know and be
Oct 20, 1993 07:34 AM
We're having a good discussion on the nature of Theosophy, paranormal
powers, and the spiritual path. Here's my latest comments:
I'm not sure that I'd call Theosophy just a library of ideas, since
its deep study constitutes a spiritual practice that awakens the
highest and most noble parts of our natures.
The study of Theosophy is a practice, and it is more real than the
visiting, in our current state of human development, of other planes.
We do not become something by visiting a place, we change by changing
ourselves. A bird that happens to fly through a human library will
not thereby gain human knowledge. There is a long sweep of evolutionary
unfoldment, and it is hastened by the awakening of additional faculties
of consciousness, and by the deepening of the consciousness that we
have, not by escaping the physical plane or perceiving the physical
side to other planes. *Where we are* is not as important as the fact
of the self-unfoldment of consciousness.
I would say that it is possible to hasten our spiritual evolution
through the study of Theosophy, whereas the cultivation of psychic
capabilities is a distraction at best, and often a hinderance. I
don't think that the acquiring of paranormal powers is a something
new; we've had great powers in previous races, they come and go in
a cyclic manner; they are one phase of the experience of life in the
personality. The life that we have in a particular subrace, including
the senses and powers, are regulated by, I would say, the Dhyani
Chohans. Their presence, the times when they naturally occur, their
ease of use all come when a particular type of learning in the
personality is needed. Their absence likewise comes when different
types of learning are needed.
Psychic and magical powers, powers to perceive and control our
external environment, on whatever plane, were developed in us before
even reaching the human kingdom. The powers we are developing, and
we've only made a start at it, are the powers of mind.
I'm not sure where the dividing line between safe and dangerous
psychic development lies. In medicine, there is the concept of
prescription and non-perscription drugs. If you're a doctor and have
had medical school training, you can write prescriptions; otherwise
you're left to the guidance of your doctor and may only on your own use
When you acquire paranormal powers, what part of your nature are you
developing? Certainly not the spiritual. Do they come along with
spiritual development? I'd say not, since their possesion is a cyclic
attribute of personality and not a permanent, lasting, evolutionary
I'd say that the western occultism that may come from Theosophy will
center around the study of the original teachings. And the popular
religion to come will center around a few core ideas of Theosophy
wedded to popular thought, with perhaps a bit of astrology, the Tarot,
Jungian psychology, astral projection, magical practices, and Buddhism
thrown in. The religion will contain much that is popular and touches
people in an easy-to-see, immediate way, and like the other religions
be an exoteric blind for the esoteric truths.
When comparing Theosophy to Jungian psychology or the various religions
of the world--say Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism--it is possible to
draw analogies and enrich one's understanding of the teachings to a
degree. It's important to do this with care, though, since not
everything in every religion or philosophy is correct. When drawing on
quotes from the religions of the world in "The Secret Doctrine", HPB
would sometimes say "we agree with this", but also at times say "we
don't agree with that" ... Theosophy provides a key to help the student
separate the good from the bad, it does not say all is good, believe
We can, say, talk about the different schools of Yoga, the Tree of Life,
the Tibetan Deities, Jungian archetypes, or near-death experiences.
We can apply keys to understanding them provided us by Theosophy.
There is much to be learned in them. But I would say that we can be
misled when we use them to teach us Theosophy.
Take Tibetan Buddhism. We can go to it and see certain ideas as
theosophical. Further exploring Buddhism, we may find related Buddhist
ideas that we can apply back to Theosophy. We are using Buddhism as an
analogy to Theosophy and extending the analogy to see if we can learn
something more. And it may very well prove true and we may have new
understandings. But it could also prove to be a false analogy.
Discrimination is needed and each idea must be tested against the
teachings to see if it has the ring of truth to it.
If Theosophy says that we are reborn, and another philosophy that we
might study also says we are reborn, there is an analogy. But if the
other philosophy goes on to say that we are reborn as butterflies,
we'd reject that idea as inconsistent with the teachings. (Excuse the
poor example here, it's the only one that happens to occur to me at
this moment as I'm writing this.)
I'd say that going after the highest and most spiritual in you is the
most direct route, the quickest approach to spiritual evolution, where
the personality is maintained but not given too much importance. Forget
the senses and go deeper within, *know* and *be*, don't just see,
touch, and taste life.
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