Reply to Murray S.
Sep 02, 1996 10:00 AM
by Keith Price
So when we think of killing out desires, do we mean ALL of these? If so,
we'd knock the motivation for the Bodhisattva vow out of the running, for
one. There's clearly a vast spectrum of kinds of desire. Some are negative,
dark small and destructive, and others are positive, light-filled,
wide-ranging and nurturing in their effect.
Keith: There is something very basic about desire as MOVEMENT. Someone pointed
out that HPB toppled the idea of anthropomorphic personal type gods and
substituted MOVEMENT itself as the primary manifestation of the NON-Movement of
unmanifest Perfection. Karma is a action and reaction. An impersonal pendulum
that swings first to the left and then to the right seeking always to rest in
the center. Thus to kill our desire would mean no movement. There is a term
"waveless" or motionless as avichi nirvana. Nirvana must be Vichi Nirnana - a
wave blown our yet in perfect suspension (perhaps). As we become evolutionary
surfers :) so to speak, we ride the wave of desires, thoughts, intutions,
sensations. Addiction is be carried under the waves, wiping out, so to speak.
Transcendence is still riding the waves on all seven level, but getting the
balance from the higher(the big Kahuna, the Hawain shaman within, right Liesel
:)) rather than the lower (trying to impress our inner Frankie and Annette on
the beach blanket) I have just about worn the analogy out! Kawabunga!
Another factor is, who or what is doing the desiring? Psychogenesis has a
very powerful explanatory or at least descriptive value, here. Your fragment
of the universal consciousness is temporarily trapped in states such as "I
really want a cigarette", while they last. On the other hand, the focal
point of "your" consciousness can shift and widen immeasurably when you are
resting in a beautiful natural environment and begin to feel at peace, and
one with, all that is around you. Likewise with meditation.
This trapping is typical of addiction in all its forms, even to little
things which are normally never called addiction, and are what I believe the
word "attachment" is referring to, in yogic and other texts.
I think that this a very, very crucial point for me. It seems that there is
talk about being trapped even further in matter through addictions. Alcoholics
and sex addicts particularly get trapped in the astral plane in life and after
death and seek to posses others, because they are yoked (yoga) to the lower
bodies and states. The jivamukti is yoked to the higher and thus release
himself quickly to the heaven like realms (lokas) after death. And this becomes
not a conscious will, but an unconscious response after long periods of
addiction. Thus I think that these ideas are crucial . Recovery and growth on
the path take long periods of reeducating the lower bodies that they are not the
center and ruler of the whole seven ring circus, so to speak.
Now, what about "killing"? Surely there are skilful means for ending our
thralldom, and they must be underpinned by love taken in a wide sense, ie a
deep understanding of the life-manifestations that make up a human being,
coupled with a life-nurturing attitude and feeling. This is not the same
thing as pandering to all the impulses that might arise, but is a healing,
unifying, harmonising thing. If it seems to come from outside yourself, like
grace, as it often does in the beginning, that's OK; it's just a matter of
where the centre of your awareness or point of identification is for the
Many experience powerful transformational experiences as sudden freely given
enlightenment and renewal, as a state of Grace-- a la Saul's Road to Damascus
and Bill Wilson's spiritual experience. However there seemed to be long periods
of wandering in the wilderness and visiting Babylon, so to speak.
These means might need to include some very practical things such as taking
part in an anger-management support group, or therapy to modify abusive
behaviour patterns, because it seems that addictions and ingrained
destructive patterns involve the most material aspects of our makeup. An
example is the way that drugs alter brain cell receptor sites so that we
physically crave the drug. Consciousness, or the I focus, can be imagined as
being embedded in the complex of feelings, behaviours and attitudes that are
this multi-level trap or funnel that we can't get out of for the time being.
In theosophical terms, addiction structures manifest at physical, etheric,
astral and mental levels. I'm generalising here, and it would be interesting
to go into this in more depth.
After the intial enlightenment and turning around there seems to be a lot of
hard work in getting back these unitive states and making them practical in our
There are other ways we can mobilise energy within ourselves, or invoke it
from "above", in our search for emancipation. And, having made a case for
love above, I have to say there ARE times when a strong "no" or current of
applied energy, are just the right thing to dissipate a recalcitrant
formation, in yourself or in your children. This isn't necessarily killing
anything, or even doing violence, but rather rearrangement and
transmutation, matching the amount of energy to the resistance.
Have pity on the poor stuff you are made of! It could be quite a release for
the elemental substance in your vehicles from pathological structures and
states that you have subscribed to for years, if not lives, as well as for
So I'm not saying to love yourself in the usual meaning of that phrase, but
rather something more all-encompassing and life-affirming.
Exactly! The addictions are an attempt to love ourselves in a low selfish way.
The karma generated from this can be so intense that one is forced to look at
the process very seriously with a I to killing out the pathological
self-destructive behavior that was one felt as nourishing (food and relationship
addictions are other examples) To love oneself is to be in healthy relationship
with others and Higher Power and the Group. Yet we are only human through it
all and I alway fall short of the mark (perfection) but I always have an
opportunith to pick myself up and try again (progress). We still carry around
these lower bodies while we are in incarnation and I must deal with it on a
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