Monthly Archives: January 2009

A Mind of Their Own

Buddha in the SnowKRISHNA assures an uncertain Arjuna that he has lived many lives on Earth.

“Both I and thou have passed through many births,” the Master tells his disciple (Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. 4:31):

“Mine are known unto me, but thou knowest not of thine.”

The fact is most people don’t recall their past lives, because in every rebirth the immortal soul must endure a new body and astral body, a new personality and a new physical brain. 

Being handed an empty photo album is a challenge to the incoming soul, hindering it finding a conscious connection to prior experiences and knowledge. Thus “the new ‘personality,’” Blavatsky wrote (Key to Theosophy, Ch. 8), “is no better than a fresh suit of clothes.”

Being so, yet “the record or reflection of all the past lives must survive,” H. P. Blavatsky continues, “for when Prince Siddhartha became Buddha the full sequence of His previous births were seen by Him.” In such a state he was able, she says, “to retrospectively trace the lines of all his lives.”

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Raja Yoga Dance

“And when Brahma produces the world anew… Collecting his mind into itself (Yoga willing), Brahma creates the four orders of beings …” (SD 1:456fn)

Temple of Apollo, Delphi

Temple of Apollo, Delphi

“Man, know thyself” read the inscription on the metope (MET-oh-pea) of the Apollo dedicated Oracular Temple at Delphi, its purpose being to remind any one entering the shrine of mysteries what the ultimate scope of his initiation (awakening) ought to be.


The Pythia, Isis Unveiled

Self-knowledge is the core and ultimate end of initiation. It can be achieved through perpetual effort to become detached from sense effects and personal impressions through an ethical course representing the Divine Law on earth.

The means to fulfill this goal is the mind joined to the heart, a link which cements the physical level of existence with the spiritual. “Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds the child,” says The Voice of the Silence.

Patanjali, the greatest codifier of the system of Self-knowledge known as Yoga Sutras, says that “Concentration, or Yoga, is the hindering of the modifications of the thinking principle,” where Yoga is the union of the material to the spiritual, or the union of the opposites. Yoga means “union.”

Man’s major deed and success is considered the focusing of the mind steadily on one single point or concept, so gaining wisdom and deliverance from the cycle of rebirth, and this is known as meditation or self-knowledge.

Pilgrimage To Tibet

tibet2HPB’ s familiarity with Tibetan Buddhism as well as with esoteric Buddhist practices seems to be beyond doubt. A report by Margaret Cousins, “A pilgrimage in the Himalayas,” is confirmed by a Hindu sadhu, among other testimonies, that a Russian lady named Blavatsky had found the high teachers and received the Ancient Wisdom. (World Theosophy, Vol.1, Number 2, February 1930)

She managed to reach the hard-to-access Tibetan lamaseries after strenuous efforts, and hardships overcome with the help of her Masters. In a letter to an inquirer, who asked why she was sent to Tibet, HPB answered:

“True, there is absolutely no need of going to Tibet or India to find some knowledge and power ‘which are latent in every human soul’; but the acquisition of the highest knowledge and power require not only many years of the severest study enlightened by a superior intelligence, and an audacity bent by no peril, but also as many years of retreat in comparative solitude …” (see also The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, by Sylvia Cranston, ch.6)

Buddha’s Secret Teachings

gautama1In many of the mountain lamasaries, Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine, “there are subterranean crypts and cave-libraries, cut in the rock…” She continues:

“Along the ridge of Altyn-Toga, whose soil no European foot has ever trodden so far, there exists a certain hamlet, lost in a deep gorge. … Pilgrims say that the subterranean galleries and halls under it contain a collection of books, the number of which, according to the accounts given, is too large to find room even in the British Museum.”

Beneath his public moral teachings, she says, were instructions reserved for his disciples (Arhats.) These were taught “secret portions of the ‘Dan or ‘Jan-na‘ (‘Dhyan‘) of Gautama’s metaphysics,” and “received their Initiation at the famous Saptaparna cave.” HPB further explains:

Dan, now become in modern Chinese and Tibetan phonetics chan, is the general term for the esoteric schools, and their literature. In the old books, the word Janna is defined as “to reform one’s self by meditation and knowledge,” a second inner birth. Hence Dzan, Djan phonetically, the “Book of Dzyan.”



These mystical Stanzas of Dzyan are those upon which Blavatsky based her entire The Secret Doctrine.

Yoga Training

Raja Yoga, as she called it, the ultimate yoga, differentiating it from Hatha Yoga, was the way in which she perceived and understood the esoteric knowledge she lived and wrote about.

She could never have provided an esoteric teaching had she not, beforehand, undergone a training concerning the secrets of nature and existence – and after long personal effort, practice and experience. To her personal students she recommended reviewing each day in detail, and keeping a mental “Daily Life Ledger” to aid in clearing away the hindrances to meditation.

Her knowledge on meditation can be traced throughout her writings. The Dhyana ability she possessed, referred to by Patanjali (Book 3) as “the continuance of the attention” also called contemplation.   By the word “Dhyana” is the knowledge of the mysterious laws of nature, and and what is obtained by Yoga training.


In the The Key to Theosophy , she says that wisdom can only be attained when in an ecstatic state— how the limited can get to know the limitless — cautioning that such a state cannot be reached through hypnotism, or physical and chemical means.

She viewed trances as harmful to the human psyche. It is rather conscious awareness that is required to reach godlike wisdom. In her teachings,  Mediums and Mediators and “The Dual Mind” and many others, she makes a strong effort to make obvious that the two aspects of human nature, as personality and individuality, are opposing aspects, and are expressed by different behaviors.




One can only achieve true enlightenment through “ecstasy” as defined by Plotinus, and she quotes:

Real ecstasy was defined by Plotinus as “the liberation of the mind from its finite consciousness, becoming one and identified with the infinite.”

Meditation is silent and unuttered prayer or, as Plato expressed it, “the ardent turning of the soul toward the divine; not to ask any particular good (as in the common meaning of prayer), but for good itself — for the universal Supreme Good”



… Therefore, adds Plato, “remain silent in the presence of the divine ones, till they remove the clouds from thy eyes and enable thee to see by the light which issues from themselves, not what appears as good to thee, but what is intrinsically good.” (The Key to Theosophy)

The Raja Yoga Dance

dancer12In Blavatsky Collected Writings 6, on “The God Idea”, Mme. Blavatsky comments:

“…the highest Yoga is the concentration of mind upon God, even amidst the transaction of worldly affairs. This Yoga has been illustrated by a sloka given in my ‘Superiority of Hinduism,’ containing the beautiful comparison of the real yogi to a female dancer with a pitcher full of water upon her head, singing and dancing according to the strictest rules of music, but still preventing the pitcher from falling down. This best of all yogas, the real Raj yoga, is to be attained by long practice requiring constant and tremendous exercise of will-power as was done by Rajah Janaka.”

The initiation and tools she obtained at the Tibetan lamaseries, the fruits of inner knowledge, she in turn offered to humanity through her writings. They are the cornerstones of Theosophy.

Ironically, the first step towards initiation, given in The Voice of the Silence, is that: “the pupil must regain the child-state he has lost ere the first sound can fall upon his ear.” And we know how children love to dance!

Univeral Ethics

Practical Theosophy, referred to in The Key to Theosophy , is testimony to her belief in Ethics. The First Object of the Theosophical Movement, “To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity,” is the imprint of divine ethics onto our world.

Studying H.P.B.’s Diagram of Meditation, we can clearly detect the ethical purity the trainee must achieve;  to set himself free from mental propensities; to awaken the consciousness of the Higher Self.

Mme. Blavatsky’s thesis on meditation is strictly based on the initiation and practice learned in Tibet. It surely agrees with what many Yogis say — that for facilitating the state of ecstasy called Samadhi, one has to submit physically to the greatest abstinence in food and drink — and mentally into an incessant endeavor to purify and elevate the mind.

Aspasia Papadomichelaki

Athens ULT

Bella and Tarra


“Whatever that be which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is something celestial and divine, and upon that account must necessarily be eternal.” -CICERO

The writer of The Secret Doctrine, the influential Theosophist and recognized Mother of the New Age, H. P. Blavatsky, was an impassioned campaigner for the abolition of vivisection and animal cruelty. For her, these were not political or sentimental causes, or her only causes. She founded a school for abused working girls in England, and was a pioneer Suffragette.

Her actions were rooted in a conviction of the spiritual unity and equality of human kind; the truth of the consciousness and intelligence of all beings— even infinitesimal atoms and cells — the soul of things “ever present and ubiquitous” was, and is, the foundation principle of Theosophy.

The Shift

Uncounted numbers in all walks of life have dedicated themselves to this shift in consciousness — the reality of the sacred—just as did our early American ancestors. Native American cultures practiced gratitude rituals to the Great Spirit, whenever necessity required to take food, clothing or shelter from living nature.

The still widespread influence of materialism in our attitudes about life on this planet, beg for an ethical evangelism. What proofs do we have that “it is not spirit that dwells in matter, but matter which clings temporarily to spirit,” as Blavatsky taught, “and that [spirit] alone is an eternal, imperishable abode for all things visible and invisible?” (Isis Unveiled 1:428)

Steve Hartman of CBS News recently visited “an animal sanctuary where”, he writes, “a dog and an elephant have formed a very lasting, and unusual, friendship. … They harbor no fears, no secrets, no prejudices. Just two living creatures who somehow managed to look past their immense differences. Take a good look at this couple, America. Take a good look world. If they can do it – what’s our excuse?” Jan. 2, 2009 Animal Odd Couple.

Bella and Tarra

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“As a true sanctuary, it is not intended to provide entertainment,” The Elephant Sanctuary website states. “[T]he Sanctuary is closed to the general public. Education, however, represents a key component of the Sanctuary’s ongoing mission. Since its inception, the Sanctuary’s outreach program has taught thousands of school children around the globe a respect for wildlife while learning about the endangered Asian elephant.”


Travels With Tarra, by Carol Buckley

“Based on the same foundation-stone — the ancient Mysteries — the primitive religions,” Blavatsky wrote, “all without one exception, reflect the most important of the once universal beliefs…an impersonal and universal divine Principle, absolute in its nature, and unknowable to the ‘brain’ intellect, or the conditioned and limited cognition of man. … Universal Mind, the Soul of the universe…” –(The Mind in Nature)

Delhi and Misty

“After more than a year in quarantine undergoing successful treatment for TB, Misty’s big day finally arrived: she was released to go meet her new herd. What a surprise when Misty realized one of the elephants was an old friend she had not seen since they had performed together in the circus many years ago. Delhi and Misty shared a tender reunion and have been inseparable ever since.” The Elephant Sanctuary

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“Physical science has already reached its limits of exploration; dogmatic theology sees the springs of its inspiration dry. The day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known.”
(The Mind in Nature)

“Man is endowed with reason, the infant with instinct; and the young animal shows more of both than the child.”H. P. Blavatsky

Healing and Social Bonds

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“The ‘soul in animals’ is, in the opinion of Bossuet, ‘the most difficult as the most important of all philosophical questions.’ … physical, exact research offers no grounds for the presumption that man is endowed with an immortal, divine soul, any more than his dog. … either both are endowed by nature with what is so loosely called by us ‘soul,’ or neither the one nor the other is so endowed.”

Elephant’s Mourning

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“Descartes held the living animal as being simply an automaton, a ‘well wound up clock-work.’ [S]ince that automaton is capable of feelings, such as love, gratitude, and is endowed as undeniably with memory… if the animal is an “automaton,” why not Man? Exact science– anatomy, physiology, etc., finds not the smallest difference between the bodies of the two.”

Grace: A Mother’s Anguish

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“Serving” man, surely cannot mean being tortured, killed, uselessly shot and otherwise misused; while it is almost needless to explain the word “renovation.” Christians understand by it the renovation of bodies after the second coming of Christ; and limit it to man, to the exclusion of animals. The students of the Secret Doctrine explain it by the successive renovation and perfection of forms on the scale of objective and subjective being, and in a long series of evolutionary transformations from animal to man, and upward. . . .”

Family is Home

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“Studies, Behavior Prove There Is More Going On In Animals’ Minds Than We Thought Possible”

“(CBS): It seems like every month or so, there’s another study coming out saying animals are smarter than we think. So what do animals think … and what do they think of us? Some revelations about animal intelligence from Tracy Smith.”

dolphin1“What are they thinking?”

“If you’ve always suspected that animals are smarter than they get credit for, that there’s more going on behind those eyes than a desire for food or attention … you’re not alone.”

“In some species, especially elephants, great apes and marine mammals, the old phrase ‘dumb animal’ borders on heresy.”

“In fact, the line between human and animal intelligence is fading fast.”

“I think it is fair to say that literally, monthly, there are fairly major discoveries about things that we long thought were unique to humans, now look like some of the building blocks are in place in other animals,” said Harvard professor Marc Hauser. […]”

“Are animals attached to us? Absolutely,” Hauser said. “When you leave your pet behind, you see signs of depression. Is it like our depression? Well, I don’t know if it’s like our depression. I don’t even know what your depression would be like, relative to my depression. But do animals feel strong bonds? Undoubtedly, yes.”

“Can we call that love?” Smith asked.”

“Why not?” Hauser said.”

“Of course, the question of whether the capacity for love makes animals more intelligent is probably best left to the individual … of whatever species.”



Helena Blavatsky

“For verily when the world feels convinced and it cannot avoid coming one day to such a conviction that animals are creatures as eternal as we ourselves, vivisection and other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will, after calling forth an outburst of maledictions and threats from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.”

Mona Stratos, Woodstock, CT - "Sunlight on Cedars" (2009)

Mona Stratos, Woodstock, CT "Sunlight on Cedars" (2009)

Eye of Light

Helen Keller, Age 7

Helen Keller, Age 7

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”– Helen Keller

Many people are suffering today as the world’s financial crisis worsens, property values decline, jobs are lost. We’ve been there before — contraction, recession, depression, expansion— a sure sign of the ruling law of cycles at work.

The Founders took pains to include the “All Seeing Eye” on our dollar bills, but ironically, we prefer to suffer the inevitable consequencesall-seeing-eye2 of our material shenanigans by ignoring the spiritual flip side.


“This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity,” Blavatsky insists, and “in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe.”

As Krishna tells it in The Bhagavad-Gita, “These two, light and darkness, are the world’s eternal ways.”

Reincarnation is the evolutionary means by which lessons are learned. “It is abundantly clear that one life,” William Q. Judge says in The Necessity for Reincarnation, “even if prolonged, is no more adequate to gain knowledge, acquire experience, solidify principle, and form character, than would one day in infancy be adequate to fit for the duties of mature manhood.”

It is only through this Law of coordinated rebirths, that our spiritual eye can be gradually be awakened permanently.


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There are always three evolutionary forces in play, according to Theosophy — physical, mental and spiritual — “a triple evolutionary scheme,” Blavatsky writes, “which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point” (S.D. I, 181).

In this scheme, evolution is much more than a blind physical process. “The cycles must run their rounds,” a Master writes, “Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other, as day does night.” A Master’s Letter


On our plane of existence, Spirit or light, and Matter or darkness, can never appear separately. They are twins — change one, you change the other. We carry them around every day, on dollar bills in our pockets, without realizing we are carrying around another spiritual light-bringer, the pineal gland in our brain.

drjilltaylor2This is referred to in the Bible: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light,” says Matthew 6:22, Luke 11:34.

The pineal gland is a small organ in the brain resembling a pine cone; technically called the epiphysis, forming part of the ventricular or hollow center of the brain, connected with the central canal of the spinal cord.


“[T]he pineal gland, as shown, is far more connected with Soul and Spirit than with the physiological senses of man,” Blavatsky writes, “…for nature never creates the smallest, the most insignificant form without some definite purpose and use.”

It was an active organ, we say, at that stage of evolution when the spiritual element in man reigned supreme over the hardly nascent intellectual and psychic elements. The eye is the mirror and also the window of the soul, says popular wisdom, and Vox populi Vox Dei.

“[T]he pineal gland,” Blavatsky says, “… is the very key to the highest and divinest consciousness in manhis omniscient, spiritual and all embracing mind.” – Dialogue on the Mysteries of the Afterlife

“…there is a power in man which enables him to judge aright—he has the all-seeing eye,” Robert Crosbie writes, in The Kingly Mystery [13] — “the all-encompassing sight which permits him to see the justice of all things.” This power implies a choice, he says – “The questions before each human being are: Whom will ye serve?”


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“Progressive awakenings,” are a hallmark of H. P. Blavatsky’s teachings in The Secret Doctrine. “As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities,” she writes,

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 [illusion]. (SD I:39-40.)


But what practical measures can we take to achieve freedom from delusion? An example of the popular idiom “Be careful what you ask for” is the law of attraction, described first by William Q. Judge, in an article titled simply KARMA:

“By directing the mind and aspirations to the lower plane,” he writes, “a ‘fire’ or centre of attraction, is set up there, and in order to feed and fatten it, the energies of the whole upper plane are drawn down and exhausted in supplying the need of energy which exists below due to the indulgence of sense gratification.”

On the other hand, the centre of attraction may be fixed in the upper portion, and then all the needed energy goes there to result in increase of spirituality. It must be remembered that Nature is all bountiful and withholds not her hand. The demand is made, and the supply will come. But at what cost?


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Stressing the importance of what we absorb in early childhood, leading to the age of responsibility, Blavatsky writes:

Man has his “double” or shadow, properly so called, around which the physical body of the foetus—the future man—is built. The imagination of the mother, or an accident which affects the child, will affect also the astral body. The astral and the physical both exist before the mind is developed into action, and before the Atma [spirit] awakes. This occurs when the child is seven years old, and with it comes the responsibility attaching to a conscious sentient being. (Raja Yoga or Occultism)


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This is the “Third Fundamental” of Theosophy, human beings engaging a series of developmental stages. According to this, we acquire our individuality “first by natural impulse,” before the age of seven, “and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts” thereafter.

Each stage the reincarnating soul is “checked by its Karma,” Blavatsky says, and gradually “ascending through all the degrees of intelligence.” This is repeated at each of our new births, and the full acquirement of the highest spiritual mind could take many lifetimes.

The subject of the evolution of human beings cycling on a sevenfold plan, over millions of years, is vast. The journey is mirrored by like changes in the Earth itself, and will be continued in our next post.

Confucius and Black Holes

The hunters didn’t have the decency this past Christmas morn to lay down their arms. Forget sleeping in, or reveling in the silence of a new day. They were equal opportunity–blasting away on the Solstice and Hanukkah, too.

And the neighbor with his rock band who begin “practicing” at, oh, midnight or 1 a.m. in the middle of the week, pounding their cacophonic distress signals into the night air.

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule taught by Confucius 2,500 years ago? Poor Confucius; it was rough for him being ahead of his time. He traveled throughout China looking for a job, believing that if he had the right opportunity he could really change the world. He never found one.

Do you understand why he said, as I translate it:

“If people don’t recognize your divine qualities and gifts, and that doesn’t faze you; well then, that’s the sign of a true spiritual aspirant.”


Confucius didn’t see himself as an innovator-he just wanted to bring back the foundations for a Golden Age taught by the Duke of Zhou, who lived a good 500 years before him. The Duke of Zhou masterminded the overthrow of the degenerate slavocracy Shang dynasty, fulfilled by his brother and nephew.

His brother is the one who, while jailed earlier by the Shang, compiled a manual on statecraft and cultivating intuition we now know as the I-Jing or Book of Changes. Confucius later edited this work along with other classics. And the Duke of Zhou, who wrote a comprehensive treatise on governing principles, actually appeared to Confucius in his dreams, instructing him.

Towards the end of his life-still unemployed-Confucius felt like a failure, moaning “I don’t even dream about the Duke of Zhou anymore!”

Duke of Zhou

Duke of Zhou


Was Confucius one of those embodying the consciousness of a Golden Age while trudging the Earth in the dark age of Kali Yuga that began 3,102 B.C.? “[A]t one and the same time races may be on the earth running each for itself through one or other of the periods,” William Judge explains:

“Some might be in the Golden Age and others in the Black. At present it is admitted that the Aryans are in the Kali Age, but certain childlike races are not so. Within the present five thousand year period we know that races have absolutely finished their Kali Yuga and gone out of existence. This happened to that which ruled a part of the American continent, and hence for them in particular their Kali Yuga must have begun earlier than ours did.”

Perhaps these days, we might call Confucius a “change agent,” someone ahead of his time holding the vision of utopia. My astrologer friend Kathleen Goodyear (“Goodyear” being her married name), might call Confucius a “black hole person.” She believes black holes are powerful portals of transformation.


“People who have planets (especially the faster ones) or other important points in their charts actively relating to black holes seem to live atypical lives,” Kathleen says in her article Astrological Aspects of Black Holes.

“On the positive side, they may be very creative, out-of-the-box folks bringing fresh perspectives to life. Indeed, I have found black-hole activity common in charts of historical figures who changed the course of their professions. The outflow of black-hole energy is dynamic, and many black-hole people are dedicated workers who have an inner drive to work hard…. black-hole people frequently also experience time-warping.

The Greeks held that there are two types of time: kronos, clock time, and kairos, subjective, non-linear time. Kairos is black-hole time. Interacting with a black-hole person can be like entering a place where the clock has stopped. Hours can pass while intimately sharing in this womb-like environment; indeed, transformation can occur. “


Clearly, this view of black holes as powerful portals of transformation doesn’t jibe with some scientists’ view of black holes as phenomenon whose gravity is so great that nothing, even light, escapes their pull. Madame Blavatsky would scoff at the idea of gravity being a compelling force in black holes.

“The anti-Aristotelian formula that gravity causes all bodies to descend with equal rapidity, without reference to their weight, the difference being caused by some other unknown agency, would seem to point a great deal more forcibly to magnetism than to gravitation,” she explains on page 244 of Isis Unveiled,

the former attracting rather in virtue of the substance than of the weight. A thorough familiarity with the occult faculties of everything existing in nature, visible as well as invisible; their mutual relations, attractions, and repulsions; the cause of these, traced to the spiritual principle which pervades and animates all things; the ability to furnish the best conditions for this principle to manifest itself, in other words a profound and exhaustive knowledge of natural law – this was and is the basis of magic.

"I told you so!"

"I told you so!"

The theory of black holes has always stirred controversy; Theosophy-bent Albert Einstein didn’t believe they existed at all and the video below illustrates other contrary views.


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But scientists’ understanding of black holes is changing.

BBC News recently reported a study by Germain astronomers who confirm that a giant black hole is in the center of our galaxy. The article quotes Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society suggesting that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit: “[black holes] may have had a role in helping galaxies to form – not just our own, but all galaxies.”

Perhaps scientists will soon see black holes more akin to the Theosophical concept of laya centers.

“When a planetary chain is in its last Round… before finally dying out, [its globe] sends all its energy and ‘principles’ into a neutral centre of latent force, a ‘laya centre,'” Madame Blavatsky explains in The Secret Doctrine, “and thereby informs a new nucleus of undifferentiated substance or matter, i.e., calls it into activity or gives it life.” In other words, the nursery for building galaxies.

© Kara LeBeau 2009. All rights reserved.


“Confucius the Just One” by Nicholas Roerich (1925/26)