Re: Various comments made by Eldon and Jerry HE
Oct 24, 1995 05:48 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
>Eldon, I'm afraid you have a misunderstanding here. The standard in a
>criminal case is "BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT." That is, is the defendant
>guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
I stand corrected on this point. The phrase "beyond a shadow of a doubt"
sticks in my mind. Have you heard the phrase before? I'm wondering where
I might have come across it.
>> A lower standard is `the preponderance of evidence', and it is
>> used in civil lawsuits....
> This is true and the standard is lower than in a criminal case.
My point in bringing in some legal definitions is that because of the
high degree of thought given to legal matters, there have evolved
distinctions that may provide us another rich set of analogies to
draw upon for metaphysical purposes.
Consider the definitions for killing. The different crimes and
what is involved shows a graduated scale of sentience or
self-consciousness used. First degree murder requires a premeditated
idea of killing: the intent, a deliberation, a weighing and balancing,
an action of considering the consequences and deciding to kill. There
is self-consciousness, an activity of the moral sense, and forethought
to the action.
Second degree murder comes from a rash impulse, where there is
no planning in advance, but one is temporarily overcome, perhaps
with anger, and without thinking about *intends* to kill and does it.
Manslaughter is accidental killing, where one has killed another, but
it was accidential or unintentional; the killing was unplanned and
The scale of sentience or self-responsibility is (1) intentional
rather than accidental action, (2) action by impulse of the moment,
then (3) action based upon reflection and forethought. The scale
could go higher than this, but this is as far as Western thought
takes the common man.
>>The [the Masters] can be presumed to exist....With the Masters,
>>we can likewise have a necessary place for them in the
>>Teachings, and someday progress to the point where they are
>>proven *to us*, by our personal experience.
>What does Eldon mean by "[knowing the Masters by] our personal
>experience"? ... My friend could close his eyes and he would not
>see the Eck Master. Should we or do we accept 100% all of our own
>personal experiences? I beleive we should examine critically our
>own experiences as much as we would be inclined to examine
>critically another person's personal experiences?
There are a number of ways to know things by personal experience
and I'm not sure I could list all of them at the moment. Most
have been discussed on 'theos-l' at different times.
A psychical experience is the one that comes quickly to mind
for many people. I agree they can be unreliable and should be
subject to extreme scrutiny.
Through the entering upon the Path, and the becoming of a Chela,
eventually one will become aware of the Masters as real people,
and may come into contact with them. This is not necessarily
by psychically means.
When one engages a spiritual practice that bridges the chasm
between the external world and inner experiences, the Philosophy
takes on a real, living connection with life, and the proof of
the Philosophy, including of the notion of Masters, is personally
There is an activity of mind that provides another form of
experience, which is as different from our ordinary experience
as the sense of sight is different from the sense of touch. We
can "experience" things through the "mind's eye".
Using Western objective means, we can track down clues, like a
police officer investigating a crime, and see what we can find
out about the Masters in an ordinary manner. With sufficient
evidence, we can "prove" in yet another way their existence.
And the last form of "proof" is not really such, but is a
suspension of judgement using Jerry HE's "reasoned certitude",
where we defer judging doctrines or materials we are being
trained in until we can verify for ourselves their validity.
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