Tag Archives: ecology

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.

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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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Our Three Brains, a Mind of their Own

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!

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.

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Seeds of Death

cornCHOICE is meaningless if consumers are not able to make informed decisions.

And the cornerstone of our capitalist market, for better or worse, is consumer choice.

The debate over genetically modified organisms (G.M.O.’s) used in our foods has been long and controversial.

Those decrying “frankenfood” railing against those portraying the process as the savior from food shortages and high food prices.

The battle over labeling these foods has been gaining significant traction in recent weeks, with states like Colorado putting labeling initiatives on their ballots for the upcoming elections.

marchagainstmonsanto

The G.M.O. You Didn’t Know

Consumer empowerment should be central in G.M.O. labeling debate.

In preparation of the global March Against Monsanto, you are invited to watch our award-winning documentary Seeds of Death free.

March_Against_Monsanto

CLICK LINK

The leaders of Big Agriculture—Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta—are determined that world’s populations remain ignorant about the serious health and environmental risks of genetically modified crops and industrial agriculture.

Deep layers of deception and corruption underlie both the science favoring GMOs and the corporations and governments supporting them.

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Don’t Mess with Mother: Salmon Confidential

mother_nature

TODAY more than one billion people throughout the world will do their part to protect the Earth.

While we may not be able to plant a tree or ride a bike to work, we can all do something simple and significant – learn who and what are placing our planet at risk, and speak out about it.

Down the road even a few fired-up individuals can make a huge difference to the environment.

“Don’t Mess with Mother” (Nature) will be an ongoing, random series of posts on this important topic, starting today.

We will publicize the struggles of nature to survive against onslaughts by the money makers and soulless science, as H. P. Blavatsky often did.

This first post features Salmon Confidential, a new film on the government cover up of what is killing Canada’s wild salmon. It documents biologist Alexandra Morton’s attempt to overcome the huge government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path.

When Morton discovers BC’s wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings.

Salmon Farm

Salmon Farm

Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms into British Columbia’s most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants.

The film documents her efforts to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC’s wild salmon.

wavy_line2

Many environmental experts have warned about the unsustainability of fish farms for a decade now,” writes Dr. Joseph M. Mercola an alternative physician and founder/editor of an alternative-medicine website. Mercola is the author of several books including The No-Grain Diet, and The Great Bird Flu Hoax.

Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola

“We have documented those objections in many previous articles,” he notes, but “unfortunately nothing has yet been done to improve the system.”

“As usual, government agencies and environmental organizations around the world turned a blind eye to what was predicted to become an absolute disaster, and now the ramifications can be seen across the globe, including in British Columbia, Canada.”

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Speak up for Animals

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

The old theosophical teachings, referred to as the “Wisdom Religion,” counsels an active altruism and love for all beings in Nature.

Theosophists are very concerned and serious about protecting Mother Earth with all her creatures great and small.

“Help Nature,” Blavatsky wrote in her translation of The Book of the Golden Precepts, “and work on with her.”

“Real Theosophy is Altruism,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote in her heroic article Our Cycle and the Next, adding:

“and we cannot repeat it too often— it is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth.”

Practically applied, Theosophy is about respecting all the billions of sentient, non-human entities, minerals, animals, and plants that surround and support our existence, many of whom are being used and abused by humankind, sacred resources thoughtlessly sacrificed to the god Mammon.

In her 19th century re-presentation of Theosophy, H. P. Blavatsky was not at all abstract when it came to standing up for the planet when she wrote “help Nature and work on with her,” and she was especially critical of what she witnessed as widespread animal abuse and cruelty in her time.

Though not a strict vegan, Mme. Blavatsky was in sync with today’s new age ideas and unreservedly supported the healthful practices and spiritual values of a non-meat diet. (See Article: Have Animals Souls?)

Blavatsky’s radicalism reveals itself in her six-point “mission statement” in The Secret Doctrine, especially point number five in which she declared that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms is conscious:

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

ζ

olivia-bouler

Olivia Bouler, Nature Lover

To appreciate the deeper truth of this occult fundamental requires an innocence of heart, usually a child’s — as in “become like little children,”(Matthew 18:3-4.)

Unlike adults, young children don’t mince words just to win approval. What they see is what they say. To become true planetary partners, therefore, an adult must (Book of the Golden Precepts,) “regain the child-state he has lost.”

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Silence of Love

THE famous meditation of John Donne, “never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee,” highlights two Theosophical principles:

First, the affirmation that there is no isolation, that nature and all mankind are interconnected — and second, karmic responsibility.

“It’s one thing to fashion a particular work of art, sculpture, painting, a worthy accomplishment,” Thoreau once wrote, “but much greater is the creation of one’s life.”

A compassionate activist tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill, took action as taught in The Voice of the Silence, and is surely a living example of Theosophy pure and simple. Julia willingly sacrificed her comfort and well-being, as the Voice counsels, to “help Nature and work on with her.”

“…to exemplify the highest potential imagined, it is the highest of loving artistic accomplishments,” Thoreau believed.


“The divine oneness of life, the just and unerring operations of karma, and our cyclic rebirths here on earth,” Ingrid Van Mater writes in Reflections on the Voice of the Silence, “form the broad canvas on which aspects of human conflicts and possibilities are presented.” 

One of the primary keynotes of the Voice, Van Mater notes, is the “illusion stemming from the ‘heresy of separateness,’ and the discipline and exercise of the paramitas or virtues required of a genuine adept or teacher. These include charity, harmony in word and act, patience, fortitude, and indifference to pleasure and pain.”

“She doesn’t follow any organized religion but says she believes very strongly in the spirituality of the universe.”

Redwoods and Rododendrons

It must have been some inner, instinctual sense of harmony that roused Julia, as she climbed up those ropes into Luna, a 20-story Redwood, to begin her precarious encampment as a human shield in the endangered redwood trees. 

“Such is the quality of commitment, the degree of self-sacrifice of a bodhisattva or Buddha of Compassion,” Van Mater wrote, “who gives himself totally to join those, ‘unthanked and unperceived by man,’ who build and sustain the Guardian Wall protecting mankind, to shield us and this planet ‘invisibly from still worse evils.'”

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Souls of Nature

ANYONE who thinks Theosophy is only about abstract metaphysics, invisible worlds or mystical hierarchies, might want to think again.

The old theosophical teachings, referred to as the “Wisdom Religion,” counsels active altruism, and are serious about protecting Mother Earth with all her creatures great and small.

“Help Nature,” says Blavatsky in her translation of The Book of the Golden Precepts, “and work on with her.”

“Real Theosophy is Altruism, Mme. Blavatsky also wrote in her heroic article Our Cycle and the Next, adding: “and we cannot repeat it too often:

it is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth.”

Continue reading

Legacy of Love

THE famous meditation of John Donne, “never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee,” highlights two Theosophical principles:

First, the affirmation that there is no isolation, that nature and all mankind are interconnected — and second, karmic responsibility.

“It’s one thing to fashion a particular work of art, sculpture, painting, a worthy accomplishment,” Thoreau once wrote, “but much greater is the creation of one’s life.”

“…to exemplify the highest potential imagined, it is the highest of loving artistic accomplishments,” he believed.

A compassionate activist, Julia Butterfly Hill is a living example of Theosophy pure and simple, took the decisive action taught in The Voice of the Silence — sacrificing  her comfort and well-being to “help Nature and work on with her.”

It must have been a profound inner sense of the sacred that roused Julia, as she climbed up those ropes, to begin a permanent encampment in the endangered redwood trees.

“She doesn’t follow any organized religion but says she believes very strongly in the spirituality of the universe.”

Continue reading

Flesh of My Flesh

BECAUSE all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, the whole of nature could be really one family.

New insights of epigenetics have lead to a revolutionary view of human biology. Theosophy concurs with many of these new findings.

“The failures of science and its arbitrary assumptions,” Blavatsky says in The Secret Doctrine (2:670), “are far greater on the whole than any ‘extravagant’ esoteric doctrine.”

The traditional geneticist’s view of evolution “is from the animal,” she reminds us, and “mind in its various phases” is viewed, erroneously, as completely separate from matter.

It follows, then, that the identical genes that were in our ancestor’s bodies, that Blavatsky called “The Life Atoms” —”are transmitted through their descendants for generation after generation…

“…so that we are literally ‘flesh of the flesh’ of the primeval creature who has developed into man in the later period.”

§

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Legacy of Luna

THE famous meditation of John Donne, “never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee,” highlights two Theosophical principles:

First, the affirmation that there is no isolation, that nature and all mankind are interconnected — and second, karmic responsibility.

“It’s one thing to fashion a particular work of art, sculpture, painting, a worthy accomplishment,” Thoreau once wrote, “but much greater is the creation of one’s life.”

“…to exemplify the highest potential imagined, it is the highest of loving artistic accomplishments,” he believed.

A compassionate activist, Julia Butterfly Hill is a living example of Theosophy pure and simple, took the decisive action taught in The Voice of the Silence — sacrificing  her comfort and well-being to “help Nature and work on with her.”

It must have been a profound inner sense of the sacred that roused Julia, as she climbed up those ropes, to begin a permanent encampment in the endangered redwood trees.

“She doesn’t follow any organized religion but says she believes very strongly in the spirituality of the universe.”

Continue reading

Healing from Inside

NEUROSCIENTISTS  have been busy for years trying to catalog the “neuronal correlates of consciousness” in the brain,

They are determined to prove that consciousness somehow originates in the gray matter between our ears.

This mechanistic view was assumed by the Human Genome Project, established to catalog the complete human DNA.

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

Continue reading

Animal Souls

THOSE who think Theosophy is only about abstract metaphysics, invisible worlds and mystical hierarchies, might want to think again.

The old theosophical teachings, referred to as the “Wisdom Religion,” are very much about getting down to Mother Earth.

It’s about respecting the billions of sentient, non-human entities — animals and plants that surround and support our existence — many of whom are still being used and abused.

In her 19th century re-presentation of Theosophy, H. P. Blavatsky was not abstract when it came to standing up for the planet (“help Nature and work on with her”,) and against what she saw as widespread animal abuse and cruelty.

Not a radical vegan, she nevertheless supported the health and spiritual values of a non-meat diet.

Continue reading

Closer to Home

GALAXIES form groups from few to a few dozen, to large clusters up to several thousands.

These vast star systems are called “Local Groups,” and all the galaxies they hold, like cells, are in mutual attraction and interaction with each other.

On a lesser scale our solar system, the home of our Earth the other planets, calls the Milky Way Galaxy its home.

Correspondingly, just as the Earth is home to us humans, so our human bodies are habitats and landscapes to billions of microbes — all interconnected with a common mission in the vastness of inner space.

View from Outer Space

At the request of Carl Sagan, NASA commanded the Voyager 1 spacecraft — having completed its primary mission and now leaving the solar system — to turn its camera around and take a photograph of Earth from outer space. Continue reading

Animals Like Us

THE complex mental and emotional activity evidenced in the kingdoms of nature — from microbes to man’s best friend — was largely unappreciated by science until recent years.

Perhaps we were too lost in our large physical brains to notice our interconnectedness with nature.

Intellect develops in man at the expense of instinct, according to Theosophy. And what remains is a “flickering reminiscence of a once divine spiritual omniscience.”

“Reason — the badge of sovereignty of physical man over all other organisms in nature — is often put to shame by the instinct of an animal,” Blavatsky wrote in Isis Unveiled.

A human’s brain is larger and more complex than that of any other creature, and his intellect is therefore more pronounced.  But, intellect alone “serves humans only for material concerns” she says.

Mentality is incapable of leading us to any useful appreciation of either the innate order, or the spiritual intelligence displayed by nature. Continue reading

Rejoining Gaia

GAIA the Greek Goddess of the Earth, was mother to all the Gods according to the ancient Greeks. In the beginning there was only Chaos, out of which there appeared Gaia they taught, who gave birth to more than fifty symbolic deities.

In Gaia’s role as mother to the Gods, and employing many fathers, she gave birth to numerous entities, for example Python, Antaeus, Ceto, Charybdis, Echidna, Creusa,  Erichthonius, Eurybia, Typhon — who may have represented the titanic formative and creative forces of Earth’s early history.

The ancients were fond of personifying the natural forces in nature and man, and for good reason.

Nature was conscious, as Theosophy teaches, and is “in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings guided by High Planetary Spirits.”

Please note this post was updated and republished at:

Superorganism


Over Troubled Waters

polarbearWE emphasized in a recent post how important our thoughts are, and how compassion can lead to far-reaching, practical results.

When the Inner Ruler, our immortal Self, is actively engaged no achievement is beyond our reach. Yet, an elevated state of consciousness is only the first step.

Krishna required of his disciple Arjuna (who is everyman), that he be a “man of action,” not merely a right thinking one.

An Earth Day Message

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Yoga,” Krishna taught, “is skill in the performance of actions.” This seems very different from the image of a yogi sitting cross-legged, hardly breathing, with eyes closed.

Carlyle

Carlyle

Krishna’s teaching is exemplified in the high inspiration of Carlyle:

“The end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were the noblest.”

The Global Oneness Project

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A Law of Service

Practically speaking, what are these “actions” we should take? What exactly are we doing for ‘others?’ It would seem they should be not just efforts to achieve personal self-enlightenment, but to perform service. “Self-knowledge is of loving deeds the child,” according to The Voice of the Silence.

Enlightenment and loving service to others, by this account, are bound together in an endless, spiritual feedback. “Compassion is no attribute,” says the Voice again, “It is the LAW of LAWS.” Teacher Annie Leonard took practical action to help herself, and the entire planet with what has become a national campaign titled “The Story of Stuff.”

The Story of Stuff, with Annie Leonard

What’s Good for Others

Judge

Judge

This is the road less traveled, the “small old path” spoken of by all true Masters.  Those who seek this path unselfishly, have “many duties to perform,” says W. Q. Judge:

“His duty to mankind, his family – nature – himself and his creator—but duty here means something very different from that which is conveyed by the time and lip-worn word, Duty. Our comprehension of the term is generally based upon society’s or man’s selfish interpretation. It is quite generally thought that duty means the performance of a series of acts which others think I ought to perform, whereas, it more truly means the performance of actions by me which I know are good for others, or the wisest at the moment.” (Am I My Brother’s Keeper?)

As important as good intentions are, hell is famously paved with them. A great theosophical Master was adamant in his assertion that “motives are vapours, as attenuated as the atmospheric moisture.”  And like steam fed into an engine, “the practical value of good motives is best seen when they take the form of deeds.”

The Universe – A Living System

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Higher Calling

Julia Butterfly Hill

Julia Butterfly Hill

“Among many ideas brought forward through the theosophical movement,” says William Q. Judge, “there are three which should never be lost sight of.”  In Judge’s first idea we recognize what is meant in the repeated phrase of Blavatsky, “theosophy pure and simple.”

“The first idea is, that there is a great Cause — in the sense of an enterprise — called the Cause of Sublime Perfection and Human Brotherhood.

This rests upon the essential unity of the whole human family, and is a possibility because sublimity in perfectness and actual realization of brotherhood on every plane of being are one and the same thing.”

Practical Theosophy, in this broader sense, Blavatsky writes, ” is not one Science, but embraces every science in life, moral and physical. …

“It may, in short, be justly regarded as the universal ‘coach,’ a tutor of world-wide knowledge and experience…”

Vanishing Glaciers

Tom Gaylord’s glacier photos tell a story, in pictures, about Alaska’s beautiful but dwindling glaciers. The rapid retreat of glaciers throughout the world is an undeniable observation, and that human activities are the major reason for this is a scientific fact.

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When we elevate our inner thought life, this naturally leads to a focus on service to others, not for oneself alone. H. P. Blavatsky defined this highest duty as that which is owed to all men:

Blavatsky

Blavatsky

Duty is that which is due to Humanity, to our fellow-men, neighbours, family, and especially that which we owe to all those who are poorer and more helpless than we are ourselves.

This is a debt which, if left unpaid during life, leaves us spiritually insolvent and moral bankrupts in our next incarnation. Theosophy is the quintessence of duty.” (The Key to Theosophy, p. 229)

Three Areas of Oneness

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Whether you are moved to selfless service through the precepts of Krishna, Buddha or Jesus, or any other great teacher, makes no difference.  These teachings are universal, and what is more, not confined solely to the human kingdom.

“Brotherhood,” Theosophy teaches, “is a fact in nature.” And if humankind is inseparable from the whole of nature, as the ancients teach, our duty towards other kingdoms is self-evident.

Thoreau

Thoreau

“One thing is certain – that we had best be doing something in good earnest henceforth forever—that’s an indispensable philosophy.”

-Thoreau

From our last post:

“It is this action and interaction, this true brotherhood and sisterhood, in which each shall live for all and all for each, which is one of the fundamental Theosophical principles that every Theosophist should be bound, not only to teach, but to carry out in his or her individual life.”

H. P. Blavatsky

Jataka Tales

The Jataka Tales are short stories depicting reincarnations of the Buddha, in various animal forms. A fascinating, and soul-instructive journey — but that will appear as a separate article.

However, one Tale in particular is related to today’s post:

The Monkey Bridge

Jataka Tales

Jataka Tales

The Global Oneness Project is exploring how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be lived in our increasingly complex world. Since 2006, we’ve been traveling the globe gathering stories from creative and courageous people who base their lives and work on the understanding that we bear great responsibility for each other and our shared world.

An Ongoing Revelation

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Related posts:

Thoughts That Count

Not An Island

bridgeA Bridge Over Troubled Water

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When you’re weary, feelin’ small,
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all.
I’m on your side oh, when times get rough and friends just can’t be found.
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.

When you’re down and out, when you’re on the street,
When evening falls so hard I will comfort you.
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes and pain is all around.
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.