If one assumes that Theosophy actually means ‘Divine Wisdom’, then proceeding on ‘Our New Direction’, I find the following to be of interest:
Hopefully this initial, incomplete and overly simplistic foray into blogging and discussing here of mine is in the spirit of Joe’s New Direction. At worst, may it bring about fruitful interaction.
John E. Mead:
Yes, you are quite right in saying that the individual has a choice and that is the foundation of spirituality: that the individual can go either one of two ways: THE WAY OF THE ANIMAL ENVOY or THE WAY OF THE SEEDED EARTH.
There is no third way. THE WAY OF THE ANIMAL ENVOY is the way of the many: meaning that each individual can develop his own method of dealing with the spiritual powers but that in no way allow him to understand that which he is interacting with; whereas, THE WAY OF THE SEEDED EARTH (Hermetic Sciences) is the one path.
For example: THE WAY OF THE ANIMAL ENVOY is the manner that our culture brings its children up and lets them choose as they please. This practically every person you see in society today; whereas, you rarely if ever meet someone that is working on the Hermetic Science even if they say they are working with those sciences.
Example would be those that play with the Tarot Cards and/or use Astrology as a fortune telling tool or think they know something about Alchemy or Kabbalah. Unbeknown to all these groups these different outer genres of thought are the same esoteric system of thought expressed differently. In order to understand any of them the initiate has to study all of them.
There is nothing wrong with going THE WAY OF THE ANIMAL ENVOY; however, those systems will not endure the test of time. They will fade away but Christ's (esoteric science) way will never pass away.
Ornamentalmind: Thanks for the pointers!
" I am not knocking independent researches I am merely pointing out the difficulties and disadvantages of multi-genres of thought saying the same things but using different vocabularies and symbolism to get their point across. " ...
" But the individual that knows nothing of the esoteric science WILL DO WHAT HE THINKS IS RIGHT BUT IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS IS WRONG."
I agree. Everyone leaping off to develop there own system from scratch is rather nutty. Fortunately - no one is promoting this.
"If THEOSOPHY is to have a future it is going to have to have such an impersonal system of thought to express itself".
Yes. Fortunately - these exist in cultures, religions, sciences, Nature etc. People (across the World) actually do not have to accept a single framework (Esoteric Science), but are free to select an existing personal system, as in their own religious background, or select the one that they are drawn towards.
There is no reason to have to accept formations of solar systems, rounds and chains of planets, galaxies ensouled by Logoi, Master-Adepts directing the world from some desert or remote mountain top etc. etc.
A Theosophist can remove those chains
I fully understand what you mean when you talk about the individual developing his or her own methods of research so that he or she feels comfortable in his or her quest; however, human beings are hardwired so-to-speak into standardizing all disciplines so that we all can be on the same page. One of the great curses of the quest in finding so many independent mystics that went there own way but each has developed their own techniques and vocabularies that are just as difficult to understand as trying to understand a foreign religion. I am not knocking independent researches I am merely pointing out the difficulties and disadvantages of multi-genres of thought saying the same things but using different vocabularies and symbolism to get their point across.
This was and still is the cry of the Catholic Church with its multi-mystics throughout history. For example the heretics and Gnostic writers were people that expressed themselves differently using their own personal way of expressing themselves, which is diametrically opposite to the standardization that the Catholic Church has set up to edify the laity. The Church was only using that which God had laid out from the dawn of the time/space continuum . But the individual that knows nothing of the esoteric science WILL DO WHAT HE THINKS IS RIGHT BUT IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS IS WRONG.
The great boon of Christianity was the coming of Emperor Constantine. Personally I do not believe there ever was such a person. But look at Constantine's name it has the word CONSTANT in it. That is the king or emperor. A system of thought that is canonized or standardized. Throughout the history of Christianity up to and including Alchemy this standardization of writing the word of God has lasted uninterrupted but then came the protesters against the word of God called Protestants: die-hard literal-minded individuals that hated the very thought of symbolism.
Because of the symbolism of the Church is why my researches into Christian Art forms has been so successful. If it was not for the standardization of symbolism in Christian theology I would not have tracked this esoteric system of thought throughout the 2000 years of Christian history.
The great thing about the Church's system is that it does not belong exclusively to the Catholic Church because it is an impersonal system of thought given to humanity directly from the transcendent. It is totally an objective system and not a subjective system of thought. If THEOSOPHY is to have a future it is going to have to have such an impersonal system of thought to express itself. With such a system of thought there would be nothing more for the theosophist to do but to interpret not invent or have a personal brain storm of creativity. For example look at Dante Alighieri who used the same system of symbolic thought and yet put many popes into hell. This demonstrates this impersonal symbolic system of thought can be codified into any story-line.
As an adjunct to John’s post, many of the thankas one sees are representations of complex visualizations generated and held by Tibetan Buddhists. For those who are not already aware of it, tantras have a specific mandala associated with them. This is a representation of many of the symbols one focuses upon during meditation and further represents a ‘celestial palace’ for the Deity/s involved. They are known as not being just flat as the more common representations depict.
Another quote by HHDL is: “Tantra is limited to persons whose compassion is so great that they cannot bear to spend unnecessary time in attaining Buddhahood, as they want to be a supreme source of help and happiness for others quickly.” - p. 111 ’Meditation on Emptiness’ by Jeffrey Hopkins, Wisdom Publication 1996
A simple example of how memory and visualization have been used extensively in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is that one of my teachers, Dr. Yeshi Dhonden, had to memorize the medical texts before being admitted to the medical college in Lhasa, Tibet, prior to the Chinese takeover and his and HHDL’s escape over the Himalayas into India. I mention visualization here because one of the ancient teaching methods was to visualize a tree complete with roots, trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit etc. with each part representing a specific item and/or group of items being learned.
Tree of Healthy-Unhealthy Body
And, in possible apparent contradiction to the enormous complexity involved with tantra, Nagarjuna says in his Praise of the Non-Conceptual:
The path of liberation relied upon
By Buddhas, Solitary Realisers,
And Hearers is only you,
None other, it is definite.
John, should I understand your post to mean that Joe's 'New Direction' is more in line with what is meant by Theosophy than the previous focus on HPB's texts etc.?
Thanks in advance.
just a comment on "in the spirit of Joe’s New Direction".
The main difference, or spirit, is that Theosophy is never defined through belief in a specific Occult Doctrine, Occult Dogma or Occult religion. Theosophy is Doctrine-less in this sense.
The personal technique an individual uses to perform and study the interplay between Nature/Human/Divine does not change since the "act" of doing this is inherent to Theosophy.
This is a viewpoint change of what is meant by Theosophy. It is focused more on individual "doing" and much less on some (or any) "Occult Science".
Thank you for taking the time and effort to comment on my blog William!
First, in saying my analysis was simple, in no way was I implying the subject was simple too … I say this even though in some respects it is… simple that is.
When it comes to ‘grasping Wisdom through erudition’, no doubt one can do that. This follows the belief that one knows by words and concepts. However, what I was saying was that one does not ‘ultimately’ find the Divine through words. Yes, one can think about it… something entirely different from knowing the Divine.
And, you are quite correct when you say that human beings ‘read the world… through people, places and things or books.’ Most people would agree with you there. I merely am pointing out that I do not embrace faith nor revelation. So, in this way, studying words and concepts in a book do not expose the Divine for me. I say this recognizing that doing so (reading books etc.) has brought about some meaningful insights for you.
Thanks again for sharing!
Actually, nothing can be more complex then what you choose to call a "simple analysis".
I would beg to differ concerning not grasping Wisdom through erudition. That is all we do as human being: read the world whether it is through people, places and things or books.
However, you are quite right in believing that book learning is the end all and be all of the quest. I personally realize that contemplating what one reads is about 95% or more of what are schools of education calls reading.
Recently I came face to face, for the umpteen time, with that very fact. I have been studying the first chapter of Genesis for about 38-years and probably know more about that chapter than any man alive. It finally dawned on me that the first four days of creation in the first chapter of Genesis was literally showing the creation of consciousness throught the eys of the soul/psyche. There are literally thousands of pieces of data, which accumulated to come to this place I am starting at to describe something to you. So I have to bypass all that to make things expedient in our discussion.
The first four days of creation represent the soul/psyche at its pristine state of existence. This is determined by the fact that the third and fourth days of creation both have 69-words to their credit and the first two days total to 69-words: 31 + 38 respectively totaling to 207 words. This is important to know because the word light in Gematria is 207. Thus, symbolically these 207 words in the first four days of creation represent that light. But what is that light? I always thought that "LIGHT" was God as Saint John tells us in the New Testament. But again what is God other than spiritual law. With that and a mountain of information that goes with it I discerned the following:
The world as we see it is an illusion: that is indisputable. Yet, I had not until recently, after again contemplating the first four days of creation realized that the world, was a projection of the soul/psyche. That was obvious but I had always thought of it being the light of God shining through the soul/psyche to creation the world. Now I understand that the SELF, what CG Jung calls the higher self projects the pristine state of the soul/psyche outwardly from the soul/psyche; however, that is only half the equation for what CG Jung calls the SHADOW also projects itself into the world onto people, places and things. So its more of a double whammy so to speak. The world is intertwined with a double helix (projections) so to speak.
When reading the fourth day of creation it says that the two great luminaries: Sun and Moon bring the light to the earth (symbolically the soul/psyche). This reinforces the idea that those very projections that come from the soul/psyche are thrown right back into our faces. There is no double that what the ego-consciousness rejects is the SHADOW and it is Yahweh (Sun - ego-consciousness) to force those Shadow projections right back at the soul/psyche to deal with them. At the same time the moon (Elohym) sends her light, which reflects the pristine state of the soul/psyche.
Of course when I am speaking of the earth, sun and moon I am referring to the symbolical aspects of the soul/psyche and not the outer world orbs in the stellar universe.
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