WE are repulsed by a report of a terrorist beheading, David Brooks writes in a recent NY Times Op-Ed, “because the body has a spiritual essence.”
“The human head and body don’t just live and pass along genes. They paint, make ethical judgments, savor the beauty of a sunset and experience the transcendent.” He further writes:
“The body is material but surpasses the material. It’s spiritualized matter.”
“Most of us, religious or secular,” Brooks writes in The Body and the Spirit, “have some instinctive sense that there is a ghost infused in the machine. And because the human body is a transcendent temple it is worthy of respect. It is offensive to treat it the way you would treat an inanimate object.”
“Even after a person is dead, the body still carries the residue of this presence and deserves dignified handling.”
Similarly H. P. Blavatsky noted, quoting Carlyle and Novalis: “we touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body! … How does our physical body come to the state of perfection it is found in now?,” she asks and answers: “Through millions of years of evolution, of course, yet never through, or from, animals, as taught by materialism.”
“For, as Carlyle says: — ‘The essence of our being, the mystery in us that calls itself ‘I,’ — what words have we for such things? — it is a breath of Heaven, the highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for the unnamed?'”
“The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life is, as Novalis said, and no one since has said it better, as repeated by Carlyle: —
“There is but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form . . . . We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!” (Secret Doctrine 1:211-12)
“If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact — the expression of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles — the great inscrutable Mystery,” She continues. “The breath of heaven, or rather the breath of life, called in the bible Nephesh, is in every animal, in every animate speck as in every mineral atom.”
“But none of these has, like man, the consciousness of the nature of that highest Being, as none has that divine harmony in its form which man possesses. There is but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of man. Nothing is holier than that high form.”
“We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body! This sounds like a mere flourish of rhetoric but it is not so.”
“If well meditated it will turn out to be a scientific fact — the expression of the actual truth of the thing. We are the miracle of miracles — the great inscrutable Mystery.” (Thomas Carlyle, Ch. 1 Hero as Divinity)
The Wonder of You
What Science Can’t Explain
The August 5, 2009 NewScientist features 10 things about humans that science can’t yet explain. “We belong to a remarkably quirky species,” the article says, and “despite our best efforts, some of our strangest foibles still defy explanation.”
Among these flaws are flippantly listed: blushing, laughter, teenagers, dreams, altruism, art, superstition—even kissing and nose-picking are on the list.
At one point the writer asks insistently: “what are they for?” And on ‘altruism’ complains: “if it is really true that we are altruistic by nature, most agree it doesn’t make evolutionary sense.”
Second Guessing Nature
The appendix never made any sense either to physiologists and doctors, until recently, who once thought of the little worm-shaped organ as some long-ago evolutionary vestigial appendage, and therefore dismissed it as expendable. Like the tonsils, there was little at stake, “because we can survive without it.”
“The appendix, they suggest, is a ‘safe house’ for commensal bacteria, the symbiotic germs that aid digestion and help protect against disease-causing germs.”
“It has even been suggested that the term vestigial is obsolete, useful only as a reflection of the anatomical knowledge of the day. In fact, these days many biologists are extremely wary of talking about vestigial organs at all,” wrote Laura Spinney in the May 14, 2008 NewScientist.
MYSTERY OF LIFE
“Why didn’t anyone
check this before?”
Now the New York Times, August 4, 2009, reports that the human spleen may serve a function after all. No longer just a familiar literary device for irritability, the article “Finally, the Spleen Gets Some Respect” notes, and reports that “Scientists have discovered that the spleen, long consigned to the B-list of abdominal organs and known as much for its metaphoric as its physiological value, plays a more important role in the body’s defense system than anyone suspected.”
“Reporting in the current issue of the journal Science, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School describe studies showing that the spleen is a reservoir for huge numbers of immune cells called monocytes, and that in the event of a serious trauma to the body like a heart attack, gashing wound or microbial invasion, the spleen will disgorge those monocyte multitudes into the bloodstream to tackle the crisis.”
“The parallel in military terms is a standing army,” said Matthias Nahrendorf, an author of the report. “You don’t want to have to recruit an entire fighting force from the ground up every time you need it.”
That researchers are only now discovering a major feature of a rather large organ they have been studying for at least 2,000 years demonstrates yet again that there is nothing so foreign as the place we call home.
“Often, if you come across something in the body that seems like a big deal, you think, ‘Why didn’t anybody check this before?’ ” Dr. Nahrendorf said. “But the more you learn, the more you realize that we’re just scratching on the surface of life. We don’t know the whole story about anything.”
Evidence of Design
“That researchers are only now discovering major features of a body they have been studying for at least 2,000 years demonstrates yet again that there is nothing so foreign as the place we call home.”
of Occult Science
The ancients had knowledge passed on to them from ancient master scientists, and understood that a higher, wiser consciousness is “king in the domain of man’s bodily life,” writes William Q. Judge in his article The Synthesis of Occult Science. The prototypical designs for all forms “descended into matter in the cosmic process, till it reached the mineral plane.”
Then: “journeyed upward through the ‘three kingdoms’ till it reached the human plane. The elements of its being, like the cells and molecules of man’s body, are groupings of structures accessory or subordinate to it.
“The human monad or Ego is therefore akin to all below it and heir to all above it, linked by indissoluble bonds to spirit and matter, ‘God’ and ‘Nature.'”
A Grand Plan
The order of the body’s cells is part of the Grand Plan he says, and the “order in which they are arranged, the principle upon which they are grouped, constituting the human form, is not simply an evolved shape from the lower animal plane, but an involved principle from a higher plane, an older world ….
“How could man epitomize Cosmos if he did not touch it at every point and involve it in every principle? If man’s being is woven in the web of destiny, his potencies and possibilities take hold of divinity as the woof and pattern of his boundless life. Why, then, should he grow weary or disheartened? Alas! Why should he be degraded, this heir of all things!” The fundamental point is that there is:
“but one indivisible and absolute Omniscience and Intelligence in the Universe, and this thrills throughout every atom and infinitesimal point of the whole finite Kosmos ….
Design of Life
Of the occult evolutionary scheme, Helena Blavatsky wrote (Secret Doctrine 1:277):-
“The whole order of nature evinces a progressive march towards a higher life. There is design in the action of the seemingly blindest forces. The whole process of evolution with its endless adaptations is a proof of this. The immutable laws that weed out the weak and feeble species, to make room for the strong, and which ensure the ‘survival of the fittest,’ though so cruel in their immediate action — all are working toward the grand end.”
“The very fact that adaptations do occur, that the fittest do survive in the struggle for existence, shows that what is called ‘unconscious Nature’ is in reality an aggregate of [intelligent] forces.”
“Nature…cannot be ‘unconscious,’ as it is the emanation from, and thus an aspect (on the manifested plane) of the absolute consciousness.”
“Where is that daring man who would presume to deny to vegetation and even to minerals a consciousness of their own. All he can say is, that this consciousness is beyond his comprehension.”
Humanity’s Spiritual Creators
All the ancient adept luminaries taught that the human we know today is the product of a triple evolutionary scheme: physical, mental and spiritual. “When, moved by the law of Evolution,” say these teachers, “the Lords of Wisdom infused into him the spark of consciousness” —and “the first feeling it awoke to life and activity was a sense of solidarity, of one-ness with his spiritual creators:”
“As the child’s first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were outside, and independent of him. Devotion arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature — for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young of the animal.”
“All a kind of worship”
“This feeling of irrepressible, instinctive aspiration in primitive man,” Blavatsky writes (SD 1:210), “is beautifully, and one may say intuitionally, described by Carlyle:”
“The great antique heart, how like a child’s in its simplicity, like a man’s in its earnest solemnity and depth! heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the earth; making all the earth a mystic temple to him, the earth’s business all a kind of worship.
“Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God’s messages among men. Wonder, miracle, encompass the man — he lives in an element of miracle. The essence of it lives through all times and all eternity!”