To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.
121 Hold not a sin of little worth, thinking "This is little to me." The falling of drops of water will in time fill a water jar. Even so the foolish man becomes full of evil, although he gather it little by little.
122 Hold not a deed of little worth, thinking "This is little to me." The falling of drops of water will in time fill a water jar. Even so the wise man becomes full of good, although he gather it little by little.
It is stated in Book ii, ch. viii of Vishnu Purana: "By immortality is meant existence to the end of the Kalpa" and esoteric philosophy says: "They perish not but are reabsorbed." S.D. i-36.
Man is immortal. Not as individuals evolving through the great illusion of many earth lives, but immortal as a part of the whole. We should look upon ourselves as only a fraction of a great evolving Consciousness. We perceive, understand and live in a harmonious unity with mankind. We are as One with the Universe. We are immortal.
Why is the life of a monk designed to be so simple that people often experience boredom? That is good, because then they will understand boredom, see the source of boredom and get over it; not by changing the conditions, but by changing the attitude in the mind and the quality of mind. It is very important for us to understand this. Once we understand this we can avoid being bored even in ordinary situations. At the very least we can be contented and peaceful.Anatta (Non-self) and Kamma (Karma); The Best Kept Secret in the Universe, by Ajahn Jagaro
In that extraordinarily able book, "The Science of Social Organization," by Bhagavan Das (*), he enunciates with great clarity the difference between the two classes of men. "They are the product of minds" - he is referring to modern systems of administering human society - "minds which are confined as yet to the Path of Pursuit (the Pravrtti-marge), and know little or nothing of, and care less for, the other half of life, the Path of Renunciation (the Nivrtti-marge); without knowledge of which, the fundamental facts of the universe, the foundations of all existence, remain unknown. As the Bhagavad Gita says (xvi. 7):
"The men who are still on the Path of Pursuit, pursuit of the pleasures of the senses, they know not the difference between that Path and the Path of Renunciation, renunciation of the things of physical sense and striving after the super-physical and spiritual life. And because they know not these two in their contradistinction, the two which make up the whole of life, therefore the whole of the Truth abides not with them, nor real purity from selfish desires, nor the conduct of reason-governed self-sacrifice.Such is all the supposed, and much spoken of, and much exaggerated, difference between ancient and modern, East and West." This quotation is from pages 13-14. Later, on pages 41-42, we read:
"We have to say that the walker on the Path of Renunciation avoids desire and action and pursuit of any object for himself, for his own personal pleasure and profit. When such avoidance has become habitual to his mind, then the Lords of Nature, the Sages, the Administrators of the world, endeavour to enlist such an embodied self in Their service, in the service of Their world, and entrust him with powers which he receives and exercises like all lower powers, for the good of others as public trusts, and not for his own enjoyment as private property. Moreover these become to him as much the natural and normal organs of his consciousness as the physical senses."
(#) The title of this article is a reference to Light on the Path, where the full phrase reads: "That power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men." This is of course the complete opposite of what most of us want in our professional lives. - editor Lucifer7.
(*) The Science of Social Organization or The Laws of Manu in the Light of Theosophy, by Bhagavan Das, M.A, Theosophical Publishing Society, Benares and London, The Theosophist Office, Adyar, Madras, S. 1910
Is it possible to live in this society, not only to have a right means of livelihood, but also to live without conflict? Is it possible to earn a livelihood righteously and also to end all conflict within oneself? Now, are these two separate things: earning a living rightly and not having conflict in oneself? Are these two in separate, water-tight compartments? Or do they go together? To live a life without any conflict requires a great deal of understanding of oneself and therefore great intelligence - not the clever intelligence of the intellect - but the capacity to observe, to see objectively what is happening, both outwardly and inwardly and to know that there is no difference between the outer and the inner. It is like a tide that goes out and comes in. To live in this society, which we have created, without any conflict in myself and at the same time to have a right livelihood - is it possible? On which shall I lay emphasis - on right livelihood or on right living, that is, on finding out how to live a life without any conflict? Which comes first? Do not just let me talk and you listen, agreeing or disagreeing, saying, "it is not practical. It is not like this, it is not like that" - because it is your problem. We are asking each other: is there a way of living which will naturally bring about a right livelihood and at the same time enable us to live without a single shadow of conflict?
People have said that you cannot live that way except in a monastery, as a monk; because you have renounced the world and all its misery and are committed to the service of 'god', because you have given your life over to an idea, or a person, an image or symbol, you expect to be looked after. But very few believe any more in monasteries, or in saying, "I will surrender myself". If they do surrender themselves it will be surrendering to the image they have created about another, or which they have projected.
It is possible to live a life without a single shadow of conflict only when you have understood the whole significance of living - which is, relationship and action. What is right action - under all circumstances? Is there such a thing? Is there a right action which is absolute, not relative? Life is action, movement, talking, acquiring knowledge and also relationship with another, however deep or superficial. You have to find right relationship if you want to find a right action which is absolute.
Right action means precise, accurate action, not based on motive; it is action which is not directed or committed. The understanding of right action, right relationship, brings about intelligence. Not the intelligence of the intellect but that profound intelligence which is not yours or mine. That intelligence will dictate what you will do to earn a livelihood; when there is that intelligence you may be a gardener, a cook, it does not matter. Without that intelligence your livelihood will be dictated by circumstance.
There is a way of living in which there is no conflict; because there is no conflict there is intelligence which will show the way of right living.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace.
The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.
Some signs to look for:
Be Forewarned!!! If you have all or even most of the above symptoms, please be advised that your condition may be too far advanced to turn back. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting several of these symptoms, remain exposed at your own risk. This condition of inner peace is likely well into its infectious stage.
At a Secret Doctrine study meeting we ended up discussing the auric egg, Blavatsky's bombshell from the ES-instructions (*). We often learn the sevenfold constitution of man by heart and don't yet know that in the ES-instructions a few other ways of looking at the human organism are proposed. One of these is by starting with the auric egg. Because Blavatsky's teachings on the subject are very much mixed up with other subjects, I haven't gotten out all the quotes. Still the essence is (CW XII, p. 608):
the Auric Egg, reflecting all the thoughts, words and deeds of man, is:
(a) The preserver of every Karmic record.
(b) The storehouse of all the good and bad powers of man, receiving and giving out at his will––nay, at his very thought––every potentiality, which becomes, then and there, an acting potency: this aura is the mirror in which sensitives and clairvoyants sense and perceive the real man, and see him as he is, not as he appears
(c) As it furnishes man with his Astral Form, around which the physical entity models itself, first as a foetus, then as a child and man, the astral growing apace with the human being, so it furnishes him during his life, if an Adept, with his Māyāvi-Rūpa, Illusion Body (which is not his Vital Astral Body); and after death, with his Devachanic Entity and Kāma-Rūpa, or Body of Desire (the Spook). (**)
A and b are remarkably similar to the other half of the subject of this article, the Alaya-vijnana. The Alaya-vijnana is a Buddhist concept described as:
Store consciousness (Skt. ālayavijńāna; Tib. kun gzhi rnam shes, Jp. 阿賴耶識 araya-shiki), also known as seed consciousness (種子識) container consciousness, base consciousness, root consciousness, or the eighth consciousness, describes the eighth and the most fundamental of the eight Consciousnesses established in the doctrine of the Yogācāra school of Buddhism.
The ālaya consciousness accumulates all potential energy for the mental and physical manifestation of one's existence, and supplies the substance to all existences. It also receives impressions from all functions of the other consciousnesses and retains them as potential energy for their further manifestations and activities. Since it serves as the basis for the production of the other seven consciousness (called the "evolving" or "transforming" consciousnesses), it is also known as the "base consciousness" (mūla-vijńāna), and "causal consciousness". Since it serves as the container for all experiential impressions (termed metaphorically as bija (#) or "seeds" it is also called the "seed consciousness". (source)
What are these eight consciousnesses? They are the five senses, manas and lower manas and last but not least, Alaya-vijana. Or in Buddhist terminology:
The Alaya-vijnana is the universal storehouse consciousness, so-called because it is the repository of the vasanas, the impressions or tendencies carried over from past lives. As D. T. Suzuki explains, "every act, mental or physical, leaves its seeds (bijas) behind, which is planted in the Alaya for future germination under favourable conditions" [D. T. Suzuki Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra, p.483].
Through the activity of vasanas, the seven individual consciousnesses - the five sense-consciousnesses, the manovijnana or mind-consciousness, and the klishto-manovijnana or "defiled mind-consciousness" - arise from the Alaya-vijnana like waves from the ocean [Chandradhar Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, pp.111]. (source)
Sounds to me like Blavatsky's auric egg or auric envolope is an early translation of the Buddhist concept of Alaya-vijana. The next question is then: did HPB mention this term at all? Well, not as far as I can tell. She may have spelled vijana differently of course. Blavatsky did use the term Alaya a lot for buddhi and for the Universal Soul. A graph in the E.S. instructions (CW XII, p 607) clarifies things a bit:
|THE ETERNAL BASIC PRINCIPLES
||TRANSITORY ASPECTS PRODUCED BY THE PRINCIPLES
|1. Ātman, or Jiva, “the One Life,” which permeates the Monadic Trio. (One in three and three in One.)
||1. Prāna, the Breath of Life, the same as Nephesh. At the death of a living being, Prāna re-becomes Jīva.
|2. Auric Envelope; because the substratum of the Aura around man is the universally diffused primordial and pure Ākasha, the first film on the boundless and shoreless expanse of Jīva, the immutable Root of all.
||2. Linga-Sharira, the Astral Form, the transitory emanation of the Auric Egg. This form precedes the formation of the living Body, and after death clings to it, dissipating only with the disappearance of its last atom (the skeleton excepted).
|3. Buddhi; because Buddhi is a ray of the Universal Spiritual Soul (ALAYA).
||3. Lower Manas, the Animal Soul, the reflection or shadow of the Buddhi-Manas, having the potentialities of both, but conquered generally by its association with the Kāma elements.
|4. Manas (the Higher Ego); for it proceeds from Mahat, the first product or emanation of Pradhāna, which contains potentially all the Gunas (attributes). Mahat is Cosmic Intelligence, called the “Great Principle.”
||As man is the combined product of two aspects: physically, of his Astral Form, and psycho-physiologically of Kāma-Manas, he is not looked upon even as an aspect, but as an illusion.
About this scheme she says:
Speaking metaphysically and philosophically, on strict esoteric lines, man as a complete unit is composed of Four basic Principles and Three Aspects produced by them on this earth. In the semi-esoteric teachings, these Four and Three have been called Seven Principles, to facilitate the comprehension of the masses.
From this it is pretty clear that Blavatsky did not associate the term Alaya with the Auric envolope, but with buddhi or the universal soul. I don't know how all this fits together, so I'll leave my readers to it...
More on Alaya-vijana: http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha195.htm
Note 2015: Alaya Vijnana as Oversoul?
This is a little booklet of xxii + 65 pages, by an anonymous writer signing "A Pilgrim." It is introduced by Rev. Rufus M. Jones, one of the most intuitive of our Christian writers, and is dedicated to Evelyn Underhill "and those who climb with her the Mystic Path." The credentials are adequate.
Mr. Jones writes: "Christianity has always held that life's refusals are a part of life's assets. I had a visit recently from a Monk of Mount Athos who thrillingly told of his joys of renunciation. 'What I cannot understand,' he said with simplicity and in broken English, 'is the way Christians seem to think they can carry so much baggage on their spiritual adventures. They act as though they expected to go to heaven with their galoshes on!' "
The author in a preface submits - "When this is read by those whose understanding surpasses mine, they will bear with me. If I have placed emphasis where they do not; if I have failed to stress the signs which may mean much to them, they will be patient with me. The road is new to me. Many are nearer the sun of revealing than I, but they will recognize the purpose of my soul, and stay their flying steps to the slower music of my faltering words. I too, will follow after. The important thing is for each of us to be uncompromisingly loyal to the wisdom which unrolls before our inner gaze, taking from the widening river of truth that which is our own. For here and there, around the globe there is evidence that a new dawn is breaking!"
The narrative which tempts one to quote largely is that of a dutiful soul who came to the "stepping-off place," and conquered fear, and made the passage. These experiences are rarely told, and in this case there is taste and modesty, and a fitting language of expression to do no violence to what in many respects is a sacred confidence.
"I realize that the only significance that can be attached to a personal record lies in the assumption that the man or woman writing is merely the symbol for all personality. The individuality is of value mainly because he is part of the mighty whole, and anything true of one is therefore, true of all."
In younger days, the writer says: "I was forming my own conclusions and they thrilled me . . . . . I wanted to tell someone about them. Inwardly I left their safe square boat ands launched a gay little craft of my own. As one appeared to whom I could talk, I confided in one whom I could not see with my eyes, but whom I could envision with some inner sense. I called him God!" Then came the great realization.
"Life is One. There is a great Personality in which we are all contained . . . . . . The man Jesus, feeling identity with this Life-in-One, tried to express it, `I am the vine, ye are the branches.' For He symbolized the universal Son of Man, not merely the son of David. All life is embodied in this timeless Person. His mind contains the whole spectrum of truth, of which each of us is but a fraction. His heart is formed of the love which man feels for his brother. His hands are the world's workers, his eyes are its vision. And his feet are composed of the friendless, the humble and lowly."
"How beautiful upon 'the mountain are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
Not inappropriate words for "A Pilgrim."
Anyone who considers their own tradition the final word on all issues ought to consider this from the newsletter Woodland Way:
The object of the Foundation is to be an educational organisation for the advancement and development of spiritual awareness
- Providing educational and psychic development and training services for members desiring to progress
a) their conscious understanding of the survival of their greater selves and,
b) their sensitive capacities as psychics and mediums for spiritualistic communication.
- Providing information and evidence of survival and spirit/psychic healing services to earnest enquirers and to the public at large, either directly or via the Spiritual Kinship Society Trust.
Woodland Way – Issue # 28 (winter 2002) (PDF)
When Silver Birch was asked what he thought of the Ten Commandments, he agreed that they were out of date; it was suggested he should draw up another set of commandments. “You must not regard the power of the spirit as it was expressed in any period of man's long history as being the final word in all divine revelation,” said the guide. “Your world must realise that revelation is continuous and progressive, fitting itself to the stage of understanding of the people to whom it comes. It must not be so far ahead of them that they cannot understand it. It must only be so much in front that it is within their grasp. Always the wisdom of the power of the spirit is but one step ahead, and when man achieves that step, he is ready for the next in the infinite ladder of wisdom. Why should that which obtained in the days when the race was still in its comparative infancy, and had special application to people governed by special conditions, be made to fit circumstances of today which are vastly different? But I have only one commandment, that you serve one another: that is all.”
It certainly is a great pity that there are theosophists, whilst they should know better, who call Farthing a purist. A purist who went one bridge too far.
Next to that, there are even theosophists who refer to him as being rather presumptuous.
What a mistaken notion that is.
Perhaps Geoffrey Farthing should have gone three bridges further even, but in spite of the fact that he didn’t do so, his lamp most definitely shone brightly in the Adyar darkness.
It takes a lot of courage to repeatedly state there, that Annie Besant in her approach towards the Teachings had been wrong and that C.W. Leadbeater in this context simply had been beside the mark altogether. Farthing was ever able to present his arguments well substantiated; he undertook all his actions as a true gentleman, respectful and compassionate.
But by doing this, one apparently becomes a purist and those in favour of the AB and CWL interpretations consider it therefore an obligation to take the offence.
Geoffrey a life-time student, had specialized himself in profoundly exploring the various approaches. His insightful knowledge, attitude, writings, striking manifests and above all his sincere concerns were often not appreciated nor understood by primarily ‘leading’ Adyar Theosophists, especially because the suggestions and conclusions as he presented them, at times were not in accordance with the main stream ideas within the Adyar group. Since the above mentioned two Adyar icons were hauled over the coals, the ‘Theosophical establishment’ also felt threatened.
Isn’t it a paradox that amongst Adyar theosophists, who loudly claim that freedom of thought, a never ceasing tolerance and an impartial outlook are considered to be sacred cows, any voiced criticism in connection with the works of both AB and CWL and their followers is considered to be high treason, and are met with a disturbing intolerance? After all, students who try to find their way in by exploring the writings of H.P Blavatsky or the Mahatama Letters only, are nothing but ‘Blavatskyan theologions’……? (Read for example ‘A Blavatskyan Theology?’ by LCC priest Pedro Oliveira/The Theosophist Vol. 124 No.7)
When it comes to approaches towards theosophy, colossal mistakes have been made. Farthing had the unique talent and capacity to proof this straightforwardly, and like no other he functioned as a trustworthy pointer, never losing the theosophical values and virtues out of sight.
What a blessing it was to have a Geoffrey Farthing around, and how admirable of him that he refused to leave the Adyar Society. He felt that this wasn’t the right thing to do, so he continued signalling from within the circle and for that daring standpoint we all should be deeply grateful.
For the so much needed clean-up, obviously more purists are needed. Geoffrey Farthing, at least for the time being, will not be contributing any longer.
Some notes and a short reply:
The above is a translation of an letter Jnk sent into Hermes7, the Dutch sister e-zine to Lucifer7. In that e-zine the present editer called Farthing a purist, because of his tendency to feel that Blavatsky was more important than the freedom of each theosophist to practice and interpret the three objects of the Theosophical Society in their own way. This isn't to say that there is anything wrong with critically examining Besant and Leadbeater (above shortened to AB and CWL). Let's all be critical and studious etc. In that respect surely Farthing did a good job. LCC stands for Liberal Catholic Church, the attempt at reforming Christianity which is mainly based on the work of Leadbeater. I feel that those who judge Farthing, don't do that on account of his good work of studying Blavatsky and writing about what he found. The problem is (for me anyhow) in the manner in which he insisted others should follow his example. In the TS the freedom to study what one pleases is more important than the insistence that one writer tops all others. If we followed the call that Blavatsky is the only truth and took it seriously, the TS would turn into a Blavatsky-sect. The three objects themselves are stated in the Key to Theosophy, by H.P. Blavatsky as follows:
ENQUIRER. What are the objects of the "Theosophical Society"?
THEOSOPHIST. They are three, and have been so from the beginning. (1.) To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, colour, or creed. (2.) To promote the study of Aryan and other Scriptures, of the World's religion and sciences, and to vindicate the importance of old Asiatic literature, namely, of the Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Zoroastrian philosophies. (3.) To investigate the hidden mysteries of Nature under every aspect possible, and the psychic and spiritual powers latent in man especially. These are, broadly stated, the three chief objects of the Theosophical Society.
She elaborates on these three objects and adds:
it is the duty of all Theosophists to promote in every practical way, and in all countries, the spread of non-sectarian education.It would be a mistake if in our admiration of Blavatsky we became Blavatsky sectarians. Farthing, with all his good points, was still one who would have turned the TS into a sect if he had had his way. The reader is referred to the previous issues of both Hermes7 and Lucifer7 for an elaboration of these points.
The white rays shed over all the Island when the Diamond on the mountain shot forth its last light continued shining, until the malignant snake formed from the serpent's blood had fled all across the sea and reached the great Isle beyond. Then all became black as night to the people. Deprived of my body that lay cold and dead beside the altar, I could see the high priest bending over the corpse until the growing darkness filled him with alarm which changed to terror. As he rose from his bending attitude I heard a solemn voice that filled all the space around utter these words:
"The cycle is ended. Thou hast completed a part of thy work, leaving a little in the new malignant snake to be done. Thou must follow it to the other Islands until fate shall lead thee elsewhere. Fear not but proceed with a calm courage, for we are ever beside thee, the same in the dark as in the light."
A sudden faintness filled my ethereal body, shadowy forms flitted about me, and I knew I was flying eastward with the vast heaving sea below me. On and on I fled and soon perceived the smell of earth. Over the other Island to the west I was floating in an atmosphere loaded with heavy emanations. I lost consciousness - and then I was born in another land, in the Island to the East, and even as a child I knew that the serpent's blood had come before me, knew full well I should meet it some day. In time I entered in company with the Druids, and one of them told of the coming of the serpent.
My teacher and narrator was a tall old man, over a century in age. A long white beard fell over his breast. Large blue eyes that seemed alive with a light of their own showed his soul gazing at you, but they were strong and fearless in expression. They pierced your being, but carried calmness and hope with them. A calmness born from many lives of struggle and triumph, a hope arising from a vast comprehensive view of the future; for he was a seer and knew the coming and going of the great tides of time. He said:
"Boy, your questions grow out of experience in the past. The serpent is in this land. Here we came long, long ago, after many centuries of watching, from the shore of the Island of the Diamond, while this land slowly rose up from the deep to touch the surface of the water and then emerge. For your own island is far older than this. We planted huge stones of magic potency in the slime as it came near the surface, and held them in place by the same power, hoping to prepare in advance for the Serpent which we knew was to come. But human hearts and wills alone can conquer magic stones and amulets and charms subserve but a temporary end. Many centuries passed thus, and after the land had arisen, became clothed with vegetation and inhabited by people, we sorrowfully saw the emanations from colonists were thickening day by day.
"Across the sea the Diamond Mountain threw up over the horizon a faint and beautiful light by night, a bluish haze by day. Then one night as with my brothers I sat looking westward, the light on the sky blazed up with sudden force. We knew the hour had come. The darkness fell greater as that holy light faded away, and through the air a hissing sound came across the sea. It was the serpent's blood, one drop changed into a smaller snake that flew from the west. That was the day you violated rules, throttled the ancient serpent behind the altar, and lost your life at the hands of the high-priest of a false, a counterfeit, religion.
"In vain our chants arose around the mighty stones that stood majestically in the plain. On and on, louder and louder, came that malignant hiss; down on the ground, even close to the stones of the Sun, fell the serpent and disappeared from our sight.
"Since then its baleful influence has been felt over all the land, and until thy coming we knew not when any Deliverer should arise. In thee is locked up the power to destroy the last remnants of the power of the serpent's blood. Perhaps thy ancient friends will help, for although thou art younger here, yet thou art older than we all. Be wise and true. Forget no duty, omit no effort, and one day the last drop of that ephidian blood will be altered by thy power and art, will be transmuted into elixir."