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Re: TS Toga

Jul 24, 1996 08:55 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Frank J. Dyer:
> Regarding the discussion of whether the Society has a yoga, I recall a quote
> from HPB (the exact source escapes me, but perhaps some of the more scholarly
> list members will be able to supply it) to the effect that Theosophy itself is a
> form of karma yoga blended with jnana yoga. IOW, the Society's emphasis on right
> action is virtually identical to karma yoga (see Vivekananda's book on the
> subject, for example) and the study of Theosophy leads to jnana yoga type
> realizations.

In principle, I agree, but would like to see more practical
emphasis on where people can start.  Theosophy offers something
that is *sorta like* yoga, and provides a source of values and
ideas that are helpful-- but something is missing.
> Perhaps the party who inquired about particular methods was placing an undue
> emphasis on the induction of trance or samadhi states.

Can't comment on someone else's motivation, but in my case it
isn't trance states that I felt missing in Theosophy and found
elsewhere.  Instead, it's a holistic kind of guidance that
suggests practices for the physical body, mind and emotions and
comes from a source that conveys a sense of caring about one's
well-being and growth.  I get that from the Cayce material, but
not from most Theosophical writings.

 My view of the effect of
> studying Theosophy is that it produces significant change in the entire
> constitution of the individual over a very long term period, similar to some of
> the metaphors contained in the Dhammapada regarding long term change.

My observation is that Theosophy actually produces some fairly
rapid changes, precisely those you note below:

> acquires a sense of what P.D. Ouspensky calls "scale", an awareness of the
> vastness of the processes that we are involved with and of the extreme
> limitations associated with the confinement of consciousness to a physical
> vehicle. With this comes a relaxed attitude toward time. We are no longer
> frustrated at not seeing dramatic results within six months...a year...a life.
> There is a certainty that we are within the sphere of influence of a profound
> and timeless process of development with which we now consciously choose to
> cooperate.

This is a good statement of the sense of wonder one feels when
first discovering and studying Theosophy.  Inspiration and
consolation it provides in abundance.  But when it comes to the
level of applying what we know, Theosophy speaks in
generalities.  Sometimes specifics are necessary, and I hope
that the societies and their publications come to recognize
this rather than remain satisfied with lofty abstractions.


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