Tag Archives: altruism

The Theosophical Roots of a Spiritual Education

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Growing Imagination

THE emergence of a new spiritual epoch in education may have dawned far back in the late 19th century driven by Theosophical principles.

New educational reforms encompassing spiritual development are evident in the formation of new schools today, many of which embody the eternal principles championed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.

“In many countries, educational reforms are taking place to consider the changing needs of 21st century learners,” writes Canadian theosophist Kathleen Hall in The Theosophical Roots of Spiritual Education, noting how:

“The old factory model of education that was mainly concerned with churning out obedient workers no longer suits the needs of today’s world.”

The principles defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy, raised the educational bar, both then and now .Children should above all be taught self-reliance,” she declared, “love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.”

Adding: “We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities …

meditation_dalai-lama

Meditation

“Deal with each child as a unit and educate it so as to produce the most harmonious and equal unfoldment of its powers, in order that its special aptitudes should find their full natural development; Aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish.” (Theosophy and Education).

“The object of modern education is to pass examinations, a system [adapted] not to develop right emulation, but to generate and breed jealousy, envy, hatred almost, in young people for one another, and thus train them for a life of ferocious selfishness and struggle for honours and emoluments instead of kindly feeling.”

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Compassion Absolute, or Sin of Separateness?

TIME and tide wait for no man according to Geoffrey Chaucer, nor do such supreme powers submit to the dictates of  modern despots, gods or saviors.

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.

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 wastes 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.

“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 a 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 refuse 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.”

“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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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.”

indian-rope-trick

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.

dionne-psychic-game

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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Unfolding Children’s Powers: Music and the Brain

Child-Playing-PianoTHE emergence of a new spiritual epoch may have dawned far back in the late 19th century driven by Theosophical principles.

New educational reforms encompassing spiritual development are evident in the formation of visionary new schools today, public and private sector, many of which embody the eternal principles championed by H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy.

“In many countries, educational reforms are taking place to consider the changing needs of 21st century learners,” writes Canadian theosophist Kathleen Hall in The Theosophical Roots of Spiritual Education, noting how:

“The old factory model of education that was mainly concerned with churning out obedient workers no longer suits the needs of today’s world.”

The principles defined by Madame Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy, raised the educational bar, both then and now .Children should above all be taught self-reliance,” she declared, “love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.”

Adding: “We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities …

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Karma: The Law of Empathy and Ethical Causation

Harold Copping, “The Widows Mite”

EVER mounting research reveals that you cannot separate your health from your emotions, explains Dr. Joseph Mercola, a prominent alternative medicine advocate.

“Numerous studies support the idea that having an upbeat and positive perspective,” he says, “can translate into living a longer healthier life.” This view aligns exactly with that of Theosophy.

Manifesting positive emotions and happiness “is perhaps one of the greatest gifts you have been given as a human being,” Mercola writes, “but to some extent, being happy is a choice you need to make.”

“Much like choosing to exercise or eat right. Happiness comes from within — it’s not meted out by circumstance alone.”

The Sanskrit word Karma has many meanings, and has a special aspect for almost every one of its manifestations according to Theosophy. As a synonym of sin, an action for the attainment of personal selfish desire, “it cannot fail to be hurtful” to almost everyone. 

altruism

Yet karma is also “the law of ethical causation,” Theosophical Pioneer William Q. Judge wrote. The effect of an act produced egotistically, against the great law of harmony, as opposed to that initiated by altruism instead of selfishness, cannot fail to be destructive.

In reality the condition is not inevitable. “No one has a right to say that he can do nothing for others, on any pretext whatever,” Theosophical pioneer H. P. Blavatsky explains in her Key to Theosophy. The poor widow in the Synoptic Gospels gives everything she had, she points out, while others give only a small portion of their own wealth: “A cup of cold water given in time to a thirsty wayfarer

“is a nobler duty and more worth than a dozen dinners given away, out of season, to men who can afford to pay for them.”

drinkofwater

Cold Water

Following Mme. Blavatsky’s death in 1891, an editorial published in the New York Daily Tribune (founded by Horace Greeley) said of her life and work: “Madame Blavatsky held that the regeneration of mankind must be based upon the development of altruism.”

“In this she was at one with the greatest thinkers, not alone of the present day, but of all time,” the Editorial acknowledged.

“And, it is becoming more and more apparent, at one with the strongest spiritual tendencies of the age. This alone would entitle her teachings to the candid and serious consideration of all who respect the influences that make for righteousness.”

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The Meditation of Altruistic Love and Compassion

Luna: Dancing Krishna

Luna: Dancing Krishna

“TO whatsoever object the inconstant mind goeth out,” Krishna teaches Arjuna in the Bhgavad-Gita, “subdue it, bring it back, and place it upon the Spirit.”

‘Will and Desire lie at the doors of Meditation and Concentration,” explains William Q. Judge.  (Meditation, Concentration, Will)

“If we desire truth with the same intensity that we had formerly wished for success, money, or gratification,” Judge wrote, “we will speedily acquire meditation and possess concentration.

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

“Let us meditate on that which is in us as the Highest Self, concentrate upon it, and will to work for it as dwelling in every human heart.”

There are many self-styled gurus and yogis today who instruct in meditation. Matthieu Ricard is unusual. A Buddhist monk who left a career in cellular genetics to study Buddhism in the Himalayas over forty-five years ago.

Krishna & Arjuna

Krishna and Arjuna

‘He is an internationally bestselling author and an active participant in the current scientific research of the effects of meditation on the brain. He lives in Nepal and devotes most of his time to 140 humanitarian projects in Tibet, Nepal and India.

“In Meng’s words, Matthieu is a true gem in this world. He may be the world’s best bridge between modern science and ancient wisdom.”

‘Matthieu introduces the concept of meditation and leads a practice that includes mindful breathing, altruistic love, compassion, rejoicing and impartiality. He concludes emphasizing the value of caring mindfulness.’

In this video clip, a session of questions and answers followed the meditation.

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Theosophy Ethics: Crystal Clear, Inspiring, Challenging, Noble, Uncompromising, and Empathic

compassion

Tenzin Gyatso 14th Dalai Lama

EQUAL justice to all and love to every creature are not the highest virtues  in Theosophy according to its original resuscitator and promoter.

In her Key to Theosophy H. P. Blavatsky held to a “far higher” standard, “the giving to other more than to oneself, i.e. self-sacrifice.”

“Such was the standard and abounding measure which marked so preeminently the greatest Teachers and Masters of Humanity,” she wrote, “Gautama Buddha in History, and Jesus of Nazareth as in the Gospels.”

“This trait alone was enough to secure to them the perpetual reverence and gratitude of the generations of men that came after them,” she insisted, noting “there are many instances to illustrate it in history.”

“It often surprises people who have had no direct involvement with the Theosophical Movement to learn and discover the tremendous and constant emphasis on altruism, selflessness, service, ethics, morals, and purity of life, which permeates all Theosophical teachings,” the Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK explains.

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“It would be no exaggeration to say that the philosophy and system of ethics propounded by H.P. Blavatsky and in the teachings of Theosophy in general is just as grand, crystal clear, inspiring, challenging, noble, uncompromising, and emphatic, as that presented by Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, or any of the other great Saviours and Teachers, if not even more so,” they write.

“Self-sacrifice for practical good to save many, or several people, Theosophy holds, is far higher than self-abnegation for a sectarian idea, such as that of ‘saving the heathen from damnation,’ for instance,” Blavatsky declared.

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