- Saturday, July 14, 2001
I must be saying something that does not ring correctly to Jerry.
I do not think the language we use differs all that much.
When I write I try to make use of the principles I have learned
(and tested) that emanate from the theosophical view of our
world, universe, and the possible goal we are all working
I am sure the Theosophical views concerning the ABSOLUTE eternal
and indescribable background of all is comprehensible. It exists
whether there is manifestation of not. In the event of the
cycles that cause MANIFESTATION while the CAUSE may be forever
reposing in the ABSOLUTE, the manifestation itself results in a
duality: of the contrast of SPIRIT and MATTER.
Implicit in this is the concept of LAW ( KARMA -- in its
universal and eternal sense) as ABSOLUTE ABSTRACT MOTION. With
manifestation finite TIME is implicit in all things that employ
the limits of form to become patent and manifest, as "beings."
Also implicit in this, is the concept of intelligence, purpose,
order, cooperation interaction and the universally perceive
coexistence of all beings. It is a harmonious diversity.
If law works on a basis of cause, and cause demands forms through
which to act, then starting with the least of these we may
ascribe to them the common basis of a material form enshrining a
living Ray of the UNIVERSAL SPIRIT.
But, for this "Ray" of Spirit to work in and through Matter, a
sensitive, intelligent and conscious medium is required. MIND in
its UNIVERSAL ASPECT as MAHAT is posited.
In The SECRET DOCTRINE H.P.Blavatsky puts these concepts and
principles forward in the first 60 pages of the book. This
includes the question of individual INTELLIGENCE ascribed to the
"life-atoms," and of SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS ascribed to the HUMAN
If Jerry desires the use of some other terms or some other basis,
then may we have them.
The MONAD is called the union of ATMA (Spirit - Purusha) and
BUDDHI (or primordial matter - Mulaprakriti). The uniting
principle that makes them intelligent and conscious is MIND.
In one way it may be said that MIND is subordinate to either
SPIRIT (Atma) or PRIMORDIAL MATTER (Buddhi). But without that
quality which embodies the Karma of that MONAD and its FREE-WILL
to act to choose, to decide, the MONAD per se is nothing
In the link between Atma and Buddhi lies the understanding, the
thinking, the recording and the anticipating qualities and
functions of MANAS (Mind} as I see it.
The MONAD in evolution then is the spiritual triad of
ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS. The material vehicle or basis where in
experience is reaped, and karma (from past decisions) is returned
to the embodied entity . In itself the principle of Kama (desires
and passions) represents the highest aspect of intelligence to be
perceived in the form alone.
That aspect of the MIND (Manas) which touches, approaches and
mixes with Kama is called the LOWER MANAS.
Lower Manas is a compound of desire and mind.
But all this is carefully taught and explained by H.P.Blavatsky
in the KEY TO THEOSOPHY.
If this information is applied to what Jerry says then I believe
the matter is resolved.
The duality of the EGO in man revolves around the Higher Ego
(Higher Manas) and the Lower Ego (Kama-Manas).
It is the Lower manas that apprehends the existence of its
Spiritual "Father" the Higher Ego. It is the Lower Manas that
has to make the decision to purify itself of irrational lower
inclinations and desires. It has to learn to accept the fact
that the Laws of the Universe are impartial, implacable, and fair
to all. Hence individualism in the Lower Manas has to be
tailored to the existing cooperative and interactive condition.
The individualism of FREE-WILL is always present in
SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS, but the consciousness active in the Lower
Manas is self transformed into an exact mirror of the Higher.
The VOICE OF THE SILENCE (HPB) teaches this if one reads it
From: Bruce F. MacDonald [mailto:bmacdonald@...]
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 1:05 PM
To: Theosophy Study List
Subject: Re: Self-Consciousness
Bruce: just a comment about a little discussion below:
><<<The purpose of living is to enable the MONAD ( ATMA-BUDDHI)to
>attain SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS.Jerry replies:
>Dallas, I sure hope that this kind of stuff isn't Theosophy, andI don't
>know where you got this idea (I truly hope that HPB did notactually say
>such a silly thing). I hate to tell you this, my friend, but myatma-buddhi
>is ALREADY SELF-CONSCIOUS (and so is yours, your manas justdoesn't know it
>yet), and yet here I am, going round and round anyway. It maywell be that
>atma-buddhi gets self-conscious at some point by itsreincarnating "egoic
>ray" (although I don't believe this). But I would never tellpeople that
>this is the "purpose of living" inasmuch as this tells me that Ino longer
>have any purpose in life, which I don't find to be true.self-consciousness
>While Tzongkapa and other Middle Way folks totally reject
>(without a self, how can there be self-consciousness?), the MindOnly and
>Dzogchen folks do subscribe to it. So far, my experiences tellme that I am
>self-conscious at ALL levels albeit the definition of "self"(i.e., my sense
>of identity) changes with each level/plane. I would love to knowhow
>something that is rejected as having no true existence at all bymany
>Tibetan Buddhists, including HH the Dalai Lama, can be "thepurpose of
>living" for a Theosophist? Interesting, isn't it?Bruce: First, as I understand it, HPB teaches that Atma is
everything, mineral, plant, animal, etc. However, Atma in
mineral is not
"aware" of its "rockness" in any sense, it just IS. However, as
incarnated in all the levels of being over time, it begins to
"aware" in a different way than in the sense of just BEING Atma.
Thus to use a metaphor I used in my last email, as the
is an "eternal pilgrim" proceeds from the One Inexpressible
Source, it IS,
but it is not aware of being. Somewhere on the path of evolution
comes a point of self-awareness (I believe the Sanskrit is
this point on the Atma/Buddhi moves from being "merely" a ray of
without any kind of self-awareness, to being an active expression
something more than just a passive Ray, to being an active and
participant in the process of spiritual evolution. The rock can
held responsible for its Karma, but the self-conscious "Monad"
can be held
responsible and can learn and evolve consciously because of that
Since we have all moved beyond the level of being rocks,
that we have developed some form of self-consciousness, and the
having this self-consciousness as actual experience, would seem
into doubt Tsongkapa's assertion that there is no self, no matter
of logic he chooses to employ.
I take it that to say that every thing is Empty (Sunya)
that nothing "exists" but that nothing has "inherent existence"
which is to
say "separate existence in and of itself," since all is actually
recognize Emptiness (Sunyata) is to recognize that there is no
and that we have no "separate self" which stands over against
selves. That is not to say that in Sunyata there is no Self:
in Sunyata there is no separation of Self from All that Is, even
everyday life we continue to function as if there is some kind of
Peace, Bruce MacD
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