misc, third try
Nov 16, 1994 01:01 AM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
JS> I think the literature is pretty clear,
though, that most people who have to lie or cheat
in business and who sit in church and hear
morality preached to them, will eventually have a
mental breakdown at some point. The psychological
term is cognitive dissonance - we rationalize away
impossible or immoral situations because of
practical necessity. Those who have a conscience
will only be able to do this temporarily.
On the other hand, I've known people who managed to live their
whole lives under the protection of carefully constructed
cognitive dissonances. Seems that they managed to drive everyone
JHE>>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
JS>This comment is rather obscure, although I think I
know what was intended. I know that the early
theosophical writers implied that consciousness
can somehow move across the cosmic planes in a
continuous manner (nature never makes abrupt
moves, I think G de P says somewhere. If
consciousness can make motions that are
continuous, so that we slowly gradually ease from
one to the other (i.e., by ascending or descending
subplanes) then divisions become relative, as
G.de P. was talking about the sub-planes in terms of
spirit-matter. Subplanes change their nature (as everything is
in a state of change) by becoming more physical or less physical.
We can, from one point of view, describe this change as
"ascending or descending subplanes." Consciousness, on the other
hand is universal, therefore the concept of "motion" as we
understand it is meaningless. Einstein calls attention to this
when he showed that "etheric motion" is not a measurable concept
since ether is universal. On cannot step outside of the
universal to find a frame of reference from which motion could be
JS> However, I rather think that
consciousness moves in jumps, much like quanta on
the subatomic level. We know today that nature
does, in fact, move in jumps and is as
discontinuous as it is continuous (e.g., quantum
That applies in quantum mechanics, but we are still dealing with
the physical. Remember, HPB and GdeP define light as being on
the highest subplane of the physical, and the activity of
electrons making quantum leaps from shell to shell is part of the
phenomena of the emission of light.
JS> Experience also tells us that our
consciousness moves from plane to plane in jumps.
This is further substantiated by looking a HPB's
Gupta Vidya Model, in which all vertical paths
between Globes are "laya centers" which HPB
clearly points out are discontinuous leaps rather
than paths. In fact, it is just in this area
where I have found the most discrepancy between
her GV Model and the Qabalistic Tree of Life where
the Sephiroth are all interconnected by 22
pathways that can be explored by consciousness -
thus the Tree is relatively continuous while the
GV Model (using laya centers, which HPB says is
the *only* way to cross through the planes) is
not. Anyone have some ideas on this?
I haven't found this implied in HPB. the gradations of
consciousness from one sub-sub plane to another is continuous, so
that the exact distinction between one sub-sub plane to another
As for laya centers being the portals of "discontinuous leaps
rather than paths", we need to come to an understanding of what
we mean by "laya center." "Laya center" like "karma" is thought
of as a noun, when a verb would do better. Like "karma," "laya
center" is more of a process than a "thing" which something
"moves through." Take an ice cube and throw it into a sauce pan
and put a fire under it. In good time, the ice cube will "move
through" two laya centers as it changes from a solid to a liquid
to a gas. If you want to call the change of an H2O molecule from
a solid to liquid to a gas "discontinuous leaps" comparable to
the leaps of electrons from shell to shell, then that is fine
with me, but we are back to physical phenomena, and cannot apply
to the non-physical. It could apply to the theoretical tachyon
as "moving through a laya center" as it slows to the speed of
light. But this is getting into speculating upon speculations.
JS>In any case, it seems to me that consciousness
jumps into the lokas and talas (which I believe
correspond to the Globes of the GV Model) rather
than eases into them through some kind of pathway.
Whatever is met by "correspondence." Actually everything
corresponds to everything is one manner or another. Lokas and
talas correspond to globes, but so do colors, planets, metals,
sounds etc. The trick is to identify the exact nature of the
correspondence. HPB defines lokas and talas as "poles" or in
other words, extremes between arbitrarily chosen levels of
consciousness. It is like measuring out time from duration.
Another statement HPB makes is that we are never in exactly the
same state of consciousness in any two instances. Maybe a better
analogy to consciousness than quantum mechanics might be the old
stream analogy--you can't step into the same stream twice.
As far as the laya portals and the "paths" go, perhaps they are
metaphors for the same thing after all.
LD> I still wish we could think up some ways to counteract
unethical business practices. I'm not working anymore. I can't
lose my income. I've done a few small things in my time. One of
them is trying to practice our belief in universal brotherhood.
What bothers me is that this warps our whole way of life, almost
all over the world. That means that it has an "unwholesome"
influence on the world's Karma.
Yes. We have to the end of the century to get our act together
says HPB if I understand her right. Corporate corruption is
world wide and American Corporations became the role models for
the creation of much of it. The sticky wicket is that there is a
payoff in supporting the corruption--E.g. a job with cost of
living raises if you keep your mouth shut and play the game.
When wage earning is the only way one knows how to survive, this
becomes a strong incentive to deny or minimize what is going on.
The values that drive capitalism are selfishness and greed. On
the other hand, capitalism has significantly raised the quality
of living for most of us, and for others, there is the hope that
it might. It is hard to turn against a system that has done so
well for us.
<If thou would'st cross the first hall safely, let not
thy mind mistake the fires of lust that burns therein
for the Sunlight. p 6.>
Interesting how different interpretations can come from any one
quote. Interpretations are very influenced by the context by
which we view them. My interpretation for this warning is that
the emotional/physical nature is still very much alive, and we
must learn to distinguish this from our spiritual nature.
<Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like the
lotus bears its heart to drink the morning sun. Let not
the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast
wiped it from the sufferers eye. p. 13>
This is my favorite sloka. Service to humanity--an altruistic
life is a duty. It may be the karma of our neighbor to fall into
the gutter, but it is our karma to pull him out.
ME> Your plans for using my article in your study group sounds
fine to me.
ME> -it may be a useful exercise for students to apply/learn to
recognize the workings of the seven juwels of wisdom on their
own thinking,etc. Also they can be recognized in nature as a
whole. You may want to include my first article on the seven
jewels and/or G de P's exposition of these in his fundamentals
of esoteric wisdom.
We have been working on the seven principles for some time now.
My reason for wanting to introduce it is so that they would have
the opportunity to read the views of another student (you) who
raised some issues that this group really hasn't given sufficient
thought to yet. We have covered the seven principles from a
psychological point of view some time ago, but your essay
represents a different approach than the one that we took. So I
want them to see another view point and discuss it in light of
Thank you for reminding me of the seven jewels. Please e- mail
me a copy of your article as we may be able to use that too.
ME> Forgive me for elaborating a little bit here. I think it may
be useful for students. I am greatly indebted to a Dutch
theosophist, D.J.P. Kok, from whose work - non-copyrighted, and
only partially published (for the general public)- I greatly
borrowed, although adding my own insights and order in this
Are you a member of the late D.J.P. Kok's group? I met Hermann
Vermuden when he was in California a few years ago, and was very
ME> I discovered a problem of nomenclature in G de P's work:
In the fundamentals he gives the name 'Human ego' to the
Bhutatman, while in his esoteric instructions he reserves the
term Human ego for the personal ego, a ray from the human
(personal) monad or reincarnating_ ego as G de P calls it on
p.86 [see also p. 54] of his 11th esoteric instruction. The
Bhutatman is a _reimbodying_ ego. So, I followed G de P's
esoteric instructions's instead of his fundamentals in
attributing the term 'human' and hence 'reincarnating' to the
There is a parallel problem in nomenclature in HPB's writings.
With HPB, there are historical reasons for this. I wonder what
was behind GdeP's problem. Any ideas?
JHE>>...issue of unconscious expression of thoughts..
ME> That's why real sincerity of mind is needed, in order not to
fool ourselves. Practice makes perfect so to speak. We have to
The problem is that our friend on the Griffith Park lawn may very
well have believed in his own sincerity. It just goes to show
HPB's warning about taking pledges. Any spiritual effort we make
also confronts us with new traps we had unknowingly set for
ourselves. Each step has its own mini-dweller-on-the-threshold
of that step to challenge us. But you are right--we have to try
ET> 1. When you say that private schools "empty the
schools of everyone but the minorities and the
underprivileged" you're making a good argument for the
voucher system, where the public dollars that minorities
are entitled to can be used to "vote" which schools are
best. Privatization has often produced reduced costs and
increased benefits to the public in other areas, why not
also in education? Has the existence of private
universities like Stanford or Harvard hurt public
universities like UC Berkeley or UCLA?
O.K. Let's say that everyone gets enough money from the
Government to pay for a private education. Now we can close down
all of the public schools and use the land for something else.
But now the private schools (unless they practice segregation),
in order to accommodate everyone is back to having a mixed
population of students again--which brings us exactly back to the
problem we started with.
ET> 2. I agree when you say that ethical decision making
has more to do with gaining insight into our own actions
and decisions, as well as those of others. But I would
also say that the important insight is the clarity of
the moment as the decisions are made, and not merely one
Hopefully, that is what the practice of ethical decision making
will lead to.
ET> 3. Your mention of the "return good for good, justice
for evil" passage from the Mahatma Letters was good. The
important thing with justice to remember is that it is
what is right in the sense of the overall good, and not
a pseudonym for personal vengeance.
ET> 4. Regarding focus groups and Pete Wilson, the idea of
focus groups is not new. I learned about it as one of
several empirical research methods when studying for my
MBA in the early 1970's. The intent is to interview a
small number of "typical" people in depth, as a group,
to uncover information that you may not have thought of
otherwise. When doing something like a questionnaire,
you're limited to what questions you choose in advance,
and there's not a lot of interaction with the people
polled, even if you first do a trial questionnaire
before the primary one. This technique is used in
advertising, politics, and even, I'm sure, by defense
I realize that it isn't a new technique, but this use of it, I
believe, is new. But more importantly, it is a subversion of its
power for personal ends.
ET> 5. When you speak of the current inactivity of
Theosophists as compared to its past, I think we first
need to define what is theosophical activity, and where
and how it is being done. Is there anything special or
different that Theosophists should be doing, or are they
just supposed to be "mysteriously wise" people doing
ordinary activities of the day, including education,
social reform, business, healing, science, etc.?
Any of the above (wisely or less wisely done) will do. Anything
but sitting in an easy chair chanting OM with the "mysteriously
wise" belief that they are making things better. There are a lot
of theosophists who think this way. I just met a couple more
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