Comments & Responses
Jan 07, 1994 04:30 PM
by Gerald Schueler
Nancy: You wrote:
<Thanks for your comments on healing. I understand why you
suggest that belief must play a large part, and in many cases it
probably does. I suspect that belief is not enough. I was also
raised as a Christian Scientist and had healings though I was a
doubter, and did not have healings when I thought I truly
believed . . . (as well as vice versa)>
You are right. Belief is not enough. There is also karma that
must be factored in. I think that the word 'belief' is not
exactly what I need here, but I haven't found a word that really
pins down what I mean. Jesus said that if you believe, you can
move a mountain. That is the kind of 'belief' that I mean. I
use the word belief, but I really mean something that is like the
bedrock foundation or core of one's worldview. It is entirely
subconscious. I can still remember when I was about 16 and I got
very sick one Friday. I had a high fever and went to bed.
Saturday I felt even worse and the fever was raging out of
control. When I woke up Sunday morning, the fever was gone and I
felt much better. By noon I was fine. Later in the afternoon,
my mother told me that she had been so worried, she had called a
Christian Science practitioner to help me on Saturday night. If
the practitioner's work effected my 'cure' then I had been
completely unconscious and unaware of it. Obviously my 'belief'
had little to do with it (except that within my worldview I
allowed for the possibility of healings to take place). When you
'believe' yourself sick, you will be sick and when you 'believe'
yourself well you will get well. However, there are a lot of
factors that enter into just exactly how the belief comes about
(telepathy, karma, etc).
Jim A. I look forward to your Sex and Spirituality Article. You
probably won't find a high level of acceptance (or tolerance)
within the general theosophical community for combining the two
together because HPB was thoroughly against Tantra of any
persuasion - I wish I knew why (I suspect that she only
encountered the wrong groups, but I don't know). I certainly
agree with the danger aspect of practicing it, and for that
reason no longer practice it myself, but I like, appreciate, and
respect the theory.
As to your tchang-chub adept, I admit to being unfamiliar with
the term. Also, I was not addressing what KH said or didn't say
about it. I was simply pointing out that the magical ability to
express yourself in several physical bodies on this Globe D Earth
at the same time is a well-known fact in the east. Eldon is
simply wrong about that. I have several Tibetan Buddhist books
that mention this ability and Milarepa is only one example.
When I used the word *agreement* when addressing group karma, I
meant an agreement of the Reincarnating Ego, not the personality
or human being. The Reincarnating Ego drives the train, so to
speak, during any one life. But the human being or ego, an
expression of the Ego, is usually left in the dark. I think that
this is true for everything except events caused by the Chaos
Factor, but thats another story.
Eldon. I have apparently given you the wrong idea on our on-
going discussions about good and evil. I have to apologise. I
have not presented "the exoteric eastern" view at all. You
shouldn't really talk about "the eastern view of an amoral
consciousness." Such a thing does not exist. If you told a
pious Buddhist or Hindu that he was amoral, your would likely
ruffle a few feathers and receive a lecture on ethics for your
effort. Virtually all of the religions of the world teach the
importance of morality and ethics. What I have been talking
about is the *esoteric* view of morality, which is little known,
and only practiced by a few, and certainly neither understood nor
practiced by any large groups, and especially not by a broad
range such as east or west. The idea of being amoral in the
sense of rising above morality is not really a teaching at all.
Rather it is a view that one realizes at a certain point along
the path when the full impact of the Doctrine of Duality hits one
deep in the gut (if you don't believe me, ask Don). This idea
has been surfaced by Adepts in the west as well as the east. If
such a person is dealing with or teaching other people, then they
will likely assume a morality role that fits their culture and
their situation but they will fully understand the relativity of
morality and that is the difference. One who thinks that
morality is absolute (i.e., virtually all religious devotees) is
one who has not yet understood non-duality, and this has nothing
to do with east or west. I can see from your responses that I
didn't communicate this very well. Like you say, these things
are difficult to communicate due to the way words and terms must
be used to convey ideas that simply have no words for them. But
please, don't suggest that the entire east or even large parts of
it think themselves beyond good and evil. They are, after all,
mostly poor struggling seekers like us.
Now, I agree fully with you that this whole idea of someone being
able to rise above morality is dangerous. The Eastern religions
also consider it to be dangerous. They do not encourage such
thinking. There are many stories in the east of friction between
individual Adepts and various religious schools over the concept
of morality. There are also stories of such friction here in the
west. All religious institutions simply have to emphasize
morality. If they preached amorality, their flocks would do
anything that they wanted. The famous (or infamous) dictim of
Aleister Crowley (who is considered a white magician by most
magic schools and a black magician by most theosophists - which
itself suggests the complexity and difficulty of this subject) to
Do What Thou Wilt is dangerous for exactly the same reason - and
it is always misunderstood by those who can't grasp the concept
of non-duality. But once one understands what that dictim means,
and once one has incorporated ethical behavior into their
constitution (i.e., once one does a good deed not because it is
the right thing to do, but because it is the only action possible
for them given their spiritual worldview) it makes sense and one
can fully agree with it and live by it.
I have four comments to make on your "are we good or bad based
upon our actions?"
Comment 1: My answer to your title is no.
Comment 2: You state "And the most insightful of us are good
judges of character." I don't know how you reached this
conclusion, but I bet HPB and others would disagree (didn't she
freely associate with the Coulombs and others who stabbed her in
the back for her efforts? Didn't Jesus pick Judas as a disciple
and put him in charge of his treasury?)
Comment 3: You say "From the standpoint of a fixed self, we
could separate a person from his actions" and "from the
standpoint of a stream of consciousness, there is no self, apart
from the actions." Here you are saying exactly what I have been
saying - that we need to separate one's self from one's behaviors
and label behaviors as good or bad but do not put such labels on
the person. The conclusion to be reached here is the same from
both "modes of experiencing life." After all, if there is a
self, we can separate it from actions and label only the actions.
If there is no self, why do you want to label it?
Comment 4. You say, "The personality *is* the sum total of the
actions of this lifetime." I wish you would tell us where you
got such an idea. Not from psychology. It doesn't sound very
theosophical to me. In my view the personality expresses itself
through actions but they are quite different things. The
personality exists on the astral and mental planes as a complex
of various psycho-astral components while actions exist as events
on the physical plane. Besides, what about one's actions in past
lives? Don't they have a bearing on today's personality? Modern
psychology has proved that neonates have rudimentary
personalities with individual likes and dislikes already in
place. What actions have neonates taken to create this?
Three quick comments on your "our ability to tell right from
Comment 1. "There are invisible influences for harm in the world,
and they do not go away by denial." Except for Christian
Scientists, who deny the whole material universe, just who are
these deniers? I think that there is enough visible influences
for harm, our tv and movies for example, today that we hardly
have to worry much about the invisible variety. I would find any
'invisible harmful influence' difficult to match what I see on
the nightly news.
Comment 2. "We may prefer not to believe in good and evil." I
hope that you don't mean me here. I have been consistent: there
are good and evil behaviors. I just don't think we should label
living being as good or evil. If we believe in good, then we
must believe in evil, per the Doctrine of Duality. If God is
good, then the devil must also exist. I prefer to think of good
and evil as social labels that we put on behaviors and actions.
Comment 3. "Evil is not a proper subject for meditation." If
so, then I submit that good is also not a proper subject, for how
can we define the one without first looking at the other?
Comment 4. "One's understanding of the Teachings is lacking
without a proper place for the darker side of life." I believe
that the proper place for the "darker side of life" (whatever in
the world that is) is in our own minds.
I think that this is enough for now. I look forward to reading
more of your theosophical insights on this complex subject.
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