Tag Archives: altruism

The Wonder of Life: The Great Inscrutable Mystery

Botticelli: Primavera

Botticelli: Primavera

WE are repulsed by a report of a terrorist beheading. David Brooks wrote about it in a NY Times Opinion, in which he concludes that “the body has a spiritual essence.”

“The human head and body don’t just live and pass along genes,” Brooks writes: “They paint, make ethical judgments, savor the beauty of a sunset and experience the transcendent.”

Sounding more like a student of Theosophy than a cultural and political commentator Brooks adds:

“The body is material but surpasses the material. It’s spiritualized matter.”

“Most of us, religious or secular,” Brooks wrote in his NY Times article The Body and the Spirit, “have some instinctive sense that there is a ghost infused in the machine. And because the human body is a transcendent temple it is worthy of respect. It is offensive to treat it the way you would treat an inanimate object.”

“Even after a person is dead, the body still carries the residue of this presence and deserves dignified handling.”

Similarly, H. P. Blavatsky quoted Thomas Carlyle: “‘we touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!'” … “How does our physical body come to the state of perfection it is found in now?,” she asks, and answers: “Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never through, or from, animals, as taught by materialism.”

Further quoting Carlyle: — ‘The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself  ‘I,’ — what words have we for such things? — it is a breath of Heaven, the highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for the unnamed?'”

Botticelli, Birth of Venus

Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus

“The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life is, as Novalis said, and no one since has said it better, as repeated by Carlyle: —

“There is but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form . . . . We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!”

‘If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact — the expression of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles — the great inscrutable Mystery.’ 

(Blavatsky adds): “The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life, called in the bible Nephesh, is in every animal, in every animate speck as in every mineral atom.”

(The Secret Doctrine 1:211-12)

human-anatomy-07

Intelligent Design?

Quoting Thomas Carlyle directly:

“But none of these has, like man, the consciousness of the nature of that highest Being, as none has that divine harmony in its form which man possesses. There is but one temple in the universe, says the devout
Novalis, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form.”

“We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body! This sounds like a mere flourish of rhetoric but it is not so.”

“If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact; the expression in such words as can be had, of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles,— the great inscrutable Mystery of God. We cannot understand it, we know not how to speak of it; but we may feel and know, if we like, that it is verily so.”

(Thomas Carlyle, Ch. 1, Hero as Divinity)

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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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The Definition of “Life” Revealed

WE live on a planet constantly in motion, and except for the occasional natural catastrophe, it is usually a very slow, orderly motion.

The Earth is billions of years old and still in the making—glacial cycles come and go, continents move, mountains form and crumble. Yet Life persists.

Modern Science has, for decades, tried to sell us every soulless theory they could, from the ‘big bang,’ to the chemical origin of life, and a gravity-driven universe.

Our current dogmatic science ought to fear approaching the problem of life’s origins. Their hypothetical models always postulate random events, and chance mutations, in a hostile universe — a cosmos without conscience, consciousness or spiritual life.

All new theories lead up blind alleys. How Earth formed, how life arose. All we are offered is endless speculation, and the stunningly unscientific approach that, instead of welcoming new ideas, refuses to follow where the evidence leads.

And what life is in its most essential essence, continues to be the most ignored problem in science.

The mainstream theorists have so far been content with a soulless stew of blind matter, which has neither intelligent design or purpose. But these have led nowhere in explaining the many mysteries hidden in everyday life.

Spirit, Mind and Matter

In stark contrast, Theosophy teaches that ‘life’ did not have to be created, but is a universal principle, and underlies the universe both macro and micro. Life only ‘arises’ to our attention according to science under rigid conditions.

“Life must conform to a chance based material worldview, measurable by laboratory instruments, and judged by our human physical senses.”

§

But life is really a dynamic interaction between the forces of spirit, mind and matter, Theosophy says, and develops its forms via patterns embedded in an indwelling, divine evolutionary plan.  A great mystery recently was discovered challenging the foundations of modern scientific principles.

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Not Instinctual Machines: Animals Feel and Think

Best Friends

ANIMALS are just instinctual machines, many people believe. But this is not the conclusion of some new controlled scientific studies.

Such studies suggest there are powerful spiritual and intellectual forces embedded in all the kingdoms of nature, as Theosophy maintains.

In the 17th Century, René Descartes, is dubbed “the father of modern Western philosophy.” And according to Wikipedia:  “Much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day.”  But our errant intellectual patriarch, as will be shown, started us believing all the wrong way about consciousness. soul and spirit.

“Descartes held the living animal as being simply an automaton,” H. P. Blavatsky commented, “a ‘well wound up clock-work,’ according to Malebranche” — then countered with pointed sarcasm:

One who adopts the Cartesian theory about the animal, would do as well to accept at once the views of the modern materialists.

“But if the animal is an ‘automaton,’ why not Man?” Blavatsky argues. “Thus we find metaphysical Descartes as inconsistent as any one.”

René Descartes

“The animal may think and know it thinks, the more keenly that it cannot speak, and express its thoughts,” Blavatsky insisted. “One thing is shown however by the exact observations of naturalists and that is, that the animal is endowed with intelligence; and once this is settled, we have but to repeat Thomas Aquinas’ definition of intelligence – ‘the prerogative of man’s immortal soul’ – to see that the same is due to the animal.”

(H. P. Blavatsky, Have Animals Souls?)

Koko and Tabby

A woman who clearly did not subscribe to the Cartesian theory, found a young lion injured in the forest on the brink of death. In her compassion for the animal she took it home with her and nursed it back to health.

Later she made arrangements with an animal rescue group to take the lion.

Some time passed before the woman had a chance to visit. A video was taken when she walked up to the lion’s cage to see how he was doing. Watch the lion’s reaction when he sees her!

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Opening the Spiritual Eye: Piercing the Illusion of Reality

Fortune Teller

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 rider and horse — 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 says. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”

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The Theosophical Roots of a Spiritual Education

intelligentdesign

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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