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Re: Phists vs. Phers

Nov 28, 1995 03:47 PM
by eldon

Jerry S:

>>Not of "personal experiences of the spiritual" just of psychical
>>experiences and particularly of the cultivation of the psychical
>>and the practice of the occult arts. The idea is to leave all
>>that to other groups with gurus qualified to teach and oversee
>>such practices among their followers.

>Many theosophists not just you Eldon think that they can
>tell the difference between "higher" and "lower" experiences
>and then accept the one which few if any will actually claim
>and totally reject the other out of hand.

I'd say that spiritual experiences are fundamentally different
than psychical experiences. They're as different as the mind is
from the feelings as manas is from kama.

The psychical deal with extensions of our physical senses which
are basically astral and with paranormal powers. It deals with
the occult arts with astral projection thought transfer
psychometry physical healing etc.

With the psychical depending upon the particular power it can
be good bad or neutral. But it is not spiritual. Nor is the
sense of smell the taste of an apple nor ability to drive a car.
All these deal with the psycho-physical nature not with the
spiritual nature.

But it is not an either/or situation. Someone could have a
spritual experience fetching a pail of water and chopping wood.
Another could be had by a blind man sitting in a rocking chair
talking to a grandchild. A third could be had by someone in a
lucid dream talking to what seems to be an angel. And yet another
could by had by a teenager experimenting with drugs.

It is not the particular psycho-physical thing we are doing
that makes something a spiritual experience. It is the exercize
if but momentary of our spiritual nature a higer part of us
than our thoughts desires senses or physical form. Since this
is independent of the external activity we don't need to
develope and enhance the psychical and physical faculties in
order to awaken and experience it.

>This black and white attitude goes all the back to HPB but was
>especially emphasized by Judge.

It is not black-and-white because it does not say that it's
either a spiritual or a psychical experience. It's rather a
*something special* that can be there or not regardless of
the psychical.

>If I mentioned a particular spiritual insight you may or may
>not accept it. But chances are that you would think about it
>objectively before reaching a conclusion.

But by mentioning it you're sharing an idea about it and
not the experience itself. And that idea is something that
is open to discussion.

>However if I added that I received this information
>from an Angel that I conversed with you would reject the
>insight out of hand a priori because you view all Angels
>as "lower" sources psychism etc and thus no truth can
>come from it.

If you say that your idea came from an angel or spirit guide
I'd have to take its source into account. Just as if you
were to say that your idea came from HPB or the Dalai Lama.
This is if you are talking about the transmission of knowledge.

On the other hand if you were talking about your own ideas
then it doesn't really matter how you think the idea arrived.
You may like to think that the idea magically appeared
in your head. Or you may say that an angel told you the idea.
Perhaps you may even say that you were told the idea by "Joey"
a complex in your personal unconscious which you have been
in communication with through journal work for the past year.
However you choose to subjectively view your origination of
the idea it's still yours and can be evaluated as such.

>All that I am suggesting is that theosophists look at the ideas
>provided by others objectively first and then decide
>its truth or falsehood. Try to see a little grey in
>between all that black and white.

The grey fills in when we place the two different views
side-by-side in their original form. We then compare and
contrast them and see how far it is possible to come to
some argeement. It never happens if a view is presented but
does not allow for such a comparison to be made.

An initial side-by-side contrast of views is an opening to
a discussion not the hardening of positions and the drawing
of battle lines. As students of Theosophy we are brought to
make this contrast in many day-to-day situations living as
we do in the western world. As long as we don't become too
personally attached to our ideas and maintain a proper
flexibility of mind we should encounter few problems in
our discussions on theos-l.

-- Eldon

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