Category Archives: Education

The Theosophical Roots of a Spiritual Education

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Growing Imagination

THE emergence of a new spiritual epoch in education may have dawned far back in the late 19th century driven by Theosophical principles.

New educational reforms encompassing spiritual development are evident in the formation of new schools today, many of which embody the eternal principles championed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.

“In many countries, educational reforms are taking place to consider the changing needs of 21st century learners,” writes Canadian theosophist Kathleen Hall in The Theosophical Roots of Spiritual Education, noting how:

“The old factory model of education that was mainly concerned with churning out obedient workers no longer suits the needs of today’s world.”

The principles defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy, raised the educational bar, both then and now .Children should above all be taught self-reliance,” she declared, “love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.”

Adding: “We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities …

meditation_dalai-lama

Meditation

“Deal with each child as a unit and educate it so as to produce the most harmonious and equal unfoldment of its powers, in order that its special aptitudes should find their full natural development; Aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish.” (Theosophy and Education).

“The object of modern education is to pass examinations, a system [adapted] not to develop right emulation, but to generate and breed jealousy, envy, hatred almost, in young people for one another, and thus train them for a life of ferocious selfishness and struggle for honours and emoluments instead of kindly feeling.”

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Unfolding Children’s Powers: Music and the Brain

Child-Playing-PianoTHE emergence of a new spiritual epoch may have dawned far back in the late 19th century driven by Theosophical principles.

New educational reforms encompassing spiritual development are evident in the formation of visionary new schools today, public and private sector, many of which embody the eternal principles championed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.

“In many countries, educational reforms are taking place to consider the changing needs of 21st century learners,” writes Canadian theosophist Kathleen Hall in The Theosophical Roots of Spiritual Education, noting how:

“The old factory model of education that was mainly concerned with churning out obedient workers no longer suits the needs of today’s world.”

The principles defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy, raised the educational bar, both then and now .Children should above all be taught self-reliance,” she declared, “love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.”

Adding: “We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities …

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H. P. Blavatsky: Towards an Aquarian Humanity

child-buddha-smileTHE occultist, spiritual co-founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky, was a tireless critic on a wide range of issues still conflicting society today.

Materialism, women’s rights, education, animal cruelty were some of the concerns closest to her heart.
 
Critical of early childhood education, and of the”infusion of (useless) intelligence,” Blavatsky noted:
“You have opened a subject on which we Theosophists feel deeply.”
(Read the article in The Washington Post confirming the relevance and importance of Mme. Blavatsky’s position: Early Childhood Academics.)
 
§
Outspoken as always, Mme. Blavatsky insisted in her Key to Theosophy that children should be “placed daily in a bright, clean school-room hung with pictures, and often gay with flowers.”
Early Childhood
They should be taught “to be clean, gentle, orderly …  learn to sing and to play; has toys that awaken its intelligence; learns to use its fingers deftly; is spoken to with a smile instead of a frown …
“All this humanises the children, arouses their brains, and renders them susceptible to intellectual and moral influences. The schools are not all they might be and ought to be … your system deserves the worst one can say of it.”

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Growing the Child: A Moral and Spiritual Covenant

child-buddha-smileTHE occultist, spiritual co-founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky, was a tireless critic on a wide range of issues still oppressing society today.

Materialism, women’s rights, education, animal cruelty were some of the closest to her heart.
Critical of early childhood education, and of the”infusion of (useless) intelligence,” Blavatsky noted: “You have opened a subject on which we Theosophists feel deeply.”
(See article in The Washington Post: Early Childhood Academics.)
§
Outspoken as always, Mme. Blavatsky insisted in her Key to Theosophy that children should be “placed daily in a bright, clean school-room hung with pictures, and often gay with flowers.”
Early Childhood
They should be taught “to be clean, gentle, orderly …  learn to sing and to play; has toys that awaken its intelligence; learns to use its fingers deftly; is spoken to with a smile instead of a frown …
“All this humanises the children, arouses their brains, and renders them susceptible to intellectual and moral influences. The schools are not all they might be and ought to be … your system deserves the worst one can say of it.”

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Childhood Memories of Having Lived Before

Buddha in the SnowKRISHNA assures an uncertain Arjuna that he has lived many lives on Earth.

“Both I and thou have passed through many births,” the Master tells his disciple (Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. 4:31):

“Mine are known unto me, but thou knowest not of thine.”

The fact is most people don’t recall their past lives, because in every rebirth the immortal soul must endure a new body and astral body, a new personality and a new physical brain. 

Being handed an empty photo album is a challenge to the incoming soul, hindering it finding a conscious connection to prior experiences and knowledge. Thus “the new ‘personality,'” Blavatsky wrote (Key to Theosophy, Ch. 8), “is no better than a fresh suit of clothes.”

Being so, yet “the record or reflection of all the past lives must survive,” H. P. Blavatsky continues, “for when Prince Siddhartha became Buddha the full sequence of His previous births were seen by Him.” In such a state he was able, she says, “to retrospectively trace the lines of all his lives.”

lineofsnowbuddhas

“This proves to you that the undying qualities of the personality — such as love, goodness, charity, etc., attach themselves to the immortal Ego, photographing on it, so to speak, a permanent image of the divine aspect of the man who was.”

The mind doesn’t fully incarnate until age seven, (Key to Theosophy Section 9). Thus, a child doesn’t feel the full weight of life and karma right away. As such, they are like karma-less “little Buddhas.” If not pressured to conform by parents and society, it is possible for them to express memories of their former life (s), i.e. experience “intimations of immortality” for an extended period.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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

It was Plotinus who said that “our body is the true river of Lethe, for ‘souls plunged into it forget all’ — our terrestrial body is like Lethe” (the “river of forgetfulness” in the Hades of Greek mythology.) Using a modern analogy, a new computer cannot be expected to recall the data stored on the discarded one, unless the old data is preserved and reinstalled in the new machine.

snowchildren

But this is what sometimes happens with children who die at an early age from accidents or illness, if they had created no basis for a prolonged after-death dream state. Nature is never wasteful, and the still viable astral pattern body is not disintegrated as with normal death.

The still vital and alive astral matrix is attracted back into the soul’s new body, with all its memories preserved intact.Thus in many cases such children are said to be born with two astral bodies, one new, the other old.

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From God Who is Our Home

Buddha in the SnowKRISHNA assures an uncertain Arjuna that he has in fact lived many lives on Earth.

“Both I and thou have passed through many births,” the Master tells his disciple (The Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. 4:31). Adding: “mine are known unto me, but thou knowest not of thine.”

“It’s hard to believe,” writes the Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK, in an article titled “A Right Understanding of Reincarnation,” that until 130 years ago hardly anyone in the Western world had heard of reincarnation or knew anything about it.”

One reason for the ignorance around this teaching is that most people can’t remember every having a past life. This is because, in simple pragmatic terms, the immortal soul enters and uses a new body, new astral body, new personality, and a new physical brain. In the case of a new brain obviously it’s difficult to ‘remember’ a previous life never being there to witness it. 

Handed an empty photo album is a challenge to the incoming soul, hindering it finding a conscious connection to prior experiences and knowledge. “The new ‘personality,'” Blavatsky wrote (Key to Theosophy, Ch. 8), “is no better than a fresh suit of clothes.”

lineofsnowbuddhas

Even so, by a mysterious process, “the record or reflection of all the past lives must survive,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote: “for when Prince Siddhartha became Buddha the full sequence of His previous births were seen by Him.” In such a state he was able, she says, “to retrospectively trace the lines of all his lives.”

“This proves to you that the undying qualities of the personality — such as love, goodness, charity, etc., attach themselves to the immortal Ego, photographing on it, so to speak, a permanent image of the divine aspect of the man who was.”

The mind doesn’t fully incarnate until age seven, (Key to Theosophy Section 9). Thus, a child doesn’t feel the full weight of life and karma right away. As such, they are like karma-less “little Buddhas.” If not pressured to conform by parents and society, it is possible for them to express memories of their former life (s), i.e. experience “intimations of immortality” for an extended period.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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

It was Plotinus who said that “our body is the true river of Lethe, for ‘souls plunged into it forget all’ — our terrestrial body is like Lethe” (the “river of forgetfulness” in the Hades of Greek mythology.) Using a modern analogy, a new computer cannot be expected to recall the data stored on the discarded one, unless the old data is preserved and reinstalled in the new machine.

snowchildren

But this is what sometimes happens with children who die at an early age from accidents or illness, if they had created no basis for a prolonged after-death dream state. Nature is never wasteful, and the still viable astral pattern body is not disintegrated as with normal death.

The still vital and alive astral matrix is attracted back into the soul’s new body, with all its memories preserved intact.Thus in many cases such children are said to be born with two astral bodies, one new, the other old.

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Who is Malala?

Malala YousafzaiFROM earliest times, among all but modern western people, the teacher was accorded the greatest reverence.

Pupils were taught from an early age to look upon their teachers as second only to father and mother in dignity.

“It was a great sin, a thing that did one actual harm in his moral being,” explains William Q. Judge in Letter 12 of Letters That Have Helped Me, “to be disrespectful to his teacher even in thought.”

“The reason for this,” he says, “lies in the fact that a long chain of influence extends from the highest spiritual guide who may belong to any man, down through vast numbers of spiritual chiefs, ending at last even in the mere teacher of our youth.

“A chain extends up from our teacher or preceptors to the highest spiritual chief in whose ray or descending line one may happen to be. And it makes no difference whatever, in this occult relation, that neither pupil nor final guide may be aware, or admit, that this is the case.”

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Guruparampara

“Nor again does it matter that a child has a teacher who evidently gives him a bad system. This is his Karma, and by his reverent and diligent attitude he works it out, and transcends that erstwhile teacher. This chain of influence is called the Guruparampara chain.

“Thus it happens that a child who holds his teacher in reverence and diligently applies himself accordingly with faith, does no violence to this intangible but mighty chain, and is benefited accordingly, whether he knows it or not.”

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