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Re: Theos-World was promotion of Krishnamurti's teaching a big mistake

Jul 25, 2007 06:03 AM
by Pablo Sender

When I first heard someone speaking about Krishnamurti's teaching, I 
said to myself "What is that nonsense?". And during certain time I 
had some discussions with "Krishnamurtians", resulting in a very 
confusing idea. Therefore, I began to study his teachings in order to 
discover by myself the thing.
Finally, I could appreciate his teaching, especially when it began to 
throw a different light in some theosophical teachings (particularly 
fro The Secret Doctrine). Here is one example of I discovered, and 
that justifies to me the promotion of Krishnamurti's teaching.

The Secret Doctrine as Spiritual Practice 
Pablo D. Sender
The Theosophist, May 2006

H. P. Blavatsky's major work was The Secret Doctrine (SD), which, 
according to one of her Masters, was the triple production of Mahatma 
M., HPB, and Mahatma KH.1 While it was being written, she was 
seriously ill and her life was in peril, but the Masters must have 
considered this book a very important one, for they kept her alive, 
in the midst of pain and suffering, in order to leave this legacy to 
In its original form the SD consisted of two large volumes, yet HPB 
said she had prepared a Third Volume and was working on a Fourth, but 
she died before publishing these. Six years after her passing, her 
disciple Annie Besant published the Third Volume and, although some 
people claimed this was a spurious one, later investigations made by 
Daniel H. Caldwell showed that much of its material was actually the 
real Third Volume intended by HPB.2 The promised Fourth Volume was to 
be almost entirely devoted to practical Occult teachings, although 
its publication, according to HPB, depended entirely upon how Volumes 
I and II would be received by Theosophists. Unfortunately, this 
Volume was never published. 
The SD is frequently taken as a theoretical compendium of 
metaphysical and abstruse teachings, or as an `esoteric' history 
about the genesis of the Universe and Man. In that context, this work 
can be studied as an exposition of some essential facts related to 
the Cosmos, Humanity, and the general plan for their development 
according to certain immutable laws. This conception has its own 
value, because it provides a deep and comprehensive cosmovision of 
existence. However, since the study of this subject is frequently 
reduced to a mere intellectual exercise with little impact on our 
daily life, one wonders if a book considered so important by the 
Mahatmas and HPB should not have a greater practical significance. In 
fact, in a letter to A.O. Hume, Master KH said: 

The truths and mysteries of occultism constitute, indeed, a body of 
the highest spiritual importance, at once profound and practical for 
the world at large. Yet, it is not as a mere addition to the tangled 
mass of theory or speculation in the world of science that they are 
being given to you, but for their practical bearing on the interests 
of mankind.3 

Therefore, the truths of Theosophy must have a real (practical) 
meaning for humanity. It is our duty as members of the TS to discover 
the real dimension of the SD (and all theosophical teachings), not as 
a collection of concepts, but as a transforming force in our lives.

Signposts on the Path 
According to HPB, the SD has different keys of interpretation: 
metaphysical, astronomical, physiological, psychological, and so 
forth. Therefore, we will attempt here to consider these teachings 
from a psycho-metaphysical point of view, as HPB would say, looking 
for an interpretation that allows us to make them part of our 
spiritual practice. 
In a talk with some students, HPB is reported to have said: `TRUTH 
lies beyond any ideas we can formulate or express',4 and `no picture 
will ever represent TRUTH'.5 In another context, J. Krishnamurti also 
said: `The unknown, the limitless, cannot be captured by thought.' 6 
Every authentic spiritual tradition or teaching states that Truth `is 
beyond the range and reach of thought'. If this is so, how can the 
Truth be realized? Maybe the question arises because we are used to 
considering thought as our only tool, although according to 
Theosophical teachings, this is not the case. HPB wrote:

The INFINITE cannot be known to our reason, which can only 
distinguish and define; but we can always conceive the abstract idea 
thereof, thanks to that faculty higher than our reason ? intuition, 
or the spiritual instinct.7 

The text is referring to buddhi, or Spiritual Intuition, which is the 
faculty we need to awaken for the perception of Truth. If the modern 
presentation of Theosophy has the object of guiding us to this goal, 
it must provide us with tools to help us make operative this `power 
latent in man' through which spiritual realities can be grasped.
Thus Mme Blavatsky denied that the real value of the SD is to furnish 
a complete philosophical account of existence, and advised: `Come to 
the SD without any hope of getting the final Truth of existence from 
it, or with any idea other than seeing how far it may lead TOWARDS 
the Truth.' 8 She said that this book is `a means of exercising and 
developing the mind never touched by other studies',9 and the right 
work on it is `what the Indians call Jñâna Yoga'.10 Therefore, the 
information given in the SD is not an end in itself, but a means. As 
JK said, `the word is not the thing', and this book was written 
just `to provide him [the student] with signposts on that Path'.11 
When the student works rightly with the SD, it may lead him beyond 
the mental processes, where the light of Intuition may shine. This is 
what HPB points out in the Proem when she wrote: `Indeed, it must be 
remembered that all these Stanzas appeal to the inner faculties 
rather than to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain'.12 
One important thing to bear in mind when engaged in theosophical 
study is the concept of learning. In the present time, we tend to 
consider learning as the intake of new information from outside, and 
therefore we think we know Theosophy because we have collected 
concepts from different books and memorized them. But this knowledge 
mostly affects only the surface of our being; therefore, there is a 
gap between theory and practice. The real learning, as Plato stated, 
comes from within, and the Stanzas try to awaken this inner 
knowledge, which may be what is sometimes called `the archetypes in 
our deeper mind'. This knowledge is more comprehensive and has a 
transformative effect upon us. 

Awakening Spiritual Perception 
We should be serious in examining what are the bases for awakening 
our spiritual perception. As we have said, the mere recollection of 
the information given in the SD is not enough, and we should not 
imagine that spiritual perception will be awakened in some obscure 
way simply by reading. To reach this `deeper mind' is not so easy and 
there are several factors involved in it, as expressed in 
theosophical literature. 
HPB says that Intuition arises in `a state in which one ceases to be 
the conditioned and personal "I", and becomes one with the ALL'.13 
This is also the very core of JK's teachings, since he was primarily 
interested in helping us transcend all activities of our brain 
consciousness (kâma-manas). In one of his dialogues with Dr David 
Bohm, he differentiates between the Mind, which is universal and 
unconditioned, and the brain, which is limited. And he says that the 
brain is the basis of the self, while the Mind is the source of the 
highest form of intelligence. But then the question arises: how can 
that Mind act through the brain? According to JK this is possible 
only when there is no sense of separateness: 

DB: You are using the word Mind; not `my' Mind. 
JK: Mind. It is not `mine'. 
DB: It is universal or general. 
JK: Yes. . . . 
DB: It would almost seem to imply, then, that in so far as a person 
feels he is a separate being, he has very little contact with Mind. 
JK: Quite right. That is what we said.14 

So, both HPB and JK established the necessity of leaving the `self' 
behind as a basic condition for awakening Intuition. Obviously, this 
breaking of that sense of separateness is not something that can be 
achieved taking a single course of action; all the different aspects 
of our life have to be orientated towards this aim, but here we will 
concentrate on how the SD can help us in this task. 

First Fundamental Proposition 
The Fundamental Propositions given in the Proem of the SD contain 
statements about the essential nature of the Cosmos and, at the same 
time, Mankind, which is a mirror of the Universe. As HPB wrote: 

As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man ? the 
microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm ? is the living witness 
to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action.15 
Therefore, proper study of cosmic processes from an esoteric point of 
view can have a direct impact upon us in a variety of ways. We will 
attempt now to examine these Fundamental Propositions, not in full 
length or in all their connotations, but highlighting certain aspects 
useful for a psycho-metaphysical interpretation. The first one 
establishes that there is a `ground' on which and through which the 
Cosmos is manifested. It is: 

An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE, on which 
all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human 
conception and could only be dwarfed by any expression or similitude. 
It is beyond the range and reach of thought ? in the words of the 
Mândukya [Upanishad], `unthinkable and unspeakable'.16 

At first glance, it seems nonsensical to teach something on which all 
thinking or speculation is impossible; therefore some say it is 
useless to study that Absolute Principle, even though it is a 
Fundamental Proposition of Theosophical teachings. On the other hand, 
people who try to deal with this subject frequently reduce it to a 
mere philosophical postulate about that primordial Unity in which 
illusory diversity takes place. But taking into account the fact that 
many pages in the SD are dedicated to this Absolute Reality, there 
must be another reason for writing about this `unthinkable and 
unspeakable' Principle. 
This First Proposition and Stanza I in the first volume of the SD 
refer to the unmanifested state of the universe, where there is only 
infinite space and eternity in an absolute state. According to HPB, 
right meditation (not merely intellectual study) upon this concept 
may have an important effect upon the mind. She recommended this 
exercise as the very foundation for practising her Diagram of 
Meditation, when she said: `First conceive of UNITY by expansion in 
Space and infinite in Time.' 17 This statement suggests that we 
expand the mind; but why? This is in order to abolish self-
centredness and lose the sense of time. As JK repeatedly 
mentioned `the notion of time is based on thought', and we find that 
in that state of universality and eternity the mind becomes still and 
quiet, without images to work with. Later in her Diagram, HPB says 
that the normal state of our consciousness must be moulded 
by: `Perpetual presence in imagination in all Space and Time.' This 
could seem a mere fantasy, but the Diagram points out that doing this 
will produce a change upon the consciousness: 

>From this originates a substratum of memory which does not cease in 
dreaming or waking. Its manifestation is courage. With memory of 
universality all dread vanishes during the dangers and trials of 

This last concept is quite evident because if we look inside 
ourselves, we will see that fear comes from the sense of 
separateness, the identification of our consciousness with this 
mortal, small self, and this type of work helps us diffuse it. We 
find a similar statement in Light on the Path: 

Live neither in the present nor the future, but in the Eternal. This 
giant weed [of self] cannot flower there; this blot upon existence is 
wiped out by the very atmosphere of eternal thought.18 

Then, establishing our consciousness in a state of universality and 
eternity (which is quite different from talking about it) helps us to 
leave the self behind, and then there is the possibility of being in 
rapport with the unconditioned. Let us consider it from another 
angle, as in the dialogue quoted above between JK and Dr Bohm: 

DB: What is the nature of the Mind? Is the Mind located inside the 
body, or is it in the brain? 
JK: No, it is nothing to do with the body or the brain. 
DB: Has it to do with space or time? 
JK: Space ? now wait a minute! It has to do with space and 
silence . . . . 
DB: Now I would like to go into the question of how they are making 
JK: Ah! Contact can only exist between the Mind and the brain when 
the brain is quiet . . . . 
DB: And one can see that if the brain is quiet it could listen to 
something deeper? 
JK: That's right. Then if it is quiet, it is related to the Mind. 
Then the Mind can function through the brain.19 

Therefore, the correct meditation upon the First Fundamental 
Proposition, which points out a Reality beyond thought, may steer us 
to a condition of silence and quietude, where the self is not, where 
Spiritual Intuition can arise.

Second Fundamental Proposition 
However, we do not know how to proceed in that direction, being in 
the midst of a restless mind. The Second Fundamental Proposition 
gives us a clue. It affirms: `The Eternity of the Universe in toto as 
a boundless plane, periodically "the playground of numberless 
Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing".'
>From a macrocosmic point of view, the Universe in toto (the Space) is 
eternal and boundless, but there is periodically an incessant 
movement of manifestation and dissolution taking place within that 
immutable Space. The `numberless universes incessantly manifesting 
and disappearing' in the Macrocosms would correspond in the 
Microcosms with our feelings, thoughts, memories, and so on, which 
are constantly arising and coming to an end. Following the sequence 
of these two Fundamental Propositions at first we must have, as far 
as possible, an `unconditioned' perception, and then deal with the 
conditioning within. This progression is closely related to the 
Diagram of Meditation mentioned above, where HPB says that after 
conceiving the Unity we have to meditate on our states of 
consciousness. Why are we exhorted to do this? Perhaps this is a 
strategy to meditate `upon one's lower self in the light of the inner 
divine man' 20 and not as a mere intellectual analysis done by the 
conditioned mind. Here, we are looking at our normal movement from 
the highest state we are able to reach. This also resembles JK's 
answer to a question. When asked how we can build a bridge between 
our conditioned state and That which is unconditioned, he replied 
that it is impossible. The bridge has to be built from That to this. 
Of course, this does not mean that we have to delude ourselves, 
taking for granted that the thinker is different from the 
conditioning. The (lower) mind, the self, is the conditioning. But 
the (silent) faculty of perception is not inevitably limited to the 
brain consciousness, to the self. So, what is required here is for 
the perception to detach itself from the ego-sense and from 
identification with psychological processes, which is done through 
that sense of `being the space'.
To examine this more closely, each one experiences an incessant 
movement of sensations, feelings, thoughts, memories, expectations, 
and desires, in succession. Although nothing in this movement is 
permanent, somehow we attach to it a sense of being a single 
identity, `the thinker', to whom all this occurs. But we do not 
realize that all these processes take place mechanically: there 
is `something' in us that thinks or feels as a response to external 
or internal stimuli, or, in other words, those processes are merely 
the activity of skandha-s.21 However, identifying ourselves with that 
inner movement, we say `I am he who is thinking or feeling'. But this 
perception is mistaken, because there is no thinker as a separate 
entity. If we observe silently, we may realize there are only 
different thoughts, each one assuming the role of the `thinker' when 
active, with memory connecting all the passing thoughts, thereby 
creating a sense of continuity. But then, what is permanent? As 
mentioned earlier, it is `the space'. This means that in the attempt 
to raise the consciousness from the impermanent to the Eternal, we 
have to identify ourselves with the (inner) immutable space in which 
the psychological processes are taking place, that is, with that 
which contains all movements, and not with the movement itself. As 
Sri Sankarâchârya says: 

Space is not affected with the smell of wine by contact with the jar, 
and in the same way one's true nature is not affected through contact 
with the things one identifies oneself with.22 

One should become aware of oneself, indivisible and perfect like 
Space itself, when free from identification with such things as one's 
body, senses, functions, mind, and sense of doership, which are all 
the products of one's own ignorance.23 

This suggestion is not an abstraction or imagination created by 
thought. When one is actually watching very quietly the inner 
movement and loses the sense of `me', at least for the time being, 
there is a feeling of being just the space which embraces the 
psychological processes. And this state may be considered as one of 
pure `Self Existence' because there is no sensation of `I am this or 
that', but one of pure `Be-ness', simply a sense of identity without 
any demarcation. 
And there is something interesting in this process: we begin trying 
to put ourselves in the position of being the Space, being the 
Witness of all that happens inside us, and finish in that condition 
of being the silent and quiet pure space. This resembles the famous 
statements of JK: `The first step is the last step', or `freedom 
(from the conditioning) has to be at the very beginning'. In 
classical Theosophical literature we find similar concepts when it is 
said that the Path (the means) and the Goal are essentially one and 
the same.

Third Fundamental Proposition 
Finally, the Third Fundamental Proposition gives us a hint as to the 
correct attitude towards daily experiences. It establishes: 

The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, 
the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the 
obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul ? a spark of the former ? 
through the Cycle of Incarnation, or `Necessity', in accordance with 
Cyclic and Karmic Law . . . [in order to] have an independent 
(conscious) existence. 

This Proposition affirms that we, as a consciousness, are essentially 
the Universal Oversoul, that is, the Universal Mind. However, we have 
to live through these particular vehicles (the physical, emotional, 
and mental bodies) which limit that Universal Consciousness in order 
to acquire a pure self-conscious existence. Therefore, we cannot 
refuse to go through all experiences in life, irrespective of their 
being pleasant, painful, or neutral, and these experiences may not be 
of much use unless we go through them with a certain attitude. The 
Voice of the Silence says: 

The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space. To live 
and reap experience the mind needs breadth and depth and points to 
draw it towards the Diamond Soul. Seek not those points in Mâyâ's 
realm; but soar beyond illusions, search the eternal and the 
changeless SAT [the one eternal and absolute Reality and Truth, all 
the rest being illusion], mistrusting fancy's false suggestions.24 

Human beings change very slowly because, although we are alive, we 
are not experiencing life to the fullest. We usually act 
mechanically, inattentively, and moreover, identify ourselves with 
the personality, selecting pleasant experiences while rejecting those 
which are painful. Consequently, we learn very few lessons from them. 
But `to live and reap experience' our mind needs `breadth and depth', 
that is, it needs to be open, vulnerable, void, not engaged in all 
the psychophysiological processes and reactions. It needs rather to 
be a Witness, and this is possible only if our consciousness is not 
confused with Mâyâ's realm, `hearing fancy's false suggestions', but 
is pointed towards `the eternal and the changeless SAT', the 
immutable Space or Be-ness, as previously discussed. In this way, the 
Fundamental Propositions can be seen as a spiritual practice, showing 
us what kind of attitude we should have while living our daily lives 
to really `reap experience'. Those interested in this subject will 
find it useful to consult HPB's Diagram of Meditation, which has 
further suggestions to complement this practice.

1. Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series, No. 69.
2. Daniel H. Caldwell, `The Myth of the "Missing" Third Volume of The 
Secret Doctrine', Blavatsky Study Centre, online ed., 2004, 
3. The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, in chronological order, No. 
12 (ML-6), 10 Dec. 1880.
4. How to Study Theosophy, Robert Bowen, (1997) TPH Adyar, p. 8.
5. Op cit, p. 13.
6. The Future of Humanity, First Conversation, Brockwood Park, 11 
June 1983.
7. `The Beacon of the Unknown', H. P. Blavatsky's Collected Writings 
(CW), XI, p. 258.
8. How to Study Theosophy, p. 9.
9. Op cit., p. 9.
10. Op cit., p. 13.
11. Op cit., p. 14.
12. The Secret Doctrine (SD), I, 2003, TPH Adyar, 3-vol. ed., p. 21.
13. `The Beacon of the Unknown', CW, XI, p. 258.
14. The Future of Humanity, Second Conversation, Brockwood Park, 20 
June 1983, pp. 71-3.
15. SD, I, p. 274.
16. SD, I, p. 14.
17. The Theosophist, May 2003, pp. 308-9.
18. Light on the Path, 2000, TPH Adyar, p. 20.
19. The Future of Humanity, Second Conversation, pp. 62, 67.
20. SD, V, 1962, TPH Adyar, 6-vol. ed., p. 468; or CW, XII, p. 603.
21. Psychic `aggregates' of habits and tendencies.
22. Viveka-chudâmani (The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination), v. 450.
23. Op cit., v. 384.
24. The Voice of the Silence, v. 114.

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