Tag Archives: Buddha

The Self-Awakened State, a Visceral Knowing

Star Gazer

ASTRONAUT Edgar Mitchell’s epiphany struck when he looked out the window of his spacecraft at the Earth, Moon, and Sun, surrounded by an infinitely vast universe.

Suddenly it came to him that the molecules and cells of our bodies “must have had their origin in those faraway stars.”

It was at that moment an overwhelming realization of the interconnectedness of all life dawned on him.

It was a life-altering flash of insight — not an “intellectual knowledge,” he said, but a “visceral knowing:”

It was accompanied by a very blissful feeling that I had never experienced before.

This feeling is sometimes called the ‘overview effect.’ “The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space.  It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, ‘hanging in the void’, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.”

This is doubtless the ideal evoked by the original First Object of the Theosophical Movement: (Objects of the Theosophical Society)

To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.

Indeed: “From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this ‘pale blue dot’ becomes both obvious and imperative.” (Wikipedia)

Sun, Earth, Moon, and Stars.

Dr. Mitchell describes being completely engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness, in the below video excerpt from Renée Scheltema’s visionary film, Something Unknown is Doing We Don’t Know What.

Having had the life-changing experience of the Overview Effect, the former astronaut, along with parapsychologist Charles Tart, attempt to interpret the non-linear feelings and insights for the rest of us.

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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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Kangaroo Care and The Healing Heart

Kangaroo Care

STUDENTS of Theosophy are sometimes called to task by some for being overly metaphysical or ‘intellectual.’

It may be true that some students of Theosophy prefer to use the force of their intellect to hammer out meanings, and have a purely intellectual discussion.

That means not consulting their feelings or emotions which are deemed lesser powers from the human ‘lower nature’ and therefore unreliable.

But W. Q. Judge was not of that opinion. He wrote in the Ocean of Theosophy that “intellect alone is cold, heartless and selfish.” The truth of this is shown today by studies of neurological correlates in the physical brain. Similarly, Mr. Judge, back in the day, insisted that if we can live “according to the dictates of the soul

the brain may at least be made porous to the soul’s recollections — if the contrary sort of a life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence.

Materialistic and intellectual data are stored in the lower mind and desire body, and such grosser data does not stimulate higher areas as the pineal gland in the brain. The mysterious ‘third eye’ whose vehicle is the pineal gland, is known by occultists to transmit spiritual powers including intuition and compassion.

Pituitary and Pineal Glands

Our Dual Nature

We are spiritual beings at our core, but our behaviors on this physical plane — just like the actions of the horse guided by the rider — are determined solely by how we have entrained our psychic and physical instruments.

“No physiologist, not even the cleverest,” Blavatsky wrote, “will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the noëtic or the manasic, or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane – unless he knows something of, and is prepared to admit the presence of this dual element.” 

– H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noëtic Action

Horse and Rider

“There are persons,” H. P. Blavatsky writes, “who never think with the higher faculties of their minds at all.” (Studies in Occultism)

This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist — the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied — to raise himself,

“Or for one who is naturally spiritually-minded to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought,” she wrote. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”

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Laws of Karma and the Sin of Separateness

Child King Canute?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A tide in the affairs of men.

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

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

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

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

Atlantis

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

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

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

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

Mother Teresa

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

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

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

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Life on Spaceship Earth and the Overview Effect

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Where Are We Going? -The Law of Love Eternal

Kwan-Yin (Chinese: 觀音, Guānyīn) is the female bodhisattva of compassion.

Kwan-Yin (Chinese: 觀音, Guānyīn) is the female Bodhisattva of compassion.

COMPASSION has been compared to the innocent act of helping someone you don’t know. It cannot be forced.

When absent, like the power of love, life can not go on. “Love can exist without form,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote, “but no form can exist without Love. The same for Compassion, the ‘Law of Laws’.

(Love With an Object)

Love is an immortal power which is beyond mere human creation. Nor can it be compared to one of the dogmas invented by religion, nor is it merely a causal neuronal attribute of thinking or emotion as in materialism.

As with Universal Compassion, Love is an inherent core force, a Universal Spiritual Law of Life as declared in the ancient scripture Book of the Golden Precepts, on which The Voice of the Silence is based — transcendent and beyond any man-made scientific or religious dogmas.

The phrase used in Theosophy to define Universal Compassion is found in The Voice of the Silence: “the Law of Laws.” It is the primary and most compelling of its spiritual Precepts. (Fragment III, The Seven Portals):

Canst thou destroy divine compassion? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws — eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

“The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute.”

Buddha of Compassion

When exercised purely and impersonally this power lies beyond the partisan beliefs of either atheist or religionist, and always exhibits itself by emanating “The light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things—the law of love eternal.” Is this Law not something we most need today? 

Without love and compassion, the soul is missing. In the first volume of Isis Unveiled, p. 318, H. P. Blavatsky declared: “When one falls into a love of self [narcissism] and love of the world, with its pleasures, losing the divine love of God and of the neighbor, he falls from life to death.”

The higher principles which constitute the essential elements of his humanity perish, and he lives only on the natural plane of his faculties. Physically he exists, spiritually he is dead.

“To all that pertain to the higher and the only enduring phase of existence he is as much dead as his body becomes dead to all the activities, delights, and sensations of the world when the spirit has left it. This spiritual death results from disobedience of the laws of spiritual life, which is followed by the same penalty as the disobedience of the laws of the natural life.”

The opposite pole is represented by the great compassionate Adepts such as Buddha and Kwan-Yin. The Buddha in The Voice of the Silence, Fragment III as Mme. Blavatsky explained “The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is … higher than whom … on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind, there is none known.”

Kwan-Yin seated on a lotus flower.

The Kwan-Yin Pledge

Never will I seek nor receive private, individual salvation; never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the redemption of every creature throughout the world.

The universal power of Compassion is also described as a “shoreless universal essence.” The idea refers to a spiritual substance called in Sanskrit the Ākāśa, defined as “The subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space; the primordial substance.”

Such is the understanding of modern theosophical students who study The Voice of the Silence, based on the ancient Golden Precepts as translated and arranged by H. P. Blavatsky.

The Charter for Compassion

Our higher mind or Higher Ego, H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her article Psychic and Noetic Action:

is part of the essence of the UNIVERSAL MIND, is unconditionally omniscient on its own plane, and only potentially so in our terrestrial sphere, as it has to act solely through its alter ego – the Personal Self.

The Charter for Compassion (Wikipedia) is a document that urges the peoples and religions of the world to embrace the core value of compassion. The charter currently is available in more than 30 languages and has been endorsed by more than two million individuals around the globe. (Author: Karen Armstrong)

Divine Compassion

As such, divine consciousness has “to be regarded as activity of our mind on another and a higher plane, working through something less substantial than the moving molecules of the brain. It cannot be explained as the simple resultant of the cerebral physiological process [which] only condition them or give them a final form for purposes of concrete manifestation.”

No physiologist, not even the cleverest, will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation.

(Psychic and Noëtic Action)

Atlantic Theater Company, “Through a Glass Darkly”

Nor will they be able to understand the duality “of the psychic and the noetic,” says Blavatsky, “or even comprehend the intricacies of the psychic on the purely material plane…

unless they know something of and are prepared to admit, the presence of this dual element.

This means, she asserts, that psychologists will have to accept “a lower (animal), and a higher (or divine) mind in man, or what is known in Occultism as the ‘personal’ and the ‘impersonal’ Egos.”

“There is no such thing as ‘righteous anger'”, wrote William Q. Judge in (Culture of Concentration Part 1). “Whether your ‘rights’ have been unjustly and flagrantly invaded or not does not matter.  Anger must be strictly avoided, and it cannot be avoided unless charity and love – absolute toleration – are cultivated.” 

No More Blame

“The personal element is one that ever has a tendency to delude us as it hides behind various walls and clothes itself in the faults, real or imaginary, of others.” (Letters That Have Helped Me, W. Q. Judge)

To Think, or Not

“Self-consciousness, which from the animal plane looking upward is the beginning of perfection, from the divine plane looking downward is the perfection of selfishness and the curse of separateness. It is the ‘world of illusion’ that man has created for himself.”

La Belle Sauvage

“The faculty of every Ego which considers itself a Unit, separate from and independent of the One Infinite and Eternal Sat or ‘be-ness,’ is an illusion. The ‘eternal pilgrim’ must, therefore, mount higher, and flee from the plane of self-consciousness it has struggled so hard to reach.”

– William Q. Judge, The Synthesis of Occult Science I

Taking Sides

The right hemisphere of the brain is the organ to express compassion and feelings. It is “big picture” oriented and where imagination rules, symbols and images, present and future, philosophy and religion—can “get it” (i.e. meaning).

Beliefs, appreciation, spatial perception, knowing an object’s function, also find activity in the right side of the brain.

Duality Rules

Based on fantasy, the right hemisphere also reflects possibilities and is active during impetuous, risk-taking.

The left hemisphere activates with the use of logic, is detail oriented and facts, words, and language, present and past, math and science rule. It is activated when reasoned knowing is present.

Arjuna

It allows for the acknowledgment of order and patterns, knows object names, is reality-based, and forms practical strategies.

A Parable of Sowing and Reaping 

Sow a Thought
Reap an Act,
Sow an Act
Reap a Habit,
Sow a Habit
Reap a Character,
Sow a Character
Reap a Destiny.

On the significance of Karma and Reincarnation In The Key to Theosophy, we are warned that “Karma, with its army of Skandhas [personal tendencies], waits at the threshold of Devachan [Heaven], whence the Ego [Soul] re-emerges to assume a new incarnation. It is at this moment that the future destiny of the now-rested Ego trembles in the scales of just Retribution, as it now falls once again under the sway of active Karmic law.”

Psychic and Noetic

“Between the psychic and the noetic,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

between the personality and the individuality, there exists the same abyss as between a ‘Jack the Ripper,’ and a holy Buddha.

Macbeth

“Unless the physiologist accepts all this, we say, he will ever be led into a quagmire,” she writes. “We intend to prove it.”

(Psychic and Noëtic Action)

The Network of Destiny

“Yes; ‘our destiny is written in the stars!’, Blavatsky wrote in The Secret Doctrine 1:639. “Only, the closer the union between the mortal reflection man and his celestial prototype [Higher Self], the less dangerous the external conditions and subsequent reincarnations — which neither Buddhas nor Christs can escape.”

And in Her Five Messages to American Theosophists, she delivered a stern warning the everyone would do well to heed: 

Ethics sink into and take hold of the real person—the reincarnating Ego. 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.

Dueling Minds

W. Q. Judge, The Ocean Of Theosophy, Ch VII.

“Manas [Sanskrit], or the Thinker, is the reincarnating being, the immortal who carries the results and values of all the different lives lived on earth or elsewhere.

“Its nature becomes dual
as soon as it is attached to a body.”

“For the human brain is a superior organism and Manas [Sk. the mind] uses it to reason from premises to conclusions.”

Many Faces

“The lower, and purely intellectual, is nearest to the principle of Desire,” writes Judge, “and is thus distinguished from its other side which has affinity for the spiritual principles above.”

“If the Thinker, then, becomes wholly intellectual, the entire nature begins to tend downward — for intellect alone is cold, heartless, selfish …”

The Three Faces of Eve

The intellect, W. Q. Judge says, “is the lower aspect of the Thinker or Manas, and not, as some have supposed, the highest and best gift belonging to man.”

Its other, and in theosophy higher, aspect is the intuitional, which knows, and does not depend on reason.

Chapter 7, The Ocean of Theosophy
by William Q. Judge

Life in Stages

by H. P. Blavatsky

“One night the actor, or ‘Ego,’ appears as ‘Macbeth,’ the next as ‘Shylock,’ the third as ‘Romeo,’ the fourth as ‘Hamlet’ or ‘King Lear,’ and so on, until he has run through the whole cycle of incarnations.

King Lear

“The Ego begins his life-pilgrimage as a sprite, an ‘Ariel,’ or a ‘Puck’— he plays the part of a super, is a soldier, a servant, one of the chorus — rises then to ‘speaking parts,’ plays leading roles, interspersed with insignificant parts — till he finally retires from the stage as ‘Prospero,’ the magician.” 

The Personas

The physical body and brain are new in each life, and can have no memory of the past life of the True Ego.

Personas

In Theosophy, one’s True Ego or permanent individuality can be also thought of as one’s ‘character’…

The character is a continuous, collective reminiscence, often unconscious, the fruit of numberless and varied experiences over many lifetimes.

Character, the “Master Soul,” may have thousands of struggling apprentices over as many lifetimes.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

“All is impermanent in man except the pure bright essence of Alaya [Master Soul],” says the Book of the Golden Precepts.

Man is its crystal ray; a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower surface.

“That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self. Thy Soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body; control and master both, and thou art safe when crossing to the nearing ‘Gate of Balance.'”

The Voice of the Silence, Fragment III

Who Are We?

Buddha’s favorite disciple, Ananda, and Krishna’s Arjuna were exceptional, in that they were able to assimilate their essence to the Master. Thus they added to the powers of the Master, and by that means strengthened their own immortality. That would be a win-win for humanity and the planet if were achieved.

The Buddha-Nature