Jesus was a Buddhist

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by SalamanderRC, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The same one, if you've been following this discussion. The Aquinas question. The one you continue to avoid.

    Actually, as Christians, or at least as Catholics, we are not bound to any specific teaching with regard to the term 'day' as spoken of in the hexaemeron, as we regard the language is primarily symbolic.

    The Catholic is free to read the Seven Days as signifying a timeline, or not, as he or she so chooses. Whether that timeline signifies a series of 24-hour periods, or a series of ages, or aeons, epochs ... again is a matter of free choice.

    If one was to ask my personal speculation, and thank you for the opportunity to express myself personally to my fellow Christians (and whoever else might be interested), then I choose to read the text as a symbolic description of the unfolding of metaphysical principle, therefore not a timeline in the temporal/cosmological sense, but referring to the principles by which Creation occurs, the term 'day' referring in that sense to a step from level to level, as it were, through the hierarchical structure in the unfolding of the Principle of the One.

    For those of my fellows who are more familiar with the texts and its lexicography, there is a correlation between the Hebrew term 're'shiyth' "beginning" (Gen 1:1) and the Greek term 'arche' "beginning" (John 1:1) — the Johannine reference being transparently the more metaphysical.

    Both 're'shiyth' and 'arche' can be read as 'beginning' not necessarily in the temporal sense, but also in the philosophical and metaphysical.

    +++

    Might I add by the way, that whilst we enjoy a freedom of interpretation, you on the other hand are absolutely insistent that there is only one possible interpretation of the text and no other — it's either your reading or it's nonsense — which seems quite paradoxically to me, as you insist you have no dogmas, but are being dogmatic on this point.

    This is why I read Theosophy as full of contradiction.

    Thus we are reflected back to the principle which underlies our discussion, as highlighted by the text from Aquinas.

    +++

    There. Yet again, despite all my protestations, I have answered your question, and offered more than you asked.

    I wonder if you will ever do me the service of answering mine, or will you simply ignore all this, offer up some abuse, and repeat the same question again?

    Thomas
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Andrew —

    Thankfully, you have managed to touch on something that pertains to the topic of this thread, so I have pulled that out of the rest of the usual assault on my character.

    No (as neither do I) ... but he (like me) is critical of:
    "…what I call the cafeteria approach to spirituality, is not the way organisms are put together, nor great works of art. And a vital faith is more like an organism or a work of art than it is like a cafeteria tray. Elements of various faiths can come together, can inform one another in wonderful ways, but it takes long study, sensitivity, respect for the integrity of each tradition and an understanding of the risks involved. It’s simply not as easy as taking "one from column A and two from column B."
    Plymouth Center for Progressive Christian Faith -- The Authority of the Individual Conscience

    And I agree with him. I find Theosophy, with its easy access to religious traditions (although Islam seems sadly represented), its 'take it or leave it' approach on the one hand, its dogmatic insistence of its own infallibility on the other, and its total lack of sensitivity and respect for the integrity of tradition ... typical of the 'cafeteria' approach.

    The article goes on:
    "In a mix-and-match world, why not create your own religion?" So, for example, I might want to take the idea of grace from Christianity, a belief in re-incarnation from Hinduism, an ethic of justice from Judaism, and a practice of meditation from Buddhism. As I would in a cafeteria line, I make my meal up as I go along. Our discussion of universalism last week suggested that there is gold to be mined from each of the world’s great religious traditions.

    But it isn’t quite that simple. No one, of course, questions your right to "create your own religion." But one might question the wisdom of it if it is just a "cafeteria" approach. You see, each of the great religious traditions has its own integrity, its own cohesiveness, its own organic nature. One cannot lightly tinker with these things.
    "

    I recommend it to everyone.

    With regard to the question of any significant influence of Buddhism upon Christianity, I would argue that a non-theist-orientated paradigm would totally upset the cohesion and continuity between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.

    Thomas
     
  3. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I do not understand why there is an insistence to thinking that there are two creations of Man. To me, it seems that Genesis 2 is parathentical to Genesis 1. They are complimentary views of the same act. Genesis 2 goes father in that it establishes a relation between Man and his Creator.
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Thomas,

    First, a repeat of the three lines in questions.

    Genesis 1:26
    "So God created man in his own image...."

    Genesis 2:5
    "...there was no man to till the ground...."

    Genesis 2:7
    "...the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground...."

    I find it fascinating you do not see these as consecutive events. I also see that you are also taking a metaphysical interpretation -- that man had been created, yet he had not.

    I, on the other hand, see these three sentences as referring to events that actually happened, in a physical timeline. This is an interpretation that makes more sense to me. As you have pointed out, there are Christians who see these references as meaning that two groups of humanity were created, and I agree with Christians who think that way.

    That is the fun of religion -- we can all make our own conclusions as to what it means.

    I did not see your Aquinas question. I had hoped you would repeat it, but you did not.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I can understand that. As you have said before, Theosophy is a cosmological doctrine. This is the cause of the misreading, because Christian Scripture is metacosmic.

    I'm afraid you're labouring under an illusion here, as I have stated no such thing, nor indeed would I. Two groups would imply two natures, surely? Or one nature, and then a repetition of that same nature again ... neither seems very logical to me, although I do appreciate it appears to be the Theosophical position.

    It's quite simple ... I suggested that I am no more obliged to accept your texts as authoritative than you are to accept mine. Would you not agree?

    Thomas
     
  6. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Thomas, you have not understood Theosophy.

    I take the lion's share of the burden of responsibility ... for failing you, here at C-R, in that respect.

    Nick has done marvelously, as has Bruce Michael. Others, too, such as flow, Chris, Muslimwoman, InLove, lunamoth, etc. have been able to share in ways that I could not.

    I apologize for that, for if I have not managed to communicate even the most basic IDEAS of Theosophy, then I have utterly failed to say anything of its Spirit, or even the greatest aspect of its shining SOUL.

    Perhaps my mistake has been to attempt, even while forgetting that we must always work from `above downward' ... to `build it up,' as it were, into something which it is not.

    I have just read the words of an Apostle, who reminded me, indirectly, that what we in fact, are, is inherently SPIRIT. Therefore, in forgetting to extend the same courtesy to such a `thought-form entity' (egregoire) as THEOSOPHY (Blessed Teaching that it is), I have failed my own brethren, my own Teachers, and thereby, also my kindred brethren, and Their Teachers, etc. By extension, this begins to not look good, as I think anyone can clearly see.

    Thus, I would like to apologize, again, for my own doubt, and for the unintentional failure to affirm, silently - powerfully - yet knowingly, what I have said above, about SPIRIT. {We must own it, and affirm it, not simply acknowledge/recognize it.}

    Epistemology interests me, because if we are able to establish within a shared consciousness or frame of reference that - for example - all humans are inherently SPIRIT, as well as matter (body), then we have opened a door to a common Understanding. It must be considered, that there is a much greater understanding `out there' - or rather, to be had, than either You, or I, can possibly imagine.

    Therefore, in my own previous experience, I seem to recall the expression being used, that we `stand UNDER' the subject which we are discussing. We are not suggesting that ideas themselves are greater than individual human beings ... or even greater than a single, living soul. Yet IDEAS, themselves, are verily - ensouled, by mental essence, every bit as much as bodies, our physical `selves,' are ensouled by physical essence.

    Ever there is a distinction, between spirit, or an ensouling influence/energy ... and the matter, or material complement, of that Eternally-present SPIRIT.

    Thus, we can accurately say, that matter, is but the least expression, or most material aspect, of Spirit (its 3rd, to be precise), while SPIRIT, from whatever perspective we wish to consider it, is the LEAST material aspect - of matter (its 1st of 3 aspects). Yes, they are the `same thing.'

    We are puzzled by this, caught in a conundrum, if we try to follow this line of thought to its logical conclusion. What it shows us, if you are astute, is that the ancient Greeks, to whom we GENEROUSLY or modestly attribute a reasonable measure of intellect, were in fact - GENIUSES, many of them, by comparison with our current, best-exercised, well-polished reasoning skills.

    For we have Anaximander, who proposed that this substance (now I do use the word in a second context, yes) was called the apeiron ... while before him, Thales had portrayed it as water, Anaxamenes had referred to it as airlike, and Heraclitus had spoken of it as fire.

    Do you suppose, given a bit of inductive logic that perhaps each of these men, somehow, magically and thanks to the inspiration which Christianity acknowledges as `the Holy Ghost' ... KNEW that yes, Spirit and matter are two POLES of the same `THING'?

    Could it have been that in this recognition, each of these great Greek sages was not simply speculating, but rather, TEACHING, even with Divine Authority, something about the very ELEMENTS which surround us ... and which DAEMON-strata, err, demonstrate, in the WORLD (upon which) we walk?

    Socrates, you recall, had his Daemon, this being a Latinization of δαίμων - which referred to the AGATHOS Daemon, and not the keres, or simply `death-spirits.' Nor should we suggest that Socrates prayed to a Valkyrie, for it was not death he sought, but WISDOM. And the Agathos, as you must well know, is the "VERY GOOD SPIRIT" - being the "god of the vineyards and grainfields and of good luck, health and wisdom" (Wikipedia). Hmmm ...


    So you see, even this most modest of the three most celebrated of Greek philosphers (Aristotle as an excellent student, and Plato as an Initiate) PRAYED TO A DEMON ... Whom and which Wikipedia further tells us -
    ... was represented in art as a serpent or as a young man bearing a cornucopia and a bowl in one hand, and a poppy and an ear of corn in the other. The agathodaemon was later adapted into a general daemon of good luck, particularly of the abundance of a family's good food and drink.
    Snake-worship. Those darn, Pagan, misguided Greeks ... ahhhh.

    Shall we respect, almost revere them for their ideas - yet immediately denigrate their form of spiritual Reverence (and outward practices of Prayer and Invocation) ... simply because over the centuries, the power, the majesty and the deeper significance of the DIVINELY-INSPIRED IDEAS which these men created - or gave expression to - has clearly, dwindled ... creeping into popular culture as twisted, distorted, half-truths?

    The goal of the esotericist, then, is not merely to do his very best to see that HUMAN BEINGS can somehow `get along' - without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color ... s/he is also committed to honoring the value, the significance and the place of each egregoire... or thought-form presentation ... of the Truth.

    The Huston Smith quote points this out admirably. And he is - both for that - and for his many contributions that most on this forum would not hestitate to praise, a true esotericist - and disciple - working amidst us.

    Now, though you have not ASKED me (have you ever thought to do that?) ... WHY I find the Theosophical teachings of HPB, and others, so appealing, I will go on to give you an example.


    de Purucker's online encyclopedic glossary, which has been a wonderful reference & inspiration for me... gives us a bit more information - which we may consider a small portion of the Wisdom available - on the Agathadaemon:
    Agathodaemon, Agathodaimon (Greek) The good genius (represented as a youth holding a horn of plenty and a bowl, or a poppy and ears of corn) to whom at Athens a cup of pure wine was drunk at dinner; in one of his many forms, the kosmic Christos, the serpent of eternity -- which in the human mind becomes the serpent of Genesis -- which after the fall of Mediterranean civilizations became Satan. Brahma, in order to create hierarchies, becomes fourfold and emanates successively daemons, angels, pitris, and men. Agathodaimon refers to the first of these emanations, sons of kosmic darkness, signifying incomprehensible light which is prior to manifested light. Christian theology has recognized this in making Satan's host the first sons of God, but has unconsciously perverted their descent in order to enlighten man into a rebellion against Almighty Power. Thus in later times Agathodaimon became the enemy of divine goodness. The same has happened in the case of the asuras in India, and of the kosmic serpent. In Gnostic gems it appears under the name Chnouphis or Chnoubis.

    Clement of Alexandria, as an initiated Neoplatonist, knew that Agathodaimon was the kosmic Christos and the true spiritual savior of mankind, like Prometheus -- an early form of the Agathodaimon teaching applied to the enlightening of the human race through the influence of an incarnating spiritual power. Opposite to him stands a Kakodaimon, the evil genius or lower serpent, the Satan who bids Christ worship him and "I will give thee all the kingdoms of the earth." Kakodaimon is the nether or inferior aspect of Agathodaimon, kama-manas the deluder as opposed to buddhi-manas the redeemer.
    I find it somewhat disturbing, you see, and I do mean more than a little, Thomas, that a man comes to a comparative-religion, even an InterFAITH forum - for that is where we are, in this AGORA, my friend - to DISCUSS ideas, the greatest portion of which stand on their own MERIT, at least as IDEAS ... yet in such a forum, we are asked by another to PROVE for him, that even the least of these IDEAS references actual, historical events.
    We are not just asking the whether type of question, you see, or asking DID JESUS travel Eastward, we are addressing the very POSSIBILITY. For you, I'm afraid, have forgotten the very notion that he MAY have. You are so convinced, and so hell-bent on telling us all that Jesus DID NOT walk to the Himalayas, and why is this? Because YOU would find it a hard journey? Because YOU don't think Jesus needed to go elsewhere to LEARN anything? Because - ultimately - YOU BELIEVE that it was unnecessary for him.

    That, I'm afraid, is the case.

    And thus when others wish to discuss the POSSIBILITY - even the POSSIBILITY - that Jesus went about, both to Egypt, and even to India, Tibet and Kashmir ... I think it truly brings out the worst in you. I do not know if it is because you are a Catholic, or if it is because of some other reason.

    But I think you have forgotten, my friend, that Anaximander, when he spoke of the apeiron that HPB, too, has invited us to contemplate ... could not hold it up, and cite passage after passage, of WELL-ESTABLISHED dogmatic catechism, that such a substance actually EXISTS. He had, I think you'll realize, to appeal to the REASON of his fellow philosophers ... and audience.

    How shall we define, even this, most misunderstood of terms - the faculty of REASON?

    I think that this, too, is open for dicussion, but what I do not think, is that the spirit of SUPPRESSION, or that of OPPRESSION, is welcome here, any more. In fact, I know it never has been.

    You cannot close the book, on a friendly discussion, simply because "it does not suit you." And we are not here, to PROVE ANYTHING to you, Thomas.

    It is merely a discussion. And for the Greeks, the Freedom to do this, without fear of Supression or Oppression, was HIGHLY valued, and EVERY man's opinion was respected.

    How does that go? I must respect your RIGHT to have an opinion, but I do not necessarily have to AGREE?

    So you don't believe that Jesus went Eastward. So what? At least FOUR of us here, do. And we are also looking in the reverse direction.

    But we know enough, too, to ask - in what SOIL, is the Tree of these varying teachings ROOTED? We can talk about Sacred Scriptures, and provide quotation after quotation from these books, until the cows come home. That will not get us closer to understanding the connections, which ALREADY exist, and which are inherent, between ALL FAITHS ... and amongst ALL MEN.

    So I affirm those connections, and I am interested, even if YOU are not, in exploring WHAT these connections might be.

    SalamanderRC, you've gotten a wonderful discussion off the ground, and I'm excited about seeing if we can get it back in flight. There are at least FOUR of us here, who would like to pursue it. I don't want to impose upon you, Nick, because I know you and Thomas are discussing Genesis, still, but might I ask for you comment on the quotation from de Purucker?

    Bruce Michael, does it spark anything with you?

    How about you, SalamanderRC? I'd like to hear more about where you have come across these ideas? How did you become interested in this topic, and if you don't mind, could you say a thing or two more to help steer the discussion? Please don't let any of us derail or redirect it. You brought something very important to Light, and the Spirit in which you did so is what I think Interfaith, and C-R ... is all about. :)
     
  7. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    What is this esoteric definition of Agathodaemon, gathered by de Purucker, telling us? How might we approach all this?

    First of all, I would consider the Hermetic Axiom. That axiom reminds us that just as there is a kama-manas in the case of the individual human being, so there is a kama manas in the case of kosmic Christos, Who has HIS OWN buddhi-manas, equally as WE, on a smaller scale, have OUR buddhi-manas.

    We know, because it is a part of the Esoteric portion of every religious tradition, that the lesser incarnates the Greater. We know that the Heavenly is reflected into the earthly. And while the latter may not always capture the relative Perfection of the former ... we can always learn, if we are willing to study the correspondences. This is one of the methods of learning about God, about ourselves, and about the connections & overlap.

    Another way we can learn is to compare ACROSS the arms of the cross, rather than looking to see the Divine Order reflected from Above to below. Thus, not just noetically, but in terms of direct observation of the world around us, we can see the esoteric truths directly incarnate - both in nature and in man.

    A reference is made in de Purucker's definition to Fourfold Brahma as emanating the very `sons of kosmic darkness,' which are found - clearly referenced - in every great religion. These, the Christian and Jew are familiar with as the Elohim, the Seven Spirits before the Throne, and as the Planetary Regents.

    Where there is recognition, they may be spoken of as the Seven Archangels, if by this term we are able to distinguish between even the lofty orders of ANGELS ... and the next order Greater, which ensouls PLANETS, rather than nations, tribes, ideas and ideologies.

    Hindusim has the Seven Prajapatis, or Mind-Born Sons of Brahma, and this is Whom and what these are. The Zend Avesta speaks of the seven Amshaspends ...and in the Kabbalah we know there are SEVEN, as well as TEN, SEPHIROTH (a word which, itself, means enumeration, of ... ?).

    By studying, COMPARATIVELY, the teachings of EVERY great religion ... did I forget Buddhism, with the Five, and esoteric SEVEN, Dhyani-Buddhas & Bodhisattvas (as contrasted with the human, or MANUSHI counterparts) ... we shall find that these sons of kosmic darkness, the serpent of eternity, or kosmic Christ ... is present, regardless of where, or when, we prefer to look.

    Well and good, that some Christians might acknowledge them, via the Seven Archangels ... yet shall we place form above function? Better a man KNOW these Spirits, literally, as the Seven Elohim, or as the Planetary Spirits, if this opens the door for him, to the spiritual progress that he is here to attain.

    A true esotericist is one who seeks to learn, and to deepen his Wisdom, not for himself, but for the sake of Service to his fellow man.

    This alone, is enough to remind him, that even as the Buddha prepared the Way for Christ, He also taught Compassion, in His own right. He was Divinely appointed to do this, and He agreed to do so, at great cost to himself - by way of a SACRIFICE, which I believe we are, some of us, so fond of expressing, or characterizing, as the greatest expression of Love of which one is capable ... from one's man to his fellow man, AS ALSO FROM GOD to His Creatures.

    Buddha thus was, the Christ. We must never assume - that our sensibilities are necessarily the highest standard. Socrates KNEW ... how little, he actually knew. Yet here, a man who could speak at times with AGATHODAEMON. Hmmm ...

    Yes, I do understand, if we prefer, we can continue to compartmentalize everything, even in terms of religion(s), cubbyholing and pigeonholing THIS idea as Buddhistic, THAT one there as Judeo-Christian or Abrahamic .. and this set over here as largely Hindu-sounding, with an especial Saivite ring to them, moreso than Vaishnava.

    Yet what are we doing, when we insist on this? On many levels of a discussion, one must make accessions, and concessions, and seek out those points of commonality which facilitate the NEXT STEP.

    But what I see happening, all too often, in our discussions, is a failure to move beyond the basics, and to accept that yes, there ARE ... answers to these various conundrums, and questions ... worth pursuing, and exploring, in their own right.

    Sometimes, the pursuit of Truth ITSELF, must become the very character, the Quality, and the PRESENCE ... of the SPIRIT ... which rules the day.


    This has been expressed, in ancient times, thousands of years ago, in the Sanskrit ...
    NASTI PARO DHARMA - There is no religion greater than TRUTH​
    I affirm this motto, and would set aside every, lesser agenda ... to see that those seeking truth, at least are able to come to the small MEASURE of it, which I myself have attained. I cannot instruct, as an Adept, as a spiritual Teacher, or even as an Initiate. The best I can do, is bear witness to what I have experienced ... and as we know, the greatest way to do this, as even to teach, is to embody what we have learned.

    We do have to choose, how we may go about this, yet I will say - because it is true - that if not for the Buddha, I could not fulfil my Dharma, in ways that are currently available to me.

    I will also say, that if not for the Christ, I could not fulfil my Dharma, in ways that are currently available to me.

    I would make the point, again, that in Theosophical Teachings, we seek not to "fall asleep" in Christ, but to become AWAKENED within His very Bosom.

    We believe, that a Heavenly HOST, ever-Vigilant, ever-GUARDING our Path and our Destiny (however branched that may be, once we each, have Attained) ... THAT HOST, does not receive us in the same condition in which we were sent forth ... "asleep in Christ," but rather, we are fully received - only, when AWAKENED.

    I believe in Sanskrit, the Teachers of the Wisdom used their own language (since ours was not yet invented, or relevant) ... to call this condition of Cosciousness `BUDH'- so that any individual SO existing, is BUDH-HA, or Buddha. Nor can, nor do, the truly awakened members of the ONE BODY, Who have long since learned to COOPERATE with each other, always agree absolutely ... yet these are of One Mind, One Heart, One Purpose.

    As a reminder, one who is CHRISTOS, is one who is ANNOINTED, and if we fail to recognize the inherently existing connections between these two terms, whose fault is that?

    The ANNOINTING of the Priest, or Hierophant, for the benefit (what does our Latin tell us about benefit?) of the ___ ... is exactly a mirror, or an expression of God's Love for us, most generally speaking, and also of a specific portion of the Initiation Ceremony, wherein precisely this same Love is conveyed direct and quasi-unmediated, from GOD to the Individual.

    But that stream, or that EXPRESSION is always flowing, one might respond ... or we can even speak of the wonderful condition, the beautiful Harmony of Calm-abiding, or `Communion' - between the Eldest among Brethren, and (between) these many, many Brethren themselves. Here, we have layers upon layers of relationship ... all of which are our various egoic bonds (both karmic and Dharmic) ...

    ... yet during the Initiation Ceremony, the Aaronic or Priestly Blessing becomes - for the chrestos (candidate) a REALITY (making him CHRISTOS, if only for a few moments).

    God does not tease us. He does not say, "Look, this is what I am, how BEAUTIFUL, and how MAJESTIC" ... really at all, yet certainly not - so that we may merely bloom our frowning faces into happy, yet transitory smiles.

    The Buddha smiled, and he taught others how to smile, yet he did - also - teach them WHY. But I'm afraid His REASONs, however greatly we try to intellectualize them, will never amount to the original, undying INSPIRATION ... the LIVING, Compassionate SPIRIT of His Teachings, with us still - even echoed in such mottos as `Nasti Paro Dharma.'

    The answer is Zen. Dzyan. Ch'an.
    And it is also Neti, Neti

    So, those who would help awaken mankind's capacity for Divine Understanding, precisely as willed, instructed and guided by God [Itself] ... serve every bit as much in the Plan as those who chase down renegade sheep, or yet assist these sheep in laying themselves upon the Altar of ---.

    And yes, if I were interested in PROVING all of this to someone, then sure, I might be a bit more sympathetic to the neverending demands which we hear you voicing, Thomas: evidence, evidence, evidence!!! :p

    Frankly, however, there are more important things to me than playing a game of apologetics with you, Thomas ... and THAT is why, though I am happy to provide my own understanding, and to attempt to share a bit of insight, what I'd much rather do is see what other folks have to say - who are sympathetic to the original post of this thread.

    There is a lot of common ground that we are all capable of discovering, and the greatest portion of it is something I am convinced we can all share, and stand upon, together. Thus, I see no reason to keep fighting over some small little piece over here, or yet another tiny little piece over there.

    Sadly, even though no man is an island, anyway, there are those who yet fight for that very possibility ... and this, I think, is not `Free Will' at all; I am convinced it is just the opposite. Hence the nature of the spirit which seeks to separate, and to divide, and to preserve the distinctions, rather than to bring about Unity, and to Harmonize, and to - ultimately, Synthesize.

    I believe the Buddha taught, in the Noble Eightfold Path ... that our thoughts, speech and actions DO influence - the people, and the world, around us ... because that is just `HOW it is'!

    There is thus Karma, and Dharma, existing just as well as Mercy and Forgiveness, but we do not simply hand over our `sins.'

    For what, if we ask, is SIN, in the Biblical sense, except TRANSGRESSION, or `going against' ... the Divine Harmony, the Law, and the smoothest possibly imagined ORDER, and Rhythm, of God?

    The kind of Infinite, Unfathomable Mercy, which is practically the only thing we can contemplate as reaching deeper than God's Perfect, Unfailing Justice ... may be understood, if we so choose, as the very reason any of us are (still) here.

    Should we thus thank God, or do we curse Him?

    Precisely how much we value our earthly lives, and just as much as we have come to appreciate the opportunities provided us, will we be able, let alone inclined, to THANK God for `putting us here,' as we tend to say, colloquially.

    A God Who separated us from [Him], and sent us forth, the PRODIGAL ... may seem reason enough to curse, to rebel, to refuse to hand back over the GIFT - which God has so mercifully provided us. But this is the great failing of the most sagacious of the `Doctors,' that they could not convey to us how it was God's LOVE which brought us here, to begin with - and not some kind of Divine MISTAKE, or BLUNDER, which would not even be possible if one of US were to consider things rationally and squarely.

    I have a difficult time imaging a Loving God, who has SENT ME FORTH into the world, for the DIVINE PURPOSE of experience, of Growth, and of Loving Service in emulation of the Greatest Teachers which I have seen this same God also send forth ...

    ... yet being asked to also picture that LOVING GOD as KICKING ME out of the proverbial GARDEN of BLISSful existence for DARING to eat of the fruit of a TREE which, ITSELF (via its FRUIT), TEACHES me to DISTINGUISH between GOOD & EVIL that I might do the former (or even, should I so dare, the LATTER!!!).

    Yes, one must CHOOSE, agreed, but the best DOCTORS of the Church could not clarify for me that it is the SERPENT which God, in His Infinite and Loving MERCY SENT TO ME, and to ALL, to HELP US ... !??!??!

    How did I get back to the Serpent, one might rightly ask, at this point? Ahhh, that was Agathodaemon, to Whom Socrates inwardly retreated, or appealed, just as did Christ, just as did Buddha (and every Christ, and Buddha, before Them) ... for Guidance, and for Knowledge, Wisdom and Instruction. These, from the Agathos, or VERY GOOD, Spirit ... hmmm ....

    I'm afraid that if you subtract the Wisdom of the Buddhas from the Love-Wisdom Nature which Christ expressed, expresses, and always shall embody ... we are left with a great, theological blunder, which forever leaves us APOLOGIZING for why, yes, it doesn't quite make good sense - but then, "these are the things of God, and we aren't MEANT to understand them!" Ahhhhh ...

    And that is why I say, there is a HUMAN reason, and there is a HIGHER Reason. And may each of us learn, as he walks his own path, to know the difference. :)
     
  8. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Thomas,


    Oh, that was your question. Now I get it. Certainly, no one is obliged to accept any texts as authoritative. As a matter of fact, Theosophy requires that people refuse to accept any text as authoritative, just because someone tells them to do so. Theosophy works hard to develop thinking skills in its members, and asks its members to make sure something makes sense before believing it. As you yourself have noted, Theosophy cannot tell anyone to believe anything. The idea that I should tell you that you have to believe in karma and reincarnation is preposterous. (I thought you were asking a rhetorical question, and did not actually want an answer.)
    "I'm afraid you're labouring under an illusion here...."
    --> I believe there are other people who also take a literal interpretation of the Bible. Are you saying everyone who takes a literal interpretation of the Bible is laboring under an illusion?

    I am just reading what the Bible says.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Andrew —

    Andrew, fear not, the burden does not rest entirely with you.

    My involvement with Theosophy goes back to my Hermeticist days, and my understanding is drawn from Theosophist texts, and the commentaries of their peers and contemporaries.

    My 'beef' with Theosophy is twofold:
    1 — I do not accept that its text are the ultimate authority with regard to every tradition;
    2 — I do not accept that it possesses the only correct and authentic interpretation of the texts of other traditions.
    Both the above seem totally dogmatic assertions, from a culture that insists it possesses no dogmas.

    +++

    Well in that sense we are all theosophers, and indeed i have enjoyed rich and meaningful exchanges with them ... but they, not I, are adherents to the Theosophical Society's doctrines.

    Again, no need to apologise. I was aware of the Theosophical Society's philosophy long before I came to CR.

    Indeed. In my view, matter is the means by which spirit manifests itself in the material/physical order. I am Hebraic in that sense, rather than Greek, in that my view is holistic, rather than dualistic.

    I think we agree on that in principle, if in practice we differ on the detail.


    That's an interesting viewpoint. I have always viewed the apeiron "the Boundless" by definition as being beyond all determination.

    Well here the Christian would draw a distinction between 'spirit and matter' — to which the answer would be yes, and 'Spirit and matter' in which case the answer would be no ... again, this depends on what you and I mean (and think the other means) by the terms spirit and Spirit.

    Well, if you can provide citations for that, we can discuss it. In the absence of such, all I can say is the noble Clement was not infallible.

    No, do not misread me. I am not against ideas ... but when the idea is asserted as a fact beyond question, then I have every right to ask for evidence. I fielded the idea that Buddha travelled West to study under the Greeks ... but I am not asserting that as a fact, any more than the idea that Plato's knowledge stems from Moses.

    Not at all old chum! Indeed he may have ... he may not have ... so, do we have any evidence either way? Surely that is the first logical question?

    But of course it was unnecessary! There is everything to hand in his own Hebrew Scriptures, what else is he in need of? A man might have a hundred lifetimes, and still not exhaust all the Scriptures can tell him, and he would be better advised to stay put, and use the time better than to engage in a long and arduous journey to learn things that he could learn at home.

    What else logically would a Christian think? He is the Word incarnate. What else would you have me believe?

    What if I said I don't think he travelled East, but went West, to England, to study under the Celts?

    Why must it be East?

    If seeking for truth, for evidence, or at least a credible argument, before accepting a hypothesis is wrong in your book, then we have radically different notions of what theosophy, and philosophy, entails.

    Andrew old chum, Anaximander's idea of arche and apeiron is a resoned hypothesis born of a logical operation based on observation of how the world (appears) to work. But I think you'll find the arche and apeiron are abstract principles.

    The hypothesis that Jesus travelled East is not an abstract principle, it involves the actual travel of a person from one place to another in the pursuit of a given goal ... and unless and until some material evidence comes forward to demonstrate that such is the case, it remains purely a conjecture, which is all I think it to be — and such conjecturing is always fun, but should not be taken too seriously.

    Furthermore, I think I have demonstrated, logically and reasonably, that if there is no need to undertake such a journey because the goal desired can be attained without leaving home, then Okham's Razor suggests that he would have stayed at home.

    Indeed you are not ... my task seems to be to point out that conjecture, speculation or hypothesis is not in itself a proof of anything.

    And I respect the opinions of others. It's when I am told I have to accept that opinion as a fact ... then that is not philosophy.

    Precisely. I hope you bear that in mind if you choose to respond to this missive.

    It is the crux, by the way, of my somewhat heated exchange with Nick. He would have it that I MUST AGREE WITH HIM, and took great umbrage when I didn't.

    Personally, I think such connections transcend the material. I don't think anyone has to travel half way round the world to learn the meaning of compassion, for example.

    I am indeed. That's why I ask for evidence ... without it, we become victims of our imaginings. You will excuse me if I follow the tried and trusted method of the Greeks — of all that I have tried, it seems the best to me.

    Thomas
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I cannot speak for everyone.

    Not really, if you think about it. You are forming an opinion about what you read — it's one of those 'you cannot not' occasions ...

    Thomas
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    I am just reading what the Bible says.

    Not really, if you think about it.

    --> I need to put this into my signature. OK, here goes.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nick: I am just reading what the Bible says.

    Thomas: Not really, if you think about it.
     
  12. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    1. Nor do I believe that your texts are the ultimate authority, even with respect to your own tradition. The problem is, you feel that simply because the New Testament is where most Christians take the principle articles of their Faith, or tenets of their belief, YOU - and THEY - are somehow, magically EXPERT on their [these texts'] significance. NOWHERE, and in NO WAY, does that logically follow. ;)
    2. Theosophy, in terms of the modern MOVEMENT initiated in this world by HPB, at the behests of her Adept Teachers, does not CLAIM to "possess the only correct and authentic interpretation of the texts of other traditions." These are your words, and this is YOUR MIS-interpretation of what we have said, over and over and over again. I cannot fault you for misunderstanding, if in truth you actually WANT to understand what is being hypothesized. I'm not sure that this is the case, so we'll have to see if there is any real interest, even curiosity, about you.
    So no, I will side with Nick, in asserting that Theosophy after the modern expression, in terms of the FORM which HPB (and others) presented ... requires NO dogmatic acceptances or allegiances, as does Roman Catholicism.

    We insist that a person QUESTION, in order to be a good Theosophist, and a prime example of what can happen when sentimentalism and blind faith, or excess of devotion supplants Intelligent contemplation, is the entire, Order of the Star in the East/Krishnamurti fiasco. Things got out of hand, and what was happening was no longer real Theosophy, it became simply another form of religious devotion, albeit inspired by lofty ideals and principles.

    +++

    Pity, as I consider the Three Objects to be three of God's GREATEST Purposes which Humanity can presently serve upon the planet.

    You have the Ideal of Brotherly Love, manifesting as an objective Reality. You have Comparative Religion, AND Philosophy, AND Science studied together - rather than their still-too-often FRAGMENTED, compartmentalized, broken pieces, being treated in some kind of imaginary, air-tight, water-proof, VACUUM-like abstract space. And you have a sincere, rational inquiry into the "unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity" - sometimes assisted by what the Christian calls the `Gifts of the Spirit' (including the higher clairvoyance, or greater Siddhis, etc.).

    Being aware of the existence of such a philosophy is not the same as understanding it. ;) :)

    Sort of. The way this comes across to me, however, it is you who are insisting on a dualistic interpretation. I am the one, remember, who stated, that matter and spirit are the same `THING' - merely at opposite POLES of expression, or being ... and I went on to cite Anaximander as identifying this THING as apeiron.

    I also noted that earlier Greek philosophers equally recognized this THING (called idam, in the Sanskrit), which you have so kindly pointed out is constrasted with Anaximander's Archaeus, or the Sanskrit TAT - `THAT.' They simply chose to represent this SUBSTANCE according to the well-known, non-earthly elements (water, air, fire).

    But when I draw from HPB's modern presentation of these ancient Greek, and Sanskrit ideas (similiar not by coincidence, yet that is up to YOUR Intuition to tell you) ... I am not the one who is insisting upon the duality of "a spirit manifesting in the material/physical order."

    What I have said, is that in fact, both spirit and matter ARE ONE ...

    Yet you do make a useful point, and that is the distinction between `spirit,' with a small `s' - and Spirit, with a capital `S' - as you have put it. HPB understood this distinction, and she expressed it thus:
    Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar to those of human or even animal beings. Life we look upon as "the one form of existence," manifesting in what is called matter; or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter. Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all. The idea of universal life [SPIRIT, if you like] is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century [the 19th!!!] ... -- SD, v.1, p.49
    What is important here, is that HPB was seeking to draw our attention to the SPIRIT of which you speak, Thomas, while also clarifying the doctrine of both Eastern and Western tradition ... that this SPIRIT, which she calls `Life,' has a triune or threefold expression, whether we are contemplating it as existing in terms of Cosmos, in terms of Nature, or in terms of man - or yet, even lesser expressions ... i.e., microcosmic units of Life (atoms or animals, etc.).

    Ever, and always, there is LIFE, or Spirit ... and there are its THREE, primary expressions. These also become SEVEN, and TEN, but that is beside the current point.

    So, I have addressed this above. If we need to clarify something, let's do so, rather than continue on with a fundamental disagreement, or variance in our understanding. ONE, manifesting as THREE, and to further clarify this I would quote again from what HPB had to say about it:

    Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that Essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol. But once that we pass in thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object.

    Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective. -- SD, v.1, p.15
    I find that I really cannot try to say, what Helena Petrovna Blavatskaya has expressed so clearly - expressing as best SHE was able - precisely what she herself had studied, and come to understand, even from a very young age ... yet also giving direct expression to what she had been taught, even what she was receiving moment by moment, from the minds of her Adept Teachers.

    So I will provide the conclusion of this section of her teaching. In order to understand the reference to "the great Breath," one must consider - in its entirety - the occult catechism which HPB has already shared with us, just a few pages prior in the SD. That catechism, I will post out of order, after this post, and this section on spirit, matter and the One.

    Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. It is the fons et origo of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On the other hand, precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.


    Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness, so pre-Cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation.


    Hence it will be apparent that the contrast of these two aspects of the Absolute is essential to the existence of the "Manifested Universe." Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle [called in Sanskrit: "Upadhi"] of matter that consciousness wells up as "I am I," a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity. Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue.


    The "Manifested Universe," therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its EX-istence as "manifestation."

    But just as the opposite poles of subject and object, spirit and matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesized, so, in the manifested Universe, there is "that" which links spirit to matter, subject to object.


    This something, at present unknown to Western speculation, is called by the occultists Fohat. It is the "bridge" by which the "Ideas" existing in the "Divine Thought" are impressed on Cosmic substance as the "laws of Nature." Fohat is thus the dynamic energy of Cosmic Ideation; or, regarded from the other side, it is the intelligent medium, the guiding power of all manifestation, the "Thought Divine" transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyan Chohans,* the Architects of the visible World. Thus from Spirit, or Cosmic Ideation, comes our consciousness; from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in which that consciousness is individualised and attains to self -- or reflective -- consciousness; while Fohat, in its various manifestations, is the mysterious link between Mind and Matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.


    The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.


    (1.) The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.


    (2.) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the "manifested." This is the "First Cause," the "Unconscious" of European Pantheists.


    (3.) Spirit-matter, LIFE; the "Spirit of the Universe," the Purusha and Prakriti, or the second Logos. [Christ]


    (4.) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called MAHA-BUDDHI.

    The ONE REALITY; its dual aspects in the conditioned Universe.

    * Called by Christian theology: Archangels, Seraphs, etc., etc.
    Here, if you are an astute observer, you can see that HPB has provided the esoteric teaching regarding the Trinity, in the CLEAREST way which I think we can possibly DO SO - without insulting our very INTELLECT (the #4, above), nor yet overlooking the 2nd person of the Trinity (#3), or failing to point out the existence of `the Father, or Divine Parent' as the 1st Aspect (#2), and still showing that all these three ARE but ONE, the exact ABSOLUTE of Christianity (#1, SAT, ParaBrahm).

    Your question, Thomas, has been "Why does HPB find it necessary to reference Christian, Hebraic, even Hindu, Buddhist and other scriptures (ideas, teachings), in order to convey `her' doctrine?"

    And the answer, whether you like it or not, is that - She is speaking, to YOU. :)

    I'm not quite sure what you expected her to do. Invent, of her own accord, a new language, to reference the eternal verities? For my friend, Thomas, IF HPB is not speaking of `the eternal verities' in these excerpts ... then enlighten me, if you will, please! In other words, PRAY TELL, what is she talking about? ;) :)

    My finger, to the side of my nose ...

    To make it easier, just focus on the portions which I have highlighted in blue, or yet in other colors, since these are what convey the thread of her teaching. Yes, it is drawn, in this instance, largely from the Vedic presentation of Truth (what does Veda mean, again?) ... though she will also reference the Zohar and Kabbalistic presentations, readily as the Gnostic, because these codices, whether we are considering the Vedas, the Kabbalah/Zohar, or the Codex Nazaraeus, ALL speak to us - to Theosophists, at least - of the same, underlying TRUTH.

    (cont'd)
     
  13. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    The Occult Cathechism (referenced in my last post, from The SD):
    "What is it that ever is?""Space, the eternal Anupadaka."* "What is it that ever was?""The Germ in the Root.""What is it that is ever coming and going?""The Great Breath.""Then, there are three Eternals?""No, the three are one. That which ever is is one, that which ever was is one, that which is ever being and becoming is also one: and this is Space."

    "Explain, oh Lanoo (disciple)." -- "The One is an unbroken Circle (ring) with no circumference, for it is nowhere and everywhere; the One is the boundless plane of the Circle, manifesting a diameter only during the manvantaric periods; the One is the indivisible point found nowhere, perceived everywhere during those periods; it is the Vertical and the Horizontal, the Father and the Mother, the summit and base of the Father, the two extremities of the Mother, reaching in reality nowhere, for the One is the Ring as also the rings that are within that Ring. Light in darkness and darkness in light: the 'Breath which is eternal.' It proceeds from without inwardly, when it is everywhere, and from within outwardly, when it is nowhere -- (i.e., maya,** one of the centres***). It expands and contracts (exhalation and inhalation). When it expands the mother diffuses and scatters; when it contracts, the mother draws back and ingathers. This produces the periods of Evolution and Dissolution, Manwantara and Pralaya. The Germ is invisible and fiery; the Root (the plane of the circle) is cool; but during Evolution and Manwantara her garment is cold and radiant. Hot Breath is the Father who devours the progeny of the many-faced Element (heterogeneous); and leaves the single-faced ones (homogeneous). Cool Breath is the Mother, who conceives, forms, brings forth, and receives them back into her bosom, to reform them at the Dawn (of the Day of Brahma, or Manvantara). . . . ."

    * Meaning "parentless" -- see farther on.

    ** Esoteric philosophy, regarding as Maya (or the illusion of ignorance) every finite thing, must necessarily view in the same light every intra-Cosmic planet and body, as being something organised, hence finite. The expression, therefore, "it proceeds from without inwardly, etc." refers in the first portion of the sentence to the dawn of the Mahamanvantaric period, or the great re-evolution after one of the complete periodical dissolutions of every compound form in Nature (from planet to molecule) into its ultimate essence or element; and in its second portion, to the partial or local manvantara, which may be a solar or even a planetary one.

    *** By "centre," a centre of energy or a Cosmic focus is meant; when the so-called "Creation," or formation of a planet, is accomplished by that force which is designated by the Occultists LIFE and by Science "energy," then the process takes place from within outwardly, every atom being said to contain in itself creative energy of the divine breath. Hence, whereas after an absolute pralaya, or when the pre-existing material consists but of ONE Element, and BREATH "is everywhere," the latter acts from without inwardly: after a minor pralaya, everything having remained in statu quo -- in a refrigerated state, so to say, like the moon -- at the first flutter of manvantara, the planet or planets begin their resurrection to life from within outwardly.
    Before I can say anything more, I must correct an error, which might arise in the mind of some, if we were to read a statement to the effect that St. Augustine originated this conception of a boundless circle, everywhere-centered. Such might be the preference of consideration in the imaginations of some, yet nothing could be farther from the truth.

    How will I prove this? By an appeal to any man's REASON, his common sense, and even directly to that Spark of the Divine resident within (expressed by HPB, even in its lowest aspect, as - Maha-Buddhi, microcosmically present within us all as Buddhi-Taijasi, Manas-Taijasi, or yet Buddhi-Manas, whichever of these, you happen to prefer). You see, God created us in God's own `Image' ... and the Threefold Nature is not something we must pray for, in order to inherit, or to BE. :)

    So a reminder, from the SD, v.1, p.113-4:
    The Circle was with every nation the symbol of the Unknown -- "Boundless Space," the abstract garb of an ever present abstraction -- the Incognisable Deity. It represents limitless Time in Eternity. The Zeroana Akerne is also the "Boundless Circle of the Unknown Time," from which Circle issues the radiant light -- the Universal SUN, or Ormazd** -- and the latter is identical with Kronos, in his AEolian form, that of a Circle. For the circle is Sar, and Saros, or cycle, and was the Babylonian god whose circular horizon was the visible symbol of the invisible, while the sun was the ONE Circle from which proceeded the Cosmic orbs, and of which he was considered the leader. Zero-ana, is the Chakra or circle of Vishnu, the mysterious emblem which is, according to the definition of a mystic, "a curve of such a nature that as to any, the least possible part thereof, if the curve be protracted either way it will proceed and finally re-enter upon itself, and form one and the same curve -- or that which we call the circle." No better definition could thus be given of the natural symbol and the evident nature of Deity, which having its circumference everywhere (the boundless) has, therefore, its central point also everywhere; in other words, is in every point of the Universe. The invisible Deity is thus also the Dhyan Chohans, or the Rishis, the primitive seven, and the nine, without, and ten, including, their synthetical unit; from which IT steps into Man.

    ** Ormazd is the Logos, the "First Born" and the Sun.

    This esotericism is the common property of all, and belongs neither to the Aryan 5th Race, nor to any of its numerous Sub-races. It cannot be claimed by the Turanians, so-called, the Egyptians, Chinese, Chaldeans, nor any of the Seven divisions of the Fifth Root Race, but really belongs to the Third and Fourth Root Races, whose descendants we find in the Seed of the Fifth, the earliest Aryans.
    I think the problem may arise, when we read something like this, but do not feel that we want to be BOTHERED to have to take the time to look up each, individual reference (umm, those which you are doubting, Thomas) ... and verify the truth of the teachings, FOR OURSELVES. We would much rather ask someone else to DO IT FOR US, but that is not the nature, or the type, or perhaps just the extent, of the service which I am here to provide.

    I take letters for my 102 year old co-esotericist friend, because she is no longer able to do write them herself. And I will gladly READ her letters, to her, as also assist her with many things, which she - at 102 - can no longer perform as well as she could, say, at 100. Just last year, for example, we shopped, together, yet now - I will gladly go to the store for her, since she cannot, presently, accompany me.

    Now Thomas, you are neither 102, nor blind, nor incapable of researching things for yourself. If you cannot be bothered to inquire, regarding the possible veracity of the ideas and teachings which are being discussed here, then why do think that WE (or I, at any rate) should do your homework FOR you? ;)

    It just ain't gonna happen. And if that suddenly makes the Wisdom of God not worth your time ... then that is your choice. Who says it is? I do. Just as firmly, yet I will seek to say so every bit as pleasantly, as you tell me "that thus'n such gospels are - the Wisdom of God." Nor will I question you, or doubt you, yet I will READ these Gospels for myself, and I will MAKE UP MY OWN MIND, about what I am reading. I believe you have invoked the Lectio Divina. So, too, do I. :)

    So you see, where we go with things, is up to each of us, eternally, and - entirely. :)

    Thomas, I have no desire, no interest, no investment, in shouting this to your face, much less - wagging my finger at you, as if you, or any of us, is supposed to already know these things. What I am simply attempting to show, is that HPB was writing under the direct Instruction, Guidance and Inspiration ... both of what you will call `the Holy Spirit,' even the Archangels, in some cases ... as well as the Adept Teachers Whom and which some of us do believe in, as being every bit as REAL, every bit as HOLY, and every bit as DIVINELY OBEDIENT to your `God,' as was Christ Jesus ... because (all are equally) Pledged and Joyously Serving the Same.

    All this, you must - I trust - believe, I take the time to type and put to words, not because what I would hear is a refutation of the very idea of the Mahatmas to begin with! And not because, what I am seeking is some kind of muttered acquiesence that, "yes indeed, there MAY be such Great Beings." Not an ounce of doubt, not one iota or quantum, exists within my Soul ... that precisely what I have said is the case. Can you believe that?

    But what use is it to me, or to anyone, if you genuinely cannot understand how all of this makes sense ... and if you yourself have no experience, no reason, no motivation - to contemplate, further, the merest possibility of the Mahatmas' existence ... much less the implications of what their existence might actually mean (to you, for you ... and to & for each & every one of us)?

    I do hope some of this is beginning to make sense. For you see, I have no desire, TRULY no desire, even in the slightest ... to become a Catholic. I can elaborate, but that should, in & of itself, be enough. And I have no difficulty whatsoever accepting, as I know it is plainly evident, clearly true - that you have no desire to convert from your present worldview, and understanding, to that which you feel Theosophy represents.

    For you, or to you, it does not seem to hold the promise of a greater understanding, and/or of increased opportunity for Spiritual Service to your Lord. Yet for Souls such as Nick, Bruce Michael and myself, also many, many others, Theosophy - and related teachings - do hold the promise, and the guarantee, of a wonderful, Beautiful Path of increased Understanding (of self, of God, of Universe, of Man) ... as well as a field of world Service which we cannot possibly imagine as being more Joyous, more rewarding, more fulfilling.

    The reasons, largely, for the latter, rest with those very beings we call the Mahatmas, themselves. There is no greater Joy, than to be with one's Master. Yet even if we do not seek Joy for Joy's sake, we know - that through our loving, dedicated Service (to the Cause, to the Plan), we are doing all that Christ asks of us, all that our Master asks of us, as also - all that our Soul asks of us. And we know these three, though expressing the same, Great SPIRIT, as nevertheless being - in some ways, three, distinct Individual Beings. But you see, we aren't going to fight over it. :)

    (I do go on, don't I!)
     
  14. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Instead (of endless arguments, and attacks), we are going to speak about Ashrams, and consider how the many folds of the One Flock might better cooperate. We will do this, with or without the cooperation - of every, single, incarnate (and discarnate) brother ... yet we will also affirm, gently, but without tire or fail ... the existence of the One, Human FAMILY of Souls - and we will seek to speed the day, when Brotherhood has come to prevail, over all, unhelpful divisions.

    You see, when a person fails to accept (meaning both understand and embrace) the Teachings of the Christ, s/he reverts to a basic separativeness, or separative tendency ... and this is something which characterizes us ALL, to a certain extent - until we reach a high enough Initiation to begin to understand, and experience, and EMBODY - true, underlying, inherent Spiritual UNITY.

    We do not create this, or even synthesize it, for this is only one type of Unity, and this is the willing, personality acceptance of the Divine Pattern, or Archtype, which is a perfect ONENESS, existing above all, before all - even transcendent of time, of space and of human conception (thought).

    We do not create the Unity of God. God simply IS ... and from THAT (duality only in terms of expression in the conditioned worlds of being), WE emerge.

    Where, then, do we have ROOM - for `separativeness' ... or separation? It is, we shall all one day discover - only an ILLUSION. And I am no less correct for echoing this truth, than Those Who have spoken it - with the AUTHORITY, and the PROOF, of what we call `DIRECT EXPERIENCE.'

    Shall you deny the words of the Christ, "I and the Father are ONE?"

    I say again, what use, what POINT, would be our emulation of our Greatest, earthly Teacher ... if our highest reward, even for the elect, is to experience - PROXIMITY TO, yet never quite UNION, or UNITY, with - you bet, THE FATHER?

    The question you must ask yourself then, is - When Christ said, "I and the Father are ONE," was He simply speaking of something which HE ALONE was capable, IS capable, of experiencing? Or might He have been a Living Witness to what each, and every, PERSON ... is ALSO capable?

    You are absolutely, 100% correct, and IN THE RIGHT, when you tell us, Thomas, that from your own, personal, Roman Catholic point of view ... you simply cannot imagine, and really do not even WISH to imagine, what that might be like -- to actually BECOME the Father, as Christ was able to say.

    Nor are we warmed, at least - not myself (perhaps Nick or Bruce Michael can speak otherwise), when we hear you say something like, oh, but - Christ already WAS (with, even AS) `the Father,' for you see, THAT (Him) is Who sent Christ forth, to begin with!

    Thomas, if you argue this, as you might like, you have not helped to draw us closer to God, much less to show God as being accessible to us, at all! All you (will have) have said, is something which we already believe, and assert, and simply choose to express in terms, even perhaps in an Eastern presentation, which is/are - either unfamiliar to you, or maybe just not to your liking. But this does not change the veracity, one bit.

    What am I talking about? Simple. Christ was sent forth, by the Father ... and WHAT do you tell us was his GOAL? WHY did Christ thus come forth, and teach us, and work the many Good Deeds, and `Miracles' - which we know perfectly well that He did?

    It will, I suppose, pain you to know, or to contemplate, that for many of us with the Theosophical mindset, and background, HPB symbolizes for us precisely, and in fact - YES, she IS (for US, I say) - EXACTLY Whom, and what Christ was, and is, for YOU. Either you can live with the comparison, and be willing to explore the connections - just what we (I) could possibly mean by such a statement ... or you shall have to be content with your insistence to cry Foul, and to level your charges of Blasphemy!

    I can only encourage you, to pursue further just how it is that Christ came to the Buddhists, long before He came to the Jews, just as He came to the Hindus before that ... and to the people of ancient Greece, of ancient Egypt, and yes, to the people of sunken Atlantis (pre-sinking, ya think?), and `Lost Lemuria.'

    The historical reference, even to these lost civilizations, can be found - as you must know - in the teachings of many world religions - such as the Popol Vuh of the Mayan Quiché, as well as the original, Chaldean flood myth, telling of Xisuthrus, become Noah, in the later Hebrew accounts. Yet how shall we recognize the Christ coming to these earliest of 4th Round people ... if we cannot even consider, with a mind free from inherent bias and prejudice, that such civilizations, and phases in our distant past, actually even existed!?! :eek:

    There was once a disciple of the Christ, and for everything that the Teacher would relate, that disciple wanted to know why! Further, he wanted to have PROOF, such was his doubt ... that he earned for himself, early on, the name `Doubter' - while only after the demanded proof had been shown, he came to be called `Believer.'

    There is something of this disciple in us all ... yet I feel his spirit, if possible, would challenge even the authority of the author of Hebrews 11:1, himself! :eek:

    In order to proove - not just a point - but the very TRUTHS which that disciple - like us all - was & is seeking ... Christ delivered exactly what was asked, saying: "Thomas, you have believed because you have seen, blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe."

    I can tell you, how it is possible not to see, and yet to believe. But I would not, so presume, or dare to compare myself ... and that is why, earlier, I asked for your epistemology. Perhaps the connections are becoming a bit more clear. :)

    My own epistemology, or at least, what occurred to me 24 hrs ago, sits downstairs, on my other computer, waiting to see if it shall find a table for some discussion ... even just for the meeting of the minds, as it were.

    I cannot prove to you that Jesus was a Buddhist. I can, however, ask you to consider, that there are many good reasons for why some of us believe that it was so - specifically, that what SalamanderRC proposes in the OP, was, and is, the case.

    And if we wish, we can revisit any, or all, of the four reasons I have already provided ... why I think Jesus (needed to, HAD to) make this travels, as also why the Buddhistic influence, via the Essenses, had everything to do with his Mission, and his Holy Purpose.

    I feel much like a cripple, as we even try to consider this, and you may think that sounds unkind, but I am merely telling you what it seems like ... as I must, first, consider that not everyone here necessarily accepts Rebirth, or Reincarnation, as `the way things are.'

    Already, immediately upon this forced accession/concession - "No, Thomas doesn't believe this" - I feel, almost literally, quite crippled.

    What would you have me do? No, I do not expect YOU to necessarily and without hesitation abandon the notion that our present, physical life is our only one. Thus, although I must lose a leg, so to speak, even in order to sit down and converse with you ... it would only be mean-spirited and inconsiderate of me, to say to you, "Hey brother, you're leaning on a crutch here, and I wanna see you WALK!" :p :(

    No, although you might not see it that way at all, remember, I DO happen to believe in reincarnation ... just as do Nick, Bruce Michael, perhaps SalamanderRC, and millions upon millions of others. We don't find it any easier than you do, to simply - toss our beliefs out the window, and sit down at a table to a discussion where such fundamental discrepancies in our belief systems already, clearly exist.

    We are, you must realize, just as accustomed as you are ... to discussion with like-minded individuals, wherein many, if not most, of the tenets and ideas are accepted, which we speak of as `part of our own religion (worldview).' It isn't so much a shock, as it is just - what we might, truthfully call - something of an earnest, real-life, honest-to-goodness test ... even of more than our mettle, so to speak - but really of the very FIBER of our Being, if you will!

    Mettle and fiber, so to speak ... and IF you will. How much more would you ask of us? The question, rightly, is only one for God, the great Task-Master ... Who we must ever try to appreciate is always offering us exactly the needed lessons of the moment, in the gentlest, most enjoyable manner which we ourselves will accept.

    I think we are all, for some reason, hell-bent on testing God's proverbial patience (Mercy, if we take this idea to the extreme) ... yet it was not the Buddha who INVENTED a Compassion deeper than we could possibly imagine, more Perfect than anything we have yet touched.

    Shakyamuni was simply the most recent of the Sons of Men to have discovered ... that's God's Love for us knows no limits, and a certain Christian PARABLE will echo EXACTLY (the reality of) this boundless Love - several centuries afterward - but not because the Nazarene Initiate was pouring over Buddhist scriptures.



    From The Voice of the Silence:
    "Canst thou destroy divine compassion? . . . Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws -- eternal Harmony, Alaya's SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal. ​
    "The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute. ​
    "Such is the Arya Path, Path of the Buddhas of perfection" (VS 69-70).​
    If only the Christian were free to consider, what it might mean when it is said ... that the Buddha left his vestitures in the safe-keeping of the World Teacher, the Christ, imagine what misunderstandings might suddenly be cleared up, or greatly ameliorated.

    The very nature of `the Wisdom' which some of us study, and seek to honor (embody) - yes, it is a lofty Ideal ... depends, utterly, on both The Buddha and on The Christ, even upon the Maha-Chohan, a certain Count - without Whom, we would probably not even have one of the newest Hierarchical Ashrams forming among us (or Externalizing, even as it is newly Created).

    Other Masters must even step these ideas and vibrations down, so that we may receive them ... precisely as the Christ did, for His disciples, and as every Master does, for His own students. Once again, we are face to face with a reason - why the Nazarene Initiate was required to go Eastward.

    It doesn't seem to occur, does it, to ask, why did the Christ - situated within the Himalayas - need JESUS, in order to move WESTWARD?

    But if we prefer to turn things around, then YES, the question is equally valid, and yet is still, the same invitation to seek beyond that which is familiar to us. Who is the greater authority, the Master - or the student who sits at His feet?

    The student must learn to recognize the Master everywhere, yet he must also learn to follow the Master's instructions obediently, and unfailingly, at times. His very life, and even those of his fellow students, quite possibly, may depend upon it.

    How did the Master respond, when asked - `How we might SERVE Him?'

    And what does His response - teach us about Service?

    Even for me, this is some kind of marathon. So, for a bit of rest ...

    Namaskar

    {I realize, that the more I write, the more we are not all, not very likely, upon the same page, regarding Masters. This could be a good thread for those of us who do accept Them as a reality ... so maybe we can go back and revisit a thing or two that you have already posted, elsewhere, Nick and Bruce Michael. :)}
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Nick —

    I'm not sure whether you've read what I said as profound or ridiculous?
    Perhaps you'd clarify for me?

    Thomas.
     
  16. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    Thomas, man, u better watch what u say... one day a new master will come, called Maitreya, and he's Benjamin Creme's best pal, so they'll get u with their special powers! best to keep on the right side of them, Thomas, they're a powerful force in the universe...

    As for a brotherhood... brotherhood my ass (can I say ass on CR?)... "they haven't been very effective becuase of what they're up against..."

    nice answer that one... so, what are they up against, then? The devil? Ignorance? or is it a simple case of...

    u have no power... normal sane folks won't touch theosophy with a bargepole... u are all on the push to gather as many idiots into the gang as possible, then u can make money off them by selling them the books! Oh, have we mentioned Atlantis yet? give it time...

    Let's mention Maitreya again, shall we? Maitreya is the new Krisnamurti and Benjamin Creme and his pals are going to introduce him to the world as the new messiah! Wowzer!

    He can do miracles and everything, and he's here to save the world, but well, he won't do any miracles yet, as "we" have to be ready...

    Balls! It's just another con!

    Theosophy is a made up religion created by a fat smelly chain smoking Russian bird who is still playing u all for fools even beyond the grave...

    The secret masters didn't exist... have u not discovered that yet? Have u not realised that Theosophy is a rag bag of disparate traditions all lumped togeher so Blavatsky could set herself up as a guru and fleece the fools?

    as for meeting a real spiritual master... my ass... real spiritual masters don't exist... the faithful are men and women, just like u and me... they pick their noses, they masturbate, they have belly button fluff... they eat bad food and get the squits... Holy, and powerful, but can't stop the watery excrement from cascading from their own anuses while in the queue at Walmart... wowzer!

    as for a true spiritual unity... my ass... what kind of unity will this be? Will we only be in the gang when we hero worship ur fat Christ?

    "HPB is our christ"... best get the bibles out then, becuase I haven't once come accross "Christ the liar", and nor will u, if u look... How about "the Christ who likes sleeping with small boys" (Leadbetter), or "the christ who thinks black ppl are lesser beings" (hbp and besant) as these characters don't seem to be in my bible either....

    As for Christ teaching the Buddha? what did he teach him? Theosophy? Becuase the way u ppl have it, that's the true religion...

    we have a word for ppl like this round our way- we call them "blerts"...

    ask a scouser, they'll tell u what that means...

    u rip into Thomas, and then speak about Christ, and brotherhood, and then hear something u don't like and have a little cry and then post five pages from the secret doctrine or some other gumpf text... wowzer... if that's what's gonna happen when the Brotherhood comes then they better come armed, as I won't go down without taking a few of them with me...

    Benjamin Creme is in my city again soon, so I will go and heckle, like I always do... but this time, I'll be heckling for u...

    adios
     
  17. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    ROFLMAO....This is one of the funniest posts I've every read, Francis. You and BB ought to get together. You both crack me up.

    There is truth in humor....
     
  18. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    yes. you do.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  19. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Thomas,

    Profound or rediculous? I can do no better than to quote you:

    "I cannot speak for everyone."

    --> Ours two-line, mini-dialogue is beautiful, because it is disarmingly simple, yet it states the true nature of the differences between our two philosophies.



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nick: "I am just reading what the Bible says."

    Thomas: "Not really, if you think about it."
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Nick —

    Yes, it would appear so. One recognises the activity of the discretionary and associative faculties, the other fails to see it, and becomes a victim of himself ... it is an approach I use when talking to fundamentalists of every ilk, to try and get across that no-one reads "just what it says" ever.

    Thomas
     

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