Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter what?

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Nick the Pilot, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~(=@.@=)~

    Thomas, you asked,
    "Where in Genesis does it say it was an apple?"
    --> You may have noticed that I already answered this question in my previous post: Nowhere does it say so. This creates an important precedent. I am willing to repeat answers. I am only too willing to review previously presented answers to Theosophical questions. You say you have already answered my questions. Fine. Could you do us the small favor of repeating your answers here? Here, again, are the questions.

    (1) How does eating fruit cause a sudden understanding of good and evil?

    (2) Why does God see a sudden understanding of good and evil as a movement away from God?


    (3) What kind of fruit was it, since you say it was not an apple?
    "...perhaps someone else has the time to answer your inquiries."

    --> You wrote out a post, accidentally deleted it, re-wrote it, and then posted another post after that. Yet you do not have time to answer my short Three Questions. How odd.... I think you are stalling.
    "Let's try a different tack. Where in Genesis does it say it was an apple?"
    --> A different tack? I already answered your question, but I am more than willing to repeat it again, if you wish. Let's return to the original tack:


    (3) What kind of fruit was it, since you say it was not an apple?
    "If A is the case then B can only be logically impossible. How can you explain the true nature of anything you know practically nothing about?"
    --> This brings up a new topic, one that I find fascinating: the nature of the Absolute as seen by Theosophy vs. Christiantiy. I would love to discuss this. However, I would like to see you "repeat" your answers to my Three Questions first.

    ~~~

    You may question Andrew's and my motivations in asking these questions, but I think there are "real Christians" out there who are reading this thread, and I think they would really like to hear your answers to my Three Questions. You have a golden opportunity here, not for my sake, but for the sake of every inquisitive Christian listening in.

    Thomas, I must say I am enjoying this discussion. This is fun! I hope you enjoy propogating your ideas as much as I do mine. Hang in there. Do not let a little inconvenience stop you.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Re: ~(=@.@=)~

    Then we progress. Now, bearing in mind your prior insistence on the fruit being an apple, and now acknowledging that in fact nowhere in the text does it identify the fruit as an apple, you immediately rush on to ask, what kind of fruit was it? Which shows you continue to miss the point.

    We have established that the type of fruit is not mentioned ...

    so what is the lesson to be learned?

    Thomas
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~(=*.*=)~

    Thomas,
    "Then we progress."

    --> Yes, progress is being made. I appreciate your continued contributions to this thread.
    "Now, bearing in mind your prior insistence on the fruit being an apple, and now acknowledging that in fact nowhere in the text does it identify the fruit as an apple...."

    --> I (and millions of other people) have always assumed it was an apple. I thank you for pointing it out. (The fact that it was not an apple brings the whole story closer to the Theosophical version of what actually happened. If we ever get you to repeat your answer to Question 1, we will be able to really start making some progress in this discussion.)
    "...you immediately rush on to ask, what kind of fruit was it?"

    --> Indeed I do. Theosophy does not see rushing into questions about the Bible as a bad thing. Theosophy actually encourages such questions (rushed or not.) The more questions, the better.
    "Which shows you continue to miss the point."
    --> I miss the point? My point is, I want to know what kind of fruit it was. By the way, what kind of fruit was it?
    "We have established that the type of fruit is not mentioned ..."
    --> We have. We have also established that I am willing to repeat answers. Would you be so kind as to repeat your answers to the Three Questions?
    "...so what is the lesson to be learned?"
    --> That I ask a question because I would like to know the answer. That I would like to know what kind of fruit it was. What kind was it?

    How does eating fruit cause a sudden understanding of good and evil?

    Why does God see a sudden understanding of good and evil as a movement away from God?
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Re: ~(=*.*=)~

    Namaste Nick,

    Obviously not Thomas here and not Thomas answers but wil's

    Why do you think there was a fruit?

    1. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is material senses and knowledge.

    2. The conception of duality on this plane of existence leads one to seeing good and evil.

    3. G!d sees all as good...therefor seeing evil is separation.

    Let the mind in Christ Jesus be in you!

    Obviously this is only one of many interpretations..... the potential responses create infinite combinations of what you see as the fruit, G!d, the tree, the garden, the snake, adam, eve...etc. And one's understanding of each and everyone may impact ones next breath...

    ps...while odds are Thomas' answer will be decidedly different than mine....I don't believe he thinks there was a 'fruit' either.
     
  5. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    I would like to point out one thing ... one cannot do either Good, or evil, without knowing the DIFFERENCE.

    A moment's thought, will thereby reveal the NECESSITY - for KNOWING this DIFFERENCE. ;) :) :D

    Hmmm ...
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    why? Couldn't good or evil be a perception of someone other than the doer? Isn't it often a different perception by different people?
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Thank you. Unfortunately, they will have to end here. As intimated before, my time is committed elsewhere ... I have tarried here longer than I should, and indeed longer than necessary.

    No problem. Now perhaps you might understand that you and others assume certain things about Christian doctrine which are in fact not the case.

    Oh dear — then why ever did you insist it was an apple — especially when you seem to already know it wasn't?

    No, to my mind youre still running too fast to pay attention to the detail.

    The Christian sees a contemplative approach is far more fruitful.

    Christianity encourages people to think for themselves.

    Yes, and that's missing the point.

    Not if I'm wasting my breath, no.

    That's a shame, for in so doing you rob yourself of the virtue of a learning experience at your own hand.

    This is my last attempt, really, I have no more time:

    Ask yourself: where does the act of eating arise? Every act has its product, its consequence ... its fruit ...

    Remembering that I offered a definition of 'evil' as other than or a privation of the Good, and that God wills only the Good, and in fact God is Good; then to 'understand' in act is to actualise in act — so by their actions, the Primordial Couple chose of their own volition to act in a way other than that directed by their Creator and indicated by the Kosmos ... thus an act of separation from God and nature.

    (By the way Andrew:
    Thank you for raising that point — one that neo-gnostics often raise, as you probably know. Logically Adam and Eve understood what good/evil right/wrong etc., is, else they would not have understood the prohibition against eating the fruit in the first place, would they? The argument that they were somehow blameless and innocent in the affair because they didn't understand the prohibition is a facile one, resting on the nonsensical idea that God could not make Himself understood. Likewise the other neognostic line I've come across, that God somehow had something to lose, or was frightened of the Primordial Couple eating the fruit and discovering some 'big secret', is equally naive.)

    What kind is immaterial and, as you have evidenced, and as I have been trying to intimate, a complete distraction from the point. If it mattered, it would have been said.

    What kind doesn't matter Nick, what kind is not the point.

    Stop looking at the tree ... Genesis is not about the tree, its about humanity.

    "And on that bombshell, " as the TV pundits are wont to say (this side of the pond, anyway).

    Thomas
     
  8. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~(+.+)~

    Namaste Wil, and Yoroshiku! (a Japanese greeting)

    I will continue to look at the Christian interpretation, and keep the Theosophical interpretaion on the back burner for now.

    So, Adam and Eve were thus able to see evil for (I suppose) the first time? This leads us to the idea that God would have preferred us to have never left the Garden. (How does that sound to you?) This brings up a whole bunch of new questions. Would it have been better for Adam and Eve to remain there? Could they have (eventually?) gone straight to Heaven from there?

    And now for my biggest criticism of the whole idea: We are here in the "real world". (By that I mean outside the Garden, I do not know what else to call it.) Does that mean being here is inherently bad and evil? I just cannot accept the idea that, just because I am sitting here on the American continent, I am being punished for something (that I did not even do). No, I cannot accept that my basic existence is inherently a bad thing. I see it as basically a good thing. This is what I get from the Garden Story. (Do you get something else?)
    "I don't believe he thinks there was a 'fruit' either."
    (I agree....)
     
  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~~(^.^)~~

    Thomas, you said,
    "...I ask a question because I would like to know the answer. --> That's a shame, for in so doing you rob yourself of the virtue of a learning experience at your own hand."
    --> What a typical Catholic-establishment answer. Shame on me for asking questions!

    I asked,

    Why does God see a sudden understanding of good and evil as a movement away from God? ​
    "...the Primordial Couple chose of their own volition to act in a way other than that directed by their Creator and indicated by the Kosmos ... thus an act of separation from God and nature."
    --> Yes, I understand that. But of all the things God could have chosen to separate them from Him, He chose the understanding of good and evil. Why, of all things, did He pick that?

    Let me re-emphasize, then.


    Why does God see a sudden understanding of good and evil as a movement away from God?
    "The argument that they were somehow blameless and innocent in the affair because they didn't understand the prohibition is a facile one, resting on the nonsensical idea that God could not make Himself understood."

    --> Yes, I agree, that does not make sense.
    "What kind [of fruit] is immaterial...."

    --> I disagree. It is a key part of the Theosophical interpretation of what happened. So, in an opposite way, the kind of fruit is important.
    "...a complete distraction from the point."

    --> No, it is the point.
    "Stop looking at the tree...."
    --> My, my, now you are giving orders? Hail the mighty Thomas! Legions, salute!
     
  10. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~~(='.'=)~~

    Wil, you asked,
    "Couldn't good or evil be a perception of someone other than the doer?"
    --> As a matter of fact, this question comes up when considering how bad karma is assigned. Whether or not an act creates bad karma is very much determined by the intent of the prepetrator. The example that is sometines given is, a man who hunts to feed his family does not accrue bad karma, while one who hunts for pure sport does.
    "Isn't it often a different perception by different people?"
    --> Yes. The aura clearly shows if an act is good or evil, by showing the colors associated with the act. When Judgement Day occurs later, such judgements are said to be rather easy.

    This raises (again) the question of the value of learning good from bad. (I think we agree learning such a thing is good, right?) The idea that God sees the learning of good from bad as an essentially bad thing (and He issues punishment for achieving such knowledge) shows why I cannot put such idea into my belief system. (Can you put such an idea into yours?)
     
  11. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    Now we're getting somewhere, but in short, I would say no, for that is complete subjectivism. Or rather, I would agree that sometimes what is good for you, is bad for me, and what is good for me, is bad for another, but we cannot chase our tails forever. Either there is such a thing as `God's Law(s),' or else we truly are `Free' to make up our own rules. More below ...

    Ahhh, utterly incorrect (and fallacious logic, btw), and I care not that you are ducking out, though I do wish you were around to answer this one, Thomas ... for this is is just the sort of thing that I was talking about, this looking down your Catholic nose at those who do, in fact have something closer to `the true answer.' I will give my response below, once I gather up Nick's comments as well.

    Well, Nick, you and I may be on a different page here ... let's see.

    But that difference may be a matter of detail, and not based on the typical Christian (or rather, Roman Catholic) theology which is what Thomas is arguing. If he leaves, I would like to see what wil has to say about things ... yet even between the two of us (hmmm, this is a thread on the Alt board, yes? ;)), there is good room for discussion. Wil, however, is probably one of the most likely folks at C-R to be able to help bridge between understandings of varying theologies, philosophies, and worldview ... particularly the Christian in relation to the Eastern, New Age, esoteric/Theosphical, etc. :)

    So, to get back to the discussion, it is my understanding that what Thomas has, yet again, so craftily attempted to straw man, is precisely what was the case ... or rather, what IS the true state of affairs! In short, man did not know the DIFFERENCE between Good and Evil, and thus, what occurred in Genesis - is EXACTLY what Thomas suggest is "a facile argument." Simple, yet, because you theologians are always seeking to COMPLICATE matters ... you have tied your tail in a knot, as it were - and if you ever DID have the correct tools for interpretation, they have been lost.

    What we must do is strip this tale of its ridiculous DEAD-LETTER interpretation and oh-so-poetic but clearly erroneous LITERAL visualization ... and RIGHTLY consider it through the lens of ALLEGORY. I mean, yes, I know there are those who carry arround this baggage, consisting of an unclothed woman, plus an unclothed man, plus a Tree of Sacred Fruit, as also a tempting Serpent, topped off (like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream) by that big booming Voice in the sky - shaking His finger at this lovely couple, first in simple Instruction & Warning, then later in Admonition, Blame and Wrath. Yet for all this imagery, which certainly VEILS the Truth, we forget to use the Key (for solution to the Allegory) which we wear around our very neck! :eek:

    Oh, oh, oh ... for the simplicity of the childlike mind. From an innate, God-given and universally-present innocence, mirroring that of our earliest ancestors - and even resembling that of God on High, in terms of Divine Potential - we sink first into the smelly swamp of stagnant imagery, then become utterly confused as we enter the still-worse, mucky morass of mind. "The mind is the great slayer of the Real," it is has been said, and we shall only understand the SYMBOLISM of this Bible tale by accepting first of all that it is precisely that.

    Thomas will need to revisit the obvious, and think more clearly. If Adam & Eve did in fact ALREADY KNOW that eating of the Sacred Fruit was wrong, then clearly, God would not NEED to tell them! For it to be necessary to warn them against such a no-no, it is clear that they DID NOT understand. Now obviously they did not understand Good & Evil, so God was required to instruct them, if He actually wished for them to ever LEARN anything - that is, to PROGRESS, in all the ways that Beings progress, rather than to simply SIT THERE, like bumps on a pickle, and stare blankly back at God, or at each other. :rolleyes:

    I would only mention that caveat that I am being melodramatic, and that in fact, we do know of an entire ORDER of Beings (or rather, about 10 Orders), which DO NOT exercise what we have come to understand as FREE WILL. Those are the Angels, as Christians call them, and at this early stage of Human Creation, we are as yet - NO DIFFERENT than the Angels. Thus, what the Garden story is all about, is one PART of the process of Humanity's past evolution - the specific part wherein we Fall into Generation, as it is esoterically called.

    And just HOW did God accomplish this? How to get beings (Adam & Eve as representational of HUMANITY at this early stage, minus the distinguishing faculty of MIND ... which also gives us FREE WILL, as the Christian understands it) to LEARN Good & Evil?

    In the symbolism, the Garden is considered a place, yet more properly it refers to a STATE of Being. Not a state of mind, or of consciousness per se, but simply a sphere of existence, better thought of as Being at-Peace with God ... yet also a condition of KNOWING NO DISTINCTION between God and Self, Self and Other, or in fact, GOD/SELF and Other/Anything. It would also not be entirely inaccurate to say that this condition of awareness was something like SLEEP or utter unconsciousness.

    The problem is, the Christian theologian - and therefore us, no thanks to the poor explanations we've all been getting ... yet also due largely to the complexities of the situation itself, the CONUNDRUM involved, the CATCH-22 - the Christian theologian forgets (if he indeed realizes) that the Garden story is meant to symbolize the earliest stages of Humanity's Spiritual Development, when Mind as a Faculty of Consciousness WAS NOT. All that was present within our Spiritual constitution, was the latent, dormant POTENTIAL to Think, and to make decisions, and indeed - to DISCRIMINATE between Good & Evil. Just think, in the East, they understand this very DISTINCTION, and the fact that this is what GOD intended for us to develop - each & every one of us ... they understand it so well, that they have a word for it. They call it vivekha (or viveka). And you can do the research yourself. :)

    Our difficulty will always remain, so long as we attempt to CONCRETIZE the imagery, and to render the Allegory as somehow LITERALLY referring to actual events. Actual events THERE WERE, but they did not take place between one man, and one woman, with one tree, and one serpent, and one, great big man, with that big shaking finger, and the nice pleasant demeanor ... gradually giving way to booming wrath and admonition, banishment, and punishment. OH BROTHER

    So ... early Humanity, devoid of Mind, and minus the ability to discriminate between Good & Evil, needed to DEVELOP this ability. And do you think that this is something which we gain, overnight, in one fell swoop? Indeed, is this ability all that really matters - for you and for me - in our day to day lives?

    In one sense, YES. In one sense, this sums up the entire Goal of the Spiritual Evolutionary experience here upon this planet, and for our Earth Humanity. We ARE learning this ability, but the REST of the equation is that we MUST HAVE A LABORATORY in which to TEST our formula. We must have a field, of sowing and reaping, wherein we may try out the gradually developing powers of discrimination. In short, we must LABOR, and we must experience the FRUIT of our labors.

    The tree, bearing the Sacred Fruit, is not simply KNOWLEDGE itself, or this Ability to Discriminate ... it represents GENERATION itself, or immersion in the material worlds - Descent, through repeated (because NECESSARILY repeated) INCARNATION. The taking on of MEAT.

    From purely ethereal, and more Spiritual conditions, we HAD TO DESCEND. It does not occur to the theologian (or to many of us), it would seem, that one can actually EXIST in an ethereal, Spiritual condition, and yet have utterly NO AWARENESS than one even exists - BECAUSE, without the development of CONSCIOUSNESS, such awareness is impossible!

    What good is it, to be next to God, and to be utterly pure, free of all evil, existing in what would be eternal and unconditioned BLISS ... IF YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU'RE THERE!?! ;)

    Man's descent into incarnation, our Fall into Generation, is required - as the Three Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine indicate (please see prior post), because this is the method of evolution of ALL BEING(s). God Himself, even the Highest, operates in this manner. Christian theology, so long as it insists on absurd and facile statements such as "[My] God can do anything," will - I'm afraid - NEVER understand. And this is because at once you utter such an absurdity, you SEAL your own ability to grasp certain basics.

    This UNIVERSE, indeed, this COSMOS is founded upon ORDER. It emerges from Chaos, and proceeds ACCORDING TO (a) PLAN, a Divine Blueprint, as it works towards Absolute ORDER. Along the way, EVERY BEING learns to Cooperate with and Come To God, first by understanding, cooperating with and Mastering its environment, and then, by also understanding, cooperating with and Mastering Self and Other. The `other' is never violated in terms of Free Will, because by the time we have Mastered self and environment, we have transcended the distinctions - even those we have spent aeons learning to DEFINE - between self and other.

    But alas, the Western mind does not always grasp what this kind of Unity is like, and it ever seeks to cry FOUL when it feels something is being taken from it. Rather than ponder that perhaps Christ's Sacrifice was precisely some of those things which seem to matter MOST to us (like, hmmm, our very consciousness, or PERCEPTION - intellectually considered - of SELF vs. Other) ... we prefer to focus on the greatest illusion of all, pure MAYA - and cling to Individuality like there was no tomorrow. Thus we hear the would-be philosopher insist, "I must have my Individuality. I only want to be near God, but NEVER would I submit to BLISSFUL non-duality."

    Well, let us nevermind these subtleties, because we do not have to take the argument that far. It is enough to see, that while in the Garden of Eden, our condition was pure and Spiritual, but LACKING a material expression ... or rather, to be technical, lacking the INTELLECTUAL componet of our Nature. The latent, dormant powers (ability) of Discrimination, along with all else that we understand Mind to be, had to be Awakened ... yes, even as Buddhas Awaken (and as Christs are Annointed) - through the SAME process ... via INCARNATION, Generation, Experience in the material worlds, and gradual DEVELOPMENT of Humanity.

    One can discover, easily enough, the Symbolism of the Serpent, if we remember that in these early, Spiritual and PURE conditions, EVERYTHING in fact, is `Good.' Evil, though present in a sense, is purely relative. Otherwise, what point in needing to learn the difference, after all!

    Thomas would love to say here, exactly - what point! We were already AT PEACE, content, with our Maker. But in doing so, he only (would) evidence that he misses the subtler points completely. He has not considered, I'm afraid, that it is possible to exist ALONGSIDE God, with God, in God's very Presence ... and yet KNOW IT NOT. And so I repeat, WHAT IS THE POINT ... of BEING with God, if you have no awareness of it?

    Who said we didn't have awareness? Oh dear. Crack those books, Thomas. It won't hurt you. Somewhere in between your Julian of Norwich and your St. Augustine, try seeking out one of the INITIATED Church Fathers, who at least KNEW something of the Secrets. Try taking a wee bit seriously those Eastern folks and their strange, oriental (SIC) religions ... when they speak of `the Serpent-Power.' Give a moment's thought to the true SIGNIFICANCE of their DRAGONS, and to the sleeping power within MANKIND.

    No proper understanding of Genesis, and the Garden of Eden allegory will be complete, without at least learning something of Kundalini. And if you think the Lord God put a Fiery Energy within you, just for it to be ignored (at the right and proper time), I'd say you need to go back and read your Bible. That book is FULL of references, descriptions, allegories, accounts and tales - of the Serpent Fire.

    I am slightly out of sorts, so I apologize for the extra sarcasm ... but I hope something of the allegory makes more sense.

    Being with God, and being completely, utterly, UNCONCSIOUS. Hmmm .... ;)

    But it doesn't have to be that way. And indeed, it won't. Thank God for that! :) :D
     
  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~~(='.'=)~~

    Andrew,

    I thought it would be good to go over the Theosophical version of the story of Adam and Eve. It had taken millions of years of both physical and spiritual evolution, but we finally had human souls inside of human bodies. The effect was immediate — everyone became sexually active.

    Yes, the story of Adam and Eve is the story of sex. The two Biblical symbols are the snake and the fruit (seed) — clearly two sexual symbols. The idea of the "snake" telling us to partake of the "seed" now becomes a much more graphic picture.

    Worse yet, Theosophy says a great deal of coitus with animals began. It is said that this lead to the appearance of satyrs, minotaurs, mermaids, etc. (Yes, even cute mermaids.) (Mythology is full of stories of half-human, half animal creatures.) All of this activity went on for some time, and really put the human race behind schedule.

    This also explains how humanity was created on Day Six, and then was confusingly created again when Adam and Eve appeared. The Day-Six creation refers to the creating of human astral bodies (that were not yet attached to physical bodies), and the Adam and Eve Story refers to the final attachment of human astral bodies to physical bodies — and the sexual activity that immediately began therafter. The Bible accurately refers to two separate events, and does not give us the contradiction that some people see in what is called the Biblical Double-Creation Story.

    I find it curious that the Biblical version of this story has Adam and Eve being punished for seeking knowledge of good and evil. Yes, they now had a new type of good-bad knowledge, and yes, "God" was right to "get angry". But Theosophy does not see God punishing Adam and Eve for what happened. Rather, it set up a chain of karmic events that can be said to impact us even today. (I see the idea of a God handing out punishment as a later addition, put there to scare people into doing what the religious authorities wanted them to do.)
     
  13. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    If you have a chance, maybe you could mention something about the three Falls you mentioned, Nick. Part of my account is probably convoluted, owing to my collapsing of two, or three of these, into one. We know that it was not one, big fall ... especially not one that occurred in the winking of an eye, with the big angry Jehovah-god getting ticked off and snapping his fingers, banashing us from paradise, yadda yadda.

    I think you could probably give a very concise version of the basics, and I know I could certainly benefit from seeing it ... so we can see what dovetails with the Christian presentation/interpretation, and what does not.

    Thanks ...

    ~Andrew
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~

    Andrew,

    Here are the Three Falls.

    THE FIRST FALL

    This first Fall is the story of the beginning of our universe. It begins with the statement, "And the gods said, Let there be light" (the Theosophical version). Spirit (Father) shined upon Virgin Matter (now called by the church the Virgin Mary).

    The concept of Virgin Matter needs to be explained. As everyone knows, atoms can be divided into electrons, protons, and neutrons. Some time ago, it was discovered these particles can be further divided into particles called quarks, etc. It has just been recently discovered these particles can be further divided into particles called strings. Science is nowhere near find sub-particles within strings, but it is only a matter of time. If we divide particles into sub-particles again and again, we will eventually get down to the basic substance of the universe. This is Virgin Matter. Its indivisiblity and "basic substance of the universe" is why it is called Virgin. (Theosophy calls this substance Mother, Water, and Mulaprakriti.) This is the water in Genesis, "The Spirit moved across the waters.

    The Spirit (Father) moved across the Waters (Mother), just as Genesis says. It is said that the Waters had millions of tiny waves, and each wave reflected a point of light from Spirit. We are those reflections, those points of light. It is these points which make up everything in the universe. Collectively, these points of light are called Mahat, the Son, and Monads. (We were/are these points of light, but we were nowhere near ready to assume astral and physical shape at that time.)

    It was necessary for us Monads to gain experience. The "gate" was opened, and we rushed out with full enthusiasm, as any child which is allowed its freedom for the first time.

    But separateness came as a shock. Some wanted to return to the previous all-encompassing One. In order to prevent this a wall (called the Firmament in Genesis) was put up, in order to ensure we maintained our individuality, and had the experiences we needed. (We are still having those needed experiences here in the physical world.) It was as if the baby chicks had been allowed out of the nest to find their own wings, to the point where they would not be let back in until they had. The gates closed behind us, just as described in Genesis. But it was a positive experience, a chance for us to earn our wings, not the negative punishment as described in Genesis.
    The story continues. Each Monad gathered around itself "robes of matter." These material bodies allowed the Monads to have more concrete experiences. The taking on of a new, denser body is called putting on a "veil." We put on a veil called an Atman. The Atman put on a veil called Buddhi. The Buddhi put on a veil called a mental body. The mental body put on a veil called the astral body. Finally, the astral body was connected to a physical body, the densest of all veils.

    This journey from points of light down to astral bodies residing in physical bodies is described as a Descent. We are in a huge cycle, where we have descended from Spirit, and we are now in an ascent, to eventually return to Spirit. This Descent is described as a Fall. I think calling it a Fall is unfair, but that is what it is called. Some people feel this First Fall was an inherently evil thing, but I disagree. I see it as a natural flow of consciousness in the universe.

    THE THIRD FALL

    The Third Fall is the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall into uncontrolled sexual activity. Clearly, this was not the original intent, and can definitely be considered a fall.

    THE SECOND FALL

    This is one of the most bizarre stories in Theosophy. All through the history of the human race, we have had Great Beings guiding us, and helping us make progress along the Path. (We still do.) For some unexplained reason, some of the Great Beings took a hands-off approach early in the formation of the first human race. (This was not part of the plan.) I still do not know why it happened, but it did. These hands-off Great Beings have come to be despised (unfairly?) down the centuries. (I feel that despising them is a big mistake.) Nevertheless, they slowed the progress of the human race by their inaction. These Great beings have since been merged into one idea by the church, and are called Satan.
     
  15. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    Thank you, Nick! :)

    I think this has been most helpful, at least for me, by way of an overview of Theosophy's take on `The Fall.' And so long as we look at the first account as part of the Divine Design, I think we're on the right track.

    The 2nd Fall is one that mystifies me, as well, and provides tremendous room for inquiry, study and meditation along the way. It is also the subject of some of the rest of this post ...

    The 3rd Fall is covered quite well in The Secret Doctrine, yet I'm convinced we could all study that wonderful book for the rest of our lifetime ... and still have only scratched the surface.

    Did you know, by the way, that the same Tibetan Master who dictated HPB's SD also wrote via Alice Bailey in the 20s, 30s and 40s? I know this is not uniformly accepted by all Theosophists, yet I found in my experience that it only took a short pause - at around age 20 - to recognize that yes, in fact, that's Master DK! ;) :)

    More specifically, I wanted to say that the Tibetan describes A Treatise on Cosmic Fire as the psychological key to The Secret Doctrine. So what He's done is give us a much more updated, in-depth and clarified presentation of His own earlier work via HPB ... which, admittedly, is not the easiest esoteric work to sift through.

    Not that Cosmic Fire is exactly light reading :rolleyes: :p ... but I have found, after many years of familiarity with the Tibetan's teachings, that indeed, much Light is cast onto the significance of The Secret Doctrine, regarding the subject of Humanity's earthly-material and intellectual-spiritual evolution, through a study.

    Let me say just a wee bit more. I've looked at my library, for the last half an hour or so, and here is what I've found:


    At this web site, the Theosophical University Press Online Edition of The Secret Doctrine consists of - of course - two volumes - and that pagination is as follows:
    Cosmogenesis - 676 pages - Concerned with our prior evolution, and its Archetypes, up to Humanity during this Round

    Anthropogenesis - 798 pages - Concerned with our prior evolution, more specifically, during this Round ... up to Humanity as we know it
    But what you might find especially interesting, Nick, given your interests as I have gathered them from the past several months of discussion at C-R, are the following additional contributions to our understanding of Humanity's evolution ... made by the same Initiated Masters Who instructed HPB:

    A Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine, which I'm sure you know about and probably own, entitled Occultism, and available from Kessinger Publications, consisting of 594 pages. Mine has a light blue cover, though most of theirs have been yellow in my experience ...

    In addition, do you happen to have a book published by Temple of the People in Halcyon, CA, entitled Theogenesis, being in fact additional Stanazas of Dzyan - nine in number, and totaling 322 pages, as given by Masters M, KH and H?


    To quote from the preface of that book:
    "The following Stanzas very evidently refer to the last of the sub-races of the Fifth Root Race and the early races of the Sixth Root Race. The first volume of The Secret Doctrine deals with Cosmogenesis and is based on seven Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan. The second volume consists of twelve Stanzas, subdivided into forty-nine slokas with commentaries, and deals with Anthropogenesis. The last three slokas of Stanza XII refer to the Fifth Race and its divine instructors. The additional Stanzas now to be given forth to humanity by the Great Lodge continue from Stanza XII of the second volume and fall naturally under the head of what may appropriately be termed Theogenesis, as the evident purpose is to indicate the process whereby the Human Kingdom will merge into the Divine. How many additional Stanzas form the Sacred Work referred to will be given out, and to what extent elucidated, will depend upon humanity itself. But it may be taken as a good sign that even a few more Stanzas are permitted to be unsealed to the world."
    And again, a quotation from the PROEM:
    In the preface to the first volume of The Secret Doctrine, Madame Blavatsky unequivocally states the two books so entitled do not comprise "The Secret Doctrine" in toto. The Stanzas and some few quotations from commentaries as given therein are taken from the Book of Dzyan, which in its entirety is that "doctrine."

    In a private instruction Madame Blavatsky relates that she has been given "a handful of seed to sow." This "seed" is, in part, the nineteen Stanzas and the above mentioned quotations. The first section of the Stanzas of Dzyan consists of the seven Stanzas of the first volume of The Secret Doctrine, called "Cosmogenesis." The second section is made up of the twelve Stanzas of the second volume, entitled "Anthropogensis." The third section of the Stanzas, "Theogenesis" and their commentaries, have been given to The Temple over a period of years (1906-1918), during which time they were published in The Temple Artisan, the official magazine of The Temple of the People.

    While these Stanzas might be considered to be prophetic of the changes to occur during the sixth sub-race of the present Fifth Root Race, Master Morya has stated that "they concern the changes to occur in some of the sub-races of the Sixth Root Race," from which we are separated by many millions of years.

    According to a statement of Master Morya's, three are forty-three unprinted slokas between the last sloka of the seventh Stanza in the first volume of The Secret Doctrine and the first sloka of the first Stanza of the second volume, and others are missing from other Stanzas, which concern the evolution of man from the human to the Dhyan Chohan. There are quite as many missing slokas between some of the Stanzas in the last sections received. The first four Stanazs of the latter, "Theogenesis," refer particularly to different periods of the Second, Third, and Fourth Root Races and the divisions of the fifth sub-races of the present - Fifth Root Race.

    There must have occurred a wide gap - therefore many missing slokas - between the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth Stanzas. As we understand it, there are many phases of evolution referred to in the missing slokas and Stanzas not absolutely necessary for a broad outline of that subject, and also many others that would be incomprehensible to the present races of earth, owing to the fact that the latter have not yet developed two of the seven senses, all of which would be necessary to a full understanding and which will be the birthright of the sixth and seventh races. One of these senses will be evolved in the sixth race, and the other, the synthetic sense, in the seventh race. Not being in possession of these senses, we are in no position to comprehend the symbolic figures of speech in which the missing Stanzas are couched, many of which relate to the phenomena and the lives of the sixth and seventh sub-races of this root race, during which great changes will take place in the human body and the manner of living.

    It is quite a notion, I realize - especially for folks who are not used to considering it - but yes, in fact, additional dictations of the same Master Teachers Who worked via HPB have taken place, since her day ... and such can be purchased and studied as readily as the SD. ;) :)

    I would like to assure the reader that it is so, and I would stake the past 17 years of my life upon it (!), since despite my 35 years in this body ... I am no spring chicken. :D

    Anyway, I went through my phase, a necessary stage upon the path of learning viveka, wherein I purchased a `green book' or two (`I AM' teachings), and something by Elizabeth Claire Prophet supposedly dictated by Masters KH & DK. I recall how, even during that time, it was interesting, yet just didn't quite meet up to the Theosophical writings I had studied (even by contemporary authors) ... and so it didn't much surprise me after awhile that I decided on my own that such purported channelings were in fact, BUNK. I did have a tip, as I recall, and in that moment I was reluctant to admit that I was wrong (or mistaken) ... yet I soon recognized that it was so (and THIS part, each of us must do, on our own).


    At any rate, I would note the above years given for the dictation of Theogenesis, then mention that the Tibetan Master began His work with Alice Bailey only after 1919. A Treatise on Cosmic Fire was first published in 1925, and it consists of 1283 pages, itself including Thirteen Stanzas of Dzyan in the introduction. The following notation is made by Foster Bailey in its preface:
    In A Treatise on Cosmic Fire the Tibetan has given us what H. P. Blavatsky prophesied he would give, namely, the psychological key to the Cosmic Creation. H.P.B. stated that in the 20th century a disciple would come who would give the psychological key to her own monumental work The Secret Doctrine on which treatise the Tibetan worked with her; and Alice A. Bailey worked in complete recognition of her own task in this sequence.
    A quick bit of math shows me that we have some 3,673 pages essentially dictated by Masters of the Wisdom (Initiates in most cases of the 5th or 6th Degree, possibly including early contributions of The Tibetan while still an Arhat, or 4th Degree Initiate) ... though admittedly 594 pages are from the SD vol. III, which is not really part of this sequence, based on the Stanzas of Dzyan. Still, there remain in excess of 3,000 pages on this subject ...


    I cannot immediately recall where the 13 Stanzas from Cosmic Fire fit into the sequence, though as I compare them with those from The SD, vols I & II, as well as from Theogenesis, I cannot immediately see any overlap. It MIGHT therefore be safe to venture that they do indeed, consist of additional Stanzas, released by the Great Lodge, just as is hinted at in the preface to Theogenesis, and indicated by HPB herself.

    Bear in mind that The Tibetan Master, upon attaining His Fifth Initiation in 1875, undertook a 3-part assignment, or voluntary Act of Service, in His pledge to assist Humanity, consisting of three distinct phases of Spiritual Teaching for the aspirants, disciples and Initiates of the world.

    We already know a great deal about the first of these, for much of The Secret Doctrine was in fact His dictation, along with assistance from Masters M, KH and H, as well as several others, in part. The 19 volumes of Esoteric Wisdom given via Alice Bailey largely formed Master DK's 2nd phase of instruction, although there were also Seed Groups of disciples formed, on the physical plane, as an early - and only partially successful - effort, for the Externalization of the Hierarchy (itself the title of one of Master DK's volumes).


    The Tibetan's third set of teachings are yet to come, as we are told in this excerpt from Rays and the Initiations:
    In the foregoing pages I gave you certain broad principles and outlined a new aspect of the work which I had undertaken to do for humanity—under instruction from the Hierarchy. The teaching I gave there is very abstruse; little of it can as yet be of real service to the majority of aspirants but a wide and general idea can take form and provide the immovable background for later teaching. I would have you remember that the teaching which I have given out has been intermediate in nature, just as that given by H.P.B., under my instruction, was preparatory. The teaching planned by the Hierarchy to precede and condition the New Age, the Aquarian Age, falls into three categories:
    1. Preparatory, given 1875-1890...written down by H.P.B.

    2. Intermediate, given 1919-1949...written down by A.A.B.

    3. Revelatory, emerging after 1975...to be given on a worldwide scale via the radio.

    In the next century and early in the century an initiate will appear and will carry on this teaching. It will be under the same "impression," for my task is not yet completed and this series of bridging treatises between the material knowledge of man and the science of the initiates has still another phase to run.
    So I would have to wonder, might we expect - or HOPE, at any rate - to receive additional instruction which will fall into sequence with the already provided Stanzas, specifically regarding Humanity's past, present and future Evolution? It is entirely possible, yet I doubt there is a Soul among us (at C-R and among our associates), Initiated or otherwise, who can safely say, "I have Mastered the Teachings that have been provided on this subject!" ;)


    It is understandable that we confine our scope to certain subjects - as in this case, `the Fall' ... though I know that I have found it helpful to be reminded that the Ageless Wisdom treats of no fewer than three such Falls. Nor can each one be considered a Fall from Grace, as the Christian presentation is usually called.

    Only the third, and final of the sequence, might aptly be described as a parting of ways with the Divine Will. Yet here, too, we will find that the Ageless Wisdom describes no wrath from an angry, jealous Deity - that Father-figure of a god, which the Judeo-Christian traditions have come to depict.
     
  16. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    One final note regarding the Teachings of the Great Lodge:

    Alice Bailey, writing for the Tibetan from 1919-1949, was not the only, or the last, of the students in the 20th Century to perform such a function. Teachings from Master Morya were faithfully recorded by Helena Roerich, from 1924 to 1938, and referred to as Agni Yoga, or the Teaching of the Living Ethics.

    As Agni Yoga, this instruction may be understood as a synthetic, experimental and Fire-Based Yoga, eventually to supersede prior yogas such as hatha/laya, bhakti, and even Raja Yoga (the Kingly Yoga), dealing with the unfoldment of the etheric, astral and mental bodies, respectively. Agni Yoga concerns itself with the unfoldment of the Soul, referring not so much to a vehicle of Consciousness, but to Consciousness per se - the Middle Principle of our spiritual constitituion (between the lower self and the Higher Self, or Monad).

    The most recent set of Teachings I have discovered, which form a very unusual - and an exceptional - contibution from the Great Lodge, are the writings of Lucille Cedercrans, being the Instruction of Masters R., along with at least one additional Master (Master John), mentioned in Master DK's earliest book with Alice Bailey, Initiation Human and Solar, from 1919.

    The nature of much of Lucille's contribution, which was recorded during the 50s and 60s and is termed simply `the Wisdom,' is different than earlier Teachings from the Great Ones in that much of it represents a synthetic effort of the Hierarchy, and synthetic cooperation of disciples from three (or more) particular Ashrams - in the forming of ONE, entirely new Ashram. This Synthetic Ashram consists of the 1st Ray Ashram of Master M., the 2nd Ray Ashram of Master DK (being a subsidiary of the parent 2nd Ray Ashram of Master KH), and the 7th Ray Ashram of a New Master, Whose origin is extra-Solar.

    Master R., as DK clarifies during the series of His later teachings via Alice Bailey, no longer serves as the 7th Ray Chohan, due to the assuming of responsibilities of Maha-Chohan, or `Lord of Civilization.' Curiously, some of the material given by Lucille Cedercrans emanates from Master R. as the product of the 7th Ray Ashram, some of it is given as part of the Ashram of Synthesis (1+2+7), and some of it may also come in the form of individual, yet Group, Instruction ... of a more general sort.

    None of this, however, to the best of my knowledge, refers directly to the Stanzas of Dzyan, or comes by way of specific disclosure or eludication of additional Stanzas.

    ~Andrew
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Re: Theosophy: Can we agree that tormenting people for all time is wrong no matter w

    Hi Nick and Andrew ...

    Believe it or not, I am intrigued by the content of your posts.

    I have an inquiry, but ust admit I am loathe to ask, because invariably it seems my questions or observations are construed as an attack, for daring to suggest a belief other than your own. So this is something of a 'last go' ... if it is construed as an attack, then please ignore it, and I shall no further attempt to engage in dialogue.

    +++

    The question in my mind is, as Theosophy has such a radically different and I think unique reading of human and world history when compared to JudeoChristian Scripture, that it would seem to draw on other data, what is this other data? For example you speak of three Falls. Scripture speaks of only one. Wherefrom do you draw the data of the other two?

    The second, and I suppose a corollary question somewhat dependent on the first, is why refer to the Abrahamic texts at all? Why does not the Theosophical data stand and present itself as its own unique and independent data?

    That is the gist of my question, but if you would like some background to it, I have added a paragraph below.

    +++

    Christianity, and as I understand it even Judaism (I would bow to bananabrain's superior knowledge on this), regard Scripture as a Divinely inspired document, delivered by a human hand. The trace of both the divine and human author is clearly evident.

    As such it is all but impossible to separate the reception of the Inspired Word from the receptacle, indeed the Historical Critical Method, which tried to do just that, has since been obliged by ongoing scholarship to acknowledge the 'Sitz im Leben' (the 'setting in life') of the sacred Text — the Old Testament (if bananabrain will allow, for the sake of discussion) is the story of the emergence of a monotheistic people from a polytheistic tradition ... the New Testament is the story of the emergence of a Person whom His followers believed to be God become man ... every Sacred Text shapes, but is also shaped by, the tradition and culture from which it springs, to such an extent that I don't think the two can be separated ... the cultures of India gave rise to the Bhagavad Gita and the Pali Canon ... in that sense sacred texts don't just 'pop out of the blue' ...

    Thomas
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    -----====ooo000ooo====-----

    Thomas, you said,
    "...it seems my questions or observations are construed as an attack...."

    --> I am very much in favor of discussing and comparing our differing ideas, as long as it is done in a mutually respectful way.
    "...for daring to suggest a belief other than your own."
    --> There you go, being sarcastic and superior again. What scares me is, you do not even realize you are doing it. Why, it seems like only yesterday you were bad-mouthing the idea of religious plurality. Theosophy exists for the very purpose of promoting religious plurality. I can only dream of the day you accept the Theosophical idea of religious plurality.
    "...if it is construed as an attack, then please ignore it, and I shall no further attempt to engage in dialogue."
    --> Your discussions and observations on the issues are always welcome. This is a great opportunity for you to explain the Christian version of these many issues, and I highly encourage you to keep doing exactly that.

    "...as Theosophy has such a radically different and I think unique reading of human and world history when compared to JudeoChristian Scripture, that it would seem to draw on other data, what is this other data?"

    --> Theosophy has its own scripture, called the Stanzas of Dzyan. I thought I had given you a copy of it. Did I?
    "Wherefrom do you draw the data of the other two?"
    --> From the Stanzas.

    "...why refer to the Abrahamic texts at all?"

    --> Both the Abrahamic texts and the Stanzas come from the same source (according to Theosophy.) When we dig down to what is really going on, they are both telling the same story. For example, as I explained in my above post, the Stanzas explain the puzzling Biblical "Double-Creation" story in a way no one else can. We are all talking about the same creation story.
    "Why does not the Theosophical data stand and present itself as its own unique and independent data?"

    --> Technically speaking, it does just that. Feel free to ask for specifc quotes regarding specifc points.
    "That is the gist of my question...."

    --> Thank you for your continuing efforts. I appeciate your efforts at religious pluralism, and increased understanding between varing religious platforms.
    "Christianity, and as I understand it even Judaism (I would bow to bananabrain's superior knowledge on this), regard Scripture as a Divinely inspired document, delivered by a human hand."

    --> Theosophy claims the same of its own scripture.
    "...every Sacred Text shapes, but is also shaped by, the tradition and culture from which it springs, to such an extent that I don't think the two can be separated...."

    --> I agree. That is why the original source has to periodically re-released. According to Theosophy, the Bible, Buddhist sutras, the Upanishads, the Puranas, etc., are re-releases of the same story. (The Theosophical scriptures are seen as another re-release in that line.)
    "... the cultures of India gave rise to the Bhagavad Gita and the Pali Canon ... in that sense sacred texts don't just 'pop out of the blue' ..."
    --> Indeed, they do not. They are being continually re-released, century after century, civilization after civilization. They will continue to be re-released again and again, long after you and I are gone.
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    -----====(^_^)====-----

    Andrew,

    Thanks for the information about those books and quotes. Unfortunately, time is a big limitation (for all of us!). I am presently slogging my way through The Secret Doctrine vols 1 and 2, and it is tough going. In an ideal world, I would be able to get to every book I want to read!
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Re: -----====ooo000ooo====-----


    Good. So am I. Post Vatican II Catholicism has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the world, and we have a very good track record on issues of religious plurality. Pope John Paul II was loved the world over — hence the response and presence of world figures at his funeral — and despite the best atempts of a media with a secularist agenda, the exchanges between Roman Catholics and Islam (letters just this week) and Buddhism, for example, go on apace.

    I was rather hoping to offer you the opportunity to discuss the Theosophist background to these issues.

    No, I don't think so.

    I had gathered that, from comments made before.

    But I don't think youy're saying that the people of Israel are the source of the Stanzas? This is the bit that I am not sure of.

    Who are the 'people', if I might put it that way, of the Stanzas? I am always interested in 'tradition' ... to me that's much of the richness of any religious culture.

    We see it differently — or at least, it has never been a 'puzzle' for us. Again, our commentaries explain it in detail, and inspiration and insight is ever fresh. I wonder why so many talk of 'puzzle' when all they had to do is ask. It's the puzzle of three Falls I'm trying to get to.

    In Christian theology, there are two dimensions to the creation story, one vertical (Ch1) which deals with metaphysical principles, the other horizontal (Ch2) which deals with expansion/extension of those principles ... specifically the human story. The two are the one event, if you like, viewed from different viewpoints.

    Another way of looking at it is to view Chapter One as top down (the focus is on the Creator), Chapter Two as bottom up (the focus is on the creature).

    Good. I hope we can keep it as such. I will be more inclined to engage on that basis.

    Thomas
     

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