Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is
CONSCIOUS: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind
on its own
plane of perception. We men must remember that because we do
not perceive any signs—which we can recognise—of consciousness, say,
in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists
There is no such thing as either “dead” or “blind” matter, as there is
no “Blind” or “Unconscious” Law. These find no place among the
conceptions of Occult philosophy. The latter never stops at
appearances, and for it the noumenal essences have more reality than
their objective counterparts; it resembles therein the mediŠval
Nominalists, for whom it was the Universals that were the realities and
the particulars which existed only in name and human fancy.
Having concluded our series on Enlightenment, this issue goes into the relationship between enlightenment and occultism or the occult arts.
The recent violence in Spain has the whole world shocked. This type of violence is being associated with Islam and the perpetrators use the concept of Jihad to justify it. I think this is a perversion of the Islam. I think it is timely to be reminded of a few basic facts:
To conclude I republish a quote Blavatsky used in her own magazine Lucifer:
“The faith of Islam is spreading over Africa with giant strides. . . . Christianity is receding before Islam, while attempts to proselytise Mohammedans are notoriously unsuccessful. We not only fail to gain ground, but even fail to hold our own. . . . An African tribe once converted to Islam never returns to Paganism, and never embraces Christianity. . . . When Mohammedanism is embraced by a negro tribe, devil-worship, cannibalism, human sacrifice, witchcraft, and infanticide disappear. Filth is replaced by cleanliness, and they acquire personal dignity and self-respect. Hospitality becomes a religious duty, drunkenness becomes rare, gambling is forbidden. . . . A feeling of humanity, benevolence, and brotherhood is inculcated. . . The strictly-regulated polygamy of Moslem lands is infinitely less degrading to women and less injurious to men than the promiscuous polyandry which is the curse of Christian cities, and which is absolutely unknown in Islam. The polyandrous English are not entitled to cast stones at polygamous Moslems. . . . . . . . . Islam, above all, is the most powerful total abstinence society in the world; whereas the extension of European trade means the extension of drunkenness and vice, and the degradation of the people. Islam introduces a knowledge of reading and writing, decent clothes, personal cleanliness, and self-respect. . . . How little have we to show for the vast sums of money and precious lives lavished upon Africa! Christian converts are reckoned by thousands; Moslem converts by millions . . . (CANON ISAAC TAYLOR, “Christianity and Mohammedanism.”)
[These excerpts are from an address delivered by Canon I. Taylor, of New York, at the Wolverhampton Congress of the Church Missionary Society, in England, in October, 1887. A similar but somewhat different wording can be found in The Rock of October 14, 1887.— Compiler.]
[quoted by H.P. Blavatsky in CW 9, p. 143]
The above is still, despite western (often
influences in the East, more or less true.
Certainly where the spread of Islam in Africa is concerned. I was
tempted to quote Blavatsky on the various merits of Christian and
Buddhist nations, but I couldn't find the quote. Anyhow, her words on
the merits of various countries sound very much outdated. Which one of
us would choose to live in China - even if the crime-rates are (still)
lower than in the West (are they)? The human rights situation is
certainly bad enough
not to want to. The same can unfortunately be said of many
Muslim states (and Israel).
Current developments make me wonder if the religious
was the pride of the Dutch nation a few centuries ago, will survive the
many stresses this [European] society is under. For those not informed
- all of the richer countries in Europe are struggling with the
question: how should we deal with the Muslim immigrant population.
Though the problem probably lies in the 'immigrant' part and not the
'Muslim' part of the situation, people aren't usually clear on that.
But a lot more than
peace of mind will be lost if that religious
freedom is compromised as
it recently has become in France. Theosophists ought not to
reminded that they too will be in trouble if the fear of religion
spreads as it is doing right now in Europe.
A Related subject is the history of the veil for Muslim women.
True to my promise to keep this e-zine controversial in topics, I was thinking of writing about, or at least linking to articles about the controversies surrounding Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and Alice A. Bailey. Each of these is accused of consciously or unconsciously working with the ‘black side’, or the dugpas, or the Jesuits. The Jesuits being Christian black magicians in the H.P. Blavatsky based world view of the people doing the accusing.
The question that interests me for the moment is at the base of these accusations: What exactly is a black magician as opposed to a seeker on the right hand path?
Confusingly enough this question is not even acknowledged as relevant in the current New Age –scene. Searching for enlightenment is apparently more or less value free. It also, in most people's minds, doesn't really have anything to do with magic, or occultism, or clairvoyance. H.P. Blavatsky and many Indian books on yoga tend to disagree....
Perhaps you will better appreciate our meaning when told that in our view the highest aspirations for the welfare of humanity become tainted with selfishness if, in the mind of the philanthropist there lurks the shadow of desire for self benefit or a tendency to do injustice, even when these exist unconsciously to himself. - K.H.
"Magic is the universally accepted name for those phenomena whose noumena are unknown to the ordinary herd. But magic is of two kinds, which, however, have this quality in common: they receive their impulse from the will of the magician, somewhat in the way that ripples on the sea receive their impulse from an oar; and if his will lack strength, or if his understanding fail him, he must receive the effect of his magic hurled back on himself with force redoubled by the impulse of his adversary. He who is known as a white magician - he, that is, who takes the right-hand way and whose knowledge is exerted solely with a beneficial and unselfish purpose - need not dread that repercussion more than fish need dread the sea, because he is employing Life itself - the very Life in which he lives. But the black magician - he who takes the left-hand way, whose purpose and whose power are malevolent - is not so fortunately situated. Death is his employer and employee, so that the greater his immediate success, the more certain is his ultimate annihilation."
(1) 'The Ultimate Reality in its Cit aspect or as Universal Consciousness, being absolutely independent and Self-contained, is the ultimate cause of manifestation, and bringing a manifested system to its appointed consummation.'
In order to understand the deeper significance of this aphorism it is necessary to recall the Occult doctrine that the manifested universe is a periodical appearance of a mental phenomenon which comes out from the Unmanifested state of Reality and then becomes merged or laya in the same Reality after running its course. It is not a question of 'creation' in the ordinary sense but of projection outside from within and then withdrawal within from without. As a matter of fact there can be no 'within' or 'without' in a Reality which, being an integrated state, is all-embracing and outside which nothing can exist. But we use these words because we try to consider these things from below, from the lowest planes of manifestation, and the manifested universe appears to come out of the Unmanifest which we cannot visualize or understand in the real sense.
The question arises: Is the underlying Reality of the universe of which the manifested universe seems to appear svatantra, Self-determined, or bound by a rigid determinism determined by the laws of Nature? This is not the place to discuss in detail this interesting philosophical question but it is clear that according to this aphorism the Reality, in its innermost nature, is Self-determined and free to manifest the universe according to its Will, though the creation, maintenance and reabsorption of the universe, which is implied in the Sanskrit word siddhi, takes place according to laws which are inherent in the manifested universe and must therefore be inherent also in the reality itself. It is this fact which accounts for the orderly nature of the Cosmos which otherwise would be chaos.
If this nature and mode of manifestation is inherent in Divine Nature and manifestation takes place according to this inherent nature, this does imply a certain degree of predetermination, but this kind of pre-determination can co-exist with Self-determination in the same way as the existence of rigid laws can co-exist with the freedom to utilize those laws to achieve results of our own choice. For example, in spite of the law of gravitation we can send space-craft into space and when a space-craft goes beyond a certain distance we find it becomes independent of gravitation.
(#) Also available from the TPH in London, Great Britain and Quest Publishing in Wheaton, Illinois, USA as well as other theosophical bookshops run by the Theosophical Society Adyar in various countries. The book has each aphorism both in Devanagari letters, western letters, a word by word translation and a fluent translation of the verse. This quote starts with the fluent translation. Those interested in the sanskrit original are referred to the book.
A hypocrite has three distinguishing signs, when he talks he lies, when he promises he breaks it and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays such trust. (Related by the two Sheiks according to Abu Huraira).
Avoid the seven great destructive sins. These are to join partners in worship with Allah, to practice sorcery, to kill without justification a living being whose life has been declared sacred by Allah, to practice usury, to misappropriate the property of an orphan, to flee from the battlefield at the time of fighting and to slander chaste and innocent believing women. (Related by the two Sheikhs).
Allah likes most perpetual deeds however minimal. (Related by the two Sheiks according to ‘Aisha).
Wish for others what you wish for yourself. (Related by al-Bukhari).
Allah Most High loves a servant of His who is lenient when he sells, lenient when he buys, lenient when he pays his debt and lenient when he demands the payment of a debt due to him. (Related by al-Bayhaqi according to Abu Huraira).
When any of you sees someone who is superior to him in riches and beauty, then he should look at another one who is inferior to him. (Related by the two Sheikhs according to Abu Huraira).
Talk about the good deeds of your dead and refrain from citing their bad deeds. (Related by at-Tirmithi according to Ibn ‘Omar).
Take advantage of five things before five others happen. These are your life before your death, your health before your illness, your leisure before pre-occupation, your youth before your old age, and your wealth before your poverty. (Related by al-Bayhaqi according to Ibn ‘Abbas).
Allah had forbidden you to be undutiful to your mothers, to bury your female infants alive, parsimony and usurpation of the property of others. And he disapproved for you three things: vain talk and gossip, excessive questioning and wasting wealth. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim according to al-Maghira Ibn Shu’ba).
The practice of religion is easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will be overpowered by it. Therefore, be moderate, try to be near perfection but within your capacity and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded. And seek Allah's help by worshipping in the mornings, afternoons and during the last hour of the nights. (Related by al-Bukhari).
A man may do deeds that to people seem to be the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise while in fact he is destined to be among the dwellers of the Fire (of Hell). And a man may do deeds that to people seem to be the deeds of the dwellers of the Fire, while in fact he is destined to be among the dwellers of Paradise. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Muhammed (Pbuh) Sayings of Wisdom
Have you ever looked at anybody? Not at a stranger who is not important to you, but have you looked at someone whom you so-called like? Or love? Have you? You have looked at the person through the image you have about her or about him. And the relationship is between those two images. And that's why there is so much antagonism. And that is why there is no relationship at all.
Which brings about a question: What is love? Perhaps this is not the moment to talk about it, but we will. When one says, 'I love you', what is it you are loving? Do look at it. When you say to another 'I love you', what is you are loving? The image that you have about her or him, which thought has put together? And is love the cultivation of thought? When you say, 'I love music', what is the thing you love? Your pleasure?
So relationship becomes extraordinarily important to understand, because all life is relationship, living is relationship. We have made this relationship such a horror, and that horror we call love, because in that there is occasional tenderness, perhaps when you are sexual or when you see something pitiful. So one has to find out what relationship is, not from the dictionary, not from the professor, not from the analyst, not from the religious organizations, small or big, but find out in yourself, find out for yourself in yourself. Then you will see that in yourself the whole world is; you don't have to read a thing, because you are the whole of humanity. Until one understands that deeply, love doesn't exist, pleasure exists.
This piece is a response to an article with the same title as published in The Theosophist for March 2004. The article in question, by Philip S. Harris, will interest many as it seems another sign that the study of Occultism is getting back 'in vogue' in the TS Adyar. All in all it is not much more than an elaborate statement: let's take the unseen world seriously. The writer starts with what I would consider a controversial statement: 'As a class, nature-spirits occupy a separate line of evolution quite apart from that of humanity.' (*) The statement is just put out there, without any supporting evidence in the form of either clairvoyant reports or quotes from Blavatsky or even quotes from some ancient sage. In fact, the statement isn't explained at all. This article is an attempt at interpreting the statement.
It might mean that elementals (#) don't evolve into human beings ever (&), nor have they ever been human. This is the interpretation I have most often heard, but I think it is false. The way I've understood Blavatsky she clearly sees it as necessary for every spiritual monad to enter through the human kingdom in order to develop and master the mind and unite all the 7 kingdoms of nature. Since all of nature is ONE - every spark (or monad) will have, at some point in time-space the opportunity to develop mind and unite the low with the high and become (eventually) a saviour of all sentient beings. In support of this interpretation of Blavatsky I offer a few quotes from The Secret Doctrine:
Now, it must be remembered that the Monads cycling round any septenary chain are divided into seven classes or hierarchies according to their respective stages of evolution, consciousness, and merit. (SD 1, p. 171)I conclude this portion of the article with a longer quote that I couldn't resist sharing. It explains the evolution of the monadic essence.
When Globe A of the new chain is ready, the first class or Hierarchy of Monads from the Lunar chain incarnate upon it in the lowest kingdom, and so on successively. The result of this is, that it is only the first class of Monads which attains the human state of development during the first Round, since the second class, on each planet, arriving later, has not time to reach that stage. Thus the Monads of Class 2 reach the incipient human stage only in the Second Round, and so on up to the middle of the Fourth Round. But at this point—and on this Fourth Round in which the human stage will be fully developed—the “Door” into the human kingdom closes; and henceforward the number of “human” Monads, i.e., Monads in the human stage of development, is complete. For the Monads which had not reached the human stage by this point will, owing to the evolution of humanity itself, find themselves so far behind that they will reach the human stage only at the close of the seventh and last Round. They will, therefore, not be men on this chain, but will form the humanity of a future Manvantara and be rewarded by becoming “Men” on a higher chain altogether, thus receiving their Karmic compensation. (SD 1, p. 173)
Now the Monadic, or rather Cosmic, Essence (if such a term be permitted) in the mineral, vegetable, and animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles from the lowest elemental up to the Deva Kingdom, yet differs in the scale of progression. It would be very misleading to imagine a Monad as a separate Entity trailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower Kingdoms, and after an incalculable series of transformations flowering into a human being; in short, that the Monad of a Humboldt dates back to the Monad of an atom of horneblende. Instead of saying a “Mineral Monad,” the more correct phraseology in physical Science, which differentiates every atom, would of course have been to call it “the Monad manifesting in that form of Prakriti called the Mineral Kingdom.” The atom, as represented in the ordinary scientific hypothesis, is not a particle of something, animated by a psychic something, destined after Šons to blossom as a man. But it is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself has not yet become individualized; a sequential manifestation of the one Universal Monas. The ocean (of matter) does not divide into its potential and constituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches the evolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation into individual Monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost to the point. The Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Kosmos, in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists, while accepting this thought for convenience sake, distinguish the progressive stages of the evolution of the concrete from the abstract by terms of which the “Mineral, Vegetable, Animal, (etc.), Monad” are examples. The term merely means that the tidal wave of spiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. The “Monadic Essence” begins to imperceptibly differentiate towards individual consciousness in the Vegetable Kingdom. As the Monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined by Leibnitz, it is the spiritual essence which vivifies them in their degrees of differentiation, which properly constitutes the Monad—not the atomic aggregation, which is only the vehicle and the substance through which thrill the lower and the higher degrees of intelligence.
Leibnitz conceived of the Monads as elementary and indestructible units endowed with the power of giving and receiving with respect to other units, and thus of determining all spiritual and physical phenomena. It is he who invented the term apperception, which together with nerve- (not perception, but rather)—sensation, expresses the state of the Monadic consciousness through all the Kingdoms up to Man.
Thus it may be wrong on strictly metaphysical lines to call Atma-Buddhi a MONAD, since in the materialistic view it is dual and therefore compound. But as Matter is Spirit, and vice versÔ; and since the Universe and the Deity which informs it are unthinkable apart from each other; so in the case of Atma-Buddhi. The latter being the vehicle of the former, Buddhi stands in the same relation to Atma, as Adam-Kadmon, the Kabalistic Logos, does to En-Soph, or Mulaprakriti to Parabrahm. (SD 1, p. 178-79)
Based on the above it is possible to offer another interpretation of the statement that the elementals form a separate line of evolution: elementals aren't at this time human, and the present humanity is a fixed class - a certain set of monads that will develop their humanity (and eventual divinity) together. No monads can enter this stream, nor can any leave it. This doesn't mean they will never become human - it just means that in our position in space-time only a certain set of monads has the opportunity to learn the stuff that humans learn.
(*) There is nothing wrong with controversial statements, but
should be a way for those who disagree to make their point.
Theosophist doesn't have a section 'from readers' or something like
that which might function as an outlet for disgruntled readers. Readers
are reminded that they ARE free to share their questions, thoughts and
philosophical points in this e-zine.
(#) Elementals stands for the broad category which might also be called 'nature-spirits's' or 'devs' etc. The Article in The Theosophist goes into various classes briefly.
(&) Human beings are defined as beings with a mind or manas and the potential to unite this manas with Buddhi-Atma, or 'the divine'.
Marci cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner, to which we invited Kate. The dinner was fabulous, though at first I thought the turkey was going to burn, it was so large and it had to cook so long. Which reminded me of Gracie Allen's instructions on how to cook a chicken. "I always burn everything I cook. But I finally figured out how to cook a chicken correctly. You put a large chicken and a small chicken in a hot oven. When the small chicken burns, the large one is done."