Category Archives: Reincarnation & Karma

When the Eye is Single

fortune-teller-with-crystalASSUREDLY no ordinary human being could claim to read “the grand clock of the Universe,” and even recognizing the orderly process of seasons on Earth, most wouldn’t accept that a universal time-keeper even exists.

Yet, it can be argued that we do own a piece of the puzzle, as may be discovered by examining the many personal events of our lives. Diligent self-reflection and intuition will lead us to discern the purpose and meaning of those events.

“In the Astral Light are pictures of all things whatsoever that happened to any person, and as well also pictures of those events to come the causes for which are sufficiently well marked and made,” W. Q. Judge wrote in The Ocean of Theosophy, Ch. 16:

“The highest order of clairvoyance — that of spiritual vision — is very rare. … Spiritual sight comes only to those who are pure, devoted, and firm.” 

Such digging may be as close as we can get to knowing and managing our personal Karma, let alone the World’s destiny. Esoteric Theosophical philosophy makes the task more difficult in teaching that Past, Present, and Future represent a “compound” time. Indeed, Buddha’s dying words were, purportedly, “all compounds are perishable,” i.e. temporary illusions.

Inner Peace

Accordingly, we ought to “seize” every stray event in our lives, and attempt to extract their true meaning, according to Judge:

“Man must seize the key in his hands and himself — as a whole — open the gate.”

(“A Year on the Path” William Q. Judge)

The great Sage Patanjali in his Yoga Aphorisms said:

“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.”

“If we do all our acts, small and great, every moment, for the sake of the whole human race, as representing the Supreme Self, then every cell and fibre of the body and inner man will be turned in one direction, resulting in perfect concentration.”

W. Q. Judge – A Single Eye

“Let us hit the mark, O friend! and that mark is the indestructible, the highest spiritual life we are at any time capable of.”

“This is expressed in the New Testament in the statement that if the eye is single the whole body will be full of light, and in the Bhagavad Gita, it is still more clearly and comprehensively given through the different chapters. In one it is beautifully put as the lighting up in us of the Supreme One, who then becomes visible. Let us meditate on that which is in us as the Highest Self, concentrate upon it, and will to work for it as dwelling in every human heart.”

W. Q. Judge, “Meditation, Concentration, Will”

Child Meditating

“The Sage 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.”

(Aphorisms On Karma)

The Circadian Clock

“Nearly every cell in your body has its own circadian clock, which regulates the activation and deactivation of genes,” Dr. Joseph Mercola explains. “To optimize your health, it’s important to pay attention to and honor ancient patterns of waking, sleeping, and eating.”

Patanjali-Yoga

PATANJALI

THE YOGA APHORISMS OF PATANJALI
An Interpretation by William Q. Judge
Assisted by James Henderson Connelly

Lotus Flowers

In the realm of “noumena” (or the primary causal plane) H. P. Blavatsky wrote that these three aspects of time have no separate validity, 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 1:43)

In The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Letter 8),
the Master ‘K. H.’ wrote:

“Three clumsy words — Past, Present, and Future — 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.”

reincarnation_karma

A Single Eye

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.

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. Dr. Bem studied over 1000 people and looked for proof that future events affected past behavior or retro-causation.

“[Bem] describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.”

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 (past thoughts or intention?)

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A Mysterious Power in Karma and Reincarnation

childs-candle-lights

Soul Light

REINCARNATION is “one of the most important issues faced by philosophy, religion, and science that have very significant implications for the understanding of human life,” says the Reincarnation Research website.

Theosophy Watch agrees. “Reincarnation used to be a subject confined to religion,” the site notes. “Since the 20th century, however, the inquiry has moved into the field of science.

This comes about “as a result of ground-breaking researches about people, particularly children, whose memories of previous lives have been validated by independent investigations,” the site reports.

“Many of these cases involved birthmarks or physical characteristics at birth that matched the manner of death of the claimed previous life. Some of them also could speak an unlearned language but which corresponded to the language learned in the claimed previous life.

“The concept of reincarnation, however, goes against the mainstream doctrines of a number of major religions. This has created conflicts and has led to raging debates on the pros and cons of reincarnation.”

butterflygirl

Butterfly Girl

H. P. Blavatsky and her Adept Teachers, Founders of the modern Theosophical Movement, were fully committed to the prime directive of introducing Western civilization to the twin doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma.

The importance of their directive can be seen in H. P. Blavatsky’s Letter 3 to the 4th Annual American Convention in April 1890, where she declared:

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. 

(H. P. Blavatsky, April 27-28, 1890)

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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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Thoughts are Things: Attitude is Altitude

© Lois Greenfield

THE uplifting adage ‘attitude is altitude’ pinpoints how the power of positive thinking can improve every aspect of our lives, using a simple but underutilized power we all possess.

“For decades, scientists have tried to test the power of prayer and positive thinking, with mixed results,” writes NPR National Desk religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty about a study on the science of spirituality.

“Now some scientists,” she writes, “are fording new, and controversial territory.” In an area of esoteric inquiry which is sometimes called Mental Alchemy and/or Metaphysics, a lot of thinkers over the ages have stated the idea in various ways.

The conviction that the thoughts one thinks are the great determiners of the content of one’s life, inspires  many to forge on despite difficult life circumstances.

Ancient wisdom traditions maintain that thoughts are actual things, and that one’s thoughts are the result of an unalterable universal law called “Cause and Effect,” and will manifest themselves at some point in one’s life.

“Cause and Effect”

“Remembering thoughts are things — have tenacity, coherence, and life, — that they are real entities — the rest will become plain.”

[The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter No. 9]

The law of Cause and Effect can also be described as a law that says, “For every action, there is a reaction.”  Since thoughts are actual things, and since thoughts are also actions, it means that the thoughts will invariably cause a reaction that will result in the manifestation of those thoughts.

“Magnetic Threads”

“No act is performed without a thought at its root either at the time of performance or as leading to it. These thoughts are lodged in that part of man which we have called Manas — the mind — and there remain as subtle but powerful links with magnetic threads that enmesh the solar system.” 

[William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter 11 – “Karma”]

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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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