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THEOSOPHY WORLD ---------------------------------- February, 1998
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"The Gnostic Nature of the Theosophical Founders" by Richard
"Mindsets," Part II, by Liesel F. Deutsch
"Am I My Brother's Keeper?" by William Q Judge
"Woman of Darkness" by A Student
"Updates and New Additions to 'Theosophical History' Webpage"
by John Patrick Deveney
"Blavatsky Net Update" by Reed Carson
"Differing Translations of the 'Guide for Bodhisattvas'" by
"Clothed in the Seven Principles" by Eldon Tucker
"Commemorating G. de Purucker's Birthday" by Frank Reitemeyer
"Website With Russian Texts"
"Seeing Auras" by Paul Johnson
"A New Phase of Life" by Murray Stentiford
"Karma" by Boris de Zirkoff
"The Highest Triad" by Eldon Tucker
> The society was founded to become the Brotherhood of Humanity --
> a centre, philosophical and religious, common to all -- not as a
> propaganda for Buddhism merely . . . the T.S. is open to all,
> without distinction of "origin, caste, nation, colour, or sex
> ... or of creed."
-- H.P. Blavatsky, LUCIFER, August 1888
THE GNOSTIC NATURE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL FOUNDERS
by Richard Taylor
[based upon an April 12, 1996 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Some students revise HPB's works, others carry it on as she gave
it, or something of the two together. Regardless of approach, it
seems worthwhile to look into HPB's roots and sources, her
methods (or "skillful means," UPAYA in Buddhism) and
HPB seems to draw freely from many sources. "The Gnostics" do
make many appearances in ISIS UNVEILED, fewer in the S.D. but
"they" are still there. Quoted about 10 times less than Hindu
and Buddhist ideas, it is hardly enough "hits" to make a case
over and against what the karmically-inclined Easterners are
Yet who are these amorphous "Gnostics"? Are they opposed to moral
teachings and karma? HPB mentions the Ophites, the Marconites,
and quite a few others. And if you read closely (not between the
lines, mind you, but just at the words themselves) we see that
HPB is arguing against the incorrect portrayal of Gnostics by the
very prejudiced and threatened Church Fathers, including
Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, Eusebius, etc.
Before the actual discovery in 1945 of the 12 Gnostic Codices
near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi, the vast majority of our
knowledge about Gnostics was in the form of (partisan) quotation
in the body of opposite-thinking writers. The one exception is
of course Plotinus, who in his Enneads (organized into sets of
"nine," hence "enneads" by his disciple Porphyry) has a section
"Against the Gnostics" where he disputes with them about
impugning the character of the Demi-urge and his (lower)
creations, but largely agrees with most of their conceptions.
As Elaine Pagels has written in her book, THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS,
history is written by the winners. And as Ron Cameron, author of
THE OTHER BIBLE, taught me when I was in his class, who would
have more reason to misrepresent and libel the Gnostics than the
early orthodoxy? How can we really trust what they wrote? Their
whole purpose was to undermine the credibility of the Gnostics
and crush the entire movement, by polemic as long as possible and
by force when necessary.
What better way to undermine threatening esoteric teachers than
by maiming them morally during their lives, or preferably after
they are dead when they can't argue anymore?
Why, we see this taking place in mailing lists daily, where
people who want to think their own way find it necessary to slash
and burn HPB in order to clear-cut a path for themselves. If one
cannot assault the philosophy of HPB or the Gnostics, slander
them morally, make them hypocritical demons, and then the
difficult philosophy can be backgrounded. It is an old and
time-honored tradition of the black-hearted.
Thus the Gnostics were characterized by the early heresiologists
as "antinomian" meaning above or beyond the law. And Irenaeus in
his tiresome tome LIBROS QUINQUE ADVERSUS HAERESES raises the
names of group after group only to slam them down again with
words like "licentious," "morally corrupt," "child-sacrificers,"
"eaters of the hearts of the innocents." Their philosophy gets
short shrift analytically. It is not clear Irenaeus even
Modern scholars, one and all, have deep suspicions as to whether
any of this occurred. Rather, it was a rhetorical polemic
designed to castigate the Gnostic groups when attacks upon their
philosophy failed. There appears no evidence that ANY Gnostic
groups were sacrificing children, than ANY groups were eating
human hearts, etc.
It is probably true, however, that some Gnostics, in their
contempt of the worldly laws and the Creator who ordained them,
became sexually quite giddy and imagined themselves free of
karma. This is a minority group, and probably confined to
Western provinces (round Rome).
As documented in the 50-odd texts of THE NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY IN
ENGLISH edited by James Robinson, the majority schools of
Gnostics -- Sethians (Ophites), Valentinians, and even the very
Christian Marcionites, if they are to be included as Gnostics --
were extremely concerned with morals, and held themselves to much
higher standards than the orthodox Christians, whom they felt
were much lower. The characterization the Gnostics used for
themselves was "PNEUMATIKOI" meaning "Those of the Spirit" while
ordinary Christians, the mediocre run who took no vows and
studied no hidden wisdom, were deemed "PSYCHIKOI" or "Those of
the Psyche", which was still above those mongrels, the
materialists like the Sadducees etc.
All of that said, we find HPB upholding time and again the moral
purity of the Gnostics and the philosophical purity of their
works, as opposed to mainstream Christianity. She does not side
with the orgiastic and licentious groups, and NEVER quotes them.
I defy anyone to locate a quote from any antinomian Gnostic in
HPB's works. All her quotes are from the followers of Valentinus
-- Marcus etc. who were of the morally rigid traditions.
It should be no surprise that Theosophists have divided
themselves into similar categories today -- one side following
the "original program" of Theosophy and its Founders, and the
other imagining that Theosophy is passe, or grotesquely
misinterpreting its Founders as "materialistic determinists".
HPB used blinds in her teaching, and she tailored her teachings
to suit Western people where they were. She most certainly did
both of these things.
That does not mean that she lied, or said things she didn't mean,
or that she was kidding about ethics and moral purity. She says
it too often and in too many places to pretend we can overlook
it. "Skillful means" in Buddhism, and in the myths of Plato, and
in the Neo-Platonists under Plotinus (called sometimes the
Analogeticists), doesn't mean outright lies for the benefit of
the student, but truths which are not the whole truth. Cf.
Plato's myth of Er, in THE REPUBLIC, where the soul after death
spends 1,000 years in a nice place or a rotten one, and then gets
assigned to its next body. This is a mythical (not a LITERAL)
portrayal of karma and reincarnation.
Jesus does the same in the parables. They are true so far as
they go, but hint at much deeper truths. It is a vast
misunderstanding of HPB and her Teachers to assume that they were
joking about ethics, or that they told untruths only to hook the
poor Victorians. Rather, these pioneers ruined their reputations
and fortunes spreading ideas that were exactly COUNTER to
traditional Victorian thought. This is not pandering to the
masses, as you suggest, but dedication to the eternal truths.
MINDSETS, Part II
by Liesel F. Deutsch
I'm coming around now to a 150-year-old medical lecture we
studied in my American Women's History class last year. This is
the document which first made me realize, rather forcefully, how
much the modus vivendi of the women of that time was influenced
by the mind-set of their 19th century culture. Having later on
come across the history of previous European centuries, I can now
see how much of an advance the 19th century was over the
medieval, mindset. There were considerable changes, although
traces of the medieval could still be found. The wholesale
torturing and killing had ceased. Men were still the Lords and
Masters of inferior women, but they only spanked them, and ruled
the households. It gave greater possibilities for positive
bonding between the two, even though many customs still put the
relationship under a strain. The ideas to be gathered from this
medical lecture, from January 1847, seem like a bridge between
the medieval and our present day . . . the most obvious
difference being that we've come much further with the study of
anatomy, which is barely touched upon in the 1947 lecture, by an
obstetrician/gynecologist. Dr. Charles D. Meigs, greatly
impressed his students with "On Some of the Distinctive
Characteristics of the Female." The admiring students had the
lecture printed up in his honor:
"She has nowhere been admitted to the political rights . . .
The great administrative faculties are not hers. She . . .
leads no armies into battle, the Forum is no theater for her
silver voice, she discerns not the course of the planets. Orion
. . . and Aructus . . . are naught (to her) but pretty
baubles set up in the sky . . . She composes no Iliad . . .
Home is her place, except when, like the star of day, she deigns
to issue forth into the world, to exhibit her beauty and her
grace, and to scatter her smiles upon all that are worthy to
receive so rich a boon . . . it is by mere contrast of her
gentleness, her docility, her submissiveness, and patience that
she makes herself the queen . . . modesty is one of her
strongest attractions . . . She has a head almost too small
for intellect, but just big enough for love."
See, now? The medieval suspicion and hatred have dissipated.
Instead, it's very evident that Dr. Meigs is really fond of the
ladies, and can allow himself to show it. I can see him, and the
whole class of young men beaming at the picture he painted. And
yet, from our 20th century point of view how skewed it still is!
Women were now beautiful . . . but only because they were
"gentle, docile, and submissive" . . . traits thought to be
inborn in women. The ladies tried to live up to this mind-set,
because any voice they had in what was happening around them, was
given to them by their men. They had to be gentle and
submissive, and I guess had to learn how to wheedle as well . .
. A far cry from being burned at the stake for all sorts of ugly
reasons, but still an echo of it. It still survives somewhat
today . . . an aggressive man is admired, an aggressive woman
is often called a "bitch."
I own a rather nice recording of chamber music, composed, around
that time, by Fannie Mendelssohn, Felix' sister. Fannie was
lucky enough to have married a man who allowed her to compose.
But then, she had trouble getting her chamber music performed.
On occasion, when some quartet really did one of her opuses,
probably to do brother Felix a favor, they were all truly
astonished that a woman could compose that well. On the same CD,
there's also a composition by one of Fannie's contemporaries,
Clara Schumann. Her husband, Robert S., had decided that he
wanted her to stay home and have eight kids. So she gave up a
very promising career as a concert pianist and composer to raise
her family. According to her biography, she felt frustrated
because she lacked the time to devote to her music. But she
probably just accepted it for being in the nature of things.
Most women did. There was the mindset that women were to have
kids, run the household, and also that it was their womanly duty
to submit to the wishes of their men. How much wasted talent was
thus lost to the world! Mindset leads to Karma. There were no women
composers or performers of note . . . for a few thousand
People of that time thought that women's smaller heads meant that
their intellect was smaller. Meigs states that they were neither
writers, nor astronomers, nor statesmen. It was deemed that
especially Math and the Sciences were too difficult for women .
. . that these studies would adversely affect their nervous
systems, and their reproductive functions. So the ladies did
their math on their quilts, and their fancy crocheting. They did
their science while they dreamed up cake recipes.
Meigs' description of how she beamingly "deigns to issue forth
into the world . . . to exhibit her beauty and her grace . .
. scattering smiles upon all . . . worthy . . . " makes me
giggle. That dear lady probably had just finished doing her
laundry, her kitchen floor, and had just changed her baby's
diaper. Of course she would be beaming when she finally found a
moment to come out into the sunshine.
Let me preface this next vignette by telling you that in those
days future obstetricians learned their profession from medical
school charts, and that when they later on delivered babies, they
did so by feel, because the woman's modesty was more sacred than
the well-being of her or of the baby. Please also note that
using the service of a gynecologist/obstetrician was then very
much a la mode. After all, they had learned their profession in
Medical School. The day of the midwife, long knowledgeable from
hundreds of years of experience, had passed with the Inquisition.
Midwives were, after all, only women. Their healing ways were
suspect, magic. Since the ladies had many children in the 19th
century, and even many more pregnancies, obstetrics/gynecology
was a very profitable profession. Doctors, including the
venerable Dr. Meigs, were all quite confident that their
medical-school knowhow was quite superior, a mind set which
maimed and snuffed out many lives . . . once more, with the
best of intentions. Still, let's give them credit to have gotten
away from the medieval, mindset that the pains of childbirth were
God's punishment for the descendants of Eve.
In another part of Dr. Meigs' lecture, he acknowledges: "her
master and lord, . . . it is true to say so, since . . .
she is still in a manner in bonds, and the manacles of custom."
The astute Dr. Meigs recognizes at least some of the "manacles"
of the "custom" of his time. Let me suggest that one of those
manacles was "modesty, one of her strongest attractions," Dr.
Meigs had called it. Well that strongest of attractions proved
to be the downfall of our next hero, Dr. James White, of
The innovative and daring Dr. White had the bright idea that it
would be useful for his medical students, all future
obstetricians of America, to actually watch him deliver a baby.
For this purpose he had paid an indigent woman, Mary Watson, to
allow his students to be present while he assisted in Mary's
delivery. Even though Mary Watson was also modestly draped under
a blanket while her baby was being born, the attending
obstetrical students thought they'd learned a great deal from
observing the event. The local AMA, however, when they learned
of what had transpired, castigated poor Dr. White. The scandal
spilled over into the newspapers, and ended with Dr. White being
severely censured by the AMA. So much for imagination! He was
just too innovative for the prevailing mindset of his time.
Again, the beliefs of the times had a long range karmic effect on
everyone concerned? (While writing this essay, which is so
concerned with the cockeyedness of people's beliefs, I'm
beginning to realize why our Teacher Harry Van Gelder kept on
admonishing "Don't believe! Find out!"
Now we get down to grappling with the present day. Our ideas on
women seem to run in two directions. Some people want the ladies
to be absolutely free to do anything and everything the men do,
and some want to put them back into the kitchen . . . and of
course there are many shades of opinion between these two.
Looking at the first-mentioned as the possible next advance,
(except that I think the men should contribute their best thing,
and the ladies should contribute theirs, and never mind the
competition) we note that most women work today, partly due to
the invention of washing machines, dishwashers and etc., partly
due to economic necessity, partly due to that working suits them
better than staying home. Even so, they are often still paid
less than men; often get only the menial jobs. The ones educated
and lucky enough to reach an upper echelon, often experience the
"glass ceiling" phenomenon. All three of these are hangovers
from the era when women were believed to be worth less than men
(as they still are in present day India and China). What I hear
from these working women of today is that it's a total rat race.
They must schedule their time very tightly to be able to give
some time to jobs, to children and to husbands, and if time
permits to doing up the house; that they're always on the go, and
get "frazzled out" trying to meet all their obligations. Partly
peripheral to that, their teenaged kids have guns, knives and
babies, while they themselves often get divorced.
I'm too close to this state of affairs to be able to really
visualize a way out of our dilemma. I know that again our
contemporary Mindsets must be doing this. I'm not one of those
who yearns back for the "good old days." They're past. So now,
with all these modern conveniences, how can we stop running each
other ragged? They haven't been much help, even though they've by
now been augmented by packaged foods, and take out windows. So
we've gained free time, so we've taken on paid positions. Our
lives are as hard as were the lives of our forbears in 1847.
We've got to use our "smarts" to figure out how were going to get
from here to where we can make more time to enjoy each other, our
homes, our kids, our spouses and our civilization in general . .
. to say nothing about bringing up the living standards of
peoples in the 3rd world. We've got better tools to figure it
out with today . . . the findings and recommendations of the
best thinkers among our scientists, especially our social
scientists . . . with those of a few philosophers thrown in.
Maybe we're seeking to counterbalance our hectic lives somewhat
with such things as movies, boob tube, shopping sprees, short
cruises, long trips and all sorts of retreats. Some retreats are
spiritual, and/or religious. Some retreats try to bring married
men and women closer together. Some retreats try to create
better bonds among whole families. At least an attempt is being
made to spend some time being more comfortable or more leisurely.
Retreats to celebrate the Goddess seem to be relaxed and create a
counter balance to our hectic everyday life. Tennis is in vogue,
and so are health spas. But it all still has to fit into the
hectic schedule. There's got to be an easier way to build a
better roof top. Here's hoping we'll find it. Three quarters
way, would already be good. Half way?
I'd like to end this essay with an upbeat quote from "Man, the
Measure of All Things" by Prem and Ashish: "We ourselves, with
all our petty meanness, our brutal and insane cruelties, our
obscenities, our pursuit of trivial pleasures, and our misguided
ambitions, bear within us the seeds of that perfection."
AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?
by William Q. Judge
[From THE PATH, August, 1887]
Many students, in their search for light, find divers problems
presented to them for solution; questions so puzzling from the
contradictory aspects which they present, that the true course is
difficult of attainment for those who seek Right Living.
One of these questions, Is it our duty to interfere if we see a
wrong being done? arises.
The question of duty is one that can be decided fully only by
each individual himself. No code of laws or table of rules
unchanging and inflexible will be given, under which all must
act, or find duty.
We are so ignorant or so newly acquainted with a portion of the
Divine Will that generally we are poorly fitted to declare
decisively what is wrong, or evil.
Each man is the law unto himself -- the law as to right and
wrong, good and evil. No other individual may violate the law of
that man, any more than any other law, without producing the
inevitable result, the penalty of an infracted law.
I dare not declare that any one thing or course is evil in
*another*. For me it may be evil. I am not wise enough to know
what it is for another. Only the Supreme knows, for He only can
read the heart, the mind, the soul of each. "Thou shalt not
judge," saith the sacred writing.
My duty is clear in many places, but in the performing of it I
may neither act as a judge or hold animosity, anger, or disgust.
Were a man to abuse an animal, surely I must interfere to prevent
suffering to the helpless, dumb and weak, for so we are enjoined.
This done, my duty lies in helping my brother, for he knew not
what he did.
My aim is to find Wisdom, and my duty, to do away with ignorance
wherever it is encountered. His act was caused by ignorance.
Were a man to abuse wife or child through unwise use of wine or
drug truly it is my duty to prevent suffering or sorrow for
either wife or child, and also to prevent greater misery --
perhaps murder. They are human beings, my fellows. This done,
my duty lies toward the man, not in condemnation, but seeking the
cause that makes him unwise, strive to alleviate -- if not free
him from it. He also is my brother.
If men steal, lie, cheat, betray the innocent or are betrayed by
the knowing, my duty lies in preventing for others, if I may,
sorrow and anguish, pain and want, misery, suicide or bloodshed,
which may be, for *others* the result of these acts.
My duty lies in preventing effects such as these from love for
and a desire to help all men, not because men's actions seem to
me wrong or their courses evil. I know not the causes of their
actions, nor all the reasons why they are permitted. How then
may I say this or that man is evil, this or that thing is wrong?
The *effects* may to *me* seem evil, inasmuch as such appears to
be the result for others. Here my duty is to prevent evil to
other mortals in the way that seems most wise.
> Finally this is better that one do
> His own task as he may even though he fail,
> Than take tasks not his own, though they seem good.
> -- THE SONG CELESTIAL (BHAGAVAD-GITA)
He who seeks "the small old path" has many duties to perform.
His duty to mankind, his family -- nature -- himself and his
creator, but duty here means something very different from that
which is conveyed by the time and lip-worn word, *Duty*. Our
comprehension of the term is generally based upon society's or
man's selfish interpretation. It is quite generally thought that
duty means the performance of a series of acts which *others*
think *I* ought to perform, whereas, it more truly means the
performance of actions by me which *I know* are good for
*others*, or the wisest at the moment.
It would be quite dangerous for me to take upon myself the duty
of another, either because he told me it was good, or that it was
duty. It would be dangerous for him and me if I assumed that
which he felt it was good to do, for that is his duty, and cannot
be mine. That which is given him to do I cannot do for him.
That which is given me to do no living thing can do for me. If I
attempt to do another's duty then I assume that which belongs not
to me, was not given. I am a thief, taking that which does not
belong to me. My brother consenting thereto becomes an idler,
fails to comprehend the lesson, shifts the responsibility, and
between us we accomplish nothing.
We are instructed to do good. That is duty. In doing good all
that we do is covered, that for which we are here is being
accomplished and that is -- duty. We are enjoined to do good
*where it is safe*. Not safe for ourselves, but safe for the
objects toward which our duty points. Often we behold beings
suffering great wrong. Our emotions prompt us to rush forward
and in some way prevent the continuance of it. Still the wise
man knows it is not safe. Were he to do so his efforts would
only arouse the antagonism and passions of superior numbers,
whose unrestrained and ungoverned wills would culminate in the
perpetration of greater wrongs upon the one who already suffers.
It is safe to do good, or my duty, after I find how to do it in
the way that will not create evil, harm others or beget greater
For him who seeks the upward way there is no duty -- for nothing
is a duty. He has learned that the word conveys an erroneous
meaning when applied to the doings of the Seeker. It implies the
performance of that which savors of a task, or a certain required
or demanded act necessary before progress is made or other deeds
be performed. Of duty, there is none such as this.
He learns to do good and that which appears the wisest at the
time, forgetting self so fully that he only knows his doing good
to others -- forgetting self so far that he forgets to think
whether he is doing his duty or not -- entering Nirvana to this
extent that he does not remember that he is doing his duty. That
*for him* is duty.
"Resist not evil," [Mt. 5, 39] saith one of the Wise. He who
said this knew full well his duty, and desired to convey to us
knowledge. That he did not mean men to sit idly by while
ignorance let slip the dogs of pain, anguish, suffering, want and
murder, is surely true. That he did not mean men to kneel in
puerile simulation of holiness by the roadside, while their
fellow men suffer torture, wrong or abuse, is still more true.
That he did not intend a man to sit silently a looker-on while
that which is called evil worked its will upon others when by the
lifting of a finger, perhaps, its intentions might be thwarted
and annulled -- is truth itself. These all would be neglect of a
portion of the whole duty of man. He who taught that men should
"resist not evil" desired them only to forget themselves. Men
think that all things which are disagreeable to them, are evil.
By resistance he meant complaint, anger and objection to or
against the inevitable, disagreeable or sorrowful things of life,
that come to self, and he *did not* mean man to go forth in the
guise of a martyr, hugging these same penalties to his bosom
while he proclaims himself thereby the possessor of the magic
*pass word* (which he will never own and which is never uttered
in that way): *I have Suffered.*
If men revile, persecute or wrong one, why resist? Perhaps it is
evil, but so long as it affects one's-self only, it is no great
matter. If want, sorrow or pain come to one why resist or cry
out? In the resistance or war against them we create greater
evils. Coming to one's-self, they should have little weight,
while at the same time they carry invaluable lessons in their
hands. Rightly studied they cause one to forget himself in the
desire to assist others when similarly placed, and the Lotus of
duty -- or love for man -- to bloom out of the Nile mire of life.
Resist not evil, for it is inseparable from life. It is our duty
to live, and accept uncomplainingly, all of life. Resist not
evil, but rather learn of it all the good which in reality it
Seek in it, as well as the gleaming good, for *the Mystery*, and
there will come forth from both the self-same form upon whose
forehead is written "Duty," which being interpreted, meaneth
efforts for the good of all *other* men, and over whose heart is
written: "I am my brother's keeper."
WOMAN OF DARKNESS
by A Student
[From a private collection of poetry, written April 1977.]
Warm-and-gentle woman, your embrace touches and comforts all that
lives. When your face breaks into a smile, happiness takes on
color. And when you darken in anger, rage becomes hot and
You are the blackness of space to be found behind anything,
anytime. To see you is to create and animate outer things. When
you are forgotten, the daily round of things turns grey and
The beauty of love, the magical powers of things, the experiences
of living life all exist as shadows cast by the stunning,
explosive peace and silence of your black, warm space.
Nothing can be said -- one cannot touch the golden, burning
hunger for return -- to do so is fatal. Words like *joyous* and
*sacred* shame one.
Beloved woman, you are the sunlight that creates these images
when we let you pass through stained-glass windows we've
fashioned with our own hands.
One cannot see you without feeling the terrible wound. The wound
is only forgotten when one turns his back on you, or returns to
your arms in death.
The wound is life itself and can only be healed at its end. And
the more one loves you, and the more he dares look upon your
glowing face, the deeper and more painful the wound becomes. But
one cannot help it.
Love for you compels one to bleed more and more. And the pain
becomes unspeakable. But you gently smile, for each drop of
blood brings joy and happiness to living things.
People sometimes try to draw you -- that is the only time you
frown. For you belong to no one, and to no image. Those who
love you can only respectfully smile in silence.
UPDATES AND NEW ADDITIONS TO 'THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY' WEBPAGE
by John Patrick Deveney
The Theosophical History Webpage has been updated and a great
deal of new and exciting material added! Check it out at:
* The current issue of Theosophical History journal, Volume
VII/1, January 1998, is almost available, with articles and
comments by Jean Overton Fuller, Dan Merkur, Alan Donant and
* Theosophical History Occasional Papers, Volume VI is now
available: Astral Projection or Liberation of the Double and
the Work of the Early Theosophical Society, by John Patrick
* The full text of the Forewords by James A. Santucci to the
Astral Projection monograph and to earlier Occasional Papers by
Govert Schuller and Jean-Louis Siemons have been uploaded to
the Webpage, together with the Editor's Comments to VI/8 and an
original contribution by Professor Santucci on Women in the TS
* The email addresses of several notable scholars in the field
have been added to the list of Collaborators and Colleagues of
the journal, including Daniel Caracostea and Wouter
Hanegraaff. This a convenient way to exchange information and
thoughts with others in the area. If you have a scholarly
interest in the field, send us your email address and
interests for posting.
* The Table of Contents of Volume VI (1996-1997) of the journal,
prepared by Daniel Caracostea of Paris, has been added to the
Webpage -- a very helpful tool for research.
* The formal announcement and call for papers for the Edmonton
Theosophical Society's conference in Edmonton in July 1998 has
Check out the page now, and don't hesitate to send in your
comments, notes, and inquiries, and contributions to:
BLAVATSKY NEW UPDATE
by Reed Carson
The full text of 72 articles by Blavatsky has now been added to
This brings the total to 236 articles of Blavatsky with the full
text online. Thanks to Vic Hao Chin for providing the proofread
Also during recent months:
a) A new article has been added to the evidence section called
"Blavatsky's Foreknowledge of the Wave/Particle Duality of
Light". It offers suggestive evidence that in the previous
century Blavatsky was taught some of "this century's" science.
b) In the "more resources" section a pointer has been added to 99
quotations that show the commonality of the ideas of karma and
the Absolute in the religious traditions of the world. The
collection is striking.
c) The refutation page has been markedly strengthened. A pointer
has been added to yet another repudiation of K. Paul
Johnson's "suggestions". Another pointer gives a blow by blow
analysis of a number of errors in Peter Washington's
misleading "Blavatsky's Baboon" book. Another pointer
suggests standards for future biographies of HPB. (Future
writers should see this one.) This refutation page represents
the work of numerous Theosophists (actually many in total).
Altogether the weight of the cumulative defense of Blavatsky
is impressive and substantial.
d) At the request of visitors to the site there is now a Spanish
section and a Russian section. Eight articles of Blavatsky
are now translated into Russian. (Volunteer translators are
e) The events page has been revived and now points to three
f) A major "facelift" has been applied throughout the site.
g) The Roadmap now includes several more pointers to other
Theosophical sites on the web.
DIFFERING TRANSLATIONS OF THE "GUIDE FOR BODHISATTVAS"
by Nicholas Weeks
[based upon an July 13, 1997 posting to
In the past few years there have been three new English
translations of Shantideva's (early 8th century) GUIDE FOR
In 1995, THE BODHICARYAVATARA, trans. by Crosby & Skilton,
Oxford U. Press came out. It has much scholarly comment & notes
to each chapter and many of the verses. It is from the Sanskrit.
In 1997, THE WAY OF THE BODHISATTVA, trans. by the Padmakara
Translation group, Shambhala. It is from the Tibetan, with
comparison with the Sanskrit. It follows the Nyingma commentary
Also in 1997, A GUIDE TO THE BODHISATTVA WAY OF LIFE, trans. by
Alan Wallace, Snow Lion. He follows the Sanskrit, but give any
significant differences from the Tibetan in footnotes. Also a
traditional Indian commentary is quoted in footnotes on occasion.
To give a slight taste of the differing styles and languages
consider verses 5 & 6 from chapter one.
Crosby & Skilton:
> At night in darkness thick with clouds a lightning flash gives a
> moment's brightness. So, sometime, by the power of the Buddha,
> the mind of the world might for a moment turn to acts of merit.
> This being so, the power of good is always weak, while the power
> of evil is vast and terrible. What other good could conquer
> that, were there not the perfect Awakening Mind?
> As when a flash of lightning rends the night,
> And in its glare shows all the dark black clouds had hid,
> Likewise rarely, through the Buddha' power,
> Virtuous thoughts rise, brief and transient, in the world.
> Thus behold the utter frailty of goodness!
> Except for perfect bodhichitta,
> There is nothing to withstand
> The great and overwhelming strength of evil.
> Just as lightning illuminates the darkness of a cloudy night for
> an instant, in the same way, by the power of the Buddha,
> occasionally people's minds are momentarily inclined toward
> Thus, virtue is perpetually ever so feeble, while the power of
> vice is great and extremely dreadful. If there were no Spirit of
> Perfect Awakening, what other virtue would overcome it?
CLOTHED IN THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an September 5, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
The question is sometimes posed: What purpose is there to gradual
evolution if we can leave behind space-time and be perfect? Why
go on, through the grind of evolution, if it all comes to the
same end, to homogenous, unmanifest perfection? If we just end up
where we've started, why go through the process in the first
We are taught that the process of evolution does produce results,
there is something that is attained, even when manifestation is
left behind at the close of some great Manvantara. There is
self-consciousness, the aroma or essence of the wisdom acquired
through the process of evolution. This self-consciousness is
akin to the lighting of a fire, it is an insight, an awareness, a
sensitivity to the vastness of life.
As part of our spiritual practice, we are taught to become
unselfconscious, to forget our personal selves. This involves
the gradual raising of the seat of our awareness from the
personal self, from the lower human Ego, to the higher Self
within. We learn to forget the fact that we are such-and-such a
person -- perhaps overweight, with a big nose, fond of pizza,
wanting a better job. We come to dwell in grand, universal
thoughts and sentiments. We learn to live for others, rather
than for ourselves, and our awareness shifts from our personal
needs to the bigger needs of humanity in general.
The spark of self-consciousness, imprisoned in the personality,
is gradually freed. It is enabled to rise one step higher within
our constitution, one step closer to our inner source, one step
towards liberation. This is the treasure of existence, the prize
that we are seeking to claim through our evolutionary journey.
We must nurture this spark, and take it with it, upward and
inward. By the time that we have brought it back to the
threshold of Nirvana, it is not merely a spark, but a fire of
We first awaken the higher principles, and bring them into
activity in our outer lives: Higher Manas, Buddhi- Manas, Buddhi,
Atma-Buddha, Atma, then Auric Egg-Atma. There are many steps of
opening them, many flowerings of our inner natures that await us.
After the initial awakenings, the principles grow to full
strength and maturity. They become positively inflamed with the
radiance of our inner spirituality. Manas becomes
Manas-inflamed, Manas-Taijas, Buddhi becomes Buddhi- inflamed,
As the Manvantara approaches its close, and the vast period of
evolution prepares to end, we leave behind our attributes of
existence, our Skandhas, and withdraw the flame inward, into the
unmanifest. We take it with us.
But what is the unmanifest? Where is it? How is it part of us?
There are levels to it as well, levels that are a logical
necessity arising out of the relation of the Unknowable to the
manifest universe, of the relation of That, Tat, the Ultimate
Mystery, to This, Idam, the Outward, Apparent Nature of Things.
This relationship fits in neatly with the tenfold or twelvefold
principles of being, the fabric of consciousness.
Consider first the manifest universe. We begin with a sense of
Being, a sense that existence is happening, a sense that life is
starting again. There is no separateness, no sense of
me-and-him, all is One. This is the consciousness of the first
principle of manifest consciousness: Atman. Even with this,
though, there is a slight flavor to things, derived from the
essential nature of the great Being who plays host to the world
to be, the Being whose embodiment allows for the creation of the
new world or universe.
Picture a fish tank. Even if the fish tank is uninhabited, it
has its own unique shape, and there is a certain unique color and
flavor to its water, which is different than any other tank.
This is the Dharmakaya vesture, where there is absolutely no
sense of there being more than one person, one individual, one
Self to all that is.
Even with but the Atmic principle, thought, there is something
more than just the darkness of the unmanifest. There has been
added the sense of Being, the sense of an essential nature, the
sense of connectedness to that plane on which the world is in
The second step in taking on concrete existence, in further
differentiating our consciousness, comes with Buddhi. With this
principle, we being to manifest individual differences in our
awareness and perception. We see ourselves as composed of a
karmic web, as consisting of a bundle of relationships with
others. This is the level of consciousness where there first is
a sense of cocreation, of jointly participating in the creation
of the world to be. We see ourselves as not just being in
relation to others, but as *being those relationships.* At this
level, we have taken on our body of causes, our Karanopadhi, our
bundle of living relationships with others. These relationships,
which compose a dynamic interplay between us and others, define
the karmic give and take between us and them. Karma is not some
exterior force, not some outside agency making sure that we are
punished for being bad. It is rather the living, dynamic bonds
of life between us and others that makes us (and them) what we
are. And it is through these living bonds that we cocreate the
world to be.
The third step is to separate ourselves from these bonds of
relationship, to perceive ourselves as apart from them. We take
on a sense of personal selfhood in Manas. With higher Manas,
which gravitates upwards, we have a higher Self. With lower
Manas, gravitating downwards, we have the lower self. With this
further separation off from the unmanifest, from the unity of
life, we now have a sense of Ego, a sense that we are a different
being from the others in the world.
It should be noted that we are talking about our coming into
being, about our taking on of the fabric of consciousness in a
particular world or universe. We are talking about coming into
manifestation, as individuals, on a particular plane, on a
particular Globe. This does not deal with the entirety of us.
It involves looking at how we take on manifest existence; but it
does not address the imperishable, timeless, perfect nature of
our innermost core, something rooted in the Grand Unknowable.
This rootedness is not dependent upon our being in existence, nor
being out of existence. It is unchanging and independent of
anything we may do, or anywhere we may be.
Having taken on the sense of Ego, with Manas, we now have taken
on a sense of selfhood. We have taken on that kind of experience
in the world. We are aware of ourselves existing, as separate
individuals, with our own personal natures, in a particular
world. This sense of selfhood, though, does not necessarily
imply the fire of self- consciousness. That light of
consciousness, that radiance, must work its way through the
principles, over vast evolutionary time periods. That principle
where it resides is the one that we call our "seat of
consciousness." And we are always at work seeking to shift it
upward and inward.
Now that we have a sense of personal selfhood, we are getting
closer to the point where we are ready to engage in activity.
The next stage, with Kama, is the desire to do things. We need
to care about activity. There needs to be meaning and purpose to
our existence. We need to have particular things to care about,
things to do in life. These things could be ignoble, if Kama
takes on that direction, or they could be acts of heroic
compassion, if Kama is directed at the highest. Without Kama to
ensnare us in outer existence, we would remain in Manas, in a
sense of contented personal selfhood, disinterested in outer
life. (It is in just this very state, that we pass through the
other Globes, when dead, as we live out our Devachan in the bosom
of the Spiritual Monad.)
Having taken on Kama, and truly caring to do things, what do we
need next? Life-energies, the power or force or ability to take
on motion, to engage in activity, to change. This is Prana, and
before we take it on, we are in a *static* state, where we desire
to do things, but do not have the capability to take on motion,
to change ourselves and the outside world, to live out what we
would do. We draw on the surrounding life energies of the world,
Jiva, and what we are able to contain and direct become our
personal life energies, our Prana, and we are able now to not
only *want* things, but also to *effect changes* on them.
To this point, we have been dealing with consciousness, with life
energies, with our experience of things. This is the life side.
But to actually do things, we need to engage the form side of
things as well. And with the next principle, the Astral or
Linga-Sharira, we take on *sense perception.* We see, touch,
taste, and smell. We take on sensory perception of the outer
world. We come into relationship with others in terms of form,
the mirror opposite of Buddhi, where we come into relationship
with others in terms of life.
At this stage, we have all our principles, minus but the physical
body. Were we fully consciousness in this state, we could see
and observe everything happening in the world -- and change
things as well, via Prana -- but there was no living, organic,
physical body anchoring us as being in a particular place, acting
as our proxy in the world. One must be a Bodhisattva to function
in this state, even the Mahatmas have physical bodies. But apart
from this state, it is possible to exist in a temporary,
mind-created form, of semi-physical nature, somewhat more
material than the state of pure perception of the Nirmanakaya.
This mind-created form is the Mayavi-Rupa, and Masters and
advanced Chelas are able to exist apart from their physical
bodies in such forms.
The last principle, as mentioned, is the Sthula-Sharira or
physical body. This principle is the lowest that we go in
materiality, the lowest of the sevenfold or tenfold principles.
With it, we reach the ultimate state of concreteness, where we
take on a specific locality, and take on a form as the proxy and
channel for our consciousness. (There *is* one lower state, in
the twelvefold scheme, which is related to avitchi or
hell-consciousness, but it's a bit too complicated to get into in
To this point, we have been discussing the coming into manifest
existence, through the process of clothing ourselves in the seven
principles. We take on the fabric of consciousness, from the
storehouse of the world or universe in which we would exist. We
gather our Shandkas or bundles of attributes, and engaged in the
process of life in that arena of existence.
What about the rest of us? What about the part of us that is
unmanifest, that goes beyond existence, that dwells in the
Silence behind outward things? I try a few words on that topic in
a later posting. (I'm already up to four pages!) That part of us
consists of the higher of the *ten* or *twelve* principles, that
make up the totality of us, as Monads.
COMMEMORATING G. DE PURUCKER'S BIRTHDAY
by Frank Reitemeyer
Today, January 15, when several Theosophists are commemorating
the birthday of Dr. Gottfried de Purucker, leader of the Point
Loma Theosophical Society from 1929-1942, it should be the right
time for a little meditation about his heartful Fraternization
Movement he started in 1929 and of her he spoke on several
occasions at various places, even in addresses and lectures
before lodges belonging to the Adyar Society. We quote a
paragraph from an Address before the Wirral Lodge (Adyar) in
Birkenhead, England, at their invitation, January, 5, 1933:
> I am trying to bring out about a reunification of the disjecta
> membra of the Theosophical Movement, i.e., of the various
> Theosophical Societies, so as to form a compact organic entity to
> do battle with the forces of obscurantism and of evil in the
> world, just as there was one organic entity, the T.S., in the
> time of H.P.B.; and I believe that this will come to pass, but
> perhaps not in my lifetime. I may be called to give an account
> of what I have done before the thing comes to pass; but verily, I
> believe with all my soul that this Theosophical unity will some
> day be an accomplished fact.
> Now we of Point Loma hold certain doctrines and hold them with
> tenacity; we love these doctrines more than life, because to us
> they are Theosophy, all of it pure Theosophy, but not all of
> Theosophy openly expressed. We of Point Loma don't like other
> strange doctrines, added on to these ancient Wisdom-Teachings of
> the gods. We don't like psychic visions added to the Message of
> the Masters. But for pity's sake is the Theosophical Movement
> not broad enough to allow its component members, its component
> fellowships, i.e., the different Theosophical Societies which
> compose it, to believe what they please, and to honor what they
> may choose to honor? If not, then the Theosophical Movement has
> degenerated; and personally I don't believe that it has
> degenerated. I take you Brothers of Adyar: you, I believe, teach
> and accept certain things that I personally cannot accept as
> Theosophy. But do I say that you are ethically wrong in holding
> to these your beliefs and in teaching them, and do I say that you
> have no right to do so? Never. My attitude has always been: give
> fellow-Theosophists a full chance; if what they profess and
> believe as truth is true, it will prove itself to be true; if
> what they profess and believe is wrong, time will uproot it. We
> of Point Loma ask for the same kindly tolerance."
> -- MESSAGES TO CONVENTIONS
Isn't it worth for us, wether we belong to that or another or to
none TS, to meditate about this statement? Isn't it time to find
peace among the Theosophical Movement and forget and forgive?
Should we not be clever enough to unite in a state of spiritual
thought and live Theosophy as Brothers under Brothers?
WEBSITE WITH RUSSIAN TEXTS
There is a new web site with texts in Russian
usopshi.ha E. Barker "Letters of alive dead" vol 1 (1914)
usop-war.ha E. Barker "Letters of alive dead" vol 2 (1915)
usop-usa.ha E. Barker "Letters of alive dead" vol 3 (1918)
teo-dict.ha Theosophical Glossary by H.P.B.
letrmah1.ha Letters of Masters of Wisdom, vol 1
letrmah1.ha Letters of Masters of Wisdom, vol 2
pis-mah.ha Mahatma letters (to Sinnett & Hume)
drevmudr.ha A. Besant "Ancient Wisdom"
ab-lest.ha A. Besant "Ladder of life"
eso-psyh.ha A. Bailey "Esoteric Psychology" (Tr. on 7 rays
ep_karma.ha E. Pisareva "Karma or low of cause & effect"
ep_mysl.zip E. Pisareva "Thought power & thoughtforms"
ep_struc.zip E. Pisareva "Complicated constitution of man"
biogr.zip E. Pisareva Short biography of H.P. Blavatsky
bowen.zip R. Bowen "H.P.B. on studying theosophy"
gita_kom.zip A. Besant "Comments to Bhagavad-Gita"
th&h.zip A. Besant "Does theosophy contradict Christianity?"
esochr.zip A. Besant "Esoteric Christianity"
O.K.-hpb.zip "Occult world of Blavatsky"
On Agni Yoga
obsh_urg.zip Commune (Urga edition)
ay.zip Agni Yoga
bezpred_1.zip Unlimitedness part 1
bezpred_2.zip Unlimitedness part 2
mo-one.zip Fireworld part 1
mo-two.zip Fireworld part 2
mo-thr.zip Fireworld part 3
brone.zip Brotherhood part 1
brtwo.zip Brotherhood part 2
brthr.zip Brotherhood part 3
grani_1.zip Facets of Agni-yoga 1
grani_5.ha Facets of Agni-yoga 5
grani_6.ha Facets of Agni-yoga 6
hagrani_7.ha Facets of Agni-yoga 7
grani_8.ha Facets of Agni-yoga 8
agni_op.ha Fire experience
colors.ha Agni-yoga about colors
dream.ha E. I. Roerich "Dreams & visions"
aseev.zip E. I. Roerich letters to Yugoslavia (to Aseev)
kript.ha "Cryptograms of East"
os_mirop.ha A. Klisovsky "Basics of New Age World
abramov1.ha B. Abramov "Intended heart"
rokotova.ha E. I. Roerich "Basics of Buddhism"
shambala.ha N. K. Roerich "Shambhala the glowing"
serdceaz.zip E. I. Roerich "Heart of Asia"
svet.zip Light on the path
belikov.zip F. Belikov "Roerich"
fosdik26.zip Z. Fosdick "In Moscow & on Altai with Roerichs"
foma-eva.ha Gospel of Thoma
feodora.ha Ordeals of blessed Theodora's soul
eva-mari.ha Gospel of Maria
kumran.ha About Kumran manuscripts (from Nag-Hammadi)
tibet-jc.ha Tibetan gospel
origen.ha Origen "On principles", ch. 4 (reincarnations)
strannik.zip Wonderer's sincere tales to spiritual father
i_sirin.zip Phrases by reverend Isaak Sirin
On East doctrines
gita.ha Bhagavad-Gita (?)
bg01.ha Bhagavad-Gita (transl. by Kamenska)
bg02.ha Bhagavad-Gita (transl. by Neapolitansky)
bg03.ha Bhagavad-Gita (transl. by Prabhupada)
bgshloka.ha Slokas from Bhagavad-Gita
aparoksa.zip Sri Shankaracharya "Immediate cognition"
upanishs.ha Full list of 108 Upanishads (English)
isha.zip Isha Upanishad
shvetaup.zip Shvetashvatara Upanishad
atma.ha Atma Upanishad
mandukya.ha Mandukya Upanishad
kaushita.ha Kaushitaki Upanishad
katha.ha Katha Upanishad
kena.ha Kena Upanishad
shank02.ha Sri Shankaracharya "Vakyavrittih" (Explaining
chaterji.ha Catterju "Esoteric religious philosophy of India"
viveka01.ha Vivekananda "Inspired talks"
krmurti1.ha Krishnamurti "At the feet of Master"
krmurti2.ha Krishnamurti "Book of life"
krmurti3.ha Krishnamurti "Freedom from known"
satprem1.ha Satprem "Sri Aurobindo"
satprem2.ha Satprem "On the path to superhuman"
advaifaq.ha Sunderesan "Advaita Vedanta FAQ"
On Dharma (Buddhism)
vajra01.ha Vajracchehedika-Prajniaparamita sutra
vajra02.ha Vajracchehedika-Prajniaparamita sutra 
dharma.ha Dharmachakra Pravartana sutra
kashyapa.ha Kasyapa sutra
mahapari.ha Mahaparanirvana sutra
sinhe.ha Sutra, gift to general Sinha
hridaya.ha Hridaya sutra
chakka.ha Chakravartisihananda sutra
saddharm.ha Sutra about lotus flower of wonderful dharma
siddhas.ha Abhayadatta "Chaturashiti-siddha-pravritti"
dalai01.ha Dalai-lama XIV "Buddhism of Tibet"
dalai02.ha Dalai-lama XIV "Path to illumination"
dalai03.ha Dalai-lama XIV "Eight verses training the mind"
adalai04.ha Dalai-lama XIV
calu01.ha Kalu Rimpoche "Foundation of Buddhic meditation"
calu02.ha Kalu Rimpoche "Spoken instructions"
chogyam1.ha Chogyam Trungpa "Mahamudra"
shamatha.ha Geshs Tinley "Shamatha: basics of Tibetan
gyaltsen.ha K. Giltzen "Kagyupa"
cagyu.ha Early masters of Kagyu in India & Tibet
nidal01.ha Ole Nidal "On death & reincarnation"
nidal02.ha Ole Nidal "Six emancipating actions"
nidal03.ha Ole Nidal "Mahamudra destroying the tamas"
nidal04.ha Ole Nidal "Teaching on nature of mind"
nidal05.ha Ole Nidal "Instruction of Ngendro"
nidal06.ha Ole Nidal "Riding a tiger"
nidal07.ha Ole Nidal "Pho-va"
nidal08.ha Ole Nidal "Mahamudra"
asanga.ha Carola Schneider "Story about Asanga"
yogasutr.ha Patanjali "Yoga-sutra"
ramach01.ha Ramacharaka "Basics of Indian yogis worldview"
ramach02.ha Ramacharaka "Raja-yoga"
ramach03.ha Ramacharaka "Science of breath of Indian yogis"
chinmoy1.ha Sri Chinmoy "Kundalini: Mother-force"
sarasv01.ha Swami Sarasvati "Two talks on japa-meditation"
sarasv02.ha Swami Sarasvati "Bihar school of yoga"
hatha.ha Yesudian & Heich "Hatha-yoga & health"
On Other Texts
masla.ha Etheric oils - an ancient healing means
O.K.-phil.ha Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa "Occult philosophy" v.1
orphei.zip Churet "Great initiated. Orpheos"
rektif.zip Manual on astrological rectification
tibet-m.zip Tibetan medicine handbook
m-ether.ha Sinnett. Mendeleev's conception of ether
deadbook.ha "Tibetan book of dead" (transl. by Tzvetkov)
[It's important to note that ".ha" files should not be downloaded
using Netscape; they can only be correctly downloaded using MS
by Paul Johnson
[based upon an October 3, 1995 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Having observed the back-and-forth about whether or not
theosophical groups are hostile to reports of paranormal
experiences, I'll volunteer to serve as a test case.
Ever since college, when a friend first told me what to look for,
I have been intermittently able to see certain aspects of the
human energy field. Until recently, it required "just right"
lighting conditions and/or intentionality. What I saw was sort
of like what you see through windows that have radiators under
them in the winter: a wavy, transparent radiance. I never saw
more than specks of color, although was occasionally able to see
After reading Barbara Brennan's LIGHT EMERGING and spending a
week in California -- including some very high-energy spots --
everything changed last spring. From rare and intermittent, the
aura-seeing became almost constant. From being something that I
had to will myself to see, it became something that continually
sneaked up on me and surprised me. From being just a vague
radiance, it became a large auric egg with fairly definite
boundaries and layers. And occasionally I can see Chakras, more
especially a vortex above the head.
What I'd like others to comment on is that I am reluctant/unable
to see individual differences. I can look at a roomful of people
and see a roomful of auric eggs with sparks of color and
undulating layers and Chakras and vortices -- but they all look
alike. Partly this may be explicable by the fact that I don't
*want* to see individual differences, as it seems like an
invasion of privacy. I don't want to "know" things about people
from seeing their auras. Or maybe it's all imaginary and anyone
who *really* sees, sees profound individual differences.
The vivid intensity of the experience (which is tapering off now,
months after the trip) makes me feel sure that there is real
perception going on, not just "seeing what I want to see." In
other words, objective reality is involved. But then I think,
"if it's that objective, why does everyone look the same?"
For better or worse, the sameness has a wonderful, uplifting
effect on my consciousness. That is, being struck by the large,
radiant auric field of someone working in the yard as I drive by
evokes a whole set of pleasurable associations:
1. That person is a spiritual being with many layers of
consciousness and materiality; so are all persons.
2. My spiritual consciousness is magnetized by the sight of
another person's aura, provoking feelings of impersonal love,
3. The emergence of the ability to see this is a promise of
further unexpected unfolding ahead, maybe in this life and
maybe not. But it is encouraging.
A NEW PHASE OF LIFE
by Murray Stentiford
[based upon a September, 1995 posting to email@example.com.]
Just over a year ago, my wife, Jocelyn, and I moved to a new
house in a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, only 8 minutes' drive
from the city centre. We took it on for the express purpose of
being near to our workplaces and near to the Auckland
theosophical lodge and NZ theosophical headquarters. We hoped
that by reducing traveling time, we'd have more time for
theosophical work and the various facets of home life.
Living in this part of the city is also an excellent financial
investment due to the rate of rise of property values -- relevant
to our primary goals by freeing us up financially sooner to do
the things we really want to with our time. I enjoy my paid work
but I'd still rather be doing theosophically-related things.
The compromise we made for this combination of advantages, was to
accept a pretty ordinary urban environment, i.e. on flat, rather
low ground, without much of a view, and close to other houses.
It's pleasant enough, but leaves the spirit wanting in some ways.
Not that we should moan, though; it's a lot worse for some in
other parts of the city.
I see this period of our lives as being one where our connections
are best served by being this close to them physically, but this
doesn't stop me having a strong impulse at times to break out and
find a more beautiful natural environment to live in, while
keeping in touch with the world via the Internet, for example,
when I want to. I feel that our time in the present house could
be quite short and we're holding it lightly, ready for a
significant change. Meanwhile, we live in a kind of ongoing
I often think of the ways nature is expressed in city dwelling
areas, despite the human noise, debris and sterility. It's been
a real delight to find that native birds are moving back into the
city, a thrill to hear a tui or a morepork in the trees near our
home. Maybe when we plant more flowers, there'll be more nature
spirits around, too.
When we first moved into the house, I was very conscious of its
being a collection of materials put together, not yet well
integrated into a "being" in the way our Maori indigenous people
conceive a dwelling place to be. Every wall a clean Akasic
slate, relatively speaking. So, I have often thought love into
those walls and asked for the presence and embrace of any
interested orders of beings. When we leave, any inner richness
that results can be for the next inhabitants to enjoy, even if
they just think the place has a nice feel.
The soil in the garden is a heavy layer of clay dumped on top of
an older fertile volcanic soil, despoiled somewhat with stones
and even small car parts in it -- probably from a garbage dump.
It has made me quite sad and resentful at times, to think that
the builders dumped this stuff on top of the original good soil.
When I think about this heavy, humanly-spoiled earth, I think
also of its inner equivalent -- the psychic "gunge" that I once
read sinks into the ground in a city as a byproduct of human
activity. I have decided that the earth layer needs not only
more aeration and oxygen but also more love and light. So, in my
meditations, I sometimes turn my attention to the earth around me
and try to see, as a vibrant reality, its being leavened with
Yes; if you want to find areas of service, there are plenty right
close to hand.
by Boris de Zirkoff
[This article is based upon a tape recording of a private talk
give by Boris de Zirkoff. It was initially transcribed June 25,
1973, by Eldon Tucker, then later edited for publication.]
The doctrine of karma is one of the most metaphysical ones, and
one of the most difficult doctrines really to understand. These
reaches are not for mere inquirers, nor would it be correct to
tell the inquirer the doctrine of karma is so metaphysical and
abstruse that I can give you no idea of it. That of course would
be absurd. The idea of karma if it could be understood by the
millions In the Western lands would certainly produce a
tremendous revolution of thought and of morals. It could be
understood by the millions only in its very simple form of cause
and effect. We are studying this idea here from slightly higher
and more deep levels of thought; so we have to try and understand
more of it than is given to a mere inquirer.
It has been the consensus of views by most of the Teachers in the
Theosophical Movement that in its abstruse and more metaphysical
aspect the idea of karma is exceedingly difficult to grasp, and
very unfamiliar to the philosophical bent of the very
intellectual and philosophically minded people in the West. Also
very largely in the East among those who simply have
misunderstood its metaphysical bearings, although in the East it
has never died out or disappeared from popular consciousness as
it has in the West.
One very important thought to remember in connection with karma
is the meaning of the word as a word. There is the Sanskrit root
kri, k-r-i. It's a verb, a verbal root which means to make or to
do. The English word create is related to kri: to produce, to
bring forth, to bring about -- not in the theological Christian
sense to make something out of nothing, not in that sense at all.
So let us remember that the word create in this connection as
coming from kri should mean to produce, to manifest, to bring
about something out of something else, not out of nothing. By
adding the suffix ma, m-a, to the root kri, or to the Sanskrit
stem kar, which comes through one of the rules of the Sanskrit
grammar from the root kri, we have the word karma, in one of its
forms it is karman, and in one other form of the same root it's
karma. It means the same thing, but Sanskrit has two forms for
every substantive: the nominative and the crude form. Just like
it's perfectly correct to say yogi but the form that you will
find in the dictionary would be yogin.
Literally the word means doing something, making something, and
therefore it carries the meaning of action. It's correct to say
that karma means action. That isn't the only thing that it
means. It means other ideas in back of it. It's a technical
term, a term from which hangs a whole series of philosophical
doctrines, and these doctrines are of a nature of which are not
too easily understood.
It's all very well to speak of karma as action, as action and
reaction, but when you have covered these particular meanings of
doing and making, acting, producing, you still have to bring out
the important thought that karma as a word does not only mean
action in itself, devoid of results, but definitely implies
within the word the causation bringing about certain results. So
it would be correct to say that karma means action and reaction
in one. That is a metaphysical concept which is unfamiliar to
We have schooled ourselves through various philosophical and
religious ideas to consider action and reaction as separate from
each other. They are somehow or other related to each other, but
nevertheless they are separate. We haven't the slightest idea of
how certain reactions or results ensue from certain actions. The
metaphysical concept of karma, the Eastern Esoteric view of this,
is that every action has within itself its own reaction. Every
action as a cause has within itself its own effect or series of
effects, and interesting enough they are simultaneous. They are
not divided from each other by time, although it takes some form
of an illusion called time to bring about these results into
manifestation. The main point being that we will have to move
some day to a new concept of action and reaction and try to
understand that they are intimately interconnected; that they are
two facets of the same coin; that they can never be separated
without destroying each other; and that peculiarly enough they
seem to be a very metaphysical relation between That and what we
call time. Many lectures could be built on that subject, many
aspects of this brought out, but I do not intend to dwell on this
any longer at the present moment unless there are questions later
We can consider the subject of karma from another standpoint, and
that is the standpoint of results. The word results or fruits
seem to be the most general application in the technical sense of
the Esoteric Philosophy. Dr. de Purucker points out very
definitely that karma is not a law. He points out that no God
made it. Let's be careful, now, about every word of this thing.
> Karma is not a law; no God made it. A human law, let us
> remember, is a maxim of conduct or order of right, laid down by a
> lawgiver, forbidding what is wrong and inculcating and commanding
> what is right.
> -- G. de Purucker, Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy,
> (Covina, California: Theosophical University Press, 1947), 129
This may be an ordinary municipal law; this may be a federal law;
it may be a universal law of morality or general behaviorism
which the powers that be -- national, international -- try to
keep alive for the good of all. Having outlined it, and put it
in the statutes, they try to conserve it, preserve it, keep it
up, defend it, so that people live under it. Karma is not that
kind of a law. It has not been established by any man, or any
demigod, or any god. It's not forbidding action. It is not
commanding anything. It is not a statute that limits human
actions within certain limits, and if you transcend these limits
then something or somebody or some delegated authority comes and
whacks you on the head for having transcended a certain limit of
action. Karma is nothing of this. This is a sort of an
explanation in negatives of what karma is not.
> Karma is the habit of universal and eternal Nature ...
> -- Fundamentals, 129
It is a habit. It is a way in which things behave. It is a
mannerism of universal Nature. That may sound very odd. It's a
behavior pattern of universal Nature. To ask why does universal
Nature behave that way seems to be an empty question. I don't
think you have any answer. Just like the question why should we
love each other? There seems to be no reasonable reason why we
should. We most certainly should.
It reminds me -- with slight modifications -- of a physical fact:
the nature of electricity. The renowned Sir William Bragg, the
great English physicist, was asked, "What is electricity?"
He said: "I don't know." But he said: "If I were to be pressed on
that point, I would say that it is the way in which matter
behaves. If I were to be pressed to ask why does matter behave
that way, all I could say is that it pretty jolly does so."
That's about it. It jolly well does so that nature acts and
reacts to every action. Our finite minds are unable to
understand its causes and so we use certain words like "habit" or
"pattern" in which nature operates.
> Karma is the habit of universal and eternal Nature, a habit
> inveterate, primordial, which so works that an act is
> necessarily, by destiny, followed by an ineluctable result, a
> reaction from the Nature in which we live.
> -- Fundamentals, 129
An act is followed by a reaction from the Nature in which we
live. If you ask me "What do you mean by Nature?" -- anything
from the next atom, to me, to the furthermost star, visible and
invisible, the surrounding Totality of the All. The author
points out that when it was called by A. P. Sinnett in H.P.B.'s
days the law of ethical causation, it was an inadequate and
misleading term because first karma is more than ethical, it is
both spiritual and material and all between. It has its
application on the spiritual, on the mental, psychical and
physical planes and everywhere in between. So it is not only a
law of ethical causation. It is not a law, in the first place,
and second, it's not limited to ethics.
> To call it the "law of cause and effect" is much better, because
> more general, but even this does not describe it adequately at
> all. The very essence of the meaning of this doctrine is that
> when anything acts in any state of embodied consciousness, it
> sets up an immediate chain of causation, acting on every plane to
> which that chain of causation reaches, to which the force
> -- Fundamentals, 129
Let's dwell on this for a few moments. It seems in Dr. de
Purucker's explanation that when he arrives at this particular
point he's fairly well satisfied with his expression. So this
expression is a little nearer to the truth as far as he sees it
than all the other things that have preceded it: they're all true
but this seems in his estimation to be a better way of putting
it. The very essence of the meaning of this doctrine, the
doctrine of karma, is that when anything acts in any state of
embodied consciousness it sets up an immediate chain of
causation, acting on every plane to which that chain of causation
reaches, to which the force extends.
I am jumping here deliberately to Dr. de Purucker's Occult
Glossary and bring another definition of the same idea to your
> When an entity acts, he acts from within; he acts through an
> expenditure in greater or less degree of his own native energy.
> This expenditure of energy, this out-flowing of energy, as it
> impacts upon the surrounding milieu, the Nature around us, brings
> forth from the latter perhaps an instantaneous or perhaps a
> delayed reaction or rebound. Nature, in other words, reacts
> against the impact. The combination of these two -- of energy
> acting upon Nature and Nature reacting against the impact of that
> energy -- is what is called karma, being a combination of the two
> factors. Karma is, in other words, essentially a chain of
> causation, stretching back into the infinity of the past and
> therefore necessarily destined to stretch into the infinity of
> the future. It is unescapable because it is in universal Nature,
> which is infinite and therefore everywhere and timeless; and
> sooner or later the reaction will inevitably be felt by the
> entity which aroused it.
> -- G. de Purucker, Occult Glossary, (Pasadena, California:
> Theosophical University Press, 1969), 80
There's one point there which needs a little clarification.
Every one of us acts in various ways. Physical action is one.
Physical action of course is only a result of our thinking, of
our feeling. We had to think and feel in a certain direction and
indulge in a certain trend of good or evil thinking and feeling
before we actually came to the point of acting in that direction.
An action or a deed is the cumulation of a great deal of thought
and emotion and feeling and desires that some time, some day
comes to the point of actual action. The deed is done. It may
be a wonderful deed, or it may be an evil one. The man acts from
within -- very deeply so.
If a man undertakes a journey, if the man builds a family, if the
man builds a great concern, if he writes a book, if he initiates
a great movement -- whether it is something very great, noble or
a line of evil action -- there has been a great deal of thought
and feeling put in that direction long before and these have come
from within. So the action as a word could very well mean
thought in many cases, because thoughts are things.
The ultimate of thought is action, but let us not forget the fact
that intense feeling and intense thought are very powerful and in
themselves sometimes produce results without any physical action.
All the time while we think or intensely feel or desire or take
physical action we are projecting from within ourselves the
energies and potencies of the human consciousness and impact with
them nature that surrounds us. Everything touched by that energy
reacts in various ways according to the center of consciousness
that has been touched by that energy.
Even here in this room, I utter some sentence embodying an idea.
Every one of you is going to react to that idea in a different
way. One may say: "That's wonderful." The other may say: "I
don't quite understand it." The third one: "Yes, there's
something in it, but I would like to know more of what you really
mean." Perhaps there is one, I hope not, but there may be one
here who simply didn't hear it, it didn't register at all. Your
reactions to the same thought are different, but each one has a
reaction of a kind.
The truth of it is that we cannot produce a thought or indulge in
a feeling or in an act without producing a reaction sooner or
later from every part of surrounding nature, visible and
invisible, from beings and entities of which we do not know even
the existence. Beings and things which we do not even suspect
exist. Our thoughts and feelings and actions are like that
ripple from that falling stone in the pond which go on widening
and the question may arise in our minds how far will they widen
out, will they ever strike any kind of a shore or will they go on
widening indefinitely, and if they do strike a shore when will
they come back and bring us the reaction? These are all very
profound metaphysical ideas; they are well worth pondering over.
The results, the reactions from surrounding Nature to our actions
-- the two together -- are karma. Having stated that -- no, we
haven't stated very much, we've just helped to elucidate one
aspect of it. Here is another. Human karma is born within man
himself. We are its creators and generators and also do we
suffer from it or are clarified through it by our own previous
actions. What is this habit in itself?
As the German philosopher Kant would have said, "das Ding an
sich," the thing in itself: "this inveterate, primordial habit of
nature, which makes it react to an arousing cause."
What is this habit in itself? That's a question the author says
which we will at some future time have to go into more fully than
we can do at this evening.
At this point I pause for a moment, to bring out an illustration
or two which perhaps will help us. In all of these things the
key to the understanding of the Teachings is analogy. In all of
these matters, the key is to remember that there is throughout
nature a concatenation or chain of causes so that every plane
reflects every other plane, so that the small is a part of the
great, and the great manifests nothing else in essence but what
the small manifests on its own plane as a replica.
Will you take for consideration your own physical body? It has
organs, and we will imagine that these organs function very well,
they are in a healthy condition. There has been established
through many years of life certain habits of food, of breathing,
of exercise certain rhythms of heart and pulse and of nervous
energies, and in every man it is different from another. That is
to some extent, although the pattern is the same. Each man has
his own rhythm. He has certain vibratory rates which are
essential to his well being, and within the framework of that
physical body, there has been established a certain habit of
When we say that a man lives a certain type of life we simply
mean that he has established a certain rhythm within himself
which cannot be deviated from without producing an unwholesome, a
dis-ease, a disease condition, a condition of not being at ease
which we call disease.
You introduce into that body some material that is poisonous to
it that breaks up the existing rhythm, or without introducing
anything into it, you subject your body to certain conditions
which it is unaccustomed to and which it rebels against, you will
be in a very uncomfortable situation which you will want to throw
The entire structure of your physical body -- even bringing to
the picture more ethereal energies than physical -- will react
against the Invading force or set of conditions any try to throw
them out. The main thought here is that you as a man, as a
consciousness, have established a pattern of your body and of
your astral structure which you want to preserve.
This is the pattern through which you evolved. That is the
blueprint of your tenement, of your vehicle, and you, as a
consciousness manifesting in it, want to preserve it, to keep it
intact. So you react powerfully, perhaps on several planes, to
equalize the disturbed equilibrium, to reintroduce harmony where
disharmony has threatened to invade, or to heal whatever wound or
dislocation or disharmony has been temporarily produced.
If you were the disturbing element, if you were the set of cells
that were rebelling, if you were the entities that had invaded
the stronghold, and if you could speak and speak theosophical
language you would say we are up against karma.
We are up against a power which seems to react against us. What
would that power be? Suppose there is a cell, an atom, an
electron, a group of them, experiencing your own human dominating
element that is trying to oust the invading force or reestablish
the disturbed equilibrium. Obviously the karmic agency or the
agency of reaction is you, the man, the man's formed
consciousness. Man's own consciousness as far as your body's
growth, inner and outer, is the dominating psycho-spiritual
force. It has established a pattern. It has made a blueprint
through many ages of evolution within its own hierarchical
system, and to come down to the very root idea now, it is the
man's will, the man's will power, will essence, which is the
rulership, the guiding, conforming, harmonizing, ruling element
that tries to introduce harmony throughout this hierarchy, and
forcefully and powerfully reacts against everything that may
disturb it, and rightly so.
On the plane of mere human action, in a country inhabited by
two-hundred million people, there is even a human manifestation
of that fundamental law of nature. A very imperfect
manifestation, but by replicas, by analogy, a state built by men
with a certain amount of human wisdom and intelligence -- not
much but a certain amount. That state imposes certain rules of
conduct, certain ideas which it considers as a collectivity to be
good for the people, and a disturbing element that will try to
overthrow the existing pattern will be rebelled against. The
state in its collectivity through the necessary agencies will try
either to calm or to pacify or throw out the disturbing element
to preserve throughout the land the smooth flow of a certain
collective will that through the years or maybe centuries has
been impressed as a pattern upon the people. That's a human
manifestation, a very imperfect one, but by analogy it stems from
the same spiritual principle.
We jump a little here. We human beings, we animals, we plants,
minerals, atoms, superhuman beings, demigods, mahatmas, Avataras,
what not -- the various kingdoms of life -- we're all cells,
integral and inseparable cells, in a tremendous structure. We
are cells, integral parts of a cosmic structure which has a
We actually live and move and have our being, as St. Paul says,
in a greater entity than our minds can conceive. All of us live,
as cells, in the mental, spiritual, psycho-magnetic, and even
astral structure of the entity which may be called -- just for
the sake of argument -- the divinity of the Sun. We evolve
within the consciousness of that being. Don't you realize that
this entity has its own habits, realize that it has its own
patterns of thought, that it has its own blueprint of action, and
that they are the result of the evolution of that entity through
millions, perhaps billions of years in the past?
That entity some time in the distant past was a man, like we. We
were then perhaps mental thoughts in the constitution of that
being. Today we are human beings in its realm or domain over
which it presides.
The tremendous will or wills of the highest spiritual beings
within that system have established currents, patterns, riverbeds
which we miscall laws. They're not laws. They're habits. Every
time we as evolving entities act or think or feel -- independent
as we are in our choice -- against the current of these
established patterns, we experience the collective reaction of
the whole system against which we cannot do anything.
The only way by which we can be absolutely free within that
system, absolutely free, is when we become completely attuned and
harmonized with the pattern and the web of its consciousness and
of the currents of its forces. We call these patterns and these
habits of higher beings. We call them by the name of karma.
That is why Dr. de Purucker says at this point:
> What is this habit in itself, this inveterate, primordial habit
> of nature which makes it react to an arousing cause? That is a
> question we will, at some future time, have to go into more fully
> than we can do it this evening; but we may say this much: that it
> is the will of the spiritual beings who have preceded us in
> bygone kalpas or great manvantaras, and who now stand as Gods,
> and whose will and thought direct and protect the mechanism and
> the type and quality of the universe in which we live. These
> great beings were once men in some former great manvantara. It
> is our destiny ultimately to become like unto them, and to be of
> their number, if we run the race of kalpic evolution
> -- Fundamentals, 130
So we come to this general conclusion regarding the doctrine of
karma as viewed from this angle. The conclusion is something
like this. What is it in its quality of its manifestation? It's
a chain of causation, a chain of cause to effect, of action to
reaction; of action to result, it is an endless chain of
causation in its manifestation. What is it in its cause? Why
does it work that way? Because of the tremendous, overruling,
guiding, controlling, and beneficently controlling will of the
higher entity in which we live and move and have our being. We
are constantly trying to adjust ourselves to its will, which is
as far ahead in evolution to our will as our human will is ahead
in evolution to the will of the little atoms and electrons
composing our bodies. To them the human being is a god. To us,
the solar logos is a god. Our habits as human beings to the
millions of electrons within our constitution are the law,
so-called law. We impress that pattern upon everything we are.
To us as human beings or the collectivity of mankind, it is the
will and the pattern of higher entities. It manifests itself as
a law, as rulership, as a guiding element which cannot be
gainsaid, cannot be transcended, cannot be set aside.
I hope you grasp at least the general idea of what I am trying to
convey. It is subtle, it is unfamiliar to many people, it is
difficult to express, and so I try to put it in as brief a way as
These doctrines must forever be coordinated with ethics, and the
intellectual view of things, the logical, and you might almost
say the legal view of things. One must not lose sight of the
concept of love, forgiveness, mercy. I'm very much afraid that
these ideas are not as prominent in the Theosophical Movement of
today as they should be. There is much doctrine, but there isn't
It is easy to say -- and we should apply it right here -- that
the law of cause and effect exacts a complete and full
retribution for everything done. Correct. You must bring into
this picture the idea that the powers operative on higher planes
and who distribute and guide the habits of nature are individuals
animated by cosmic love. Their consciousness is love. They have
transcended all selfishness, all human ignorance, all sense of
separateness. What we call sympathy, compassion, impersonal
love, forgiveness, mercy, and charity are the fabric of their
consciousness. It is the fabric of our consciousness also, of
our higher consciousness, but we don't manifest it yet, except a
little ray here and a little ray there. To them this is a
condition of every moment of their existence.
Therefore, justice can be only conceived cosmically when tempered
by love. The justice of the human courts is not tempered with
love. The justice of a war victor -- what he imagines justice
upon the victim -- is not tempered by forgiveness, by love, by
understanding, by fatherly attitude: "Well, let's get together
now, and maybe I can help you to do better while learning myself
to do better too."
These things do not exist in the relation of nations, and they
often do not exist even in the relations of a family, but the
relation of these cosmic entities to us through the workings of
karmic causation, is one of infinite compassion, of unspeakable
love of which we know practically nothing, of a warmness of
spiritual sympathy and understanding, because everything that we
are, everything that we do, everything that we think, are to them
the a-b-c of an old alphabet they have learned ages ago.
To them the pages of the human heart are as open today or years
ago or in a thousand years from now, they're just as open as a
book that we open to read. They know exactly what we are, why we
are that way, what can be expected of us. They cannot make us
over, we have to grow ourselves, but theirs is the help, the
compassion, the sustaining power that exacts justice, but is
justice which is tempered with mercy, charity, an utter
understanding of what we are. For these things we have hardly
any words: this is not intellect, intellect here must be warmed
up with the love of the noble part, of the noblest part within
us. Before we can understand the workings of cosmic justice, you
must understand at least the elements of impersonal love.
THE HIGHEST TRIAD
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an September, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
There is more to us than exists at any moment of time. There is
a part that transcends existence. That part of us watches over
us, it is our Mother. It also reaches inward and upward to
embrace the Unknowable. We are not talking about a "body" or
"bodies". There are no forms or specific attributes, since it is
beyond existing, beyond manifestation. But there is
*consciousness.* We are conscious of the aspects to life that
these *non-existing* parts of ourselves represent. These
different aspects of consciousness compliment those of our
manifest existence, our lower seven principles. They are our
Highest Triad, our uppermost three principles, making us as
Let us first consider what it means to be beyond existence.
There is no awareness of existing. We have nothing to think
about, nothing to want to do, no one else to interact with, not
even a sense of Self, a sense of *being* a particular person with
various attributes and characteristics. There is just *nothing*,
no-thing, a sense of completeness and fulfillment. What is left
to us? It depends upon how deeply we still go within, how
far-removed we take ourselves from the existing world that we
We are considering a deep state of consciousness, an aspect of
our awareness of life that transcends any trace of our
manifestation. We have nearly left this plane in its entirety.
We are beyond the body, senses, life-energies, desires, thoughts,
karmic web, and sense of being. Having left that all behind,
what is left of us in our inner natures? This question directs
our attention to our inmost essence. It is an entirely different
question than what type of person would we be, should we clothe
ourselves in body, senses, life-energies, desire for activity,
thought, etc., appropriate to another plane of existence (higher
Globe). We are not talking about taking on the fabric of
consciousness on another theater of life, another plane or Globe.
Instead, we are talking about our inmost part, that which reaches
beyond the outer man and goes to the core, rooted in Divinity.
In the tenfold scheme, there is a Highest Triad, three higher
principles higher than Atman. I've not seen names applied to
them. My choice would be the Auric Egg for the 8th, Swabhava for
the 9th, and Paramatman for the 10th.
Each principle unfolds from the previous one, as a scroll would
be unwound. Each represents a further degree of coming into
existence. There are degrees of unfoldment to these three
principles, those of the Highest Triad, as well.
Let us work our way upwards, from that which we know, or have
some idea of, towards the Unknowable Mystery. Let's see how far
we can get before we can go no further.
What is it to us that endures, that persists whether we exist at
a particular time or not? It is our karmic treasure, our
storehouse of experience, our seeds that await their appropriate
time to sprout forth in life. This storehouse of experience,
which envelopes us, overshadows us, and contains us in our
entirely, is the Auric Egg. It is that part of us that endures,
that lasts "beyond the grave," when the world has gone into
Pralaya and our seven principles are no more. It endures even
the Mahapralaya, and carries seeds from the previous great
Mahamanvantara. The Auric Egg is our personal "Brahman," which
stays out of existence, but overshadows our creative Self, our
Atman, which would be our personal "Brahma".
With this, the 8th principle, we are in a part of our awareness
that endures the dissolution of outer existence. This part of us
is our totality, as it changes from one moment to the next in
time. It overshadows existence, but stays out of things. It is
us, everything that we have made ourselves to be, at this precise
moment in time. It participates in time, but stays one step
removed from space, gazing down upon space but staying just
outside, just beyond the qualities of dimension and form.
How can we go higher than this? How can we pass deeper within,
beyond even the Auric Egg? Consider the question: What is higher
than that which is temporal, which changes in time? It is the
timeless. And what in us is timeless, is forever the same? It
would be that part of us that is uniquely, distinctly ourselves,
apart from anything we have or will ever do. That part of us is
our truly essential natures, our own unique characteristics, in
an ultimate sense. And that could be called: Swabhava.
How does this 9th principle overshadow, guide, and inform the
8th, acting as its parent? By acting as the ever-present,
ever-enduring Ideal. Our true nature and purpose in existence,
our Ideal that we are always seeking to fulfill, our meaning and
purpose and unique contribution to Life is this principle. And
this principle, as with the others, is not something added to us.
It is not external baggage that we take with us. It is a quality
of consciousness, a certain experience to life, be it ever so
far-removed from what we choose to give our attention to.
In Swabhava, we are aware of our true natures, and this awareness
is just as real as that of any other of the principles. And this
awareness, as the 9th principle overshadows the 8th, drives us
through time, it impels the growth and direction that the Auric
Egg takes on, and the resulting periodic dives into manifest
With the Auric Egg, we have stepped beyond existence, and are out
of space. And with Swabhava, we have stepped beyond the
transitory, and are out of time. How could we possibly go
further, deeper within? By simply *going beyond*. That is, there
is a part to us that is so absolutely perfect, so fulfilled, and
so close to the Unknowable, that it is beyond relationship to the
lower principles. It does not gaze downward, being too complete,
too perfect, too unmoving in the Silence to need to participate
in anything. It is "beyond ourselves," our Paramatman, and as
far as we can go, in consciousness. It is the "personal"
experience of the Unknowable, and the highest part of our inner
natures, of our innermost core. It is beyond all pairs of
opposites, all forms of conditioned existence, all sense of time
or space, and all awareness of any particular thing. It is
perfect Oblivion, if such a term can be used in a positive sense.
This takes us to the top of the tenfold scheme, the ten
principles of the fabric of our consciousness. What about the
twelvefold scheme? There is one higher principle, an 11th, as
well as one lower, an 0th (before the first, the physical body,
counting from the bottom). What do these principles consist of,
given that we have come, upwards, to the highest we can
experience, or downwards, to physical forms, a container of
consciousness, with no intrinsic consciousness, but simply a
sense of limitation?
Looking upwards, we have That, Tat, the Unknowable Mystery
itself. We cannot contain it in our consciousness, but are
rooted in it. It is our highest principle of consciousness, but
we cannot, paradoxically, be conscious of it. It is simply the
Ultimate Mystery of Life.
Looking downwards, we have Idam, This, the Mystery of the root
nature of manifest existence. It is built up from lower and
lower types of matter, each based upon yet lower and more
fundamental types of materials. It is truly bottomless, and
represents the nether pole of That. In our consciousness, were
we to experience it, it would be the mirror-opposite of Nirvana,
an Avitchi Nirvana, an unmanifest state of pure hell- like
oblivion. It is Oblivion in the worst possible sense, if
Do we really have, then, a dualistic scheme, with two opposing
forces battling constantly for the souls of the creatures in the
universe? No. Tat (or That) lies behind and within all. And the
seen universe, or universes in their totality, Idam (or This),
the Boundless All, is but a dancing shadow on the wall, a
ephemeral reflection of its glory.
The Unknowable goes beyond all the various aspects of existence.
It is beyond being or non-being, manifest or unmanifest
existence. It is beyond time and the eternal quest to satisfy
one's Ideal Nature. It is beyond absolute personal perfection,
out of conditioned relation to space and time. It is beyond any
sense of personal consciousness, because it is truly Infinite,
not-finite, and cannot be contained in a finite consciousness, in
whatever state. The highest that we can approach it is in our
10th principles, our going beyond any sense of personal
limitations, even that of being ourselves, that of our Swabhava
or Unique Natures. Our 10th principle is too perfect to need to
be in relation to the lower ones, which still, somehow,
mysteriously, come forth out of it. The 11th is beyond
perfection, and how or in what way it relates to the 10th is as
unknowable as it is itself.
With our Paramatman, we can go no further. We have reached the
top, the ultimate, as far as consciousness is possible. Beyond
it is simply: Mystery.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application