Category Archives: Buddha

Adepts in America: The Sacred Tribe of Heroes

torch-of-truth

The Torch of Truth

SYNESIUS of Cyrene was a Greek bishop of Ptolemais in ancient Libya. What could that Sage have to do with modern America one might ask?

While still a youth he went with his brother Euoptius to Alexandria, where he became an enthusiastic Neoplatonist and disciple of Hypatia.  (Wikipedia)

He once wrote: “you must not think that the gods are without employment.”

This idea was further developed by the Theosophical Society Co-Founder William Q. Judge in his Article “Cycles,” concerning the voluntary duty of the ancient gods to watch over humanity.

“Men’s minds are only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for the Elder Brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight. They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages.”

– William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Ch. 1

Mind and Nature

“For this providence is divine and most ample, which frequently through one man pays attention to and affects countless multitudes of men. But this happens when they harmonize a kingdom and send to this earth for that purpose souls who are allied to themselves.

“For they descend according to orderly periods of time:

for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.

Describing these descending Gods, Synesius continued: “For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns.”

Olympia Flame

“This heroic tribe is, as it were, a colony from the gods established here in order that this terrene abode may not be left destitute of a better nature.”

But when the harmony adapted in the beginning by the gods to all terrene things becomes old, they descend again to earth

“that they may call the harmony forth, energize and resuscitate it when it is expiring. . . . When, however, the whole order of mundane things, greatest and least, is corrupted, then it is necessary that the gods should descend for the purpose of imparting another orderly distribution of things.”

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Neuroplasticity: Carving Out New Brain Paths

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

BREAKING up is hard to do especially when it comes to ingrained scientific worldviews.

Even after they have betrayed us, dogmatic style beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche, and our brains, despite all logic.

Recall the insistent flat earth and geocentric crowd, and creationist belief that the Earth is only ten thousand years old.

The list is very long. Science is littered with the remains of once sacred cows.

Until only a few years ago, for example, it was asserted that the brain cannot grow new cells —

when they are gone they
are gone for good!

Challenging this cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, science now confirms that in fact adult brain cells keep growing after all!

H. P. Blavatsky explained: “The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms [neurons?] of the brain.” Yet, “in ordinary intellectual activity, moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance.”

neurofeedback

She then noted that a “new kind of mental effort calls for something very different — the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives.”

Her idea was, unmistakably, a preemptive nod to our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of “neuroplasticity” —

“… the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”(Wikipedia) This fact of occult science began to be recognized thanks to the findings of Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, called “the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity.”

These “now commonly accepted concepts, [were]  novel ideas when [he] first conceived of them [70 years after Blavatsky] in the 1960’s.” (Salus University)

Neurons

The world of brain science was forever changed. Yet, “the scale of change [in the brain] is much smaller than what goes on during the critical period of development,” said a study co-author Elly Nedivi, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) —

“but the fact that it goes on at all,
is earth-shattering.”

The truth is that neuroscientists today are completely baffled by how the brain is able to organize itself so perfectly.

Yet, the word “science” comes from the Latin word “scire” which means to know. “Science” is supposed to be a systematic, organized way of investigating the world. The catch is when specialized learning turns into a dogmatic worldview, it then becomes an end-in-itself — distorting what might have resulted in a more holistic truth.

With persistent reference to occult science Blavatsky insisted (SD 1:14), that “consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change,”  and, “motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic.”

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Tales of Enlightenment: Buddha’s Dog, and Mahatma of the Himavat

Buddha and His Dog

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

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

Asaṅga was “one of the most important spiritual figures”of Mahayana Buddhism and the “founder of the Yogacara school” who promoted Mahayana teachings on the bodhisattva path. (Wikipedia)

“Every new Bodhisattva or initiated great Adept is called the ‘liberator of mankind,’ Helena Blavatsky explains in footnote (20) in The Voice of the Silence:

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

In footnote (34) on Gautama Buddha, Mme. Blavatsky declared:

“To be enabled to help humanity, an Adept who has won the right to Nirvâna, ‘renounces the Dharmakâya body’ in mystic parlance; keeps, of the Sambhogakâya, only the great and complete knowledge, and remains in his Nirmânakâya body. The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

Asanga

After the first three years of spiritual practices to no avail, Asanga left his solitary cave, disheartened. But then he saw a little bird pecking a hole in a rock to build a nest in it, and he felt ashamed at his lack of persistence. He went back up to his cave.

birdnest

A Rock Nest

After the next three years, Asanga gave up again. As he descended the mountain, he met a man who was grinding down a thick rod of iron with a cloth to make needles. When the man showed him some needles he’d already made this way, Asanga hung his head and went back up the mountain.

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Mother’s Love, a Shoreless Universal Essence

Mother and Child

WHENEVER there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy teaches, there will always be suffering.

This is why we need to continually try to practice Divine Compassion, “the law of laws,” as urged in The Voice of the Silence, and all that implies about our daily actions.

“Compassion is no attribute, it is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony —

“… a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things — the law of love eternal.”

(The Voice of the Silence)

A feeling of true, universal compassion and caring for others can never dissolve into either separateness or selfish pride. Says the Voice of the Silence of The Buddha: “The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

Dalai Lama xlv

According to the H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, “compassion is something really worthwhile.”

It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

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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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Untying the Knots of the Heart — a Spiritual Transforming

Child-Praying

Transforming

THAT 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.

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

Spiritual Transformation

“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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What Rules Everything: The Field Effect

Body Fields

THE spiritual winds of change are still blowing against materialistic dogmas, a storm evident throughout the 20th, and now 21st Century, were initiated in the 19th.

The ‘radical’ culprit of the revolution is the perennial wisdom teachings of Theosophy, that the new age Mother H. P. Blavatsky jump-started.

It would appear today we are still immersed in a spiritual sea change, opposing the usual reactionary materialism with her unstoppable worldview.

In her article The New Cycle, Mme. Blavatsky predicted:

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

All ancient sages, in every civilization, taught that this physical world is interpenetrated by a series of graduated ethereal worlds or fields, composed of an energy-substance which is beyond ordinary measurement or perception.

Light of God

The Astral Light

The fields of  this ‘substance-principle’ closest to us are referred to by Theosophy as the ‘astral light.’ It is already confirmed by science that the fundamental building blocks of matter is energy. And all physical life, from crystals to the atoms and cells of our body emit this energy in the form of photons — in both waves and particles of light.

One Unity

Energy and substance are one and inseparable. Because, as everyone now understands, matter is really energy, made up of what science calls ‘atoms’— the immanent energy which ancient teachers understood to be an aspect of spirit-force. The Theosophical wisdom tradition explains that:-

“Spirit and matter are one, being the two opposite poles of the universal manifested substance. …the opposite poles of subject and object, spirit and matter, are but aspects of the One Unity in which they are synthesized…”

Human Magnets

The Russian researcher, Semyon Kirlian, and his famous photographs of the subtle light emissions of leaves, radiating even from inanimate objects, was the first modern person to publicize the discovery.

Aura Fields

Thousands of people have since had their astral photographs taken with so-called “aura cameras.” The technology makes for brisk business at psychic fairs and New Age conferences—but might there be something more significant about these fields than pretty pictures?

Rooted in The Field

Disease processes often get stuck in our field, explaining why energy healing techniques, like EFT, meditation and yoga—which help to reestablish a clear flow of information energy in our field—are so frequently beneficial.

“Great strides have been made in the arts and in cure of diseases, but in the future, as the flower of our civilization unfolds, new diseases will arise and more strange disorders will be known, springing from causes that lie deep in the minds of men and which can only be eradicated by spiritual living.”

– H. P. Blavatsky, Kali Yuga, The Present Age

As this video documents, disease occurs first in the energy field around the body, long before it is detected in the physical.

Invisible Patterns

Paracelsus

An impression of every thought, deed, and event is imprinted in this astral field, as taught in Theosophy, which therefore forms a sort of memory of nature. Likewise, within and around the physical body there is a series of subtler “bodies” composed of these more ethereal states of matter.

Paracelsus traced the second cause of disease to the astral, or sidereal body, which is the vehicle of the life-principle, or Archaeus.

“The Archaeus is of a magnetic nature, and attracts or repels other sympathetic or antipathetic forces belonging to the same plane. The less power of resistance for astral influence a person possesses, the more will he be subject to such influences.” (Paragranum)

Energy fields of fingers

Energy fields of fingers

Rupert Sheldrake, as does Theosophy, proposes that memories are captured on etheric substances, on supra-physical planes. His scientific ideas, largely ignored by orthodox science, are gaining new ground. Thanks to a spiritual shift in consciousness today, it’s an idea whose time has come.

Morphogenic Fields

We gain access to astral or akasic records through vibrational synchrony or affinity, (what biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls “morphic resonance”) — by vibrations transmitted through the ethereal medium. There is an analogy in the way that information is carried by electromagnetic impulses to cell phones, TVs, radios, and computers, or by light through fiber optic cables.

If information can be stored and transmitted in this way, it’s a mere puddle-jump to understanding how astral energy fields do the same thing. Memory is no more than archived information. Theosophical writer David Pratt writes:

“Experiments have shown that memory is both everywhere and nowhere in particular. Sheldrake suggests that the reason for the recurrent failure to find memory-traces in brains is very simple: they do not exist there.”

How the Brain Works

The brain is such a complex thing, both physically and metaphysically, that it is like a tree whose bark you can remove layer by layer, each layer being different from all the others, and each having its own special work, function, and properties.”

– H. P. Blavatsky
(Transactions, Appendix on Dreams)

A new understanding of how the brain works follows similar lines. The brain is a complex local network. It is also an “antenna” or “receiver” of images, memories, thoughts, and ideas from the surrounding energy-field. These are presented to the onstage consciousness of each person (or “actor”).

Brain Fields

According to Sheldrake, we are also influenced “by social and cultural fields contained within the overall field of the earth,” David Pratt maintains:

“In Theosophy we are said to contribute thoughts and ideas to the pooled memory of the astral light and attract from it those ideas and thoughts with which we resonate most strongly. The astral light may be considered to be the astral body of the earth, and plays a role similar to what Sheldrake calls the morphic field of Gaia.” 

(David Pratt, Exploring Theosophy)

The heart acts generally the same way, with the exception that the heart-field functions as the ‘seat’ of the soul, and also a thinking and feeling entity inside, and though its field, outside the body.

The Heart Field

Some frontier researchers, like Roland McCraty, say that all thoughts and feelings arise first in the heart field, and secondarily transmitted to the brain. The average heart-field is much larger than the brain, and has been measured to extend to twelve feet from the body.

From this we can understand why the Native American’s had a tradition of placing the hand over the heart, and saying ‘I think.’

Additionally, the heart communicates directly with the “little heart,” the pineal gland, hidden deeply in the brain. But the subtle psycho-physiological mechanism of this activity is not well understood, and will be explored in another post.

Image result for magnetic earth field

Earth’s Magnetic Field

Opening the Spiritual Eye: Piercing the Illusion of Reality

Fortune Teller

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 rider and horse — 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 says. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”

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A Mother’s Love, The Law of Life

Mother and Child

WHENEVER there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy teaches, there will always be suffering.

This is why we need to continually try to practice Divine Compassion, “the law of laws,” as urged in The Voice of the Silence, and all that implies about our daily actions.

“Compassion is no attribute, it is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony —

“… a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things — the law of love eternal.”

(The Voice of the Silence)

A feeling of true, universal compassion and caring for others can never dissolve into either separateness or selfish pride. Says the Voice of the Silence of The Buddha: “The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

Dalai Lama xlv

According to the H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, “compassion is something really worthwhile.”

It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

Continue reading

The Overview Effect: Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

Jodie Foster, the movie “Contact”

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

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 . . . 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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Karma and Reincarnation Alone Can Save Humanity

lotus-girl

Symbol of Rebirth

LOOKING beyond our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy teaches that the soul and spirit alone are eternal.

Further, the perennial wisdom tradition declares we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are Souls. (The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter One)

Yet, there are many human beings who live physically to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2012 there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.

Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as living 969 years. “But I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept,”  H. P. Blavatsky wrote  in The Key to Theosophy, “who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah.”

“Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age,” she said, “yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.” Mme. Blavatsky refers here only to the outward earthly physical body.

But the Spiritual and Astral Bodies that wise adepts have learned to occupy and control — achieving what is termed self-conscious immortality — have no expiration date.

Such Masters as Buddha remain fully alive while occupying their spiritual form (or Bodhisattvic Body). They are called Nirmanakayas, and remain invisible to the uninitiated. Such enlightened masters live a “secret life” of service to humanity.

One who selects the Path of Renunciation is described as a Bodhisattva, a “Buddha of Compassion.” The term literally means “one whose essence is wisdom” or “one of enlightened essence.”

A Buddha of Compassion

The Buddhist sage Aryasangha refers to Gautama Buddha as “the Supreme Nirmanakaya.” H. P. Blavatsky echoes his assertion, writing in a footnote: “The Esoteric School teaches that Gautama Buddha, with several of his Arhats, is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice for mankind, there is none known.”

(The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its rewards and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that

“he remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.” 

And the Buddha is not alone. What is called a living, spiritual Wall of Protection still exists established to protect humanity, built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts …

The Watcher

“… those  Buddhas of Compassion who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

The “Guardian Wall” may also be called the “Wall of Protection.” 

Those Masters are likened to ‘stones’ which go to form this spiritual Wall: “Built by the hands of many Masters of Compassion, raised by their tortures, by their blood cemented, it shields mankind, since man is man, protecting it from further and far greater misery and sorrow.”

The “Guardian Wall”

The “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts, especially of the Nirmanakayas, have created, so to say, a wall of protection around mankind, which wall shields mankind invisibly from still worse evils.” (Voice, fn 28)

These advanced beings assist suffering humans “by influencing them to follow the Good Law and to tread the Path of Righteousness.” Silently they impress the invisible atmosphere of our earth with their Ideation, thus keeping the balance on the side of right.

 (The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

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This is Your Brain, Infinitely Elastic

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

BREAKING up is hard to do especially when it comes to ingrained scientific worldviews.

Even after they have betrayed us, dogmatic style beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche, and our brains, despite all logic.

Recall the insistent flat earth and geocentric crowd, and creationist belief that the Earth is only ten thousand years old.

The list is very long. Science is littered with the remains of once sacred cows.

Until only a few years ago, for example, it was asserted that the brain cannot grow new cells —

when they are gone they
are gone for good?

Challenging the cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, neuroscience now confirms that, in fact, adult brain cells can regrow after all — they can and do replace and even increase themselves as necessary!

H. P. Blavatsky explained: “The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms [neurons?] of the brain.” Yet, “in ordinary intellectual activity, moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance.”

neurofeedback

She then noted that a “new kind of mental effort calls for something very different — the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives.”

Her idea was, unmistakably, a preemptive nod to our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of “neuroplasticity” —

“… the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”(Wikipedia) This fact of occult science began to be recognized thanks to the findings of Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, called “the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity.”

Continue reading

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.

smilingbuddhas

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.

Ξ

“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.”

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“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.”

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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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Neuroplasticity: Carving Out New Pathways in The Brain

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

BREAKING up is hard to do especially when it comes to ingrained scientific worldviews.

Even after they have betrayed us, dogmatic style beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche, and our brains, despite all logic.

Recall the insistent flat earth and geocentric crowd, and creationist belief that the Earth is only ten thousand years old.

The list is very long. Science is littered with the remains of once sacred cows.

Until only a few years ago, for example, it was asserted that the brain cannot grow new cells —

when they are gone they
are gone for good!

Challenging this cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, science now confirms that in fact adult brain cells keep growing after all!

H. P. Blavatsky explained: “The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms [neurons?] of the brain.” Yet, “in ordinary intellectual activity, moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance.”

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She then noted that a “new kind of mental effort calls for something very different — the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives.”

Her idea was, unmistakably, a preemptive nod to our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of “neuroplasticity” —

“… the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”(Wikipedia) This fact of occult science began to be recognized thanks to the findings of Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, called “the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity.”

These “now commonly accepted concepts, [were]  novel ideas when [he] first conceived of them [70 years after Blavatsky] in the 1960’s.” (Salus University)

Neurons

The world of brain science was forever changed. Yet, “the scale of change [in the brain] is much smaller than what goes on during the critical period of development,” said a study co-author Elly Nedivi, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) —

“but the fact that it goes on at all,
is earth-shattering.”

The truth is that neuroscientists today are completely baffled by how the brain is able to organize itself so perfectly.

Yet, the word “science” comes from the Latin word “scire” which means to know. “Science” is supposed to be a systematic, organized way of investigating the world. The catch is when specialized learning turns into a dogmatic worldview, it then becomes an end-in-itself — distorting what might have resulted in a more holistic truth.

With persistent reference to occult science Blavatsky insisted (SD 1:14), that “consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change,”  and, “motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic.”

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