If I worship you from fear of hell, cast me into hell.
If I worship you from desire for paradise, deny me paradise. [Rabia]
A happy new year to all my readers. May 2004 bring wisdom,
insight and the ability to act wisely.
This issue of Lucifer7 goes on in the theme of enlightenment with various short quotes and some good different opinions, I think. Once again I have to stress that just because something is published here, doesn't mean I agree with it. It just means I think the reader has a right to read information from various sides. I like to keep you all informed. This has the added advantage of looking at a subject from various (if not all) sides. This is also true for another controversial subject that gets raised in this issue: Money. Searching for money and spirituality on the internet, one finds a lot of opinions. Most seem to feel that the two can and should be mixed to some extent. I've selected a few quotes that I think each add their own perspective and are also representative of the lot. The traditional religious stance is represented by H.P. Blavatsky who quotes the Bible, Buddhist scriptures and a Hindu tract.
This issue we have a story by W.Q. Judge who was a famous, if at the end of his life somewhat controversial, figure in the Theosophical Movement. His writings are often very inspiring.
Once again I want to remind my readers that they can submit material to this e-zine. If it doesn't fit the e-zine it may very well fit my web site.
Echoes of the
ways of the Mystery Schools are to be found numerously in popular
customs, one of the most obvious is of course the initiation systems of
the various secret societies. There is another equally interesting echo
in certain academic methods.
In a previous issue we mentioned the difficulty that collegiate instructors have in bringing home to students the fact that the borderlines of knowledge are uncertain, without discouraging them entirely. In this connection, we mentioned our acquaintance with various members of the professorial fraternity. Since then we had a few hours conversation with two of them on a train trip, in which we were immensely interested in the "weeding out" process employed in their institution for candidates to take postgraduate work leading to advanced degrees.
[The rest of this article from Theosophical Notes]
There can be no
question but that one can receive the impression from
much of Mahayanistic literature that the labour toward the salvation of
creatures is a perennial task, rather than a passing crisis.
other hand, Theosophical literature does emphasize certain critical
such as the present which is said to be the cycle of transition between
first 5000 years of Kali Yuga and a subsequent period. But
involves any contradiction since logically both standpoints could be
A perennial condition could, quite conceivably, have critical
phases. But this matter becomes considerably less simple when
it is borne in mind that Theosophical teaching does give the impression
of accentuation of
the activistic factor while both Buddhism and Hinduism strike one as
oriented to quietism. In its deeper ramifications the
becomes: Does Enlightenment imply the permanent transcendence of the
or evolutionary process, or does it have some interconnection with this
In its exoteric form, both the Vedanta and Buddhism give the impression that the whole meaning of Liberation or Enlightenment is the correction of error. The correction of the error leads to transcendence of the World-field and all dualistic consciousness in essentially the same way that a dream is destroyed by awaking. Thus to the awakened consciousness there is no more activity in the sense of an evolutionary process. In contrast, Theosophy views the active phase as fundamental as the inactive or unmanifested phase. Enlightenment has the value of New Birth before which lie both active and passive possibilities. To be Enlightened is to be an Adept and no one is an Adept in the Theosophical sense who is not Enlightened. There are seven degrees of Enlightenment and the full Buddha is one who has culminated all these seven steps. A full Adept is the same thing as a full Buddha, and the Tathagata is the same thing as a Dhyan Chohan, a guiding Intelligence in Nature.
It is easy to see that Theosophy implies an Enlightenment such that the resultant consciousness is a sort of fusion of the Unmanifested with the Manifested aspects, or of nondualistic into dualistic consciousness. In this state the error or delusion is destroyed, but action, including evolution, and quietude both remain. The refusal to accept the private enjoyment of the Bliss of Nirvana, while including the meaning of continued effort in the direction of redemption of all creatures, as well as other and even more fundamental values; values which would still remain although all creatures were finally redeemed.
The writer does not mean to suggest that the inner meaning of both the Vedanta and Buddhism is at variance with Theosophy in the above respect. There may be inner agreement and, indeed, this seems very likely. But the other impression does exist and there is literature which at least seems to confirm it. It is with respect to this latter impression that a contradiction exists.
As a matter of strict logic neither action not inaction can be predicated of a non-dual Reality, and it is thus as close to the active phase as to the inactive.
There can be no doubt that the appeal of the active or inactive phases appeals differently to individuals and races of different temperaments. One may prefer inactive contemplation while the other prefers activity. But such preference has no force as a determinant of the nature of ultimate Reality. Western man is, on the whole, activistic while Eastern man is more largely quietistic but neither is therefore more right or righteous than the other.
... All three, Theosophy, Vedanta and Buddhism, agree in saying that the ultimately true Dharma or Theosophia transcends all name and form, all possibility of definition in any way. For this, to relative consciousness, appears exclusively as Absolute Negation, or That of which nothing whatsoever can be predicated in the private sense. Before THIS, all beings whatsoever, high or low, must stand SILENT in the face of utter MYSTERY.
are many paths to enlightenment. Be sure to take one with a heart.
Before I was enlightened, I chopped wood and carried water. After I became enlightened I chopped wood and carried water.
Nirvana or lasting enlightenment or true spiritual growth can be achieved only through persistent exercise of real love.
-M. Scott Peck, M.D.
Enlightenment must come little by little, otherwise it would overwhelm...
Liberation is nothing new that is acquired.
He, knowing all, becomes the All.
-Prasna Upanishad iv. 10
When thou art rid of self, then art thou self-controlled, and self-controlled art self possessed, and self-possessed possessed of God and all that he has ever made.
Do not mistake understanding for realization, and do not mistake realization for liberation.
-Famous Tibetan saying (Sogyal Rinpoche, p. 130)
cultural paradigm of which I come, that of the indigenous North
Americans, the thought of 'paying' for a Ceremonial never comes up
because the thought of NOT paying is never considered, so there is
never the need to put a 'price tag' on anything of a spiritual nature.
We Spirit People who provide a spiritual service, at home in a tribal
culture, may wake up to find a sack of corn, a haunch of venison, an
envelope of cash or some other
valuable gift upon our doorstep. A person who receives help from us
Peoples will continue to provide gifts for years to come.
causes most people more emotional problems than almost any other life
issue. How many times have you heard that "Money doesn't grow on
trees", that "The love of money is the root of all Evil" or that anyone
who is rich must, by definition, be either a crook or extremely hard
and tough? Most people have extremely negative associations about
Wealth and Money that were gained subconsciously whilst growing up.
creates its own culture. In so far as this money-culture influences our
self-esteem, our scale of values, our motivations, our ideas of God, it
can be said to produce a kind of spirituality. In so far as money has
the main instrument of exploitation and oppression, the spirituality of
money-culture which we have today must be denounced as a false
spirituality, and a principal task of the Christian faith is to unmask
the deceptions and especially the self-deceptions with which the
money-culture conceals itself.
encountered a curious corollary to this theme; the idea that
anyone who manages to make a living for himself in mundane pursuits and
any noticeable amount to Theosophy besides, thereby disqualifies
from being able to understand the higher reaches of the
philosophy; and is in duty bound to defer humbly to the
scholar who has no such crude and spiritually crippling commercial
capacity and must perforce rely upon the bounty of said humble
Vaishya; whose duty it is to give it very
deferentially. Indeed this could be an excellent Western
beginning for a sacerdotal caste system in Theosophy!
Curiously enough, our undoubtedly prejudiced viewpoint leans in the
opposite direction; we think that no man is likely to know
either himself or Theosophy without learning by practical experience
how to apply it - and how difficult it is to apply it - in the sordid
occupation of making a living among mankind. One may not
emerge from such experience knowing how to conjugate Sanskrit, but he
may know something about the hearts of men.
[I can mail the full article by Victor Endersby to those interested in it]
within the garden of his heart, the pupil suddenly came upon the
Master, and was glad, for he had but just finished a task in His
service which he hastened to lay at His feet.
"See, Master," said he, "this is done: now give me other teaching to do."
The Master looked upon him sadly yet indulgently, as one might upon a child which can not understand.
"There are already many to teach intellectual conceptions of the Truth," he replied, "Thinkest thou to serve best by adding thyself to their number?"
The pupil was perplexed.
"Ought we not to proclaim the Truth from the very housetops, until the whole world shall have heard?" he asked.
"And then - "
"Then the whole world will surely accept it."
"Nay," replied the Master, "the Truth is not of the intellect, but of the heart. See!"
The pupil looked, and saw the Truth as though it were a White Light, flooding the whole earth; yet none reaching the green and living plants which so sorely needed its rays, because of dense layers of clouds intervening.
"The clouds are the human intellect," said the Master. "Look again."
Intently gazing, the pupil saw here and there faint rifts in the clouds, through which the Light struggled in broken, feeble beams. Each rift was caused by a little vortex of vibrations, and looking down through the openings thus made the pupil perceived that each vortex had its origin in a human heart.
"Only by adding to and enlarging the rifts will the Light ever reach the earth," said the Master. "Is it best, then, to pour out more Light upon the clouds, or to establish a vortex of heart force? The latter thou must accomplish unseen and unnoticed and even unthanked. The former will bring thee praise and notice among men. Both are necessary: both are Our work ; but - the rifts are so few! Art [thou] strong enough to forego the praise and make of thyself a heart centre of pure impersonal force?"
The pupil sighed, for it was a sore question.
largest protestant organizations [the "Nederlands Hervormde Kerk and
the Gereformeerde Kerk ] in The Netherlands, together with a
smaller [organization the Lutheraanse Kerk] merged on Friday
the 12th of December last. This development has everybody who cares
anything for religion buzzing with excitement. Explanations and
historical parallels are many. The most important explanation is that
on a local level the 'Samen Op Weg'-beweging [Together on the
Path-movement] was gaining strength significantly. This means that on a
local scale church groups merged, in order to be able to afford
paying the minister and keeping the churches in good repair. The
necessity of this local cooperation is the fact that most of these
churches were and are loosing membership. In the Netherlands only about
40% of the people belong to any church at all. The merger leaves each
individual church free to run their church as they see fit. No
doctrinal requirements are added at all.
Looking into the historical ramifications one can conclude that this merger is not as rare an occasion as it seems. At the end of the 19th century a similar merge took place in the Dutch protestant churches. The general pattern seems to be to have a movement, with splitoffs every once in a while and then at some point a merge, which in its turn is followed by splits, making the cycle complete. Local churches of radical persuasion are reportedly already thinking of dropping out of this new organisation. Unfortunately for them this may well mean for many of them that they will have to start looking for a new church to have their services in. So far no split offs have been reported.
For my Dutch readers I have a few links to useful articles on this subject:
On a totally different note, there is a web site which gives information on religious freedom being challenged. A good web site, as far as I can tell: http://www.forum18.org/