Category Archives: Psychology & Human Nature

A Kinder, Gentler Universe

Soul of the World

THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” this according to The Secret Doctrine.

The “stupendous development,” the Sages taught, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To Initiated Seers our universe, while full of important information, is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes,” Theosophy says.

[The Secret Doctrine 1:43]

In this view, each individual cosmos and corresponding single human life is the result and the effect of its predecessor. Under the never-erring law of Karma, every universe becomes “a cause as regards its successor.”

Instead of only one ‘Big Bang,’ as standard model science dogma describes the origin of the universe, Theosophy postulates an infinite number of recurring universes, each one an improvement on the last. Today a new view in modern theoretical physics suggests a similar idea.

Universeinyourhands

Cyclic Universes

“There was not just one bang,” say theoretical physicists Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok in their book Endless Universe, postulating a groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to the theory, the Big Bang “was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution.” Very close to the Theosophical view, it turns out.

What these scientists seem to be proposing is the law of periodicity, the Second Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine

“In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that ‘steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.'” —Wall Street Journal

The distinguished theoretical physicists propose that “the evolution of the universe is cyclic with big bangs occurring once every trillion or so.”

The Great Breath

To Theosophy, ‘periodicity’ is certainly an admirable start. But unlike the speculation of an “infinite cycle of titanic collisions,” Theosophy offers a much kinder and gentler solution tied to the cosmology offered by “generations of initiated seers.”

Those findings conclude that we exist in a living universe, where everything to its core is alive, sustained by an eternal, perpetual rhythmic breathing or pulsation.

(We may be asleep at night, but luckily, we continue breathing.) The Universe, according to the occult dynamics of The Secret Doctrine, does the same.

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Lao Tzu’s New Year Resolutions

The Snow Maiden

LAO TZU is classed by H. P. Blavatsky as an awakened Master, a God-like being similar to Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus, who “united themselves with their Spirits permanently,” and “became Gods on earth.”

Such Personages are rare and superior to Moses, Pythagoras, and Confucius, who “have taken rank in history as demi-gods and leaders of mankind” (Isis 2:159).

Lao Tzu was the resuscitator of Taoism, the practical philosophy and religion of The Way.

Taoism is the ancient Wisdom-Religion of Theosophy. The Great Ones of old, described as Original Teachers, and They, as all Theosophists know, exist today and always will.

Lao Tzu was the most famous philosopher, mystic and alchemist in China. He is the author of the Tao Te Ching or the Way.  He is regarded as one of the foundation stones of Taoism.

Originally, the word Tao meant a specific line of action, probably a military one, because the ideograms that compose this word mean “feet” and “leader.”

olivia-bouler

Olivia Bouler, an animal rights activist.

Lao Tzu interpreted the Tao as a way, the essence of the Universe. In a written poem Lao Tzu described “the Way” as the emptiness that cannot be filled, but from which everything manifests.

“I have three treasures. Guard and keep them,” Lao Tzu said. “The first is deep love, the second is frugality, and the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world. Because of deep love, one is courageous. Because of frugality, one is generous.”

Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.”

In his most famous image, Lao Tzu is portrayed as riding a buffalo, because the domestication of this animal is associated with the Path of Enlightenment in Zen Buddhist traditions.

laozi-on-an-ox

Lao Tzu on an Ox

“Don’t think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice,” Lao Tzu warned. “This is egomania.” 

Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness.

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Solstice Secrets, the Turning of an Electric Sun

solargoddess

Sun Goddess

WINTER in the northern hemisphere marks the annual return of a potent and ancient solar festival.

Indeed, “turnings of the sun” is an old phrase, used by both Hesiod and Homer.

The novelist Alan Furst has one of his characters nicely observe, “the day the sun is said to pause,” recalls contributor Richard Cohen in a  NY Times Op-Ed:

Pleasing, that idea as though the universe stopped for a moment to reflect, took a day off from work. One could sense it, time slowing down.”

But the cyclic work of the Mother matrix never ceases. “The real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine Vol. 1, p. 290:

It is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe.

“It is the Kernel from which proceed to spread on their cyclic journeys all the Powers that set in action the atoms in their functional duties, and the focus within which they again meet in their SEVENTH ESSENCE every eleventh year.”

The solar cycle or solar magnetic activity cycle is the nearly periodic 11-year change in the Sun‘s activity (Wikipedia)

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Lessons from the Light, the Near-Death Experience

Lessons-from-light

Soul Memory

SOUL memory according to Theosophy is referred to as ‘reminiscence,’ and it is this kind memory that assures every human being, whether they know it or not, of their having lived before, and having to live again.

To fully grasp the idea, we first have to study the complex relationship between the human and transcendental aspects of mind (represented physiologically by the brain’s left and right hemispheres.)

There is a well known analysis of soul knowledge transmission by W. Q. Judge in his Ocean of Theosophy, Ch.9: “By living according to the dictates of the soul the brain may at last 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.”

The differences were experienced directly by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor PhD, described in her book “My Stroke of Insight.” In a memorable TED Talk, she describes her experience in dramatic detail:

“Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.”

My Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor

This fundamental double consciousness, Blavatsky explained, is termed first “the spiritual, or those which belong to the imperishable Ego,” (Key to Theosophy, Section 8, On Individuality and Personality). Second, she describes the intellectual/rational, personal physical brain states:

which inhabit the ever-changing bodies, or the series of personalities of that Ego.

Notwithstanding, our higher mind knows and remembers all its lives, she insisted, “as well as you remember what you have done yesterday. The real Ego has not forgotten them, and the personal never experienced them. Shall the new boots on the feet of a boy who is flogged for stealing apples, be punished for that which they know nothing?” she asks.

oceanmeditate

Spiritual and Personal Memories

That which is called “the divine man,” is the “real Individuality,” who like the elegant elephant, never forgets.  But its vehicle the personality has no access to that history as it corresponds to “a new suit of clothes.” There are, however, importantly:

modes of communication between the Spiritual and human consciousness or memory.

Evidence for such modes lies in powers of intuition, conscience, premonitions, & etc. and, most powerfully, from recent research into the so-called NDE or Near Death Experience. But such states as this “have never been recognised by your scientific modern psychologists,” Blavatsky wrote in her day.

That may be changing now.

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Life Goes On – Plato’s Vision of Immortality

 Le_Ravissement_de_Psyche -1895 Adolphe-William Bouguereau

Le Ravissement de Psyche -1895
Adolphe-William Bouguereau

THE Myth of Er is a legend that concludes Plato‘s Republic (10.614 – 10.621). The story includes an account of the cosmos and the afterlife, Wikipedia notes,

that greatly influenced religious, philosophical, and scientific thought for many centuries.

At seventeen, even Aristotle joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC).

What he learned is passed on to us in modern Theosophy: No one, however gross and material he might be in this life and thought, can avoid leading a double existence in reality – one life is lived in the visible universe, the other plays out in the invisible.

This is a fundamental tenet of the Theosophical Philosophy as presented by H. P. Blavatsky.

“Socratic myths describe the ascent of the soul to true knowledge,” Theosophical scholar W. T. S. Thackera writes, “its communion with divine realities, and its return to enlighten mankind.”

“The order of the Dialogues is important, as the myths in them,” Thackera explains, “each representing a kind of initiation, progressively reveal new teaching and clarify the old.”

Plato and Aristotle

“Plato opens the Republic with a conversation between Socrates and his elderly friend Cephalus on the subject of death,” Thackara writes. “Cephalus wants to assure himself that, if there is an afterlife, he will be spared the sufferings of the underworld. He even quotes from one of Pindar’s odes to support his argument.

The message is clear: we are all immortal beings, and our destiny is in our own hands.

“Plato ends the Republic with the Vision of Er, as Socrates describes the spiritual warrior who is slain in battle and returns to life, physically resurrected in order to transmit the message of all saviors. (W. T. S. Thackara in Plato’s Myths and the Mystery Tradition).

dreamuniverse

“Music of The Spheres”

“Between Science and Theology is a bewildered public, fast losing all belief in man’s personal immortality, in a deity of any kind,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in Isis Unveiled [2:593], “and rapidly descending to the level of materialism.”

Yet, she adds, “from the remotest antiquity, mankind as a whole have always been convinced of the existence of a personal spiritual entity, within the personal physical man.”

“This inner entity was more or less divine, according to its proximity to the crown — Chrestos [The Higher Self].”

Astral Body while Physical Sleeps

“It is on the indestructible tablets of the astral light that is stamped the impression of every thought we think, and every act we perform. And future events — effects of long-forgotten causes” — Isis Unveiled [I:178] — “are already delineated as a vivid picture for the eye of the seer and prophet to follow. the vast repository where the records of every man’s life as well as every pulsation of the visible cosmos are stored up for all Eternity!”

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Healed by Unconditional Love, a Near Death Experience

near-death-experience

Wings of the Soul

THE new age movement heralded most recently by Theosophy in the late 19th century is at last bearing meaningful fruit here in the 21st.

 “Theosophy is indeed the life, the indwelling spirit which makes every true reform a vital reality,” wrote H. P. Blavatsky the movement’s inspired original spokesperson.

“The Ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws and facts. The latter relate wholly to the material and evanescent part of the septenary man, but the Ethics sink into and take hold of the real man — the reincarnating Ego.

“We are outwardly creatures of but a day; within we are eternal. Learn, then, well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races.

“Theosophy is Universal Brotherhood, the very foundation as well as the keystone of all movements toward the amelioration of our condition.”

“Fear kills the will and stays all action,” she declared in The Voice of the Silence. And, if lacking in the Shila virtue — [Shila: the key of Harmony in word and act, the key that counterbalances the cause and the effect, and leaves no further room for Karmic action]: “The pilgrim trips and Karmic pebbles bruise his feet along the rocky path.”

H. P. Blavatsky to the American Conventions

Rassouli-Joyriders

Rassouli, “Joyriders”

What might be the practical value of these ancient doctrines today? Perhaps the primary importance lies in the assertion of our duality, i.e. the co-existance of awakened material (or psychic) and spiritual (noetic) entities in humans.

“‘We [assert] the existence of a higher or permanent Ego in us. In the thoughts of [this Ego] or the immortal ‘Individuality,’ the pictures and visions of the Past and Future are as the Present.”

Further, she asserts, (in stenographically preserved dialogues with her students): “nor are his thoughts like ours, subjective pictures in our cerebration, but living acts and deeds, present actualities. … they are realities.”

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True Astrology: Our Destiny is Written in the Stars

Destiny of Stars

ASTROLOGY is only superstition, most modern scientists believe. Yet, true science and philosophy seeks “rather to solve than to deny,” says Theosophy.

“It is an axiom of the philosophic student,” H. P. Blavatsky affirmed, “that truth generally lies between the extremes.” This is what the ancients meant by Astrology she insisted.

For more info click: Astrology, Numbers, and Destiny

“Mention the word ‘astrology’ and skeptics go into an epileptic fit,” natural health researcher Mike Adams says.

“The idea that someone’s personality could be imprinted at birth according to the position of the sun, moon, and planets,” Adams notes, “has long been derided as ‘quackery’ by the so-called ‘scientific’ community which resists any notion based on holistic connections between individuals and the cosmos.

“According to the conventional view, your genes and your parenting determine your personality, and the position of planet Earth at the time of your birth has nothing to do with it.”

Our Genes

As H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine 1:272, explained:

modern science believes not in the ‘soul of things,’ and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony.

“Seasonal Biology”

“Then again, conventional scientists don’t believe the position of the moon has anything to do with life on Earth, either,” Adams writes. “They dismiss the wisdom that farmers have known for ages — that planting seeds or transplanting living plants in harmony with the moon cycles results in higher crop yields. Even the seeds inside humans are strongly influenced by the moon, as menstruation cycles and moon cycles are closely synchronized (28 days, roughly).”

“And recently, scientific studies showing planetary imprinting called ‘seasonal biology’ have confirmed the underlying principle of astrology. The scientific study shows that planetary positions do, surprisingly, influence our biological clocks. Why not our psychological and mental states as well?”

Biological Imprinting

Occult Influences

“The ancients always considered the ‘ambient’ – or entire heaven – at birth,” Blavatsky colleague William Q. Judge wrote in Astrological Influences, “as being that which affected man.”

New Age Guru, H. P. Blavatsky, referred often to astrology in her Theosophical writings, as in the following lines from “The Theosophist” in Blavatsky Collected Writings compiled by Boris de Zircoff.

Although a study of the science of astronomy may enable us “to determine what the course of events will be,” she maintained, adding: 

the clock indicates, it does not
influence the time.

Discovery

Thus, she said: “though the planets may have no hand in changing the destiny of man, still their position may indicate what that destiny is likely to be.”

And a distant traveler has often to put right his clock, so that it may indicate correctly the time of the place he visits.

Ω

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