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Re: Purucker on the Seven Rays

Oct 17, 1995 10:54 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Eldon quoting Purucker:
> every Monad is a consciousness-center, with a definite swabhava of its
> own, yet always in continuous and uninterrupted activity. This
> activity ... is expressed on the lower planes of being by, we may say,
> 'rays'.

While I tend to agree with Purucker on most things, including the
idea of rays, Purucker is not without some problems as well.
He insists, for example, that monads have 'swabhava' as if
this is a Buddhist teaching. Let me give a short quote:

"Svabhava. Self-being, self-existence, Selfhood, that
which does not depend on others for its existence; the definite,
irreducible and self-subsisting entity that is 'being' itself. The
concept of Svabhava is completely rejected by the philosophy
of Sunyata." (Glossary, The Buddhist Teaching of Totality, by
Garma, C.C. Chang).

"Sunyata. Voidness or Emptiness; the central
philosophy of Buddhism. Sunyata, though translated as
Voidness, does not mean nothingness or annihilation"
(Glossary, The Buddhist Teaching of Totality, by Garma,
C.C. Chang).

According to Chang, the central philosophy of Buddhism
is the doctrine of Emptiness, which completely refutes
the notion of svabhava (or swabhava). Purucker is
wrong in ascribing his ideas on this subject to Buddhism
and I don't think he ever really tackles the doctrine of
emptiness. I also think that he is misleading in ascribing
a unique self-hood to the Divine Monad; only the lower
monads (which is, IMHO, an unfortunate term to use)
is such uniqueness evident.

Eldon:< The basic idea of "rays" is that we, as Monads, establish an
<outpost of consciousness on the lower planes. We send forth rays
<and evolve them as ourselfs on the lower planes.

Tibetan Buddhism uses the idea of rays to demonstrate exactly
what reincarnates in the sense of the tulku. Whenever a prominent
person dies, their 'reincarnation' is found who then takes over
their office. This is true for the Dali Lama, and a host of lesser
leaders, who are often the heads of monestaries. The teaching
is that immediately at death, the person sends forth a ray, and
that this ray is what reincarnates (not the ego and not any Self).
This ray is the strong and focused desire to continue helping
others in a special capacity. According to the teaching of tulku,
this desire will carry over into another life by incarnating into
an appropriate fetus. In this way, the work continues. A.
David-Neel, writes:

 "A strong determination to create an

instrument able to continue the efforts which will be

interrupted by death can, it is said, succeed in giving

rise to the birth of an individual who will become this

instrument, or can possess itself of an already

existing individual and guide his activity in a suitable

direction to lead to the desired result. Such is the

theory. The name 'tulku' agrees perfectly. 'Tulku'

literally means an "illusory body" created by magic.

There is thus no permanent ego which

transmigrates." (The Secret Oral Teachings in

Tibetan Buddhist Sects, p 105).

Jerry S.

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