Category Archives: Psychology & Human Nature

Progressive Awakenings: The Rise and Fall of the Third Eye

New Universe Awakening

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

This “stupendous development,” say the ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”

In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor. Under karmic law, “a cause as regards its successor.” 

(The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, p. 43)

If lifetimes and universes are analogous to schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, pushing us to ever greater self-awareness and self-development — only if we are wise enough to pursue the path offered.

Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of “progressive awakenings,” advanced or retarded drop by drop, by our individual, family, racial, national and global karma.

Everyone, in this view, settles into his or her own unique rhythm in which a lifetime meditation reflects a mixture of past karma, and present choices.

We all must be then at slightly differing points on an ascending evolutionary arc, paying off old debts, making new ones — pushing forward or slipping back, and the mind thus ever awakens to newer realities.

Drop by Drop

The choices that shape our character each lifetime, are self-chosen—compounded of physical, sensory, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual energies.

The ancient Egyptian after death judgement, weighed symbolically a person’s heart against the “feather of truth.”

The challenges of life, the occult doctrine notes, are the result of our being grounded in a personal level of consciousness, a limited world view. The Secret Doctrine 1:39-40 teaches that “whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

Progressive Awakenings

“Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities.” 

Weighing the Heart against the Feather of Truth

“Only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from delusions.”

“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’—”

(The Secret Doctrine 1:40)

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Knowing What God and Man Is

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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The Sudden Glimpse of His Soul — A Drowning Man’s Vision

 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.”

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 says, “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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Taming the Beast: Choosing the Mind We Want

“Avatar”

WHEN acting through the physical filter of our human brains and bodies, our minds clearly manifest a complex double nature — and this is a critical and pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.

Mind’s higher aspect gravitates toward its home spirit-self, while the tendency of its astral and physical projection on this plane is an almost irresistible attraction to materialism and desires.

Broadly considered, what is called higher mind in Theosophy is a soul faculty, our intuitional power source — it is the “god” in man. This is Plato’s teaching about ‘Nous.’ In her remarkable article Psychic and Noetic Action, H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

“Occult physiology and psychology postulate within mortal man an immortal entity, ‘divine Mind,’ or Nous, whose pale and too often distorted reflection is that which we call ‘Mind’ and intellect in men.”

Vulcan Mind Meld 🙂

“No physiologist, not even the cleverest, will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation. Nor will they be able to understand the duality of the psychic and the noetic — or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane.”

– H. P. Blavatsky,Psychic and Noetic Action

“Concerning the nous that is the source of understanding of individuals, Plato argued that relying on sense perception can never lead to true knowledge, only opinion. Plato’s more philosophical characters argue that nous must somehow perceive truth directly.” [Wikipedia]

“The soul is the Perceiver is assuredly vision itself pure and simple, unmodified, and looks directly upon ideas.”

Plato from Raphael’s The School of Athens

“These two we distinguish as the Higher Manas (Mind or Ego), and the Kama-Manas, i.e., the rational, but earthly or physical intellect of man, encased in, and bound by matter.” 

– H. P. Blavatsky,Psychic and Noetic Action

Harvard trained brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, following her life-altering stroke, had a direct knowing of this powerful duality; what is known in Theosophy as our ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ selves.

The enigma is dramatized by Dr. Taylor in her New York Times bestselling book “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s focus is neuroanatomical, i.e. the brain’s left and right hemispheres. Below is an excerpt from the TED Talk about the details of her experience:

The Psychic and Noetic

“The all-conscious SELF, that which reincarnates periodically, [is] verily the WORD made flesh, and is always the same! Its reflected “Double,” changing with every new incarnation and personality, is conscious but for a life-period. The Lower Self manifesting through our organic system, acting on this plane of illusion, imagines itself the Ego Sum, and thus falls into the ‘heresy of separateness’.

“The former, we term INDIVIDUALITY, the latter PERSONALITY. From the first proceeds all the noetic element, from the second, the psychic, i.e., ‘terrestrial wisdom’ at best, as it is influenced by all the chaotic stimuli of the human or rather animal passions of the living body.

Jill Bolte Taylor

“The seat of memory is everywhere throughout the human body. To locate it in the brain is to limit and dwarf the Universal Mind and its countless Rays (the Manasaputra) which inform every rational mortal. Materialists sniff contemptuously at the mention of ‘Universal Mind’ and the Higher noetic souls of men.”

“The assumption that the mind is a real being, which can be acted upon by the brain, and which can act on the body through the brain, is the only one compatible with all the facts of experience.” — George T. Ladd, in the Elements of Physiological Psychology.

– H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noetic Action

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This is Your Brain on God: The Lucid Zone

The Lucid Zone

WHEN acting through our physical human brain and body, the mind displays a simple yet complex duality—a pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.

The reason for the contrast is quite simple: we are not separate from the universe. The manifested physical (to us) universe is ruled by duality: day and night, sleeping and waking, hot and cold.

Such physicality, says The Secret Doctrine (1:15), is “necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.”

“Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, 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.

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

The every intense struggle between the dual channels of our mind is a challenge that few of us are able to successfully navigate and reconcile in one short lifetime. But help is on the way.

For centuries the solution had been taught by advanced masters of life such as Lao-tse, Patanjali, Krishna and Buddha. Each assured us that self-awakening is entirely possible—by a daily ‘now’ meditation, raja yoga practice, and, above all else, by altruistic service to family and humanity.

Clairvoyance

The struggle for control in meditation is caused by our split dual consciousness. The mind’s higher spiritual aspect gravitates toward altruism, says Theosophy, while the tides of its companion personal side is attached to outer forms, desires, survival and other material concerns.

The result is that all human minds are often blown by the winds of sense into the low lying eddies and currents of material thought. Like a balloon losing helium, we drift down from the god within us, and away from our kinship with the soul of things.

Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is really a fault of our god-soul, our intuitional power base — the manifestation all-knowingness in human beings.

True God vs Demigod

Our all-seeing self and personal self are caught in a Hamlet-like to-be-or-not-to-be, we are alternately pitted by the gut and brain consciousness, against the knowing heart consciousness. This sets up an confusing conflict between the true god and the demigod in us. Yet, “peace is just a thought away” according to brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor.

This struggle of selves is dramatized by neuroanatomist Bolte-Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s professional focus is both anatomical, the relationship between the brain’s left and right hemispheres, and intuitional. 

 

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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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