Category Archives: Religion and Ethics

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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Karma and Reincarnation: The Logic of What Must Be

childs-candle-lights

Soul Light

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

Theosophy agrees. “Reincarnation used to be a subject confined to religion. 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 the twin Eastern 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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Awakening: The Fall and Rise of the Third Eye

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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Proof of Reincarnation in Science and Religion

childs-candle-lightsREINCARNATION is “one of the most important issues faced by philosophy, religion and science that have very significant implications to the understanding of human life,” the Reincarnation Research declares.

Theosophy agrees: “Reincarnation used to be a subject confined to religion. 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

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 the twin Eastern 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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Animal Souls, the Heart of Good

cow-and-girl

Cow and Girl Bonding

BETWEEN humanity and Nature, in a perfect world, mutual peace and harmony ought to always reign.

Mutual respect and universal compassion would be an accepted norm between humans and all beings in nature.

To those most mistreated of all, our helpless farm animals, this principle most urgently applies.

To this point, the keynote of Mme. H. P. Blavatsky’s worldview was the just and moral treatment of all beings in nature.

This principle was and is the First Object of the Theosophical  Movement, Universal Brotherhood.

Agreeably with Emerson, the foundational teaching of Theosophy as expressed in The Secret Doctrine, is “the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul.”  An acclaimed essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson “The Oversoul” was first published in 1841. With the human soul as its overriding subject, several general themes are treated:

“(1) the existence and nature of the human soul; (2) the relationship between the soul and the personal ego; (3) the relationship of one human soul to another; and (4) the relationship of the human soul to God.

Emerson

“Influence of Eastern religions, including Vedantism, is plainly evident, but the essay also develops ideas long present in the Western tradition, e.g., in the works of Plato, Plutarch, and Neoplatonists like Plotinus and Proclus – all of whose writings Emerson read extensively throughout his career.” (Wikipedia)

Plus, in The Secret Doctrine (Summing Up #5), the teaching that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious,” and endowed

with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Mme. Blavatsky was adamant in opposing animal cruelty. She spoke out forcefully against sport hunting of foxes, birds and big game, and most strongly against vivisection, animals tortured in biological experiments. 

Animal-Testing

Cruel Animal Testing

Mme. Blavatsky’s words were penned over 70 years before the widespread animal testing in universities and commercial laboratories. Yet now, animal testing has been cited in impartial studies as being scientifically unnecessary.

“By 1996, ‘cruelty-free’ shopping had become popular, but it was also confusing, sometimes misleading, and ultimately frustrating,” according to the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) — eight national animal protection groups banded together.

“If these humble lines could [also] make a few readers seriously turn their thoughts to all the horrors of vivisection,” Blavatsky pleaded, “the writer would be content.”

vivisection

Animal Experiments

“Other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will” — Mme. Blavatsky predicted in her article Have Animals Souls? — “after calling forth an outburst from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.“

“Man is endowed with reason, the infant with instinct, and the young animal shows more of both than the child.”

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The Real Jesus: Christmas Unwrapped

Modern Christmas Tree

NEITHER the media nor the churches seem to know anything about the real Jesus, so we decided to enter the fray as self-proclaimed truth-seekers, based upon ancient mystical and mythical teachings and traditions.

An old cover (2009) of Newsweek featured a critical article “The Decline and Fall of Christian America, ” subtitled “The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades.”

And “how that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.”

So popular was the article, that the runner-up news magazine, bloggers noted, was forced to disable comments on the Jon Meacham lead article.

Meachams’s controversial theme, The End of Christian America, received over 5,000 comments at the time, bloggers reported, “making the site wobbly.”

But such is still the power of Christianity and Christmas today, especially in the United States, that no professed Christian will challenge the veracity of its own origins. God only knows what results a similar survey today would yield.

Well, SHE might not know or care, but the PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy, cares quite a lot.

PRRI

Based on findings from PRRI’s 2016 American Values Atlas, the single largest survey of American religious and denominational identity ever conducted. This landmark report is based on a sample of more than 101,000 Americans from all 50 states White Christians now account for fewer than half of the public.

Today, only 43% of Americans identify as white and Christian, and only 30% as white and Protestant.

Yet as is always the case, the perennial occult Theosophy, re-presented by H. P. Blavatsky , has never agreed with the Christian ideology around Jesus, and its resulting co-opting of special seasons.

Christmas Unwrapped

“A decorated tree is an important part of the American Christmas celebration. Christmas trees, candy canes, even Santa Claus seem like they’ve been around forever. But many of these Christmas traditions are surprisingly recent.”

-Harry Smith, The History Channel

Descent of the Gods

“You must not think that the gods are without employment,” declared Synesius, the Greek bishop of Ptolemais.

The idea is developed by theosophist W. Q. Judge in his article “Cycles,” featuring the self-chosen duty of the ancient gods to watch over humanity.

“For this providence is divine and most ample, which frequently through one man pays attention to and affects countless multitudes of men.”

“For they descend according to orderly periods of time,” Synesius wrote, “for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.”

Descent of the Gods

Describing these descending Gods, Synesius of Cyrene, a Neoplatonist and a bishop wrote: “For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns.”

Sounds an awful lot like the character of Jesus in Christian tradition. In truth and fact, this tradition relates to certain advance spiritual beings who are real men and women who care for the spiritual survival of humanity.

The Mahatmas

Certain god-like human beings are known in Theosophy as Mahatmas. No better description can be pointed to than that of theosophist W. Q. Judge, in “The Mahatmas as Ideals and Facts,” where he explains the Sanskrit meaning  of the term.

Buddhas

“The whole sweep, meaning, and possibility of evolution are contained in the word Mahatma,” he writes. “Maha is ‘great,’ Atma is ‘soul,’ and both compounded into one mean those great souls who have triumphed before us.”

“Not because they are made of different stuff and are of some strange family, but just because they are of the human race.”

This is quite a mystical and mysterious tradition for most people today who look to “Churchianity” for their religious traditions and truths.

The Pagan Christ

Tom Harpur, ex-Anglican minister and author of “The Pagan Christ”, discusses his discovery of the pagan origins of Christianity.

Krishna and the Kali-Yuga

In The Bhagavad-Gita, produced some 5000 years ago at the beginning of the Hindu “Kali-Yuga,” the Dark Age, Krishna explains his appearance on Earth to his favorite disciple Arjuna, in the following words:

“I produce myself among creatures, O son of Bharata, whenever there is a decline of virtue and an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world, and thus I incarnate from age to age

“…for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of righteousness.”

The Kali-Yuga

The first 5000 years of Kali-Yuga ended around the year 1898, marking a critical cycle for humanity. Anticipating this event, the Theosophical Movement of the modern era was re-established by The Sacred Tribe through their chosen agent H. P. Blavatsky, on November 17, 1875.

The action taken is the same ascribed to Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita:

http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/gita/bg2.htm

“When Righteousness
Declines, O Bharata! when Wickedness
Is strong, I rise, from age to age, and take
Visible shape, and move a man with men,
Succoring the good and thrusting the evil back,
And setting Virtue on her seat again.”

The Kali-Yuga

“With the onset of Kali Yuga, 3102 BC,” Allan J. Stover writes in The Thesophical Forum, “it was as though a curtain had been dropped before the stage of history, and the death of Krishna occurred. Science has discovered that for several thousands of years previous to this date that

…a ‘climatic optimum’ existed during which the world climate was much warmer than at present.”

Climate Change

“Soon after the coming of Kali Yuga, all this was changed, and some 4,000 years ago, roughly speaking, the arctic seas began to refreeze. Since then this cooling trend has advanced and retreated in minor cycles,

“…each accompanied by the wars and migrations of peoples which we know in history.”

And now, when climate warming seems to be inexorably re-establishing itself, due once again to the actions of people. Cycles indeed rule.

 ♣

The Christ-man

See: Did Jesus Exist and Who Is the Christ?

“[The] ‘resurrection’ can never be monopolized by the Christians, but is the spiritual birth-right of every human being endowed with soul and spirit, whatever his religion may be. Such individual is a Christ-man. “