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Re: What authenticates what we Believe?

Sep 18, 1995 12:46 PM
by Lewis Lucas

> <Lewis: Reason, science, the rational mind, manas I see as the bridge
> <between the limited understanding of our personal self and the much
> <wider knowledge/understanding of our inner spiritual self--the
> <accumulated wisdom of our lives.
Jerry S.: Here I have to differ. I do not believe that the rational
> finite mind can ever obtain an inner spiritual understanding
> of the infinite, unless you mean in the Jnana Yoga sense.

Lewis: I agree the limitations of the finite mind make it incapable
"of the infinite." I think of the bridge aspect more along the lines
of a scientist working on a problem who uses his rational mind to do
the ground work then suddenly awakes in the middle of the night with
the answer.

 In brain stroming sessions participants are encouraged to throw
every idea that occurs to them immediately into the discussion,
not editing them in any way. The more creative ideas seem to only
come once we have run through all the more "logical" or rational

Jerry S.:
> Few theosophist seem to understand Jnana Yoga. In
> Jnana Yoga, the human rational mind is deliberately pushed
> past its limits until it crumbles,

 I have to confess to being one of those who knows little of Jnana
Yoga. I am sure you are not suggesting we should push are selves to a
point of a mental breakdown. It is true the brain can be overtaxed
which can lead to some paranormal experiences.

 I met a man who said that he had a religious experience while
studying for long hours the texts of different religions. He said
Jesus appeared to him and told him he was going to far and should
stop. He interpreted this as a warning that his interest in these
other religions was getting him into trouble. He is now a devoted
Christian. Some TS writers have a less "revelational" point of view
on these type experiences.

Jerry S.:
> and then the pure light
> of spirituality shines over its ashes (so to speak). HPB
> and many others have mentioned the fact that many respected
> Adepts are totally illiterate.

 This reminds me of the genius who has surpassed us in his area of
expertise, but lacks other simple attributes readily found in others.
I think it is a matter of time and the -- I was going to say
perfection, but that word has some loaded connotations -- mastery of
all our faculties will come but not all at once. Naturally, we may
achieve mastery of some before others.

Jerry S.:
> Knowledge in the sense of book-learning
> is not a requirement to Gnosis, and can even be an obstacle
> to it. The trick to Gnosis, is to bring the thinking process
> to a stop - spiritual light can be seen between thoughts,
> much like the light of the sun can be seen between clouds
> passing overhead. Look between two thoughts, not at
> the thoughts themselves. We can make our thoughts as
> pretty, as complex, as "good," and attractive, as we want, but
> they are still thoughts obscuring the light of truth from our
> consciousness.

 I agree there is a difference between knowledge as you are
using it and Gnosis or wisdom. Our thoughts are tools which can be
put to great service, but require much practice and training.

 This reminds me of the a meditation technique in which the
student disassociates himself first from the physcial body, then the
emotions, then the thoughts thus slowly withdrawing his consciousness
form the vehicles of normal activity. It was very difficult for me to
accept the notion that "I am not this body."

 Then I discovered the opposite correlation which approaches this
exercise by having the student recognize the body as a part of
himself, but that he is more than just the physcial body. He also has
an emotional and mental component. This accepts rather than rejects
these elements of our complex being and was for me much more

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