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Theosophy Unlimited

Nov 10, 1994 11:46 AM
by Arthur Patterson

Thu. Nov.10, 1994

Theos-l Group

L> 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.

Art 1> Another side of this is that even if the young people see
Shindler's list as a horror film, at least it can make them
realize that what happens in history is horrific.  That horror
films come true and that the story of Humanity overreaching
itself in the ubermensch mythology is accurate.  Anyway I do
appreciate that as time moves on and many of us who didn't go
through the war will have to either make mythology out of it and
learn or we will forget it and repeat the lesson.  I hope not.

Oh yes, once clarification, by myth I don't mean something untrue
or false.  I am meaning that while the holocaust is historical,
it needs to be taken into the mythological consciousness in order
to have a redeeming effect.  Other wise, those horrendous events
will be remembered only as chronology, like the Persian
Expedition or the Peloponnesian war.  History has to be living
not dead.

Jerry> According to my wife's research in this area (she teaches
political theory at the University here) The poor and the working
class are the very people who would stand to benefit the most
from the "liberals" in this country.  But they are also the
people least likely to vote.  The poor and working class believe
that their vote doesn't count and nothing can be done.  The
majority of voters in this country are a retired and very
conservative minority.  They want more jails to lock up the young
drug addicts who steal their "stuff" that they have accumulated
over their lives.  Their kids have grown up, so education is not
an immediate concern, in fact they are mistrustful of
it--consider it a failure--therefore they are more than happy to
divert funds from education to build more prisons.

Art 2> The idea of the poor being receptive to liberal ideas
makes sense.  But I have had quiet another experience with the
poor.  Our congregation was in the inner city of Winnipeg, our
inner cities are not like New York but they are not suburbia
either.  The poor here are very conservative and many of them
have goals and values that the rich have.  Many would love to
make tons of money and move up the ladder, most do not believe in
sharing but in getting ahead.  I think I should qualify this by
making a distinction between the poor and the destitute the
destitute are more prone to liberal ideas - the welfare poor
don't tend to be at least in the environment I was in.  This
experience is recorded in the 60's American scene when the SDS
tried to politicize the poor and found that they were often
staunch conservatives.

I see the majority of American's are moving to the right again
even though Clinton has made significant changes in domestic
policy and conditions.  I don't understand it.  But as you may
know baby boomer Canadians easily glide to the left.

Jerry > HPB's teachings focused upon altruism and self
responsibility.  What is going on today represents the polar
opposite of those values.  DePurucker, in ~Wind of the Spirit~
wrote that though the Theosophical Society is not itself a
political organization, theosophists have a moral obligation to
participate in the system to the extend of their conscience and
to vote.  I don't have much hope.

Art 3> Something happens when people are selfish and
materialistic that takes the world into a pit and then when we
become sick of our narcissism there is a chance for change.  It
is evolution, or process, and I don't think we will see what our
little commitment to consciousness will reap in the future.  HPB
and Olcott said we don't deserve to know as a species.  At least
not yet.  I have very little political hope because of the
collectivity of the political premise.  If the collective
consisted in aware educated and fully functioning individuals
then it could be depended upon.  But our educational, politic and
moral expectation of people are so low that voting among many
other responsibilities is effortless.  No need to be informed
just vote the way you always have or be swayed by the media or

Jerry > Concerning Tulku: Boris is talking about part of the
consciousness of a Buddha like person(s) being present in HPB's
consciousness.  I wouldn't call this "inspiration." To me,
inspiration is when the "god within us" is coming through.  I
would consider inspiration a higher state then tulku.

Art4> Thanks for the clarification.  I have to watch my words
now.  I think it is so easy to assume parallelism when in the
beginner mind.  The state of being used as an secretary or
apprentice of a Mahatma is to be differentiated from being
Divinely inspired or anything like that.  At the same time it is
not a trance state where there is a loss of consciousness.

 AP> It is necessary to become detached from the objects of sense
 experience, the clutter of everyday life, in order to hear the
 voice of God or The Silence.  This detachment require some sort
 of training.

Jerry> "God" is another word that I have problems with because of
the Judeo-Christian view of a personal God-the-creator-of-the-
universe with whom one can have personal intercourse.  Such a
concept is not in Mahayana Buddhism, nor is it in HPB's writings.

There is however, an inner "god" whose voice is "The Silence."
But that god is to "God" as the ray is to the sun.  For God, I
prefer terms like "the unknowable", or "the rootless root".  I
have had this conversation with many students of theosophy, who
reply by swearing to me that by "God" they do not mean a
"personal God", then In the next breath refer to this "God" as
"He".  See HPB's three fundamental propositions in ~The Secret
Doctrine~, p.  14 etc.

Art 5> I really understand what you are saying here.  G-d is such
a misused word with such a stretch of meaning it is almost
meaningless.  The only problem I have in using other words is
that the same semantic problem creeps into them.  When I decide
to speak my heart on the issue of Deity I tend to use the word
Ground.  It has its root in Meister Eckhart and more recently
Paul Tillich.

About the personal issue.  My son and I were discussing this.  He
has an antipathy to seeing God in "personal" terms.  I told him
that I appreciated his viewpoint and that it works to an extent
but I asked him to consider that personality is a metaphor for
the Source, see now I am avoiding God-Talk language.  He is into
Druidry so I asked him if he ever felt that nature had feelings
he said yes I said that was personification and a useful tool in
describing our relationship to God.

In making the analogy between God and human-beings I was thinking
that when I think of myself as "I" with my human self identity it
is part of who I am in my entirety but not all of who I am.  I as
a human being am who I think I am but I hope that I am more than
that.  I am hoping that there is something about us that is
transcendent of human personality but is also contained within

Augustine coined an interesting phrase about this, "This is Thou
and Neither is this Thou." Here I think he affirms the way of
images (personality) and the way of negation ( the way of
Hinduism neti, neti).  The traditional ways of speaking about
this is kataphatic for images and apophatic for imagelessness.  I
like to see it as dialectic.

AP> Even the fact that I am "excited" about studying Theosophy
could be a reflection of severing the tie to the inner teacher.
I appreciate the fact that the Silence implies that when you burn
yourself out on the external issues you will eventually withdraw
inside like a "turtle within the carapace of Selfhood".  It is
then that you can encounter God.  This is truly gracious since it
implies that even when caught there is something that draws us
down into the Silence.

Jerry> There is an interesting statement in ~The Mahatma Letters
to A.P.  Sinnett~ where K.H.  writes "We have no patience with
the Sunyasis" These sunyasis are the Yogis who escape to the
forest, sit in a cave to obtain enlightenment then die.  The
Mahatma saw it as a waste.  One becomes enlightened for the
service of humanity; otherwise it is just spiritual selfishness.
Later in the ~Voice~ we will come a section on the Pratyeka
Buddha that will cover this.

Art6> Paul Johnson helped me out here when he said that I should
read the Silence as thesis, antithesis and synthesis.  The first
part is negation the second seems to be affirmation.  I am
working at it.

AP> - "I would like to incorporate passion & love in my
understanding of spirituality."

LD - I was taught to meditate to certain Beethoven symphonies &
concerti.  I was given 2 sets of instructions, to do this while
thinking of Love directed from the heart chakra, and while
thinking of Beauty directed from the crown chakra, whatever I
feel fits in with the music.  After doing this for a while, it
seems to me that the 2 tend to merge, Love & Beauty, heart &
head.  I was also taught to observe myself non judgementally.
That's one teacher.

Art 6> Liesel thank you for the reminder that heart and mind are
one when you are centered also thanks for the method.  I will
have to try it sometime.

Liesel> In another note you asked a few personal questions.  I'm
in Syracuse NY, which is about 4,5 hours by car North West of New
York City, and about an hour from the Canadian border.  It's
easiest to cross over to Kingston & Ontario.  Where are you?

Art 7> I live in a prairie city called Winnipeg almost a million
people.  It is not a hick town but it has a quasi-rural feel to
it compared to some of the mega cities on the American east cost.
To locate it on the map, it is above North Dakota.  The
temperature in winter are gruesome and in the summer the heat is

The situation you are in in New York sounds very interesting to
me.  You say you are a senior I only hope and pray I am as alive
as you sound in my late mid-age.  Presently I am forty-two just
gone through the mid-life changes of getting remarried and
starting a new career as a counsellor writer.

I am having some difficulty because whereas I have interesting
thoughts my grammar and style is somewhat lacking.  I have a very
good proof-reader who fixes up my written stuff for publication.
This lack is the result of dropping out of high school in grade
10.  But after than I made a come back and worked through a
couple of Masters degrees.

This theos-l group is sure active.  I can hardly keep up.  I will
continue reading the Silence and trying to respond to what I can
but thanks all for listening and responding.  I appreciate your

Under the Mercy,

Arthur Patterson

Winnipeg, MB
Canada R3E 1Y5

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