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Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001
Author: Dallas Ten Broeck
Subject: RE: enlightenment WHAT MIGHT THEOSOPHY SAY ABOUT IT ?

Thursday, March 22, 2001

Re: Enlightenment

Dear K------a,:

Would you not agree that enlightenment can mean many things? And
possibly each person might have their own way of describing or
defining it? But there is probably an ideal definition which
rests on the highest and most virtuous (lawful) "principles" of
perception in every human. Using the various tables concerning
our principles as given by H.P.B. in either the KEY TO THEOSOPHY
or THE SECRET DOCTRINE, may we tentatively look at our own human constitution ?

As Theosophy depicts it, it seems related to a state of mind
consciousness where one's average intelligence opens to a far
wider, a more universal view and concept. Is it not possible to
say: "If there is not already something in me that is compatible
with a new experience, then I will not be able to understand it.
" In other words if there is Wisdom and true Knowledge in us
(even if latent) we have a basis from which to understand such an
event. But the we would start, perhaps, by wondering who "We"
are !

If such an incident bursts forth, then for anyone who has it,
there must be innately an ability (somewhere in our nature) to
make sense of it. There are certain "universals" -- like LIFE,
BEING, UNIVERSALITY, WISDOM, GOOD, EVIL, LAW, TIME, SPACE, PURPOSE, ... which touch us all (even if at present we are still unable to probe them deeply) and therefore, as we share in them
and their experiences through some part of our NATURE, inside us,
but perhaps not yet fully realized or analyzed. And, are we not
to that extent companions and friends, not only with our own
Higher Nature, but with the higher nature of all others?

To the Higher Man, the Real Ego, [Buddhi-Manas united to ATMA]
there are no barriers. It is the forms on this plane of our
Kama-Manasic living that establish separateness, differences and
opinions. If we seize those lower-manasic images as our basis
for life, then we do the limiting ourself. From those limits
ensue all the many kinds of confusion (Maya).

Greater depth of meaning is to be grasped. Perhaps such events are "wakeners." But what are we to do?

Why do we not have it yet for our use? That is, if we, as 7-fold
beings (S.D. I 157-8) have associated with Manas (mind) the
principles of BUDDHI (the wisdom of all past experience -- and of
past incarnations as recorded in the Akasa) and, ATMA -- or the
UNIVERSAL SPIRIT. Would not the answer lie in S.D. I 181 and
182. there H.P.B. shows us that there are 3 lines of evolution
intertwined. 1. Physical; 2. Intellectual, and 3. Spiritual.

The intellectual (mental powers) and also, its position, enable
it to serve as a link that is intermediate between BUDDHI and
KAMA ( or Wisdom and Passionate Folly) is the faculty.
Additionally, this manasic faculty may, under Karma open to
BUDDHI and ATMA (the "Parent" or MONAD), and these as "presence" may seem to be a blinding light, or a noble figure that evokes in us a seeming enlightened by that which we may recognize as the INTUITION or the LIGHT OF TRUTH.

But as we may see it said in Theosophy, for this to happen, the
principle KAMA, or desires and passions have to be (for the
moment) paralyzed or, when this ability becomes permanent: fully
mastered. Additionally, the self-constructing Mind in each of
us, has to practice and embody VIRTUE in all its decisions and
as a way of living.. That is, as I understand it: universality,
charity, compassion, learning, wisdom, harmlessness, and
brotherhood to all beings, to one's own lower nature, as well as
to mankind. [ "Virtue" to me, is to live in our own
"personality" according to the universal laws of life. ]

It is said that all true progress is self-chosen. Would not this
"enlightenment" serve as evidence that there are things in our
Nature (and elsewhere) which may be much more spiritual (and
true and lawful) than the ordinary morality, spasmodically
observed in our daily lives ?

Perfection (in the Earth-School) is said by Occultism to be
obtainable, and, achieved by self-induced and self-devised ways
and means. Each human (as a Monad, or Eternal Pilgrim) is
free-willed and chooses the rate and area of his studies and the
consequent improvement of the nature of his/her "personality.".
{If we examine our own personal progress, in retrospective
memory, we will probably find that our present physical and
psycho-mental (Lower Manasic) condition is the exact result of
all we have chosen so far.}

It seems that analogetically, each Earth has for the beings that
compose it, a certain fixed curriculum set by the great LAWS of
the Universe -- KARMA. We have to learn all these, and so make
the Wisdom of the Universe and of the Universal SPIRIT (ATMA)
ours for every-day use. This curriculum is for humans the
transformation of intellectual ratiocination into compassionate
and wise INTUITION.

And this is not a superficial appearance of sanctity, but a very
real heart-based conviction that we are only ONE OF MANY, and
that all living things (Jivas), are our immortal companions and
brothers in whatever stage or level of evolution they may be.
They are all Eternal MONADS and are called the ETERNAL
PILGRIMS -- just as we are. Obviously, our responsibilities are
very great. But, on survey of the field of life and of battle,
is this not a fair assessment? Do not the BHAGAVAD GITA and the
VOICE OF THE SILENCE speak of these things and give examples in
the human (higher-Mind) development of a devotee-pupil ?

Some appear to express their first touch of the grand view of the
Universe, its orderliness, and composite of BEINGS as a great
LIGHT. They are able to view this when the event occurs, and
then, retrospectively with more or less accurate memory --
(mentally -- not with physical eyes, but rather with the 'eye' of
Buddhi-Manas -- in two ways: 1. as a separate observer, and,
simultaneously, 2. as one who is enveloped (and is also part
of) that VISION OF LIGHT.

In my esteem this soon becomes only a memory image of the event
presented to our mind. And if put in terms of the memory and
using an image, an analogy that will best agree with our present
understanding, is created by the "embodied (lower) mind.

What conclusions may be drawn from this? Are we not now in our
waking condition with Kama-Manas active and dominating? . We
"remember" an event of great and awesome importance. How are we
to review it? What significance can we derive from it? What
"message" is being sent to us ?

Some are upset by it, and shut it out, Others consider it without
too much understanding, and gradually the inspiration fades and
is lost. Still other begin to cover it with their fancy, and
forget the ESSENCE and the uniqueness of that VISION SPLENDID.
For others, still, they are almost paralyzed with a sense of
awe -- even fear. But this does not lead to wisdom. Those are
descriptions of psychic (Kamic) reactions. And any adoration, or
repulsion, in retrospect, do not give any definite identification
(explanation) of the event, nor any true satisfaction of
certainty, or any clue for us to use.
Still others who have a deep rooted desire to "save others," may
use this as a basis to start a new sect or religion -- and call
it a "Revelation." As a result some become "convinced," and
others remain "unconvinced." What is the actual gain in such
cases? How are useful explanations to be arrived at ? What
effect should an "Illumination" have on us, as embodied
intelligences ? In my esteem, if one is not able to explain (or
understand) to one's self clearly such a personal event, then it
ought to be well guarded and not exposed to the wonder or
skepticism of others.

Theosophy gives us a basis from which to value all these events
and reactions. Most are from the psychic nature. Some are from
the Mind, be it the Higher or the Lower mind that then "takes
over." The Mind alone stands (when uninfluenced) clear of the
influence of any personal desire, passion, confusion, etc... The
independent Mind is likely to ask itself: "Why me?" "Why at
this time?" What now am I supposed to do ?" And for it, this
memory may well serve as a basis for meditative search and the
activation of Buddhi-Manas (in the course of that impersonal
search for wisdom) concerning the event. In any case, such a
vision would only occur under Karma. A further question arises:
"What Karmic precipitation brought this on? "What does it
signalize for me?"

In some cases, those who have had a similar experience believe
they were led to it by an "Initiator." But this does not
authorize the recipient to proclaim it. This {Initiation) may be
true, if deserved. But the true and ever-present Initiator is
our own HIGHER SELF (ATMA) -- and how can it manifest to the
Lower Mind, except as something which has to be translated in
terms of superior excellence (perhaps an image that the Lower
Mind can understand at this stage) and REALITY, as only the
BUDDHI can see and transmit it to the MANAS ? Some imagine
that the Masters of Wisdom are anxious to illuminate them. I
have doubts that the Masters would help, unless the individual in
his present personality were not Karmically led to a great point
of decision and an opportunity for self-made progress. All such
things ought to be viewed as tests of our discrimination, our
discretion and our ability to progress in grasping the WISDOM
that is UNIVERSAL and our birth-right. [ If one reads through
the MAHATMA LETTERS, and STUDIES them, one is able to gain
insight of these situations there. ] No one need pray to, or
implore the "Masters" for such assistance. They know when we are
ready, and if necessary, they will always assist -- so they say.
It is the inexperienced and the thoughtless who try to force such
issues, and thus prove their impatience and unreadiness. This is
not being cruel, but it is stating an occult fact, which, as
said, can be ascertained by independent individual study.

It seems clear that no "vision" ever arrives entirely unbidden.
But to find out exactly why, and what to do with it, requires
patience, perseverance and a thorough study of universals. From
this last, one may acquire a deeper appreciation of the great
rules of LIFE (Karma) that operate incessantly, and assist all
beings (including ourselves), through their idealism to the
independent and self-chosen practice of strict and impartial
virtue. This is as I se it. I hope that others may have better
explanations and suggestions concerning your questions

Best wishes to you,

Dallas


Date:Fri, 23 Mar 2001
Author: katinka hesselink
Subject: RE: enlightenment WHAT MIGHT THEOSOPHY SAY ABOUT IT ?

Hi Dallas,

you wrote:

> As Theosophy depicts it, it seems related to a state of mind
> consciousness where one's average intelligence opens to a far
> wider, a more universal view and concept. Is it not possible to
> say: "If there is not already something in me that is compatible
> with a new experience, then I will not be able to understand it.
> " In other words if there is Wisdom and true Knowledge in us
> (even if latent) we have a basis from which to understand such an
> event. But the we would start, perhaps, by wondering who "We"
> are !

I agree that we can only know those states of consciousness that we have
allready an inkling of an experience of, so what I am asking is really
that each of us give a small glimmer of what they have found out so far on
the path.

> To the Higher Man, the Real Ego, [Buddhi-Manas united to ATMA]
> there are no barriers. It is the forms on this plane of our
> Kama-Manasic living that establish separateness, differences and
> opinions. If we seize those lower-manasic images as our basis
> for life, then we do the limiting ourself. From those limits
> ensue all the many kinds of confusion (Maya).

I agree with this.

> Still others who have a deep rooted desire to "save others," may
> use this as a basis to start a new sect or religion -- and call
> it a "Revelation." As a result some become "convinced," and
> others remain "unconvinced." What is the actual gain in such
> cases? How are useful explanations to be arrived at ? What
> effect should an "Illumination" have on us, as embodied
> intelligences ? In my esteem, if one is not able to explain (or
> understand) to one's self clearly such a personal event, then it
> ought to be well guarded and not exposed to the wonder or
> skepticism of others.

How can an illumination be explained. Are you saying that being
enlightened is the same thing as having a mystical experience? In my
opinion the first is as to the second as a lamp to the sun. I mean,
spiritual experience, especially when the mind is capable of explaining
it, is not the essence of what was experienced. Also, it is something very
different from being enlightened - which seems to come down to, very
simply, being awake, or fully conscious. That is obviously very different
from an experience of say extacy, which is what most spiritual experiences
amount to, whether including visions or not.
But perhaps that is precisely what you were trying to say.

Katinka Hesselink


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