Category Archives: Brain, Mind, Consciousness, & Beyond

The Occult Side of Nature: An Invisible Physical

helena-blavatsky-c-1875

Helena Blavatsky

ALWAYS ready to argue for the existence of an invisible physical world, within visible matter, the writer of The Secret Doctrine, Helena Blavatsky, was ever adamant.

She continually challenged the scientific materialistic beliefs of her day. In her monumental work, The Secret Doctrine, she wrote an introduction which included the following declaration:

“The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not ‘a fortuitous concurrence of atoms,’ and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe — to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring.

Finally, to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.

(The Secret Doctrine: Vol. 1:vii Preface)

Madam Blavatsky frequently took up the cause of a universal, invisible and intelligent medium supporting the visible physical universe. This “invisible physical” she maintained, is critical to understanding Occult Science detailed in The Secret Doctrine.

Universal Matrix

Establishing this occult science in her seminal work,  Mme. Blavatsky asserted that: “The whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences

depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.

“The astral body is itself an aspect of the real inner body,” Robert Crosbie, the Co-Founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists wrote: 

“… which has lasted through the vast period of the past and must continue through the far distant future. This astral body is the prototype, or design, around which the physical body is built, and which, considered from the point of view of the powers, is the real physical body. Without it the physical body would be nothing but a mass of matter — an aggregation of smaller lives.” 

astralbody

Astral Medium

Our Real Senses

“It is the astral body which contains the organs, or centers, from which the organs have been evolved in accord with the needs of the thinker within,” he continued. “The real senses of man are not in the physical but in the astral body. The astral body lasts a little over one lifetime. It does not die when the physical body dies, but is used as a body in the immediate after-death states.” 

After The Secret Doctrine was published it would not be long before modern frontier scientists would begin to take up Mme. Blavatsky’s assertions in earnest using established scientific methods of inquiry. Seven important experiments suggesting the existence of an invisible astral matrix were initiated during the initial decades of the 20th and 21st century.

Even Mme. Blavatsky admitted:

It is gratifying to see how scientific imagination approaches every year more closely to the borderland of our occult teachings.

Thus the subtitle of this blog, i.e. “Ancient Thought in Modern Dress,” is taken from a phrase used by Mme. Blavatsky in her Volume 1, page 572 of The Secret Doctrine.

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The Wonder of Life: The Great Inscrutable Mystery

Botticelli: Primavera

Botticelli: Primavera

WE are repulsed by a report of a terrorist beheading. David Brooks wrote about it in a NY Times Opinion, in which he concludes that “the body has a spiritual essence.”

“The human head and body don’t just live and pass along genes,” Brooks writes: “They paint, make ethical judgments, savor the beauty of a sunset and experience the transcendent.”

Sounding more like a student of Theosophy than a cultural and political commentator Brooks adds:

“The body is material but surpasses the material. It’s spiritualized matter.”

“Most of us, religious or secular,” Brooks wrote in his NY Times article The Body and the Spirit, “have some instinctive sense that there is a ghost infused in the machine. And because the human body is a transcendent temple it is worthy of respect. It is offensive to treat it the way you would treat an inanimate object.”

“Even after a person is dead, the body still carries the residue of this presence and deserves dignified handling.”

Similarly, H. P. Blavatsky quoted Thomas Carlyle: “‘we touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!'” … “How does our physical body come to the state of perfection it is found in now?,” she asks, and answers: “Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never through, or from, animals, as taught by materialism.”

Further quoting Carlyle: — ‘The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself  ‘I,’ — what words have we for such things? — it is a breath of Heaven, the highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for the unnamed?'”

Botticelli, Birth of Venus

Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus

“The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life is, as Novalis said, and no one since has said it better, as repeated by Carlyle: —

“There is but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form . . . . We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!”

‘If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact — the expression of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles — the great inscrutable Mystery.’ 

(Blavatsky adds): “The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life, called in the bible Nephesh, is in every animal, in every animate speck as in every mineral atom.”

(The Secret Doctrine 1:211-12)

human-anatomy-07

Intelligent Design?

Quoting Thomas Carlyle directly:

“But none of these has, like man, the consciousness of the nature of that highest Being, as none has that divine harmony in its form which man possesses. There is but one temple in the universe, says the devout
Novalis, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form.”

“We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body! This sounds like a mere flourish of rhetoric but it is not so.”

“If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression in such words as can be had, of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles,— the great inscrutable Mystery of God. We cannot understand it, we know not how to speak of it; but we may feel and know, if we like, that it is verily so.”

(Thomas Carlyle, Ch. 1, Hero as Divinity)

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Kangaroo Care and The Healing Heart

Kangaroo Care

STUDENTS of Theosophy are sometimes called to task by some for being overly metaphysical or ‘intellectual.’

It may be true that some students of Theosophy prefer to use the force of their intellect to hammer out meanings, and have a purely intellectual discussion.

That means not consulting their feelings or emotions which are deemed lesser powers from the human ‘lower nature’ and therefore unreliable.

But W. Q. Judge was not of that opinion. He wrote in the Ocean of Theosophy that “intellect alone is cold, heartless and selfish.” The truth of this is shown today by studies of neurological correlates in the physical brain. Similarly, Mr. Judge, back in the day, insisted that if we can live “according to the dictates of the soul

the brain may at least be made porous to the soul’s recollections — if the contrary sort of a life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence.

Materialistic and intellectual data are stored in the lower mind and desire body, and such grosser data does not stimulate higher areas as the pineal gland in the brain. The mysterious ‘third eye’ whose vehicle is the pineal gland, is known by occultists to transmit spiritual powers including intuition and compassion.

Pituitary and Pineal Glands

Our Dual Nature

We are spiritual beings at our core, but our behaviors on this physical plane — just like the actions of the horse guided by the rider — are determined solely by how we have entrained our psychic and physical instruments.

“No physiologist, not even the cleverest,” Blavatsky wrote, “will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the noëtic or the manasic, or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane – unless he knows something of, and is prepared to admit the presence of this dual element.” 

– H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noëtic Action

Horse and Rider

“There are persons,” H. P. Blavatsky writes, “who never think with the higher faculties of their minds at all.” (Studies in Occultism)

This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist — the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied — to raise himself,

“Or for one who is naturally spiritually-minded to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought,” she wrote. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”

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Life on Spaceship Earth and the Overview Effect

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

DURING the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the Theosophical Society participated in the first World’s Parliament of Religions.

Pioneer theosophist and co-founder of the Theosophical Society William Q. Judge served as permanent chairman of the Theosophical Congress, whose presentation of its ideals and principles drew increasingly larger audiences.

“I have been requested to speak on the subject of universal brotherhood,” he explained, “not as a theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never be realized; not as a fact in society, not as a fact in government — but as a fact in nature:

that universal brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or whether it is not.

“Every nation, every civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history show us that, more than at any other time … have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations. So that at last men have come to say, ‘Universal brotherhood is very beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to realize.’ With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.”

 – W. Q. Judge, Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

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Evidence of an Immortal Mind in Man and Nature

In the Matrix

MAINSTREAM science looking for the source of consciousness insists its origin has to be generated in the physical brain.

Most neuroscientists agree that all cognition arises from the activity of neurons attached to specific structures, which have fixed brain locations.

Yet many credible scientific researchers today are unconvinced and dispute these biased mainstream materialistic assumptions.

Open-minded investigators are willing to pursue truth wherever it leads, even exploring evidence that mind and its corresponding consciousness is a living entity independent of the physical structures through which it manifests.

But because research findings on this question upset established assumptions, it is frequently ignored by mainstream science. H. P. Blavatsky found the same evidence in her own era declaring:

We live in an age of prejudice, dissimulation and paradox, wherein, like dry leaves caught in a whirlpool, we are tossed helpless, hither and thither, ever struggling between our honest convictions and fear of that cruelest of tyrants—PUBLIC OPINION.

-H. P. Blavatsky, A Paradoxical World

Caught in a whirlpool of dry leaves. (Flickr)

Yet, poised fearlessly at the cutting edge of psi research are scientific organizations such as the respected Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Petaluma, California, and the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek. These researchers, and others, like NES energy medicine, are willing to take a leap in pursuit of the fast-moving “soul of things.”

Many frontier investigators risk being minimized and shunned by their peers—their careers stalled as funding dries up.

Such investigations were formerly the exclusive precinct of canny ancient intuitives and seers. Today there are many qualified, sincere scientific investigators on the hunt for answers to the puzzling questions of consciousness that stymie mainstream science.

Buddha meditating under the Bo Tree

“The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote.

“The facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs.”

The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there.

“The genuine texts of the Upanishads treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They contain the beginning and the end of all human knowledgebut they have now ceased to reveal it, since the day of Buddha. . . . One thing in them — and this in all the Upanishads — invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin.”

“But modern science believes not in the ‘soul of things,’ and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony.” 

The Secret Doctrine 1:272 

Now all this may be changing . . .

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Spiritual Seeing into a Hidden Reality

Illusion or Reality?

WHAT we usually call ‘reality’ may actually be completely subjective, as it is filtered through our ordinary physical senses, according to Theosophy.

Yet, “every one of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, that is known by the name of intuition,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her article The Beacon-Light of the Unknown,but how rare are those who know how to develop it!

“It is an instinct of the soul, which grows in us in proportion to the employment we give it, and which helps us to perceive and understand the realities of things with far more certainty than can the simple use of our senses and exercise of our reason.”

It is only by the aid of this faculty that men can ever see things in their true colors.

“What are called good sense and logic enable us to see only the appearances of things, that which is evident to everyone. 

Awakening.

“The instinct of which I speak, being a projection of our perceptive consciousness, a projection

which acts from the subjective to the objective, and not vice versa, awakens in us spiritual senses and power to act.

These senses assimilate to themselves the essence of the object or of the action under examination, and represent it to us as it really is, not as it appears to our physical senses and to our cold reason.” 

Plato

Plato’s Cave

In a related article “The Subjective and the Objective,” William Q. Judge refers to the Plato’s Cave metaphor:

Socrates: “Imagine the enlightenment and ignorance of our nature in a figure: Behold! human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth opening towards the light, and reaching all across the den;

they have been here from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them;

“for the chains are arranged in such a manner as to prevent them from turning their heads. At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, . . . There can be no question, that the truth would be to them just nothing but the shadows of the images.”

Plato’s Cave

W. Q. Judge: “Theosophy recognizes a continuous gradation of powers, faculties, states, principles — call them what you will — from the highest or most spiritual to the lowest or most material. In this whole gamut of states or conditions, no chasm is found; there is nothing to bridge; consciousness is the necessary substratum and presupposition of the most material, and consciousness is the noumenon or essential reality of the most spiritual.”

We know of nothing more material or external than the physical, material, visible body–the world of matter, so-called …. of the cave which Socrates describes in Plato’s dialogue — the wall upon which fall the shadows supposed by the prisoners to be the only realities.

THE SUBJECTIVE AND THE OBJECTIVE A LESSON FROM THE CAVE OF PLATO’S REPUBLIC, BOOK VIIWilliam Q. Judge

Disappearing into an illusion.

The Bhagavad-Gita

The Hindu poem, a dialogue between Master Krishna and his disciple Arjuna, in the Bhagavad-Gita, is set metaphorically on a ‘battlefield.’ This chosen venue symbolizes “the war within,” which each of us continually faces, an inner struggle we must eventually wage.

(The Theosophy of the Bhagavad Gita)

In Chapter 11, Krishna challenges Arjuna to exercise his spiritual sight in a specially induced vision of “the Divine Form as including all forms.” To enforce the lesson, and in answer to Arjuna’s request, Krishna temporarily awakens his “Divine Eye.” The rest is the drama of the awakening soul.

Read Chapter 11 online:

The Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 11,
The Vision of the Divine Form as Including All Forms

Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield.

Temporary Illusions

“Gautama, the Buddha, only remained in solitude long enough to achieve self-awareness, and enable him to arrive at the truth, to which he devoted himself from that time on to promulgate, begging his bread, and living for humanity.”

If, in the words of the dying Buddha, ‘all compounds are perishable,’ then all collections of atoms must be considered but temporary ‘illusions.’

They are such, according to The Secret Doctrine (1:329), because they are the very personal creations “of the perceiving Ego.” But this must not be considered a solipsistic argument. If we only knew how to get past our five material senses would be able to contact the underlying ‘reality’ of physical things. But never in an isolated ‘Me’ universe.

The Me Universe

The term “Ego” here must ultimately refer to a personal state, and as such must always relate to specific ‘states’ of consciousness.  But this is only from our plane of perception. According to The Secret Doctrine (1:330), once we have gotten past that plane, and scaled the “peak of Omniscience,” the “knowledge of things-in-themselves” is immediately available to us.

Illusions

Real motion or the illusion of motion?

Progressive Awakenings

“Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.

“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, 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 Maya.”

THE SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. 1, Page 40

A Musical Thought Image

One of the best ways to describe what Theosophy is, arts reporter Ali Snow remarked on a Utah Public Radio show, “is to think of it as a kind of fusion of religion and science.”

A desire to prove or to explore some of the mystical forces that made religion work and make the spiritual world work.

A striking example of this kind of fusion is H. P. Blavatsky’s description of how “the sense of sound is the first thing that manifests itself in the universe … in  correspondence with colors or sight.”

musical_synesthesia

Colors and Sound

About this sensory synesthetic power Blavatsky wrote:

If you could only see clairvoyantly a person playing a piano, you would see the sound as plainly as you hear it.

“You can even put cotton in your ears—you will see the sound and every little note and modulation that you could not do otherwise. You cannot hear at a distance, but you can see at a distance.”

“You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact. There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.”

Synesthesia

Making reference to this sensory merging (known today as “synesthesia”) she explained: “One would merge into the other. You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact.” 

There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.

(The Secret Doctrine Dialogues p. 86)

Alexander Scriabin, a Russian pianist, and composer who was deeply influenced by Theosophy visualized a grand magnum opus which he titled “Mysterium.”

Click the link here or the link below to listen to Nora Eccles, Harrison Museum of Art as three curators describe the exhibit, Painting Music: Enchanted Modernities, and who gives us a personalized tour of the Theosophy promoted power (click below the photo):

Elisabeth Sulser

Synesthete Elisabeth Sulser

Click to start below:

This interesting phenomenon is demonstrated practically by the multiple senses of a unique synesthete from Zurich, Switzerland named Elizabeth Sulser. A psi investigator writes:

Her particular combination of senses is so unique that she is the only person in the world documented to have it.

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The Mystery of Consciousness and the Soul of Things

being-light

The Souls of Atoms

ATOMS like their privacy as any physicist knows who tries to nail down their elusive face and place.

This effect is due to something dubbed the “measurement problem” in quantum physics.

Whether atoms are waves or particles, it was supposed, would be established simply by observing them. But it was not that easy.

So-called “observing” the fickle critters, actually changed their supposed appearance!

For decades this classic problem in quantum physics has been a mystery and shows no possibility of being resolved anytime soon, at least not with the use of conventional scientific methods.

In ancient times such mysteries were resolved by initiated seers whose “flashing gaze” could penetrate “into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there,” H. P. Blavatsky declared: 

but modern science believes not in the ‘soul of things’ and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony.

A Living Cosmos

“It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.”

“The Pith and Marrow of Occultism” 
The Secret Doctrine,
1:272

The size, shape and location of these energetic illusions will likely never be resolved. To prove it, Mme. Blavatsky argues that the atoms and particles of modern science don’t really exist except in the exuberant imaginations of the scientists. And she famously insisted that atoms are merely “entified abstractions,” are not subject to physical laws and that no scientist will ever see one.

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