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VOS/ascii text

Jul 25, 1996 05:13 PM
by Jim Meier

re: the posting on VOS on theos-roots:
Back on 22 July, John Mead posted the following on theos-l:
to retrieve VOS in acsii, send an e-mail message to
containing the lines,

get theos-l vos.txt
get theos-l vosglos.txt

the text and the glossary will then be sent to you in e-mail.
peace -
john e. mead

Hi Keith:

Dharana -- one of the more valid (imo) criticisms of Theosophy is this
tendency so many of us have to use high-falootin' Sanskrit terms (Senzar,
whatever) when plain English would do just as well, communicate more clearly
and in fact do everything better except that subtle feeding of the ego of
the "I know Sanskrit and you don't" poster.  

Except, when it comes to states of consciousness, we don't really have
English terms to associate with the concepts... even reading "modern"
psychology texts requires a glossary: "cognitive invariant" doesn't really
mean anything, either, except to a specialist in Jungian theory (or somebody
who happens to be reading an article about it, like myself).  In the West,
we are struggling to develop a vocabulary that already exists in Eastern
philosophy.  I think the Western contribution is going to prove just as
valid (if not more so) in the long run, but in the meantime we have to work
around the limitations of our language, our experience, our whole belief
structure about the nature of consciousness and the means and mechanisms of
changing/expanding it.  

Dharana is concentration.  Sustained concentration (dharana) is meditation
(dhyana).  That's verse 2 of Book 3 of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and VOS is
one of those links between theosophy (or at least, HPB) and raja-yoga.
Vivekananda traces the path of
concentration/meditation/samadhi-enlightenment as a matter of sequential
control of the mind.  He gets pretty specific, which I'm not so sure about,
but all commentators on Patanjali's terms seem to agree on the *time*
element as the difference between concentration and meditation.  Without
concentration, there can be no meditation (or, sustained concentration).
VOS starts off with the requirement of sustained concentration as the
essential element.

I think it will be interesting to read Kim's promised glossary expansion,
and I'm especially looking forward to seeing if any of the "mystical" branch
of the TS/theos-l join in on this VOS discussion, for surely one of the more
misunderstood writings of HPB occurs on the opening page: after starting the
first paragraph with the necessity of meditation and mental control, it
continues with "The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.  Let the Disciple
slay the Slayer."  



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