STUDENTS of metaphysical theosophy are sometimes called to task for being too ‘intellectual.’ There may be an important lesson to learn from this critique, on both sides.
Some prefer the force of thought to hammer out truth, dismissing feelings and emotions as emanating from the ‘lower nature.’
Yet from the other side, as W. Q. Judge wrote in Ch. 7 The Ocean of Theosophy, “intellect alone is cold, heartless and selfish.” The effect is dramatized in scientific studies of neurological correlates of responses in the physical brain.
Materialistic, intellectual data are stored in the brain, but such data do not stimulate areas such as the pineal gland — known by occultists as “the seat of the soul”— the center that hosts spiritual impulses such as feelings of compassion.
We are spiritual beings at our core, but our behaviors on this physical plane — just like the actions of rider and horse — are solely governed by how we have entrained our psychic and physical instruments to respond to either higher or lower impulses.
“There are persons,” H. P. Blavatsky explains in an occult article, “who never think with the higher faculties of their minds at all.”
“This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist — the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied — to raise himself,” she says,
“Or for one who is naturally spiritually-minded to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought. Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”
Although little Jamie’s twin sister Emily had been delivered successfully, doctors had given Mrs Ogg the news all mothers dread – that after 20 minutes of battling to get her son to breathe, they had declared him dead.
Having given up on a miracle, Mrs. Ogg unwrapped the baby from his blanket and held him against her skin. And then an extraordinary thing happened.
The Heart Doctrine
Our most important awakenings seem to come when the head and heart are joined in action.
“Seek O Beginner,
to blend thy Mind and Soul.”
“The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space…to live and reap experience, the mind needs breadth and depth,
“and points to draw it towards
the Diamond Soul.”
“Even ignorance is better than Head-learning,” says the Voice, “with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.”
The mind is also compared to a mirror which “gathers dust while it reflects.” The “gentle breezes” of the Soul are needed “to brush away the dust of our illusions.”
In this ancient teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, we are told that within the body and brain — called “the shrine of thy sensations” — we should “seek in the Impersonal for the ‘eternal man’ and having sought him out, look inward:
“… thou art Buddha”
Head and Heart
Emotions and sensations”are an integral part of our capacity to think and experience the world,” says Karla McLaren.
Just like any other part of human nature, she says, emotions “can be used for good or ill.”
The head and the heart are the quintessential twins of Theosophical philosophy, and are often discussed.
Mme. Blavatsky identifies these two paths as “the two schools of Buddha’s doctrine.”
Spiritualizing the Brain
Mark Robert Waldman is a therapist and an Associate Fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind, University of Pennsylvania, where he currently conducts research with Andrew Newberg, MD, on the neurological correlates of beliefs, morality, compassion, meditation, religious experiences, and spiritual practices.
The human brain, Blavatsky wrote (Memory in the Dying), “is simply the canal between two planes – the psycho-spiritual and the material – through which every abstract and metaphysical idea filters…down to the lower human consciousness.” If you’d like to know how you can rapidly take your brain into extraordinary states of clarity and illumination, click below to watch additional Waldman videos (Transform Your Brain, Transform Your Life!):
A footnote in The Voice of the Silence Fragment II, explains the significance of the two paths as “the esoteric and the exoteric, called respectfully the ‘Heart’ and the ‘Eye’ Doctrines.'”
“The ‘Heart Doctrine’ is also called ‘the seal of truth’ or the ‘true seal,'” she explains, “a symbol found on the heading of almost all esoteric works.”
“The first “emanated from Gautama Buddha’s heart,” she writes, “whereas the ‘Eye’ Doctrine was the work of his head or brain.”
Home from War
“Without our emotions, we can’t organize or attach value to conflicting information — we just stand around looking confused,” writes McLaren. “Without our emotions, we’re actually incapable of making deep and multifaceted decisions.”
“Love makes you aware of something which cannot be known by the intellect; it makes you available to the presence of God.”
“Current research from the fields of neurology, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology is showing us that — contrary to what we’ve been told — emotions actually help us make decisions.
“The old wives’ tale is that we make decisions by ignoring our emotions and using only our rational faculties. Thinking was long-supposed to be better or smarter than feeling, but the truth is coming out.”
“As we’re learning more about the brain, emotions are no longer seen as the opposite of rationality.”
“Instead, science is helping us understand (finally) that the so-called rational aspects of our brains aren’t able to hold enough conflicting information in working memory to organize a complex decision.”
“Our emotions help us attach value, meaning, and weight to information. Emotions help us separate the wheat from the chaff, identify valid or important information, and make decisions.”
Sandra Bullock, the Hollywood star, did not actually attend the New Orleans school, but after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she became actively involved with it, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars, including funds for its scholarship program, new band uniforms and for the renovation of the school auditorium.
“Writing a check is easy when you’ve got it,” she says. “The people who do the work here are the ones that are amazing. The people that actually do the manual labor, that are here day to day fight for these kids, know these kids by name, know their families know their hardships are the ones that really deserve the accolades.” (ETonline.com)
“As a single sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the One Spirit illumine every body.”
A New Day
H. P. Blavatsky (Excerpt):
“Our Cycle and The Next”
“But what has the new cycle in store for humanity? Will it be merely a continuation of the present, only in darker and more terrible colours? Or shall a new day dawn for mankind, a day of pure sunlight, of truth, of charity, of true happiness for all?
“If Theosophy prevailing in the struggle, its all-embracing philosophy strikes deep root into the minds and hearts of men, if its doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma, in other words, of Hope and Responsibility, find a home in the lives of the new generations — then, indeed, will dawn the day of joy and gladness for all who now suffer and are outcast.
“For real Theosophy IS ALTRUISM, and we cannot repeat it too often.”
“It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If once men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon earth.
“Then, the GOLDEN AGE
will be there, indeed.
“But if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted western civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sea of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded.”
“When concern for others’ feelings and welfare is missing, our activities tend to become spoiled. Through lack of basic human feeling, religion, politics, economics, and so on can be rendered dirty. Instead of serving humanity, they become agents of its destruction. Therefore, in addition to developing a sense of universal responsibility, we need actually to be responsible people.”