WHEN acting through our physical human brain and body, the mind displays a complex duality — a pivotal tenet of Theosophical psychology.
The reason for the contrast is simple: the entire manifested universe is pervaded by duality. Wherever we look we see that we are copies of universal paradigms. “As above, so below,” is the old Hermetic axiom.
“Each of us has a magnificent hive of billions of neurons in our head, joined to each other by trillions of connections. The human brain is arguably the most complex organ in the natural world,” writes Carl Zimmer in his Discover article titled: Stop Paying Attention: Zoning Out is a Crucial Mental State.
As H. P. Blavatsky wrote: “Everything in the Universe follows analogy. ‘As above, so below’; Man is the microcosm of the Universe. That which takes place on the spiritual plane repeats itself on the Cosmic plane. Concretion follows the lines of abstraction; corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material to the spiritual.” (The Secret Doctrine I:177)
“Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute) is the field of Absolute Consciousness,” but when manifested as a material universe “duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object.”
“Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.”
Not being separate from the universe, we experience the manifested physical (to us) universe as ruled by the contrasts of day and night, sleeping and waking, hot and cold, evil and good. This construct, says Theffffff Secret Doctrine 1:15, is “necessary to focus a ray of the Universal Mind at a certain stage of complexity.”
“’Universal Mind,’ must not be regarded as even vaguely shadowing forth an intellectual process akin to that exhibited by man. The ‘Unconscious,’ according to von Hartmann, arrived at the vast creative, or rather Evolutionary Plan, ‘by a clairvoyant wisdom superior to all consciousness,’ which in the Vedantic language would mean absolute Wisdom.
Only those who realise how far Intuition soars above the tardy processes of ratiocinative thought can form the faintest conception of that absolute Wisdom which transcends the ideas of Time and Space.
“Apart from Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation could not manifest as individual consciousness, since 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.
“Again, apart from Cosmic Ideation, Cosmic Substance would remain an empty abstraction, and no emergence of consciousness could ensue — and “the manifested universe is pervaded by duality, which is, as it were, the very essence of its ex-istence as ‘manifestation.'”
The every intense struggle between the dual channels of our mind is a challenge that few of us are able to successfully navigate and reconcile in one short lifetime.
But help is on the way. The solution has been taught by advanced masters of life such as Lao-tse, Patanjali, Krishna and Buddha. Each assured us that self-awakening is entirely possible — but a daily meditation, raja yoga practice, and above all else, altruistic service to family and humanity is required.
The struggle for control in meditation is caused by our split dual consciousness. The mind’s higher spiritual aspect gravitates toward altruism, says Theosophy, while the tides of its companion personal side is attached to outer forms, desires, survival and other material concerns.
The result is that all human minds are often blown by the winds of sense into the low lying eddies and currents of material thought. Like a balloon losing helium, we drift down from the god within us, and away from our kinship with the soul of things. Broadly considered, what is called higher mind is really a feature of our god-soul, our intuitional base: the manifestation all-knowingness in human beings.
Our all-seeing self and personal self are caught in a Hamlet-like to-be-or-not-to-be, we are alternately pitted by the gut and brain consciousness, against the knowing heart consciousness. This sets up an confusing conflict between the true god and the demigod in us. Yet, “peace is just a thought away” according to brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor.
Or as H. P. Blavatsky puts it (The Secret Doctrine 1:638):
“The closer the approach to one’s Prototype, ‘in Heaven,’ the better for the mortal whose personality was chosen, by his own personal deity (the seventh principle), as its terrestrial abode.”
For, with every effort of will toward purification and unity with that ‘Self-god,’ one of the lower rays breaks and the spiritual entity of man is drawn higher and ever higher to the ray that supersedes the first.
Taking his clue from Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, William Q. Judge wrote about this internecine war in his article: “The Self is the friend of SELF and also its enemy.”
This struggle of selves is dramatized by neuroanatomist Bolte-Taylor in her New York Times bestseller “My Stroke of Insight.” As a brain researcher, Dr. Taylor’s professional focus is both anatomical and intuitional, the relationship between the brain’s left and right hemispheres. (See Video below)
A Return to Source
“What grace to see that the very thing that looked so heavy in the world of form, the very thing that seemed to be limiting me on all sides, that very thing is the doorway into the formless and into who I am beyond form. What grace to see that ultimately they are one. Form is emptiness — emptiness is form. They are one.” —Eckhart Tolle
“It is the function of the physical, lower mind to act upon the physical organs and their cells,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote, “but, it is the higher mind alone which can influence the atoms interacting in these cells,”
The interaction of spirit with matter, she wrote, “is alone capable of exciting the brain, via the spinal “center” cord, to a mental representation of spiritual ideas far beyond any objects on this material plane.
“The phenomena of divine consciousness have to be regarded as activities of our mind on another and a higher plane, working through something less substantial than the moving molecules of the brain.”
“They cannot be explained as the simple resultant of the cerebral physiological processes,” Blavatsky concluded, “as indeed the latter only condition them or give them a final form for purposes of concrete manifestation.”
“My Stroke of Insight”
As Bolte-Taylor recounts her experiences during a stroke in the video clip below, we get a graphic picture of the two physical hemispheres of the brain, and how each is a unique vehicle to express the Yin-Yang of ‘self’ and their relationship. Both “selves” represented by the two brain hemispheres are necessary — but they are also in urgent need of very rigorous cleansing, balancing and prioritizing by us humans, as Bolte-Taylor explains:
Our Non-local Mind
The old teaching of a Universal Cosmic Mind is the metaphysical counterpart of the astrophysical discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB.) This universal intelligent principle is the ubiquitous substratum of the universe in occult philosophy.
Metaphysically it is the “Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE,” the inspired first fundamental, god or “Be-ness,” explained in the Proem of H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine.
Consciousness at this expansive scale has no single location, but like the radiation of the CMB, is suffused throughout every atom in space (and our physical body and brain,) and may be likened to the screen in a movie theater or computer — but it is much more than this.
On the level of nature and humankind this intelligent background is the indefinable source of consciousness in all things.
Without the universal mind, like the metaphorical screen, there can be no conscious life experience— no ‘movie’ to see.
The Global Movie
A God Particle?
Ancient esoteric science is called the ‘thread-doctrine,’ Blavatsky insists, because it strings together
all the ancient philosophical religious systems, and reconciles and explains them all.
Just as there was one humanity linked indissolubly with nature, and imbued with one universal, divine substance-principle, in the occult scientific world all life is sacred, because all particles are considered ‘god particles’ — just not the imaginary and blind material substance promoted by modern material science.
Modern science believes
not is the soul of things.
Not only does esoteric science reconcile apparently conflicting systems, Blavatsky reminds us,”but it checks the discoveries of modern exact science and
shows some of them to be necessarily correct, since they are found corroborated in the ancient records.
“Science is, undeniably, ultra-materialistic in our days,” Blavatsky wrote, and “naturalists refuse to blend physics with metaphysics, the body with its informing soul and spirit, which they prefer ignoring.”
Because Nature behaving esoterically is only judged [by science] “through her appearance — and that appearance is always deceitful on the physical plane.”
Occultists understand how the existence of a separate “god particle” is surely the epitome of scientific materialism — although 2,000 physicists from hundreds of universities and laboratories in 34 countries at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are still searching for it.
“Some people find God in church, some in the great outdoors,” argues Cecil Adams in The Straight Dope, “but it takes truly transcendent geekiness to find divinity in the Large Hadron Collider.”
The concept of a universe based on Intelligent Design owes its inspiration to the ancient tenet, taught by Adept Seers, who insisted that consciousness and intelligence were everywhere, and is found in every atom and particle of the universe. Even in every metallic and electrical particle of the Large Hadron Collider, though never revealed by mindlessly banging their all-suffering little heads together — atomic-cruelty, surely.
The ‘God’ of the LHC
“Some people find God in church, some in the great outdoors, but it takes truly transcendent geekiness to find divinity in the Large Hadron Collider.”
The occult idea as expressed in Theosophy is all about “the One homogeneous divine Substance-Principle, the one radical cause.” This is the divine substance-presence Mme. Blavatsky refers to in her Secret Doctrine as the ‘force’ latent in every atom, that which is “neither Spirit nor matter, but both.” (Seems easy to misunderstand.)
The same abstract meta-teaching of The Secret Doctrine further expands the concept and expressing:
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.
What this has to do with our subject, is explained by the same occult physics in various Blavatsky quotes. She assert that once absolute consciousness begins to exhibit itself in a universe — as the electromagnetic force brightens a light bulb — a corresponding shadow is produced, and:
duality supervenes in the contrast of spirit, or consciousness, and matter, subject and object.
Becoming more of human-mind-beings, occult psychology points to the necessary (gradual) loss of our spiritual ‘instinct’ and favors reason, much like wrongly training a growing child. But in losing his animal, instinctual abilities, man also loses his intuitional powers, “which are the crown and ultimatum of instinct,” Blavatsky wrote:
Reason is the clumsy weapon of the scientists — intuition the unerring guide of the seer.
- H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, (Vol. 1, p. 217)
“There are as many neurons in the brain as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy,” it has been said — so it is not surprising, says ecognitive.com in “10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Brain that:
“despite the glow from recent advances in the science of the brain and mind, we still find ourselves squinting in the dark.”
The Heresy of Separateness
By H. P. Blavatsky
“Behold the Hosts of Souls,” Blavatsky wrote in The Voice of the Silence, “watch how they hover o’er the stormy sea of human life, and how exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged, they drop one after other on the swelling waves. Tossed by the fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and disappear .”
If through the Hall of Wisdom, thou would’st reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of separateness that weans thee from the rest.
“Let not thy ‘Heaven-born,’ merged in the sea of Mâyâ [illusion], break from the Universal Parent (SOUL), but let the fiery power retire into the inmost chamber, the chamber of the Heart and the abode of the World’s Mother. Then from the heart that Power shall rise into the sixth, the middle region, the place between thine eyes, when it becomes the breath of the ONE-SOUL, the voice which filleth all, thy Master’s voice.
“‘Tis only then thou canst become a ‘Walker of the Sky’ who treads the winds above the waves, whose step touches not the waters.”
-The Voice of the Silence by H. P. Blavatsky