Category Archives: spiritual

The Secret Gate of Reality

The Mystery of Water

“THE idea that things can cease to exist and still be, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology.

“Under this apparent contradiction in terms,” wrote H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine, “there rests a fact of Nature to realize is the important thing.”

“A familiar instance of a similar paradox is afforded by chemical combination,” she pointed out.

“The question whether Hydrogen and Oxygen cease to exist, when they combine to form water, is still a moot one.”

“Some [argue] that since they are found again when the water is decomposed, they must be there all the while—others contending that as they actually turn into something totally different, they must cease to exist as themselves for the time being.”

Neither side is able to form the faintest conception of the real condition of a thing, which has become something else, and yet has not ceased to be itself.

“Existence as water may be said to be, for Oxygen and Hydrogen, a state of Non-being which is ‘more real being’ than their existence as gases. And it may faintly symbolize the condition of the Universe when it goes to sleep, or ceases to be — “to awaken or reappear again, when the dawn of the new [Universe] recalls it to what we call existence.”

Padma – Lotus

This masterful treatise on reality and illusion by Mme. Blavatsky might have been written by one of today’s  quantum physicists or frontier cosmologists.

Instead, they are her words, the ideas of a master Theosophical thought leader, excerpted from the Fundamentals of her magnum opus  The Secret Doctrine [1:54-5] — the  quintessence  of physics, metaphysics and ethics.

The Lotus Symbol

“There are no ancient symbols, without a deep and philosophical meaning attached to them; their importance and significance increasing with their antiquity. Such is the Lotus. It is the flower sacred to nature and her Gods, and represents the abstract and the Concrete Universes, standing as the emblem of the productive powers of both spiritual and physical nature.”

Vishnu and Padma, the lotus.

“The lotus flower, represented as growing out of Vishnu’s navel — that God resting on the waters of space and his Serpent of Infinity — is the most graphic allegory ever made: the Universe evolving from the central Sun, the point, the ever-concealed germ. Lakshmi, who is the female aspect of Vishnu, and who is also called Padma, the lotus, is likewise shown floating at “Creation,” on a lotus flower, and during the “churning of the ocean” of space, springing from the “sea of milk,” like Venus from the froth.”
– H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine 1:379

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Ordinary Children Who Remember Past Lives

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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We Always Color the Day for Others

girl_with_sunflower

Life Divine

“THOREAU pointed out that there are artists in life, persons who can change the colour of a day and make it beautiful to those with whom they come in contact,” H. P. Blavatsky once wrote:

“We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it divine, as in all other arts.

“Is it not the greatest art of all, this which affects the very atmosphere in which we live?

“That it is the most important is seen at once, when we remember that every person who draws the breath of life

…affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world,
and helps to colour the day for those about him.”

“If all our readers … endeavored to learn the art of making life not only beautiful but divine, and vowed no longer to be hampered by disbelief in the possibility of this miracle, but to commence the Herculean task at once, then [2019] would have been fitly ushered in…

cropped-yoga-woman.jpg

“Man’s life is in his own hands, his fate is ordered by himself. Why then should not [2019] be a year of greater spiritual development than any we have lived through?

“It depends on ourselves to make it so. This is an actual fact, not a religious sentiment. In a garden of sunflowers every flower turns towards the light. Why not so with us?

sunflower-girl

“And let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it — and as a day can be coloured so can a year.”

(Excerpted from H. P. Blavatsky, “1888”)

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Riding the Waves of Karma: Past, Present and Future

Fortune Teller

THE proverbial phrase “time and tide wait for no man” is usually attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer, known as the Father of English literature. 

Chaucer’s genius at understanding human nature made him a great poet yet probably would not claim to read ‘the grand clock of the Universe,’ as a deific time-keeper.

That grand timekeeper “points to another hour,” William Q. Judge provocatively wrote (A Year on the Path): “and now Man must seize the key in his hands and himself — as a whole — open the gate.” 

“Let us then together enter upon another year, fearing nothing, assured of strength in the Union of Brotherhood. For how can we fear death, or life, or any horror or evil, at any place or time, when we well know that even death itself is a part of the dream which we are weaving before our eyes.”

And even recognizing the orderly process of seasons on Earth, most of us would not accept that any universal time-keeper like Karma exists. Yet

we observe these daily in our lives — the seasons, tides of the ocean, the biological clocks that pervade our bodies.

Thus it can be argued we do own a piece of the larger puzzle — in the sequential events of our personal lives. By diligent self-reflection, meditation and intuition, we ought to be able to see glimpses of their purpose, and gradually arrange the pieces of the karmic puzzle into a meaningful picture.

Karmic Waves

Such digging may be as close as we can get to knowing and managing our personal Karma, if not the World’s destiny. Esoteric Theosophical philosophy teaches that Past, Present, and Future represent a ‘compound’ time.

Indeed, Buddha’s dying words reportedly were: “all compounds are perishable,” (i.e. but temporary illusions.)

Thus we ought to seize every stray event in our lives, and attempt to extract their true meaning as Judge wrote: “Man must seize the key in his hands and himself — as a whole — open the gate.”  

The great Sage Patanjali in his Aphorisms declared: “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.” (The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali)

Patanjali-Yoga

Patanjali

On this knowledge Mr. Judge commented:

“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. (6)

Aphorisms on Karma
by William Q. Judge

prayer-wheel

Wheels of Destiny

In the realm of ‘noumena (or the primary causal plane), H. P. Blavatsky noted these three aspects of time have no separate reality, 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 Vol. 1:43)

“The second assertion of the Secret Doctrine,” Blavatsky explained, “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.”

The Secret Doctrine: Three Fundamentals

All Seeing Eye of Karma

One of Mme. Blavatsky’s Teachers (Mahatma K.H.) wrote: “I feel even irritated at having to use these three clumsy words — past, present and future!” Adding they are:

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.

Karmic Agent

Mme. Blavatsky wrote: “Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but ‘lies asleep.'”

“The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these ‘sum-totals’ that exist from eternity in the “future,” and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the ‘past.’”

(H. P. Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine 1:37)

Seeing the Future

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.

Movie: 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. Bem studied over 1000 people and looked for proof that future events affected past behavior, or retro causation.

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 (or thoughts?)

Buddha

“Esoterically, thought is more responsible and punishable than act. But exoterically it is the reverse. Therefore, in ordinary human law, an assault is more severely punished than the thought or intention, i.e., the threat, whereas Karmically it is the contrary.”  – (H. P. Blavatsky, Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge)

“But why should this be the case? It is because ‘thought is the real plane of action’ – as William Q. Judge and Robert Crosbie have often said – and that our physical and bodily actions are simply the eventual outworking on the physical plane of the real action, which has already been formed and formulated on the mental plane.”  – (Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK)

Down the Rabbit Hole

Clocks are useful for getting to meetings on time. Otherwise, time in this sense, being only the “panoramic succession of our [ordinary] states of consciousness,” is therefore reductionist—and has only materialistic value.

Ground-level experience reveals only the outer edge of the rabbit hole, and keeps us blind to the mysteries hidden beneath — the experience which leads us to the sum-total of existence. The frontier consciousness sciences emerging today offer an exciting prospect.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

“I’m late for a very important date.” 1865 edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Charles Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll), published by MacMillan and Co. Drawn by John Tenniel.

In Alice’s new and strange universe of the mind the Red Queen tells her:

“You must run fast just to
stay in one place.”

The eye-popping series of progressive awakenings experienced by Alice surely led her and her readers to a greater appreciation of the mysterious and the paradoxical. We find The Secret Doctrine [Vol. 1, p.40] mirroring the Alice experience:

“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;’ but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya [illusion].”

Alice in Wonderland

H. P. Blavatsky declared: “Woe to those who live without suffering.

Stagnation and death is the future of all that vegetates without a change.

“And how can there be any change for the better without proportionate suffering during the preceding stage? Is it not those only who have learnt the deceptive value of earthly hopes and the illusive allurements of external nature who are destined to solve the great problems of life, pain, and death?”

‘Presentiment’

Senior scientist Dean Radin, of The Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS), is a rigorous scientific explorer who boldly goes where the establishment won’t, methodically measuring the ‘immeasurable’. In this clip he explains his ongoing experiments showing evidence of “presentiment” or precognition. With every thought we think, whether it is with the intent of future objective action or not, Theosophy says — we are emitting Karmic energy and setting causes in motion which, like all causes, will eventually have to have their corresponding due effect.

“Presentiment,” a term used by Dr. Dean Radin, senior scientist of IONS fame, is a feeling that something strange or unusual is about to happen. Radin got the idea “to monitor a person’s skin conductance before, during, and after viewing emotional and calm pictures, and then see if the autonomic nervous system responded appropriately before the picture appeared.”

Forest for the Trees

Objective time and reality always appear in a linear frame, and as the legendary punster of the Yankee’s baseball team, Yogi Berra, once quipped:

“I knew I was going to take the wrong train,
so I left early.”

🙂 !

Berra sensed there was more than meets the eye when he made that playful pun at the phenomenon of precognition!

Yogi Berra

The Mind’s Eye

The author and diarist Anais Nin famously remarked:

We don’t see things as they are,
we see things as we are.

Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin

If what “we are” is determined solely by our five senses, then we see only what’s inside a closed box. For environmentalist woodsman John Muir stuffy boxes were anathema, he believed instead that

The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

The ‘Compound time’ cannot be separated from the future which is an essential part of the mystery wilderness within us. The illusion occurs we are separate from Nature, and then we are unable to see the greater forest for the trees, though they are one.

A Flower in a Crannied Wall

The poet/artist William Blake saw “a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower,” that most of us would probably have passed unnoticed. (Auguries of Innocence)

But even such sublime ethics “must give room to still further absolute perfection,” Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine, “to a higher standard of excellence — just as a perfect flower must cease to be a perfect flower and die, in order to grow into a perfect fruit.”

All instruction is but a finger pointing to the moon, and those whose gaze is fixed upon the pointer will never see beyond. Even let him catch sight of the moon, and still he cannot see its beauty. – Osho

Non-Separateness

Albert Einstein’s main objection to quantum mechanics, as understood then, was that it provided no reasonable explanation of the world, and in some sense denied what many believed it means to truly exist. While walking with his biographer physicist Abraham Pais, Pais reported Einstein in frustration asked: “whether I really believed that the moon exists only when I look at it.”

Einstein also complained in a letter to friend and fellow physicist, Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics:

You believe in the God that plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture.

Uncertainty Principle

Einstein’s complicated genius included, nevertheless, a universal and compassionate thinker, who said: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us ‘the universe,’ a part limited in time and space.”

Small Slice of the Universe

And he wrote of a human being “that experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us,” he wrote, “restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be,” he wrote:A

to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

The Mind’s Eye

Non-Duality

Universal unity or non-duality is a popular topic of discussion today. There is a website devoted to it (nonduality.com), and a blog and even a conference October 21-25: titled Science And Non-Duality.

It’s the same concept that engaged Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine. Everything is alive and conscious in “Esoteric philosophy,” she wrote, and “life we look upon as ‘the one form of existence, manifesting in what is called matter—or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter.”

One Form of Existence

Further: “Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence,

and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all.”

“The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology.”

Seeing the Future

The  mysterious science of “dowsing.” How does the unconscious know the answer to what you’re seeking?

The Paradoxical “I”

If we “are all one being” according to The Secret Doctrine. Yet our conscious mind often fails to recognize it.  We may solve the problem of duality, paradoxically, by first focusing our full attention on the “I” the center of the “I am I” consciousness, at every moment our attention permits.

Once the illusion separateness or limitation becomes obvious, it falls away, and then we begin to appreciate the ‘not-I’ — and by this practice, paradoxically, we are gradually compelled to attend to the greater wholeness within which the smaller ‘I’ exists. As Lao-Tze put it: “The Tao that can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao.”

Fortune Teller

“Consciousness is defined as that, whatever that is, which is aware of these very words right here, right now. …

The student who practices self inquiry keeps his attention focused onto the source of the I-thoughts and I-feelings, whenever they arise.

“Once enlightenment has taken place, the process of self inquiry continues effortlessly. The attention spontaneously reverts to the source at the end of each thought and feeling and there is no need to focus the attention any longer.”

“Sum-Totals”

by H. P. Blavatsky

The Secret Doctrine

“TIME is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced — but ‘lies asleep.’

“The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past.

“Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change—or the same—for the billionth part of a second.”

“And the sensation we have of the actuality of the division of ‘time’ known as the present, comes from the blurring of that momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories that we name the past.

Seeing Through the Illusion of Time

“In the same way we experience a sensation of duration in the case of the instantaneous electric spark, by reason of the blurred and continuing impression on the retina. The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth.

It is these ‘sum-totals’ that exist from eternity in the ‘future,’ and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the ‘past.’

“No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean.”

Touching the Future and Past

“Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out of the future into the past—[they]

present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves,

as they pass through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity to another: and these two constitute that ‘duration‘ in which alone anything has true existence, were our senses but able to cognize it there.”

One With Nature

ζ

 

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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Mother’s Love, a Shoreless Universal Essence

Mother and Child

WHENEVER there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy teaches, there will always be suffering.

This is why we need to continually try to practice Divine Compassion, “the law of laws,” as urged in The Voice of the Silence, and all that implies about our daily actions.

“Compassion is no attribute, it is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony —

“… a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things — the law of love eternal.”

(The Voice of the Silence)

A feeling of true, universal compassion and caring for others can never dissolve into either separateness or selfish pride. Says the Voice of the Silence of The Buddha: “The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

Dalai Lama xlv

According to the H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, “compassion is something really worthwhile.”

It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

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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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Just Being Yourself: Proof of Reincarnation

Julia Butterfly Hill up a Redwood

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 all connected not only to many others but also to our higher self in a spiritual sense.

It’s a kind of multimedia group of former lives and personalities to which we intimately belong.  We, ordinary humans, are paradoxical often reveal our hidden genius founded on the collective experience of many lifetimes.

From Mozart’s soaring music to the fearless passion of a Julia Butterfly Hill, we are each drawn to a karmic destiny created by ourselves over many lifetimes. That’s our personal family, and we still know each other, though most may not remember the connection consciously.

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

juliabutterflyhill

Julia, very high up!

Teilhard de Chardin’s idea that we are “spiritual beings immersed in a human experience,” barely begins to explain the genius of a Mozart who composed musical score at the age of five.

Or why Julia Butterfly Hill, a determined twenty-four-year-old, would choose to spend a very dangerous two years alone 200 feet atop a thousand-year-old redwood tree. Alone to save the tree, and others like it, from destruction by a logging company supporting an army of determined clear-cutters.

She climbed up and lived 200 feet atop the giant tree, on a 6-by-6-foot plywood platform, for over two years!  Just to save a stand of ancient redwood trees in California from being cut down by Pacific Lumber Company. (For more info Click Here)

Protecting Luna

Just as Amadeus and Julia, every one of us is born with a destiny and an individual soul identity, and engaging intelligence and experience from former lives to this one.

“To a greater or lesser degree, we remember and act out the memory of them. By standing together in unity and solidarity and love, writes Julia:

we will heal the wounds in the earth and in each other. We can make a positive difference through our actions

Read more of Julia’s compelling story here.

Memory can develop slowly or quickly, but as is often the case, has little opportunity to emerge. All depends upon our karmic circumstances, merit and demerit. Yet within the outer circumstances remains an unshakable 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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Solstice Secrets, the Turning of an Electric Sun

solargoddess

Sun Goddess

WINTER in the northern hemisphere marks the annual return of a potent and ancient solar festival.

Indeed, “turnings of the sun” is an old phrase, used by both Hesiod and Homer.

The novelist Alan Furst has one of his characters nicely observe, “the day the sun is said to pause,” recalls contributor Richard Cohen in a  NY Times Op-Ed:

Pleasing, that idea as though the universe stopped for a moment to reflect, took a day off from work. One could sense it, time slowing down.”

But the cyclic work of the Mother matrix never ceases. “The real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine Vol. 1, p. 290:

It is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe.

“It is the Kernel from which proceed to spread on their cyclic journeys all the Powers that set in action the atoms in their functional duties, and the focus within which they again meet in their SEVENTH ESSENCE every eleventh year.”

The solar cycle or solar magnetic activity cycle is the nearly periodic 11-year change in the Sun‘s activity (Wikipedia)

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Divine Light, the Great Protean Magician

gaia-mother-earth-child

Gaia, Mother Earth

THE 2018 Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurred at 12:15 PM, Tuesday, March 20 according to astronomical reckoning.

But what exactly is the spring equinox or ‘vernal equinox,’ as it is also known, and why do so many Northern peoples like to celebrate it every year at this time?

The astronomical event marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, which means longer days are on the way and people around the world will celebrate fresh starts. 

The phenomenon is a solar event like the solstices that occur on the first days of summer and winter at dawn for two or three days.

Though the length of days are not equal, at solstices the sun seems to linger for several minutes in its passage across the sky, before beginning to double back, another kind of beginning or rebirthing. 

In the northern hemisphere the solstices mark the annual return of an ancient solar festival. Indeed, “turnings of the sun” is an old phrase, used by both Hesiod and Homer. The novelist Alan Furst has one of his characters nicely observe, “the day the sun is said to pause,” (NY Times Op Ed):Pleasing, that idea as though the universe stopped for a moment to reflect, took a day off from work. One could sense it, time slowing down.”

Sunrise Meditation

But for Theosophy light has much deeper metaphysical even spiritual implications. Both the Sun and the human heart are the two greatest life-givers we know, both emit light and are indissolubly interconnected. According to occult teachings, both radiate a powerful aura of biological and regenerative energies continuously.

H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine (1:290, xxi) reveals, (from a “Commentary hitherto secret”) that: “The real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance,

it is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe.”

The Heart-Sun

“As its substance is of a different kind from that known on earth, the inhabitants of the latter, seeing through it, believe in their illusion and ignorance that it is empty space,” she notes, “yet there is

not one finger’s breath (angula) of void Space in the whole Boundless Universe.”

Ancient astrology and astronomy identify many ancient temples and pyramids around the world were connected to solar symbology. Such sites and mounds are considered mere burial tombs by mainstream archaeologists, most of whom are disinterested in spiritual traditions.

Temple of Light

But at the time of their construction these sites were in fact intended, wrote H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled (1:270), to be sacred places of initiation. Describing the Spiritual Sun, called “Agni,” the ancient Rig-Veda declared: “His radiance is undecaying …

…the intensely-shining, all-pervading, unceasing, undecaying rays of Agni desist not, neither night nor day.”

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Meeting an Angel and Evidence of Immortality

Immortality

VETERANS of near-death experiences, writes Dr. W. R. Morrow, “found that death is not to be feared.”

“They have all been to the edge, looked over, and afterwards lived out their lives with an optimistic attitude.”

Theosophy concurs according to H. P. Blavatsky who wrote: “death comes to our spiritual selves ever as a deliverer and friend.”

(The Key to Theosophy, Section 9, p.161.)

Dr. Morrow continues:

“This extensive ‘research,’ if it gives any proof at all, gives evidence of a universal heaven, the same comforting near-death vision for everyone reporting!”

“Interestingly, the analysis by researcher Dr. Jeffrey Long of 1,200 reported cases of the near-death phenomenon shows remarkable similarities across cultures, continents, and religions,” Morrow writes. “All were pleasant and reassuring.”  

“Many in the religious community will not accept a God like this who provides no separation of the sheep and the goats, but personally I like this hint of a loving embrace when I go,” he says.

(Dr. William Morrow is a Florida licensed marriage and family therapist with offices in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.) Learn more at: http://www.williamrmorrow.com. Email wmorrowmft@embarqmail.com

Meeting an Angel

Alex Tsakiris: “Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and on today’s show I have an interview with Dr. Jeff Long, author of, Evidence of the Afterlife.  As you’ll hear, Dr. Long is probably one of the most qualified near-death experience researchers. He’s just compiled a huge body of that research into this book. This guy delivers the goods. I had a chance to interview him a few months ago for the documentary film that I’ve told some of you about that we’re putting together. He’s on top of his game. A medical doctor, well qualified in the field of medicine; also a very accomplished researcher.”

Dr. Jeffrey Long

The interview with Dr. Jeff Long, author of, Evidence of the Afterlife:

Evidence of the Afterlife

This Reincarnated Baby Needed to Speak

This experience was memorialized by the Australian psychic Nicole Cody, on her Cauldrons and Cupcakes blog:

“OKAY, so I’m a psychic.  No secret there.  It’s an odd thing to be in our mostly rational and scientific world, but I’ve come to accept who I am and I live in a way that honours this energy within me.

“Does it define me?  Sometimes.  But I am also more than this particular skillset – and I certainly don’t foist my abilities on the unsuspecting. If people need me, I trust that they will come to me.

“I can’t turn off this flow of psychic information, but I have learned to manage it, so that most of the time it is just background noise. That’s why yesterday rattled my cage a little. During a break I went to a local cafe.  It was quiet and I was the only patron.

 After a while a mother and father entered, with their baby in a pram. The parents were tired and fractious. I looked up only to see who had come into the room, and then went back to my pot of chai and my book.

“Suddenly I had the feeling of being stared at.  I looked up, and into the intense blue eyes of a young baby boy sitting in a highchair – he had craned around to see me. I smiled and then kept reading.  He kept staring. After a while his mum became frustrated with him and kept guiding his attention back to their table.  He kept cranking himself around to stare at me.  It began to get a little weird.

“Finally I left. As I stood at my car the family walked past me. As soon as the little boy saw me he began crying and reaching for me. A series of images flashed through my mind. The mother stopped pushing the pram and her child stopped crying.  

“She started walking and he began to scream, reaching for me, his face turning a mottled purple from his efforts. Help me, I heard his voice in my mind. Tell them.  

His mum stopped again, distressed, and I walked the few steps over and took her child’s outstretched hand. He stopped crying and smiled at me.

“’I don’t know what’s come over him,’ said the baby’s mum. ‘He’s never behaved like this before.’

“’I’m sorry,’ I said, although I did not know why I was apologising.  Before I knew it I’d opened my mouth again.  ‘Your husband’s having trouble sleeping.’  I said it as a fact, knowing I was right.

“’Yes,’ she said.  ‘For months now. Nightmares.  He won’t tell me what about.’

“The images came to my mind thick and fast as her baby son clutched my hand.  Two young boys, barely more than toddlers. Tousle-haired twin brothers. A farm. A gun. A terrible accident.

“’I’m a psychic,’ I said.  ‘Your baby is communicating with me.  He wants your husband to know that he is Jamie.’  It all came out in a rush.  ‘He’s Jamie and it’s all okay and he loves him enormously.’

“‘I wanted to call our baby James, but my husband wouldn’t let me,’ she said. Her voice took on an edge of hysteria. ‘Did I call him the wrong name?’

“Her baby began to scream. The woman slumped against my car, and her husband came running over. ‘Tell him what you just told me,’ she said, in tears, trying to comfort her infant son, who was still gripping tight to my hand.

Crying baby in pram

 “Now I felt beyond awkward, but I repeated what I had said.

“’How can I believe you?’ the man said angrily. I thought he might hit me.

“This is why I don’t do this stuff, I was silently reminding myself, wishing I was anywhere but here…

“I lowered my voice so only he could hear me, briefly explained the images I had seen, and gave him the words in my head – the name of the farm, the year, the make of the car and its colour, the checkered red and black wool rug on the front seat, his own name, and the name of his brother who died in the accident; James.

“Now this big tattooed man began to cry. Through his tears he told me his story. Jamie was this man’s twin brother, killed twenty-six years ago when the boys found a loaded rifle on the front seat of their father’s car. The gun had discharged as they played with it.

“The man had begun having nightmares about the incident he barely remembered from shortly after his wife had conceived.  

He thought it was because he somehow didn’t deserve to be a father – that he might put his child into danger, or fail to protect his child somehow. He had never told his wife about this tragedy from his childhood – the family had never spoken of it again.

“’I always thought he had the same eyes as my brother,’ the man said.  ‘Does he forgive me?’ he asked.

“I nodded. ‘It was an accident.  He wants to be with you now, he wants you as his Dad.  He chose you both. He loves you so much he did all he could to come back and be with you.’

“’Hello mate,’ said his dad. Then he gave the baby a big hug.

“’He won’t remember,’ I continued.  ‘By the time he can talk he will have forgotten who he is.  He’ll just know he’s your son. But he needed you to know.  He needed you to have peace.’

“The baby stopped crying as I stopped speaking. He let go of my hand. Within a minute he was asleep.

“The family walked off, arm in arm, peaceful. They didn’t say anything else to me. They didn’t look back. I stood lonely, depleted and shaken at my car for a moment, and then got in and drove home.  Message delivered.

“Such is my life…

“PS – I felt compelled to google the words ‘James’ and ‘reincarnation’ a little after writing this blog post and I found this. I thought you might find it interesting too.” ♥

The Overview Effect: Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

Jodie Foster, the movie “Contact”

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

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 . . . 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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My Three Brains

Hamlet

Laurence Olivier in “Hamlet”

THOUGHT and consciousness itself is assumed by most neuroanatomists to be created by and located entirely in the physical brain, neatly tucked away inside our skulls.

This insistent worldview is only reinforced by our body language when we always describe thinking by pointing to our heads.

But native cultures never engaged in such assumptions. The traditional Native American view always considered the heart to be the center of thought and motive, pointing to it when referring to thinking.

Then there are those familiar ‘gut-feelings’ we often have. Those compelling instincts, studies show, are more often than not, intuitional signals, even so far as foretelling of some future event. “Two brains may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they make literal and evolutionary sense,” NY Times writer Harriet Brown says. But three brains? That does seem a stretch.

Yet in Theosophy brains can number into the billions. Every cell and organ has a consciousness of its own. The physical heart  also functions as a powerful “brain.”

As stated in The Secret Doctrine (1:274): “Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is consciousi.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Universal Atom

And in her article “Kosmic Mind” H. P. Blavatsky wrote:  There is “consciousness in every universal atom . . . every atom is a little universe in itself; and every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers.”

“Groundbreaking research in the field of neurocardiology has established that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “heart brain.” (Neurocardiology-Anatomical and Functional Principles, by J. Andrew Armour, M.D., Ph.D.)

“Heart-Brain”

Confirming this triune constitution Mme. Blavatsky explained “there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme . . . or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and inter-blended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. . . . Each of these three systems has its own laws.” [Corresponding to heart, brain and gut] (The Secret Doctrine 1:181).

[Like the heart], “the enteric nervous system [the gut] must assess conditions, decide on a course of action and initiate a reflex.  And does all this on its own, with little help from the central nervous system.”

Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung

Undeterred, most neuroscientists continue to diligently barrel along cataloging what they insist are ‘the neural correlates of consciousness’ in the brain, and seem determined to prove that these neurons are the sole authors of our thoughts and feelings, isolated exclusively in the fatty workshop between our ears.

This consensus view dictates that when we die everything we are or learned disappears forever — including our soul and our individual ‘I am I’ consciousness. But this reductionist view of mind and consciousness is losing favor with many research scientists on the leading edge today, and may be about to radically change.

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Life After Death, the Persistence of Consciousness

The invisible physical.

ANYONE who believes in reincarnation accepts that life can continue to exist without a visible physical form. And that consciousness can exist without a neuron filled physical brain.

Both concepts are still a challenge for the standard model of modern science which “believes not in the soul of things,” as H. P. Blavatsky declared in her monumental work The Secret Doctrine, (1:272)

The problem is directly related to the controversial “hard problem of consciousness,” formulated by the philosopher David Chalmers.

Mme. Blavatsky had already unveiled the problem by declaring that “the whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences, depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.” (The Secret Doctrine 2:149)

“This astral body is the prototype, or design, around which the physical body is built, and which, considered from the point of view of the powers, is the real physical body. Without it the physical body would be nothing but a mass of matter—” 

Our Real Senses

“It is the astral body which contains the organs, or centers from which the organs have been evolved in accord with the needs of the thinker within. The real senses of man are not in the physical but in the astral body. The astral body lasts a little over one lifetime. It does not die when the physical body dies, but is used as a body in the immediate after-death states.”  – Robert Crosbie, (Universal Theosophy)

Thus, most mainstream scientists will not even approach the possibility that consciousness might exist as a separate entity from the physical brain and body, because they believe that mind and thoughts can only arise from activity within the visible physical. A kind of dogmatic religious belief.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson refers to this position as a “pathological disbelief” within the scientific establishment. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton in his “The Biology of Belief,” describes their position as:

“I wouldn’t believe it
even if it were true!”  

In contrast Theosophy teaches that life and consciousness cannot be created or destroyed. And further that the duration between lifetimes of the same individual immortal consciousness is not just the 15 or 20  minutes of some near-death studies.

Reincarnation into a new physical body varies from a few hours or weeks, up to 1, 500 years or more (or less), depending on the spiritual, mental and emotional development of the Soul, and also especially the age of the person.

“If our physiologists find the cause of dreams and visions in an unconscious preparation for them during the waking hours,” Mme. Blavatsky asks in The Key to Theosophy p. 165, Section 9, “why cannot the same be admitted for the post-mortem dreams? I repeat it: death is sleep.”

Children who have died early, as a rule tend to be reborn quickly, Blavatsky says, as they do not have many current life experiences that would hold them in the after-death dream state. 

The after-death dream lasts, according to the Master K.H. (Notes on Devachan, 249), only “until Karma is satisfied” and  “is proportionate to the unexhausted psychic impulses originating in earth life.” (W. Q. Judge, How Soon do we Reincarnate?)

But, who knows for certain, and how to they know? According to The Secret Doctrine, Summing Upknowing hidden truths is acquired using the power exercised by initiated Seers, which includes all the great Masters of Life such as Buddha, Krishna, Jesus,Lao Tsu, etc. Blavatsky explained:

“The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated
into the very kernel of matter, and recorded
the soul of things there.”

Further: “It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers,” (The Secret Doctrine 1:272), “whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.”

(For more info see: How Soon do we Reincarnate?)

lineofmanybuddhas

Line of many Buddhas.

Now a team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische University of Berlin announced they had proven, by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death.

“This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.

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The Perpetual Motion of the Universe

“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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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.

juliabutterflyhill

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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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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The Psychology of Reincarnation: Prodigious Prodigies

Emily Bear

EMILY BEAR is a pianist and composer from Rockford, Illinois. Wikipedia explains:

“When Emily was 2 years old, her grandmother recognized her talent at the piano. Bear began to study with Emilio del Rosario at the Music Institute of Chicago.

“Within 4 years she was enrolled for study of classical music at the Winnetka campus.

“Bear started to compose her own music at the age of three. At 8 years, she has already composed more than 350 pieces – and much of her work – both composition and improvisation – is of the more difficult, 20th Century genre, inclusive of Jazz elements.”

Below, a Six-year old Emily Bear has wowed audiences from the White House to her own house. Playing the piano since age 3, Emily also composes her own music. Has WGN-TV discovered the next Mozart? Or, possibly, the former Mozart?

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Life After Death: Don’t Blame it on Religion

lifealiveBELIEF in reincarnation also implies that one believes that life and consciousness can exist without a physical body.

This is still a very difficult if not impossible concept for science today.

Most mainstream science cannot even accept the possibility that consciousness can exist separate from the physical brain, because they believe it is created in the neurons.

In contrast Theosophy teaches that life and consciousness cannot be created or destroyed. And further that the duration between lifetimes of the same individual immortal consciousness is not just 15 or 20  minutes as in scientific studies.

Reincarnation into a new physical body varies from a few hours or weeks, to 1, 500 years and more, depending on the spiritual, mental and emotional development, and also especially the age of someone. Children who have died tragically, as a rule tend to be reborn quickly.

Who knows this to be a fact, and how to they know? According to The Secret Doctrine knowing hidden truths is acquired through the power exercised by initiated Seers, including great Masters such as Buddha and Krishna. 

“The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated
into the very kernel of matter, and recorded
the soul of things there . . . But modern science
believes not in the ‘soul of things.'”

Further: “It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers,” The Secret Doctrine 1:272 declares, “whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.”

(More info see: How Soon do we Reincarnate?)

lineofmanybuddhas

Line of many Buddhas.

Now a team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische University of Berlin announced they had proven, by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death.

“This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.

Continue reading