Category Archives: karma

Riding the Waves of Karma: Past, Present and Future

Fortune Teller

THE proverbial phrase “time and tide wait for no man” is usually attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer, known as the Father of English literature. 

Chaucer’s genius at understanding human nature made him a great poet yet probably would not claim to read ‘the grand clock of the Universe,’ as a deific time-keeper.

That grand timekeeper “points to another hour,” William Q. Judge provocatively wrote (A Year on the Path): “and now Man must seize the key in his hands and himself — as a whole — open the gate.” 

“Let us then together enter upon another year, fearing nothing, assured of strength in the Union of Brotherhood. For how can we fear death, or life, or any horror or evil, at any place or time, when we well know that even death itself is a part of the dream which we are weaving before our eyes.”

And even recognizing the orderly process of seasons on Earth, most of us would not accept that any universal time-keeper like Karma exists. Yet

we observe these daily in our lives — the seasons, tides of the ocean, the biological clocks that pervade our bodies.

Thus it can be argued we do own a piece of the larger puzzle — in the sequential events of our personal lives. By diligent self-reflection, meditation and intuition, we ought to be able to see glimpses of their purpose, and gradually arrange the pieces of the karmic puzzle into a meaningful picture.

Karmic Waves

Such digging may be as close as we can get to knowing and managing our personal Karma, if not the World’s destiny. Esoteric Theosophical philosophy teaches that Past, Present, and Future represent a ‘compound’ time.

Indeed, Buddha’s dying words reportedly were: “all compounds are perishable,” (i.e. but temporary illusions.)

Thus we ought to seize every stray event in our lives, and attempt to extract their true meaning as Judge wrote: “Man must seize the key in his hands and himself — as a whole — open the gate.”  

The great Sage Patanjali in his Aphorisms declared: “A great and most subtle knowledge springs from the discrimination that follows upon concentration of the mind performed with regard to the relation between moments and their order.” (The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali)

Patanjali-Yoga

Patanjali

On this knowledge Mr. Judge commented:

“Patanjali speaks of ultimate divisions of time which cannot be further divided, and of the order in which they precede and succeed each other. It is asserted that a perception of these minute periods can be acquired, and the result will be that he who discriminates thus goes on to greater and wider perception of principles in nature which are so recondite that modern philosophy does not even know of their existence.”

Karma is not subject to time, and therefore he who knows what is the ultimate division of time in this Universe knows Karma. (6)

Aphorisms on Karma
by William Q. Judge

prayer-wheel

Wheels of Destiny

In the realm of ‘noumena (or the primary causal plane), H. P. Blavatsky noted these three aspects of time have no separate reality, and according to Mahayana Buddhism:

The Past time is the Present time, as also the Future, which, though it has not come into existence, still is.

(The Secret Doctrine Vol. 1:43)

“The second assertion of the Secret Doctrine,” Blavatsky explained, “is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature.

“An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

The Secret Doctrine: Three Fundamentals

All Seeing Eye of Karma

One of Mme. Blavatsky’s Teachers (Mahatma K.H.) wrote: “I feel even irritated at having to use these three clumsy words — past, present and future!” Adding they are:

Miserable concepts of the objective phases of the Subjective Whole, they are about as ill adapted for the purpose as an axe for fine carving.

Karmic Agent

Mme. Blavatsky wrote: “Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but ‘lies asleep.'”

“The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these ‘sum-totals’ that exist from eternity in the “future,” and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the ‘past.’”

(H. P. Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine 1:37)

Seeing the Future

To the uninitiated concepts of duration and time Blavatsky points out, “are all derived from our sensations according to the laws of Association.” And because they are “inextricably bound up with the relativity of human knowledge” they are superficial and only temporal tools.

Because rationalist views ignore psychic experience, they must eventually fall away in the face of thousands of reported cases such as the near-death experience. Today precognition is validated by new experimental research data in parapsychology.

Movie: Minority Report – (Precog)

Announcing the publication of a controversial work by Cornell researcher Daryl Bem in a 2003 article published in The New York Times, Dr. Bem purports to have demonstrated precognition in a series of experiments. Bem studied over 1000 people and looked for proof that future events affected past behavior, or retro causation.

His research was analyzed using standard statistical techniques. Using standard measures, Bem’s research indeed finds a causal link between future events and past behavior (or thoughts?)

Buddha

“Esoterically, thought is more responsible and punishable than act. But exoterically it is the reverse. Therefore, in ordinary human law, an assault is more severely punished than the thought or intention, i.e., the threat, whereas Karmically it is the contrary.”  – (H. P. Blavatsky, Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge)

“But why should this be the case? It is because ‘thought is the real plane of action’ – as William Q. Judge and Robert Crosbie have often said – and that our physical and bodily actions are simply the eventual outworking on the physical plane of the real action, which has already been formed and formulated on the mental plane.”  – (Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK)

Down the Rabbit Hole

Clocks are useful for getting to meetings on time. Otherwise, time in this sense, being only the “panoramic succession of our [ordinary] states of consciousness,” is therefore reductionist—and has only materialistic value.

Ground-level experience reveals only the outer edge of the rabbit hole, and keeps us blind to the mysteries hidden beneath — the experience which leads us to the sum-total of existence. The frontier consciousness sciences emerging today offer an exciting prospect.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

“I’m late for a very important date.” 1865 edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Charles Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll), published by MacMillan and Co. Drawn by John Tenniel.

In Alice’s new and strange universe of the mind the Red Queen tells her:

“You must run fast just to
stay in one place.”

The eye-popping series of progressive awakenings experienced by Alice surely led her and her readers to a greater appreciation of the mysterious and the paradoxical. We find The Secret Doctrine [Vol. 1, p.40] mirroring the Alice experience:

“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 [illusion].”

Alice in Wonderland

H. P. Blavatsky declared: “Woe to those who live without suffering.

Stagnation and death is the future of all that vegetates without a change.

“And how can there be any change for the better without proportionate suffering during the preceding stage? Is it not those only who have learnt the deceptive value of earthly hopes and the illusive allurements of external nature who are destined to solve the great problems of life, pain, and death?”

‘Presentiment’

Senior scientist Dean Radin, of The Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS), is a rigorous scientific explorer who boldly goes where the establishment won’t, methodically measuring the ‘immeasurable’. In this clip he explains his ongoing experiments showing evidence of “presentiment” or precognition. With every thought we think, whether it is with the intent of future objective action or not, Theosophy says — we are emitting Karmic energy and setting causes in motion which, like all causes, will eventually have to have their corresponding due effect.

“Presentiment,” a term used by Dr. Dean Radin, senior scientist of IONS fame, is a feeling that something strange or unusual is about to happen. Radin got the idea “to monitor a person’s skin conductance before, during, and after viewing emotional and calm pictures, and then see if the autonomic nervous system responded appropriately before the picture appeared.”

Forest for the Trees

Objective time and reality always appear in a linear frame, and as the legendary punster of the Yankee’s baseball team, Yogi Berra, once quipped:

“I knew I was going to take the wrong train,
so I left early.”

🙂 !

Berra sensed there was more than meets the eye when he made that playful pun at the phenomenon of precognition!

Yogi Berra

The Mind’s Eye

The author and diarist Anais Nin famously remarked:

We don’t see things as they are,
we see things as we are.

Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin

If what “we are” is determined solely by our five senses, then we see only what’s inside a closed box. For environmentalist woodsman John Muir stuffy boxes were anathema, he believed instead that

The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

The ‘Compound time’ cannot be separated from the future which is an essential part of the mystery wilderness within us. The illusion occurs we are separate from Nature, and then we are unable to see the greater forest for the trees, though they are one.

A Flower in a Crannied Wall

The poet/artist William Blake saw “a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower,” that most of us would probably have passed unnoticed. (Auguries of Innocence)

But even such sublime ethics “must give room to still further absolute perfection,” Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine, “to a higher standard of excellence — just as a perfect flower must cease to be a perfect flower and die, in order to grow into a perfect fruit.”

All instruction is but a finger pointing to the moon, and those whose gaze is fixed upon the pointer will never see beyond. Even let him catch sight of the moon, and still he cannot see its beauty. – Osho

Non-Separateness

Albert Einstein’s main objection to quantum mechanics, as understood then, was that it provided no reasonable explanation of the world, and in some sense denied what many believed it means to truly exist. While walking with his biographer physicist Abraham Pais, Pais reported Einstein in frustration asked: “whether I really believed that the moon exists only when I look at it.”

Einstein also complained in a letter to friend and fellow physicist, Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics:

You believe in the God that plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture.

Uncertainty Principle

Einstein’s complicated genius included, nevertheless, a universal and compassionate thinker, who said: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us ‘the universe,’ a part limited in time and space.”

Small Slice of the Universe

And he wrote of a human being “that experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us,” he wrote, “restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be,” he wrote:A

to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

The Mind’s Eye

Non-Duality

Universal unity or non-duality is a popular topic of discussion today. There is a website devoted to it (nonduality.com), and a blog and even a conference October 21-25: titled Science And Non-Duality.

It’s the same concept that engaged Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine. Everything is alive and conscious in “Esoteric philosophy,” she wrote, and “life we look upon as ‘the one form of existence, manifesting in what is called matter—or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter.”

One Form of Existence

Further: “Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence,

and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all.”

“The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology.”

Seeing the Future

The  mysterious science of “dowsing.” How does the unconscious know the answer to what you’re seeking?

The Paradoxical “I”

If we “are all one being” according to The Secret Doctrine. Yet our conscious mind often fails to recognize it.  We may solve the problem of duality, paradoxically, by first focusing our full attention on the “I” the center of the “I am I” consciousness, at every moment our attention permits.

Once the illusion separateness or limitation becomes obvious, it falls away, and then we begin to appreciate the ‘not-I’ — and by this practice, paradoxically, we are gradually compelled to attend to the greater wholeness within which the smaller ‘I’ exists. As Lao-Tze put it: “The Tao that can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao.”

Fortune Teller

“Consciousness is defined as that, whatever that is, which is aware of these very words right here, right now. …

The student who practices self inquiry keeps his attention focused onto the source of the I-thoughts and I-feelings, whenever they arise.

“Once enlightenment has taken place, the process of self inquiry continues effortlessly. The attention spontaneously reverts to the source at the end of each thought and feeling and there is no need to focus the attention any longer.”

“Sum-Totals”

by H. P. Blavatsky

The Secret Doctrine

“TIME is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced — but ‘lies asleep.’

“The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past.

“Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change—or the same—for the billionth part of a second.”

“And the sensation we have of the actuality of the division of ‘time’ known as the present, comes from the blurring of that momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories that we name the past.

Seeing Through the Illusion of Time

“In the same way we experience a sensation of duration in the case of the instantaneous electric spark, by reason of the blurred and continuing impression on the retina. The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth.

It is these ‘sum-totals’ that exist from eternity in the ‘future,’ and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the ‘past.’

“No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean.”

Touching the Future and Past

“Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out of the future into the past—[they]

present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves,

as they pass through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity to another: and these two constitute that ‘duration‘ in which alone anything has true existence, were our senses but able to cognize it there.”

One With Nature

ζ

 

Changing Your Face: What It’s Like to Die

themask

Changing Your Face

According to tradition, the Buddha’s dying words were (freely translated): “all compounds are perishable.”
It was not man’s immortal spirit he meant. Rather, Buddha was pointing to the temporary physical, passionate, personal and psychic parts of us.

Our deathless spirit uses sensory and physical vehicles merely as instruments of expression in every new ly minted life.

Functionally linked those parts are temporary and are separated from each other at death. They are reduced to their primal elements, like the fuel of a fire, recycled and returned back to Universal Nature, their primal state.

The process is entirely natural, the recycling of renewable substances of evolution, of the temporal forces and materials required for an earthly body:

“Dust thou art,” states Genesis (3:19), “and unto dust thou shalt return”— referring to those perishable parts of man’s complex construction.

By contrast, in a dream, “the Spirit of man is free,” as the occult teaching of the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad (13) declared, “and naught adheres to the Spirit.”

spiritvision

Death is Sleep

Mme. Blavatsky agreed with the Upanishads, and explains in the Key to Theosophy (109) that “death ever comes to our spiritual selves as a deliverer and friend.” And for the average mortal, “it will be a dream as vivid as life, and full of realistic bliss and visions.”

Even for the materialist, who, “notwithstanding his materialism, was not a bad man, the interval between the two lives will be like the unbroken and placid sleep of a child,” Blavatsky wrote.

“As the man at the moment of death has a retrospective insight into the life he has led, so, at the moment he is reborn on to earth. He has a prospective vision of the life which awaits him and realizes all the causes that have led to it.

chasing_dreams

Chasing Dreams

“He realizes them and sees futurity, because it is between [the bliss filled after-death dream state called] Devachan and re-birth, that the Ego regains his full [spiritual mind] manasic consciousness, and re-becomes for a short time the god he was —before he first descended into matter and incarnated in flesh, in compliance with Karmic law.”

“The ‘golden thread’ sees all its ‘pearls’ and misses not one of them.” – H. P. Blavatsky

“I repeat it: death is sleep. After death, before the spiritual eyes of the soul begins a performance according to a programme learnt and very often unconsciously composed by ourselves: the practical carrying out of correct beliefs or of illusions which have been created by ourselves. The Methodist will be Methodist, the Mussulman a Mussulman, at least for some time — in a perfect fool’s paradise of each man’s creation and making.

Fools Paradise

“These are the post-mortem fruits of the tree of life. Naturally, our belief or unbelief in the fact of conscious immortality is unable to influence the unconditioned reality of the fact itself, once that it exists; but the belief or unbelief in that immortality as the property of independent or separate entities, cannot fail to give colour to that fact in its application to each of these entities. Now do you begin to understand it?”

(H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy, Section 9,
“What is Really Meant by Annihilation
)

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Self-Healing, How and Why it Happens

breath_of_lifeREPORTS  of mystical or psychic experiences, of communion with realities that transcend the mundane, cannot all be mistaken.

Even every organ and cell in the body demonstrates its own energetic (psyschic) biofield, Theosophy teaches, and if so must use that matrix to network continuously and wirelessly with all other cells and organs.

Verifying the teaching, modern science has recently shown that the heart and the gut talk back and forth continually to the brain, whose neurons also converse with each other, day and night. How do they do this except through that invisible energy matrix?

Researchers have recently discovered that both the heart and the gut each have substantial neuronal regions, showing they both have “brains and hearts” of their own. The gut can even act independently, when we report having a “gut feeling” for example.

Indeed. “Occultism tells us that every atom, like the monad of Leibnitz, is a little universe in itself,” Blavatsky wrote in Kosmic Mind, “that every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers.”

Cells

The holographic network of the heart links, organizes and entrains, say the researchers at the Institute of Heartmath, the totality of signals from all the noetic webs, of all the cells and neurons of the body.

“These biosignals pass information over to the body’s chief superintendent, the brain.”

ξ

This complex unifying biofield may well be the underlying mechanism of healing, of thought transference, and gene behavior, experimental evidence confirms. It is also the pathway by which the environment influences us. “Consciousness is in every universal atom,” Blavatsky insists maintaining “the possibility of a complete control over the cells and atoms of his body by man.” (Kosmic Mind)

The power of this invisible field is undoubtedly the unseen agent driving what many modern self-help gurus refer to as the ‘secret’ of intention, and thought, in Theosophy this matrix field is designated “the power of Akasa — Literally the word means in Sanscrit sky, but in its mystic sense it signifies the invisible sky, the god Akasa, or god Sky.” (Before The Veil, Vol. 1, xxvii)

“The language of the Vedas shows that the Hindus of fifty centuries ago regarded it as the source of life, the reservoir of all energy, and the propeller of every change of matter. In its latent state it tallies exactly with our idea of the universal ether; in its active state it became the Akasa, the all-directing and omnipotent god.”

astral_centers

“When one sees mortal man displaying tremendous capabilities, controlling the forces of nature and opening up to view the world of spirit,” she writes, “the reflective mind is overwhelmed.”

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Forgiveness, and the Freedom of Letting Go

BUDDHA said: All that ox_cart_riding1we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is  founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts.

“If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain pursues him, as the wheel of the wagon follows the hoof of the ox that draws it.
 

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: all that we are is founded on our thoughts and formed of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought happiness pursue him like his own shadow that never leaves him.

“He reviled me, he beat me and conquered  and then plundered me,” who express such thoughts tie their mind with the intention of retaliation. In them hatred will not cease.

 “He reviled me, he beat me and conquered and then plundered me,” who do not express such thoughts, in them hatred will cease.

 “In this world never is enmity appeased by hatred; enmity is ever appeased by Love. This is the Law Eternal.”

[The Dhammapada, Ch. 1 The Twin Verses]

oxcart

“Forgiveness is the mental, emotional and/or spiritual process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger against another person for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.”

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One Absolutely Fundamental Law in the Universe

Baton_US-relay-teamTHAT modern saying ‘what goes around comes around’ is almost certainly a instinctive memory of karma, the omnipresent law of the universe.

The wisdom of karma insists that every fleeting moment eventually returns, like a relay race, to its original place plus the experience gained. And this law is an obligatory pilgrimage for everyone.

The theosophical universal law of evolution insists that every person’s actions whether good or bad,” as Wikipedia has it, “will often have consequences for that person.” And the consequences, we could add, include everyone in the human race and nature as a whole.

The ancients always insisted on the absolute universality of periodicity, the law “of flux and reflux, ebb and flow,” according to The Secret Doctrine, “which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature.”

“An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception,,” says this teaching, “that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

Child-merrygoround

This teaching is set forth in The Secret Doctrine as the Second Fundamental Proposition, a universal law sourced from the Perennial Philosophy (on which the teachings are based):

A metaphor “will convey the idea still more clearly,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote about the basics of the teaching (Volume 1, p. 2): “the out-breathing of the ‘unknown essence’ produces the world; and an inhalation causes it to disappear.”

“This process has been going on from all eternity, and our present universe is but one of an infinite series, which had no beginning and will have no end.”

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Waiting to Inhale

finishlineAN Eastern wisdom teaching is introduced to the West in the familiar proverb “what goes around, comes around.”

The modern saying is almost certainly a soul memory referring to the omnipresent, and unerring law of karma.

Wisdom of karma insists that every fleeting moment eventually returns, to its original state plus the experience gained — after completing an obligatory pilgrimage.

Specifically, a person’s actions whether good or bad,” as Wikipedia has it, “will often have consequences for that person.”

The ancients always insisted on the absolute universality of periodicity, the law “of flux and reflux, ebb and flow,” according to The Secret Doctrine, “which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature.”

“An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception,,” says this teaching, “that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

Child-merrygoround

This teaching is set forth in The Secret Doctrine as the Second Fundamental Proposition, a universal law sourced from the Perennial Philosophy (on which the teachings are based)…

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helpers prepared a 2012 annual report for Theosophy Watch.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. Theosophy Watch was viewed about 96,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.