Category Archives: Brain, Mind, Consciousness, & Beyond

Evidence of an Afterlife, the Science of Near-Death Experiences

WHEN a neurosurgeon found himself in a coma, the medical doctor experienced things he never thought possible—a journey to the afterlife.

“Dr. Eben Alexander says he’s not the first person to have discovered evidence that consciousness exists beyond the body,” notes Newsweek Magazine in a feature article.

“Brief, wonderful glimpses of this realm are as old as human history.”

“Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity—that it is undivided,” Dr. Alexander wrote in the Newsweek October 15 2012 cover story.

“Though we seem to live in a world of separation and difference,” he writes, “science tells us that beneath the surface, every object and event in the universe is completely woven up with every other object and event. There is no true separation.”

“In some sense man is a microcosm of the universe,” wrote David Bohm — legendary American quantum physicist known for his theory of an Implicate Order,” a universe of undivided wholeness—”therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe.”

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“We are enfolded in the universe,” Bohm says. Theosophy agrees. “We know of no eastern philosophy that teaches that ‘matter originated out of Spirit,’ Blavatsky wrote:

“Matter is as eternal and indestructible as Spirit and one cannot be made cognizant to our senses without the other—even to our, the highest, spiritual sense.”

Theosophy also asserts what neurologists and physicists are now beginning to verify — that there is no special location of consciousness in the brain. Consciousness exists throughout the brain, and the body.

The mind actually lives independently with its own energetic matrix interpenetrating the physical body, using the brain, heart and other organs and cells as its toolkit on this plane.

“Spirit got itself entangled with gross matter,” Blavatsky wrote in The Theosophist, “for the same reason that life gets entangled with the foetus matter. It followed a law, and therefore could not help the entanglement occurring.”

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How the Soul of Leopard Diabolo became Spirit

Panther

Diabolo

SOUL energy exists in both humans and animals, and when they communicate on the same level, magic happens.

This is the incredible story of how a dangerous leopard called Diabolo was tamed by an animal whisperer, and then renamed Spirit.

It’s true that animals always try to communicate with humans but we do not have the skills to listen, or more often, are  not listening.

This journey of a panther who was abused in the past is inspiring and touching, and reinforces an important teaching of Theosophy. (See HPB article Have Animals Souls).

The animal whisperer in this story proves humans can talk to animals and understand their needs and wants, including finding out about their past very accurately. It’s amazing what this panther told the animal whisperer was confirmed as true by everyone who knew the panther’s past.

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Wrote H. P. Blavatsky, ” the man of science, the most determined materialist, one who proceeds to vivisect a living animal with the utmost coolness, would yet shudder at the thought of laming or torturing to death his fellow man.”

This view of animals contrasts, Theosophy says, with the “adherents of both Hinduism and Buddhism, the oldest religions in the world, who regard the animal world as their ‘younger brothers.'”

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Now is the Only Time We Have

“THE idea that things can cease to exist and still be, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology.

“Under this apparent contradiction in terms,” wrote H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine, “there rests a fact of Nature to realize is the important thing.”

“A familiar instance of a similar paradox is afforded by chemical combination,” she pointed out.

“The question whether Hydrogen and Oxygen cease to exist, when they combine to form water, is still a moot one.”

“Some [argue] that since they are found again when the water is decomposed, they must be there all the while—others contending that as they actually turn into something totally different, they must cease to exist as themselves for the time being.”

“Neither side is able to form the faintest conception of the real condition of a thing, which has become something else, and yet has not ceased to be itself.”

“Existence as water may be said to be, for Oxygen and Hydrogen, a state of Non-being which is ‘more real being’ than their existence as gases. And it may faintly symbolize the condition of the Universe when it goes to sleep, or ceases to be — “to awaken or reappear again, when the dawn of the new [Universe] recalls it to what we call existence.”

This masterful treatise on reality and illusion by Mme. Blavatsky might have been written by one of today’s  quantum physicists or frontier cosmologists.

Instead, they are her words, the ideas of a master Theosophical thought leader, excerpted from the Fundamentals of her magnum opus  The Secret Doctrine [1:54-5] — the  quintessence  of physics, metaphysics and ethics.

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The Karma of Intention, a Force in Nature

THE act of true intending is widely misunderstood, because there are hidden aspects of so-called intent consisting solely of desire for personal fulfillment.

Seducing the public to desire beauty, riches and power is the undisguised theme of thousands of self-help books written by so-called gurus seeking money and fame.

But there is a higher, purer and more unselfish level of intention in true occultism. It is the unseen power to bring to pass desired results without selfish, personal motives.

Success at this higher level requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of falsehood, and the evocation of a dynamic spiritual force inherent in man and universal nature. Those who practiced the art it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise ones called “Magi” — the source of the word “magic.”

The author of The Intention Experiment, Lynn McTaggart, is described in Dan Brown’s Book, The Lost Symbol, through the character of Katherine Solomon:  

… human consciousness, as Noetic author Lynne McTaggart described it, was a substance outside the confines of the body. A highly ordered energy capable of changing the physical world.

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Katherine (Solomon) had been fascinated by McTaggart’s book ‘The Intention Experiment’, and her global, Web-based study – theintentionexperiment.com— aimed at discovering how human intention could affect the world.

Dan Brown, “The Lost Symbol” (Random House, 2009)

A Force in Nature

It is relatively easy to learn tricks and spells, Mme. Blavatsky writes in her article Practical Occultism, “and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature.”

But the force of selfish human desire only awakens darker powers, Theosophy says. Unless the motive is pure, and the intention unalloyed, destructive passions are often aroused, and even unconsciously will do harm to others and to nature.

In her article Practical Occultism, H. P. Blavatsky cautioned her readers about this development: “it is the motive alone which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic, and 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.

“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces, she maintained, “if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness [or separateness] remaining in the operator.”

Zen Samurai

“Sow a Thought, Reap an Act;
Sow an Act, Reap a Habit;
Sow a Habit, Reap a Character;
Sow a Character, Reap a Destiny.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Spiritual Knowledge

“Cut asunder with the sword of spiritual knowledge,
this doubt which existeth in thy heart.”

 – Krishna, (Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. IV)

Karma and Intent

Excerpts from Occultism
by H. P. Blavatsky

“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.”

“In reality, there is no such thing as ‘Separateness’ — and the nearest approach to that selfish state, which the laws of life permit, is in the intent or motive.”

“It is an occult law, moreover, that no man can rise superior to his individual failings, without lifting, be it ever so little, the whole body of which he is an integral part. In the same way, no one can sin, nor suffer the effects of sin, alone.”

“True occultism or theosophy is the ‘great renunciation of SELF,’ unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action.”

“And, although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad karma.”

“It is altruism, not egoism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little self in the universal selves.

“It is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain theo-sophy, divine wisdom and knowledge.”

Mind Control

As with any spiritual work, controlling the thought-producing mind is the first step. The necessity of discerning reality from illusion, is taught in the Voice of the Silence.

And recognizing the false superiority of matter and form, sensing instead the energy and reality of consciousness.

“Having become indifferent to objects of perception,

the pupil must seek out the rajah of the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion.”

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real,” repeats the Voice: “Let the Disciple slay the Slayer”— because it is our minds that create our illusions.

Awakenings

Gradual awakenings are a hallmark of H. P. Blavatsky’s teachings in The Secret Doctrine. “As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed,” she writes, “we mistook shadows for realities.”

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“… and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality.'”

“But only when we shall have reached the Absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by illusion.”

Healing Intention

Centers of Attraction

But what practical measures can we take to achieve freedom from delusion? An example of the popular idiom “be careful what you ask for” is the law of attraction, described first in the article Karma, by William Q. Judge:

Directing our mind to the physical world and desires, he warns, “a ‘fire’ or centre of attraction, is set up there, in order to feed and fatten it.”

“The energies of the whole upper plane [intentions] are drawn down and exhausted in supplying the need of energy which exists below due to the indulgence of sense gratification.”

If 0ur energy is centered instead in our highest intentions, “then all the needed energy goes there,” he says, “to result in increase of spirituality.”

“It must be remembered that Nature is all bountiful and withholds not her hand. The demand is made, and the supply will come.”

gautama

“Resolve to be tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving
and tolerant with the weak and wrong.
Sometime in your life,
you will have been all of these.”

~ Gautama Buddha


Dreaming is a Crucial Mental State

WHEN our thick brains get all heated up worrying about life’s complexities, that’s often  the best time to kick off our shoes, and give it a rest.

Faced with a critical decision, or stuck on a complex problem, researchers have discovered that sleeping or napping on them often lead to a right direction or decision.

“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die,” Lewis Carroll wrote of children:

“Ever drifting down the stream— Lingering in the golden gleam — Life, what is it but a dream?”

As adults the notes of a song, the smell of burning leaves, the babbling of a mountain brook, a day-dream — all may open doors to another realm of poetic mind. They also arouse unexpected emotions and reminiscences.

In Wordsworth’s haunting poem “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” reveries opened for him an unexpected awareness of past lives, the realization he had lived before.

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“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar …”

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There is “a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy,” the poet Edgar Allan Poe wrote in Marginalia, “which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt language.”

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Our Three Brains, a Mind of their Own

Microbiology Lab

NEUROSCIENTISTS  have been busy for years attempting to establish and finalize the proposed “neuronal correlates of consciousness” originating in the brain.

Modern science seems determined to prove that consciousness, our thoughts and awareness, must somehow originate in the gray matter between our ears.

This mechanistic view was assumed as fact by the Human Genome Project, established to catalog the complete human DNA and identify specific cures for all diseases, yet has failed to do so.

It is held that genes carry information about how we look, how well our bodies metabolize food or fight infection, and can determine even how we behave.

It was thought, therefore, that researchers would easily be able to identify specific genes underlying specific diseases, and then all diseases could be eliminated by manipulating the related genes.

But it was discovered that the seemingly simple concept was much more complex than expected.

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Just as the origin of consciousness cannot be tagged to specific neurons in the brain, genes are not easily pigeonholed to one disorder. It was found that they function in complex, and frequently changing teams.

Now science is edging nearer to Theosophy, looking closer at a long-neglected area called the microbiome — researching how hundreds of different species of living microbes, inhabiting the human body and outside, are responsible for our health and behaviors. They even discovered a second brain, in our gut, known as the enteric nervous system!

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Waking the Spiritual Eye, the Shiva Dance

Dance of Shiva

SPIRITUAL cultivation is defined by the degree to which one is able to activate their inner, or ‘all-seeing’ intuitive Shiva Eye.

Our ability to reawaken our now dormant spiritual ‘third eye’ ancient Eastern Adepts all teach, is the key measure of our spiritual development.

But this development would be impossible without the assistance of the god Shiva to remove our personal defects and illusions.

The deeper we are able to penetrate our inner, permanent Self, and peer unobstructed into the heart of Nature, the more we become aware of the inter-connectedness of all life.

Acquiring this insight requires more than wishful thinking, it demands a commitment to action of Krishna-Arjuna awakening. “He who remains inert, restraining the senses and organs,” Krishna teaches in Bhagavad-Gita (Ch. 3), “yet pondering with his heart upon objects of sense, is called a false pietist of bewildered soul.”

“But he who having subdued all his passions performeth with his active faculties all the duties of life, unconcerned as to their result,” he told Arjuna, “is to be esteemed. Do thou perform the proper actions: action is superior to inaction.”

Shiva Dancer

“Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in,” Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine (1:40),

“…both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

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“As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed, we mistook shadows for realities — and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings.”

Click on the Lotus above for more detailed info on Siva and the Third Eye, and you can save to your computer (.pdf)

However, each furthering wake-up has its own corresponding illusion cautioned the teacher, “the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’ —

“…but only when we have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from delusions.”

Mme. Blavatsky also noted in The Secret Doctrine (2:475), that: “stagnation and death is the future of all that vegetates without a change.” This has many layers of meaning, not the least of which is the importance of achieving control over thoughts and feelings, noticeable most when we try to quiet the chattering ‘monkey mind,’ especially during meditation.

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