Gerry Kiffe

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Gerry Kiffe


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Another term that was used for Divine Wisdom was mentioned by Patrice, The Gupta Vidya, Secret Knowledge.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Here is a great saying of HPB’s: “Symbols of divine truth were not invented for the amusement of the ignorant; they are alpha and omega of philosophic thought.”

      Would anyone like to comment on the symbolism of the Lotus?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I wonder if the efficacy of analogy in human communication and in spiritual and philosophical education is evidence or perhaps a clue to the meaning of Plato’s statement, that all learning is recollection?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Can we define some terms? What is ethics, what is metaphysics? Why does HPB say ethics is applied metaphysics?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What is the main obstacle to thinking analogically? Are analogy and correspondence tools to awaken intuition?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Please explain how we get “That Thou Art” from OM TAT SAT? OM =the Primordial Sound, TAT = Ultimate Reality SAT = Absolute Being

      Any ideas?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      It might be argued that one of the most significant “discoveries” of modern times is “The Book of Dzyan”. I don’t know how else to put it.
      From it we get The Secret Doctrine and perhaps by connectivity The Voice of the Silence.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What would society be like if more people focused on conquering themselves rather than controlling and judging others?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What are ways to introduce into the thought of today the idea that man is perfectible and not merely a product of his or her environment?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Does the golden measure have an ethical corollary? Or how about an ethical application or ethical relevance?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What is the connection between Imagination and Energy? What role does imagination play in meditation?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What is the relationship between the concept of the cell and the concept of the Monad in Theosophy?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What is Buddhi-Manas? How might we understand the idea so that it comes alive for us?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Divine Wisdom, Theosophy, we are told, teaches a principle of unity in all life. This is a central principle within the system. It seems to me that you cannot uphold this idea of radical unity without the building block concept of the Absolute. The constant and recurring tendency to divide one thing from another, to create separations is mitigated by a larger underlying concept of the Absolute. So independent of any other considerations a thorough grasp of the concept of the Absolute enables us to preserve and enrich a notion of unity so crucial in the pursuit of universal brotherhood. When we look around us we see many people, we see the broad vistas of nature and we see life and all its processes. Theosophy teaches us that all of what we witness, and all that we do not, is all really within us. We are looking at our Self, albeit a reflection or mirroring of the great SELF. So the notion of the Absolute can keep us honest so to speak. It forces us to accept that all of life is part of one SELF, one LIFE, and the reason that there are no exceptions is because the Absolute precedes all Life.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      There is a practical side to every spiritual teaching. What practical application can be derived from the teaching on the Absolute? How might it help us in the conduct of our lives?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Could you equate potentiality as noumenal energy (unmnanifested) and potency as phenomenal energy (manifested)?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Shankaracharya says: Even though they recite the scriptures, and sacrifice to the gods, and fulfill all works, and worship the divinities—without awakening to the unity of the Divine Self, liberation is not attained even in a hundred æons.

      Would it be fair to say that one way to take this is : Until we begin to incrementally transform our sense of Self, what we identify with, all the rituals and all the religious practices in the world will not help us.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Would anyone care to spell out the symbolism of the Caduceus to us?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      An observation: The Book of Dzyan, at its heart is about three things: 1. The Genesis of the Cosmos, 2. The Genesis of Man, 3. The Path to discover of man’s true Self.

      Comments?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      GOOD QUESTION! The very concept of Theosophia (Divine Wisdom) excludes blind belief and unquestioned authority. We are all, here in this forum, after the Truth and nothing less. Every idea, every concept, every theory must be put to the test. It must be examined and probed. This is the ancient way.

      The Secret Doctrine, as a book not as an idea in regards to this comment, was intended to push us in the direction of getting people to think about these things anew and to be open to different explanations concerning the Cosmos and Man rather than blindly accepting conventional views. (Which by the way have all been blown up and reconstituted several times since HPB wrote the book.) For some of the ideas we are putting forth here she simply says, paraphrasing of course, here is an idea that was held in almost every significant civilization of the ancient world in different forms that more accurately describes life as we know it. They have as much merit and are just as worthy for consideration as are the conventional views.

      Theosophia, Ancient Wisdom is very deep and those of us who study it make few claims to understand it very thoroughly or completely. But we are convinced, at least so far, in the reality of the idea of a Esoteric Wisdom that inch by inch we can probe. But testing and questioning it is precisely what theosophy encourages and questions like this are more than welcome in this forum.

      “That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the “Wise Men” of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions—so obtained as to stand as independent evidence—of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences.” SD i page 272

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      How do we make peace within ourselves? Is there not a war or skirmish within the breast of most human beings between ones ideals and ones desires, between ones highest aspirations and our likes and dislikes, wants and desires?

      “A man is said to be perfected in spiritual kknowledge when he hast forsaken every desire that entereth into his heart and is happy and content in the Self, through the Self.” Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Krishna


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Why did HPB put such an emphasis on these two ideas in her public outreach?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Like the Tina Turner song we could ask in regards to the spiritual path, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      September 12, 2017 Weekly Theme for Contemplation: The Language of the Future

      The communication of the will rests upon a kind of rapport
      between two wills. — FRANZ ANTON MESMER

      That higher sense which is the potential capacity of every human being
      is in eternal contact with Reality. — D. K. MAVALANKAR


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      It is said that many modern languages, particularly English, are languages built around commerce and things material. What would language look like where the emphasis was on the spiritual? What is the relationship between speech and living a spiritual life?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What role does the power of choice play in training the mind?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      The lower mind, the mind we are most familiar with, is the battleground, it is where the great challenge lies. It does not need to be destroyed, it needs to be tamed. So where do we begin?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      My suspicions are that the good and evil dichotomy is better expressed as Spirit and Matter, Formelessness and Form, Thought and Vehicle. Christianity (Churchanity), which made hay with a Bogeyman of Evil, saw advantages in creating an immortal source of Evil. To be saved you needed the church’s help. Krishna says that Light and Darkness are the world’s eternal ways. Read Esoterically we might see this as manifestation and the unmanifest. Gandhi once said, the only devils running around are the ones within our own heads.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What is Noetic Psychology? What is psychology, particularly from a theosophical point of view? We know Nous points to the higher man and to the higher mind. We would assume that most of modern psychology focuses upon the lower mind.

      What do students think about defining psychology as the human or self-conscious process of identification and all of its ramifications?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      When we say an elephant never forgets is this referring to right mindfulness? What if we never forgot that we are immortal souls? Never forgot that in our deepest nature we are at one with all the lives. What if we never forgot that? What would it be like to live an entire life without losing track of this idea?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Thank you for all the comments fellow students. Since we wandered off the topic a bit here let us take a pause, regroup and we will move on to a different Theosophical Tenet. Please everyone remember we are trying to reach a level of mutual respect and trust for each other that we can disagree, and maybe even argue, but never lose faith in each other’s sincerity. The Dalai Lama is famous for pleading with others to point out his errors. He has no ego to defend apparently. We have had a good discussion here but I believe it is time to move to a new topic in the tenets section. We will begin one tomorrow.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      David, I don’t really see it that way. If Theosophy is some package or presentation of concepts and beliefs then yes you are indeed right. There are all of these schools of thought and consensus of belief in society and in intellectual circles that we have to contend with. I think human beings, where ever they may live and whatever tradition or academic training they may participate in appreciate the idea of Truth. They appreciate the idea of Reality. They appreciate the idea that the universe is a functioning system. And if they are honest searchers of the truth their path is a theosophical one. I know what you are saying. Most people, particularly in academic circles, have no regard for HPB, the SD, The Stanzas of Dzyan etc. etc.All true. But that is OK in my book. Most academics don’t believe in the inherent goodness of humanity, brotherhood, or the power of thought either. The vast majority of professors at my college were cynics and I am told by people who work in that department today that the level of cynicism is much deeper now.

      Remember what Thoreau said: ” I learned more in two weeks in a canoe on the Merrimack River than in four years at Harvard.”

      Not everyone is ready for these things. We have the expression, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Most of us are not ready. We are not ready for the self-transformation necessary to SEE these higher truths. And I am convinced it requires a self-transformation, without which everything else is merely speculation, not matter how articulate.

      I don’t really understand why it is important to convince academics in the first place. In the past it might have been important because the intellectual classes, as HPB used say, hold sway over intellectual life of much of mankind. I don’t believe that influence is as profound now. We have ways to communicate and create dialog with people that can circumvent this old bottleneck.

      Look at the music industry. It used to be that the only way and I mean ONLY way to get your music heard is to sign a record contract with one of the major Record Labels. The monopoly was true for movies as well. With the advent of the Internet we can skip around recording companies, the movie studios and in our case a closed minded academic community (there are exceptions of course) and communicate directly to people.

      Mr. Judge said Theosophy is for people who want it. I think in people’s hearts they are yearning to understand human suffering, what happens after death, how the universe works, what our place is in the scheme of things etc. etc. If people are sincere and persistent in their questioning they will find the road that leads to the answers to those questions. Our job as theosophists (people who believe that there is wisdom in the universe and that we are capable of acquiring it over time) is to make sure the teachings are accessible and to become good students and practitioners ourselves. In so many fields academia lags behind the trends that lead to the society of the future.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I don’t mean to be rude but we may have strayed a ways off the path here my friends. Our topic here is Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood and although it is possible to build a connection between any one idea and any other idea I dare say we have lost our focus on the topic. It is easy for any of us to stray off into the woods of our favorite topics or points of views. We may from time to time look for excuses to roll out our pet projects and pet peeves. But a genuine discussion needs a focus and without it no depth or breathe is possible.

      What is Universal Brotherhood? Why is it the central theme of the theosophical movement? Why is it so difficult to pursue little less achieve? Is it a reality or an idea or both? What is its counterfeit? How do we test ourselves to determine whether we are moving towards it rather than away from it? Why Universal? What is the importance of the Nucleus idea? Should we include the word Sisterhood even though the term brotherhood implies both men and women? What is the relationship between this idea and the Three Fundamental Propositions of the SD? What does it mean to be a good brother to one’s fellow man? What is the role of society in universal brotherhood? What is the role of the individual? Does being a true individual, in the Thoreauian sense, mean by definition, to move towards brotherhood?………..


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      The monadic stream is another way of saying the great pilgrimage of humanity. We are invited in theosophy to think about this immense journey through conditioned existence. What would it mean to rise above it and see it from the vantage point of the immortal soul?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      These are good points Laura. It seems to me that our Spiritual Teachers, whether they be HPB and WQJ, the Mahatmas that stand behind them, or any of the great Teachers of the past like Jesus, Buddha or Plato, in every case a premium has been set on human beings treating each other as family. Yet this has been extremely hard to achieve even in the most rudimentary way. The modern theosophical movement has been plagued with dissension. This week we honor WQJ and his treatment by the very Society he helped build is suspect at best.

      In my forty years of being connected to the theosophical movement I have witnessed intense antipathy and hard feelings between theosophical students often for the most personal and trite of reasons. In other cases the cracks between us were for profound reasons to which the brotherhood principle was not strong enough in us to span the distance. In both cases we failed.

      We have been asked to try and form a “nucleus” of universal brotherhood which I understand to mean a sense of family within the boundaries of our own limited circles. In other words with those immediately around us. But look how hard that has proven to be.

      When HPB made the point in the SD that further volumes would be made available based on the reception of the first two I believe one of the measures of this reception was how we treated each other. How far are we willing to sand away the personal imperative to make room for universal brotherhood? How much do we understand from the SD that leads us to see a larger sense of Self? It is no mystery to me why the next two volumes she promised were not delivered. Frankly we have not earned them yet.

      We simply have to do better. We have to make the first object of the society an imperative and make it supersede all other concerns. I welcome any contrary opinions.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Dear Fellow Students;

      I have a strong desire to express my gratitude to everyone who has participated in this particular discussion. Since the UT and TN was started over 3 years ago I don’t think we have had too many discussions that has had the quality of this one. What I find impressive is that we have seen sincere questioning lead to the effort to discover metaphysical foundations. Additionally we have seen an effort to gain philosophical clarity on key ideas combined with with down to earth practical suggestions on how to deal with the immense challenge of self-transformation. It is inspiring to see this dialectical activity of moving from above below, from the abstract to the concrete work out in our communications. In the end theosophical ideas, if properly understood I believe, are revolutionary and transformative. I think it is important that no matter how abstract or how high we fly with these great ideas we are given we have an obligation to explore their relevance to the human condition and to our lives. I think if we do this sincerely we will find many more adherents to theosophy. Because in the end The Philosophy should be able to solve all the problems confronting our fellow man.

      gk


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Is it not true that Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a study in the levels of reality and illusion?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Might I suggest that we take our ongoing discussion concerning illusion over to this week’s Theme for Contemplation which is very appropriately Plato’s Allegory of the Cave which is all about the relationship between illusion and reality.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I am beginning to see what you are getting at better now. I think it is true that when we speak of manifestation we tend to freeze it in time whereas we know the natural world is in a constant state of flux. I would start by saying, that until we can claim some form of realization, ideas like the One Life, Law, and Omni-Presence are all working hypothesis for us. That means that our knowledge of these things are insufficient and in need of development. What is illusion and what is reality from a psychological standpoint would no doubt demand that we take into account the standpoint of the perceiver. Human society does not exist to the ant. Geological time is outside the range of the typical human beings points of reference. So what is real and unreal changes from this standpoint:

      (4.) The Universe is called, with everything in it, MAYA, because all is temporary therein, from the ephemeral life of a fire-fly to that of the Sun. Compared to the eternal immutability of the ONE, and the changelessness of that Principle, the Universe, with its evanescent ever-changing forms, must be necessarily, in the mind of a philosopher, no better than a will-o’-the-wisp. Yet, the Universe is real enough to the conscious beings in it, which are as unreal as it is itself. page 274 book 1 SD

      You might say that each perceiver works within a certain universe. By definition that universe has limits and boundaries and those limits and boundaries define what is real and what is unreal. If we want to leap to the ULITMATES, which I think most students are too quick to do, then we move on to ideas like immutability, omnipresence and the Void.

      What theosophy teaches us is that there are levels to reality wherein the most abstract levels are CAUSAL to the more concrete levels. Taking that into account you might say that the path of the pilgrim soul is to plumb the depths, level by level, both intellectually and experiencially of these planes. Hence the Gita says, “What is night to the unenlightened is as day to his gaze, what is day is known to him as night.” The Sage is aware of the reality of the causal planes.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Is the Eye of Shiva the capacity sift out the inessential from the essential? To see Reality through the illusions?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      The Bodhisattva Ideal, essentially to forgo Nirvana and remain in the world for the enlightenment of ever beings, is the pinnacle of human perfectibility in my book. It is hard to conceive of a more sacrificial enterprise. And at a very basic and human level no human quality speaks to our hearts more powerfully than sacrifice.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What test(s) can an individual apply to confirm or deny the reality or unreality of reincarntaion for oneself existentially independent of outside testimony or spiritual texts?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What is the practical implication of Deity being both Transcendent and Immanent? How does it help us to live a better life?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      From B.P. Wadia’s Study Aids for the Secret Doctrine

      The human constitution is a composite one. Man’s highest or Spirit-pole is a portion of the One Life, universal and unitary. It emerges from its state of spiritual unconsciousness and migrates to the plane of mentality still intellectually unconscious and from there its inherent energizing power functions. Like the grub which becomes chrysalis and butterfly, Man, or rather that which becomes man, passes through all the forms and kingdoms and human shapes, till self-consciousness comes to birth. Then progressing onward through savagery to citizenship and beyond to perfect sageship, the Mahatma is born. But all the time it is one and the same Being. That pole of our being which is the lower-material enjoys the sacrificial offering of the higher-spiritual. Thus Buddhi comes to be because Atma limits Itself, by its own inherent power. Body is formed because Prana sacrifices itself as a connecting, nourishing link holding in unison the countless lives who make the form-rupa. Manas sacrifices itself to redeem the Kamic nature by the same Law of Yagna which joins Buddhi to Manas.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      So the first Gatha pertains to the beginnings of Earth and life on earth? What is Mazda? Are there modern followers of the tradition? What part of the world was Zoroastrianism strong?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      How does one see the Kingdom of Heaven within? I am assuming that Kingdom of Heaven means Elevated State of Consciousness.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I think another way of looking at “deserving” is to substitute it with the word “ready”. The grade school child under 7 is not ready for Calculus, they have to learn their addition and subtraction first. Then they are ‘deserving” of the multiplication and division instruction and so on. If you jump straight to something one is unprepared for danger arises.

      Think of gymnastics. You would not want to give instruction to an athlete to do a double flip dismount off the high bar prior to being able to complete a single flip. It would be very dangerous.

      It might work partly like that.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What does it mean to burn out a desire?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Can more be said about the difference between the Heart Doctrine and the Eye Doctrine in the Voice of the Silence?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What does it mean to say “action and in action may find room in thee”?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Why do you suppose the metaphor of the Eye and Heart are used to describe the Esoteric and Exoteric paths?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Remarkable, Mark!


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      That makes sense to me. Everything that comes into the world (manifestation) must run its cycle. Knowing that everything naturally has a beginning, middle and end and then a new beginning suggests the need for detachment from form of any kind.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Amazingly helpful. Thank you. It brought to mind this additional passage of the Voice

      ” Silence thy thoughts and fix thy whole attention on thy Master whom yet thou dost not see, but whom thou feelest.” Like twilight.

      gk


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Would anyone care to elaborate the meaning of this beguiling passage?:

      This earth, O ignorant Disciple, is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light—that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel.

      What correlation might we draw to the interior principles in man in relation to the light mentioned here?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I appreciate these thoughtful remarks. What is the relationship between ethics and Karma? Is Karma a law of ethical adjustment? What role does Karma play in the ethical life of man? And would we want to say that Karma is a metaphysical law because it is a spiritual law?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Much appreciated Ram. If you were forced to give English equivalences for these three terms what would they be?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Did I mix up OM TAT SAT with TAT TVAM ASI? Wow my apologies. The memory is fickle.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      OK, how does one begin to do this?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Why is it important not to call theosophy a religion?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Is this a declaration of Self-Reliance?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      When we talk about civilizations being built on the wreckage of previous civilizations are we really just noticing the natural evolution of cycles? Perhaps old forms must come to pass to make room for new ones.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      So we give it life by thinking about it? How might we use the imagination to make the idea of Buddhi-Manas alive for us?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      When we talk about cycles within cycles are we referring to the engines that drive the larger cycle? Might it be compared to a lot of small choices that lead to a big choice?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      That is a really interesting comment. Can you explain further why or how karma might slow or increase the pace of a cycle?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Karma is essentially the law of Cycles. It is the relationship between cause and effect which is the core idea behind a cycle. A cycle involves the movement from the unmanifest to the manifest and its return. This is the grand cycle upon which all other cycles are built. Every action begins with a thought, per se, and produces effects, which are manifestations.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      There is no standing still in the field of manifestation.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      What does that tell us about the mind?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Thank you for this Olga, light on the path!


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Thank you for that Olga, that is a very helpful explanation. Would Wisdom Heart be a worthwhile translation into English?


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I have been attending meetings and participating in group discussions in Theosophical circles for over 40 years now (a couple of seconds of the cosmic clock) and in terms of “mistakes” in conceptions concerning metaphysical and philosophical ideas I have heard or held myself (and here I agree with David) there are many. And I know we are talking about the literature here and not just some one’s comments fresh “off the street”. But the point is the same none the less. Until we reach the apex of Knowledge our perceptions fall short, they cannot pass the known horizon and falter in the attempt. It is by challenging and expanding our current notions that we scale the mountain. A good deal of group meeting activity is correcting false impressions of the philosophy. But I find it is not so much a matter of right or wrong but more a matter of richer and deeper vs. poor and shallow.

      Theosophy as The Wisdom of God is not so much wrong as it is misleading. What is the God we are talking about? So one question leads to another and the process of discovery continues on. So how harsh need we be with each other when our conceptions fall short of the goal? I think the theosophical way is to put one’s arm on the shoulder of our fellow man and say, “Dear Friend, let us look a bit deeper, lets climb up this hill so we can see farther…. together.”


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      I agree good points from Kirk and Garo. I really appreciate these contributions.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      It seems that where we are in evolution requires us to establish that tipping point for oneself. If the return journey is to regain an intimate awareness for the source of all consciousness then each of us must start from where we are at, whatever that might be. I suppose the main thing is to get moving in the right direction. Lead on! I will go with you.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      Jon I appreciate your heartfelt response to my question. I too feel that it is an overwhelming mountain to climb but we hear a distant call from deep inside that urges us on. There is a larger life, a deeper feeling, a more profound perspective perhaps just around the corner.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      It might be more important to establish a mental posture of reverence for the idea of the Absolute than to seek to define it once and for all. The first is the act of the lower mind shifting its focus upwards, the second is all too often an act of the lower mind grasping.


    • Gerry Kiffe
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      Gerry Kiffe

      what do you think is the most important choice an individual must make to break the cycle of separateness? What is the tipping point in reversing the trend?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Practice makes perfect.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Howdy James. Yes, I would assume it comes from a translation of a section of the Yoga Sutras, No is it not mine.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      The Dec. 19th quote above.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Would anyone be willing to elaborate on Patanjali’s connection between Love and Meditation?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      It is a great challenge to change or evolve one’s sense of self. The more we study the more it becomes apparent that the self we ordinarily identify with is so very ephemeral. The teachings invite us to draw inwards and perhaps by so doing we “draw a larger circle”. People inherently seek to become part of something larger than themselves. Family, nationality, race all become identifiers.

      What are some ways students can loosen the hold of a lesser sense of self?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What a lovely thought and so well put. Taking the focus off of the personal self is both the secret and the cure. What you say makes perfect sense. But it is so hard to do. There is no peace as long as we want things for ourselves. Our Theosophy School chant in Santa Barbara had the words, “To live for and as the SELF of all beings.” It is such a profound statement going to the very core of the Teachings. What a wonderful gift to present to children little less us adults.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Pavel

      How do buildings get built, stories told, movies made, songs written, furniture created etc. ……. without imagination?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Is it fair to characterize the Stanza’s of Dzyan as the story of the universe and the story of man?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Can more be said about why the metaphor of the well-thatched house representing the disciplined mind if fitting?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I think part of our challenge with this topic is the conceptual leap necessary from the metaphysical to the physical. Ancient Wisdom conceives of manifestation from within without, meaning from the realm of idea to the realm of distinct and measurable form. The word Platonic Forms is misleading to us I believe. It might be more helpful to think of them as Platonic Archetypes or perhaps Platonic Ideas (Capitial I). Thought proceeds action, ideas proceed forms, the blueprint proceeds the house. The reason that nothing in the universe is accidental is because behind manifestation is Mind (Capital M). Ideas and thoughts, in a manner of speaking, are the driving engines of evolution and the creation of forms. And like a great composer all the notes are not assembled perfectly on the first try but rather a process of experimentation is necessary to discover the perfect sequences. Consequently what appears from the outside as a series of accidents is really the creative process of formulation. You try the song in one key and if it does not sound right you change the key. Evolution works this way, we are told, perpetual experimentation directed by metaphysical forces. The denizens of spiritual hierarchies, crores of incorporeal and semi-corporeal beings stand behind manifestation. (Indigenous peoples and the ancients understood this better than we do.) It all sounds strange to those of us trained in modern education which views reality as what is perceptible by the physical senses. But to the Sage what is real is metaphysical because it is permanent and causal. In other words our contemporary idea of what is real and what is unreal is almost completely backwards. And this helps to account for why it is so difficult to assign order to the evolutionary process. We cannot conceive of anything as being “real” if it is on the other side of form/formless equation.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What is the role imagination plays in moving through various planes of consciousness?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What is suggested in the imagery of the Germ in the Root?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What I am gathering from these initial statements of the Dhammapada is that the mind is the battle ground for growth and evolution. It is here where we must pay special attention. How do others see it?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Right on Alex. I could not agree more. Ralph Waldo Emerson used said nothing great ever happened without enthusiasm. For me enthusiasm is a form of love.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      This is an interesting discussion and many good points are being made. I think Jon introduces a critical point. Language is like a river, it is flowing and changing constantly. With the advent of the theosophical movement we have actually witnessed the evolution of the English language, and perhaps all modern languages in various ways, into spiritual conceptions so precious to the ancients. Yoga, karma, Atman, Brahman, etc. are no longer foreign terms to English speakers. So the change is underway as Jon points out.

      By way of illustration about the commerce comment. I met a Polish man in Toronto while traveling by train in Canada who told me he only spoke English at work, only Polish at home and only French while socializing. I believe he lived in Montreal.

      I think the larger point is the spiritualization of consciousness and therefore language in the direction of unity, insight and enlightenment in whatever culture or society we might find ourselves.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      And for that very reason so many only know English for its commercial use. They are unaware of the rich history of poetry, prose and literature which expands the language and deepens it.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I would assume the answer to your question is both. As Peter points out we have to determine what we mean by “Reality” before we can go very far with this. But we know that speech is most certainly a representative for things it identifies. Chair, moon, sadness etc. might be examples. But speech is also an action with vibration, motive and emotion. And therefore has a reality all its own.

      We all love Mr. Judge’s wise council, “Let us use with care those living messengers called words.” This expression seems to point to both sides of your question. Words are messengers, words are living.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Pierre your comment brings up the interesting question of what comes first the experience or the language. One would assume that language is a bridge of sorts between those who have had the experience and those who have not. For the seeker, the language provides a bridge to experiences that lie on the horizon, whether distant or immediate. Perhaps this is why poetry and the arts are so important. They help to engage creative imagination which is so crucial to spiritual development. I believe the term “Shravaka” used in the East means “listener”. Training the mind to be still and listen intently to the teachings, to revere it, to ponder it,to try to use it, is and often overlooked skill.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Well for one thing there is a paucity of words in the English language to describe things beyond the five senses. Other than God and Ether what words and concepts are there that describe the millions of denizens of the spiritual dimensions found in Greek, Tibetan, Sanskrit and other older languages? The English language often leaps from the physical to God in one giant leap. And the God idea in English is predominately a materialistic one. Whereas with cultures that have languages steeped in mythology and metaphysics there are many words for snow, in a manner of speaking. Many inspired English poets have helped to elevate the language but its focus is on goods and services and the “practical” side of life.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Here is from the Hymn to Vach

      When, O Lord of the Word, the Wise established

      Name-giving, the first principle of language,

      Their inmost essence, pristine and pure,

      Hidden deep within, was brought to light through love.

      When the Wise created language with the mind,

      As winnowing ground barley with a sieve,

      Friends acknowledged the essence of friendship;

      Upon their speech was impressed the mark of grace.

      With devotion they walked the path of the Word

      Which they saw abiding within the Seers.

      They drew it out, ordering it all ways.

      The Word which Seven Singers exalt.

      More can be found here: http://www.universaltheosophy.com/jewels-lotus/hymn-to-vach/

      There sure does seem to be plenty of evidence that speech and sound is sacred. Speech, according to the Hymn, is a gift from divine beings.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Love the connections. You did a nice job of stringing these three themes together. I think if we try hard enough we can find important connections between any two ideas in the philosophy.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Yes, the purpose behind self-magnetization is so that the vestures can transmit benevolent energies from higher planes for the good of the whole. The question seemed rhetorical to me.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Yes


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      One way to think of it is in terms of attraction and repulsion. Every waking hour of every day, and perhaps while we sleep, we are charging life atoms, elemental lifes, with the vibration and tone of our state of consciousness. Every deed, every word, every action is magnetizing the elemental lives of our vestures. This magnetization plays a role in attracting to us and repelling from us various influences. To self-magnetize, which is an occult art, is to choose wisely those thoughts, those feelings, those actions which will spiritualize our vestures giving them the capacity to transmit influences from higher spheres.

      It ties in nicely with last week’s theme of Training the Mind. What we think is what we become. See the Twin Verses of the Dhammapada on these two topics.

      http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/dhamma/dham1.htm#Canto1

      thoughts from others?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Is gratitude born from a growing sense of Oneness? Is it a reaching out of the child to the parent, the lower to the higher?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Where in Zoroastrianism is the idea of Absolute Evil, as a force in the universe, presented?

      My understanding from a study of the SD, is that evil is essentially a concept relevant only to the human plane and in the human arena. There is no force in the universe that is evil. There is the interplay of Spirit and Matter. But both are essentially one and neither connected with Evil per se. But there is the Light and the absence of Light. That would be the more accurate dichotomy. On the human plane we might say there is Knowledge and Ignorance of Knowledge. The ignorance of knowledge is the source of what we call “evil” on the human plane. There is also perversity which is the deliberate refusal to learn or heed the law or the light. But this is also born from ignorance of our true nature ultimately. Perversity is the ego demanding to elevate itself in vain above the whole. This egotism is an effort to be either the best or the worst. It cannot bear to be mediocre, which is what the ego/persona usually is. Hence the desire to be really bad if it cannot be really good. If it cannot be the most noble then it desires to be the most ignoble.

      I am not sure what Zoroastrian philosophy has to say on the subject but these are some thoughts attempting to look at it theosophically.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Yet another way to look at gratitude is the acknowledgement and appreciation of benefit. Everything that sustains a person is grounds for gratitude. I suspect that the cloud of personal consciousness could be characterized as a fog of ingratitude. Our bodies, our food, our thoughts, our ideas, our homes, our friends, our inspiration, our spiritual teachings etc. etc. all came from outside of personal consciousness. The persona can lay no ownership claims to any of these things. Therefore it might be true that the most enlightened view is one of supreme feeling of gratitude, born of some degree of realization that the SELF is All in All.

      “The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul.” The persona is a vehicle for the Soul.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      It is both. My grandmother used to count her blessings every morning. One by one, all the things she had to be grateful for, a home, a job, a family etc. It made her eternally cheerful. She made gratitude or being grateful a practice. She took time out of her busy schedule to remember all of the things she had to be grateful for. It made the hardships go easier too. The more one practices patience the more one feels patience. That sort of thing. In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) they call it “fake it until you make it”. You cannot deepen gratitude without practicing it. I believe the Mahatmas have an elevated appreciation for gratitude and a realization of it that would make the ordinary example of it look profoundly small.

      Like everything else in Theosophy there is an endless ocean of possibility. I think what it means to think theosophically is to perpetually elevate an idea or ideas, to seek to see it in relation to the universal ideal which is beyond expression.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Absolutely. It is a practice.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      It seems to me that at some point all the virtues and graces of the Sage merge into one. There is a way to see some element of any one of the virtues in any of the others. But I think we can say gratitude is a prerequisite for real learning and growth. It appears to be a heart quality of intuiting the source of some benefit.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      You could call it non-violence of mind, harmony of thought. Thank you for your kind thoughts and gentle speech!


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I don’t understand the question. Can you simplify and restate it please?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I don’t mind your comments directed at me personally at all. I find that when we make an effort to define something we naturally seek to set boundaries around the idea. In truth all things are connected to all other things in theosophy. So definitions are helpful for dialog because it gives us starting points to investigate. But they should be fluid and reconsidered over and over. So your expanding on the idea is very helpful.

      It just struck me that one way to delineate psychology from philosophy might be in the arena of self-identification. But I see the trouble with this right away because we often hear this statement: “The central question in philosophy is WHO AM I?” Ultimately there is one science, one philosophy, one religion but it is interesting to me to hear others explain these various concepts from their own points of view.

      Psychology as stated in Isis is a radically different concept than what you would read in college textbooks.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Thank you kindly


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Kirk, would you mind summarizing in a couple of brief sentences the main points you wanted to bring out from this long quotation? It is no doubt an important one. But the group would like to know what you were thinking when you selected it.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Laura, you have picked out one of my favorite sections of the Gita to share. I am grateful for that. I suppose it is a favorite for many students since it is the description of the Self-Governed Sage. One can only imagine the state of mind of a being that is invulnerable to cares of the world. I believe it is important to try and exercise our imagination in that direction. It seems to build steps to move in that direction.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      You can see why the Light of Asia is so much loved in theosophical circles. Thank you for sharing.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I think you might be right about that. A footnote in the Voice of the Silence says “This is an allusion to a well-known belief in the East that every additional Buddha or Saint is a new soldier in the army of those who work for the liberation or salvation of mankind.” And Shankaracharya talks about ” The Great and Peaceful ones live regenerating the world…”.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      You (or I) have blown my cover. Correct, grandchild. With a developing physical form with several million cells, and when fully developed several trillion. Mind blowing isn’t it. Think of the complexity, think of the underlying divine wisdom necessary to design and build such a vehicle. And this is merely the grossest division of the human constitution. What I noticed about this child, and perhaps I was not looking for it before, is that she appears to looking out upon a world she has seen before and been dreaming about. There is both a look of familiarity and a look of bewilderment.

      Thoreau said mysteriously, ” I never was as wise as the day I was born.” Think about that one.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      It is important to remember that the whole concept of analogy has to do with parallel likeness and not one to one correspondence. Death is like a sleep but different in many other ways of course.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      We just had a new baby arrive in the family and seeing how small this little child’s body is takes your breathe away. To think that the development of a mature physical form should start with just a couple of cells is nothing short of amazing as you say.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I follow what you are saying here David and I makes sense to me. It brings out the question of how human beings validate things. I am sure the criteria we use varies with the individual. I don’t know anything about the Creme material, whatever that might be, I plead ignorance of it. I simply don’t have the time or the interest to look into it. But I am concerned about the Universal Brotherhood idea and believe it to be worthy of supporting and practicing. And to that end I think it is incumbent on all of us to be patient with each other. I also think it requires us to adopt a sense of humor about how differently we see things. It demonstrates how deeply separative consciousness isolates us one from the other. This is the central challenge of the student of the theosophy as I see it. To break out of the isolation requires a herculean effort that only very few are willing to undertake. And Gandhi warned that without the intense effort to engage in moral reform, purification and mental discipline one has no right to speak of an inner voice or contact with a Spiritual Teacher.

      Mark Twain wrote: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      In the arena of overcoming illusion and even fantasies we can use all the help we can get!


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      To add to Jon’s point. You might say that for all of the circumstances of life there are few that fit the expression, “It takes one to know one” better.
      We have the instruction from the Great Masters, “If you would know us study our teachings, if you would serve us, serve our humanity.” That is a rough paraphrase at least. So that is what we are trying to do here on the Nexus. Study the teachings for the good of humanity. That is the goal at least as I see it. The better we know the teachings the easier it becomes to see through imposters and misconceptions wherever and however they might arise. And they will arise. It is a very very old story, one of the saddest and bitterest stories in the human pilgrimage. We have to work extremely hard to understand the Masters. We cannot know them from the standpoint of personal consciousness. We have to lift ourselves up to a more universal standpoint to catch a view. This is the work of lifetimes, and it is the battle between the lower and higher man so elegantly described in the Bhagavad-Gita. Intellectual pride is one of the hardest nuts to crack we are told. Stubborn certainty is a tell tale sign of danger on the path I believe.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Concerning the aphorism on Karma: Is the injunction telling us that if we fail to come to the aid of others who are suffering we somehow create new karma of our own that in turn must be exhausted?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Perhaps another way of making your point Jon is that a nucleus of universal brotherhood can only happen when the desire to see each other as beloved family members is stronger than the desire to be perceived as being right.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      So what is the best way to get the donkey to go in the right direction? Is brotherhood the counterpoint to the pull of selfishness?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I find it takes a second and sometimes a third thought to get to this point. The first reaction is defensive. It takes a moment’s reflection to realize there is more to the story.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Pavel was it not you who suggested we have this discussion on Universal Brotherhood?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      All of these are good and helpful. Just to add a thought about metanoia. We were taught that the idea was much richer than change of mind or opinion. Metanoia meant to think something through to its essentials. To follow a line of thought through to its logical conclusion, in other words to make a break through in perspective. The mental posture necessary for this was an open-minded, receptive attitude. It is a fierce questioning and testing regime. It is an unwillingness to settle for cheap answers or explanations and a deep love of the truth. It is really a wonderful idea, metanoia.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Maybe we might probe your question by asking two preliminary questions: What is unconditional love? and What is the nature of attachment? That might help to clarify Grace’s question.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I really don’t know but if the Mind were not distracted by the demands and attractions of the world the capacity to contemplate the endless meanings surrounding the basic geometerical forms would be vastly improved.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I second Peter’s statement here. How wonderful to let the mind soar. Yes of course, to entertain the highest that we can in our mind, and then push farther is to strengthen our metaphysical muscles. Gandhi said that the nature of an Ideal is that it recedes as we move closer.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Those are both helpful and interesting propositions. Another phrase I have heard to represent item number 2 is “Continuity of Consciousness”.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What do we suppose this might mean:

      Ahurâ, who is in co-association with the richest Asa, ?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      And it is a symbol of spiritual vision, Buddhi.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      The problem with the psychic power issue is not the powers themselves, which as you say come naturally in human evolution. The problem is the motivation behind their acquirement. If the individual sets out to gain such powers so that they might shine above their peers, perform tricks to the amusement of one’s fellow man, and I would add, measure their own “spiritual progress”, in all three cases they would be walking backwards. Why because the core problem, the separative sense of self, is expanding and running the show. And until the separative sense of self is put in its proper place, all these developments are typically at the service of personal pride. And all of this ignores perhaps the bigger problem of playing with fire when we are not ready. I think the very notion of measuring ones progress has problems. Better still, it seems to me, to ask the question “Can I do more to help my fellow man? What service or duty might I fulfill more completely? How can I govern my life better such that I can reduce whatever energies I create that are a drag on humanity’s march to universal enlightenment? These kinds of questions help us sand down the false ego problem.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      The development of psychic powers has been warned against in myriad ways by the teachers of theosophy. Suffice to say we all have enough work to do in getting our ethical house in order, which is a prerequisite for any occult powers. The evidence of the past tells a tale of people crashing and burning because they got this order wrong. The Eye of Shiva could also be thought of as the laser that cuts out the selfish component that so torments mankind.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Ryan, to be inspired by great gardens go here: http://www.gardenoftheweek.net

      I think gardening is a great metaphor for living the life of a spiritual seeker. We have to be diligent. We must remove what does not support beauty. We have to feed and nurture the garden. We have to prune back excesses. We need to water the garden which is like meditation it seems to me. We have the idea of the Good Gardener of Nature, for a phrase to point to the human being on the Path to Enlightenment. Weeds would be removed in this scenario because they represent selfish thoughts.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      The word is perfectibility and not perfection. One implies a process the other a fixed state. The idea implies an infinite capacity for growth. The idea of perfectibility is built right into the 3rd Fundamental Proposition of the Secret Doctrine. The fundamental identity of all souls (us) with the universal Over-Soul (The SELF) implies an endless journey of Self-Realization. No doubt the Immortal Soul needs no improvement, but for the expression of our Highest Nature to shine through onto this plane of manifestation through vestures and vehicles of the human constitution, call them heart, mind and hands if you will, they must all be trained, refined, purified and yes perfected. Unless you are walking around 24/7 in bliss consciousness and have no separate identity and feel at one with all that lives there is some perfecting to do. If Time is cyclical rather than linear, as the SD suggests, why not enjoy the ride? So I see it the other way. I find the term perfectibility ennobling, inspiring, and challenging. To further the mystery of it all consider Emerson’s intuitive statement about this very topic:

      “I the imperfect, adore my own Perfect.”


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Is it a garden of thought that spiritual seeker is cultivating? Do we need high ideals and big ideas to draw us forward? Is this what HPB is driving at?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      How does a student build that conviction?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What a wonderful comment. Yes your analogy works for me too. Meditation is a pulling within, like a withdrawal from manifestation, a putting to bed of the personality so that one might summon the energy to go back into the world with clarity and purpose and perform one’s duty.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Dear Friends I sincerely believe we are over thinking this. The bodhisattva ideal and the Kwan Yin pledge are not intended to be technical metaphysical statements posed for philosophical debate. No. I believe they are pointers by wise beings indicating the selfless motivation necessary to tread the spiritual path. Involution is about the one becoming the many. Evolution the many rebecoming the One. The path back leads through selflessness, or put positively realizing the Self as All in All. Theosophy teaches altruism has the highest ethical ideal and essential to spiritual progress. What represents this ideal better than the bodhisattva who puts all other beings before oneself? I think we are considering this idea too literally debating about the wrong things concerning what is finite and what infinite etc. etc.. It is like debating what pigments were used to paint the Mona Lisa. Who cares how he made the paint? It isn’t the chemistry that makes the painting interesting, it is about the magnificent and inspired art.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      If that ideal is for oneself alone how could it be higher than if it were for all humanity little less all sentient beings? Universal Salvation or Enlightenment is superior to private salvation or enlightenment. It seems rather logical.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Irham;

      I sent you a private note that might not have gotten through. I will email it to you. Yes a new discussion in the Key Concepts/Theosophical Tenets section and was begun about a week ago. Human Perfectibility. We hope to get through all 10 (there are probably more) eventually. We keep the discussions open for people to add to them whenever they want. This one has had a great deal of activity and participation with many thanks to you on that score.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I think when anyone practices anything one will quickly know if fruit is being born. Piano, guitar, tennis, bowling, speech restraint, meditation, kindness etc. Those who look for quantum leaps, little less short cuts, to the penultimate goal of enlightenment will always be thwarted because it is not supported by Nature. Nature, that would include all human beings, progresses by increments. Look at the rings on a giant sequoia tree, which show one very small ring for each year. Reincarnation is a crucial doctrine in this process because self-mastery and Self-Realization are too lofty a goal to be achieved simply in one lifetime. Besides why should we rush. The desire to rush itself is an impediment. As Mr. Judge says, “we are right now living our immortal lives.”


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      The idea of pure mind is used twice in this text. In the Zorastrian tradition what does pure mind refer to?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      The teaching of reincarnation as communicated through the Secret Doctrine is essentially once the monad reaches the human stage of development it cannot backslide into lower forms of life.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Great question. From one point of view the vestures could be one answer. The entire human constitution needs to be more porous to the energies of the higher planes, more resilient to disruption from below. From a philosophical point of view perfectibility could be thought of in terms of clarity and accuracy of perception along with the removal of muddle and confusion. From a psychological point of view perfectibility might be characterized as an ever expanding circle of identity with one’s fellow man and nature. Metaphyscially it might be thought of as purification of elementals. I am sure there are other ways to look at it.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      For me this is precisely why the Secret Doctrine is such a great aid in comparative religious investigation. If you want to see the metaphysical basis and be pointed to the esoteric meaning of these texts HPB gave us The Secret Doctrine. Without it I sense that the whole field is a morass of conflicting opinions.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Well man seems to be the bridge between the unmanifest and the manifest, between form and the formless. The whole evolutionary scheme appears to run through Man. So human perfectibility would be absolutely essential to the whole process.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Irfan, might I add one thought to your wonderful observation? Realizing the SELF, or God, or Brahman or the One does indeed seem to be the essential element of all these endeavors. The other side of the coin is the practice. We progressively realize the SELF or God through seeing it in our fellow man and looking for it in ourselves. Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood is the practical side of the quest. There can be no one without the other. This is why Theosophy emphasizes and in fact insists upon it. And this is exactly where organized religion has fallen down. We cannot profess to seeking God, or the All in All, if we are unwilling to acknowledge it in each other.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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/


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Add to this the connection between motion and sound. There cannot be vibration without motion. Sound underlies the manifest universe we are told.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What a beautiful and illustrative metaphor. It really bring the point home. New leaves appear on the tree every year but the tree remains. Nature provides the best analogies.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      You can add HPB to that list.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Right on sister! Well said.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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!


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry 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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

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


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      In this case?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I am not convinced that the idea of reincarnation was withheld at all. We have the entire sub continent of India in our present day which lives in a culture that assumes reincarnation. It was certainly not revealed to them through the modern theosophical movement. What we know through historians and the written record is fragmentary at best. I don’t believe we know all that much about ancient societies, our knowledge in these fields, as revealed by HPB is scant.

      Here is an alternative view from a writer, outside the theosophical world, who has made an independent study on this very point. Paul Van Ward. He promotes independent research on the reincarnation topic:

      “Scholars report that traditional Teutons, Celts, and Gauls accepted the “reality” of reincarnation.* Other historical sources referring to reincarnation include the sagas of the Northmen, the lore of the Druids, Eskimos, Sioux, Zunis, and Incas, and the tales of the Pacific peoples of Hawaii, Australia, and the South Sea.** In the Orient, including Japan and Eastern Russia, such reports are pervasive and detailed. *[The Enigma of the Hereafter, Paul Siwek], **[Reincarnation: The Hope of the World, Irving S. Cooper]

      Many other accounts demonstrate that beliefs similar to these were widespread in ancient times. Given the partial historical records and difficult-to-interpret ancient languages, modern scholars cannot construct a complete and reliable history of all the worldviews that encompassed what we call the principle of reincarnation.”

      Read the larger article here: http://www.reincarnationexperiment.org/reincarnationhistory.html

      Food for thought.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Is the duality broken down more along the lines of Male and Female or Matter and Spirit?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      David what is and who are the Philogists she is referencing?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Is the main problem of HPB’s time, and perhaps equally our own, not so much concerning humanity’s ignorance of the mysteries of life but moreover the unwillingness of the educated classes amoungst us to admit that they do not know? Does the pretension of knowing block real questioning the thinking?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Another thought on your question Jon is that the value of reincarnation in regards to ethical action is not so much the fear of future retribution but rather the essential role it plays in the validity of the whole scheme of nature. You are right when you assume that doing the right thing to avoid personal suffering is the wrong motive for action. But for an individual to begin the process of reorienting their life from the avoidance of pain and the seeking of pleasure to performing one’s duty for the good of the whole requires an understanding and confidence in the fundamental justice of Nature. Without reincarnation we cannot make that leap because we cannot account for the vast inequities of life in a one life only system. Hence it is impossible to preach the doctrine of karma without including reincarnation or rebirth into the equation. One does not make sense without the other. Once the whole logic of Nature as a system is grasped sufficiently the path to action and the need to purify motive is made clearer for the individual.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Yes, in the original sense, to bind back, to unite (re-ligare), to make whole again. Karma works on behalf of the whole, never the part.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      And until we know that reincarnation is true through experience we are forced to consider it as a working hypothesis.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Further support for this explanation can be found here:
      https://www.amazon.com/Atman-Brahman-Ancient-Buddhism-Kamaleswar-Bhattacharya/dp/0881810053

      This book was published, supported and defended by one of our Tnexus students David Reigle.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      One explanation I have heard is that in those ancient cultures the idea was simply assumed the way the “One Life” doctrine is simply assumed in our modern western world. There was no need to talk about something that was such common “knowledge”. It was a “the sky is blue” sort of thing.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Karma seems to have a truing or balancing principle about it that bends to the Good, moves evolution forward, or maybe we could say is on the side of growth ultimately.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Can you say more about how Masters were exiled in Brahminical orthodoxy? When and how did this occur?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Beautifully stated Laura. Sage advice all. Your statement here is a wonderful recapitulation of the spiritual path.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Yes, I suppose you are right.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      We just watched Invictus again last night and your theory proved true. Sound off, no emotion. Sound on, mega emotion.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      It might play a role in determining what action is actually needed. If the motive is self-interested then the action chosen might be skewed in favor of getting something in return. Whereas to the degree of selflessness the greater possibility of performing the exact act that is needed and nothing more. But I am sure there are other ways of looking at this interesting question.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Following Emerson’s quote: Does Nature Speak in Parables? Is Nature Herself a parable?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Wonderful resource here. Thanks for posting both here and on UT.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Another reason parables are helpful is they are memorable and easily passed on. They have a “viral” effect that straight teaching often does not.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What role does sound and words play in creative emanation? what role do they play at the level of a human life?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      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.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Well put my friend.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Might we say that reincarnation is about the cycles of life and karma is about how they unfold?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      I was thinking about your comment here Pierre and it occurred to me that whole concept of Form has a certain illusory quality to it due to its relationship with Time. When we see a form it is a snapshot in a single moment. But actually that form is in motion, going through changes, and if we watch long enough it will change form completely. What we would call an apple changes form completely when consumed. The energies from the sugars and the transmutation of the fluids into blood render what was once called an apple into something different all together. So you get energy passing from form to form never idle never wholly stationary. It is interesting to think about.

      Check it out: https://youtu.be/n2rbpUcavGI


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Good points Jon and nirvana is I believe crudely translated as a “blowing out”. That blowing out is perhaps a blowing out of a separative sense of self. But I don’t think we should fool ourselves as to how hard that will be. That is a pretty crusty shell at this point in human evolution. I think they did a good job in the Matrix movie portraying the escape from one form of existence to another.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Do you think that desire is also a defining element of self-identification? In other words what I desire is a function of who or what I think I am?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      James and Barbara wonderful suggestions. It makes sense, we are transmuting our thinking process. I am in your debt.


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Ok, that is helpful. Then the natural next question is how do we transform lower desires into spiritual aspiration?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      It is interesting that divine perfections and sacred ash are connected. You get the impression that divine perfections are possible only when the separate sense of self is burned out. Chapter 10 of the Gita points to all these excellences, “among the Vedas I am the Sama-veda, and Indra among the Gods; among the senses and organs I am the Manas”. To gain excellence in anything you need hard work, struggle, practice, burning out excesses. Ash is to the ascetic of the East perhaps what perspiration is to the Olympic athlete.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Gerry Kiffe.

    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Yes indeed. The question then becomes which Self are we talking about?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Where does identity itself come from? And how is relevant to the concept of reincarnation?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      So Odin are your implying with this quotation that this type of yoga has to do with honoring Great Teachers?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Gary for starters I think it is fair to say that we don’t know too much about what being in a nirvanic state is like. In other words we hear and read about it but from a certain point of view it is outside the range of our normal experiences. To use a James Taylor expression from one of his songs: “Roll all my golden moments into one” might be pointing in the direction of nirvana. So yes like you say we have little tastes of it along the way in ordinary living. But I am sure you would agree that something keeps getting in the way of having more golden moments. And like you say we tend to miss the opportunity for them in the small events of our lives. The question then has to be why? What is getting in the way of more joy, more golden moments, greater appreciation, more gratitude?

      Nirvana is kind of Buddhist equivalent to the idea of enlightenment but you could equate it with perfect knowledge, or supreme joy, or a profound sense of unity and connectedness or many other descriptions. These are the kinds of phrases great beings use to refer to an experience that really is beyond words. When we love someone or something the word does not go very far in expressing what we are actually feeling.

      People that are “blissed out” are often just trapped in a personal emotional experience that separates them from others in various ways. Real Nirvana I believe would go the other way. It would be a state of higher empathy towards others, a more profound compassion, a higher awareness of what is really going on, an ability to see the line of succession in cause and effect.

      So the more nirvanic one would be, looked at this way, the more practical one would be not the opposite.

      Think of a football or baseball game. When there is a close play who has the most honest view of what happened? Certainly it is not the players or the fans. The referee or the umpire is the only person who does not have a dog in the fight and therefore is most able to judge the truth of what happened. That is the kind of detachment suggested in nirvana not necessarily some dreamy condition. It has to do with clarity not confusion, with truth and not dreams.

      Meditation, which is a necessary discipline in moving towards nirvana, is a withdrawing of oneself from the picture in a manner of speaking, is a necessary practice in gaining greater control of our lives. Why you may ask? Because we are constantly editing stuff out or changing the story to fit our likes and dislikes. And like the umpire we have to gain some objectivity if we really want to grow and move forward.

      Your thoughts?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      Is the Eye Doctrine to be connected with Bliss Immediate and the Heart Doctrine with Bliss deferred? Or is that going the wrong way with the correlations?


    • Gerry Kiffe
      Moderator
      Gerry Kiffe

      What doe these quotations say about the Heart Doctrine?

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