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ethics;CWL;kama etc.

Aug 25, 1994 02:32 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Paul Johnson

>> ET> I sense doubt in Theosophy, distrust of it, a cynical
> > > attitude that it's a sham, that it's a work of imagination,
> > > that it's just a fairy tale.
> >
JHE>>   I also sense this same doubt.  What is even more
> > disturbing,
> > is that when it is directly expressed, it is usually done by
> > those who have demonstrated very little in depth knowledge of
> > what those teaching are that they doubt.

PJ> This accusation seems very unfair.  You are smearing a lot of
> people with this wide brush, and we don't even know who we
> are.  Somewhere out here are a bunch of ignorant infidel
> Theosophists.

     I had no one in mind, but was expressing a general
impression based upon reading a years worth of e-mail.  Frankly
names are not important, and if others have a different
impression, then that is fine too.  The whole point that I was
making in that message, was that I was in support of Eldon's
desire to see more discussion on theosophical teachings.

PJ>I want to ask a favor.  In future, when condemning PEOPLE will
> you please not treat them as ABSTRACTIONS?  It isn't some vague
> metaphysical entity that's under attack in your comments; it's
> people, and they have the right to be challenged directly and
> individually rather than left wondering "do they mean me?  What
> are they referring to exactly?"

     I'll put this criticism with another criticism I received
recently that I shouldn't directly challenge any individuals at
all.  I think there is something to both criticisms, and each
have their place.  One the other hand, there are situations where
it is appropriate to not directly challenge, and situations where
it is appropriate to do so.  In this case, I did not directly
challenge anyone, because I was trying to express an idea, and
saw nothing to be gained by criticizing anyone.

PJ>In short, I think it's passive-aggressive to attack people
> this way, and it pisses me off.  A lot.  It evades
> responsibility for the attack, and leaves room for plausible
> deniability when anyone in particular says "are you talking
> about me?"

     I understand how one might take this as passive aggressive,
but passive aggressiveness requires a target.  I assure you that
I had no target.  Just stating an impression, same as Eldon did.

     If push comes to shove, and I have to find an example to
explain the bases of my impression--I will give you one: When I
first came on the net, several individuals (I don't remember, nor
do I care who they were), were posing the argument that there are
no "theosophical teachings" therefore "everything is theosophy."
Thus, logically, theosophy is nothing.  It was these kind of
comments that formed my general impression that I expressed.

PJ> This orthodox vs. heterodox argument can be fruitful to both
> sides if we approach it properly.  Generalizing about the
> villains is not a fruitful approach.

     My issue here has nothing to do with "orthodox/heterodox."
I think that issue more concerns the discussion between you and
Eldon.  I already had that debate with Eldon some six months ago.
Now, I'm trying to express an opinion on a different issue, that
has nothing to do with you.

PJ> The most difficult thing for me in conversation with you (and
> in his latest post Jerry H-E) on these issues is the sense that
> one little thing I say can push buttons that unleash resentment
> that is felt at a wide range of people and issues.

     Once again, none of my comments were in any way related to
anything you have posted, nor were they aimed towards you in any
way.  I assure you, that if you post anything I disagree with, I
will be right there with a response unmistakably directed to you.
It really isn't my style to covertly debate people, or to
"passive-aggressively" attack them.  I think it should be obvious
to anyone following my comments over any length of time, that I'm
too out front for that.  I have always been very direct in my
criticisms of other's ideas when I disagree.  I would think that
you, of all people, would have no doubts about that by now.
     On the other hand, perhaps the mis-understanding comes from
my making comments in the middle of the debate between you and
Eldon.  I see how one might get the impression that I am somehow
entering the debate or taking sides.  I was not doing either one.
I had my own agenda.


L> After reading posts on this list for the past few weeks about
> CWL and the "historical facts" surrounding the allegations
> against him I saw a movie called "Man without a face" starring
> Mel Gibson.
> Has anyone else seen it? The coorelation was striking for me
> and reminded me of how easily our words and actions can be
> misconstrued.

     Would you mind expanding on this?  As for you use of the
term "allegations." against C.W.L., that may be a poor choice of
words, since he admitted to all of the allegations (plus a lot
more) in a formal hearing made up of people who (until he
confessed) supported him.  There was also a legal stenographer
present who recorded the proceedings.
     I see the correlation between the movie and the Leadbeater
scandal, as far as both issues concerned taking advantage of
children.  But beyond that, I'm not sure what you mean.  For
instance, in the movie; Mel Gibson was "tried" by a group of
people who had already assumed his guilt, and Gibson never
"confessed" any guilt.  Mr. Leadbeater on the other hand, was
tried by a group of people who all knew him personally, thought
very highly of him, were very supportive (with the exception of
only one person), and did not believe him capable of doing any
wrong.  That is why they were so deeply shocked when CWL not only
admitted to doing all that he was accused of, but admitted to
much more.
     By putting quotes around the words "historical facts" I take
it that you question the historicity of what I have mentioned.
Which "historical fact" do you question?


     I always answer within a day or two.  If it goes longer then
that, it is either because I missed the post, or perhaps I forgot
about it.  In this case it must be the former, because I can't
imagine passing up an opportunity to talk about theosophical

S> I am attempting once
> again to bring up the subject. The reason I am do-
> ing so is because I believe that the subject of
> ethics is closely tied to the seven principles and
> that to discuss them here would answer some requests
> for more discussion on basic theosophical philosophy.

     Yes that sounds like a good approach.

S> I believe that a good understanding of the meaning
> of these principles in relationship to the indivi-
> dual treading The Path, will add depth to the mean-
> ing of theosophy itself.

     I agree

S> Our consciousness goes
> through many changes in direct relationship to these
> principles which are too often explained solely in in-
> tellectual terms.

     I think that in order to discuss the principles in
relationship to consciousness, we will also need to look at the
subprinciples also.  But it is the principles that are more often
discussed in terns of spiritual development.

S> As April H-E mentioned yesterday,
> it would be useful if we could explore, though discus-
> sion, a more "real" experience. I suggest, if anyone is
> interested, to start with a definition of those princi-
> ples. Thereafter, a more broad investigation of each prin-
> ciple in turn, and then, how this relates to other theoso-
> phical thought and how this manifests itself in our
> real life experiences. For example: What exactly is
> meant by the Kama Rupa, and how does one's sexual be-
> havior interelate with this principle? And so on, as each
> principle is discussed. I would greatly appreciate
> having various people on the network define these prin-
> ciples. And I would especially be interested in an update
> on the events taking place in your group currently in-
> volved in research on this subject.

     I think April had more in mind that people share personal
experiences where they had to make difficult ethical decisions--
which is something I would also like to see done, but the
environments seems a bit hostile for that kind of self disclosure
at the moment.
     On the other hand, your idea also sounds good, and I'll try
to kick things off with your suggested question:

     HPB's schema of seven principles that I will use are as

Auric Egg
Lower Manas
Linga Sarira
[Stula Sarira]

     First of all "Kama Rupa" is a problematical term, that we
might translate as "desire form."  It is a term inherited from
has no form of its own, but is integrated cell by cell in the
physical form and cannot be separated from it during life.  "Kama
Rupa," however, is manas ensouled in kama, when it goes through
the second death in kama loka, until the higher triad re-absorbs
what it can and passes into devachan.  In other words, the term
"kama rupa" is more properly used when speaking of after death
conditions.  The term "kama" is the better term for the
     Kama, then, is the vehicle of the animal instincts and
passions.  It is prana that wakens the kamic germs to life,
making all desires vital and living.  The focus of kama dwells in
the physical brain and is concerned with all of the sense organs
of the physical body.  Therefore, kama is concerned with desires
arising from all of the organs including the sexual. Kama
operates directly through the linga sarira, which is the seat of
physical senses.
     When we start looking at this in terms of consciousness, we
might first consider that kama also ensouls manas (partially),
and gives us our center of consciousness (which is in kama, for
most people most of the time) an awareness of being aware.  In
other words, self consciousness only begins between kama and
manas.  We must keep in mind that the center of our will, and of
our consciousness, for 99% of the people, 99% of the time is in
kama (illuminated by manas)--i.e. lower, or kama manas.
     According to HPB, consciousness of the human being, even
that of the highest adept,  does not go beyond the prakritic
(physical) plane of the solar planes.  For most of humanity,
then, our consciousness is limited to the two lowest subplanes of
the solar prakritic planes, e.g. 1. the prakritic subplane of the
prakritic, and 2. the astral subplane of the prakritic. Within
these, HPB defines fourteen basic fields of consciousness, which,
of course, could each be divided infinitely. (I realize that this
is vastly different than Leadbeater's teachings, but I will leave
it to others to present his system)
     This leaves four primary fields of consciousness directly
concerned with kama:

     1. Objective-prakritic-kama-pranic consciousness: HPB calls
this "physiological-emotional consciousness" and is concerned
with a general life consciousness common to all things, even a
stone (which she considers to be "living.").  This level concerns
the basic instinct to stay alive. i.e. self-preservation

     2. Objective-prakritic-kama-manasic consciousness: HPB calls
this "Passional-emotional consciousness."  This is an instinctual
consciousness, common in animal as well as in humans.  It
concerns a desire for freedom.

     3. Astral-prakritic-kama-pranic consciousness. On this plane
people see terrible visions.  People in delirium of high fever
are on this consciousness.  The drunk seeing "pink elephants" is
on this plane.

     4. Astral-prakritic-kama-manasic consciousness.  This is the
source of images that tempt people into acts of lust, vice and
crime of passion of every type, if people become weak enough to
fall prey to them.  The images arise from kama loka.

     Keep in mind, that these terms correspond to the principles,
but, say "manasic consciousness" is not the same as the principle
"manas."  For instance, in terms of consciousness, normal
consciousness (where most people normally function) is the
objective-prakritic-manasic-consciousness.  But in terms of
principles, this and all of the other levels of consciousness
that were are aware of are centered in kama-manas, because this
in the level where we are self-conscious.  When we move to far
away from this, we don't retain the experiences in memory. Thus,
in deep sleep, we are said to be unconscious, only because we
have no memory of our experiences at this level.

     HPB gives these seven states of consciousness in this
context as:

1. Waking
2. Waking-dreaming
3. Natural sleeping
4. Trance sleep
5. Psychic
6. Super-psychic
7. Spiritual

     As far as an update on the group: We had a meeting tonight,
and a member reported on the seven principles according to C.W.
Leadbeater.  Sunday, we plan to meet with the Oakland group.  We
alternate visits with them.  It is their turn to see us this
time.  One of the Oakland members will do a presentation on Alice
Bailey.  We have another retreat planned for Sept. 17th in
Coulterville.  One of our members has a 400 acre ranch up there.
We continue to meet weekly, each in turn giving reports on what
we had been researching, asking and answering questions, and
exchanging information.  Everyone is really into it.  I think you
had met Brett Forray.  He has recently moved up here and has
joined our group.
     I hope this is what you had in mind.

Jerry Schuler,

JS> I do not want to reject ethics, Jerry. Rather, I simply want
> us to be aware of the relativity inherent in them.  Any code of
> ethics that you want to define would be tenuous and subjective,
> at best.  Probably the best known ethical code is the Ten
> Commandments, and just look at how folks have interpreted those
> to suit themselves.  You sometimes have to be a Philadelphia
> Lawyer to determine if you actually broke one or not.

     Where do you find that I ever suggested that we define a
code of ethics?  My suggestion was that we discuss ethics, not
define a code.  One approach to it would be April's suggestion,
that we offer for discussion situations in our lives where we had
to make a difficult ethical decision--how we saw the situation,
and the consequences of that decision.  Another (more
intellectual) approach might be to discuss ethical systems used
by one culture and how it serves them, and what are its
limitations.  Another might be to discuss the ethical decision
making process itself etc.
     As to the stories you offered, I'm afraid I don't get the
connection.  I see these stories as being about some people who
were trying to relieve their guilt by rationalizing some
religious regulations.  What do these stories have to do with

Jerry Hejka-Ekins

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