FAITH and BELIEF
Jan 08, 2004 02:01 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck
Jan 7 2004
Recently we had some discussion about the value of TRUTH, and its
The following may be of help - notes made on a talk about H P B
BELIEF and FAITH
She (H P B) is reputed to have said:
Ragel's wonderful advice is the best approach.
You cannot nor ever should attempt to convert others to your view point.
The more you try the more the other mind will revolt.
Instead of trying to tell others of Theosophy when their minds are not
open would be a mistake. In such cases silence, as Ragel says, is the
Theosophy is best propagated not so much by words--though that is
necessary on appropriate occasions--as exemplification of its principles
in life which will have a salutary effect on others.
HPB then gave Tsong-Kha-Pa's teaching "From a Lamrin Compendium" on the
subject of various levels of understanding in humans. This ought to make
us all charitable.
"Arguments, from considerations why Buddha's teaching should be
explained on three planes ; i.e., intended alike for the lowest, the
mean or the middle, and the highest capacities, since each man must
believe according to his mental qualifications.
"1. Men of vulgar capacities must believe, that there is a (personal)
God, and a future life, and that they shall earn therein the fruits of
their work in this, their earthly life.
"2. Those who have an average intellectual capacity, besides admitting
the former position, must know, that every compound thing is perishable,
that there is no reality in things ; that every sin is pain, and that
deliverance from pain or bodily existence is bliss.
"3. Those of the highest capacities must know, in addition to the above
enumerated dogmas, that from the lowest form to the Supreme Soul,
nothing is existent by itself. Neither can it be said that it will
continue always (eternally) or cease absolutely, but that everything
exists by a dependent or causal concatenation.
"With respect to practice, those of vulgar capacity are content with the
exercise of belief (blind faith) and the practice of the ten virtues
(Ten Commandments). Those of average intellectuality, besides believing,
by reason of endeavour to excel in morality and wisdom. Those of the
highest capacities, besides the former virtues, will exercise the six
transcendental virtues (practical Occultism). (Theosophical Articles
and Notes, p. 198).
>From H P B ALCHEMY IN THE 19th CENTURY
Ah ! Star of the Morning, Daughter of the Dawn, how thou hast fallen
from thy high celestial estate--poor Alchemy ! All, on this poor,
ancient planet are thrice deceived; all on it are doomed to weariness,
to fracture, and to pass away. And yet, all that once was, which is,
and shall be will remain for ever the same, until the end of time.
Words are traps, and soon the meaning underlying them is disfigured.
But eternal root ideas shall for ever endure. Under the "asses' skin"
in which Princess Nature wraps herself--so that fools may be deceived,
as we are told in the fables of Perrault--the disciple of those ancient
philosophers perceives eternal truth, and--adores ! This asses' skin,
instead of Princess Nature stark and true, we are made to believe is
more acceptable to the taste of our modern philosophicules and
materialistic Alchemists. They sacrifice the living soul to dead forms.
But all that ugly skin falls away before the piercing glance of Prince
Charming who recognizes by the marriage ring his original pledge. ...
Modern materialists would have us believe that Alchemy, or the
transmutation of base metals into gold and silver, has from the earliest
of ages been no more than mystification and flummery. According to them
it is not science but a delusion, and therefore all who believe, or show
interest in it, are either dupes or impostors. Our modern encyclopedias
are seen to contain many a derogative epithet leveled at alchemists and
Our wise men are forgetful--in the first place, having never yet found a
key to the jargon used in Hermetic manuscripts, they have no right to
pronounce decisions on their veracity; and secondly, wisdom has
certainly not born for the first time with them alone, nor will it
necessarily disappear from the world upon their death.
Each science, we say, has three aspects, and at least two are
acknowledged by all: the objective and the subjective.
We can classify Alchemical transmutation under the first, whether with
or without the powder of projection; under the second, we would place
all that relates to the mind. Under the third is concealed a suspicion
relating to the loftiest spirituality. ...
Change is the visible result of all cyclic evolution.
[ SYMBOLISM DEVELOPED ]
The perfect circle becomes the One, then a triangle, and from these it
develops into the quaternary, and then, of these, the quinary is formed.
The creative principle issues from the Rootless Root of absolute
Existence--that which has neither beginning nor end--the symbol for
which is a serpent, the perpetuum mobile, which is shown swallowing its
tail so that these two are again united.
This was the Azoth of the Alchemists of the Medieval Ages. The circle
then becomes a triangle, emanating like Minerva from Jupiter's head.
The circle represents the metaphysical Absolute; a line issuing from
its right side represents a synthesis of all that is metaphysical, and
that issuing from its left, represents all that is physical.
When Mother Nature produced a line that joined these two original lines,
we may trace there the reawakening of Cosmic Life. Until then Purusha
or Spirit, is separated from Prakriti or Matter, which has not yet
manifested. These "legs" exist only potentially, they cannot move; nor
have "arms" been yet produced, wherewith to mold into objective forms
Deprived of limbs, Purusha [Spirit] can only begin to build when it has
mounted symbolically on to the shoulders of blind Prakriti [matter];
then the triangle becomes the pentacle, the star of the microcosm.
Before this stage is reached both must pass through the condition of the
quaternary state, that of the creative cross. This is the symbolic
cross of the terrestrial mystics. And it is they who debased and
defiled it. This symbolic cross divided into four, may be read at will:
"Taro," "Tora," "Ator," and "Rota." Primordial virgin matter, called
"adamic earth," or the "Holy Spirit" of the ancient Alchemists of the
"Rosy Cross," was altered by some Kabalists--who made themselves the
flunkeys of modern science--into Na2Co3, soda, and C2H6O, alcohol !
This article in 3 parts, was written in French by H. P. Blavatsky. It
appeared in Vol. II of La Revue Theosophique, October, November and
December 1889 and is translated from that. [ It was reprinted in
Theosophical Movement, Vol. 26 - pp. 81, 105. A copy of the original
is in Blavatsky: Collected Works, Vol. XI, p. 505. ] DTB
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