Re: Owls and Vultures (to Eldon)
Jun 08, 1996 12:20 PM
by Jerry Schueler
>Reading and studying *by itself* will eventually have
>to end, as you say. But it does not stop, it's just
>that there are other changes going on in a student,
>other inner processes that are engaged.
Agreed. As far as I know, everyone on theos-l
still loves to read. Speaking for myself, my reading was
compulsive-obsessive. Now it is just for enjoyment.
>As a general rule, I'd expect the refinement and development
>of the mind to continue along both intellectual and
Agreed. I discovered that having a mystical
experience was just the first step of a long journey. I
was amazed to discover the recent statistics that 30
to 40 percent of Americans have had a mystical experience.
In some cases it is pathological because they don't
understand it. Apparently there are some lurkers on
theos-l who have had this, but don't want to admit it.
It turns out that most people don't like to talk about
such things (1/3 of everyone who comes close to death,
for example, will have a near-death-experience) because
few will understand it (doctors least of all). Psychologists
are only now realizing have prevalent spiritual
experiences really are.
> The ordinary process of thinking about things is not enough.
>This doesn't mean, though, that the thinking process
>isn't useful in understanding and explaining the
>insights that may come in a flash. The mind is still
>useful in the process of finding truth.
The human mind is necessary in order
to assimilate the experience into our worldview. The
assimilation of a spiritual experience into our worldview
is absolutely essential in order to maintain sanity. This
is the main reason I like universe models--they structure
spiritual experiences in a way that the mind can
> The mind does not stand, I think, in the
>way of accessing Atman or Buddhi. We don't "bypass"
>the mind, but rather learn to end some of its maya
>creating, reality-slaying activities.
In a sense, the ordinary mind is Buddha. In
another sense, the ordinary mind is the slayer of the
real. Bypassing the mind is a valid way of thinking
of the process, because all universe models show
the higher planes "above" the mental plane or manas.
Thus, to go above the mental plane, we must go above
the mind. Now obviously this is a metaphor for what
is really going on. However, such "maps" or models
are necessary because what is really going on is
too hard for the human mind to grasp otherwise.
I agree that we " end some of its maya creating, reality-
slaying activities" in the sense that Buddhism would
have us remove the dust from a mirror (the normal
mind being likened to a dust-covered mirror).
>At normal temperatures, I'm not sure if space (of this
>plane) is completely filled with particles.
No, not with "normal" particles, but with
virtual particles and what has been called the quantum
>But space is not a "place" nor a "container" as we may
>think of it in the west. It is more like being-ness
>itself. External things are created, moment-by-moment,
>by the "space" behind them.
I am not familiar with the Space=Beness equation.
I have always preferred to think of Space as one side of a
duality--the other being Motion. I think of Beness as a word
used to define nonduality, and thus is non-dual. Another
name for Motion is consciousness-center. So we get the
and so on...
>It would be possible to write about them at times, but sometimes
>it deals with intangibles and may seem somewhat mystical...
If you are going to bypass the psychic realms and
go directly to the spiritual, then we would expect "intangibles"
and something mystical. This should not be a problem, but
rather a given.
> As for myself, I feel more prepared to
>discuss the approach in general terms, talking about what it is
>and offering it as useful ideas to consider.
Sounds to me like this would make a great thread.
> And I'd agree that there
>sometimes come bifurcation points in life where one's old
>order ends and one is subject to new cycles ... But the
>flowering of the mind continues, and is never put aside. It
>just becomes a tool for expression yet higher experiences.
Agreed. Generally this "flowering" takes the form
of creativity--writing, poetry, art, or such.
>And when I talk about the spiritual-intellectual approach,
>I'm talking about these higher experiences, this *something*
>that comes after making breakthroughs and moving beyond a
>brain-mind reading of the literal writings of Theosophy.
If you mean the intellectual bifurcating into the spiritual,
then I agree. This is the real goal of jnana-yoga.
> ...We have two people with the same
>"experience", but entirely different inner states. It's the
>inner states, I'd say, that the true difference is to be found.
No question about it.
> ...This can be
>done *inside*; we don't have to externally become "wolves"
>and outcasts in society.
No, but it does happen that way sometimes.
> I've never denied
>psychic reality, just, in many cases, it's objectivity. I'd
>consider it as subjective in the same sense as dreams are,
>with experiences arising out of one's own elementals, out of
>the contents of one's own psyche, and not as a direct line to
>truth nor proof that one has "real experience" and is worthy
>of guru status.
Psychism is like dreaming in that both take place
on the same astral and mental planes, and use the same
sensory equipment. Our psyche already has within it the
highest truth (depending on how we define psyche, I suppose)
and this can be expressed in both psychism and dreams. In
this you and I differ. However, I agree that most psychism lacks
any spiritual quality. I don't think anyone will disagree with
you that a psychic experience doesn't make us a guru. The
"proof" about "real experience" has to do with synchronicity in
that it depends on whether the information we learn is meaningful
to us or not. Psychic data that are meaningful are "real" indeed.
I say this because I believe that reality is physical, psychological,
and spiritual. You seem to be ruling out the whole realm of the
psychological as somehow unreal.
>Purucker's statements regarding down playing the psychic were
>directed to esoteric students, to people serious about treading
>the path, and with some sign that they were actually serious
>about doing it.
Judge discovered something interesting about
"serious" American occultists--they are not terribly good
at it. He wrote:
"experience has shown two things:
(a) that the members as a whole are not advanced enough
to be able to quickly grasp the Instructions so far given out
by H.P.B., whether studying alone or in Groups, and
(b) That all need encouragement and assistance from
others who have been engaged in theosophical studies."
(E of the O, Vol III, p, 311)
In other words, he found that his average students
were not able to understand the teachings. Is it any
wonder, then, that he (and Purucker) felt the need to
keep warning people about psychism? From what I
have seen on theos-l, most are a cut above Judge's
students (Judge would be proud, I think). So, it is
doubtful if his warnings are still applicable.
>The only *serious* danger that I'd always tend to warn people
>against would be any attempt to do things with kundalini.
What can I say? I practiced with Kundalini
before coming into Theosophy.
> But sustained negativity, over an extended
>period of time, is like any other type of abuse. Eventually
>a battered partner needs to get out of a negative relationship.
>I suspect that some subscribers have caught on to this quicker
>than most, and have quickly departed with few scars to show
>for the experience. This is one of the reasons that I think
>we've had such a high turnover in subscribers ...
Agreed. Lets try to get on with it.
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