RE: Theos-World Jerry's Response concerning what Dan had written == ON KARMA with Dal
Nov 28, 1998 04:37 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Nov 28th 1998
Dallas comments below
>From ???@??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000
>Date: Saturday, November 28, 1998 8:58
>From: Jerry Schueler
>Subject: Re: Theos-World Jerry's Response concerning what Dan had written == ON KARMA with Dal
>Dear Jerry and Dan:
>If KARMA is a law it is a universal one.
It is so only as the Law of Causality. And this works, we now
relative to an observer.
BUT, WHAT IS ITS SOURCE AND ITS COURSE - WHY IS IT THERE, AND
DOES IT OR DOES IT NOT RULE THE UNIVERSE AS WELL AS MANKIND AND
THEIR INTERACTION AS UNITS ?
TO ME KARMA IS THE WHOLE LAW OF INTERACTION AND BROTHERHOOD AND
NOT LIMITED TO MANKIND ONLY.
>I am quite familiar with the concept of a Jivan-Mukta ( which in
>English means : "free of this Life" ).
In that case, how can you persist in your definition of karma?
Because of the immortal "ray" of the ONE SPRIT - THE
ABSOLUTENESS - in which all manifested beings bathe, without
exception - it gives the Atom its life as well as the man and the
Universe. No limits. Karma is therefore also unlimited but very
real (on any plane from low to high) as "the laws of interaction
>I did not invent the definition of Karma, nor did Mme.
>It is, she says (and so do the Hindu Pundits) the undeviating
>that balances all causes with their effects. No exceptions.
This is your interpretation, not mine. From a purely relative
viewpoint, it often appears as if this were true. However,
the Good News of Buddhism (the fourth noble truth, I believe)
is that karma can be eliminated or consumed. The Jivanmukta
is him/herself an exception so you are being contradictory here.
HARDLY - IF YOU WILL WIDEN YOUR HORIZONS THE LOGIC OUGHT TO BE
IF YOU CAN ADVANCE YOUR LIMITATIONS, THEN WE CAN UNDERSTAND YOU
AND WHAT YOU BELIEVE TO BE THE CONDITIONS YOU LOOK AT. OBVIOUSLY
OURS MAY BE DIFFERENT, BUT THEN, THOSE CAN BE ADJUSTED ONCE THAT
YOURS BECOME CLEAR.
>Our interpretations are valid so long as they are ours and may
>please our minds, but the real question, to my mind is: Are
>Universally valid ? Are we in effect devising our own
>limitations and exceptions, or are we studying the LAW as it is
Human beings are incapable of studying the "LAW as it is"
whatever that is (?) any more than studying truth as it is.
It is not a question of just needing more data. Truth is not
deterministic. If anything, it has both linear and nonlinear
components like all living things.
I WOULD NOT AGREE TO THIS INVALIDITY OF STUDY, INASMUCH AS THE
UNIVERSAL SPIRITUAL "RAY" IS AS MUCH PRESENT IN "YOU" AS IT IS IN
"MYSELF," AND HENCE THE "STUDY" IS AN INWARD LOOKING TO OUR OWN
PRESENCE AND REASON FOR BEING. There is no question that if we
set limits to KARMA then those limits we set prevent us from
seeing beyond them. Others like me come along and claim to see
further. Is that true or is it to be inquired into, or to be
rejected -- because not yet in the range of our own seeing ? I
do not know. That is for you to say.
I do observe that (to me) and as a result of our many exchanges,
I think that my horizon may be somewhat wider. [I do not know if
I am better or worse as a result, and comparisons, in any case
are odious. But I do know that I value your point of view.] I
could be quite wrong in all this, but it seems to me that we
ought to be able to look further than the exoteric teachings
handed down to us by one of the schools of Buddhism. There were
others, as well as an esoteric one, I am given to understand,
which the Buddha used in connection with the instruction of his
close and deeply inquiring disciples. Perhaps Theosophy - which
has opened so many doors that explain the myths and mysteries of
ancient writings and thought is in line with this esoteric
>I think we may always disagree on interpretations so long as
>are personal. However the resolution becomes common when and if
>we can perceive a universally similar definition.
So far we haven't seen very many of these, have we? BTW,
all interpretations are personal and subject to disagreement
just like all observations (experiences) are. When we
agree on something, we call it a law. But this only lasts until
an Einstein comes along and shows everyone how wrong they
AN EXCELLENT ANALOGY - NOW LETS GO FIND AN EINSTEIN in the area
of WISDOM TO HELP US IN THIS.
>Lets take the case of a JIVANMUKTA. "An adept or yogi who has
>reached the ultimate state of holiness and separated himself
>matter; a Mahatma, or Nirvanee, a "dweller in bliss" and
>emancipation. Virtually one who has reached Nirvana during
>life.: [Theos. Glos. pp 165-6]
This may be where we are having problems, Dallas. You are
quoting HPB who does NOT use the term in the way Hinduism
uses it. I prefer the Hindu definition: a person who is living (a
is a living being) who is free of karma (mukti means liberated).
HPB has it completely backwards. She thinks it refers to a
discarnate being, but actually it has always referred to a
living embodied human being who acts without producing
future karma (ie., a living Buddha).
NO. I DO NOT FIND THAT HPB THINKS OF A DISINCARNATE BEING. IT
IS A STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS WHERE THE ONE CONSCIOUSNESS IS ABLE
TO CONTROL THE PERSONALITY SO PERFECTLY THAT ADVERSE KARMA WHICH
DISTURBS THE UNIVERSE IS NOT DONE.
>NIRVANI: "It is "escape from misery"...
All of this stuff is meaningless, Dallas. The Jivanmukta (one who
is living as a jivamukti) has nothing at all to do with nirvana.
Please read some Hindu texts on the subject.
Have read many. Found the theosophic to be the most eclectic.
Spent about 35 years in India and many hours at the royal Asiatic
Society Library and that of the Bombay University, etc., etc.
>PRATYEKHA BUDDHA "...A DEGREE THAT BELONGS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY TO
>THE Yogacharya school, yet it is only one of high intellectual
>development with no true spirituality.
Phooey! Where did you ever come up with this wild idea??
If this is HPB, then once again she is wrong. According to the
Mahayana and Vajrayana, the Pratyekha Buddha (the
rhinoceros or lonely one) is a very spiritual Buddhist (arhat) of
the Theravadin school who understands emptiness but who fails
to equate it with bliss. H/She is a buddha without compassion for
others because he recognizes that "others" are maya and
must work out their own salvation. To say that any kind of
Buddha is lacking in spirituality is a true insult and shows
ignorance of the Buddhist state. Even most Tibetan Vajrayanists
don't insult the Pretyekha Buddhas, although they do consider the
Bodhisattva to be superior.
DEFINITIONS CLASH. SELFISHNESS AT ANY LEVEL IS ONLY A DETERRENT
TO TRUE WISDOM AND APPLIED UNIVERSALITY. THE REAL QUESTION IS
HOW DOES ONE LEARN TO "ACT WITHOUT CONCERN FOR THE RESULT" AS
KRISHNA PUTS IT IN THE B. Gita.
>It is the dead-letter of the Yoga laws, in which intellect and
>comprehension play the greatest part...
Again, I don't agree with any of this and it is terribly
As far as "intellect and comprehension play the greatest part"
I see this as THE major problem in modern Theosophy.
I DON'T GET THE NATURE OF THE INSULT - WHAT IS IT ?
Theosophy is not out to insult anyone but to make us think. It
may be shocking to a line of thought that someone has developed.
Why is that so ?
What you say does not shock me, but it does intrigue me.
>The Pratyekhas are respected outwardly but are despised
>by those of keen or spiritual appreciation....He is far below a
>true "Buddha of Compassion."
>T. Glos. p. 261
Well, I have read a lot of the new Tibetan works recently
and have yet to find a single reference to this "despised
business. A true Teacher of any school doesn't inwardly despise
any other person. I am not surprised at HPB saying such a thing,
because she always did get overly emotional on certain points.
was trying to make a point, and used emotion overmuch. I agree
her point (i.e., that the Bodhisattva is superior to the
but not with the insulting rhetoric used.
ONE THING THAT IS NOT MADE ENTIRELY CLEAR TO ENQUIRERS INTO
TIBETAN LORE IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SCRIPTURES OF THE
"RIGHT-HAND PATH," AND THOSE OF THE "LEFT-HAND PATH." Most
students and orientalists mix these up and think that they
represent a single system of thought and study. I think you
already know this, as well as the many divergent and congruent
sub-divisions of this basic dichotomy.
WELL, AGAIN OPINIONS ARE CROSSING SWORDS - BUT, I WOULD SAY THAT
HPB IN HER ANALYSIS OF THE HUMAN PRINCIPLES OFFERS A KEY TO
UNDERSTANDING THE "EMOTIONS" AND THE "PASSIONS" -- AS HAVING A
BEING AND QUALITY THAT IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE MIND.
OF COURSE THE KAMIC PRINCIPLE OF PASSIONS AND DESIRES (TAKEN AS A
WHOLE) DO NOT LIKE THIS. BUT WHAT HAS THEIR LIKING OR DISLIKING
TO DO WITH IT. WE ARE STUDYING THEM AND THIS IS ALL INTERNAL TO
US - A REVIEW OF OUR OWN PSYCHOLOGY AND MOTIVES.
>TRIYANA "The three vehicles across Sansara-the ocean of births,
>deaths, and rebirths are the three vehicles called Sravaka,
>Pratyekha Buddha and Bodhisattva, or the three degrees of
She left out the Tantrayana and Mantrayana, both valid paths.
I AM FAMILIAR WITH THE TEACHINGS OF BOTH OF THESE, BUT ASK
MYSELF: WHAT IS THE MOTIVE BEHIND THEIR USE. They mention and
describe systems of practice in the areas of developing
self-awareness and the employment of "powers" for personal effect
and results. Again we are back to motive - the reason why we do
anything. That is the important thing to me.
> The term Triyana is also used to denote the three
>schools of mysticism-the Mahayana, Madhyimayana and Hinayana
>schools. [Greater, Middle and Lesser Vehicles]
The Madhyimayana is not considered a true path so much as
a "school." She missed Vajrayana, the Tibetan path which is
amazing considering how she is supposed to have known all
about Tibetan Buddhism.
Dallas again I ask: what is the motive behind the use of the
power that the Vajra represents. It corresponds to the two edged
sword of "Ceremonial Magic."
>All and every
>system between the Greater and the Lesser Vehicles are
The Greater and Lesser are names given by the Greater and is
an insult to the "lesser" which is nowadays called the Theravadin
school. Even most Tibetans nowadays apologize for using the
pejorative term Lesser.
Dallas: that may be so, but the reason for adopting that term
originally was to distinguish clearly between the selfish "magic"
of the personality which employs motives directed to its own
limited life - this single incarnation; and, that "magic" which
deals with the work of the divine Ego that lives through many
lives and accumulates the fruit of its progress towards
brotherhood, mutual assistance, and general benevolence. This
latter is unselfish, generous, ideal, and altruistic. The former
> Therefore... the Pratyekha Buddha state refers to him
>who lives all for himself and very little for others, occupying
>the middle of the vehicle, filling it all and leaving no room
>others." Such is the selfish candidate for Nirvana." Theos.
>Gloss p. 344-5.
Seen from the viewpoint of the Bodhisattva, it does seem
a bit selfish, albeit this is a subjective call. The Pretyekha
does not consider him/herself to be selfish.
THAT IS TRUE, FROM HIS VIEW-POINT. BUT TAKEN IN THE MORE
UNIVERSAL SENSE IT IS, AND HENCE THE OPINIONS HELD CONCERNING
>While these quotes that are descriptive settle nothing, they do
>give a base for considering what Jerry offers.
I have been trying to explain some differences between HPB
and modern Tibetan teachings. Those who read only HPB
will come away with some distorted views of Buddhism.
I AGREE IF THAT IS THEIR SOLE BASE, HOWEVER I HAVE NOT FOUND HPB
TO BE UNTRUE OR UNFAIR TO ANYONE IN HER NARRATION OF THE ESOTERIC
Best wishes as always,
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