Category Archives: Society & Humanity

Occult America: Through The Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

THE  surreal landscape of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass has Alice wondering what the world is like on the other side of a mirror.

To her surprise, Alice is able to pass into a fantastic astral world and experience an alternate existence.

A puzzled Alice discovers a book with looking-glass poetry called “Jabberwocky,” which she can read only by holding it up to a mirror.

To Theosophical students, Carroll’s imaginative invention is an unambiguous reminder of “the astral light” of occultism, a universal storage drive where original images of all things are seen in reverse of their visible projections on our terrestrial plane.

In 1871, mediumship and table-tipping were all the rage, detailed in Mitch Horowitz’s popular book Occult America. “Understandably, Carroll’s sequel to Alice in Wonderland was wildly popular at the time,” he writes:

Clairvoyance and psychic powers have always fascinated the public. But then, as now, they were considered nonsensical by mainstream scientists.

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” the White Queen confides to Alice.

Alice through the looking glass.

Once of interest only to ghost-hunters, and the derided science of parapsychology, “The Big 5”: Precognition, Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Psychokinesis and Healing (known collectively as “psi”), are now being noticed by the rank-and-file psychological and neuroscience community.

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A New Humanity, One Universal Family

Mother Gaia

HUMANITY is divided into thousands of languages, hundreds of sects and cults, castes, creeds, religious sects, and political ideologies.

For example, the website Ethnologue currently contains information about the world’s 7,111 known living human languages and their indigenous nationalities.

Such differences often divide rather than unite people. Instead of love and service to others, some groups encourage differences, foster criticism, opposition and attacks on others.

How, then, can we ever hope to achieve harmony and oneness, and become a new humanity that will unselfishly eschew all differences and personal enmities — promulgating the First Object of Theosophy, Universal Brotherhood?  H. P. Blavatsky explained in The Secret Doctrine 2:760:

There was a time when the whole world, the totality of mankind, had one religion as they were of ‘one lip’.

A world united as One Being has been the hope of mankind for long ages. Poets, artists, philosophers, and statespersons idealize it. Self-interested politicians claim they have the grand solution to the problems of disease, hunger, poverty, homelessness.

World poverty and hunger.

But they have not succeeded, because of personal bias, and a failure to accept and value the spiritual unity of humanity as a whole.

In our obsession with the bitter roots of sectarian differences and selfish, materialist agendas, we remain blind to the reality of unified life. “Existence is ONE THING, not any collection of things linked together,” Blavatsky wrote. “Fundamentally there is ONE BEING.”

Global Consciousness

Many Lights, One Humanity  

“Real Theosophy IS ALTRUISM, and we cannot repeat it too often,” she insisted. “It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth.” (Our Cycle and the Next)

If all men would realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification.

“But the world, in our day, judges everything on appearance. Motives are held as of no account, and the materialistic tendency is foremost in condemning a priori that which clashes with skin-deep propriety and encrusted notions.  Nations, men, and ideas all are judged according to our preconceptions, and the lethal emanations of modern civilization kill all goodness and truth.”

cropped-lights-for-peace.jpg

Many Lights

“Then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon earth. Then, the GOLDEN AGE will be there, indeed. But if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted western civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sea of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded.”

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Pulsation of the Manifested God in Nature

ONE LIFE

“IT is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being.

“. . . unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, ‘a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.

“Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the ‘Great Breath,’ which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE.

“That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.”

“From the beginning of man’s inheritance, from the first appearance of the architects of the globe he lives in, the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered under its only philosophical aspect —

universal motion, the thrill of
the creative Breath in Nature.

“Occultism sums up the ‘One Existence’ thus:  ‘Deity is an arcane, living (or moving) fire, and the eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence are Light, Heat, Moisture,’ — this trinity including, and being the cause of, every phenomenon in Nature.”

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No Big Bang: A Kinder, Gentler Universe

Soul of the World

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

The “stupendous development,” the Sages taught, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To Initiated Seers our universe, while full of important information, is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes,” Theosophy says.

[The Secret Doctrine 1:43]

In this view, each individual cosmos and corresponding single human life is the result and the effect of its predecessor. Under the never-erring law of Karma, every universe becomes “a cause as regards its successor.”

Instead of only one ‘Big Bang,’ as standard model science dogma describes the origin of the universe, Theosophy postulates an infinite number of recurring universes, each one an improvement on the last. Today a new view in modern theoretical physics suggests a similar idea.

Universeinyourhands

Cyclic Universes

“There was not just one bang,” say theoretical physicists Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok in their book Endless Universe, postulating a groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to the theory, the Big Bang “was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution.” Very close to the Theosophical view, it turns out.

What these scientists seem to be proposing is the law of periodicity, the Second Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine

“In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that ‘steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.'” —Wall Street Journal

The distinguished theoretical physicists propose that “the evolution of the universe is cyclic with big bangs occurring once every trillion or so.”

The Great Breath

To Theosophy, ‘periodicity’ is certainly an admirable start. But unlike the speculation of an “infinite cycle of titanic collisions,” Theosophy offers a much kinder and gentler solution tied to the cosmology offered by “generations of initiated seers.”

Those findings conclude that we exist in a living universe, where everything to its core is alive, sustained by an eternal, perpetual rhythmic breathing or pulsation.

(We may be asleep at night, but luckily, we continue breathing.) The Universe, according to the occult dynamics of The Secret Doctrine, does the same.

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Kangaroo Care and The Healing Heart

Kangaroo Care

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 the horse guided by the rider — 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 wrote. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”

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Laws of Karma and the Sin of Separateness

Child King Canute?

MAY DAY, in medieval and modern Europe, holiday (May 1) is the celebration of the return of spring, an ancient Nature Festival.

Because the Puritans of New England considered the celebrations of May Day to be licentious and pagan, they forbade its observance, and the holiday never became an important part of American culture.

Thankfully, time and tide wait for no man according to Geoffrey Chaucer, nor do such Nature’s supreme powers submit to the dictates of modern despots, gods or saviors, or religious bigots.

The Laws of Karma rule always. No one is so all-powerful they can stop the march of time or turn back the ocean waves, as King Canute unsuccessfully tried. Or the relentless march of time and seasons.

Yet what he learned from the experience is that the best each of us can do is attempt to discover and live in harmony with nature’s immutable laws. Shakespeare dramatized karma as a force that ebbs and flows cyclically, and that one must go with the flow. As Brutus notoriously exclaims in Julius Caesar:

There’s a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

Procrastinating and obstruction waste precious moments allowing beneficial waves or tides to begin to recede. If a moral or environmental opportunity is neglected, individuals and humanity as a whole may suffer dire consequences.

A tide in the affairs of men.

“All the passing shows of life, whether fraught with disaster or full of fame and glory, are teachers; he who neglects them, neglects opportunities which seldom the gods repeat,” W. Q. Judge wrote in his Essay on Chapter 2 of  the Bhagavad-Gita“And the only way to learn from them is through the heart’s resignation;

for when we become in heart completely poor, we at once are the treasurers and disbursers of enormous riches. Krishna then insists on the scrupulous performance of natural duty.

Ancient Atlantis, our former habitat, was destroyed by natural and human-caused climate change thousands of years before its time, and we are heading down a very similar, dangerous path — the result of pervasive collective selfishness. Just as Walt Kelly’s Pogo warned, as he stared at a trash filled swamp on Earth Day 1970:

“We have met the enemy,
and he is us.”

Atlantis

Sickness occurs when “a group of individual cells refuses to cooperate, and wherein is set up discordant action, using less or claiming more than their due share of food or energy,” wrote W. Q. Judge in The Synthesis of Occult Science, concluding:

Disease is nothing more or less than ‘the sin of separateness.’

So long as there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy says, there will be suffering. And this is why we need to practice Divine Compassion, “the law of laws” as described in The Voice of the Silence.

“Compassion is something really worthwhile. It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology,” says the Dalai Lama: “It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.”

Mother Teresa

“It is an absolute fact that without good works the spirit of brotherhood would die in the world—and this can never be,” Blavatsky wrote in her article Let Every Man Prove His Own Work:

Therefore is the double activity of learning and doing most necessary; we have to do good, and we have to do it rightly, with knowledge.

The proverb about time and tide illustrates the complex interplay between fate and free will in human life. It has karmic beauty as well, suggesting that while we do not have total control over our lives, we do have a responsibility to take what few measures we can to live ethically and honorably.

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Life on Spaceship Earth and the Overview Effect

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

DURING the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the Theosophical Society participated in the first World’s Parliament of Religions.

Pioneer theosophist and co-founder of the Theosophical Society William Q. Judge served as permanent chairman of the Theosophical Congress, whose presentation of its ideals and principles drew increasingly larger audiences.

“I have been requested to speak on the subject of universal brotherhood,” he explained, “not as a theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never be realized; not as a fact in society, not as a fact in government — but as a fact in nature:

that universal brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or whether it is not.

“Every nation, every civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history show us that, more than at any other time … have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations. So that at last men have come to say, ‘Universal brotherhood is very beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to realize.’ With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.”

 – W. Q. Judge, Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

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