Tag Archives: spiritual

The Self-Awakened State, a Visceral Knowing

Star Gazer

ASTRONAUT Edgar Mitchell’s epiphany struck when he looked out the window of his spacecraft at the Earth, Moon, and Sun, surrounded by an infinitely vast universe.

Suddenly it came to him that the molecules and cells of our bodies “must have had their origin in those faraway stars.”

It was at that moment an overwhelming realization of the interconnectedness of all life dawned on him.

It was a life-altering flash of insight — not an “intellectual knowledge,” he said, but a “visceral knowing:”

It was accompanied by a very blissful feeling that I had never experienced before.

This feeling is sometimes called the ‘overview effect.’ “The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space.  It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, ‘hanging in the void’, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.”

This is doubtless the ideal evoked by the original First Object of the Theosophical Movement: (Objects of the Theosophical Society)

To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.

Indeed: “From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this ‘pale blue dot’ becomes both obvious and imperative.” (Wikipedia)

Sun, Earth, Moon, and Stars.

Dr. Mitchell describes being completely engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness, in the below video excerpt from Renée Scheltema’s visionary film, Something Unknown is Doing We Don’t Know What.

Having had the life-changing experience of the Overview Effect, the former astronaut, along with parapsychologist Charles Tart, attempt to interpret the non-linear feelings and insights for the rest of us.

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The Occult Side of Nature: An Invisible Physical

helena-blavatsky-c-1875

Helena Blavatsky

ALWAYS ready to argue for the existence of an invisible physical world, within visible matter, the writer of The Secret Doctrine, Helena Blavatsky, was ever adamant.

She continually challenged the scientific materialistic beliefs of her day. In her monumental work, The Secret Doctrine, she wrote an introduction which included the following declaration:

“The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not ‘a fortuitous concurrence of atoms,’ and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe — to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring.

Finally, to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.

(The Secret Doctrine: Vol. 1:vii Preface)

Madam Blavatsky frequently took up the cause of a universal, invisible and intelligent medium supporting the visible physical universe. This “invisible physical” she maintained, is critical to understanding Occult Science detailed in The Secret Doctrine.

Universal Matrix

Establishing this occult science in her seminal work,  Mme. Blavatsky asserted that: “The whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences

depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.

“The astral body is itself an aspect of the real inner body,” Robert Crosbie, the Co-Founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists wrote: 

“… which has lasted through the vast period of the past and must continue through the far distant future. This astral body is the prototype, or design, around which the physical body is built, and which, considered from the point of view of the powers, is the real physical body. Without it the physical body would be nothing but a mass of matter — an aggregation of smaller lives.” 

astralbody

Astral Medium

Our Real Senses

“It is the astral body which contains the organs, or centers, from which the organs have been evolved in accord with the needs of the thinker within,” he continued. “The real senses of man are not in the physical but in the astral body. The astral body lasts a little over one lifetime. It does not die when the physical body dies, but is used as a body in the immediate after-death states.” 

After The Secret Doctrine was published it would not be long before modern frontier scientists would begin to take up Mme. Blavatsky’s assertions in earnest using established scientific methods of inquiry. Seven important experiments suggesting the existence of an invisible astral matrix were initiated during the initial decades of the 20th and 21st century.

Even Mme. Blavatsky admitted:

It is gratifying to see how scientific imagination approaches every year more closely to the borderland of our occult teachings.

Thus the subtitle of this blog, i.e. “Ancient Thought in Modern Dress,” is taken from a phrase used by Mme. Blavatsky in her Volume 1, page 572 of The Secret Doctrine.

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No Big Bang: A Kinder, Gentler Universe

Soul of the World

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

The “stupendous development,” the Sages taught, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To Initiated Seers our universe, while full of important information, is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes,” Theosophy says.

[The Secret Doctrine 1:43]

In this view, each individual cosmos and corresponding single human life is the result and the effect of its predecessor. Under the never-erring law of Karma, every universe becomes “a cause as regards its successor.”

Instead of only one ‘Big Bang,’ as standard model science dogma describes the origin of the universe, Theosophy postulates an infinite number of recurring universes, each one an improvement on the last. Today a new view in modern theoretical physics suggests a similar idea.

Universeinyourhands

Cyclic Universes

“There was not just one bang,” say theoretical physicists Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok in their book Endless Universe, postulating a groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to the theory, the Big Bang “was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution.” Very close to the Theosophical view, it turns out.

What these scientists seem to be proposing is the law of periodicity, the Second Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine

“In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that ‘steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.'” —Wall Street Journal

The distinguished theoretical physicists propose that “the evolution of the universe is cyclic with big bangs occurring once every trillion or so.”

The Great Breath

To Theosophy, ‘periodicity’ is certainly an admirable start. But unlike the speculation of an “infinite cycle of titanic collisions,” Theosophy offers a much kinder and gentler solution tied to the cosmology offered by “generations of initiated seers.”

Those findings conclude that we exist in a living universe, where everything to its core is alive, sustained by an eternal, perpetual rhythmic breathing or pulsation.

(We may be asleep at night, but luckily, we continue breathing.) The Universe, according to the occult dynamics of The Secret Doctrine, does the same.

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Mother’s Love, a Shoreless Universal Essence

Mother and Child

WHENEVER there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy teaches, there will always be suffering.

This is why we need to continually try to practice Divine Compassion, “the law of laws,” as urged in The Voice of the Silence, and all that implies about our daily actions.

“Compassion is no attribute, it is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony —

“… a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things — the law of love eternal.”

(The Voice of the Silence)

A feeling of true, universal compassion and caring for others can never dissolve into either separateness or selfish pride. Says the Voice of the Silence of The Buddha: “The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

Dalai Lama xlv

According to the H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, “compassion is something really worthwhile.”

It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

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Life on Spaceship Earth and the Overview Effect

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

DURING the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the Theosophical Society participated in the first World’s Parliament of Religions.

Pioneer theosophist and co-founder of the Theosophical Society William Q. Judge served as permanent chairman of the Theosophical Congress, whose presentation of its ideals and principles drew increasingly larger audiences.

“I have been requested to speak on the subject of universal brotherhood,” he explained, “not as a theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never be realized; not as a fact in society, not as a fact in government — but as a fact in nature:

that universal brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or whether it is not.

“Every nation, every civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history show us that, more than at any other time … have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations. So that at last men have come to say, ‘Universal brotherhood is very beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to realize.’ With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.”

 – W. Q. Judge, Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

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Evidence of an Immortal Mind in Man and Nature

In the Matrix

MAINSTREAM science looking for the source of consciousness insists its origin has to be generated in the physical brain.

Most neuroscientists agree that all cognition arises from the activity of neurons attached to specific structures, which have fixed brain locations.

Yet many credible scientific researchers today are unconvinced and dispute these biased mainstream materialistic assumptions.

Open-minded investigators are willing to pursue truth wherever it leads, even exploring evidence that mind and its corresponding consciousness is a living entity independent of the physical structures through which it manifests.

But because research findings on this question upset established assumptions, it is frequently ignored by mainstream science. H. P. Blavatsky found the same evidence in her own era declaring:

We live in an age of prejudice, dissimulation and paradox, wherein, like dry leaves caught in a whirlpool, we are tossed helpless, hither and thither, ever struggling between our honest convictions and fear of that cruelest of tyrants—PUBLIC OPINION.

-H. P. Blavatsky, A Paradoxical World

Caught in a whirlpool of dry leaves. (Flickr)

Yet, poised fearlessly at the cutting edge of psi research are scientific organizations such as the respected Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Petaluma, California, and the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek. These researchers, and others, like NES energy medicine, are willing to take a leap in pursuit of the fast-moving “soul of things.”

Many frontier investigators risk being minimized and shunned by their peers—their careers stalled as funding dries up.

Such investigations were formerly the exclusive precinct of canny ancient intuitives and seers. Today there are many qualified, sincere scientific investigators on the hunt for answers to the puzzling questions of consciousness that stymie mainstream science.

Buddha meditating under the Bo Tree

“The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote.

“The facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs.”

The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there.

“The genuine texts of the Upanishads treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They contain the beginning and the end of all human knowledgebut they have now ceased to reveal it, since the day of Buddha. . . . One thing in them — and this in all the Upanishads — invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin.”

“But modern science believes not in the ‘soul of things,’ and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony.” 

The Secret Doctrine 1:272 

Now all this may be changing . . .

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Spiritual Seeing into a Hidden Reality

Illusion or Reality?

WHAT we usually call ‘reality’ may actually be completely subjective, as it is filtered through our ordinary physical senses, according to Theosophy.

Yet, “every one of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, that is known by the name of intuition,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her article The Beacon-Light of the Unknown,but how rare are those who know how to develop it!

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

It is only by the aid of this faculty that men can ever see things in their true colors.

“What are called good sense and logic enable us to see only the appearances of things, that which is evident to everyone. 

Awakening.

“The instinct of which I speak, being a projection of our perceptive consciousness, a projection

which acts from the subjective to the objective, and not vice versa, awakens in us spiritual senses and power to act.

These senses assimilate to themselves the essence of the object or of the action under examination, and represent it to us as it really is, not as it appears to our physical senses and to our cold reason.” 

Plato

Plato’s Cave

In a related article “The Subjective and the Objective,” William Q. Judge refers to the Plato’s Cave metaphor:

Socrates: “Imagine the enlightenment and ignorance of our nature in a figure: Behold! human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth opening towards the light, and reaching all across the den;

they have been here from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them;

“for the chains are arranged in such a manner as to prevent them from turning their heads. At a distance above and behind them the light of a fire is blazing, . . . There can be no question, that the truth would be to them just nothing but the shadows of the images.”

Plato’s Cave

W. Q. Judge: “Theosophy recognizes a continuous gradation of powers, faculties, states, principles — call them what you will — from the highest or most spiritual to the lowest or most material. In this whole gamut of states or conditions, no chasm is found; there is nothing to bridge; consciousness is the necessary substratum and presupposition of the most material, and consciousness is the noumenon or essential reality of the most spiritual.”

We know of nothing more material or external than the physical, material, visible body–the world of matter, so-called …. of the cave which Socrates describes in Plato’s dialogue — the wall upon which fall the shadows supposed by the prisoners to be the only realities.

THE SUBJECTIVE AND THE OBJECTIVE A LESSON FROM THE CAVE OF PLATO’S REPUBLIC, BOOK VIIWilliam Q. Judge

Disappearing into an illusion.

The Bhagavad-Gita

The Hindu poem, a dialogue between Master Krishna and his disciple Arjuna, in the Bhagavad-Gita, is set metaphorically on a ‘battlefield.’ This chosen venue symbolizes “the war within,” which each of us continually faces, an inner struggle we must eventually wage.

(The Theosophy of the Bhagavad Gita)

In Chapter 11, Krishna challenges Arjuna to exercise his spiritual sight in a specially induced vision of “the Divine Form as including all forms.” To enforce the lesson, and in answer to Arjuna’s request, Krishna temporarily awakens his “Divine Eye.” The rest is the drama of the awakening soul.

Read Chapter 11 online:

The Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 11,
The Vision of the Divine Form as Including All Forms

Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield.

Temporary Illusions

“Gautama, the Buddha, only remained in solitude long enough to achieve self-awareness, and enable him to arrive at the truth, to which he devoted himself from that time on to promulgate, begging his bread, and living for humanity.”

If, in the words of the dying Buddha, ‘all compounds are perishable,’ then all collections of atoms must be considered but temporary ‘illusions.’

They are such, according to The Secret Doctrine (1:329), because they are the very personal creations “of the perceiving Ego.” But this must not be considered a solipsistic argument. If we only knew how to get past our five material senses would be able to contact the underlying ‘reality’ of physical things. But never in an isolated ‘Me’ universe.

The Me Universe

The term “Ego” here must ultimately refer to a personal state, and as such must always relate to specific ‘states’ of consciousness.  But this is only from our plane of perception. According to The Secret Doctrine (1:330), once we have gotten past that plane, and scaled the “peak of Omniscience,” the “knowledge of things-in-themselves” is immediately available to us.

Illusions

Real motion or the illusion of motion?

Progressive Awakenings

“Whatever reality things possess must be looked for in them before or after they have passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.

“As we rise in the scale of development 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;” but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya.”

THE SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. 1, Page 40

A Musical Thought Image

One of the best ways to describe what Theosophy is, arts reporter Ali Snow remarked on a Utah Public Radio show, “is to think of it as a kind of fusion of religion and science.”

A desire to prove or to explore some of the mystical forces that made religion work and make the spiritual world work.

A striking example of this kind of fusion is H. P. Blavatsky’s description of how “the sense of sound is the first thing that manifests itself in the universe … in  correspondence with colors or sight.”

musical_synesthesia

Colors and Sound

About this sensory synesthetic power Blavatsky wrote:

If you could only see clairvoyantly a person playing a piano, you would see the sound as plainly as you hear it.

“You can even put cotton in your ears—you will see the sound and every little note and modulation that you could not do otherwise. You cannot hear at a distance, but you can see at a distance.”

“You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact. There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.”

Synesthesia

Making reference to this sensory merging (known today as “synesthesia”) she explained: “One would merge into the other. You can taste sound, if you like, too. There sounds which are exceedingly acid, and there are sounds which are exceedingly sweet, and bitter, and all the scale of taste, in fact.” 

There is no nonsense, I say it seriously, and you will find it so if you want to know about the super-physical senses.

(The Secret Doctrine Dialogues p. 86)

Alexander Scriabin, a Russian pianist, and composer who was deeply influenced by Theosophy visualized a grand magnum opus which he titled “Mysterium.”

Click the link here or the link below to listen to Nora Eccles, Harrison Museum of Art as three curators describe the exhibit, Painting Music: Enchanted Modernities, and who gives us a personalized tour of the Theosophy promoted power (click below the photo):

Elisabeth Sulser

Synesthete Elisabeth Sulser

Click to start below:

This interesting phenomenon is demonstrated practically by the multiple senses of a unique synesthete from Zurich, Switzerland named Elizabeth Sulser. A psi investigator writes:

Her particular combination of senses is so unique that she is the only person in the world documented to have it.

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