Answering Greg and Martin
Aug 07, 1996 04:29 AM
Greg Hoskins comments on 8/2/96 on my earlier contribution:
>Suspension of (correct) belief does not strike me as wisdom. Which is not
>to say that healthy skepticism isn't good. For a little entertainment and to
>liven up your spiritual life a bit, try suspending your (now) disbelief and
give some >youthful consideration to the philosophy of theosophy, approaching
>with new eyes and a new understanding based on your years of experience. I
>find the philosophy only taking on more and deeper meanings.
May I congratulate Greg Hoskins for his wisdom in holding on to the
(correct) belief ? Thank you, Greg, for your concern that my spiritual life
needs livening up. I shall keep in mind that suspending disbelief is one way
of providing entertainment.
However, as I understand it right, my disbelief is shared by quite a number
of contributors to this disgest.
Incidentally, I am of the opinion that "belief" implies an emotional
attachment to a number of concepts. It holds the believer spell-bound and
prevents him from moving forward.
I was evicted in 1956 from the Pasadena (James A.Long) Theosophical Society
for posting a manifest to the Delegates of the National Sections. It is 8
pages long and heralds our presentday discussions. It beseeches the
leadership to return to the original aims of the Theosophical Society and
subject HPB's contributions to a further scrutiny. It was never answered and
all our Theosophical "friends" gave us a cold shoulder. It made me see what
all these high sounding "truths" were worth really. Many years later it made
me conceive my homepage: "On the psychology of spiritual movements"
(http://www.xs4all.nl/~wichm/psymove.html), although that is not aimed at
In the forty years that have passed I have come into contact with many
knowledgeable and spiritual people from different cultures during my stay
in the Far East and Europe which has broadened my outlook. Moreover I have
kept abreast of developments in many areas in those four decades. If all
that is is considered a step backwards, because I should have kept to
former outworn ideals, I bow my head.
KARMA. What I wrote 12th July did not differ much from my latest
contribution. Yet, herewith my original piece:
"I feel that we are too much tied up in our thinking to a supposedly
universal law of justice. Usually it is applied to human beings, whereas one
wonders about justice towards animals whose life, even in natural
surroundings is one of suffering (and delight) and there is faint hope that
they will be compensated, unless it is in the hereafter.
To me Karma implies that man's actions and thought ties him to a quality of
mental and spiritual environment, to a mechanism of mind. Each action
affirms that status quo or may push him over a threshold towards another
state he cannot free himself from. The bad Karma is the suffering to become
released from that plane, once one feels its prison-like structure. It means
creating a new mental/spiritual condition laboriously, always in danger of
falling, or being held back. It requires patience, intent, perseverance AND
can hardly be undertaken unless there is some inner stimulation.
In non-worldly conditions it is quality of mind that counts, that makes
oneself staying atuned to spheres of equal intensity. Karma is the way of
suffering to reach it. Good Karma is freewheeling on what one has reached.
But the state of Grace is always a balance on the proverbial razor's edge."
Paul commented that I should see "law' as G.de P. did. However, we are
concerned with what the originator of the Theosophical system HPB wrote:"We
believe firmly in what we call the "law of retribution', and in the absolute
justice and wisdom guiding this Law, or Karma" (Key to Theosophy p.110)
If Theosophists wish to adhere to the original enquiring spirit of before
they should be prepared to question and even throw overboard concepts that
have become dogma's like Karma and reincarnation. They should also direct
far more their attention to Spiritism, because in my opinion, it is far more
tied up with Theosophy and its communicators "The Masters" than they are
prepared to accept. They should not embrace it, though, but seek for clues
for instance in comparing teachings of the Mahatma's with similar
communications from other sources of channeling and ask themselves what is
the true nature of this phenomenon and how to access it (see my page The
presence phenomenon: http://www.xs4all.nl/~wichm/presence.html)
An enquiring mind should be prepared to lay all is pet-theories on the
block, including the concepts of soul, monad, atman, budhi, manas etc. All
of this is pure speculation, and leads one away from the real contact with
the spiritual. Philosophizing with the intellect on matters spiritual may
become an escape. I am quite sure that if we see in the end backwards we
shall perceive that we missed the point completely.
Finally, I owe a lot to the teachings I question now and I have a high
regard of Theosophists.
Incidentally, what is this linga sarina and shula sarina? Is it the same as
linga and sthula sarira?
I forgot whether Paul or Chuck wrote this, but I agree wholeheartedly:
5. Theosophy: A Religion or a Philosophy
The claim that Theosophy is not a religion creates two
problems. First, it "blurs the distinction between knowledge
and faith. Theosophy attempts to appear as reason, but its
central claims are not fact but belief. The existence of the
Masters, [ahem] karma, reincarnation, human brotherhood-- all
are religious conceptions that elicit faith but are not subject
to proof or disproof. By avoiding calling itself a religion,
Theosophy does not avoid basic its organization on religious
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