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Re: Vajrayana Practice & Theosophy

Nov 02, 1995 09:33 PM
by eldon


>Few things are as dangerous as a false analogy and some of
>yours cause my alarm bells to ring very loudly. So for what
>it's worth--

That's all I'm doing presenting materials for what it's worth.
I'm drawing a comparison but not attempting to define the way
that all theosophical work should be handled in our organizations.
That is much too big for a single individual to do. It will take
several generations of dedicated Theosophists to give this a
decent start.

My attempt is to open up some discussion in the area of
comparing Eastern religions with the theosophical modus operandi
not to present the final word on how it should be.

>> > The first root downfall is to contradict our guru.

>The Rinpoche is speaking exclusively of a living guru with whom
>we have a personal relationship. To apply such a principle to
>a dead person whom we only know through his/her books is
>extremely hazardous IMO.

True. It won't work most of the time. I wouldn't completely rule
it out though and would say that it may be possible for some
people to use this approach.

>A living guru who knows you can
>prescribe for you based on personal observation. To take stuff
>from books in such a way is like practicing do-it-yourself
>surgery from reading medical books. You MIGHT do OK and you
>might screw yourself up royally.

Granted that we may get in trouble when we do it ourselves. And
that is exactly what we're left up to until we make further
progress in carrying through with the intent of Theosophy forming
the cornerstone of future Western religions. Without established
practices to follow we're in the position of looking elsewhere
*or in helping formulate the one-or-many future theosophical

It is this reason that you give pointing to the danger of
screwing oneself up that the occult arts are given a strong
deemphasis if not outright ban in theosophical groups since
that is the area of life in which the potential damage can be
found. Any approach that keeps its focus solely on the spiritual
or intellectual/spiritual does not run this risk for anything
that you do can only be beneficial. There *are* valid approaches
that include visualizations etc. in their training but these
aren't safe without I think an external Guru with substantial
training in the respective tradition.

>> When we accept someone as our theosophical teacher we should give
>> that teacher our complete confidence.

>If you have a personal connection with living teacher you can
>see in this light more power to you. But complete confidence
>in ANY books is not the dharma. standard disclaimer--IMHO

Not in any books *by themselves* but they can form part of a
self-devised practice. The confidence is in the Way in the
Teachings not the mere words on the printed page and the Teacher
if or when we have one. Perhaps we're left with two out of three
of these but if we really ready ourselves a Teacher will show up
in our lives. It may be possible many times that the "Teacher"
appears in the form of karmic circumstances where the responses
of life to our inner flowering become our teacher and an individual
personal guru is not needed in a particular lifetime. I'd agree
with you that in the long run a personal Guru is essential.

>> the theosophical philosophy we must take care in what we say with
>> people not ready to *live* the theosophical life.

>Perhaps we should take more care about allowing ourselves to
>pass judgment on others in this way.

The Vajayana approach lists this as part of a practice. It is
low on the list and I'd agree that it is difficult to do. As
with all of the practices though it has been pointed out to
us by the Buddha-dharma as something important *to try to do*
even if we're not always able to live up to it.

>Most of your parallels are fine and your choice of Purucker is
>one that seems reasonable. As a living teacher he was perhaps
>the most productive in Theosophical history since HPB never
>stayed in one place long enough to develop the long-term
>relationships with students that GdeP did.

In a certain way I'd felt sad that I wasn't able to be at
Point Loma when he lived and personally benefit from him as
a Teacher. But I'm glad to be alive in this generation and
enjoy the opportunities for creative expression afforded in
this age.

We're ultimately left on our own up to our own devices to
achieve the goal. This includes the responsibililty to find
validate and give our dedication to a Teacher the first and
utmost Vajrayana practice soming even higher than the
Bodhisattva vow and the brotherliness to our fellow aspirants.
When no guru shows up we either aren't looking in the right
place e.g. the "guru" is present in the karmic circumstances
about us in life even at this momemt or we're not *really*

>But before deciding that you can
>translate that past teaching into a living reality analogous to
>what the Rinpoche is describing I'd ask several questions:

>1 What would the Rinpoche say about this?

My view? Do it! Don't sit on your but waiting for some
Mahatma to materialize in your living room and tell you
to do something. If having a book and a theosophical
tradition works for you *use it* and tred the Path!

Become aware of the gnawing hunger that
leads to the search for the Spiritual and find avenues
in life that satisify it. Give up any preconceptions or
expectations about the form that the Teacher will appear
in your life and simply *become the spiritual*. Stop
the functioning of the mind that acts as the "great slayer
of the real" and awaken to "eternal delight". Dive into
the pools of deep wisdom open to your eager mind and
be nourished. ...

>2 What would Purucker's surviving students e.g. Grace K. or
>Emmett S. advise?

Having knowing Purucker personally I don't think that
they would be able to objectively consider such an approach.
The path is essentially self-devised and incorporates the
materials from Purucker as some of the content. It is not
something for most people. Our theosophical groups I think
will be vastly more useful to the Western world when they've
specialized more into specific theosophical religious sects
with authentic approachs to the Path when whey literally
become Mystery Schools rather than fraternal metaphysical
book clubs.

>Personally I'm developing a connection with Cayce that's
>similar to what you are talking about with Theosophical
>sources. But his emphasis is always: test through application
>and accept only WHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU.

Agreed. Without an *external* Teacher we're left up to
an *internal* one and must follow his dictates.

>Like a physician he prescribed FOR INDIVIDUALS. And any
>individual CAN and MUST "contradict the guru" when advice
>given to somebody else just doesn't fit or work for oneself.

Yes. A living guru customizes the dharma for the particular
student or chela. Apart from an external Teacher we must
look within and use our best judgement in doing our own
personal customization.

>Good luck.

And good luck again to you.

For the theosophical organizations though I hope that they're
not out of luck. They need a revitalization an impetus given to
restore what they teach to a real living Religious Philosophy
something worthy of being called the Wisdom Religon. There's a
genuine raw enthusiasm for the spiritual Path that goes far beyond
the *content* of our study and I see too little of it at times.

-- Eldon

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