Nov 01, 1994 01:20 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
Arthur Patterson and Liesel F. Deutsch.
I only skipped a day, and already several messages behind. I
don't know if I'll be able to keep us at this pace.
LD> Hope you don't mind if I put in a few phrases here & there.
If you 2 guys would rather talk to each other, please inform, &
I'll butt outsky.
No problem with me either. As I said, if ten people join this
conversation, well have at least ten different view points. More
grist for the mill.
AP> The problem that the Protestant sectarian groups, at least,
had was that the spirit was so important to them that the body
and its embodiment were denied in the name of mortification of
the flesh. This is the putting to death of the flesh. This
concept however does seem to come up in some of the material in
the Voice. I will be writing about that later but for now I see
that in Blavatsky there appears to be a rejection of the life of
the senses in preference to a life of the spirit. I understand
the value of this since embodiment can and has lead to a sort of
entombment- ie prison house of the soul idea. But there is
something about this emphasis, where found in the East or in
Gnoticism, that refuses to honor actual existence and see nature
as sacramental. Like I said I will try to spell this out later.
Keep in mind that the ~Voice~ was not written by H.P.B., but is a
translation of what is essentially a training manual for chelas
in the Chinese Buddhist schools. These chelas lived a monastic
life of a type that would be unrealistic to duplicate here. As
these chelas advanced the became even more insulated. I think
HPB published this book to give those members of the TS an idea
of the sacrifices they would have to make if they were to tread
the path of her teachers (the Masters). But on the other hand,
it is a statement of the nature of the spiritual path (yes, in
Eastern metaphors), and what Theosophy is about at its very
LD> Also, one tries to achieve a more spiritual path not only for
a beautiful hereafter, but also to achieve a more fulfilling life
in this body, for oneself & for others. Speaking of suffering,
it took me a very long time to find out that meditating was
suppposed to be a joyful experience. I was so tangled up in
German ideas that I thought all religious quests were realized
Perhaps your German ideas aren't so far off after all. It seems
to be human nature that we learn fastest by suffering the
consequences of our mistakes.
AP> There are many ways of accounting for the spread of a
spirituality. Joseph Campbell boils them down to dispersion or
migration or the collective unconsciousness that links all people
right now, at least today, I favor the fact that we as human
beings have the same archetypal structure built into the
physiciality of our psyche and that we fill those potentiality
creating patterns with cultural artifacts. If this theory is so
then it is not surprizing that Blavatsky found a common thread.
C. G. Jung has been the most helpful to me in understanding
this. Perhaps Blavatsky is looking at the same phenomonen with a
different set of metaphors. Perhaps this is too psychologizing
or reductionistic, I would like to hear what others think about
Campbell of course, ultimately got the Collective Uns. idea from
Jung. Jung was very closely involved with Theosophy (though he
didn't like most theosophists very much), and resonated very
closely with the core teachings. The collective uns. idea is
clearly stated in HPB's ~The Secret Doctrine.~ I'm not suggesting
that Jung got the idea from HPB (though it is quite possible),
but that the idea predates Jung, and is part of the body of
AP> This is why I am striving to develop a theology or
hermeneutic of experience rather than a hermeneutic of words.
Word are metaphors for direct experience and as such can not be
relied on to carry us.
Interesting. Or to put it into semiotic jargon, you are trying
to get past the signifiers to reach the signified. But each
signifier creates more signifieds, thus creating signifying
chains. In semiotics, this symbolization works by both metaphor
and metonymy. The trick is to find your way back to the
Taking this point of view, all "dogma" is indeed "metaphor," but
each metaphor is a signifier for a deeper reality that is not
accessible through language. Or to put it in HPB's terminology,
until we get beyond the limitations of our earthly type of
perceptions, we will have to be satisfied with relative truths.
Deeper truths require a deeper state of consciousness.
I'm interested in Theosophy and: science; Sacred Geometry; and
astrology from among the list you mentioned. I'm not a expert,
but interested in discussing these.
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