Kym's memo of Jan 4th == an attempt at answering
Jan 07, 1999 07:56 PM
by Dallas TenBroeck
Jan 7th 1999
Enjoyed going over your comments on my earlier post - but as it
would be too long to add these I'll start a new series of
I think that the philosophy of Theosophy starts at the other pole
from our normal point of philosophical and psychological view
points - I mean those developed in the past 200 300 years in the
By this I mean that the "Eastern" starting point has been the
UNIVERSE in its largest and most tenuous aspect: "Spirit." This
is held to be the "opposite" of "Matter." To explain this is not
easy. But one thing that our scientists today will concede is
that what we call matter is actually only the "phenomena" of the
forces and energies that whirling atoms and molecules determine.
We never ever completely get "down to matter" - although we use
physical things all the time, and depend on their retaining their
qualities and usage. Thus, they admit that there is some inner
force that is intelligent and is able to draw all the many parts
needed for a form to exist together.
This factor of an honest retention of quality by physical things
is held as part of the evidence to the lawfulness of the
Universe. Hence the Second proposition (Space, Universality,
Spirit being the First) - the Second proposition is that LAW
prevails everywhere, and all that is "alive" depends on that
factor being honest and constant. Mathematics, physics,
chemistry, engineering, astronomy are all to my mind examples of
this honest universality of law.
Without the laws of Life that involve Spirit and Matter at all
points, the Third proposition of universal Evolution could not
operate. That is the increasing sensitivity of Life as it
manifests in forms of increasing complexity. It is also taken as
a given that each "life-atom" is an immortal Force - an Energy
which has no termination. The whole of Nature - the whole
Universe - is made up of these living centers of Life. Mankind
is an example of these - a group that for this particular time
has reached the point where it can take its own evolution in its
own hands. It is the struggle in which every human is involved -
of becoming universally self-conscious. Now, how is that as a
But let also approach the same from a slightly different
view-point. What is it that evolves ? Here we might start with a
"suppose." Suppose that "Spirit" mixing with "Matter" at all
points induces Intelligence in the forms thus assembled under
Law. This would imply that each "Form" has a reigning
Intelligence that lives within, behind, and energizes it. [ I
have just been looking at a Scientific News-release where they
have succeeded in attaching in the Brain of a person who (after a
massive stroke) was totally disabled except for evidence that the
brain still functioned - he was a vet and was on life-support -
anyway, the brain cells were induced to grow into the and around
the gold electrodes implanted in certain brain centers, and when
this was complete, the vet, after training, was able to cause a
computer cursor to spell out words and to indicate how he felt.
Observing this the scientists said that this demonstrated that
the MIND was able to use the BRAIN, and it showed how the two
were linked. The will of the Mind to influence the brain centers
registered as electrical impulses that caused the cursor to move
to definite areas which the vet could see on the screen and which
his doctors were able to understand. ] Where does this
"Intelligence" begin to work its way up the "ladder of Evolution
?" We could see it like the old Hermetists did: "A "Spark"
becomes a stone; a stone, becomes a plant; a plant, an animal;
an animal, a man; a man, an angel; an angel, a God. When has
the "One spark" ever been diminished by change ?"
The question of "good" and "bad" is a difficult one to consider
since it invokes a common idea of ethics and morality - and just
as the "laws of the land" do, it presumes that there is a certain
norm in cultural and communal behavior which everyone is supposed
to observe voluntarily. Interestingly enough if one travels over
the world, no matter what country one goes to the same general
ethical ideas prevail even though the religion and culture may be
quite different from ours. The unanimity of conduct would
suggest that there is a great common base for living all over the
In Theosophy this is not viewed as something that is separate
from the general rule of LAW in the evolutionary process. After
all the human brain is, agreeably, only a tool and it does what
it is told to do by the Mind that employs it. It, in turn
directs the body, and serves as a go-between between the Spirit
in Man and the body he tenants.
But the mind in man and woman is essentially and inherently
free-willed. You speak of the excitement and the "spice of
life." I think we all experience this in our own ways.
Challenge need not be daring do, unless we feel it is somehow
important to challenge those norms and live at times "over the
edge." In doing so, hopefully we endanger no one but ourselves !
Is it success to live, or do, without being "caught ?" Does this
not imply we have a deep-seated knowledge and respect for laws
that secure the harmony, balance and moderation that makes for
community and family life ? But, perhaps this sounds very
insipid. And one might ask "What in us is it that enjoys ?"
Who is the "enjoyer?" How long does enjoyment last ? What are
the goals of "enjoyment ?" If we want "variety" in what areas
should we seek ? Are we building a fund of solid and valuable
experience or, are we merely wasting time ?
As to "truth" - I think we are always aware of it. If we say or
do something that is less than truth, and I think we are all
involved on this score, because we don't yet fully visualize the
results or ramifications of our choices as they may impact others
or ourselves, later on. But just because we are not able, or not
interested in mentally previewing the possible effects we start,
does not mean that they will not come about. The example of
dropping a stone into a pond is often used to show that deeds
always have consequences.
Suppose that by prayer, praise or petition one could have the
effects of our thoughts and acts "forgiven." Can we not ask "Why
me ?" "What about others who may try to secure action against me
?" Who will be "God's" favorite ? Is it fair for God to play
favorites ?" And so on. And what about the compensation that
may be due to victims or their families ? Who will settle that ?
Then comes compassion and forgiveness. These are very important.
I would say that hey are always due in our attitude to others, in
trying to understand what they feel and think. But this is the
way that an intelligent and sensitive person ought to react to
others, in an effort to maintain a harmony of common relations.
I would say that if we are made the victims, then these two
qualities become essential for us to apply and to repress any
desire for revenge or retaliation. But I also think this is very
difficult to agree to.
If Law, as a universal method of relations exists in the
abstract, then its manifestation, it would seem to me, would be
inherent in the living situation of all beings. The laws of life
seem to become more complex as we observe how the "inorganic"
materials of "stones" and "minerals" pass into the "organic"
composition of "plants." Plants show a different level of
sensitiveness - the various trophisms. Passing further to the
animal kingdom, we have a whole new range of sensitivity and
independence that can be viewed there. And when finally the
human stage is reached the inclusion of free-will, and the Mind
gives the "form" a chance to comprehend the universalities,
absolutes, and laws of the environment of the his Earth, and
Universe. The mind reaches out in all ways, to seek data, to
observe relationships and to verify laws that operate everywhere.
I do not think I would be unfair to suggest that beyond the man
stage, where thought and control are developed there are areas of
service to mankind as a whole, of assistance to those who "know
still less that we do."
I agree with you that defining "reality," "love" "reward and
punishment" is difficult. Since they exist as concepts (with
many variations of meaning attributed to them) how are we going
to define them, or find a common meeting room ? They are very
important as they related to every aspect of our lives and
To me, the word "belief" either implies a well thought out and
logical conclusion or, may imply a blind acceptance of some
"authoritative" assertion - something that I either have to prove
the truth of, or something which I accept without proving, "on
faith." Personally I want to KNOW.
If I am told that there is a God with the powers of omnipotence,
omnipresence, and omniscience, then I want to understand. If IT
is omnipresent, then it is present in me. At no time can I
escape the purview of God - hence in ITS omniscience, IT knows
all about me all the time. This leaves the third aspect of
omnipotence to be explained. I would say that the fact that
anything is alive or in existence demonstrates that God (or
Nature) has a use for it, and permits it to "live."
Man, hence, has no right to judge or decide what lives or dies,
what is hurt or loved, and what will be assisted in evolving, or
hat will be retarded. These things are all handled under God's
Laws. [ That is, if what I write is fair and true so far. ] But
if God is everywhere then Nature is a synonym for God. Reality
is all our existences, taken as a whole. Love is the condition
of compassion as regards all living things. Our "freedom of
will" is the wonderful opportunity of learning all these things,
including the secret workings of God/Nature and participating
actively and voluntarily in this great process. But, is this not
a description of our general situation - of the "human
situation," and of the condition of all living things as they
relate to others around them ?
You observe that we cannot possibly remember everything. And
this is true if we consider our normal ability. But there have
been exceptions, as for instance those people who have
"photographic memories" - and forget nothing they see or hear.
Then experiments in hypnosis show that there is in all subjects
there is a subliminal, subjective register of impressions which
can, under special circumstances, be invoked and made visible and
audible to the operator. It is said in Theosophy that all
Nature, the very walls around us, serve as recording agents of
our actions words and thoughts. I also agree with you that we,
as humans will not be "souls" operating as "computers." That
does not make sense with the evidence we have so far.
"Pushy" Theosophy does not really insist on anything. It only
describes our world, personal and universal situation. It exists
as a record of the investigations of many, many students, some
living today, as we are, and others who lived in past times, but
all have contributed to a survey of the workings of Nature in all
her many departments. If it is only description, then we ought
to investigate to find out if that description is fair and
I would not say that Theosophy insists on "reward and
punishment." Rather I think it describes the way in which nature
works with us, trying to get us to become self-educated. We
grasp many things and some we are not yet able to understand.
Some bog down at the challenge, and others feel they have to
"find out." It is probable that those who are challenged
transform the depth and width of their knowledge through that
effort. Cast your mind back to your own school experience.
Broadly, there are three kinds of students in any classroom :
those who WANT TO KNOW and consequently study all they can reach.
Those who coast along doing a normal minimum, nothing extra,
etc...; and finally, those who really don't care and feel
"pushed" by the system, their families, the need for "passing
exams and getting out of School" and there are dozens of
variants. And none of these are cast in stone, as from time to
time we enter or pass out of those divisions in regard to some
aspects of our lives.
What I think is important is that we all have the same wonderful
potential. We are a form of aggregated "matter" animated by a
"Spirit." We feel intensely about many things and we investigate
our feelings with our Minds. We are constantly reviewing our
thoughts and attitudes and our goals, but we do not all keep a
careful record of our findings and store it for future use in our
"Minds." If we could do that and make a daily review, we
probably could be able to do a lot better (each one of us) than
we are doing.
So, to me the fact that Karma (a name for Law) exists and
operates is not one to instill "fear." It just says that "we
gets what we pays for." It also takes care of those who are made
unwilling victims. And it is only justice that the perpetrator
of a wrong gets to see the effect of his actions some time.
Why not consider that God is inside of us, and that we can seek
ITS help and guidance at times of difficulty - not a miracle, but
a friendly help - such as the "Voice of Conscience" or the
"Intuition" can give ? Thus the Son (or Daughter) of Man is able
to invoke the assistance of the Father of All. And everyone is
able to do that regardless of race, religion, sex or color.
Now I wonder if all this is just nonsense or if it will make some
sense to you ?
With best wishes,
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