Category Archives: Psychology & Human Nature

Not Instinctual Machines: Animals Feel and Think

Best Friends

ANIMALS are just instinctual machines, many people believe. But this is not the conclusion of some new controlled scientific studies.

Such studies suggest there are powerful spiritual and intellectual forces embedded in all the kingdoms of nature, as Theosophy maintains.

In the 17th Century, René Descartes, is dubbed “the father of modern Western philosophy.” And according to Wikipedia:  “Much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day.”  But our errant intellectual patriarch, as will be shown, started us believing all the wrong way about consciousness. soul and spirit.

“Descartes held the living animal as being simply an automaton,” H. P. Blavatsky commented, “a ‘well wound up clock-work,’ according to Malebranche” — then countered with pointed sarcasm:

One who adopts the Cartesian theory about the animal, would do as well to accept at once the views of the modern materialists.

“But if the animal is an ‘automaton,’ why not Man?” Blavatsky argues. “Thus we find metaphysical Descartes as inconsistent as any one.”

René Descartes

“The animal may think and know it thinks, the more keenly that it cannot speak, and express its thoughts,” Blavatsky insisted. “One thing is shown however by the exact observations of naturalists and that is, that the animal is endowed with intelligence; and once this is settled, we have but to repeat Thomas Aquinas’ definition of intelligence – ‘the prerogative of man’s immortal soul’ – to see that the same is due to the animal.”

(H. P. Blavatsky, Have Animals Souls?)

Koko and Tabby

A woman who clearly did not subscribe to the Cartesian theory, found a young lion injured in the forest on the brink of death. In her compassion for the animal she took it home with her and nursed it back to health.

Later she made arrangements with an animal rescue group to take the lion.

Some time passed before the woman had a chance to visit. A video was taken when she walked up to the lion’s cage to see how he was doing. Watch the lion’s reaction when he sees her!

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Our Hidden Karma and The Royal Talisman

“Adamo Eva”, Masaccio Masolino

BECAUSE all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, the whole of nature could be really one family.

New insights of epigenetics have lead to a revolutionary view of human biology. Theosophy concurs with many of these new findings.

“The failures of science and its arbitrary assumptions,” Blavatsky says in The Secret Doctrine (2:670), “are far greater on the whole than any ‘extravagant’ esoteric doctrine.”

The traditional geneticist’s view of evolution “is from the animal,” she reminds us, and “mind in its various phases” is viewed, erroneously, as completely separate from matter.

Theosophy holds that mind is the mystical glue insuring that the identical genes that were in our ancestor’s bodies, what Blavatsky calls The Life Atoms —”are transmitted through their descendants for generation after generation…

…so that we are literally ‘flesh of the flesh’ of the primeval creature who has developed into man in the later period.

“Occultism teaches that the life-atoms [DNA] of our (Prana) life-principle are never entirely lost when a man dies.” And Blavatsky explains how: “The atoms [in the genes?] impregnated with the life-principle (an independent, eternal, conscious factor) — are partially transmitted from father to son by heredity…“They are partially drawn once more together,” she says, “and become the animating principle of the new body in every new reincarnation…”

The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.656

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“Our Destiny is Written in the Stars”

Destiny of Stars

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

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

“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, put it:

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, but adds a but if common sense: 

the clock indicates, it does not
influence the time.

Discovery

Thus, she says, “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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Our Heart’s Field Effect: Spiritual, Psychic and Physical

The Heart Field

THE Cheyenne say that “our first teacher is our own heart,” but mainstream science offers few apples to that master teacher.

To our Western medical mainstream the heart is no more than a mechanical blood pumping device.

That view is beginning to change. The medical community is being challenged to expand its thinking holistically to incorporate human spirituality, biology, health, and wellness.

Leading-edge research in holistic medicine, biophysics, bioenergetics, and biocentrism all point in the same direction — showing that our bodies are more than physical molecules and chemicals.

Explaining why and how we are more, H. P. Blavatsky asserted in The Secret Doctrine (2:149) 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.”

H. P. Blavatsky

“Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness,” Blavatsky wrote, “since 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 physical candle would never be confused for the light, nor for the flame which energizes it — but clearly, without the physical candle no light would happen!]

One candle lighting another.

“Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue. The ‘Manifested Universe,’ therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its ex-istence as ‘manifestation.'”

“The Hindus say that the Universe is Brahma and Brahma, for Brahma is in every atom of the universe, the six principles in Nature being all the outcome — the variously differentiated aspects — of the seventh and one, the only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical.”

Individual and Cosmic

“And also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical), on the plane of manifestation and form, are viewed by metaphysical antiphrasis as illusive and Mayavic. For although the root of every atom individually and of every form collectively, is that seventh principle, or the one Reality, still, in its manifested phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an evanescent illusion of our senses.”

The Secret Doctrine 1:15-21

The Astral Body

A comparable concept to the occult teaching is explained by today’s frontier science in the ‘biofield’ concept – a human body-field that is described as a structured web of information and energy that underlies and informs our physical body, and rules our state of health and well-being.

“The astral body is made of matter of very fine texture as compared with the visible body, and has a great tensile strength, so that it changes but little during a lifetime, while the physical alters every moment.”

“And not only has it this immense strength, but at the same time possesses an elasticity permitting its extension to a considerable distance. It is flexible, plastic, extensible, and strong. The matter of which it is composed is electrical and magnetic in its essence.”

The surrounding astral matrix.

“The astral body has in it the real organs of the outer sense organs. In it are the sight, hearing, power to smell, and the sense of touch. It has a complete system of nerves and arteries of its own for the conveyance of the astral fluid which is to that body as our blood is to the physical. It is the real personal man.”

“There are located the subconscious perception and the latent memory, which the hypnotizers of the day are dealing with and being baffled by.

The astral body is the guiding model for the physical one, and all the other kingdoms have the same astral model.” 

“This term comes near to the real fact, since the substance of this form is derived from cosmic matter or star matter, roughly speaking. But the old Sanskrit word describes it exactly — Linga Sarira, the design body — because it is the design or model for the physical body.”

William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Ch. 5

Astral Projection

Mainstream Science is still myopic to the emerging cognitive evidence that consciousness may not be dependent solely on the physical brain.

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Unlocking the Mystery of Life: God’s Invisible Hand

Sensing the soul of things.

ALL concepts of God in the opinion of mainstream science are unscientific, because materialism has no way to quantify or measure her existence.

Indeed, as H. P. Blavatsky declared “modern science believes not in the soul of things.” (The Secret Doctrine 1:272)

She also published an article in her magazine titled The Soul of Things (The Theosophist, Vol. 1v, No. 10) noting:

“Psychometry (soul-measuring) is a Greek word to express the faculty—natural, but ordinarily latent in us—by which the inner self cognizes the things of the spiritual (or, if you please, dynamic) world of causes. . . . “

“Step by step, these researches proved the truth of the old Aryan dogma that the Akâśa (Ether) is the cradle and grave of objective nature; and that it holds imperishably the records of everything that ever existed, every phenomenon that ever occurred in the outer world.” 

The poet/artist William Blake intuitively saw “a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower,” that most of us would probably have passed by without noticing. (Auguries of Innocence)

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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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An Independent Race of Thinkers: How Microbes Defend and Define Us

Microbiology Lab

NEUROSCIENTISTS  have been busy for years attempting to establish and finalize the proposed “neuronal correlates of consciousness” originating in the brain.

Modern science seems determined to prove that consciousness, our thoughts and awareness, must somehow originate in the gray matter between our ears.

This mechanistic view was assumed as fact by the Human Genome Project, established to catalog the complete human DNA and identify specific cures for all diseases, yet has failed to do so.

It is held that genes carry information about how we look, how well our bodies metabolize food or fight infection, and can determine even how we behave.

It was thought, therefore, that researchers would easily be able to identify specific genes underlying specific diseases, and then all diseases could be eliminated by manipulating the related genes.

But it was discovered that the seemingly simple concept was much more complex than expected.

Ö

Just as the origin of consciousness cannot be tagged to specific neurons in the brain, genes are not easily pigeonholed to one disorder. It was found that they function in complex, and frequently changing teams.

Now science is edging nearer to Theosophy, looking closer at a long-neglected area called the microbiome — researching how hundreds of different species of living microbes, inhabiting the human body and outside, are responsible for our health and behaviors. They even discovered a second brain, in our gut, known as the enteric nervous system!

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