Re: What's next in the movement
Aug 01, 1996 01:05 PM
by Jerry Schueler
>I'm afraid you get to trump me in this little side thread--since I do not yet
>have enough inner certainty about the "devachan" to even say that it exists,
>much less to say anything about what one is able to view or not view there
>without a brain.
Didn't mean to trump you, Richard. But my inner certainty
here is pretty high. I equate the Theosophical devachan with the
Tibetan bardo, and have found the teachings to be very similar. They
also dovetail closely with my own experiences, and so, while not
100%, my certainty here could be called "reasonably high." When
the brain goes, we lose the ability to think logically (thus the illogic
of most dreams), but sounds and images are still with us. They
are automatic or spontaneous and thus could be called karmic.
> Would the image itself ~be~ the state of consciousness? Well,
> I suppose in a certain sense you could think of it that way if you
Lets just say that the image expresses our state of conscious.
It is one of many possible manifestations of it.
>what about if you were sated, just having finished eating five gallons of the
>stuff, and then formed the same image? What "state of consciousness" would
>the image be now? Wouldn't it just be a neutral "epi-phenomenon" or just
>plain "phenomenon" produced by the physical brain?
Obviously the "state of consciousness" is more than just the
image. Its accompanying emotional tone is also a factor. The same image
can be charged with different affects--either attractive or repulsion, or
(neutral). And, I am not at all certain that the brain "produces" any phenomena
at all, in the sense that thoughts and images are fed by the brain, but are
not necessarily produced by it. What if thoughts are expressions of images,
and that images or signs are expressions of symbols, which in turn are
expressions of eternal and universal archetypal realities? The brain, if such
an assumption is granted, would then only be a perceiver, not a creator.
In other words, what if the mind is only a device that consciousness uses
to perceive pre-existing thoughts and emotions at the kama-manas level?
What if the body is only a device that consciousness uses to perceive
>No, if it were not for the devachan trump card, I would stick to my guns and
>say that inner images do not exist independent of, and are not able to be
>perceived in the absence of, the physical brain and that particular states of
>consciousness are not necessarily associated with any "quality" or "content"
This appears to be a very materialistic view, and is even
against Jungian thought not to mention Theosophical insight. The neonate,
for example, sees images very well with only a very undeveloped brain. All
animals see, and respond, to inner imagery, many with relatively undeveloped
brains. There is scientific speculation that even the fetus dreams and is
affected by its mother's images. People with brain damage of any and every
degree still see, and respond to, images. People pronounced brain dead
and then revived sometimes report near-death experiences filled with
I have a high certainty that the one thing we do take with us
after death is our images. Perhaps this is because I see the entire
universe as a manifestation of duality. Because of this perception,
I see a subject and object relationship existing from the very highest
cosmic planes. I have also detected significant content differences
at each level of imagery as consciousness descends into time, space,
and form. I can have a dream, for example, which may or may not contain
emotional content. If so, I can reasonable assume I am somewhere
on the astral plane. If not, I can reasonable assume I am somewhere
on the mental plane. So far, this has been a pretty good litmus test.
>(Also, it is hard for me to think that Platonic archetypes--e.g., the
>"general picture" of a chair--really qualify as "images" since they do not
>have the "particularity" necessary to "view" them in any way. On second
>thought . . . perhaps that is the basis for our seeming disagreement:
> ~viewing~ images vs. ~holding~ archetypes. Who knows?)
I agree that an archetypal symbol is not an image per se.
Rather, they are the sources of all images. We see an image, but
it is coming to our consciousness from the symbol of an unconscious
archetype. In former times we would have said that one of the gods
or goddesses was talking to us, or that God sent us an omen. When
we see an image or sign, we usually understand what it means. When
we see a symbol, we have an intuitive feeling about it, but find it
difficult to adequately put the meaning into words. In dreams we
often see symbols directly. When we do so, we recall them after
waking because they seem meaningful to us somehow.
>Yes, I might even stick to my guns to the extent of admitting that in some
>ways I am not usympathetic with Rudolph Steiner's position that only the
>lower order of mystic is communicated with by means of visual forms, while
>the higher mystic apprehends Reality without any symbolic disguises whatever.
>. . .
I agree with this if we accept that "lower mystic" addresses
the lower 4 cosmic planes, and that "higher mystic" addresses the
highest 3. The borderline between the two, of course, is the Abyss,
and crossing over this puppy is what separates the lower mystic
or Chela from the higher mystic or Adept.
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