26 February 2017

Temple Mount as a Source of Peace

Old Jerusalem is a Meeting Place of Different
Philosophies, Religions and Fields of Knowledge

Carlos Cardoso Aveline
  

A view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem



What about the future of the Temple Mount?  Many talk or argue about the past and the present of the Mount. One should investigate when after all it will become a source of peace instead of strife, and determine whose task this is.  

The founders of the Meeting Place Association in Jerusalem are Russian-born Israelis. With different views and backgrounds, they share a common love for the Land of Israel and for the Temple Mount, which they consider the spiritual heart of the country.  

Meeting Place promotes a respectful dialogue among people of different opinions, from secular to ultraorthodox. It is open to a friendly cooperation with non-Jews of any country. In 2015, it published the 76 pp. book “Arise and Ascend: a Guide to the Temple Mount”.[1] Rabbi Yehudah Glick wrote of the future of the Mount in the Afterword to that volume:

“People all over the world aspire to visit the place where ultimately, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, all nations will flow to seek the word of the Lord.” [2]

Of course, words are limited instruments and modern theosophy says that the personification of divinity creates deep misunderstanding.  

By personalizing deities many a religion, church and sect ends up reducing divine intelligences to its own image and narrow-mindedness. The next step is trying to manipulate everyone else into believing that this is the one and only true deity among all. Although Judaism is largely free from this danger, the issue must be handled with care.

According to esoteric philosophy, the universe is guided by an impersonal, intrinsic Law of Dynamic Equilibrium, and by an infinite number of divine intelligences, all of them following the One Law. The substance of some of them is hinted, for instance, in the ten Sephiroth of the Jewish theosophy and philosophy.

The diversity of divine universal intelligences and the living contrast among them suggest the need for an intercultural view of things down on Earth. The sky and the earth are more connected than many would suspect. The mystery of unity in diversity or harmony in contrast is well-expressed in the conflicts and hopes that surround Israel, and the Temple Mount.

For thousands of years the Jewish people, the nations of the Middle East and humanity as a whole have lived both the blessing and disgrace of religious diversity. Time enough has passed: by now any situation in space or chronology can be the right occasion to acknowledge the inner unity beneath outward contrast and promote a transcending cooperation which is stronger than ignorance or ill-will.

In the last days of June, 2016, the Meeting Place association published in Russian and English the document entitled “Temple Mount, Jewish People and Peoples of the World”.[3]

“Views expressed in the text reflect solely our personal opinion”, say authors Anya Antopolsky and Meir Antopolsky:

“In no way do these views reflect any opinion of any group of people, be it the Meeting Place Association or of the people ascending regularly the Temple Mount. Nor do we claim to express some kind of opinion of all the Jews in general. However, with the scope of our activities involving regular ascends of the Temple Mount (…), we thought it fit to state openly our opinion on the matter.”

The article explains that according to tradition -

“… There is a whole range of events connected to the Temple Mount, including the creation of the world, the end of the Flood and, finally, the Binding of Isaac by Abraham. Historical evidence suggests that its significance rose with the Jewish conquest of Jerusalem approximately in 11-10th centuries BCE, when King David installed the Altar atop of it, and his son Shlomo (Solomon, Suleiman) built the Temple. The Temple was meant to be a spiritual center for Jewish people and also a place for any person in the world to meet with his or her Creator. King Shlomo prayed: ‘As for the foreigner who does not belong to Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your name, or they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm - when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, Your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name’. (1Kings 8:41-43)”

The document states that such a universalistic vision is shared by the Prophets of the Bible -

“…Including Isaiah who, reasoning about the issue of admittance to the Temple for people that are not Jews but seek to worship God, said: ‘Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples’. (Isaiah 56:7)”

Theosophy and Judaism agree in many essential points.

In the Pirke Avoth it is said that “the world stands on three things: on Torah, Divine worship and acts of loving-kindness”. [4]

Eastern doctrines say similar things. In the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, it is taught that - “For the sake of the soul alone, the Universe exists.” [5]

The right relationship between the individual soul and the universe includes balance. The concept of justice corresponds to the idea of “Tao”, taught by Lao-tzu.  Besides Taoism, such a tenet is supreme in Confucius and Theosophy: it is also called “the Law of Karma”.  And the Talmudic wisdom says that - “By three things does the world endure:  by truth, justice and peace”. [6]

In order for the Temple Mount to be a center of peace, one basic fact must be understood: there has to be fairness and balance in the way the various religions relate to it. And this goal has not been attained yet: the present rules of access to the Mount are unfair.

The document of the Meeting Place association sums up the situation on the ground:

“Today, the site, albeit under Israel sovereignty, is actually under Muslim Waqf rule restricting free admission to it for all non-Muslims, especially Jews. Non-Muslims are never permitted to pray there and to worship the God. Moreover, Muslim extremists continually threaten to use terror against Jews who dare ascend the Mount with the aim of praying there. Such state of affairs is a gross desecration to the spirit of the site.”

Religious liberty is a key point in modern democracy. It sounds like an absurdity that, in the capital city of the State of Israel, Jews can have no free access to their holiest religious place.
The fact also expresses the extreme self-restraint of the Jewish State regarding Islamic intolerance and ill-will, even to the point of being unfair to its own people.

Sooner or later a balanced solution for the Temple Mount will be found. What do some of the members of the Meeting Place Association want to have in the near future?

The authors of document say:

“We believe that the most important thing to achieve in the near future is to have free access to the site for every person without any discrimination on account of religion, race, nationality or ethnic origin. Needless to say, authorities have to take care of all security arrangements, that can include, e.g., entrance check for weapons. Also, Muslims have to be able to continue praying daily and engage in their other religious activities without any restrictions in the way they do it now and all last centuries.”

The whole Mount must be open to visitors, with exceptions:

“We think that all time other than time of mosque prayer all the territory of the Mountain has to be open for everybody who wants to come there, including tourists, pilgrims, Jews, Christians or any other people of any other religious faiths. No restriction on use of religious literature or symbolic, or control of visitors’ talk content can be accepted. Neither is verbal or physical violence against any ethnic or religious group.”

This should be achieved sooner than later.  As to medium-term goals, the text admits a difficulty to foresee events:

“The farther we try to foresee the future, the more difficult is our task and the more obscure the picture we can imagine. However, we believe to have a rough outline of the Temple Mount transformed into a place where people of every religious faith and spiritual movement stemming from ethical monotheism of Jewish Bible and from Abraham’s, Moses’, David’s and Solomon’s wisdom will be able to contemplate, pray and worship with songs, or in silence, or in any other appropriate way.”

The document highlights the importance of granting everyone’s freedom of religion and personal liberties, and adds:

“It is also vital not to undermine the role of the Sacred Place as a center of monotheism and worship of God and Creator who is the One and Only. How can this balance be maintained? It seems obvious that not every manner of worship would be appropriate here. For example, the use of religious images is, probably, not. What is important is to execute any regulation ceremony in a peaceful and lawful way.”

Authoritarianism is a sign of weakness, while the acceptance of diversity shows inner strength. The rights of atheists and non-religious people should therefore be respected:

“It is self-evident that intrinsic rights of all and any atheists or nonreligious persons to freely visit the sacred place has to be respected as well. The only authority in the Middle East that can enforce such religious freedoms is the State of Israel. Therefore, it is an imperative necessity and the issue of historical justice for the State of Israel to maintain its full sovereignty over the Temple Mount.”

What of the long-term future? The article refers to the belief in a Third Temple to be built:

“The (…) prophetic visions foretell that at the End of Days the Third Temple is going to be rebuilt, and it will become a place from which the Word of Wisdom and Peace will be disseminated throughout the entire world. (…) The only course that will culminate in raising up the Third Temple is education, empathy, love and shared faith. The road of war, hatred and animosity will lead us nowhere. It is also certain that everyone who comes with love and prayer to our Father in the Heaven will have a place and a role to play in that Temple.”

From a theosophical perspective, it is easy to see that the Temple Mount is indeed a karmic meeting place of different philosophies, religions and fields of knowledge, including History, Archeology and Art. It constitutes a chakra or key point in the inner vitality of our planetary civilization. It must cease to be a source of hatred and start to produce good will among nations and religions. Then such a chakra will be able to quickly help the healing of humanity.

Whose task is this? And how long will it take to be accomplished?  One of the aphorisms of the Pirke Avoth answers these questions with other ones:  

*If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
*And if I am only for myself, what am I?
*And if not now, when? [7]

Chronological time is seen as Maya, or illusion, in Eastern tradition.

Any present instant is an inseparable fragment of eternity. The whole unlimited Duration is contained in the fraction of a second. The boundless essence of the Universe is secretly present in each humble point of its unfathomable space-time.

It is a good idea to act at all moments in the best way we can and leave it to the unfailing Law to ripen the fruits of our endeavours as It finds best.

NOTES:

[1] Arise and Ascend: a Guide to the Temple Mount” was published by The Meeting Place Association and Temple Mount Heritage Foundation.  

[2] On page 75.

[3] The article “Temple Mount, Jewish People and Peoples of the World” cautiously addressed complex issues. It is certainly uncomfortable for some.

[4] “Ethics from Sinai”, by Irving M. Bunim: Philipp Feldheim, Inc., New York, three volumes, 1964, see volume I, Perek I, Mishnah 2, p. 38.

[5] “The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali”, William Q. Judge, book II, aphorism 21, Theosophy Co. edition, Mumbai, 74 pp., 1965/1984, see p. 26.

[6] “Ethics from Sinai”, by Irving M. Bunim: Philipp Feldheim, Inc., 1964, see volume I, Perek I, Mishnah 18, p. 106.

[7] “Ethics from Sinai”, by Irving M. Bunim: Philipp Feldheim, Inc., 1964, see volume I, Perek I, Mishnah 14, p. 91.

000

The above article was first published in our theosophical blog at “The Times of Israel”.  Its note [3] above was updated in February 2017  for the  present publication in our associated websites.

000

See in our associated websites the article “The Universality of Temple Mount”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.

000

In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.  

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.

000

The Tree of Universal Brotherhood

A Few Paragraphs on the
Transition to the New Cycle

Helena P. Blavatsky
  

The tree of universal brotherhood is still young


000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

A 2011 Editorial Note

The following text is a fragment from H. P. Blavatsky’s
essay “The Beacon of the Unknown[1]. First published
in France in 1889, the article says the task of theosophists is
to build the esoteric movement so that it comes to be an Ark
and a refuge in troubled times: “…An ark destined, in a future
not too distant, to transport the humanity of a new cycle beyond
the vast muddy waters of the deluge of hopeless materialism.”

In the first half of the 21st century, the idea seems to sound  
both updated and potentially powerful as a key to the future.

While reading the fragment, one must take into consideration
that the original Theosophical Society ceased to exist a few
years after H.P.B. left physical life in 1891.  There has been
since then a theosophical movement with an important degree
of diversity. In the following paragraphs, therefore, whenever
H.P.B. refers to “Society” one must read instead “Movement”.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000



Our Society is the tree of Brotherhood, grown from a kernel planted in the earth by the angel of Charity and Justice, the day the first Cain slew the first Abel.

During long centuries of the subjugation of women and of the suffering of the poor, this kernel was watered by the bitter tears shed by the weak and the oppressed.

Blessed hands transplanted it from one corner of the earth to another, under different climes and at epochs distant from one another. “Do not do unto others what you would not wish others to do unto you,” said Confucius to his disciples. “Love one another, and love all living creatures,” preached Gautama the Buddha to his Arhats. “Love one another,” was repeated as a faithful echo in the streets of Jerusalem. It is to the Christian nations that belongs the honour of having obeyed this supreme commandment of their Master in all its paradoxical force! Caligula, the pagan, wished that humanity had but one head, so that he might sever it with one blow. Christian powers have improved upon this desire which hitherto had remained theoretical, after seeking and finally finding the means to put it into practice. Let them therefore prepare to cut each other’s throats and let them exterminate more people in one day in war than the Caesars killed in a whole year. Let them depopulate whole countries and provinces in the name of their paradoxical religion, and let them perish by the sword, they who kill by the sword. What concern of ours is that?

Theosophists are powerless to stop them. That is true. But it is in their power to save as many survivors as possible. Being a nucleus of a true Brotherhood, it depends upon them to make of their Society an ark destined, in a future not too distant, to transport the humanity of a new cycle beyond the vast muddy waters of the deluge of hopeless materialism. These waters are rising and at the present moment flood all the civilized countries. Are we going to let the good perish with the bad, afraid of the hue and cry and the ridicule of the latter, either against The Theosophical Society or ourselves? Are we going to see them perish one after the other, one from fatigue, the other vainly seeking the ray of sunlight which shines for all, without throwing them a plank of salvation? Never!

It may well be that the beautiful utopia, the philanthropic dream, that sees as if in a vision the triple wish of The Theosophical Society come true, is still far off: entire and complete freedom of human conscience granted to all, brotherhood established between the rich and the poor, and equality between the aristocrat and the plebeian recognized in theory as well as in practice  - these are so many castles in Spain, and for a good reason. All this must take place naturally and voluntarily, on both sides; however, the time has not yet come for the lion and the lamb to lie down together. The great reform must come about without social upheaval, without spilling a drop of blood; solely in the name of that axiomatic truth of Oriental philosophy which shows us that the great disparity of fortunes, of social rank and intellect, is due but to the effects of the personal Karma of every human being. We harvest but what we have sown. If the physical personality of man differs from every other man, the immaterial being in him or the immortal individuality emanates from the same divine essence as that of his neighbour. He who is thoroughly impressed by the philosophic truth that every Ego begins and ends by being the indivisible ALL, cannot love his neighbour less than himself. But, until the time this becomes a religious truth, no such reform can possibly take place. The egotistical saying that “charity begins at home,” or the other which says that “each for himself, and God for all,” will always move the “superior” and Christian races to oppose the practical introduction of the beautiful pagan saying: “Every pauper is a son of a rich man,” and even more to the one that says: “Feed first the hungry, and then eat what is left yourself.”

But the time will come when that “barbarous” wisdom of the inferior races will be better appreciated. In the meantime what we should seek is to bring some peace on earth to the hearts of those who suffer, by lifting for them a corner of the veil which hides from them divine truth. Let the strong point the way to the weak and help them to climb the steep slope of existence. Let them turn their gaze upon the Beacon-light which shines upon the horizon, beyond the mysterious and unchartered sea of Theosophical sciences, like a new star of Bethlehem, and let the disinherited of life take hope …  

NOTE:

[1]The Beacon of the Unknown”, in “Collected Writings”, Helena Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume XI, pp. 212-283, and especially pp. 281-283 for the present fragment, which closes the essay.  The article was originally published in French at “La Revue Théosophique”, Paris, Vol. I, Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6; May 21, 1889, pp. 1-9; June 21, 1889; pp. 1-7; July 21, 1889, pp. 1-6; August 21, 1889, pp. 1-9.

000

In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.  

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.

000

25 February 2017

The ULT Letter - 2001

A Message to Friends in Every Country

United Lodge of Theosophists
  

John Garrigues (left) and Robert Crosbie; two of the founders of the ULT in February 1909


00000000000000000000000000000

An Editorial Note:

During 80 years, every 25th of
June the ULT sent a message to
its associates and friends around the
world. John Garrigues was the main
editor of these ULT Day letters from
their beginning, in 1931, up to his death
in 1944. The letters went on until 2011.   

000000000000000000000000000000000000000


TO SPREAD BROADCAST THE TEACHINGS OF THEOSOPHY AS
RECORDED IN THE WRITINGS OF H. P. BLAVATSKY AND WM. Q. JUDGE

United Lodge of Theosophists

A VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION OF STUDENTS OF THEOSOPHY

245 WEST 33RD STREET, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90007, USA


June 25, 2001

Dear Friends and Associates:

Every year at this time, we pause to think about the work of the universal Theosophical Movement, and to rededicate ourselves to the task of promulgating the philosophy. This effort traditionally includes a letter written by independent students who feel the need to share an idea or two with others of like mind. It tries to draw upon the experience of the past year for encouragement and examples of how the work has spread. Upbeat and positive, this letter always seeks to put our best foot forward, modest as it might be.

Somewhere in the midst of every old cycle, a new one takes root and begins to grow. Imperceptible at first, it is masked by the activity of the previous cycle. Mistaken for part of the old form, it is not yet strong enough to survive in the world alone, so as it gradually gains strength, it waits for the opportunity to become the future.

The United Lodge of Theosophists began as a radical idea. It sought to provide a basis for students and inquirers to gather together to study and promulgate Theosophy, without having to worry about organization and structure, or elections and officers - the “personality” of the world. It was an idea both simple and profound, as it left the initiative for work squarely in the hands of the students themselves. The term “member” was dropped, and “associate” substituted to indicate those who shared the vision of what this kind of relationship could mean. The ULT idea had merit, and the number of associates and Lodges gradually grew, several magazines were started and the original Theosophical literature brought back into print. Supplements are issued on an occasional basis when the formal issue exceeds its size limit, and/or some special need arises.

However, the natural growth of ULT slowed at about the mid-point of the Twentieth Century, and while the work and magazines were continued by capable and devoted people, fewer new associates became involved. This pattern was not unique to ULT, and has been reflected in the experience of other Theosophical groups; recognition of it provides an opportunity to re-examine methods of work useful at this time.

Evidence of new seeds of a new cycle for the Movement have begun to sprout. Fairly early in the Twentieth Century, the idea of urging students “back to Blavatsky” and “toward unification” became popular among those seeking to bring members of different Theosophical groups closer to their common purpose. Much later, in the Eighties, “Networking Conferences” were held, where for the first time students from different Theosophical “traditions” found they shared essential ties and basic principles. Joint conferences and workshops marked the centennial anniversaries of the lives and works of H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and the publication of Madame Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. Today, one of the best signs of the health of the Movement is that most Theosophical groups get along well with each other, and respect their various roles in the work.

Promising and energetic work now often involves students of different Theosophical backgrounds, sometimes including those with no affiliation but who share an appreciation for the teachings and a desire to share them with others. In cyber space, online discussion groups such as BlavatskyNet and TheosophyTalk continue to grow steadily, well beyond organizational boundaries and controls. A new monthly internet magazine, The Aquarian Theosophist, has subscribers on all continents. Collaboration between ULT associates and students of the Theosophical Society has resulted in a strong Theosophy Center in Long Beach, California. Continuing the energy that produced the annual gatherings at Brookings, Oregon, a similar meeting this year on August 11 and 12 in Cambria, California will consider “Theosophy - Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times.” (Inquiries can be directed to any of the Lodges on the West Coast for further information.)

ULT upholds a shared vision, composed of different perspectives, rather than a single point of view, and it welcomes each and every attempt to study the teachings. We are bound by a similarity, not an identity of “aim, purpose and teaching.” The philosophy itself provides all that is necessary for a common ground among students. ULT could be regarded as a general outline for service to the Theosophical Movement, not a one-size-fits-all form to be protected and maintained for its own sake.

All true Theosophical work is based on the alchemy of the soul: while central authority may be appropriate in some endeavors, the work of studying and promulgating Theosophy is marked by the necessity of freedom which is the hallmark of all spiritual growth. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to change are essential to the development of inner discrimination in fulfilling the work of the Movement.

To mirror this, beginning next year, the “ULT Day Letter” will try a new format. We invite all Lodges, associates, and study groups to write to the Los Angeles Lodge about the work and the challenges, the successes and failures they face in the study and promulgation of Theosophy. These contributions will be shared at this time next year as a “bulletin” about the work of all Lodges and efforts. Submissions should reach Theosophy Hall in Los Angeles by the first of April, 2002, to allow time for collation and distribution. A reminder notice will go out asking for contributions to next year’s circular.

With Fraternal Best Wishes,

United Lodge of Theosophists

000

The above text is reproduced from “The Aquarian Theosophist”, July 2001 edition, Supplement. 

000

On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  

  
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

000

23 February 2017

The Aquarian Theosophist, February 2017

 


The opening thought of our February edition says:      

He who leaves aside desire is able to have a real purpose in life.

On page one the reader sees a few lines on “The Energy of the Sun in Pisces”. Page two presents “The Lord of the Seas” and “A Dialogue in Every Soul”.

The Power of Voluntary Simplicity” is on page three. On page four, “Is Family Life a Duty? A Door to the Secret Wisdom of Theosophy”.  The note “The Territory of Peace” starts on page five. On page six, “The Theosophy of Numbers”. The note “The Light of Wisdom in Human Soul” is on page seven.  

The February 2017 edition includes these topics:  

* Getting Closer to the Divine World: A Choice Before the Student; 

* A Mahatma, On the Real Task Of the Theosophical Movement;

* Thoughts Along the Road; 

* Our Planetary Life - Atma and the North Pole;

* Blind Belief Loses Strength;

* Self-Discipline and Perseverance; and

* ILT or the Paradox of Independence.

The 15 pp. edition includes the List of New Texts in our associated websites.  


000

You can find the entire collection of The Aquarian” at our associated websites.

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.

000