Tag Archives: Gnostics

Psychic or Noëtic: Choosing the Mind We Want

Alex Ross, ‘Beauty and the Beast’

WHEN acting through the physical filter of our human brains and bodies, our minds clearly manifest a complex double nature.

This idea 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 really soul faculty, our intuitional power source — it is the ‘god’ in us.

“The inner man is the only God we can have cognizance of. And how can this be otherwise? Grant us our postulate that God is a universally diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from being soaked through by, and in, the Deity?

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

“Yet, let no man anthropomorphise that essence in us … if he would hold to divine, not human truth, say that this ‘God in secret’ listens to, or is distinct from, either finite man or the infinite essence — for all are one.”

This is also Plato’s teaching about the ‘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.”

“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.

(William Q. Judge, The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, Book 2.)

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.

Harvard trained neuroanatomist, 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 life-changing experience:

Psychic vs Noëtic 

“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.

(Quoted by H. P. Blavatsky in her Article, Psychic and Noetic Action)

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Christos Rising

 

EASTER week is always Christianity’s “Jesus week,” and usually finds the secular media waging its annual knee-jerk assault on Christian beliefs.

Neither the media nor Christianity seem to know anything about the real Jesus, so we decided to enter the fray as truth-seekers, backed by ancient mystical teachings.

An old cover of Newsweek features “The Decline and Fall of Christian America, ” and is subtitled “The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become.”

So popular was the article, that runner-up news magazine, bloggers noted, was forced to disable comments on the Jon Meacham lead article.

Meachams’s controversial theme, The End of Christian America, received over 5,000 comments at the time, bloggers reported, “making the site wobbly.”

Continue reading

Murder for God 2

FEW honest and sincere believers have the faintest conception of the history surrounding the early beginnings of the Church.

Almost everyone is familiar with what is recorded in the New Testament concerning the differences of opinion that arose between Peter and Paul. But how many are aware of the fact that this split continued to grow?

For several centuries after the time of Jesus the best and most prominent of the Church Fathers were irreconcilably divided among themselves on issues of basic doctrine.

In order to retain power and authority, the dominant sectarians inaugurated a custom never before known in the recorded annals of religious history — the custom of anathema.

These Churchmen were too narrow and dogmatic in belief to allow room for natural divergences of opinion, which alone could have made of Christianity a vital and healthy organism. The result was a course of action diametrically opposed to the principle of tolerance reflected in the life of their declared inspiration, Jesus of Nazareth.

Having no faith in their capacity to win the adherence of thinking minds, the Church Fathers used anathema for the purpose of “persuading” those who could not be converted — and of silencing those not to be persuaded.

For the millennium “beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at one end and the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History,” says Mme. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine — (see Holy Heretics) —

“… wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the æons of time gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.” Continue reading

Murder for God 1

Rachel Weisz as Hypatia

THE fourth century was the turning point in the history of the Western world, the period in which Christianity took the form of a strong political organization.

Throttling the old religions, sciences and philosophies, “the Church” arose as a temporal power upon their remains.

At the same time, admiring crowds began gathering at the door of the academy where the learned and unfortunate Hypatia taught.

Hypatia, expounding the doctrines of the divine Plato and Plotinus, thereby impeded the progress of Christian proselytism.

She successfully dissipated the mists of the religious “mysteries” invented by the Christian Fathers, and was therefore considered dangerous.

H. P. Blavatsky writes in Isis Unveiled:

“This alone would have been sufficient to imperil both herself and her followers.”

The city of Alexandria is interesting to the Theosophical student, for there, just fifteen hundred years ago, existed the last great Theosophical School in history — the School which was begun by Ammonius Saccas, (called theodidaktos, or “god-taught”), and ended with the death of Hypatia. Continue reading

Healing the Beast

WHEN acting through human brains and bodies, our minds reveal a complex dual nature — a pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.

Mind’s higher aspect gravitates toward spirit, while the natural tendency of its physical reflection is attraction to form and desire.

Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is a soul faculty, our intuitional power source according to Theosophy — it is the “god” in man.

The alter-ego, our personal self, epitomized by the gut and brain consciousness, seems to be a conflicted mix of god and demagogue.

This enigma is dramatized by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s focus is of course anatomical, the left and right hemispheres. (See Love and Fury) Continue reading

Holy Heretics

crocus_snow1IN ANY age, when doctrine becomes dogma, and when fanaticism compels lip service to exclusive group beliefs, the ideas of Theosophy seem buried and forgotten.

We discover, however, that this is never entirely the case.

The insurgencies of dogma and prejudice are like the frozen snows which hide the promise of spring. But seeds survive beneath the snow — and even during the darkest centuries of Western history, there was heat and warmth enough under the surface to allow some of these seeds to germinate.

In a sense, then, the history of the relationship between “heretics” and the “renaissance” is the history of every age.

jung_alchemy

“We do not mean to take upon ourselves to defend the sects which inundated Europe at the eleventh century,” Helena Blavatsky wrote in Isis Unveiled (p. 326), “and which brought to light the most wonderful creeds. We limit our defense….

“…to those Christian sects whose theories were usually grouped under the generic name of Gnosticism. The Gnostics [who] appeared immediately after the alleged crucifixion, and lasted till they were nearly exterminated under the rigorous execution of the Constantinian law.”

Gnostic Mystery Schools
(overview)

“Had not the Christians burdened themselves with the Revelations of a little nation, and accepted the Jehovah of Moses, the Gnostic ideas would never have been termed heresies,” Blavatsky wrote.

“Once relieved of their dogmatic exaggerations the world would have had a religious system based on pure Platonic philosophy, and surely something would then have been gained.” – (Isis Unveiled, p. 155.)

Gnostic gospels of Nag Hamadi

Gnostic gospels of Nag Hamadi

The Lost Gnosis

(Prof. Elaine Pagels)

The Turning-Point

THE days of Constantine were the last turning-point in history, the period of the Supreme struggle that ended in the Western world throttling the old religions in favor of the new one, built on their bodies.

“This period, beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at the one end and the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the æons of time gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.” (Secret Doctrine I, Introductory)

inquisition

The Suppression

THE history of the Albigenses may be said to be written in blood. At first the church was content to condemn their errors at various councils (1165, 1176, 1178, 1179), but as their practical opposition to Rome became stronger, more decided measures were taken. Innocent III had scarcely ascended the papal throne when he sent legates to Toulouse (1198) to endeavor to suppress the sect.

Under the Roman Empire

The bloody war of extermination which followed has scarcely a parallel in history. As town after town was taken, the inhabitants were put to the sword ecclesiastics who were in the army especially distinguished themselves by a bloodthirsty ferocity. without distinction of age or sex, and the numerous

Inquisition4

The establishment of an Inquisition at Languedoc in 1229 accelerated the exterminating process, and a few years later, according to some historians, the sect was all but extinct. (Britannica, 9th Ed., “Albigenses”)

The Inquisition

NOT only were all Christians made to feel that it was their highest duty to aid in the exterminations of heretics, but they were taught that they must denounce them to the authorities, regardless of all consideration, human or divine. No tie of kindred served as an excuse for concealing heresy.

inquisition5

The son must denounce the father, and the husband was guilty if he did not deliver his wife to a frightful death.

Every human bond was severed by the guilt of heresy — children were taught to desert their parents, and even the sacrament of matrimony could not unite an orthodox wife to a misbelieving husband.

No pledge was to remain unbroken. (Britannica, 11th Ed., “Heresy”)

One Mother-Trunk

GnosticSoul

“We can assert, with entire plausibility, that there is not one of all these sects — Kabalism, Judaism, and our present Christianity included,” writes H. P. Blavatsky (Isis Unveiled 2:123):

“— but sprung from the two main branches of that one mother-trunk, the once universal religion, which antedated the Vedic ages — we speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which later merged into Brahmanism.”

Cracking the Gnostic Code

gnostic1

Gnosis means spiritual knowledge while Gnosticism was an ancient pre-Christian form of esoteric wisdom. The speaker, John Algeo, refers to Gnostic texts translated by the 19th century Theosophist G. R. S. Mead, Mme. Blavatsky’s Secretary — and shows how the Gnostics coded their wisdom.

This is an hour-long video lecture. You may wish to make a note of the elapsed minutes, and return to this valuable information several times, by sliding the bottom bar to the right.

 

blavatsky

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky ….

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“The world is not prepared yet to understand

… the philosophy of Occult Science – let them assure themselves first of all that there are beings in an invisible world … and that there are hidden powers in man …” (HPB Letters)

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“Races of men differ in spiritual ‘gifts

… as in color, stature, or any other external quality — among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship.” (Isis Unveiled)

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Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers

… is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic outruns the [mental] and spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the [mind] principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of being controlled, using instead of being used, lead the student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction.”
(To the American Conventions)

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“The acquisition of the highest knowledge and power

… require not only many years of the severest study …. and an audacity bent by no peril, but also as many years of retreat in comparative solitude, and association with but students pursuing the same object, in a locality where nature itself preserves like the neophyte an absolute and unbroken stillness, if not silence!” –  (H. P. Blavatsky)

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