Limitations and Connections
Dec 19, 1994 03:21 PM
This is to Arthur, with reference to Doreen as well:
> Thank you for your encouragement, and acknowledgement that my
> hermenuetics of suspicion can sometimes be a safeguard against
> gullibility. I only hope that I can be truely open when I need to be.
Me, too. This is where the inner faculty of discrimination
can play a part.
> I like anyone am afraid of the magnitude of the universe and the
> limited nature of human consciousness.
The limitation of human consciousness has been borne in on
me very intensely at certain times in my life, such as after
my first wife died. My mind seemed such a small dark place,
then. The comfort offered by theosophical teachings on life
after death etc was tempered by the realisation that, for
me, at the intellectual level, they were mostly second-hand
knowledge. I wasn't going to sink my intellectual integrity
by denying this, even though it was painful.
I don't feel the same way now because time has worked a
magic of letting go, and trusting, to some extent. The
universe has this amazing depth and richness on any scale
you look, from the speck of dust to the galaxy. Staggering,
and you're part of it. So my little conscious mind still
feels little, but somehow there's a sense that the rest of
"me" is connected outwards in a sea of light.
> I once told a Christian friend that i in a way envied his
> certainty. I compared our levels of certainty to a wall and a
> thin onions skin. Mine was the onion skin.
Some of my contacts with self-declared Christians have been
interesting warm discussions, and others have been rather
bruising, head-butting exercises. Educational, in
Some kinds of certainty are like an eggshell. Breaking out
of the egg is scary and full of uncertainty, but it's the
prelude to a whole new phase of life. And there's probably
a series of eggshells that we break out of, one by one.
I have Doreen's piece in mind, here, too. She wrote:
> ... He had a book with him on some aspect of Christianity (can't
> remember the book), and we had this wonderful discussion
> involving his Christian point-of-view and on my theosophical
> point-of-view. It was a nonthreatening and stimulating exchange
> and I remember thinking how glad I was that neither one of us got
> bent out of shape, but clearly respected each other's views.
> While I was explaining to him about the theosophical concept of
> not acknowledging an anthropomorphic divinity and how we must
> take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, he became
> visibly distressed. He genuinely felt that my outlook on life
> was so hopeless because of not "putting it in God's hands," so to
> speak. Hopeless was the description he used, utterly hopeless.
I believe you can relate the two views here, something like
The ideal theosophist, or sky-walker, or anything else you
want to call them, combines self-determination with trust
and a deep sense of grounding in the divine. So they take
responsibility AND put things in God's hands at the same
time. No wonder it sounds confusing on the face of it. The
neat trick is to do them each in the right area of life, in
the right way.
The phrase "a personal God" was probably in the back of the
Christian's mind, conflicting with the "no anthopomorphic
divinity" idea. The word "personal" means one bunch of
things to a Christian, and a pretty different bunch to a
theosophist. The gap can be bridged with to some extent by
the idea that the universal ground of being includes and
supports every manifestation of being-hood we can
experience. There is also the concept of the Logos, the
manifested creative principle/being/process/energy/what else
can we call it? So we have a relationship to this, even
though it is nothing like as limited as an individual human
being. Christian's often emphasise the reality of their
relationship to God.
There are other areas where the best you can do is agree to
With an anatomy of divinity more complex than most, we have
a challenge to communicate it, at the best of times!
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