This group discusses the practical applications of the theosophical philosophy and the therapeutics of the wisdom of the ages.
The art of living study group intends to discuss the relevance and connection of theosophical ideas to the challenges and hurdles of daily life. This group will focus on the ethical issues, psychological challenges and artistic applications of theosophy to the daily round and the common task. While the other three groups freely move back and forth between the universal and the particular, the theoretical and the practical, this group will make an attempt to stay focused on the practical side of the art of living equation.
Weekly Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
December 12, 2016 at 6:39 pm #3995
Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
“The process of mental and spiritual creativity through and on behalf of Universal Good is experienced through mystic meditation.” — Aquarian Almanac
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Art of Living Study Group
ModeratorTN December 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm #3999
December 11, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
” Even though myself unborn, of changeless essence, and the Lord of all existence, yet in presiding over nature— which is mine — I am born but through my own maya, the mystic power of self-ideation, the eternal thought in the eternal mind.”
— Shri Krishna
“As God creates, so man can create.”
— H.P. Blavatsky
ModeratorTN December 12, 2016 at 6:48 pm #4000
December 12, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
“Beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth not images of beauty, but realities.”
“But from these create he can
Forms more real than living man,
Nurslings of immortality!”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley
Gerry Kiffe December 15, 2016 at 6:39 pm #4012
Perhaps one way to look at it is to see emanation as an unfolding from within without, from the unmanifest to the manifest. Creation often implies an anthropomorphic Creator which theosophy rejects. The SD talks about a series of levels to Logos or the Unmanifest and manifest Intelligence that stand behind the world. HPB talks about the gap between these higher Intelligences and those beings actually responsible for the construction of the visible universe (Builders). She says the Architects never put their hands to the work, in a manner of speaking.
Creative emanation puts the term creation into a new light. Thought is directed to create forms.
PeterModeratorPeter December 17, 2016 at 3:54 pm #4019
Gerry, the Orthodox Christian use of the term creation often has to do with creatio ex nihilo. In other words, God created the world and everything in it out of nothing. Even matter was created by God and did not exist prior to that creation.
The problem from the Orthodox Christian perspective is that if matter existed prior to the Creation and God simply fashioned it then there would be two eternals – God and matter – something Christianity rejects. Thus, creatio ex materia (fashioning the world out of already existing matter) is rejected from this standpoint. However, the question remains how can something come from nothing?
Creatio ex deo is an alternative that some christians have put forward faced with the philosophical problems that the above alternatives pose. God issued the universe out of his own substance – in other words, the world is an emanation from God, who is the source. However, that raises the question, if God is Perfect and the world and all the beings in it issued from God, how come the world and all its beings are far from perfect? Can a world that came from God really be different from God?
Theosophy doesn’t reject the notion of creation per se, as I understand it. It depends on what is meant by the term ‘creation’ and to whom the creative act is attributed to.
Gerry Kiffe December 17, 2016 at 5:50 pm #4020
I see your point here and appreciate your comments. It makes me wonder if writing a song or a poem, or designing a home, or a garden gives us clues to both the ideas of creation and creative emanation?
When we design something it does not come out of a vacuum. Song ideas generally are collections or snippets of things we have heard before put together in new arrangements. There is a sea of melodies, and from it we pull out what we need. That sort of thing.
PeterModeratorPeter December 19, 2016 at 7:20 pm #4038
Hi Gerry – yes, I guess we are more fashioners of the ‘material’ that we find around us (external or internal), rather than ‘creators’. We fashion, design and ‘create’ conditions based on the possibilities (potentialities) we ‘see’ in things – all the time working within the limits of natural law.
Odin TownleyParticipantOdin Townley December 19, 2016 at 7:44 pm #4039
In Theosophy Wiki Mme. Blavatsky defined these “fashionistas” as follows:
Skandha or Skhanda (Sk.). Lit., “bundles”, or groups of attributes; everything finite, inapplicable to the eternal and the absolute. There are five —esoterically, seven— attributes in every human living being, which are known as the Pancha Shandhas. These are (1) form, rûpa; (2) perception, vidâna; (3) consciousness, sanjnâ; (4) action, sanskâra; (5) knowledge, vidyâna. These unite at the birth of man and constitute his personality. After the maturity of these Skandhas, they begin to separate and weaken, and this is followed by jarâmarana, or decrepitude and death.
The Theosophical literature agrees with Buddhism that nowhere within the five (or seven) skandhas can a real or permanent “I” be found. However, Theosophy postulates that the skandhas belong only to the personality, and that beyond it there is the real Ego:
The personality with its Skandhas is ever changing with every new birth. This is why we preserve no memory on the physical plane of our past lives, though the real “Ego” has lived them over and knows them all.
Because they belong to the personality, the skandhas cannot follow the higher ego to Devachan. However, they are not merely dissolved, but “wait” for the return of the Ego to the new incarnation:
Karma, with its army of Skandhas, waits at the threshold of Devachan, whence the Ego re-emerges to assume a new incarnation.
They [the skandhas] remain as Karmic effects, as germs, hanging in the atmosphere of the terrestrial plane, ready to come to life, as so many avenging fiends, to attach themselves to the new personality of the Ego when it reincarnates.
As can be seen, the skandhas are intimately connected to the idea of karma. In fact, Mahatma K.H. wrote: “The Buddhist calls this his ‘Skandha’, the Hindu gives it the name of ‘Karma'”.
Pierre Wouters December 20, 2016 at 12:46 am #4042
Good ref Odin.
HPB (can’t recall where now) also indicates that every one of our principles relates to a Skandha, as there are 7 Elements corresponding with the principles, each Element having its own Skandhas and corresponding with a hierarchy.
As HPB points out: “Skandha or Skhanda (Sk.). Lit., “bundles”, or groups of attributes; everything finite, inapplicable to the eternal and the absolute.”
Our 3 higher principles belong to the manifested world as well (although in essence a part of the One Life), so we can say that even the “higher beings or Ego’s” must have their own Skandhas being of a different nature (sattvic?) however than the ones dealing with the personality. As all emanated hierarchies manifest through the characteristics of the gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) making up the Elements, there have to be “spiritual” Skandhas or characteristics as well, otherwise there could be no 7 rays.
Pierre Wouters December 18, 2016 at 1:09 am #4021
Good point Tamiko,
it’s perhaps useful to look at the different definitions found in dictionaries:
“an abstract but perceptible thing that issues or originates from a source: she saw the insults as emanations of his own tortured personality.
• the action or process of issuing from a source: the risk of radon gas emanation.
• a tenuous substance or form of radiation given off by something: vaporous emanations surround the mill’s foundations.
• Chemistry, archaic a radioactive gas formed by radioactive decay of a solid.
• (in various mystical traditions) a being or force that is a manifestation of God.”
As we can see it applies to both subjective and objective emanations or “outflow” from a source. In the context of your comment “Are human beings capable of creative emanation?” we could say that everything is constantly emanating “something”. Our mind is thus no exception and that includes feelings as well as also body language for instance, so we emanate both “good”, “bad” or “indifferent” thoughts, feelings and body language.
In that respect we are certainly capable of emanating “creative” emanations as we are able to emanate the opposite. Do our thoughts and feelings represent emanations of unity (in diversity), or are we emanating thoughts and feelings that engender separative “garbage”?
Even when we emanate thoughts and feelings of unity, mistakes of a practical nature are likely to be made as nothing in the manifested world is perfect. HPB, in Transactions p. 94, gives the following definition of radiation vs emanation, an important distinction that need to be made! (emphasis is mine)
” Q. How do the terms “Radiation” and “Emanation” differ in the Secret Doctrine?
A. They express, to my mind, two entirely different ideas, and are the best apologies for the original terms that could be found; but if the ordinary meanings are attached to them the idea will be missed. Radiation is, so to say, the unconscious and spontaneous shooting forth, the action of a something from which this act takes place; but emanation is something from which another thing issues in a constant efflux, and emanates consciously. An orthodox Occultist goes so far as to say that the smell of a flower emanates from it “consciously”—absurd as it may seem to the profane. Radiation can come from the Absolute; Emanation cannot. One difference exists in the idea that Radiation is sure, sooner or later, to be withdrawn again while Emanation runs into other emanations and is thoroughly separated and differentiated. Of course at the end of the cycle of time emanation will also be withdrawn into the One Absolute; but meanwhile, during the entire cycle of changes emanation will persist. One thing emanates from the other, and, in fact, from one point of view, emanation is equivalent to Evolution; while “radiation” represents to my mind—in the precosmic period, of course—an instantaneous action like that of a piece of paper set on fire under a burning glass, of which act the Sun knows nothing. Both terms, of course, are used for want of better.”
Perhaps a rather crude correspondence can be made on the physical plane that illustrates the distinction, if we see the Sun (as the 1st logos) radiating light (as the 2nd logos), i.e., “radiation”, traveling through the space of the solar system unaffected, and becoming dispersed (the 3rd logos differentiating) when it hits the atmosphere of our earth (or any other object in space) i.e., “emanation” and giving rise to all the manifold differentiated life forms throughout all the kingdoms we observe around us.
Pierre Wouters December 20, 2016 at 12:28 am #4041
That’s a good point Grace, I think we can and do radiate goodness, staying within the same correspondence, we could say then that although we may radiate goodness, we still have to follow up with the emanation or “acts” that go with it. As HPB points out, it’s not about being goody-goody, but—as the saying goes—”put your money where your mouth is”, in this case, follow up that goodness you radiate with emanating kindly acts. I’m sure just radiating it won’t hurt either 🙂
As emanation deals with the differentiated applications in the manifested world, these applications can be perceived as the “acts” of the beings who have themselves been radiated from the universal source, “paying it forward” so to speak!
ModeratorTN December 14, 2016 at 8:50 am #4008
December 13, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
“The divine and creative Word was not uttered once for all, but it receives perpetual utterance in the radiation of light, in the movements of the stars, in the development of life, in the reason and conscience of man.”
Jon FergusModeratorJon Fergus December 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm #4075
This is a very interesting question. In regards to its role in human life: it’s quite apparent that spoken words can have a profound affect on others, but maybe it’s easier to see the affect in the level of mind and emotion than on the physical. I do, however, suspect that voice may also play a role in that also, actually affecting molecules etc.
Simple sound, apart from spoken words, can also have a direct impact on our mental-emotional state. Music can bring us to tears, or bring us joy, or bring out anger and hate. It’s said that Pythagoras used music as medicine, used for physical and mental maladies.
Often when watching a movie I’ll wonder to myself: if you removed the soundtrack, would my emotional reaction to the events I’m seeing be as powerful? I doubt it would.
ModeratorTN December 14, 2016 at 8:51 am #4009
December 14, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
“Fear and a voice make me quake in my sleeves;
Divine splendour, the god is near.”
“A man should believe that each day the world is re-created, and that he is reborn each morning.“
— Ba’al Shem Tov
Odin TownleyParticipantOdin Townley December 14, 2016 at 10:57 am #4010
Joop Smits, The Netherlands, posted the following (a brief excerpt from a 2-part article on TheosophyForward):
” … the archaic doctrine of Emanation provides a universal key for understanding the process of re-embodiment at cosmic, terrestrial and human level and for understanding how every living being exists within the sphere of a higher being. E.g. how man lives in the sphere of the Earth or Sun and how the cells of our body live in the human sphere. This is, of course, based on the Theosophical standpoint of the Living Universe or Cosmos”:
– the universe considered as embodied consciousness and
– ordered as a Hierarchy of different levels of consciousness, in line with the original Greek meaning of the word “Cosmos,” as “order or arrangement.”
ModeratorTN December 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm #4014
December 15, 2016 Theme for Contemplation: Creative Emanation
“Love designs, thought sketches, action sculptures the works of spirit. Love is divine, conceiving, creating, completing, all things. Love is the Genius of Spirit.”
— Bronson Alcott
“Call the world if you please ‘The vale of soul-making’.”
— John Keats
Pavel AxentievParticipantPavel Axentiev December 27, 2016 at 10:04 am #4141
This was in response to this but moved down when I edited it:
Very interesting subject (not exactly on topic, though). But Bhagavad Gita (with Swami Prabhupada’s commentaries) gives some interesting clues to it: e.g., individual souls are direct emanations of the Supreme Soul, while the material nature is one step further away; the individual souls are quantitatively, but not qualitatively different from the Supreme Soul/Parabrahman. I don’t believe that gunas control the spiritual nature. But there might be some sort of differentiation there, as Pierre is pointing out, although I am at a loss right now to explain what kind. Perhaps, the quality of limitlessness of potential, the ‘eternal newness’ (cf. ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Yogananda) of the Parabrahman would do away with it, but it also does away with the Law of 7.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Pavel Axentiev.