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theosophy/psychology article

Nov 12, 1994 05:06 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Martin Euser,

I just finished your article on the composite seven principles
schema (in terms of monads, egos and souls) as related to
psychology.  This is exactly the type of inquiry that I had hoped
to see more of on theos-l, and applaud your effort.  Unless you
have objections, I plan to copy (publish) your article for
distribution to our study group for discussion and comments.

I have some general comments on some points in your article that
I hope will generate more discussion:

>In order to manifest themselves, these monads need to make use
>of a dual pair of organized consciousness-matter.

Of course we also need to keep in mind that the consciousness
aspect (ego) is a product of the interfacing of spirit (monad)
and matter (soul)--this is using the dePurucker definitions which
you seem to be employing here.  Therefore, I would see the
manifestation of the monads through the egos.  Mind is relatively
transient in its manifestation on any given plane because of its
dependence upon the interface of spirit and matter.  Thus
personality consciousness does not survive long after the body,
and the manasaputras are limited to this manvantara.  Thus as you
stated very well: <Each ego in this scheme expresses the evolved
faculties of the corresponding ego-emanating monad.>

>Now, we can distinguish several mental activities and qualities.
>To give some examples of these:
>1. We can direct our mental attention to our body and outside
>2. We can pay mental attention to our emotions.
>3. We can plan actions.
>4. We can desire to have some nice friends.
>5. We can calculate our due taxes.
>6. We can try to understand how nature works or why others act
>as they do.
>7. We can have some inspiration to compose beautiful music, etc.
>This diverse palette of activities involve all the use of
>thought-energies, often converted into action of some kind.
>Theosophy presents in this respect a practical, sevenfold,
>of thinking:
>1. The physical aspect of thinking
>2. The emotional aspect "   "
>3. The vital aspect     "   "
>4. The desire-aspect    "   "
>5. The intellectual aspect  "
>6. The understanding aspect "
>7. The inspirative aspect   "

Since consciousness is an infinitely graded plane, it is
traditionally defined by establishing poles (lokas and talas).
Since the division of anything that is infinitely graded must be
arbitrary, the choosing of one possible division over another is
done for the purpose of getting across one or another aspect of
the teachings.  Thus one division will always be as good as
another, depending upon what you want to get across.  I've always
been a little less brave than you, and stayed with the
traditional Lokas and talas for teaching purposes even though
their meaning have been intentionally obscured.  Your schema is
however no less interesting, and brings out a subdivision of
conscious thought handled very differently in the traditional
schema.  I would just add that your choice of division (implying
the use of the seven principle scheme) implies the presence of
the other six divisions of thinking within any one.  Thus each
division seems to be more of a keynote within a common theme
rather than a discrete area of consciousness.

>"My body is in a state of needing food", etc.
>This _seems_ trivial, but it is not. It indicates that we
>often identify ourselves with our bodies. Our thoughts are very
>much involved with our bodies.

And of course, the intermediary between our thoughts and bodies
are the centers of sensation within the Linga Sarira.

[From section three]

>#4. The procreation of thought might seem a little odd at first
>sight. Yet, we all know about this. If a teacher tells us about
>something, and we 'buy' it, then these thoughts find a fertile
>soil in our minds, enabling them to grow, flower and come to
>fruition. On our turn we can transfer these ideas to others
>('sow these thought-seeds'), where they can find a new life,

This brings to mind the game of "telephone" where an idea is
passed down from person to person, going through many
metamorphosis.  All of those personality elementals within us
have their own program--expectations, thus thoughts are modified
to fit them.  As you express below, the advertising media is
learning to take advantage of this and use it to their own ends:

>This ignorance about the thought-process and the effects of
>thoughts on others and ourselves has brought many disasters to
>mankind. We are in the illusion that we think consciously, that
>we control our thoughts, while the facts point in another
>Fact is that we are drifting on the waves of thoughts projected
>and amplified by strong personalities who have clear reasons to
>do so (for personal gain, political power, commercial reasons,
>etc.). Mind, that this is all cleverly done.. We are made to
>believe to have so many rights (what about our duties?), made to
>believe that we need this or that latest object of technology
>(do we need it really?), made to belief almost anything. It's a
>scary situation.

Scary indeed.  The newest technique is "focusing groups" used by
the California Governor Pete Wilson.  He gets groups of people
together so that he can identify which issues are most
emotionally potent (creates the most anxiety).  Once the fears of
the people are identified, a law is formed designed to sooth
those fears, and cater to the belief systems (realistic or not)
of the voters.  Out of this process came the "three strikes law"
which makes the execution of a three time felon manditory, and
proposition 187, which denies schooling and medical aid for
undocumented farm workers.  Both passed with huge margins of
course, making our governor quite a hero.  Now these laws will
have to be tested for constitutionality, which few believe that
they will pass.  So in these instances lawmaking has been reduced
to the expression of the collective feelings and fears of the

[From Section 4]

>We have seen already how we can change our thought-pattern.
>To elucidate this process further we will look at some important
>issues of character.

We used to discuss this in a study group I was involved in over
twenty years ago.  The leader of this group advocated that we
substitute desirable thoughts when we experience undesirable
ones.  So far so good--this seems to work, though it raises
issues concerning the suppression of thoughts.  As for the
concentration of our mind upon a high ideal, the issue came up
about the unconscious expression of thoughts.  When one is in
meditation concentrating upon the "ideal of human brotherhood"
for instance, there is also the possibility of more powerful
unconscious negative thoughts being emanated.  I remember in the
sixties, a person who used to sit on the lawn during the Griffith
Park love-ins in Los Angeles, meditating on love and peace etc.
Several of us noticed that violence kept erupting around him, and
began to seriously wonder whether or not he was really generating
an energy quite the opposite of his (conscious) intentions.  HPB
discusses "the evil eye" being the powerful unconscious thoughts
of some people, which brings misfortune on others.

>If we apply the Socratic method of thinking to the
>belief-systems of people about life and to human life in this
>world in general, we will discover that there is quite some
>dogmatism involved, as well in religious,philosophic as
>scientific sense.

This is a very powerful and under rated methodology that we have
been experimenting with for some years.

Astrea raises the very interesting question and comment:

> The question is this: what if the Divine Principle is equally
> active on all levels but in different ways? What if this
> hierachy of "higher and lower" is soley an imposition of the
> human mind?  I am reminded of certain hermetic teachings " As
> above, so below."  "There is nothing high, nothing low, in the
> divine economy," nothing more important than anything else...
> This rigid division of functionality and, implicitly, morality
> has a result in its members.  Because the physical world is
> generally distained, many members tend to be quite inactive in
> the world - "armchair theosophists", you might even say.
> "Action" on the inner planes is deemed to be more effective ie
> sitting around thinking about things.

I think this is a good reminder that our divisions are indeed for
our convenience of understanding.  The inactivity among today's
theosophists is in stark contrast to the efforts of the founders
in the early days.  Whatever the founders might have been doing
on the "inner planes", they kept very busy on this plane of
action building schools, writing and interacting with others to
promulgate the ideals of theosophy.

Jerry Hejka-Ekins

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