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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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The Wonder of You

WHEN disturbing, destructive events invade our collective human consciousness, we have the power as spiritual beings to transmute and heal those negative energies.

If there is news of corruption, greed, suffering — embedding their messages into our psyches — how do we counter their debilitating influences – mental, physical and psychological?

The forces impacting our personal, national and global life, have taught us much about ‘inherent evil.’  But what of ‘inherent good?’

This week, we intended a post about modern cosmology and evolution, in the light of Theosophy.

We choose, instead to focus on optimism and light, against the numbing pessimism of materialism. Continue reading

Evil in Mumbai

NPR Weekend Edition Host Scott Simon’s commentary week on Mumbai was a bit of a surprise. “[A]fter covering too many killings, as a reporter or host, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Oklahoma City or Somalia, I’ve come to the conclusion that the perpetrators of such crimes might just be … evil,” he said.

Scott Simon

Scott Simon

 

“Evil is a word that many people of my generation shrink from using. It seems so imprecise and uneducated — biblical, rather than cerebral and informed. But there are times and crimes that remind me how often the Bible gets it right.”


INHERENT EVIL

Shrinking away from the idea that a person could inherently be evil is nothing new. The fifth century Chinese Buddhist translator Dao Sheng had a really hard time with the concept of icchantikas—those who do not have the Buddha-nature, which the Buddha mentioned in his final teaching, The Nirvana Sutra. So Dao Sheng rewrote and retranslated the text to say that icchantikas could be saved too, adding rose-colored lenses to the Buddhist worldview.

It is not unlike C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, where the best way for evil to conquer is to convince people that it does not exist.


EMBODIED EVIL

When asked about the nature of “entities,” William Q. Judge explained:

W. Q. Judge

W. Q. Judge

First, there are the humdrum masses of elementals that move like nerve-currents with every motion of man, beast, or natural elements. Next are classes of those which have a peculiar power and consciousness of their own and not easily reached by any man.

Then come the shades of the dead, whether mere floating shells, or animated elementals, or infused with galvanic and extraordinary action by the Brothers of the Shadow.

Last, the Brothers of the Shadow, devoid of physical bodies save in rare cases, bad souls living long in that realm and working according to their nature for no other end than evil until they are finally annihilated—they are the lost souls of Kama Loka as distinguished from the “animated corpses” devoid of souls which live and move among men (The Path February 1895).

NO CONSCIENCE

In explaining how evil people “function,” Scott Simon mentions Romeo Dallaire:

Roméo Dallaire

Roméo Dallaire

“[T]he courageous Canadian general who tried to stop massacres in Rwanda, once told us that evil men and women see no innocents in the world. They will slaughter mothers without conscience and their children, too, because mothers give birth to children who can grow up to be their opponents. Evil people are not dumb, he said. They simply use the power of their mind to cut off their conscience.”


CHIEF CAUSE OF WORLD EVIL

But it is Master K.H. (Mahatma Kuthumi or Koot Hoomi) in the Mahatma Letters who brings this topic full circle in understanding “evil”  in Mumbai and other terrorism in 41m2s2rtgvl_sl160_our world:

I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power.

For two thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste, Brahmins alone feeding on the fat of the land, and to-day the followers of Christ and those of Mahomet are cutting each other’s throats in the names of and for the greater glory of their respective myths.

It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of the opportunity.

Look at India and look at Christendom and Islam, at Judaism and Fetichism. It is priestly imposture that rendered these Gods so terrible to man; it is religion that makes of him the selfish bigot, the fanatic that hates all mankind out of his own sect without rendering him any better or more moral for it. It is belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretence of saving them….

A SOLUTION

Remember the sum of human misery will never be diminished unto that day when the better portion of humanity destroys in the name of Truth, morality, and universal charity, the altars of their false gods.”

Following The Wheel of The Good Law

Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws – eternal Harmony…

The Voice of the Silence

Dharma Wheel (Dharmachakra, Wheel of Law)

Dharmachakra

Dharmachakra

So much “original” writing is done today, so much “self-expression” is indulged in that, in the glamour that is raised, the chants of the Gods remain unheard. One of our tasks is to bring home the truth that it is not derogatory to respect the old age facts of the science of the soul.

The study of the wise ancients convinces us that our forefathers knew better and more than we do. …It is one of the tasks of this journal to awaken an intelligent appreciation of the hoary past so that an intelligent adaptation of some of the old truths to modern life and conditions may take place. -B.P.Wadia, “The Aryan Path”

THE KARMIC HEART

False learning is rejected by the Wise, and scattered to the Winds by the good Law. Its wheel revolves for all, the humble and the proud. … The wheel of the good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives from out the golden grain, the refuse from the flour. The hand of Karma guides the wheel; the revolutions mark the beatings of the Karmic heart.

True knowledge is the flour, false learning is the husk. If thou would’st eat the bread of Wisdom, thy flour thou hast to knead with Amrita’s [immortality] clear waters. But if thou kneadest husks with Maya’s dew, thou canst create but food for the black doves of death, the birds of birth, decay and sorrow. … Follow the wheel of life; follow the wheel of duty to race and kin, to friend and foe, and close thy mind to pleasures as to pain. Exhaust the law of Karmic retribution. Gain Siddhis for thy future birth. -The Voice of the Silence

THE SACRIFICE

Sri Krishna

Sri Krishna

“Those who dress their meat but for themselves eat the bread of sin, being themselves sin incarnate. Beings are nourished by food, food is produced by rain, rain comes from sacrifice, and sacrifice is performed by action. Know that action comes from the Supreme Spirit who is one; wherefore the all-pervading Spirit is at all times present in the sacrifice.”

The Bhagavad-Gita – Krishna, Chapter 3, “Devotion Through The Right Performance of Action.”

“This Law — whether Conscious or Unconscious,” says H. P. Blavatsky, “predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself…Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position.”

H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine 2:304-5

At this time of “Thanksgiving,” all students of Theosophy feel an extra impulse to recognize the sacredness of life, and teach by example. To perform “sacrifice” by action, as Krishna says,  we avoid the unnecessary suffering and destruction of living beings. When the fruits and vegetables provided by Mother Gaia are so plentiful and nutritious, is it necessary to butcher millions of helpless animals for our sensory pleasure? Just a question, and we would be remiss if we did not raise the question on Theosophically inspired pages.

xmas-tree-revenge_150Each of us, semi-self-conscious humans, has the power of choice that other beings living here with us do not. With that comes moral responsibility. We were shamed, and strongly impressed by a Mike Adams article in NaturalNews.com dated Dec. ’07 “Revenge of The Christmas Trees.” Sorry if this seems raw, but the occasional straight talk can be a useful wake up call:

I’ve noticed that the people who are killing all the trees are the same people eating all the meat at Christmas dinners, too! How do those Christmas dinner prayers really work for meat eaters and tree harvesters, anyway? “God, please bless this family, bless this house, bless all the people on Earth… but MURDER ALL THE FREAKING TREES AND ANIMALS!” I guess those people believe God somehow supports animal factory farms that produce mass suffering and mass animal murder just so they can have their pretty nitrite-enhanced Christmas ham dinner.

THE WHEEL OF RECIPROCITY

“In other places and ages food is produced, but it does not in everything come up to the required standard. In this age we have to submit to these difficulties, and can overcome them by following Krishna’s instructions….

“In the verse above quoted the distinction is made between food naturally produced without, and that due to, sacrifice, for Krishna says, “For, being nourished by sacrifices, the gods will give you the desired food.”

“They are not the mere idols and imaginary beings … but are certain powers and properties of nature which leave the world when the Kali-yuga or dark age, as this is called, has fully set in.

“There is, however, another meaning to the “revolution of the wheel” spoken of by Krishna. He makes it very clear that he refers to the principle of reciprocity or brotherhood. And this he declares must be kept revolving; that is, each being must live according to that rule, or else he lives a life of sin to no purpose.

“And we can easily believe that in these days this principle, while admired as a fine theory, is not that which moves the people. They are, on the contrary, spurred by the personal selfish idea of each one becoming better, greater, richer than his neighbor. …

“And it was to counteract this that the Theosophical Society was founded, with the object of inducing men to once more revolve this wheel of brotherly love.”

Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. 3, William Q. Judge


Wife of Billionaire T. Boone Pickens Plots to Save Wild Horses From Slaughter

Wild Horses

Wild Horses



Self-Knowledge Is Of Loving Deeds The Child

hpb16

One must reach Self-Knowledge, and Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds the child.

Have patience, Candidate, as one who fears no failure, courts no success. Fix thy Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray thou art, the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown.

Have perseverance as one who doth for evermore endure. Thy shadows live and vanish; that which in thee shall live for ever, that which in thee knows, for it is knowledge, is not of fleeing life: it is the man that was, that is, and will be, for whom the hour shall never strike.

Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, an fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

The Voice of the Silence

My point in presenting this perspective is that my experience shows that the gray area between non-functioning/oddly connected brain-mind situations with challenged individuals, and possible mystic realization (although I think unconscious), as revealed in their abstract behavior, is vast. Remember, I felt similarly about my late daughter Cherise, who had multiple disabilities, as revealed (I thought) through her behaviors. Surely, this is the best way for a parent to relate to these situations rather than resignation to a non-connection with persons like this.  But without a Theosophical education (there, without the grace of Theosophy, go I), I surely would have remained in the “dark.”

In fact, without some genuine study in true mystical studies, such as HPB’s The Voice of the Silence or perhaps something like Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms, there really cannot be enough actual information to go on, to decide whether the actions of one so afflicted with such karma, is displaying something based in mystical abstraction or simply disjointed mentation.

More to the point; I know that during my daughter’s seizure activity, if I were to look into her eyes as if I were looking to relate with that which resides “within” the troubled body/mind relationship, for the Real “Cherise,” and literally calling her to take charge or bring order, on occasion just that occurred. Over the years of my Theosophical study, I became more and more convinced that such behaviors as hers were based in a disorderly relationship between that which cannot know disorder, her Higher Self, and the personal man, where such disorders can reside. It was this kind of awareness (albeit initially without real knowledge or understanding) that provoked my original search for whatever wisdom existed that might further my intuitions and make them practical.

It is practical wisdom we need. Or the alternative is simply insisting that such afflicted individuals are always displaying some kind of disjointed mystically based behavior, is just a kind of “enlightenment” wishful thinking. This is where someone has sort of latched onto this kind of thinking through an introduction to Eastern or some kind of mystical thought, as a parent perhaps might. But without any real “substantial” awareness of anything mystical, or any real knowledge of what that even means, they might decide this behavior is mystical, given that alternative culturally acceptable ideals or models are just too negative. (which, of course, most are).

However, Theosophical teachings are clear on the relationship between the lower and Higher Self.  For all behaviors are essentially spoken to, to be altered by trillions of psychological and karmic variations to be sure, but not in cause, only in expression. So, all of our so-called “normal” behaviors are included as well. And that, I think, is the real test of such a philosophy regarding its practicality or lack thereof: Is it applicable to all conditions of human expression?

Steven Levey

It is easy to become a Theosophist. Any person of average intellectual capacities, and a leaning toward the meta-physical; of pure, unselfish life, who finds more joy in helping his neighbour than in receiving help himself; one who is ever ready to sacrifice his own pleasures for the sake of other people; and who loves Truth, Goodness and Wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit they may confer–is a Theosophist.

But it is quite another matter to put oneself upon the path which leads to the knowledge of what is good to do, as to the right discrimination of good from evil; a path which also leads a man to that power through which he can do the good he desires, often without even apparently lifting a finger.

H. P. Blavatsky


“The behaviors our children show are a reflection of our incompetence, not theirs.”

Dr. Marc Gold

marc-gold2Marc Gold began his career as a special education teacher in Los Angeles. It was there that he formulated a values based systematic training approach, “Try Another Way.” This approach was based on a few fundamental beliefs: Everyone can learn but we have to figure out how to teach; students with developmental disabilities have much more potential than anyone realizes; and all people with disabilities should have the opportunity to decide how to live their lives. These video segments demonstrate his philosophy, and the respect and value he placed on the abilities of each of his students.

Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities -http://www.mnddc.org

Dr. Marc Gold: “Try Another Way”

View the video… (26 Min.)

Or copy and paste this link into a new window:

http://www.mnddc.org/parallels2/four/video/video44-tryanotherway.html