Jan 19, 2019

Esoteric Buddhism

Fifth Edition, Annotated
And Enlarged by the Author

A.P. Sinnett

Alfred P. Sinnett (1840-1921) and the opening page of the book



PREFACE
TO THE ANNOTATED EDITION


Since this book was first published in the beginning of 1883, I have come into possession of much additional information bearing on many of the problems dealt with. But I am glad to say that such later teaching only reveals incompleteness in my original conception of the esoteric  doctrine, - no material error so far. Indeed I have received from the great Adept himself, from whom I obtained my instruction in the first instance, the assurance that the book as it now stands is a sound and trustworthy statement of the scheme of Nature as understood by the initiates of occult science, which may have to be a good deal developed in the future, if the interest it excites is keen enough to constitute an efficient demand for further teaching of this kind on the part of the world at large, but will never have to be remodelled or apologized for….



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The book “Esoteric Buddhism” was published in our associated websites on 19 January 2019.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jan 16, 2019

The Aquarian Theosophist, January 2019




The opening text of this edition was written by a theosophist born under Capricorn, the zodiacal sign of discipline and method:

A Commitment to the Soul”.

Page two brings you A Few Words on Discipline and Responsibility”, by Rohit Mehta.

Helena Blavatsky writes on the higher levels of Yoga: “The Story of Captain Seymour”. On pages five and six we present you with a few paragraphs from I. K. Taimni: “In True Yoga, A Broad Viewpoint is Needed”. After that, “Two Fragments on Raja Yoga: Self-Responsibility and Self-Confidence”, by Yogi Ramacharaka.

Other topics in this edition:

* Thoughts Along the Road - a Calm View of Things Allows Us to Save Time;

* Lawrence Kohlberg - the Stages of Ethical Consciousness;

* The Writings of an Eastern Master - 22 - every student must be independent, and blind belief in an external god is an obstacle to that;

* Philosophy of Life and Stability; and

* “The Disappointed”, a philosophical poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (many are the songs for famous heroes). 

The 17-pp. edition includes the List of New Texts in our associated websites.  



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The entire collection of The Aquarian is available at our associated websites.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jan 13, 2019

Distrust - a Poem

Suspect Suspicion, and Doubt Only Doubt

Ella Wheeler Wilcox




Distrust that man who tells you to distrust;
He takes the measure of his own small soul,
And thinks the world no larger. He who prates
Of human nature’s baseness and deceit
Looks in the mirror of his heart, and sees
His kind therein reflected. Or perchance
The honeyed wine of life was turned to gall
By sorrow’s hand, which brimmed his cup with tears,
And made all things seem bitter to his taste.
Give him compassion! But be not afraid
Of nectared Love, or Friendship’s strengthening draught,
Nor think a poison underlies their sweets.
Look through true eyes - you will discover truth;
Suspect suspicion, and doubt only doubt.

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Trust, trustworthiness and discernment are necessary factors in life. The above poem was published in our associated websites on 13 January 2019. It is reproduced from the book “Poetical Works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox”, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Edinburgh, UK, W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, undated edition, probably 1917, see p. 114. (CCA)

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Click to see other writings by EllaWheeler Wilcox.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jan 12, 2019

Thoughts Along the Road - 25

Each Step Ahead Changes
Something in the Whole Walk

Carlos Cardoso Aveline




An ideological approach to
esoteric philosophy denies actual
theosophy while providing people
with the illusion of verbal wisdom.



* The most sacred teachings can but point to that kind of informed silence within which Truth flows unlimited, and the seeds of sacred sounds are contained.  

* Before being able to make correct short term decisions, the pilgrim must know what he wants to attain, in his long-term journey.

* The best counsellor of every truth-seeker is the silence that enlightens the center of peace in his consciousness. In this non-spatial place there is an axis of symmetry: it connects him with the law and the bliss of universal justice.

* Those who are afraid of looking at ugly truths, individual or collective, are actually afraid of Life and of Happiness.

* It is by honestly confronting defeat that the pilgrim can win. By looking at mistakes, he corrects them. By understanding suffering, he eliminates its causes. When the pilgrim fully accepts his circumstances, he is able to transcend and improve them.

* There is no need for a wayfarer to get too worried if he sees a preposterous paroxysm of selfishness in the most prosperous societies of his day. Nothing is eternal, except the Law of Equilibrium. Everything is cyclic in human evolution, and even the most violent outbursts of moral blindness cannot last long.

* The road to wisdom is simple in the pilgrim’s heart and complex at the mind level. And he needs both mind and heart: no doubt about that. He must combine simplicity and complexity, and use both sides of the brain: one of them is especially in harmony with the heart.

* Each step ahead changes something in the whole walk and widens the way the pilgrim sees his previous steps. With each new effort, he leaves aside some attachments, and becomes able to see facts heretofore invisible.

* There is no room for happiness within the limits of the lower-self. From the narrow prison of a “personal” existence, the wayfarer must learn the way out, into the wide horizons of selflessness.

* Unconditional contentment is the first step and the initial indication that one’s will is stronger than desire. This is the good path, for thoughtlessness and desire provoke pain, while right thought and right will make it possible to have inner freedom.  

* The pilgrim who obtains a glimpse of larger cycles of time sees no problem in the idea of studying theosophy for five decades, with modest results. He knows first-hand that the learning of the soul is invisible. It would be disastrous to get enthusiastic about his own progress. He is also acquainted with the fact that each minute counts, and every new thought makes a difference.

* There may be a sense of “order” that corresponds to mere routine and attachment to form. This is of no interest in theosophy. Wisdom brings about another kind of order. The perception of the unity of all things reveals a natural harmony among different factors in life.

* When the traveller has One main Goal in life, all his activities tend to become mutually consistent. Then order becomes part of his method, planning turns out to be possible, a stable rhythm is established, and the pilgrim becomes predictable to himself, while open to sudden change in any situation.

* The various kinds of difficulties now challenging our civilization are part of its karmic adjustment. Individually and collectively, the right thing to do is to deal with each obstacle in honest ways. Flexibility is as important as firmness. Positive thinking and creativity are of the essence.

* There is a reason why more than one collective structure and institution now implodes: spiritual blindness is self-destructive. A generalized lack of ethics and good will is associated to materialism, hedonism and selfishness. Ignorance paves the way to wisdom through the law of dynamic equilibrium.  

* As recommended in the Yoga Sutras, Book II, 33-34, the systematic replacement of wrong actions by right ones, and of wrong thoughts by their opposite, can quickly change Karma for the better in anyone’s life,  and any society.

* The word “simple” does not mean “easy”. An outwardly simple task may involve inner complexity, requiring an iron will. The simplest action is often the deepest. It sometimes turns out to be the most difficult, and decisive.    

* One needs generous hearts in order to build a civilization that deserves to live. This has been the universal teaching present in Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Baha’i, Confucianism and modern Theosophy, to name a few examples among many.

* The wording of theosophical teachings is of great value, as long as its living power is preserved. When classical words of wisdom are read from a correct perspective, they lead the student to a deep understanding of himself, and a profound reconciliation with all life.

* Words of wisdom point to the universal principles governing the Book of Life.

* The best way to teach and to express oneself is through actions. Self-improvement must come from daily practices that strengthen one’s will. 

* A student of philosophy should speak little and focus on deeds. However, sometimes the words themselves are action. Given some conditions, the magnetic energy of words may contain a spark that ignites the fire of higher consciousness, in those whose souls can hear.

* Every nation has a collective connection to the higher realm of spirit.

* The silent avenue leading to the world above operates through the philosophers, poets, mystics, writers, leaders and thinkers of every country, people who lived once or live nowadays mainly in their spiritual souls, even while having a physical body.  When a researcher in esoteric philosophy understands that the writings of such thinkers are in fact a living part of the Theosophical Literature, he sees that he can have an essential dialogue with thinkers of various nations in the most distant centuries.

* Documenting the works of great thinkers, making them known and studied, is part of the theosophical project. Many valuable texts and books of previous times have been largely forgotten, or distorted. Yet persevering researchers can study at a distance with Teachers and Researchers of Altruism who lived in different nations, any time. By doing so, a citizen expands his contact with his own higher self.  

* An effective way to keep as much as possible free from materialistic illusions is to follow Lucius Seneca’s advice and “talk to” and “listen to” the greatest thinkers of all ages.

* The works by Helena Blavatsky and the Mahatma Letters provide us with a key to open the doors of Time and correctly understand Epictetus, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Plutarch, Musonius Rufus, Leibniz, Spinoza, Francis Hutcheson, Baron Holbach, Immanuel Kant, Ivan Il’in, the Talmud, the Dhammapada, the Vedas or the ancient mythology of all nations - to name but a few examples. Such study will also help us better work for a healthy future.

* Brazilian philosopher Farias Brito wrote: “Our own end is to free ourselves from slavery to matter - which means to break the chain of death and to return from nothing to being, from unconsciousness to consciousness. (...) But in order for this liberation to occur, or rather, for this rebirth or regeneration to take place, there is only one means; knowledge, which is the very process of regeneration of a fallen being, or his elevation from nothing to reality, from unconsciousness to consciousness.” [1]

* An “ideology” is a simplified view of reality that allows one to have an immediate answer to every possible question. It helps people make believe they know it all about life.

* Political or religious ideologies are used as substitutes to the search for truth. They are instruments at the service of institutions whose interest is to seek for power over people.

* An ideological approach to esoteric philosophy denies actual theosophy while providing people with the illusion of verbal wisdom. In each field of knowledge, ideology is the easy discourse that makes direct research look like unnecessary, and tries to eliminate truth-seekers, while forming opinionators instead.

* As long as one’s views of reality depend on a personal attachment to words, one cannot really search for truth in a deeper sense.

* If our view of life obeys to fixed opinions or is not open to direct research and independent observation of facts, we remain limited to the comfortable dynamics of self-delusion.

* In order to understand life, all second-hand guidance has to be seen as a tool of secondary importance, subject to our own research and approval.[2]

* The writings of original theosophy are no Bible to memorize and repeat. They teach us principles and a knowledge to be checked, tested, confirmed and verified with independence on various levels of consciousness, some of which are above mere reasoning. The process is slow and gradual. It takes more than one lifetime, but mutual help makes things easier.

NOTES:

[1] “Inéditos e Dispersos”, by Farias Brito, Editorial Grijalbo, São Paulo, Brazil, 1966, 550 pp., see p. 432.

[2] This is what classical theosophy says, and the theosophical movement should not become a church or congregation of obedient believers.

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The above article was published as an independent text on 12 January 2019. An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in the August 2016 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Jan 7, 2019

Initial Steps on the Path

A Letter About Devotion and Concentration

Robert Crosbie




Of the path of true Occultism it is said, “The first step is sacrifice”. This means sacrifice from the worldly point of view - the point from which we start. That we cheerfully unburden ourselves of undesirable things shows the workings of the true self. Have no fear of the ocean of Life; it will sustain you. I often think of the passage, “All things work together for good for him who loves the Lord”. You will have a larger appreciation of this saying than is common.

You speak of a surer sense of truth than any manner of reasoning. This: is the action of Buddhi - direct cognition - the goal to which all right philosophy and life leads. In our sincere efforts we at times may have flashes from that seat of consciousness. The great result would be to have the continuous co-operation of Manas and Buddhi - higher mind and spiritual knowledge; to work as the god-man, perfect in all his parts, instead of the present sectional operation which obtains.

You may remember that in The Voice of the Silence there are two doctrines mentioned. The Doctrine of the Eye is that of the brain consciousness, composed largely of external impressions. The Doctrine of the Heart is of the spiritual consciousness of the Ego - not perceived by the brain consciousness until right thought, and right action which sooner or later follows it, attune certain centers in the brain in accord with the spiritual vibration. It might be well to read The Voice over and meditate on its sayings. You have had much of the intellectual side; there should be as much of the devotional; for what is desirable is the awakening of the spiritual consciousness, the intuition - Buddhi - and this cannot be done unless the thoughts are turned that way with power and purpose.

You may, if you will, set apart a certain half-hour, just before retiring and after arising - as soon as possible after - and before eating. Concentrate the mind upon the Masters as ideals and facts - living, active, beneficent Beings, working in and on the plane of causes. Meditate upon this exclusively, and try to reach up to Them in thought. If you find the mind has strayed, bring it back again to the subject of meditation. The mind will stray more or less, at first, and perhaps for a long time to come, but do not be discouraged at the apparent results if unsatisfactory to your mind. The real results may not at once be apparent, but the work is not lost, even though not seen. It is more than likely that the work in this direction will be perceived by others rather than yourselves. Never mind the past, for you are at the entrance of a new world to you as persons. You have set your feet on the path that leads to real knowledge.

Do not try to open up conscious communication with beings on other planes. It is not the time and danger lies that way, because of the power of creating one’s own images, and because of the power and disposition of the dark forces to simulate beings of Light, and render futile your efforts to reach the goal. When the materials are ready the Architect will appear, but seek him not; seek only to be ready. Do the best you can from day to day, fearing nothing, doubting nothing, putting your whole trust in the Great Law, and all will be well. With the right attitude knowledge will come.

I am sorry that so much disagreeableness assails at the beginning. I can very well understand it all: heat, dust, grind, in contrast with what you have left. It requires courage and endurance, and these are desirable qualities, just such as a Kshatriya should have, which, however, does not lessen the sense of distinction - not all at once. But as we all desire such a fight as will best prepare us, we can afford to smile inwardly while we contemplate the efforts of nature to subdue our resolves. We all have our battles, and if we are in the army, we may be sure the Self supplies just such trials as the peculiar nature needs. I think that things will look somewhat better after a while - they always do.

It is the personality that does not like discomfort, and the same chap gets used to things after a while. So whatever may be the outcome in the future, it is wise to fight it out on the same lines as if you had made it your life work. The battle won, the necessity will cease, because from the Self no Waste of effort can be. It is easy to advise and more difficult to perform, but performance is what is called for. All these things must necessarily be tests, training - at least, I think that such is the way to look at it.

The analogy of the Secret Doctrine shows that every change is preceded by a rapid rehearsal of previous processes in evolution It seems to me that we might use this in our own mental processes and possibly might be able to figure out our position in the cycle. We might be able to let the mind only sweep over the preliminaries, and step in when the proper point is reached, using the upward rush as motive power. We should be rushing upward from new levels all the time. “Is it not so that mountains are climbed?”

Once in a while we catch glimpses of the place we started from, as we are going up elevations; though descending again, the average rise is apparent. So, expecting these things, we take advantage of every opportunity to increase the ascent and avoid precipices - for it is said that mountainous regions abound in such things.

Also remember that there are many unexpended remnants of past Karma - “mental deposits”, Patanjali calls them - that you have called for, in order to balance up your account. They have come and will come. Be careful not to incur new indebtedness, and thus delay the final settlement. You know the difficulties and should fortify yourself to pass over them. No one can do this for you, as you well know.

It is well to feel, also, that in your apparent isolation, you are not alone. This “feeling” should help you and I think it does. Keep it up.

As ever, R. C.

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Initial Steps on the Path” was published in our associated websites on 7 January 2019. The article is reproduced from the book “The Friendly Philosopher”, by Robert Crosbie, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1945, 415 pp., see pp. 13-15. It transcribes Letter 5 in the part entitled “The Spirit in the Body”. Longer paragraphs have been divided in shorter ones, in order to make a contemplative reading easier.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.

000

E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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