“There are those whose reasoning powers have been so distorted by foreign influences that they imagine that animal passions can be so sublimated and elevated that their fury, force, and fire can, so to speak, be turned inward; that they can be stored and shut up in one’s breast, until their energy is, not expended, but turned toward higher and more holy purposes: namely, until their collective and unexpected strength enables their possessor to enter the true Sanctuary of the Soul and stand therein in the presence of the Master—the HIGHER SELF! For this purpose they will not struggle with their passions nor slay them. … Oh, poor blind visionaries!
“As well hope that a band of drunken chimney-sweeps, hot and greasy from their work, may be shut up in a sanctuary hung with pure white linen, and that instead of soiling and turning it by their presence into a heap of dirty shreds, they will become masters.” ~H. P. Blavatsky
Reasoning and Spirituality
It’s a simple fact: reasoning and spirituality don’t play well together. The logical, materialistic mind of reasoning is simply the wrong tool to use to comprehend the spiritual, just as a saw is the wrong tool to use to pound in nails.
When Blavatsky says the reasoning powers have been “distorted by foreign influence,” she isn’t talking so much about people for other countries as she is about truly foreign influences: devils and demons. While there is certainly nothing wrong with being intelligent and using your reasoning mind, we have to get away from the idea that it holds the answers to everything.
Turning In, Turning Out
There are many pushing the idea today that becoming spiritual, or loving, or peaceful, is simply a matter of turning within and learning ourselves. I recently saw posted on Facebook the nonsense that all scripture of all religions is about turning within. It isn’t, and those who believe it is are simply interpreting things the way they want them to be. Of course, there are times when we will want to turn within, but turning within is not going to solve all the worlds problems as some seem to be suggesting.
Blavatsky gives a great metaphorical example with her tale of the chimney sweeps. Wrapping the filthy sweeps in white linen does not cleanse them or purify them, it only soils the linen. The sweeps need to be bathed first before putting on the linen and so do we all. We all need to be cleansed before seeking higher wisdom and knowledge. We need to be cleansed of bad habits, bad thoughts, negativity, false beliefs, and so on. All of those things act like anchors or chains holding us back from spiritual achievement, whether we look within or without.
Most of the ancient mystery schools did not teach the students to constantly look within, but to look without at least as much as they looked within. To think that we can find all the answers within is to basically declare ourselves to be the center of the universe and to have captured God and trapped Him within ourselves. To believe such a thing is both foolish and ridiculously egotistical. You would be either claiming to be God, or to be greater than God and therefore capable of imprisoning Him and making Him your slave.
It may be true that all of the living COLLECTIVELY are God, but individually we can no more claim we are God than a skin cell on my right pinky can claim to be me. Yes, it is me in a sense, but only a tiny part of me. And in may case, when people start to think of themselves as God instead of just a tiny piece of God, that start to believe that they are perfect and incapable of error, and therefore incapable of learning anything.
Truth lies within, truth lies without, so we need to look both within and without to gain true knowledge and higher levels of consciousness. And we need to look for spiritual truth with awakened spiritual faculties, not with the reasoning brain-mind.