Category Archives: Buddha

Finding Nirvana with a Stroke of Insight

Jill BolteTaylor

Jill BolteTaylor

LORD Krishna the famed deity of Hinduism, pegged the complex duality of our human minds more than five thousand years ago.

In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna instructs his disciple Arjuna on the paradoxical nature of the mind and senses — all while the pair were in the middle of a battlefield with arrows flying.

The “Self is the friend of self, and in like manner, self is its own enemy” Krishna cautions the reluctant warrior Arjuna in the Gita, Chapter Six.

The ancient wisdom-teaching of dueling human selves was much more than a symbolic morality play. And the unavoidable reality is preserved in our own living flesh, dynamically channeling through the dual hemispheres of our physical brain.

Beyond the physical body and brain, remaining yet a means of reaching that place lies Nirvana, a spiritually lucid zone of release and liberation from worldly concerns. All self-realized Masters of Wisdom, according to Theosophy, have achieved and live in that spiritual state fully conscious.

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Such Adepts such as Buddha, followed the injunction of the Book of the Golden Precepts,” according to William Q. Judge in his Echoes from the Orient (p. 33), to”Step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others.”

“They are owners of Nirvana who refuse to accept it in order that they may help the suffering orphan, Humanity.”

It can be compared to the sacrifice of workers for humanitarian causes who give up modern comforts and rest to help others. Such are the examples of Father Damien (lauded by H. P. Blavatsky in her Key to Theosophy), who devoted his life to the leper colonies of Hawaii.

Father Damien

Father Damien

“He was a true Theosophist,” she wrote, “and his memory will live for ever in our annals.” And similarly we recall the selfless work of Helene and Albert Schweitzer who volunteered as medical missionaries in Africa.

There are many hundreds of examples of volunteers who today are working tirelessly in many areas of the world including areas of the environment, conservation, poverty, animal welfare and child abuse, starvation, etc., etc.

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Roerich’s Shambhala: A Land of Mystery

Nicholas Roerich with Guga Chohan

CELEBRATING over seven enlightening years of research and Theosophical journalism, we gratefully republish the late co-editor Kara LeBeau’s article “Roerich’s Shambhala,” one of our most popular posts.

A naturally spiritual and talented journalist Kara’s presence always seems alive. She was a huge fan of Roerich. And her editorial skills on behalf of Theosophy Watch are deeply missed.

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“Over 120 years ago, it was Helena Blavatsky who introduced the legacy of Shambhala to Western seekers, otherwise it might have remained hidden in the domain of a few scholars.

‘Shambhala’ means ‘source of happiness’ in Sanskrit — ‘a place of peace and tranquility.’ (Wikipedia)

James Hilton, in 1933, further popularized the idea of Shambhala in his novel Lost Horizon about the mythical kingdom ‘Shangri-la.’

losthorizon

Movies based on the novel in 1937, 1942, and 1952 introduced the ‘Shambhala’ ideal to more people around the world than HPB might have ever imagined.

Google ‘Shambhala’ today and you’ll get over a million hits of pages that explore the Buddhist legendary paradise that intrigues so many people now. Some endeavor to find its physical location—others seek it within themselves. Nicholas and Helena Roerich asserted that

“Shamballa is the indispensable site where the spiritual world unites with the material one.”

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Shift Happens: The Invisible Healing Field

windows-over-worldGROWING numbers of new thought leaders, and frontier scientists are ushering in a welcome upgrade to our materialistic western scientific and religious thought.

In addition to those we’ve featured here such as Bruce Lipton, Dean Radin, Acharya Sanning, and Rupert Sheldrake, there are hundreds of other thinkers and researchers of magnitude.

We are, it would appear, immersed in a revolutionary sea change of worldview. “Modern science,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote, “believes not in the ‘soul of things'” (SD 1:272) — but as we will see, this is rapidly changing.

The winds of this change blowing against reductionist thought, evident throughout the 20th and now the 21st Century, were initiated in the 19th. The culprits of these radical views are the eternal ideas of the Theosophical Movement, re-presented by their new age mother, H. P. Blavatsky.

“The battle will be fierce between brutal materialism and blind fanaticism on one hand,” she wrote in The New Cycle, “and philosophy and mysticism on the other.”

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Winds of Change

“It is not materialism that will have the upper hand,” she asserts. Everyone clinging to material ideas, Blavatsky writes, “will find himself

“…separated like a rotten plank
from the new ark called Humanity.”

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Progress on these New Frontiers is quickly generating momentum. We are discovering compelling new reasons for shifting away from our former morally purposeless, and materialist-based worldview — in nearly every area of life and society.

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Spiritual Transmutation: Untying the Knots of the Heart

Child-PrayingTHAT all humans possess an immortal soul is a common belief of humanity, but to this Theosophy adds we do not just ‘have’ souls, but each of us is a soul.

Further that we are an indivisible and indissoluble part of the consciousness of great nature which is also, by degrees, both conscious and intelligent.

And flowering into an Adept like Jesus or Buddha and manifesting those soul powers, is perfectly possible to all human beings.

The driving power behind such development is what the ancients called the “Father which is in secret” (Matthew ch. vi. v. 6) in its esoteric meaning, and is not an extra-cosmic god.

“That ‘Father’ is in man himself,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote in the Key to Theosophy, unrestricted by age, social status or gender.

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Our inner spiritual self “is the only God we can have cognizance of,” and she asks: “how can this be otherwise? — Grant us our postulate that God is a universally diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from being soaked through by, and in, the Deity?”

Candlelight Vigil to honor the departed in the BDR mutiny

“We call our ‘Father in heaven’ that deific essence of which we are cognizant within us, in our heart and spiritual consciousness, and which has nothing to do with the anthropomorphic conception we may form of it in our physical brain or its fancy:”

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of (the absolute) God dwelleth in you?” Yet, let no man anthropomorphize that essence in us. Let no Theosophist, if he would hold to divine, not human truth, say that this ‘God in secret’ listens to, or is distinct from, either finite man or the infinite essence — for all are one.”

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Thoughts are Things: Bound Together for Good or Ill

buddhas_natureAS human beings our lives and fates are often wrapped up in multiple paradoxes, which seem to be almost the defining characteristic of our species.

The fact that we mutually experience any contrasting states (or that we interact at all) is only made possible because we are connected together.

Similar to a cell phone conversation that depends on the signal between phones. Without that signal, the call gets dropped. But Nature’s signals are much more dependable.

In fact, according to Theosophy, the whole universe is signaled together via a built-in “triple evolutionary scheme,” (The Secret Doctrine 1:181) — “three separate schemes of evolution inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point.”

But does being indissolubly bound as one human family help us or hurt us? Probably both, depending on our self-development.

One moment we are compassionate and forgiving, the next we are weighted with irreconcilable differences and conflicts.

Similarly all beings on Earth are fundamentally entwined like a forest of giant redwoods that are known to have intermingling root systems. Universal non-separateness is the First Fundamental in Theosophy, insisting that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious,” according to H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine (1:274).

Redwoods

Redwoods

Not limited to the human or animal kingdoms Blavatsky maintains, every unit visible or invisible in nature “is endowed with a consciousness of its own kind, and on its own plane of perception.” Scientists now have even connected minerals, linking “two diamonds in a mysterious process called entanglement,” LiveScience senior writer Clara Moskowitz reports —”normally only seen on the quantum scale.” 

It phenomenon is so weird for modern science that Einstein dubbed it “spooky action at a distance.” Described as a strange effect where

“one object gets connected to another so that even if they are separated by large distances, an action performed on one will affect the other.”

“Thus, no speck of dust or grain of sand is without its own quality of consciousness,” according to Gertrude W. van Pelt in Hierarchies: The Ladder of Life, “though, of course, not as human beings understand the word. In this sense every atom is an entity.”

pecera_arcoiris

“Every composite being is composed of atoms,” she adds, “which obviously could not be used or respond to impulses if they were not themselves alive, having their own degree of consciousness.”

“If there were not this essential unity, there could be no coordination in nature, and any broken link would mean chaos.”

It has been found that the power of prescience lies ready to spring out from the core of even the simplest entities on earth, from atoms to molecules. Cells at disparate locations in our bodies, for example, will talk to one other. Trees are known to warn other trees of insect attacks over long distances reports seismologist Larry Gedney of Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks. (Do Trees Communicate for Mutual Defense?)

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Karma: The Law of Empathy and Ethical Causation

Harold Copping, “The Widows Mite”

EVER mounting research reveals that you cannot separate your health from your emotions, explains Dr. Joseph Mercola, a prominent alternative medicine advocate.

“Numerous studies support the idea that having an upbeat and positive perspective,” he says, “can translate into living a longer healthier life.” This view aligns exactly with that of Theosophy.

Manifesting positive emotions and happiness “is perhaps one of the greatest gifts you have been given as a human being,” Mercola writes, “but to some extent, being happy is a choice you need to make.”

“Much like choosing to exercise or eat right. Happiness comes from within — it’s not meted out by circumstance alone.”

The Sanskrit word Karma has many meanings, and has a special aspect for almost every one of its manifestations according to Theosophy. As a synonym of sin, an action for the attainment of personal selfish desire, “it cannot fail to be hurtful” to almost everyone. 

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Yet karma is also “the law of ethical causation,” Theosophical Pioneer William Q. Judge wrote. The effect of an act produced egotistically, against the great law of harmony, as opposed to that initiated by altruism instead of selfishness, cannot fail to be destructive.

In reality the condition is not inevitable. “No one has a right to say that he can do nothing for others, on any pretext whatever,” Theosophical pioneer H. P. Blavatsky explains in her Key to Theosophy. The poor widow in the Synoptic Gospels gives everything she had, she points out, while others give only a small portion of their own wealth: “A cup of cold water given in time to a thirsty wayfarer

“is a nobler duty and more worth than a dozen dinners given away, out of season, to men who can afford to pay for them.”

drinkofwater

Cold Water

Following Mme. Blavatsky’s death in 1891, an editorial published in the New York Daily Tribune (founded by Horace Greeley) said of her life and work: “Madame Blavatsky held that the regeneration of mankind must be based upon the development of altruism.”

“In this she was at one with the greatest thinkers, not alone of the present day, but of all time,” the Editorial acknowledged.

“And, it is becoming more and more apparent, at one with the strongest spiritual tendencies of the age. This alone would entitle her teachings to the candid and serious consideration of all who respect the influences that make for righteousness.”

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Theosophy Ethics: Crystal Clear, Inspiring, Challenging, Noble, Uncompromising, and Empathic

compassion

Tenzin Gyatso 14th Dalai Lama

EQUAL justice to all and love to every creature are not the highest virtues  in Theosophy according to its original resuscitator and promoter.

In her Key to Theosophy H. P. Blavatsky held to a “far higher” standard, “the giving to other more than to oneself, i.e. self-sacrifice.”

“Such was the standard and abounding measure which marked so preeminently the greatest Teachers and Masters of Humanity,” she wrote, “Gautama Buddha in History, and Jesus of Nazareth as in the Gospels.”

“This trait alone was enough to secure to them the perpetual reverence and gratitude of the generations of men that came after them,” she insisted, noting “there are many instances to illustrate it in history.”

“It often surprises people who have had no direct involvement with the Theosophical Movement to learn and discover the tremendous and constant emphasis on altruism, selflessness, service, ethics, morals, and purity of life, which permeates all Theosophical teachings,” the Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK explains.

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“It would be no exaggeration to say that the philosophy and system of ethics propounded by H.P. Blavatsky and in the teachings of Theosophy in general is just as grand, crystal clear, inspiring, challenging, noble, uncompromising, and emphatic, as that presented by Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, or any of the other great Saviours and Teachers, if not even more so,” they write.

“Self-sacrifice for practical good to save many, or several people, Theosophy holds, is far higher than self-abnegation for a sectarian idea, such as that of ‘saving the heathen from damnation,’ for instance,” Blavatsky declared.

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