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Goodbye Jesus

What Is God? By Lord Kuthumi


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Hi thought someone here may be interested in this. It is a pretty good read.



What is God?

Lord Kuthumi

Received at Simla, Late 1883 early 1882.

Neither our philosophy nor ourselves believe in a God, least of all in one

whose pronoun necessitates a capital G. Our philosophy falls under the

definition of Hobbes. It is preeminently the science of effects by their causes

and of causes by their effects, and since it is also the science of things

deduced from first principle, as Bacon defines it, before we admit any such

principle we must know it, and have no right to admit even its possibility.

Your whole explanation is based upon one solitary admission made simply for

argument's sake in October last. You were told that our knowledge was

limited to this our solar system: ergo as philosophers who desired to remain

worthy of the name we could not either deny or affirm the existence of what

you termed a supreme, omnipotent, intelligent being of some sort beyond the

limits of that solar system. But if such an existence is not absolutely

impossible, yet unless the uniformity of nature's law breaks at those limits

we maintain that it is highly improbable.

Nevertheless we deny most emphatically the position of agnosticism in this

direction, and as regards the solar system. Our doctrine knows no

compromises. It either affirms or denies, for it never teaches but that which it

knows to be the truth. Therefore, we deny God both as philosophers and as

Buddhists. We know there are planetary and other spiritual lives, and we

know there is in our system no such thing as God, either personal or

impersonal. Parabrahm is not a God, but absolute immutable law, and Iswar

is the effect of Avidya and Maya, ignorance based upon the great delusion.

The word "God" was invented to designate the unknown cause of those effects

which man has either admired or dreaded without understanding them, and

since we claim and that we are able to prove what we claim -- i.e. the

knowledge of that cause and causes we are in a position to maintain there is

no God or Gods behind them.

The idea of God is not an innate but an acquired notion, and we have but one

thing in common with theologies -- we reveal the infinite. But while we assign

to all the phenomena that proceed from the infinite and limitless space,

duration and motion, material, natural, sensible and known (to us at least)

cause, the theists assign them spiritual, super-natural and unintelligible an

un-known causes. The God of the Theologians is simply and imaginary

power, un loup garou as d'Holbach expressed it -- a power which has never

yet manifested itself. Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare,

to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on himself

instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for countless ages was the

direct cause of nearly all human misery. Pantheistic we may be called --

agnostic NEVER. If people are willing to accept and to regard as God our

ONE LIFE immutable and unconscious in its eternity they may do so and

thus keep to one more gigantic misnomer. But then they will have to say with

Spinoza that there is not and that we cannot conceive any other substance

than God; or as that famous and unfortunate philosopher says in his

fourteenth proposition, "practer Deum neque dari neque concepi potest

substantia" -- and thus become Pantheists . . . . who but a Theologian nursed

on mystery and the most absurd super-naturalism can imagine a self existent

being of necessity infinite and omnipresent outside the manifested boundless


The word infinite is but a negative which excludes the idea of bounds. It is

evident that a being independent and omnipresent cannot be limited by

anything which is outside of himself; that there can be nothing exterior to

himself -- not even vacuum, then where is there room for matter? for that

manifested universe even though the latter limited. If we ask the theist is

your God vacuum, space or matter, they will reply no. And yet they hold that

their God penetrates matter though he is not himself matter. When we speak

of our One Life we also say that it penetrates, nay is the essence of every

atom of matter; and that therefore it not only has correspondence with

matter but has all its properties likewise, etc. -- hence is material, is matter

itself. How can intelligence proceed or emanate from non-intelligence -- you

kept asking last year. How could a highly intelligent humanity, man the

crown of reason, be evolved out of blind unintelligent law or force! But once

we reason on that line, I may ask in my turn, how could congenital idiots,

non-reasoning animals, and the rest of "creation" have been created by or

evoluted from, absolute Wisdom, if the latter is a thinking intelligent being,

the author and ruler of the Universe? How? says Dr. Clarke in his

examination of the proof of the existence of the Divinity. "God who hath made

the eye, shall he not see? God who hath made the ear shall he not hear?" But

according to this mode of reasoning they would have to admit that in creating

an idiot God is an idiot; that he who made so many irrational beings, so many

physical and moral monsters, must be an irrational being. . . .

. . . We are not Adwaitees, but our teaching respecting the one life is identical

with that of the Adwaitee with regard to Parabrahm. And no true

philosophically brained Adwaitee will ever call himself an agnostic, for he

knows that he is Parabrahm and identical in every respect with the universal

life and soul -- the macrocosm is the microcosm and he knows that there is no

God apart from himself, no creator as no being. Having found Gnosis we

cannot turn our backs on it and become agnostics.

. . . . Were we to admit that even the highest Dyan Chohans are liable to err

under a delusion, then there would be no reality for us indeed and the occult

sciences would be as great a chimera as that God. If there is an absurdity in

denying that which we do not know it is still more extravagant to assign to it

unknown laws.

According to logic "nothing" is that of which everything can truly be denied

and nothing can truly be affirmed. The idea therefore either of a finite or

infinite nothing is a contradiction in terms. And yet according to theologians

"God, the self existent being is a most simple, unchangeable, incorruptible

being; without parts, figure, motion, divisibility, or any other such properties

as we find in matter. For all such things so plainly and necessarily imply

finiteness in their very notion and are utterly inconsistent with complete

infinity." Therefore the God here offered to the adoration of the XIXth

century lacks every quality upon which man's mind is capable of fixing any

judgment. What is this in fact but a being of whom they can affirm nothing

that is not instantly contradicted. Their own Bible their Revelation destroys

all the moral perceptions they heap upon him, unless indeed they call those

qualities perfections that every other man's reason and common sense call

imperfections, odious vices and brutal wickedness. Nay more he who reads

our Buddhist scriptures written for the superstitious masses will fail to find

in them a demon so vindictive, unjust, so cruel and so stupid as the celestial

tyrant upon whom the Christians prodigally lavish their servile worship and

on whom their theologians heap those perfections that are contradicted on

every page of their Bible. Truly and veritably your theology has created her

God but to destroy him piecemeal. Your church is the fabulous Saturn, who

begets children but to devour them.

(The Universal Mind) -- A few reflections and arguments ought to support

every new idea -- for instance we are sure to be taken to task for the following

apparent contradictions. (1) We deny the existence of a thinking conscious

God, on the grounds that such a God must either be conditioned, limited and

subject to change, therefore not infinite, or (2) if he is represented to us as an

eternal unchangeable and independent being, with not a particle of matter in

him, then we answer that it is no being but an immutable blind principle, a

law. And yet, they will say, we believe in Dyans, or Planetaries ("spirits"

also), and endow them with a universal mind, and this must be explained.

Our reasons may be briefly summed up thus:

(1) We deny the absurd proposition that there can be, even in a boundless

and eternal universe -- two infinite eternal and omni-present existences.

(2) Matter we know to be eternal, i.e., having had no beginning (a) because

matter is Nature herself (B) because that which cannot annihilate itself and

is indestructible exists necessarily -- and therefore it could not begin to be,

nor can it cease to be © because the accumulated experience of countless

ages, and that of exact science show to us matter (or nature) acting by her

own peculiar energy, of which not an atom is ever in an absolute state of rest,

and therefore it must have always existed, i.e., its materials ever changing

form, combinations and properties, but its principles or elements being

absolutely indestructible.

(3) As to God -- since no one has ever or at any time seen him or it -- unless he

or it is the very essence and nature of this boundless eternal matter, its

energy and motion , we cannot regard him as either eternal or infinite or yet

self existing. We refuse to admit a being or an existence of which we know

absolutely nothing; because (a) there is no room for him in the presence of

that matter whose undeniable properties and qualities we know thoroughly

well (B) because if he or it is but a part of that matter it is ridiculous to

maintain that he is the mover and ruler of that of which he is but a

dependent part and © because if they tell us that God is a self existent pure

spirit independent of matter -- an extra-cosmic deity, we answer that

admitting even the possibility of such an impossibility, i.e., his existence, we

yet hold that a purely immaterial spirit cannot be an intelligent conscious

ruler nor can he have any of the attributes bestowed upon him by theology

and thus such a God becomes again but a blind force. Intelligence as found in

our Dyan Chohans, is a faculty that can appertain but to organized or

animated being -- however imponderable or rather invisible the materials of

their organizations. Intelligence requires the necessity of thinking; to think

one must have ideas; ideas suppose senses which are physical material, and

how can anything material belong to pure spirit? If it be objected that

thought cannot be a property of matter, we will ask the reason why? We must

have an unanswerable proof of this assumption, before we can accept it. Of

the theologian we would enquire what was there to prevent his God, since he

is the alleged creator of all -- to endow matter with the faculty of thought;

and when answered that evidently it has not pleased Him to do so, that it is a

mystery as well as an impossibility, we would insist upon being told why it is

more impossible that matter should produce spirit and thought, than spirit or

the thought of God should produce and create matter.

We do not bow our heads in the dust before the mystery of mind -- for we

have solved it ages ago. Rejecting with contempt the theistic theory we reject

as much the automaton theory, teaching that states of consciousness are

produced by the marshalling of the molecules of the brain; and we feel as

little respect for that other hypothesis -- the production of molecular motion

by consciousness. Then what do we believe in? Well, we believe in the much

laughed at phlogiston (see article "What is force and what is matter?"

Theosophist, September), and in what some natural philosophers would call

nisus the incessant though perfectly imperceptible (to the ordinary senses)

motion or efforts one body is making on another -- the pulsations of inert

matter -- its life. The bodies of the Planetary spirits are formed of that which

Priestley and others called Phlogiston and for which we have another name --

this essence in its highest seventh state forming that matter of which the

organisms of the highest and purest Dyans are composed, and in its lowest or

densest form (so impalpable yet that science calls it energy and force) serving

as a cover to the Planetaries of the 1st or lowest degree. In other words we

believe in MATTER alone, in matter as visible nature and matter in its

invisibility as the invisible omnipresent omnipotent Proteus with its

unceasing motion which is its life, and which nature draws from herself since

she is the great whole outside of which nothing can exist. For as Bellinger

truly asserts "motion is a manner of existence that flows necessarily out of

the essence of matter; that matter moves by its own peculiar energies; that

its motion is due to the force which is inherent in itself; that the variety of

motion and the phenomena that result proceed from the diversity of the

properties of the qualities and of the combinations which are originally found

in the primitive matter" of which nature is the assemblage and of which your

science knows less than one of our Tibetan Yak-drivers of Kant's


The existence of matter then is a fact; the existence of motion is another fact,

their self existence and eternity or indestructibility is a third fact. And the

idea of pure spirit as a Being or an Existence -- give it whatever name you

will -- is a chimera, a gigantic absurdity.

Our ideas on Evil. Evil has no existence per se and is but the absence of good

and exists but for him who is made its victim. It proceeds from two causes,

and no more than good is it an independent cause in nature. Nature is

destitute of goodness or malice; she follows only immutable laws when she

either gives life and joy, or sends suffering [and] death, and destroys what

she has created. Nature has an antidote for every poison and her laws a

reward for every suffering. The butterfly devoured by a bird becomes that

bird, and the little bird killed by an animal goes into a higher form. It is the

blind law of necessity and the eternal fitness of things, and hence cannot be

called Evil in Nature. The real evil proceeds from human intelligence and its

origin rests entirely with reasoning man who dissociates himself from

Nature. Humanity then alone is the true source of evil. Evil is the

exaggeration of good, the progeny of human selfishness and greediness.

Think profoundly and you will find that save death -- which is no evil but a

necessary law, and accidents which will always find their reward in a future

life -- the origin of every evil whether small or great is in human action, in

man whose intelligence makes him the one free agent in Nature. It is not

nature that creates diseases, but man. The latter's mission and destiny in the

economy of nature is to die his natural death brought by old age; save

accident, neither a savage nor a wild (free) animal die of disease. Food, sexual

relations, drink, are all natural necessities of life; yet excess in them brings

on disease, misery, suffering, mental and physical, and the latter are

transmitted as the greatest evils to future generations, the progeny of the


Ambition, the desire of securing happiness and comfort for those we love, by

obtaining honours and riches, are praiseworthy natural feelings but when

they transform man into an ambitious cruel tyrant, a miser, a selfish egotist

they bring untold misery on those around him; on nations as well as on

individuals. All this then -- food, wealth, ambition, and a thousand other

things we have to leave unmentioned, becomes the source and cause of evil

whether in its abundance or through its absence. Become a glutton, a

debauchee, a tyrant, and you become the originator of diseases, of human

suffering and misery. Lack all this and you starve, you are despised as a

nobody and the majority of the herd, your fellow men, make of you a sufferer

your whole life. Therefore it is neither nature nor an imaginary Deity that

has to be blamed, but human nature made vile by selfishness. Think well

over these few words; work out every cause of evil you can think of and trace

it to its origin and you will have solved one-third of the problem of evil. And

now, after making due allowance for evils that are natural and cannot be

avoided, -- and so few are they that I challenge the whole host of Western

metaphysicians to call them evils or to trace them directly to an independent

cause -- I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of

the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is

religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal

caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks

upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils

which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind.

Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of the opportunity. Look

at India and look at Christendom and Islam, at Judaism and Fetichism. It is

priestly imposture that rendered these Gods so terrible to man; it is religion

that makes of him the selfish bigot, the fanatic that hates all mankind out of

his own sect without rendering him any better or more moral for it. It is belief

in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of

those who deceive them under the false pretence of saving them. Is not man

ever ready to commit any kind of evil if told that his God or Gods demand the

crime?; voluntary victim of an illusionary God, the abject slave of his crafty

ministers. The Irish, Italian and Slavonian peasant will starve himself and

see his family starving and naked to feed and clothe his padre and pope. For

two thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste, Brahmins alone

feeding on the fat of the land, and to-day the followers of Christ and those of

Mahomet are cutting each other's throats in the names of and for the greater

glory of their respective myths. Remember the sum of human misery will

never be diminished unto that day when the better portion of humanity

destroys in the name of Truth, morality, and universal charity, the altars of

their false gods.

If it is objected that we too have temples, we too have priests and that our

lamas also live on charity . . . let them know that the objects above named

have in common with their Western equivalents, but the name. Thus in our

temples there is neither a god nor gods worshipped, only the thrice sacred

memory of the greatest as the holiest man that ever lived. If our lamas to

honour the fraternity of the Bhikkhus established by our blessed master

himself, go out to be fed by the laity, the latter often to the number of 5 to

25,000 is fed and taken care of by the Samgha (the fraternity of lamaic

monks) the lamassery providing for the wants of the poor, the sick, the

afflicted. Our lamas accept food, never money, and it is in those temples that

the origin of evil is preached and impressed upon the people. There they are

taught the four noble truths -- ariya sakka, and the chain of causation, (the

12 nid[ci]anas) gives them a solution of the problem of the origin and

destruction of suffering.

Read the Mahavagga and try to understand not with the prejudiced Western

mind but the spirit of intuition and truth what the Fully Enlightened one

says in the 1st Khandhaka. Allow me to translate it for you.

"At the time the blessed Buddha was at Uruvella on the shores of the river

Nerovigara as he rested under the Boddhi tree of wisdom after he had

become Sambuddha, at the end of the seventh day having his mind fixed on

the chain of causation he spake thus: 'from Ignorance spring the samkharas

of threefold nature -- productions of body, of speech, of thought. From the

samkharas springs consciousness, from consciousness springs name and

form, from this spring the six regions (of the six senses the seventh being the

property of but the enlightened); from these springs contact from this

sensation; from this springs thirst (or desire, Kama, tanha) from thirst

attachment, existence, birth, old age and death, grief, lamentation, suffering,

dejection and despair. Again by the destruction of ignorance, the Sankharas

are destroyed, and their consciousness name and form, the six regions,

contact, sensation, thirst, attachment (selfishness), existence, birth, old age,

death, grief, lamentation, suffering, dejection, and despair are destroyed.

Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering."

Knowing this the blessed one uttered this solemn utterance. "When the real

nature of things becomes clear to the meditating Bikshu, then all his doubts

fade away since he has learned what is that nature and what its cause. From

ignorance spring all the evils. From knowledge comes the cessation of this

mass of misery, and then the meditating Brahmana stands dispelling the

hosts of Mara like the sun that illuminates the sky."

Meditation here means the superhuman (not supernatural) qualities, or

arhatship in its highest of spiritual powers.

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Sure, I know it. It is from "The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett".


Yes, it is very interesting.

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