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A.C., Duality and Discrimination

Oct 07, 1996 08:02 PM
by Jim Meier

Discrimination brings unfailing awareness of the distinction between the
Self and the not-self.
                                      Sutras, II.26 (IKTainmi, trans)

On 10/06, Jerry S. wrote (in discussing Crowley) that "to judge another
person in this manner [note: as a black magician] is not only wrong, but
foolish... Everyone... has both good and bad in them... To think that there
is a White=Right Road and a Black=Wrong Road is childish and the kind of
dualistic thinking that I find so objectionable in Christianity."  He ended
his post with the comment that those who know Good from Evil keep Evil alive.

While I generally share Jerry's views on non-duality (he and I have both
posted here book reviews on the subject of Dzogchen), I think he goes a bit
too far in the statements above.  After all, the essence of Buddhism is that
there is a Noble Middle Way, but if there are no choices then there is no
middle to choose.  There is *one* duality, of a certainty, and that is
between the illusion and that which it veils.  It may be (and undoubtedly
is) that all of us have both black and white in us but as Orwell sort of
said, All animals are grey, but some are greyer than others.  And in the
theosophical world's tiredest cliche, should we not judge the fascist
leaders of the Axis powers in WWII because, after all, there were those
roads and train schedules?  How silly.

Discrimination [from the Latin word for distinction] is a mental process of
choosing, and discrimination is the key (Patanjali says in his Sutras on
Raja Yoga) to the spiritual process of disentanglement from the illusion.
Discrimination, allowing Detachment, followed by Dispassion (all involving
Discipline, for those who really like to stretch the alliteration).

It seems to me that this is the fundamental problem of "theosophy" in the
past sixty years or so: either there is NO PATH (a "pathless land", if you
will) such as taught by Krishnamurti and others, or there is a definite,
evolutionary process with marked stages of individual consciousness, human
and otherwise (the "Ageless Wisdom" as put forth by HPB and those who claim
to follow her).  If they can both be "right", how then do we resolve the


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