Captain Theosophy (Part One: Meeting Your Personal Genie/Genius) by Richard Ihle
"There's a man in the funny papers we all know. . . ."
Some people started to call me "Captain Theosophy.". . .
Initially, this was almost certainly because it was the title of an article I had written for the old THE AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST magazine. In those days I guess I did sometimes seem sort of like a cartoonish superhero—not only because of my faster-than-speeding-bullet rattle-offs regarding the benefits of conventional meditation etc., but also because of my non-stop hinting that maybe the Theosophical Society needed to rescue itself from the limiting definition of Theosophy AS "The teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky."
Specifically, my a.k.a. Captain Theosophy believed that it was unlikely that the 100-plus-year old society could ever attain its Blavatsky-predicted future as perhaps Franchise License Holder #1 of the coming "Universal World Religion" unless it returned to a broader, more epistemologically oriented definition for Theosophy—maybe something like the one now found on theosophy.net:
Theosophy: "Intuitional knowledge or wisdom resulting from progress in Self-awareness and/or experience of one's own Transcendental ('Divine') Nature."
Such a definitional re-orientation was necessary, in the Captain’s view, because many of H.P. Blavatsky's teachings no longer seemed to look so good as more and more light from twentieth-century science began to shine upon them. For example, contemporary biology was finding evidence that humans and apes had progressed up separate evolutionary branches after leaving a ferret-like common ancestor perhaps 10 million years ago; however, Blavatsky’s ISIS UNVEILED clearly asserted that the gorillas and orangutans which could be seen in modern zoos had actually "de-volved" from former H*** sapiens into their present, less-cerebral, poorer-postured, more hygiene-dubious configurations.
For another example, contemporary paleoanthropology was turning up some very modest and sketchy, yet impressive and hard-earned, information about the 3- or 4-million-year-old forerunners in the hominid line (the australopithecines); however, Blavatsky’s arcane compendium confidently revealed many more, apparently-a-lot-easier-to-have-come-by, details about humanity's "Third-Race" progenitors—the twelve-foot, four-armed, cave- or hole-dwelling, telepathic Lemurians, often with eyes on backs of their heads, who lived somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere of our planet no less than 40 million years ago.
How such precise descriptions could have been passed along so reliably millennium after millennium for an extra 36-37 million years compared to the rough sketches modern paleoanthropologists were so hesitantly venturing to present was anyone’s guess.
The most popular guess within the Theosophical Society at that time, of course, was that it had all been Preternaturally transmitted, courtesy of Madame Blavatsky’s “Mahatma” guides (Morya, Koot Hoomi, et al.). These “Masters” were not only regarded as “Accuracy Underwriters” for this nearly-from-the-dinosaur-era information, but more than a few members also believed that that the Mahatmas, or Others of their same “Brotherhood,” were still living in some non-GPS-friendly place like Tibet and were continuing to guide the Society by means of something like the “Astral” equivalent of wi-fi. . . .
Anyway, little by little Captain T found it harder and harder to persuade himself that certain of Blavatsky's teachings were LITERALLY true. Nevertheless, he remained persuaded that there were many UNIQUE BENEFITS—not only philosophical and “Spiritual,” but also down-to-earth psychological and even physiological—which could be had by FIGURATIVELY working with H.P.B.'s greatest work, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, while at the same time experimentally adopting a Theosophical life-style which encouraged cultivation and “temporary trust” of one’s own INTUITIONS—the source for POSSIBLY-NOT-OTHERWISE-OBTAINABLE knowledge. . . .
Therefore, it was never his intention to entirely throw the old Russian woman out with her gray bathwater. . . .
Such was Captain Theosophy's mind-frame when, quite a few decades ago, he agreed to give a presentation at the National Theosophical Summer Convention held in Wheaton, Illinois. The Son-of-Smallville’s specific message on that occasion was that at least some of H.P.B.'s esoteric teachings (e.g., "Rounds," "Root-Races," "Sub-Races," etc.) might have been speculatively produced by making as-below-so-Above ANALOGIES out of the six varieties of psychological consciousnesses which ancient/modern sages, yogis, and perhaps even Madame herself, may have become introspectively familiar with while meditating.
Most importantly, Cappy surmised that significant real-life value might come from using the more familiar one-half of the Hermetic Emerald Tablet axiom, the as-Above-so-below (rather than the as-below-so-Above), to help identify the "Levels"—the PSYCHOLOGICAL belows—which may have at least been the analogical inspirations for Blavatsky's grand transcendental Cosmogenetic and Anthropogenetic teachings—the philosophical/religious Aboves (including graduate-school versions of the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation found in the Vedas).
For some reason the Theo-Caped Crusader thought that all this esoteric spaghetti would be of enormous interest to the Theosophists attending his talk that summer. Indeed, the Levels of consciousness he was trying to summarize directly related to the various types of "tainted I-am's" (animating, physical, emotional, and mental) which regularly psychologically show up to keep ordinary life all-too-ordinary. Unless one has enough socio-economic luxury/indifference to perpetually sit in savikalpa samadhi atop a mountain somewhere, such in-the-moment identity-mistakes continually arise in daily life, pass away, and then either re-arise or are immediately replaced by other identity-mistakes—the resultant psycho-mishmash perhaps thereby qualifying, right after everyone’s inevitable death, as the second-most basic "human condition" of all. . . .
Notwithstanding this, Krypton’s Final Hope probably should have realized that all this could not be presented in anything even close to entertainment-grade form. Of course, it also did not help that he could not resist several times catechistically reciting the six categories of false-ego-creating differentiated consciousnesses—animating, physical/sensory, desire-feeling, desire-mental, mental, Spirit-mental—and then follow each with a salt-rub of its Eastern equivalent—pranamaya, annamaya, kamamaya, kama-manomaya, manomaya, Buddhi-manomaya.
Still, one might think that T-Rocket could have predicted the very possible, very powerful, very long-lasting result his talk might have: the very real actual circumstance that, even though he continues to be a member of the Society to this very day, he would never again be asked to speak from a national Theosophical podium. . . .
"Oh well. . . ," as C. Kent has learned to say over the years. . . .
Meeting Your Personal Genie/Genius:
“Incidentally,” said old Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “I despise everything which merely instructs me without increasing or immediately enlivening my activity.”
Upon reflection, however, J.W.v.G's remark above might actually have been the real reason why young Kal-El’s presentation was something like throwing a kryptonite blanket of ennui over the audience that summer. Indeed, what good is an advertisement for a broader, intuition-allowing, EPISTEMOLOGICAL definition for Theosophy if it does not even mention the many down-to-earth increasings and enlivenings which may result from using it?
Indeed, what good if getting EXTRA-ordinary INTUITIVE HELP from one's PERSONAL GENIE/GENIUS is not even thrown out there as a little siddhi-tempting audience-bait?
Furthermore, the concept of a helpful personal genius (removing the equivalent "genie") is really nothing new. It certainly goes back to at least Greek and Roman times when it was widely believed that everyone was born with such a "tutelary spirit" and kept it throughout life. The human being was not considered to be the genius; rather, only that he or she had one. Socrates called this potential (potentialized by learning how to pay better attention to it) life-asset his "daimon," and he explains its guardian-angel role below:
“You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” [Plato, APOLOGY]
Of course as the centuries passed, the meaning of genius gradually changed. Not only did the word become a general synonym for exceptionally high intelligence and/or seminal accomplishment, but also some special primates even began to be defined AS geniuses—e.g., Newton, Einstein, Mozart, . . . Blavatsky. . . .
Therefore, it might be understandable why so many moderns with IQ scores under 140 and/or little-or-no aptitude for intellectual/scientific/creative ground-breaking started thinking that the word genius had nothing at all to do with themselves. For sure, gone was the old Greek/Roman assumption that each individual had a personal helper which could occasionally provide far more reliable advice about what-NOT-to-do than could even laborious pondering using solid science and anal-tightlocked logic.
While such antique, often quite affable, genii have largely faded into mythology, they have at least left behind a word which reminds us of how they communicated with their human hosts: INTUITION: "lower" and "Higher." Although both types may sometimes seem "uncanny," there is probably not so much mystery about the former. These "immediate understandings which need no further deliberation," could simply be the result of previous—but unremembered—sensory perceptions, emotional stimulations, mental operations, pre-existing conclusions (particularly those originally reached subconsciously), etc. They could also simply be immediate analogies/inductions generated from such forgotten material. They could also be simply very wrong. . . .
By contrast, instant apprehensions in the latter category are significantly different. Not only may Higher intuitions seem to come with more of a "numinous feeling," but they are also generally not regarded as having been derived from any past experiences—NOT, at least, any past experiences in the CURRENT lifetime of the individual. . . .
This Higher carries the connotation of trans-time, trans-space, and perhaps even trans-"temporary-personhoods." Often, the supernality gets explained in one or both of these ways: 1) that a person's "soul" has always been in possession of a pre-existing "Spiritual Fullness" of understandings, information, wisdom, etc. and/or 2) that a more limited, but still highly impressive, treasure trove—notably including the "heads-up warnings" which are the psychological fruit of "previously mastered life-lessons"—has been steadily accumulating over the course of many "previous incarnations."
Socrates' "Slave Boy" story illustrates Higher intuition. In the 2,400-year-old sturdy piece of Greek literature called MENO, an uneducated youth suddenly "Retrieves" the geometrical understanding that twice the area of a square can be found by drawing a diagonal line from two of its corners and then using that particular length for the four sides of a new square.
Socrates tells what he thinks this proves: "But if he [Meno's slave] did not acquire the knowledge in this life, then he must have had and learned it at some other time? [. . .] And if there have been always true thoughts in him, both at the time when he was and [also when he] was not a man, and which only need to be awakened into knowledge by putting questions to him, his soul must have always possessed this knowledge, for he always either was or was not a man? [. . .] And if the truth of all things always exist in the soul, then the soul is immortal. Wherefore be of good cheer [Meno], and try to recollect what you do not know, or rather what you do not Remember [emphasis and capital added]." [Plato, MENO, 402 BCE]
Sometimes, an add-on to this Borderless epistemology is that an individual's advancing “Spiritual development" may greatly improve his or her "Remembering Process." Full-bloom bodhisattvas, for instance, might even get access to a "Central Astral Storage System". . . containing not only the record of every historical and geological event which has ever happened on earth, but also every single thing every human being has ever sensed, felt, or thought. . . .
Madame Blavatsky called this the "Akashic Records.”
Cap-damn Theosophy, unfortunately, just called this another good example of something which he, little by little, could not keep convincing himself that Helena LITERALLY knew anything about—particularly whether or not such an imaginative "Pre-Silicon-Valley-Super-Data-Cloud" even existed. Therefore . . . notwithstanding any "theatrical support" this or other similarily Woo-Woo-dripping dispensations may have come with—for example, communicated by "Spirit Guides," "Masters," "Angels," "Burning Bushes," "Golden Plates," etc.—the Dynamic Demurrer started thinking that certain extramundane merchandise which had been labeled "Product of Higher Intuition" could also be very wrong. . . .
Nevertheless, the Captain remained open to the possibility that some of this otherwise unavailable content might actually turn out to be very right —or at least very helpful once the "occult" as-Above-so-below psychological analogies they were associated with became evident. What difference if the chances for this might be as low as 1-in-100 or even lower!? These odds were actually pretty decent considering that they undoubtedly would have been 0-in-100 if the Transformable Truth-seeker were only allowed to proceed while keeping himself entirely underneath a strict smother-shroud of "scientific methodological naturalism."
After all, he still called himself a Theosophist . . . and after all, one definition was still this: "Someone who is willing to consider not only his or her own, but also other individuals' potential knowledge and/or wisdom purportedly aided by their Higher intuition, advanced progress in Self-awareness, and/or direct personal experience with their own 'Divine' natures." Moreover, these other individuals could include everybody from an anonymous ancient sage who is contributing to the oral tradition which eventually becomes the written Rig Veda . . . to a college student in a dorm room who is sharing a spotlight-inviting hunch about who he or she was in a "past life" . . . or maybe even to a cosplaying "Mahatma" who is dropping memos from a 19th century ceiling. . . .
Here it should be observed that an upper case "T" on the word Theosophy and its derivatives (Theosophist,Theosopher) sometimes just points to its claim of having been assisted by the special transcendental epistemology described above; in other words, the capital is not necessarily meant to validate or elevate particular content. Furthermore, the "Divine" in the definition normally does not refer to any specific, nameable "God-personality" like Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, or Krishna. Theo in Theosophy is traditionally thought of as a broad abstraction, perhaps similar to Spinoza's "Self-Subsistent Substance," or Vedanta's Atman ("Undifferentiated I-Consciousness"/"Higher Self" etc.). It may qualify as "religious" only in the same sense that the Latin root re-ligare means "to bind back" or "connect [with the 'One'] again." Looked at in this way, big-T is a great ongoing subliminal advertisement for "God-Within."
But to satisfy standard writing convention, upper-T Theosophy is otherwise reserved for the name of an official organization, a sort of imaginary "historical movement," a proprietary grab of some putative "Ancient Wisdom,". . . or, all too often, a cultish-flavored endeavor to turn Theosophy into a spandex-girdled synonym for "the teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky" by those who think that even her sizeable derivative reportage justifies usurping the general T-word for her own private brand-name like Kleenex. . . .
BEWARE, therefore, anything which may follow the capitalized expression "Theosophy teaches. . . ."
But BE SUPER-CORDIAL, therefore, to anything with enough humility to start off with "MY Theosophy teaches. . . .")
Of course, small-t theosophy is now what is most often encountered in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and on internet blogs. Unfortunately, when the ordinary-little-t is used in this way, it sometimes runs the risk of giving the impression that a reader has merely stumbled upon some barely moving, barely breathing occupant of an old basket which has been left on mythology's doorstep.
Granted, some of these old (and also "New-Age"-new) drop-offs really do belong there. Indeed, the sad truth is that it might be difficult to find another sub-classification of the Dewey Decimal System which contains as much dubious material as t/Theosophy. While this particularly applies to what Karl Popper would call "unfalsifiable assertions," it is also the case for many things which can be—and actually should be—evaluated, corroborated, or falsified by means of modern empirical science, scholarly research, personal experimentation, etc.
Then, of course, there is also the problem of what to do about the dissimilarities, disagreements, and differing interpretations between and among even some of the most highly respected figures within the Theosophical tradition. A good example of this is the well-known dispute between the notable Vedanta scholar T. Subba Row and H.P. Blavatsky regarding "The Principles of Man." The former individual insisted that only Raja Yoga's four-fold classification could be considered reliable; the latter individual said that her seven-fold version was the "esoteric improvement" upon his commonplace Hindu opinion; the former individual left the Theosophical Society not too long afterwards.
Question: Given so much multifariousness and gradation in the validity of the "teachings," what, then, might be some common denominators which can apply to all who call themselves Theosophists and/or Theosophers?
Answer: Actually, there might only be one—that none of these deeper-pool-end swimmers have been able to completely dry-off from their "PERENNIAL SUSPICION."
The more full-bore "The PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY" is a much better-known phrase, of course. It refers to the historically ever-cropping-up notion that behind, within, and including all things there is an indivisible "Universal Ground" which provides the underpinning for all authentic religions. Especially in what is sometimes called the "Wisdom Tradition," there is also the suggestion that mystical apprehension of this Truth may be available to those who are first willing to "fulfill certain conditions"—and (unless these conditions have already been fulfilled in a "previous lifetime") this is typically accomplished by meditation, prayer, and/or some other form of "creative introversion."
Interestingly, Aldous Huxley's description of The Perennial Philosophy not only uses the term psychology rather than something with more metaphysical opportunity like cosmology, but it also seems very-well-aligned with the way the root Theo is generally regarded in the word Theosophy: "[The Perennial Philosophy is] the psychology [emphasis added] which finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical to, divine [emphasis added] Reality." [Huxley, THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY, 1945]
Actually, The Perennial SUSPICION is pretty much the same thing; that is, it refers to a similar Realization that everyone shares an Undifferentiated Foundation of I-Consciousness (Atman, Purusa) which, when "mutually interpenetrating" Undifferentiated Substance (Prakriti), becomes the really Universal Ground (Shankara: "Atman is Brahman"). Yes, pretty much the same . . . with possibly the only difference being that it tends to show a little more hesitation, a little less finalized articulation, and a lot less hucksterized disciple-collecting in the way it is usually presented to others. . . .
This is not to say, however, that the admittedly slightly underpowered SS Perennial Suspicion cannot itself cause many additional "sub-suspicions" to form her wake. Such resultant inklings, inspirations, sometimes even quite elaborate meta-terrestrial speculations, may or may not be conveyed to others with a certain degree of conviction; nevertheless, there can also be an admirable degree of candor as well. For example, Annie Besant [1847-1933], the charismatic early leader of the Society, expressed herself this way:
"I believe in the life everlasting [emphasis added]. We do not pretend to know anything about it; the belief is intuitive [emphasis added], but is not demonstrable; it is a hope and a trust, not an absolute knowledge. We entertain a reasonable hope of immortality; we argue its likelihood from considerations of the justice and the love which, as we believe, rule the universe; we, many of us—as I freely confess I do myself—believe in it with a firmness of conviction absolutely immovable; but challenged to prove it, we cannot answer." [Besant, MY PATH TO ATHEISM, p.161, 1885]
Captain Theosophy, however, never really felt so much "challenged to prove" as he did "self-challenged to disprove" the intuitive content he continued to take seriously, sometimes without a shred of corroborating empirical evidence. Indeed, he tried and tried, used every countervailing science, every solid bit of atheistic logic, every hostile-flavored ratiocination, but he was never quite able to escape not only the primary Suspicion but also quite a few secondary ones as well.
Here are three of his unfalsifiable Theosophical Tar-Babies:
1) [the otherwise unsupported intuition that] Because everyone's Fundamental Psychological Nature is the Self (Atman, Undifferentiated I-Consciousness), a human being neither "comes" from anywhere when born, nor will be able "go" anywhere when he or she dies.
2) [the otherwise unsupported intuition that] A person might be better advised to stop wanting to reincarnate and, rather, begin worrying about having to . . . for it is likely that yet-unperfected Self-awareness may again have to be "re-associated" as his or her own new, suffering, Identity-benighted, "succeedent psyche."
3) [the otherwise unsupported intuition that] Every individual on earth, according to his or her "Degree" of Self-awareness, is at some particular rung on a hierarchical, possibly translifetime, "Ladder of Adeptship". . . and it is only by "religiously" climbing upward upon this psychological structure can there be any hope for longer-term purpose and meaning in human life.
Unlike the Tar Babies above, however, many sub-suspicions can be falsified; they are readily available for empirical/experiential corroboration or calumniation. This is certainly the case for the intuitional promptings one may get to experiment with the conventional "Spiritual self-help" techniques found both in older books and newer promiscuous purveyors like YouTube. Various meditative practices, breathing exercises (pranayama), mantra chanting, "sound-current" (shabdt) listening, psycho-cybernetic affirmations, make-a-wish visualizations, self-hypnosis, orgone pillowings, etc: an aspirant need only give these things a conscientious try and then pay attention to any life-changes afterwards.
A similar down-to-earth methodology may also be used to evaluate the unconventional, off-the-beaten-Spiritual-Path experiments one may decide to devise for himself or herself. Some which have been successfully prospected by the Lycra-Tighted Hero may be found in "Captain Theosophy (Part Two: Managing Your Personal Genie/Genius)." For examples: "Blessing Only the Attained," "'I'-Vacuum with Compression," "Weaponizing Your Psycho-Immune System," "Glad-Bag Disembranglement," "Re-Writing Personal History," "Undifferentiating Your 'I,'" etc.
Naturally, though, one of the sub-suspicions probably most worthy of experimentation is Personal Genius. Does it exist or not? Can an individual really be "in esoteric possession" of a "psychological meta-mechanism" which not only gives warnings about what not to do from time to time, but, with the proper "interrogative solicitation" may also provide him or her with ongoing guidance about what to do as well?
In some ways this is almost a religious question. Indeed, if Personal Genius is not just wizard-wish-fulfillment, it might be the only thing which has any prospect for surviving death. Also, it is at least hypothetically possible that such a "slowly Self-perfecting Substrate of Self-awareness" could retain some "psychological baggage"—not only "subtle-tendencies"/"traces"/"scars" (samskaras) from the just-departed, but also some insights and wisdom from learned-life-lessons. When and if Personal Genius functions something like a semi-particularized matrix of consciousness," it may be "re-utilized” by a new genetic-package, and its ongoing lifetime-to-lifetime content might become intuitionally/religously available to it , . . . or speaking more precisely, to "him"/"her" . . . as the new genome-meat-bundle will undoubtedly start Identity-misleading itself soon after the toddler stage. . . .
But for those not quite ready to get so Theosophically carried away, there is also a very solid possibility that Personal Genius is real, but nevertheless nothing more than a product of Darwinian evolution. There may be no Higher intuition involved at all, nothing translifetime; rather, only lower intuitions empirically based upon already existing, but unremembered, perceptions, conclusions, behavioral-corrections, etc. So what? Even if it is just some sort of brain-related DNA mutation which has been gradually maturing in H*** sapiens for maybe 100,000 to 200,000 years, becoming chummier with it might still give an individual a big natural-selection advantage.
The premise is simple: Your Personal Genius knows more than you do. Its subconscious repository of past and present data has the capacity to provide a broader, deeper, and more properly prioritized directive than only that which can be cobbled together consciously at any given moment. To fully benefit from this "insider information," however, it might be necessary for certain individuals to adjust their approach to daily life: they may need to give up obsessive control and direction over every little thing they do from morning to night.
Here are three UNDIRECTED questions: 1) "Who am I?" 2)"How can I be helped?” and 3) "What should I do?"
While other of the Captain's strategies may in some ways be considered "more advanced," perhaps none surpass the effectiveness of these questions, especially for establishing the "let-go-let-GodGenie" mindset which is best for getting intuitive help. It is important to notice that their form is different from that often used for conventional prayer (e.g., "God, give me increased energy [perpetual youth, better health, more money, a new, sexy love interest, etc.]"). By contrast, these initiatives inquire like a beginning student, not beg specifically like a bossy beggar.
"Who am I?" Question #1 is undoubtedly the most important, at least in the respect of heading directly toward Universal Ground. It is interesting that those who sought Spiritual guidance from the great 19th-century Hindu sage Ramana Maharishi were often just told to silently repeat Who am I? over and over again until they could detect a definite sort of "up-click" in their "inner stance."
Sometimes such Adept-clicking is referred to as "re-establishing the 'Once-Removed-Vantage.'" While the result may be experienced as some needed detachment and/or a slight increase in psycho-beatitude, it is undoubtedly a mistake to think that ultimate Self-awareness can be attained in this simple way. Indeed, the testimony of saints, sages, and yogis down through history seems to be that the complete transcendental trip typically takes much longer and definitely requires far, far more "subtlety-of-subtlety-of-subtlety.". . .
Actually, it could even be that ultimate Self (Atman, Purusa, Undifferentiated I-Consciousness) can never be totally experienced anyway: it may involve way-too-much "witness-erasing" nirvikalpa samadhi ("bliss of absolute absorption"). Perhaps, therefore, the whole "introverted adventure" might just be a valiant exploration of a sort of "infinite regress" where a Once-Removed-Vantage becomes the "Superintendent" of the psychological playground/war-zone of the moment but then Itself may, by the successive attempt to up-shift the attention onto It, become Superintended by another Once-Removed-Vantage which in turn may become Superintended by still another Once-Removed-Vantage etc. etc. As the familiar saying goes: "What we are searching for is what is doing the searching. . . ." —With perhaps the addition: "and also what is doing the searching for what is doing the searching for what is doing the searching etc. etc. . . ."
Here it should be noted that Ramana himself recognized that the still-person-flavored who used in the question might more accurately be the word What. The sage continued to recommend who am I?, however, perhaps just because it seemed more homeboy/homegirl. In any case, especially when it is silently asked several times at the start of a meditation session, Question #1 may significantly strengthen a person's Perennial Suspicion. This, of course, is provided that he or she follows each repetition by listening in silence for the ineffable answer . . . thereby prompting, perhaps, the not-quite-as-familiar, and certainly less likely to be quoted by a Plato, saying, "Wait a minute . . . maybe my Ground is your Ground, after all. . . ."
"How can I be helped?" Question #2, on the other hand, has less to do with becoming Universally Grounded and more to do with becoming increasingly solid and successful on the earth-ground a person is already standing upon.
One might say its goal is to pass up Socrates. This would be accomplished by learning how to receive regular what-to-do directions rather than just hoping for a few nannyish what-not-to-dos now and then. For example, someone may have consciously decided that more Trump-type-time should be spent trying to make money and/or advance a career; however, Personal Genius, being subconsciously abreast of other essential but below-the-radar needs, might instead prompt him or her to put such gold-/glory-grubbing on hold and undertake some activities related to health, physical fitness, family situations, general relationships, intellectual growth, emotional well-being, repressed memories, suppressed problems, etc.
And all this guidance could just be a product of lower intuition. If, in addition, there is actually such a thing as Higher intuition, there might also be encouragements to do some things which really have no obvious payoffs in the New York real estate market: e.g., studying religions, philosophies, psychologies, various "esoteric" subjects, and just in general spending quite a bit of time on what used to be less embarrassingly called "The Search for Truth."
And yes . . . finding abstract Truth would be a very good thing. Nevertheless, finding a way to make it through a normal day with less fatigue, less physical pain, less emotional stress, and less mental confetti would be a very good thing too. How can I be helped?, of course, may also assist progress in Self-awareness over the long haul; however, its primary orientation might just be to improve chances that there will be a long haul . . . or at least that a shorter haul will be optimally happy, productive, and properly custom-designed for the particular individual who has to do the hauling. . . .
And no . . . nothing besides a little patience may be required for getting this U-Haul™ help. Okay, maybe a lot of patience. While a few "suspiciously traceable life-nudgings" might seem to show up quickly, these are likely just exceptions. Therefore, it may be better just to ask (the more repetitions the better with Question #2) and then forget about having asked. After all, if a repressed bad memory from childhood can continue to have a powerful impact on the life of an adult, it is perhaps not so farfetched to think that a good undirected question (or, some of the other things which can be found in Part Two of this series) can also still keep working subconsciously for an hour, day, week, year, decade, or half-century . . . or maybe for whatever time might have passed since a "former incarnation.". . .
"What should I do?" Question #3, comparatively, does not require so much patience. It can even be used by those who only have adolescent tolerance for snail-paced, or merely hypothetically possible, results. Its answers/impulses/directions usually appear without delay, especially if the silent asking (only a few repetitions are needed with this query) is done toward the end of a meditation session: either 1) the person will continue to meditate because of the subconscious directive/awareness that more "inner time" needs to be logged; or 2) the person will abruptly stop meditating, get up, and, without any need to consciously motivate himself or herself, start initiating various activities. In short, he or she will go on volitional AUTOPILOT for a while.
For most, this will be nothing new; just the attempt to intentionally produce it by means of Question #3 might be novel. Because "inner-questions" are not usually in the form of completely articulated sentences, anyway, their results commonly show up in an "unnoticed" psychological condition called "involitional AUTOPILOT."
Individuals who regularly indulge this robotic state may use "inchoate interrogations" to "subliminally motivate" themselves all day long without realizing it—perhaps by employing the "internally budding" versions of specific questions like these: 1) "How can I shift my position in my overpriced ergonomic chair in order to become more comfortable?"; 2) "If I set aside my silly sugar/sodium/saturated sanctimoniousness, what do I really want to eat for lunch today?"; 3) "Are there any diversions lying on the coffee table which can save me from the boredom of these political party ads on TV?"
If the nascent stages of these subconscious inquiries can still strongly influence behavior, it might be reasonable to guess that fully articulated, fully conscious, repetitions of Question #3 could be more powerful yet. Furthermore, their purpose would be clearly extra-ordinary: that is, to wake up, complete with all its superior potential for subconscious prioritizing and motivating, one's own Personal Genius and get it going on the additional job of intuitively communicating what-should-be-done."
Here, admittedly, there seems to be a curious "operative similarity" between the cultivation of a relationship with one's Personal Genius and something like the "cultivation of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Lord and Savior." Notwithstanding that both can function as a "psycho-utility," however, a significant difference may be that the former is only "informed" by an individual's own idiosyncratic intuitions, while the latter usually seems conveniently pre-screened to conform with a couple thousand years of overconfident Christian-template theology.
Fortunately, a Theosophical experimenter can also bolster confidence in, and perhaps improve the effectiveness of, communication with his or her Personal Genius by "cultivating," or at least noticing, these two things: 1) CE>ME, and 2) "PRIVATE FUNDAMENTALISM." The continued repetition of any or all of the Three Undirected Questions—or just the meditation session itself—will usually be enough to gradually and automatically produce these "physical effects."
The first, CE>ME, has to do with the breath—but not with any of pranayama’s usual fetishes about its depth, alternative patterns, how sadomasochistically long it can be held, etc. The E in this sort-of-cleverly-math/science-imitating expression simply refers to the "midpoint" between an individual’s inhalation and exhalation. Therefore, the position of a person's “Current Equipoint,” CE, can be roughly determined by dividing by 2 the "travel length" of one of his or her normal breaths during some physically inactive time. Similarly, "Maximal Equipoint," ME, can be approximated by inhaling to the fullest extent possible, exhaling to the most painful degree, and then finding the imaginary midpoint by halving this "breathing distance."
For communicating with one's Personal Genius, CE>ME is probably better than CE<ME. Indeed, this particular higher-to-lower relationship of equipoints is generally associated not only with "creative inspiration" and psychological well-being, but also the feeling of "Spiritual elevation" produced by meditation. The opposite, viz. when CE "is lower" than ME, usually indicates a physical, emotional, or mental "recovery" phase of some sort. This is completely natural and necessary; however, if the "approximated gap" remains extreme and seldom seems to reverse, it might actually be one of the indicators of "depression."
The second, PRIVATE FUNDAMENTALISM, may also be something worth paying attention to from time to time. It refers to the slight, involuntary "anal sphincter tightening" which is similarly associated with "better tone" in certain Psycho-Spiritual contexts. (Incidentally, the Taoists even have something called the "Deer Exercise" where aspirants voluntarily practice such contractions, based on the observation that deer do this all the time and thus it might be the reason they are such "high-energy" [prana-infused?] creatures.) Anyway, look up the word fundament in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and notice the second definition: "anus." Therefore, . . . perhaps not only saints, sages, and yogis, but also just those trying to make better contact with their Personal Geniuses might in fact be the true FUNDAMENTALISTS of this world. . . .
. . . Okay, just kidding about the honorific FUNDAMENTALIST label. . . . Actually, though, this might also be a good illustration of just the kind of thing which explains why Captain Theosophy never really attained universal popularity within the Theosophical Society. For some members, at least, his natural writing style lacked sufficient "gravitas" (attempted too much humor) to be saying anything at all about the Ancient Wisdom.
Fortunately, not all members. Below is a cartoon, appearing in THE AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST, by the highly talented Gene Coulter:
Many thanks to Mr. Coulter. Indeed, many thanks to H.P.Blavatsky as well. Had this Tectonic Russian Woman been alive at the same time as Captain Theosophy, she and he would have undoubtedly been going along hand-in-hand promoting the same main message:
"Our duty is to keep alive in man his spiritual intuitions [emphasis added]." [Blavatsky, THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, p.48, 1889]
"There's a man in the funny papers we all know . . . he lived 'way back a long time ago. . . ." ["Alley Oop," The Hollywood Argyles, 1960]
[Comments and/or any kind of support for the "Perennial Suspicion" always welcome at theosophy.net]
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