Jun 19, 1998 04:44 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
June 19th 1998
Some exerpts from a letter written by a recent Russian emigrant
to America to a friend:
Dear - - - - ,
I received your greeting card for my birthday. Thank you for the
memory and for sharing with me you view on problems of life in
Russia, and for asking questions. I'm going to answer them at
the best of my ability.
You ask me how I can cope with the death of your (and my) best
friend. Three years ago I was not able to console you with
anything valuable. It seems to me that today I have something
valuable to say.
Two and a half years ago my American friend asked me to attend a
meeting of one of many small groups of people getting together to
study Theosophy. Theosophy gives its students a clear exposition
on ethics, science and philosophy.
At first it was hard for me to follow the discussions and
understand them, because of my English. And the subject was
itself too lofty, but I knew on the spot that it would be a part
of my life from now on. I knew that I'll get the answers on many
questions, which I wanted to be answered since the days of my
youth: Who am I ? What am I doing in this world ? Why it
happens to me, to my friends ? What is death ? What is
intuition ? What is freedom ?
The following is an attempt to share with you my understanding of
some theosophical ideas.
I always wanted to know why Americans say that they are free
I understand what is freedom of religious beliefs, political
freedom, social freedom. But personal freedom is something
completely different because nobody gives it to you but yourself.
We are all slaves of ourselves because we live in fear to loose
what we have, or, not to get what we want. This is true for
people who are rich and who are poor, for a prince and for a
beggar, for Americans and for Russians. Freedom is a light at
the end of the tunnel -- we all follow through with a speed
programmed by evolution.
Where are we coming from? From the Beginning, where once we were
together and we would be together again, when, finally we finish
our journey. How can we describe something which is The
Beginning and the End of Everything at the same time ? It is an
"Absolute" principle which has no attributes, because IT is
beyond duality, beyond human comprehension. But Everything
emanates from IT. How ? I have to use metaphors in order to
bring this subject to the level of human consciousness.
How does our day start ? We are waking up. Where are we ? We
don't know. Our brain wasn't functioning during the night sleep,
our consciousness was in the other reality. We remember nothing,
it seems we were nowhere, particularly during our dreamless
sleep. what happens then ? An unconscious desire to be awake
grows within us. The desire expresses itself in a first
"conscious" breath. A first thought and a first movement comes
with it. It is very conventional to use these images to
substitute what we call primordial matter in Theosophy.
Our planet as well as a million of other planets and stars began
from IT. By millions and millions of years of evolution human
"monads" have developed as a gaseous substance first, then as the
mineral kingdom, then as the vegetable kingdom, and finally
became the animal kingdom. The animal has consciousness which
express itself in the form of instincts. The evolution has
continued its work, and the history of Humanity did begin only
when the humanlike body was enlightened with self-conscious mind.
As a train goes smoothly and fast on the rails of very well
maintained track, so do we follow our way because Karma takes
care of everything. Karma is The Law of Nature, the Law of
action and reaction, the law of absolute justice and balance, the
law which most of us know as "what you sow you will reap." There
is personal Karma, family Karma, community Karma, and so on.
There are no doubts that in this world everyone and everything
follows the same cycle: birth, growth, bloom, fruit-bearing,
aging, death. Our Earth also goes through the same process.
What happens when matter dissolves ? It turns into different
elements. We know that nothing appears or disappears without
leaving a trace. So what happen with our individuality ? It is
in our genes say materialists. We get it from the previous
generations and it goes to the next ones. Suppose there is no
next generation, then what ?
We commit the crimes or sow love and good. As a result,
religious believers say, we go to hell or heaven. No, contradict
the materialists, we die gaining nothing and loosing nothing. A
coat is worn, we throw it away. Where is the one who wore it ?
Theosophy states that our body dissolves, but our wandering soul
is eternal. Our soul reincarnates in another body and
experiences next life, as it did million and million times before
and will do after.
Talking about Karma and Reincarnation, H. P. Blavatsky, famous
Russian theosophist, wrote in the "Key to Theosophy" :
"We can only perceive that if with us things ought to have been
different, they would have been different; that we are what we
have made ourselves, and have only what we have earned for
ourselves... Belief in Karma is the highest reason for
reconcilement to one's lot in life, and the very strongest
incentive towards effort to better the succeeding re-birth. Both
of these, indeed, would be destroyed if we supposed that our lot
was the result of anything but strict Law, or that destiny was in
any other hands than our own."
Yes, Karma takes into account all our deeds and thoughts, but
only spiritual experience help us to progress, to make one more
step towards freedom. We have to live spiritual life while we
are here, on Earth. And spiritual life is the "LIFE OF
I want to share with you how studying Theosophy affected my life.
The first: One day I discovered that the surrounding world and
myself have changed in proportions and in meaning. My self
became smaller and less significant. The Nature which previously
existed only as a background, providing pleasures or inconvenienc
es of life, turned into a dear, lifetime companion, a friend.
The second: I know theoretically what the "Great Master" [ the
Buddha] has said:
"Let a man overcome wrath by absence of anger, let him overcome
evil by good. Let him overcome the miser by generosity and the
liar by truth." So I stopped retaliating and justifying my
self -- this is the first small step in this direction.
The third: At the end of the day when I get in bed I have no
trouble falling asleep any more, because I know now how to span a
gentle bridge between two states of my consciousness.
Be well and best regards to everybody. -- -- -- --
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