Theosophical Spiritual Experience – Part 1
Theosophical Spiritual Experience Part One.
Everywhere that real theosophy is going on, an atmosphere of cheerful intelligence and serious calm prevails. Theosophists come together to study, meditate and seek guidance about the challenges presented by practicing living Theosophy. The developing Theosophist is taught to pose their question in an objective and impersonal way. Usually the question begins; “is there a teaching on this kind of experience?” Theosophy discourages “excited psychism” talking about personal psychic experiences is considered to be in extremely bad taste.
Study and practice of Wisdom Path Meditation naturally leads to spiritual experience. At the beginning, these experiences are often psychic in nature, accompanied by lucid dreaming and truly remarkable life ‘coincidences’. Naturally these experiences are amazing to anyone who is having them for the first time, but in the grand theosophical scheme of things these early experiences are best ignored beyond whatever may be learned from them.
As practice continues and karmic obstacles are overcome direct experience of the spiritual deepens and the mid-self, that state of awareness where the higher and lower self meet between the 4th and 5th Principles, undergoes profound change. The mid-self must carry on a life on two fronts, on the outside in the ‘world’ life must continue in an orderly and coherent fashion. Stability must be maintained, responsibilities towards the everyday world must be met.
On the inside the mid-self is in a state of continuous transformation, enhanced awareness, intelligence and higher feelings lend intensity to every experience encountered in the everyday world and within the ongoing wisdom path meditation practice. These experiences are well documented in spiritual traditions that lead to actual inner emancipation and enlightenment. Theosophy is acutely aware of the potential for self delusion and narcissistic spiritual vanity that accompanies these intense psycho-spiritual experiences. Theosophy carries within it a fail-safe to guard against experiential self delusion:
Describing the Initiates and Adepts of the Theosophical Tradition…”had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions — so obtained as to stand as independent evidence — of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences….” S.D. P.272.
The Sevenfold Spiritual Nature of the Human Being is not a convenient construct invented in order to organize the theories of some recently generated body of psycho-spiritual research and speculation. The spiritual experiences and Initiations that come about as a result of theosophical practice, can be “checked tested and verified” within the context of the great esoteric tradition.
Many people have been lead to believe that there is no way to determine for sure whether someone who claims enlightenment is telling the truth or not. People who say and believe this simply reveal the superficial nature of their spiritual understanding and perhaps hidden motives as well. There is a distinct psycho-spiritual profile and behavioral tendency that goes with each of the stages of mid-self transformation, and indeed for every level in the Sevenfold Spectrum of awareness states. These manifestations are sometimes called ‘spiritual symptoms’.
There is the ever present danger that spiritual seekers can read descriptions of the spiritual symptoms for various enlightened states and then attempt to imitate these symptoms in order to convince the gullible that they are more advanced than they really are. This form of deception can be called ‘psychic acting”. As pointed out above theosophy discourages excited psychism and frowns upon anyone who is attempting to impress others with their self reported and self important descriptions of their ‘personal spiritual experiences’.
In the foundational literature of the Theosophical Society descriptions of higher states are scarce and kept at a very impersonal level. At the beginning H.P.B. did display certain spiritual abilities in an attempt to break through the hardened materialism of Victorian England and to convince people who were potentially important to the theosophical cause at that time, that more spiritually advanced being in the form of Masters did indeed exist. These displays of spiritual phenomena were later abandoned, for the simple reason that someone who needs displays of spiritual phenomena, will always need more, and if they are unable to grasp what theosophy is really all about without the display of ‘signs’ then they are unlikely to grow into a worthy Theosophist in any case.
All these realizations come about as the natural result of following the path described in wisdom path meditation and working with the guidance to be found in the H.P.B. Meditation Diagram. All theorizing and speculation about higher states, prior to direct experience is not only pointless but may indeed prove harmful.
Unfortunately a vast pseudo-theosophical literature now exists which provides intricate extensive and often wrong descriptions of higher spiritual states. Many of these descriptions fall into serious error when describing the spiritual nature of the Individual, the spiritual path itself and the nature of ultimate reality.
With this in mind we are now obliged to enter into a clarification of what each stage of the Sevenfold spectrum of psychic, mental and spiritual awareness states entails. This has now become necessary in order to preserve those who are practicing living theosophy from falling into damaging confusion.
We will begin this revealing explication of the spiritual states as they are experienced by each practitioner of living theosophy in Part Two of this writing.
(the article referred to as Part Two is not clearly identified as such but seems to be related to Theosophy and Self Identity which the editor has posted under The Sevenfold Constitution of Man section.)
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