RE: [bn-study] Re: : re "exoteric/esoteric," Dallas and ...
Jul 18, 2004 06:18 PM
by Dallas TenBroeck
July 18 2004
As I see it: Will is will – a power innate to everyone.
To become conscious of it implies one is able to direct it. The aim of such
a direction is choice. The power to choose is one which we exercise all the
time. “WE” exercise it as we become mentally experienced and able to
perceive a field of opportunities as a range. To some of us this “range” is
considered briefly, as one that ranges (in very general terms) between
Virtue and Vice. – “Vice” being considered as a product of the violation of
Universal LAW – which is common to all. This is usually designated “bad
To make this plainer, if you will allow me to continue, one might say that
“Virtue” is choosing to act in accordance with LAW.
What “Law” are we speaking of? Generally one might say that it is
cooperation, it is the constant interaction of an inescapable brotherhood.
To give it depth and persistence (or reality) one has to maintain the idea
that all “Monads,” experienced or not, are immortals and we meet them again
and again. So it is not only the “Family of Man,” but the involvement of the
family of a whole Universe that staggers our inexperienced and temporary
minds of this incarnation.
Suddenly we are confronted with the idea that all our choices, however great
or small are recorded on the sensitive natures of all surrounding “Monads.”
Some make up our bodies, and some have travelled away and make up the forms
of other humans or living entities near and far from us. [ If you have a
copy of LIGHT ON THE PATH. Look at the essay on Karma at the end of the
book, it gives a good idea of this.]
Some analyse it (mind and will) and direct it with great accuracy. Others
are more unaware. Do they need to remain that way? They accept their
limitations or their strengths without little or no question. I would say
the latter are buffeted by karmic events and do not realize they can
discover the source of their problems. It is therefore suggested that pain
and suffering serve as “awakeners.” People eventually ask “Why me?” “Do I
As to knowledge and wisdom. Can we say that “intuition” is “reason ina
Theosophy employs (as it claims) the fact of reincarnation; and then, the
other fact that there dwells in each of us already the immortal, eternal
The obscurity (some call it ignorance) between “All knowingness” and the
struggle to give measure and purpose to our daily life, seems to me, to be
the result of the quality of the material substances that intervene. [It
invites us to study the logic of the 7 Principles -- with Atma at one end,
and the physical body at the other.]
In this it indicates that the whole Universe is composed of “monads;” and it
defines these as immortal intelligent -- entities with experience that
varies from “just being born” – as they emerge from the “Monadic Essence,”
to a fully experienced and well developed MIND -- such as is represented in
a Mahatma, a Buddha, or a Rishi / Avatar. (Something similar to the
difference between a baby and a trained and experienced Adult.)
We need to ask ourselves: “Am I a creature to be directed at the whim of
others? Or, am I able to make independent decisions (up to a point) on my
I think questioning leads us to greater depths always. What then, is the
power of “quest?” Is it not the power of self-induced and then, self-devised
seeking for first, knowledge; second, for confirmation of ones tests; and
thirdly, the companionship of others who find themselves on a common
pilgrimage? Are we, in this exchange not working together on this the 3rd
If we discover we are free to some extent, then, would it not be valuable to
find out what those limits are? Also how were they constructed and
therefore how can they be torn down and replaced by a knowledge that is
Many direct their lives by setting up goals. Then they wonder if those
goals were the best. How do we select the best “goals?” Can we secure that
which have been called: “Universal Laws,” and “Universal Ideals?” I am
using the word “universal” here to depersonalize them, and make them truly
common to all – no favourites, no “pardons,” no “prayers and / or praises,”
can change that which our choices have already fore-ordained.
Law, to be just, has to be merciful to all parties involved. Why can we
expect to be “pardoned,” if we have done little or nothing to redress such
wrongs as we may have inflicted on others?
I would say: employ the fundamentals of THEOSOPHY. [S D I 13-20]
You are right, once the “river” is crossed a “raft” is no longer needed, but
a pair of wheels might help if we have a burden to tote.
I think “reality” rises in the Atma, the ONE UNIVERSAL SPIRIT. There is no
actual ‘reality’ in any set of material forms / substances. How are they
constructed? I would say that the “forces” and “powers” that driveall
beings to a search for perfection constructs them as “rafts,” wheels,”
“emotions and feelings,” and “ideas.”
How do we acquire universal ideas and truths? Now that is our present task.
Lets work on this together.
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2004 5:39 PM
Subject: : re "exoteric/esoteric," Dallas and ...
On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 11:58:31 -0700, "Dallas TenBroeck"
DT> As I understand the word “will” relates to the power we each one have of
choosing to > make a decision and then continuing in that until the end.
> For example the connection between your thought: “ I will type and use my
> And the actual muscular effort to move the fingers, is caused by an
operation of the
> inner intangible WILL.
Thank you Dallas
May I add a few comments:
I think that everybody would agree with you on the definition of the will in
our everyday's tasks as you describe. What I really referred to, was the
WILL necessary to enable us to attain our spiritual liberation and to break
the cycle of births and deaths (please see further below).
DT> When you “set aside” all knowledge acquired from any source,
> than I believe you are putting yourself into a mode of
> 1. reception,
> 2. consideration,
> 3. comparison (with information or knowledge already acquired), and
> 4. add,
> or, 5. put into reserve for future consideration,
> or, 6. reject.
> Am I wrong?
May I suggest that there is another state of human consciousness when all
knowledge is "set aside" (note that I did not use the words "abandoned" or
"rejected"). That is the state of "full" understanding, coming from within,
without the help of accumulated knowledge (this does not mean that knowledge
is not helpful at other stages), above the reasonings and the burden of the
mind, and manifested by an acute consciousness of the Reality and its causes
and effects. Maybe "the raft must be abandoned once we have crossed the
river". As Hermann Hesse said in "Siddhartha": "Knowledge can be transmitted
but not wisdom". Maybe, the famous phrase "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think and
therefore I am) is wrong. Only when we don't think that we really are. "The
Mind is the great Slayer of the Real", as "The Voice of the Silence" teaches
DT> Where are the “seeds of wrong?” They lie in our sense of independence
and our own > individual “power to choose.”
> We have to choose to be righteous and fair to all our brother immortals.
> We cannot escape from their eternal company.
May I explain my usage of the words “seeds of wrong embedded in the effort
to distinguish right and wrong” in my previous posting, through an example:
In a temple, a senior monk had made a vow to fully dedicate his life to
spiritual matters only. Each time he happened to overhear, or be involved
in, conversations concerning the administration of his temple, especially
the financial aspect, he was deeply uneasy as he perceived that his vow was
broken. And that continued to disturb him in his meditations afterwards.
Another monk did not make any vow and participated in all tasks required
from him, including handling of administrative and financial matters. He did
not seek, nor reject, discussions on those topics. His mind was free and not
burdened with what he had just done in the previous moment, although at any
moment he was fully attentive to the task he was performing. Who do you
think has truly achieved "Det! achment" as a condition for breaking the
cycle of births and deaths? (Upâdâna (attachment) is the cause of Bhava
(karmic existence) in the 12 Nidânas of Buddhism - see Jerome's posting on
this some time ago).
May I take this opportunity to elaborate a bit more on my understanding of
In our daily life, we make a number of decisions and performs a number of
actions. Those decisions and actions seem to come from free will but they
are in fact consequences of our background, our education, our tradition,
our society, our culture, etc. We can only achieve true free will (or
freedom) if we go beyond our conditionment. In some respects, we are not
unlike robots. Most of us have probably seen sci-fi films in which robots
are quite advanced. They make decisions and perform actions like humans. Can
we talk about the "will" of the robots? or are they mere results of complex
programming, based on some principles (axioms) implemented in them (e.g. The
Three Laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov), together with complex programming
to enable them to acquire knowledge by learning and to behave like humans
(including using its "will" to make decisions) (this aspect is in fact not
sci-fi but a branch of modern Artificial Intellgence sci! ence, which is
still developing and evolving). In his book "Logic" (published in 1800),
Immanuel Kant attempted to analyse the logic of human mind (and this earns
him a place in history as one of the key contributors to modern Logic). He
considered that "intuitions" and "concepts" are the 2 starting points in
human mind and from there the process of human thinking is generated,
through "judgments" and "inferences" (in essence, judgments are combinations
of concepts and/or intuitions and inferences or conclusions are results of
combinations of judgments - according to Kant). So most of the time, human
thinking is just a "regurgitation" of old knowledge. New "ideas" only come
from intuitions and concepts. What Kant missed, I believe (and according to
my understanding), is that intuitions precede (and create) concepts and that
intuitions come from the "divine spark" that each of us possesses. True
advances in sciences (and other! areas) mainly come from "above". In fact,
modern philosophy starts to realize this aspect. In "Think" (published in
1999 by Oxford Uni Press), Simon Blackburn discusses the limitations of
human mind. In essence, if we accept that free will exists (and there are
arguments for this) then we need to consider another dimension of reality in
which the "reason for its existence is within itself" (otherwise we are in a
circle like the "snake with its tail in its mouth") (Simon Blackburn is
currently a Distinguished Prof of Philosophy at the Uni of North Carolina -
see for example: <http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews23961.html>
What I attempted to say in the above is that one day, humanity will make the
link from sciences to "wisdom" (for lack of a better word) by realising that
there is at least another dimension to human being, which is above the usual
reasoning of the mind. And that where Theosophy can help.
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