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Re:Answering Greg and Martin

Aug 10, 1996 03:06 PM
by Martin_Euser

Michael>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 would plead for a discrimination between blind belief and
a reasoned belief. The latter is based on hypotheses, which can be tested
in one's life experience and may lead to rejecting or reformulating
of one or more of these hypotheses .
You are probably aware of the fact that the materialistic view of life is
also a (often) blind belief. People who say that they have no belief,
also have a belief, but they don't realize it. That belief probably
runs like this: I believe what my senses and brain-functions show me
of this world. The pit here is that everybody attributes truth to
his or her filtered sense-impressions (perception of the world) and thinks that
it is reality itself which is perceived..

Michael>I was evicted in 1956 from the Pasadena (James A.Long) Theosophical
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.

	Aren't you confounding "truths" with your Theosophical friends'
*perceived* "truths"? That's an enormous difference and I would like
to distinguish between these two.

Many years later it made
me conceive my homepage: "On the psychology of spiritual movements"
(, although that is not aimed at
the TS.

	I've read it and it is a good piece of work IMO.

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.

	I like that definition and have used this idea implicitly
(sometimes explicitly) in an article of mine, although not using precisely
these words.

Michael> Each action
affirms that status quo or may push him over a threshold towards another
state he cannot free himself from.

	This is true in my experience. Sometimes we cross a "ring-pass-not",
entering a new sphere of thought and action.

Michael>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.

	It may be a two-way process: a) the aspiration and perseverance
of the individual and b) the help from within, by beings from Spiritual

Michael>In non-worldly conditions it is quality of mind that counts, that
makes oneself staying atuned to spheres of equal intensity.

	Quality of mind counts also in worldly conditions. The business
people and non-profit organizations are beginning to understand that
spiritual management (human resources) is an important factor nowadays.

Michael> Karma is the
way of suffering to reach it. Good Karma is freewheeling on what one has
But the state of Grace is always a balance on the proverbial razor's edge."
Paul commented that I should see "law' as 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)

	Paul commented that? I think I have made that comment.
But I didn't use the terms "you should". G de P's view appeals to me
in this respect. You seem to take Blavatsky's words literally, which
I don't do. Blavatsky says something more interesting for me in the Key
to Theosophy, where she states that it is not so much the personality that
is responsible for its action as the being behind the personality (the
originator of
the personality). That makes sense to me. You can't blame a hungry child
in a Third World country for its condition. That would be a preposterous
idea IMO!
I believe in the notion of skandhas, which seem necessary to explain
the formation of character (at birth a baby already has its own character,
which can be observed if you take a close look, tune in to
the baby's soul). The skandhas have everything to do with karma, with
the thoughtpattern, emotional pattern etc. of a being.

Michael>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.

	Well, maybe these concepts are not being understood?

Michael>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:

	It can be very enriching to one's understanding to study other
teachings, channeled or not.

Michael>An enquiring mind should be prepared to lay all is pet-theories on
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.

	These concepts are just pointers to deeper layers within the human
being. That's all.

Michael> 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.

	This is a well-known (?) trap. It can be fruitful to one's
understanding to study T/theosophy, but it is not a substitute
for experience. Jerry Schueler quoted Jung saying: Theosophy is lazy
thinking. Well, it needn't be so, of course, but it sometimes or maybe
more often turns out that way. It is very convenient to think that
one knows all when one has only *read about* things.

Michael>Finally, I owe a lot to the teachings I question now and I have
a high regard of Theosophists.
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.

	I see these concepts as hypotheses which can be tested
in one's life, like I said before. Theosophy is a spiritual philosophy
of life for me and each of its contentions can be tested, not by scientific
methods (such as these are now) but in and by one's own consciousness
and that is one aspect of 'treading the Path', which one can see as
When we blindly belief the tenets, then it has become a religion for us.


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