Category Archives: Consciousness

Behind Your Brain, A Master Planner

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 beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche and 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 made short work of the errors of science in explaining the occult teachings:

“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.”



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.”

“Memory has no seat, no special organ of its own in the human brain,” Blavatsky wrote in — it has seats in every organ of the body. The seat of memory, then, is assuredly neither here nor there, but “everywhere throughout the human body.”


Modern studies in people recovering from stroke also provided support for neuroplasticity, as regions of the brain remained healthy could sometimes take over, at least in part, functions that had been destroyed.”

The ideas she presented were no less than a startling preview of our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of neuroplasticity.

Especially the “brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.” This fact in occult science began to be recognized by modern science 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.”

“In the 1960s, Paul Bach-y-Rita invented a device that was tested on a small number of people, and involved a person sitting in a chair, in which were embedded nubs that were made to vibrate in ways that translated images received in a camera, allowing a form of vision via sensory substitution.

(Wikipedia – Neuroplasticity)

Tree Bark

A musician needs his instrument, a painter her canvas. This requirement of a physical material vehicle is explained in The Secret Doctrine‘s first Fundamental Proposition: “…it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as ‘I am I,’

a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.

A central nervous system connected to a physical brain and body are indispensable to complete our human evolutionary experience. Just as the invisible “zeros and ones” of a digital software program, for example, must be connected to a physical computer or they cannot be read or used.

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)


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 (The Secret Doctrine 1:14), that “consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change,”  and, “motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic.”

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All One Being: The Conscious Earth

Greek Goddess Demeter

The Greek Goddess Demeter

MOLECULAR biologist Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria “talk” to each other, and is studying how they communicate with one another (How bacteria “talk”).

But there is nothing new in this “scientific revelation” for Theosophy to learn.

“The organs and the whole body of man are composed of cells,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in Kosmic Mind, “and these cells are now being recognised as individual organisms and – quien sabe – will come perhaps to be recognized someday

as an independent race of thinkers inhabiting the globe, called man! It really looks like it.

The Summing Up section (The Secret Doctrine 1:269) had this fundamental covered declaring that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious, is endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Stones, minerals, rocks, and even chemical ‘atoms’ are simply organic units in profound lethargy.

The Secret Doctrine also summarizes an underlying principle declaring how: “foremost of all, [is] the postulate that there is no such thing in Nature as inorganic substances or bodies.”

“We men must remember,” H. P. Blavatsky said plainly challenging modern materialistic science, “that because we do not perceive any signs — which we can recognize of consciousness, say, in stones — we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there.” (The Secret Doctrine 1:274 No.5).

The human soul “acquires individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). 

[The Secret Doctrine Vol. 1, Page  17]


Healing Stones

“There is no such thing as either ‘dead’ or ‘blind’ matter — these find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy,” she wrote. “The latter never stops at surface appearances, and for it, the noumenal essences have more reality than their objective counterparts.”

“There exists a body of research poised to rend apart our modern paradigms — revealing consciousness in places we might not have expected it, and connections between life forms that seem startling and impossible.” So wrote Ben Bendig in an interview with Cleve Backster, of “The Secret Life of Plants” fame, (July 22, 2013, The Epoch Times), echoing H. P. Blavatsky’s Fundamental axiom universal mind. 

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Life After Death, the Persistence of Consciousness

The invisible physical.

ANYONE who believes in reincarnation accepts that life can continue to exist without a visible physical form. And that consciousness can exist without a neuron filled physical brain.

Both concepts are still a challenge for the standard model of modern science which “believes not in the soul of things,” as H. P. Blavatsky declared in her monumental work The Secret Doctrine, (1:272)

The problem is directly related to the controversial “hard problem of consciousness,” formulated by the philosopher David Chalmers.

Mme. Blavatsky had already unveiled the problem by declaring 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 Secret Doctrine 2:149)

“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—” 

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. 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.”  – Robert Crosbie, (Universal Theosophy)

Thus, most mainstream scientists will not even approach the possibility that consciousness might exist as a separate entity from the physical brain and body, because they believe that mind and thoughts can only arise from activity within the visible physical. A kind of dogmatic religious belief.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson refers to this position as a “pathological disbelief” within the scientific establishment. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton in his “The Biology of Belief,” describes their position as:

“I wouldn’t believe it
even if it were true!”  

In contrast Theosophy teaches that life and consciousness cannot be created or destroyed. And further that the duration between lifetimes of the same individual immortal consciousness is not just the 15 or 20  minutes of some near-death studies.

Reincarnation into a new physical body varies from a few hours or weeks, up to 1, 500 years or more (or less), depending on the spiritual, mental and emotional development of the Soul, and also especially the age of the person.

“If our physiologists find the cause of dreams and visions in an unconscious preparation for them during the waking hours,” Mme. Blavatsky asks in The Key to Theosophy p. 165, Section 9, “why cannot the same be admitted for the post-mortem dreams? I repeat it: death is sleep.”

Children who have died early, as a rule tend to be reborn quickly, Blavatsky says, as they do not have many current life experiences that would hold them in the after-death dream state. 

The after-death dream lasts, according to the Master K.H. (Notes on Devachan, 249), only “until Karma is satisfied” and  “is proportionate to the unexhausted psychic impulses originating in earth life.” (W. Q. Judge, How Soon do we Reincarnate?)

But, who knows for certain, and how to they know? According to The Secret Doctrine, Summing Upknowing hidden truths is acquired using the power exercised by initiated Seers, which includes all the great Masters of Life such as Buddha, Krishna, Jesus,Lao Tsu, etc. Blavatsky explained:

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

Further: “It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers,” (The Secret Doctrine 1:272), “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.”

(For more info see: How Soon do we Reincarnate?)


Line of many Buddhas.

Now a team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische University of Berlin announced they had proven, by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death.

“This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.

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