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Re: Eldon on Origin of Sense of Self

Oct 12, 1995 10:42 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Eldon:<They may teach the "stream of consciousness", a everflowing
fountain of life springing out of the Auric Egg. Another school
may teach the "eternal self", a fixed experiencer of life, the
Atman or Monad.>

Since we are talking here about Mahayana Buddhism,
could you give me one "school" which teaches a "fixed experiencer
of life" because I don't think you will find one. In fact, I am pretty
sure that the Theravadins (Hinayana) agree with the Mahayana
on the doctrine of anatman. Hinduism may teach such a self
in terms of sat-cit-ananda, but I am not aware of any school
of Buddhism doing so. Since HPB and HSO were Buddhists,
I can't help but think that they included the doctrine of monads
for the benefit of the Hindus. I agree with you, Eldon, that our
lives can be lived with either concept. But in a technical sense
either the "human monad" is eternal and indivisible, or it is not.
Theosophy tends to say that it is, while Buddhism clearly
teaches that it is not. In fact, Buddhism would even doubt the
indivisibility of the Divine Monad, simply on the grounds that
such a concept is dualistic, and the Mahayana is very much

Eldon:<There *is* a part of us that is timeless, eternal, never-changing,
yet *uniquely us*. >

This is theosophy, but again, you won't find any Mahayana
Buddhists agreeing with you on this.

Eldon:<This could be considered the
eternal self, yet at the same time, since it's above and out of
manifest existence, we cannot call it a self in the traditional

Exactly what a Buddhist would say. And, because
there are simply no words in English to convey this lofty idea,
HPB reached for the doctrine of monads. Its close, but not
quite there. A Buddhist would see a monad as a disguised
self, and rule it out. However, if you accept my definition of
the Divine Monad as an I-Not-I three-in-one non-dualistic unit,
then perhap they might agree (but I don't know for sure). BTW,
one hundred years after HPB, and there are STILL no words
for such concepts in English.

Eldon:<Yes, it is an essence, the "flavor" of us, our essential nature,
and totally without dependence upon external conditions, as it
transcends time and evolution. >

While groping for a good term, Purucker came up
with "monadic essence" which I rather like, but alas, is still
somewhat subject to interpretation.

Eldon:<The Self that we know ourselves as, the Self that grows and
changes over evolution, is corruptible, subject to time and decay, and
is eternal over the time period of its respective manvantara. That part
of us that transcends this, the Not-Self, does not have changeable
qualities, but is forever and unchangingly *us* ourselves.>

I suspect that new students could have a rough time following
you on this one, Eldon. We are in an area here where words are breaking
down. I would use the term Self for any kind of subjectivity, and Not-Self
for any kind of objectivity. What Buddhism teaches, is that Nirvana,
which is non-dualistic, goes beyond both concepts entirely, so that
neither Self (a subjective sense of I) nor Not-Self (an objective sense of
body or world) exists. In so-called mystical experiences, the dualistic concept
of self and not-self break down because the feeling is one of total oneness
with the environment. The I and Not-I merge together in blissful union.
This is what I have tried to indicate by the I-Not-I Monad - a self and not-self
merged together by the power of fohat into a single unit. However, the
fact that this unit can express itself as three components (the I, the
Not-I and fohat) on the lower planes technically negates its indivisibility.
This is why most Buddhists texts don't even try to define these concepts in

Thanks for your posting. I enjoyed it.

Jerry S.

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