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Re: On prayer

Aug 29, 1995 12:24 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

>>In the LCC church, the angels collect the prayers of those gathered and use
>them as material to build a temple or church on a higher level. <
>I thought at first you were kidding, but I see that you are not. I can only
>say I am shocked and appalled at such anthropomorphic notions, and I question
>their source. Any one?

You're over-reacting when you say "shocked and appalled". Those are "fighting
words" and I don't think that you intend an argument with the writer. The
idea of angels and a "deva kingdom" as a parallel path of evolution came about
in the Besant/Leadbeater ideas. If you equate "angels" and "devas" with the
original idea of "elementals", then it's possible to understand the statement.
In a good theosophical lodge, there are non-physical energies that arise,
sometimes called "lodge force." These energies are not blind forces, but are
the result of the action of living beings. Elementals are attrached to lodge
meetings and embody the spiritual forces that are unleashed. I'd expect the
same to be possible with good church services, even though I'm not myself
attracted to attending church. From my point of view, someone wants to
personalize the idea of elementals by calling them "devas" or "angels" and
speak metaphorically of them as "gathering prayers" when I'd think that the
elementals were collecting or embodying unleashed energies. Is there a
real difference? (Apart, of course, from the idea, which I'd consider
mistaken, that there could be such a thing as a parallel path of evolution
that bypassed the human kingdom.)

>>Secondly, we may be confusing the issue of prayer with invocation,
>especially of the Alice Bailey invocations. <
> Rich

With "prayer" we have the connotation of asking someone or some being for
assistance. There is a sense of having an audience with a greater being.
Prayer is not unique to Christianity; there are prayers to deities in
Buddhism as well. With "invocation" we have a sense of control or manipulation
or of causing something to happen. With "prayer" we are asking for something,
with "invocation" we are engaged in a magical practice that precipitates or
acts as a catalyst to start a process going, a process which we may not
control, but which we are somehow able to initiate or get started.

-- Eldon

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