[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: JRC to Eldon

Sep 04, 1995 06:00 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


> ... 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.

Agreed that the fact of having or not having psychic powers says
nothing about the inner man.

>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

Yes, how we put our faculties to use is of utmost importance.

>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),

But the type of training appropriate to a Mahatma is not necessarily
the best for the common aspirant. Someone would not, for instance,
learn to touch type before learning the alphabet and how to spell.

>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.

This description is more in accord with the Adyar viewpoint, and
I'd tend to disagree. On each plane on which we'd exist, there's
a vehicle for us. But the planes *are not* the attributes of
consciousness. Mind is not "mental body" or the counterpart of
a physical body for some mental plane, despite how it is described
in some books. On each plane we have all the seven (or ten)
principles of consciousness, including mind, and consciousness is
a thing in its own right, apart from anything physical on whatever

>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.

I would not give a secondary status to the "quanta" view of things.
We find the "particle" and "wave" descriptions of life throughout
the religions and philosophies of the world. One approach may call
a person a fixed, eternal Self, another may call the person a
stream of consciousness with no enduring self. This duality is
really two modes of experiencing life. Although both are equally
true, it depends upon which standpoint we take how things appear
for the moment.

>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.

If we're talking about the seven or ten principles, I'd agree
that there is much more to them than initially meets the eye.
Taking something like the color "red", it is something real,
even though we cannot, perhaps, pinpoint the exact spot on the
spectrum where "red" starts and some other color leaves off;
the boundries are fuzzy even though the sense of redness is
quite real.

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*.

Agreed. And we must go much deeper if we want to even
scratch the surface.

> 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.

We need to do the same thing. But when we "throw out" the old, we
are not putting it all in the trash can. Rather, we're putting the
pieces of the puzzle on the table, then putting it together again,
perhaps a bit better this time than before. We're allowing what we
think we know to open to reevaluation, at risk of change in any
point, but not discarding it.

> 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 ranking
>they do according to that template is rather more absolute than
>it may in fact be.

It is possible for any of us to take a limited presentation of
deep Truths and misunderstand them.

>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

For most of us, I'd suggest that the "inner worlds" offer little
benefit to our spiritual progress, no more than a visit to a
Brazilian rainforest. I suspect that contact with other planes would
be an easy thing, but that we are protected against it, so that we
can focus on developing faculties of consciousness that do not
involve "physical" experiences on those alternate 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.

Arrogance and the desire to impose one's "truths" upon others is
not the exclusive property of either philosophers or seers, but
comes from a deficiency in necessary spiritual qualities. We all
need to work on it.

>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 consciousness.

I would consider the mind as one form of consciousness per se, and
the senses as one form of input to it.

>Is it not possible that to the "Monad"
>both the mind and clairvoyance are *both* nothing other than
>"lower" "psychic" senses?

All the seven principles represent to me the various ingredients that
make up a fully-conscious, embodied person. I would not say that if
we take a higher standpoint, that the intermediate principles seem
to be themselves "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.

We have much to develope in any of our seven principles. The mind is
not the only part of us needing development. In fact, being in the
Fourth Round, it is desire, self-initiative, the will to do things,
the Kama principle, that is undergoing intensive development. The
full reach and scope of the mind is something that will only become
an important issue in a far distant age in the future.

>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

That has always been true. There is nothing that says that one should
follow a path that is not appropriate. If Theosophy attempts to describe
things in cosmological terms, and talk of things we learned in our
far distant past, or talk of things appropriate in our far distant
future, we can read them with interest, but find them of little
practical value for the life at hand.

>- 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

My impression is that the earth *is the place* for us. Specifically,
this is where we are in embodied existence, interact with others,
and make new karma. Our after-death states are in a form of dreamlife
where we are not in active interaction with others. We have a troubled
sleep in kamaloka, followed by a nicer dreamlife in devachan, but we
are not self-conscious and active on another plane *in a world of
causes* or "objective" realm. We seek out continued existence on this
earth because this is where the human lifewave is, and we belong to
it. And except for Initiates, some form of temporary existence on
other planes is inappropriate.

>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?

Analogies are always limited, and cannot be carried too far. My
alternate analogy would be that in a university setting we would
study the existing body of scientific knowledge first, and not
just head to the labs, without any formal scientific training.

>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.

Direct experience is useful, and it takes us further. But there
are many forms of direct experience.

>The third [TS object] 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

The original object was singular, to make eastern knowledge
available in the west. The three objects came later on in the
T.S. history.

>.. 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.>

Yes. And there are two ways of breaking new ground. One is as
a seer, with personal visions offered as evidence of other worlds
and beings. The second is as philosopher, with new insights into life.

>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.

Perhaps there is a place for it. But I'd suggest that any consideration
of it would be as a "along with" rather than an "instead of" approach.
It would still be something that I'd recommend that people avoid, if
they did not already have awakened psychical abilities. But for those
with such abilities arising naturally, there's no harm in using the
abilities to see what's "out there" and pass on what is seen.

>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.

This was the approach strongly emphasised by Purucker at Point Loma.
There are a number of spiritual traditions, and no single theosophical
school is attempting to claim that it is appropriate for all people
of all backgrounds throughout the world.

>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

We are surrounded by countless invisible worlds. There is much
that goes unseen. There come times when an increased number of
people have these abilities. They need to understand how the abilities
work, both in theory and in practice, and then find a useful place
in their lives for the abilities.

>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.

It's good that we can coexist with mutual respect. The harder
part will by to all each other's different philosophical descriptions
of life to coexist.

>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.

Perhaps. Sometimes we oversimplify. When I mention that in spiritual
training we are told to "shut down the psychic," that applies to
*a particular type of training,* and it applies to a certain approach
to the spiritual. It does not mean that it is always deemphasized, nor
does it mean that it applies for everyone, of all traditions and
approaches. Do you, perhaps, likewise get a bit carried away in
discounting the established philosophy?

>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.

Yes. Power corrupts, including the sense of being special in some
way. Members of some esoteric group, for instance, might be tempted
to feel superior to non-members, when that feeling of superiority
is really a sign that they are not spiritual at all! But equally
corrupting is the status and recognition that many will accord a
seer, retelling otherworldly visions. By telling us of your experiences,
you're opening yourself up to the same dangers of being tempted into
feeling special, in feeling that you have special insight into life,
that the admiration of would-be clairvoyants would accord you.

>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

True. We can become so wrapped up in ideas that we lose touch with
external life. A strong bond is necessary between our ideas and
our experiences of life, or we're really just making ourselves a
nice devachanic dreamworld for the after-life.

>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.

We all have various talents. Clairvoyance may be considered one,
but so is the ability to draw well, to make music, or to write
grand ideas. It's important that we are encouraged to find some
useful, creative endeavor to undertake in a lifetime, some personalized
way of making a contribution to the world.

>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".

Yes, that does sound discouraging to someone new. But in our
theosophical groups, we're not given a creed of conduct, a religious
code to follow. We're taught to learn and explore and to acquire
the ability to know for ourselves. The focus is on those fragments
of the Mystery Teachings which we've been priviledged to have been
given by the Masters. We're not in the position to tell someone
how to live his life, and when we do so, we're acting like a
religious authority rather than a fellow student -- and that's
not good.

>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.

There's a lot more meaning to theosophical ideas than personal
opinions about cats. Here's where it's important to make a
distinction between our personal views or insights and the Teachings
in their original form, where we pass them on in an unadulterated
form. We may all have our differing views, but need to devote
a certain amount of the time to teaching the original Teachings,
so that the new students can have a change to learn and explore
them in their own way.

>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".

Yes. That is a good general rule. But when we study the core
concepts, we need to put personal opinions aside and really study
the materials.

>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

Yes. Let each person try their own approach to the spiritual.
We can keep our advice to ourselves, unless asked for, and
practice a good deal of tolerance for those with differing

> 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*.

We all have our biases that lead us to "unconscous rejection"
of those involved in things we downplay or discount in our lives.

>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.

We are certainly judging *our ideas*, but are we also judging
each other *as people*? I'm looking at this as a philosophical
discussion, not as my being on trial (or as trying you). I'm
not sure that putting it in direct personal terms, and making
it seem a personal confrontation, makes our exchange any more
real or valid.

>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.

My alternate preference is to use general terms, rather than
personal words. It may be a matter of writing style. We are
both affirming points of view that may need to be expressed
differently so as to not sound like an attack on other views.
What I have consciously felt, in responding to you, was not
something defensive, something in response to an attack, but
rather that your statements provided me with an interesting
situation to write about Theosophy on. Hopefully, with our
exchanges, we can both refine our communication and writing

>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.

Granted. But I would make a distinction between trying to
discredit something and trying to understand and explain it
in theosophical terms, to the best of my understanding. The
theosophical description of what happens in seances, with
kamarupas and shades, for instance, would sound like an attempt
to discredit Spiritualism, to its sincere believers.

>Yes, but your claim to "direct insight" ...
>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?

That is why I would have to be careful to distinguish between
anything that I have come up with on my own from what I have
accurately learned from the theosophical Teachings. When making
a statement, I should either add "this is what I've found to be
true" or add "and thus have I heard."

>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

Agreed that making any authoritative statement based upon ideas
arising from such an approach can not be proven any more than
clairvoyant visions.

> 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 should be allowed to make "descriptive" comments about how things
work, as long as they are not unfairly judgemental. Being judgemental
is really taking an intervention in someone else's life, and should
be avoided except in exceptional cases. It is a form of interferring
in their karma.

>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.

Yes, they are open to interpretation. And that means that we can
attempt to understand and describe the experiences, even though
you may not always agree with us. We can disagree but should
avoid being disagreeable.

><Big snip 'cause this is already too long>

I'm running out of time too.

>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.

Let's keep up the discussions, but discard the judgemental
stuff and belittling of other views.

>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.

Let's see what comes of this. We should also remember, though,
that the three objects of the Adyar T.S. are not an exclusive
charter for spirituality in the world. What we do is primarily
based upon an inner urge towards creative self-expression, and
not from following some rules laid out for theosophical membership
in the last century.

-- Eldon

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application