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Some thoughts on the Abyss

Oct 17, 1993 04:43 PM
by Gerald Schueler


Thank you for your comments.  I am not at all sure that I
followed your thoughts, though.  I never said that mantra
meditations or one-pointed concentration or visualization are
"vain attempts to arrive at liberation."  Or is that your own
idea?  I would also like to hear some more on "divine feelings of
shame and sorrow."  Do you consider shame and sorrow to be divine
feeling?  I don't think I understand what you mean.  I agree with
your idea of repentence, but only in the sense that one's karmic
burden, built up over many lifetimes, must be extinquished, and
then further actions must be karmaless.  Actually, I think that
meditation and visualization, when done properly, can help us to
break up the "automatism of mind and feeling" that you mentioned.

One of my pet themes, as you may or may not know, is the
existence of a large void or gap called the Great Outer Abyss, or
just Abyss.  It is a Ring-Pass-Not for the human mind, that
separates spiritual formlessness from manifested form.  HPB
mentions it in passing and gives several hints, but otherwise
theosophists have been remarkably silent on the subject.  In
fact, this is one area in which I disagree with G de Purucker.  G
de P taught that everything in nature in gradual and slow.  One
plane, he says, blends nicely into another.  I disagree.  I
believe (and modern atomic physics backs me up on this) that the
cosmic planes are quantum-like regions, where a jump is
necessary.  To get to the etheric or astral, you must leave the
physical body behind - a Ring-Pass-Not for the physcial body.  To
go from the astral to the mental, you must leave the astral body
behind - a Ring-Pass-Not for the astral body, and so on.  To
visit the spiritual, you must leave the human mind or
mental/causal body behind - the Abyss is the barrier that serves
as a Ring-Pass-Not for the human thinking mind - the manas.  What
"jumps" is consciousness.  The cosmic planes are thus somewhat
analogous to the electrons of an atom; electron energy is
quantized and electrons jump rather than flow between energy
levels around the nucleus.  Now, how do we make our consciousness
jump in this way?  Surely it is identical to the Zen teaching of
satori, where consciousness is said to leap from its customary
structure into a spiritual formlessness.  We cannot cross the
Abyss through thinking or study or meditation or contemplation,
albeit these techniques can bring us right up to the brink of the
necessary jump.  I agree with you that "in reality there is no
physical boundary or barrier" and that we must eliminate "the
illusion of separateness."  This idea is pure Buddhism.

                                              Jerry S

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