WHEN acting through our physical human brain and body, the mind displays a simple yet complex duality—a pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.
The reason for the contrast is quite simple: we are not separate from the universe. The manifested physical (to us) universe is ruled by duality: day and night, sleeping and waking, hot and cold.
Such physicality, says The Secret Doctrine (1:15), is “necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.”
“Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as ‘I am I,’ a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.
“Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue — and “the manifested universe is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its ex-istence as ‘manifestation.'”
The every intense struggle between the dual channels of our mind is a challenge that few of us are able to successfully navigate and reconcile in one short lifetime. But help is on the way.
For centuries the solution had been taught by advanced masters of life such as Lao-tse, Patanjali, Krishna and Buddha. Each assured us that self-awakening is entirely possible—by a daily ‘now’ meditation, raja yoga practice, and, above all else, by altruistic service to family and humanity.
The struggle for control in meditation is caused by our split dual consciousness. The mind’s higher spiritual aspect gravitates toward altruism, says Theosophy, while the tides of its companion personal side is attached to outer forms, desires, survival and other material concerns.
The result is that all human minds are often blown by the winds of sense into the low lying eddies and currents of material thought. Like a balloon losing helium, we drift down from the god within us, and away from our kinship with the soul of things.
Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is really a fault of our god-soul, our intuitional power base — the manifestation all-knowingness in human beings.
Our all-seeing self and personal self are caught in a Hamlet-like to-be-or-not-to-be, we are alternately pitted by the gut and brain consciousness, against the knowing heart consciousness. This sets up an confusing conflict between the true god and the demigod in us. Yet, “peace is just a thought away” according to brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor.
This struggle of selves is dramatized by neuroanatomist Bolte-Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s professional focus is both anatomical, the relationship between the brain’s left and right hemispheres, and intuitional.