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JRC to Eldon

Sep 04, 1995 05:12 AM
by jrcecon

[A long pos]

JRC <Ah, yes, this is *precisely* what I was talking about.
Theosophy seems full of this sort of fanatical urge to *rank*
everything. The spiritual is "higher", then, is it?>

ELDON <A third sense, closer to what you may object to, is the
ordering of the seven (or ten) principles, the descriptions of
them as being evolved in serial order over great periods of
evolution. (That is, first a physical body, then external sense
perception, life energies leading to physical motion, desires to
do things, thoughts, and yet higher faculties of manifesting our
consciousness.) In this model, the senses, including what we
would call the psychical senses, vary in intensity. Perhaps in
Atlantean times they were far more advanced and powerful than
they are now. Spirituality and rising about the burden of a sense
of separate self is where our *new* progress is at. Paranormal
senses are nice to have, just as Olympic-class athletic powers
are nice, but they are considered side issues. Whether they are
side issues or key points of development depend upon one's
worldview, and the differing worldviews are build upon a number
of assumptions. Before we could discuss the relative merits of
the differing worldviews, we have to review their key
 Agreed ... except that even the Masters in the Mahatma
Letters clearly both possessed and exercised a rather stunning
array of what you would call "lower psychic powers". The problem
I have with the opinions of some Theosophists about "psychism" is
that they confuse agency with agent. Having some inner sense or
ability is not, in and of itself, a "lower" or "higher" thing,
and only becomes open to that sort of judgement when the question
of its use arises. An Olympic physical body is not morally or
spiritually lower *or* higher ... if, however, it models a pure
physical vehicle, or helps build an orphanage in Africa, it is
"higher" ... while if it beats the hell out of people it is
"lower" - it is not an ability (be it body, "psychic" or mind)
that is higher or lower, but rather the intent behind its
exercise. Further, I do not believe an Olympic body and something
like clairvoyance are *equally* side issues - first, because the
Mahatmas (if you accept the Mahatma letters) certainly didn't
bother to pump iron (-:) ... while they apparently *did* bother
develop clairvoyance from latency into potency, indicating (at
least to me) that they found some spiritual value to its
development (as they didn't appear to expend energy on *anything*
that didn't have some spiritual value), and second, because some
inner abilities may *not* simply come from the "lower" vehicles,
but may be the analogs of sensory apparatus possessed by the
"higher" vehicles - and their possession may then be an
indication of those vehicles swinging into full operation.

JRC <Higher than "psychism" which is "lower"? In people's
*minds* there exist these nice neat "levels" and distinctions ...
but dare I suggest that the actual reality is that life & the
universe is simply one enormous *continuum*.>

ELDON <There is really, I'd suggest, a dual manner of viewing our
natures. One is in terms of a stream of consciousness, which
could be considered a continuum. The other is in terms of a
series of centers of consciousness, where there is a definite
sense of "higher" and "lower" centers, along with higher and
lower planes, states of evolution, etc.>
 Yes, this second sort, I believe, is a *template* layed upon
the continuum to make it comfortable to the operations of the
mind - which by its very nature has a terrible time dealing with
the universe as anything other than discrete units it can get its
fingers around. In the Mahatma Letters and other "core" (tee hee)
teachings, a template (or a few scraps of one) is presented (a
template that seems to have, whether intentionally or not, large
gaps in it) - but the template is not the continuum. I do not
personally believe that the template is the truth, but is more
like a means of getting people accustomed to thinking about
things in different terms, of making the mind more fluid - in
*preparation* for interaction with layers of being that *can*
participate coherently in the continuum. As grand as the
cosmology and anthropolgy in the ML & SD are, they were not even
the teachings given to the Mahatmas "lowest" initiates ... they
were those the Mahatmas considered safe for those who wished to
prepare themselves for the first touch of *probation*.
 I have a good friend with a Economics PhD, and he tells a
funny story about his first graduate level class; the professor
began the class by telling the students to throw out everything
they had learned about economics as undergrads because it would
just get in the way of actually learning to *do* economics.
 I believe some Theosophists believe the template in the ML &
SD is identical, however, with the *actual* "esoteric" wisdom,
and this may at times cause them to act as though the rankingg
they do according to that template is rather more absolute than
it may in fact be. I am not saying there is not great value in
studying that template ... it would not have been presented were
there not, only that there is a danger of believing that when one
understands the template one understands the "truth" of the inner
worlds - and this danger may be greater than that of a
clairvoyant believing his/her visions are all perfectly clear ...
greater both because there are far more people alive right now
claiming that their "template" is the *true* template then there
are clairvoyants, and because the mind, possessing almost at its
core a sort of arrogance, seems far more inclined to attempt to
impose or enforce its "truths" on others.

JRC <That the *mind* introduces delusions ever bit as potent
as those attributed to "psychism" by giving into its predilection
to slice everything into nice discrete layers and levels>

ELDON <The mind, I'd agree, is far more capable of creating
delusion than the external senses. But on the other hand, it is
when we "explore with the mind" that we more swiftly approach the
truth, rather than "exploring with the senses," even be they
 Again, this is a levels vs. continuum argument, and your
perspective seems to be that of the mind itself. I would call a
"sense" anything that provides a doorway through which impulses
may enter consciusness. Is it not possible that to the "Monad"
both the mind and clairvoyance are *both* nothing other than
"lower" "psychic" senses? Those whose inner predilections
emphasize the mind certainly will have minds that place mind
"above" many other things, and the mind would certainly be
appalled to be called nothing other than yet another
superphysical "sense" (in its receptive mode), and will obviously
take to a system of development that says the next "step" is to
develop the "higher" mind ... but (IMO) this is only one of a
number of different streams of possible development. In fact many
of us may have such different vectors that we would be being
untrue to our highest impulses if we even tried to follow the
same model of growth - I believe in either the ML or SD there are
several hints about the fact that when all that can be learned on
earth is learned (call it taking the "final" terrestrial
initiation) there are very different directions that open before
our consciousnesses - that even at this early stage of
development many of us may *already* be moving in very different

JRC <.. that also forms the root
assumptions necessary to say that one *person* is "higher" or
"lower" than another?>

ELDON <A flower in the field is as noble as the greatest Saint.
But in another sense, we'd go to a professor of mathematics to
learn about mathematics, and not to a cab driver.>
 Ah, yes, and we'd go to a doctor of medicene to learn
medicene, because he/she had *done* medicene. So ... who would
you go to to learn about, for instance, angels? Someone who had
read about them from within a very specific theoretical
construct, or someone that saw them and worked with them? And
please understand, *I* am not saying that books have no use, and
that theorectical constructs are "lower" (I just can't even rank
things that way) - and I have certainly read virtually the entire
library of a TS branch, as well as a good deal of Kabala,
Buddhism, Western Occultism & etc., but I also think that if it
is possible, *direct experience* is fully co-equal with theory as
a tool of both personal development and service.

JRC <And, IMO anyway, *here* is what we've been *told* the TS is
intended to do:
 1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of
humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or
 2. To encourage the study of comparative religion,
philosophy and science.
 3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers
latent in man.>

ELDON <These are the objects of the Adyar T.S. The Pasadena T.S.
and ULT have their own variations on the general theme. The idea
is to provide an open place for learning and study of Theosophy.
It does not discount Theosophy to only be a concatenation of the
collective opinions of the present T.S. membership.>
 Agreed, nor does it permit any individual's opinion to
achieve any sort of superiority. I affirmed the Objects only in
response your statement, written not as opinion but as a fact,
that a particular view of Theosophy was what we were "told" it
was "intended" to be.

JRC <The first *two* of these compose the vast majority of TS
activity, and can be accomplished by reading & meditating and
slowly but surely following the "spiritual" path. The third has
been (IMO) quite ignored, because it is *far* riskier. It holds
the implication of not just studying the "ancient wisdom" and
learning what to call all sorts of levels of postulated awareness
.. but of actively seeking to break new ground ... of
*discovery*. It is damn uncomfortable, sloppy business. Is there
possibly delusion? Certainly. Is there danger involved? Of course
.. as in almost all scientific discovery.>

ELDON <A deep study of Theosophy is not comparative religion, nor
is it the practice of a fraternal order. The deep study comes
from a self-actualized process that transforms the inner and
outer man, a process that reaches from the external senses to the
inner spirit, and changes him throughout. It is something that is
engaged through a study of the central "Jewels" or core concepts,
but this is but one of many approaches to the spiritual. This
approach is never claimed to be exclusive.>
 Yes, agreed that this is your personal understanding of what
Theosophy is, and I do not believe I have ever said it was not
valid. I obviously have a far different approach, and one aspect
of that is to point out that the 3rd Object, in whatever form,
has been almost completely avoided by modern Theosophy - and
while I was arguing that perhaps its time to face the
difficulties of re-integrating it into Theosophical thought and
activity (both because it *is* present in the Objects, and
beecause it could provide substantial service), you seemed to say
that such activity *was* to be excluded, because it was not what
we were "told" Theosophy was "intended" to be.

JRC <You may be comfortable pursuing "higher" thought, but please
do not say that that version of theosophy is the only one that
was intended. If numbers of people are beginning to find
themselves born with a sensory apparatus that permits them to see
a vibratory range outside of the current human norm, is this not
something operating according to an unexplained law of nature? Is
it not a power latent in man? Is not what I was suggesting
*fully* in line with the 3rd Object of the TS? Especially when I
am suggesting that the phenomena not only be "investigated", but
integrated into the powerful service ethic implicit in the First

ELDON <They can follow that path. I'd just hope that any risks
involved are pointed out to them, and they do so with as much
advice and information as possible. On the other hand, others of
us should be allowed the same freedom to advocate other
approaches. It's not an "either or" situation, where your
approach can only be respectfully be considered at the expense of
rejecting the others.>
 With genuine respect, please re-read the last few posts. In
nothing I wrote is anything stated, or implied, about
exclusivity. Nothing I said ever stated that the sort of activity
you engage in and call "Theosophical" was not Theosophical, or
should be in any way frowned upon or supressed, or was in any way
"lower" than another kind of activity. While your intention may
have been different, with your *words* you did both of those
things to me. All I ever stated was that a form of activity,
clreay recognized in the Objects, ought to be *added* to the
Theosophical world. You were the one that rejected this and said
that it shouldn't. I said "X *in addition* to Y", you said "X,
*not* Y" is "intended" Theosophical activity.
 Further, I believe anyone who has belonged to an
organization long enough to have some status within it must
acknowledge that the status affects people. What I had tried to
convey, using myself as a expample, was the fact that those born
with abilities are as vulnerable (at least early in their lives)
to the opinions of others as any other people who are "different"
in some way. One of the problems I've seen with the intense
intellectualism that typifies much of Theosophy is that it can
easily forget that it is *humans*, not just ideas that travel the
 When a person has some inner ability, it commonly produces
both an insecurity, as well as a *need* to find some way to
understand it, to find a place for it in a bigger picture. These
people *often* try out all sorts of spiritual, "esoteric"
organizations ... because mainstream religion often rejects them.
You may, if you wish, advocate any ideas you wish ... but from
what you have written it seemed as though you were oblivious to
the fact that for some, these are not just ideas. When a person
with some ability comes to their first TS meeting, they are
seeking something. When they get up the courage to mention,
publically in a meeting, that they might possess some sort of
ability, it is not an ideological statement, it is really the
tentative sticking of a toe into the water, it is the question,
"Do I *belong* here, am I *welcome* here?". If the response,
especially from those with status in the group, is to say that
such things are "lower", that they should be discouraged or
supressed (based on a purely theoretical viewpoint), that
translates as "No, you do *not* belong here".
 What I have been trying to convey is that the attitude you
have been speaking with, as well as its normative tone, is (IMO)
all too common in the current TS, and is an attitude that almost
caused me to leave Theosophy, and *has* caused others to be
rejected from it. I do not think you are purposely doing this ...
I'm simply trying to convey to you that those born with inner
traits cannot *help* but take people's opinions and ideologies
about such traits as something rather more than just theoretical
opinions with no more meaning than one's opinions about cats.
 In my view, *everyone* ought to be fully welcomed in
Theosophy, not just in words but in attitudes ... and should be
*fully validated* even if they are practicing the "lowest" forms
of psychism or channelling. When such a person feels completely
welcomed, feels unjudged, they are likely to start dropping the
barriers (that everyone erects towards new groups), and will then
begin being open to the Theosophical "current". Let them begin
attending meetings, reading books, trying meditations, and as
their energy-system refines, many of them may likely, *of their
own accord* mature out of the activities they were engaging in.
Others, who may very conceivably have been born with some ability
*meant to be exercised in service* (in the same way as some are
born healers, others born musicians & etc.) will find those
abilities refine and clarify as their inner nature refines and
 Point is, attitudes that place judgements upon inner
abilities right off the bat can easily *unconsciously* reject
people from the Theosophical current, people who may well have
been *guided to Theosophy for the very purpose of outgrowing
dangerous practices, or refining abilities for service*.

ELDON <Again, an individual choice. Someone may train for years
to learn to walk on water. Another may work for years with
troubled teenagers attempting to heal them psychologically. Is
one more useful with his time than the other? I'd say that we
should leave everyone to their individual choices, and not pass
judgement (nor pass counter-judgement upon those we perceive as
judging us). We can present what we find noble, valuable, and
useful to others in a general sense, and not attack anyone in the
 Just because one does not use pronouns does not mean one is
not attacking someone (har har). These are just our different
styles of writing. You tend to frame even personal statements in
universal terms ... e.g., "I'd say that we should not pass
judgement (nor pass counter-judgement upon those we perceive as
judging us)" ... is this *really* just a universalized statement,
as its terminology seems to indicate? Or are you saying (as seems
to be the case, as it would make no sense otherwise) "JRC *you*
counter-judged *me* because *you* perceived me as judging *you*".
Doing this, to me, is a bit disingenuous, as it allows you to
always appear as though you are above it all ... allows you to
always be able to stand back innocently and say that it was only
ideas, it was nothing "personal" ... and even take the high road
and suggest "we" do not have to "attack" anyone in the process.
My particular preference is to use personal words when it is
personal (in fact my generation frames anything else as
"avoidance"). I'm sorry if you felt attacked ... but in my view
you were not just affirming your point of view, you were
affirming a point of view that at times rather pointedly rejected
my point of view as not being what Theosophy was intended to be.

JRC <And yet no one has any problem discussing Jung in
Theosophical circles. He could listen to people's *dreams*, and
draw conclusions about the operations of the invisible human
psyche from them (introducing the double distortion of the
patient turning a dream into words ... which can never fully be
done ... and the distortion that comes when those words are
understood within the context of Jung's own psyche) without being
accused of "psychism" or avoided because of the inherently
"subjective" nature of his studies ... but take someone that
*sees* what Jung could only hear about second hand and suddenly
we should ignore everything coming from *that* investigative tool
because there is a possibility that the seer might not be
completely clear?>

ELDON <Jung put everything in a psycho-centric context. In that
context, he attempts to describe everything. He has a large
following, even among theosophists. I'd find him too limited,
because of this bias, and would tend to disagree with some of his
ideas. The ideas are useful, though, for some people in the west
to understand and give meaning to their lives, so I would not,
though, see any value in trying to discredit him.>
 Exactly my point. How is this different than one who uses
other inner abilities? Jung may not harmonize with your approach,
but you would not try to discredit him, or attempt to avoid
discussions of his insights, or supress the sorts of
investigations he and his proponents do as something Theosophy
shouldn't be engaging in, yet you seem do so with clairvoyance.

ELDON <Perhaps we have a difference in terminology here. Direct
insight or knowing something is certainly different than sense
perception, of whatever plane. This does not need an
"authoritative book." I would reject the notion that
consciousness is merely sense perception on higher planes as an
exoteric blind. You seem to be taking the line of argument I've
most often seen in the Adyar T.S., where someone uses their
paranormal experiences as an authority for what they say. I'd say
that reason, logic, and philosophy are the proper grounds for
considering how things work. Your experiences might count as some
"raw data" for consideration by others, and we should consider
it; your ideas and conclusions about what it mean, though, are
open to interpretation.>
 Yes, but your claim to "direct insight" (implied throughout
this paragraph) is every bit as much open to interpretation as
anyone's clairvoyance is - and is also being used as an authority
for what you say ... is it not? You say that the standard by
which you judge clairvoyance does not come from either books, or
from actually having the faculty, but from this thing called
"direct insight", which is implied (in fact stated) to be
"higher" than any sensory apparatus - and is used as a foundation
for the apparent claim that your perspective is not only
something more than just your opinion about it, but somehow gives
a greater understanding of it than those who actually possess it
 Difference is, I am not presuming to judge what you
experience as "direct insight", or in any way place it a ranking
system, while you apparently feel fully comfortable do so to my
experience of clairvoyance. I fully agree that my ideas and
conclusions about raw clairvoyant data are open to
interpretation, but this discussion hasn't mentioned any raw data
(though the angelic post does a bit) - the discussion up to now
has related to whether or not there is even room for the exercise
of abilities within the Theosophical fold.

<Big snip 'cause this is already too long>

ELDON <I would suggest that it is possible for good-natured
presentations of the differing approachs without any of us
getting at each other's throats.>
 Agreed, let's both stop.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for you Eldon, and would
not want the perspective you so eloquently argue to ever leave
the Theosophical family. I also believe that the 3rd Object has
fallen into a state approaching complete atrophy, and would hate
to see that entire range of activity disappear completely from
modern Theosophy, as it has produced, in the past, some of those
aspects of Theosophy that to this day are among the most
interesting, and have done enormous amounts of good for humanity.
The use of abilities in the creation of "Theraputic Touch" - a
technique that has served countless hundreds of thousands of
people and extends Theosophical service far beyond its tiny
membership ... Hodson's writings about his interactions with the
Angels that have enormously enriched many people's lives (again,
far beyond the Theosophical circle) - the people who did this,
who are actually possibly responsible for introducing more people
to Theosophy than any of the core writings (which are
intimidating at first) - they are all now either very old, or
dead. From where in current Theosophy will the next generation of
Doras and Geoffreys come from ... if any exercise of such
abilities has now become institutionally frowned upon? Are the
difficulties inherent in their exercise so insurmountable and
dangerous that the risk exceeds the enormous possible benefits?

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