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Various Comments

Feb 13, 1995 02:11 PM
by Jerry Schueler

Some comments on various subjects:

Re Evans-Wentz: I agree with Paul's question on Evans-Wentz.  I
still prefer Sandup's translations to the several newer one's
out.  There may be a problem with the "flavor" of E-W in that he
emphasizes yoga and magic over the religious aspects, but I am
not aware of any real content conflicts.  This is not the case
with Richard Wilhelm, where I do prefer the new translations by
Cleary.  Also, I doubt that E-W was influenced much by HPB and
see little of any Pasadena TS influence (which downplays yoga and
magic) in his books.

Re entropy: Entropy is a scientific term that measures disorder
or chaos in an open system (entropy always increases unless
energy is somehow applied/added to the system to reduce it).  You
can't measure it like temperature (there are no entropy meters).
It only looks at physical systems and says nothing whatever of
astral or mental or spiritual levels of any system (i.e., science
ignores the dimension of consciousness and the doctrine of cosmic
planes).  The theory that the entropy of the universe is
increasing assumes that no energy has been added since the Big
Bang.  HPB's laya centers and the scientific possibility of white
holes could challenge the assumption of increasing entropy which
says that our universe is degenerating (aging) toward an entropy
soup.  On the other hand, HPB also points out that planets, solar
systems, galaxies, and universes all have a birth, undergo
development and life, and then die (as above so below).  So the
theory of increasing entropy is probably correct - but again,
only for physical bodies.

Re Synchronicity: Jung postulates a "psychic world" or psychic
continuum in which the psyche functions.  When events in that
continuum overlap with events in our spacetime continuum, and
when we assess those events as being meaningful to us, then we
have a synchronicity.  When Jung says this is acausal, he means
that we are not conscious of any causation, and even therapy and
dream evaluation are useless.  His acausal principle is meant to
complement causality, and both apply mainly to our physical
plane.  However, Jung was certainly aware of the cause-effect
relationships that exist between the body, the emotions, and the
mind, and synchronicity rules these out.  Indeed, the real cause
could be something that we did 34,562 lifetimes ago.  But does
offering this explanation help us any? It doesn't help me much,
because whenever a theory is used to explain everything, then it
explains nothing (i.e., "its God's will" is just as good an
explanation as past karma since both expanations demand faith).

There is another aspect of synchronicity that needs to be
explored.  When we read Tarot or I Ching or gaze into a crystal,
and see some future event, and then that event occurs, we say
that it is sychronistic.  But such events can also mean that we
unconsciously look for just such an event to occur - one that was
predicted - and then say 'aha' after finding something reasonably
close, as if we unconsciously want to give credence to the
prediction.  The idea here is that we can almost always find
synchronistic events in our lives if we want to look for them.
It is very difficult to tell when an event is actually predicted
and when it is simply interpreted as such.  A good example is the
ancient oracle, which was never wrong, but always worded so
obscurely that its possible interpretations allowed for a good
chance of its coming true in some fashion.  Another example: take
two groups, one with believers in Tarot and one with sceptics.
Chances are high that the believers will be able to offer "proof"
of successful predictions, while the sceptics will offer "proof"
that the Tarot doesn't work.  I offer this as a good example of
how synchronicity works in our lives (i.e., our experiences tend
to validate our beliefs).  In other words, Tarot believers will
tend to find some meaningful event that verifies a previous
prediction.  This, in turn, will strengthen their belief in the
Tarot.  Sceptics, will not find any such meaningful events and
conclude that the Tarot doesn't work, thus confirming and
strengthening their belief.

Re reincarnation: Jung says that the psyche pre-exists the ego,
which is born with the body and develops like the body and dies
like the body.  He also says that the psyche exists after the ego
and body have died.  He steadfastly remained silent on the
question of reincarnation, but instead described a rebirth
archetype in the collective unconscious.  I really see great
parallels between theosophical teaching and Jung, once we get
though the semantics.  However, I agree with Eldon that theosophy
goes farther than any psychology (perhaps Jung would admit that
too since he deliberately drew lines in the scientific sand, and
refused to cross over into speculation and unprovable theories -
although he could be accused of doing this too else his
psychology would be more widely accepted).  There is little in
theosophy or any religion that cannot be addressed in Jungian
psychology in some way; i.e., there is little that we can
experience or believe that can't be put into a psychological
framework or perspective.

          Jerry S.

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