Theosophy World Home Page
THEOSOPHY WORLD ---------------------------------- December, 1997
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
To submit papers or news items, subscribe, or unsubscribe, write
(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"Opening Sacred Celebrations"
"Theosophical Resources Announcement" by Wesley Amerman
"Studies in 'The Voice of the Silence', Part III, The Virtuous
Mind, by B. P. Wadia
"Historic Forces That Affect Our Lives" by Eldon Tucker
"Ethics is a Part of Life" by Eldon Tucker
"A Problem With Ethics" by Gerald Schueler
"The Question of Ethics" by April Hejka-Ekins
"Research That is Destructive of Belief Systems" by Paul Johnson
"New Theosophical Email Addresses"
"Conference on Theosophy and Modern Science" by Alan E. Donant
"Chaos is Very Civilized" by Thoa Tran
"Monk Gloats Over Yoga Championship" -- Anonymous
"The Natural Process of Spiritual Development" by Eldon Tucker
"Transplants?" by Richard Hiltner, MD
"Manuscripts from the Gobi" by Mark Jaqua
"Discussions on the Theosophical Philosophy" by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
"On Science and Religion" by Annette Rivington
"The Theosophical First Cause" by Eldon Tucker
Elegance of language may not be in the power of all of us; but
simplicity and straightforwardness are. Write much as you would
speak; speak as you think. If with your inferiors, speak no
coarser than usual; if with your superiors, no finer. Be what you
say; and, within the rules of prudence, say what you are.
-- Henry Alford
OPENING SACRED CELEBRATIONS
[Earlier this century, there where celebrations of the Sacred
Seasons held at the Point Loma Theosophical Community. These
celebrations consisted of an Symposium, followed by a presentation
of the Immemorial Teachings. The following was read at the opening
of these celebrations.]
Know that among our Brothers of ancient times, our predecessors
and forerunners in our Holy Order, the working of this present
Degree or rite was of dramatic form, representing by pictorial
action and by suggestive symbol, and as far as it could be done,
exactly what the Initiant or neophyte undergoes at this one of
the four Sacred Seasons of the year. But as this cannot be done
now, from lack of the proper apparatus, and because the chances
of being seen and overheard are too great, the Minor Mystery of
suggestive drama is temporarily replaced by an exposition of the
same sublime facts given in the allegory of the present
You are earnestly requested to listen with great care to the
golden teachings that you will hear tonight, for they portray in
precept and in verbal fact what is even now tonight actually
taking place on certain parts of the surface of the earth.
Listen in utmost silence and concentration of both mind and
heart, and when all has been heard, then leave the Temple in
voiceless quiet and in peace.
THEOSOPHICAL RESOURCES ANNOUNCEMENT
by Wesley Amerman
I would like to announce the formation of Theosophical Resources,
a new project intended to expand opportunities for creative work
for theosophy. It will be an independent network of people who
agree to share ideas, information, experience, training methods
and learning resources in theosophic service. By reaching out,
individuals can assist on another and discover within themselves
and others the hidden human resources needed for the future of
the theosophical movement. Theosophical Resources is dedicated
to be a clearing house for practical ideas rather than doctrines,
and will be available to help anyone contact others with similar
interests, without regard for formal theosophical or other
This is a proposal to create a network of shared resources in the
service of theosophy, to be free and open to all to contribute
ideas, offer and ask for assistance, share experience and
associate with others. For lack of a better name (and perhaps
because it is a descriptive one), it shall be known as
The stated Objectives of Theosophical Resources are:
1. To provide study, research, promulgation, teaching and
learning resources for students.
2. To identify opportunities for work, study and service within
the theosophical movement.
3. To serve as a clearing house of ideas, information and
The means for spreading this work will be as varied as the
individual contributions made to it. Suggestions made thus far
have included: the creation of a Student Resource Directory, a
preliminary list of projects, an Internet web site to post news
and events, a printed and/or electronic newsletter, develop and
hold training, teaching and education courses, conferences and
workshops for theosophists and for the public, suggest resources
to help groups with their own and joint projects, help to
coordinate "service learning" opportunities, the study and
promulgation of new teaching methods for reaching the public,
coordinate periodic conferences among or within theosophic
groups, facilitate conflict resolution, open channels of
communication within and between groups and provide general
resources to help groups deal with process rather than doctrinal
This is the first public announcement of Theosophical Resources
in its formative stage. Theosophy-World has been chosen because
it represents a wide variety of theosophical viewpoints, using
the ease and directness of the Internet. Other communications
will follow, including a letter of introduction to be sent to as
many interested people as possible, and the announcement and
development of a Student Resource Directory. Readers of
Theosophy World who wish to be included on future mailing lists
of information about Theosophical Resources may send inquiries
P. O. Box 4252 Chatsworth, CA 91313-4252
STUDIES IN "THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE"
PART III -- THE VIRTUOUS MIND
by B.P. Wadia
[From the 1989 ULT pamphlet containing a reprint from THE
THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, X, October 1940, pages 189-91.]
Universal respect is paid to a man of virtue. A good-hearted man
is admired, but so is a clever-minded man. In our modern
civilization mental capacity and moral power are allowed to
remain dissociated, education almost fostering the dissociation.
A gentleman in clubland will not cheat at the card-table, but the
same man will not hesitate to cut the throat of his friend who
happens to be a business competitor. Most Occidental
church-going people condemn polygamy and polyandry most severely,
but they connive at adultery in both men and women. The orthodox
Hindu, philosophizing, argues and proves that Brahman is in the
heart of each, but he sees no illogicality in observing in
practice the immortal doctrine of untouchability. We can go on
multiplying instances to show how moral principles are set at
nought by intelligent minds, even by so-called logicians and
The integration of hands, head and heart is the central and
fundamental teaching of ~The Voice of the Silence~. Moral
principles are not only to be acknowledged -- all the world does
that -- they are to be applied. The value of the mental habit of
looking for the underlying moral principle before any deed is
done or any word spoken is not all recognized by the "educated
and cultured." Occultism demands the constant practice of
bringing into juxtaposition moral principles and intellectual
doctrines. If it is immoral to cheat at the club, it is also
immoral to cheat in the office; if polygamy is wrong, adultery is
worse, for in the latter hypocrisy is present; if Brahman is in
all men, then untouchability is false and its practitioner is an
irreligious man. The man on the path of chelaship is called upon
to consult his code of rules and laws at every turn. Like a
lawyer he has his memory, but almost always the lawyer refreshes
his memory and before acting consults his code-books. This the
learner of Occultism is expected to do. "To sleep over a letter
and to wait on a plan" is a rule because it gives the necessary
time to refresh the memory and to search the scriptures. To seek
the principles of action, both moral and mental, is essential,
and even on the field of battle the Master Krishna thought it
necessary to set them forth.
The general rule, the fundamental and foundational law to be
always and ever kept in mind, is that of Brotherhood. If a
thought or a feeling, a word or a deed, harms another soul, it is
wrong. To the true practitioner H.P.B. gives this advice:
> He must think of himself as an infinitesimal something, not even
> as an individual atom, but as a part of the world-atoms as a
> whole, or become an illusion, a nobody, and vanish like a breath
> leaving no trace behind. As illusions, we are separate distinct
>  bodies, living in masks furnished by Maya. Can we claim one
> single atom in our body as distinctly our own? Everything, from
> spirit to the tiniest particle, is part of the whole, at best a
> link. Break a single link and all passes into annihilation; but
> this is impossible. There is a series of vehicles becoming more
> and more gross, from spirit to the densest matter, so that with
> each step downward and outward we get more and more the sense of
> separateness developed in us. Yet this is illusory, for if there
> were a real and complete separation between any two human beings,
> they could not communicate with, or understand each other in any
> -- TRANSACTIONS OF THE BLAVATSKY LODGE, ULT 138; SECRET DOCTRINE
> COMMENTARY, Part II, TUP, 40; BCW, X, 395.
The Law of Brotherhood is intellectually recognized by all
students, and earnest practitioners begin to make applications.
But the influence of the race-mind is very strong, and so even
practitioners are swayed by the difference between mental
understanding and moral application. All Probationers are called
upon to examine themselves by the light of their own Inner Ego
and with the help of the divine virtues -- the *paramitas.*
Ordinarily, virtues are considered to be attributes of the heart;
we do not usually speak of mind-feelings integration or
yoga-union between mind and heart demands that the mind become
virtuous. We have to learn to think of virtues and to use our
reason and our intelligence, our discrimination and our
discernment, in practising the *paramitas*, with which deals the
third fragment of our textbook, called "The Seven Portals." It is
from the point of view of the relation between mind and morals
that we want to examine the golden Keys.
Because the mind is driven by human feelings and passions, it
roams in the field of the senses, destroying them and itself.
Therefore the injunction: "Thou shalt not let thy senses make a
playground of thy mind." [54; 49]
Before the mind can absorb the virtues the learner has to see
within himself the difference between desire-mind and soul-mind.
A bridge called Conscience exists as a third factor. Conscience
is Antahkarana -- the internal organ -- and it is both the voice
of experience accumulated in the world of matter and the channel
of divine light streaming forth from the world of Spirit.
Conscience rightly activated bridges the gulf which ordinarily
exists between mental and moral activities. Before the actual
treading of the Path begins and the first of the divine
*paramitas* can be correctly practised, the integration between
head and heart is necessary.
> Before thou canst approach the foremost gate thou hast to learn
> to part thy body from thy mind, to dissipate the shadow, and to
> live in the eternal. [ULT 53-54; TUP 49]
This does not imply that the art of separating the body from the
mind is acquired; but it does mean that each time, if Dana-
Charity is to be rightly expressed, an attempt has to be made to
examine the relative position of body and mind, to live, be it
but for a moment, in the eternal, to feel that something of
ourself abides in all things and that all things are in the One
Self. This preliminary to the exercise of the Dana-paramita 
brings to it the strength of the mind and of true ideas. As it
is most difficult, almost impossible, to attune our mind to the
mind of the whole of humanity, advantage is taken of the
Chela-institution, and we are told to attune our mind to "the
collective minds of Lanoo- Shravakas." The feeling of unity
illuminates the mind; the enlightened mind uses the virtue of
Dana, charity and love immortal, not sentimentally and
sensuously, but Egoically.
What is true of Dana is equally true of Shila and of Kshanti;
these form a triad, for love creates harmony, and without
patience, harmony cannot be created. The balanced offspring,
whether a word or an act, a poem or a picture, has for its father
love and for its mother patience. When the child is created, its
nature of perfection makes it a masterpiece, and there is Bliss
"for ever after."
Similarly, the last three paramitas, Virya, Dhyana and Prajna,
form a triad. When, with dauntless energy, the father pursues
contemplation, the result is Prajna -- full spiritual perception.
Between the two triads is the paramita of Viraga (Vairagya)
without which neither can Maya-Illusion be conquered nor can
Truth- Sat be perceived. Detachment, dispassion, indifference,
is, in more than one sense, the most important of the virtues.
And we are told:
> Have mastery o'er thy thoughts, O striver for perfection, if thou
> would'st cross its [the middle portal's] threshold. [64; 58]
It is the mind which fructifies attachment to objects of sense.
If the mind did not lend itself to the dictates of the desires
and the passions there would be no attachment. Detached from the
lower, it has within itself the power to attach itself to the
Now, the gratification felt by the elemental beings who make up
our desire nature is due to the interplay between them and the
senses and the organs -- the Gnyana-Indriyas and the Karma-
Indriyas. Desire-perception leads to desire-action. Therefore
we are told:
> Stern and exacting is the virtue of Viraga. If thou its path
> would'st master thou must keep thy mind and thy perceptions far
> freer than before from killing action. [62; 57]
The action which is not pleasing to Ishvara and which kills the
Soul is selfish action; its opposite is sacrifice; sacramental
action is *yagna*. Any action, however trivial, can be
transformed into a sacrament by the magic called Yagna (see ~The
Theosophical Glossary~ under YAGNA). All the Karmas we inherit
from the past form our duties, our Dharma; the Esotericist *has*
to perform his Dharma, so that each performance becomes
sacramental. But --
> Before thine hand is lifted to upraise the fourth gate's latch,
> thou must have mastered all the mental changes in thyself and
> slain the army of the thought sensations that, subtle and
> insidious, creep unasked within the Soul's bright shrine.
> [60-61; 55]
 The unwanted thoughts overpower the consciousness even
before their presence is registered -- that is the first stage.
To oust them is difficult, but the effort brings the *Siddhi,*
the power, of sensing their approach. In this second stage
danger lies in keeping the mind vacant. It is important to learn
to keep ourselves mentally engaged. It is necessary ever to have
near at hand thoughts and things which would hold the mind steady
and firm. "Possession in nine points of the law," it is said,
and that is equally true of the mind possessing true ideas, which
make it immune to attack from the enemy.
> If thou would'st not be slain by them, then must thou harmless
> make thy own creations, the children of thy thoughts, unseen,
> impalpable, that swarm round humankind, the progeny and heirs to
> man and his terrestrial spoils. [61; 55]
It is through our thoughts, good and bad, that we bind ourselves
to humanity, and to the universe. The thought-links are very
powerful binders and Vairagya is detachment of our own mind from
all thought-links. The thoughts of others bind us to them, in
proportion as we are consubstantial with them. This law,
however, works on the beneficent side as well: *thoughts* link us
to the Supreme Self, to the Blessed Ones who live in the
infinitudes of space or on earth. Our desires fill our world
now; they impel us to think, to plan, to act; a void is the world
of Spirit for the man of flesh. But when the higher choice is
made and the resolve taken, the emptiness of the world of the
senses is seen. Invocation of the higher, daily contact with the
higher, sustained repose in the higher reveal how grand and
blissful the plenum is. Detachment from the lower, cleaving to
the higher, transfer the loves of the aspiring practitioner to a
spiritual realm, and from there the *Maya* of the material
universe looks like a play, a drama, a *lila.* The symbols of the
vacuum and the plenum are excellent metaphysical ideas,
contemplation on which strengthens the virtue of Vairagya.
> Thou hast to study the Voidness of the seeming full, the fulness
> of the seeming Void. O fearless Aspirant, look deep within the
> well of thine own heart, and answer. Knowest thou of Self the
> powers, O thou perceiver of external shadows? [61; 55-56]
Every effort to reach and to hold a new postion in a higher world
requires spiritual energy -- Virya. The source thereof is in the
spiritual pole of man's being. Bodily energy related to the
prana-principle in man is but the lowest expression of Virya.
Virya is called the semen of the Soul and it is activated by
spiritual celibacy -- Brahmacharya of the mind. The Chelas of
the Great Gurus are real Brahmacharis -- young learners gaining
the strength of knowledge, who presently will enter the Great
House of the Fathers of the Race. If the practice of bodily
Brahmacharya is a difficult undertaking, much more difficult is
Soul-celibacy, necessary for real one-pointedness, Dhyana. As in
all else, unfoldment from within without is the law in
Brahmacharya: inner psycho-spiritual  celibacy makes the
outer psycho-physiological celibacy possible. Those who try to
practise the latter without a basis of the former fail -- and
worse than fail.
For attaining Dhyana-paramita the learner has to acquire the art
of using energy for both offensive and defensive purposes. The
consciousness has to attain a state wherein attacks from the
lower regions do not touch it; and also in that state the
movement towards the ultimate goal is steadily continued. The
Dhyana-state is static in relation to the lower, but dynamic in
relation to the higher. In it the attacks from the astral light
have to be met and warded off, while a steady rising in the
Divine Astral or Akasha has to be attempted. This dual task is
implicit in the following verses, arranged to facilitate the
> Ere the gold flame can burn with steady light, the lamp must
> stand well guarded in a spot free from all wind." Exposed to
> shifting breeze, the jet will flicker and the quivering flame
> cast shades deceptive, dark and ever-changing, on the Soul's
> white shrine.
> And then, O thou pursuer of the truth, thy Mind-Soul will become
> as a mad elephant, that rages in the jungle. Mistaking forest
> trees for living foes, he perishes in his attempts to kill the
> ever-shifting shadows dancing on the wall of sunlit rocks.
> Thou hast to reach that fixity of mind in which no breeze,
> however strong, can waft an earthly thought within. Thus
> purified, the shrine must of all action, sound, or earthly light
> be void; e'en as the butterfly, o'ertaken by the frost, falls
> lifeless at the threshold - - so must all earthly thoughts fall
> dead before the fane.
> Build high, Lanoo, the wall that shall hedge in the Holy Isle,
> the dam that will protect thy mind from pride and satisfaction at
> thoughts of the great feat achieved.
> Thine "Isle" is the deer, thy thoughts the hounds that weary and
> pursue his progress to the stream of Life. Woe to the deer that
> is o'ertaken by the barking fiends before he reach the Vale of
> Refuge -- Dhyana-Marga, "path of pure knowledge" named.
> Ere thou canst settle in Dhyana-Marga and call it thine, thy Soul
> has to become as the ripe mango fruit: as soft and sweet as its
> bright golden pulp for others' woes, as hard as that fruit's
> stone for thine own throes and sorrows, O Conqueror of Weal and
> As the diamond buried deep within the throbbing heart of earth
> can never mirror back the earthly lights, so are thy mind and
> Soul; plunged in Dhyana-Marga, these must mirror nought of Maya's
> realm illusive.
> A task far harder still awaits thee: thou hast to feel thyself
> ALL-THOUGHT, and yet exile all thoughts from out thy Soul.
> The Dhyana gate is like an alabaster vase, white and transparent;
> within there burns a steady golden fire, the flame of Prajna that
> radiates from Atman.
>  The Dhyana Path, the haven of the Yogi, the blessed goal
> that Srotapattis crave.
The Probationer is on the shore of the Manasa-sarovara where,
Occult tradition teaches, great Sages recorded what they had
heard as the Vedas. He has to enter the Waters of Wisdom and
dive deep and deeper till he sees the Naga, the Dragon-Lord of
the Lake. He teaches, it is said, the mantram to the new Arhan
who comes out into Myalba to repeat it, and it is --
PEACE TO ALL BEINGS
HISTORIC FORCES THAT AFFECT OUR LIVES
by Eldon Tucker
It's important to be aware of history, lest it repeat itself.
Consider the horrors of Nazi Germany. World War I was "the war
to end all wars," yet we still had World War II. When things
appear to get better in the world, it does not mean that human
evil has come to any end, but rather that it is just in
subsidence. We have to be ever-vigilant to see that prevent the
reemergence of the dark side of human nature.
In World War II, Theosophy had to go underground in Germany.
Mary Linne and Emile Haerter had translated The Secret Doctrine
into German. Their translation was burned and they were jailed.
After the war, it was translated again.
Following is a translation of an interesting letter from that
> Theosophical Society, "Branch Dresden"
> Dresden, July 31, 1937
> Dear Member:
> We regret having to inform you that from this day on the
> Theosophical Society, Branch Dresden, has been dissolved by the
> Secret State Police (Gestapo), Berlin. This decree concurrently
> affects other similar associations as well.
> The planned excursion on August 1 can't therefore take place.
> All books which were lent from the Library *must be* rendered to
> me *immediately.* (Dr. A., Schnorrstr, 27 Eg.)
> The property of the T.S., Branch Dresden, will be confiscated in
> order to serve other charitable purposes.
> We also have to make you aware of it, that every attempt being
> made to continue with the Organization in one way or the other,
> respectively trying to establish a new organization, is liable to
> Thanks to all members for their collaboration, best wishes and
> theosophical greetings,
> (signed) Liesel Wehlitz, Secretary
We live in turbulent times. Political or religious forces to
repress the freedom of thought have arisen before in but a few
years to grip a country. Even with computers, allowing the free
interchange of ideas, the technology can be turned against
freedom of thought. Encrypted messages could be made illegal,
punishable by law, and the government could review and censor
email, if it were so inclined.
I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily on the horizon, but
it could happen, and has happened quickly in the past.
The Teachings which we are privileged to study are something that
could easily become a target for suppression, as they have been
suppressed at various times throughout the ages, forcing us to go
underground, like the Masons or Rosicrucians did in the past.
Let's feel grateful for the freedom that we have. We can profess
a belief in Theosophy, and study and teach it openly. This is
something that we cannot always take for granted. Life moves in
unexpected ways, not always according to our expectations. And
the forces that shape nations and change the face of the world
are not only beyond our control, but often unpredictable as well.
ETHICS IS A PART OF LIFE
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an August 29, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Ethics, like other aspects of life, is inter-woven with the rest
of the Philosophy. It cannot be considered apart from the other
grand ideas and ideals, anymore than reincarnation and karma
could be. We can learn more about it when examining it in
conjunction with the other Teachings.
Consider the doctrine of karma. We have our individual karma,
made by our personal choices in life. We are self-made and
control our individual destinies. Yet there is also group karma.
There is, for instance, national karma, in which we share because
of our birth into a particular country, and our long-standing
relationships with the others incarnating in that nation at the
In a similar way, we could say that there is individual ethics,
and national ethics. There is the sense of right and wrong, the
knowledge of good and evil, the awareness of the benefit or harm,
to ourselves and others, by our actions. We make for ourselves
certain rules of behavior, certain stan- dards of conduct that we
try to live by. These rules are based upon the type of person
that we want to be (or see ourselves as), and upon our experience
of other people and the society that we live in. We know when
we've done something good or wrong. The term for that awareness
is "conscience," and we all have it, to some degree.
Taking a look at the larger picture, we are each in- dividuals in
a particular society. We are taught to obey the laws of the land
that we live in, to live in harmony with others, to peacefully
coexist with others. We are further told to not just coexist,
but to live for their benefit, to think of their benefit on an
equal basis with our own, to truly care about their needs to.
The Golden Rule, to do unto others what we'd have them do unto us
is taken literally: we accept their needs and lives as equally
important with our own.
Now considering the *needs* of others does not mean working to
satisfy their desires, which may be self-destruc- tive. We
consider the *needs* of others on an equal basis with our own,
and the balance is never tipped in our direction if the greater
good would have otherwise. And it is the same with our society.
We may, at great cost to ourselves, seek to fulfill the needs of
society, by opposing its current struc- ture, by refusing to
satisfy its current desires.
When we truly care for others, we want the best for them. We do
not use them as tools to achieve our own end. We consider each
situation on its own merits, looking at the overall good. There
is no self-conscious awareness of oursel- ves as individuals,
apart from the rest, fighting for our own benefit at the cost of
others. This forgetting of self, this transcending of the
personal sense of separateness, we find as called
"self-forgetfulness" in our literature, and it is an important
quality of spiritual consciousness that is a special treasure.
In Zen, we are trained to lose ourselves in the situat- ion, to
become so completely absorbed in what we are doing that we
momentarily forget the sense of self and do things in perfect
enjoyment. This enjoyment comes from the momentary liberation
from the sense of personal self. This sense of personal self is
a painful burden. Carrying it with us, it is like going through
life wearing a pair of too-small shoes, shoes that hurt our feet
to put on, and hurt even more when we walk on them. It is indeed
a blissful sensation to take them off!
The personality does not go away, as we progress, but it becomes
responsive to the spiritual will. As we progress, our awareness
shifts deeper within, and the personality, rather than being the
central focus of our awareness, instead becomes another means to
give expression to ourselves. It does not go away; it does not
even necessarily become a thing of beauty or a model of
psychological health. Rather, the personality loses its function
at that part of our inner nature which we pay attention to and
identify with, replaced by something deeper within.
When we define ethics in terms of a system of moral conduct,
considering it at the level of society, imposing rules of
interaction upon its citizens, we are considering Group Ethics
(analogous to Group Karma). Considering our individual choice to
belong to that society, our individual choice as to how to
interact with other individuals, and our individual choice as to
how to live our own life, we are con- sidering Personal Ethics
(analogous to Personal Karma).
With ethics itself, what do we have? There are certain rules of
conduct, certain general principles, like "do not kill others,"
or "do not cheat on college tests." Each rule has valid reasons
for its formulation, based upon wanting to balance individual
freedom with the rights of others to remain free from harm. The
balance attempts to achieve the greatest common good for all.
Looking at any particular rule, giving it our closest scrutiny,
we find that it needs qualification when applied to any
particular situation. When we say, for instance, "do not kill
others," we might qualify it to say "unless they are about to
kill your family and there is no other possibly way to stop
There is a difference, then, between the general rule and its
particular application to any situation. This difference can be
found with any type of analysis, any time of awareness, any time
of consciousness. There is the general formulation, based upon
the cumulative experience of the past, the essence of previous
experiences. And there is the specific ap- plication, based upon
the particular needs of the present, the complexity of the
situation before us.
The storehouse of our past experiences, the generalized knowledge
of the workings of live and the right way for us to live it, is
found in our Higher Natures. The personality represents the
specific way that we have brought it out in the present lifetime.
The personality suffers for all the choices that we have made in
this life, all the compromises necessary to get by in life, and
it is quite glad to achieve liberation from the bondage of
physical existence by the type we reach the death of the physical
I would consider the ethical consciousness, the ethical awareness
as arising out of our connectedness with others. This awareness
can only be possible because we are all interrelated, in our
inner natures. We all participate in the process of cocreating
the world. The world would not be the same were any one of us
not to exist! And that interaction helps define both the world
and ourselves. We know and sense the natures of each and every
other being in existence through that cooperative effort. And
that connection is in Buddhi, in our buddhic principle of
consciousness. It is more deeply- rooted, more fundamental than
the separate sense of personal self, which comes with Manas. And
it is but one removed from a sense of Identity with all life, a
sense of the universal Self which we realize in our highest
When we consider past theosophical personages, we have to take
care in our judgments of them. If someone is dead, and no longer
able to help or harm others, it is not necessary to warn anyone
to stay away from him. If that person had both a good and an
evil side to their personalities, we can still benefit from the
good, and downplay the evil.
(This does not mean the suppression of historical information
about key individuals in the Theosophical Move- ment. It means
keeping things in the right context. I could joke and suggest a
rating system: "EH" for explicit history and "IP" for idealized
philosophy, so that readers may prescreen materials before
actually reading them.)
Apart from a historic study, the personal problems of past
personages is not important. What is important is their
philosophical differences. Their ideas must stand or fall on
their own, based upon consistency with the Esoteric Philo- sophy.
Any individual thought and writing stands the risk of error.
Compare the writings of each person to those of Blavatsky, the
Mahatmas, and what grand truths that we can derive from the great
exoteric philosophies and religions of the world. Does it arise
out of the same source?
This comparison can be difficult, impossible for many. Until an
individual has reached a certain point, comes in touch with the
theosophical thought-current, and is capable of individual
thought along these lines, the selection of ideas seems
arbitrary. Until one has awakened his Inner Thinker, or rather
come into active relationship with it, one is a follower and
believer or non-believer. Until then, there is no apparent
reason for choosing one writer over another, for choosing one
religion, philosophy, system of belief over the next. After that
relationship is established, one can choose, and knows, to a
degree, how to mine the "gold" from the common ore.
The search for ethics is the same as the search for knowledge.
One set of rules of conduct seems no better than the rest, until
one has come in touch with one's inner Rule Maker, and starts to
see the right and wrong in everything in a fresh, original way,
through direct insight rather than the recollection of rules
imposed from without. This Rule Maker is Buddhi, and its active
participation in life brings a new type of consciousness to the
moment-to-moment situation, as we give it our complete emotional,
mental, and *moral* attention.
When we speak of highly advanced individuals going from moral to
"amoral" consciousness, it is comparable to in- dividual and
national karma. Until we take self-responsibility for our lives,
we have personal karma, but are also strongly influenced by the
sweep of national events, by external society, by group karma.
Also as to ethics: until we take self-responsibility for our
lives, we have personal ethics, but are also strongly influenced
by the national values, by external society, by group ethics.
What are we striving for? To be able to look within and know, to
feel ourselves firmly rooted in a spiritual universe rooted in
compassion, to truly see and understand what is right and live
accordingly. What prevents us from doing so? The disbelief that
it is impossible to achieve, or so far- removed from life as to
be unachievable until some far-distant future lifetime. But both
are not true!
We are so close to the spiritual, to the higher side of things,
that we have it now. We just do not let ourselves see it! It is
said that the Kingdom of God is on earth already, but we see it
not. Well, the Spiritual Nature is with us, an integral part of
the fabric of our conscious, and *we know it not.* How do we
*not* know it? By not giving it our self- consciousness, by
allowing it to be unselfconscious, by the denial of our attention
It is true that it takes time, there is a process that must be
undergone to make it an outwardly manifest part of our lives. We
must go from point A to point B, and from B to C, and so on,
following a natural process of self-unfoldment. But that which
is to be unfolded is already there! It is not waiting to be
created, only waiting its turn to be manifest in the world as an
integral part of our lives!
A PROBLEM WITH ETHICS
by Gerald Schueler
[based upon an August 18, 1994 posting to email@example.com]
I have a problem with all of this talk about ethics. In fact, I
have a problem with ethics per se. I have tried to discuss this
many times. Apparently I have not yet been successful. So, I
will try one more time, and then I will shut up about it.
Most Christians are taught to be ethical. In fact, church
attendance and ethics are quite sufficient to get most Christians
into heaven. The problem that I have with ethics is motive.
Most Christians (and I shouldn't really pick on Christians,
because it is true across the board) are ethical because they
believe that this will get them into heaven. In other words,
ethics are a means to an end, and this end involves the inflation
of ego. Theosophists are not supposed to be interested in
inflating the ego, but rather the opposite.
As a theosophist, has the thought ever come to you that by being
more ethical you will move toward spirituality? The thought often
sounds something like this: "If I am ethical, I will tread the
path, I will become enlightened, I will increase my good karma, I
will further my spiritual evolution." Has it? If so, then please
tell me the difference between the theosophist and the Christian.
Are not both on similar ego trips? Even the tiny little thought
that by helping someone, I will lessen my karmic burden and thus
my next life will be better, is an ego trip. And yet I hear this
kind of stuff in theosophical literature all the time. I submit
that it matters very little whether we seek to enter heaven or
seek a better future life on Earth - both ideas are egoistic.
The problem that I have with ethics, is that it is all too easy
to use ethics as a means to further inflate the ego, which for
most of us is already quite large enough.
Ok. So what is the alternative? I am not suggesting that we
throw out ethics, or subscribe to DO WHAT THOU WILT (a Crowley
law) or even AN' IT HURT NONE, DO WHAT THOU WILT (a Wicca law
which is only a little better, simply because you can't do very
much in this life without inadvertently hurting someone somewhere
in the process).
What I am suggesting is that we emphasize compassion and concern
for the welfare of others, together with respect for all living
beings. If we do this, then ethics will be a natural fallout,
and will tend to take care of itself. In fact, every occult and
magical organization that I am aware of teaches the importance of
compassion. The ego cannot pass safely through the Ring-Pass-
Not that separates form from formlessness. Thus in order to
perceive the spiritual formless realms, we must eliminate the
human ego. Compassion for others is a good technique to use for
deflating the ego. Not ethics.
Helping others is a good thing. But inflating the ego is not.
If we can fill ourselves with compassion, then we will help
others simply because we cannot do anything else, and not because
it is the "right" thing to do, or because it will give us good
karma or will eliminate some of our past bad karma. One's motive
is as important, if not more important, than one's action.
THE QUESTION OF ETHICS
by April Hejka-Ekins
[based upon an August 22, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org]
The question of ethics in relationship to Theosophy has been
raised on the network. A stimulating conversation can result if
we dialogue with one another, rather than pontificating. Instead
let us share our ideas and experience and, where appropriate,
agree to respectfully disagree in an atmosphere of open inquiry.
I wish to begin my part of the dialogue with 4 points. First, if
spiritual growth is the process of realizing the fundamental
unity of all life, then I believe leading an ethical life as
essential to reaching that state. From my experience as an
instructor of ethics, I view the term from two dimensions:
developing the moral judgment to discern right from wrong and
exercising the strength of character to put those judgments into
Second, the writings of Blavatsky, Judge, and the Mahatmas
themselves are totally imbued with ethics as the foundation for
earnest students of the Ancient Wisdom. From my studies I
believe to be a Theosophist means struggling to live an ethical
life of self-responsibility, justice, and compassion, while
constantly striving for Truth.
Third, due to our own egotistic nature, it is easy to dispense
with ethics as merely either "being nice to people" or "adhering
our own moral code" that supersedes the conforming standards of
society. I believe one way we often delude ourselves is in
thinking that because "we are on the Path," that we have become
virtuous and can go on to the more important work;
i.e.,investigation of occult practices.
Fourth, in my experience leading an ethical life requires honest
self-scrutiny and an ongoing humility, since we are each filled
with flaws. Perhaps a fruitful conversation would be to discuss
ethical problems we have faced and how a Theosophical perspective
can be helpful in coping with them.
RESEARCH THAT IS DESTRUCTIVE OF BELIEF SYSTEMS
by Paul Johnson
[based upon a May 17, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
Last Sunday I spoke to the Baltimore TS on the chela Babaji,
and was pleased with the lodge's reception of my research and
thoughts. There were lots of good questions, and one, at the
end, that really made me stop and think. I wonder how
others would have responded. Boris Orszula said (I parahrase):
> It's clear that in your investigations you are seeking the truth,
> whatever it may turn out to be, and try to be strictly objective
> in determining what is credible and what is not. What then,
> after all these years of research, do you still find to be
> worthwhile in the contemporary Theosophical movement, and what do
> you reject?
Folks said my answer made sense to them, but I felt really
inadequate. What I said was that the work presently being done
in the movement was effective and appropriate in terms of the
Three Objects, all of which I "believe in" -- i.e. value and
support. That is, the publications and programs of the societies
really do -- with varying degrees of success -- fulfill those
On the other hand, there was a serious failure to adhere to the
motto "No Religion Higher Than Truth" as the movement had
degenerated into a number of factions each of which believes its
own version of the truth and discourages people from taking
seriously anything which conflicts with that version.
But beneath the question lies the issue: "how do you feel about
the fact that your research is destructive of people's belief
systems, and what do you think is left standing in the aftermath
of the destruction?"
It may surprise some folks to know that I have been a Theosophist
for 16 years, have published about 25 articles in various
Theosophical journals, have spoken at conferences and many branch
meetings, and for the first ten of those years was quite orthodox
in my views.
So, I'm not a historian becoming interested in Theosophy, but a
Theosophist who gradually stumbled into historical research. And
step by step, the evidence uncovered in that research took me
further and further from orthodox views of HPB and the Masters,
which was very painful since I was emotionally attached to so
When I first gave a "controversial" talk in London in 1986 (Sufi
connections was the topic) I was actually trembling with fear at
the possible reactions. Jean Overton Fuller's subsequent charges
of an Islamic takeover plot were even worse than I had imagined!
Anyhow -- what's the balance sheet of losses and gains for
Theosophy if my forthcoming book is basically correct? What is
lost is the sense of exclusive exaltation of HPB and the TS as
being THE agent of THE Masters in possession of THE occult
What is gained is a thoroughly documented proof that HPB had more
connections with more advanced adepts in more different spiritual
traditions East and West than has ever been imagined. And, in
consequence, that her teachings are clearly based on authentic
information from genuine adept sources.
But the human reality of all this leaves us with the realization
that HPB and the TS were/are AN agent of SOME Masters in
possession of VARIOUS kinds of occult wisdom. And some people
will be very unhappy with the extent that these alliances were
ever-shifting rather than stable and secure.
In terms of degrees of admiration and respect for HPB, I was
always considered pretty extreme before I got into this research,
and I still love her and honor her as the person who has taught
me the most. Moreover, I think people who read the forthcoming
book with an unbiased mind will see that it is VERY pro-HPB, in
spite of being very much a "warts and all" portrait.
One more point and then I'll shut up. I've beed advised trying
to put oneself into the position of one's attacker, and this is
In the case of a review in a recent theosophical periodical, what
I surmise is that the writer perceives, rightly, that my work is
destructive of a belief system he values. But then he wrongly
assumes that this means my intentions are destructive and
selfish, and that I have deliberately manipulated the evidence in
service of evil purposes.
On the contrary, although I try to be scrupulously even-handed,
there are lots of instances where I tend to give HPB the benefit
of the doubt. And most importantly, knowing the truth about
history may be destructive -- of illusions -- but it can also be
liberating and enlightening.
Liberation and enlightenment are what Theosophy is all about --
in my humble opinion -- and I am hopeful that most readers will
derive more benefit than pain from the results of my labors.
NEW THEOSOPHICAL EMAIL ADDRESSES
[Following is news from the American Section of the Theosophical
Society (with international headquarters at Adyar, India). This
information is now available, and I understand a copy of the
announcement will appear in the next issue of THE QUEST.]
Here are some addresses you can use to contact us electronically:
Quest Book Shop firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussion list email@example.com
National President firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you over the ether. But if you
are not electronically inclined, the old post office number still
CONFERENCE ON THEOSOPHY AND MODERN SCIENCE
by Alan E Donant
The American Section of The Theosophical Society (Pasadena) is
sponsoring a two-day event to explore theosophy and modern
This is a call for Papers, Panels, Demonstrations, and
Slide/Video Presentations, for the conference to be held May 30 -
1. To advance the scientific philosophy of theosophy.
2. To present theosophy as a body of workable hypotheses that
provides understanding of some of the perplexing scientific
questions of our day.
3. To foster an exchange on the significance of theosophic
perspectives on science.
4. To explore scientific models found in The Secret Doctrine and
the implications drawn from them as applied to modern scientific
* All areas of science are open, including: anthropology,
astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, cosmology, ecology,
evolution, genetics, geology, geophysics, medicine, physics,
psychology, sociology, space, zoology, related fields and cross
disciplines, and the theosophical science found in The Secret
* Please submit a synopsis of your paper, panel, demonstration,
movies or video no later than December 31, 1997, to allow the
organizing committee time to develop a program. The program for
the conference will be announced as soon as possible following
the December deadline.
* All are invited to attend and participate. The conference is
free of charge, but reservations to attend are necessary as
seating is limited. Attendees supply their own transportation,
housing, and meals.
* Details will be available at our website
and will also be mailed to those holding reservations.
CHAOS IS VERY CIVILIZED
by Thoa Tran
[based upon an November 21, 1997 posting to email@example.com.]
If any theosophist is worried about the future of t/Theosophy in
getting the attention of the younger generation, s/he should log
onto the zee list to observe the tone of the list. You'll have
to do it without judgment of the topics. Some of the topics may
not settle well in your stomach. The topics range from shit
incense to Shakespeare. The ages on the zee list range from 18
to probably ancient. The knowledge level also has a wide range.
If you can read countless e-mails (almost 100 a day) without
feeling like protesting, you pass the test.
IMO, the typical theosophy list is diseased with necrophilia (a
constant rehashing and argument over dead Theosophists), an
unfriendly tone (sometimes snotty), a mental arrogance (I'm
smarter than you!), and preaching (this list must be reserved
ONLY to spread brotherliness!).
As an aside, regarding limiting conversations to only spreading
brotherliness, we are fooling ourselves if that is the only reason
we log onto the theosophy lists. People, if they are inclined
to, are already doing whatever they can to spread brotherliness,
OUTSIDE of the computer. Whatever their inclination, a constant
reminder is not going to help, but cause guilt and annoyance.
I think the main reason theosophists log onto the lists is to be
among theosophists, since there are not that many in our
immediate vicinity. The staid Theosophists will congregate with
staid Theosophists. Turning away and without drawing any
newbies, they are not influencing anything, regardless of their
constant reminder toward brotherhood. They are only reminding
Although one thinks that the mission is to spread enlightening
messages on the Internet, the motive is mostly selfish, arising
from a need to be with like people. The attitude that pushes
away people beyond your realm of positive influence reveals that
the motive IS selfish.
MONK GLOATS OVER YOGA CHAMPIONSHIP
[Circulating the Internet]
AP WIRE - Monk Gloats Over Yoga Championship
"I am the serenest!" he says.
LHASA, TIBET -- Employing the brash style that first brought him
to prominence, Sri Dhananjai Bikram won the fifth annual
International Yogi Competition yesterday with a world-record
point total of 873.6.
"I am the serenest!" Bikram shouted to the estimated crowd of
20,000 yoga fans, vigorously pumping his fists. "No one is
serener than Sri Dhananjai Bikram -- I am the greatest monk of
Bikram got off to a fast start at the Lhasa meet, which like most
major competitions, is a six-event affair. In the first event,
he attained total consciousness (TC) in just 2 minutes, 34
seconds, and set the tone for the rest of the meet by repeatedly
shouting, "I'm blissful! You blissful?! I'm blissful!" to the
Bikram, 33, burst onto the international yoga scene with a
gold-mandala performance at the 1994 Bhutan Invitational. At
that competition he premiered his aggressive style, at one point
in the flexibility event sticking his middle toes out at the
other yogis. While no prohibition exists against such behavior,
according to Yoga League Commissioner Swami Prabhupada, such
behavior is generally considered "unBuddhalike."
"I don't care what the critics say," Bikram said. "Sri Bikram is
just gonna go out there and do Sri Bikram's own yoga thing."
Before the Bhutan meet, Bikram had never placed better than
fourth. Many said he had forsaken rigorous training for the
celebrity status accorded by his Bhutan win, endorsing Nike's new
line of prayer mats and supposedly dating the Hindu goddess
Shakti. But his performance this week will regain for him the
number one computer ranking and earn him new respect, as well as
for his coach Mahananda Vasti, the controversial guru some have
called Bikram's "guru."
"My special training diet for Bikram of one super-charged,
carbo-loaded grain of rice per day was essential to his win,"
The defeated Gupta denied that Bikram's taunting was a factor in
his inability to attain TC. "I just wasn't myself today," Gupta
commented. "I wasn't any self today. I was an egoless particle
of the universal no-soul."
In the second event, flexibility, Bikram maintained the lead by
supporting himself on his index fingers for the entire 15 minutes
while touching the back of his skull to his lower spine. The
feat was matched by Gupta, who first used the position at the
1990 Tokyo Zen-Off.
"That's my meditative position of spiritual ecstasy, not his,"
remarked Gupta. "He stole my thunder."
Bikram denied the charge, saying, "Gupta's been talking like that
ever since he was a 3rd century Egyptian slave-owner."
Nevertheless, a strong showing by Gupta in the third event, the
shotput, placed him within a lotus petal of the lead at the
competition's halfway point.
But event number four, the contemplation of unanswerable riddles
known as koans, proved the key to victory for Bikram.
The koan had long been thought the weak point of his spiritual
arsenal, but his response to today's riddle -- "Show me the face
you had before you were born " -- was reportedly "extremely
illuminative," according to Commissioner Prabhupada.
While koan answers are kept secret from the public for fear of
exposing the uninitiated multitudes to the terror of universal
truth, insiders claim his answer had Prabhupada and the two other
judges "highly enlightened."
With the event victory, Bikram built himself a nearly
insurmountable lead, one he sustained through the yak-milk churn
and breathing events to come away with the upset victory.
THE NATURAL PROCESS OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an August 5, 1994 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
I agree with the idea that our spiritual progress leads us
gradually along the road leading to becoming Masters. But this
is only part of the picture. The road to enlightenment has been
described as a gradual one, and as a series of sudden
realizations. The gradual and sudden schools are both true, and
describe different aspects of the same process.
Consider water. If heated, its temperature gradually rises,
taking it eventually to the point of a radical change of state,
as it boils and becomes steam. A caterpillar goes into a cocoon,
and emerges as a butterfly. A chick cracks its egg shell, and
emerges into the world, a creature quite different from the egg
left behind. We grow old, slowly, day by day, the changes barely
perceptible, but one day we die--quite a state change!
In all these cases, we found a gradual process, once engaged and
followed, leading to a dramatic, sudden change. After a period
of approach, of ripening, of getting ready for a new phase of
life, the change happens. The springtime bud, ripened in the
warm sunshine, has opened and becomes a beautiful flower!
This leads us to the idea of the Mahatma. After a period of
spiritual ripening, over many lifetimes, the neophyte has reached
the point of flowering, and undergoes Initiation, a considerable
state change. He has become an entirely different creature,
something more than the man that he was before. There is a new,
Every event in life happens in accord with Natural Law. Nothing
is by change, by make-believe, by pretense. We can no more
become a Mahatma by pretending to follow the Path, than we can
become rich by pretending at money making, or by imagining
winning the California Lottery. To do something, you have to *do
it.* That is, do those things that really make it happen. Engage
the process and you grow, change, and achieve results. Do
whatever you like, pretend to yourself whatever you like, but
you'll get nowhere.
Knowledge is power, and without it we're at a considerable
handicap. Much gratitude is due to HPB and her Teachers for
their work to make the Teachings available to us, outside the
circle of Chelaship. Otherwise we're on our own in a
materialistic western society, in the midst of the Kali Yuga, the
great dark age.
The basic truth is that for every event in life, there is a
natural process that can be engaged to bring it about. For
anything that can be done, there is a process. Do it and it will
There are things we read about that cannot be done on earth at
this time, because the physical plane conditions that we are
subject to, here on Globe D, will not support those activities.
But they can be done on the other Globes, or in future Rounds
when the matter of our earth is more highly evolved and
responsive to the effects of our consciousness.
Try some spiritual practices that can be found in the
theosophical Teachings. If you are doing something real,
changes, real changes will happen in your life. If you are doing
something unreal, something wrong, something not in accord with
the laws and activities of Nature, then the results will not
And what brings results, real results? It is by changes in our
consciousness, by broadening our outlook, by uplifting our
vision, that we become more than we were. We become
self-forgetful, we find ourselves engaged in grand thoughts of
high philosophy and grand works in the world, rather than in the
details of our personal lives, and in the self-identification
with the personalities that we are burdened with.
The changes in our consciousness are inner, not obvious from the
outside. Externally, we may get worse as new turbulence in our
outer lives arises, as all sorts of karmic troubles boil up to
the surface. But our minds and hearts are elsewhere, in a
grander space within, and the outer events do not really trouble
us. We're busy doing something very real, wondrous, beautiful,
and fascinating in its own way. And we are on the road, along
the gradual path toward that special day when we become something
more, something truly grand.
It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the
first step. The landscape does change as we start walking, and
we do find ourselves going places. There are people passing out
maps. No one denies us the right to travel, and we do not need
to travel blindly. We hear that what awaits is incredible beyond
words, and it's there for the taking!
by Richard Hiltner, MD
As we enter the brave new world of medicine encompassing such
heretofore science fiction aspects that are now reality, I wonder
about the wisdom of it all. Medical science has indeed done some
magnificent things, including: coronary arterial by-pass surgery;
bigger and better birth-control suppressants; bigger and better
immunosuppressants; cloning; organ transplants, etc. However, I
would like to concentrate in this short paper on an almost
sacrosanct subject of organ transplants.
Almost every week one hears of the marvelous help of this or that
organ transplant. It is indeed wonderful to see various people
who are critically or mortally ill to be saved by these
procedures. There is no doubt in my mind that those individuals
who donated their organs have very unselfish motives. So what's
The problem is a nagging, recurrent "feeling" that something is
not quite right. Perhaps the best way to examine this feeling is
to write about them to others whom I feel might answer my
concerns. To be more precise, let me outline some specific
As a student of the ancient wisdom now called Theosophy, I
realize that a human being is composed of at least seven
principle-elements and that the highest of these is Atman or the
Higher Self. I would rather not elaborate the rest of these
principle-elements, but simply state that there is a gradual
narrowing, coarsening of the consciousness or energy-force and
matter until the physical body [vehicle] is reached. With this
said, how then does using the donor organ of the decease or
living person affect psycho-magnetically [if you will allow me to
use this word] both the donor and the recipient.
In the case of a donor who has died, the theosophical student is
aware of the concept of Kama-loka or "desire-locality" [sometimes
referred to as "purgatory" in Christian parlance], which is
located in the astral realms. After the death of the physical
body, the Kama-rupa ["desire-body"] is drawn to various levels
depending on its previous earth life. If one considers the
thought of a human being divided into three Duad [two
element-principles] levels or more commonly [Spirit, Soul and
Body], the kama-rupa would be the second Duad [kama-manas], the
Spirit Duad would be buddhi-manas, and the body would be
If my understanding is correct, the kama-rupa is for the most
part unconscious or in a chaotic dream state and spends less time
in the astral kama-loka if the person was more drawn to the
spiritual consciousness and action. And contrariwise, if the
person was more controlled by excessive, selfish passions and
desires then the period would be longer and more fully conscious
of the lower astral levels which are horrible to behold.
The question thus arises whether the donated organs attract
psycho-magnetically the kama-rupa and therefore prolonged the
stay in kama-loka? Also, would this "living" organ tend to
enhance the consciousness of the kama-rupa in the lower,
"nightmarish" levels of kama-loka?
It is fairly well known that cremation has been done
traditionally by the more wise civilizations because of the fact
that it speeds up the disassociation or cohesion of the various
atoms to the molecules. This allows again the physical atoms and
astral life-atoms to be free to pursue their transmigrations and
evolution until the Re-embodying Ego [buddhi-manas] returns to
the earth. If my understanding is correct, the longer the
physical and astral body exist, the longer the attraction of the
kama-rupa and the more likely it will be drawn to the lower
levels of the kama-loka.
Other questions arise if the donor committed suicide or was
killed by an accident. H. P. Blavatsky relates that these
individuals will not be able to leave "earth's atmosphere"
[albeit, in a unconscious or chaotic dream state] until there
normal life span has expired. Are these donors more drawn to the
earth sphere? Are they tempted more than usual by mediums or
"channelers" to abnormally return to this earth and create more
Looking at the other side of the coin, does the recipient of the
organ affect both negatively and positively the life-atoms of the
donor? It is acknowledged in theosophy that various organs are
associated with different element-principles, such as the liver
being related to the kamic or desire element-principle. Taking
this as an especially appropriate example of affecting both the
recipient's kamic element-principle as well as a direct
relationship with the donor's kama-rupa, one can see all kinds of
possibilities. It is also well known that a number of liver
transplants are done due to alcohol toxicity, including
One would want to know some of the statistics on the emotional,
psychological changes that occur after these transplants. This
data may well be present at least to some extent already in
various medical Internets, such as, Med-line. I wish in the
future to pursue this; however, if there is anyone aware or
better adept than myself, the information would be appreciated.
One argument in favor of transplants is that one's life-atoms are
going to transmigrate to their psycho-magnetically attracted
areas or beings anyway when a person dies. So what's the
difference? This reasoning seems to be somewhat at fault, if one
considers that after the dissolution of the physical and astral
body, the life-atoms and physical atoms are "free" to go to their
respective beings. The key word is FREE. With an organ
transplant, the various life-atoms are "forced" to go to a
specific individual. This is backed-up by the fact that except
perhaps in the case of siblings or identical twins, there is
great need to use extreme methods of immunosuppressant therapy on
the recipient. Recipients must take very toxic immunosuppressant
medications with frequent side effects, often for very long
periods. One could surely argue that Nature did not have this in
If the donor is living, the question of after-death states is
relatively less important, except in the karma affecting the
donor when he/she dies. The donor does not have complete
knowledge of all the karmic aspects of the recipient, even if
known. The truly "saving grace" for the donor is that of good
motive. Again the argument can be presented that all of us
exchange life-atoms every day, even every second, by such methods
as respiration, etc. However, an organ transplant is much more
intense, concentrated and, depending on the organ, affecting more
directly the various element-principles. It is more intimate;
surely as imitate as giving blood and therefore, more dangerous
as to any negative quality both gross or subtle being
The obvious question of karma comes up in reference to the
recipient's reason for needing the transplant. This may sound
harsh, insensitive and lacking compassion. Who am I to judge
another? If you can help another, is it not your duty to do so?
These are very important and legitimate questions. Nonetheless,
do we really understand all of the implications of doing the
transplants? Could we do more harm than good? Each case must be
examined separately! Since this is an imperfect world and we
humans surely reflect this, all we can do is our best. But it is
our responsibility to be aware of all sides of the argument.
Perhaps all of these questions, and very few answers, will
enlighten us more about transplants. It has helped me as a
physician to write down these ideas, and by doing so, organize my
thoughts so that a clear picture might emerge. I sincerely hope
that my concerns about transplants will eventually vaporize into
space. For, as said, it has helped people and aside of the
obvious abuse [stealing peoples' organs, greed, etc.] the motives
seem to be genuinely good. To my very limited knowledge,
theosophical literature addressing the above concerns is sparse.
It would be greatly appreciated to hear from others with more
MANUSCRIPTS FROM THE GOBI
By Mark Jaqua
[reprinted from PROTOGONOS, Spring 1989]
> Many a lost secret lies buried under wastes of sand in the Gobi
> desert of Eastern Turkestan... Beneath the surface is said to
> lie such wealth in gold, jewels, statuary, arms, utensils, and
> all that indicates civilization, luxury and fine arts ...
> awaiting the day when the revolution of cyclic periods shall
> again cause their story to be known for the instruction of
> -- Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, pp 361, 598
> ... well educated and learned natives of India and Mongolia ...
> speak of immense libraries reclaimed from the sand, together with
> various reliques of ancient MAGIC lore, which have all been
> safely stowed away.
> -- Secret Doctrine, p. xxxiv
Peter Hopkirk's book "Foreign Devils on the Silk Road" (Un, of
Mass. Press, 1984) on the early twentieth century treasure hunt
in Chinese Turkestan is a book as full of real-life adventure,
mystery and intrigue as one is likely to find. This is a
particularly mysterious area of the world, and we are told in
Blavtasky's Secret Doctrine that it is the most occultly
significant part of the planet, holding for ages one of the
headquarters of the Lodge she represented.
The Gobi desert, where rainfall may come once in ten years, is a
vast expanse that stretches some fifteen hundred miles east to
west and two to five hundred north and south. It has also been
called the "Shamo" desert and more modernly has been
geographically divided into the Taklamakan and Gobi deserts. To
its south lie India and Tibet, to the north Russia and Mongolia,
and to its east, China. Shortly after the beginning of the
Christian era trade routes, which later came to be know as the
"Silk Road," were established along its northern and southern
boundaries. Oasis towns were able to be established along rivers
emptying into the desert from the gradually melting glaciers left
with the last ice age. As the glaciers gradually melted, the
rivers dried up, and the oasis trading towns gradually were
abandoned and left to be covered by the drifting sands.
While this area remained untouched for a thousand years, almost
at the sounding of a bell in the 1890's and early twentieth
century Western explorers and archeologists began extensive work
in the area until 1930 when China would no longer allow foreign
exploration. Scores of ancient cities and temples were dug from
the sand and tons of artifacts and manuscripts were transported
to Western museums, much to the later chagrin of the Chinese.
(It is believed by many, that hadn't the Westerners "pillaged"
the area, most of their finds would have been destroyed by later
political upheaval, economic development of the areas, etc. A
common example was that local farmers were fond of scraping the
paint off thousand-year-old frescoes to use as fertilizer.)
In 1895 Sven Hedin of Sweden was the first Westerner to launch an
expedition into the area, several years after the discovery of
the "Bower Manuscript" by native treasure hunters. This was a
fifth century Buddhist text on medicine and "necromancy" and
determined to be one of the oldest existing pieces of writing.
Various other manuscripts also found their way into western
experts' hands. These discoveries "... sent a shock-wave
through the world of Indian scholarship, pointing to the
existence of a forgotten Buddhist civilization in China's back of
Sven Hedin's first valuable find resulted from returning to get a
forgotten shovel and stumbling upon a buried city in the dunes at
Lou-lan. The library of a Buddhist monastery was discovered at
Dandan-uilik that contained Sanskrit texts from the fifth and
sixth centuries. A wealth of documents were found in an ancient
garbage dump at Niya. At Endere a Buddhist temple was dug from
the sand and, among much else, the oldest specimen of Tibetan
writing. At Karakhoja Le Coq of Germany found the site so
plentiful of finds that he observed an old woman digging up
artifacts and manuscripts (which she wanted a high price for!).
At Shui-pang a "cartload" of Christian texts dating to the fifth
century were found.
Eighth century Manichean texts were found by Le Coq at Karakhoja,
although a large number of manuscripts were also tragically lost
here when a superstitious native dumped a cartload into the
river. Others were discovered to have been destroyed by
irrigation water. Nestorian manuscripts were found at sites on
the northern border of the Taklamakan. (The Nestorians were an
early Christian sect that could not believe that Christ was both
divine and human. They were outlawed by the Council of Ephesus
in 432 CE and fled eastward.)
The largest manuscript "haul" of all was made initially by Aurel
Stein of Britain and later Pelliot of France at Tun-huang at the
"Caves of the Thousand Buddhas." Led by rumors, they persuaded a
Buddhist monk restoring the cave-temples to reveal a secret
chanber he had discovered that was "... a solid mass of
manuscript bundles rising to a height of nearly ten feet, and
filling, as a subsequent measurement showed, close to 500 cubic
feet." Among them was the oldest block-print book in the world, a
"Diamond Sutra" from the ninth century. There were "...
countless manuscripts in Chinese, Sanskrit, Sogdian, Tibetan,
Tunic-Turki and Uighure, as well as in unknown languages..."
Most of the Tun-huang manuscripts ended in the British museum or
at the Musee Guimet in Paris. Another cache of texts at
Tun-Huang was discovered by Chinese archeologists in the 1940's
and as late as 1977 a Swedish bookseller was offering Tun-Huang
manuscripts in his catalog. Of the British-held manuscripts,
"Half a century was to pass before these (and then only the
complete ones) had been catalogued. In his mongraph, "Six
Centuries at Tunhuang," Dr. Lionel Giles, who carried out this
titanic task, calculates that in all he had to wade through
between ten and twenty miles of closely written rolls of text."
Hopkirk summarises that --
> Today the thousands of manuscripts brought back from Chinese
> Central Asia, written in a multitude of tongues and scripts, are
> divided among the institutions of at least eight different
> countries. Very many have still to be translated. The
> deciphering of one script, or the translation of one collection,
> can take a man's entire working life ... Anyone who wishes to
> understand the contribution these manuscripts have made to the
> study of Central Asia and Buddhist history can turn to the host
> of translations, catalogues, monographs and other special studies
> produced by scholars such as Bailey, Giles, Waley, Maspero, Levi,
> Konow, Muller, Henning, Hoernle, Pelliot and Chavannes, to name
> just a few.
DISCUSSIONS ON THE THEOSOPHICAL PHILOSOPHY
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
[based upon an August 24, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
One would think that discussions on the Theosophical philosophy
would be the prime topic on a theosophical mailing list. Yet, I
have seen very little of this. I do see lots of little essays
derived from digested ideas of Jung, Gurdjieff, Rudhyar, etc..
More often than not they have no particular reference to the core
theosophical teachings (whether they be theosophical or
neo-theosophical). I'm not putting these efforts down. They are
quite nice and often very informative. No question that they
also have a place here. After all, Theosophical concepts have
become woven into the fabric of Western thought over the last
century. Yet current topics are not the same as discussions
concerning core Theosophical teachings. On a Theosophical
discussion board, I believe that it is the Theosophical teachings
that ought to be the bases for evaluating current topics; not the
other way around.
On the other hand, I wonder how much real interest there is in
Theosophical teachings among the users of this net. Few
participants have consistently written essays on this subject,
and when they do, they are usually met with criticism -- not
criticism of their grasp of the teachings, but criticism of the
fact that a writer has beliefs concerning this subject in the
first place. I also wonder, if the reluctance to discuss
theosophical teachings is because most people in the Theosophical
Society are not really that well read in the theosophical
writings, and really have deeper interests elsewhere. Then
again, if there is a substantial genuine interest in Theosophical
teachings, then why don't we have more posts concerning them?
Those familiar with the literature can be resources to direct
others who are less familiar to sources where they can find more
I would think it a fair assumption that posts directly concerning
theosophical teachings would be of prime interest to students of
theosophy. Even my suggestion (spurred by Vic's invitation to
discuss aspects of theosophical education) that we discuss ethics
in terms of theosophical education was met with accusations that
I was suggesting that younger theosophists are immoral. One
writer noted "doubt in Theosophy, distrust of it, a cynical
attitude that it's a sham, that it's a work of imagination, that
it's just a fairy tale." This strikes me as a very strange
viewpoint for a student of Theosophy. I believe that the
acceptance of Theosophical teachings as a matter of blind faith
would also be as out of place here as its outright rejection.
The balance has to be made with the exercise of open minded
discrimination--not doubt and cynicism. Even more problematical
is when this doubt and cynicism is combined with a superficial
understanding of the Theosophy is is being discounted.
Just a historical word of clarification here: The earliest use of
the term "neo-theosophy" was used by F.T. Brooks around 1912 in
a book called ~Neo Theosophy Exposed,~ which was part two of his
first book: ~The Theosophical Society and its Esoteric Bogeydom."
Brooks was an early theosophist and Prime Minister Nehru's
teacher. Brook's criticisms revolved around the handling of the
1906 Leadbeater scandal, Krishnamurti's promotion to being the
vehicle for the Matreya, and radical new teachings in the E.S.
(channeled through C.W. Leadbeater), that contradicted the old
ones. Around 1924, Margaret Thomas published a book called
Theosophy Verses Neo-Theosophy: Part one compares Blavatsky's
teachings to those of Besant and Leadbeater's by juxtaposing
quotes from each party on various subjects, so that the
thoughtful reader could easily discern the differences and
contradictions. Part two published documents concerning the
Leadbeater scandal, and part three publishes documents concerning
the Judge case. These now very rare documents clearly show that
the objections to "Neo-Theosophy" were not because of the
Christian interests displayed by the new leadership, but because
of the of the TS leadership's decision to shift the organization
away from being a very influential philosophical movement to
becoming a cultish like organization generating progressively
more and more dramatic revelations concerning the desires of
Matreya, the MahaChohan and of Krishnamurti, who was to be the
incarnation of that Matreya.
ON SCIENCE AND RELIGION
by Annette Rivington
[based upon a July 27, 1997 posting to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
It has been proposed that in the name of completeness we could
meld or synthesize the three realms of science, religion, and
Isn't this what we are all trying to do and finding it an onerous
task? Should the Theosohpical Society could try to do this,
I'm not well read, lately that is, but I seem to remember reading
that the motivation of the previous round of scientists (approx.
17th & 18th Centuries) was more that of religion/philosophy (and
sometimes downright alchemy). What ended up as Science (the
How), started out as their personal ways of seeking their answers
to the Why, by which they hoped to find the "Truth".
I often stop and remind myself that their seeking led to their
"children's" "Science" which evolved into their "grandchildren's"
Technology and a whole (new) way of life for a whole mess of
Of course we could "meld" the three very simply. All education
would be about one subject only -- "The search for Truth". One
could not graduate in Economics or Chemistry or Sociology, as
studying these parts of knowledge would be very incomplete. In
fact, one could not graduate at all. That would at least be a
start, wouldn't it?
Everyone would participate in a method of primary and secondary
education to learn the basic life skills, history of the race,
the basics of the what, where, who and how, languages for
communication, developing the imagination, meditation, freeing
the spirit within, and most importantly, individual discovery of
that talent or skill one would bring to the world community,
which would be the basis for one's post-secondary education.
By this time in one's life, one would "naturally" respect all
life and "understand" the interdependence of all and the rights
of all. Life would be a continual learning process and the
knowledge that one could not "graduate" as an expert in only one
part, would help one keep alive the necessary state of humility
and grace to keep the process going, not only for oneself, but
for all future generations.
Following this process through many generations, I envision each
person finally reaching a level of understanding that propels the
whole race into a next level of existence. I haven't really
envisioned what that is yet, but I do feel that when we get to
it, there will be no problem with "parts" versus "whole".
THE THEOSOPHCAL FIRST CAUSE
by Eldon Tucker
[based upon an August 10, 1994 posting to email@example.com.]
When we speak of a "first cause," we are usually thinking of an
idea out of western philosophy. The idea is that everything is
started or caused by something else, but that there was some
first impulse, some first cause which originated all that
followed. This is attributed to God creating the universe. And
that creation is either an initial impulse, giving it a start,
although it could as well be a continuous stream of creative
energy allowing the continued existence of the universe.
There are many ideas involved in this that we quickly move beyond
in our theosophical studies. One is the idea of a personal God,
a particular being, however grand, which is a Supreme Being and
creator of all. Another is the idea of a Universe, however big,
which can be called the totality of all that is.
A clear distinction is made between the Totality, Tat, the Great
Unknowable, and any particular world or universe with its hosts
of creative intelligences collectively known as its Creator. The
infinite is truly not-finite, and is not simply a finite thing
that is biggest, best, most grand, or top-most among lesser
To understand the workings of Nature, to follow in our
philosophical thought the coming into being of a world, we have
to limit ourselves to a particular world, and examine what
happens with it. In "The Secret Doctrine," it is mentioned
that even the highest Dhyani-Chohans have not penetrated beyond
our Solar System.
So let us pick a world, and limit our inquiry, so that we can go
on: the Earth Planetary Chain. This world comes into being in a
greater world, the Solar System or Solar Chain. It is built out
of the life energies and materials of a bigger, already-present
world into which it is being born. It is not built out of
nothing, but needs a bigger world to host its existence.
The same is true, no matter how big the world or universe that
we may consider: that world needs an already-existing parent, a
still grander world, to host it, to give it a home for its
existence. And its parent requires an evenvaster parent to
host it. This progression goes on, to bigger and bigger realms,
without end. It is an endless series, and could be considered a
Golden Chain of Being.
For our Earth Chain, picture it as out of existence, in Pralaya,
and now wanting to manifest itself. The term used for
individuals wanting rebirth is "Tanha." There is a similar
feeling for the Earth Chain as well, a similar thirst for renewed
Picture black, empty space, inclusive of everything, without end
or boundary or limit of any kind. It contains the vast potential
of anything at all that can be. No matter how much of it we may
contain in our consciousness, there are more, truly an unlimited
supply of being-ness. Our ability to contain this Space is only
limited by ourselves, limited by our ability to expand, to reach
out, to embrace it. This Space is the Void or the womb of the
unmanifest, the side of life in which we experience non-being.
From the point of view of our Earth, this Space could be called
Parabrahman. The Earth itself, as its essential nature or
Swabhava, its karmic storehouse and Monadic Essence that make
it was it is, can be called Brahman. And Brahman could be
pictured as an Egg, a great Cosmic Egg that exists in this Space,
in the void.
But the line of demarcation between Parabrahman and Brahman, the
egg shell itself, is fuzzy, chaotic, nebular. There is a gradual
fading out, rather than a clear-cut boundary between where
Brahman ends and Parabrahman begins. In a sense, Brahman reaches
out and embraces the farthest reaches of Parabrahman, but in a
practical sense, there is a reach, an extent, a scope to what
Brahman can include in its consciousness, before reaching the
We also find that there is a part of us that corresponds to
Brahman and Parabrahman. We have the experience of Nirvana and
Paranirvana. In Nirvana, we have left manifestation, and find
ourselves in this same Void, this Space, and there is a
distinction between our effective reach or scope, defining our
Auric Egg, our Monadic Essence, our Swabhava, our storehouse of
karma, and the totality of all that is. The Nirvana of a Buddha
of Compassion is far vaster in reach than that of a Pratyeka
Buddha; and its reach is even further than the nirvanic sleep of
lesser beings. There is a scope to things, different with each
Monad, with each being, even in this state of non-existence.
The Cosmic Egg always exists, although in a sense it never
exists, because it is completely unmanifest, and never directly
descends into being, as life and form are taken on. There is a
periodic hunger for existence, and at such times it sends a ray
of its consciousness into manifestation. A seed arises in the
Cosmic Egg, a dot appears in the circle, a laya-center is opened
allowing entry into manifestation in a particular world. And a
world starts to come into being.
This Cosmic Seed could be called Brahma, the creative god of the
world that is now starting to appear. Hosts of lesser beings
flood into existence in and through Him, and we find a world in
formation. The first period involves setting up the
superstructure of the world, getting everything into place for
the dramas that will follow. The stage set is constructed, and
the props put into place, before the first Act is played. And
then the drama of life begins.
Unlike the chaotic boundary between Brahman and Parabrahman,
the boundary between Brahma (the First Logos) and Brahman, is
sharp, clear-cut, well defined. This is due to the clarity but
also the limitation of manifest existence. Choices have been
made and specific attributes have been taken on.
Consider the attribute of color. Before a color is chosen, it is
possible to be any and all colors, based upon our varying
preferences. Pick a specific color, though, say orange, and
there is quite a sharp distinction. The vast spectrum of
possibilities has been manifest as orange. All the possibilities
still exist in their own realm, but only orange is manifest. As
we bring things forth in life, we make specific choices as every
point along the way. Each choice brings something into
Another example comes from quantum physics. Give a single
electron two paths to follow, but do not look which way it is
going, and it will go both ways. It will act as a wave rather
than a particle. The wave-like attribute has an analogy to the
unmanifest state, to Brahman. The particle-like attribute's
analogy is to the manifest state, to Brahma, and all that comes
forth from it.
Now observe which way the electron is going. See which of the
two paths that it is following. It no longer acts as a wave; it
acts as a particle. The electron now only follows one pathway.
Our act of observation has made it manifest. Our consciousness
interaction with it has brought it into manifestation. There is
a similar self-conscious reflection done by Brahman, and in us as
Monads, which brings us into manifestation, which allows us to
project a ray of our consciousness into the worlds of being.
It's important to note that when we speak of Brahma, which what
we observe is not one being presiding over the creation of a
world, like the Christian God, having a personal interaction
with every creature in creation.
First, we are not created. We are provided an opportunity to
come into being, in and through the world, but preexist the world
and are not forever tied to it. It is our parent, our host, our
landlord, but not our creator in the Christian sense. Much like
the Egg of Brahman, we have our Auric Egg, which transcends
manifest existence, and there is a part of us which can be found
in the still, dark, quiet place where time is not. There is a
part of us rooted in the Unchangeable, in the Forever Perfect.
We are rooted in the highest, and are not the lowly creatures of
some minor deity.
Secondly, Brahma is much like us in the sense that it is a being
at its own level. Its self-conscious activities are with beings
at its own scale of existence. It has only a vegetative sense of
our existence. And it is the same with us and the life-atoms,
the individual cells and atoms that make up our bodies. Our
existence provides a world to host their lives, but we are
engaged with beings of our own scale. We talk to other people,
not to one-after-another of the hundreds of billions of cells in
What then, within our world, enacts the Laws of Nature? What
forms the ruling creative spiritual intelligence that guides
things? Not one being, a personal God, Brahma, but a collective
host of spiritual beings. There is grade after grade of higher
beings, from the Celestial Buddhas down through the lowest of the
Dhyani-Chohans. And then within our Human Kingdom itself, there
is the Hierarchy of Compassion, headed by the Human Buddhas,
Sixth Rounders, down and through the noble-minded men and women
of society. We all participate in both living and guiding the
drama of life.
Coming to what might be called a "First Cause," we are at the
start of a new world period, a new Manvantara. The
Dhyani-Chohans give the initial impulse that starts the
existence. They set the keynote for the new period. The initial
seed from which all will grow has been planted. The opening
refrain that defines the theme of the melody to come has been
Out of this keynote, and according to its basic theme, the
Dhyani-Chohans formulate the architecture of the world, from
which lesser beings build from, and still lesser beings manifest
as the materials used. First come the story-writers, then the
actors, then the builders of the stage props. Even at the
highest levels of participation in the creation of our world, we
have collective hosts of intelligences. When we say "the
Celestial Buddha," for instance, it is a collective name, not the
title of a single godlike being.
We first have the totality, Parabrahman. Within it is Brahman,
the innermost nature of the great one, unmanifest and unseen, the
Cosmic Egg. And within Brahman is formed the Seed, Brahma. A
world is formed. And we are Brahma's life-atoms, rushing into
existence in and through him, along with the other hosts of
beings that inhabit our Earth Chain.
This pattern of Parabrahman, Brahman, and Brahma could apply to
any world or universe. It is a general pattern. Our experience
of it is as Paranirvana, Nirvana, and Atma. Life works the same
at any scale of being. Discover the key to one, and the others
can be unlocked as well!
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application