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Re: A Problem with Ethics

Aug 19, 1994 00:15 AM
by RIhle

Jerry S,

You bring up some excellent and thought-provoking points on ethics.  I
cannot find a thing to disagree with, really, but one might also want
to consider it from this angle:

Instead of just one "ego," (which gets "inflated" or goes on "ego
trips"etc.), think of an individual having myriads of "sites" for
potential "ego-formations." NeoTheo (copr.  8-18-94, R.  Ihle) calls
them "semi-Selves" because in reality they are just the True Self
(Undifferentiated Consciousness) getting itSelf "contaminated" at
various points along the Spirit-Matter
"Circular-Interpenetrating-Continuum" (_Prakriti_, "Stuff") thus giving
rise to all the conditions of differentiated consciousness (egoic
delusions), many of the lower ones, at least, we are well familiar

Still with me? (Yes? You masochist.  .  .  .)

Anyway, it is the Self which provides the _AM_ ("Aum.  .  ."--get it?)
for these semi-Selves; what embrangles It provides the differentiating
_I_ (the combination producing "I am"--the sense of separative ego).
Now, a human incarnation gives the Self many ways to become deluded
about Its essential nature.  While potential semi-Selves are perhaps
countless (although only one is center stage at a time--they
form-dissolve-reform etc.), theosophists over the ages have tried, for
convenience sake, to categorize them according to the general type of
consciousness they involve.

Big doctrinal fights can really start up here, of course, because while
perhaps even a preponderance of these systems are septenary in
structure, not all of them are, and there are certainly enough
differences to get an argument going.  NeoTheo (a.k.a.  R.  Ihle)
believes it is time for more simplicity in Theosophy, so its system is
built around the Kabalistic axiom as presented by HPB (SECRET DOCTRINE,
I, p.132): "The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant
an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a
god." (I usually say "angel" instead of "spirit," and I sometimes say
"Pure Spirit" instead of "a god" or "God"--since the reason that Pure
Spirit and Undifferentiated Consciousness are able to "make the
connection" in the first place is that they are of the same
ultra-rarified nature which makes them "interpenetrable" and virtually
indistinguishable--Atma-Buddhi, not even a hair's breadth away from the
One at this point.)

Thus, there are six types of consciousness a theosophist can get to
know a little about and one (god) which is probably better left to the
God to explain: Animating, Physical, Desire-Feeling, Desire-Mental,
Mental, Spirit-Mental, and _______.

Let's take two examples of a semi-Self coming into being: one at the
Physical level of consciousness, and one relating to ethics (thought I
was just wandering with all this, didn't you?) which forms at the
Desire-Mental level.

In NeoTheo, as I recently told a bedridden person, a headache is not
just a headache; it is also a semi-Self (I AM the pain).  Now, at this
low level of consciousness, the Physical, it is unlikely that a person
will be completely deluded that he or she really IS a headache.  Here,
the Self usually does not "transform" totally into semi-Self, but a
"unalloyed portion" remains as Silent Watcher, Witness, or
"Once-Removed-Vantage." Hence, we have the reason human suffering is
generally worse than animal suffering: A lizard may totally be the pain
it is experiencing, but a human not only has the pain but also
simultaneously watches himself or herself in the pain as well--much
more agonizing in terms of consciousness, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, take, in the next example, a semi-Self forming at the
Desire-Mental Level.  While at the Mental level, we may have the
I-am-what-I-know-to-be-true type of egoic delusion, at the preceding
level we have the Self dissolving into a I-am-what-I-want-to-be-true
semi-Self.  What to watch for in suspicious "champions of ethics" is
the amount of reasoning, logic, philosophical system-building etc.
they have to bring in for support.  Someone in Spirit-Mental
consciousness might have exactly the same "ethics," but it would not be
because of an elaborate structure; rather, it would just be a simple
matter of doing/not doing certain things because they are/are not
consistent with the Spiritual nature of the consciousness being
utilized to form the semi-Self.  If the only thing holding you back
from teaching little boys to masturbate is a lot of good and bad
thinking, well then.  .  .  .

The really interesting thing, however,--and the reason that some
ethics-type people can get annoying--is that not everyone who has a
semi-Self forming at the Desire-Mental level has enough basic
Self-realization to keep a Once-Removed-Vantage while they are
indulging it.  (This gets harder at the Mental level, harder yet and
more metaphysically complex at the Spirit-Mental, and who knows what at
the Pure Spirit level.) Meditation, which further develops Self's
ability to realize itSelf, is thus critical for the advancing ability
to "keep one looking over one's own shoulder" as one moves upward in
the realms of consciousness, so to speak.  .  .  .

Warm regards,

Richard Ihle

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