Category Archives: blavatsky

The Extraordinary Life and Influence of H. P. Blavatsky

blavatsky-1876-1878

H. P. Blavatsky

EVERY year on May 8th, on what they call ‘White Lotus Day,’ theosophists all over the world meet to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the principal founder, and inspiration of the Theosophical Society.

“A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy, and the leading intellect behind the occult revival in the western world, Mme. Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888, her magnum opus.

“An unsolved mystery to the Victorian mind and a timeless challenge to our own, she plowed deep into the strata of archaic truth, and called for the restitution of spiritual values and the recognition of man’s divine heritage, Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy, wrote.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

. . . some day, if not at once, the loftiness and purity of her aims, the wisdom and scope of her teachings, will be recognized more fully, and her memory will be accorded the honor to which it is justly entitled.

— Editorial, New York Daily Tribune, May 10, 1891

In her will, Blavatsky suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day, and May 8th became known as White Lotus Day among Theosophists ever since.

White Lotus Day

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” her friend and colleague William Q. Judge wrote:

…a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

“So our old friend and fellow-worker has merely passed for a short time out of sight, but has not given up the work begun so many ages ago — the uplifting of humanity, the destruction of the shackles that enslave the human mind.”

— William Q. Judge
H. P. B. A LION-HEARTED COLLEAGUE PASSES.

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The Extraordinary Life and Influence of H. P. Blavatsky

blavatsky-1876-1878

H. P. Blavatsky

EVERY year on May 8th, on what they call White Lotus Day, theosophists all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy, and the leading intellect behind the occult revival in the western world, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888, her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

“. . . some day, if not at once, the loftiness and purity of her aims, the wisdom and scope of her teachings, will be recognized more fully, and her memory will be accorded the honor to which it is justly entitled.” — Editorial, New York Daily Tribune, May 10, 1891

In her will, Blavatsky suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

White Lotus Day

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“…a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Continue reading

The Theosophical Roots of a Spiritual Education

intelligentdesign

Growing Imagination

THE emergence of a new spiritual epoch in education may have dawned far back in the late 19th century driven by Theosophical principles.

New educational reforms encompassing spiritual development are evident in the formation of new schools today, many of which embody the eternal principles championed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.

“In many countries, educational reforms are taking place to consider the changing needs of 21st century learners,” writes Canadian theosophist Kathleen Hall in The Theosophical Roots of Spiritual Education, noting how:

“The old factory model of education that was mainly concerned with churning out obedient workers no longer suits the needs of today’s world.”

The principles defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy, raised the educational bar, both then and now .Children should above all be taught self-reliance,” she declared, “love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.”

Adding: “We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities …

meditation_dalai-lama

Meditation

“Deal with each child as a unit and educate it so as to produce the most harmonious and equal unfoldment of its powers, in order that its special aptitudes should find their full natural development; Aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish.” (Theosophy and Education).

“The object of modern education is to pass examinations, a system [adapted] not to develop right emulation, but to generate and breed jealousy, envy, hatred almost, in young people for one another, and thus train them for a life of ferocious selfishness and struggle for honours and emoluments instead of kindly feeling.”

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July 4th: Theosophy, the Gospel of Goodwill

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. BLAVATSKY understood America because she loved America.

Confirming this in a letter delivered to the Second American Convention she wrote:

“Your great country which I love for its noble freedom . . . and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen.”

This loving understanding of the American culture and temperament in the light of the marvelous knowledge which was hers, has graciously provided for the students of Theosophy everywhere in the world.

But more especially in America, hints, warnings, suggestions and, above all, inspiration for their labor on behalf of the Sacred Cause.

To the students of Theosophy in America, these Letters are of special value and significance at the present time.

In conducting their own lives and tasks as well as in helping their fellow men in all fields of activity, they will receive from these thoughtful and stirring words real help themselves, and that of an unique character. 

A Prayer Labyrinth

In these days of constant struggles of many and diverse kinds, when a myriad remedies are suggested and advocated for our ills physical and psychical, moral and mental . . . puzzled by the strange working of Mother Nature . . .

These wonderful Messages of one whose wisdom and compassion stirred her to point the finger of warning and at the same time to stretch out the hand of fellowship and sure guidance, ought to be read, studied; nay, meditated upon.

(Above excerpted from Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, CA)

Continue reading

H. P. Blavatsky: Her Extraordinary Life and Influence

blavatsky-1876-1878EVERY year on May 8th, on what they call White Lotus Day, theosophists all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy, and the leading intellect behind the occult revival in the western world, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888, her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“…a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Continue reading

Unfolding Children’s Powers: Music and the Brain

Child-Playing-PianoTHE emergence of a new spiritual epoch may have dawned far back in the late 19th century driven by Theosophical principles.

New educational reforms encompassing spiritual development are evident in the formation of visionary new schools today, public and private sector, many of which embody the eternal principles championed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.

“In many countries, educational reforms are taking place to consider the changing needs of 21st century learners,” writes Canadian theosophist Kathleen Hall in The Theosophical Roots of Spiritual Education, noting how:

“The old factory model of education that was mainly concerned with churning out obedient workers no longer suits the needs of today’s world.”

The principles defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy, raised the educational bar, both then and now .Children should above all be taught self-reliance,” she declared, “love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.”

Adding: “We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities …

Continue reading

July 4th: A Theosophy of Freedom and Independence

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. BLAVATSKY understood America because she loved America. In one Letter she writes: “Your great country which I love for its noble freedom . . . and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen.”

This loving understanding of the American culture and temperament in the light of the marvelous knowledge which was hers, has graciously provided for the students of Theosophy everywhere in the world.

But more especially in America, hints, warnings, suggestions and, above all, inspiration for their labor on behalf of the Sacred Cause.

To the students of Theosophy in America, these Letters are of special value and significance at the present time. In conducting their own lives and tasks as well as in helping their fellow men in all fields of activity, they will receive from these thoughtful and stirring words real help themselves, and that of an unique character. 

In these days of constant struggles of many and diverse kinds, when a myriad remedies are suggested and advocated for our ills physical and psychical, moral and mental . . . puzzled by the strange working of Mother Nature . . .

These wonderful Messages of one whose wisdom and compassion stirred her to point the finger of warning and at the same time to stretch out the hand of fellowship and sure guidance, ought to be read, studied; nay, meditated upon.

(Above excerpt from a Forward by Theosophy Co., Los Angeles)

Madam-Blavatsky2

The First Message from H. P. BLAVATSKY to the American Theosophists in Convention Assembled 1888:

 THE FIRST MESSAGE

(Excerpts)

1888

To WILLIAM Q. JUDGE,

General Secretary of the American Section of
the Theosophical Society.

MY DEAREST BROTHER AND CO-FOUNDER
OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY:

    In addressing to you this letter, which I request you to read to the Convention summoned for April 22nd, I must first present my hearty congratulations and most cordial good wishes to the assembled Delegates and good Fellows of our Society, and to yourself—the heart and soul of that Body in America. We were several, to call it to life in 1875.

    Since then you have remained alone to preserve that life through good and evil report. It is to you chiefly, if not entirely, that the Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888. Let me then thank you for it, for the first and perhaps the last, time publicly, and from the bottom of my heart, which beats only for the cause you represent so well and serve so faithfully.

    I ask you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice is but the feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the transmitter of the approval of Those whose presence is alive in more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know, pre-eminently in yours. May the assembled Society feel the warm greeting as earnestly as it is given, and may every Fellow present, who realizes that he has deserved it, profit by the Blessings sent.

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

  Theosophy has lately taken a new start in America which marks the commencement of a new Cycle in the affairs of the Society in the West. And the policy you are now following is admirably adapted to give scope for the widest expansion of the movement, and to establish on a firm basis an organization which, while promoting feelings of fraternal sympathy, social unity, and solidarity, will leave ample room for individual freedom and exertion in the common cause— that of helping mankind. . . .

But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally.

We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced;. . . but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best, a pupil-teacher—one who has no right to dogmatize.

HPB Bust by Alexey Leonov

HPB Bust by Alexey Leonov

    Since the Society was founded, a distinct change has come over the spirit of the age. Those who gave us commission to found the Society foresaw this, now rapidly growing, wave of transcendental influence following that other wave of mere phenomenalism. Even the journals of Spiritualism are gradually eliminating the phenomena and wonders, to replace them with philosophy.

The Theosophical Society led the van of this movement; but, although Theosophical ideas have entered into every development or form which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet

Theosophy pure and simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition.

The days of old are gone to return no more, and many are the Theosophists who, taught by bitter experience, have pledged themselves to make of the Society a “miracle club” no longer.

The launch of Scottish Biodiversity fortnight sowing seed at the wildflower meadow.

    The faint-hearted have asked in all ages for signs and wonders, and when these failed to be granted, they refused to believe. Such are not those who will ever comprehend Theosophy pure and simple. But there are others among us who realize intuitionally that

the recognition of pure Theosophy—the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets—is of the most vital importance in the Society, inasmuch as it alone can furnish the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path.

one religion

    This should never be forgotten, nor should the following fact be overlooked. On the day when Theosophy will have accomplished its most holy and most important mission—namely to unite firmly a body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure altruistic work, not on a labor with selfish motives.

On that day only will Theosophy become higher than any nominal brotherhood of man. This will be a wonder and a miracle truly, for the realization of which Humanity is vainly waiting for the last eighteen centuries, and which every association has hitherto failed to accomplish.

Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing
neither possible nor desirable.

It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding.

Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge.

womanonpath

    It must be remembered that the Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists—as a factory for the manufactory of Adepts. It was intended to stem the current of materialism, and also that of spiritualistic phenomenalism and the worship of the Dead.

It had to guide the spiritual awakening that has now begun, and not to pander to psychic cravings which are but another form of materialism.

    For by “materialism” is meant not only an anti-philosophical negation of pure spirit, and, even more, materialism in conduct and action—brutality, hypocrisy. and, above all, selfishness,—but also the fruits of a disbelief in all but material things, a disbelief which has increased enormously during the last century, and which has led many, after a denial of all existence other than that in matter, into a blind belief in the materialization of Spirit.

cropped-white-lotus-71421.jpg

Lotus Lily

    Theosophy seeks to develop the human nature in man in addition to the animal, and at the sacrifice of the superfluous animality which modern life and materialistic teachings have developed to a degree which is abnormal for the human being at this stage of his progress.

Men cannot all be Occultists, but they can all be Theosophists. Many who have never heard of the Society are Theosophists without knowing it them selves; for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations. and their sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him. Kindness, absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity, good-will to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one’s self, are its chief features.

He who teaches Theosophy preaches the gospel of good-will; and the converse of this is true also—he who preaches the gospel of good-will, teaches Theosophy.

    This aspect of Theosophy has never failed to receive due and full recognition in the pages of the “PATH,” a journal of which the American Section has good reason to be proud. It is a teacher and a power; and the fact that such a periodical should be produced and supported in the United States speaks in eloquent praise both of its Editor and its readers.

William Q. Judge 1887 The first volume of the publication that brought theosophy to the attention of the American public.

William Q. Judge 1887 The first volume of the publication that brought theosophy to the attention of the American public.

    America is also to be congratulated on the increase in the number of the Branches or Lodges which is now taking place. It is a sign that in things spiritual as well as things temporal the great American Republic is well fitted for independence and self-organization.

    Here in England Theosophy is waking into new life. The slanders and absurd inventions of the Society for Psychical Research have almost paralyzed it, though only for a very short time, and the example of America has stirred the English Theosophists into renewed activity.  . . . and the first fruit has been the founding of the “Theosophical Publication Society.” This Society is of great importance. It has undertaken the very necessary work of breaking down the barrier of prejudice and ignorance which has formed so great an impediment to the spread of Theosophy.

Theosophists are of necessity the friends of all movements in the world, whether intellectual or simply practical, for the amelioration of the condition of mankind.

We are the friends of all those who fight against drunkenness, against cruelty to animals, against injustice to women, against corruption in society or in government, although we do not meddle in politics. We are the friends of those who exercise practical charity, who seek to lift a little of the tremendous weight of misery that is crushing down the poor . . .

helping-the-poor

The function of Theosophists is to open men’s hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have learned to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think,

they will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done spontaneously by all.  . . .

But whether I be in England or in India a large part of my heart and much of my hope for Theosophy lie with you in the United States, where the Theosophical Society was founded, and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen. But you must remember that, although there must be local Branches of the Theosophical Society, there can be no local Theosophists; and just as you all belong to the Society, so do I belong to you all. . . .

    Meanwhile, my far-away and dear Brother, accept the warmest and sincerest wishes for the welfare of your Societies and of yourself personally, and, while conveying to all your colleagues the expression of my fraternal regards, assure them that, at the moment when you will be reading to them the present lines, I shall—if alive—be in Spirit, Soul, and Thought amidst you all.

    Yours ever, in the truth of the GREAT CAUSE we are all working for

H. P. BLAVATSKY.  . . .
London, April 3rd, 1888.

ITC 2016 Conference: Theosophy and Social Responsibility

logo-ITC

Theosophy and Social Responsibility

Applying the Head and Heart Teachings
of H. P. Blavatsky

La Casa de Maria
Santa Barbara, California

Thursday, August 11 to
Sunday August 14, 2016

capacitar-terrace

The aim of the 2016 Conference is to explore the active connection between Theosophical teachings and social responsibility, focusing on study and cross-pollination.

Guided by the principles and metaphysical perspectives given in The Secret Doctrine and other writings of H.P.B. and those of her close co-workers, conference participants are going to discuss how fundamental ethical questions reflected in contemporary social conditions might be answered.

– How might students of Theosophy understand and practice social responsibility?

– What thoughts and deeds might help us reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for all that lives?

– Do the teachings of Theosophy, in particular the messages of H. P. Blavatsky, indicate a duty to help others?

During the conference a number of themes relating to Social Responsibility will be introduced in short talks and further discussed in study circles. The results will be shared in plenary sessions.

View the Study Circles program here.

Registrants will receive a code with which they can access a form where they can enroll for the study circles of their interest. For each study circle theme a selection of reading material will be made available for participants to prepare themselves ahead of the conference.

The location and program of the Conference, at La Casa de Maria, will provide an inspiring and regenerative opportunity for both formal and informal discussion in a community of Theosophical learning.

LaCasadeMaria

La Casa de Maria

800 EL Bosque Road
Santa Barbara, California 93108

Click here for more photos of La Casa de Maria.

For a list of hotels and other accommodation options in the vicinity of Santa Barbara click here.

For transportation to the La Casa de Maria Conference: click here.

To register, please fill out the registration form.

Seats are limited with a maximum of 140 participants so in order to avoid disappointment you are strongly advised to register as soon as possible.

wildflower

From H. P. Blavatsky

HPB

“It is well known that the first rule of the [Theosophical] society is to carry out the object of forming the nucleus of a universal brotherhood. The practical working of this rule was explained by those who laid it down, to the following effect:-

“HE WHO DOES NOT PRACTICE ALTRUISM; HE WHO IS NOT PREPARED TO SHARE HIS LAST MORSEL WITH A WEAKER OR POORER THAN HIMSELF; HE WHO NEGLECTS TO HELP HIS BROTHER MAN, OF WHATEVER RACE, NATION, OR CREED, WHENEVER AND WHEREVER HE MEETS SUFFERING, AND WHO TURNS A DEAF EAR TO THE CRY OF HUMAN MISERY;

HE WHO HEARS AN INNOCENT PERSON SLANDERED, WHETHER A BROTHER THEOSOPHIST OR NOT, AND DOES NOT UNDERTAKE HIS DEFENSE AS HE WOULD UNDERTAKE HIS OWN – IS NO THEOSOPHIST.”

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

Methods of
Theosophical Work

by William Q. Judge

I have noticed a disposition on the part of some members to often object to the methods of others or to their plans on the ground that they are unwise, or not suitable, or what not. These objections are not put in a spirit of discord, but more often arise merely from a want of knowledge of the working of the laws which govern our efforts. H.P.B. always said – following the rules laid down by high teachers – that no proposal for theosophical work should be rejected or opposed provided the proposer has the sincere motive of doing good to the movement and to his fellows.

But no one method is to be insisted on. Each man is a potency in himself, and only by working on the lines which suggest themselves to him can he bring to bear the forces that are his. We should deny no man and interfere with none; for our duty is to discover what we ourselves can do without criticizing the actions of another. The laws of karmic action have much to do with this.

We interfere for a time with good results to come when we attempt to judge according to our own standards the methods of work which a fellow member proposes for himself. Ramifying in every direction are the levers that move and bring about results, some of those levers – absolutely necessary for the greatest of results – being very small and obscure. They are all of them human beings, and hence we must carefully watch that by no word of ours the levers are obstructed.

If we attend strictly to our own duty all will act in harmony, for the duty of another is dangerous for us. Therefore if any member proposes to spread the doctrines of theosophy in a way that seems wise to him, wish him success even if his method be one that would not commend itself to you for your own guidance.

(Excerpt from Methods of Theosophical Work)

blowingseeds

 For more ULT info click here: ULT Oxygen

H. P. Blavatsky: An Extraordinary Life and Influence

blavatsky-1876-1878EVERY year on May 8th, on what they call White Lotus Day, theosophists all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy, and the leading intellect behind the occult revival in the western world, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888, her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“…a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Continue reading

Helena Blavatsky: An Extraordinary Life

H.P. Blavatsky, 1876-1878EVERY year on May 8th, on what they call White Lotus Day, theosophists all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy, and the leading intellect behind the occult revival in the western world, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888, her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“…a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Continue reading

New Age Mother

Isis-Solar-DiscEVERY year on what is called White Lotus Day, May 8th, theosophists all over the world celebrate the life and work of H. P. Blavatsky.

It is also the anniversary of the passing of Mme. Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society with Col. Henry S. Olcott and William Quan Judge.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy Blavatsky was a leading intellect behind the occult revival in the West.

More than any other person she was responsible for the introduction of Eastern religious and spiritual thinking to the Western world, and often acknowledged as the mother of the New Age.

Her wildly popular first book was Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, published in New York in 1877. It was followed in 1888 by her magnum opus The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, published in London.

There Mme. Blavatsky produced two other important works The Key to Theosophy, and The Voice of the Silence, indispensable guides to original Theosophy pure and simple.

Isis Unveiled

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

lotus-girl

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“a short period of rest before one re-assumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Continue reading

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helpers prepared a 2012 annual report for Theosophy Watch.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. Theosophy Watch was viewed about 96,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

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White Lotus Day

EVERY year on what is called White Lotus Day, May 8th, theosophists all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy and a leading intellect behind the occult revival in the West, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888 as her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Continue reading

HPB: Spiritual Traveller

EVERY year on what is called White Lotus Day, May 8th  theosophists all over the world celebrate, the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy and a leading intellect behind the occult revival in the West, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888 as her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

Continue reading

Bella and Tarra

elephant_tarra2

“Whatever that be which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is something celestial and divine, and upon that account must necessarily be eternal.” -CICERO

The writer of The Secret Doctrine, the influential Theosophist and recognized Mother of the New Age, H. P. Blavatsky, was an impassioned campaigner for the abolition of vivisection and animal cruelty. For her, these were not political or sentimental causes, or her only causes. She founded a school for abused working girls in England, and was a pioneer Suffragette.

Her actions were rooted in a conviction of the spiritual unity and equality of human kind; the truth of the consciousness and intelligence of all beings— even infinitesimal atoms and cells — the soul of things “ever present and ubiquitous” was, and is, the foundation principle of Theosophy.

The Shift

Uncounted numbers in all walks of life have dedicated themselves to this shift in consciousness — the reality of the sacred—just as did our early American ancestors. Native American cultures practiced gratitude rituals to the Great Spirit, whenever necessity required to take food, clothing or shelter from living nature.

The still widespread influence of materialism in our attitudes about life on this planet, beg for an ethical evangelism. What proofs do we have that “it is not spirit that dwells in matter, but matter which clings temporarily to spirit,” as Blavatsky taught, “and that [spirit] alone is an eternal, imperishable abode for all things visible and invisible?” (Isis Unveiled 1:428)

Steve Hartman of CBS News recently visited “an animal sanctuary where”, he writes, “a dog and an elephant have formed a very lasting, and unusual, friendship. … They harbor no fears, no secrets, no prejudices. Just two living creatures who somehow managed to look past their immense differences. Take a good look at this couple, America. Take a good look world. If they can do it – what’s our excuse?” Jan. 2, 2009 Animal Odd Couple.

Bella and Tarra

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“As a true sanctuary, it is not intended to provide entertainment,” The Elephant Sanctuary website states. “[T]he Sanctuary is closed to the general public. Education, however, represents a key component of the Sanctuary’s ongoing mission. Since its inception, the Sanctuary’s outreach program has taught thousands of school children around the globe a respect for wildlife while learning about the endangered Asian elephant.”

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Travels With Tarra, by Carol Buckley

“Based on the same foundation-stone — the ancient Mysteries — the primitive religions,” Blavatsky wrote, “all without one exception, reflect the most important of the once universal beliefs…an impersonal and universal divine Principle, absolute in its nature, and unknowable to the ‘brain’ intellect, or the conditioned and limited cognition of man. … Universal Mind, the Soul of the universe…” –(The Mind in Nature)

Delhi and Misty

“After more than a year in quarantine undergoing successful treatment for TB, Misty’s big day finally arrived: she was released to go meet her new herd. What a surprise when Misty realized one of the elephants was an old friend she had not seen since they had performed together in the circus many years ago. Delhi and Misty shared a tender reunion and have been inseparable ever since.” The Elephant Sanctuary

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“Physical science has already reached its limits of exploration; dogmatic theology sees the springs of its inspiration dry. The day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known.”
(The Mind in Nature)

“Man is endowed with reason, the infant with instinct; and the young animal shows more of both than the child.”H. P. Blavatsky

Healing and Social Bonds

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“The ‘soul in animals’ is, in the opinion of Bossuet, ‘the most difficult as the most important of all philosophical questions.’ … physical, exact research offers no grounds for the presumption that man is endowed with an immortal, divine soul, any more than his dog. … either both are endowed by nature with what is so loosely called by us ‘soul,’ or neither the one nor the other is so endowed.”

Elephant’s Mourning

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“Descartes held the living animal as being simply an automaton, a ‘well wound up clock-work.’ [S]ince that automaton is capable of feelings, such as love, gratitude, and is endowed as undeniably with memory… if the animal is an “automaton,” why not Man? Exact science– anatomy, physiology, etc., finds not the smallest difference between the bodies of the two.”

Grace: A Mother’s Anguish

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“Serving” man, surely cannot mean being tortured, killed, uselessly shot and otherwise misused; while it is almost needless to explain the word “renovation.” Christians understand by it the renovation of bodies after the second coming of Christ; and limit it to man, to the exclusion of animals. The students of the Secret Doctrine explain it by the successive renovation and perfection of forms on the scale of objective and subjective being, and in a long series of evolutionary transformations from animal to man, and upward. . . .”

Family is Home

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“Studies, Behavior Prove There Is More Going On In Animals’ Minds Than We Thought Possible”

“(CBS): It seems like every month or so, there’s another study coming out saying animals are smarter than we think. So what do animals think … and what do they think of us? Some revelations about animal intelligence from Tracy Smith.”

dolphin1“What are they thinking?”

“If you’ve always suspected that animals are smarter than they get credit for, that there’s more going on behind those eyes than a desire for food or attention … you’re not alone.”

“In some species, especially elephants, great apes and marine mammals, the old phrase ‘dumb animal’ borders on heresy.”

“In fact, the line between human and animal intelligence is fading fast.”

“I think it is fair to say that literally, monthly, there are fairly major discoveries about things that we long thought were unique to humans, now look like some of the building blocks are in place in other animals,” said Harvard professor Marc Hauser. […]”

“Are animals attached to us? Absolutely,” Hauser said. “When you leave your pet behind, you see signs of depression. Is it like our depression? Well, I don’t know if it’s like our depression. I don’t even know what your depression would be like, relative to my depression. But do animals feel strong bonds? Undoubtedly, yes.”

“Can we call that love?” Smith asked.”

“Why not?” Hauser said.”

“Of course, the question of whether the capacity for love makes animals more intelligent is probably best left to the individual … of whatever species.”

LAST WORD

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Helena Blavatsky

“For verily when the world feels convinced and it cannot avoid coming one day to such a conviction that animals are creatures as eternal as we ourselves, vivisection and other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will, after calling forth an outburst of maledictions and threats from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.”
H.P. BLAVATSKY

Mona Stratos, Woodstock, CT - "Sunlight on Cedars" (2009) www.monastratos.com

Mona Stratos, Woodstock, CT "Sunlight on Cedars" (2009) http://www.monastratos.com

A Right Christmas

pinetree21

Dreaming Of A Right Christmas

“Children of Light, as ye go forth into the world,
seek to render gentle service to all that lives.”
– Egyptian Papyrus of Ani

I’m mostly a vegetarian, for ethical reasons, and have a growing passion for “the soul of things.” Reverence for life is something everyone understands, within reasonable limits.

I reluctantly “kill” a few carrots, tomatoes and salad greens every day. But I never was a Grinch about Christmas. Though I did oppose the roast turkey.

A friend reminds me that “Native Americans had reverence and gratitude as they sacrificed a deer for their food and clothing…it’s a matter of consciousness and attitude in what you do.”

“As long as we are imprisoned in this octave,” she says, “things will die to sustain us….look at the big picture.”

INTENTION

“It is the motive, and the motive alone,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in Practical Occultism,which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic.” Lynn McTaggart thinks our intentions can change the world.

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MINDFULNESS

Maybe I’m a little weird. After all, even Buddhist monks have a bowl of rice every day. And, yes, “Hitler was a vegetarian.” The justification for my oddity is, at the very least, I am thinking about what I do! (My friend said, “Buddhists call that ‘mindfulness.'”)

This is how, Blavatsky admits, she understood the teaching of her Masters: “every plant without an exception feels and has a consciousness of its own.”

And, it is a axiom of The Secret Doctrine, that:

Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. (1:274)

“When we try to pick out anything by itself,” wrote John Muir, America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, “we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

Plastic didn’t seem very hitched. And I was increasingly uncomfortable with “factory farmed” Christmas trees. What then should I do?

WHEN IN ROME

Living in the country, I could decorate, like any good Pagan, some sacred evergreen growing nearby. Here in the city, one can buy a potted evergreen. We did once, a few years back.

But it was even more painful to watch a live tree, isolated from its forest companions, die a slow death inside a stuffy apartment. With nowhere to replant it outdoors, it just didn’t feel right.

Growing up with strong feelings for the sacredness of life, and with much of my early childhood spent out-of-doors, it was natural to be an advocate for Nature. Now, in desperation, two days before Christmas, I faced an agonizing decision.

EVERYTHING GOT WRONG

Bundled against the bitter New York City wind and icy sidewalks, at a corner where a recently bailed-out-bank ironically thrived, the deed was done. I killed a tree that day.

“It was just cut,” a woman representing a local Boy Scout Troop injected, as I admired one in particular. A six-foot spruce from nearby Pennsylvania. Indeed, the needles were firm and fragrant, its tapering trunk and welcoming branches a work of art.

Then, amidst the blare of car horns, the little tree lay unflinching as it received a swift and indifferent Coup de grâce from an eager 12-year old Scout. A “fresh cut” was sawed from the base of its sap-stained stump. I paid cash.

At that moment, Oppenheimer’s knee-jerk quote from the Bhagavad-Gita, uttered at the first atomic test in New Mexico in 1945, overtook my violated conscience: “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

RECONCILIATION

The Bhagavad-Gita is preeminently an ethical treatise. It inculcates teachings applicable to daily life, suited not only to the time in which it was written, but for all time. So it was consoling to recall a quite different passage from the Gita, where Krishna, the Higher Self, counsels his favorite disciple:

I accept and enjoy the offerings of the humble soul who in his worship with a pure heart offereth a leaf, a flower, or fruit, or water unto me. Whatever thou doest…whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, whatever mortification thou performest, commit each unto me. Thus thou shalt be delivered from the good and evil experiences which are the bonds of action; and thy heart being joined to renunciation and to the practice of action, thou shalt come to me.

Holding these words daily in our heart, we are reborn every moment. Like the Teacher, we can become a Master of all seasons. Another of Blavatsky’s Masters in a similar vein, as quoted by her (see- Altruism in The Secret Doctrine):

He who does not practice altruism; he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself; he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, whenever and wherever he meets suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does not undertake his defense as he would undertake his own — is no Theosophist.

FRAGRANCE OF THE GOOD

A question posed to a disciple in The Voice of the Silence: “Hast thou attuned thy being to Humanity’s great pain, 0 candidate for light?,” reminded me of a New York Times Op-Ed piece (N. Y. Times (12/22/08), “Hard Times, a Helping hand.”)

Writing about the Great Depression’s mysterious benefactor “B. Virdot,” contributor Ted Gup says: “He sought no credit for acts of conscience. He saw them as the debt we owe one another and ourselves.”

The Times article is a must read, worthy of The Laws of Manu (Manava-Dharma-Sastra), and a modern lesson which could have been taken straight out of the 2500 year old injunctions of The Buddha, embodied in “The Dhammapada,” (Ch. 4, 11-16.):

“[T]he fragrance of the good wafts even against the wind. The fragrance of the good man pervades all his ways. … From a heap of rubbish on the roadside, a lily blooms, fragrant and pleasing; from a mass of blinded mortals arises the disciple of the truly Wise One…”

NON-SEPARATENESS

“[S]piritual perfection and spiritual knowledge can only be reached on the spiritual plane,” Blavatsky writes in Theosophy Queries: Answer to a Letter. Achieved, she adds, “…only in that state in which all sense of separateness, all selfishness, all feeling of personal interest and desire, has been merged in the wider consciousness of the unity of Mankind.”

Universal ethics were pointed to by her at every opportunity, against whatever the odds or snickering of her critics. We quote in full:

Now it is a fundamental doctrine of Theosophy that the “separateness” which we feel between ourselves and the world of living beings around us is an illusion, not a reality. In very deed and truth, all men are one, not in a feeling of sentimental gush and hysterical enthusiasm, but in sober earnest. As all Eastern philosophy teaches, there is but ONE SELF in all the infinite Universe, and what we men call “self” is but the illusionary reflection of the ONE SELF in the heaving waters of earth.

True Occultism is the destruction of the false idea of Self, and therefore true spiritual perfection and knowledge are nothing else but the complete identification of our finite “selves” with the Great All. It follows, therefore, that no spiritual progress at all is possible except by and through the bulk of Humanity. It is only when the whole of Humanity has attained happiness that the individual can hope to become permanently happy — for the individual is an inseparable part of the Whole.

SPIRITUAL PERFECTION

Hence there is no contradiction whatever between the altruistic maxims of Theosophy and its injunction to kill out all desire for material things, to strive after spiritual perfection. For spiritual perfection and spiritual knowledge can only be reached on the spiritual plane; in other words, only in that state in which all sense of separateness, all selfishness, all feeling of personal interest and desire, has been merged in the wider consciousness of the unity of Mankind.

This shows also that no blind submission to the commands of another can be demanded, or would be of any use. Each individual must learn for himself, through trial and suffering, to discriminate what is beneficial to Humanity; and in proportion as he develops spiritually, i.e., conquers all selfishness, his mind will open to receive the guidance of the Divine Monad within him, his Higher Self, for which there is neither Past nor Future, but only an eternal NOW.

(From Blavatsky Collected Writings 11:104-6)

Purchase on Amazon:  H.P.B. Collected Writings, 15: Cumulative Index (H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings)