BECAUSE all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, the whole of nature could be really one family.
New insights of epigenetics have lead to a revolutionary view of human biology. Theosophy concurs with many of these new findings.
“The failures of science and its arbitrary assumptions,” Blavatsky says in The Secret Doctrine (2:670), “are far greater on the whole than any ‘extravagant’ esoteric doctrine.”
The traditional geneticist’s view of evolution “is from the animal,” she reminds us, and “mind in its various phases” is viewed, erroneously, as completely separate from matter.
Theosophy holds that mind is the mystical glue insuring that the identical genes that were in our ancestor’s bodies, what Blavatsky calls The Life Atoms —”are transmitted through their descendants for generation after generation…
…so that we are literally ‘flesh of the flesh’ of the primeval creature who has developed into man in the later period.
“Occultism teaches that the life-atoms [DNA] of our (Prana) life-principle are never entirely lost when a man dies.” And Blavatsky explains how: “The atoms [in the genes?] impregnated with the life-principle (an independent, eternal, conscious factor) — are partially transmitted from father to son by heredity…“They are partially drawn once more together,” she says, “and become the animating principle of the new body in every new reincarnation…”
The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.656
A Spiritual Law
This human interdependence is a spiritual law, and as such was never on any geneticist’s radar. These scientists should be getting the message, but are still limited by their standard model of gene theory.
Epigenetics is the new biological game-changer. This revolutionary theory has relatively recently been revived, and promoted successfully by the likes of frontier biologist Bruce Lipton. He is “an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit.” Lipton discovered that environmental factors (which include mental and emotional states) –
…can alter the way the same genes are expressed, making even identical twins different.
This is only the beginning of an explosion in a new understanding of how biological systems really work. Transcending the standard mechanical gene theory, epigenetics proves the significance of thoughts and feelings, and how they imprint influences into physical life.
A False Theory
Fields of Influence
In his articles “Aphorisms on Karma,” and “Karma,” W. Q. Judge details the “who, what, why, and where,” but admittedly, little of the scientific ‘how’ our present Karma embeds itself in future lives.
In Karma, without providing a scientific rationale, Judge nonetheless sounds almost like a modern quantum physicist, stating that “Karma only produces the manifestation of that which already exists:-
—being action it has its operation in time, and Karma may therefore be said to be the same action from another point of time.”
Without giving away the occult ‘how’ the system works, in Aphorisms on Karma, W. Q. Judge broadly outlines the occult teaching: “Karma may be of three sorts,” he says:
“(a) Presently operative in this life through the appropriate instruments;
(b) That which is being made or stored up to be exhausted in the future;
(c) Karma held over from past life or lives.“
These behind-the-scenes karmic influences, he admits, are: “visible only to the Yogi, to the Sage, or the perfect Seer—there is therefore no stoppage, but only a hiding from view,” noting
Karma is not subject to time, and therefore he who knows what is the ultimate division of time in this Universe knows Karma.
Faster than Light
While a long road still to the ancient truths, the new frontier theories of a living matrix, morphic fields and quantum dynamics are complementary to the Theosophical psycho-physiological tenets on karma. These new discoveries help remove some of the difficulty around
just how non-material energies of mind, emotion and spirit might be able to stamp their influence on our future lives.
The answers to this question involve quantum entanglement and a non-local mind. Einstein once called this “spooky action at a distance,” and the new scientific understanding will certainly retire old outworn theories of relativity, gravity, space and time, along with them.
The occult teachings in The Secret Doctrine say that primeval man’s form was ethereal, i.e. humanity used an ‘astral’ body. “The whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences,” Blavatsky declared,” depends upon:
…the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.
Always in advance of modern science, H. P. Blavatsky maintained that “every living creature and thing on earth, including, man has “evolved from one common primal form.” But the true form, she said, is not the visible physical. It is rather the underlying matrix, the electro-magnetic astral pattern body.
Although the epigenomes are similar in young twins, they are increasingly different in older twins, especially if the twins have lived in different environments and have had different social habits (e.g., smoking, drinking, and eating).
It was discovered that something other than genes passed between generations. Something that could control genes directly, switch them on or off.
Interestingly, identical twins can also vary in their susceptibilities to diseases and their physical and behavioral characteristics. Although there are several possible explanations for these observed differences, one is the existence of differing epigenomes.
Marcus Pembry, a clinical geneticist, calls himself, controversially, a ‘Neo-Lamarckian’ and featured in a recent ‘Horizon’ program on BBC television called “The Ghost in Your Genes.”
Pembry works at the Institute of Child Health in London, and as shown in the video has a particular interest in epigenetics, and the possible inheritance of acquired characteristics.
Ghost in Your Genes – Part 1
Scientists have long puzzled over the different fates of identical twins: both have the same genes, yet only one may develop a serious disease like cancer or autism. What’s going on? Does some biological force beyond genes determine who we are? On October 16, NOVA’s “Ghost In Your Genes” traces the clues that have led scientists to a new picture of genetic control and expression called epigenetics.
Since it is only the selfish and ignorant thoughts and actions of individual human beings, according to occult Theosophy, that have caused so much suffering and imbalance in the world —
… it is only reasonable that any readjustment should be effected by and through all those human creators.
Reincarnation and Karma
by H.P. Blavatsky
Karma as described in Theosophy is a Universal Law of Harmony, and in it this broadest sense, therefore, cannot be reduced in scope to one person or one life only. Its decrees, Theosophy maintains, must have the greater whole of Nature and the planetary well-being in view.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that every atom is subject to the general law governing the whole body to which it belongs, and here we come upon the wider track of the Karmic law.”
“This Law — whether Conscious or Unconscious — predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself. Karma creates nothing, nor does it design.
“KARMA is an Absolute and Eternal law in the World of manifestation; and as there can only be one Absolute, as One eternal ever present Cause, believers in Karma cannot be regarded as Atheists or materialists — still less as fatalists: for Karma is one with the Unknowable, of which it is an aspect in its effects in the phenomenal world.”
It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position, like a bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigour.
(Collated from the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, especially from The Key to Theosophy, The Secret Doctrine and H.P.B. Articles.)
That the many ‘suffer for the sins of the few’ seems unavoidable. And the real key to human suffering and happiness, is attributable to the fact that we are all really just One Being, intertwined, and swimming together on one living planet.
In Robert Bowen’s The Secret Doctrine and its Study, (extracts from the notes of personal teachings), a direct student of Mme. Blavatsky, Bowen recalls what she said was the most important esoteric principle:
“The Fundamental Unity
of All Existence”
“This unity is a thing altogether different from the common notion of unity as when we say that a nation or an army is united. The teaching is not that. It is that existence is ONE THING, not any collection of things linked together.
“Fundamentally there is ONE BEING.
It is ALL-BEING.”
“It is clear that this fundamental ONE EXISTENCE, or Absolute Being, must be the REALITY in every form there is. The Atom, the Man, the God, are each separately, as well as all collectively, Absolute Being in their last analysis. That is their REAL INDIVIDUALITY.”
The polluted earth, air and water affects everyone indiscriminately. And everyone therefore owns, to greater or lesser degree, the burden of responsibility for the conditions which affect the whole.
It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter-true
Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;
Times are as nought, tomorrow it will judge,
Or after many days.
– Sir Edwin Arnold, The Light of Asia
In the end, ignorance of the laws of life is no excuse. Sooner or later we all have to wake up to the fact of the unity of all life, and begin working in harmony to resolve the problems we have together created on Earth.
If we do not, Nature will step in and restore equilibrium in her own way. And Her way often results in disease, pain and suffering, and she does not give a pass to commercial polluters, or careless human waste management.
So long as there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy says, there will be suffering. And this is why we need to practice true Compassion, “the law of laws.”
Ghost in Your Genes – Part 2
The Four Links
The occult science of this process was explained by Mme. Blavatsky, in her Key to Theosophy: “Let me briefly remind you what these principles are,” she says:
… universal Unity and Causation — Human Solidarity — the Law of Karma — Re-incarnation.
“These are the four links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family, one universal Brotherhood.”
This may be insufficient a philosophy to satisfy some. These “Four Links,” which should bind humanity into “one family,” are, unfortunately, not yet the commonly accepted worldview.
Ghost in Your Genes – Part 3
“Occultism teaches that the life-atoms [DNA] of our (Prana) life-principle are never entirely lost when a man dies.” And Blavatsky explains how:
The atoms [in the genes?] impregnated with the life-principle (an independent, eternal, conscious factor) — are partially transmitted from father to son by heredity…
“They are partially drawn once more together,” she says, “and become the animating principle of the new body in every new incarnation…”
Spiritual One Life
There is a “Spiritual one life, a universal Vital principle independent of our matter,” Blavatsky concludes, “manifesting as atomic energy only on our plane of consciousness,” and
“It is that which, individualized in the human cycle, is transmitted from father to son.”
by H. P. Blavatsky
(The Secret Doctrine 2:305)
“THIS LAW, [karma] whether conscious or unconscious, predestines nothing and no one.
“It exists from and in eternity truly, for it is eternity itself — and as such, since no act can be coequal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is action itself.
“It is not the wave which drowns the man, but the personal action of the wretch who goes deliberately and places himself under the impersonal action of the laws that govern the ocean’s motion.
“Karma creates nothing,
nor does it design.”
(Sharon Ormerod, New Theosophy Network)
Karma Science (Cont’d)
by H. P. Blavatsky
(The Secret Doctrine 2:305)
“IT IS MAN who plants and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects, which adjustment is not an act but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position,
…like a bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigour.
“If it happen to dislocate the arm that tried to bend it out of its natural position, shall we say it is the bough which broke our arm or that our own folly has brought us to grief?”
by William Q. Judge,
(Excerpt from “Karma”)
“The individual in race or nation is warned by this great doctrine that if he falls into indifference of thought and act, thus molding himself into the general average karma of his race or nation…
…that national and race karma will at last carry him off in the general destiny.
“The old Aztec and other ancient American peoples died out because their own karma — the result of their own life as nations in the far past — fell upon and destroyed them. This is why teachers of old cried, ‘Come ye out and be ye separate.'”
With reincarnation, the doctrine of karma explains the misery and suffering of the world, and no room is left to accuse Nature of injustice.
“What then is the panacea finally, the royal talisman? It is Duty, Selflessness. Duty persistently followed is the highest yoga, and is better than mantras or any posture, or any other thing. If you can do no more than duty it will bring you to the goal. And, my dear friends, I can swear it, the Masters are watching us all, and that without fail when we come to the right point and really deserve
“The Masters are anxious (to use a word of our own) that as many as possible may reach to the state of power and love They are in. Why, then, suppose they help not? As they are Atman and therefore the very law of Karma itself, They are in everything in life, and every phase of our changing days and years. If you will arouse your faith on this line you come nearer to help from Them than you will recognize.”
They manifest to us. At all times I know They help and try to aid us as far as we will let Them.
- William Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me
I’m afraid this is a bit confusing to me. Didn’t the Buddha say we are the result of all that we have thought — and Sri Aurobindo suggested that it is not our inheritance, but what we do with our inheritance. These remarks make more sense to me than a physical switch that turns on or off our DNA. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Thank you.
All that is true of course. But we were never promised a rose garden. It always takes “two to tango” (spirit and matter) in the manifested world. As Krishna told Arjuna (Ch. 2): “The tumultuous senses and organs hurry away by force the heart even of the wise man who striveth after perfection. Let a man, restraining all these, remain in devotion at rest in me, his true self; for he who hath his senses and organs in control possesses spiritual knowledge.”
“It is only through a vehicle of matter that consciousness wells up as ‘I am I,’ a physical basis being necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity. . . . The ‘Manifested Universe,’ therefore, is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its EX-istence as ‘manifestation.’ — H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1 p. 15-16
“Esoteric philosophy teaches the existence of two Egos in man, the mortal or personal, and the Higher, the Divine and the Impersonal, calling the former ‘personality’ and the latter ‘Individuality’. – H. P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary
“Theosophists distinguish between this bundle of ‘experiences,’ which we call the false personality, and that element in man to which the feeling of ‘I am I’ is due. It is this ‘I am I’ which we call the true individuality; and we say that this ‘Ego’ or individuality plays, like an actor, many parts on the stage of life.