Re: THEOS-L digest 1548 THEOSOPHY FOR THE MASSES
Jun 05, 1998 06:59 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
June 5th 1998
The report that you make on June 1st concerning THEOSOPHY FOR THE
MASSES as Krishnamurti viewed it is valuable for us all.
To my mind there are two things to consider:
1. Motive. Why does one feel an attraction for Theosophy ?
and, What does one expect to get out of its study ?
2. Ability. Do we KNOW what Theosophy is ? and if we do not,
then how can we promulgate it accurately ? How can we meet
people where they are and assist with information that they can
actually use were they now are ?
It is apparent that Krishnaji had the motive that was the most
generous, and wanted all to profit from the virtues and benefits
that a theosophical knowledge gives. He realized that all were
not at the same level, and had to be met at the level where they
were. Those who know more have to descend to the level of the
pupil to help him advance. The mind has to be able to return to
the "child-state it had lost," without however, loosing its
Some have an immediate sympathy for those virtues. They then
look to the doctrines and the metaphysics that Theosophy offers.
Those provide, when grasped, the reasons that underlie the
Again, virtues in Theosophy, are not different from those which
are common to all philosophies and religions, and which are
innate in everyone without exception. Theosophy gives
explanations for them. If one takes for a basis the idea that
Theosophy is universal and fundamental to every great religion,
it does away with any "elitism."
How is it that one can travel to any place on the face of the
earth ? No one knows the actual "laws" of the countries that
they visit. But if one behaves decently and honestly with the
people one meets, one does not get into trouble with them or with
It has always seemed to me that Humanity is one, but somehow it
has allowed itself to get divided into "haves," and "have-nots."
Into the "intellectual," and the "practical." Into those who
think they are an "elite," and those who think they "cannot
think." Into those who
"play," and those who "work." And so on, endlessly ... all, are
useless considerations. Each human is essentially "themselves."
It is self-knowledge that is important. Theosophy (as anyone who
reads the KEY TO THEOSOPHY can find out) deals with the knowledge
of the HIGHER SELF and its 6 vehicles. And when HPB has
considered and explained what our constitution is, she proceeds
to show what Practical Theosophy is. As to the basic
metaphysics, she says :
Every human is a 7-fold being. A SPIRIT with 6 vehicles: this
Spirit lives a "separate" life on Earth so as to be of assistance
in the progress of many younger intelligences ("lives" which are
in effect its "children"). No being in the whole Universe is
"unconscious." Every being has an "intelligence" of its own.
The level of that intelligence marks its particular stage on the
ladder of evolution. In the KEY TO THEOSOPHY, HPB observes these
1. Wisdom -- "Buddhi" -- discrimination based on an enormous
individual antiquity and a memory of those experiences impacted
in the eternal Akasa that surrounds us all.
By nature it is Universal, Giving, Compassionate, Wise and helps
all being around us. It Knows the Law of the Universe - Karma.
It is the "vehicle" of the Spiritual RAY that is present in each
being and is receiving (as an independent mind) its final
instruction in the human kingdom. In mankind it learns to be
powerfully cooperative. To the extent that it is cooperative,
its powers grow. Harmlessness to others is the key. It is not
2. "Manas" -- the Mind and the Mind Powers: reason, memory,
perception, anticipation (inference), fancy (misconception).
The Mind (as a unit of power) has the ability to ally itself with
Wisdom -- and therefore can be called in that condition:
"virtuous." Or, the "Higher Mind." One of the great qualities
of the Higher Mind is that it considers universal ideas and is
"impersonal." It values the "Heart." This is cooperation as a
matter of observation and practice.
Or it can ally itself with isolation, a selfishness produced by
the "Desire Nature." In which case, it is called the "Lower
Mind." And in that second state (and we are all in that
condition, when awake) it isolates itself and is "selfish." It
is the base for egotism.
At some point the "Lower Mind" realizes that virtue is superior
to "vice." It becomes aware of the "moral equation." It
perceives that "brotherhood" is better than loyalties that
"separate," and are placed by it on religion, family, nation, and
itself as "survival" -- in fact that universality is the rule of
all true life.
3. "Kama" -- Desire & passions. Wants and needs. The feelings
of a thousand kinds ( as separate from the mental powers which
give them personal life ).
This quality arises from the perfection of that which in animals
is called "instinct." It focuses on the preservation of the
present "self." It considers itself as the only important
thing -- and this gives rise to the false concept of "elitism."
[ It seeks others of like nature, to join together, and form a
self-defensive cadre -- and we have sects, creeds, political
parties, etc. ]
As a faculty "desire-Kama" cannot look into the future (as hope)
without the help of the mind faculties of "anticipation and
memory." When these two are joined we have the "Lower Mind."
The "personality" which is intensely "selfish" "hopes" it will be
able to enjoy in the future whatever it selects as actions that
will lead it to a situation of pleasure and ease. This operates
in us all the time.
4. We find that there is a universal "Life-principle" which
animates us all, everywhere. Vitality is one of its names its
names, and over the space of a day, we "loose" it. and recuperate
its energy by a change of activity, rest, sleep, eating,
drinking, etc... The vitality works in the body, and in the
instinctual, feeling nature as well as the mind. It is
universal, all beings of whatever kind bathe in it.
5. The "Astral Body" and "the "causal" formative side of
Nature. All beings have an "astral" or pattern body. This
underlies the physical body. It is called recently, the
"bio-genetic-field." On this electro-magnetic lattice the
physical molecules and cells, etc. align themselves.
It is here that the many "atomic elements" form their basic
sub-atomic patterns, and cause their properties to become
uniform. It is at this level that we find "randomness" in action,
Here is the root of all "beings" of the Universe -- the
infinitely "small" are mirrors of the vast whole. But what we
think of as "randomness" is the operation of selective
intelligence at that level.
Place yourself mentally on a very high building (like the empire
State Building) and look down at the activity in the streets
below, the flow of traffic of all kinds -- cars, people, busses,
and their moving and stopping, the interchange at intersections
for apparently no reason, the way vehicles and people avoid each
others or meet for a while only to move on again. To the
observer, given no base of similarity the whole pattern appears
random -- fractals in motion. It is only when we place ourselves
at their level that we see the "cause" for all the activity and
the rules that regulate it.
6. The physical body. The "carrier" of the Mind. The field
where "feeling, passion and desire work." Constantly changing,
as we know it, but retaining the faculty of continuity with only
very slow changes over a life-time.
What holds it together and directs the molecules and cells to
their appropriate places ? What is it that makes for the entire
cooperative system that our physical body is ? How does it
happen that we, the "Intelligence" that uses the body comes to
reside in it ? Why do we need to pay relatively so little
attention to our bodies ? Respiration, the beating of our hearts
and circulation of blood, digestion, nutrient distribution and
waste disposal systems all operate without our conscious
awareness. Why ? How ?
These 6 "principles" are the tools of the 7th the Synthesizing
Unit. The SPIRIT in man, called ATMA -- and, as a "ray" it is
one with the Universal SPIRIT.
It, the Spirit within, is the basis for Brotherhood. There is no
"elitism" in the spirit, only a vast and all inclusive
benevolence, that some have called "Ananda" or "bliss." It is the
alternate to the isolation of selfishness, isolation and
With this in mind, how can a knowledgeable Theosophist be
otherwise than practical and ready to serve ?
Mankind is of many stages of learning. From the childhood of a
burgeoning mind, to the all-inclusive wisdom of a Great Master of
Wisdom. Everything is a united system of learning. Hence we
have reincarnation as a process. The spirit that is each human
in its essence never "dies." But it continues as the educational
center for the rest of the elements that make up our personality.
The monitor that assists every one is WITHIN. It is the Higher
It is the conjoined UNIT: Atma-Buddhi-Manas.
Now let me consider for a moment the statement that Mr. Judge
made concerning the "imitating" of the Masters.
The reason is to be found in the above Theosophical explanation.
Once that we know what the Nature of the Master's wisdom is and
that it is a potential that we also have we ought to emulate,
copy, imitate their ways in our life, if we can.
It is a life lived according to Karma, according to the work of
the Higher Mind, according to benevolence, harmony, tolerance,
generosity and sharing with others. It is life with a purpose.
Some find they can study with ease. Others find it difficult and
have to struggle to make their personality do this. it is
uniting with others and not remaining in isolation. It is the
practice of virtue all the time.
Some have great "heart." They do not want to study and they
reach out to others to help wherever they may be. They are, in
effect, by tolerance and generosity, Theosophists unaware. But
they need to know how and why they do this spontaneously. They
need to "cultivate" the mind.
Some help with logic and explanations, others help practically.
"Hands on," is operating in either case. One is mental and the
other is practical. Both are needed. The hands and the heart
have to work together. this as humanity, is what we are all
learning to do. We are the cells and the molecules of the GREAT
UNIVERSAL MAN. As independent intelligences, we are learning
where we ought to be and what we ought to do. We do not abase
ourselves, but we become more vibrantly aware of what we CAN DO.
The place is irrelevant. We are a necessary part of the whole
and we will always be needed.
In between "wisdom" and "foolishness" is the mind and the
personality. Here is where "elitism" springs up. Some employ
their mental abilities to think about "words," and some think
Some worry about their position and how others "regard them;"
and they forget to do the work they are needed for. True
priorities are reversed and general harmony is upset.
In steps the Law of Karma to bring a return to balance, and we
have an educative (not a punitive) effect that focuses on the
person who made the disturbance, with a view to getting them to
use their minds and observe how they were the cause of that
problem to begin with.
Thus, only the person or being who created the problem can now
Orientalists and specialists who read ancient tongues and delve
into ancient manuscripts are constantly confronted with words.
How is the reader to interpret them ? Is the ancient context the
same as our modern one ? Can we be impersonal and detached ?
This is the constant problem of a translator. How to translate
accurately without loosing the sense of the original writer.
Words are the envelopes for the "inner sense." To bring that
meaning into new words is a battle. Some are convinced that
there is an "old Theosophy," and what they would like to see a
more familiar idiom used. They would they think, feel more
comfortable if a "new way of expressing it" is used. Fine. But,
without a knowledge of the "old theosophy," how are they to
become interpreters ?
People are in a hurry. They do not realize that all changes
begin interiorly. As any change, to be valuable, begins with
instruction and study, so Theosophy needs to be studied. To be
time conserving, then, the only logical place is to go to the
SOURCES of Theosophy and for us that means : H.P.BLAVATSKY.
The value of Theosophy, as I see it, is that it is broad enough
to provide reasons for virtuous living, and, it gives an
understanding of meaning -- if one broadens the mind to include
the implication of the words used. I realize that this is very
vague. But there is no other way of expressing it.
The analyst seeks to derive interior meaning from the quality and
nature of the actual words used. In dong this he may loose the
perspective of the over-all picture.
Is this not what Krishnamurthi was trying to explain ?
Best wishes, Dallas.
>Date: Tuesday, June 02, 1998 8:07 PM
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
>Subject: THEOS-L digest 1548
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