Re: Owls and Vultures (to Eldon)
Jun 05, 1996 08:37 PM
by Jerry Schueler
>The "sheep versus wolves" analogy does not sit right with me.
>There's an unsavory connotation that those mining for gold in the
>theosophical doctrines -- taking a Platonic or Jnana Yoga approach
>-- are passive followers, people avoiding a real experience of
>life. This is simply untrue.
The analogy doesn't sit well with me either. It actually
came from Bjorn. All I did was ad lib on his theme.
I would suggest that your "unsavory connotation" is
all too true, unfortunately. But I would also say that the avoidance
of "real experiences" is but temporary. The reading and
studying is all part of the Path, but it, by itself, is not enough.
Sooner or later, the dog chasing its tail (and this too is a
phase that must be gone through) will realize what it is
doing. I am, of course, speaking from my own experience
here, and it probably doesn't apply to everyone. However,
it is true that one must experience real love in order to
understand it, and experience real compassion before the
teachings really start making sense. Without actually
being compassionate on a daily basis, the teaching of the
bodhisattva is only an intellectual exercise. And the
whole point to jnana yoga is to reach the crisis point or
catharsis where the realization dawns that the human mind
seeking after truth is like a dog chasing after its own tail.
Only then will consciousness be able to bypass the mind
itself (manas) and look within to the higher planes (atma-
BTW, I never intended to suggest that wolves were better
than sheep, or vice versa. I think that as we go along over
multiple lifetimes, we enter periods where we act as both,
alternately. Sheeps are relatively at rest. Wolves are
relatively in motion. We periodically go through both
phases as we peregrinate.
>If I were making an analogy, I'd make it the owls versus the
No problem. The ancient Egyptians used the vulture
as the primary symbol for motherhood and thought they were
self-created. The vulture symbolizes self-expression, which
is exactly what I feel is the purpose of life. So, while owls
read and study over creativity, the vultures are busy doing it.
(I can twist analogies around too <g>)
> Early this century, for example, there was a
>scientific theory that waves like light needed a substance to
>propagate through space. This was called "ether". Leadbeater
>picked up on this theory and his writings embraced it.
You, like everyone else, keep picking on CWL.
Yes, there is no "ether" in the sense in which it was
originally described. But today's science now knows for certain
that there is no such thing as empty space or a vacuum. Space
is filled with "plasma" or "virtual particles" or "fields" and so on.
I think CWL intuitively knew that space couldn't be "empty" and
picked up on the latest scientific evidence at the time. Even
though there is no ether, CWL was right about no vacuum.
I wonder what he (and HPB for that matter) would have come
up with, if he had known about Bell's Interconnectedness
Theory let alone quantum theory?
>Another problem with Theosophy failing to take on and find wider
>value with people is that there seems to be widespread rejection
>of the spiritual-intellectual approach. It is possible with this
>approach to have *real* experiences too.
I think that I, and the other wolves/vultures would
really enjoy hearing some examples of these experiences.
This would probably help bridge the gap that now seems
to exist between us.
I do not reject the spiritual-intellectual approach,
and I have already told about my own jnana-yoga experiences
and how James Long helped me to stop and smell the roses.
So I am saying that jnana-yoga is a real valid path, based
on my own experience. But jnana-yoga, and the spiritual-
intellectual path are not intended to keep us reading and
studying for lifetimes, but only up to the moment of
catharsis or what is today called a "spiritual emergency"
(the DSM-IV acknowledges this, at long last, and largely
due to Ken Wilber and others). Thus I see it as a step
along the Path, and have never tried to denigrate it. I am,
rather, simply trying to encourage those on it to move along.
> Hence, we hear
>lots of talk of some psychic vision or out-of-the-body experience
>as "real experience" and inner experiences of the other kind as
>the "fantasy" of people with mere book learning and "no real
>experience". Or we hear that the fruits of meditation are "mere
>imagination" whereas psychical sight is actual experience, and not
>equally-subjective and possibly hallucination, the visual
>equalivent to imagination!
Well, I can only speak for myself, Eldon. I have never
tried to deliberately induce a psychic experience, but I will admit
that somethimes they come upon me unaware.
My own feeling, as you know, is that all experience
is valid, and all experience tends to support and validate our
wolrdview. Any experience that can't be assimilated, must
either be ignored--a psychic disaster--or we have to adapt
our worldview--not an easy or pleasant experience either.
When Bjorn says that he has met Jesus, I believe him, albeit
I doubt that it was the same biblical personage that began
And I have never denigrated meditation, for which
I not only have high regard, but I consider it mandatory.
I also take Jung's position that there is no such thing as
"mere" imagination. Imagination is the mechanism that
makes all magical experiences (and all life is magical)
> Were it not for this *denial*
>of reality to non-psychic inner development, I think we'd have far
>less disagreements on theos-l.
Here you are obviously speaking from your own
perspective. I would say that the other side of the coin is also
true--if it were not for this *denial* of all psychic reality, I think
we'd have far less disagreements on theos-l.
I have never complained about the spiritual-intellectual
approach, and am a living example of how jnana-yoga can actually
work (at least to some extent, I hope). But when you tell people
to ignore psychism when it comes to them, I think that this is
wrong, albeit it is exactly G de P's own methodology. I simply
don't agree with G de P on this one. The story of Gopi Krishna
is an excellent example of what can happen to someone who
meditates and rouses Kundalini when unprepared for it. We
need to help people become prepared, to avoid this kind of
I suspect that less messages on the dangers of
psychism (which I don't deny per se, but feel are overrated), and
more on its mechanics and control, would also help end the
conflict on theos-l.
But we will never come together in any meaningful
way if we can't openly discuss any and all subjects. So, even
at the risk of flames, please don't feel that you can't write about
psychism on theos-l. Yes, your response is apt to be some
opposing viewpoints. But hey, thats what its all about.
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