RE: A vast ocean
Apr 07, 2006 05:01 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Here is a brief survey of the literature of THEOSOPHY
I do recommend starting with ISIS UNVEILED as you will find that it offers
the basis from which information and discussion started.
By now the subject is vastly developed.
It is true that compared to the terminology and language developed by
"Science" Theosophical terms appear to be imposing a new layer of terms and
meanings. But this is because, so far, our "Science" has not well
considered the interaction of the "psychic" and the "astral" layers of life
forces that interpose between the physical and the mental "principles" (see
SOME BASIC THEOSOPHICAL CONCEPTS
Theosophical doctrines draw our attention to some basic concepts:--
1. The Universe is All. IT has no limits, either in space or in time.
It is Immortal. It is Life. We are in, and therefore a part of IT.
2. The Universe operates under cyclic Law. Law cannot be broken. It
supports universal progression. Morally It can be said to provide justice
and compassion to all beings. Universe = Nature in toto = Deity
3. Each being is an immortal unit of Life. In its essence it is a ray
of the Universal One. The unit is variously called "Monad," or "Life-atom,"
etc... it is a "perpetual motion machine" and is an immortal entity, it
passes through all evolutionary processes, acquiring intelligence and
experience. It is analogous to a solar system, or to a galaxy.
4. Every being shares in the immortality of the One in its essence.
It therefore cannot be destroyed or annihilated as an essential Unit of
Life, even though its forms may be dissipated by death, etc. Life or energy
is universal, and in its diversity it animates every "unit of life."
5. In essence each "part" (Unit of Life), is united through
'electro-magnetic' links with all others. There is one whole; only the
'units' seem to be separate, divided from one-another in terms of our gross
perceptions of "matter." Their unity is the basis for cooperation,
expressed in brief as Universal Brotherhood.
6. To make a physical form each 'unit' draws together other units of
lesser experience than itself on the "Ladder of Being." In doing that it
makes itself responsible for their growth and well-being. Just as a
"teacher" makes himself responsible for the progress of many pupils. It
should be noted that while the "Teacher" offers instruction based on his
experience, it is the responsibility of the "pupils" to test and adopt it
when they are satisfied as to its accuracy. We call this, in general terms
: Evolution, when viewed as CONSCIOUSNESS, and not merely as the physical
skeletal structures fossils seem to reveal.
7. Any "form," serves temporarily as a place for those beings of
lesser experience to acquire more experience and thus have opportunity to
"advance." Under the operation of LAW, Karma, they acquire, each in its own
way, a wider experience, a higher of consciousness. All those who have not
yet reached the "human-mind" state, are called non-self-conscious
"life-atoms." They are incipient men-to-be. They inform for the moment,
the elemental, mineral, vegetable and animal
kingdoms, or divisions, of Nature.
8. When the level of self-consciousness (mind, manas, man, soul) is
achieved by any of the "lives," it proceeds further, as a human being,
through the process of reincarnation, using many successive physical bodies.
All live in the same framework law, progression and mutual support. The
whole evolutionary scheme is a vast brotherhood. In the man-mind
condition/stage, progress is by trial/error, and thus the awareness or
attentive faculty is developed as the individual studies the operation of
universal laws operating in and around him.
9. Like the Universe, man is seven-fold in constitution:
1. Spirit - ATMA, (a "Ray" of the Universal Divine.)
2. Discrimination-Intuition-Conscience-Ethics and Morals
- BUDDHI, ( memory of experiences)
3. Thinking, Intellection, Reason,
- Mind - MANAS, (choice & free will
4. Emotion, Sensation, Selfishness -
- KAMA, ( desire, passion )
5. Vitality, Life-energy, magnetism -
- PRANA, Jiva (vitality, life-force)
6. Electro-magnetic model form -
-- ASTRAL BODY, (electro-magnetic form
-- this forms the underlying structure for all
7. PHYSICAL BODY. (Known to us by our senses.)
9. The Universe, Man, and all other beings go through an evolutionary
cycle which is seven-fold, covering an immense time, during which each being
passes through every one of the seven phases that this seven-fold scheme
provides, so that each may secure the highest degree of perfection by its
own experiences and voluntary decisions. All progress is by self-effort. [
Very much as in our educational system.]
10. The self-conscious man, in which Manas (mind) or
self-consciousness is the active principle, makes decisions. Motive
actuates Karma. If the decisions are universally-based, 'good' and progress
for the unit, and the whole accrues rapidly. Should decisions be
self-focused, as opposed to the general good, 'evil' results. Karma thus
actuated, teaches the unit through disciplining circumstances what the ideal
decisions ought to be. Thus evolution proceeds. All karmic events are the
direct result of the choices that are individually made.
11. Graduates from this "School-of-Life" face the choice or
responsibility of becoming, in their turn, "teachers." That is, of actively
assisting in the process of diffusing and explaining this universal process.
They are superior men. [ Similar to the Professors in our Universities.]
12. These are designated Sages, Wise Men, Adepts,
Masters-of-Wisdom, Arhats, Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, Dhyan
Chohans, Tathagatas, Prophets, etc... [ In history we may
name Jesus, Gautama the Buddha, Krishna, Pythagoras, Lao
Tse, Plato, Shankaracharya, Apollonius of Tyana, and many
others.] they all came as reformers, and if their original
teachings are compared it will be found that they all
taught the same metaphysical doctrines and practical
13. The process of securing experience by mankind is
called reincarnation. The "Life-atom" that is self-
conscious, or the Real Man, uses a physical body which is
assembled, as above described for it to live in. In this
life process it not only advances (or recedes) depending on
its choices, but at the same time serves to assist and
elevate by its example the whole mass of "life-atoms" for
which it has specific karmic responsibilities.
At death the man-consciousness passes first into a
state called Kama-Loka, where a separation between the
moral, and the immoral occurs. A 2nd "death" occurs in a
short while and the immoral side of one's nature is allowed
to disintegrate gradually in the astral plane of Kama-Loka.
14. The higher, immortal Ego, the moral side of our being,
passes into a state called Devachan, which has three stages
1st the rupa-loka, where the consciousness of the Ego is
occupied with the aspirational and noble feelings, thoughts
and actions of the last personal life. This process of
assimilation being over, the MIND-EGO enters a spiritual
plane where, united with the "Ray" of the Universal Spirit,
it is quasi-omniscient. This 2nd stage is called the
arupa-loka [formless stage]. In that condition it is able
to review the life last lived within the perspective of all
previous lives, and thus trace the line of its Karma. The
3rd stage is one of preparation for a new incarnation, and
it begins to draw to itself those personal elements
(skandhas) which will be used to make up its new
15. NATURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS--MONAD--
MAN'S EVOLUTIONARY ROUNDS
"...Man (physically) is a compound of all the kingdoms, and spiritually--his
individuality is no worse for being shut up within the casing of an ant than
it is for being inside a king. It is not the outward or physical shape that
dishonors and pollutes the five principles--but the mental perversity.
Then it is but at his fourth round when arrived at the full possession of
his Kama-energy and is completely matured, that man becomes fully
responsible, as at the sixth he may become a Buddha and at the seventh
before the Pralaya--a "Dhyan Chohan."...
He starts downward as a simply spiritual entity--an unconscious seventh
principle (a Parabrahm in contradistinction to Para-parabrahm)--with the
germs of the other six principles lying latent and dormant in him...(76) [
follows a description of stages of differentiation, round by round, a kind
of 'gestation' process ]...
Volition and consciousness are at the same time self-determining and
determined by causes, and the volitions of man, his intelligence and
consciousness will awake but when his (77) fourth principle Kama is matured
and completed by its (seriatim) contact with the Kamas or energizing forces
of all the forms man has passed through in his previous three rounds.
The present mankind is at its fourth round (...as a genus...)...so the
individual entities in them are unconsciously to themselves performing their
local earthly sevenfold cycles--hence the vast difference in the degrees of
their intelligence, energy and so on.
Now every individuality will be followed on its ascending arc by the Law of
retribution--Karma and death accordingly.
The perfect man or the entity which reaches full perfection, (each of his
seven principles being matured) will not be reborn here. His local
terrestrial cycle is completed...(The incomplete entities have to be reborn
On their fifth round after a partial Nirvana when the zenith of the grand
cycle is reached, they will be held responsible henceforth in their descents
from sphere to sphere, as they will have to appear on this earth as a still
more perfect and intellectual race.
This downward course has not begun but will soon...The above is the rule.
The Buddhas and Avatars form the exception as verily we have yet some
Avatars left to us on earth." M L (Barker), p. 75-77
Glad to help,
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 5:12 PM
Subject A vast ocean
I've recenlty acquired some of Mme. Blavatsky's written works and am in
the process of beginning to read them. However, as I begin with "Isis
Unveiled", I am finding that perhaps there are other works I should have
read first as a foundation...perhaps this is the last book I should be
reading as an intro to Theosophy? Is there anyone who can suggest an order
of reading for an eager learner who earnestly does not want to become
disillusioned at the beginning due to not having any idea what he is
doing? With the VAST amount of information out there, I am hoping to
channel my energies into what I can reasonably do without losing hope that
what seems right also seems incredibly hard to accomplish without a
teacher or guide...many thanks to anyone who can be of help.
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