Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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As Sinnett described in Esoteric Buddhism the point of teaching the planteray chains being that by analogy the model can be used to inspect development stages of different kinds of wholes, including the phases of individual human being. Such models are very helpful when trying to reach to the unknown. As Blavatsky put it here: ”Analogy is thus the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings.”

To answer the criticism towards this part of Theosophy in the Esoteric Buddhism reading group, I claim such systems can be used, for example, as tools of self-reflection and as instruments with which to give names to things that are hard to name. For example if we are to acknowledge that the Lunar Spirits – Pitris – had such and such a role in building the base layers of humanity, we may recognize or ”apperceive” these layers within ourselves, name them, and realize their functionalities and how we can use them consciously to rise above the rather miserable state of having great powers yet being unconscious of how they should find relation to what we are learning now.

I believe the richness of Eastern occultism comes from this kind of all-encompassing teachings where every stage of every planet are observed, and the aims for the future can be predicted. I do agree that the teachings of these globes in different books seem as if grown out of proportions and perhaps given as answers to not so interesting questions of the students of that time, but on further consideration I have to close this option out. I believe this teaching is given for the Western schools to have an exo-skeleton on which they can add their own meat on. One might see quite clearly a way to continue from these examples the investigation of, for example, a condition of different planets and their relation to the condition of our own in the evolutive sequences, and to built temples and esoteric schools and systems according to such enriching base. It is as if the cosmic authority over the minutiae of why this or that has such a position, emphasis or meaning in the present stage of cosmos.

On the other hand, it really is more important to keep in mind the individually relevant things that affect directly ethics of the day-to-day life, and if the state of the cosmos and our solar system misdirects our focus away from it, rather than helps to face the ethics, such teachings are completely useless or presented in unsuitable context and phase for the student.

Blavatsky describes how the Lunar Spirits (Pitris, a classification of Monads) deal with the first three globes, forming the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, and the Lunar Spirits present the human impulse in the second and third globe. Sinnett describes the same thing in Esoteric Buddhism by nothing how the Monads enters in to play only later on (Blavatsky sees the monads still present in the earlier stages, but it seems to be almost nominal or preparatory thing). The monads are said to be present in the first one’s as a collective, not really inhabiting the mineral and vegetable kingdoms with the intelligent, individualizing spirit. I’m interpreting this through the ideas of Logos and Mulaprakriti, the latter as the abstraction of matter has an unconscious emphasis in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms or their ”ghosts”, while the structuring made by the intelligence of Logos is still in a rudimentary stage – a glimmering presence far from a balance between the two. The ghosts of mineral kingdom meaning semi-abstraction, where the abstract matter starts to receive form from Logos, who by Fohat starts to arrange the chaos of the latent base of abstract matter.

Blavatsky wrote:It is they [Lunar Spirits, i.e. Pitris], therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the second and third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.
Original Commentary on the Book of Dzyan wrote:before it finally becomes man, evolving within himself his own ethereal counterpart, in his turn. In the beginning it was that counterpart (astral man) which, being senseless, got entangled in the meshes of matter.
Emphasis mine.This seems to be a pattern where the evolving monads of each times develop a double through which they reach to the next phase and leave the double to the following monads to continue humanity as they themselves evolve beyond. The evolving of the double in our Fourth Round, seems to be the much discussed immortal body which the occultist prepares for the Master within. The obscuration, or the ascending steps, seems to be done through building such a vehicle between the progression of beings. If by analogy we’d take this teaching on a level of occult school, we could observe this same thing happening between a student and a teacher.

As just now hinted, some sources of Western Esotericism have seen that we who are now human beings are to proceed through the Angelic Hierarchies as Angelic beings (or whatever you want to call them). This can be interpreted as the same idea as the one in Secret Doctrine which sees our Fourth Round as the ”fulcrum” of the balance – the point of most crucial activity, where as the proceeding rounds have been preparatory for this, and I guess, the following rounds being ”redeeming” rounds, meaning that they are the processes that harvests the fruit, so to speak. Our occult work here and now done in the crucifixion point of the human being, especially in the Kali Yuga, produces the fruit, and in turn this fruit carries on in to the entirely different way of being within the Hierarchies.

The long-winded defence against the Darwinian idea of man evolving from ape takes place as some Theosophists or criticists of that time had interpreted such acknowledgement from Esoteric Buddhism. The gist can be summarized by the idea that ”Man” is a phase in the life of a monadic-spiritual entity – an impulse of monad – and the shells of matter or subtle matter that a wild materialist recognizes as man is an entirely different thing. Thus it can not be said that Man evolved from apes, but rather Man is the intelligence that manifests itself within the preparations of matter as possible on each of the rounds and root races.

The most interesting notion amidst this defence against the too simple Darwinian evolution, where only a bent idea of the blind working of Mulaprakriti was to a degree recognized, not the guiding intelligence (although to have any structure to the unmanifested, hidden, immaculate chaos of Mulaprakriti there already is an intelligence of Logos at work), was the part where it was noted how there are failures even within the ranks of Dhyan Chohans and they become the fallen Asuras. They are not forced to go through all the mineral and vegetable stages of development again, but rather they incarnate in man and have to drink every drop of the karmic retribution of the failure. I’m pretty certain that serious occultists are quite intimately woven with these Fallen Dragons, if you allow such an expression of them. I'm reminded of the novel, The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov, where Master Satan, in a form "a gentleman" named Woland, has his helpers who have magnificently excelled in their previous lives, almost to the highest degree, but having done some minor missteps they were doomed to roam the Earth for ages at the side of Woland.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Great post, thank you Smaragd!
Smaragd wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 1:40 pmthere are failures even within the ranks of Dhyan Chohans and they become the fallen Asuras. They are not forced to go through all the mineral and vegetable stages of development again, but rather they incarnate in man and have to drink every drop of the karmic retribution of the failure. I’m pretty certain that serious occultists are quite intimately woven with these Fallen Dragons, if you allow such an expression of them.

I have given a hypothesis of how this plays out in the ninth chapter of Ihmisen ikäkaudet. That such half-enlightened fallen angels have become de facto higher selves of some animal men, and in their own spiritual and karmic necessity (subconscious need) to reach also buddhic realization they become to play the part of Mefistofeles for humankind. And that is why there is one weird occult path open for those aspirants who are able and willing to receive a great amount of teaching for the cost of extreme inner anguish, when they have to channel not just one but two different life-paths (human and Asuric) in one mutual form of ascension.

Yet it can be unnecessary and harmful to emphasize this difference too much, for the challenge is always quite similar for a human being, who in one way or the other always has to reconcile those two souls – animalistic and angelic – into one living reality.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Perhaps another reflection of the fallen Asuras could be seen from the side notion given by a Teacher of Blavatsky, particularly how Mars, a planetary reflection of a certain Dhyan Chohan, has ”no right” to have two visible Moons [anymore at the current round]. What does this tell about the conditions in our solar system? Does it reflect the problem we have with the Martian archetype and the difficulty to find a relation to it which is reflected from the primitive war-mongering and only very slowly turning towards the spiritual self-sacrificial side of the archetype?

Well, first we need to remind ourselves what is the way the Moons work towards their planets according to Blavatsky, and secondly what does the a moons visible state mean according to the teaching of the rounds:
Secret Doctrine wrote:The Moon is now the cold residual quantity, the shadow dragged after the new body, into which her living powers and “principles” are transfused. She now is doomed for long ages to be ever pursuing the Earth, to be attracted by and to attract her progeny. Constantly vampirised by her child, she revenges herself on it by soaking it through and through with the nefarious, invisible, and poisoned influence which emanates from the occult side of her nature. For she is a dead, yet a living body. The particles of her decaying corpse are full of active and destructive life, although the body which they had formed is soulless and lifeless. Therefore its emanations are at the same time beneficent and maleficent
If the Moons are in general supposed to give their powers to the offspring planets, then we can interpret Mars having particularly problematic Mother-relationship if indeed at the current round Mars should have no visible Moons at all. I will leave out the particular sanguine aspects of Mars aside for now, although there might be some fitting connections to this Lilithian vampirism where the Motherly form should be no more, but it remains as an undead vampiristic form. Where as vampires are undead, keeping some of their form alive by drinking the blood that is not meant for them, we may think about this same phenomena, which is traditionally seen portrayed by humanoids in symbolical fiction, also happening with planets. But as the planets relate to others and we as human beings relate to them, the planetary vampirisms may be seen as our problem to be solved. Mars as the Son could thus be seen undeveloped in relation to the whole of the chain, and we in need to release the old form, as well as to proceed to concretize a new, more subtle, ideal in order to end the withdrawing of the blood by the Moon Mothers. Although the blood comes from the Mothers, it is not meant for the Mother, the blood is meant for the Son in such a case.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Stanza VI, 5. wrote:At the fourth (Round, or revolution of life and being around “the seven smaller wheels”), the sons are told to create their images..One third refuses. Two (thirds) obey.
Secret Doctrine, Book II, p. 95 wrote:but they could not make men as they were themselves—perfect, because sinless ; sinless, because having only the first, pale shadowy outlines of attributes, and these all perfect—from the human standpoint—white, pure and cold as the virgin snow. Where there is no struggle, there is no merit. Humanity, “ of the Earth earthy,” was not destined to be created by the angels of the first divine Breath: therefore they are said to have refused to do so, and man had to be formed by more material creators,* who, in their turn, could give only what they had in their own natures, and no more.
It is relieving to read that this refusal is not seen by Blavatsky’s esoteric interpretation as a mistake, but rather a necessity by two reasons:
1. Those who came before us didn’t have the qualities, the self-consciousness and human reason, to really house the ”refusing” spirits.
2. The Atlantean crisis of magic prepared the seeds for our time where we have actual possibility for housing these ”refusing” spirits within the equilibrium of spirit and matter. We are talking, I assume, of ethics (self-consciousness and the Hieroglyphic Key, the latter of which has both the upward and the downward triangle in balance), of balance between substance and essence (spirit, meaning) where substance has its place not as a mere vessel but a type of ”intelligence”. It should not be bluntly given the same place and status as spirit, but a position of its own, where it need to be respected for what it is and what it has to offer as such and more importantly, in relation to spirit.
Secret Doctrine, footnote wrote: It was, as we shall see, at this period—during the highest point of civilization and knowledge, as also of human intellectuality, of the fourth, Atlantean Race—that, owing to the final crisis of physiologico-spiritual adjustment of the races, humanity branched off into its two diametrically opposite paths : the right- and the left-hand paths of knowledge or of Vidya. “Thus were the germs of the White and the Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth (our Race).”
Just today I was thinking about this experience of how it is, in one way, easier to learn from those who are beneath us. And by ”beneath us” I mean a position of a fool. If I read a book of vampires or alternatively angels from a semi-folk source from hundreds of years ago, I might recognize something being coloured by a folk mentality of horror stories, or dogmatic layers inspired by perverse views of Malleus Maleficarum, like in the case of Angel Magic. There I recognize not only these colourings, but also my inner voice which knows better and can even offer another, more clear, answer if listened to carefully. Thus these old imperfect, even partly foolish books sometimes offer the greatest of teachings.

This is also somewhere close to how I try to relate to the elemental and instrumental parts of me, the matter which in our age needs to be in perfect equilibrium with spirit, it needs to be heard and balanced with its counter part. This learning from the lower portion of us can also be seen as a starting point for finding a relation to black magic. Because we are speaking of topics clearly touching the ideal of joining the hands, then we obviously need to find our relation to white magic and how these two may find harmonous relationship with each other.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Smaragd wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 2:30 amIt is relieving to read that this refusal is not seen by Blavatsky’s esoteric interpretation as a mistake, but rather a necessity by two reasons

Partly yes, and that is indeed relieving. But there is still some fault to be found, why the allegory chooses to use the idea of a "curse." The commentary of the Book of Dzyan used by Blavatsky says (underlining mine):

They [the gods ="holy youths" = kumaras = fallen Dhyan Chohans] refuse to enter the chhays (shadows or images) of their inferiors. Thus had selfish feeling prevailed from the beginning, even among the gods, and they fell under the eye of the Karmic Lipikas.
"They had to to suffer for it in later births" [continues Blavatsky].

This is an actual "sin" of pride i.e. separation, which creates suffering even though minds succumbing to it are free from the sins of cruelty, dishonesty and so on. If one is not ready to bow down to help a creature that is suffering in the mud, she will be partly responsible for that suffering, if it was still within the scope of her dharma to lend a hand. This latter thing is naturally the trickiest part, and it requires a great understanding of spiritual nuances to realize how these things go. But in case one is a god, they HAVE that "great understanding of spiritual nuances," and that is why the Book of Dzyan (as well as other ancient allegories) use the phrase "they are told to." They are told by their own higher selves, so to speak; their understanding of the dharmic law of love in nature. One can always choose to ignore that law, but in that case the price will be paid later. And because this neglect created so awful amount of suffering, its payment too will be long-lasting. Compare to: Absent parent whose child will therefore have to go through so much suffering on one's own that one ends up being badly traumatized and thus, in turn, very difficult and perhaps even "evil" person. Thus is formed a very difficult karmic bond between the neglecting adult and their offspring.

Interestingly enough, the same pride that tries to free oneself from the apparently disgusting principle of flesh is often seen in spiritual people too. Many authors have seen the Luciferian impulse mainly in flesh and sexuality, but actually it is completely the other way around: inspiration of the fallen angels is the one that tries to compel a human being to detach oneself from flesh. Mephistopheles came to Faust under the guise of a monk and not of a prostitute, and this is telling.

Blavatsky (6:5 commentary) wrote:As the solid Earth began by being a ball of liquid fire, of fiery dust and its protoplasmic phantom, so did man.

This is important. I wrote of this in Argarizim, about Plato's spherical humankind. As far as I know, only theosophy has wrestled with this question, while other modern forms of occultism have been too ashamed to adopt views other than those close to modern scientific knowledge.

1st humankind ("root race," as theosophists said, using the standard figure of speech of the 19th century) consisted of spherical fire, which only slowly started to first become hermaphroditical and then being split up into two sexes. Only at that point did the physical body as we know it come to being, i.e. the human mind was slipped in the animal body like the one of the Gemini Killer. And only after that point did the body start to form the enduring stages of physical tissue that is able to fossilize into something that can even theoretically be found as physical remains. (This in turn corresponds to those earlier humankinds' relationship with karma, or remains lasting after differentation of one's unique personality in death. In a way, they had none.)
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Nefastos wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 11:49 am And only after that point did the body start to form the enduring stages of physical tissue that is able to fossilize into something that can even theoretically be found as physical remains. (This in turn corresponds to those earlier humankinds' relationship with karma, or remains lasting after differentation of one's unique personality in death. In a way, they had none.)
This is interesting and it takes steps towards confirming my intuition that humanity, at this stage, is something that gives concrete form of the ideas swimming in the astral seas. Obviously a high flying idea, and I have not yet reached far enough to stand by this idea completely, but I'm getting closer to test it.
Nefastos wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 11:49 am
Smaragd wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 2:30 amIt is relieving to read that this refusal is not seen by Blavatsky’s esoteric interpretation as a mistake, but rather a necessity by two reasons

Partly yes, and that is indeed relieving. But there is still some fault to be found, why the allegory chooses to use the idea of a "curse." The commentary of the Book of Dzyan used by Blavatsky says (underlining mine):

They [the gods ="holy youths" = kumaras = fallen Dhyan Chohans] refuse to enter the chhays (shadows or images) of their inferiors. Thus had selfish feeling prevailed from the beginning, even among the gods, and they fell under the eye of the Karmic Lipikas.
"They had to to suffer for it in later births" [continues Blavatsky].

This is an actual "sin" of pride i.e. separation, which creates suffering even though minds succumbing to it are free from the sins of cruelty, dishonesty and so on.
This area has profound meaning to human existence and can not be, should not be passed without acknowledging it and using the fires there to answer the challenges of human life. But to endure in this struggle, I must also go on and see what is beyond to have hope and perhaps find unwavering strength to face the trials of fire visible in this pressure chamber of Asuras. For I am weak and I can not endure as I am, I must go and see what is beyond.

Blavatsky's esoteric interpretation in Book II could be her over emphasising the neutrality of Satanic figures to the Western readers of that time who were undoubtedly very dubious towards the Fallen. But I have a hunch there is more behind the contradiction of her interpretation calling for necessity, and there still being massive karmic consequences to the refusal.

For now my hypothesis bases on the shift from spiritual emphasis of the preparatory rounds where innocence of the creatures lacking self-consciousness allowed harmony. But when the fourth round came with its need to have concrete material existence as equal to the spirit, the balance between the two started the first war. This is all quite well depicted in the biblical account of division to sexes in Adam and Eve, and the consequent Satanic drama creating self-consciousness (they covered their naked bodies with fig leaves). This is also the basis for the White and Black Magic division.

An initial conclusion considering these things is that the concrete material instrument was a necessity for this round of ours to create an instrument of self-consciousness and have a true possibility for the unconscious absolute to have its Son to tip its toe to the waters of self knowledge, to limit and concretize the abstraction of unconsciousness.

In this time where “God has died" the balance between matter and spirit is truly tried, even on a cultural level, and in this fulcrum between the polar opposites we have gained an instrument of self-consciousness. Will such consciousness choose to unite the two despite there being no outward promises of paradise? Will it do it for the sake of balance itself? This is the central question stressing the importance of SoA's agenda to unite the hands, unite the Left and the Right, the White and the Black school of magic etc. Following this agenda we also arrive naturally to the point where the Gods are revived from their graves.

In practice we must not forget that there is not a single choice possible where you couldn't seek for the balance between the spirit and the matter. This is not a question of black and white moral dogma of any outer entity, be it a religion or a cultural movement. 'Ethics' is almost an insufficient word here, for although it gives air to the abstract nature of Will, it may be still fooled by an emphasis of cultural colouring. Thus I have here deliberately used 'balance' which tests out the wide abstract concepts concretely against each other rather than presents morals disguised as ethics.

Coming back to the contradiction of the “refusal”, the karmic weight of the refusal seems it might be closer to the karma of a teacher who allows a student to a dangerous unknown ground in order to develop instruments that are needed. The teacher is both the matter of the Mother and the spirit of the Son, and both of them may be seen carrying karmic weights of their own or those of their instruments/mediums. The separation between the two, pointed towards by the refusal, thus seems to me allegorical in nature pertaining to the above mentioned trial of the fulcrum.

I think both of these interpretations are crucial to be taken together. The one which acknowledges the refusal as a mistake allows us to see to the metaphysical reasons of vast suffering in the world, and works as a somewhat accurate point for our reasoning mind to allow hatred towards God, which in turn allows the occultist to remain from misdirecting intensive hate to fellow human beings. This is very much a practical thing, although deeply rooted in theory.

The relieving interpretation, in its turn, allows seeing the reasons and necessities behind the event and thus allows a relation towards the world that is not completely inflamed and sick, but one which allows healing and the nurturing feminine aspect to have its place in the process of drinking the cup of gall.

Quite a long post and a deep dive. I might not delve so deep in the upcoming week's 6th sloka in order to avoid repetition, unless it presents new points to this discussion.
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Re: Reading Circle (Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine)

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Stanza VI, 6

The sloka and the commentary reveald itself quite central to the previous discussion as well as to the emphases we have given in SoA work, so I can not leave my commentting to as narrow space as I previously anticipated.

Blavatsky goes through the mythological moments, i.e. vast timespans, where the world takes its concrete form within this metaphysical disaster and how the creation of man relates to the events.

The creation of the astral light and it taking the guiding role of the spirit towards the matter, is seen central consequence and the place of the wound. Astral light being already a chaotic, mediumistic and material or substance-like thing, it is unable to take the position of spirit, which beyond the astral is, as Blavatsky says, ”Living Fire”. If we look at the anima mundi, we can recognize this Living Fire present in or at least in some kind of relation to the highest regions of anima mundi, while astral light is its lowest regions, a world of forms and impressions.

We can recognize this confusion a reality where astral light is seen as the highest point people are generally able to point or relate to with their deepest sentiments. It is often people speak of energies, phenomenas, things of the reactionary world in general as ”spiritual”, mystical or something along the lines. This is not entirely without truth, all these things can point to magnificently deep and individually meaningful things. But missing what is above all that is missing the Spirit behind the illusory fields of form. This is the great tragedy of our human existence, and a source of terrible amounts of suffering. And it is not only the unwillingness and unability to leap over this Great Gulf which causes suffering, but also the great need to do so, and to do it with too much haste. Impressing the power and meaning of the absolute of the deepest depths on form only is finding the utmost goal from separation instead of union. Arupa = formless, rupa = form, and if we do not understand how form is separation from the fundamental unity we will not understand the true meaning of solve & coagula, and will not be able to appreaciate the process as a whole, and are only able to give meaning to the separation part.

The Great Gulf can be bridged individually by the means of occultism. And in our occultism in SoA we have emphasised the problem with astralism in order to sharpen our understanding and sight of where the astral light starts and where the Living Fire begins and to pave way for serious occultism in our culture, which hangs by the thread of understanding the matter at hand. This can be seen as one of the most crucial points to understand and resharpen to oneself over and over again throughout the years of practicing occultism. It is something that can not be ignored if actual occult development is seen as a significant goal for oneself and our fellow students of the Arts. Only through such work can we lift the humongous karma of the ”refusal” and to start closing the Great Gulf between spirit and matter.
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