Tag Archives: consciousness

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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My Three Brains

Hamlet

Laurence Olivier in “Hamlet”

THOUGHT and consciousness itself is assumed by most neuroanatomists to be created by and located entirely in the physical brain, neatly tucked away inside our skulls.

This insistent worldview is only reinforced by our body language when we always describe thinking by pointing to our heads.

But native cultures never engaged in such assumptions. The traditional Native American view always considered the heart to be the center of thought and motive, pointing to it when referring to thinking.

Then there are those familiar ‘gut-feelings’ we often have. Those compelling instincts, studies show, are more often than not, intuitional signals, even so far as foretelling of some future event. “Two brains may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they make literal and evolutionary sense,” NY Times writer Harriet Brown says. But three brains? That does seem a stretch.

Yet in Theosophy brains can number into the billions. Every cell and organ has a consciousness of its own. The physical heart  also functions as a powerful “brain.”

As stated in The Secret Doctrine (1:274): “Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is consciousi.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Universal Atom

And in her article “Kosmic Mind” H. P. Blavatsky wrote:  There is “consciousness in every universal atom . . . every atom is a little universe in itself; and every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers.”

“Groundbreaking research in the field of neurocardiology has established that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “heart brain.” (Neurocardiology-Anatomical and Functional Principles, by J. Andrew Armour, M.D., Ph.D.)

“Heart-Brain”

Confirming this triune constitution Mme. Blavatsky explained “there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme . . . or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and inter-blended at every point. These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions. . . . Each of these three systems has its own laws.” [Corresponding to heart, brain and gut] (The Secret Doctrine 1:181).

[Like the heart], “the enteric nervous system [the gut] must assess conditions, decide on a course of action and initiate a reflex.  And does all this on its own, with little help from the central nervous system.”

Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung

Undeterred, most neuroscientists continue to diligently barrel along cataloging what they insist are ‘the neural correlates of consciousness’ in the brain, and seem determined to prove that these neurons are the sole authors of our thoughts and feelings, isolated exclusively in the fatty workshop between our ears.

This consensus view dictates that when we die everything we are or learned disappears forever — including our soul and our individual ‘I am I’ consciousness. But this reductionist view of mind and consciousness is losing favor with many research scientists on the leading edge today, and may be about to radically change.

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Talking to Our Spiritual Dream Self

spirit-telepathy

Touching our dreams.

THERE is a kind of “conscious telegraphic communication going on incessantly, day and night,” between our physical brain and our ever-awake inner consciousness.

“The brain is such a complex thing, both physically and metaphysically, that it is like a tree whose bark you can remove layer by layer.”

“Each layer is different from all the others,” H. P. Blavatsky explains, “and each having its own special work, function, and properties.”

All real dreams that are remembered, and “present a sequence of events,” she maintained, “are due to the vision of our higher [mind] Ego.”

“At a time when an apple was something Steve Jobs gave to his first grade teacher, Clancy McKenzie, M.D. happened upon a discovery that would forever change not just his life, but his patients’ as well,” writes a reviewer of Babies Need Mothers, McKenzie’s groundbreaking book. This would be the proof of principle of Blavatsky’s teaching.

“It hit him like a bolt of lightening,” the reviewer notes: “Without so much as a hand-held calculator, McKenzie unearthed the origin and mechanism of serious mental and emotional disorders.”

“Many of Dr. McKenzie’s most powerful insights were directed to him during his dreams, and experienced later as voices on awakening, and during the day at unexpected moments.”

Clancy_D.McKenzie_M.D.

Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D.

The Brihand Aranyaka Upanishad [p. 12], describes of this inner dream god: “Leaving the bodily world through the door of dream, the sleepless Spirit views the sleeping powers.”

Then clothed in radiance, returns to his own home, the gold-gleaming Genius, swan of everlasting.”

swan-babies

“You do not have to be a yogi and meditate for years in a cave to receive an enlightened answer,” says Dr. McKenzie. “When you fall asleep you reach just as deep a level of consciousness.

“All you must do is take one minute at bedtime to formulate your question, and one minute when you awaken to retrieve the answer.

“Practically anyone can do this the very first night.”

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A Great Breath, and the Universe is Alive

THEOSOPHY does not demand acceptance but points to fundamental principles, and how they can be ascertained and applied.

Theosophy is not only a ‘faith’ because faiths are changeable. It is not dependent upon dogma or revelation either, as are modern science and religion, but on verifiable occult records.

The object of Theosophy is to show that all things and beings in nature are truly souls in evolution, and for human beings the necessity of knowing ourselves — and becoming our own authority by knowing.

Theosophy as the “Wisdom-Religion” has existed from immemorial time. It offers a theory of nature and man which is founded upon knowledge acquired by the Sages of the past. It has been expressed in different ages by Krishna, Confucius, and Buddha in the East, by Pythagoras, Plato, and Jesus in the West.

Plato wrote about the quest for self-knowledge:

“The light and spirit of the Divinity are the wings of the soul. They raise it to communion with the gods, above this earth — to become like the gods, is to become holy, just and wise. That is the end for which man was created, and that out to be his aim in the acquisition of knowledge.”  

Plato

“Every one of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, that is known by the name of intuition,H. P. Blavatsky explains in her The Theosophist article Le Phare De L’Inconnu (Beacon Light of the Unknown):

“… but how rare are those who know how to develop it! It is only by the aid of this faculty that men can ever see things in their true colours.”

Θ

True Colors

This power is, she says, is an “instinct of the soul, which grows in us in proportion to the employment we give it — which helps us to perceive and understand the realities of things with far more certainty than the simple use of our senses and exercise of our reason.”

“… there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. It is “Be-ness” rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation.

“This Infinite and Eternal Cause — is the rootless root of  ‘all that was, is, or ever shall be.'”  

“… the one Reality, is also symbolized by the term “The Great Breath,” a symbol sufficiently graphic to need no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical One Absolute — Be-ness …

“Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities,” Blavatsky insists, “but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.

“Considering this metaphysical triad as the Root from which proceeds all manifestation, the great Breath assumes the character of precosmic Ideation. It is the fons et origo of force and of all individual consciousness, and supplies the guiding intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution.”

Guiding Intelligence

“On the other hand, precosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.” [The Secret Doctrine Vol.1:14-15]

“The shell only of the spirit, soul and astral body of the Kosmos,” she comments in The Secret Doctrine (1:67), “has now fallen into the hands of Modern Science.”

Physicists now are busy studying that shell in the guise of hypothetical sub-atomic particles.

In their August 3, 2017 article, Scientific American reports “A new technology for detecting neutrinos represents a ‘monumental’ advance for science.”

The Spallation Neutron Source

The “elusive ‘ghost particles’ were detected bouncing off an atom.”  Following decades of ‘research’, it seems science is still stuck in their shell of hypothetical muck.

After more than a hundred years of  ‘research’, it seems modern science is still stuck in a shell of hypothetical silly putty.

Using the atom-smashing power of The Large Hadron Collider, scientists hope to unmask the so-called “god particle,” their imagined ultimate substratum of the universe. The accumulation of large amounts of data from collisions, according to physicists, “is crucial to increasing the chances of a discovery.” (!)

Physicists at CERN

Atoms live in a strange world dubbed quantum entanglement where they can be in two places at once. Everything changes at the sub-atomic level, though with science’s limited tools, atoms seem to be mostly ’empty’ space. It’s a seductive place, it seems, where one can free-fall into the unknown fields of an inexplicable universe.

Is there no room for ‘consciousness’ to exist in all that so-called “empty space?”

If atoms or some exotic energetic field underpins all substance, what of something as omnipresent as water? Almost 90% of our body, like the planet we live on, is water. We are conscious like our blue planet Gaia. Many researchers are convinced that water is capable of ‘memory’ by storing information and retrieving it, and research into water is just beginning.

Universal and divine mind (Transactions 94) is “reflected in the waters of Space,” says ancient Cosmogenesis: “In Absolute Divine Thought,” Blavatsky wrote, “everything exists, and there has been no time when it did not so exist.”

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