LOVE as Virtue and Vice ?
Mar 22, 2006 04:43 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
VICE AS AN EXAGGERATED VIRTUE
LOVE as Virtue and Vice ?
As to the concept that every "vice" is an exaggerated "virtue."
What jump-starts Evolution?
Consider for a moment how KAMA (desire, emotion, passion) works.
Originally as KAMADEVA (see T. Glos. p. 170-1) it is that aspect of the
DIVINE TIMELESS KARMA that serves to move the never-dying Universe back into
The verse "Desire first arose in it hat was the primal germ of mind...."
is also to be found in S.D. II 176 and II 578-9 with explanations.
One could conclude that there is a close connection with the 3 LOGOI :
unmanifested, manifesting and manifested and with MAHAT -- the Universal
Mind when the
Universe is in it's manifesting stage -- awake and active on its various
planes and peopled widely with self-conscious humanity all over the vast
Our SUN and the Central Spiritual SUN ?
[ Have we ever thought, in view of the tremendous depth of visual and
electro-magnetic vibratory perception given to us recently by the Hubble and
other telescopes, that we seem to be suspended in the midst of a vast SUN --
perhaps this is a visual and valid
proof of the concept of the CENTRAL SPIRITUAL SUN of which H.P.B. speaks so
guardedly in the S.D. and elsewhere?
She also in describing our Sun states it is not HOT but a series of
electro-magnetic Knots and Foci. We interpret them in terms of fire, heat,
and flares -- the exact nature and purpose of which we do not yet know
beyond noticing that our atmosphere, and
instruments connected with electricity and magnetism are affected.
In S.D. I 143-5, H.P.B. speaks of the "crucible" that surrounds and protects
the Earth -- indicating that actual extra System phenomena are apparently
translated into phenomena that we can understand, using our own limited
experience and perceptive senses. ]
But let's get back to the answers:
LOVE as Virtue and Vice
It is one of the key aspects of Love.
But, in manifestation, is Love not (within the realm / plane of body and
forms: -- Kamic, Pranic, Astral and Physical) IMPERSONAL AND UNIVERSAL --
for the uncountable components of our Universe any longer. But, when it is
more narrowly focused by us it
becomes "Love with an object."
Each such object is the remnant of unfinished business or Karma (good and
bad) for each Monad. (this is in general terms, and must state this is
largely my own speculations based on what I have learned from Theosophy.)
And under this aspect of LAW, (Karma) it places each one in the exact place
where its Karma and that of others will meet and begin operating. In other
words it manages the intersection of all the Karmic cycles that intersect in
the actual force/power focus of every individual.
If we can visualize this on the enormous scale (with 7 or 10 planes, not
merely the physical and astral) represented by the Universe one begins to
realize why and how the Universe needs "agents" -- which, like itself are
impartial, generous, kind, charitable, exact, immutable an d merciful. It
is really a dreadful burden.
CHOICES AND MOTIVES
Now if we will agree to carry this concept so as to look at us
(mankind, as a whole and each of us in particular) -- every being
is at the center of "their own Universe." To each and from each
radiate the powerful impressions that their MOTIVES (for any act,
thought, feeling) as CHOICES start into their life and with that
impact they affect the rest of "creation" whether those beings
like it or not.
The impression made by any of our least CHOICES, is ineradicable
once generated. Hence the high degree of control over our own
natures that is demanded of the successful Perfectionist. The
work now facing us who come into contact with Theosophy is really
and fundamentally an attempt that will persist for many, many
lives to undo the ignorance and folly of some of our past
"actions" -- especially their motives.
LOVE and TYRANNY
But let us take "Love" as a virtue and the try to see if tyranny
is not the result of its exaggeration. Universal LOVE all agree
is essential to life. But then, it has to be fair and just and
friendly to ALL. If one centres one's Love on a person, a
family, one's children and relatives, or one's community, and
tribe or nation, one sets up automatically barriers between "the
object of affections" and the "rest." Once such a barrier is
erected, we then begin to treat the selected unit or group
differently from "the rest."
The concept of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD is abridged, perhaps
insensibly by us at the beginning, but then with acceleration it
becomes nepotism and ultimately tyranny. In such a case, where
we, with our intellectual and Kamic power combined into LOWER
MANAS, seek to dominate the lives and destinies of others.
We rationalize and say as we presume to be wiser and know of a
better "way" than the average, we know what THEY should do.
TEACHER -- PUPIL relations and WISDOM
Here let me diverge and offer some examples which might make my
>From a "teacher," who gives each pupil their assignments, and
then stepping back, asks them (within certain common-sense and
altruistic, ethic parameters) to develop their own methods within
those parameters of impersonal and general LAW -- to which all
ought to give their understanding and agreement, and pledge heir
observation at all times -- we become a martinet with set rules
of encouragement and discipline and punishment. Thus the gentle
and all-embracing Love we had, has been turned (by our good
intentions restricted to one or a few individuals) into personal
discipline which we make ourselves the administrators of. We
become domineering, exacting, careless of the free-will of
others. We no longer give them the freedom to make their own
errors and to truly learn. -- and we have shifted from advisor to
GENERAL, or KING, or even EXECUTIONER. We have assumed the
position of AVENGING KARMA personified.
CHARITY, GENEROSITY, EQUANIMITY -- GREED
Take CHARITY as another instance, and imagine it being
personalized and expanded into a narrow view of ones' own
"security," and that security of "means" to be extended to our
family, employees, business, and perhaps also to our trade and
Nation -- and, let the "rest" of the World and their businesses
"fend for themselves." With some imagination we are describing
the economic situation of so-called "Free-trade" today. Our
focus is to establish a fund of "Wealth" -- not in abilities, but
rather in some solid and tangible representation of wealth and
power that our personal and family ease is set to last for a long
time "no matter what happens." Charity becomes GREED, and then
returns to the manipulation and exactions which we can IMPOSE on
others "like it or not."
VICE and VIRTUE Exemplified Today
If one follows the fare offered on TV involving the various
Detective Mysteries -- such as Hercule Poirot, Ironsides, Law and
Order, Agatha Christie detective stories, and the "Murder She
Wrote" stories, that star Angela Langsbury (?), etc... -- one
realizes after viewing some of these that they all represent a
study in the way individuals and families select certain
"virtues" (or a virtue) and then distort it / them (making them
personal) so as to serve to protect themselves or their loved
ones -- they think. The result of lying, misrepresentation,
hiding the truth, etc... are all vicious and expose the devious
reasoning of the human mind when dominated by personal DESIRE.
If one then follows the reasoning and search into valid clues by
the "detectives." If and when we come into the Court scenes, we
see the struggles of attorneys, judges and detectives to deal
with the personal vices -- advanced as personal reasons to
exaggerate or suppress truth. The Law of the land attempt to set
in clear and impartial terms the rights and privileges of all
concerned. Then one witnesses the action of Kama-Manas in trying
to emphasize, hide, exclude, certain facts and logical
conclusions. The judicial system limps along karmically because
ethical and moral concepts are difficult to put into language in
such a way as they will be applied with honest, sincere
impartiality, by ALL CONCERNED. An additional barrier is the
current dishonesty and lack of sincerity of many of those who are
portraying various parts -- but, the reason I mention these, is
because that particular arena does three things:
1. It demonstrates how a virtue personalized becomes a vice.
Vice has no limits.
2. It shows how the LOWER MIND, determined to shield itself
from KARMA, exaggerates certain falsities to "protect" itself
from the punishments that true JUSTICE (of the present legal
3. The concept of KARMA is one that always underlies these
dramas, but its continuity, exactitude and fairness are not fully
made visible because of the faults of our modern systems of
equity. Everyone recognizes it with INTUITION, but few have
mediated and brought the reason to bear on this faculty and
subject of a "level field" for all. Nor has the concept of the
"Human Family" thoroughly sunk in. The Lower Mind examines and
revels in "differences." The Higher Mind seeks equivalence,
universality, equity, compassion, and fairness for all.
I recognize that I am making generalities (and you ought to check
what I offer with your own experience, and what you know of
Theosophical principles) and that they are all probably faulty
since they depend on the biases. the intuitions and the attempts
to be fair and just by all the characters portrayed to be on the
side of "law and order." There are always great problems trying
with the imperfections of our own character (which our memory
taunts us with) to deal with the exposure to the LIGHT OF DAY and
of TRUTH of the failings of others. The principle of letting
Karma take care of adjustments, penalties and good fortune is for
each of us a good one. No one ought to speak ill of others --
or the dark specter of personal REVENGE, Anger, Tyranny, rear up
I found in Book 6 of THE LIGHT OF ASIA that Sir Edwin Arnold
gives a fair description of the final "temptations" by
personified VICES of the Buddha, the night before he achieved
To return to the main thesis:
VICE, VIRTUE and ETHICS
There is really not too much more to offer, as each one looking
inward and outward will discover that the question of vice and
virtue, of morality and ethics, are areas we have not well dwelt
on or meditated about. Most times the results serve to show up
our errors in retrospect, and it takes bravery and fairness to
confront our past in most cases. The main difficulty if we
recognize the exactitude of KARMA is: How do we undo some of the
errors we have made?
Some we can do, and as for others, we will have to wait patiently
until Karma offers us the opportunity to undo a fractured past.
IMPACT OF ACTING AS THOUGHT WE WERE IMMORTALS
In the meantime THEOSOPHY says THAT AT ALL TIMES ONE OUGHT TO ACT
AS A BROTHER IMMORTAL in our DEALING with other BROTHER IMMORTALS
and as we desire to be dealt with in all situations. At least we
will not be adding to our future burdens -- we will be creating
"Friends" and not enemies for the future.
We need to consider that past of an IMMORTAL is one which brought
us into close contact with others who now appear as 'strangers"
to us in this life. We do not know all the causes that bring
people together. But we do have control over our own thoughts,
feelings and acts. One of the strange comments made in Theosophy
is that one ought to bear happily the most distressing situations
of life -- realizing they would not be coming to us, unless we
had affinity with them; and, also, we ought to welcome them as
opportunities to improve our character as we work through them.
If one is able to adopt a contemplative attitude, even in the
midst of turmoil and "pressure," then It demands that its
(Karmic) affinity (as an aspect of the dynamic KAMIC) be
responded to. Since Karma as an aspect of KAMA operates in the
world of FORMS, it is creative. At the point of origin it is
like the Logoi: the words and Plan which assist in manifestation.
PRALAYA and DEVACHAN -An Analogy ?
When at the close of a Manvantara it acts protectively again, as
the gentle Mother that separates the impressions that are of
permanent value from those that are not (similar to Kama-Loka).
It puts those "on hold" as Karmic residue, to be resumed when "a
new Manvantara dawns.") It then puts all beings -- its many
children -- to "sleep / rest" -- and to dream again of all that
which they did that was valuable (in terms of Karmic excellence
and balance) in their many incarnations. (In this it acts like
the period of Devachan between intervening lives and incarnations
of decision making and karma reception.) .
It rules over Pralaya as a negative but living force [one of the
illustrations of this may be fund in S.D. Vol. I p. 27, Sloka 8,
where it speaks of the "opened Eye of the Dangma (WISE)." There
it causes the review of the impressions and lessons of a whole
Manvantara of experience for EVERY MONAD. On the reincarnation
of a Universe these life-atoms (the Monads) spring to conscious
awareness all over their field of life and renewed duty. (There
is no physical BIG BANG. We tend far to much to view our
situation only in terms of the material and physical.) The 1s
Vol. of the S.D. describes this process after a Maha-Pralaya.
H.P.B. speaks of this in her article ISIS UNVEILED and the
VISISHTADWAITA" [ Theosophist, January 1886, ULT-- H.P.B.
Articles III, p. 265; BCW Vol. 7, p. 50 ]
Much more might be said as the laws of analogy and correspondence
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