STUDENTS of Theosophy are sometimes called to task by some for being overly metaphysical or ‘intellectual.’
It may be true that some students of Theosophy prefer to use the force of their intellect to hammer out meanings, and have a purely intellectual discussion.
That means not consulting their feelings or emotions which are deemed lesser powers from the human ‘lower nature’ and therefore unreliable.
But W. Q. Judge was not of that opinion. He wrote in the Ocean of Theosophy that “intellect alone is cold, heartless and selfish.” The truth of this is shown today by studies of neurological correlates in the physical brain. Similarly, Mr. Judge, back in the day, insisted that if we can live “according to the dictates of the soul
the brain may at least be made porous to the soul’s recollections — if the contrary sort of a life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence.”
Materialistic and intellectual data are stored in the lower mind and desire body, and such grosser data does not stimulate higher areas as the pineal gland in the brain. The mysterious ‘third eye’ whose vehicle is the pineal gland, is known by occultists to transmit spiritual powers including intuition and compassion.
Our Dual Nature
We are spiritual beings at our core, but our behaviors on this physical plane — just like the actions of rider and horse — are determined solely by how we have entrained our psychic and physical instruments.
“No physiologist, not even the cleverest,” Blavatsky wrote, “will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the noëtic or the manasic, or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane – unless he knows something of, and is prepared to admit the presence of this dual element.”
– H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noëtic Action
“There are persons,” H. P. Blavatsky writes, “who never think with the higher faculties of their minds at all.” (Studies in Occultism)
“This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist — the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied — to raise himself,”
“Or for one who is naturally spiritually-minded to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought,” she says. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”
Spiritualizing the Brain
Mark Robert Waldman is a therapist and an Associate Fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind, University of Pennsylvania, where he currently conducts research with Andrew Newberg, MD, on the neurological correlates of beliefs, morality, compassion, meditation, religious experiences, and spiritual practices.
The human brain, Blavatsky wrote, “is simply the canal between two planes – the psycho-spiritual and the material – through which every abstract and metaphysical idea filters…down to the lower human consciousness.” If you’d like to know how you can rapidly take your brain into extraordinary states of clarity and illumination, click below to watch additional Waldman (“Change Your Brain Change Your World”) videos:
The Heart Doctrine
Our most important awakenings seem to come when the head and heart are joined in action.
“Seek O Beginner,
to blend thy Mind and Soul.”
“The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space…to live and reap experience, the mind needs breadth and depth,
“and points to draw it towards
the Diamond Soul.”
“Even ignorance is better than Head-learning,” says the Voice, “with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.”
The mind is also compared to a mirror which “gathers dust while it reflects.” The “gentle breezes” of the Soul are needed “to brush away the dust of our illusions.”
In this ancient teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, we are told that within the body and brain — called “the shrine of thy sensations” — we should “seek in the Impersonal for the ‘eternal man’ and having sought him out, look inward:
“… thou art Buddha”
Although little Jamie’s twin sister Emily had been delivered successfully, doctors had given Mrs Ogg the news all mothers dread – that after 20 minutes of battling to get her son to breathe, they had declared him dead.
Having given up on a miracle, Mrs. Ogg unwrapped the baby from his blanket and held him against her skin. And then an extraordinary thing happened.
Head and Heart
Emotions and sensations “are an integral part of our capacity to think and experience the world.”
– Karla McLaren, M.Ed. -(an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer.)
Just like any other part of human nature, she says, emotions “can be used for good or ill.” Her lifelong work focuses on her grand unified theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways into self-awareness, effective communication, and healthy empathy. She is the founder and CEO of Emotion Dynamics LLC.
The head and the heart are the quintessential twins of Theosophical philosophy, and are often discussed.
Mme. Blavatsky identifies these two paths as “the two schools of Buddha’s doctrine.”
A footnote in her Voice of the Silence explains the two paths as “the esoteric and the exoteric, respectfully called the ‘Heart’ and the ‘Eye’ Doctrine.’
“The ‘Heart Doctrine’ is also called ‘the seal of truth’ or the ‘true seal,'” Blavatsky explained, “a symbol found on the heading of almost all esoteric works.”
“The first emanated from Gautama Buddha’s heart,” she writes, “whereas the ‘Eye’ Doctrine was the work of his head or brain.”
Home from War
“Without our emotions, we can’t organize or attach value to conflicting information — we just stand around looking confused,” writes McLaren. “Without our emotions, we’re actually incapable of making deep and multifaceted decisions.”
“Love makes you aware of something which cannot be known by the intellect; it makes you available to the presence of God.” – Osho
“Current research from the fields of neurology, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology is showing us that — contrary to what we’ve been told — emotions actually help us make decisions.
“The old wives’ tale is that we make decisions by ignoring our emotions and using only our rational faculties. Thinking was long-supposed to be better or smarter than feeling, but the truth is coming out.”
“As we’re learning more about the brain, emotions are no longer seen as the opposite of rationality.”
“Instead, science is helping us understand (finally) that the so-called rational aspects of our brains aren’t able to hold enough conflicting information in working memory to organize a complex decision.”
“Our emotions help us attach value, meaning, and weight to information. Emotions help us separate the wheat from the chaff, identify valid or important information, and make decisions.”
Jill Finds Nirvana
True Adepts are the “owners” of Nirvana, H. P. Blavatsky explains. This is because the Adept or Mahatma’s only concern is for the welfare of humanity, that they have “won the right to Nirvana,” i.e. they have made permanent their spiritual development, while still alive in a human body.
“Such an adept, or Saint, or whatever you may call him, believing it a selfish act to rest in bliss while mankind groans under the burden of misery produced by ignorance, renounces Nirvana, and determines to remain invisible in spirit on this earth.”
They have no material body, as they have left it behind; but otherwise they remain with all their principles even in astral life in our sphere. And such can and do communicate with a few elect ones, only surely not with ordinary mediums.” – The Key to Theosophy, Section 9
An example of an awaking to spiritual consciousness, concluding her TED Presentation, “the morning of the stroke,” Jill Bolte Taylor says she “found Nirvana” through what she recognized as insights coming through her right brain:
“As a single sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the One Spirit illumine every body.”
A New Day
H. P. Blavatsky (Excerpt):
“Our Cycle and The Next”
“But what has the new cycle in store for humanity? Will it be merely a continuation of the present, only in darker and more terrible colours? Or shall a new day dawn for mankind, a day of pure sunlight, of truth, of charity, of true happiness for all?
“If Theosophy prevailing in the struggle, its all-embracing philosophy strikes deep root into the minds and hearts of men, if its doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma, in other words, of Hope and Responsibility, find a home in the lives of the new generations — then, indeed, will dawn the day of joy and gladness for all who now suffer and are outcast.
“For real Theosophy IS ALTRUISM, and we cannot repeat it too often.”
“It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If once men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon earth.
“Then, the GOLDEN AGE
will be there, indeed.”
“But if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted western civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sea of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded.”
“When concern for others’ feelings and welfare is missing, our activities tend to become spoiled. Through lack of basic human feeling, religion, politics, economics, and so on can be rendered dirty. Instead of serving humanity, they become agents of its destruction. Therefore, in addition to developing a sense of universal responsibility, we need actually to be responsible people.”