Lucifer7, august 2003

Contents

Short quote
Editorial
New on Katinkahesselink.net
To the readers of 'Lucifer', by H.P. Blavatsky
Krishnamurti on the observer and the observed
A few quotes on sex
Sufi Story (Nasrudin)
Letters from friends
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Say not, "I have found the path of the soul"
Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
( For more of such, see: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/squote/ )
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Editorial

When starting this newsletter I had only one doubt: I thought the numerical worth of the date was not auspicious. (though 31/7/2003 does add up to seven in the end: 3+1+7+2+3=16 1+6=7). Still, I did not like the six appearing. But a correspondent noted (see below) july 31st is actually Blavatsky's birthday, so the omen does seem good. Especially as I will try to emulate Blavatsky's attitude to editing (see her article further on.)

Lucifer7 is started as both a means of keeping people updated on the changes on my web site (www.katinkahesselink.net) as well as a medium for discussing things independently from other theosophical journals. There will be some overlap between the newsletter and the web site. The newsletter will certainly be as varied in content as the web site. I hope to publish light things: quotes, jokes and stories, as well as heavier material: articles by Blavatsky, Krishnamurti quotes, material from Buddhist literature, Sufi literature (and whatever traditions I am forgetting) as well as contemporary material from whatever spiritual tradition. The sifting will mainly be in the question: is this interesting, does this add something? The sifting will not be (as it isn't on my web site either): do I personally agree with this? Do I personally think this is likely? We can learn as much from those things we don't agree with as we can from those we do. The material does have to appear to be honest and fair.
As I said when inviting people to subscribe to this newsletter: contributions are invited! These will be edited where I see fit. If they are too long, I will consider publishing them online and putting an abstract in this newsletter.

As soon as there are letters from readers, these will get their own section in this newsletter. The editor retains the right to shorten these as she sees fit. Lucifer7 will probably appear irregularly for the present. I think it will appear at most once a month.

Katinka Hesselink
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New on Katinkahesselink.net

Christian Jokes:
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/jokes_c.html
Theosophical Jokes:
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/jokes_t.html
Lectures by professor P. Krishna (from the Krishnamurti Foundation India and the Theosophical Society - Adyar)
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/pkrishna1.html
N. Sri Ram on ambition
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/SriRam_ambition.html
The sutra of Hui Neng (6th patriarch of Zen Buddhism)
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/hui_neng1.html
A quote from Manual of Zen Buddhism D.T. Suzuki
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/tao_buddha.html
A famous Sutra by de Buddha (Kalama Sutra), where he explains when to trust an 'authority' and thinking for yourself.
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/kalama.html

In Dutch:

Lodge Groningen has put its program for the new season online:
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/theosofie_nl/gr/
Four quotes by the 6th patriarch have been added to 'Een Boeddha Hoekje'
http://www.katinkahesselink.net/boeddha/
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"TO THE READERS OF 'LUCIFER"'

Article by H. P. Blavatsky
OUR magazine is only four numbers old, and already its young life is full of cares and trouble. This is all as it should be; i.e., like every other publication, it must fail to satisfy all its readers, and this is only in the nature of things and the destiny of every printed organ. But what seems a little strange in a country of culture and free thought is that Lucifer should receive such a number of anonymous, spiteful, and often abusive letters. This, of course, is but a casual remark, the waste-basket in the office being the only addressee and sufferer in this case; yet it suggests strange truths with regard to human nature. (1)

Sincerity is true wisdom, it appears, only to the mind of the moral philosopher. It is rudeness and insult to him who regards dissimulation and deceit as culture and politeness, and holds that the shortest, easiest, and safest way to success is to let sleeping dogs and old customs alone. But, if the dogs are obstructing the highway to progress and truth, and Society will, as a rule, reject the wise words of (St.) Augustine, who recommends that "no man should prefer custom before reason and truth," is it a sufficient cause for the philanthropist to walk out of, or even deviate from, the track of truth, because the selfish egoist chooses to do so? Very true, as remarked somewhere by Sir Thomas Browne, that not every man is a proper champion for the truth, nor fit to take up the gauntlet in its cause. Too many of such defenders are apt, from inconsideration and too much zeal, to charge the troops of error so rashly that they "remain themselves as trophies to the enemies of truth." Nor ought all of us (members of the Theosophical Society) to do so personally, but rather leave it only to those among our members who have voluntarily and beforehand sacrificed their personalities for the cause of Truth. Thus teaches us one of the Masters of Wisdom in some fragments of advice which are published further on for the benefit of the Theosophists (see the article that follows this(2)). While enforcing upon such public characters in our ranks as editors, and lecturers, etc., the duty of telling fearlessly "the Truth to the face of LIE," he yet condemns the habit of private judgment and criticism in every individual Theosophist.

Unfortunately, these are not the ways of the public and readers. Since our journal is entirely unsectarian, since it is neither theistic nor atheistic, Pagan nor Christian, orthodox nor heterodox, therefore, its editors discover eternal verities in the most opposite religious systems and modes of thought. Thus Lucifer fails to give full satisfaction to either infidel or Christian. In sight of the former whether he be an Agnostic, a Secularist, or an Idealist-to find divine or occult lore underlying "the rubbish" in the Jewish Bible and Christian Gospels is sickening; in the opinion of the latter, to recognise the same truth as in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures in the Hindu, Parsi, Buddhist, or Egyptian religious literature, is vexation of spirit and blasphemy. Hence, fierce criticism from both sides, sneers and abuse. Each party would have us on its own sectarian side, recognising as truth, only that which its particular ism does.

But this cannot nor shall it be. Our motto was from the first, and ever shall be: "THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN--TRUTH." Truth we -search for, and, once found, we bring it forward before the world, whencesoever it comes. A large majority of our readers is fully satisfied with this our policy, and that is plainly sufficient for our purposes.

It is evident that when toleration is not the outcome of indifference it must arise from wide-spreading charity and large-minded sympathy. Intolerance is pre-eminently the consequence of ignorance and jealousy. He who fondly believes that he has got the great ocean in his family water-jug is naturally intolerant of his neighbour, who also is pleased to imagine that he has poured the broad expanse of the sea of truth into his own particular pitcher. But anyone who, like the Theosophist, knows how infinite is that ocean of eternal wisdom, to be fathomed by no one man, class, or party, and realizes how little the largest vessel made by man contains in comparison to what lies dormant and still unperceived in its dark, bottomless depths, cannot help but be tolerant. For he sees that others have filled their little water-jugs at the same great reservoir in which he has dipped his own, and if the water in the various pitchers seems different to the eye, it can only be because it is discoloured by impurities that were in the vessel before the pure crystalline element--a portion of the one eternal and immutable truth--entered into it.

There is, and can be, but one absolute truth in Kosmos. And little as we, with our present limitations, can understand it in its essence, we still know that if it is absolute it must also be omnipresent and universal; and that in such case, it must be underlying every world-religion--the product of the thought and knowledge of numberless generations of thinking men. Therefore, that a portion of truth, great or small, is found in every religious and philosophical system, and that if we would find it, we have to search for it at the origin and source of every such system, at its roots and first growth, not in its later overgrowth of sects and dogmatism. Our object is not to destroy any religion but rather to help to filter each, thus ridding them of their respective impurities. In this we are opposed by all those who maintain, against evidence, that their particular pitcher alone contains the whole ocean. How is our great work to be done if we are to be impeded and harassed on every side by partisans and zealots? It would be already half accomplished were the intelligent men, at least, of every sect and system, to feel and to confess that the little wee bit of truth they themselves own must necessarily be mingled with error, and that their neighbours' mistakes are, Eke their own, mixed with truth.

Free discussion, temperate, candid, undefiled by personalities and animosity, is, we think, the most efficacious means of getting rid of error and bringing out the underlying truth; and this applies to publications as well as to persons. It is open to a magazine to be tolerant or intolerant; it is open to it to err in almost every way in which an individual can err; and since every publication of the kind has a responsibility such as falls to the lot of few individuals, it behooves it to be ever on its guard, so that it may advance without fear and without reproach. All this is true in a special degree in the case of a theosophical publication, and Lucifer feels that it would be unworthy of that designation were it not true to the profession of the broadest tolerance and catholicity, even while pointing out to its brothers and neighbours the errors which they indulge in and follow. While thus keeping strictly, in its editorials, and in articles by its individual editors, to the spirit and teachings of pure theosophy, it nevertheless frequently gives room to articles and letters which diverge widely from the esoteric teachings accepted by the editors, as also by the majority of theosophists. Readers, therefore, who are accustomed to find in magazines and party publications only such opinions and arguments as the editor believes to be unmistakably orthodox--from his peculiar standpoint-must not condemn any article in Lucifer with which they are not entirely in accord, or in which expressions are used that may be offensive from a sectarian or a prudish point of view, on the ground that such are unfitted for a theosophical magazine. They should remember that precisely because Lucifer is a theosophical magazine, it opens its columns to writers whose views of life and things may not only slightly differ from its own, but even be diametrically opposed to the opinion of the editors. The object of the latter is to elicit truth, not to advance the interest of any particular ism, or to pander to any hobbies, likes or dislikes, of any class of readers. It is only snobs and prigs who, disregarding the truth or error of the idea, cavil and strain merely over the expressions and words it is couched in.

Theosophy, if meaning anything, means truth; and truth has to deal indiscriminately and in the same spirit of impartiality with vessels of honour and of dishonour alike. No theosophical publication would ever dream of adopting the coarse--or shall we say terribly sincere-language of a Hosea or a Jeremiah; yet so long as those holy prophets are found in the Christian Bible, and the

Bible is in every respectable, pious family, whether aristocratic or plebeian; and so long as the Bible is read with bowed head and in all reverence by young, innocent maidens and school-boys, why should our Christian critics fall foul of any phrase which may have to be used-if truth be spoken at all-in an occasional article upon a scientific subject? It is to be feared that the same sentences now found objectionable, because referring to Biblical subjects, would be loudly praised and applauded had they been directed against any gentile system of faith (Vide certain missionary organs). A little charity, gentle readers-charity, and above all--fairness and JUSTICE.

Justice demands that when the reader comes across an article in this magazine which does not immediately approve itself to his mind by chiming in with his own peculiar ideas, he should regard it as a problem to solve rather than as a mere subject of criticism. Let him endeavour to learn the lesson which only opinions differing from his own can teach him. Let him be tolerant, if not actually charitable, and postpone his judgment till he extracts from the article the truth it must contain, adding this new acquisition to his store. One ever learns more from one's enemies than from one's friends; and it is only when the reader has credited this hidden truth to Lucifer, that he can fairly presume to put what he believes to be the efforts of the article he does not like to the debit account.

                                            --H. P. BLAVATSKY

Lucifer, January, 1888


Footnotes
1 "VERBUM SAP." It is not Our intention to notice anonymous communications, even though they should emanate in a round-about way from Lambeth Palace. The matter "Verbum Sap" refers to is not one of taste; the facts must be held responsible for the offence; and, as the Scripture hath it, "Woe to them by whom the offence cometh!"

2 "Some Words on Daily Life".--Eds. http://www.katinkahesselink.net/daily.htm

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Krishnamurti on the observer and the observed

Now can the mind stop running away, and not give it a name, not give it a significance of a word such as empty, about which we have memories of pleasure and pain? Can we look at it, can the mind be aware of that emptiness without naming it, without running away from it, without judging it, but just be with it? Because, then that is the mind. Then there is not an observer looking at it; there is no censor who condemns it; there is only that state of emptiness - with which we are all really quite familiar, but which we are all avoiding, trying to fill in with activity, with worship with prayer, with knowledge, with every form of illusion and excitement.

But when all the excitement, illusion, fear, running away stops, and you are no longer giving it a name and thereby condemning it, is the observer different then from the thing which is observed? Surely by giving it a name, by condemning it, the mind has created a censor, an observer, outside of itself. But when the mind does not give it a term, a name, condemn it, judge it, then there is no observer, only a state of that thing which we have called emptiness.

Amsterdam 23 May 1955
http://www.geocities.com/brianperkins77/184krishnamurti2.htm
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A few quotes on sex and relationships

It is only for the very, very few who love that the married  relationship has significance, and then it is unbreakable, then it is  not mere habit or convenience, nor is it based on biological, sexual  need.  In that love which is unconditional the identities are fused,  and in such a relationship there is a remedy, there is hope.  But for most of you, the married relationship is not fused.  To  fuse the separate identities, you have to know yourself, and she has  to know herself.  That means to love.  But there is no love - which  is am obvious fact.  Love is fresh, new, not mere gratification, not   mere habit.  It is unconditional.  You don't treat your husband or  wife that way, do you?  You live in your isolation, and she lives in  her isolation, and you have established your habits of assured sexual  pleasure. 
Jiddu Krishnamurti (extracted from: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/kr/k_psy3.html )

From “below” and at the ordinary human level, the same principle is asserted, particularly in Jungian psychology. Each of us, in effect, carries, within and unconsciously, the other sex opposite to our overt physical sex. Each male has his “anima”, each female her “animus”. In truly creative living, these two, the conscious and the unconscious, can combine to give rise to something quite new.

Most people, however, fail to establish an adequate fulfilling relationship with their inner and unconscious other sex. That other sex then emerges in uncontrolled ways, producing the unreceptive but sentimental and self-pitying male or the too strident female. Often we are attracted to people of the opposite sex because they can give expression to something that we have not succeed in expressing for ourselves.
Hugh Shearman ( extracted from: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/shearman7.html )
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Sufi Story (Nasrudin)

WHY ARE YOU HERE?

  One day Nasrudin was walking along a deserted road.  Night was falling as he spied a troop of horsemen coming toward him.  His imagination began to work, and he feared that they might rob him, or impress him into the army.  So strong did this fear become that he leaped over a wall and found himself in a graveyard.  The other travelers, innocent of any such motive as had been assumed by Nasrudin, became curious and pursued him.

  When they came upon him lying motionless, one said, "Can we help you?  And, why are you here in this position?"

  Nasrudin, realizing his mistake said, "It is more complicated than you assume.  You see, I am here because of you; and you, you are here because of me."

[author unknown to me] for more, see: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/sufi/stories2.html

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Letters from Friends

Katinka,

This is to wish you success in this your new undertaking, started on HPB's birthday. May your newsletter help interested people to share their interest in the Perennial Wisdom with others in a spirit of mutual understanding.

HPB wrote that the essence of Theosophy is altruism. One of the Mahatmas declared that an important task before students of the occult science is "the daily conquest of the self". Krishnamurti insisted on the need for choiceless awareness. Can the meaning (or meanings) of these core issues be explored afresh?

I noticed that you welcome controversial statements, and it is true that HPB did include a lot of controversial stuff in "Lucifer". But it is very hard to find in her editorials, articles and essays any shadow of character assassination, defamation, vilification and slander. Was she, in doing so, honouring her vows as a real occultist?

Also, in the "Original Programme of the Theosophical Society" [ http://www.katinkahesselink.net/origin.htm ], she wrote: "The Founders had to exercise all their influence to oppose selfishness of any kind, by insisting upon sincere, fraternal feelings among the Members..." "They had to oppose in the strongest manner possible anything approaching dogmatic faith and fanaticism - belief in the infallibility of the Masters, or even in the very existence of our invisible Teachers, having to be checked from the first. On the other hand, as a great respect for the private views and creeds of every member was demanded, any Fellow criticising the faith or belief of another Fellow, hurting his feelings, or showing a reprehensible self-assertion, unasked (mutual friendly advices were a duty unless declined) - such a member incurred expulsion. The greatest spirit of free research untrammeled by anyone or anything, had to be encouraged".

I am aware the above is a very tough ideal to live by, but I think the Founders tried to do it, to the best of their capacities. One of the questions today seems to be: can we explore any issue arising our discussions in the light of such important principles, without getting at each other throats (or egos)?

May lucifer7 bring light to the perilous crossing of the ocean of samsara. And some jokes too.

Pedro Oliveira

Response from the editor

There is a middle way between being partial to certain views or totally boring (and therefore non-controversial) and being polemical or even quarelsome. I hope to find and maintain that middle ground.

Katinka Hesselink

Previous issues of Lucifer7