Tag Archives: Buddha

Neuroplasticity: Carving Out New Brain Paths

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

BREAKING up is hard to do especially when it comes to ingrained scientific worldviews.

Even after they have betrayed us, dogmatic style beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche, and our brains, despite all logic.

Recall the insistent flat earth and geocentric crowd, and creationist belief that the Earth is only ten thousand years old.

The list is very long. Science is littered with the remains of once sacred cows.

Until only a few years ago, for example, it was asserted that the brain cannot grow new cells —

when they are gone they
are gone for good!

Challenging this cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, science now confirms that in fact adult brain cells keep growing after all!

H. P. Blavatsky explained: “The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms [neurons?] of the brain.” Yet, “in ordinary intellectual activity, moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance.”

neurofeedback

She then noted that a “new kind of mental effort calls for something very different — the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives.”

Her idea was, unmistakably, a preemptive nod to our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of “neuroplasticity” —

“… the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”(Wikipedia) This fact of occult science began to be recognized thanks to the findings of Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, called “the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity.”

These “now commonly accepted concepts, [were]  novel ideas when [he] first conceived of them [70 years after Blavatsky] in the 1960’s.” (Salus University)

Neurons

The world of brain science was forever changed. Yet, “the scale of change [in the brain] is much smaller than what goes on during the critical period of development,” said a study co-author Elly Nedivi, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) —

“but the fact that it goes on at all,
is earth-shattering.”

The truth is that neuroscientists today are completely baffled by how the brain is able to organize itself so perfectly.

Yet, the word “science” comes from the Latin word “scire” which means to know. “Science” is supposed to be a systematic, organized way of investigating the world. The catch is when specialized learning turns into a dogmatic worldview, it then becomes an end-in-itself — distorting what might have resulted in a more holistic truth.

With persistent reference to occult science Blavatsky insisted (SD 1:14), that “consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change,”  and, “motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic.”

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The Healing Power of Reincarnation and Karma, Part 2

scrooge

Scrooge

WHAT thousands of honest employees in that Enron scandal revealed back in 2001 is they paid by association dearly for the misdeeds at the top of their corporate leadership.

Maybe most of the non-managerial staff were ‘innocent’ hardworking employees — possibly others of them knew what was going on but chose to remain silent.

Either way, the lesson was clear: No one is ever secure working for a company whose administration has lost its moral compass. But, whether or not this is fair, is not the broader issue.

Such effects trigger larger questions: ‘whose Karma is it anyway?’ And: ‘how can such behaviors and unintended consequences be prevented in the future?’

But if Exodus (34:6-7)  is correct (karmically speaking): 

I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.

Can events suffered by one generation really affect future generations? Is there no Karmic relief? Are we as humans to be forever haunted by the specter of an Ebeneezer Scrooge karmic revenger? Human genetic biology may hold the answer to this question in the form of potentiated memories, the consequential remainder of our former unremembered responsibilities.

Our Karmic Inheritance

“Occultism teaches that the life-atoms [DNA] of our (Prana) life-principle are never entirely lost when a [person] dies.” And Blavatsky explains how this occurs in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.656:

The atoms [in the genes?] impregnated with the life-principle (an independent, eternal, conscious factor) — are partially transmitted from father to son by heredity …

“They are partially drawn once more together,” she says, “and become the animating principle of the new body in every new incarnation…”

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The Buddha Consciousness: A Triumph of the Human Spirit

child-buddha-smile

Laughing Child

FACED with misery and death, journalist-editor Norman Cousins famously laughed his way out of the hospital, and healed himself of a life-threatening illness.

His groundbreaking book Anatomy of an Illness, about the healing effects of laughter using humor and positive emotions to boost the bodies’ capacity for healing, jump-started an era of mind-body medicine that continues today.

That was more than 30 years ago. But Gautama Buddha had preached the same power of healing and happiness through positive thinking over 2,500 years earlier.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, Buddha is quoted as teaching, but the flame will not be diminished. The world’s greatest spiritual coach enthusiastically assured his followers:

Happiness never decreases
by being shared.

Western cognitive sciences are only just beginning to understand the subtle yet overarching power of the psycho-physiological power of thought, of intention and feeling, the importance of it being understood and taught by all ancient sages down the ages.

One Candle Lighting Another

Respect life as those do who desire it,” declares the ancient spiritual psychology of Light on the Path, challenging the student to remain unselfish, and to

…be happy as those are
who live for happiness.

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Tales of Enlightenment: Buddha’s Dog, and Mahatma of the Himavat

Buddha and His Dog

ASANGA gave up. Twelve long years of meditation and spiritual practices, and still no vision of the future Buddha Maitreya.

He yearned to connect with Maitreya to receive teaching directly, which would accelerate his progress on the Bodhisattva path.

Asaṅga was “one of the most important spiritual figures”of Mahayana Buddhism and the “founder of the Yogacara school” who promoted Mahayana teachings on the bodhisattva path. (Wikipedia)

“Every new Bodhisattva or initiated great Adept is called the ‘liberator of mankind,’ Helena Blavatsky explains in footnote (20) in The Voice of the Silence:

“Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva,” she wrote, “Compassion speaks and saith: ‘Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?’”

In footnote (34) on Gautama Buddha, Mme. Blavatsky declared:

“To be enabled to help humanity, an Adept who has won the right to Nirvâna, ‘renounces the Dharmakâya body’ in mystic parlance; keeps, of the Sambhogakâya, only the great and complete knowledge, and remains in his Nirmânakâya body. 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.”

Asanga

After the first three years of spiritual practices to no avail, Asanga left his solitary cave, disheartened. But then he saw a little bird pecking a hole in a rock to build a nest in it, and he felt ashamed at his lack of persistence. He went back up to his cave.

birdnest

A Rock Nest

After the next three years, Asanga gave up again. As he descended the mountain, he met a man who was grinding down a thick rod of iron with a cloth to make needles. When the man showed him some needles he’d already made this way, Asanga hung his head and went back up the mountain.

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Pulsation of the Manifested God in Nature

ONE LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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