Monthly Archives: March 2010

Animals Like Us

THE complex mental and emotional activity evidenced in the kingdoms of nature — from microbes to man’s best friend — was largely unappreciated by science until recent years.

Perhaps we were too lost in our large physical brains to notice our interconnectedness with nature.

Intellect develops in man at the expense of instinct, according to Theosophy. And what remains is a “flickering reminiscence of a once divine spiritual omniscience.”

“Reason — the badge of sovereignty of physical man over all other organisms in nature — is often put to shame by the instinct of an animal,” Blavatsky wrote in Isis Unveiled.

A human’s brain is larger and more complex than that of any other creature, and his intellect is therefore more pronounced.  But, intellect alone “serves humans only for material concerns” she says.

Mentality is incapable of leading us to any useful appreciation of either the innate order, or the spiritual intelligence displayed by nature. Continue reading

The Epiphany Problem

KNOWING oneself necessitates consciousness and self-awareness, both mysterious and elusive correlates of  mind.

Consciousness is a hard nut to crack, because it comes down to the mind doing “metacognition” — i.e., thinking about thinking — equivalent to mentally lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps.

The special organ of consciousness is of course the brain, acknowledges H. P. Blavatsky. Nonetheless, she asserts:

“What consciousness is can never be defined psychologically.”

“We can analyse and classify its work and effects,” she says, but science cannot define it directly.  That would require they “postulate an Ego distinct from the body.”

But the mainstream cognitive sciences, eschewing Eastern psychology, still strongly resist the idea that mind can have an independent reality. Continue reading

Rejoining Gaia

GAIA the Greek Goddess of the Earth, was mother to all the Gods according to the ancient Greeks. In the beginning there was only Chaos, out of which there appeared Gaia they taught, who gave birth to more than fifty symbolic deities.

In Gaia’s role as mother to the Gods, and employing many fathers, she gave birth to numerous entities, for example Python, Antaeus, Ceto, Charybdis, Echidna, Creusa,  Erichthonius, Eurybia, Typhon — who may have represented the titanic formative and creative forces of Earth’s early history.

The ancients were fond of personifying the natural forces in nature and man, and for good reason.

Nature was conscious, as Theosophy teaches, and is “in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings guided by High Planetary Spirits.”

Please note this post was updated and republished at:


Healing the Beast

WHEN acting through human brains and bodies, our minds reveal a complex dual nature — a pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.

Mind’s higher aspect gravitates toward spirit, while the natural tendency of its physical reflection is attraction to form and desire.

Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is a soul faculty, our intuitional power source according to Theosophy — it is the “god” in man.

The alter-ego, our personal self, epitomized by the gut and brain consciousness, seems to be a conflicted mix of god and demagogue.

This enigma is dramatized by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher Dr. Taylor’s focus is of course anatomical, the left and right hemispheres. (See Love and Fury) Continue reading