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Re: Sickly-Sweet Ethics Defined

Aug 04, 1997 10:18 AM
by techndex

At 11:32 AM 8/2/97 -0400, Jerry wrote:

<snippage of my own verbiage ;-D>

>Lynn, glad to hear you are fascinated.  And I like what you say.

It's always great to meet a kindred spirit!!

>"Sickly sweet" ethics do not necessarily include "astrally-based" or 
>misguided, or wrong, or lower, or any other perjorative term.  Rather, it
>the over-emphasis of ethics, and the annoying underlying notion that if we 
>all got ethical, we would be Adepts.

I'm glad you defined this and I agree. The notion of ethics leading to
adepthood is, IMHO, yet another example of the human tendency to a) latch
onto the "outer" at the exclusion of the inner; and b) to take the easy way
out. I think there is an aspect of the Law of Correspondences at work here,
this time the correspondence is to the physical Law of Inertia. In this
case, we're seeing the tendency of the matter of the lower quatenary to
remain at rest and to respond very slowly to stimulation from the higher

>Most Christians are ethical, and 
>Chrisitanity (as well as all other religions) emphasize ethics to the
>point--their teaching is that if we go to church, and are ethical, we will
>go to 
>heaven when we die.

Indeed. If it weren't yet still a bit early in the morning for me, I could
probably find New Testament references where Christ himself addressed this
issue. His remark about "whitened sepulchres" comes to mind. ;-D

>This misguided reasoning is also found in Hinduism 
>and in Theosophy where the idea is that if we are "good theosophists" and 
>are ethical, we will have good karma, and have a better life next time
>and be well on the path of chelaship.  This is well-intended, but

Agreed. This, IMHO, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of
chelaship and ignorance of the principle of acting "without hope".
Actually, the concept of "astrally-based" does enter here because all of
this is caught up in an element of "desire" which continues to bind the
aspirant to the earliest stages of development and the wheel of rebirth.
(BTW, I'm not saying that there isn't karma generated on the lower manasic
level, too. :-D) I don't mean "astrally-based" necessarily as a pejorative,
but simply as where the energy is mistakenly polarized with lower manas
thrown in. It is also astral, IMHO, in that the misguided focus on "ethics
*first*" is part of the astral glamor that obscures and confuses so much of
this. But we are in total agreement on the error involved in placing ethics

>I agree with you that we have a downward flow in the order of Love->
>Compassion->Ethics.  HPB, Judge, and many others suggest that by
>forcing ethics, we will be able to rise to compassion, and then to love as
>you have defined it.  I would suggest that it just doesn't work that way.
>Tibetan Buddhism, for example, has techniques with which we can
>develop compassion.

It's been years since I've read my books on Tibetan Buddhism and your
remarks have inspired me to re-read them. :-) IMHO, to obtain the downward
energy flow that we agree must occur, the aspirant must work to align the
lower quaternary of the personality with the upper triad or Soul (the
source of Love) through meditation, refinement of the lower vehicles, and
service so that the personality eventually becomes a perfect vehicle for
the expression of the Soul.

>They emphasize ethics, but never imply that
>morality is an end-all in itself.  Most occult schools distaste the sickly-
>sweet theosophical emphasis on ethics because ethics should come
>naturally, and not be forced.  When you suggest to a Seeker of Truth
>that s/he should begin by developing ethics, and a strong sense of
>right and wrong, then that person feels forced to construct and follow
>a set of ethical behaviors, and misses the forest for the trees.  Rather,
>we should develop compassion, and let ethics take care of itself.

Very well said!!! In addition to time wasted by constructing a set of
ethical behaviors without the foundation of compassion, this activity can
lead to very untheosophical behavior, IMHO. Without developing compassion
first, the ethical superstructure created is likely to conflict with
another's ethical construct and thus the wars we see in theosophy and in
the world at large.

>What you say above, is exactly what I have been saying on theos-l
>since its inception--that we need to work on universal love and compassion
>and let ethics develop naturally all by itself.  If we care for another
>chances are high that we will act ethcially with that person, without
>thought of reward, and without thought for whether we are right or wrong.

This is a message that cannot be repeated too often!!! You have, FWIW, my
wholehearted support in this! Theosophy is a meaningless, empty shell, a
souless entity without universal love and compassion.

<also a member of TI>

Lynn Moncrief
TECHindex & Docs
Technical and Scientific Indexing

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