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THEOSOPHY WORLD ------------------------------------ August, 1998

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
to theos-world@theosophy.com.

(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.)

==================================================================
CONTENTS

"Recent Conference on Theosophy and Modern Science"
    by Eldon Tucker
"Violence Shadows Reverence" by Paul Johnson
"Regarding Our Discussions" by John R. Crocker
"Evolution" by Dallas TenBroeck
"On Purifying the World About Us" by Eldon Tucker
"Edmonton Theosophical Conference" by John Patrick Deveney
"Online SECRET DOCTRINE Available" by Vic Hao Chin
"Know Me" by Allen Moore
"Preparations for the Ritual of Transcendental Magic" by
    Eliphas Levi
"Synchronicity" by Gerald Schueler
"Regarding Chaos" by Eldon Tucker
"On Experience" by Nicholas Weeks
"The Last Theocracy" by Mark Jaqua
"Blavatsky Net News" by Reed Carson
"To Onward and Upward Ethical Evolution" by Doreen Domb
"The Place of Evolution in Our Lives" by Eldon Tucker

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> A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
> opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its
> opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is
> familiar with it.

-- Max Planck (1858 -- 1947), in SCIENTIFIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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RECENT CONFERENCE ON THEOSOPHY AND MODERN SCIENCE

by Eldon Tucker

The conference, held May 30 and 31, at The Forum, Pasadena City
College, California, was sponsored by the American Section of the
Theosophical Society [Pasadena]. Offered free, the conference
featured seven programs, by speakers including a Professor of
Physics from the University of Oregon, a Senior Member of the
Engineer Staff at JPL, and the head of the California Homeopathic
Association (and an MD).

The site is located on the foothills of a towering mountain range
to the north. There was a cool breeze, a sunny California sky,
green trees all over, and wide open spaces. The beauty of the
place lended itself to our dwelling on the profound, seeking the
vastness in thought that we found about ourselves in physical
nature.

Members of all the different theosophical groups attended,
including members at the Pasadena T.S., the Adyar T.S., and the
ULT.  Students of the local college were there too.  And many
books were sold. Perhaps a few new people came across Theosophy
for the first time, but it was not a recruiting meeting. It was an
exploration of truth and the celebration of the wonder and mystery
of nature and life.

In the lecture on "The Quantum Theory of Reincarnation," Professor
Amit Goswami described an experiment that demonstrated the quantum
nature of mind/thought. Two subjects would meditate together, and
then be separated. They would still have a non-local connection,
and their brain waves would still be correlated.

In another lecture, David Doody showed various NASA slides,
including a series of three-dimension pictures sent back from the
recent mars lander, pictures we all viewed using red-and-blue
3-d glasses handed out. There were a number of interesting
astronomical facts mentioned.

Some facts included the moon was 1 1/2 seconds away, at the speed
of light, the sun 8 minutes away, and neptune 5 1/2 hours away. On
venus, the atmosphere filters out all red and blue light, leaving
a yellowish sunset-like light on the surface. There is frozen
water at the poles of mercury. One billion years ago the whole
surface of mars was resurfaced; there were oceans on it at that
time. In 150 million years we'll have another supercontinent on
earth, the various continents coming together again. There have
been six planets discovered around different stars, including one
around a binary star. And saturn rotates in 11 hours, and has
flattened poles and a bulging center because of the fast rotation.

Other programs included an artist's appreciation of the vastness
of nature, again with astronomical slides. There was an review of
antropology and the orgins of humanity, with a theosophical slant.
Yet another program discussed Theosophy and Medicine. The
conference was well-received, and the only possible complaint was
that such conferences were held so infrequently!

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VIOLENCE SHADOWS REVERENCE

by Paul Johnson

[based upon a January 26, 1995 post to theos-l@vnet.net.]

Recent discussions on both various mailing lists have inspired
the following reflections. It seems that violence, at least of a
psychological sort, is the shadow of reverence. In Jungian terms
the shadow is the unconscious, unacknowledged side of ourselves.
Enantiodromia is the tendency of things to turn into their
opposites; in this case conscious reverence becomes unconscious
violence. How does this happen?

Reverence is a universal human response to our experience of the
sacred. Each person has the capacity to have the experience of
awestruck contemplation and worshipful yearning towards the
transcendent. The encounter with the sacred and the reverent
response can only happen within our souls; yet it is stimulated
by external circumstances like "sacred" places, books, teachers,
institutions. IMHO these things are only sacred in that they
stimulate our contact with the Unknowable Divine. But the
intensity of the reverence response causes us to project what is
really our own sacredness onto environmental circumstances. We
make fetishes of books, places, etc. through projection of what
is noblest and most holy in the inner world onto outer objects.
Gurdjieff would call this "identification."

This isn't blameworthy in itself, but it sets us up to behave in
a blameworthy fashion. Any criticism or irreverence by someone
else directed toward the objects we have identified as sacred is
taken by us as a personal attack, because we have projected our
personal energies into it. Perception of attack evokes a
primitive reptilian-brain fight-or-flight response. The belief
that "we cannot coexist" may become a stimulus to violent
aggression justified as "self-defense" or to avoidance of the
source of threat, or some combination of the two. I vividly
remember walking down a street minding my own business and being
violently attacked by a Blue Jay because unknowingly I was
approaching too close to the nest where his/her babies were. The
bird was totally identified with that nest and those chicks,
caught up in the sacred cycle of life, and convinced (to
anthropomorphize) that anyone treading on this sacred ground
deserved violent punishment. People do the same thing on a
regular basis, and in our case religion is a major stimulus to
violence.

Khomeini's fatwa on Salman Rushdie was based on a sense that he
had violated the sacredness of a book revered by Muslims.
Reverence for the book transformed itself into violence against
Rushdie. Jim Jones and David Koresh believed that they had
created sacred communities; their followers' reverence for them
led to the murder of outsiders perceived as threats, and then to
self-destruction. The centuries-old mosque in Avodhya was
destroyed last year by a Hindu mob, convinced that the sacred
site of Rama's birth had been defiled by Muslim construction and
that reverence for the site demanded violence toward the mosque.
Violence isn't just physical. Abusive language is a form of
psychological violence, and it appears pretty regularly on
religion-oriented newsgroups and mailing lists. On Talisman, the
violent shadow of reverence has shown itself most vividly when
people close to the House of Justice (who had worked at the World
Center) reacted to criticism of that institution. My first
reaction was to blame that body for fostering an atmosphere
conducive to such behavior, but this seems unfair. On
reflection, it seems likely that those who have worked there will
have the highest degree of identification with the institution,
will therefore interpret criticism of it as a personal attack,
and are therefore most susceptible to the shadow-side of
religious violence. On theos-l, psychological violence has been
evoked in response to criticism of historical persons revered by
some participants and not others.

A cross-post seems justified by the fact that Baha'i and
Theosophy are both explicitly devoted to ending religious
violence. It seems that when we are most consumed by a
conviction that we are defending God by attacking our fellow
(wo)man, we are in fact at our most diabolical. As Baha'u'llah
wrote about Baha'is who murdered three Azalis, "My captivity
cannot harm Me. That which can harm Me is the conduct of those
who love Me, who claim to be related to Me, and yet perpetrate
what causeth My heart and My pen to groan...That which can make
Me ashamed is the conduct of such of My followers as profess to
love Me, yet in fact follow the Evil One." Talisman subscribers
who either use or encourage abusive language in this newsgroup
might well read the above passage another time or two.

For Theosophists, HPB stated much the same argument when she
wrote to the American TS weeks before her death: "Now I have
marked with pain a tendency among you...to quarrel over trifles,
and to allow your very devotion to the cause of Theosophy to lead
you into disunion...advantage is often taken by our ever-watchful
enemies of your noblest qualities to betray and mislead you."
Moral: Baha'is and Theosophists, if you ever think that your
reverence for God or Masters etc. is inspiring you to treat your
fellows with abuse, be aware that the true inspiration for such
behavior comes from a very shadowy place indeed.

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SYNCHRONICITY

by Gerald Schueler

[based upon a January 27, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

Synchronicity is necessarily acausal because that is Jung's own
definition. Jung and Pauli worked out a very simplified model
which has a vertical line crossing a horizontal line to form a
cross.

At the top is pure energy (what I would call spirit). At the
bottom, as its counterpart, is our spacetime continuum (matter or
physical manifestation).

On the left is causality (which I would interpret as Karma when
defined as the Law of Cause and Effect).

And on the right is Synchronicity, which Jung defines as the
acausal connecting principle or a meaningful coincidence. In
other words, Jung defines synchronicity as the polar opposite or
complement (Jung uses the Greek/Gnostic term syzygy) of
causality. It refers to things that happen without a physical
cause, as when you catch a glimpse of some future event and then
later that event really does happen.

The difference between a synchronicity and pure coincidence is
that it must be MEANINGFUL to the psyche experiencing it.

Until this century, physicists thought that the world was ruled
only by causality and thus saw it a mechanistic; a vast machine
that was totally deterministic if one simply knew the right
equations. Einstein, Bohr, and many others have shown this to be
untrue. There is an indeterministic element in our universe.
Physicists call this element chance or randomness and describe it
in terms of statistical probabilities. I call it the Chaos
Factor, but it is all the same thing.

On the other side, many religious and occult-oriented people who
believe in Karma, also see the world as deterministic. They
believe that every event is destined to occur as the result of
past karma.

When our cat barfs on the rug, they would have us believe that
once upon a time we were a cat and barfed on someone's rug. Tit
for tat. Such folks believe that all events can be foreknown if
we but have the Knowledge of past karma. Adepts or Masters, for
example, can look at a person, see their past karma in the
akashic records, and tell them exactly what kind of coffee they
will order for breakfast next weekend.

I am sorry for these people, but science has burst their bubble
during this century, and such a worldview is no longer
acceptable. I realize here, that by saying this I am treading on
a lot of toes. Buddhist Sutras, for example, abound in the
wonders of knowing countless ages of past karma. However, it
just isn't so. Not totally anyway. Rather, lets just say that
all of this is exoteric, and the esoteric truth is that our world
has an underlying probabilistic nature.

Anyone today who thinks that our world is deterministic is in
serious conflict with modern science. This probabilistic
underpining makes us shift our worldview. Before, a Master could
see future events. Now, a Master sees highly probable events.
The future is shown to be a realm of possibilities, each with a
probability attached to it. Because of this, we can never really
KNOW what is going to happen in the future with certainty -- this
is but one result of translating the Heisenburg Uncertainty
Principle from the scale of the quantum to our everyday world.
Thus every now and again during the course of our normal lives a
surprise will jump out at us. This affords us the freedom to
grow and change, but also cannot be accounted for in the
deterministic world of Karma.

Only by positing a counterpart to Karma, such as synchronicity,
can we account for these surprises. Jung believed that the
indeterministic element of our universe was responsible for such
things as ESP and Psychism. I believe that as we bring psychic
phenomena into our conscious control, we translate synchronistic
events into karmically determined ones. In other words, just as
matter and energy are convertible, so are causality (Karma) and
acausality (synchronicity) -- thus the cross in Jung's model.

Again, there are several definitions of karma, and the only one
that I am looking at here is as the Law of cause and Effect, or
the principle of causality. But I think that the idea of
determinism by knowing past karma (which many theosophists
subscribe to) is just as flawed as the idea of determinism by
knowing mathematical equations (which physicists have recently
and very reluctantly agreed is untrue). As above so below -- if
our physical world is probabilistic, then the other cosmic planes
probably are too.

Some readers whose worldview depends on karmic determinism will
be very upset by this view for which I am sorry. The ideas
expressed in this short article are a result of my own attempts
to integrate science, Jungian psychology, theosophy, and
occultism.

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REGARDING OUR DISCUSSIONS

by John R. Crocker

[based upon a December 26, 1998 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

One question posed us is how we proposed help bring about
agreement between theosophical factions.

Like many others, I've joined theosophical lists to help this.
After having belonged to the American Theosophical Society out of
Wheaton for probably around a decade now, and having fallen in
love with its IDEALS, I found the practice of them was perhaps a
tad lacking. The factionalization and wrangling about what
seemed to me to be insignificant personality issues was forming
anything but a "Universal Brotherhood". I thought the freedom of
the INTERNET, where perhaps members from the different factions
might be able to engage discussion of theosophical ideas free of
affiliation, might provide a better forum for theosophical
discussion.

Universal Brotherhood is NOT the absence of conflict, nor the
unification of viewpoints -- rather it lies in achieving the
proper attitude towards conflict and differences of thought.
This, I think, in practice could be called the paradox of the
seeker, when one makes the inward decision to follow the path,
and begins doing both the physical and mental disciplines
required by such a decision.

It almost invariably produces a great strengthening of the entire
personality structure. Thoughts become far more powerful and
focused, and the core individuality of the person states itself
with greater and greater clarity. It makes conflict far more,
rather than less likely. And it is in this that I think
Theosophy has something to say to the 21st century:

With population growing exponentially, and Universal Brotherhood
(by whatever name the sentiment is called) coming to be no longer
a nice thought, but rather almost a REQUIREMENT for our species,
Theosophy COULD be a place where the models of Brotherhood are
worked out.

The vast majority of models of Universal Brotherhood that have
been tried up to now (including Communism) have, in practice,
meant harmony through the voluntary submission or involuntary
subjugation of some people at the expense of others, in which the
final image of the harmony was either the dissolution of all into
a collective mush, or some sort of dictatorship (whether
relatively benevolent or not). The MISSION that I believe HPB
handed to Theosophists is perhaps the most difficult and
increasingly essential problem posed to modern humanity: How does
a group of people who are all strong, i.e., none able to be
dominated by others and none willing to simply swallow their
perspectives for the sake of a FALSE harmony. How can such a
group create a Universal Brotherhood?

When I first came to Theosophy, and in the years since then, this
has always seemed to be the potential light within it. The
occultism and minute details of esoteric ideation seemed quite
secondary (I had met and been trained by what Theosophy calls the
Angelic kingdom before I even heard of Theosophy, and the
experiential touching of the inner realms renders most books
about them kind of uninteresting) But the more I thought about
the First Object, meditated on it, attempted to grasp its root,
the more I understood why HPB kept emphasizing it, kept trying
(with only partial success) to keep members focused on that

rather than on starting yet another small and isolated occult
brotherhood obsessed with the study of the minute distinctions
between philosophical ideas (as many members then, and now, wish
to do).

I believe the patterns of relationship required to form a genuine
Universal Brotherhood in which everyone feels fully empowered
(that is, not at the expense of some; not premised upon
suppression) literally DO NOT YET EXIST. We, Theosophists, at our
highest and most brilliant point of development, could become one
of those very few groups that discover and articulate those
patterns. And at this point in humanity's history no
organization could hand to humanity any greater gift.

When I think of this possibility, I begin to understand what HPB
poured her whole life into, I begin to understand why the Masters
put such a relatively large amount of their very rare and scarce
energy into the TS.

I certainly do not claim to know what such a thing as true
Universal Brotherhood looks like, but I have, after a decade of
meditation on that one concept, concluded that its manifestation
lies in patterns of relationship. Thousands of groups and
philosophies have a notion of the IDEA, and there are countless
books written full of wonderful sentiments about "loving" one
another, treating one another with respect and dignity & etc.

Literally hundreds of millions of people mouth pithy little
aphorisms, but the whole thing falls apart at the level of
interpersonal relationships. To discover how to have those
wonderful ideas penetrate that layer of human living where a few
people engage one another on a topic about which there is great
disagreement -- is to most fully engage the task embedded
in the First Object -- and it takes the full courage of the first
ray, the enormity of the understanding of the second ray, and the
clarity of intellect of the third ray to even undertake such a
project.

The issue at hand is great, and I personally couldn't care less
about the personality quirks of any particular theosophical
figure -- historic or modern-day -- it is the very core of
Theosophy.

I have worked in the realm of conflict resolution and have even
written about it, written about it, and as I understand the
process, what has happened on the mailing lists at time have been
very GOOD, but is only halfway done. The first step is to allow
all of the bottled up stuff full expression, then to intend to
drive the discussion deeper, to stay ENGAGED in spite of the
enormity of differences.

A tactic I developed in groups where two or three members were
really going at things was to ask both to spend one hour, only
one hour, as the PUPIL of the other. Each person then had an
hour in the teacher role, and each an hour in the pupil role.
Further, the "teacher" could choose ANY TOPIC THEY WISHED to
teach, and usually it wound up having nothing to do with the
conflict at hand (curiously enough).

The teacher has to try to be the perfect teacher, to really
attempt to convey his/her ideas clearly. The pupil has to
genuinely engage that role -- to (for the moment) see the teacher
as worthy of respect and put all their effort into understanding
the topic of the teacher. After this is done, both then again
engage the topic of dispute, and invariably (if both GENUINELY
engaged the teacher/pupil roles) the entire tenor of the dispute
altered. In fact the most surprising solutions often wind up
arising. Even more than that, an extremely deep level of
friendship often comes about between the people.

This works among people that have no spiritual orientation, among
Theosophists there is something far more powerful that provides
additional aid: the fact that we are Brothers and Sisters on the
Path, the most powerful bond that can exist between humans
because it transcends individual lives and personality
structures.

The present theosophical leadership is, for the most part, fully
into conflict avoidance, and the LAST thing they are likely to do
is to take up something as contentious as the real history of
theosophical figures. If Theosophy survives and flourishes in
the 21st century it will be in spite of, not because of the
current "elected" leadership.

The probationary path is composed of the form side of life, and
often becomes nothing but abstract intellectualism. The path
itself engages the life side, and takes far more courage. The
whole being becomes engaged -- powerful emotions are unleashed --
every aspect of the personality structure engages in a battle
with the spiritual impulses, and any comfort zone within the
person's life is dissolved.

Historic discussions, with all their surface appearance of
discord, are, if the participants can stay engaged, far closer to
true Theosophy than anything theosophical groups have approached
in years. They are Alive.

Blake, I think, somewhere described the inner kingdom as "a
democracy of Kings," a curious sentiment because it seems to
describe so fully the relationships between the Masters. All of
them that are glimpsed in Theosophical writings are fully
powerful beings, but a harmony exists between them that flows
from a much larger, common purpose.

My own image of universal harmony is not one of dissolution into
one common set of ideas (the "oatmeal" form of unity so common
nowadays), but rather that of a galaxy of fully shining stars,
each radiating its fullest light, none needing submission to any
other, but each knowing where it belongs and all revolving in
harmony within a much larger, almost inconceivable pattern.

The ancient Greeks thought that courage was the first of the
virtues, that without it no other virtues were really possible.
I hope we will stay engaged in our discussions, and allow the
rest of us the privilege of watching a demonstration of the very
core of Theosophy: Powerful people who seem to have
irreconcilable differences, but still deeply desire to travel the
path and arrive at Universal Brotherhood.

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EVOLUTION

by Dallas TenBroeck

We are -- all of us -- as Units of Consciousness -- in the middle
of a very long course of study. The Great Adepts, the Mahatmas
stand in respect to us as our Teachers at school or college stood
to us -- we are their pupils, although we may not be in constant
contact with them. Their knowledge of our common universe and
its laws is deeper than ours. But they are there to help us to
learn. The book THE SECRET DOCTRINE is part of the evidence of
this concept and teaching. Are we ready to use it as a real
"text book?" What efforts are we making? Are we allowing
ourselves to be "defeated" before we TRY?

There are important points for us to consider.

What and Where are the essential "We" -- the Monad -- which is
IMMORTAL. Are we an immortal Pupil working at learning all that
can be acquired from Nature and the Universe?

Can we consider that the Universe is run and governed by innate
Laws which adjust, with minute but complete precision, all the
beings and changing situations in which they/we are involved. 
Science uses this concept, and our lives are made to depend on
this, in every aspect of our ordinary/extraordinary lives.

Around us are, in their turn, our own "host" of "pupils." I mean
the equally immortal "little lives," the "life-atoms," or the
"Skandas," as they are sometimes called. They make up our
bodies, astral-body, life-principle and the Kamic (passions and
desires) principle. Collectively these are the "Lower
Quaternary." These are seen to be linked to the Higher set of
principles by a thread, consisting of the "Lower-Mind," or that
power of thought that gives us all a perception of the
eternal/mortal condition we find ourselves in.

It -- the "Lower Mind" -- shares of potentials and capacities
from both sides: the immortal ideals, and the personal ambitions. 
It gives us balance and direction. Yet, it is also a "tool," and
the IMMORTAL WE within, is its director and user. In vanity it
thinks itself to be preeminent, but in fact, it is weak and
changes with every causal thought or emotional flow that
influences it. Using our own memory and introspection, we can
prove this to ourselves. It is to our own selves a great puzzle. 
But with the information that Theosophy offers this puzzle can be
resolved.

Superior to the lower principles of the personality (in terms of
experience and understanding) are the three principles that make
up the Eternal Divine Man present in each of us: 1. Atma, the
universal Spirit; 2. Buddhi or Wisdom-experience; and 3. the
Mind in all its various aspects, but essentially it is that which
gives us our sense of independence and immortal endurance.

Three Universes conjoin ( using the figure 3 to simplify ) at all
points in and around us:

1. Spirit (or perfect wisdom and knowledge--which, being an
expression of the eternal LAW, does not change ),

2. Matter (or the many kinds of forms, illusionary as they
change, some faster than others ), and

3. Intelligence-Mind-Sensitivity (or that which links the two
polar extremes of Spirit (perfection) and Matter (ignorance)
together.

We, humans, are the "links."

1. On one side we Aspire to Altruism and Wisdom; [qualities of
the Adepts];

2. We think at all times, and know we are independent of what we
observe and feel; [qualities of being human], and

3. We sense emotionally, or feel deeply, about the situations
and conditions we are in. [qualities of being encased in a form
of constantly changing material entities].

From the point of view of embodied consciousness -- where the
mind is conjoined closely with the desires and emotions -- our
condition as humans. We find that confusion reigns in
psychological terms, because the clear distinction between mind
and feeling is not yet achieved by our modern psychologists. [We
"feel" about thinking, and we "think" about feelings. ]

If these were taught and made clear, we would immediately see
that "the One Consciousness" working through Mind, and thus
THINKING, is separate from and not involved (unless it allows
itself to be involved) in "the One Consciousness" when it
penetrates and becomes enmeshed in the plane of emotion and
desire or Kama.

"Competition" and "Survival of the Fittest" are NOT factors of
importance to the "One Consciousness," as it is immortal. It
persists. These two are illusions for the simple reason that
none of them has any "persistence" beyond the death of the
physical human body and its limited imaginative fancies. But,
Theosophy states, and we can corroborate this accurately by deep
thinking, that in the Eternal, there is no need for those purely
emotional concepts.

Brotherhood and working "for others" are indeed difficult to put
into practice in our everyday world until we take the concept of
the Eternal School, Pupils, Teachers, and continuing One
Consciousness into account. The alternative is the chaotic and
emotional unstable condition of most humans today. They are
unable to determine who or what they are, and where they are
going, or why. The 5th question of "how" -- where do we go from
here, arises. We are all in that stage. But the power to change
the indecision of ignorance into the progressive assurance of a
reasonable "goal" has permanence once that we assume to be able
to dominate and control though right use our "emotional
feelings."

[Note that the "feelings" do not have independently the power to
visualize the future. It is only when the mind is called to help
that the power to anticipate is used by the"feelings and desires"
to envisage an ambition, and, employing that construct,
discipline and force the whole personality to achieve such an
ambition. We see examples of this all around us every day. But
their mere presence does not "make them right."]

If we know what is reasonable and basically true in theory, in
ideal, and fail to practice that, it is normal for all of us, as
we have all the habits we have set up in the past to contend
with.

So first is the grasping of the idea of true individual
immortality. Then follows the question how should an immortal
live and behave. Following that is the consideration that we are
not alone. We are a brotherhood of many different entities and
experiences, but all of us are potentially identical in those
potentials when finally and fully realized. As mind-endowed
beings we are now responsible for the consequences of our
thinking and acting.

[And this is precisely where the greatest of our problems arises. 
We have the interesting (but strange) psychological condition of
being well aware of the fact that we cannot "escape" the
consequences of what we do, but hope that through invisibility or
some hocus pocus we can somehow escape the inevitability of
karmic response to what we do and say. And from this have arisen
all the sacerdotal creeds.]

This finality (the "goal" of Evolution) will forever remain an
ideal (to the embodied consciousness) since as we advance and
conquer step by step the rungs of knowledge and wisdom, we find
that there are causes and forces and potentials that underlie
those we though to have defined earlier, and those that remain to
be attained, forever draws us onward to higher and greater levels
of achievement. That is why "Brotherhood" is so basic to
Theosophy. Without it as challenge and ideal, the personal man
cannot evolve into the Ideal Man, the Real Man, and knows himself
as the Immortal, that He is at Root Base.
	
It is the personal emotional/thinking man that has to do this for
himself once that he realizes that it is within his grasp. At
that point all conflict for mastery, pride of achievement,
uniqueness, struggle to be recognized or admired, etc. vanish as
generating causes for our life and work. We begin to do things
because they are right to be done, and we may then become and be
models, here and now, of how an Ideal Human would live.

But we are continuing beings. We have our past which forever
pursues us, as "karma" (good and bad). Having lived for untold
lives in a way which "pleased" us, and perhaps careless of others
and their rights and needs, we have now to bring our own personal
natures to a position of harmlessness and harmony with the rest
of Nature that surrounds us. It becomes a twofold struggle:
first to learn to be better here and now, so that our future is
not tarnished morally, and second to settle our debts of karma
due to others and to Nature as a whole. 

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ON PURIFYING THE WORLD ABOUT US

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a January 18, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

Comments on a Buddhist Practice

There is a Buddhist meditative practice where we are asked to
take in the evil in the world about us, to purify it, then to
release it as something good. As a statement openly made, it is
an exoteric truth. What could its inner meaning be?

At face value, we are being asked to literally take evil in and
absorb it in ourselves. But are we expected to take on evil
qualities, and live out degraded actions? Certainly not! But it
is possible to twist words into condoning evil ways. There is
always the temptation or force in that direction, something that
originates from those whom would have our spiritual work fail.
For those looking for an excuse to do what they know, in their
innermost natures, is wrong, here is an opportunity. But no one
is fooled; we know when we do wrong; excuses are for other
people, they do not truly hide anything from our eyes.

A better interpretation of the practice is to say that we are to
become transparent to the evil in the world, so that it simply
passes through us. We are clear panes of glass; the evil passes
through us, rather than being mirrors that reflect the harm back
to its originators.

But can the evil really pass through us without leaving a trace?
No. All life is interconnected. The harm cannot be done without
the rest of the universe -- ourselves included -- feeling its
effects. So how, then, do we respond? First we have to ask who
it is that responds.

Taking the standpoint of a separate self, we get the evil from
the environment. We could hold it inside ourselves and deal with
it internally, rather than perpetrate the continuation of the
evil in the world. We would, for example, not respond to anger
with anger, even if we are mad ourselves!

We can, though, rise about the sense of a separate self. We are
not different that the other people, the source of the evil. We
embrace the evil or take it in by becoming at one with its
source, by taking on the Sukshmopadhi vesture, the conscious
sense of non-separation from those about us. We further rise
about duality by passing, in our consciousness, above any sense
of inside or outside. To the harmful influences in the world, we
"pull them in" by making inside and outside the same. (It should
be noted that when we take on this state of consciousness,
although our experience of life has changed, the world remains
the same to everyone else. Our perspective has changed because
we have *ourselves* shifted into a different mode of experiencing
life; others remain in whatever consciousness they already
function in.)

We are unified now with the others, the source of the darkness in
life. We purify their consciousness by being so positive in our
goodness and in higher, superior qualities, that through our
consciousness connectedness with the others, through an active,
alert Buddhi we change the other people as well as transform the
content of their consciousness.

Our transforming effect on the others is through our karmic link
with them, part of the karmic web that defines both our unique
personal nature in life as well as helps define them and the rest
of the universe as well. All that comes to one in life is
karmic. From the standpoint of a personal self, we have a karmic
cycle, a give and take, an action and resulting reaction from the
other people. From this standpoint, we break a cycle of evil by
not allowing ourselves a resulting reaction in kind, of a like
nature, to what we have received.

A better response is to not resist evil as we see it coming. We
do not separate off from the experience by feeling repelled or
offended. There is no sense of horror, rejection, of pushing
back from ourselves that which is offensive. We do not respond
to what comes to us in anger, nor in avoidance, it simply passes
by us as "water off a duck's back."

When we've risen above any conscious sense of the other as
separate from ourselves, we "take within" the evil contents
because we are both recipient and originator. But we still
remain non-responsive to its contents and substitute in ourselves
the stronger contents of our own consciousness.

And having taken in and purified the foul, dark contents of the
world, how do we return to life the cleaned-up life energies? We
simply return to the dualistic consciousness again, separating
back to the Nirmanakaya vesture, where we are again separate from
others, and no longer unified with the other, troubled people.

Note that the practice we are considering is described in terms
of a metaphor, and not as literal instruction. We are really
learning to become a source of light and truth and beauty in the
world. Such a practice could be described as "destroying
darkness," as taking in evil and replacing it with good. It
could be described as filling a void, where light is missing. Or
it could be described as simply being a source in the world of
the brilliant, diamond-like nature of our Inner God.

How this practice, or any Teaching, is described, depends on
which of many ways of looking at it is being taught us. We need
to see things from many standpoints to keep fluidic in our
understanding and not crystallize our thinking, not having our
thought life imprisoned in rigid molds of mind. Having shocking,
outrageous, startling ways of expressing the inner truths is a
method of teaching, one that tries to awaken the student to
freshly rethink the key ideas of the Philosophy. Can problems
ever arise from this method of teaching? No, not as long as we
maintain the necessary clarity of mind and purity of heart.
Whenever life shakes us, or knocks us off course, we simply
return to what is right, like a good compass, once bumped,
returning quickly to true north.

------------------------------------------------------------------
EDMONTON THEOSOPHICAL CONFERENCE

by John Patrick Deveney

[Sponsored by the Edmonton Theosophical Society, Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada, July 3 -- 5, 1998.]

The Edmonton Theosophical Society hosted an extremely
well-organized and creative conference over the July 4th weekend
at the Holiday Inn in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The conference
was called: "The Works and Influence of H.P. Blavatsky, A Forum
for Presentations and Open Dialogue," and lived up to its
promise. It drew speakers from all across Canada and from the
U.S., and should serve a model for future gatherings. It
provided a friendly and stimulating forum for discussion and
friendly debate on many subjects of interest to Theosophists and
to scholars.

On Friday night, July 3rd, Rogelle and Ernest Pelletier presented
a slide show of fascinating and rarely seen photographs of and
drawings by H.P.B. and photographs of her relatives and
ancestors.

Saturday saw a full day of presentations, including a paper by
Joan Sutcliffe on A.L. Cleather and the H.P.B. Library, and one
by Sharon Ormerod on the famous "Meditation Diagram" of H.P.B.
David Reigle then elucidated the relations of the Secret Doctrine
to the Buddhist Wisdom Tradition, and Anna Lemkow spoke on the
emerging consensus of modern social and scientific theory with
the ideas of H.P.B.

Several presentations were made on the relationship of H.P.B. to
the artistic world. Dr. Ann Davis of Toronto spoke on the
influence of Theosophical ideas on the Canadian artists Lawren
Harris and Emily Carr, and Pat Deveney sketched out the history
of "spirit painting" in 19th-century spiritualism and H.P.B.'s
role in that phenomenon.

Michael Gomes discussed the problems inherent in editing the
works of H.P.B., illustrated by his recent abridgment of ISIS
UNVEILED, and also announced several projects for the future,
both of them fascinating. The first is a facsimile, color
edition of THE MAHATMA LETTERS, and the second a "Festschrift" in
honor of Ted G. Davy, whose long and careful work in
establishing Theosophical history on a solid factual foundation
surely deserves exactly this sort of recognition.

Dara Eklund spoke movingly of H.P.B.'s ideas on the unity of
nature and harmony with it, and R. Bruce MacDonald closed the
day with a thought-provoking paper on H.P.B.'s ideas on the
"Black Brothers," the counterweight of progress, and their
influence on history.

The day closed with a delicious and friendly dinner at the hotel,
with speeches (short!) and music by a string quartet composed of
four lovely and talented girls, 9 to 12 years of age.

The conference continued on Sunday morning, with Ted Davy
speaking on the "Material Body Which Suffocates the Soul: H.P.
Blavatsky's Attitude to Ritual" -- a fascinating and much-needed
presentation.

A paper by Dr. Yuri Gorbunov of Russia was read that detailed a
side of Theosophical history that has largely been unavailable:
H.P.B.'s influence on her native land. With the opening of
Russia, it is hoped that more works of this nature will appear.
Jerry Hejka-Ekins presented a fascinating paper on the real and
lasting influence of Theosophy on William Butler Yeats, and Nancy
Reigle spoke on the "heart doctrine" and THE VOICE OF THE
SILENCE.

Ernest Pelletier closed the conference with a resume of the
highlights of the conference, and in the afternoon, with his
wife, Rogelle, hosted an open house at the Edmonton Theosophical
Society's headquarters, where they put on display the extremely
impressive list of Theosophical works they have published over
the years.

This conference was a model for such meetings. It brought
together people of diverse points of view and backgrounds and
provided a forum for the presentation and discussion of a variety
of subjects of interest to scholars and Theosophists generally.
The Edmonton Theosophical Society is to be commended -- and, I
hope, emulated.

------------------------------------------------------------------
ONLINE SECRET DOCTRINE AVAILABLE

by Vic Hao Chin

THE SECRET DOCTRINE software is available in five diskettes and
requires approximately 7.5 MB hard disk space. It contains the
complete text of the 1888 original edition, including all the
diagrams, Greek and Hebrew texts. The pagination follows the
said edition. THE SECRET DOCTRINE can be read on-screen like a
book. It requires Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 (or later).

The search facility is very fast since it has been pre-indexed,
and can look for any word in the two volumes. It automatically
lists down the chapters that contain the word, according to the
frequency of occurrence, and the reader can click on any chapter
to find the word. Search can be done on the entire book or on a
single chosen chapter. It can search for various forms of a
single word, by putting an asterisk at the end. For example,
"karm*" will highlight all words beginning with "karm," such as
karma, karman, or karmic, thus identifying all texts where the
word karma is discussed.

The software also contains a history on how THE SECRET DOCTRINE
was written, as well as a brief biography of Madame Blavatstky.

The floppy disk is presently being distributed in the United
States by the Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois,
at $35.00. Interested persons may call, fax or email the TPH.

For all other inquiries outside the United States, they may
contact the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila, at

tspeace@mnl.sequel.net
Fax No. (63-2) 740-3751

------------------------------------------------------------------
KNOW ME

by Allen Moore

I twinkle as a lights in the night sky,
I warm worlds with my fire,
I kiss the heavens with my heart.

I feel the rain on virgin earth,
The grasses caressing my feet,
I am worshipped at the alter of Elements,
Running, skipping, cajoling, triumphant.

I move through the great oceans of both earth and heaven,
Through cool depths and warm currents
I bubble joyously, ever effervescent,
Irrepressible am I.

I am the smile on the face of lovers,
The beauty of an infants face,
The soft caress of silk,
The wisdom of stone and tree, ever watchful.

Knowledge is my self, Wisdom is my soul,
Love is my hopefulness and fear is but a fool to me.
Across your path I move,
Within and without and around you am I.

I stalk endless worlds,
I am both form and formlessness,
I am the desire to move, the desire to love
and the desire to be loved.

I am white, I am black, I am blue, green
I am all colors and all shades of color,
I am the sound of tinkling brooks and roaring waves,
I am sound heard and unheard.

I am the might of the strong, the speed of the quick
I am the courage of the indomitable
Death is my shadow and plays like a dark light wherever I am.
I am ever present. The divided indivisible.

All enter flaming into my endless mouths
I devour endlessly but do not consume
Happiness of the negation of negation I am
Joy of joy fulfilled

I move through all and all through me
Like the currents of air across the air
You know me and fear my absence
But I am never absent.

I hear you pray, your every thought,
I am your thought and the prayers, spoken and unspoken.
I now your need, your love, your fears
I will fulfill all

I am unforgettable memory, ever constant mind
I give freely but never take,
I accept all offered with love
I fill the hearts of lovers with my love

I shine brighter in the embrace and kiss
I move powerfully in the passions of generation
I am all progenitor and all generation
I am the future, I am ever present and eternal past.

My shadow does leap around and illusion abounds
Yet the shadow is but a door to my everlasting bounty and love
None fall that I do not lift, non suffer pain that I do not ease
Non lose a love that I do not console and return a thousand fold.

I wipe away tears and I remove death.
Death is naught to me
For I am you and what is you and what you will become.
I am your life and the life all things.

I am ever-present life and the end of darkness
The destruction of death and the ending of pain.
I am the approached unapproachable, endless, eternal current
    of Life,
I am the everlasting unborn, person of God.

In my arms I will hold you and love you forever.

------------------------------------------------------------------
PREPARATIONS FOR THE RITUAL OF TRANSCENDENTAL MAGIC

by Eliphas Levi

[From TRANCENDENTAL MAGIC: ITS DOCTRINE AND RITUAL, London, 1896,
pages 191-99.]

Every intention which does not assert itself by deeds is a vain
intention, and the speech which expresses it is idle speech. It
is action which proves life and establishes will. Hence it is
said in the sacred and symbolical books that men will be judged,
not according to their thoughts and their ideas, but according to
their works. We must act in order to be.

We have, therefore, to treat in this place of the grand and
terrific question of magical works; we are concerned no longer
with theories and abstractions; we approach realities, and we are
about to place the rod of miracles in the hands of the adept,
saying to him at the same time: "Be not satisfied with what we
tell you; act for yourself." We have to deal here with works of
relative omnipotence, with the means of seizing upon the greatest
secrets of nature and compelling them into the service of an
enlightened and inflexible will.

Most known magical rituals are either mystifications or enigmas,
and we are about to rend for the first time, after so many
centuries, the veil of the occult sanctuary. To reveal the
holiness of mysteries is to provide a remedy for their
profanation. Such is the thought which sustains our courage and
enables us to face all the perils of this enterprise, possibly
the most intrepid which it has been permitted the human mind to
conceive and carry out.

Magical operations are the exercise of a natural power, but one
superior to the ordinary forces of nature. They are the result
of a science and a practice which exalt human will beyond its
normal limits. The supernatural is only the natural in an
extraordinary grade, or it is the exalted natural; a miracle is a
phenomenon which strikes the multitude because it is unexpected;
the astonishing is that which astonishes; miracles are effects
which surprise those who are ignorant of their causes, or assign
them causes which are not in proportion to such effects.
Miracles exist only for the ignorant, but, as there is scarcely
any absolute science among men, the supernatural can still
obtain, and does so indeed for the whole world. Let us set out
by saying that we believe in all miracles because we are
convinced and certain, even from our own experience, of their
entire possibility. There are some which we do not explain,
though we regard them as no less explicable. From the greater to
the lesser, from the lesser to the greater, the consequences are
identically related and the proportions progressively rigorous.
But in order to work miracles we must be outside the ordinary
conditions of humanity; we must either be abstracted by wisdom or
exalted by madness, either superior to all passions or beyond
them through ecstasy or frenzy. Such is the first and most
indispensable preparation of the operator. Hence, by a
providential or fatal law, the magician can only exercise
omnipotence in inverse proportion to his material interest; the
alchemist makes so much the more gold as he is the more resigned
to privations, and the more esteems that poverty which protects
the secrets of the MAGNUM OPUS. Only the adept whose heart is
passionless will dispose of the love and hate of those whom be
would make instruments of his science; the myth of Genesis is
eternally true, and God permits the tree of science to be
approached only by those men who are sufficiently strong and
self-denying not to covet its fruits. Ye, therefore, who seek in
science a means to satisfy your passions, pause in this fatal
way; you will find nothing but madness or death. This is the
meaning of the vulgar tradition that the devil ends sooner or
later by strangling sorcerers. The magus must hence be
impassible, sober and chaste, disinterested, impenetrable, and
inaccessible to any kind of prejudice or terror. He must be
without bodily defects, and proof against all contradictions and
all difficulties. The first and most important of magical
operations is the attainment of this rare preeminence.

We have said that impassioned ecstasy may produce the same
results as absolute superiority, and this is true as to the
issue, but not as to the direction of magical operations.
Passion forcibly projects the astral light and impresses
unforeseen movements on the universal agent, but it cannot check
with the facility that it impels, and its destiny then resembles
Hippolytus dragged by his own horses, or Phalaris himself
victimized by the instrument of torture which he had invented for
others. Human volition realized by action is like a cannon-ball,
and recedes before no obstacle. It either passes through it or
is buried in it, but if it advance with patience and
perseverance, it is never lost; it is like the wave which returns
incessantly and wears away iron in the end.

Man can be modified by habit, which becomes, according to the
proverb, his second nature. By means of persevering and
graduated athletics, the powers and activity of the body can be
developed to an astonishing extent. It is the same with the
powers of the soul. Would you reign over yourselves and others?
Learn how to will. How can one learn to will? This is the first
arcanum of magical initiation, and it was to make it understood
fundamentally that the ancient depositories of priestly art
surrounded the approaches of the sanctuary with so many terrors
and illusions. They did not believe in a will until it had
produced its proofs, and they were right. Power is justified by
victories. Indolence and forgetfulness are enemies of will, and
for this reason all religions have multiplied their observances
and made their worship minute and difficult. The more we
restrain ourselves for an idea, the greater is the strength we
acquire within the scope of that idea. Are not mothers more
partial to the children who have caused them most suffering and
cost them most anxieties? So does the power of religions reside
exclusively in the inflexible will of those who practise them.
So long as there is one faithful person to believe in the holy
sacrifice of the Mass, there will be a priest to celebrate it for
him; and so long as there is a priest who daily recites his
breviary, there will be a pope in the world. Observances,
apparently most insignificant and most foreign in themselves to
the proposed end, lead, notwithstanding, to that end by education
and exercise of will. If a peasant rose up every morning at two
or three o'clock, and went daily a long distance from home to
gather a sprig of the same herb before the rising of the sun, he
would be able to perform a great number of prodigies by merely
carrying this herb upon his person, for it would be the sign of
his will, and would become by his will itself all that he
required it to become in the interest of his desires. In order
to do a thing we must believe in the possibility of our doing it,
and this faith must forthwith be translated into acts. When a
child says: "I cannot," his mother answers: "Try." Faith does not
even try; it begins with the certitude of completing, and it
proceeds calmly, as if omnipotence were at its disposal and
eternity before it. What seek you, therefore, from the science
of the magi? Dare to formulate your desire, then set to work at
once, and do not cease acting after the same manner and for the
same end; what you will shall come to pass, and for you and by
you it has indeed already begun. Sixtus V. said, while watching
his flocks: "I desire to be pope." You are a beggar, and you
desire to make gold; set to work and never leave off. I promise
you, in the name of science, all the treasures of Flamel and
Raymond Lully. "What is the first thing to do?" Believe in your
power, then act. "But how act?" Rise daily at the same hour, and
that early; bathe at a spring before daybreak, and in all
seasons; never wear dirty clothes, rather wash them yourself if
needful; accustom yourself to voluntary privations, that you may
be better able to bear those which come without seeking; then
silence every desire which is foreign to the fulfilment of the
great work.

"What! By bathing daily in a spring, I shall make gold?" You will
work in order to make it. "It is a mockery!" No, it is an
arcanum. "How can I make use of an arcanum which I fail to
understand?" Believe and act; you will understand later.

One day a person said to me: "I would that I could be a fervent
Catholic, but I am a Voltairean. What would I not give to have
faith!" I replied: "Say 'I would' no longer; say 'I will,' and I
promise you that you will believe. You tell me you are a
Voltairean, and of all the various presentations of faith that of
the Jesuits is most repugnant to you, but at the same time seems
the most powerful and desirable. Perform the exercises of St
Ignatius again and again, without allowing yourself to be
discouraged, and you will attain the faith of a Jesuit. The
result is infallible, and should you then have the simplicity to
ascribe it to a miracle, you deceive yourself now in thinking
that you are a Voltairean."

An idle man will never become a magician. Magic is an exercise
of all hours and all moments. The operator of great works must
be absolute master of himself; he must know how to conquer the
allurements of pleasure, appetite, and sleep; he must be
insensible to success and to indignity. His life must be that of
a will directed by one thought, and served by entire nature,
which he will have made subject to mind in his own organs, and by
sympathy in all the universal forces which are their
correspondents. All faculties and all senses should share in the
work; nothing in the priest of Hermes has the right to remain
idle; intelligence must be formulated by signs and summed by
characters or pantacles; will must be determined by words, and
must fulfill words by deeds; the magical idea must be rendered
into light for the eyes, harmony for the ears, perfumes for the
sense of smell, savours for the palate, objects for the touch;
the operator, in a word, must realize in his whole life what he
wishes to realize in the world without him; he must become a
MAGNET to attract the desired thing; and when he shall be
sufficiently magnetic, he must be convinced that the thing will
come of itself, and without thinking of it.

It is important for the magus to be acquainted with the secrets
of science, but he may know them by intuition, and without formal
learning. Solitaries, living in the habitual contemplation of
nature, frequently divine her harmonies, and are more instructed
in their simple good sense than doctors, whose natural
discernment is falsified by the sophistries of the schools. True
practical magicians are almost invariably found in the country,
and are frequently uninstructed persons and simple shepherds.
Furthermore, certain physical organizations are better adapted
than others for the revelations of the occult world; there are
sensitive and sympathetic natures, with whom intuition in the
astral light is, so to speak, inborn; certain afflictions and
certain complaints can modify the nervous system, and,
independently of the concurrence of the will, may convert it into
a divinatory apparatus of less or more perfection; but these
phenomena are exceptional, and generally magical power should,
and can, be acquired by perseverance and labor. There are also
some substances which produce ecstasy, and dispose towards the
magnetic sleep; there are some which place at the service of
imagination all the most lively and highly colored reflections of
the elementary light; but the use of such substances is
dangerous, for they commonly occasion stupefaction and
intoxication. They are used, notwithstanding, but in carefully
calculated quantities, and under wholly exceptional
circumstances.

He who decides to devote himself seriously to magical works,
after fortifying his mind against all danger of hallucination and
fright, must purify himself without and within for forty days.
The number forty is sacred, and its very figure is magical. In
Arabic numerals it consists of the circle, which is the type of
the infinite, and of the four, which sums the triad by unity. In
Roman numerals, arranged after the following manner, it
represents the sign of the fundamental doctrine of Hermes, and
the character of the Seal of Solomon:

                      X
                     / \       X
                    X   X     X X
                     \ /       X
                      X

The purification of the magus consists in abstinence from coarse
enjoyments, in a temperate and vegetable diet, in refraining from
intoxicating drink, and in regulating the hours of sleep. This
preparation has been indicated and represented in all forms of
worship by a period of penitence and trials preceding the
symbolical feasts of life-renewal.

As already said, the most scrupulous external cleanliness must be
observed; the poorest person can find spring water. All clothes,
furniture, and vessels made use of must also be carefully washed,
whether by ourselves or others. All dirt is evidence of
negligence, and negligence is deadly in magic. The atmosphere
must be purified at rising and retiring with a perfume composed
of the juice of laurels, salt, camphor, white resin, and sulphur,
repeating at the same time the four sacred names, while turning
successively towards the four cardinal points. We must divulge
to no one the works that we accomplish, for, as already said in
the Doctrine, mystery is the exact and essential condition of all
the operations of science. The inquisitive must be misled by the
pretence of other occupations and other researches, such as
chemical experiments for industrial purposes, hygienic
prescriptions, the investigation of some natural secrets, and so
on; but the forbidden name of magic must never be pronounced.

The magus must be isolated at the beginning and difficult to
approach, so that he may concentrate his power and select his
points of contact, but in proportion as he is austere and
inaccessible at first, so will he be popular and sought after
when he shall have magnetized his chain and chosen his place in a
current of ideas and of light. A laborious and poor existence is
so favorable to practical initiation that the greatest masters
have preferred it, even when the wealth of the world was at their
disposal. Then it is that Satan, that is, the spirit of
ignorance, who scorns, suspects, and detests science because at
heart he fears it, comes to tempt the future master of the world
by saying to him: "If thou art the Son of God, command these
stones to become bread." Then it is that mercenary men seek to
humiliate the prince of knowledge by perplexing, depreciating, or
sordidly exploiting his labor; the slice of bread that he deigns
to need is broken into ten fragments, so that he may ten times
stretch forth his hand. But the magus does not even smile at the
absurdity, and calmly pursues his work.

So far as may be possible, we must avoid the sight of hideous
objects and uncomely persons, must decline eating with those whom
we do not esteem, and must live in the most uniform and studied
manner. We must hold ourselves in the highest respect, and must
consider that we are dethroned sovereigns who consent to
existence in order to reconquer our crowns. We must be mild and
considerate to all, but in social relations must never permit
ourselves to be absorbed, and must withdraw from circles in which
we cannot acquire some initiative. Finally, we may and should
fulfill the duties and practise the rites of the cultus to which
we belong. Now, of all forms of worship the most magical is that
which most realizes the miraculous, which bases the most
inconceivable mysteries upon the highest reasons, which has
lights equivalent to its shadows, which popularizes miracles, and
incarnates God in all mankind by faith. This religion has
existed always in the world, and under many names has been ever
the one and ruling religion. It has now among the nations of the
earth three apparently hostile forms, which are, however,
destined to unite before long for the constitution of one
universal Church. I refer to the Greek orthodoxy, Roman
Catholicism, and a final transfiguration of the religion of
Buddha.

We have now made it plain, as we believe, that our magic is
opposed to the goetic and necromantic kinds; it is at once an
absolute science and religion, which should not indeed destroy
and absorb all opinions and all forms of worship, but should
regenerate and direct them by reconstituting the circle of
initiates, and thus providing the blind masses with wise and
clear-seeing leaders.

We are living at a period when nothing remains to destroy and
everything to remake. "Remake what? The past?" No one can remake
the past. "What, then, shall we reconstruct? Temples and
thrones?" To what purpose, since the former ones have been cast
down? "You might as well say: my house has collapsed from age, of
what use is it to build another?" But will the house that you
contemplate erecting be like that which has fallen? No, for the
one was old and the other will be new. "Notwithstanding, it will
be always a house." What more can you wish?

------------------------------------------------------------------
REGARDLESS CHAOS

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a January 30, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

The subject of chaos, as a new subject of study, has the
potential of enriching our understanding of live, and the law of
cycles, and how the world works. We can derive many new keys to
unlock the mysteries that stand before us in our theosophical
studies.

There's a very good book, TURBULENT MIRROR, by John Briggs & F.
David Peat, Perennial Library, Harper & Row Publishers, New York,
1989. This 222 page paperback presents the many areas of thought
related to the study of chaos in both a mathematical and
scientific manner, and in a well-digested, clearly-presented
philosophical presentation. I'd highly recommend it as an
important supplement to theosophical studies, and would
personally place it much higher than "The Source of Measures."

When we come to a study of chaos, as a modern discipline, we
first need to realize that the term "chaos" was coined.
Nonlinear dynamics and other areas of mathematics and physics,
grouped under the term "chaos," are not extensions of early
religious thought, simply because the same term was used.

There is not the duality of chaos versus cosmos in the sense of
randomness versus order. We don't have "accidents" at times and
the karmic results of actions, the results of previous causes, at
other times.

This is not to say that everything APPEARS to be ordered and
well-behaved. While the mathematics of a living system, of a
system undergoing continual iteration or self-feedback, is
deterministic, ordered, and not random in nature, the matter of
PREDICTIBILITY is a different subject.

There are certain basic stages to the manifestation of a living
system. A good graphic analogy, a good metaphysical symbol, is
the bifurcation curve. At a low energy level, life cannot
sustain itself, and death results. At a slightly higher energy
level, life adjusts to its environment and can exist. At this
stage it is stable, balanced, and ordered in a predictable,
near-linear way. At yet a higher energy level, it undergoes its
first bifurcation, where it now has a dual state, and it goes
back and forth. At yet higher levels, the number of states that
it goes through become more and more varied and unstable, until
its state is totally unpredictable or chaotic.

Again, we don't have a duality of chaos versus cosmos in the
sense of randomness versus order. What we rather have is
predictability versus unpredictability, but order nevertheless.
We can have a system where we can, say, plot on a x/y graph an
ellipse that represents all states of a system. That system is
well-defined, is ordered; its states only exist on that curve.
But the system may be "chaotic" in the sense that we cannot
predict from one moment of time to the next where on that graph
its state will be. The system is chaotic in the sense we cannot
predict a precise future state, but is ordered. That order, that
holds it to the well-defined set of stages, is called a "strange
attractor."

Another example of apparent chaos is in the static on phone
lines, which comes under "intermittency." No matter how clear we
try to make the line, there will be small, apparently random
bursts of noise. When we examine those bursts of noise, they
have the same pattern of small bursts of noise, at increasing
degrees of magnification. We have a fractal order to the signal
on the phone line. The order is not random, accidental, but
described by fractals.

(Fractals represent another area of study, that related to
theosophic thought. We have a type of mathematical object that
has fractional dimension, that has an infinite amount of detail,
that at different levels of magnification shows the same pattern
or richness of detail [the macrocosm/microcosm idea], and models
real-life processes.)

With chaos, we have order in the universe, but sometimes that
order eludes us, sometimes that order is unpredictable in either
time or space. That unpredictability and apparent disorder
arises from living systems being at too high an energy level,
being at too high a level of self-feedback, and where they have
moved from an ordered existence along the turbulent pathway
towards "chaos".

When the apparent order is gone, the higher type of order is
maintained in an almost metaphysical way, in strange attactors,
in unseen forces that maintain order in the apparent external
chaos of external unpredictability.

Consider karma. If life were operating at a slower pace, we
might have a more-immediate sense of cause-and-effect feedback
for our actions and interactions with others. Now, in the
turbulent, tense, difficult Kali Yuga, our karmic web is in a
chaotic stage, where karma acts as a strange attractor, still
guaranteeing that our results come back to us, but not externally
predictably in a linear fashion in time and space. We know that
the fruits of our actions will return to us, but cannot say when
or where.

Is everything karmic? No. There are accidents. Life is
imperfect and all beings, even the highest Dhyani-Chohans, are
subject to error. And there is yet an even more important
ingredient: the free will of others in the present. Everything
that other people do is not simply the results of OUR past
actions. The whole of life is not merely a puppet show for US.
Others have their free will do, and everyone participates in
making what will happen. The interaction between us and others
is NEGOTIATED in the sense that the person on each side of a
relationship has an influence on what will happen. We have,
between ourselves and others, not so much a give and take of x
units of "karmic currency" as we have a living bond through which
we co-create what happens.

Coming back to chaos, an important idea is the "butterfly
effect," the sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Certain
systems may be living at a point where the slightest external
change, the slightest perturbation, would cause a radical state
change. A pencil balanced on its lead point would be an example
of this. As we increase our energy levels, and move from the
regions of ordered to turbulent existence, we find such points
becoming more frequent.

Taking some of the symbols from chaos, and using them as
theosophical symbols, we could consider three for now. A FRACTAL
shows the macrocosm/microcosm relationship, and a study of how
and when fractals occur in nature is rewarding. The BIFURCATION
CURVE is the best mathematical illustration of the law of cycles,
and should replace the symbol of the serpent swallowing its tail.
And the MANDELBROT SET (which I haven't discussed in this
posting) is an excellent example of the karmic web, of the law of
living relationships.

A caveat must be given at this point. Mathematics is a tool to
model life, but IS NOT LIFE ITSELF. Life has many options as to
how it will manifest itself, and external forms are patterned
after mathematical principles, but the life itself was not
"caused" or controlled by the mathematics of those forms. The
forms and the associated mathematics were chosen by the life, not
the causes of the life.

A second warning is that when we deal with a new field of
scientific and philosophical thought, we approach it with an open
mind, but not accept everything on face value, and assume that
because many ideas are attractive and ring true, that we accept
everything without due critical thought. The Wisdom Teachings in
Theosophy relate to a far grander type of learning that we find
in popular disciplines, and it's important to never lose sight of
its majestic heights.

------------------------------------------------------------------
ON EXPERIENCE

by Nicholas Weeks

[based upon a January 30, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

It's been said that experience is not all that it is cracked up
to be, but on the other hand it's really about all we have.

Neither Buddhism nor Theosophy teaches reliance on "only our
personal experiences as our guide". Nor do they teach
incorporation of "only those teachings that fit in with those
experiences."

In one of Buddha's last teachings before his body died, he said
to Ananda:

> It may be that some among you will think, 'Our Guru's teachings
> have stopped, we no longer have a Guru.' But that is not so
> Ananda. That which I have proclaimed and made known as the
> Teaching and the Moral Rules, that shall be your Guru after I am
> gone.

If Buddha's Middle Way means anything, it means avoiding
EXCLUSIVE reliance on either our own or others' views.

H.P. Blavatsky, in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, and in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, writes of Adepts accepting a personal vision as true,
only if it coincides with the previous visions of other Adepts.
So if anything, the balance swings AWAY from self reliance and
towards a collective or shared view of truth.

Throughout Asia, one would never take an inner experience,
whether a logical conclusion, a dream or a meditative insight,
and appraise it based only on one's own personal experience. You
would approach your Guru first, (and other Sages too if he was
not sure of the value or meaning), and seek from him
verification, denial, or explanation of it. You would also study
the scriptures of your own tradition to see what light they might
shed on this event.

The dangers of relying too heavily on self-instruction are many.
Not the least of which is strutting about as an Initiate, Buddha
or any Christ-like sage; when all you have had, at best, is some
astral vision, or perhaps a samadhi-like state of concentration.

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE LAST THEOCRACY

by Mark Jaqua

[From PROTOGONOS, Winter 1987-88.]

In what was to be the beginning of one of the periodic madnesses
that grip parts or all the globe, in the spring of 1950 Tibet was
invaded by China after China's declaration that it intended to
free Tibet from the "influence of foreign imperialists" (there
being six westerners in Tibet at the time.) It was to prove the
total destruction of the base of exoteric Mahayana Buddhism,
which has identical doctrines to that of Theosophy. The invasion
was to directly and indirectly result in the death of some one
million Tibetans and to make refugees of 100,000 others including
the Dalai Lama.

Before China's attempted "modernization" of Tibet, it was the
home of some 3,000 Buddhist monasteries and 200,000 monks. By
1984 these vast numbers had shrunk to a remaining or rebuilt 45
monasteries housing some 1,400 monks. For years any practice of
religion was forbidden in Tibet, but in the last ten years under
a new Chinese administration some of these strictures have been
loosened. Partially this change in policy is due to the value of
Buddhism as a tourist attraction. While the superficial
ceremonial practice of Buddhism is allowed, any serious
scholastic study of its scriptures is forbidden.

Most the destruction of monasteries occurred during the chaos of
China's "Cultural Revolution" in the 1960's. Some monasteries
were taken apart brick by brick while most were dynamited or
shelled with field artillery -- although the walls of most were
too thick to be totally destroyed. The process was to first take
an inventory of all valuables. Gold and silver artifacts were
taken in truck convoys to China to be melted into bullion.
Manuscripts were either burned on the spot or sent for use as
shoe padding and toilet paper. Clay images were pulverized and
recast for the specific purpose of making public lavatories. At
the central temple in the capital at Lhasa, sacred manuscripts
kept bonfires burning for five days. Monasteries not totally
destroyed were used for granaries, barracks or offices. The
temple at Lhasa was renamed "Guest House #5" and used for
government offices and its courtyards for keeping pigs.

Monks were either killed or shipped with other Tibetans to work
camps such as that at Golomo to build railroads, Tsala Ka to mine
borax, or Kongpo for timbering. At Golomo, which is at 10,000
foot elevation and has six months of winter with gale force winds
much of the time, large numbers died almost immediately from
exposure and starvation. One account claims that 1,400 of 1,700
prisoners held at Drepang monastery died of starvation from
Novermber 1960 to June 1961. Tibetan's homes were arbitrarily
seized and all their possession sold. During this period Tibet's
agricultural production actually increased, but nearly all the
harvest, except that kept for Chinese troups, was shipped to
China to offset its own famine. While famine was previously
unknown in Tibet, formerly prosperous peasants were reduced to
stealing scraps from the Chinese's pigs, picking horse offal for
undigested grain, and feeding their own blood mixed with tsampa
(tea) to their to their starving children. Fare at the work
camps, when there was any, was typically barley husks mixed with
sawdust or ulcer-producing tree bark.

Monks and lamas were special objects of Chinese persecution.
Lamas, formerly heads of monasteries, were lashed through the
streets of Lhasa with heavy statues of Buddha strapped to their
backs. Monks and nuns were forced to copulate in public or
branded with irons, There were crucifixions. Monks and nuns were
forced to marry while other Tibetans were sterilized in large
numbers. One of Tibet's highest lamas, the Panchen Lama, was
publicly beaten in his trial for "crimes against the state" --
chiefly his support of the Dalai Lama. His aged tutor was sent
to Golomo where he shortly died and the Panchen himself was
imprisoned for fourteen years, and released in 1978 for political
reasons. It is still illegal today to even have a picture of the
Dalai Lama. NBC recently reported an arrest for having his
picture on a T-shirt.

In China's "development" of Tibet, the provinces of Gansu and
Amdo were transformed into what a 1979 "Time" magazine article
calls a "vast sea of prison camps" with up to ten million Tibetan
and Chinese prisoners -- a "black hole... from which little
information ever reached the outside world." By 1978 China's
largest nuclear weapons factory was located at Nagchuka 165 miles
north of Lhasa. Whole mountain ranges have been denuded of
timber. Tibet's vast herds of wild yaks have become nearly if
not extinct and her formerly endless flocks of ducks and geese
have disappeared. Sixty western scientists were allowed to visit
Tibet in 1980 and according to their account there is not a large
wild mammal to be seen anywhere and only a few birds in Tibet's
now steril landscape.

In short, there has been nothing worse in Nazi Germany, Stalin's
Gulags, or under the Khymer Regime in Cambodia that what has
occurred in Tibet under the Chinese. There is no outcry in the
West, however, over this atrocity or even sparse public
knowledge. It is good politics to be friends with China and its
billion people, while Tibet is important neither economically or
militarily and Buddhism matters very little in the political
grist mills of the world. Our country, which prides itself for
its stand on worldwide human rights, has chosen expediency and
officially recognizes China's claim to right of sovereignty over
Tibet.

What was to befall Tibet was perhaps forseen by the Thirteenth
Dalai Lama when he wrote in 1932, a year before his death:

> It may happen that here, in the center of Tibet, religion and
> government will be attacked both from without and within. Unless
> we can guard our own country, it will now happen that the Dalai
> and Panchen Lamas, the Father and Son, and all the revered
> holders of the Faith, will disappear and become nameless. Monks
> and their monasteries will be destroyed. The rule of law will be
> weakened. The lands and property of government officials will be
> seized. They themselves will be forced to serve their enemies or
> wander the country like beggars. All beings will be sunk in
> great hardship and overpowering fear; the days and nights will
> drag on slowly in suffering.

While the present Dalai Lama has become a world ambassador in his
never ending efforts to gain independence for Tibet, his attitude
is also objective and philosophic.

> There are many prophecies which indicate that I will be the last
> Dalai Lama.... The world is changing so dramatically, that there
> may no longer be a need for the lineage.

Elsewhere he has stated that

> The very aggregates of a human mind and body have, as their
> actual nature, suffering. They serve as a basis for suffering,
> and as long as one has them one is susceptible to suffering.
> Form a deep point of view, while we Tibetans don't have our
> independence and are living in someone else's country, we are
> subject to a certain type of suffering, but when we return to
> Tibet and gain our independence, then there will be other types
> of suffering. So, you see, this is just the way it is. You
> might think that I'm pessimistic, but I am not. This is Buddhist
> realism. This is how, through Buddhist teaching and advice, we
> handle situations. These sorts of thoughts make one stronger,
> more active.

References:

IN EXILE FROM THE LAND OF SNOWS, John F. Avedon, Alfred A.
Knopf, NY, 1984

THE MAKING OF MODERN TIBET, A. Tom Grunfeld, M.E. Sharp Inc.,
Armonk, NY, 1987

------------------------------------------------------------------
BLAVATSKY NET NEWS

by Reed Carson

1. The home study course announced one month ago has been quite
successful. Over 40 people have subscribed to it. More
subscribe each day. (During this month we got 5 of the topics
online.)

2. Book store pricing change: During the early part of July it
quickly became apparent that the discount approach we launched on
July 1 was not what visitors wanted. So we scraped it. Instead
we examined thoughtfully the pricing structure of the well known
online booksellers. It is very obvious that significant book
discounts are readily available online. We consider this not a
fad but a basic change in the way society does things on this new
medium of the internet -- and we deem it to be just and proper
(even wonderful) economics. Accordingly we reevaluated the price
of all books and have set competitive prices for all. To our
knowledge, we have met or beaten all the prices of the other well
known online booksellers. We aim to keep it this way. You
should enjoy the prices.

3. Bookstore shipping policies: Our shipping cost method has
been changed to "per book" rather than "total cost of purchase"
so that people can compare shipping cost at Blavatsky Net to the
shipping cost of the prominent online booksellers. In each case
the BN cost is less for comparable delivery times. Also, in
response to customer needs, we have made available faster and
slower means of delivery than we offered previously.

4. In the past, as BN has been getting started, we have sold
Theosophical books from only one publisher -- Theosophy Company. 
Theosophy Company sells its publications for a remarkably low
price and historically has been notably faithful to the
originals. During this month we have expanded to include some
offerings from three other Theosophical publishers, namely
Theosophical Publishing House, Theosophy University Press, and
Point Loma Publications. Some of their recent important work is
quite helpful and we regard it as an asset for the Theosophical
community. We have selected the the abridgement of Isis Unveiled
by Gomes, the new SD index by Van Mater, Vernon Harrison's latest
book, along with the low price paperback version of the SD and
Isis, and some others. These can all be found in the "Blavatsky
Aisle" along with the "About HPB" aisle in the bookstore at this
site. All these changes make Blavatsky Net Bookstore an
attractive and competitively priced place to purchase
Theosophical books. We are working on more.

5. Now getting back to Theosophy itself: The "Judge articles"
page has been enhanced with links to articles by Judge on other
sites. The result is a "judge articles" page having links to the
full text of 120 judge articles. The "judge articles" page can
be found in the "online text" section of the home page.

6. Another study class was added. This one is in Malbu
California and is studying the Secret Doctrine. We have heard it
has many "old timers" in attendance and is doing an excellent
job.

7. A question arose as a result of receiving some email: "How
does one practice Theosophy?" The "Thoughts" page now has an
article called "Practical Theosophy" that gives one student's
answer to that question. (The "Thoughts" page is dedicated to
member submitted articles.)

8. The Pope has done it again. He has issued a proclamation
that may hasten those outcomes he is trying to prevent. See the
Weathervane for this.

9. Membership increased more rapidly during July -- at a little
more than two per day. No one resigned. 

------------------------------------------------------------------
TO ONWARD AND UPWARD ETHICAL EVOLUTION

by Doreen Domb

[based upon an December 16, 1994 posting to theos-l@vnet.net]

The freedom to think for oneself -- which I believe true
Theosophy supports -- is more important to me, rather than
getting bogged down in what others say we ought to think and do.
I think it is realistic that we recognize that theosophists are
no more exempt from fundamentalism than are any other human
beings who support particular belief systems. Many of us have
acknowledged, time and again, how wonderful it is that (original
source) Theosophy is ensconced in no dogma or rules to follow.
The embracing of brotherhood and the basic understanding of the
three fundamental principles are sufficient as springboards to
get on with one's own individual quest. And it is one's choice
to further explore and implement the aforementioned.

Thus, I feel a little distressed when I hear theosophists express
fears such as, being at the mercy of Masters, or the like,
telling us how to be "good" theosophists. We are under no
obligation to accept everything we come across "theosophically."
There are times when each of us needs to decide what resonates to
us as "theosophical" and what does not. This is freedom of
thought, and it is our birthright.

I believe reasonably intelligent and ethical human beings possess
the capacity to utilize COMMON SENSE (remember that HPB stressed
the use of common sense). It's remembering that we have the
ability of common sense that seems to be a problem! Why is it
that the seemingly simple things give us so much trouble at
times? It is not these THINGS that make trouble for us -- it is
OURSELVES that bring the trouble about!

Certainly there are some aspects of the teachings that I don't
accept -- because they don't ring true -- for me. There are
other facets that I don't understand and that I am still working
on. I believe the bottom line is a relative and subjective one:
To trust your own intelligence and intuition enough in striving
to see the whole picture. Goodness knows it's far from easy. We
think that we crave freedom, yet we get in our own way sometimes
when the opportunity arises. I know I do that to myself one too
many times!

For example, there seems to be various controversies as to
whether the Mahatmas really exist/existed or not. I probably
believe that they do/did, but that's not the important thing.
The principles and teachings are what matter most, in addition to
how we understand them, and how effectively and practically we
can work them into our daily lives.

It is a wonderful freedom to be able to carry on one's original
or basic beliefs (e.g., Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, etc.), while
integrating a theosophical worldview into them. There is nothing
one needs to give up or compromise, but one certainly can refine,
enhance and/or broaden one's worldview. And occasionally, we
will have to deal with individuals and/or organizations that tell
us what's what and what's not, an activity that is as far removed
from Theosophy as one can get, in my opinion.

I am no lofty being who knows it all. I've got such a long,long
way to go. Earthly life can be a bummer sometimes, but isn't it
marvelous that we have the timeless Ancient Wisdom to strengthen
our foundation and keep us going! I would like to compassionately
suggest that each of us try to follow our own hearts and
intuition, with some intelligence and a lot of common sense
thrown in for good measure.

From time to time, there will be those out there who continue to
trash each other and give each other a hard time, because they
strongly feel they have the one true answer. It's hard to get
past our own individual garbage sometimes, but acknowledging THIS
is an important first step. It seems to be the human condition.
The challenge involves a raising of our consciousness out of our
personalities/egos, and a centering of it -- with greater and
greater frequency -- within our divine selves. And perhaps most
important, to operate from within that higher self into our daily
lives.

I don't understand why we human beings perpetuate this kind of
fear and inject it into our theosophical (and other portions of)
lives. We have enough to deal with, in just getting through each
day on earth.

Here's to onward and upward ETHICAL evolution!

------------------------------------------------------------------
THE PLACE OF EVOLUTION IN OUR LIVES

by Eldon Tucker

[based upon a January 18, 1995 posting to theos-l@vnet.net.]

There are various levels to our inner nature, various ways of
experiencing and appreciating life. Going inward and upward to
the top, we reach the Unknowable. As we move away from that
Mystery, step-by-step closer to coming into existence, we take on
different types of limitations, each bringing with it a different
manner of the experience of life. Each step that we take in
coming into existence is another veil put on over our ultimate
nature. These veils make up the twelve principles of
consciousness; we need them all to be fully-embodied and manifest
on a plane, down and through the physical body or a mind-created
substitute (Mayavi-Rupa).

It is true that if we go deep enough within, we reach a stage or
level where we are perfect, above evolution, and not lacking for
anything. But this does not mean we are free of the necessity of
evolution. There is a deep part of us that transcends time and
existence; it is not subject to evolution. But there are other,
"lower" parts of us that are both eternal and subject to the
demands of evolution over time. There is a part of us that
transcends existence, yet participates in time, and is subject to
growth, change, iteration, self-feedback, evolution,
self-genesis.

Following is a list of the twelve principles. For purpose of
discussion, names are given to those usually unnamed; these names
are not taken from a theosophical authority, and could be
considered arbitrary. (Note that although in Blavatsky's writings,
specific mention is made of just seven principles, Purucker goes
on to mention twelve. From my studies, my current thinking leads
me to outline them, hypothetically, as follows.)

Label ##   Name
F     11   Tat (Mystery)    can never know by either
                            negation or attribution
E     10   Parabrahman      unconditioned perfection,
                            beyond need to exist or not
                            exist, not looking down upon
                            the world
D      9   Swabhava         ideal nature, beyond time,
                            ever-present, unchanging as
                            we know change
C      8   Auric Egg        karmic treasure, beyond
                            space, form, or existence,
                            non-being but looking upon
                            manifest world
B     1-7  Atma to Physical our seven principles of
                            conscious existence
A      0   Tat (Mystery)    unknown root materiality

Let's go over this table. The seven principles (B) are as we
have learned in Theosophy. They are the basic ingredients of
manifest consciousness. We take on Atman in coming into
existence, and clothe ourselves in all the other principles as we
become fully-embodied. Without these seven principles, we still
*are*, but continue in a state of non-being, of
non-manifestation, of being formless and out of relationship with
conditioned existence.

Why do we come into existence? There is a periodic desire for
manifestation, a thirst for life, sometimes called "tanha." A
positive experience may be desired, where we seek adventure and
have an urge towards creativity and self-expression.

Outside of existence, what are we? We are the remaining, higher
principles. In (C) we have our essential nature as of this
moment in time. It is the transcendent part of us that is
subject to time. It contains the fullness of ourselves, as
compared to that small portion that is emanated in any single
existence. It is the Auric Egg, and contains as its contents the
karmic seeds or treasury of our previous spiritual evolution.
This part of us transcends existence, but looks down upon the
waters of space and is the silent observer of our manifest
existence. It is this part of us that is subject to spiritual
evolution, that grows and changes over time.

How can we go higher than this? Into timelessness, into a manner
of perfection that has no room for improvement, into a part of
ourselves that is our unique, personal, essential nature or
Swabhava (D). This part of us never changes, but is still unique
and individual. It is the Monad. It is perfect, but of a type
of perfection that is concerned with the imperfection of the
world. It is a downward-looking perfection, like Avalokitesvara;
it is a nurturing Inner God. This principle of consciousness is
the driving force behind our personal evolution; it compels us to
ever strive to be more truly ourselves, to strive to better and
better express what we are in our heart. It is the heart that
seeks expression, whereas in the Auric Egg (C) we have the
eternal pilgrim on the never-ending trek.

With Swabhava, we have risen above both space, and manifest
existence, and above time, or being subject to change. How could
we possibly go higher? With Parabrahm, or Paramatman (E), we
reach *beyond* ourselves. There is not a sense of our ideal
nature, but rather of embracing everything. And it is the part
of us that is too perfect to be concerned about manifest
existence. Paramatman is absorbed in stillness or absolute
motion. It is the realm of absolutes, where they take on a
literal reality because there is no limitations due to
conditioned existence. In this part of ourselves we are too
perfect, too near the ultimate root of all, too far-removed from
the outer world to care about it in any way. We are in absolute
peace, without concern for outer existence, inward at our core,
beyond any relationship whatever with the drama of life.

Now if Paramatman (E) is the highest we can experience, what of
Tat, the Mystery, (F)? What do we experience of this part of
ourselves? Nothing. Not a word can be said about it, either as
an attribute or by negation. It is both a part of us that is
inseparable and yet never-knowable. It is simply the Grand
Unknown. It is both the highest and lowest principle of
consciousness, both (F) and (A).

Coming back to the idea of evolution, it is an eternal urge.
When we drop out of our Ideal Nature (Swabhava) into
participation in time (Auric Egg), a dynamic tension is created.
That tension arises from the loss of our timeless perfection,
which we are ever seeking after, in an endless evolutionary
journey. We are thrown into the process of self-becoming,
self-expression, self-unfolding over time. This evolution is not
"jumping through hoops." It is not something arbitrary, something
to be escaped from as a trap. And it is not something that is
every ultimately completed. To rise above evolution, we shift
our consciousness into our highest principles, above those that
participate in time; to redescend into evolution we shift our
consciousness back into the lower principles. There never comes
a time where the part of us subject to evolution over time can
say "I'm done!"

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application