Re: science + religion = theosophy
Jun 28, 1996 12:48 PM
by alexis dolgorukii
At 02:07 AM 6/28/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Alexis: can you give some examples of that? I would like to check that.
Martin: I'd really like to suggest that your read the dam things and make up
your own mind. Also read "Letters of Mme..Blavatsky to A.P.Sinnett" and see
the resemblances. In addition I'd like to comment that the flavor of some of
those "Mahatma Letters" don't really match theosophical illusions about the
character of Adepts either. I'm reporting my personal reaction to many years
of study and reading. I have neither the time nor the inclination to go and
prepare a "term paper" on the subject for you.
>A> and lacking in real content that it is not simply
>that I consider them to be irrelevant but that I don't consider them to be
>valid. In other words I believe them to be not frauds, but not real either.
>I believe the HPB produced them and apported them whenever she needed
>particularly unarguable support in a particular goal of hers. If she could
>apport tea cups (and I believe she could) then this would be a really simple
>feat. Basically I also have to say that I don't find the "Mahatma Letters"
>particularly intellectually or ethically impressive. While I am very
>impressed by "Isis" and some of HPB's other writings, the Secret doctrine is
>just far too flawed a document to become part of any "core belief" of mine.
>But as you know I am planning a book on that particular subject.
>I guess you particularly mean Secret Doctrine vol.2 ?
>Where are the flaws in SD 1?
Well, that would be telling wouldn't it? My book is in process (very early
in process) and I am trying to find someone who has a couple of Doctorates
in Hard Sciences to write the scientific critique but the problem is finding
someone who accepts the possibility of paranormal facilities (and who is
willing to put his or her career on the line by being connected with
anything at all concerning theosophy. But I am getting there. Like the
Blavatsky Foundation, you'll just have to wait. But regarding the S.D. I'll
just repeat one quote from HPB. "If you can understand the Proem, you don't
need the book, and if you cannot understand the Proem, the book is useless".
By understand, I think she means "get it". But I will tell you this, I
regard both Volumes I & II to be hopelessly flawed, and Volume III to be
largely a forgery. Or at least I hope it's a forgery because she says things
there that make one wonder about her sanity. One instance: In Volume II HPB
makes the statement that "all Roman Catholic Priests" are Black Magicians. I
think that's an adequate reason to hope it's a forgery. The thing I believe
is that whether you are dealing with her Cosmology or her Anthropology it's
all "fairy Tales".
>M>The point is, the 'process' theosophists are sorely lacking in arguments
>>*or* just not presenting them (I'll except Jerry Schueler with whom
>>I've had interesting discussions on chaos, karma, etc. - but even
>>chaos can fit into the framework of theosophical teachings about conflict
>>of wills and Shiva/Vishnu/Brahma aspects of the cosmos)
>A>I would have supposed by now that you would know that I, at least, consider
>discussions on "Karma", "Skandhas", "Devachan", Nirmanakaya Buddhas" and
>"Shiva?Vishnu?Brahma" to be aspects of the Buddhist and Hindu religions and
>as such perhaps interesting in a 'Second Object" comparative religion sense,
>but I don't believe them to be intrinsic to small "t" theosophy of what I
>call "Process theosophy".
> There are other small "t" theosophists who may think differently,
>I've heard relatively little from them (except Jerry Schueler).
>Remember, this posting is directed to the entire list.
I think I've already expressed the idea that each and every "Process
Theosophist" has a personal and individual view on almost every subject, we
are,none of us, obliged to agree with each other or anyone else. We run a
gamut from Jerry S. who has a strong belief in certain Buddhist-Vedic
speculative cosmology to me who doesn't believe in any of it.That's what
makes it "theosophical" and it's entirely contradictory to any kind of "core
doctrine" policy. So actually Martin you'll have to do your questioning to
each "small "t" theosophist individually. Have fun!
>A>If you define our discussion in terms of an a
>priori acceptance of those religious aspects, then how can we have a
>discussion when I, at least (I can't speak for others) reject the religious
>approach to theosophy absolutely?
>Alexis: Buddhism is not a religion, in the strict sense of the word.
> Nor is Hindu philosophy. There are interesting philosophical
> notions involved which you dismiss here.
Martin: Buddhism is a religion in any sense of the term, it may not have a
Pope or a Vatican but it has their equivalents, but none the less it IS a
religion. So too is Brahmanism, which has little if anything to do with
Vedic Philosophy. "Core Theosophy" as it exists today is a compendium of
both those religious beliefs. I reject them. Now as to "interesting
philosophical notions". They may be interesting to you, they do not interest
me and so I "dismiss" them.
>A>What I see you as doing here is reversing the old metaphysical axiom of
>Hermes Trismegistus and making it "As below, so above". As I see it your
>heartbeat and respiratory cycle and male-female and day-night and life-death
>are all physical plane phenomena and have absolutely no correlation within
>the greater and totally non-physical realities. Sure cycles and duality
>abound in nature, but nature is physical and the greater reality is NOT!
> The doctrine of cycles applies equally well to physical phenomena, so I
>haven't reversed anything. Just applied the law of cycles to the physical
>that's all and there's *nothing* wrong with that!
>BTW, I don't separate the realms of nature in an *absolute* sense, they
>all are part and parcel of a greater whole.
I repeat what I said above: Cycles apply clearly in the physical levels of
the realities, they do NOT apply in the non-physical realms. You ignored
what I said above exactly as if I hadn't said it.
>A>That kind of thinking, and imaging of non-physicality by projecting physical
>phenomena onto it, is entirely solipsistic and anthropocentric. As far as I
>am concerned, in post-physical reality dualism doesn't exist.
> Your above remark doesn't apply in this example as I explained above.
But you didn't explain anything, you simply re-stated what is to me a
totally invalid conception.
>M>Accepting the working hypothesis that there is One Life that is the basis
>>for all, and that all is part and parcel of the Universal Soul implies,
>>when we accept the validity of applying analogy, that this Soul manifests
>>periodically, just as everything in (visible) nature manifests periodically.
>>Accepting this working hypothesis implies more, but I'll leave it with
>>this example. Plato's ~Phaedo~ is excellent stuff in this regard.
>A>But when one views that all that exists is part and parcel of the Unified
>Field of Energy-Intelligence it comes our differently.
> What do you mean? Please elaborate.
My book will be out in January (I hope) buy one and read it, I elaborate the
hell out of these positions in it.
>>Another intricate topic is that of structure-function-order in the universe.
>>There are people on this list, myself included, who have some experiences
>>of seeing angels (not merely devas),elementals etc.
>A>Well as a Shaman, I've certainly had my share of experiences of that kind.
>BUT I prefer to call them energy or light beings, and to differentiate them
>by their energy levels rather than some imaginary religious hierarchy.
> This so-called 'imaginary' religious hierarchy has many names
> and forms and these beings can equally well be called light beings.
> That's just another label. As to the word 'hierarchy': it has many bad
> connotations, so if you prefer energy levels, I would go along with that
> as well.
>Shaman, I find the "(not merely devas)" aside to be a little egotistical.
>What do you mean by it? I find a physical person trying to socially grade
>non-physical centers-of-consciousness just a hair pretentious.
> That has nothing to do with it. I was thinking about the so-called
> lower devas (Point Loma line has other concept than TSA about devas)
> in contrast to Guardian Angel. But you can forget about that remark,
> it leads us nowhere.
It may lead us nowhere, but it is still, in my opinion "pretentious", In any
case, I am no more impressed by the "Point Loma Line" than I am by the TSA
>M>Now, what does this mean? When we see beings from certain planes/spheres
>>of life what can we imply? That there is more to nature than what is visible
>>to our ordinary senses. But what is it all about? Many acknowledge the
>>existence of other planes/spheres of life. So, there is some *structure*
>>or *order* there, how else could it function? Nobody on this list has
>>drawn publicly (on this list) any conclusions about that, as far as I know.
>Martin: <snip> It seems
>to me though that it is important not to impose physical level only notions
>of things like "order and structure" on a reality to which physicality is
> Let me ask you a question: do you include psyche in your physical
What definition are you using for "psyche"? In Greek it means "soul" but
what do YOU mean?
>M>This is to my *amazement*. How on earth (heaven, hell) can there be no
>>structure in this universe. And if my point is acknowledged, why not
>>discuss some of the implications of this??
>Martin: Does the "structure" and reality of the non-physical universe have
>to conform to the physical perceptions of a human being? No it doesn't.
> It doesn't have to conform to the *physical* perceptions of man.
>A>Human Beings are of a really low order of reality, their views of the
>greater reality are entirely limited by their lesser reality.
> Never heard of the faculty of buddhi?
>My point is that unlike you seem to think, there *are* human beings
>who have developed such an understanding of life that their perception
>of the greater reality is enormous in comparison to what we perceive.
>I submit to disregard the wisdom of the ages is sheer foolishness.
Oh Martin, when are you ever going to realize, and act on it, that other
people might just possibly know anything at all. Yes, I've heard of the
"faculty of Buddhi".....the thing that is beginning to worry me is that I am
beginning to be afraid that you think you've got it! One thing I am sure of
and that is that the people who created "Core Theosophy" don't really show
too much evidence of it. If, that is, it exists in other than fertile
>A>My primary complaint about "Core Theosophy" is that it tries to impose human
>conceptions of order and structure on a reality to which those things may
>very well be entirely irrelevant.
> Could be, we have to be careful indeed. Yet it is not too difficult
>to perceive structure and order in one's own mind (psyche, thinking faculty,
>character). The psyche has *definitely* a sphere of its own, beyond mere
It's easily possible to perceive order and structure in one's own life and
thoughts but NOT in one's "mind". What "psyche" has, or may have, depends
entirely on one's definition of it.
>M>To summarize, I see a lot of groaning on this list, but I am downright
>>*amazed* that none of the conclusions such as I did are drawn by
>>'process' theosophists. This is no flame of course, but a serious
>>attempt to evoke some sensible response from those who consider themselves
>>as 'too smart to believe in any of this core theosophy nonsense'
>>Arguments and alternatives, please !
>A>Martin the trouble is that I somehow feel, especially after reading that
>last paragraph that you don't take either us (seriously)
> I take each person seriously in principle
What does that mean?
>A> or our arguments seriously.
> But there are hardly any arguments or strong evidence for your
>position(s) presented, that's my point!!
That statement is entirely untrue, that is it's a falsehood. Perhaps it
wouldn't have been so false if you had said "In my opinion". There have been
arguments presented but they contradict the "Point Loma Line" ergo your
"line" and so are no arguments at all. So far Martin all you have presented
in return is Orthodox Core Theosophy, adamantly and in very strong terms.
But that doesn't actually negate any arguments against those "lines" it just
rejects them. You know Martin, I've spent the last 46 years out "on the
streets" and "on the barricades" arguing with Fundamentalist Christians
about things like racism and bigotry (perhaps it has effected my style, in
that I am unused to parlor arguing) but, in a much nicer and more polite
way, you are ignoring what I have to say just as completely as they do/did.
>view of our new determination to try to keep things amicable on the list,
>I'd like to ask you to retract that "Too smart to believe in any of this
>core theosophy nonsense" remark. It's irrelevant to our discussion and
>hardly either an "argument and alternative".
> First of all: my remark is between quotes and is not intended
>as an insult, but rather as a graphic description of how many on this list
>perceive the attitude of especially you (some are too scared to come out
>of their lurking position or decided to unsubscribe) and maybe a couple
>of others. Now, if my remark hurt your feelings, I've no problem in
>retracting it. The problem is, however, that the fear of getting flamed
>or the fear of unproductive quarrels will not disappear when I retract
>my remark (which I see not without any substance to it however).
>Your anger has caused so much damage that it will be a long time before
>many people will feel safe on this list. I mean feel safe to engage
>in dialogue. Therefore I ask you to be tactful to others if you disagree
Martin: In English/American usage putting a remark like that between
quotation marks intensifies its intent to insult. I will be just as
"tactful" as you are, and you, my friend, are no more tactful than I. I do
think you are less honest however. Because when I "flame" someone, I do not
pretend it's not a flame. But be that as it may. If I irritate you, what
would Blavatsky have done? I'm 100% more tactful than she was.
>A>It makes you sound defensive and as a psychologist you should know that is
> Actually I'm a bit in the offense, Alexis. I would really
>like to see some discussions about what's exactly wrong with the seven
>jewels. So far I've not seen one single valid argument.
Martin, with all due respect I'd like to say that I have seen several, but I
do believe that someone could send you 700 pages of absolute refutation and
you'd still whine that "I've not seen a single valid argument". If you won't
accept any arguments as valid, and it appears to me you won't, how can you
possibly see "one single valid argument"? I don't think you really WANT
argument, I think you want acquiescence! You appear to view "Core Theosophy"
as a "revealed truth", I view it as a highly speculative hypothesis. I am
really beginning to wonder if there is any real foundation that exists for
discussion (as opposed to argument).
>M>Lastly I want to say that I regard the division of theosophists
>>into two kind of categories as a very simplistic one. It may have
>>some value, but I know a lot of people who just study Theosophical
>>teachings very seriously and try to gain some understanding of these,
>>try to correlate these with their experiences. They would not like
>>to be called 'religious adherents' regarding Theosophy. Nor do I.
>>In fact, I consider this labeling as a kind of *insult* to these people
>>who try to think for themselves.
>Martin: You may thank the administrations at Adyar, and of the TSA, and the
>uLT and the Pasadena Society for that "division" it's an official
>theosophical thing. It was meant to cast people who REALLY think for
>themselves out into "outer darkness" and I suppose out of "Theosophy" as
> I read your account of what happened regarding Joy Mills.
>It's a shame.
>A> No offense meant but I do not see parroting someone like G de P's
>opinions (or Leadbeaters, or even Blavatsky's) as thinking for one's self. I
>think it very important to keep in mind that all those books represent
>merely the opinions of their writers, it's when people treat those opinions
>as "received truth" or "Gospel" that I begin to think of those people as
> This is a delicate point. I have a total other view than you
>on this. One can present teachings which one has found to be valuable
>and reliable and which one has verified partly for oneself to others,
>not in the sense of a religion, but in the sense of material that can
>be useful for other seekers to investigate and validate. The fact
>that humans can develop the faculty of discrimination (a must for spiritual
>seekers)is crucial here. Some 'finger pointing to the path' is useful
>in my opinion. Needless for all to reinvent the wheel, we can profit
>from experiences of others although we have to do the 'Great Work' ourselves.
>BTW, do you believe in the idea of initiations or is it all nonsense to you?
AS it is presented in "Core Theosophy", especially in Leadbeater's views of
the subject, I believe it ("Initiations") to be entirely nonsense. My view
on the reality of the subject (of course personal view) is that as each
individual is a "force-field" of energy, and "initiation" is simply a
"rheostat adjustment", in that the oscillation rate of the sine curves of
the particle carrier wave that sustains the energy particles which
differentiate the individual nexus or force-field are raised as appropriate
to that force-fields development. Not nearly so much room for "ego-tripping"
in that perception is there? Now compare it with the "Good Bishop's" version
(or in fact any "Core Doctrinal" version)..
>A> I think this is one of those very frequent occasions when we have
>to say "If the shoe fits...wear it".
> Yes, *if* the shoe fits. And this proverb applies to all
>in some sense.
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