Category Archives: Society & Humanity

The Real Easter: A Goddess and The Christ Sun

goddess-springTHERE would be no glorious bursting forth of nature at Easter-time without the cyclic journey of the Sun. The Sun-cycle ushers springtime into the world above the equator, and the ancients regarded this as the reincarnation season of the year.

The celebration of Ēoestre or Ostara is an old pagan festival, and is the origin of the word Easter. She is the goddess who symbolized the dawn, the warm Spring sun, the resurrection of Spirit in Earth, and much more.

“Just as there is a real Christmas—the time of winter solstice, explains the Theosophy School text, The Eternal Verities:—”there is a real Easter, a Sun-cycle, the time of the Vernal Equinox.

In the legend, when the beautiful Goddess Ēoestre saw all this wonderful work of hers, she said: “Hereafter, every year I will have one day called Easter, after me. That day, all shall celebrate the awakening of Life from its winter sleep.”

“Then shall all people be joyous and glad and give each other eggs as gifts, for the Egg shall be my symbol. So it is fitting, for all Life is first within the egg.”

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Being Who You Are: Proof of Reincarnation

Julia Butterfly Hill

Julia Butterfly Hill

REDWOOD trees live in families. “They have very shallow roots, but redwood trees are connected to each other through their root system” says pioneer nature defender Julia Butterfly Hill.

“When you see a group of redwood trees, often they are all part of the same roots, and they feed one another that way.”

Similarly we are each connected not only to many others, but also to ourselves, a kind of multimedia group of former lives and personalities.  We ordinary humans are paradoxical and often revealing our hidden genius.

Like the soaring music of Mozart to the fearless passion of a Julia Butterfly Hill we each live out a destiny created by ourselves over many lifetimes. That’s our personal family group, and we all know each other, though most may not remember many selves on a conscious level.

Most of us lack a Seer’s knowing, and are forced to trudge for clues into the far horizons of reincarnation, and sift the karmic sands of countless past lives to uncover the source of our collective manifest talents, failures and successes.

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Julia, up a tree.

Teilhard de Chardin’s idea that we are “spiritual beings immersed in a human experience,” only begins to explain the genius of a Mozart who composed musical score at the age of three. Or why Julia Butterfly Hill, at twenty-four, would choose to spend a dangerous two years alone, 200 feet atop a thousand year-old redwood tree, to save it from destruction by a company of determined, clear-cutting loggers.

Read more of Julia’s compelling story here.

Just like Amadeus and Julia, every one of us is born with a destiny and an individual soul identity, bringing intelligence and experience from former lives. To a greater or lesser degree we remember and act out the memory of them. Memory can develop slowly or quickly, or often, has little opportunity to emerge. All depends upon our karmic circumstances, merit and demerit. Yet beneath it all remains the unshakeable awareness of an “I am I” consciousness. We are ourselves and none other, whether we remember all the details or not.

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The Magical Sword of Spiritual Knowledge

fortune-teller-with-crystalWHAT is real magic is not widely understood, and what usually goes by that description is nearly always rife with deception and trickery.

Show business or stage magic, though entertaining for many, is performed using slight of hand, and relies solely on fooling the audience.

But there is a kind of practical divine magic which not based on slight of hand, or hypnotic illusions, but is the result of an ability, natural or learned, to bring to about certain desired results, seemingly magical.

“I know that MAGIC does exist,” H. P. Blavatsky declared in her article The Science of Magic, “and 10,000 editors of Spiritual papers cannot change my belief in what I know.”

“There is a white and a black magic — and no one who has ever traveled in the East, can doubt it…”

“My faith being firm I am, therefore, ever ready to support and protect any honest medium — aye, and even occasionally one who appears dishonest — for I know but too well what helpless tools and victims such mediums are in the hands of unprogressed, invisible beings.”

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The successful use of real magic, it appears, requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of trickery, spells or mediumship, and is based on an innate psycho-spiritual force hidden in nature, and in man himself.

Those who practiced it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise, called “Magi” — source of the word magic.

It is relatively easy to learn tricks and spells, Mme. Blavatsky says in Practical Occultism, “and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature.”

But this kind of force, often rooted in selfish human desire, awakens darker powers, she warns. Unless the motive is pure, destructive passions are often aroused, and even unconsciously will do harm to others.

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In her article Practical Occultism, H. P. Blavatsky warns us about this kind of activity: “it is the motive alone which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic, and unless the intention is entirely unalloyed

the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.”

“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces, she maintained, “if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness [or separateness] remaining in the operator.”

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God in a Box, a Hundred Versions of It

falling-lightCHRISTOS is the Greek word from which the term Christ is derived. It is an archaic term that was applied to every Initiate of a certain degree within the Mystery Temples of old.

St. Paul, echoing the Gnostic belief in the saving grace of the indwelling spiritual essence in man, refers to “the Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

The Christos principle is never some thing or person outside or separate from us. Isis-Osiris is the symbolic image of spirit guarding the good and holy mind of humankind.

Every human being is a potential Christ, the unfolding of the Christ-life a major feature of the Gospels, esoterically understood. Christos is called “the WAY,” the glorified Spirit of Truth, and the reunion which makes the soul (the Son) One with the (Father) Spirit. But in truth, gender as we understand it plays no part in this drama of spiritual awakening.

“There is only one religion, though
there are a hundred versions of it.”

 – George Bernard Shaw

The Ankh

Christ is confirmed, by H. P. Blavatsky, as “the divine principle in every human being.” She also wrote in her article The Esoteric Character of the Gospels: “He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the ‘sepulchre’ of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him.”

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Kristas

As with the Christos, the Father Spirit, God, is never a separate being, but exists everywhere. “Our DEITY is neither in a paradise, nor in a particular tree, building, or mountain,” Blavatsky wrote, “it is everywhere, in every atom of the visible as of the invisible Cosmos — in, over, and around every invisible atom, and divisible molecule:

“…for IT is the mysterious power of evolution and involution, the omnipresent, omnipotent, and even omniscient creative potentiality.”

“The worship of the dead-letter in the Bible,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote in the Key to Theosophy, “is but one more form of idolatry, nothing better. Hence, the Bible is not the ‘Word of God,’ but contains at best the words of fallible men, and imperfect teachers. Yet read esoterically, it does contain, if not the whole truth, still, ‘nothing but the truth,’ under whatever allegorical garb. Only: Quot homines tot sententiœ.”

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Why Love Matters, and Why it Should

shadow-light

Shadow and Light

LIGHT and shadow always appear together, and this is clearly as it must be. Our perception of everyday objects is dependent on those ubiquitously persistent, often paradoxical twins.

This point-counterpoint dance rules our everyday awareness. Shift one of the duo on life’s canvas, and the other balances with a corresponding change. Shadows lengthen as the sun sets, and stars shine as the heavens darken.

This phenomenon occurs because at the moment of manifestation the universe is pervaded by duality according to Theosophical cosmogenesis (SD1:15)which explains why “duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object,” as H. P. Blavatsky wrote.

Spirit on its own, like a horseless rider, is helpless on Earth say these metaphysical axioms, and a riderless horse similarly lacks purpose, direction, and love. “Though one and the same thing in their origin, Spirit and Matter,” say the teachings (SD 1:247), “begin each of them their evolutionary progress in contrary directions —

“Spirit falling gradually into matter, and the latter ascending to its original condition, that of a pure spiritual substance.”

“Both are inseparable, yet ever separated,” Blavatsky wrote. “Two like poles will always repel each other, while the negative and the positive are mutually attracted, so do Spirit and Matter stand to each other — the two poles of the same homogeneous substance, the root-principle of the universe.”

“On almost every page of the Bhagavad-Gita we are instructed only to direct our love to that which is eternal in every form,” as Blavatsky wrote in LOVE WITH AN OBJECT:

“… and let the form itself be a matter of secondary consideration.

We must rise above the pairs of opposites, seeking to unite with their essence, the Source. Love and compassion are the keys that extricate our minds and hearts from external forms, from the myriad illusions on the lower planes of consciousness.

Time and space are also paradoxical principles. Pain extends our perception of passing time, for example, and the invisible air, gravity, and electromagnetic radiations fill the seemingly empty space around us.

Because we see through it, we believe that space is empty. Yet a fundamental principle in The Secret Doctrine (1:289), states: “there is not one finger’s breath (angula) of void Space in the whole Boundless (Universe).”

For example, we couldn’t see the words without this background page, nor could we see them if the words and page were the same color.

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Universal Unity and Causation = Human Solidarity

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

WHEN the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, the First and foremost of its Three Objects was identified as Universal Brotherhood.

It was the only one of the Three Objects requiring acceptance by prospective members of the Society. The fundamental first principle was held to be a “fact in Nature.” 

The Theosophical Movement magazine noted persuasively in its article Universal Brotherhood Fiction or Fact?  that “the world is sick of war and desires peace, yet wars and preparations for war continue.”

“People wish to banish enmity and to usher in an era of friendship,” the article continues, “yet rivalry and hatred perpetuate hard feelings which separate man from man. Many believe in and talk about Brotherhood, but we see everywhere the failure of unity and harmony.”

“… the very concept of cosmopolitan internationalism, of humanity as a unit, one grand family, seems fanciful.”

Would not this concept of unity, if acknowledged, inexorably shift humanity’s worldviews away from selfishness and separateness towards a realized universal compassion and world peace, as Theosophy established in its original First Object?

If universal unity and causation are in truth the substratum of nature and the cosmos, must it not be so with humanity? Would acknowledgement and proof of this idea not lead to true human solidarity?

the-universe

Universal Unity and Causation

In the century following the launching of the theosophical movement, one scientist arose who got the message, British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001). Hoyle dedicating his life to asking and answering universal questions,  maintained that the origin of life was cosmic, not terrestrial — and seemed like a dedicated Theosophist plus world-renowned astronomer.

Hoyle maintained “there is a coherent plan in the universe.” (Adding, “though I don’t know what it’s a plan for.”)

His “steady state” theory maintained that the universe had no beginning or end, and would continue to exist. Likewise Theosophy “affirms the Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane,” H. P. Blavatsky notes (The Secret Doctrine 1:16).

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Fred Hoyle

And she explained how this grand canvas “is periodically the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing, called ‘the manifesting stars,’ and the ‘sparks of Eternity.’” 

“The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.”

(See Part II., “Days and Nights of Brahma.”)

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“This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

"It expanded like the bud of the lotus."

“It expanded like the bud of the Lotus.”

Preempting the future gravity-based materialism of science, in what would come to be known as “The Big Bang” concept, The Secret Doctrine declared with irrefutable logic, that an ‘infinite universe’ cannot by any stretch of the imagination become ‘larger!’

The “expansion” so-called, does not mean “an increase in size,” rather “it was a change of condition,” Blavatsky maintained — “it ‘expanded like the bud of the Lotus,'” a metaphor she used frequently in her teachings. (The Secret Doctrine 1:62-3)

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Roerich’s Shambhala: A Land of Mystery

Nicholas Roerich with Guga Chohan

CELEBRATING over seven enlightening years of research and Theosophical journalism, we gratefully republish the late co-editor Kara LeBeau’s article “Roerich’s Shambhala,” one of our most popular posts.

A naturally spiritual and talented journalist Kara’s presence always seems alive. She was a huge fan of Roerich. And her editorial skills on behalf of Theosophy Watch are deeply missed.

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“Over 120 years ago, it was Helena Blavatsky who introduced the legacy of Shambhala to Western seekers, otherwise it might have remained hidden in the domain of a few scholars.

‘Shambhala’ means ‘source of happiness’ in Sanskrit — ‘a place of peace and tranquility.’ (Wikipedia)

James Hilton, in 1933, further popularized the idea of Shambhala in his novel Lost Horizon about the mythical kingdom ‘Shangri-la.’

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Movies based on the novel in 1937, 1942, and 1952 introduced the ‘Shambhala’ ideal to more people around the world than HPB might have ever imagined.

Google ‘Shambhala’ today and you’ll get over a million hits of pages that explore the Buddhist legendary paradise that intrigues so many people now. Some endeavor to find its physical location—others seek it within themselves. Nicholas and Helena Roerich asserted that

“Shamballa is the indispensable site where the spiritual world unites with the material one.”

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