Tag Archives: compassion

The Birthday of Modern Theosophy

BIRTH on this physical plane, of the modern Theosophical Movement, occurred in New York City 141 years ago on November 17th in the year 1875.

Its reemergence had been carefully and wisely planned, behind the scenes, by those called the Elder Brothers of Humanity.

Pointing to Them, Theosophical pioneer William Quan Judge declared in his article Elder Brothers and Mahatmas, “the most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed.”

The term Mahatma has come into wide use because Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed, he said.

They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterwards, after many Hindus flocked to the Theosophical movement, the name Mahatma was brought into use, inasmuch as it has behind it an immense body of Indian tradition and literature.

Krishna-Arjuna

Krishna-Arjuna

“The ancients taught that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul’s experience.” And Judge assured his readers “there must be beings in the universe

… whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.”

“They preserve the knowledge gained through aeons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the human race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul.”

“They keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for humanity in many different ways.

“It would be subversive of the ends they have in view were they to make themselves public in the present civilization, which is based almost wholly on money, fame, glory, and personality.

“For this age, as one of them has already said, ‘is an age of transition.’

“Every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and man’s mind is only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.”

“They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages. They investigate all things and beings.

“They know what man is in his innermost nature and what his powers and destiny, his state before birth and the states into which he goes after the death of his body.”

“They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist the cyclic law of rise and fall. While cataclysms seemed to show a universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of either men or time.”

Hypatia and her Library at Alexandria

“But, asks the busy man of the nineteenth century who reads the newspapers and believes in ‘modern progress,’ if these elder brothers are all you claim them to be, why have they left no mark on history nor gathered men around them? Their own reply, was published some time ago (First Mahatma Letter):

“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night.

The major and minor yugas [cycles] must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.”

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Lao Tzu: The Flying Dragon

SLAO TSU is classed by H. P. Blavatsky  as a God-like being similar to Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus, who “united themselves with their Spirits permanently” and “became Gods on earth.”

Such Personages are rare and superior to Moses, Pythagoras and Confucius, who “have taken rank in history as demi-gods and leaders of mankind” (Isis 2:159).

Lao Tzu was the resuscitator of Taoism, the practical philosophy and religion of The Way.

Taoism is the ancient Wisdom-Religion of Theosophy. The Great Ones of old, described as Original Teachers, and They, as all Theosophists know, exist today and always will.

Lao Tzu was the most famous philosopher, mystic and alchemist in China. He is the author of the Tao Te Ching, or the Way.  He is regarded as one of the foundation stones of Taoism.

Originally, the word Tao meant a specific line of action, probably a military one, because the ideograms that compose this word mean “feet” and “leader.”

olivia-bouler

Lao Tzu interpreted the Tao as a way, the essence of the Universe. In a written poem Lao Tzu described “the Way” as the emptiness that cannot be filled, but from which everything manifests.

“I have three treasures. Guard and keep them,” Lao Tzu said. “The first is deep love, the second is frugality, and the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world. Because of deep love, one is courageous. Because of frugality, one is generous.”

Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.”

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In his most famous image, Lao Tzu is portrayed as riding a buffalo, because the domestication of this animal is associated with the Path of Enlightenment in Zen Buddhist traditions.

laozi-on-an-ox

“Don’t think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice,” Lao Tzu warned. “This is egomania.” 

Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness.”

wavy_line2

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Why Love Matters, and Why it Should

shadow-light

Shadow and Light

LIGHT and shadow always appear together, and this is clearly as it must be. Our perception of everyday objects is dependent on those ubiquitously persistent, often paradoxical twins.

This point-counterpoint dance rules our everyday awareness. Shift one of the duo on life’s canvas, and the other balances with a corresponding change. Shadows lengthen as the sun sets, and stars shine as the heavens darken.

This phenomenon occurs because at the moment of manifestation the universe is pervaded by duality according to Theosophical cosmogenesis (SD1:15)which explains why “duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object,” as H. P. Blavatsky wrote.

Spirit on its own, like a horseless rider, is helpless on Earth say these metaphysical axioms, and a riderless horse similarly lacks purpose, direction, and love. “Though one and the same thing in their origin, Spirit and Matter,” say the teachings (SD 1:247), “begin each of them their evolutionary progress in contrary directions —

“Spirit falling gradually into matter, and the latter ascending to its original condition, that of a pure spiritual substance.”

“Both are inseparable, yet ever separated,” Blavatsky wrote. “Two like poles will always repel each other, while the negative and the positive are mutually attracted, so do Spirit and Matter stand to each other — the two poles of the same homogeneous substance, the root-principle of the universe.”

“On almost every page of the Bhagavad-Gita we are instructed only to direct our love to that which is eternal in every form,” as Blavatsky wrote in LOVE WITH AN OBJECT:

“… and let the form itself be a matter of secondary consideration.

We must rise above the pairs of opposites, seeking to unite with their essence, the Source. Love and compassion are the keys that extricate our minds and hearts from external forms, from the myriad illusions on the lower planes of consciousness.

Time and space are also paradoxical principles. Pain extends our perception of passing time, for example, and the invisible air, gravity, and electromagnetic radiations fill the seemingly empty space around us.

Because we see through it, we believe that space is empty. Yet a fundamental principle in The Secret Doctrine (1:289), states: “there is not one finger’s breath (angula) of void Space in the whole Boundless (Universe).”

For example, we couldn’t see the words without this background page, nor could we see them if the words and page were the same color.

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Universal Unity and Causation = Human Solidarity

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

WHEN the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, the First and foremost of its Three Objects was identified as Universal Brotherhood.

It was the only one of the Three Objects requiring acceptance by prospective members of the Society. The fundamental first principle was held to be a “fact in Nature.” 

The Theosophical Movement magazine noted persuasively in its article Universal Brotherhood Fiction or Fact?  that “the world is sick of war and desires peace, yet wars and preparations for war continue.”

“People wish to banish enmity and to usher in an era of friendship,” the article continues, “yet rivalry and hatred perpetuate hard feelings which separate man from man. Many believe in and talk about Brotherhood, but we see everywhere the failure of unity and harmony.”

“… the very concept of cosmopolitan internationalism, of humanity as a unit, one grand family, seems fanciful.”

Would not this concept of unity, if acknowledged, inexorably shift humanity’s worldviews away from selfishness and separateness towards a realized universal compassion and world peace, as Theosophy established in its original First Object?

If universal unity and causation are in truth the substratum of nature and the cosmos, must it not be so with humanity? Would acknowledgement and proof of this idea not lead to true human solidarity?

the-universe

Universal Unity and Causation

In the century following the launching of the theosophical movement, one scientist arose who got the message, British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001). Hoyle dedicating his life to asking and answering universal questions,  maintained that the origin of life was cosmic, not terrestrial — and seemed like a dedicated Theosophist plus world-renowned astronomer.

Hoyle maintained “there is a coherent plan in the universe.” (Adding, “though I don’t know what it’s a plan for.”)

His “steady state” theory maintained that the universe had no beginning or end, and would continue to exist. Likewise Theosophy “affirms the Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane,” H. P. Blavatsky notes (The Secret Doctrine 1:16).

fred_hoyle

Fred Hoyle

And she explained how this grand canvas “is periodically the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing, called ‘the manifesting stars,’ and the ‘sparks of Eternity.’” 

“The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.”

(See Part II., “Days and Nights of Brahma.”)

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“This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

"It expanded like the bud of the lotus."

“It expanded like the bud of the Lotus.”

Preempting the future gravity-based materialism of science, in what would come to be known as “The Big Bang” concept, The Secret Doctrine declared with irrefutable logic, that an ‘infinite universe’ cannot by any stretch of the imagination become ‘larger!’

The “expansion” so-called, does not mean “an increase in size,” rather “it was a change of condition,” Blavatsky maintained — “it ‘expanded like the bud of the Lotus,'” a metaphor she used frequently in her teachings. (The Secret Doctrine 1:62-3)

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Self-Healing, How and Why it Happens

breath_of_lifeREPORTS  of mystical or psychic experiences, of communion with realities that transcend the mundane, cannot all be mistaken.

Even every organ and cell in the body demonstrates its own energetic (psyschic) biofield, Theosophy teaches, and if so must use that matrix to network continuously and wirelessly with all other cells and organs.

Verifying the teaching, modern science has recently shown that the heart and the gut talk back and forth continually to the brain, whose neurons also converse with each other, day and night. How do they do this except through that invisible energy matrix?

Researchers have recently discovered that both the heart and the gut each have substantial neuronal regions, showing they both have “brains and hearts” of their own. The gut can even act independently, when we report having a “gut feeling” for example.

Indeed. “Occultism tells us that every atom, like the monad of Leibnitz, is a little universe in itself,” Blavatsky wrote in Kosmic Mind, “that every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers.”

Cells

The holographic network of the heart links, organizes and entrains, say the researchers at the Institute of Heartmath, the totality of signals from all the noetic webs, of all the cells and neurons of the body.

“These biosignals pass information over to the body’s chief superintendent, the brain.”

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This complex unifying biofield may well be the underlying mechanism of healing, of thought transference, and gene behavior, experimental evidence confirms. It is also the pathway by which the environment influences us. “Consciousness is in every universal atom,” Blavatsky insists maintaining “the possibility of a complete control over the cells and atoms of his body by man.” (Kosmic Mind)

The power of this invisible field is undoubtedly the unseen agent driving what many modern self-help gurus refer to as the ‘secret’ of intention, and thought, in Theosophy this matrix field is designated “the power of Akasa — Literally the word means in Sanscrit sky, but in its mystic sense it signifies the invisible sky, the god Akasa, or god Sky.” (Before The Veil, Vol. 1, xxvii)

“The language of the Vedas shows that the Hindus of fifty centuries ago regarded it as the source of life, the reservoir of all energy, and the propeller of every change of matter. In its latent state it tallies exactly with our idea of the universal ether; in its active state it became the Akasa, the all-directing and omnipotent god.”

astral_centers

“When one sees mortal man displaying tremendous capabilities, controlling the forces of nature and opening up to view the world of spirit,” she writes, “the reflective mind is overwhelmed.”

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Dogs Know When their Owners are Coming Home

dogs_that_knowWHAT keeps the really good men going, in spite of opposition or obstacles that many people wouldn’t even think of trying to overcome?

Hope of ultimate success doubtless plays a part in the resolve of social or political reformers, but even many of these have been willing to work toward goals which they were sure could not be reached until years, perhaps generations, after their death.

They wore out their lives contending against bastions of blind habit and stubborn custom. Others, like Socrates, began still more difficult undertakings. Expressions like “the search for truth” too easily hide the fact that the reconstruction of what we call “human nature” was Socrates’ objective.  (Excerpt from Manas, “The Strength of the Good“)

For example there are countless documented cases of outside-the-body consciousness that lead one to question the boundaries of conventional scientific thought. Yet material science neither investigates nor acknowledges such experiences even took place. Maybe the place to begin then are with the close bonds we have with the kingdoms of nature.

boyanddog

In The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky addressed these soul-less positions of science insisting that the whole Universe with all its beings  is conscious and that all its kingdoms are endowed with a consciousness of their own kind and on their own plane of perception.

“We men must remember,” she defiantly wrote, “that because we do not perceive any signs — which we can recognize — of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there” (The Third Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine).

Stone_healing

“There is no such thing as either ‘dead’ or ‘blind’ matter — these find no place among the conceptions of Occult philosophy,” Blavatsky insisted. “The latter never stops at surface appearances, and for it the noumenal essences have more reality than their objective counterparts.”

This intelligence implicate in nature has now been documented experimentally by the enlightened British biologist Rupert Sheldrake.

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July 4th: A Theosophy of Freedom and Independence

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. BLAVATSKY understood America because she loved America. In one Letter she writes: “Your great country which I love for its noble freedom . . . and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen.”

This loving understanding of the American culture and temperament in the light of the marvelous knowledge which was hers, has graciously provided for the students of Theosophy everywhere in the world.

But more especially in America, hints, warnings, suggestions and, above all, inspiration for their labor on behalf of the Sacred Cause.

To the students of Theosophy in America, these Letters are of special value and significance at the present time. In conducting their own lives and tasks as well as in helping their fellow men in all fields of activity, they will receive from these thoughtful and stirring words real help themselves, and that of an unique character. 

In these days of constant struggles of many and diverse kinds, when a myriad remedies are suggested and advocated for our ills physical and psychical, moral and mental . . . puzzled by the strange working of Mother Nature . . .

These wonderful Messages of one whose wisdom and compassion stirred her to point the finger of warning and at the same time to stretch out the hand of fellowship and sure guidance, ought to be read, studied; nay, meditated upon.

(Above excerpt from a Forward by Theosophy Co., Los Angeles)

Madam-Blavatsky2

The First Message from H. P. BLAVATSKY to the American Theosophists in Convention Assembled 1888:

 THE FIRST MESSAGE

(Excerpts)

1888

To WILLIAM Q. JUDGE,

General Secretary of the American Section of
the Theosophical Society.

MY DEAREST BROTHER AND CO-FOUNDER
OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY:

    In addressing to you this letter, which I request you to read to the Convention summoned for April 22nd, I must first present my hearty congratulations and most cordial good wishes to the assembled Delegates and good Fellows of our Society, and to yourself—the heart and soul of that Body in America. We were several, to call it to life in 1875.

    Since then you have remained alone to preserve that life through good and evil report. It is to you chiefly, if not entirely, that the Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888. Let me then thank you for it, for the first and perhaps the last, time publicly, and from the bottom of my heart, which beats only for the cause you represent so well and serve so faithfully.

    I ask you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice is but the feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the transmitter of the approval of Those whose presence is alive in more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know, pre-eminently in yours. May the assembled Society feel the warm greeting as earnestly as it is given, and may every Fellow present, who realizes that he has deserved it, profit by the Blessings sent.

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

  Theosophy has lately taken a new start in America which marks the commencement of a new Cycle in the affairs of the Society in the West. And the policy you are now following is admirably adapted to give scope for the widest expansion of the movement, and to establish on a firm basis an organization which, while promoting feelings of fraternal sympathy, social unity, and solidarity, will leave ample room for individual freedom and exertion in the common cause— that of helping mankind. . . .

But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally.

We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced;. . . but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best, a pupil-teacher—one who has no right to dogmatize.

HPB Bust by Alexey Leonov

HPB Bust by Alexey Leonov

    Since the Society was founded, a distinct change has come over the spirit of the age. Those who gave us commission to found the Society foresaw this, now rapidly growing, wave of transcendental influence following that other wave of mere phenomenalism. Even the journals of Spiritualism are gradually eliminating the phenomena and wonders, to replace them with philosophy.

The Theosophical Society led the van of this movement; but, although Theosophical ideas have entered into every development or form which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet

Theosophy pure and simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition.

The days of old are gone to return no more, and many are the Theosophists who, taught by bitter experience, have pledged themselves to make of the Society a “miracle club” no longer.

The launch of Scottish Biodiversity fortnight sowing seed at the wildflower meadow.

    The faint-hearted have asked in all ages for signs and wonders, and when these failed to be granted, they refused to believe. Such are not those who will ever comprehend Theosophy pure and simple. But there are others among us who realize intuitionally that

the recognition of pure Theosophy—the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets—is of the most vital importance in the Society, inasmuch as it alone can furnish the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path.

one religion

    This should never be forgotten, nor should the following fact be overlooked. On the day when Theosophy will have accomplished its most holy and most important mission—namely to unite firmly a body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure altruistic work, not on a labor with selfish motives.

On that day only will Theosophy become higher than any nominal brotherhood of man. This will be a wonder and a miracle truly, for the realization of which Humanity is vainly waiting for the last eighteen centuries, and which every association has hitherto failed to accomplish.

Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing
neither possible nor desirable.

It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding.

Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge.

womanonpath

    It must be remembered that the Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists—as a factory for the manufactory of Adepts. It was intended to stem the current of materialism, and also that of spiritualistic phenomenalism and the worship of the Dead.

It had to guide the spiritual awakening that has now begun, and not to pander to psychic cravings which are but another form of materialism.

    For by “materialism” is meant not only an anti-philosophical negation of pure spirit, and, even more, materialism in conduct and action—brutality, hypocrisy. and, above all, selfishness,—but also the fruits of a disbelief in all but material things, a disbelief which has increased enormously during the last century, and which has led many, after a denial of all existence other than that in matter, into a blind belief in the materialization of Spirit.

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Lotus Lily

    Theosophy seeks to develop the human nature in man in addition to the animal, and at the sacrifice of the superfluous animality which modern life and materialistic teachings have developed to a degree which is abnormal for the human being at this stage of his progress.

Men cannot all be Occultists, but they can all be Theosophists. Many who have never heard of the Society are Theosophists without knowing it them selves; for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations. and their sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him. Kindness, absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity, good-will to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one’s self, are its chief features.

He who teaches Theosophy preaches the gospel of good-will; and the converse of this is true also—he who preaches the gospel of good-will, teaches Theosophy.

    This aspect of Theosophy has never failed to receive due and full recognition in the pages of the “PATH,” a journal of which the American Section has good reason to be proud. It is a teacher and a power; and the fact that such a periodical should be produced and supported in the United States speaks in eloquent praise both of its Editor and its readers.

William Q. Judge 1887 The first volume of the publication that brought theosophy to the attention of the American public.

William Q. Judge 1887 The first volume of the publication that brought theosophy to the attention of the American public.

    America is also to be congratulated on the increase in the number of the Branches or Lodges which is now taking place. It is a sign that in things spiritual as well as things temporal the great American Republic is well fitted for independence and self-organization.

    Here in England Theosophy is waking into new life. The slanders and absurd inventions of the Society for Psychical Research have almost paralyzed it, though only for a very short time, and the example of America has stirred the English Theosophists into renewed activity.  . . . and the first fruit has been the founding of the “Theosophical Publication Society.” This Society is of great importance. It has undertaken the very necessary work of breaking down the barrier of prejudice and ignorance which has formed so great an impediment to the spread of Theosophy.

Theosophists are of necessity the friends of all movements in the world, whether intellectual or simply practical, for the amelioration of the condition of mankind.

We are the friends of all those who fight against drunkenness, against cruelty to animals, against injustice to women, against corruption in society or in government, although we do not meddle in politics. We are the friends of those who exercise practical charity, who seek to lift a little of the tremendous weight of misery that is crushing down the poor . . .

helping-the-poor

The function of Theosophists is to open men’s hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have learned to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think,

they will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done spontaneously by all.  . . .

But whether I be in England or in India a large part of my heart and much of my hope for Theosophy lie with you in the United States, where the Theosophical Society was founded, and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen. But you must remember that, although there must be local Branches of the Theosophical Society, there can be no local Theosophists; and just as you all belong to the Society, so do I belong to you all. . . .

    Meanwhile, my far-away and dear Brother, accept the warmest and sincerest wishes for the welfare of your Societies and of yourself personally, and, while conveying to all your colleagues the expression of my fraternal regards, assure them that, at the moment when you will be reading to them the present lines, I shall—if alive—be in Spirit, Soul, and Thought amidst you all.

    Yours ever, in the truth of the GREAT CAUSE we are all working for

H. P. BLAVATSKY.  . . .
London, April 3rd, 1888.