Tag Archives: Buddha

Thoughts are Things: Attitude is Altitude

© Lois Greenfield

THE uplifting adage ‘attitude is altitude’ pinpoints how the power of positive thinking can improve every aspect of our lives, using a simple but underutilized power we all possess.

“For decades, scientists have tried to test the power of prayer and positive thinking, with mixed results,” writes NPR National Desk religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty about a study on the science of spirituality.

“Now some scientists,” she writes, “are fording new, and controversial territory.” In an area of esoteric inquiry which is sometimes called Mental Alchemy and/or Metaphysics, a lot of thinkers over the ages have stated the idea in various ways.

The conviction that the thoughts one thinks are the great determiners of the content of one’s life, inspires  many to forge on despite difficult life circumstances.

Ancient wisdom traditions maintain that thoughts are actual things, and that one’s thoughts are the result of an unalterable universal law called “Cause and Effect,” and will manifest themselves at some point in one’s life.

“Cause and Effect”

“Remembering thoughts are things — have tenacity, coherence, and life, — that they are real entities — the rest will become plain.”

[The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter No. 9]

The law of Cause and Effect can also be described as a law that says, “For every action, there is a reaction.”  Since thoughts are actual things, and since thoughts are also actions, it means that the thoughts will invariably cause a reaction that will result in the manifestation of those thoughts.

“Magnetic Threads”

“No act is performed without a thought at its root either at the time of performance or as leading to it. These thoughts are lodged in that part of man which we have called Manas — the mind — and there remain as subtle but powerful links with magnetic threads that enmesh the solar system.” 

[William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter 11 – “Karma”]

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Thoughts are Things: Placebo vs Nocebo

© Lois Greenfield

THE uplifting adage “attitude is altitude” aptly pinpoints how the power of positive thought and intention affects every aspect of our lives.

“For decades, scientists have tried to test the power of prayer and positive thinking, with mixed results,” writes NPR National Desk religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty about a study on the science of spirituality.

“Now some scientists,” she writes, “are fording new, and controversial territory.” In an area of esoteric inquiry which is sometimes called Mental Alchemy and/or Metaphysics, a lot of thinkers over the ages have stated the idea in various ways.

The conviction that the thoughts one thinks are the great determiners of the content of one’s life, inspires  many to forge on despite difficult life circumstances.

Ancient wisdom traditions maintain that thoughts are actual things, and that one’s thoughts are the result of an unalterable universal law called “Cause and Effect,” and will manifest themselves at some point in one’s life.

“Cause and Effect”

“Remembering thoughts are things — have tenacity, coherence, and life, — that they are real entities — the rest will become plain.”

[The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter No. 9]

The law of Cause and Effect can also be described as a law that says, “For every action, there is a reaction.”  Since thoughts are actual things, and since thoughts are also actions, it means that the thoughts will invariably cause a reaction that will result in the manifestation of those thoughts.

“Magnetic Threads”

“No act is performed without a thought at its root either at the time of performance or as leading to it. These thoughts are lodged in that part of man which we have called Manas — the mind — and there remain as subtle but powerful links with magnetic threads that enmesh the solar system.” 

[William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter 11 – “Karma”]

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Our Heart’s Field Effect: Spiritual, Psychic and Physical

The Heart Field

THE Cheyenne say that “our first teacher is our own heart,” but mainstream science offers few apples to that master teacher.

To our Western medical mainstream the heart is no more than a mechanical blood pumping device.

That view is beginning to change. The medical community is being challenged to expand its thinking holistically to incorporate human spirituality, biology, health, and wellness.

Leading-edge research in holistic medicine, biophysics, bioenergetics, and biocentrism all point in the same direction — showing that our bodies are more than physical molecules and chemicals.

Explaining why and how we are more, H. P. Blavatsky asserted in The Secret Doctrine (2:149) 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.”

H. P. Blavatsky

“Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness,” Blavatsky wrote, “since it is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as ‘I am I,’ a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.”

[A physical candle would never be confused for the light, nor for the flame which energizes it — but clearly, without the physical candle no light would happen!]

One candle lighting another.

“Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue. The ‘Manifested Universe,’ therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its ex-istence as ‘manifestation.'”

“The Hindus say that the Universe is Brahma and Brahma, for Brahma is in every atom of the universe, the six principles in Nature being all the outcome — the variously differentiated aspects — of the seventh and one, the only reality in the Universe whether Cosmical or micro-cosmical.”

Individual and Cosmic

“And also why the permutations (psychic, spiritual and physical), on the plane of manifestation and form, are viewed by metaphysical antiphrasis as illusive and Mayavic. For although the root of every atom individually and of every form collectively, is that seventh principle, or the one Reality, still, in its manifested phenomenal and temporary appearance, it is no better than an evanescent illusion of our senses.”

The Secret Doctrine 1:15-21

The Astral Body

A comparable concept to the occult teaching is explained by today’s frontier science in the ‘biofield’ concept – a human body-field that is described as a structured web of information and energy that underlies and informs our physical body, and rules our state of health and well-being.

“The astral body is made of matter of very fine texture as compared with the visible body, and has a great tensile strength, so that it changes but little during a lifetime, while the physical alters every moment.”

“And not only has it this immense strength, but at the same time possesses an elasticity permitting its extension to a considerable distance. It is flexible, plastic, extensible, and strong. The matter of which it is composed is electrical and magnetic in its essence.”

The surrounding astral matrix.

“The astral body has in it the real organs of the outer sense organs. In it are the sight, hearing, power to smell, and the sense of touch. It has a complete system of nerves and arteries of its own for the conveyance of the astral fluid which is to that body as our blood is to the physical. It is the real personal man.”

“There are located the subconscious perception and the latent memory, which the hypnotizers of the day are dealing with and being baffled by.

The astral body is the guiding model for the physical one, and all the other kingdoms have the same astral model.” 

“This term comes near to the real fact, since the substance of this form is derived from cosmic matter or star matter, roughly speaking. But the old Sanskrit word describes it exactly — Linga Sarira, the design body — because it is the design or model for the physical body.”

William Q. Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy, Ch. 5

Astral Projection

Mainstream Science is still myopic to the emerging cognitive evidence that consciousness may not be dependent solely on the physical brain.

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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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A Mother’s Love, The Law of Life

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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The Mysteries of Reincarnation – A Hidden World

scrooge

Scrooge

WHAT thousands of honest employees in the 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 humanity 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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Sins of the Father, the Ghost in your Genes

scrooge

Scrooge

WHAT thousands of honest employees in the 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 humanity 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…”

Continue reading