Tag Archives: Nirvana

Finding Nirvana with a Stroke of Insight

Jill BolteTaylor

Jill BolteTaylor

LORD Krishna the famed deity of Hinduism, pegged the complex duality of our human minds more than five thousand years ago.

In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna instructs his disciple Arjuna on the paradoxical nature of the mind and senses — all while the pair were in the middle of a battlefield with arrows flying.

The “Self is the friend of self, and in like manner, self is its own enemy” Krishna cautions the reluctant warrior Arjuna in the Gita, Chapter Six.

The ancient wisdom-teaching of dueling human selves was much more than a symbolic morality play. And the unavoidable reality is preserved in our own living flesh, dynamically channeling through the dual hemispheres of our physical brain.

Beyond the physical body and brain, remaining yet a means of reaching that place lies Nirvana, a spiritually lucid zone of release and liberation from worldly concerns. All self-realized Masters of Wisdom, according to Theosophy, have achieved and live in that spiritual state fully conscious.

smilingbuddhas

Such Adepts such as Buddha, followed the injunction of the Book of the Golden Precepts,” according to William Q. Judge in his Echoes from the Orient (p. 33), to”Step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others.”

“They are owners of Nirvana who refuse to accept it in order that they may help the suffering orphan, Humanity.”

It can be compared to the sacrifice of workers for humanitarian causes who give up modern comforts and rest to help others. Such are the examples of Father Damien (lauded by H. P. Blavatsky in her Key to Theosophy), who devoted his life to the leper colonies of Hawaii.

Father Damien

Father Damien

“He was a true Theosophist,” she wrote, “and his memory will live for ever in our annals.” And similarly we recall the selfless work of Helene and Albert Schweitzer who volunteered as medical missionaries in Africa.

There are many hundreds of examples of volunteers who today are working tirelessly in many areas of the world including areas of the environment, conservation, poverty, animal welfare and child abuse, starvation, etc., etc.

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Disappearance of the Third Eye

Awakening

THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” according to The Secret Doctrine.

This “stupendous development,” say the ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”

In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor. Under karmic law, “a cause as regards its successor.”

If lifetimes and universes are like schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, pushing us to ever greater self-awareness and spiritual development—only if we are wise enough to pursue that path.

Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of “progressive awakenings,” enhanced drop by drop, by our individual, family, racial, national and global karmas.

ζ

Every person settles into his or her own unique rhythm in which a lifetime meditation reflects a mix of past karma, and present choices.

We are all at slightly differing points on an ascending evolutionary arc, paying off old debts, making new ones—pushing forward or slipping back, and the mind awakens to new realities.

The choices that shape our character each lifetime, are self-chosen—compounded of physical, sensory, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual energies.

The ancient Egyptian judgement after death, symbolically weighed the individual’s heart against the “feather of truth.”

The challenges of life, the occult doctrine notes, are the result of our being stuck in a personal plane of consciousness, a world view. Whatever that may be, “both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

Weighing the Heart

Then, as our spiritual insight grows, “we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities.”

“…and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’—”

§

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Your Own Worst Enemy

Jill BolteTaylor

Jill BolteTaylor

LORD Krishna the famed deity of Hinduism, pegged the complex duality of our human minds more than five thousand years ago.

In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna instructs his disciple Arjuna on the paradoxical nature of the mind and senses — all while the pair were in the middle of a battlefield with arrows flying.

The “Self is the friend of self, and in like manner, self is its own enemy” Krishna cautions the reluctant warrior Arjuna in Chapter Six.

The ancient wisdom-teaching of dueling human selves was much more than a symbolic morality play. And the unavoidable reality is preserved in our own living flesh, dynamically channeling through the dual hemispheres of our physical brain.

One of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in The World,” neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, describes the phenomenon in what she calls her “Stroke of Genius,” her book with that title. The story of her life-and-death ordeal dramatizes the paradoxical psycho-physiological puzzle of spirit, mind and physical brain.

As Jill recounts her experience, in a brief interview, we get a picture of the two physical halves of the brain, and how each is called to be a unique vehicle  expressing the Yin-Yang of “self.”

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Waking the Third Eye

THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” according to The Secret Doctrine.

This “stupendous development,” say the ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”

In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor. Under karmic law, “a cause as regards its successor.”

If lifetimes and universes are like schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, pushing us to ever greater self-awareness and spiritual development—only if we are wise enough to pursue that path.

Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of “progressive awakenings,” enhanced drop by drop, by our individual, family, racial, national and global karmas.

ζ

Every person settles into his or her own unique rhythm in which a lifetime meditation reflects a mix of past karma, and present choices.

We are all at slightly differing points on an ascending evolutionary arc, paying off old debts, making new ones—pushing forward or slipping back, and the mind awakens to new realities.

The choices that shape our character each lifetime, are self-chosen—compounded of physical, sensory, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual energies.

The ancient Egyptian judgement after death, symbolically weighed the individual’s heart against the “feather of truth.”

The challenges of life, the occult doctrine notes, are the result of our being stuck in a personal plane of consciousness, a world view. Whatever that may be, “both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

Weighing the Heart

Then, as our spiritual insight grows, “we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities.”

“…and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’—”

§

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Waking Up

THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” according to The Secret Doctrine.

This “stupendous development,” say the ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”

In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor. Under karmic law, “a cause as regards its successor.”

If lifetimes and universes are like schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, pushing us to ever greater self-awareness and spiritual development—only if we are wise enough to pursue that path.

Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of “progressive awakenings,” enhanced drop by drop, by our individual, family, racial, national and global karmas.

ζ

Continue reading

Spiritual Beings 2

THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” according to The Secret Doctrine.

This “stupendous development,” say these ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.

To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”

In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor, under karmic law, and “a cause as regards its successor.”

If these lifetimes and universes are like schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, urging us to greater self-awareness and spiritual development, if we are wise enough to choose that path.

Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of “progressive awakenings,” drop by drop, of individual, family, racial, national karma.

ζ

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.”