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

    --> What a wonderful idea. Feel free to ask questions about specific points.
    "I thought I had given you a copy of it. Did I? --> No, I don't think so.
    --> Here is a CR thread I previously made.

    http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/the-stanzas-of-dzyan-7045.html

    The Stanzas are also available at several places on the Internet.

    Stanzas Dzyan - Google Search

    Please note I have developed my own numbering system for the Stanzas. The number ii-2-2 refers to Book 2, Stanza 2, Sloka 2. (Nobody else uses this numbering system.)

    Warning: the Stanzas are full of symbology, and are very difficult to understand. As a matter of fact, I have dedicated myself to explaing them. It is hard work, but I am making great progress.
    "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."

    --> No, they are not. According to Theosophy, the Stanzas outdate the people of Israel by a lot. I am sorry if I was confusing on that point.
    "Who are the 'people', if I might put it that way, of the Stanzas?"

    --> This question requires me to give what seems to be a tricky answer. As you have previously noted, each version of scripture is unique to the culture that produces it. The Stanzas, however, are different. Theosophy claims the Stanzas were written by the Great Beings who actually created the Earth, as well as their directly-appointed assistants here on Earth. The Stanzas, therefore are not culture-specific (according to the theory).
    "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. --> We see it differently — or at least, it has never been a 'puzzle' for us."

    --> Well, I guess it is all how you look at it. For me, it is puzzling.
    "It's the puzzle of three Falls I'm trying to get to."
    --> The more questions you ask, the better.
     
  2. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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

    This is the kind of exchange I think we are after! :)

    +++

    Nick has already answered this ... so I would only agree - that it is the Stanzas of Dzyan, from which word we get `Zen,' though I wonder if the word sounds a bit like `John' in actual pronunication (?) ...


    This one I would like to answer by way of a quotation from the best source I know on the subject. I should probably withhold the identity of the author - until you read it, so let me give the quote first, then some information below:
    For the last thirty-five years there has been but little said of the New Testament among occult students of H.P. Blavatsky and others who came after her. It was in a manner put in the background for a good reason. As I have told you before, the New Testament holds in its pages all the knowledge of the universe. All the diffuse philosophical literature of the ages that preceded the Christian era was preparatory. The New Testament synthesizes all, but it has been so misunderstood and misinterpreted that we deemed it best to go back to the older philosophies, that they might explain the New Testament. It is only through the old philosophies that it can be understood, for it contains copies of the most occult manuscripts in the world; and the treasures of the hidden chambers of the East, of which I have spoken to you before, are, as I have said of the western philosophies, but explanations of all that you find between the pages of Matthew and Revelations. You cannot study that book too much. It will open to your understanding, with the explanations you have already had, as nothing else can.

    Now for a bit of background. This paragraph comes from the penultimate page of a book entitled Teachings of the Temple, from a lesson entitled `My Father's House is a House of Prayer.' Whatever its actual inspiration, here is what students of The Temple of the People - and myself - believe, about the Temple Teachings:

    We accept them as the dictations of the Master Hilarion, via one or other of the conscious sibyls, William Dower, Francia LaDue or Pearl F. Dower. I am not entirely sure, but it is possible that these dictations continue today. The book Theogenesis, as I mentioned earlier, also bears the stamp of Masters Morya and Kuthumi in its authorship. Together, these three Masters, plus Master DK (Djwhal Khul), constitute four of the most directly involved Mahatmas with the Theosophical Movement of the 19th Century.

    It is worth noting, also, that esoteric students will eventually trace the identity of the Master Hilarion (or Illarion, as it is sometimes found) to no fewer than two notable figures from Western history. The more recent of these is the great Neoplatonic philosopher Iamblichus, which you might find of particular interest, Thomas. And yet the other should be equally curious, as prior to his incarnation as Iamblichus this was none other than St. Paul, or Saul of Tarsus, pre-`Conversion' (3rd Initiation).

    I have also found a direct statement regarding the inspiration for St. John's Revelation. It was dictated by the Arhat Initiate (4th Degree) St. Paul, to the Beloved Disciple, perhaps from the Inner Planes ... yet clearly with an Insight which would only be possible for an Advanced Initiate (of the same degree as Jesus of Nazareth, some years prior).

    There are many, many connections here - some which I would not venture to mention aloud - yet I will attest to the existence of Arhat Teachers among us in the world today. To believe that Buddha took the only 900 with him - into Nirvana - for all time, leaving us without spiritual guidance ... would be absurd! ;)

    And I can only appeal to a certain spiritual practicality, or common sense, if I might be so bold - in suggesting that Arhats, whatever one's tradition, are always men or women of a more or less equivalent degree of Spiritual attainment, awakening, experience, unfoldment, and awareness. The differences of personality, background, spiritual or religious association, and spiritual temperament (or the `Ray' upon which one's Soul is evolving), will account for - and leave room for - an wide variety of types of Arhats (Advanced Initiates), just as there are Adepts and Masters (Initiates of at least the 5th Degree) from more sections of the Occult Brotherhood than I could begin to fathom.

    One of the most famous, and earliest, of the Mahatma Letters, for example, which speaks of the true `Brotherhood of Luxor' (as opposed to the spurious `Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor'), bears the signature (or mention) of Serapis Bey, Polydorus Isurenus and Robert More (as well as Tuitit Bey), of the Ellora Section, Section of Solomon and Section of Zoroaster, respectively. I must confess that I am not at all clear regarding just what exactly is meant by `Section' in this case, yet the Tibetan Master, writing via Alice Bailey (again, as a conscious sibyl, and not mediumistically or in trance), mentions four differenct branches of the Occult Brotherhood - or the One School.

    If you will forgive a lengthy quotation from Letters on Occult Meditation (dictated Sept. 27, 1920), I think this might actually clarify several things:
    1. The one fundamental School.

    It is therefore very essential that the emphasis is laid on the fact that no matter what the offshoots, the basic school of occultism is that one which has its root in the sacred centre of the planet, Shamballa. At that place, directly under the eyes of the One Initiator Himself, Who is—as is seldom realised—the highest expression of the Teaching Ray upon the earth, is found what might be termed the central office for the educational disciplinary training work of the Hierarchy. There will be found the Chohan Who is directly responsible for the various endeavours, and to Whom the Masters Who take pupils, and the Heads of the various occult schools are directly responsible. All proceeds under law and order.

    One point that it will here be necessary to emphasise is that the Brotherhood of Light, as represented by the Himalayan Masters, has its other representatives elsewhere who all carry out specific work under proper and adequate supervision. Too apt are the Theosophists to think that they alone are the repositories of the wisdom religion. Not so is the fact. At this particular moment (with the aim in view of the development and tendering of opportunity to the fifth subrace) the Himalayan Brotherhood is the main channel of effort, power and light. But the work with other races proceeds simultaneously and numerous other projects, all emanating from the central office at Shamballa, are paralleling the Himalayan work. Get this clearly in mind, for the point is important. The Himalayan School and Lodge is the one that principally concerns the Occident and the only school without any exception that should control the work and output of the occult students in the West. It brooks no rival nor contemporary work with its pupils, not for the sake of its own teachers but to ensure the safety of its pupils. Danger lurks in the path of the occult student and the Himalayan adepts know adequately how to protect their pupils, provided those pupils stay within the periphery of Their united auras, and wander not out to other schools. All true occult schools demand this of their pupils, and all true Masters expect Their pupils to refrain from taking other occult instructions at the same time as they are receiving it from Them. They say not: "Our method is the only right and true method." They say: "When receiving instructions from Us it is the part of wisdom and the line of safety to refrain from occult training in another school or under another Master." Should a pupil desire so to do he is perfectly free to seek out other schools and teachers, but he must first break his connection with the old.

    The one fundamental school may be recognised by certain outstanding characteristics:—

    By the basic character of the truths taught as embodied in the following postulates:—

    a. The unity of all life.
    b. The graded steps of development as recognised in man, and by the graded steps of its curriculum, which lead a man from one expansion of consciousness to another until he has reached that which we call perfection.
    c. The relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm and its sevenfold application.
    d. The method of this development and the place of the microcosm within the macrocosm as revealed through the study of the periodicity of all manifestation and the basic law of cause and effect.

    By the emphasis laid on character building and spiritual development as a foundation for the development of all the faculties inherent in the microcosm. By the requirement, demanded of all affiliated pupils without exception, that the life of inner unfoldment and development should be paralleled by a life of exoteric service.

    By the graded expansions of consciousness that are the result of the imparted training; these lead a man on from step to step till he contacts his higher self, his Master, his egoic group, the First Initiator, the One Paramount Initiator, until he has contacted the Lord of his Ray and has entered into the bosom of his "Father Which is in Heaven".

    These are the outstanding features that are descriptive of the one true fundamental School.

    This fundamental school has three main branches and a fourth that is in process of forming and which will make the four branches of this fourth round. These branches are as follows:—

    1. The trans-Himalayan Branch.
    2. The southern India Branch. (these are Aryan Branches)
    3. A Branch that works with the fourth root-race and has two fourth root-race adepts at its head.
    4. A Branch in process of forming that will have its headquarters in the Occident at some place not yet disclosed. It has for its main object the instructing of those connected with the coming sixth root-race.

    These branches are and will be closely inter-allied and will work in the closest co-operation, being all focused and under the control of the Chohan at Shamballa. The heads of each of the four branches communicate with each other frequently and are really like the faculty of one stupendous university, the four schools being like the various major departments of the foundations—like subsidiary colleges. The aim of all is the evolution of the race, the object of all is to lead all to the point of standing before the One Initiator, the methods employed are fundamentally the same, though varying in detail, due to the racial characteristics of the races and types dealt with, and the fact that certain schools work paramountly with one ray and others with another.

    The trans-Himalayan school has its adepts as known to you, and others Whose Names are not known.

    The southern Indian school has special work with the deva evolution, and with the second and third sub-races of the Aryan race.

    The Himalayan school works with the first, fourth and fifth sub-races.

    The fourth root-race branch works under the Manu of that race and his brother of the Teaching Ray. Their headquarters are in China.

    The Master R.— and one of the English Masters are concerning Themselves with the gradual founding of the fourth branch of the school, with the assistance of the Master Hilarion.
    And coming back to Master H, this is sort of full circle.

    ~~+~~

    so that's part I ... and this time I've typed thrice what was probably needed, but I'll post it anyway, just for giggles & grins --> apologies if it's a bit in excess, but let's put that Razor to work ...
     
  3. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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

    a second part I typed has to do with the universality of Initiation in world religions, as symbolized & taught exoterically -->


    I would only add that if you look in the East, you will find in exoteric religion the above mentioned "graded steps of development as recognised in man" - called Initiations. I know I've posted about them in several places, but here's a brief recapitulation:
    Initiation --- Christian --- Hinduism (Sanskrit) --- Buddhism (Pali)

    1st --- Birth of Christ --- parivrajaka (`Wanderer') --- srotapatti (`Stream-Entrant')
    2nd --- Baptism --- kutichaka (`Hut-Builder') --- sakridagamin (`Once-Returner')
    3rd --- Transfiguration --- hamsa (`Swan') --- anagamin (`Never-Returner')
    4th --- Renunciation/Cruc. --- paramahamsa (`Great Swan') --- arhat (`Worthy One')
    5th --- Resurrection/Asc. --- ??? --- Asekha (`No-Learner')

    If you wish to pursue this from an exoteric scholarly angle, Thomas, I might recommend starting with this brief Wikipedia article on the Sammaditthi Sutta, in the Pali Buddhist tradition. That's only to give you a starting point, of course!

    I would also mention that the word `arhat' has the following variations, although I cannot identify the exact language or culture which uses each one: arahant, arahat, rahat, lohan. The lattermost, if I am not mistaken, comes to us from the Chinese - more properly, Luóhàn (Wiki).

    I do not know of a Sanskrit term for `Asekha,' referring to the 5th Initiation, but there is quite an enormous leap, in terms of development of consciousness - and presumed number of incarnations required - between the Arhat Ideal of the Theravada Path, and the Bodhisattva Ideal of the esoteric Mahayana Path, notwithstanding the exoteric teaching that one can attain this in one, short lifetime.

    Since the days of the Theosophical teachings from HPB and the Mahatmas, certain terminology has been widely accepted by esotericists of many backgrounds ... as more or less seminal. The 6th Initiation is referred to using a Tibetan word plus a Mongolian word: [poss from chös law, dharma + Mong khan lord] "Lord of the dharma" ... and this is the requirement for every evolving human unit of consciousness upon the planet. It is the Chohan Initiation.

    It represents the Goal, or the eventual degree of spiritual attainment which Humanity is expected to reach - not any time soon, yet in our remote, distant future, certainly many millions of years hence. Nevertheless, it is not the most advanced stage of spiritual development which any human can attain, and before our Human evolution is finished it is said that we will attain to even greater expansions of consciousness.

    For example, the following, 7th Initiation is referred to as that of Maha Chohan, or `Great Lord of the Dharma' ... clearly an honorific title and appellation signifying one's extremely exalted spiritual and Hierarchical status. Whereas there are 7 Chohans of the Rays in our Hierarchy, with a number of other Masters of equivalent degree of spiritual attainment, there are said to be only three Masters of the `Maha Chohan' degree.

    To make matters more confusing, the term `Maha Chohan' is accepted as referring to one of these, specifically - the Master R. (the Prince Rakoczy, aka le Comte de St. Germain), the `Lord of Civilization.' Not at all as depicted by such teachings as the `I AM' Movement, the Master R. is understood esoterically to represent the 3rd Ray for our all of Earth's evolution - both Human and Angelic. This corresponds to the 3rd Aspect of the Logos.

    Two additional 7th Degree Initiates are permanent members of our Spiritual Hierarchy - not as personalities, but in terms of the OFFICES that They hold. These are the MANU, as known from exoteric Hinduism's Code of Manu (or Law of Manu), and the Bodhisattva, World Teacher or Christ. These two figures, or rather OFFICES, within the Spiritual Hierarchy correspond to the 1st and 2nd Rays, or 1st and 2nd Aspects of the Logos, respectively.

    So the Bodhisattva Ideal, while it is certainly attainable, is said in esoteric teachings to have THUS FAR been reached ONLY by a handful of individuals from Humanity's own Evolution, proper. These are: the Manu (currently Lord Vaivasvata, aka Xisuthrus, Deucalion, Noah, etc.), the Bodhisattva (Lord Maitreya, of exoteric Buddhism), and the Master R. The Tibetan Master states unequivocably that the Christ represents the ELDEST Brother (just as the Biblical teaching tells us) among us all - the first of our true Earth Humanity to reach the Goal ... and clearly to outstrip it, in His pledge to remain with Earth's Hierarchy as World Teacher, not once, but twice (for Pisces, for Aquarius).

    Earlier World Teachers have included Shakyamuni Buddha, several prior incarnations of Shakyamuni Buddha (Orpheus, the 1st of the 29 Zoroasters, Thrice Greatest Thoth-Hermes, and Lord Vyasa - author of the Vedas), as well as the Initiate Herakles, and certainly others. However, the Buddha Shakyamuni - Siddharta Gautama in his best-known (but not his final) earthly incarnation - was not properly one of Earth's Humanity, coming from a prior cycle wherein he attained Initiation, but committed a karmic error, which required atonement during our present cycle. Thus, while the Buddha has reached the 8th Initiation, His responsibilities no longer include an exclusive focus upon our Earth ... and in fact, His only direct contact comes once a year, during the Wesak Festival, during a ceremony that lasts but 6 short minutes. Such is the Legend, both exoteric (more or less) and esoteric. The Buddha's atonement is more than complete, and He now assists us by way of a Cosmic (or certainly extra-Planetary) Avatar, rather than an exalted member, even of the Human Hiearchy.

    +++

    I have wandered from a simple response to the question of why include the Christian (teachings) at all ... yet the answer, in a nutshell, is that `we esotericists' in the Theosophical tradition, or after the teachings of Alice Bailey, et al, believe Jesus to have been a great Initiate in the same exact line as those of the more recent, modern Theosophical Movement. And as you have seen, it is these Masters Whom we regard as the true source - at least in recent times - of the Inspiration and Guidance responsible for essentially ALL spiritual progress in the world.

    Christ Himself, remember, is understood to head up the Occult Hierarchy, being `the Teacher alike of Angels and of Men' (being, in other words, the head of two evolutions upon our planet). Nick may prefer to speak of the Bodhisattva, and the World Teacher, yet C.W. Leadbeater spoke quite plainly of the same Christ of Christianity as identical with the Bodhisattva, World Teacher, etc. I don't always agree with CWL, or his approach to things either, but on this one ... I'd stake my LIFE on it! ;) :)

    So, to make it clear, ANYTHING which emanates directly from the Hierarchy, certainly such teachings as the Stanzas of Dzyan, as also The Great Invocation (which the Tibetan calls `Christ's Own Invocation,' used by Him from time immemorial - and being the Aquarian `update' to the PaterNoster) ... will be either Sanctioned, Ordered or Allowed by the Christ. And Christ, as esotericists in the tradition of Alice Bailey certainly believe, holds the Blueprint of evolution for our Planet, Serving it faithfully, with the Senior Masters as His direct Pupils in the Hierarchy (via 7 Ray Ashrams - and 42 subsidiary Ashrams).

    Do you see then, how a letter from a Master, once the student has come to the full and proper realization that indeed, it is exactly what it purports to be (and obviously not all such claims can stand up to the litmus test), becomes for him GOSPEL? Quite literally? Truly, we do not regard it as simply inspired, we understand the teachings of the Masters to be the next best thing to having the Christ Himself sit down, and write things out for us. :)

    Yet if you wish to study carefully the one direct dictation which I believe to originate from the Master of Masters Himself (thus far), I would point you again, to - Alpheus--Message of Maitreya on Krishnamurti

    Read carefully the statement provided, both about the Lord Maitreya, as well as by the Lord Maitreya. Nevermind the writings of a Benjamin Creme, for the moment, but at least ponder the possibility that here we have a Message, followed but one decade later by The Great Invocation. And this is not the end; as tens of thousands of esotericists fully expect to see and hear Him, in some form or fashion - a bit more, every day. :)
     
  4. 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 have waxed far past my usual verbose, but my hope was to at least show that the Path of Initiation is a universal feature of all exoteric religions, being symbolized by Christ's Ministry in conjunction with the cooperation of His close disciple, the Initiate Jesus - who was born an Initiate (of the 3rd Degree), as evidenced in his actions, speech and behavior from as early as 12 years old ... itself a number of great occult significance.

    In conjunction with the above enumeration of the Five Initiations as symbolized in Christianity (and Eastern traditions, as well), I will add this:

    The Initiate Jesus obviously was required to do nothing consciously in order to show us the Birth of the Christ in the human heart ... and yet esoterically he is said to have taken upon himself an enormous burden of karma, by choosing that birth - as he did - for the specific sacrifices which he would have to make in order to be of service to the Christ. The Individuality Whom we call the Lord Maitreya, was then an Adept of the 5th Initiation, having earlier overshadowed Sri Krishna of India.

    As the Initiate Jesus learned from his parents and other fellow Essenes, he was soon ready - even at a young age - to begin the preparations which were necessary for the unusual and unique nature of the work which he had undertaken. This sent him to Greece, to Egypt, to the Far East ... not to learn Buddhism, from non-existing Buddhist monks ... but to sit at the feet of his Master, the future Christ - the Bodhisattva-to-be.

    {I would not dare claim to know all the reasons why such was and continues to be necessary; however, I have a response, if asked WHY this form of learning had to occur. It is precisely the reason why HPB herself was called to the same Ashram, or area, in Tibet ... though for part of a Revelation in a new cycle - and not for something on the same scale as in the case of the Initiate Jesus.}

    Upon his return, during the well-known Baptism experience, the Initiate Jesus - quite literally, as far as we understand - leaves the picture. His sacrifice is so great, that with the descent of the Dove, the `Spirit' which enters him is none other than the Christ Himself (genderless, moreover, as Christ is a Ray of the Logos, more Sun than `son'). Jesus has prepared a vehicle for his Teacher ... and this was necessary, because world karma at that time did not permit the Christ (or 5th Degree Master as He was) to take a direct incarnation.

    Once again, at the Transfiguration, Jesus symbolizes for us what every man shall go through - at the appointed time, when the Spirit calls him. The Birth and Baptism are understood, as taught by the Tibetan Master, to be the real focus for Christ's Ministry 2100 years ago. It was these Initiations which Christ came to emphasize, to enable Humanity - at large - to be able to take, and to demonstrate for us, via the direct enactment of these momentous spiritual experiences in the life of the disciple Jesus. Even the Transfiguration, or 3rd Initiation, however, was a recapitulation ... as Jesus had undergone this as Joshua, as recounted in the Book of Zechariah.

    The first two Initiations then, are preparatory, and the Transfiguration is considered by the Spiritual Hierarchy as the `first true Initiation.' Prior to this, the student is referred to as an Accepted Disicple (of one of the Masters, of Whom there are a total of 49 - or perhaps 63 - in the Hierarchy, though not all of these take students). It may seek unlikely, or at least strange, that some several MILLION human beings can be Initiates of the 1st and 2nd degrees, with plenty more of the 3rd Degree (and some Arhats), but after studying Theosophical and esoteric literature in some depth, I think we begin to understand how this is possible, after all. There is an efficiency involved - a Divine efficiency - and a practicality which we are not accustomed to in our outward lives, as yet.

    At any rate, the Gospel Story reaches a culmination in the supreme act of sacrifice which any and every human being is required to make ... yet also privileged enough to make, for his God, for his fellow man, and for the Glory of the entire Creation (as God's Handiwork, via both Angelic and Human Hierarchies). This is not the giving up of one's physical body, in some excruciating act of painful torture - as upon the cross in Christian legend (though the Initiate Jesus was far more likely stoned to death, brutally and far more cruelly than we have imagined). Rather, the Arhat Initiation - which the Tibetan Teacher prefers to call the Renunciation - involves the complete yielding of what we have so carefully prepared, during literally thousands upon thousands of incarnations ... and built into a thing of rare beauty, a true treasure-house of Golden radiance.

    It is the occult `Temple of Solomon,' the "Temple not built with human hands," which the candidate for the 4th Initiation must lay upon the altar of sacrifice, before he can be occultly RISEN - and allow the voluntary Prodigal to return to the Father's House, in Highest Heaven. Theosophical teachings call this the Causal body, being the lowest vehicle of the Soul which does not perish after each subsequent incarnation into the realms of lower mind, emotion and physicality. It is the vehicle of Higher Mind, or Manas as the servant of the Spiritual Will - vs. the lower, human desire. And this, again, is a principle of Consciousness which has its terminology in every Eastern School (or exoteric religion), just as its symbolism in the Western traditions, Christian, Kabbalistic, Egyptian, Chaldean, etc. In the Vedic teachings it has been called the Karanopadhi, and the vijnanamaya-kosa, and this corresponds with the Nirmanakaya Robe, or vestiture, of the Buddhist teachings.

    Once the Initiate has layed this down, the gradual resulting expansion of Consciousness and direct expression of a Ray of the Divine, make him quite literally an Incarnation of God ... or a Divine Embodiment. There is no mediating Principle; there is only the Monad, or the Divine Spark, plus a human sheath. A man is not yet a Master (or Adept), as there is still much for him to learn upon this planet. While it may be true that he is God in the flesh, he is certainly not the only God in the flesh - or more aptly put, he is not ALL of God, in the flesh. ;)

    And why should God cease to learn, to grow and to develop into something Greater than God happens to be, at any given moment, IN EXPRESSION? There will only arise a difficulty in understanding this, if we attempt to concretize the conception of Absolute, or ascribe to the Illimitable and Unknowable, certain limiting qualities and conditions. So the Ageless Wisdom teaches that every single Spark of the Divine is yet EVOLVING ... from the humblest ATOM of substance, up to and beyond the LORD of a Galaxy. And the latter, while it may seem out of place alongside our current material-focused scientific conception of the starry heavens, is something that the Ageless Wisdom does discuss, usually with the term `Central Spiritual Sun.'

    We know from astronomy that what this is is a supermassive black hole, as exists at the Heart of every galaxy ... yet I would venture to guess that the singularity of this amazing vortex of Energy leads us to the Cosmic Astral (or perhaps the Cosmic Mental, even the Cosmic Buddhic) Plane - and not into oblivion, after all. However, we shall not find out ... for one or two tomorrows, yet. :p

    Between the 1st and the 2nd Initiations are said to be 7 symbolic lives, though sometimes it may take the disciple several more - or perhaps he will spend several less. The intensity of the effort, and dedication to the life of study, meditation and above all Service, will determine the rate of progress. The presence of a World Teacher on the outer stage of Human affairs, as 2100 years ago, and as now, makes possible such progress as would otherwise require many, many lifetimes. I would venture to guess dozens. The Buddha had his 900 arhats, and the Christ is expected to have perhaps 10 times that many.

    Eventually, 60 billion must make their way home to the Father's House, but only 36 of these are presumed to be likely to pass the Theosophical-esoteric Great Day of Judgment, in the 5th Round (Manvantara), some many, many millions (billions?) of years hence. It all sounds so remote, and yet the likelihood is that if we can even string together the semblence of meaning than I am aiming for in parroting off some of these ideas, we have probably already proceeded along the greatest length of the overall Path of Life - as far as the Human Kingdom is concerned.

    From the 1st to the 2nd Initiation may take us ~7 incarnations, yet our current efforts may reduce this number greatly ... even deliver us to the very door of two initiations within this current lifetime. A 2nd degree Initiate is said to usually take the 3rd in the same, or subsequent lifetime, and the 4th Initiation can also follow fairly quickly, but this will certainly vary. A tremendous amoung of progress is said to be necessary to move from the stage of Arhatship to Adeptship, and only after reaching Adeptship is an individual qualified to take on students, in the esoteric sense of this relationship (Soul to Soul, an enormous sacrifice on the part of the Adept). Adepts who take students are Masters; those who do not may simply be called Adepts.

    Upon the attainment of the 4th Initiation by the disciple Jesus, the Lord Maitreya took two Initiations simultaneously, the 6th and 7th. From this moment on, certainly, if not before, this equates to a passing of the mantle of the title of Christ, Bodhisattva or World Teacher, as the Buddha was already probably a Buddha (8th Degree Initiate). Our Hierarchy does not yet have its own Initiates from Earth's Humanity occupying the Office of Buddha, but the Bodhisattva is regarded as the Head (and Heart) of the Spiritual Hiearchy ... inasmuch as the Brotherhood corresponds to the Heart Chakra in the Planetary etheric body.
     
  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

    alright, so my final babblings --

    While all of this may come across fairly wisdom-focused - if not simply more like a sharing of information, as culled from many years of study & meditation - I would to mention that the 2nd Ray is termed the Ray of Love-Wisdom. One cannot divide these two aspects of the SON, or 2nd Logos. Within one student, the Wisdom side may develop - and become predominant, while for another student, it will be the Love aspect. In either case, or both cases, it is the SOUL which must flower forth, this being the true, Spiritual Consciousness - or the Christ Princple, `sleeping' within, as I believe it has been mentioned. Regardless of the Ray of the Soul, every Master is a Master of all Seven Rays - including the four Rays of Attribute, and the Three Rays of Aspect.

    If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say that my own development has brought me into association with the new, Synthetic Ashram of the Hierarchy, functioning as the joint effort of Rays 1, 2 and 7. This is a new Ashram, especially energized by the WISDOM side of the 2nd Ray - in a way that has hitherto not been possible, and under the direct aegis of the Buddha Himself, in ways that I'm sure I will not ever fully understand in this lifetime! Nor do I imagine that I am anything more than on the periphery of this newly-forming Ashram ...

    In the past, however, I have wondered if my own Master might be Master KH, and this is no less than the Bodhisattva (`Christ') of the Sixth Root Race, in Humanity's distant future. Two inner experiences, one from the age of three, another from the age of 19 or 20, confirmed for me - beyond a shadow of a doubt (and I do mean this in a specifically esoteric, occult sense) - that Masters DK, and KH, are as `real,' if we prefer that word, as anyone. Such experiences, while potentially classifiable as `mystical,' I suppose, are in fact among the most real of any that I have had, in this lifetime!

    So, while I do not think of myself as a typically loving 2nd Ray person, or as a devotional 6th Ray person, I do believe that I have ray 2 and ray 4 in my makeup (emotional body, and personality, respectively) ... and it's quite probable that my Soul Ray is either Ray 2, or Ray 6 - transitioning to Ray 2 (which gradually occurs, eventually - though otherwise one's Soul Ray does not change, across all of our incarnations, while our personality, mental, astral and etheric rays do change from lifetime to lifetime).

    Well there - I managed to work in something about the Rays as well ... though this is where my understanding thins out almost to nothing. Master DK is said to know more than any other Master in the Hierarchy about subjects such as these (each Master has a speciality, of course!) ... yet I suppose I have probably absorbed about one part in fifteen billion of what he has taught, through his work with a couple dozen or more disciples of whom I'm aware.

    I sometimes envy those on the 6th Ray, who truly can call the Nazarene Chohan `Master' ... yet other times, I feel as if it's a struggle for my very existence (!) ... and we do know, that in many ways, it is. All the more reason to wonder if my Ray could be the 6th, after all!

    A shame, that in so much time I cannot guess the rays of my fellows here at C-R. I only know this: wil is a person of great 2nd Ray Quality, and that is probably complemented by Ray 6, probably as the emotional ray, or personality ray. Thomas, too, I wonder, could be Ray 2 ... yet Catholicism is supposed to be a 2nd & 7th Ray religion, so these may have a very strong influence.

    Some people's Rays I've known since before I even knew what Rays are. Others I am clueless about, after 35 years in the same family, or after many, many years of close friendship. It just goes to show that there is so very, very much to learn -- and all of ETERNITY, to practice it!
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Re: -----====(^_^)====-----

    Hi Nick — thanks for the link to the Stanzas.

    Such is the case with all Sacred Texts, but it's always worth repeating.
    I find when people talk about Christianity, they assume they know what the symbols mean ... many people get in an awful muddle over this.

    Good for you. Hermeneutics is an oft-forgotten discipline.

    In that, again, all Sacred Texts share in common the belief of a transcendant source?

    If, as your answer suggests, the origin of the Stanzas is pre-historic (as indeed is the origin of some of the Scriptures), this raises the question of origin, and transmission.

    Who are the Great Beings?
    To whom did they transmit their revelation?
    How was this recorded?
    How was this passed on?
    Is there not a 'people of the book' as it were?

    That's my point about hermeneutics. If you understand that, the symbology becomes evident.

    Thomas
     
  7. 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 Andrew —

    This is all I ever ask for.

    This Christian tradition would agree with.

    I think in the spirit of pluralism we can agree that Christian tradition would not agree with this, on the grounds of ...

    We would argue against this this from Scripture itself: one should not put new wine in old bottles (cf. Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37) ... we would see the risk as misinterpreting the 'new', and simply repeating the 'old' — "And no man drinking old hath presently a mind to new: for he saith: The old is better." (Luke 5:39).

    St Paul, whom you seem to hold in some regard, emphasises this point often:
    "Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cr 5:17)

    "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace" (Eph 4:15)

    "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph 4:24)

    "And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Col 2:16)

    And Revelations:
    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]" (Rev 2:17)

    I only repeat all these texts because they, in the context again of the hermeneutic, point toward the 'New Covenant' in Christ, which cannot be explained by the old.

    In our tradition then, we believe that Revelation contains and transmits the hermeneutic 'tools' necessary for its understanding (else God would be guilty of a radical failure of the most simple logic), so to look 'elsewhere' for an interpretation constitutes a lack of faith and fidelity to the text itself.

    Thus we look only to those doctors, saints, sages, mystics and teachers who remain absolutely true and faithful to the text as synthesising everything to itself, rather than seeking a syncretic understanding.

    It's a fine technical point, but all important to us ... once more, i hope in the spirit of pluralism it's something you can take on board, for it constitutes something that many of our greatest saints have fought and have died for, including St Paul himself:

    "For both the Jews require signs: and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified: unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness" (1 Cor 1:22-23)

    Thomas
     
  8. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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

    Thomas, you asked,
    "...all Sacred Texts share in common the belief of a transcendant source?"
    --> Theosophy says yes. I believe most Buddhists theologians would say no.
    "Who are the Great Beings?"
    --> They are alled the Kumara, also called the Asura, which Theosophy contends are the "us-people" mentioned in Genesis 1:26.
    "To whom did they transmit their revelation? How was this passed on?"
    The Stanzas are available to every High Initiate. Indeed, we can only assume High Initiates are required to study the Stanzas after their Initiation.
    "How was this recorded?"
    --> Records are kept on both the physical and astral planes. Here is a passage of Blavatsky herself reading from such astral records.
    "An archaic manuscript — a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown process — is before the writer's eye. On the first page is an immaculate white disk within a dull black ground. On the following page, the same disk, but with a central point. The first, the student knows to represent Kosmos in Eternity, before the re-awakening of still slumbering Energy, the emanation of the Word in later systems. The point in the hitherto immaculate Disk, Space and Eternity in Pralaya, denotes the dawn of differentiation...." (Secret Doctrine, vol 1, page 1)
    You asked,
    "Is there not a 'people of the book' as it were?"
    No, if you are referring to a cultural group. Yes, if you are referring to all High Initiates on Earth.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Re: ~~(='.'=)~~

    Not just a theosophical thing...the bible speaks to this...although we don't like to discuss it.
    You say worse yet...the bible indicates this kind of action is not suitable...
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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

    Marco Pallis, a Buddhist philosopher of the Tibetan school, would argue for the transcendant, although perhaps in terms theists might not realise. Pallis was greatly admired by the Dalai Lama, so I tend to count his view as authoritative with regard to the Buddhist tradition.

    Are you a High Initiate then?
    What about the vast majority of humanity, who are not inclined to such studies?
    Is this not elitist?
    What about someone who has never heard of the Stanzas?
    What about sdomeone who has, but has never met a High initiate to explain them?

    Can I see them — they physical ones?
    How old are the oldest copies?
    How can we verify their accurate transmission?

    Do these Initiates not exist in a physical culture/community?
    Do they exist in isolation?
    How does one contact an Initiate?
    Who initiates them?
    What if someone just declares himself an Initiate?
    What is the base doctrine that must be believed to be an Initiate?

    Thomas
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ~(=*.*=)~

    Wil-san! Yoroshiku! We discussed,
    "Theosophy says a great deal of coitus with animals began. --> Not just a theosophical thing...the bible speaks to this...although we don't like to discuss it."
    --> I was not aware of that. Thanks for pointing it out. Thus, we have found another commonality between the two traditions, and that is a good thing.
    "You say worse yet...the bible indicates this kind of action is not suitable..."
    --> I was comparing human-human to human-animal coitus (thus the worseness). I was not comparing the Theosophical version to the Christian version.
     
  12. 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, sorry, another question I kept meaning to ask:

    If you see the one source for Theosophy's and Christianity's Sacred Texts, and now it would appear the texts are radically different (to each other), at what point in history did the two part company?

    Thomas
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Re: ~(=*.*=)~

    and that is exactly what I was indicating the bible indicated was not suitable...hence G!d made a suitable helpmeet....woman...
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Re: ~~(='.'=)~~

    Me again, Nick ... something I also meant to pick up on:

    If sex is the issue, why mask it in symbol? I understand the function of a symbol is to make visible and present something that has been occluded. The act between Adam and Eve itself is immediate and apparent — moreso because we too have an apetite for that act — are you saying the act alone is forbidden?

    By the way, the Anonymous Author of "Meditations on the Tarot", who was very receptive of Theosophical speculation, interprets the symbols of snake and fruit differently, and cogently, as an a priori teaching within the context of traditional symbolism, which surely opens up other interpretations?

    Thomas
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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

    Thomas, we discussed,
    "...all Sacred Texts share in common the belief of a transcendant source? --> Theosophy says yes. I believe most Buddhists theologians would say no. --> Marco Pallis, a Buddhist philosopher of the Tibetan school, would argue for the transcendant..."

    --> As you may know, this is a big bug-a-boo between Buddhists and Theosophists. Theosophy agrees with Marco Pallis, in that Buddhism does argue for the transcendant. You are also probably aware that the present-day popular versions of Buddhism do not.
    "...I tend to count his view as authoritative with regard to the Buddhist tradition."

    --> I am glad to hear that, as it shows more of a commonality between Christianity (& Theosophy) and Buddhism than most people realize.
    "Are you a High Initiate then?"

    --> Oh, my goodness, no. I have been recently involved in fascinating discussions about what we can do to become even Low Initiates.
    What about the vast majority of humanity, who are not inclined to such studies?"

    --> Clearly, most people are not ready to enter onto the Path (as described identically in Buddhism and Theosophy.) We can only ask them to purify their lives as much as possible, follow the Golden Rule, etc., etc.
    "Is this not elitist?"

    --> No, it is not. I am reminded of some Buddhists who say Enlightenment can only happen after many lives of hard work. Then there are other Buddhists who say Enlightenment can happen instantly for anyone. Theosophy blends the two ideas, saying anyone can achieve Enlightenment immediately, after many lives of hard work.
    "What about someone who has never heard of the Stanzas?"

    --> I suppose they can follow their own scripture for the time being. Truly living the Golden Rule will help anyone make great progress.
    "What about someone who has, but has never met a High initiate to explain them?"

    --> This is why I have dedicated myself to explaining them. Before I start to fall all over myself with profuse self-congratulations (ha), I must point out that there is a lot of Theosophical information on how people can accelerate their progress along the Path to Enlightenment.
    "Records are kept on both the physical and astral planes. --> Can I see them — they physical ones?"

    --> They are safely stored, away from marauders . Look at all of the book-burning that has occured down the centuries. Do not worry, marauders and book-burners will never find these books.
    "How old are the oldest copies?"

    --> I can only assume they date from the days when humans first walked the Earth.
    "How can we verify their accurate transmission?"

    --> We cannot. This is one of the reasons why Theosophy encourages questioning so much, and encourages us to throw out any ideas that we feel are goofy. Each person must take absolute responsibility for their own belief system, and not allow others to decide dogma for them (until they become Initiates, of course.)
    "Do these Initiates not exist in a physical culture/community?"

    --> This question has never really been answered. I can only make my best guess. Perhap they live on the astral plane, and materialize physical bodies only when they need them? Or they do have physical bodies just like us? Unfortunately, we can find references in the literature that refer to both possibilities.
    "Do they exist in isolation?"
    --> No, they are organized into a highly-structured Brotherhood.

    "How does one contact an Initiate?"
    --> One does not. One waits until their astral body glows like a golden beacon of light, and then the Initiates come looking for them.

    "Who initiates them?"

    --> The One Great Initiator of the World. The Brotherhood is organized nto a Hierarchy, with The One Great Initiator of the World at the top of the human/Earth part of the Hierarchy.
    "What if someone just declares himself an Initiate?"

    --> Then they have not joined the Brotherhood. Enlightenment and Nirvana are impossible for them, because both of these conditions are accomplished by invitation only.
    "What is the base doctrine that must be believed to be an Initiate?"
    --> Here is an extremely condensed version (with a lot of other information left out, due to a lack of space. We all need to work on these points:

    Greed and Selfishness must be eliminated.
    The hustle and bustle of everyday life needs to be re-directed.
    Doing good deeds and service for humanity is emphasized.
    Love must be taken to a high level.
    Selfish love is transformed by Duty-to-Family into something higher.
    This higher-love then goes out to all people.
    Such a love then becomes divine.

    These points are taken from the book, The Path of Discipleship,

    Online:
    Theosophy : Path of Discipleship by Annie Besant : AnandGholap.net

    Hardcopy:
    Quest Books

    The above points only refer to people working to get on the Path. There are other lists for people on the Path, and even other lists for people preparing to enter Enlgihtenment.

    For more on the topic, here is a great little book, At The Foot Of The Master.

    Online:
    Modern Theosophy: At The Feet of the Master, Alcyone

    Hardcopy:
    Quest Books
     
  16. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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

    Thomas, you asked,
    "If sex is the issue, why mask it in symbol?"

    --> I agree with you, in that such masking seems unnecessary. However, those writers felt the need to mask talk of sexuality from the population, and I can understand why they did that.
    "I understand the function of a symbol is to make visible and present something that has been occluded. The act between Adam and Eve itself is immediate and apparent — moreso because we too have an apetite for that act — are you saying the act alone is forbidden?"

    --> No, sex is not forbidden. Rampant, orgy-like sex is forbidden, along with beastiality. In my opinion, this is what the story of Adam and Eve is referring to.
    "By the way, the Anonymous Author of "Meditations on the Tarot", who was very receptive of Theosophical speculation, interprets the symbols of snake and fruit differently, and cogently, as an a priori teaching within the context of traditional symbolism, which surely opens up other interpretations?"
    --> As a matter of fact, this gets us into a fascinating part of Theosophy — the idea that no one person can accurately explain all of the symbology, and that each person must make up their own mind as to what each symbol symbolizes. I have seen Theosophical writers interpret parts of the literature very differently than me. This makes things more difficult, and also make them more interesting.
    "If you see the one source for Theosophy's and Christianity's Sacred Texts, and now it would appear the texts are radically different (to each other), at what point in history did the two part company?"
    --> I believe it happened at the beginning of the Hindu Culture, which I think Theosophy says first appeared about 10,000 years ago. (This is an off-the-top-of-my-head answer, and I would have to do some digging to get a more accurate answer.)
     
  17. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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

    But you see, Thomas, in each of these quotations, you are speaking of the transformation that is only possible through Initiation. This is not Initiation as it has been brought down to earth, and degraded or de-sanctified by various organizations presuming to have spiritual authority. The Church itself, though once in possession of some of the secrets of Initiation, has never had the authority that Christ does. You may wish to disagree, but we will remain on different pages ... if so.

    CHRIST HIMSELF (the World Teacher or Bodhisattva, as Nick may prefer), in the esoteric tradition, is the First Initiator. This holds true for the Birth and the Baptism. The 3rd, 4th and 5th Initiations are conducted by `the One Initiator,' as the Tibetan refers to Him. This is, for all intents & purposes, God. He is the `One' Initiator, because all Monads are ONE in Him, and it is only by proceeding through His actual Spiritual BEING, or Nous, that we `come to the God within' (Atma, and greater spiritual Principles).

    But you see Thomas, with all due respect (and I do mean that), if you cannot even acknowledge that INITIATION is required as part of our very Spiritual unfoldment, the two going hand in hand and even being interchangeable terms to a large extent ... then we already have our proof - that what you say is incorrect! It is a simple Catch-22, you might say ... and I will agree. :)

    If you don't realize that you do need to look elsewhere, since you obviously do not see St. Paul as speaking PLAINLY about the Initiatory tradition - evident in the Greek Mysteries as in every other culture & religion - then we really need not even CONSIDER the Christian ... until we can make this earlier recognition. ;)

    And of course, if the Church does not know even her own secrets ... then this is not proof that they are not there; it simply gives more cause to look again at the statements of the Master Hiliarion. Or of course, we are free to refute and deny the teachings of an Initiate, who does know ... but I hope you will understand how to me, this is just plain short-sightedness. I do not say I do not understand why you might be hesitant, or feel slighted, or prefer to stick to your guns. After all, questioning one's assumptions CAN be quite challenging, and unsettling. But then, that's up to you! :)

    It is not elitist, any more than for Christ to appear among us, and not to make a physical house-call to every single soul upon earth was elitist. Which would you prefer - Christ, or no Christ? ;)

    Those who have not heard of the Stanzas are in no way responsible for understanding the depth and breadth of their content, let alone for being Masters of their esoteric signficance. Shall you hold a person skilled in music and belonging to an orchestra in Europe responsible for the duties of lead architect on a building project in New York? Or shall you ask a child of five years of age to take on the obligations of a University professor of mathematics, or scholar?

    Why should one necessarily have to meet a High Initiate in order to study and meditate upon the Stanzas? Should I be required to obtain several Divinity degrees before I am allowed to study the Christian Holy writings? Is it not possible for a layperson to gain some insight and understanding? What about the lectio divina you have mentioned?

    Theosophists and esotericists believe that we will be able to learn much, and profit much, and be able to put our understanding into concrete practice, in numerous ways, by studying the Stanzas, and by considering the implications. How is this any different than what Christians expect and hope to gain by studying the Bible?

    I fail to see the difference. The only difference I am aware of is that the Stanzas were not simply written down by HPB. She did have the benefit - the INSTRUCTION and DIRECTION, actually - of the Masters, High Initiates - to assist with the translation and provide the explanation. The result is The Secret Doctrine, which any of us may purchase, or access online, and study.

    Now, just because you can read a book, even given a most wonderful explanation from the Wisest Beings alive upon the planet, does not mean, that you will grasp the deeper points, much less become an expert. Nor would a child of five be expected to read The Secret Doctrine, or be held accountable for understanding it. In esoteric communities, of which there are plenty, the parents and teaching groups will usually provide adapted versions, which children certainly are capable of understanding. Do not Christian groups have their color versions of picture Bibles?

    Humanity is not yet capable of doing what you ask. You make the assumption that anyone who wishes to view these works - those that are physical - would be ready and able to appropriately handle the Wisdom and knowledge that is communicated by such study.

    Humanity has proven, time and time again, that A) we ARE NOT ready for this kind of information, in its entirety - hence the reason for being given only those portions which we are prepared to put to use, as kind of an experiment, to see if we use this information to torture and kill each other, and exploit each other - or to improve the quality of life, to benefit one another, and to move closer to things Spiritual. Esoteric Wisdom and information would allow us, much of it, to literally destroy our entire planet; and this is actually already quite a grave risk. :(

    And B) it has been shown that when the originals are available, entire LIBRARIES are destroyed. You think Alexandria was an accident? History only partially records the true reasons, if also the methods, of its destruction. Do you have any idea just what exactly was LOST? I know you do, yet I assure you - we probably would not NEED to have this conversation, had that Library survived. :(

    Yes, literally thousands of 3rd degree Initiates move amongst us. I suspect you know some. I have met a dozen or more. Such individuals will not even always understand their Initiatory status as such, but will, instead, simply be extremely effective, Spiritually-motivated and Service-oriented individuals. Notice I did not say religious.

    Sometimes there are Communities, yet only one Initiate would be sufficient to organize, instruct and provide inner guidance for literally dozens, if not hundreds, of disciples and aspirants under instruction. Where these communities exist, around the world, you will find Service Projects of extraordinary calibre and quality.

    The most esoteric of communities may be a bit more like small monasteries. The Ashram which HPB visited in Tibet, for example, was utterly esoteric, and could not be located on a map, with even the most technologically advanced spy planes or satellites. It is not just a matter of the Masters and Their communities being hidden in plain site; rather, it is a case of the deliberate exercise of a MAYA, for the purposes of preservation of the Hierarchy's safety, and the safeguarding of the Work. I can give a lengthier quote on this matter if you like, wherein the Master Morya makes it clear that this is the one, inviolable condition of the Hierarchy's continued activity upon the Earth.

    Please read again my description of the terms used in the Pali and in the Sanskrit, from the Buddhist and the Hindu traditions, respectively, regarding Initiation. You can google these if you like, and if you prefer, stick to exoteric religious teaching, rather than reading what has been said by Theosophists and esotericists.

    There are preliminary Initiations, which occur before the Birth. These are conducted by the Soul, directly - while we are out of the body, at night. Seldom will a person realize that this has occurred, though sometimes a vivid dream experience will give indication. This is something that can occur because the Soul is a Master, on its own plane. It is actually a kumara of a certain order, as Nick has mentioned ... though not as exalted or spiritually attained as Sanat Kumara and the 3 esoteric, 3 exoteric Kumaras of Hindu exotericism.

    Once a person is ready for the 1st Initiation, or the 2nd (Baptism), the Christ must conduct the ceremony. You can read about such a ceremony online, here - for Jiddu Krishnamurti, supposedly his 2nd Initiation. Use this link, and search on `Wesak' ... it will be the 2nd hit on that page. You may also wish to read those sections in Leadbeater's book on Initiation. He gives a very clear presentation for the Western audience of the FACTS - as taken directly from Eastern exoteric teachings - about Initiation. He describes the fetters which must be cast off, per initiation. He answers most of the questions you asked, Thomas. :)

    Note, however, that C.W. Leadbeater recorded this information subsequent to the publication of Alice Bailey's first book with the Tibetan Master, Initiation Human and Solar. That volume is far, far more detailed, it is more accurate, and moreover, it is the actual source of much of CWL's information. It is not that CWL copied from that volume; but the Tibetan does explain - and he goes on record as doing so, because it is quite important - that the information came out via Alice Bailey FIRST. Leadbeater was able to receive much of it, too, just not as direct dictation. He was clairvoyant, and psychically trained by the Masters, whereas Alice was NOT. But CWL did not receive dictations, as Alice did (at this point, in this case). ;)

    Nick may have answered some of these questions differently. I'm just now reading to catch up.

    Cheers,

    ~Andrew
     
  18. 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 word on Initiation, from my understanding of how this has been taught - and regarding what occurred - with the Theosophical Society.

    The book Masters and the Path, wherein C.W. Leadbeater has much useful and accurate information to say about Initiation, may be one of the last useful writings on the subject from a major Theosophical author. The only other that I am aware of as being an official Spokesperson, agent or Representative for the Masters, is Geoffrey Hodson.

    In many ways, Geoffrey was the successor, in the Theosophical line of work, to H.P. Blavatsky. As such, his writings may be taken as authoritative. His Occult Diary, Light of the Sanctuary, is probably one of the most treasured volumes that I own ... and one of the most useful, for the student who wishes to understand something of the individual instructions and exchanges which are possible between an advanced esoteric student and the Masters.

    Geoffrey also wrote 5 or more books under direct dictation from advanced Devas (Angels), these being Archangels of equivalent, or greater, status as a Master of the Wisdom. His clairvoyance was probably equalled by none in the 20th Century, and he was a far more capable seer and conscious sibyl than CWL ... though no slight is intended. At any rate, Geoffrey has plenty to say about the subject of Initation in his writings, often at the direct instruction of Master Polidorus Isurenus (formerly Philo Judaeus), his own Master, but also at the instruction of a dozen or more others.

    What occurred within the Theosophical Society, following some of the unfortunate allegations (partially founded, at least) against CWL, was tragic, and a parody of the truth regarding esoteric Initiation. As the experiments with Krishnamurti continued, and the Order of the Star expectantly awaited the Messiah, CWL and others began pronouncing people Initiated left and right. People were supposedly becoming Arhats - 4th Degree Initiates, at the drop of a hat. And I suspect they often received such wonderful news in elation, with toothy smiles and an air of smug spiritual self-satisfaction. It is unfortunate that this kind of thing had to occur.

    So indeed, what if we just pronounce ourself `Initiated!'

    I suppose it is no different than pronouncing oneself spiritually `saved,' for esoterically, this is exactly what an Arhat essentially is. A 3rd Degree Initiate has witnessed the Lord, face to face, not as the blazing, 5-pointed Star, which living symbol shows up at the earlier two initiations (see the account of Krishnamurti's 2nd Init, above).

    Rather, as per the Aaronic, or Priestly Blessing of Numbers 6:23-7, the true, occult FACE of the Lord has shone upon the face of the candidate, and he has been able to bear the increased electrical energy (FOHAT) which now circulates throughout his entire being ... which even our exoteric science will one day be able to clearly measure, in objective confirmation of all that is herein being indicated.

    Blessed are the pure of heart (2nd Degree Initiates, those BAPTIZED), for they shall see God (receiving the Full Effects of His Presence, SHINING upon them, instead of the Star - His symbol ... at the earlier 2 ceremonies). Moses, as you will recall, needed to see the Lord as a burning bush, while still an Initiate of lower degree. So too, upon Mt. Sinai, he could not look upon the Lord directly, during his first encounters. Moses only later was able to speak with God, face to face. :)

    Our various vehicles of consciousness are stimulated, one by one, per these ceremonies - and if you put this together, it will make more sense.

    First Initiation - Birth - Etheric Body ... and Heart Chakra
    Second Initiation - Baptism - Astral-Emotional Body ... and Throat Chakra
    Third Initiation - Transfiguration - (Lower) Mental Body ... and Seven lesser head centers
    Higher Initiatons - Renunciation, Resurrection, etc. - Soul vehicle (Causal body) & higher ... and Major Head Center, synthesizing the lesser centers

    Also, it is the Soul that takes Initiation, not the personality.
     
  19. 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 Andrew —

    Agreed. In our tradition this is instituted in Baptism and continually refreshed in the Liturgical life of the Church.

    Indeed I choose to exercise that option, and would hope you would expect nothing less, I regard these discussions as an exercise in pluralism, not proselytization.

    I would hope you understand I do not share your low opinion of my Church, but in the spirit of pluralism I'm trying to avoid confrontation. Suffice to say our Scripture states explicitly the opposite, in His own words, so I don't see how you can support that without refuting our Scripture?

    The particulars you outline shed light upon the intricacies of your faith tradition, which are of genuine interest to me, believe it or not, but my profession is otherwise. And as I well know you know, we see Christ in a different light.

    With all due respect, that's what the Sacraments are ...

    Andrew, in the spirit of our new accord, please try and refrain from impugning my intelligence, or indeed the intelligence of the average Christian. I am increasingly at a loss to respond without refuting your claims for what we do and do not see or understand on the basis of what apears to be a lack of understanding or a blank refusal to accept the basics of Christianity on your part.

    I do not expect a convversion, but I do ask for allowance that we might believe in a message other than your own.

    Suffice to say "Sacrament" is the Latin synonym of the Greek "Mysterion", and furthermore in both Latin and Greek Churches we refer to the ongoing spiritual formation as Mystagogia ... armed with that, and your own knowledge of the iniatic aspects of the Greek mysteries, you should be better placed to understand what we are about.

    For anyone else who may be in the dark, the word Mystery derives from the Greek Mysterion, which itself derives from the verb mu (or muo) "to shut or close the lips or eyes".

    With regard to St Paul in particular, I am at a loss to see how anyone can view him in any other than a Christain context, else his Road to Damascus epiphany stands for nothing ... His words are known to the world via our Scriptures, after all. They in part define our faith. You cannot seriously expect me to agree that the Church champions his apostleship on the one hand, and then ignores his teaching on the other?

    St Paul apart, there is Mark, the most 'naive' (according to the ignorance of some scholars) of the sacred scribes:
    "And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables" (Mark 4:11)

    Enough Andrew, please stop these barbed asides. I know I have offended you in the past, indeed we have knocked lumps out of each other here, and for my part, I apologise for the offence I have caused ... but I am no longer prepared to continue like this.

    Thomas
     
  20. 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‚

    I wasn't aware of the contratemps between you. I concur with the notion that "present-day popular versions of Buddhism" covers a multitude of sins! Even from my distant perspective, a lot of what passes for 'Buddhism' in the West is far from what a Buddhist of the East would recognise. As an aside I think we are very lucky here at CR with the quality of informed Buddhist comment.

    Thanks for the answers to other questions. That I make no comment does not mean I have ignored them, far from it, this brief exchange has covered much ground for me, and given me plenty to think about.

    Books! More books! Books, the bane of my life! We have a joke on our course:‚ "five years study, 25 years' worth of reading to catch up on ... "

    That is an interesting viewpoint. We tend to view it differently, our argument would be that symbology is a subsidiary language of metaphysics, so we would hold that the symbol can be interpreted accurately, if one is cognizant of the hermeneutic and epistemological structure that contains it.

    Of course, meanings can get lost. Hebrew is, more than I know, a delightfully symbolic language (like the Gael, the Hebrew spirit delights in wordplay). I once read an exegesis of the parable of the camel and the eye of a needle that was pages of rich information on Hebrew pun and linguistics.

    As an aside, one of the things I want to pursue is the techniques of Hebrew text composition ... chiastic structure, ring composition ... from what little I know, a whole new depth opened up on the Gospel of Matthew ... but I digress.

    We do agree that symbols are notoriously 'slippery' ... but the primary focus for us is that which the author intended, rather than that which the viewer chooses to read into the symbol. If the meaning is purely a matter of individual interpretation, then we see the symbol itself as rendered meaningless, or at least ceasing to communicate anything meaningful — 'truth' then becomes meaningless beyond personal opinion, surely?

    This is why tradition is so important to us, it is tradition that guarantees the right reception of the symbol or text.

    That introduces a whole different topic, I think.

    Although Scripture commences with the creation of the world, Catholics (again, I am obliged to draw distinctions because of subsequent denominational assertions) are not obliged to accept the events described in early Genesis (1-11) absolutely literally — we do have a Creation story, we do have a Fall, and we do have its consequence ... but the actual detail is open to individual interpretation, as long as the principles are adhered to.

    In short, we have our interpretation of a common myth/symbolism, as you have yours (and indeed, the myth of the world tree, and a deluge, is common to many disparate cultures).

    The main thrust of the argument would be however, that the founding of the Abrahamic Tradition begins with the call of Abraham, dated very roughly about 4,000 years ago‚ so there already stands about 6,000 years separation between an assumed common heritage before the curtain opens, as it were.

    The 'real' story for us begins with Abraham, and the Covenant between God, and Abraham and his seed, a story we can locate in history, in time and in place, as something happening thousands of years after this separation. So whilst I might agree a commonality between our myths of pre-history, I would say that the data upon which the Christian Faith is founded is twofold:
    Salvation History of the Jews;
    Reflection upon the data of such in the Greek philosophical tradition.

    In short, the three 'R's — Revelation, reception, and reflection.

    Thomas
     

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