Funeral after Funeral
Mar 25, 1997 02:26 PM
"Science progresses, funeral by funeral." - Max Planck
We can and probably will produce human clones, but they will be soulless.
The potential for harm seems overwhelming.
The idea that the human clone will not have a soul is ridiculous. However a
human being came to be created, if s/he has the faculty for intellect and
feeling, then s/he has a soul. To me, a clone is like an identical twin of
the original, with the exception that it is much younger. The only way for a
human clone to not have a soul, is if scientists have decided to remove the
development of the brain, in the brave new world hope of having ready made
transplant organs for the original (awful!).
Richard Ihle writes-->
The Principal Theosophical Philosophy (PTP), perhaps, may also have to
progress funeral by funeral. At least it seems to me that the question of
human cloning may have a greater impact on the infamous capitalized
(solidified, HPB-doctrinal) "Theosophy" than anything else in more than a
century. In short, it might be time to think about getting the casket out
for some aspects of the PTP. . . .
Personally, I have long thought that the “monad” was one of Theosophy’s (the
movement) major problems. There is something about ~monads~ which seems to
make people want to regard them as invisible billiard balls. All these
billiard balls: they get "contaminated" with "desire-seeds" and have to come
into and go out of incarnation again and again until all delusion about their
Real nature is corrected--at least according to most versions of the PTP.
Anyway, now that human cloning has become a realistic possibility, the
doctrinal (T)heosophists may have a big job ahead of them re-articulating
some of the old verbiage about monads. For one thing, they must be able to
explain what all the different billiard balls, all needing different lessons,
will do at some possible future time when the choices for incarnated
physical, emotional, and mental "vehicles" have been reduced to just a few
"improved" models. For another thing, (T)heosophists may also want to take
this opportunity to re-work what seems to me the grossly anthropomophized
stories of how monads “decide” and “choose” in a between-lifetime condition
what their next birth situations should be according to the lessons they
still need to learn etc.
>From my "psychogenetic" point of view, ~monad~ has never seemed a very
helpful synonym for ~soul~, anyway. The difference between ~monad~ and
~soul~ is one of ~psychological distance~. "I love you heart and ~monad~"
just doesn't have the right ring to it, does it? It is a personal thing, I
suppose; however, my monad has always seemed like a stranger, whereas my soul
seems like ~me~.
But there may be a more a significant problem: what and how you can “know”
about your monad seems to be much different from what and how you can know
about your soul. With ~monad~ you are always checking back with HPB to see
if you have the right idea about Rounds, Root-Races, etc.; with ~soul~ you
just sit down to meditate and ~watch~. With ~monad~ it always seems to turn
into a battle of the scholars; with ~soul~ you are the expert.
Is all the accumulated “information” about monads really intended to be
~literal~ explanations of ~literal~ Rounds, Root-Races etc. which pertain to
invisible-billiard-ball-like entities? Or could much of the PTP really be a
grand ~figurative~ system for conveying esoteric knowledge about something
more personal and intimate--the ~soul~ and its psychogenetic cycles and
advances toward full Self-realization?
I suppose it is easy to guess my own answer. However, does this mean that I
negate reincarnation and all other things which have been suggested in the
old PTP context? Not at all. I believe the Theosophical world is ready for
a "paradigm shift," but I do not believe the shift will be toward
extinguishing itself or repudiating everything which has gone before.
No, what I think will happen is the simple rejection of what I call
“BACKWARDS THEOSOPHY.” In my view, ~backwards theosophy~ is the merely the
scholarly preoccupation with, and authority-mongering of, other people's
answers rather than cultivating one’s own transcendental resources for
answering the same existential questions.
Can one really determine the validity of the PTP simply by studying it and
concluding that it is “internally coherent” and/or not-really-at-odds with
known scientific facts? Of course not. I agree it is helpful to study THE
SECRET DOCTRINE and other things for a variety of reasons, naturally, but in
the end the only possible way to determine validity is to approach it
~theosophically~. Indeed, ~theosophy~ with a small ~t~ is the
epistemological method of the mystic, and its virtue is that it may be able
to go where science, scholarship, and even intense ratiocination cannot go.
Unfortunately, theosophy may have no greater enemy than Backwards Theosophy.
Whereas theosophy emphasizes that each individual must continue to develop
himself or herself toward a better Vantage--i.e., nearer to the One--in order
to ~See~ things for himself or herself, Backwards Theosophy seems to care
little for personal Seeing and more about ~believing~ on the basis of
“established” authority. A theosophist reads THE MAHATMA LETTERS and tries
to ~See~ what is suggested there for himself or herself; a Backwards
Theosophist reads the same thing and immediately believes he or she has been
given an indisputable, indefectable Gift which obviates the need for any
personal Seeing. A theosophist remains an individual Searcher after reading
THE MAHATMA LETTERS; a Backwards Theosophist joins the Finder’s Club and
thinks about running for an office. . . .
In my opinion, however, the real possiblity that humans will be sooner or
later be cloned presents a significant problem for the Finder’s Club.
Already, there is some discussion of whether a clone can actually have a
soul. This may not be such a nonsensical question, especially for those who
are attached to the billiard-ball paradigm. After all, what use would all
the unique (because of unique learned/unlearned remaining lessons) billiard
balls have for exact replicas of the same person with the same physical,
emotional, and mental assets and limitations? And what would happen to the
old conception of karma--I mean, would there be nothing a billiard ball could
do in one lifetime which would result in a better body the next?
I don’t know . . . perhaps clone funeral after clone funeral is really a
comin’: Monads! if I were you, I’d get on down here before it’s too late. .
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application