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RE: Theos-World Re: Blind leading the blind

Sep 12, 1999 01:06 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

Sept 7th

Dallas offers a modification:

Allow me to say that I only suggest that HPB's writings be used as
fully as possible.

In no way would I suggest that other writings not be considered.  The
essence of Theosophy is the ability to recognize truth wherever it may

I would also observe that whatever path one elects to follow, or adopt
ought to be done with one's eye fully open.

In regard to working or studying under some chosen "Guru," I find the
following suggestion is offered:

	" any time, any one its (the Lodge, which contains within its
boundaries all real Masters, students, guides, and Gurus, of whatever
race or creed) real teachers or disciples will gladly help any other
teacher or disciple.  But we are not to conclude that...we, who call
ourselves chela-aspirants or known chelas of any certain person whom
we call Guru, can place ourselves at the same moment under the direct
tutelage of more than one Guru.."  W. Q. Judge,  LETTERS THAT HAVE
HELPED ME,  Letter XIII,  p. 43 (ULT Edition).

One finds that this relationship between chela and Guru is further
described as follows:

	"...from earliest times, among all but modern western people, the
teacher was given great reverence by the pupil...It was among these
people a great sin, a thing that did one actual harm in his moral
being, to be disrespectful to his teacher even in thought.  The reason
for this lay the fact that a long chain of influence extends
from the highest spiritual guide who may belong to any man, down
through vast numbers of spiritual chiefs, ending at last in the mere
teacher of our youth.  Or, to restate it in modern reversion of
thought, a chain extends up from our teacher or preceptor to the
highest chief in whose ray or descending line one may happen to be.
And it makes no difference whatever, in this occult relation, that
neither pupil nor final guide may be aware, or admit, that this is the
case...The Guru is the guide or readjuster, and may not always combine
the function of teacher with it."  [ Ibid, pp. 42-3.  For correlation
see SD I 638-9, 571-3 ]

On this subject one may find further advice:  "Fix your thoughts again
on Those Elder Brothers, work for Them, serve Them, and They will help
through the right appropriate means an no other.  To meditate on the
Higher Self is difficult.  Seek, then, the bridge--the Masters...Keep
up your courage, faith and charity.  Those who can to any extent
assimilate the Master, to that extent they are the representatives of
the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its work..."  [ Ibid. pp
112-3 ]

It is fairly true that instructions on meditation are not easily found
in Theosophical literature -- I mean as to place, posture, procedures,
etc.  For instance in the 6th Chapter (pp. 46-7) of the Bhagavad Gita,
we find Krishna speaking to Arjuna about this process and there he
makes recommendations so that the process of introspection will be the
least disturbed by outward influences.  Meditation is a thought and an
aspiration toward apprehending the truth and the principles of any
chosen subject.  Patanjali also describes this.

I am placing some notes in CAPS below


-----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of
> Date: Monday, September 06, 1999 1:42 PM
> Subject: : Blind leading the blind

In a message dated 9/5/99 6:44:19 PM, writes:

<< And now we have some more sweeping generalisation with which to
students of HPB's works.  The recent one in this group has been that
we are
all stuck in the past, followed by the 'implied' criticism from you
that we
are all suffering from arrested development from the time HPB's
ceased.  And the last one is that we are all copping out because we
have the
temerity to believe that we might not become full blown Adepts in this
Oh dear!>>

My position, I believe, is entirely grounded in the works of HPB, and
Art, I have no doubts as to the centrality and continuing presence of
HPB and
her Masters in our work. If my "sweeping generalizations" don't apply
individual cases, of course one must ignore them.  But after more than
decade in "organized" Theosophical work, I feel the ability to make
generalizations, yes.

As a response to Peter's comments (which at some points greatly
and make boffo my position) I will only say this: there is NO EXCUSE
for not
taking advantage of spiritual opportunities available in the present.
(with whom I do not disagree habitually nor on a whim, contra your ad
hominem) would have us study NOTHING but HPB and the Masters until we
sucked every bit of marrow from the bones of their writings.  That is
path, and I present no obstacles to it.

The Theosophical Movement has 3 objects, and ancient Literature and
the investigation of the invisible side of nature and man are not to
be neglected.

WHAT I AM TRYING TO EMPHASIZE IS we ought to take full advantage of
what HPB teaches,  not select those items that we like or which
attract our attention, but the whole spectrum of her teaching.  It
offers points of approach,  points of understanding, and points of
danger.  It also leaves it up to us to select our own "Path."


The more obvious path, it seems to me -- based on the very model of
teachings and life -- is to study printed works and live the ethical
UNDER THE GUIDANCE of a qualified teacher(s).  HPB did this, and her
indicated They did this.  We must assume that the trend continues up
to the
ever-living-human-Banyan tree Watcher himself.



	See SD I 638-9 and 571-3 for this "line" as she traces it

As an additional stimulus to seeking out guidance, it should be noted
that no
where in Theosophical teachings are there any EXPLICIT instructions as
EXACTLY **HOW** TO MEDITATE.  I've spoken to a great number of
regarding this, mostly in ULT, and it is agreed -- we as a group have
but a
few loose ideas on how to meditate, what posture should be used, how
to focus
the mind (even though we are enjoined to meditate a half hour or more
day!).  And we have but a few meditation books (in rough translation)
such as
Patanjali's YOGA APHORISMS -- but not a single qualified teacher of
book.  No one I'm aware of would claim to have mastered that yogic
-- after 100 hundred years of practice.  Theosophy in the current
century has
produced NOT A SINGLE ADEPT (that we are aware of).  Are we to just
hang on,
hoping that after enough grasping in the dark, light will suddenly
flash out
from above?




Quite true that instructions on meditation are scattered and need to
be collected.

But there are some and they do not start only with physical postures
and procedures of a ritualistic nature--of which there are many
adopted in various schools.  I venture  to offer a few observations
culled from my own thoughts on this subject, and a consideration over
quite a few years, of what Theosophy seems to say to us on this

In Theosophy, the information concerns itself with the essence of
Meditation which is a mental discipline and not a passive but a very
active one.  One has to know very well what are the 7 principles and
determine what the One Consciousness is, its Source and Power.

The process begins with assuming the mental position that we are 1st.
the Monad: Atma-Buddhi-Manas 2nd.  that the One Consciousness is the
power of the Spirit, the Atmic-"ray" in us.  It pierces up and down
the 7 planes of being and unites the memories of Its experiences on ea
ch plane.

The main subject for consideration is the fact that the Lower self
(Kama) has trapped and wrapped Manas in the coils of desire and
emotion.  The prime object is then to perceive this clearly, to
isolate and discipline the Lower self.   The coils of Kama are to be
identified and stripped, so that the Higher Mind and its linkage with
Buddhi may be made active.

The objective of meditation is then to make our aspirations and ideals
the living and constant power in our lives.  These are derived from

This brings about the transformation of the embodied self if this
process is successful.  It is self-administered.  The assistance that
anyone may receive from a "Guru" is that of primary instruction in the
complex nature of the human being and the assembled powers in his
nature as he presently is.

This is the building of the Adept by the chela in himself.  In FIVE
YEARS OF THEOSOPHY the 1st article TEH ELIXIR OF LIFE describes in
part this process, as it also transforms all of the "lower

If anyone should achieve a completion of the process there are no
external signs and no publishing of success.  Humility and silence
surround the whole of the process in any case from one end to the

I would not recommend going out on a limb so far as to say that no
Adepts have emerged in the century since the death of HPB's last
physical form.  WE are not party to the processes of the inner
transformations of disciples. We simply do not know all that may or
may not have been produced this century or even now.


Yet we have before us eminently qualified teachers from many
traditions now
in the West, present largely (I believe) because of the very work of
HPB and
co. which opened the doors to them.  Buddhism, for example, was called
by the
Master the exoteric religion closest to the Wisdom tradition;
it is the tradition with THE GREATEST FOCUS on meditation.  Tibetan
in particular has perfected dozens of meditative techniques for
dealing with
anger, greed, lust, attachment, fear, etc. etc. etc.  I feel it is
foolish in
the extreme to pass up this opportunity——the very fruits of
labor.  And it may not last forever.


I WOULD SAY:  This may or may not be true.  But no disciple is ever
(AT THE BEGINNING) able to totally grasp the nature or the elevation
of a selected Guru, except by the process of minutely examining his
life and work and methods.  If they are in accord with the "Good Law,"
then there may be something "There."

In any case since we are all united to the Atmic Ray within.  We all
have in seed-form the same potentials as the greatest of Adepts is
able to manifest.

There is always the potential of our transforming ourselves IF WE WILL

No outside discipline will do it for us, so rituals and postures and
mantras do not help.  We have to identify and select those that are
suitable for ourselves.  They are all mental attitudes and procedures.

We can read about "Eastern wisdom," or study with Eastern teachers.
We can read about yoga, or practice it under Satya Sai Baba (or
We can read about meditation, or sit at the feet of Namkhai Norbu (or
We can read about preparing for death, or study with Sogyal Rinpoche
and the
Rigpa Foundation (or others).

I cast absolutely NO ASPERSIONS on the works of HPB or her teachers.
as Dallas points out, it is only because of that guidance that I
turned from
gross philosophical materialism in adolescence and learned what true
devotion, true altruism, and true wisdom is.

But now, seeing those attributes personified in living teachers, I
confine myself to written works from our physically DEAD teacher?  As
correctly observes (see, I've agreed with him twice in successive
!!!) caution is certainly advised.  There are many, many so-called
who would like our money, our allegiance, or even our souls.  So,
through the
LENS and GUIDE of the ORIGINAL theosophical teachers, we must guide
our own

For those who do not want to pursue Adeptship directly, who do not
broader horizons, who do not want the guidance of living Masters, by
means, limit oneself to study groups where the blind lead the blind.

But be warned -- in HPB's writings she said that the "sluggards" who
had not
advanced to a certain point by Dec. 31st, 1899, "will have to renounce
chance of advancement in their present incarnation -- until the year
Whatever could she have meant by that?



It has been indicated, by Judge, and others, that the dates that HPB
mentioned do not represent a void in spiritual development or the
impossibility of starting one's transformation..  It would be
frustrating to all aspirants if NOTHING could be done at present in
this cycle.  That is not credible.  Who or what brings on a change in
the cycles>  Who can take advantage of a "rising cycle?"  Only those
who are "awake" to its potentials.  The study of Theosophy makes aware
of those.  HPB is our Guru, the Guru to all of us.  So our
responsibility, in my eyes, demand that we recognize in gratitude all
that we are now, we owe to her sacrifice and instructions.

Further   I would again state solemnly and with whatever force that I
can muster of my own conviction: -- the MASTERS stood behind HER.  And
none of them are DEAD AND GONE.

If our  confidence in the philosophy we have learned something of, and
of ourselves, is lagging, how can we hope the be able to succeed in
meditation?  And that situation is only remediable by our own efforts
to recognize it and alter it for the better.

Any truly spiritual work is entirely inner and invisible to others.
The present cycle makes little difference to the truly eternal Being
that we are internally.  If it happens to be a "down-cycle" the work
is a little harder.  But the opportunity is unlimited.  Today we may
"achieve," or "after many days."  It is the effort that counts, and
especially the efforts that are expended on others for their benefit
and progress.  Life is a giving, and not just a taking in Theosophy.

In regard to those dates, what are the articles in which they were
first proclaimed?  What is the context in which they are given?  If
that is known, then there is some hope of being able to interpret them
more accurately, and give them a value.  Without that information the
they appear as blockers, as barriers.  Is this truly so?

Since we are ETERNAL BEINGS -- Monads  -- Atma-Buddhi-Manas in
incarnation, our purpose is not Lower-self development alone, and in
isolation from the rest of Nature.  {see SD I 632-3 on the matter of
the development of the immortal MONADS, of which we are one in the
human stage.}

It is for us, as living human minds, Minds who stand at the focus of
both spiritual and material development, to leaven the material aspect
of evolution and cause the sensitive nature of all living things to
feel the touch of benevolence, charity and generosity motivated by a
genuine concern for others--which we alone can generate and direct.
This alone expresses that which true humanity (each one of us) has as
a duty.  It is for this reason that the idea of a UNIVERSAL
BROTHERHOOD was launched as the prime object of the TS.  This is the
prime subject and object of all true meditation.


And gee, here is 1999, rapidly approaching Dec. 31st.  Do you think
same cycle will obtain?)


If it is a 100 year cycle, perhaps it is, but then why is it so
difficult for us to look back over the last 125  years and determine
where and how the Theosophical Movement has proceeded?

Have we developed that intuitional perception so as to see where good
work has sustained the Movement ?  Can we determine where it still
proceeds alive and well and in line with the "original objects" that
were first established under Master's direction?

What did HPB mean by the "original lines" and the "original
methods." -- the establishment of which she says come from the

Many thanks, Rich, for permitting me to add some more - hope this is



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