Tag Archives: children

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.”

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

H. P. Blavatsky: Towards an Aquarian Humanity

child-buddha-smileTHE occultist, spiritual co-founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky, was a tireless critic on a wide range of issues still conflicting society today.

Materialism, women’s rights, education, animal cruelty were some of the concerns closest to her heart.
 
Critical of early childhood education, and of the”infusion of (useless) intelligence,” Blavatsky noted:
“You have opened a subject on which we Theosophists feel deeply.”
(Read the article in The Washington Post confirming the relevance and importance of Mme. Blavatsky’s position: Early Childhood Academics.)
 
§
Outspoken as always, Mme. Blavatsky insisted in her Key to Theosophy that children should be “placed daily in a bright, clean school-room hung with pictures, and often gay with flowers.”
Early Childhood
They should be taught “to be clean, gentle, orderly …  learn to sing and to play; has toys that awaken its intelligence; learns to use its fingers deftly; is spoken to with a smile instead of a frown …
“All this humanises the children, arouses their brains, and renders them susceptible to intellectual and moral influences. The schools are not all they might be and ought to be … your system deserves the worst one can say of it.”

Continue reading

Spiritual Transmutation: Untying the Knots of the Heart

Child-PrayingTHAT all humans possess an immortal soul is a common belief of humanity, but to this Theosophy adds we do not just ‘have’ souls, but each of us is a soul.

Further that we are an indivisible and indissoluble part of the consciousness of great nature which is also, by degrees, both conscious and intelligent.

And flowering into an Adept like Jesus or Buddha and manifesting those soul powers, is perfectly possible to all human beings.

The driving power behind such development is what the ancients called the “Father which is in secret” (Matthew ch. vi. v. 6) in its esoteric meaning, and is not an extra-cosmic god.

“That ‘Father’ is in man himself,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote in the Key to Theosophy, unrestricted by age, social status or gender.

wavy_line2

Our inner spiritual self “is the only God we can have cognizance of,” and she asks: “how can this be otherwise? — Grant us our postulate that God is a universally diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from being soaked through by, and in, the Deity?”

Candlelight Vigil to honor the departed in the BDR mutiny

“We call our ‘Father in heaven’ that deific essence of which we are cognizant within us, in our heart and spiritual consciousness, and which has nothing to do with the anthropomorphic conception we may form of it in our physical brain or its fancy:”

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of (the absolute) God dwelleth in you?” Yet, let no man anthropomorphize that essence in us. Let no Theosophist, if he would hold to divine, not human truth, say that this ‘God in secret’ listens to, or is distinct from, either finite man or the infinite essence — for all are one.”

Continue reading

Amazing Animal and Human Encounters

animal-welfareANYONE who thinks Theosophy is only abstract metaphysics, invisible worlds, and mystical hierarchies might want to think again.

Theosophical philosophy, often referred to as the “Wisdom Religion,” teaches Universal Brotherhood to its students as the First Fundamental.

“Real Theosophy is Altruism,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her heroic article Our Cycle and the Next — “and we cannot repeat it too often,” she emphasized — because its a direct application of that First Fundamental.

Theosophy always keeps in step with the ancients who were serious about nourishing and protecting Mother Earth, and every one of her creatures great and small. “Help Nature,” Blavatsky wrote in her rendition of The Book of the Golden Precepts,” and work on with her.”

“[Theosophy] is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth.”

Individual conscious awareness develops gradually throughout the kingdoms of nature, peaking in the human stage.  Self-aware consciousness in some higher animals, Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine (1:178), “comes almost to the point.” This short video clip dramatizes that “almost” point.

Continue reading

The Child-state We Have Lost

olivia-boulerELEVEN years old and “willing to help” was how Olivia Bouler described herself to the Audubon Society when she contacted them about the infamous oil spill tragedy in the Gulf.

The youthful and aspiring ornithologist, artist, and saxophone player wept — like many of us — when she heard about the oil spill in the news.

But uniquely, Olivia was moved to help. Knowing birds were going to suffer, she had to take action.

Inspired by her hero, James Audubon, Olivia wrote to the Audubon Society about her fund-raising idea — using her talent as an artist to give bird drawings to those who donated to wildlife recovery efforts.

To date, she has drawn more than 100 different species of birds, and 400 + original drawings. Olivia was recently featured as an AOL Artist, and the company donated $25,000 to the Audubon Society in her name. 

To appreciate the sacredness of nature doesn’t always take the insights of a naturalist like John Muir. Often it only requires an innocence of heart, usually a child’s — as in Matthew 18:3-4, to “become as little children.”

Unlike adults, young children don’t mince words just to win approval. What they see is what they say.

In her restoration of Theosophy in the world, H. P. Blavatsky was not abstract when it came to standing up for the planet —“help Nature and work on with her” she wrote — and stood up for what she saw as widespread animal abuse and cruelty. (See recent post: Animal Souls)

To become true planetary partners, Blavatsky wrote, we must learn from the Book of the Golden Precepts to “regain the child-state” we have lost.

Continue reading

Knots of the Heart

Child-PrayingTHAT all humans possess an immortal soul is a common belief of humanity, but to this Theosophy adds we do not just ‘have’ souls, but each of us is a soul.

Further that we are an indivisible and indissoluble part of the consciousness of great nature which is also, by degrees, both conscious and intelligent.

And flowering into an Adept like Jesus or Buddha and manifesting those soul powers, is perfectly possible to all human beings.

The driving power behind such development is what the ancients called the “Father which is in secret” (Matthew ch. vi. v. 6) in its esoteric meaning, and is not an extra-cosmic god.

“That ‘Father’ is in man himself,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote in the Key to Theosophy, unrestricted by age, social status or gender.

wavy_line2

Our inner spiritual self “is the only God we can have cognizance of,” and she asks: “how can this be otherwise? — Grant us our postulate that God is a universally diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from being soaked through by, and in, the Deity?”

Candlelight Vigil to honor the departed in the BDR mutiny

“We call our ‘Father in heaven’ that deific essence of which we are cognizant within us, in our heart and spiritual consciousness, and which has nothing to do with the anthropomorphic conception we may form of it in our physical brain or its fancy:”

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of (the absolute) God dwelleth in you?” Yet, let no man anthropomorphize that essence in us. Let no Theosophist, if he would hold to divine, not human truth, say that this ‘God in secret’ listens to, or is distinct from, either finite man or the infinite essence — for all are one.”

Continue reading