sanatana Dharma or Perennial Philosophy in one of its many forms and expressions adapted to the many contexts and conditions in time and space.

                • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
                  Irfan Rouhani
                  Blocked
                  Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

                  There is a prophetic tradition that says, “seek knowledge even unto China” … and this quote from Lao Tzu shows why.

            • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
              Irfan Rouhani
              Blocked
              Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

              You say it is logical to assume that there are not many realities but One Ultimate Reality … that is the meaning of la ilaha illa’llah …

              • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
                Ramprakash ML
                Participant
                Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

                Irfan’s post 4518

                Yes. The first seven verses of the first Sura of the Quron is most beautiful and devotional, full of Light–even in its English translation–if contemplated in the light of Theosophy. It must be much more so in Arabic tongue.

            • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
              Irfan Rouhani
              Blocked
              Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

              In regards to what Gerry wrote in #4506, it seems there is a lot of truth to that.

          • Profile photo of Ramprakash ML
            Ramprakash ML
            Participant
            Profile photo of Ramprakash MLRamprakash ML

            So, Irfan, what then is the criterion of Truth ? In other words, what is the standard, the yard stick–so to say–by which we are able to judge the truth, or partial truth or error of whatever is presented to us ?

            • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
              Irfan Rouhani
              Blocked
              Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

              Well if we think of truth in terms of Truth … that is … the One Ulimate Truth … the criterion is its own Self-revelation which supersedes all else which are mere shadows.

      • Profile photo of Irfan Rouhani
        Irfan Rouhani
        Blocked
        Profile photo of Irfan RouhaniIrfan Rouhani

        Pavel makes a totally accurate, valid and stupendous point.

        And if you’ve been in as many circles as I have … you’d see how pervasive the phenomenon is that every group thinks they’ve got it in some special way. In fact the least dogmatic individual I’ve ever met was a Vedantin, a truly interesting man, there was almost zero dogma/chauvinism in the man. I think the Dalai Lama is that way too … doesn’t make any pseudo-objective claims about the validity of this that or the other over anything else.

  • Profile photo of ModeratorTN
    ModeratorTN
    Keymaster
    Profile photo of ModeratorTNModeratorTN

    January 13, 2017 Theme for Contemplation: Civilization — Death and Regeneration

    All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist;
    Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power
    Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist
    When eternity affirms the conception of an hour.
    — ROBERT BROWNING

© 2017 Universal Theosophy

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