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To: Jerry H-E & Art P.

Nov 01, 1994 08:26 PM
by Liesel F. Deutsch


To add something to your picture of DePurucker's collective Karma
which caused the holocaust, you mentioned that anti-semitism was
all over Europe & the US, & that this produced Hitler.  Somehow
that put things more into perspective for me.  He didn't just
come out of irrational nowhere.

Another facet was that Jews, having been persecuted so often,
felt as victims, and being different were on the defensive.  "I
didn't do anything wrong, please, leave me alone." I don't see
this anymore in the American generations which grew up here.  I
myself realized that I was like this long ago, & I think, I hope,
have shed this kind of Karma.

Also, your tale of the black kids you have in school who don't
know what a sit-in is anymore, but to them it's history,
solidifed what I'd noticed but not formulated.  My son, Bob, took
my 14 year old grandson Chris to see "Schindler's List".  It was
just another horror movie to him, no different than
"Frankenstein" or some such.  Maybe for future generations Simon
Wiesenthal's work will serve as a reminder to avoid another
holocaust ...  if they take it for real.  However, at the present
time, there are several cases of genocide going on around the
world.  There is a movement among all nations towards love &
peace.  May it prevail soon.  May we have worked out soon all the
negative karma we've accumulated since the year 1.

Incidentally, having been exposed to all this makes me very aware
of civil rights issues, and what's happening to the underdog ...
also of certain unsavory political maneuvers, which try to
abridge civil liberties.  Right now, I'm a little worried,
because I heard on TV that the far right is getting into politics
at the grass roots, running for school boards, etc.  That was a
Nazi tactic.  When I worry about a congenital lier like Ollie
North maybe becoming Senator, the only thing that consoles me is
that Nixon did some pretty underhanded things too, & so did Joe
McCarthy, & we survived both.  I hope I'm not offending anyone by
saying this.  It's the truth.

I spent most of my working life at the NJ State Employment
Service, where most of our applicants were black, & poor.  I
think I went more out of my way to help them (though I wasn't the
only one), because of my German Jewish background.  It was a
positive & tangible way of working out what had happened to us.

Jerry <It seems to be human nature that we learn fastest by
suffering the consequences of our mistakes.>

Yes, but I think that it's not the only fast way.  Certainly,
when the first man touched the fire a lightning caused with his
bare hands, he learned that fire hurts.  But I don't think that
today's method of trying to make learning fun for the kids is any
less effective.  I still remember Goethe with a great deal of
love, because my 1-4th grade teacher loved him, and told us
stories about him, read us his poetry & took us through his
house.  I went on to study him a little more in my German course
in college.  Another new learning method is what we're doing.
We're learning by talking to each other.  The only thing I'm
suffering because of that, is that I'm having such a good time
jivin' with you brothers, I'm neglecting other things I'm
supposed to be doing.  But I'm planning to catch up on some of
them in the next few days.  At my age, I'm entitled to some fun.

Rev.  Art - You sure have a way with words, guess that's why
you're a preacher.  I asked a number of educated people in our
dining room what "hermeneutic" means, & nobody knew.  Our head
waitress finally looked it up in a dictionary, but I'm still not
quite sure of what it means.  Is it to take the Bible literally?

I know about Wotan mostly from listening to Wagner's "Ring".  So
I can't really discuss with you the German "Wotan roots".  I
don't know what they would be.  I only went to 5th grade in
Germany.  I got as far as learning the local history & geography
of Frankfurt.  The rest of my education I got over here.

Art <I favor the fact that we as human beings have the same
archetypal structure built into the physicality of our psyche.> I
think that's a more satisfying explanation than the one I gave
for the same concepts appearing in various religions.  I didn't
think of connecting it with archetypes & the collective
unconscious.  That makes a lot of sense as the reason for
religions having a basic unity.  I have to plug theosophy once
more by telling you that I wasn't able to see this, until I'd
studied quite a bit of theosophy.  I can now understand better
the form various religions take of the same archetypal truths.

AP <Perhaps it is part of the collective unconscious of the
German people to stress sacrifice> When I think of German people
& sacrifice the character of Elisabeth in "Tannhauser" comes to
mind.  Seems to me that the German notion of sacrifice has
masochistic overtones, & it isn't only the Germans.  One
theosophical example of sacrifice I like is the idea that God
sacrificed some of his absoluteness to make manifest the
universe, but this was a creative act, still is.  I can't picture
God as standing there saying "World, you must be beholden to me,
because I made a great personal sacrifice to create you".  He
wanted to create, so he did.  He gave to the effort whatever it
took, but it was willingly given.  He created so many different
things that I kindof think He had fun creating the universe out
of Himself.  & if we say"thank you" that makes for a nicer
relationship, but I don't think God gets insulted with someone
who doesn't.  He loves us.  (Sometimes hard to see, but I believe
He does.)

As an aside, we had a hallowe'en party in our dining room, with
families joining us.  (My 2 sons live too far away to get to
these parties.) We had a parade for those of us who came in
costume.  I was a headless ghost, in a white table cloth, & I
carried a plastic jack-o-latern under my arm.  For the parade, I
wailed like a banshee.  Scared some people.  That wasn't planned.
Guess I must've looked like people's idea of a real ghost.  First
prize was won by G.G., my 98 year old friend, who came dressed up
as a gypsy.  She's somethin else! Used to be a fine artist, but
can't see well enough anymore.  She's always chipper, & always
good company.  After dinner, the grandchildren & the staff
children went trick - or -treating by around our different
apartments.  Of course I burned a batch of pop corn, & melted
some plastic onto my good $60.- soup pot to boot.  But my
visitors got popcorn.  We had fun.  Also had a haunted house in
the storage room, with staff & some teenage neighbors doing the
haunting.  For an old people's apartment complex, we're really
pretty upbeat.

Now for a more detailed answer to 1 item.  I'd like to quote or
summarize 3 writers about "mortification of the flesh".  AP <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.>

HPB "The Key To Theosophy" p.  259 " ...  but the first thing
which members learn there is a true conception of the relation of
the body, or physical sheath, to the inner, the true man.  The
relation and mutual interaction between these 2 aspects of human
nature are explained and demonstrated to them, so that they soon
become imbued with the supreme importance of the inner man over
the outer case or body.  They are taught that blind unintelligent
asceticism is mere folly; that such conduct as that of St.  Labro
which I spoke of before, or that of the Indian Fakirs and jungle
ascetics, who cut, burn and macerate their bodies in the most
cruel and horrible manner, is simply self-torture for selfish
ends, ie to develop will-power, but is perfectly useless for the
purpose of assisting true spiritual, or Theosophic development."

IK Taimni "A Way to Self Discovery" It's an Adyar classic,
copyrighted in 1967, but Taimni might have written it earlier.
Dr.  Taimni taught Chemistry at a university in India.

"The first step in bringing the physical body under our control
is to separate ourselves in consciousness from it and realize as
fully as possible that we are different from and masters of this
body.  In dealing with the necesssity of acquiring knowledge of
the physical body it was pointed out that one result of gaining
this knowledge was to give us the ability, to a certain extent,
of separating ourselves mentally from it - to objectify it, to
use the technical phraseology.  (to be able to stand back & look
at ourselves LFD) This power of objectification and dissociation
of the body from ourselves should be sedulously developed by a
rapid course of training until we become fully conscious of this
dualism, and identify ourselves with the body no more than we
identify ourselves with our horse which we ride and which we use
for doing our work.  We feed the horse properly, we keep it fit
and may even allow it to interfere with our work and always make
it do what is necessary.  Similar should be our attitude towards
the physical body which we must recognize as a living thing with
its whims and idiosyncracies, its natural desire for comfort and
to avoid anything to which it is not used.  But this attitude is
not acquired by merely thinking in this manner.  It is the result
of a persistent rigid discipline to which the physical body is
subjected.  Without this discipline we cannot develop the
capacity to dissociate ourselves from the body and, unkown to
ourselves, we shall continue to be its slave.  This discipline
does not mean, however, our going to the other extreme and
torturing the body and subjecting it to unnecessary strain as is
done by some misguided fakirs & religious people.  These exteme
methods are wholly wrong and the "Bhagavad-gita" and, in fact,
all great Teachers have warned us against them.  The physical
body is brought under control simply by applying a steady
pressure of will in changing its wrong habits and using patience
and commonsense in its management.  The purpose of Tapas or
austerities of various kinds, practised intelligently, is to
acquire this kind of control over the physical body and make it
an obedient servant of the soul so that it carries out
efficiently and without resistance whatever it is required to

The last quote is from Annie Besant who was President after HPB.
It concerns Vairagya - detachment, a very important & often
misunderstood concept of theosophy.  It's from "The Path of
Discipleship" The booklet contains lectures given in 1895, &
published in 1910.

"I have already pointed out to you that a man must begin to train
himself in separation from action as regards its fruit.  He must
train himself to do action as a duty without continually looking
for any sort of personal gain.....  He has developed Viveka ...
the discrimination between ...  the transitory and the permanent.
And as ...  permanency make(s itself) felt in the man's mind, it
is inevitable that worldy objects shall lose their attraction,
and that he shall become definitely indifferent to them ...  when
the permanency is recognized, if only for a moment, the
transitory seems so little worth striving after; in the
probationary path all the objects around us lose their attractive
power, and it is no longer an effort for the man to turn away
from them; it is no longer by deliberate effort of the will that
he does not permit himself to work for fruit.  The objects have
no longer an attraction in themselves; the root of desire is
gradually perishing, and these objects, as it is said in the
"Bhagavad-Gita", turn away from the abstemious dweller in the
body.  It is not so much that he deliberately abstains, as that
they lose the power in any way to satisfy him.  The objects of
the senses turn away from him, because of that training that we
have already dealt with, that he has passed through."

I know of some theosophists who can function on that level.  I
can't as yet, except in spurts.  I can sometimes do something, &
then just go on without checking back as to whether my actions
have accomplished anything worthwhile.  I sometimes do what I
can, & then go on.  Life has also taught me to become detached -
more or less from people & things that I thought I should be
attached to, maybe not quite as radically as you have been, AP,
but for me it was radically enough.  I guess that's my lesson of
Vairagya & that kind of lesson is often painful, as you say,
Jerry.  Lately, I had to maneuver very hard to be able to get an
up to date computer.  If I had to give that up again, I'd be most
unhappy.  Also, if I couldn't have my cat Chou chou Makia with me
anymore I wouldn't like it one bit.  She's my buddy.

Closing favorite idea.  It's from Annie Besant, although maybe
not originally.  Spirit ensouls body, and body gives Spirit a
form through which to work.

AP you wrote about words limiting.  I know.  try to tell a dream
to someone, & you lose 1/2 of it in the telling.  So far, words
are our best way of communicating though.  Maybe eons from now,
when we are all able to communicate telepathically, we'll be able
to communicate beyond the limits of words.


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