Author Archives: karalebeau

Marx Brothers Buddhism

IN THE mountains of ancient China, Chan Master Dao Lin lived in a tall pine tree. The locals called him the “Bird’s Nest Monk.”

Hearing about his wisdom and reputation, Minister Bo made the trek to the Qin Wang Mountains to see Master Dao.

Calling up to him, Bo said, “It’s very dangerous where you are sitting, Chan [Zen] Master.”

Master Dao replied:

“My danger may be very great, Minister, but yours is even greater.”

“I am the commander of Qian Tang,” Bo said, “What danger is there?”

The Master responded:

“Fuel and fire are joined, consciousness and identity do not stay: How can you not be in danger?” Continue reading

Saint Buddha

IN the spirit of the season, I’d like to pay tribute to that treasured Christian saint, Saint Buddha. Well, he wasn’t exactly called that—he was known as the duo saints, Baarlam and Yosaphat.

Baarlam and Yosaphat were popular and revered in the Middle Ages. They even had feast days–honored in the Greek Orthodox Church on August 26 and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church on November 27.

The Legend Grows

They figured in the casket scene in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and even the King of France claimed to have a holy relic—the finger of one of the saints.

“The popularity of the Greek version of this story is attested to by the number of translations made of it throughout the Christian world, including versions in Latin, Old Slavonic, Armenian, Christian Arabic, English, Ethiopic, and French,” explains scholar Douglas B. Killings. Continue reading

Karma Dodging

We often feature at TheosophyWatch stories and films, such as “The Living Matrix” or “Something Unknown is Doing Something We Don’t Know What,” about seemingly miraculous healings of people.

The theme of the latent healing power within ourselves weaves through many of the stories.

The osteopath, Arielle Essex, with the brain tumor, for example, allowed the tumor to be her teacher which led her to various facets of self-discovery and freedom, and ultimately the tumor resolved.

It’s clear in her example that her healing was holistic—psychological, emotional, spiritual, physical. And, presumably, karmic, too, though we’ll never really know.

Arielle Cures Her Brain Tumor

(Her story excerpted from the film “The Living Matrix: Inside the Revolution in Alternative Healing”):

Compounding Traumas

In Life Between Life, psychiatrist Dr. Joel Whitton provides case studies of patients with chronic illness/mental illness who, after confronting traumatic scenarios of previous lifetimes through regression, are healed.

A number of theories profess that our current aches and pains and other ills have antecedents in previous lives that build and rebuild upon the previous trauma wounds.

And the vulnerabilities — psychological and otherwise, that originally created the chink in the armor — are compounded with each subsequent trauma, making that chink a bigger and bigger hole.


A Patient’s Tumor Disappears Using Qigong

(Courtesy of  the film Something Unknown is Doing We Don’t Know What):

Curing or Healing?

Then we have the renowned Brazilian healer John of God curing people of various severe conditions–through a type of psychic and physical surgery in which he uses ordinary kitchen knives, no anesthesia, and miraculously heals people.

I wonder what kind of journey and personal growth was involved for people who receive this healing. Is this merciful intercession the capstone of one’s personal efforts and deep self-reflection and searching or is it only karma dodging? Is this type of healing true and lasting?

John of God – Etheric Healing

The idea of pursuing healing so that we can increasingly embody spirit and truly serve the Earth is a foundation of a number of individuals dedicated to the healing arts these days.

“Hypnotic suggestion may cure for ever, and it may not,” Helena Blavatsky explains,

“All depends on the degree of magnetic relations between the operator and the patient. If Karmic, they will be only postponed, and return in some other form, not necessarily of disease, but as a punitive evil of another sort….

“Imagination is a potent help in every event of our lives. Imagination acts on Faith, and both are the draughtsmen who prepare the sketches for Will to engrave, more or less deeply, on the rocks of obstacles and opposition with which the path of life is strewn….”

“Half, if not two-thirds of our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and fears, Blavatsky continues. “Destroy the latter and give another bent to the former, and nature will do the rest. There is nothing sinful or injurious in the methods per se.”

“They turn to harm only when belief in his power becomes too arrogant and marked in the faith-healer, and when he thinks he can will away such diseases as need, if they are not to be fatal, the immediate help of expert surgeons and physicians.” (Lucifer, December, 1890.)

In the same passage she clarifies that “it is the human will – whether conscious or otherwise – of the operator himself, that acts upon the nervous system of the patient.

Good Guy, Bad Guy

But it takes discernment, or viveka, to know whether a healer will infuse you with their own toxic consciousness or a stream of true healing light. Or even a mix of the two.

Viveka, William Judge explains, literally means “a separating apart.” It is “discrimination, good judgment; [and] in Vedanta philosophy,” he says, it is

Years ago, I was rear-ended in a hit-and-run car accident and had to undergo different healing therapies. It was quite a trial to find good healers amongst the woo-woo.

One massage therapist in Boulder, Colorado chidingly told me that the pain in my neck from the car accident was really coming from my ex-husband and that he’s trying to get into my “aura” but I wasn’t letting him! I reported her to the insurance company.

But that experience made me wonder what psychic and lower astral detours would be thrust upon me by being exposed to such “healers” and their “energies,” and what price have I paid in compromising my path? And how would you know that you are detoured and sinking quickly in the quicksand of the lower astral? The road to hell, the Irish say, is paved with good intentions.

“Beware, Lanoo [aspirant], lest dazzled by illusive radiance thy Soul should linger and be caught in its deceptive light,”

warns Madame Blavatsky in The Voice of the Silence.” Or, as Jesus put it,

“If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?” (Matthew 6:23)

Etherealize Yourself—Will is The Way

The idea of pursuing healing so that we can increasingly embody spirit and truly serve the Earth is a foundation of a number of bona fide individuals dedicated to the healing arts these days.

Damodar

Damodar

In a September 6, 1881 letter to his friend William Quan Judge, Theosophist pioneer Damodar K. Mavalankar shares the key to etherealizing one’s self.

“The action of the Centripetal Force keeps us to our gross forms,” he says, “ And if we have to etherealise ourselves we must supply the Centrifugal Force, which is our WILL.

“And this is the first principle of OCCULTISM. Just as the etherealisation of our Souls is the result of the action of our Will, so is everything else the result of something else. The action of the working of the Circle of Matter is regulated by the Law of Cause and Effect. Nothing can be without it.”

prayerwheel

Prayer Wheels

“And everything is at the same time in itself a Cause and an Effect. Take, for instance, heat. It is the cause of the melting of ice into water and at the same time it is the result of some other force. It did not come out of nothing.

“Then, how can we etherealise ourselves? By studying the action of Causes and Effects and acting accordingly. Or, in other words, by obtaining knowledge of the Forces of Nature — in one word, by studying occultism. You might ask, Can we not rise higher and higher without being Occultists?

“I reply, decidedly not to that extent to which an Occultist will rise.”

© Kara LeBeau 2009. All rights reserved

The_Serpent_of_Wisdom

Nicholas Roerich - "The Serpent of Wisdom"

Pot of Miracles

kara1An old strawberry pot was left near my back door when I moved in years ago. The base of it was actually broken clean from the rest of the pot, but I figured it was worthy enough to plant morning glories in for summer color.

Weeds grew in the little strawberry holes, so I’d yank them out. But one summer, an unusual plant appeared in one of the holes, so I thought:

“It’s worked so hard to get there, I’m going to let it be.”

Winter arrived, consuming all with bitter cold and the little plant withered away.

Come spring, the scraggly plant reappeared! I couldn’t believe it wintered over in that thin pot. A friend told me it was some kind of raspberry.

I had been taking raspberry leaf herb supplements at the time, and had been lamenting its costly expense.

My raspberry plant.

My raspberry plant.

So, here my nature spirit friends brought the needed herb right to my door! I made tea from its leaves.

This year, the plant overwintered again, sprouting up two large branches and bearing fruit!

Elementary, My Dear

Helena Blavatsky was the first to refer to nature spirits as elementals.kirlian8

“Some classes of elementals… have an intelligence of their own and a character…”

And further ….

“A plant can be receptive or non-receptive, though every plant without an exception feels and has a consciousness of its own. But besides the latter, every plant—from the gigantic tree down to the minutest fern or blade of grass—has, Occultism teaches us, an Elemental entity of which it is the outward clothing on this plane.”

kirlian6

William Quan Judge explains.

“As it (the elemental world) is automatic and like a photographic plate, all atoms continually arriving at and departing from the ‘human system’ are constantly assuming the impression conveyed by the acts and thoughts of that person…

“…and therefore, if he sets up a strong current of thought, he attracts elementals in greater numbers, and they all take on one prevailing tendency or color, so that all new arrivals find a homogeneous color or image which they instantly assume.

Your Space

“…every thought combines instantly with one of the elemental forces of nature, becoming to that extent an entity which will endure in accordance with the strength of the thought as it leaves the brain, and all of these are inseparably connected with the being who evolved them.”

KirlianSparks2

“There is no way of escaping; all we can do is to have thoughts of good quality, for the highest of the Masters themselves are not exempt from this law, but they ‘people their current in space‘ with entities powerful for good alone.”  -W. Q. Judge

Quantum Plantics

“On the other hand, a man who has many diversities of thought and meditation is not homogeneous, but, so to say, particolored, and so the elementals may lodge in that part which is different from the rest and go away in like condition. …”

“They move with the velocity of thought. In their world there is no space or time as we understand those terms.”

kirlian

Penn State University scientist Consuelo M. De Moraes and other researchers are finding that plants behave with the diversity of which Judge speaks concerning elementals.

“I think most people regard plants as being pretty unresponsive and stuck in one place,” says ecologist Richard Karban of the University of California, Davis in a recent issue of ScienceNews.

Richard Karban, Ph.D.

Richard Karban, Ph.D.

In a 2008 paper in Ecology Letters, Karban explores the range of plants’ capacities revealing

“high levels of sophistication previously thought to be within the sole domain of animal behavior.”

But these scientists are also observing plants being as aggressive and mean towards other plants as a lion stalking its prey. Some plants even fight each other for resources and even scream for help.

Hmmmmmm.  Maybe the elementals and plants in my back yard are happy and helpful because they’re appreciated in a friendly environment.

Maybe the other plants are fighting because they don’t like being in a lab? 😉

© Kara LeBeau 2009. All rights reserved.

P.S. New arrival!

Later today, as I was reading your nice comments on the post,this little raccoon came right up to my screen door. In Broad Daylight! I wonder if it was one of the babies I met last summer (see my post “Sweet and Wild.”) Thank you, everyone!

Welcome Mat Baby

Welcome Mat Baby

Plants Can Sense
Human Intentions

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Related Posts:

Sweet and Wild

Our Green Horizon

Intelligent Nature, Part 1

A Buddha and His Dog

Happy Birthday, Guan Yin!

Does Mind Over Matter?

Heaven in a Wild Flower

Animal Genius

Nicholas Roerich - "St. Panteleimon the Healer"

Nicholas Roerich - "St. Panteleimon the Healer"

Reflecting Pool

reflecting_poolBETWEEN us TheosophyWatch editors, we know loved ones who’ve died or almost died at the hand of psychiatrists who over-prescribed them with powerful anti-psychotics.

More recently, we grieved for 12-year-old Denis Maltezm and 7-year-old Gabriel Myers who, the Miami Herald reported, allegedly lost their lives this way.

Denis’ mother is suing the psychiatrist and a special task force is investigating Gabriel’s death. Gabriel, a foster child, “had been taking a cocktail of mental health drugs,” the newspaper said.

Now we realize how important pharmaceuticals and medical technology can be and, frankly, both of us owe our lives to them. Patients should always consult with their physician, before changing or stopping any prescribed medication they may be taking.

At the same time, we increasingly discover reports of conflicts of interest between medical researchers and certain rapacious pharmaceutical companies who fund them, often resulting in skewed research that declares a new drug to be safe, when it really isn’t.

Milarepa

Milarepa, who knows how to listen!

We’ve also butted heads with doctors who find it easier to prescribe a pill with deleterious side-effects than to really listen to the patient, observe, and find the true problem.

A Rare Soul

I reminisce about Percy Brown, Jr., a remarkable youth I met and interviewed in Los Angeles years ago. He was at risk—a gang-bound foster child, but he turned his life around by volunteering in a park. “I had a lot of anger inside of me,” he said.

“[I] was so confused. Because of the way I had to live, I fenced myself up. I was taken into hospitals, and I had to take medicine. I was not only hyper, I was angry. I had therapy. I had medication. But you can only have so much therapy and medication and it may not work. I’ve told myself that the only medication and doctor can be me.” (Los Angeles Times, June 29, 1996).

How rare and fortunate a soul Percy Brown is!


meditating_children

Medication or Meditation?

“The man of meditation is superior to the man of penance and to the man of learning and also to the man of action; wherefore, O Arjuna, resolve thou to become a man of meditation.” -KRISHNA, Bhagavad-Gita Ch.6

News in Science:

Meditation helps kids with ADHD, Helen Carter, ABC writes:

“Meditation can help improve symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an international psychiatry conference heard this week.

“The Australian study in 48 children diagnosed with ADHD found Sahaja yoga meditation led to an average 35% reduction in symptom severity over six weeks, and enabled many to reduce their medication.”

Meditation Around the World

Transforming Lives: The David Lynch Foundation provides funds for students to learn to meditate In the past year, the Foundation has provided millions of dollars for thousands of students, teachers, and parents to learn to meditate.

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“ADHD is the most common psycho-social disorder in children, affecting almost 4.5 million children. It causes impaired executive functions of the brain, creating difficulty in controlling attention and behavior. The symptoms commonly associated with ADHD are impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention.”

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You Are What You Swallow

If we imbibe the consciousness of an animal when we eat it, as Helena bottlesBlavatsky has suggested, whose consciousness (or consciousnesses) do we imbibe when we consume a pharmaceutical drug?

In The Key to Theosophy, she says, “when the flesh of animals is assimilated by man as food, it imparts to him, physiologically, some of the characteristics of the animal it came from.

“Moreover, occult science teaches and proves this to its students by ocular demonstration, showing also that this ‘coarsening’ or ‘animalizing’ effect on man is greatest from the flesh of the larger animals, less for birds, still less for fish and other cold-blooded animals, and least of all when he eats only vegetables….

“…we advise really earnest students to eat such food as will least clog and weight their brains and bodies, and will have the smallest effect in hampering and retarding the development of their intuition, their inner faculties and powers.

Water lilies

You Are
What You Bless

Is this why the blessing of food, its purification and spiritualization, is an ancient practice of esoteric traditions worldwide?

If we are to be careful and mindful about the effects of certain foods on our consciousness and “inner faculties,” what to do about ineluctable pharmaceuticals that we rely on?

Try This at Home

The effects on cooked rice after 30 days of speaking positive or negative words to it.

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Water Crystal for “Truth”

Many of you know about the amazing water crystal work of Dr. Masaru Emoto who has shown that human speech or thoughts directed at water, changes its molecular structure. Once frozen, water droplets thus affected take on new shapes and forms– beautiful or ugly, depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative.

Crystal of water exposed to words "love and gratitude."

Crystal of water exposed to words "love and gratitude."

Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music, or by attaching written words to a container of water. Is this not scientific proof of the effects of positive and negative intentions?

“Remembering thoughts are things — have tenacity, coherence, and life, — that they are real entities — the rest will become plain.” – Mahatma Letters

Positive & Negative Energy Effects
on Water Crystals

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Transformative Power of Intention

“It is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become…malignant or…beneficent,” Madame Blavatsky explains in Practical Occultism,

“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator. For, unless the intention is entirely unalloyed, the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.

The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving ; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart and this is DIVINE MAGIC.”

More Magic Rice

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Since learning about Dr. Emoto’s work, are you more mindful when you walk past a pond, to send it your good intentions? Have you experimented with your own water, putting words on containers?

If your good intentions can change molecular structures of water into beautiful forms, what happens when you do the same with a bottle of pills?

© Kara LeBeau 2009. All rights reserved.

Nicholas Roerich, "Drops of Life"

Nicholas Roerich, "Drops of Life"

Buddha’s Grace

Maitreya

Maitreya

MAITREYA, the Future Buddha whose name means “loving kindness,” is a very active Bodhisattva, Buddhist tradition says, involved intimately with the Earth.

We saw in the story of Asanga, how closely Maitreya was in his relationship with his chela.

Not only did this boost Asanga’s spiritual progress, but that propelled him to a point where he could serve as the amanuensis for Maitreya’s teaching written in the fourth century A.D.

Maitreya is a Tathagatha (the Absolute come), which, Helena Blavatsky explains, “is the highest epithet, since the first and the last Buddhas were the direct immediate avatars of the first deity.”

Fascinating that this Future Buddha is so present with us, and reams of testimony in the ancient East bear witness to his personal intercession, sometimes through statues of him, for healing, compassion, forgiveness, teaching, and initiation.

Point of Grace

This intercession is purely a point of grace, for humanity, Helena Blavatsky explains:

“… having fallen into matter, their spiritual vision became dim; and coordinately the third eye commenced to lose its power.The Inner sight could henceforth be acquired only through training and initiation…” (Secret Doctrine 2:294).

Master K.H. reveals in the Mahatma Letters:

“Our Lord Buddha…would not have appeared in our epoch, great as were his accumulated merits in previous rebirths but for a mystery….” (Letter XV, p. 96).

To understand where, as individuals, we fit into all of this, we’ll explore Maitreya a bit more, and his and our creation in the Dhyani Buddhas.

maitreya_bosatsuMaitreya

The Fifth Buddha

In the Secret Doctrine, Madame Blavatsky expounds on the symbolism of the letter “M,” noting that “Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha…the last Messiah who will come at the culmination of the Great Cycle.”(I:184):

Vajrayana Buddhism outlines five distinctive ages presided over and involving three types of beings: a Dhyani Buddha, a Dhyani Bodhisattva, and an incarnate Buddha. The transcendent Dhyani Buddhas and their counterparts symbolize aspects of enlightened consciousness as emanations of one single primordial Buddha.  Think of them as types of step-down transformers conveying divine frequencies for assimilation and transformation.

According to this Vajrayana scheme, we currently reside in the fourth age of the Dhyani Buddha Amitabha, the Dhyani Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guan Yin or Kuan Yin), and the incarnate Buddha Shakyamuni. The fifth age would be presided over by the Dhyani Buddha Amoghasiddhi, the Dhyani Bodhisattva Vishvapani, and the incarnation of Maitreya Buddha.

Amoghasiddhi

Amoghasiddhi

“[W]e are still in the Fourth Round, and the world also has only had four Buddhas, so far,” Madame Blavatsky explains, “But as every new Root-race at the head of a Round must have its revelation and revealers, the next Round will bring the Fifth, the following the Sixth, and so on.”

Born of Stars:Dhyani Buddhas

Madame Blavatsky, however, asserts there are seven Dhyani Buddhas and offers this insight for how each one of us is under the “star” of a distinct Dhyani Buddha:

“In the esoteric, and even exoteric Buddhism…Adi Buddha …the One unknown, without beginning or end… emits a bright ray from its darkness.

dhyani_buddhasLogos Buddha’s Diamond Heart

“This is the Logos (the first), or…the Supreme Buddha…As the Lord of all Mysteries he cannot manifest, but sends into the world of manifestation his heart — the ‘diamond heart,’…

“This is the second logos of creation, from whom emanate the seven (in the exoteric blind the five) Dhyani Buddhas…

“These Buddhas are the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal being…wherein the Intelligences (on that plane only) have neither shape nor name, in the exoteric system, but have their distinct seven names in esoteric philosophy….

Buddha Here, Buddha There

thegioicuclac

“In the [Vajrayana] Buddhist system, or the popular exoteric religion, it is taught that every Buddha, while preaching the good law on earth, manifests himself simultaneously in three worlds: in the formless, as Dhyani Buddha, in the World of forms, as a Bodhisattva, and in the world of desire, the lowest (or our world) as a man.

“Esoterically the teaching differs: The divine, purely Adi-Buddhic monad manifests as the universal Buddhi [universal soul or mind,] the spiritual, omniscient and omnipotent root of divine intelligence, … or the Logos.

This descends ‘like a flame spreading from the eternal Fire, immoveable, without increase or decrease, ever the same to the end’ of the cycle of existence, and becomes universal life on the Mundane Plane.

“From this Plane of conscious Life shoot out, like seven fiery tongues, the Sons of Light (the logoi of Life); then the Dhyani-Buddhas of contemplation: the concrete forms of their formless Fathers — the Seven Sons of Light…”

shooting starsBodhisattvas’ Birth

“These Dhyani Buddhas emanate, or create from themselves…celestial Selves — the super-human Bodhisattvas. These incarnating at the beginning of every human cycle on earth as mortal men, become occasionally, owing to their personal merit, Bodhisattvas among the Sons of Humanity, after which they may re-appear asBuddhas….”

Our Guiding Stars and Parents:

Dhyani Buddhas

Those formless Fathers of the Dhyani Buddhas, those “Seven Sons of Light” mentioned earlier are also called “Stars,” Madame Blavatsky explains in the same passage.

“The star under which a human Entity is born, says the Occult teaching, will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara.

“But this is not his astrological star. The latter is concerned and connected with the personality, the former with the individuality.

“The ‘Angel’ of that Star, or the Dhyani-Buddha will be either the guiding or simply the presiding “Angel,” so to say, in every new rebirth of the monad [that immortal incarnating part of you], which is part of his own essence….

thegioicuclac

Twin Souls and Planetary Spirits

“The adepts have each their Dhyani-Buddha, their elder “twin Soul,” and they know it, calling it ‘Father-Soul,’ and ‘Father-Fire.’ It is only at the last and supreme initiation, however, that they learn it when placed face to face with the bright ‘Image.’

“….the [monads, that is–you and me, as] radiations of one and the same Planetary Spirit (Dhyani Buddha) are, in all their after lives and rebirths, sister, or ‘twin-souls,’ on this Earth.

amitabha2Whose Star Are You Born Under?

“This was known to every high Initiate in every age and in every country: ‘I and my Father are one,’ said Jesus [and] When He is made to say, elsewhere …‘I ascend to my Father and your Father,’ it meant that which has just been stated.

“It was simply to show that the group of his disciples and followers attracted to Him belonged to the same Dhyani Buddha, “Star,” or “Father,” again of the same planetary realm and division as He did.”

In mainstream Buddhism, this is referred to as being a part of a Buddha “family.”

Which of the Dhyani Buddha families are you a member of?

5 Dhyani BuddhasCan We Get There from Here?

Going back to Maitreya, we can understand why he sought to restore the ancient wisdom of the original Buddha’s teaching through his chela Asanga through the new school called Yogacharya. Similar to the role the Mahatmas and Helena Blavatsky fulfilled in the founding of Theosophy in the hope of getting us back on track.

Maitreya sought to restore the ancient wisdom of the original Buddha’s teaching through his chela Asanga, and that intention was the impetus behind the founding of the Yogacharya school of Buddhism. Similar to the role the Mahatmas and Helena Blavatasky fulfilled in the founding of Theosophy.

“From this living and presently acting body of [Mahatmas,] H.P.Blavatsky declared she received the impulse to once more bring forward the old ideas, and from them also received several keys to ancient and modern doctrines that had been lost during modern struggles toward civilization,” William Q. Judge explains, “and also that she was furnished by Them with some doctrines really ancient but entirely new to the present day in any exoteric shape.”

The reassertion of Yogacharya teaching came at a time when misunderstandings about nirvana prevailed, viewing it as total nihilism. It is said that Asanga’s mother, a devotee of the Bodhisattva of Compassion Avalokiteshvara, was grieved by the “great misfortune that had befallen Buddhism” at the time in India and prayed to Him that she might be an instrument to restore the Dharma, says scholar Janice Willis. Thus, Asanga’s mother bore three sons who all dedicated their lives to Buddhism.

Asanga

Asanga

You Create Reality

One hallmark of the Yogacharya school was the teaching on “Mind-Only” or Cittamatra.  “Our entire experience of ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ reality is nothing but a flow of (illusory) perceptions,” explains Richard Taylor, author of Blavatsky and Buddhism.

“Through sense-perceptions and inference, we construct our entire experience and perceive it to be objective and real–but it is really only our own construct. Since we are all doing this, there is something of a shared illusion, a shared dream. But it is not real. This illusory, constructed aspect is ‘vijnaptimatra.’ This is our experience, samsara, the basis for our confusion and suffering.

“In its pure, absolute aspect, the teaching is of a real, pure, permanent ‘substratum consciousness’ (alayavijnana). When confused, constructed consciousness that is tainted by personal desires ceases — the pure substratum consciousness is unveiled. It is not personal, but universal and eternal.”

The following excerpt from the film “What the Bleep Do We Know?” explores  breaking away from this shared illusion and how one’s brain and body responds:

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A Word from HPB and Asanga

HPB quotes a teaching from Asanga on our true nature:

“THAT which is neither Spirit nor Matter. Light nor Darkness, but is verily the container and root of these, that thou art. The root projects at every Dawn its shadow of ITSELF, and that shadow thou callest Light and Life. O poor dead Form. (This) Life-Light streameth downward through the stairway of the seven worlds, the stairs of which with each step becomes denser and darker. It is of this seven-times-seven scale that thou art the faithful climber and mirror. O little man! Thou art this, but thou knowest it not.”

And then she comments:

“THIS is the first lesson to learn. The second is to study well and know the principles of both the Kosmos and ourselves, dividing the group into the permanent and impermanent, the higher and immortal, and the lower and mortal; for thus only can we master and guide the lower cosmic and personal, then the higher cosmic and impersonal. Once we can do that, we have secured our immortality.”

© Kara LeBeau 2009. All rights reserved.

Nicholas Roerich - "Shooting Star"

Nicholas Roerich - "Star of the Hero"

A Buddha and His Dog

ASANGA gave up. Twelve long years of meditation and spiritual practices, and still no vision of the future Buddha Maitreya.

He yearned to connect with Maitreya to receive teaching directly, which would accelerate his progress on the Bodhisattva path.

“Every new Bodhisattva or initiated great Adept is called the ‘liberator of mankind,’ Helena Blavatsky explains in The Voice of the Silence:

“Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva,” she wrote, “Compassion speaks and saith: ‘Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?’”

Continue reading

How Do You Doodle?

HPB Doodlebook

HPB Doodlebook

Okay, you’re at a boring meeting and your pen starts playing in the margins of your paper. A distraction? No. Doodling can actually help you remember important information.

“When the brain lacks sufficient stimulation,” psychology professor Jackie Andrade said recently on NPR, “it essentially goes on the prowl and scavenges for something to think about. Typically what happens in this situation is that the brain ends up manufacturing its own material.”

The material the brain makes up is doodles.

Jackie Andrade

Jackie Andrade

In Andrade’s study, recently published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, she found that when subjects were given a doodling task while listening to a dull phone message, they had a 29% improved recall compared to their non-doodling counterparts.

Forty volunteers were asked to listen to a two-and-a-half-minute tape giving several names of people and places, and were told to write down only the names of people going to a party. Twenty of the participants were asked to shade in shapes on a piece of paper at the same time, but paying no attention to neatness.

After the tape had finished, all participants in the study were asked to recall the eight names of the party-goers which they were asked to write down, as well as eight additional place names which were included as incidental information. The doodlers recalled on average 7.5 names of people and places compared to only 5.8 by the non-doodlers.

“This study suggests that in everyday life doodling may be something we do because it helps to keep us on track with a boring task,” Andrade says, “rather than being an unnecessary distraction that we should try to resist doing.”

The Comte de St. Germain

Count St. Germain

I don’t know if 18th century mystic and alchemist the Comte de St. Germain doodled, but he certainly had mastery of mind and spirit…and the pen. “He was ambidextrous, and could write a poem with one hand while he framed a diplomatic paper with the other,” Theosophy records.

The article also says that he could “merely glance at a paper, and days afterward repeat its contents without missing a word” and that he “frequently read sealed letters without touching them and was known to answer questions before they had been put into words.” (Theosophy, Vol. 27, No. 1, November, 1938, pp. 3-9.) He knew how to use his faculties, spiritual and other, optimally to push the envelope of his creative expression.

Doodler Defense

W. Q. Judge

W. Q. Judge

William Judge defends the doodler—a good 116 years before Andrade’s study—because the doodler uses imagination. “The faculty of imagination has been reduced to a very low level by modern western theorisers upon mental philosophy,” he says in his article Imagination and Occult Phenomenon:

“It is ‘only the making of pictures, daydreaming, fancy and the like’: thus they have said about one of the noblest faculties in man. In Occultism it is well known to be of the highest importance that one should have the imagination under such control as to be able to make a picture of anything at any time, and if this power has not been so trained the possession of other sorts of knowledge will not enable one to perform certain classes of occult phenomena….

“The Adepts who consciously send messages from a distance or who impress thoughts or sentences on the mind of another at a distance are able to do so because their imagination has been fully trained….”

Imagination and Precipitation

mahatmaletter3

Mahatma Letters

Judge continues: “Take the case of precipitation. In the first place, all the minerals, metals, and colored substances any one could wish for use are in the air about us held in suspension. This has long been proved so as to need no argument now. If there be any chemical process known that will act on these substances, they can be taken from the air and thrown down before us into visibility. this visibility only results from the closer packing together of the atoms of matter composing the mass.

“….Occultism has a knowledge of the secret chemistry of nature whereby those carbons and other substances in the air may be drawn out at will either separately or mixed. The next step is to find for these substances so to be packed together a mold or matrix through which they may be poured, as it were, and, being thus closely packed, become visible. Is there such mold or matrix?

“The matrix is made by means of the trained imagination. It must have been trained either now or in some other life before this, or no picture can be precipitated nor message impressed on the brain to which it is directed.”

Precipitating Messages

“But, of course, in the case of sending and precipitating on to paper a message from a distance, a good many other matters have to be well known to the operator. For instance, the inner as well as the outer resistance of all substances have to be known, for if not calculated they will throw the aim out, just as the billiard ball may be deflected if the resistance of the cushion is variable and not known to be so by the player.

“And again, if a living human being has to be used as the other battery at this end of the line, all the resistances and also all the play of that person’s thought have to be known or a complete failure may result.

“This will show those who inquire about phenomena, or who at a jump wish to be adepts or to do as the adepts can do, what a task it is they would undertake. But there is still another consideration, and that is that inasmuch as all these phenomena have to do with the very subtle and powerful planes of matter it must follow that each time a phenomenon is done the forces of those planes are roused to action, and reaction will be equal to action in these things just as on the ordinary plane.”


HPB’s Precipitation Experiment

HPB Doodle

HPB Doodle

“An illustration will go to make clear what has been said of the imagination. One day H.P. Blavatsky said she would show me precipitation in the very act. She looked fixedly at a certain smooth piece of wood and slowly on it come out letters which at last made a long sentence. It formed before my eyes and I could see the matter condense and pack itself on the surface. All the letters were like such as she would make with her hand, just because she was making the image in her brain and of course followed her own peculiarities. But in the middle, one of the letters were blurred and, as it were, all split into a mass of mere color as to part of the letter.

“‘Now here,’ she said, ‘I purposely wandered in the image, so that you could see the effect. As I let my attention go, the falling substance had no matrix and naturally fell on the wood any way and without shape.'”

Snake Charmer

snakecharmer21

Judge then recounts his interview with a snake charmer; that is, someone who makes a crowd of people believe there is a snake with him, where no such snake exists at all:

“The man replied that he was able to see through it, so that for him it looked like the shadow of a snake, but that if he had not done it so often he might be frightened by it himself. The process he would not give, as he claimed it was a secret in his family. But anyone who has made the trial knows that it is possible to train the imagination so as to at will bring up before the mind the outlines of any object whatsoever, and that after a time the mind seems to construct the image as if it were a tangible thing.

“But there is a wide difference between this and the kind of imagination which is solely connected with some desire or fancy. In the latter case the desire and the image and the mind with all its powers are mixed together, and the result, instead of being a training of the image-making power, is to bring on a decay of that power and only a continual flying to the image of the thing desired. This is the sort of use of the power of the imagination which has lowered it in the eyes of the modern scholar, but even that result would not have come about if the scholars had a knowledge of the real inner nature of man.” (Path, December 1892.)

© Kara LeBeau 2009 All rights reserved

Nicholas Roerich -"Rocks of Lahul"

Nicholas Roerich -"Rocks of Lahul"

Other related resources: Check out the gallery of presidential doodles and other doodle news at NPR.

Quantum Swim

OUR friends at Aquarian Theosophist recently discussed quantum physics from the movie, What the Bleep Do We Know!?

The movie asks the Alice in Wonderland question, “How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?” That is, how far down the rabbit hole of quantum physics do you want to go?

But to go down the rabbit hole means you are a participant, that you access what retired math professor and electronics engineer Ellis Peterson calls the “quantum ocean” in his article below.

And, in accessing the quantum ocean, preconceived notions about the world change.

Bilocate with Your Dog

Take 16th century Saint Philip Neri (above), for example, whose mission involved challenging stilted thinking. He might give a sermon with half of his beard cleanly shaved off, or ask a haughty and proud patron to walk his dog. When he saw the patron walking his dog on a leash, he cried,

“What are you doing?
I asked you to walk my dog!”

Then he instructed the patron to carry his dog as he walked along in the city. Saint Philip loved dogs…and so, when he entered the quantum ocean and bilocated, he also bilocated his dog with him.

Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Guan Yin!

quan-yin3

You might see her sitting inconspicuously in the corner of a Chinese restaurant. Dressed in white and sometimes with children about her, she’s always poised and calm and ready to assist anyone in need.

And some credit her with miraculous healings and intercession–rising up into the air over Taiwan in World War II, for example, and wrapping her radiant white garments around a dropping bomb, deactivating it.

Of course, I’m talking about Guan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy aka the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Her name is also rendered Kuan Yin, Kwan Yin, or Quan Yin, which literally means, “observe sound.” Devotees traditionally might translate that “one who hears the cries” or, as Guan Shi Yin, “one who hears the cries of the world.”

Prajna-paramita Hrdaya Sutram (The Heart Sutra)

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Guan Yin, Male & Female

While many, East and West, revere her as a type of Madonna figure or saviouress, she’s also esteemed as a role model for Earthly responsibilities such as being a parent, as well as a role model and inspiration for those seeking the Bodhisattva path.

But there are other ways to view and understand this profound Being who was first known in India as the male Avalokiteshvara but was increasingly experienced as female in China, given the Tibetan esoteric teaching that the female consort or shakti of Avalokiteshvara is Pandaravasini-the “White Robed” or White Tara.

lotus1

The Lotus Sutra also confirms with vivid examples that Avalokitesvara can manifest in any form, male or female, young or old, spirit or animal, as the situation calls for.

Asian art records this transition from male to female with some pivotal images showing Guan Yin with characteristics of both sexes–such as a female form, yet bearing a mustache.

Guan Shi Yin/Guan Yin as Male/Female in Theosophy

guanyin2

“Kwan-shai-yin [Guan Shi Yin] is often confused with Kwan-yin, the Chinese goddess of compassion, the feminine Logos and counterpart of Kwan-shai-yin,” explains Helena Blavatsky in the Theosophical Glossary, “but ‘Kwan-shai-yin — or the universally manifested voice ‘is active — male; and must not be confounded with Kwan-yin, or Buddhi the Spiritual Soul … and the vehicle of its ‘Lord.'”

“It is Kwan-yin that is the female principle or the manifested passive, manifesting itself ‘to every creature in the universe, in order to deliver all men from the consequences of sin’. . . while Kwan-shai-yin, ‘the Son identical with his Father’ is the absolute activity, hence — having no direct relation to objects of sense is — Passivity.”

“Kwan-shai-yin, the Voice or Logos, is “the germ point of manifested activity; — hence — in the phraseology of the Christian Kabalists ‘the Son of the Father and Mother,’ and agreeably to ours — ‘the Self manifested in Self — Yih-sin, the ‘one form of existence,’ the child of Dharmakaya (the universally diffused Essence), both male and female.” (Mahatma Letters No.59).

Guan Shi Yin and Future Buddha Maitreya Are One

guanyin3

“As this Bodhisattva is said ‘to assume any form he pleases’ from the beginning of a Manvantara to its end, though his special birthday (memorial day) is celebrated according to the Kin-kwang-ming-King (‘Luminous Sutra of Golden Light’ [Jin Guang Ming Jing]) in the second month on the nineteenth day, and that of ‘Maitreya Buddha’ in the first month on the first day, yet the two are one,” Madame Blavatsky says.

“He will appear as Maitreya Buddha, the last of the Avatars and Buddhas, in the seventh Race. This belief and expectation are universal throughout the East.” (Secret Doctrine 1:470).

Let us be mindful this day of Guan Shi Yin and Guan Yin, and the hope of the future Buddha.

Imee Ooi – Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva (Chanting)

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Nicholas Roerich -"Agnifire"

Nicholas Roerich "Agnifire"

Guan Yin Pledge:

“Never will I seek nor receive private, individual salvation; never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the redemption of every creature throughout the world from the bonds of conditioned existence.” Kwan-Yin

Mantras associated with Guan Yin:

Om mani padme hum

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Bodhi, Svaha!

Ten Vows and Dharani of Great Compassion

kara_seal© Kara LeBeau 2009 All rights reserved

Guan Yin & The Clam

guanyin_ha-li-satisfaction

Namo Guan Yin of the Clam

During the 6th-9th centuries in China, devotion to 33 manifestations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion Guan Yin (aka Kwan Yin, Kuan Yin, Quan Yin) became popular. The sets of 33, however, changed throughout those years.

The Clam Guan Yin eventually became number 25 of the 33. She is depicted seated on a shell and is known for her miracles in the palace of the Tang Dynasty Emperor Wen Zong who reigned from 826-840 A.D.

33 Sacred Prescriptions

I would imagine having the 33 manifestations would be something like a set of prescriptions for self-diagnosis. The devotee could choose a particular manifestation of this great being of compassion to focus on according to their specific need at the time.

And I think the “prescription” of number 25 of this set, addresses a lack of intuition-the question: “What am I not seeing that I need to see?” Perhaps the message is to listen to the still small voice of one’s own intuition. Or seek help for spiritual guidance when one is unsure of dangers lurking around the bend.

The Imperial Cook’s Discovery

caldronHere’s one story about the clam Guan Yin as I have translated it, with some added historical context.

One day, the imperial cook for Emperor Wen Zong was boiling some chicken eggs when suddenly he heard a sound from the cauldron. He attentively listened and in fact it was one egg in the cauldron crying out sorrowfully with all of its might, “Guan Yin Bodhisattva, save me!”

egg3When the Emperor first heard about it, he didn’t believe it. But later when it was confirmed, he said, “The Buddha’s power is vast” and he gave the mandate that chicken eggs were no longer to be used for food. (Click here to read Madame Blavatsky’s teaching on the significance of the egg and its sacredness to Isis.)

The Second Discovery

clam3Then another day in the imperial kitchen, the cook was boiling some clams. Again he heard a sound from the cauldron. It was a clam also crying out to the Bodhisattva Guan Yin. Thereupon he lit some incense and prayed fervently. Guan Yin then appeared in the form of the Mahasattva (Great Being).

The Emperor summoned the South Mountain Zen Master and asked him about it. The Zen Master said, “You have been faithful and strong in purpose, you deserve to be delighted by this blessing.”

But the Emperor wasn’t fully satisfied with this answer and replied, “I ponder the Mahasattva’s appearance, and I can’t fathom what this blessing is.”

avalokiteshvara1

Mahasattva Guan Yin

The Warning

The Emperor had good reason to be perplexed. The appearance of the Mahasattva Guan Yin was not a blessing per se, but a warning. Emperor Wen Zong was in danger.

But who could have properly interpreted this warning for him? The Zen Master was more interested in flattering him. And why didn’t Wen Zong send out a request for help? Was he too proud? Nations are won or lost based upon the correct interpretation of warnings, prophecies, and signs. Think of Joseph and his correct interpretation of the Pharaoh ‘s dreams.

Palace Intrigue and Imprisonment

Since the beginning of the ninth century, Tang emperors had been plagued by factions of eunuchs usurping power. It’s not entirely the eunuchs’ fault; it was the earlier Emperor De Zong (reigned from 780-805 A.D.) who gave them extraordinary power and influence. He removed his ministers and even the commander of his army and replaced them with his eunuchs. He believed the eunuchs would be faithful to him-those he knew and trusted as his caregivers since childhood.

eunuchTwo emperors before Wen Zong had been assassinated by court eunuchs and he himself was beleaguered by their destructive intrigues. He had planned a coup against them, but it backfired and the eunuchs executed many of Wen Zong’s prominent and most capable ministers. Then they put him under house arrest. So, for the rest of his life, he became the imprisoned little voice of the egg and the clam boiling in hot water and crying out for the merciful intercession of Guan Yin.

W. Q. Judge’s Perspective

wqjudge11“It is the attitude of the mind which draws the Karmic cords tightly round the soul,” Judge said, “It imprisons the aspirations and binds them with chains of difficulty and obstruction. It is desire that causes the past Karma to take form and shape and build the house of clay. It must be through non-attachment that the soul will burst through the walls of pain, it will be only through a change of mind that the Karmic burden will be lifted.” (“Karma,” Path Dec. 1886)

Heart Sutra Song

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guan_yin5

Nicholas Roerich, Kuan-yin. 1933


kara_seal2© Kara LeBeau 2001, 2009 All rights reserved

Confucius and Black Holes

The hunters didn’t have the decency this past Christmas morn to lay down their arms. Forget sleeping in, or reveling in the silence of a new day. They were equal opportunity–blasting away on the Solstice and Hanukkah, too.

And the neighbor with his rock band who begin “practicing” at, oh, midnight or 1 a.m. in the middle of the week, pounding their cacophonic distress signals into the night air.

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule taught by Confucius 2,500 years ago? Poor Confucius; it was rough for him being ahead of his time. He traveled throughout China looking for a job, believing that if he had the right opportunity he could really change the world. He never found one.

Do you understand why he said, as I translate it:

“If people don’t recognize your divine qualities and gifts, and that doesn’t faze you; well then, that’s the sign of a true spiritual aspirant.”

THE DUKE OF ZHOU

Confucius didn’t see himself as an innovator-he just wanted to bring back the foundations for a Golden Age taught by the Duke of Zhou, who lived a good 500 years before him. The Duke of Zhou masterminded the overthrow of the degenerate slavocracy Shang dynasty, fulfilled by his brother and nephew.

His brother is the one who, while jailed earlier by the Shang, compiled a manual on statecraft and cultivating intuition we now know as the I-Jing or Book of Changes. Confucius later edited this work along with other classics. And the Duke of Zhou, who wrote a comprehensive treatise on governing principles, actually appeared to Confucius in his dreams, instructing him.

Towards the end of his life-still unemployed-Confucius felt like a failure, moaning “I don’t even dream about the Duke of Zhou anymore!”

Duke of Zhou

Duke of Zhou

WHICH AGE ARE YOU IN?

Was Confucius one of those embodying the consciousness of a Golden Age while trudging the Earth in the dark age of Kali Yuga that began 3,102 B.C.? “[A]t one and the same time races may be on the earth running each for itself through one or other of the periods,” William Judge explains:

“Some might be in the Golden Age and others in the Black. At present it is admitted that the Aryans are in the Kali Age, but certain childlike races are not so. Within the present five thousand year period we know that races have absolutely finished their Kali Yuga and gone out of existence. This happened to that which ruled a part of the American continent, and hence for them in particular their Kali Yuga must have begun earlier than ours did.”

Perhaps these days, we might call Confucius a “change agent,” someone ahead of his time holding the vision of utopia. My astrologer friend Kathleen Goodyear (“Goodyear” being her married name), might call Confucius a “black hole person.” She believes black holes are powerful portals of transformation.

BLACK HOLE PEOPLE

“People who have planets (especially the faster ones) or other important points in their charts actively relating to black holes seem to live atypical lives,” Kathleen says in her article Astrological Aspects of Black Holes.

“On the positive side, they may be very creative, out-of-the-box folks bringing fresh perspectives to life. Indeed, I have found black-hole activity common in charts of historical figures who changed the course of their professions. The outflow of black-hole energy is dynamic, and many black-hole people are dedicated workers who have an inner drive to work hard…. black-hole people frequently also experience time-warping.

The Greeks held that there are two types of time: kronos, clock time, and kairos, subjective, non-linear time. Kairos is black-hole time. Interacting with a black-hole person can be like entering a place where the clock has stopped. Hours can pass while intimately sharing in this womb-like environment; indeed, transformation can occur. “

PORTALS OF TRANSFORMATION

Clearly, this view of black holes as powerful portals of transformation doesn’t jibe with some scientists’ view of black holes as phenomenon whose gravity is so great that nothing, even light, escapes their pull. Madame Blavatsky would scoff at the idea of gravity being a compelling force in black holes.

“The anti-Aristotelian formula that gravity causes all bodies to descend with equal rapidity, without reference to their weight, the difference being caused by some other unknown agency, would seem to point a great deal more forcibly to magnetism than to gravitation,” she explains on page 244 of Isis Unveiled,

the former attracting rather in virtue of the substance than of the weight. A thorough familiarity with the occult faculties of everything existing in nature, visible as well as invisible; their mutual relations, attractions, and repulsions; the cause of these, traced to the spiritual principle which pervades and animates all things; the ability to furnish the best conditions for this principle to manifest itself, in other words a profound and exhaustive knowledge of natural law – this was and is the basis of magic.

"I told you so!"

"I told you so!"

The theory of black holes has always stirred controversy; Theosophy-bent Albert Einstein didn’t believe they existed at all and the video below illustrates other contrary views.

CHANGING PERSPECTIVES

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But scientists’ understanding of black holes is changing.

BBC News recently reported a study by Germain astronomers who confirm that a giant black hole is in the center of our galaxy. The article quotes Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society suggesting that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit: “[black holes] may have had a role in helping galaxies to form – not just our own, but all galaxies.”

Perhaps scientists will soon see black holes more akin to the Theosophical concept of laya centers.

“When a planetary chain is in its last Round… before finally dying out, [its globe] sends all its energy and ‘principles’ into a neutral centre of latent force, a ‘laya centre,'” Madame Blavatsky explains in The Secret Doctrine, “and thereby informs a new nucleus of undifferentiated substance or matter, i.e., calls it into activity or gives it life.” In other words, the nursery for building galaxies.


© Kara LeBeau 2009. All rights reserved.

confucius_the_just_one

“Confucius the Just One” by Nicholas Roerich (1925/26)


Evil in Mumbai

NPR Weekend Edition Host Scott Simon’s commentary week on Mumbai was a bit of a surprise. “[A]fter covering too many killings, as a reporter or host, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Oklahoma City or Somalia, I’ve come to the conclusion that the perpetrators of such crimes might just be … evil,” he said.

Scott Simon

Scott Simon

 

“Evil is a word that many people of my generation shrink from using. It seems so imprecise and uneducated — biblical, rather than cerebral and informed. But there are times and crimes that remind me how often the Bible gets it right.”


INHERENT EVIL

Shrinking away from the idea that a person could inherently be evil is nothing new. The fifth century Chinese Buddhist translator Dao Sheng had a really hard time with the concept of icchantikas—those who do not have the Buddha-nature, which the Buddha mentioned in his final teaching, The Nirvana Sutra. So Dao Sheng rewrote and retranslated the text to say that icchantikas could be saved too, adding rose-colored lenses to the Buddhist worldview.

It is not unlike C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, where the best way for evil to conquer is to convince people that it does not exist.


EMBODIED EVIL

When asked about the nature of “entities,” William Q. Judge explained:

W. Q. Judge

W. Q. Judge

First, there are the humdrum masses of elementals that move like nerve-currents with every motion of man, beast, or natural elements. Next are classes of those which have a peculiar power and consciousness of their own and not easily reached by any man.

Then come the shades of the dead, whether mere floating shells, or animated elementals, or infused with galvanic and extraordinary action by the Brothers of the Shadow.

Last, the Brothers of the Shadow, devoid of physical bodies save in rare cases, bad souls living long in that realm and working according to their nature for no other end than evil until they are finally annihilated—they are the lost souls of Kama Loka as distinguished from the “animated corpses” devoid of souls which live and move among men (The Path February 1895).

NO CONSCIENCE

In explaining how evil people “function,” Scott Simon mentions Romeo Dallaire:

Roméo Dallaire

Roméo Dallaire

“[T]he courageous Canadian general who tried to stop massacres in Rwanda, once told us that evil men and women see no innocents in the world. They will slaughter mothers without conscience and their children, too, because mothers give birth to children who can grow up to be their opponents. Evil people are not dumb, he said. They simply use the power of their mind to cut off their conscience.”


CHIEF CAUSE OF WORLD EVIL

But it is Master K.H. (Mahatma Kuthumi or Koot Hoomi) in the Mahatma Letters who brings this topic full circle in understanding “evil”  in Mumbai and other terrorism in 41m2s2rtgvl_sl160_our world:

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.

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.

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….

A SOLUTION

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.”

Our Green Horizon

Ferry Farm, Artist's rendering by L. H. Barker © 2008

Ferry Farm, Artist's rendering by L. H. Barker © 2008

WE would like to introduce a series on the practical necessity and spiritual implications of going “green.” Whether or not you voted for President-elect Obama, there is great anticipation that as our new president, he will change policies and laws to support the environment and sustainable agriculture. Let’s hope so.

But he won’t be the first president to go green. Our first president, George Washington, truly had a vision for agriculture as part of America’s future. In fact, he was really into compost as a basis for a successful farm.

We know from William Quan Judge’s writings, that the Adepts inspired key individuals behind the American Revolution. George Washington was a mason, as were a number of revolutionary luminaries with him. HPB noted that Masonry was the “Theosophy” of its era, “the Theosophists of Ammonias Saccas and the later Neo-Platonists, were all virtually Masons.”

And Judge himself, an April 5, 1896 New York Times article tells us, embodied as one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

As the Adepts continue to inspire and guide us, what is Their ideal for a Green Horizon?

Let’s start with George Washington.

aa_wash_soldier_3_m1

“Our lands…were originally very good; but use, and abuse, have made them quite otherwise.”

-George Washington (1732-1799)

President George Washington was one of the most innovative farmers of his era. Instead of wearing out soil and then moving elsewhere to farm, he believed in restoring soil through adding compost, using “green manure,” and rotating crops on his 8,000-acre plantation at Mount Vernon.

Washington kept up with the latest agriculture practices in England and experimented with more than 60 different crops along with various fertilizers, techniques, and tools to increase yields.

Washington prized those who could make good compost; when looking for a new farm manager from England, he wrote to a friend for help stipulating that above all else, the manager had to be

“Midas-like, or who can convert every thing he touches into manure, as the first transmutation towards Gold.”

Washington built an unusual 31- by 12-foot building, probably the first of its kind in America, to compost manure and other materials into fertilizer, and instructed workers to “rake, and scrape up all the trash, of every sort and kind about the houses, and in the holes and corners,” to add to the compost.

Buckwheat Field

Buckwheat Field

He also experimented adding creek mud, fish heads, marine fossil clay, ashes, and plaster of Paris to nourish soil. Instead of letting fields idle to try to restore the soil–as was the practice of the time, Washington planted depleted fields with clover, peas, buckwheat, and grasses. When he plowed them under, green plants fed essential nutrients to revitalize the soil; thus the name, “green manure.”

Washington also devised portable fences to manage cattle grazing and manuring fields directly.

Before the mid-1760s, Washington grew tobacco as his main cash crop, but it had so depleted the soil, he stopped and grew wheat and other crops instead. He experimented growing peas and potatoes between rows of corn, and varied the distance between rows to see what worked best.

To keep his soil fertile, Washington rotated his crops. He carefully mapped out, for example, what would successively grow in each of his seven fields from 1793 to 1799. He assigned one field for corn and potatoes, one field for buckwheat, two fields for wheat, and three fields for clover or grass.

The next year, the crops would be planted in different fields. Washington wrote to his farm manager:

“My object is to recover the fields from the exhausted state into which they have fallen,” but two ways will enable me to accomplish this. This first is to cover them with as much manure as possible (winter and summer). The 2d a judicious succession of crops.”

While he emphasized self-reliance, Washington reveled in the latest farm tools to increase productivity and yields. In 1791, Washington and Thomas Jefferson traveled to a farm near Philadelphia to see a new threshing machine in action. Jefferson later built his own version of the machine.

threshing

Washington told Jefferson in a letter:

“If you can bring a movable threshing Machine, constructed upon simple principles to perfection, it will be among the most valuable institutions in this Country.”

Washington believed agriculture was the foundation of America’s economy and future:

“I hope some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world.”

In his first State of the Union Address in 1790, he said:

“The advancement of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need recommendation. But I cannot forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at home…”

George Washington delivered the State of the Union message aloud.

George Washington delivered the State of the Union message aloud.

Washington’s own farming repertoire included a threshing machine, an array of plows, drills to plant seeds, and other tools—some sent by his friend, British agriculturist Arthur Young, who thought Washington was as good a farmer as he was a general.

Just a few days before he died, Washington was absorbed in planning future operations for his farms. His zeal as a farmer was not only to succeed, but also to be the example for other farmers. He wrote:

“Nothing in my opinion would contribute more to the welfare of these States, than the proper management of our lands,” and nothing, in this State particularly, seems to be less understood. The present mode of cropping practiced among us, is destructive to landed property; and must, if persisted in much longer ultimately ruin the holders of it.”

(Excerpt from Kara LeBeau’s Writing Seminars master’s thesis, Natural Farming: A Dire Improvement Mandate and Planetary Solution Conscientious in Integrated Principles, at Johns Hopkins University.)

© Kara LeBeau 2003, 2008. All rights reserved.


Unfamiliar Terrortory

A few days ago, I was walking the neighbor’s dog down to the beach area of our community. It was already dusk, so I had my flashlight with me. The usual bonfire, surrounded by gents and their beer yakking about the day, was gone and folks were talking in hushed tones.

The river was oddly beautiful with numerous boats shining cobalt blue lights. I was taking it all in and then the guys told me they were searching for a missing police officer.

He had volunteered in a training exercise earlier that day at a beach down the road from us. He was playing the “victim.” How he managed to slip away into the waters while a helicopter hovered overhead and police dive team members, marine patrol, and fire department personnel watched boggles me. Helicopters overhead that night looking for him kept me awake.

Ran into an officer earlier today while walking the dog at the beach and now they’re looking for his dead body. He asked me to call if I found anything.

A drowned body is hard to recognize, a neighbor told me, especially because of all the river critters that feed off it ‘til it journeys to the shore.

“Beware of this, O candidate!,” Helena Blavatsky warned,

‘Beware of fear that spreadeth, like the black and soundless wings of midnight bat, between the moonlight of thy Soul and thy great goal that loometh in the distance far away.” (The Voice of the Silence)

At the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, mice are learning how to not be afraid in stressful situations. Researchers there explain that two types of fear, instinctive and learned, have deep evolutionary roots and are essential for survival. But in some people, pathological forms of learned fear can lead to debilitating anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome, or depression.

Learned safety, on the other hand, reduces chronic stress, one of the hallmarks of depression and other psychopathologies. “The ability to identify, develop, and exploit conditions of safety and security is central to survival and mental health,” said Institute investigator Eric R. Kandel, “but little is known of the neurobiology of these processes.”

A friend of mine sent me a note last week about how fear had been holding him back on the Path, from making progress. And he sent me a link to an inspiring film about a young man who overcomes his fears.

So powerful a person can be when he or she “resides IN the ‘great & eternal’ moment,” my friend said. “I think this guy is an amazing vehicle for this lesson.”

Think of Blavatsky’s words before you watch this:

“Fear, O disciple, kills the will and stays all action.”

© Kara LeBeau 2008. All rights reserved.

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Sweet and Wild

sparrow61

What is it about our encounters with nature that thrills us so? Those tidbits of bliss, egoless moments, swept up in mysterious and profound wild.

On an unusually warm day in autumn, Amish organic farmer David Kline came upon a woodchuck napping by a tree. “Taking my walking stick,” he says, “I reached out and gently scratched its back. Instead of waking, as I expected it to, the woodchuck arched its back in appreciation; its movements seemed to say: ‘Ah, that feels good.’”

Biodynamic farmers often note a response in wildlife on their farms after applying biodynamic preparations that, in a sense, feed and nourish the forces of nature and earth.

In working with biodynamic and other healing methods for trees in my yard, the response from nature always astounds me: a fox greeting me as I walked out my back door and bald eagles flying overhead, singing, after I had treated one particular tree.

I live in an area surrounded by woods, so these encounters are more “natural” given the setting. But I had one encounter years ago with a bird at the Mall of America in Minnesota that I will never forget.

I had just finished shopping and was walking down the steps of a parking ramp when I noticed a sparrow flying into a Plexiglas wall trying to get out. I tried to catch it in my shopping bag, to no avail. I said a little prayer to Saint Francis.

Then I looked at the bird and said, “Look, you’re not going to get out of here without my help, so you’re going to have to cooperate.” The bird then jumped on the top of my shopping bag, which I was holding out to it, and we proceeded down another flight of steps.

Once we got to the entrance, I said to the sparrow, “Now you can go.” It flew happily away. A guy by the entrance watching the whole thing said, “Boy, are you lucky.”

A few weeks ago, I came home after a medical procedure, feeling pretty somber. It was night, and I heard a sound outside the back door so I flipped on the lights. There, just a few yards away, three baby raccoons were climbing around a tree.

After a few moments, they came down continuing to snack on birdseed I had dropped on the patio. They were incredibly cute. Then one came up my steps and looked at me through the screen door, as if to ask, “Are you okay?”

Sweet and wild.

"Are you okay?"

"Are you okay?"

© Kara LeBeau 2008. All rights reserved for text and above photo.

“Thou hast to become as one with Nature’s Soul-Thought. At one with it thou art invincible. All Nature thrills with joyous awe and feels subdued; the silver star now twinkles out the news to the night-blossoms, the streamlet to the pebbles ripples out the tale; dark ocean-waves will roar it to the rocks surf-bound, scent-laden breezes sing it to the vales, and stately pines mysteriously whisper: “A Master has arisen, a MASTER OF THE DAY.”

-The Voice of the Silence