Tag Archives: theosophist

The Red Book

Reprinted from The Red Book by C. G. Jung (c) Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung.

THOSE attracted to Theosophy and to Occultism are becoming every day more numerous. With every inquiry lies the potency and promise of genuine spiritual development.

The Masters of Wisdom in every age set up no barriers against any one’s approach. Their works and lives are not limited to adepts, saints, and the “purest of heart.”

The humblest searcher would not be made to feel discouraged by the sense of his own shortcomings, or by the perception of the difficulties at every step on his journey of self-realization.

This week we feature the work and life of one of the humblest and fearless of searchers, the renowned writer-artist-occultist-psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. The exhibit of his Red Book at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City ends January 25, 2010. Continue reading

A Right Christmas

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Dreaming Of A Right Christmas

“Children of Light, as ye go forth into the world,
seek to render gentle service to all that lives.”
– Egyptian Papyrus of Ani

I’m mostly a vegetarian, for ethical reasons, and have a growing passion for “the soul of things.” Reverence for life is something everyone understands, within reasonable limits.

I reluctantly “kill” a few carrots, tomatoes and salad greens every day. But I never was a Grinch about Christmas. Though I did oppose the roast turkey.

A friend reminds me that “Native Americans had reverence and gratitude as they sacrificed a deer for their food and clothing…it’s a matter of consciousness and attitude in what you do.”

“As long as we are imprisoned in this octave,” she says, “things will die to sustain us….look at the big picture.”

INTENTION

“It is the motive, and the motive alone,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote in Practical Occultism,which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic.” Lynn McTaggart thinks our intentions can change the world.

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MINDFULNESS

Maybe I’m a little weird. After all, even Buddhist monks have a bowl of rice every day. And, yes, “Hitler was a vegetarian.” The justification for my oddity is, at the very least, I am thinking about what I do! (My friend said, “Buddhists call that ‘mindfulness.'”)

This is how, Blavatsky admits, she understood the teaching of her Masters: “every plant without an exception feels and has a consciousness of its own.”

And, it is a axiom of The Secret Doctrine, that:

Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. (1:274)

“When we try to pick out anything by itself,” wrote John Muir, America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, “we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

Plastic didn’t seem very hitched. And I was increasingly uncomfortable with “factory farmed” Christmas trees. What then should I do?

WHEN IN ROME

Living in the country, I could decorate, like any good Pagan, some sacred evergreen growing nearby. Here in the city, one can buy a potted evergreen. We did once, a few years back.

But it was even more painful to watch a live tree, isolated from its forest companions, die a slow death inside a stuffy apartment. With nowhere to replant it outdoors, it just didn’t feel right.

Growing up with strong feelings for the sacredness of life, and with much of my early childhood spent out-of-doors, it was natural to be an advocate for Nature. Now, in desperation, two days before Christmas, I faced an agonizing decision.

EVERYTHING GOT WRONG

Bundled against the bitter New York City wind and icy sidewalks, at a corner where a recently bailed-out-bank ironically thrived, the deed was done. I killed a tree that day.

“It was just cut,” a woman representing a local Boy Scout Troop injected, as I admired one in particular. A six-foot spruce from nearby Pennsylvania. Indeed, the needles were firm and fragrant, its tapering trunk and welcoming branches a work of art.

Then, amidst the blare of car horns, the little tree lay unflinching as it received a swift and indifferent Coup de grâce from an eager 12-year old Scout. A “fresh cut” was sawed from the base of its sap-stained stump. I paid cash.

At that moment, Oppenheimer’s knee-jerk quote from the Bhagavad-Gita, uttered at the first atomic test in New Mexico in 1945, overtook my violated conscience: “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

RECONCILIATION

The Bhagavad-Gita is preeminently an ethical treatise. It inculcates teachings applicable to daily life, suited not only to the time in which it was written, but for all time. So it was consoling to recall a quite different passage from the Gita, where Krishna, the Higher Self, counsels his favorite disciple:

I accept and enjoy the offerings of the humble soul who in his worship with a pure heart offereth a leaf, a flower, or fruit, or water unto me. Whatever thou doest…whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, whatever mortification thou performest, commit each unto me. Thus thou shalt be delivered from the good and evil experiences which are the bonds of action; and thy heart being joined to renunciation and to the practice of action, thou shalt come to me.

Holding these words daily in our heart, we are reborn every moment. Like the Teacher, we can become a Master of all seasons. Another of Blavatsky’s Masters in a similar vein, as quoted by her (see- Altruism in The Secret Doctrine):

He who does not practice altruism; he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself; he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, whenever and wherever he meets suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does not undertake his defense as he would undertake his own — is no Theosophist.

FRAGRANCE OF THE GOOD

A question posed to a disciple in The Voice of the Silence: “Hast thou attuned thy being to Humanity’s great pain, 0 candidate for light?,” reminded me of a New York Times Op-Ed piece (N. Y. Times (12/22/08), “Hard Times, a Helping hand.”)

Writing about the Great Depression’s mysterious benefactor “B. Virdot,” contributor Ted Gup says: “He sought no credit for acts of conscience. He saw them as the debt we owe one another and ourselves.”

The Times article is a must read, worthy of The Laws of Manu (Manava-Dharma-Sastra), and a modern lesson which could have been taken straight out of the 2500 year old injunctions of The Buddha, embodied in “The Dhammapada,” (Ch. 4, 11-16.):

“[T]he fragrance of the good wafts even against the wind. The fragrance of the good man pervades all his ways. … From a heap of rubbish on the roadside, a lily blooms, fragrant and pleasing; from a mass of blinded mortals arises the disciple of the truly Wise One…”

NON-SEPARATENESS

“[S]piritual perfection and spiritual knowledge can only be reached on the spiritual plane,” Blavatsky writes in Theosophy Queries: Answer to a Letter. Achieved, she adds, “…only in that state in which all sense of separateness, all selfishness, all feeling of personal interest and desire, has been merged in the wider consciousness of the unity of Mankind.”

Universal ethics were pointed to by her at every opportunity, against whatever the odds or snickering of her critics. We quote in full:

Now it is a fundamental doctrine of Theosophy that the “separateness” which we feel between ourselves and the world of living beings around us is an illusion, not a reality. In very deed and truth, all men are one, not in a feeling of sentimental gush and hysterical enthusiasm, but in sober earnest. As all Eastern philosophy teaches, there is but ONE SELF in all the infinite Universe, and what we men call “self” is but the illusionary reflection of the ONE SELF in the heaving waters of earth.

True Occultism is the destruction of the false idea of Self, and therefore true spiritual perfection and knowledge are nothing else but the complete identification of our finite “selves” with the Great All. It follows, therefore, that no spiritual progress at all is possible except by and through the bulk of Humanity. It is only when the whole of Humanity has attained happiness that the individual can hope to become permanently happy — for the individual is an inseparable part of the Whole.

SPIRITUAL PERFECTION

Hence there is no contradiction whatever between the altruistic maxims of Theosophy and its injunction to kill out all desire for material things, to strive after spiritual perfection. For spiritual perfection and spiritual knowledge can only be reached on the spiritual plane; in other words, only in that state in which all sense of separateness, all selfishness, all feeling of personal interest and desire, has been merged in the wider consciousness of the unity of Mankind.

This shows also that no blind submission to the commands of another can be demanded, or would be of any use. Each individual must learn for himself, through trial and suffering, to discriminate what is beneficial to Humanity; and in proportion as he develops spiritually, i.e., conquers all selfishness, his mind will open to receive the guidance of the Divine Monad within him, his Higher Self, for which there is neither Past nor Future, but only an eternal NOW.

(From Blavatsky Collected Writings 11:104-6)

Purchase on Amazon:  H.P.B. Collected Writings, 15: Cumulative Index (H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings)

Real Human Solidarity

Luna: Dancing Krishna

Luna: Dancing Krishna

WHEN we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence we experience the loss of soul, many shamanic societies  say.

“Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence, Gabrielle Roth attests, “are the four universal healing salves.”

For Roth physical movement, according to an Huffpost article, “is key to unlocking the spirit.”

She was an incredibly influential teacher of meditative dance and the creator of the 5Rhythms movement practice.”

“Roth dedicated her life, heart and soul to exploring how to engage her spirit and creativity through dance and movement — and helping others to do the same. The effect of her influence is palpable.”

“Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth,”  she claimed. It is notable in this regard that two of the most powerful ancient gods, Krishna and Shiva, are so often depicted as dancing, and Krishna additionally is shown at the same time playing the flute.

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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