Re: Re to RJI - Fraud vs the Magical Imagination
Nov 09, 1995 03:50 PM
>>Virtually everyone holds some form of self-image within
>>themselves and it greatly conditions the world they apparently live in
>Actually I believe that to look at this in some greater detail
>there are a number of partial self-images some created by the mind but
>others not mental
Yes the idea of a consistent single self is an illusion.
There are many parts to our psyche. Normally they act in cooperation
through phase-locking? and we have a single personality. Sometimes
they don't and we have cases of multiple personalities or
>... in fact some perspectives on the Jungian idea of
>acrhetypes for instance believe that children are born with
>predilections to recognize particular "catagories" - like "Mother" for
>instance and activily seek to personalize or particularize these images
And this also agrees with the theosophical idea of Root Races and
subraces where there are patterns of consciousness that we are
born into. These patterns have a structure and manner of behavior --
as much so as our physical bodies themselves.
>.. to find an actual person that fits the catagory - and even further
>that several of these latent in-born catagories refer to the self as
>well - and all this before a mind has even become functional.
The tendency of our psyche to work in a certain way is like the
tendency of our physical body to work a certain way. In either case
we are subject to the structure and limitations of our constitution.
But it is possible to exist apart from the physical body just as it
is possible to exist in a higher center of consciousness than the
psyche. And I expect that it's just as possible to have a mind-born
body mayavi-rupa as it is to have a mind-born psyche.
>> it further creates the illusion or false sense
>> of an external objective world a world that exists apart
>> from oneself.
>Don't quite follow you here - you don't believe there is an
>objective world that exists apart from the perceiver? Didn't
>think you were a post-modernist -:.
There is one and there isn't. In an absolute sense everything
is unreal and subjective to the viewer. This is the viewpoint of
emptiness. In a relative sense taking the viewpoint of fullness
the external world exists and we participate in it according to
external law. From the former standpoint we can perceive life
without the bias of culture-specific archetypes. From the later
standpoint we are personalities subject to the archteypes of
our particular culture.
>I believe what self-imaging magic attempts to do is to first
>elevate this image from the unconscious up to the light of day that is
>to take conscious control of what is generally an unconscious assemblege.
> [this is a] specific magical practice
This is taking the standpoint of the personality the human
psyche and attempting to bring into conscious awareness other
The psychological model is one that describes the functioning
of consciousness in the West. It is easier to understand than
an approach that might discount the psyche and train one to
function apart from it. This does not mean a loss of consciousness
or control in one's life. It is the shattering of this false
sense of personal self the psyche that leads to pure perception.
The western psyche is rigid heavily formed and has a sense of
shattering when it is eliminiated for a time; this is the
"dark night of the soul" or the collapse of one's worldview.
The esatern psyche is more fluidic and can dissolve without
a feeling of collapse allowing the Easterner to more readily
move back and forth between a sense of emptiness and fullness or
a sense of absolute and a sense of relative reality.
>> There's a still higher form of self-direction one which retains
>> control but yet takes others into account. ... In this mode
>> there's never the thought of "what's in it for me" but always
>> of "what's best here" even if we personally do not end up better off.
>Well I'm not sure by what line you are measuring "higher" here
>as what you describe seems to be the basic ethics I was taught
In one case a student sees the emptiness in external life and
the illusory nature of the world and simply achieves liberation
for a time entering into a state of bliss. In the other case a
student also sees the emptiness in emptiness and has no reason
to leave the world before the manvantara is over. In this case
there is no real reason to leave so one remains here teaching
and sharing what one knows. Either type of person has compassion
but the first time cannot see that nirvana is no more real than
life in the external world and drops out.
>Well "Easterner" is a mighty broad term
Yes yes yes ... It's a generalization to contrast Westerners
with Easterners. But the contrast is useful for it shows the biases
and limitations in western thought.
>> You make the whole thing sound quite dramatic!
>Isn't this however a matter of style rather than substance?
>What ultimate difference does it make whether it is dramatic or subdued?
True achieving the goal is what is important. Depending upon
one's background the experience will be different.
>Some like drama others like quiet contemplation and this may be
>nothing but personality nuances that vary from life to life.
There are individual preferences between drama and low-key
experiences. But this is something different. The experience of
shattering that a Westerner may have is due to a pathological state
of mind that many Easterners may not share. The sense of "eternal
delight" is not particular to Easterners but is shared by anyone
having thrown off the burden of personality.
>The world is currently in the midst of stunning and very rapid
>change and this has produced as a natural reaction something
>close to a collective obsession with security with minimizing
>risk with maintaining control with keeping things quiet and calm.
There's a natural tendency for people to seek a comfort zone and
not grow in life. Entering the Path is the opposite of this. There
is considerable turbluence arising in one's life on the Path. The
sense of peace and unshakable calm is in one's consciousness not
often in the external circumstances of one's life.
>Looking back through history many religious and spiritual
>traditions as well as the type and stages of the "path" they each
>describe are often if not usually at least partially *reactions* to
>or perhaps vibrations generated to balance the world as it was when
>they were born.
Agreed. Public religions and spiritual traditions were customized
to their ages. But once an individual has awakened to the Path again
there were also Mysteries that went beyond the culture-specific.
>Religions born in times wild and insecure often encourage
>calmness and inner certainty as part of the "path". Religions born in
>violent times encourage peace and love as parts of the path etc.
True. But when someone goes beyond what is taught to the masses
the timeless truths and methods of training would be revealed.
>> The sense of "surfacing" is the experience of nondualistic
>> consciousness the experience of sunyata or emptiness the
>> transcending for the moment of the sense of personal self.
>I would say that the only ones that could know this are those
>permanently free of form.
We may disagree here. I would say that this experience is
available *in our consciousness* without regard for whether
we are embodied or not.
>In fact I believe both what is commonly called the "Eastern"
>and "Western" approaches are heavily tinted with anachronistic
>assumptions and could use to be re-framed from the ground up.
>As is beginning to happen.
The exoteric religions are anachronistic but the Mystery
traditions are not. But agreed that we need to reframe new
approaches for the West. And this is part of the theosophical
work. There may be several approaches that we establish
along different lines suitable to different types of people.
Perhaps you'll help frame one such approach and I'll help
frame yet another?
>> The idea that the Western and Eastern psyches are different
>> and therefore Eastern approaches won't work in the west is
>> -- I think -- "sour grapes".
>Well a growing body of psychological literature would dispute
>this. In fact I've recently been reading a Freudian psychologist who was
>western trained but had occaision to practice in India who goes into
>great depth about the very profound differences between European and
It is not I think that the psyches are fundamentally different
but that there is a greater degree of rigidity in western psyches
making it different for Westerners to follow unfamiliar spiritual
techniques. It is the Freudian's personal limitations that prevent
him from undertaking an eastern practice and not a generic limitation
experienced by all Westerners due to having a different type of psyche.
>Those "Eastern" ideas are ... alledged to be behind every major religion
>eastern and western in history.
>And even that "inner" religion that stands behind all exoteric ones
>when spoken of by HPB is spoken of as being present in countless
>forms all over the world
Agreed. I'm taking about the exoteric forms and attempting to outline
some of the limitations in the West. The purpose of the contrast is to
show *what is publically missing* not to deny the present of the
Masters and the Mysteries in the West.
>Any many of the traditions she mentions as definately being aware
>of "inner" Theosophy most definately did not simply sit and meditate and
>quietly reach the final transformation ... but engaged in all manner of
>ceremony and ritual - often quite "dramatic".
And perhaps some forms of Theosophy that we'll help specialize
will take one or the other approach. There is nothing wrong with
the dramatic per se nor with karma yoga. But sitting in zazen
can also be something highly profitable to oneself and others
even if there are no apparent immediate affects on the physical
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