Tag Archives: consciousness

Ancient Thought in Modern Dress: “How Trees Talk to Each Other”

Redwoods

THE “Recapitulation” is a portion of the “Summing Up” section in The Secret Doctrine, published in pages 272-278 of the first volume of the work.

In the “Notes” recorded by Commander Robert Bowen, he wrote that H. P. Blavatsky  recommended the study of the recapitulation as part of the essential preliminary exploration of The Secret Doctrine:

“Reading the SD page by page as one reads any other book (she says) will only end in confusion. The first thing to do, even if it takes years, is to get some grasp of the ‘Three Fundamental Principles’ given in Proem.

“Follow that up by study of the Recapitulation – the numbered items in the Summing Up to Vol. I (Part 1). Then take the Preliminary Notes (Vol. II) and the Conclusion (Vol. II).”

TheosophyWiki: https://theosophy.wiki/en/Recapitulation

In The Secret Doctrine H. P. Blavatsky further revealed:

“As a whole, neither the foregoing nor what follows can be found in full anywhere. It is not taught in any of the six Indian schools of philosophy, for it pertains to their synthesis — the seventh, which is the Occult doctrine.”
 
“The whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life. There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces. The whole process of evolution with its endless adaptations is a proof of this.”

Trees Are Social Beings

“The immutable laws that weed out the weak and feeble species, to make room for the strong, and which ensure the “survival of the fittest,” though so cruel in their immediate action — all are working toward the grand end.”
Concluding:
The very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that what is called ‘unconscious Nature’ is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings (Elementals) guided by High Planetary Spirits, (Dhyan Chohans), whose collective aggregate forms the manifested verbum of the unmanifested logos, and constitutes at one and the same time the mind of the Universe and its immutable law.
 
– H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine 1:277  

 ♣

(CNN): Nature might not be all about a ruthless “survival of the fittest”. Research suggests that trees don’t just compete for survival, but also cooperate and share resources using underground fungi networks.

How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard

Taming the Beast: Choosing the Mind We Want

“Avatar”

WHEN acting through the physical filter of our human brains and bodies, our minds clearly manifest a complex double nature — and this is a critical and pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.

Mind’s higher aspect gravitates toward its home spirit-self, while the tendency of its astral and physical projection on this plane is an almost irresistible attraction to materialism and desires.

Broadly considered, what is called higher mind in Theosophy is a soul faculty, our intuitional power source — it is the “god” in man. This is Plato’s teaching about ‘Nous.’ In her remarkable article Psychic and Noetic Action, H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

“Occult physiology and psychology postulate within mortal man an immortal entity, ‘divine Mind,’ or Nous, whose pale and too often distorted reflection is that which we call ‘Mind’ and intellect in men.”

Vulcan Mind Meld 🙂

“No physiologist, not even the cleverest, will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation. Nor will they be able to understand the duality of the psychic and the noetic — or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane.”

– H. P. Blavatsky,Psychic and Noetic Action

“Concerning the nous that is the source of understanding of individuals, Plato argued that relying on sense perception can never lead to true knowledge, only opinion. Plato’s more philosophical characters argue that nous must somehow perceive truth directly.” [Wikipedia]

“The soul is the Perceiver is assuredly vision itself pure and simple, unmodified, and looks directly upon ideas.”

Plato from Raphael’s The School of Athens

“These two we distinguish as the Higher Manas (Mind or Ego), and the Kama-Manas, i.e., the rational, but earthly or physical intellect of man, encased in, and bound by matter.” 

– H. P. Blavatsky,Psychic and Noetic Action

Harvard trained brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, following her life-altering stroke, had a direct knowing of this powerful duality; what is known in Theosophy as our ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ selves.

The enigma is dramatized by Dr. Taylor in her New York Times bestselling book “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s focus is neuroanatomical, i.e. the brain’s left and right hemispheres. Below is an excerpt from the TED Talk about the details of her experience:

The Psychic and Noetic

“The all-conscious SELF, that which reincarnates periodically, [is] verily the WORD made flesh, and is always the same! Its reflected “Double,” changing with every new incarnation and personality, is conscious but for a life-period. The Lower Self manifesting through our organic system, acting on this plane of illusion, imagines itself the Ego Sum, and thus falls into the ‘heresy of separateness’.

“The former, we term INDIVIDUALITY, the latter PERSONALITY. From the first proceeds all the noetic element, from the second, the psychic, i.e., ‘terrestrial wisdom’ at best, as it is influenced by all the chaotic stimuli of the human or rather animal passions of the living body.

Jill Bolte Taylor

“The seat of memory is everywhere throughout the human body. To locate it in the brain is to limit and dwarf the Universal Mind and its countless Rays (the Manasaputra) which inform every rational mortal. Materialists sniff contemptuously at the mention of ‘Universal Mind’ and the Higher noetic souls of men.”

“The assumption that the mind is a real being, which can be acted upon by the brain, and which can act on the body through the brain, is the only one compatible with all the facts of experience.” — George T. Ladd, in the Elements of Physiological Psychology.

– H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noetic Action

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This is Your Brain on God: The Lucid Zone

The Lucid Zone

WHEN acting through our physical human brain and body, the mind displays a simple yet complex duality—a pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.

The reason for the contrast is quite simple: we are not separate from the universe. The manifested physical (to us) universe is ruled by duality: day and night, sleeping and waking, hot and cold.

Such physicality, says The Secret Doctrine (1:15), is “necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.”

“Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, 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.

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

The every intense struggle between the dual channels of our mind is a challenge that few of us are able to successfully navigate and reconcile in one short lifetime. But help is on the way.

For centuries the solution had been taught by advanced masters of life such as Lao-tse, Patanjali, Krishna and Buddha. Each assured us that self-awakening is entirely possible—by a daily ‘now’ meditation, raja yoga practice, and, above all else, by altruistic service to family and humanity.

Clairvoyance

The struggle for control in meditation is caused by our split dual consciousness. The mind’s higher spiritual aspect gravitates toward altruism, says Theosophy, while the tides of its companion personal side is attached to outer forms, desires, survival and other material concerns.

The result is that all human minds are often blown by the winds of sense into the low lying eddies and currents of material thought. Like a balloon losing helium, we drift down from the god within us, and away from our kinship with the soul of things.

Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is really a fault of our god-soul, our intuitional power base — the manifestation all-knowingness in human beings.

True God vs Demigod

Our all-seeing self and personal self are caught in a Hamlet-like to-be-or-not-to-be, we are alternately pitted by the gut and brain consciousness, against the knowing heart consciousness. This sets up an confusing conflict between the true god and the demigod in us. Yet, “peace is just a thought away” according to brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor.

This struggle of selves is dramatized by neuroanatomist Bolte-Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s professional focus is both anatomical, the relationship between the brain’s left and right hemispheres, and intuitional. 

 

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Not Instinctual Machines: Animals Feel and Think

Best Friends

ANIMALS are just instinctual machines, many people believe. But this is not the conclusion of some new controlled scientific studies.

Such studies suggest there are powerful spiritual and intellectual forces embedded in all the kingdoms of nature, as Theosophy maintains.

In the 17th Century, René Descartes, is dubbed “the father of modern Western philosophy.” And according to Wikipedia:  “Much of subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day.”  But our errant intellectual patriarch, as will be shown, started us believing all the wrong way about consciousness. soul and spirit.

“Descartes held the living animal as being simply an automaton,” H. P. Blavatsky commented, “a ‘well wound up clock-work,’ according to Malebranche” — then countered with pointed sarcasm:

One who adopts the Cartesian theory about the animal, would do as well to accept at once the views of the modern materialists.

“But if the animal is an ‘automaton,’ why not Man?” Blavatsky argues. “Thus we find metaphysical Descartes as inconsistent as any one.”

René Descartes

“The animal may think and know it thinks, the more keenly that it cannot speak, and express its thoughts,” Blavatsky insisted. “One thing is shown however by the exact observations of naturalists and that is, that the animal is endowed with intelligence; and once this is settled, we have but to repeat Thomas Aquinas’ definition of intelligence – ‘the prerogative of man’s immortal soul’ – to see that the same is due to the animal.”

(H. P. Blavatsky, Have Animals Souls?)

Koko and Tabby

A woman who clearly did not subscribe to the Cartesian theory, found a young lion injured in the forest on the brink of death. In her compassion for the animal she took it home with her and nursed it back to health.

Later she made arrangements with an animal rescue group to take the lion.

Some time passed before the woman had a chance to visit. A video was taken when she walked up to the lion’s cage to see how he was doing. Watch the lion’s reaction when he sees her!

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Nature’s Law: Order in the Seemingly Blindest Forces

intelligentdesign

Intelligent Design

MODERN evolution is one of the most elaborate scientific frauds of all time. The fraud consists in a conscious refusal to accept any kind of plan or intelligence in Nature.

“Modern science believes not in the ‘soul of things.'”
(The Secret Doctrine 1:272)

This blind denial is magnified by science in a disparaging argument waged against irreducible complexity, and implications of design it shows. 

Irreducible complexity is a compelling principle proposed by biologist Michael Behe, as proof that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved randomly, by chance.

(See: Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution)

Modern evolution calls upon “natural selection,” acting on a series of chance mutations from simpler, or “less complete” predecessors. “No more than Science, does esoteric philosophy admit design orspecial creation,’ writes H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine (2:731).

“It rejects every claim to the ‘miraculous,’ and accepts nothing outside the uniform and immutable laws of Nature. It is argued that the Universal Evolution … the gradual development of species in all the kingdoms of nature, works by uniform laws.”

annas-hummingbird-baby-2

Annas Hummingbirds

“And the law is enforced far more strictly in Esoteric than in modern Science. But we are told also, that it is equally a law that ‘development works from the less to the more perfect, and from the simpler to the more complicated, by incessant changes, small in themselves, but constantly accumulating in the required direction.’ “It is from the infinitesimally small,” Theosophy agrees in this case, “that the comparatively gigantic species are produced.” 

Modern science confirms this law with a new exhibit titled Dinosaurs Among Us at the American Museum of Natural History noting “the unbroken line between the charismatic dinosaurs that dominated the planet for about 170 million years and modern birds, a link that is marked by shared features including feathers, wishbones, enlarged brains, and extremely efficient respiratory systems.”

H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Vol. 2, p. 731 “Organic Evolution and Creative Centres”
birds-dinos

American Museum of Natural History, New York City

“The fossil record of this story and the biological research it inspires—much of which is being done by scientists trained or working at the Museum—grows richer by the day. So rich, in fact, that the boundary between the animals we call birds and those we traditionally called dinosaurs is practically obsolete.”

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An Independent Race of Thinkers: How Microbes Defend and Define Us

Microbiology Lab

NEUROSCIENTISTS  have been busy for years attempting to establish and finalize the proposed “neuronal correlates of consciousness” originating in the brain.

Modern science seems determined to prove that consciousness, our thoughts and awareness, must somehow originate in the gray matter between our ears.

This mechanistic view was assumed as fact by the Human Genome Project, established to catalog the complete human DNA and identify specific cures for all diseases, yet has failed to do so.

It is held that genes carry information about how we look, how well our bodies metabolize food or fight infection, and can determine even how we behave.

It was thought, therefore, that researchers would easily be able to identify specific genes underlying specific diseases, and then all diseases could be eliminated by manipulating the related genes.

But it was discovered that the seemingly simple concept was much more complex than expected.

Ö

Just as the origin of consciousness cannot be tagged to specific neurons in the brain, genes are not easily pigeonholed to one disorder. It was found that they function in complex, and frequently changing teams.

Now science is edging nearer to Theosophy, looking closer at a long-neglected area called the microbiome — researching how hundreds of different species of living microbes, inhabiting the human body and outside, are responsible for our health and behaviors. They even discovered a second brain, in our gut, known as the enteric nervous system!

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Animal Souls, the Heart of Good

cow-and-girl

Cow and Girl Bonding

BETWEEN humanity and Nature, in a perfect world, mutual peace and harmony ought to always reign.

Mutual respect and universal compassion would be an accepted norm between humans and all beings in nature.

To those most mistreated of all, our helpless farm animals, this principle most urgently applies.

To this point, the keynote of Mme. H. P. Blavatsky’s worldview was the just and moral treatment of all beings in nature.

This principle was and is the First Object of the Theosophical  Movement, Universal Brotherhood.

Agreeably with Emerson, the foundational teaching of Theosophy as expressed in The Secret Doctrine, is “the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul.”  An acclaimed essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson “The Oversoul” was first published in 1841. With the human soul as its overriding subject, several general themes are treated:

“(1) the existence and nature of the human soul; (2) the relationship between the soul and the personal ego; (3) the relationship of one human soul to another; and (4) the relationship of the human soul to God.

Emerson

“Influence of Eastern religions, including Vedantism, is plainly evident, but the essay also develops ideas long present in the Western tradition, e.g., in the works of Plato, Plutarch, and Neoplatonists like Plotinus and Proclus – all of whose writings Emerson read extensively throughout his career.” (Wikipedia)

Plus, in The Secret Doctrine (Summing Up #5), the teaching that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious,” and endowed

with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Mme. Blavatsky was adamant in opposing animal cruelty. She spoke out forcefully against sport hunting of foxes, birds and big game, and most strongly against vivisection, animals tortured in biological experiments. 

Animal-Testing

Cruel Animal Testing

Mme. Blavatsky’s words were penned over 70 years before the widespread animal testing in universities and commercial laboratories. Yet now, animal testing has been cited in impartial studies as being scientifically unnecessary.

“By 1996, ‘cruelty-free’ shopping had become popular, but it was also confusing, sometimes misleading, and ultimately frustrating,” according to the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) — eight national animal protection groups banded together.

“If these humble lines could [also] make a few readers seriously turn their thoughts to all the horrors of vivisection,” Blavatsky pleaded, “the writer would be content.”

vivisection

Animal Experiments

“Other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will” — Mme. Blavatsky predicted in her article Have Animals Souls? — “after calling forth an outburst from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.“

“Man is endowed with reason, the infant with instinct, and the young animal shows more of both than the child.”

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